Monday, February 25, 2008


I finally finished my Windswept themed 4x4 swap pages. They'll go in the mail tomorrow. Provided i don't decide to further embellish. I hope the work that went into these comes across. I took strips of 12 different printed deli papers and arranged them on a page to sort of represent the sky, the sea, the sunset, maybe a mountain range - what do you see?

Deli paper is just what is sounds like - it is the thin paper they use to wrap sandwiches at a deli counter. You can buy it cheap at places like Smart and Final. Like 1000 12"x12" sheets for about $10. I even saw they had 14"x14" sheets! That would be fun to paint. But why? Why paint deli paper? Because it accepts the paint so well and you can do some interesting techniques. Once you have a stack of painted deli paper you can use it in your art. Torn in strips like i used, or whole as a background in an altered book. It is much easier to paint on this thin paper and glue it into the book, than to try to paint directly in the book without causing a big mess.

Here is a sample of deli paper that was painted, stamped and glazed.
But i digress.... Over the top of the deli paper strips is a transparency image of the those Mendocino windswept trees. Along with a verse from a song called The Wayward Wind, sung by many artists, it just seemed to fit the image. I don't have Photo Shop or anything fancy in terms of graphic software so i spent HOURS trying to shrink and resize everything to fit. I just could not get the proportions right. Since the 4x4 pages will be spiral bound on the left - you have to leave a margin. To squeeze in the trees and the verse was hard. Then i got a brainstorm (insert lightbulb here). Why not use power point to figure out the placement? I have used it at work, but never in my crafting. It worked great! I was able to layer the trees and the text and rearrange until it fit.

Next came the challenge to print the thing in the 4x4 size. Previously i was working in an 8x8 page. Well it is just as darn simple as copying it at 50% reduction. I actually reduced in 47% so i had some wiggle room when i trimmed it.
Once i printed them all, (squeezing 4 into a single sheet of 8x10 matte photo paper) i cut them out using a pro rotary trimmer. I had already designed the backs using a vintage postcard image of tortured looking trees along the Carmel coastline. Left them a bit big, glued them onto the back, and trimmed to fit. Nothing is harder than trying to glue two equal sized squares together perfectly.
A bit of cat's eye ink around the edges and I am calling this done. Or am I? Gee, maybe a bird flying in those trees? Maybe some fibers along the edge? Since i ran out of glue stick, i'll have to finish them up tomorrow before I can mail them anyway - so i have time to think this through. But not much! They have to be received my March 1st to be included in the book!! Yikes - don't fail me now, US postal service.....!

I am not sure these little 4x4 squares are representative of my efforts, such as they are at this late date, but i am proud of them and hope they will be appreciated in the group of 31. We'll meet each other and receive our books at Art and Soul's Asilomar retreat in April. More on that later...

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