Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween

This is a little black cat inside the back of a stretched canvas.
This is a little black cat inside the back of a stretched canvas

I don't know why, but this week i have typed Halloween several times
(including just now), h-a-l-l-o-w-e-e-D! Must be that TV show!
Vintage postcard image turned into a shadow box collage

I am spending the day, nay the whole weekend, getting my craft room ready from Crafta-pa-looza next weeekend, when my mom, sister and niece will descend on pasadena for 5 days of creative bliss. Well, and shopping. And eating some fine food too!
So as i sort the contents of my craft room, i give you halloween collage from years past.
Mini notebook altered with a young witch
a collage on canvas board with stencilled bird
Page from an altered calendar featuring various haunted houses
Another calendar page with a Poe theme - including a hungry raven
Here is a calendar round robin page with a glitter spiderweb
Here is another calendar round robin page - where i just went with what was in the book and added a stamped bat and cat and foam letters to wish you all a happy halloweed, i mean halloWEEN!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

2005 Calendar Swap

I will participating in a 2010 calendar round robin with some dear creative friends. In case you have never heard of a calendar swap - i thought i'd post some images to give you some ideas.

Here was my first calendar - back in 2005 - ie before i had a blog to share with you all! I picked a large binder-like calendar that i purchased in Montreal. It was filled with photographs and sketches an artist did while traveling around the world. Mostly African and south american countries. It was beautiful. I added all sorts of fibers and charms to the binding so that it would be exciting for the participating artist to open each month.

Here is the inside cover - i added some vintage map paper and messed it up with ink and sandpaper to age it.

Here was the sign in page - i used air mail envelopes to hold paint chip tags. I used all blues and greens to reflect the water in the oceans crossed by the artists on this journey.

Here is the facing page.

Here is an example of a page "altered" by me. The cool thing about an altered calendar is that you can use the images on the pages as inspiration to create something. And the best things are spontaneous and evolve -in my case, with what supplies i have within arms reach of my craft table. With regular altered books i tend to over-think the collage. Or plan it more.

With the calendars you already have illustrations on the page - so your colour choices are more or less predetermined. So you can grab anything in that theme and stick it to the page. It opens you up to creating more interesting pages - filled with juxtaposition. Here i did some journaling - detailing daily events in the weekly calendar pages. But mostly covered the whole thing up with a transparency. I think it was a Gauguin i printed on a transparency because the colours and mood meshed with the illustrations on the page.

Here you can see i covered a sail boat image with some blue netting - and just scribbled on some swirls and stars. Very haphazard and LOOSE!

Mind you - this calendar was already printed with very loose illustrations or notated photographs. The artists name is Titouan Lamazou if you want to look him up.
Check out his art here.

The artwork that the other 11 artists did in this book are something i will always cherish. I sort of feel funny about scanning their altered pages and posting them here. I'll think about it. But i think it is fare to say that this particular calendar was inspiring to them all.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Mixed Media Monday - Marvelous Moustache

In keeping with the season - here is my entry for the weekly on-line challenge at Mixed Media Monday. The theme this week is "moustache"! What better gent than Mr. Edgar Allan Poe himself. This is an altered journal done in a creepy Halloween theme.
Mr. Poe is on the inside cover. he sits ontop of somem vintage journal pages, some text from a european book, Czech or Polish - not Transylvanian - but it looks appropriate. bunch of scribbles add to the effect.

Here is the cover of the journal, titled appropriately Quoth the Raven. The image is from the book but that is a random spooky mansion. The whole cover is coated with a layer of melted beeswax. It gives an ethereal effect.

Here is the back cover - some sheet music with the right degree of sepia aging. The dictionary snippet has the listing for Vulture. A leaf-less foam tree finishes it off.

Please check out Mixed Media Monday comments with links to many other fabulous artists work!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Papaya! Design Challenge

I am a big fan of Anahata Katkin and her company Papaya!. I have her beautiful wall calendar and journal. So I am proud and excited to participate in the first ever Papaya Design Challenge. I read her blog, plus the company blog everyday, so I quickly signed up when the call went out last week and was one of the first lucky 25. woo woo!!

We each got to pick two decorative papers and 5 letter gift tags from their line. They sent us the supplies along with a stack of cool papalicious stickers and labels.

Ok – there is a catch, right? Sure is! We each have to create something with their products and send them pictures, videos, blog entries, whatever we can to get them excited about what us paper crazy people might do with their stuff.

In this case, more specifically, we are to create cool gift wrapping ideas. I need an actual gift giving idea – to help me come up with something to do with my new paper. Next month my mom, my sister and my niece are coming for a visit. It is a repeat of the craftapalooza event we had last year. Read all about it here.

So why not create a real crafting retreat for us girls, complete with welcome goodie bags?? I’ll make gift bags for us girls and fill them with treats. Oh – and one step even FURTHER. I'll actually make some gifts too!

I used cigar boxes to hold gift card sets made out of the papers. I decorated some guest soaps. I also altered a plain journal. Two gift bags, two decorated cigar boxes, two gift card sets, a set of guest soaps and a journal - all created and inspired by Papaya! gift wrap paper!!

Here is a cigar box covered with dictionary pages and accented with Papaya! Indian Floral paper and a sparkley Papaya! sticker. I hate cutting things out - i only do it if the effect will be awesome. Dontcha think it is??

Here is another cigar box covered with a gorgeous Pam Garrison paper called Vintage Tangerine. No need for fancy embellishment - the paper is so lovely - Pam uses vintage wallpaper to create collage in her journals. I just added a bit of white gesso around the edges and a key with a tattered piece of ribbon.

Here is a nice shot of a group of items i created- yeah - me - i created all these things from two sheets of paper! A gift bag, a covered cigar box, a journal and some note cards and envelopes.

Oh yeah - and some soap. Here is the box of guest soaps that i covered with hand painted deli paper and accented with a band of the Pam Garrison paper. (too beautiful to give away...)

This is the deli paper i used - having a large assortment of colours is key! Here is the last time i made a big batch.

And i covered the lid of the box as well. I accented it with a scalloped strip of dictionary paper and some leaf trim.

Here is a gift bad i covered to hold another cigar box. I used a Dominoes Pizza take out bag - just glued on the Papaya! paper and added some trim and ribbon.

Here is the gift bag and set of soaps. You can see i added a pretty pearl H and some organza ribbon.

Here is a blank journal that i covered with paper and added some ribbon, rickrack, lace and a tin bird. A bit of black sharpie highlights the details.

Here is the inside.

To make the sets of note cards - I cut out shapes and swirls from the papaya paper. I found a set of blank note cards and envelopes in my stash. I used the paper cut outs to add style and colour to the note cards and envelopes. Just applied with some glue stick.

Here is the gift bag and cigar box using the Indian Floral pattern

Here are the note cards. Won’t they just love it?

Please check out the Papaya website here:

Check out Anahata’s blog here:

And check out the Papaya company blog here: Art Show

Here are some images from the art show i participated in at Zinnia in South Pasadena. I wrote about it here. there were over 350 5" square works of art, including those done by children at some local schools. Read all about it at the Zinnia blog.

The works were available to sell at 3:50 sat afternoon. We went by the store late sat, and i was a bit sad to see that none of my 4 beeswax collage pieces had sold. But they will be hanging in the store for a few weeks - so maybe. Believe me - it is not about the money - although that would be nice for me, the store and the charity. It would just be nice to get some, you know, "validation" by selling one. But if i get to take them all back home -well, that would be totally ok too! I will proudly hang them on my own walls.

That cute one with the felt balls sold right away!

That's mine in the middle - my mom and my aunt.
Again in the middle - my mom and aunt with their parents.
Top center, my aunt, my mom, and my godmother and godfather.
The one underneath is one of the student pieces. The whole class did scratch paintings in black paint over multi coloured backgrounds.
Above the little witch, my grandparents, my aunt and my mom and dad on their wedding day.

That's me!