Sunday, November 29, 2009

bingo card collage

I created 4 cute collage mini wall hangings - using bingo cards as the base.
Here is the bingo card - all new and shiny and not at all appropriate!
I started by sanding the cards with drywall sanding screen - my "sand paper" of choice. I have a huge stack of these - sold in a kit for cleaning your barbeque, actually. You can use sandpaper of course - but i just like these.
After scratching them up i applied some neutral ink to give an aged effect.
Because sanding and aging was not quite enough - i applied a bit of white gesso with a dry brush to soften the effect even more.
Now they were perfect!
Next i punched holes in the upper corners using my jumbo eyelet setter.
I used an assortment of ephemera as background - ledger pages, old legal letters and some text cut out of old novels.
I glued the ephemera onto the bingo card with a glue stick. I added a bit of faded floral print paper for some colour.
I applied the photographs with glue dots - raising them over the background for added dimension.
This gentleman's name is Siegfried Ernst. He came in a lot of old photographs i bought on ebay years ago. I used all the pics in my "reject" pile. These images were either too faded or too small to use in collage - so i separated them from the "good" ones. But their size was perfect for this project. Siegfried's little caption is about tidiness being a virtue. I added some brown ribbon and a brass metal latch for a final bit of embellishment.
This one features Rufus - a spaniel attempting to slide down a slide in someone's backyard. This was taken in 1939 in san diego. The caption is from a dictionary which states that a dog is a flesh eating animal! The card is finished off with a luggage tag strap - that sort of looks like a dog collar, and an actual rabies clinic dog tag.
This aspiring young fellow came from a set of photo booth strip postcards. His caption is asking mom where his shirt is. She just pressed it in the kitchen. Yes - i spent hours looking through books for appropriate little phrases! A Delta airlines pin finishes off this card.
And finally this card with three lads in bathing trunks. I added a bit of aqua rick rack to this card for colour and also to evoke water. And finally a numbered pin and key - the kind you pinned onto your bathing suit at the local pool, when you used the public lockers.

I finished off all 4 cards with some aqua and white martha stewart twine, from Michaels. I plan to send these off as gifts to people who recently sent me some things - as a thankyou. One of them is a guy, so they all just ended up on the masculine side. They were fun to do - and i hope the recipients like them!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving...!

Here are some pages i did in some calendar round robins a few years ago. Back soon with some creative projects.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Purple Pages

This past summer i participated in a "tip in" altered book swap with three friends. I introduced my altered book Purple, HERE. As sometimes life gets in the way - it wasn't until this week that i recieved these pages from Shelley, a talented collage artist i am proud to know.
But whoa, they were worth waiting for! Her pages are 7 1/4" by 5 1/4" per the measurements of my book. She altered front and back - so instead of gluing them into my book - i'll create a pocket to slip them into.
(in sad altered book swap news, the pages i sent to her two months ago have still not turned up - i have just about given up on the US post office, and plan to recreate them)
Here are the backs of the images shown above. Shelley does wonderful layered collage - often with glossy magazine images.
We all agreed to do ATC (artist trading card) for sign in tags in this swap. Here is the back of Shelley's tag - i love this so much - i just might enlarge it and frame it on the wall!
Here is the front of the ATC. With a colour theme like this - it is fun to mix and match elements - anything goes - as long as the colour family is the same.
Now to make receiving this swap even more fun - look how Shelley decorated the envelope! How much fun is that?!?!?!
She also threw in this stunning piece of background paper done with stamps and glaze and paint. I know, i'll use this to create the pockets to hold her purple pages in my book!
Here is the front of the envelope. I have seen this sort of thing in Somerset Studio - i wonder what the post office thinks of these crazy collage artists? I may never send a plain manila envelope again!

Thanks Shelley for all this wonderful artwork. And thanks again to Dorothy and Shanna for this fun swap.

Art Swap

I was invited to participate in an art swap by a dear online art friend Aileen. You may know her as the talented lady behind Outside the Margins. The swap was simple in concept - sort of like an annoying chain letter. I had to create ONE art thing - and send it to the person who invited Aileen to the swap. then i invite 6 other people to send ONE thing each to Aileen, and they in turn invite 6 people each to send one thing to ME. So if all goes well, i receive 36 art things in the mail, potentially from complete strangers. So are you confused already? Or thinking - on-no, sounds like Amwayscam or something worse? I don't blame you. I am generally not one to forward emails that involve making wishes and send to 12 friends. (but by all means send them to me - i don't mind receiving them at all...!)

Anway - i decided to do it. I made this cute altered notebook and sent it to Christy. You could send anything you wanted - a collage, ATC, embroidery, whatever your artsy "thing" is. I used pages from an old dictionary with the letter C for Christy. Then i added some decorative floral tape, and a strip of silver tape. (like the copper stuff used to solder charms - did you know it comes in silver?) Then i stamped a big C on the front, and her initials inside.
Threw it in an envelope and sent it off.
Then i asked 7 people to participate along with me. One person said yes, one person said no, and none of the others said anything. So i was quite surprised to receive this in the mail! His name is Steven Russell Black and he is an illustrator. He connected to me through Julie, one of the people i invited to participate - but didn't hear back from! Check out his blog HERE.
He sent me a small 5" by 3 1/2 original sketch on a piece of heavy board. it is just lovely, looks washed out in the scan - it is more pronounced in person.
Then i received this - well, not sure what it is exactly - but i love it! Sort of a collage scrap tag with a little flap. It is from an artist named Shannon Wilson. I didn't think i knew her either - but here is the link to her flickr site, where i found an image of a beeswax collage piece she did in a class i taught at Julie's -place. Ah - how cool how all these things go around in circles!
Here is a picture of Shannon's piece with the little flap open - it is simple adorable!

Thank you Julie for passing my name along. I hope you receive 36 wonderful things in the mail from creative strangers! or even one or two!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Papaya Design Challenge 2

Please check out the Papaya design challenge participants on the Papaya blog HERE and HERE.
The stuff we created was a testament to how easy it is to design something fabulous with their beautiful and inspiring paper designs. Please be sure to check out both links to see pictures, videos and a slide show of all the cool wrapping, and gift ideas.

I gave all the gifties i made including the boxes and bags to my visitors this weekend. It was my mom's 80th birthday - so she got to pick first. She took home the lovely scented soaps wrapped in deli paper and Papaya's Vintage Tangerine paper designed by Pam Garrison. She also took a cigar box covered with the same paper, filled with note cards. My niece took the altered journal and the scalloped top gift bag. My sister took the other cigar box, covered with the Indian Floral paper and filled with decorated notecards to match. She also took the coordinating gift bag.

Since i could sense some jealousy over the scented soaps, i gave my niece another box i had - and let her decorate it with her new batch of printed deli paper. It came out lovely.

Thanks especially to Brennan at Papaya! for coordinating this fun challenge!


They came, we shopped, we ate, and we created. All in all, a terrific long weekend with my mom, my sister and my niece. It was their first visit to beautiful sunny Pasadena, and a welcome change from the encroaching Canadian winter.
Our first project was deli paper painting. We created dozens on 12" square sheets in random colour combinations using the technique i wrote about HERE. Each sheet has three colours of cheap acrylic paint applied/blended with an old credit card. Then they are glazed with a bit of metallic shimmer. And optionally some were rubber stamped.
Here are three sheets on a pink/orange/mauve colour palette.
Here are some pink and teal with stars and dragon fly stamps.
Here is a cigar box i covered with some of the deli paper. Deli paper glues beautifully just with a glue stick. My niece did one too - but i neglected get a picture.
Here is the inside of the cigar box. I left the gold/green/red label exposed because it coordinated beautifully (quite by accident) with the deli paper. Even the taped borders on the original box looked cool - so i left them uncovered as well.
Our next project was these glitter bird cards from a Martha Stewart craft kit i picked up at Big Lots for two bucks! Not sure why it was there in a bargain pile - they were one of the best designed and fool proof kits i have ever used. Each kit comes with 8 blank cards and 8 bird stickers, and 5 vials of glitter. Erica and i each made three birds - so easy, you just peel off a section of the bird - sprinkle on the glitter, and rub off the excess with your finger. Put the un-stuck glitter back in the vial. Peel another section, apply a new colour of glitter, etc etc.
Then you peel of the backing of the bird and stick it on the card. There is even a narrow border of sticker on the card to apply glitter for a border.
Our next project was to use all those beautiful deli papers as background for a Papaya-style collage. I did a workshop a few months ago with my altered book group using this same technique - you can read about it and see some great pics HERE and HERE. The funny thing was - i could not find my samples to show my sister and niece. So they created these amazing collages completely randomly. Well, with my guidance of course - but they just went for it.
This one is mine - i used a deli paper background, an image cut out of Vogue magazine, and applied stickers using the recipe i developed: radiating stripes from the head, flowers and butterflies, and hoopy earrings drawn on with a sharpie.
Here is Donna's. She was really nervous about placement - qranted her "head" was more challenging because of the hair. But she created a lovely collage with a floral headband, and floral necklace punctuated with butterflies. She added the word BEAUTY using a stencil i created. Her deli paper is so pretty - looks like water, almost like her image is a mermaid floating out of a serene lagoon. Definitely a Tahitian vibe.
And finally here is Erica's - WOW. Did i mention she is 13? She had the most stunning collage of the three of us. First her deli paper and a nice contrast of green to blue. Then she chose a striking face and off set it on the page. Then her choice of large pink flowers and bright blue butterflies created a fantastic headdress for this gal. And she did some nice hoop-y earrings and swirls. I hope they display their Papaya style collage proudly back home in Calgary, and think fondly of their crafting vacation in sunny California all cold winter long.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Bookcase of the day?

I have been living in our new condo for 5 months now, so there really is no excuse for not having a completely organized and creativity enducing space. But you know, i had so much chaos in the move that although everything had been unpacked and "put away", it was not really sorted and workable. Sure i could create a few things here and there, but for the most part i avoided the space entirely.
But now, is different. We'll have guests! So a complete overhaul was in order. I spent all weekend consolidating supplies and tools and labeling drawers so that everything would be user friendly for my niece Erica, who is visiting this weekend, along with her mom, my sister Donna, and my mom. I have dubbed the event Craft-a-Pallooza! Above is the last of the "misc" bins and totes i finished sorting.
One of my first projects was to sort my books. I have several categories: how-to books on collage and altered books; vintage tomes to become altered books someday; and reference volumes like dictionaries and foreign novels, that i use to tear pages out of; and ones with pretty pictures, like travel guides. Fairly easy to indentify and sort, right? So why did i choose to disregard these themes entirely and sort the books by COLOUR? Because it looks awesome!

I think i got the idea from isuwannee, a blogger who posts the bookcase of the day. But i have since seen it many places, including decorating magazines. You gather up your books and sort them by colour family. I did green - blue - pink - white along one shelf, and yellow - red - orange - brown - beige along the other. No room for black - they're on the other side.
I am so pleased with this i just had to share. Will this make it harder to find a certain book when i need it? maybe. But since my craft room has to double as an office and guest room - i wanted it to look nice.