Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Mixed Media Monday Challenge ... I Feel Pretty!

For this week's Mixed Media Monday Challenge the theme is "I Feel Pretty". I looked through my scans and found these images from an altered book i did a while back.  I started an altered book group with 7 very talented women years ago.  I would say they were all artists. Much more talented than I - who was just starting out with collage.   Virginia's book's theme was "Ordinary Miracles". The themes were like that - ideas to push you creatively and think outside the box.  We would meet each month and do a show and tell and describe our pages.  Then we would do a small workshop to learn a new technique, or try out new products at the shoppe where we met. (sadly Attic Archives is long gone)
 The pages above show two images of dandelion weeds - just before they are blown apart and scattered to the wind. Underneath the two flaps with copper tape edges (shown at top) are pictures of the flowers with yellow petals and the words "am I pretty?"  "yes I am".  The idea - yeah i was trying to be all profound - is that if we didn't know dandelions were weeds, we might think a blanket of them on the front lawn was pretty.
 Here is another spread i did in the Ordinary Miracles book.  I was trying to show the contrast of sea life - one side hard and solid compared to the ethereal lightness on the other. I have no idea why i chose the colourful checkered background.  I think it looks horrible!
And my final spread in this book had 4 trees in different seasons.  But wait - the background is sketches on Leonardo's inventions.  The Ordinary Miracle?  No man, no matter how talented, can build a tree.
Well  - i think my altered book spreads became less "profound and thought provoking" (if they ever were!!) and became more layered and textured than these examples. But we had great times together and I learned a lot.

Petite Inspiration Box Swap - Box # 2

 This is the second lovely matchbox i received - from Karen. Her box was romantic with paper ruffles and vintage postcard images.
 Imagine how much fun it was to open and spread out all the goodies!
 Check this out!  She made a beautiful springtime banner! Thank you Karen!
 Here are some of the vintage postcards and images she included with the package.
 What a cool idea this is!  Stamping on muslin.  So simple and so pretty.
 I had fun opening all my boxes and "playing" with the stuff.  Here i created a little vignette featuring a yellow bird.
 Here is a rosy toned montage, complete with fabric rosettes.
And finally a collage of blue and white. It was so much fun to receive these little treat boxes.  I will surely create some wonderful mixed media collage or assemblage art to honor the three lovely women who shared the swap with me.

Petite Inspiration Box Swap - Nesting Edition Box #3

 Here is the third matchbox i received as part of the birds nest themed swap.  Check out the delightful felt blue bird that Lynne made sitting on the nest of shredded sheet music.
 Here is how the package looked before i unwrapped.  She too included "extra" things that did not fit inside the matchbox!
Look at all these goodies!  A strip of cotton stamped with blue birds!  A section of ticket stubs stamped with birds. Some vintage blue silk milinary flowers.  Wow!

 Check out this adorable bird charm bracelet with a robins egg blue egg pearl.
 Here are some of the larger elements - a stack of pretty recipe cards, a cello bag of mica, a white glittery butterfly and some silk flowers.
 Here are more chunky elements - some large beads, eggs, pearls and a bird shaped eraser!
Dontcha just love the pink feathers off setting this blue bird - so well done.  Thanks Lynne!

Petite Inspiration Box Swap - Nesting Edition Box #1

Here is the first box i received as part of the swap. Imagine my excitement when i opened the parcel and saw not only had she included the decorated matchbox, but a colourful tin box filled with goodies AND a bunch of fun papers and stickers and a lovely card.
Here is everything all laid out on the dining room table. I love the beautiful house shaped card and all the wonderful clip art.
 Here is a closeup of the sweet little bird cut outs, paper flowers, and a vellum envelope filled with confetti flowers.
 Here are some of the more chunky elements - a little birds nest, a jar filled with vintage buttons and beads, and a tin plant marker.
Here is a closeup of the lovely decorated box.  Kathy used dimensional stickers and a beaded stick pin to add texture to the top.  and i love the eyelets on the end. Thank you so much for the generous swap!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Look What I Found...!

The theme this week for the Mixed Media Monday Challenge is "look what i found" - with instructions to translate as your whims take you. I think my new owl necklace is a perfect entry!  I had a play date on Saturday with some co-workers.  Read about our prior adventures HERE and HERE.  This time we all wanted to try jewelry making.  I grabbed a bunch of beading supplies and we met at a local bead store, The San Gabriel Bead Company.  This cute little owl was hiding in my stash.  I am pretty sure i picked it up at an estate sale a few years ago.  I thought  - why not create a cool vintage looking necklace to honour this fine bird?
This is the first necklace i made at the play date.  (or rather started it, because i had to leave too early.  Too much fun at the store, plus a yummy lunch ate into our play date time)
I knew i wanted to make something asymmetrical and all mixed up.
I wanted to learn how to do wire wrapping.  Well Youtube to the rescue - once i saw two or three videos i was absolutely hooked!
I want to wire wrap every chunky bead i can get my hands on!!
So simple  - and so beautifully hand made. 
Here is the lovely mess we made at Jeanette's.  Wow!!
Here are some of the things the group was working on when i had to leave:
And look how much we had!!

I bought more supplies to make more necklaces.  Once i have mastered wire wrapping i'd like to use sterling silver wire and chain to make something pretty with this selection of pink glass pearls and beads.
I also bought a "blank" to make one of these vintage typewriter key bracelets.  I have been hoarding the letters just waiting for the perfect project.  I purchased this bracelet - and as cool as it is - those are letter stickers, not real keys. So i can make one myself!
I also want to create something out of this necklace i started using beads and buttons and waxed linen twine.
And here is another work in progress. So much fun.  Just the perfect new hobby to work on while my husband watches baseball games this summer! So yes, Mixed Media Monday - Looks like i found a new obsession...!!

My Petite Inspiration Box Swap

The pics you've been waiting for!  Here is my Petite Inspiration Box - with the bird's nest theme. I put together the contents (see below) and struggled with how to decorate the box itself.  because my theme was red and powder blue, i thought the box had to follow suit.  Once i decided to just go with the tried and true sepia vintage/copper/robins egg blue - it all came together.
I sanded, gesso'd then covered the matchbox with vintage book pages.  For the top i used precut scalloped ovals (from paper source) as a base for a paper bird with skeleton leaf wings.  A bit of vintage script from an old letter as a sort of banner and a touch of whimsy with the blue chip trading stamps and sparkly flower.
The copper mesh nest was the perfect place to hold my hand-made speckled eggs. I forgot all about the ends until i saw pics on-line of someone else's box  - so the button and ribbon was a last minute touch.
This is what the three recipients would see when they opened their jam packed box.
I wrapped assorted ribbons and trims around a vintage flash card and attached it with lady bug stick pins.  Some two tone MSL twine and some lace pieces complete the
fiber selection.
In the paper realm, i included a page from a gardening book, two foreign dictionary pages,a mini book or locket, some silly chicken stickers, a mini magnet, red foil sticker and a milk cap.  The yellow matchbook is actually flower seeds.
This shows more goodies - red and blue sticker labels, a vellum envie and note card, red photo corners (5 because you need 4 and you always lose one!), bird postage stamps, some word game cards, some bird images and a faux stock certificate.
 In the chunky doodad group you can really see the red and blue theme come alive.  A butterfly, some lady bugs, a wee bird, buttons, marbles, beads, leaf sequins, a vase shaped glass bead with a flower, and some hand painted earrings.
In the metal assortment were various charms butterflies and dragon flies, a winged horse, some copper scrap angel wings, a key tag a brass ring and teardrop finding and an opticians lens.  all the little things fit in the tin case.
I gave each person two little birds and three eggs wrapped in a napkin and wrapped with the stem of the blue paper flower.  I tried to stick within the "guidelines" and just send what would fit in the box itself.  But i had some over flow!
I really had fun putting these together.  But that was NOTHING compared to the joy of receiving the boxes in the mail, from my trading partners.  Just wait til i show you!

Monday, April 12, 2010

pretty things

These are some of the lovely flowers blooming around my condo.  And here is the best looking thing by the pool:

My husband recently shed 50 pounds and he wants the world to know it! Doesn't he make a cute pool boy?