Monday, July 25, 2011

Play Date - Nichos!

 My artist friend Dorothy was just back from San Miguel de Allende with a bunch of these -Nicho's - little tin niches with glass doors.  they are about the size of a cell phone 3 1/2 by 2 1/2 inches tall.
 Here you can see the plain one and how utterly FABULOUS they turned out when 4 creative individuals had their way with them.
 We tried many angles and lighting to get a good picture - so i apologize they are not all clear.  But i think you can get a sense of their exuberance!

 The orange one on the right is mine - they called in an Indian Circus - complete with a mini painted bronze elephant, a paper circus tent awning, mandala sticker and mirror inside.
We all used bits of paper, stickers, beads, metal findings and elaborate painted dots and stripes to adorn the nicho's into works of art.  Oh and a bunch of cheesy earrings came in handy - pulled apart with needle nose pliers and attached with e6000 glue.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Play Date - Hand Painted Birds

A friend of ours wanted to try creating something she saw in Somerset magazine - Forget Me Nots - cute little vintage collages featuring hand painted birds, by Traci Lyn Huskamp.  See a link to her blog for a sample of what was in the magazine.
Here is a tutorial showing how to paint a butterfly and create a card.

Stamp by Martha Stewart
So to get started we each stamped birds and butterflies onto two types of muslin - bleached and natural.  We had two different sizes of the stamps show above.
Next we started painting the birds and branches with guache paints.
I chose to try to give my birds layers of feathers - just going over and over them until i got them right!
Z. stamped onto water colour paper and tried several soft ethereal techniques.
K. went for an assembly line approach - what a lovely array of colours.  It was all very 'zen' - the three of us painting all day.
Once the birds were painted i cut them out with my favorite tiny scissors.  Be careful if you do this - the muslin can easily fray.  Next time  i might coat the back with gel medium before cutting to give it extra strength.
Once i got the hang of painting the stamped birds i tried to do some freehand - the two hummingbirds above were copied from photos i found online.  Stamping just about anything on muslin looks really cool - try it!
Next i pulled together some vintage scraps and made cards on nice pre-folded water colour paper.  Emulating Traci Lyn's style - a bit of a letter, some ecru lace, a scrap of vintage wallpaper  - and a painted bird - make an adorable card!
 Here are the hummingbirds - the beaks fell off when gluing - so delicate (as wee hummingbirds can be) - but a dab of glue and a dab of paint and it is patched back together.
 I should have mentioned that the day was lovely in so many respects.  We began that morning with coffee, a delicious almond coffee cake that Z brought, plus an assortment of berries and my new favorite thing, non-fat Greek yogurt.  For lunch we had a crispy chicken Cobb salad with bacon and hardboiled eggs.  And for our afternoon tea we had these delicious individual chocolate cream surprise cakes that K. made.
Back at work i made this collage on a larger piece of paper and backed it with a dictionary page.  The birds nest was a stamp - but it came out badly - so i hand painted it as well.  I just frayed the edges of the muslin.
And finally all my cards together - with some finishing touches from K's box of goodies - some fibers and some bling to complete my cards.  What a fun relaxing day we had - thanks ladies for spending the day with me!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Mail Art

I received a cute postcard in the mail from a fellow paper artist.  it was a request to participate in a mail art swap.  Sorry i did not capture the "before" - but here is the "after".    The card - a large math flash card, was painted soft green and had the die cut birdcage and some sunflowers on the cover.  I added the bird (cutting carefully to "fit" him inside the bars!  I added the Polska stamp, the flower sticker on the right, and the text from a vintage legal document.  I also added some lavender ink around the edges.  On the back i added the sender's address on a pretty label, another birdcage and some flowers and mailed it off.
I decided it would be fun to send her a card of my own and ask for her own personal artistic touches, and to send it back to me!  I took a vintage file card in heavy blue paper and added a paper border, a napkin nest and the label from a local store's stationary.  On the back i added a little note and some decorative stamps.  If it looks "empty" - that's on purpose!  The other artist will add collage elements to fill it in.
While i am showing these postcards - i thought I'd share a birthday card i made for a friend back in April.  Just found the image on my phone.  I took two gals from a sewing pattern, cut them out and added them to a collaged card with pop dots.  A little sepia ink around the edges finishes them off nicely.  The only other thing i added was two large flower "corsages".  it was around Easter, so they had to be dressed in their Sunday Best!  The recipient of this card is known for her stylish and eclectic tastes.  So the dictionary page i chose for the background was apropos - it has the word eccentric!