Monday, April 30, 2012

Play Date - Button Bracelets

Another beautiful Sunday afternoon in San Francisco.  Another fun filled play date at D's house!
Our play date buddy S. showed us all how to make these amazing finger weaving button bracelets that she learned from a workshop at Art Unraveled last year.  Here you can see three samples that S. has made since she took the class, she has certainly mastered the technique!   She told us what to bring, explained the steps and got us started creating our own. 
 Here is the assortment of buttons i chose to work with.  I used a lot of blue-green shell buttons mixed in with cream and gold.  I left the bottom assortment of neutrals for another project.
After creating a loop out of the c-lon micro cord, i started weaving under and over and then added beads and buttings.  Pins stuck into foam core help organize things.
 Here is a clearer picture after i had done about two inches.
 And here it is almost done!  I just need to add a couple of little buttons to the end and add the "closure" button - which will fit through the loop we created at the beginning.
 Here is Z's bracelet with a pretty assortment of neutrals on sepia coloured micro cord. She included seed pod buttons from South America.
 Here is K's colourful bracelet - pretty much done!  She used bright green and hot pink  buttons and beads to make a fun bracelet.
 Here is S's grey green project - she spent so much time coaching the rest of us - she didn't get much done.  She brought buckets of buttons to share!
And finally here is D's ambitious project - soon to be a necklace! much more spaced out and delicate.  It is fun to see the variety of what you can create with this cool technique.
Thanks S. for teaching us how to do it!

Altered Calendar - Gifts from the Sea

If you have been following along, you know that i started a new round robin altered book project with 5 friends at the beginning of 2012.  We are altering small (5"x6") calenders.  You can see my other books HERE and HERE and HERE.
I worked in S's beautifully textured calendar for the month of April, titled Gifts of the Sea.  She used texture gels and paint to get a sandy cover and added shell fringe around the border.  We were tasked to create two spreads to represent sea life, anyway we chose.  Mermaids were already done, rats! 
 So i chose Sea Turtles!  I started with a blue and black background (google imags) of gelly fish.  Three brightly coloures turtles from a tropical brochure were my focal points.  The "coral reef" is a bejeweled chandelier from Elle Decor.  Sea weed fronds were cut from blue vellum and applied with mini glue dots. (never use wet glue on vellum - it will pucker up!)  A spiny fish sticker (cut in half) creates more interesting sea life.
 Next - Fish Eyes!  I started with a background of shiny metallic origami paper in two shades of blue green.  Then i added another Elle Decor chandelier - with hanging crystals that reminded me of a fleet of tadpoles.  They are swimming along the top and bottom on the left side.  Next as you can see are a dozen or more eyes cut from fashion magazines - with some eyelashes retained for '"fins".  Browns, blues and greens - all swimming in different directions.  I added a bit of glitter glue to make them sparkle, which sadly caused the big eye on the right to develop a crease when the paper got wet.  It smoothed out after it dried fully.
Please note the clever use (if i say so myself) of eyelash yarn to decorate the edge of the pages.
And here finally is the Sign In page - with tags for each artist to decorate.  I added some dolphin stickers and some fun fibres, along with my name and the date.  Next Month - the theme is Maps and Moustaches.  Seriously - it is a theme of D's book.  So whimsical and fun - can't  wait.  Do check back to see!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Altered Book Show: Cornucopia

I am particpating in an altered book show at the Museum of Contemporary Art starting April 21st, at Hamilton Field in Novato, CA. Today i dropped it off at the museum.  My book is called Cornucopia - a celebration of nature's bounty! I took apart some silk flowers , stacked the petals with a brass brad, and glued the petals onto the cover with glue dots.  I used an assortment of Tim Holtz grungeboard letters to spell out the title.  I painted them green, added some copper paint to the edges and added a bit of gold leaf.  A bunch of tacky glue on the back and pressed them into the flowers, weighting them down with a pile of books. 
 Here is what the book liked before i started.  It is a financial ledger from 1972-1973 i found at an estte sale.  I cannot tell what the business was, but they had income from several major companies, and a membership to a dancy club in La Jolla!
 I removed a lot of the pages carefully - there was only one signature (sewn pages) - so i pulled tem from the middle.  I  left about 20 pages - enought to glue two pages together and have 10 spreads.  The pages i tore out will come in handy for other paper craft projects.
 Here is the plain old back of the journal.   I gave it a quick sanding and a light coat of gesso to prepare it for decoration.
 For my backgrounds inside the book i used painted deli paper.  I have written may times about the joys of painting deli paper with acrylic paint and a credt card.  It is so much easier than painting directly in the book.  My deli paper was 12" square and the book was a perfect 12" tall.   Sadly i was more than 12" WIDE, so i painted two of each colour combination (three per page) so i could piece them together.  it is fun how the three colours (here orange, aqua and yellow) combine to create 5 different hues, when scraped together on the page.
 I kept my title page simple, just adding the title, with my name below.  this was printed on normal computer paper.  it is funny how it looks like vellum!  I used Portfolio oil pastels to blend the colour onto the white sheet.  It is softer than he background - but less jaring than plain white.
 The "recipe" for each of the 10 spreads was the same:
     1. deli paper background
     2. pretty face
     3. flowers
     4. a bird or butterfly, or maybe not
     5. a line from a quote from Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream.
For the page above i used a striking red head and a cornucopia of fruits, vegetables and flowers evoking the autumn harvest.
 No critters on this spread - just a woman throwing her head back with a cascade of lavendar and pink flowers.  You might notice that each page has two of the same colours as the previous page.  Sometimes it is subtle due to the blending of the paint. The pink and orange bands fromthe previous spread drop down and lavendar is added at the top.
 This is one of my favorites.  The beautiful purple and violet flowers call to a similary hued hummingbird to come and take a drink.  Note how the pink and lavendar from the previous background are now joined my a ribbon of yellow.
 Blues and yellows make up the flowering headress for this super model, with a bright blue parrot coming along for the ride.
 I went sort of pop art with this spread - one eye and one big blue poppy.
 Another familiar face with an underwater effect of blues and greens, and water droplets on the petals.
Orchids and glittered butterflies add a touch of the exotic to this smokey eyed damsel.
 More poppies - this time pinks and corals create a perfect nesting spot for a couple of pastel feathered birds. 
 Poppies and roses and a couple of winged creatures for this sun drenched gal.
 And my final pretty face, with an exuberent headress of red and yellow leaves and the perfect spot for a wee yellow birdie.
 Here is the back of the book, i covered it with a leftover piece of deli paper that most matched with orange and pink flowers on the front.  A sticker with my name and contact info complete the book.
And once again - i present Cornucopia!  This and 150 other altered book or book inspired artwork will be available to purchase through a silent auction running from April 21st through May at MOCA.  Please come to Novato and see the show. 
And now i seriously have to do my taxes....seriously.