Archive | November, 2012

I love it when a plan comes together

24 Nov

Happy Saturday (and yes, I stole that from the A-Team, the tv show, not the movie – so now that I just dated myself, we can move on).

I hope everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving. We host at our house every year and it  was a fantastic day filled with great friends,  amazing food, incredible desserts and a LOT of laughter (plus the best Lions football game in years on Thanksgiving day that we didn’t get to see all of thanks to Direct TV. We’re not Lions fans, but it was a good game and we would’ve enjoyed watching the 4th quarter).

If you have checked out any of the blogs on my blog roll, you may recognize my friend, Jimmie. She asked me to be a guest blogger for her so she can participate in NaNoWriMo this month. She’s well on her way to her goal (YAY Jimmie) and I’m really excited for her. Check out my guest post here and you’ll find out a bit more about me and how I spend some of my time when I’m not creating.

Last week, I finished up an art journal layout that turned out even better than I had anticipated. It started out when I found a cool looking tag (I think from a pair of my hubs jeans) and a tag from the dry cleaners. Add to those cool items a novel from the 40’s – complete with aged pages and cool texture – I found on a trip to McKay’s in the free book bin. Score, right?! I’ve been wanting to use book pages in my art, but I have a hard time tearing up a book. I find it easier to tear up this particular book for some reason (maybe because it seems like  a poorly written trashy novel). Anyhow, here’s what I came up with:

After a layer of gesso, I laid out the book pages.

I used Golden Soft Gel Medium to adhere the book pages. Next, a light coat of gesso so the pages look like they are part of the layout, not sitting on top of it.

After playing around a bit with the placement of the tags, I decided to use the modeling paste I received at the Golden workshop a few weeks back. I just picked up a new stencil, so the timing was perfect. I applied it with a palet knife and I really like the added texture.

A close up of the molding paste….

My layout at this point is in some serious need of color, so I got out the fluid acrylic I picked up at that workshop; Quinacridone Crimson (say that 5 times fast, heck say it once, I dare you!) and used it with the stencil again. Then I thought it could use an additional color, so I added some Manganese Blue Hue (applied with my fingers)…..

I’m not sure if you can see it or not, but everything at this point, everything looks like it’s sitting on top of the page. And I’ beginning to think I’d ruined my vision. But, quick thinking, some excellent color mixing, if I do say so myself, and it’s saved! What did I do? Well, I mixed some gesso, a few drops of Indian Yellow Hue and a few drops of Burnt Sienna then watered it down so it was more of a wash than a solid paint color. And the result was this:

Much better! Like I said, I love it when a plan comes together!

As always, I love feedback. What do you think? Like this layout?

Till next time,
Cheers,
Michelle

The one where I share my moms artwork

17 Nov

Happy Saturday! (and yes, that is a salute to Friends)

You may recall a while back when I shared the circle art journal I sent my mom. And you may also recall that I forgot to take a photo of the finished page…..well, I got the journal back from my mom, so we’ll start with a picture of the finished layout:

I didn’t share much about my mom or why in particular I thought she would like this journal. Or why I thought she might actually need this journal. So, I’ll share a bit now. Two years ago, on Halloween, we lost my dad unexpectedly. My parents were happily (I emphasize happily) married for 40 years. My dad passing has left a hole in the hearts of most who knew and loved him and of course, none greater than my mom.

Grief takes its toll on us in many ways. It sucked the creativity out of me for almost a year. I fear it’s been the same for my mom. We’re all artists. She paints. My dad made silver jewelry, was a photographer, painted, and way back in the day, did bronze casting. You may have seen some of his work if you’ve ever been in Central Park (the Hanz Christian Anderson and Alice in Wonderland sculptures). I wish I had thought of this circle journal when he was still alive. He dabbled in watercolor and I can only imagine how fun it would have been to send one back and forth with him too.

Anyhow, I bought mom some acrylic paints for her birthday last year. For various reasons (a move, new job, terribly sad) she hasn’t gotten them out. So, this journal is my way of helping her find her creative spark again. It’s also a unique way to stay in touch. Something different to talk about. A part of our artistic selves to share with each other (and now you).

I asked her if I could share her pages too and she didn’t hesitate to say yes. She did say it’s not as great as she hoped; artists, we’re our own worst critics.

Mom loves her glitter!

Look at those brush strokes! Love it!

So, what do you think? I think it’s very much my mom. Sparkly, full of life and a bit quirky!

Till next week,
Cheers,
Michelle

Art journal layout

11 Nov

Happy Saturday. I can’t believe it’s almost Thanksgiving!! Can you?!

So, this week, I finished up a layout that I LOVE! I’m so pleased with the way it turned out (unlike the one I shared last week and am still pondering over how to fix). So, without further adieu, here it is:

As always, I start with a good layer of gesso. For this layout, I used fluid acrylics (Folk Art and Americana that I picked up at Michaels). I used an old gift card to spread and mix the paints directly onto the pages.

Don’t you love how the Hauser Medium Green and Metallic Blue Sapphire mixed? And how about all that yummy texture? Used gift cards; the gift that keeps on giving! By the way, in case you are wondering, the pieces of wax paper in between my pages are to prevent them from sticking together.

I was enjoying creating this page so much that I forgot to stop and take more step by step pics.

The completed layout!

So here are a few details. I used a paper bag (I think from The Body Shop) to anchor this page. The circles were traced  in pencil using a few “tools” in my arsenal: a creamer lid, a canister from a roll of film (YES, people still use film, in this case, my dear hubs!) and a milk lid. Once traced, I filled in with white paint. The lines are a “stamp” I made. I used the underside of a Starbucks cup holder (I love that corrugated texture! Do you sense a theme? I LOVE good textures) dipped in paint. The picture was found in my favorite mag, Nashville Arts Magazine. I found this fantastic tape at Michaels  (it’s by K&C Company and it’s for their super fun Smash journals). And I used that fantastic pen I was given at the Plaza Art.

I wanted to add something to the text so I used masking tape in a few places.

And just so you believe me, here is a picture with my supplies (somehow the cup holder didn’t find it’s way into this photo, so I guess you’ll just have to believe me!)

I think this might be one of my favorite layouts to date. I’d love to hear what you think.

Cheers,
Michelle

Art journal pages in progress

3 Nov

Happy Saturday!

Today, I’d like to share a layout that is in progress. I loved how it stared out. Loved where it was going. And then I’m not quite sure where it went wrong. Not terribly wrong, but  don’t love it anymore. I have hopes that I’ll fall back in love with it when I figure out how to finish it……

I saw this first technique I used on Donna Downey’s blog and had to try it out for myself. (my page is in no way close to her finished page. I really was inspired by this technique, cause, to be honest, I never thought of trying it before.)

She crumpled up paper, smoothed it back out and then glued it into her journal page. On this layout, I used Mod Podge.

Once I had both pages covered in crinkly goodness, I started playing with color. If you watched all of Donna’s video, you’ll see this is where my layout stops looking remotely like hers.

I started playing with a fluid acrylic color by Americana called Hauser Medium Green (I LOVE this green!) and mixed it with a Blu Oltremare by Polycolor. This tube of paint is years old (I found it in my mom’s old paint kit) and it’s still vibrant and easy to work with. Kudos to Polycolor.

I found this great garden sign on Pinterest and had printed it out a while back. It just seemed to fit in with the colors I had come up with.

So far, I’m still loving it. The colors are great, the sign is wonderful (I want one for my garden!) and I’ve been inspired to make grass out of the cover or a newspaper I picked up at Parnassus Books (a lovely independent  bookstore in Nashville. If you live here and haven’t checked them out yet, shame on you. What are you waiting for?!)

So, I tear up pages into “pieces” of grass and adhere them to my layout. And decide it needs something. Flowers, I think. I pull out my stamp sets and find some cool flowers. And I start stamping…..

And here is where we end up. I like it, but I don’t love it. And maybe that’s ok. I’m not sure what it’s missing so until I figure it out, it stays as is. If I ever decide what it is I think it’s missing, I’ll share.

And by the way, the candy corn covered popcorn turned out great. Here’s a few pictures of it when it’s all wrapped up and ready for the kids.


I’d love suggestions on my layout, so if you know what it’s missing, please leave a comment.

Till next time. Cheers,
Michelle