Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Craft Barn's letter F and a three challenge twist

For Craft Barn's third alpha/dictionary letter, we were given F with a twist.  We had to include hearts with our F word.  Ironically, that's also the theme chosen by Moo-Mania and More this fortnight.

Since there was a sense of If Music Be The Food Of Love, February's theme at Art Journal Journey hosted by Hazel, and Love is in the Air at Try it on Tuesday, I'm also linking to their respective challenges, too.  After all, what is more romantic than two birds carrying a banner with music playing in the background?

One cannot forget the Craft Barn F, though, since that's what this entry was built around.

Because of the twist of using hearts, I remembered I had some scrapbook paper left over from a project from about two years ago that had hearts on it.  Because I can't draw or sketch (my talents lie elsewhere, I'm just not sure where at the moment), a bird I saw on a blog that had a round body reminded me I had a 3 inch round punch I could use to create the body of my two (hopefully love) birds, which satisfies the Moo-Mania and More theme.

I positioned wide bias tape between two "beaks" I cut from some paper I'd painted years ago and drew the letters "FLY" on the tape using a pink Micron pen.

Since FLY was my word of choice for F, here is Merriam-Webster's dictionary definition.

One final look shows vintage sheet music for the background of my altered book substrate.  I added two "birds" I cut from scrapbook paper filled with hearts, then added beaks from other painted paper.  I also created the eyes and "tail feathers" (did I not mention I can't draw or sketch?) using the same Micron pen.

Thanks for joining me at Craft Barn, Art Journal Journey, Moo-Mania and More, and Try it on Tuesday where the art at each of these blogs is often totally different and always incredibly inspiring.

Thanks to each and everyone for your visits.  I was able to leave comments to those who had links at the Craft Barn last time, except for someone who was on Flickr, where I'm not a member.  Again, thanks so much for your support of my art where NO stamps were harmed (or used) in the commission of this page!

Monday, February 8, 2016

T Stands For Mardi Gras

Those of you who have been sharing tea with me for several years will probably remember this photo I used to welcome Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday) during Tuesday Tea a few years ago.

Same cup, similar beads, different backdrop, and most assuredly a different camera.

I have no King Cake, the traditional cinnamon laced, often fruit or cream cheese stuffed Danish pastry that is braided, then iced in the traditional Mardi Gras colors of purple, green, and gold.  Hidden in each King Cake is a tiny plastic baby. The person who finds the baby must buy the next King Cake or host the next party.  My plastic babies are floating in my green tea, which of course, I won't be drinking, but show symbolically.

Do you have the Mardi Gras spirit?  Will "Fat Tuesday" be the day before you fast?  Whether you celebrate Mardi Gras or not, please share your T stories below.  Feel free to show your King Cakes, plastic baby dolls, or beads.  The photos don't have to be taken on Tuesday, and it's fairly obvious, they can even be taken from your archives, as one of mine has been today.  Please use the direct link to your T post, not your blog, so we can find you easily.  And, celebrate it or not, have a great Mardi Gras.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Year of the Monkey

Tomorrow (February 8, 2016) is Chinese New Year.  This is the Year of the Monkey.

I created one of my annual tip-ins that I will eventually add to the book of tip-ins I made for this annual event.  This is the front, and I have watermarked the side with my watermark that I needed to leave unembellished.

I created lots of layers for this side, beginning with the Chinese Zodiac joss paper I glued over the used file folder I painted red on this side and cut to size (5.5 inches X 8.5 inches/13,97 centimeters X 21,59 centimeters).  Next I added book text, over which I added a different type of joss paper, this time with lots of gold that was difficult to scan.  Finally, I included the beautiful lanterns from ARTchix Studio (sent to me by my friend Cindy McMath).  They are also known as German Scrap and even have "Made in Germany" on the pieces you cut away.

As an aside, although I couldn't find a link to their brick and mortar shop online, ARTchix Studio have digital downloads, but no German Scrap.  I'm super fortunate to have received this, and use it sparingly when I create Chinese or Asian art.

More gold joss paper was layered over another Chinese Calendar joss paper.  Finally, I added the words that were computer generated, along with an oriental coin.

For side two, or the back side, I first painted lots of colors on the substrate, my used file folder.  I relied heavily on my computer when I generated the various texts, including February 8, 2016, Year 4714, Year of the Monkey, and
  this cute little monkey I turned into a black and white image, since I have no color ink for my printer.

I also created a mirror image and printed the images.  I have NO punch that size, or circle cutter, and I'm not very good at free hand fussy cutting when I don't have an exact line to follow.

The joss paper on this side of the tip-in is smaller, but exhibits the same design as the one found on the front.  It also has less gold on it, so was easier to scan.

Since some of the joss paper, the book text, and the used file folder were scraps, I am once again joining Moo-Mania and More where we show our "Scraps" this fortnight.

On my way to punching holes in my tip-in so it would fit in my Chinese New Year book,

I took time to peruse my previous tip-ins, as well as ones I received from others who participated in various Chinese New Year swaps I hosted over the years.  I really enjoyed looking back at this art that dates back to 2004.

Thanks as always for your visits, your support of my art, and your wonderful comments.  Don't forget to visit Moo-Mania and More for a ton of inspiration on how to use your scraps.

Today is possibly one of the world's most watched television shows:  Super Bowl 50.

For those of you who live in countries other than the US, that ball the players are holding and used in this game is an inflated oval with a bladder contained in a casing made of leather and known as a football.  It is not to be confused with rugby or soccer, whose balls are round!

It's a bit hard to believe this is the 50th Super Bowl, since some of us weren't even born when the first one was played.  According to Wikipedia:
The game is the 50th edition of the Super Bowl, first played in 1967 in anticipation of the 1970 merger of the American Football League and the National Football League; the league emphasized the "golden anniversary" of the game throughout the season with various gold-themed initiatives (including the adoption of gold-tinted logos across all NFL properties), as well as temporarily suspending the tradition of naming each Super Bowl game with Roman numerals (under which the game would have been known as "Super Bowl L"), so that the logo could prominently feature the Arabic numerals of 50.
The show will be seen worldwide, on CTV in Canada, BBC Two in the UK, Seven Network and Foxtel in Australia, Sat. 1 in Germany, W9 in France,  TV5 and Hyper in the Philippines, and on pay per view television in The Netherlands and Czech Republic.

I told my friend Erika who is a New England Patriots fan that this is the year of the animals (Panthers and Broncos).  Little did I realize I would be watching a LOT of animal football today, because I am not hosting my annual football party.  Instead, I'll be watching the Kitten Bowl on the Hallmark Channel, the Puppy Bowl on Animal Planet, then the Super Bowl on CBS with like minded animal lovers and sports fans who are hosting. Now I must pack and get some sleep before joining my out of town friends for a true animal bowl.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

If Music Be: Songs of Love

It's a new month over at Art Journal Journey, and our new host, Hazel at Hazels Creative Moments has chosen the theme of If Music Be The Food Of Love, which I confess I had no idea what it meant until Chrissie, last month's host posted that it was from Twelfth Night.  I'm not a big fan of Shakespeare, because his works never made much sense to me, but it appears the entire quote is:
If music be the food of love, play on,
Give me excess of it; that surfeiting,
The appetite may sicken, and so die.
It is the opening scene in the first Act of Twelfth Night and spoken by Duke Orsino of Illyria.  If you want to read a bit about the Duke and this play, you will find it here.
So of course, I had to play.  And what better way to play than with scraps.  Yes, everything on these two pages was created from scraps, which means I'm once again joining Moo-Mania and More, where their challenge theme is still Scraps.  And since there's lots of love going on, this also qualifies for Love is in the Air at Try it on Tuesday.

I layered a heart on top of a heart, and used punched notes to add more interest.  The ink on the construction paper was drawn using a metallic gel pen.
More punched music notes were added to a painted heart.   The words were also written with the metallic gel pen.

What better scraps than hearts made from candy wrappers.  It's a sacrifice, I realize, but someone had to eat the candy!

The words of love were also written in the same metallic gel pen on a leftover scrap of painted paper.

To recap, this spread was made in my Coll-AH-ge Too altered book.  The book pages were swiped with pink Patio Paint in spots, the heart made from a scrap of construction paper left over from my Craft Barn challenge, the band across the large heart was left over from a project I'm working on, the painted hearts and small scrap on the right were left over from another project I'm working on, the hearts on the right were cut from candy wrappers, and the music notes were from a book page I painted, then punched out of that paper.   Even the book I am altering was rescued from my neighbor's recycle bin.  Only the Sakura gel ink pen and the paint could not qualify as scraps.

Now it's time to join me at Art Journal Journey, Moo-Mania and More, and Try it on Tuesday.  I hope to see you there, because there are some fantastic mixed media artists on each and everyone of these sites, each a bit different in their entries.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Rust Day

Within the past couple of weeks, we've had tea dyed rust day, mordant day, and faux rust day.  This is REAL rust day.  No tea, no paint, just rust without the use of tannins or other mordants.  In other words, just materials needed for rusting both fabric and paper.  Today we focus on rust and more rust.  As always, I begin each tutorial with the supplies I will use.

From back left clockwise:

Waterproof or water resistant covering (I used a pink plastic bag) to keep a mess off your work table
Steel wool (fine) found at any hardware or big box home improvement store
Cans, lids, etc. that have sat in water for weeks on end
Fabric (old bed sheet)
Disposable gloves to keep the rust out of your blood system
Pieces of fabric (old bed sheet) cut to start a tear, then torn to size
Rusty cookie sheet enclosed in yet another pink plastic bag.

Make sure you are wearing your gloves before you pick up a rusty piece to measure the fabric.  I know some people wonder why I am so adamant about wearing gloves when I handle rust, but the truth is, rust in any form affects the hemoglobin in your blood stream.  This is especially true if you have a cut or cat scratch on your hands (HMMM!!).

Hemoglobin is the protein that contains iron found in all red blood cells.  It enables red blood cells to bind to oxygen in the lungs and carry it to tissues and organs throughout the body.  Low amounts of hemoglobin can cause anemia which could result in fatigue, paleness, shortness of breath, headaches, and distorted vision, to name a few symptoms.   So please, if you do nothing else, or learn nothing else during this tutorial, wear disposable gloves when picking up a rusty piece.

My tin cans and lids have rusted nicely, just as I'd hoped would happen.  I don't buy many cans, so this is an accumulation since last summer.

Next I removed my rusty cookie sheet from the bag I keep it in.  I am also adamant about keeping my rusty pieces in plastic bags, since I don't want them accidentally rusting other metal I don't want rusted.  That's also why I don't keep these rusted metal pieces in my garage.

I began by laying down a piece of copier/printer weight paper on my cookie sheet.  I placed a few pieces of rusted metal on top of the paper.

I added a second layer of paper and rusty bits,

then a third layer.  I now have cookie sheet, paper, rusty bits, paper, rusty bits, paper, rusty bits.  You can see I've already accidentally smeared bits of rust from the rusty bits onto the paper.  Just imagine what your hands would look like right now if you weren't wearing gloves!

For my top layer, I placed a few rusty items with threads on the paper.  For my final layer, I added a sheet of copier/printer paper (80 lb).  I then stuck these in the pink bag.

Next came this rusty piece that I wrapped in the torn bed sheet.

To keep it intact, I also wrapped two pieces of copper wire around the fabric and placed it inside the pink bag.

For my final piece, I took one of my rusty cans

and unraveled one of the steel wool pads I have designated for crafts only.

Now that the steel wool was completely unwrapped and wrapped around the rusty can,

I used my final piece of torn bed sheet and wrapped it around and inside the rusty can.

I had no more copper wire, but I had coated copper wire which began life as part of an old telephone cord (wire).

I wrapped and rewrapped until I was satisfied with the configuration.

I added it to the pink bag and took a photo of all the pieces I intended to rust. 

Then I saturated everything well with white vinegar.  By the time I was finished saturating, the paper was laying nearly flat against the cookie sheet.

All that was left was to tie the bag shut to keep the moisture in, and WAIT.  And wait we shall!

Thanks for visiting today.  I hope this hasn't been a disappointment, because rusting fabric OR paper takes time and patience.  Since this will be sitting in my cold basement studio, I need more patience than I would normally need if I could take this outside to bake in the sun.  Again, thanks for your support of my experiments.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Faux rust day

Several days ago I created what I hoped would be a successful tutorial on how to create a rust look for your art using paint.

Supplies (from back left clockwise):

Paper to cover your craft space
Acrylic paints of your choice (although I used fluid acrylics, any acrylic ink or paint should work)
Paper-backed fusible web (I used Wonder Under)
Scruffy paint brush (mine is 2 inches wide and has seen better days)

I cut a large piece of Wonder Under, which I purchased at a big box craft store (JoAnn's in the US) .  It is sold by the yard, and the lady who cut my piece was going to throw the instructions away, but fortunately, I caught her in time and told her to leave them on the fusible web.  Some time ago my friend Kathy gave me something that feels a bit like Wonder Under, but because the instructions weren't included with it, I have no idea what it is.  I made sure the lady provided me with the entire length.  After all, I had paid for it along with the webbing.

If you are unfamiliar with fusible webbing, it is a man-made product that melts when heat is applied.  Most quilters use it for applique and use the kind that has the special paper backing. Patterns can be traced directly on the back side of the paper, then cut to facilitate the applique work.

You can get a cheap version of fusible web that has NO backing, but I prefer to pay a few cents more for the backing.  I'm glad I did, too, because I remember reading Rebekah Meier's book called "Fabric Art Collage: 40+ Mixed Media Techniques"

which featured painting using fusible web. This book is fantastic if you like mixed media and collage.  Other than Pellon's Wonder Under, other companies make products like "Steam a Seam 2" (sold by The Warm Company) and "Fast2Fuse" (sold by C & T Publishing).  I used what I have, but you are welcome to use whatever you have, or find it at your local quilting and sewing stores.  I believe these products are sold worldwide.

I began by placing water on the fusible web (Wonder Under).  Then I realized the fusible, even with backing, leaked off the page when it rolled back onto itself.  You can tell which side is the fusible, because it has a slight texture and the paper side is slick.

That's when I got out a plastic bag to keep the water off my self-healing cutting mat.

Now that the fusible web was saturated, I looked over my fluid acrylics to see which ones most closely looked like colors of rust.

Rust has many complex colors, depending on the stage of the rust cycle it is in.  I chose the ones I had that most closely resembled rust in my opinion.  If you took my altered book class (see my right sidebar), you might remember in the color theory class I noted that yellow and blue don't always make green, and red and blue don't always make purple.  It all depends on whether, say, the red is a warm red or a cool red, etc.  For example, a warm red is on the pink side of red, and a cool red is on the orange side of red.  So of course, I was looking for darker, richer, cooler colors.  Since I have a good camera now, you can read the colors I used, so I don't have to mention their names.  Remember, ANY acrylic should work, including dye inks, dye reinkers, acrylic paint, and fluid acrylics.  DO NOT USE oil or latex paint.

Be aware that the fusible web is going to curl, and even more so once you get it wet.  So be sure you have a way to hold the edges down.

Begin with your background color.  I chose Quinacridone / Nickel Azo Gold and spread it freely all over the web with my still wet brush.

Add other colors that look a bit like rust.

Either set the painted fusible aside, or leave in place.  Watch as the paper backing begins to crinkle and shrivel a bit.  As the fusible dries, this is where the "rust" effect will happen.

Since this is in my basement studio, I allowed it to sit undisturbed for around 24 hours.  Once dry, 

you can see how the crinkles in the paper caused the paint to pool and create the rust effect.

I've already used some of the fusible web and made a mistake right from the beginning when I thought you were supposed to remove the paper backing before ironing the fusible web in place.  I lost all the color and rust effect held in place by the backing when I did this.  So, if you are using fusible to imitate rust, be sure to leave the backing on.

When fusing, be sure to cover the webbing with parchment paper or your heat resistant craft mat.  Even with the backing paper in place, you should cover it with one of the above options.  Also, if you choose to add other webbing elements, be sure to cover the originally heated elements, because it doesn't matter how many times the webbing is heated, it will once again turn sticky.

Be sure you leave the backing paper and/or parchment paper (or craft mat) in place until the webbing is cool.  It simply won't come off the backing paper and sticks to your craft mat if you get impatient.  I'm sure you can tell I learned this the hard way.

I hope this tutorial was helpful to those of you who want to create a bit of rust, but don't have time to rust real fabric or paper.  This tutorial will soon be added to my tutorials page under the title "Faux Rust."

Thanks for joining me for this faux rusting effort.  I appreciate your visits and your comments, too.