Saturday, September 4, 2010

Week in review

Some might call this post "getting back on the horse" after yesterday's rant. Some may say it's a post about running out of supplies. Others might call it a boat-load of photos and words. Still others, might think of it as totally useless information designed to fill a day on my blog. Whatever you call it, I call it my week in review.

Before I begin, I want to tell you about another no-strings blog giveaway that involves a comment only. It's for two (count them TWO) Good Mail Day: A Primer for Making Eye-Popping Postal Art books written by Jennie Hinchcliff and Carolee Gilligan Wheeler. To make the giveaway even sweeter, Jennie Hinchcliff (one of the authors) will also be sending some of her fabulous mail art to the lucky winners. Now how cool is that? You'll find the post for leaving a comment here, on Seth Apter's The Altered Page.

While there, check out the book I recommended. You may not know it was my recommendation though, because poor Bleubeard didn't get top billing. And yes, I teased Seth about it. Rush, run, click through the first link to take you to his giveaway post. You only have through this evening to leave a comment. Two lucky winners will be chosen tonight and notified tomorrow. So run, don't walk to Seth's giveaway.
As of early Thursday morning, here is what my rusted fabric looked like. After shooting this photo, I drained the water and allowed the fabric to dry in the bucket (thank you Bleubeard). The fabric will be unveiled in next Wednesday's post. And yes, all you need is some well rusted metal, water, and a lot of sunshine. Not sure you need the sunshine, but it was fun thinking so. Be sure you wear protective disposable gloves when removing your fabric and metal from the bucket, though.

Next, I decided to deal with the tea bags from Tuesday's Tea party. I tore the bags because there was not a good way to cut them, and grabbed a bunch of my favorite rubber stamps. I was in a real hurry and didn't want to get out an acrylic block for my UM stamps that I've coated the backs with Wacky Tac. Wacky Tac is a roll-on acid free gel that turns any surface "re-positionable" once dry. I call this my lazy person's stamping blocks.

Using Staz-on, it took no more than 10 minutes to stamp all these images onto tea bags and a few pages from foreign books.

It took longer to photograph the finished pieces than it did to stamp everything.

I'm very happy with the outcome,

especially the tea bags, which I'll use in my altered art and fabric.

One word of caution. Be sure you don't stamp your hand in the process when using the "double sided" stamps. Those disposable gloves you got out for handling rusty metal might come in handy!

Those of you who know me, know I'm pretty anal when it comes to my tools. And yes, I consider stamps to be tools. So I always clean them before I put them away.

Many of you know that I clean Staz-on from stamps using 91% alcohol, a cheap alternative to the more expensive solvent based ink cleaner. But here I was, cleaning away when I ran out of 91% alcohol.

Although they are less than pristine, I know the majority of the ink is off the rubber and I am ready to move on without further ado.

After replenishing my coffee, I dug out my collage I had started more than several days ago based on what I was learning from Ann Baldwin and her Creative Paint Workshop. What surprised me when I saw the photo, was how much my color palette looked like the one on her book cover.

On Monday, I commented about a background made from mixing gesso and glaze together. Many of the comments were positive. I decided to recreate that process on Friday. Granted, when I mixed the blue glaze and gesso that made up the background of the book page, I mixed them together in a cup, much like the one holding the gesso in the photo above. This time I decided to mix glazes and gesso on the substrate.

After looking at the maroon glaze in the bright natural light of my studio, I decided it was too pink, whereas my reds, golds, and browns already on the piece had been on the orange side of the red spectrum.

So I poured out the four glazes: gold, burnt sienna, maroon, and buff.

Next I pulled out a new pad of my cheap 90 lb watercolor paper and began slathering gesso on one sheet.

Mixing the colors together, I laid down patches of brushstrokes over the still wet gesso.

Then I grabbed more gesso because I wanted to mix the colors further. OOPS!! I was now also out of gesso and had to run to the basement for the jar I kept there.

I continued to play with more watercolor paper until I had used all the glazes on the palette. The advantages of adding gesso to glazes is that glazes dry slowly and gesso dries quickly. Glazes are shiny and gesso is chalky when dry. When mixed together, you get the best of both worlds, a surface that dries in decent time and does not look like chalk when dry. You also get as much texture as you choose to include, depending upon the tool you use to apply it with. If you add the gesso to the glaze, but don't mix it completely, you will get a mottled color when applied to your substrate.

Of course we aren't going to mention what I did Wednesday. You read about it in yesterday's post! One good thing is I wrote to Simply Spray and will await their response. And of course, all photos except the litter bucket were taken yesterday, too.

As for the size of the photos, I thought (since I'm usually so wordy), it might be easier to follow my often rambling diatribes if you could actually see the words while the photo was still in sight on your screen. Tomorrow's Silent Sunday post will return to the previous format. All photos are always clickable to enlarge them, regardless of the size I post them as. It just keeps them smaller this way for reading purposes. Any and all comments on the two different styles will be most appreciated. I'm certainly not opposed to going back to the "old" style.

My blog pick of the day is Jeff de Boer from Canada. Since I love showing men who make art, this artist's web site is one I really enjoyed. His cat and mouse armor will have you rolling in the aisles, and Bleubeard has his eye on the blue one for his birthday in October. If you are looking for the perfect gift for the man who has everything, consider an armor tie or executive sword handled briefcase. I personally enjoyed deBoer's Exoforms because of their geometric shapes. Whether shopping for that perfect man's gift or just visiting for a laugh, enjoy Jeff de Boer's web site today.

13 thoughtful remarks:

bad penny said...

fabulous post !

Theresa said...

My goodness! You're a busy lady Elizabeth! Firstly, thanks for the heads up on the book info. I have an ever growing collection and when it comes to books, more is more. Really enjoyed your post today. I've never stamped tea bags and I love the way yours turned out. Very interesting reading about your adventures with paint and gesso too. Will be back for more!

Halle said...

You certainly had a busy week. Lots of projects going...

fairyrocks said...

Lovely tutorial. I have done some tea staining, your tut has given me some terrific ideas, Thanks

peggy gatto said...

I am exhausted!!!!
thanks for the tips!!!

Doone said...

woo hooo - colour theory for free:

hahaha - it's so Hard to Remember to Photograph each stage - well done!!!!
Haven't ever mixed glaze, gesso AND acrylic when still wet _ I tend to thin down to almost water colour with flow improver - gonna try your method tomorrow - thanks, I do
Like this format better - but silent sunday old style will be nice too,

my only quibble?

It is Cruel to Mock The Afflicted

I shall have no sun until next May - but plenty of dampness for the rusting technique!!

A pleasure to read, as always, thank you Elizabeth... and the links? I shall do them now...


Donna: said...

Wonderful work today E. Love the teabags and may even stew up some Rubeo tea bags and see what color they turn. (BTW I don't drink tea but have a ton of bags; I like the boxes LOL) Your work just gets better and better each post to your blog. You inspire me to try new things every day my aRt/self gets out of bed with me.
p.s. if you ever visit me... DO NOT look at my art tools or RUBBER STAMPS,mounted or otherwise.

Marlynn said...

Whewww - I am all tuckered out reading about your work and week! And I thought I was busy! Hugs, hopefully I am back for a while. I'll just blame it all on Harley. : )

~*~Patty Szymkowicz said...

fun week in review Elizabeth!
someone once said to me about cleaning stamps, no one but me will use these and they will last as long as I do on this planet I'm sure ... kind of liberating (or not LOL) clean or not to clean...that is the question :)
oh and one more "messy" comment heehee
aren't 'dirty' hands a sign that you're having fun !

Seth said...

A great review of the week. I love the idea of stamping on the tea bags...and of course rusting the paper! Thanks also for getting the word out about my giveaway!

FlipSyde said...

I love the idea of stamping tea bags. I'm going to give that a try. After my hideous rust failure, I will not be trying the fabric - even though I sort of want to.
I printed and followed your previous tutorial on those background pages that you made - it's a funny coincidence that you worked on them again recently because I did the Same Freakin' Thing today after I got so mad about transfers. I LOVE the idea of mixing glaze with gesso, and I am totally going to try it...IF the wallpaper adhesive I used ever EVER dries....

Terri Kahrs said...

Where do you ever find all of the time for these wonderful projects, Elizabeth! You always seem to have something wonderful "in the works"!!! Great post! Hugs, Terri xoxo

Autumn said...

Great post! I love all of this, makes me want to play with my paints & also dip some paper in my coffee. Tee hee.
~ Autumn Clark