Wednesday, January 28, 2009

In Honor of Swaps: Images to Inspire You

BTW, I fear I'm becoming obsessed with finding images of "wood cuts" or OLD black and white lined illustrations of women. Anybody have a good copy right free source? to buy or sell. I am spending WAY too much time on the internet looking for crfree images. whine, whine, whine.......Susan
PS let me see what you make with these!! that's an order!!

Arabian Nights Swap

Although I have to get to work on the Tea for Two ATC clone, I can't until my Arabian Nights ATC's are complete. I won't let myself!! Mentally they were done, but the physical had to be addressed! This is the first one I did. I will be keeping this one, because it is not up to par. I don't know what I did, but the soft gel gloss medium got cloudy. I put it on with my fingers and I think I handled it too much before dry. So it is the sample! I just love the quote, but I think the card looks too crowded with all the words.
I have this wonderful book purchased in my Now Closed Favorite Antique Store. It's called "Leaves of Gold" and is chock full of wonderful quotes, poems, and essays. I especially loved this first quote.

So the next 2 are for the swap, for which I need to make a total of 5. Now, I don't want offend other swappers by my use of nudity. So I'm swapping 2 of these and making 3 other cards, without nudity. I will post those when I finish them. I'm hoping the hostess will be able to distribute the cards without offending anyone. Here they are:

These 2 I will trade on Flickr:
Here is a closeup of with sparkles and without. HINT: Use an exacto knife to lift these tiny stickers or you will go STARK RAVING MAD. I added them to the background and to her jewelry. Again, the words are all from that awesome book, rearranged a little here and there.


Flickr Trade

So, after napping I decided to cruise around flickr. OMG that site sucks you in big time. Well, one of my fav artists is doing a series of ATC's that is quite original. I flickr mailed her and we are gonna trade. Yeah!!! Way back in October, she wanted my Tea For Two ATC. But, alas, I made that ATC to gift the hostess of a Fatbook project I participated in. But lo and behold, Susan found another one of those spoons in her stash. So I dangled it in front of the other artist, and she took the bait!! Here is the original ATC she wanted:

I will give details about the other artist and post the Recreated ATC after the trade. xoSusan

It Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time

I was meandering down the aisle of A.C. Moore's ,where your money is sucked into a black hole the minute you enter the store. When I saw this:

I got so excited! I thought it would be the perfect place to store my original ATC's. For around 22 bucks it was mine. Well, since the steroids are giving me monster stomach pain, severe headache and enough anger to settle (or start) some war some where, I took a personal day today. So I slide all those card holders out. Saved the Baseball cards to make into Atc's, of course. The first ATC I tried to put into the holder cracked it. It wasn't like I was hyper, extremely impatient or getting angry or anything. yeah anyway.......BTW the steroids are affecting everything but the actual foot pain....weird isn't it.....BTW2 no beard or penis yet......

Here is a pic of my cards that will fit into the holders. It sucks because I can't group the themes together and that happens to be making me crazy.

So the moral of the story is This Baseball Card Holder is wonderful for ATC's if they are thin, and not embellished with anything thicker than a dragonfly wing. Wow, that was a nice visual, wasn't it? The secondary moral is Steroids Suck.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Off Topic No More!

Wow, I realized I have been off topic A LOT today. I'm going to blame it on the fact that Buddy Guy (my cat, not the man, sigh, I wish....) woke me up at 2, 3 and 4 o'clock am. Digging his claws into my face, neck and hair, thinking he was building a nest or something. Jeesh! I got up at 4, I was so mad I couldn't get back to sleep. After this post, I am so napping.
Anyhoo, Below is a pic of how I decided to finish the back of my Dragonfly ATC's for the swap. I used purple embossing powder with the
stamp. The best part is the paper I used. One of my customers knows I dabble in mixed media. He works at a printer, who he says throws away a lot of paper stuff. He brought me a stack of this sticky backed paper. When you peel off the back, the sticky is black. This shows through the holes in the star eyelets and looks good. Thanks, Daniel!!!

Here is my inspiration for my ArttechniquesATC's swap, Arabian Nights. My sister gave this book to my daughter when she was quite small. The illustrations are by one of my favorites, Maxfield Parrish.
I was lucky enough to see 40 of his original works at a show in Philadelphia many years ago. His colors and techniques are so inspiring.

So I took some "Mirage" playing cards (how apropos), glued on paper, enhanced the blues with gel pen and gold embossed the edges. That's all you get to see for now! I need to make 5, will probably make 8, so I'll have extras to trade on Flickr.

Good Ole Dad

Here is my HandyMan aka Dad aka The Colonel aka Mr. Wizard and the list goes on and on......

Why is he standing in the shower you ask? Well, I'm suffering from a flare of my RA which is centered around my right foot, right now. Next month it will be somewhere else. I have Capsulitis/Bursitis of the second metatarsal. The ball of my foot and second toe hurt like hell, that's really all you need to know. So I am taking my first ever round of steroids. Dr. Ana swore I would not grow a beard or....... a penis. The penis would be ok, but the beard is NOT AN OPTION. Anyhoo, we have to get the swelling down in order for the pain to go away. My sexy shoe days are over. I'm sporting New Balance every day of the week. So, back to the shower scene. I had to get a Shower Chair. Yeah, you heard me. I have this long hair I am super vain about and it requires lots of conditioning and tender loving adoration. This takes a long time. I can't stand up in the shower that long. The floor just kills my foot. So Dad is installing a hand held shower head. Just shoot me. OVERSHARE!!!!! xoSusan

Who Are You And What Have You Done With My Daughter?

My daughter wanted to cut her hair off and dye it black. This mom with damaged hair from highlighting it way too often and who was sporting 4" of roots due to tight money issues said yes and no. Yes to the cut and the financial commitment to maintain that cut every 5 weeks and NO to the dye. I remember being a teenager, and how you are never happy with what you've got. However, sometimes it seems like these kids wake up and say, "now what can I do to make myself look ugly?". Yeah, I know, pretty soon I'll be yelling at the kids to "keep off my grass".
Anyway, due to the fact that I hadn't been to a salon since the 6 hour beauty school debacle, which was like 5 months ago, I saw 2" of my crowning glory hit the floor. My grandma used to call it that. Here is a fatbook page I did about the origin of my "artyness".

That's Grandma and I in the heart. She started it!!! The Fat Book was for Art and Soul. In the spirit of continuity I'll show you the back:

Anyhoo, back to the all important topic: HAIR. Sat am Sam and I drove to the salon minutes away. Guess what I discovered on the way. My Favorite Antique Store is Gone. The building is empty and forlorn looking. I felt like I got kicked in the gut. I spent a lot of hours there, sitting on the floor, looking through old books and photos. I spent the occasional $50 there, but never more than that. I guess no one else did either. I will miss them. A LOT.

Anyhoo, for the second time, back to HAIR: So we arrive at the salon. I begin to be highlighted. Sam is so nervous about cutting off all her hair, she said "I feel like I am going to projectile vomit all over the stylist." I kid you not. This is my Honors English girl.

Here are her Before shots:

Drum Roll please.....The Afters:

I think she is channeling Audrey Hepburn! We love it!!

Oh and mine looks good, too. Shorter but healthier and now the top matches the bottom!



Many Thanks to Robin of A Robins Nest and Blog Your Art Out, for this award!
Here is Robin's post explaining the Award and links to the other lucky recipients:
"I would like to pass this award on to the following wonderful people who are first and most importantly ...CARING bloggers who take time to comment on others work. Also they have fabulous blogs with excellent artwork. There are several people I would like to give this award to, however, most of them have already graciously received it. Here are a few of the many people I would like to give this award to:
Each of these ladies are caring, kind spirits who have wonderful blogs. Please be sure to stop by and say Hi! s to the other lucky recipients."
Isn't that so fabulous? I am familiar with Lorri's and Sherri's work, so check them out, you won't be sorry! I can't wait to see Darlene's work. So now I want to Nominate 3 Artists who have given me gracious feedback and frequent inspiration:
Diane from Rosa-Josies
Sherry from Got Art?
Shelly from Paper Mischief
Thanks Again, Robin!!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

DragonFly ATC Swap

On this cold Sunday I worked on the Dragonfly swap for my arttechniquesATCs yahoo group. Remember the possible backgrounds from an earlier post? :

I wanted to capture that shimmery musical sound they make while flying with paper, paint and glue! No easy task! I decided to do a gel medium transfer from a transparency. First I flipped my scan of the music score "A Night In Spring" my friend Diane sent me. Printed it out on an Apollo transparency. Layed a "buttered toast" layer of Golden's soft gloss gel medium on the receiving area of the card and on the transparency. After A LOT of trial and error I concluded that the amount of gel to create a good transfer is the amount of butter a girl NOT watching her weight would put on her toast. Not thick, but not sparse either. Anyhoo here is a pic:
There is still some ink left on the transparency. I decided the cards need something more. What does a spring night need? Why stars, of course. Raided my stash and found some white and silver star brads. Dyed them with alcohol ink:
Stars need sparkle, of course, so out came the Stickles:
Good pic of the transfer, too. So the swap is 4/4 and I made 6 just in case. Here are the best 4 that will go to the swap:

Here are the 2 that are left. I'm keeping the one with the torn paper for myself and trading the other on Flickr.
You may have noticed that these backgrounds are the same as my "Hope for Insight" and "No Second Spring" ATC's. I love making backgrounds. Besides twisted brokn hearted repartee, creating backgrounds is my favorite part of the ATC process. I took a large piece of watercolor paper, gesso'd it, added layers of acrylics, tissues, sprays, cheesecloth and gel medium. I sometimes spend a whole day making backgrounds in all different colors. Then when I get an idea for a witty ATC, I am ready! Now I think I'll make little envelopes for them before sending them to the hostess. Or not, as time allows! Next is the Arabian Nights swap.....stay tuned.....


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Blog Your Art Out

Robin, of A Robin's Nest has started a new blog titled : "Blog Your Art Out". Her mission is to highlight a different Art Blog every week. I am happily surprised and thrilled to be named "Blog of the Week".Thank you, Robin!!!
I hope to meet lots of new artists through visiting her site every week. What a great idea. I'm signing up as a follower. I don't want to miss anything!!


Monday, January 12, 2009

Under Contruction!!

Like the New Look??? Need sleep.....seeing html before my eyes.....will finish tomorrow.....

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Collaged ATC Background

I was inspired recently by an article in Cloth Paper Scissors magazine. I am too lazy to go downstairs and search through the 100's of magazines laying around, so I can't name the artist. How 'bout tomorrow. Ok, that said, I followed the Artist's technique in which she collages and paints her backgrounds. Here is what I came up with using her style. First, I laid out the paper until I liked the layout. Took a digital photo of it in case Buddy Guy or PT jumped up on the table and walked through my carefully designed layout. Who am I kidding, I can't remember shit with this whole menopause thing happening. The photo was strictly for my benefit. Wow, confession is good for the soul. Oh, I digress. So Here is the initial layout:

Then I glued using PPA:

Here is the final composition:
Next step, glued on some rice paper and napkins:
After PPA dried I dry brushed some buff colored cheap acrylic paint all over:
After I seal it with some gel medium, I will cut it for ATC backgrounds. If it was on stretched canvas, I think it would make the beginnings of a very interesting collage! There is always next time!

Madness And Mayhem

I have had the MOST delightful 3 days in a row. Yes, there was laundry, cooking and cleaning involved, but only peripherally. Oh, and can I just say that ACME grocery store has home delivery for the low low price of $12??? I tried this service for the first time and am a believer! All quality, just what I ordered, and a HUNKY delivery MAN. When was the last time a man carried groceries into your house?? Nuf said. This is a great way to shop without impulse buys and the heavenly smells coming from the bakery dept.
Anyhoo, I'm working on a Dragonfly ATC trade for my yahoo group arttechniquesATCs. I wanted to capture the lighter than air, shimmery wing thing they got going on. I used my dragonfly stamp on transparency and embossed with my own blend of 3 colors. The backgrounds are watercolor paper, tissue, cheesecloth, tulip fabric spray and acrylics. My theme for them is "A Night In Spring" which I lifted from vintage music sheets that my friend, Diane, kindly sent me. Diane also sent 2 cabinet cards featuring men, she knows how much I love those. Yes, both cabinet cards and Men! They are in near perfect condition too, just like Diane!!!

So here is a photo of the first layer :

I scanned the music, flipped it and printed it on a transparency. I am going to try and do a gel medium transfer from the trans to the ATC. The card is very textured so it's good that I want a distressed look. The surface is too bumpy for a perfect transfer. I will post a pic of that step soon. So here is what happens when you have 3 days off from work and spend the majority of that time in your studio aka spare room aka where the kitty litter is kept.......

Thats right, Madness and Mayhem abounds........


Vanity Post

Go to Sephora and do this Merry MakeOver. You will get a deluxe sample with your purchase. I used my Christmas gift card from my daughter to purchase one of my favorite fragrances, Philosophy's Amazing Grace. Now go get you makeover on.

Click on the link and you will see me all glammed up.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Here Comes My Dark Side

Two more ATC's. The First is "Loving Cup".

Acrylics, foam stamp, vintage image, transparency image transfer, sharpied photo corners, gel pens, chalk pencils.

The second is "Principal Architect":

Vintage image, transparency image transfer, metal corners, scrap paper, gel pen, chalk pencils.

Hope you like. If you need me, I'll be in the studio.


New ATC's

In between trades, I have been doing some creating of my own. In the interest in keeping the nat'l debt down, which in my house means my credit cards, I have been experimenting with ways to "go cheap" with my art supplies. I tried to use Elmer's glue to make skin transfers. Messy mistake, I overflowed the sink at work. Before that though, and after the 10 layers of glue were dry on the inkjet photos, I got the back of the papers wet thinking I would be able to start rubbing off the paper to make the "skin". Wrong. It got all slimy. Then I had to take care of a customer and forgot to turn off the water in the sink.....yeah, oops. Then, lo and behold, a happy accident occured. The slimy photos started to dry and look kinda cool. Like they had been lost at sea or at least drowned in a sea of tears. There I go again with the maudlin stuff. Who am I kidding. I love maudlin. Here is "No Second Spring":

Here is "Hope For Insight":

The backgrounds are watercolor paper, acrylics, tulip fabric spray, cheesecloth, tissue, heart brads, charcoal pencils, portfolio oil crayons, along with the weird Elmer's gluey photos. Like I said a happy accident.

Oh, and the moral of the story? Don't go cheap on gel medium. Stick with Golden's and nothing will get slimey.



Step right up!! More stuff Susan will never use!! Let's Trade!! This trade includes 3 Rebecca Sower Tags, 2 are sticker tags, a Paper Bliss Set with 4 star/moon tags, 2 paper frames, Thanksgiving R. Sower tags, one Sunshine and one Autumn sticker tags with 2 sheets in each. Hope that made sense. Heres a pic:

I'm interested in trading for anything paper, ephemera of any kind, and small rusty bits to use for collage on canvas and ATC's.



Hand Over The Trade And Nobody Gets Hurt

Is it not a small world out there? I just started using my flickr account and exploring the photographers and mixed media artists represented there. I have had several artists leave very kind comments on my flickr page and have now traded with one of them! I discovered Matthew's work, aka skylerdragon at flickr, and fell in love with "Dancer" and "First Valentine".

Dancer is made with acrylic paint, craft paper and newsprint and Matthew's skills. Striking.
First Valentine uses felt tip marker, colored pencils and a COB book illustration, along with Matthew's amazing drawing talent! I think a COB book is used in teaching because, well, Matthew is a teacher!
And as far as the small world thing goes, I was checking in with my arttechniquesATCs yahoo group and found a post by none other that my new trade partner. Check out skylerdragon's art on flickr! Thanks again Matthew!

I Bring You Tidings Of Great Trade

In an effort to thin out my "stuff", I decided to start trading "stuff" I have collected that I know I will never use. In this particular case the trade of the 2 quilts square kits comes from the knowledge I have acquired over time that sewing is EVIL. My sewing machine is a diabolical device with a mind of it's own gathering dust in the corner. I am in awe of all the artists that can tame this instrument of EVIL. I salute you.

I traded the kits with
Sherry for A LOT of my favorite things: wonderful paper and ephemera for ATC's. Sherry generously sent many goodies that I will have so much fun creating with. The first is THE BEST VINTAGE AD I have ever seen:

It stops B.O. !!! What more could a girl want?? Sherry also include an adorable original ATC, ATC backgrounds (one of which I am working with now), rusty bits, lots of paper ephemera, an S diecut, along with piece of paper with a Philadelphia map.

Now how classy is that, being that my name begins with S and I am a hop skip and a jump from Philadelphia. Sherry took the time to personalize and beautifully package this trade, and for that I am grateful and humbled. My camera does not do it justice. Also included were two of Sherry's PUBLISHED articles teaching the accompanying artwork. Be impressed, be very impressed.

Thanks again, Sherry!