Sunday, January 31, 2010

In Case You Forgot...

Thank you Kim, for the Gentle Reminder. I think we all forget sometimes. xoSusan

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Braving The Elements-Michelle Ward's Crusade #36

Michelle Ward's Crusade #36 is very cool. What do I like about it? For starters, she's given the players 60 minutes to accomplish this journal page!! For me that is a HUGE challenge. Luckily for this one, I had a prepared journal page ready to go. The page is already covered with a gesso stamped background.

In Michelle's Words:

I call this crusade Braving the Elements because what I want you to do is make some tools - cut paper snowflakes - and use them to create textures, then actually apply the tool to your page. You will be making your own collage elements!

Ok, I deviated, cuz that's what I do!! I am not into snowflakes at all! I chose to make a cross stencil instead of cutting snowflakes. First we are instructed to gather our tools:
Above you see the prepared journal page, heart doilies, paint, magazine words, glitter that I ended up not using, and a page from an old calendar. Instead of making paper snowflakes I cut a stencil from the calendar page. I love this idea, inspired my Michelle.

You end up with a stencil and mask, or a cool collage element. The next step is a combo of drybrushing and dirty brushing, techniques Michelle explains in this Crusade.
You can start to see some of the texture created by the gesso stamping show through. Next, I used gesso and the cross stencil:
Don't forget to use both sides of the stencil to get your image going in opposite directions:

Most of the crosses got covered up by the end of the hour, but that's ok. Next was using the doilies as stencils:
Part of the directions for this crusade are to use the "hand cut" elements on your page. I didn't cut my own, but I do add the doilies I used to stencil onto the page.
I made the cross in red as a focal point. See my brush is still dirty!! Next I added some words ripped from a magazine:
I journaled using a black Stabilo pencil. I rubbed the edge of the pencil on top of the red cross and the texture below really pops. Oh and BTW, please forgive my use of red, turquoise and black YET AGAIN. I just love them so. Here is a scan of the finished page, which probably came just a little over the 60 minute rule:

So in Michelle's words:
The purpose of this crusade is to get you to realize all the skills you already have, and that you have all the materials you need within reach to make cool pages.

I love "Using What I Have On Hand" and this Crusade is another perfect way to do just that! The subject of my page "Your Cold, Cold Heart", is something I fear I am destined to struggle with my entire life. My thoughts came out in "I am sick and tired of selling my heart to the lowest bidder". Yeah, I'm a genius, I know. A sad, dark genius with a way with words. Sorry Mom, I did it again! teehee.

My Inspiration is taken from the song, "Your Cold Cold Heart" written by Hank Willims, Sr. You've probably heard Norah Jones' version. But, sniff, Hank's is way better. Just says the Music Snob. teehee.

I've tried so hard, my dear, to show that you're my every dream
Yet you're afraid each thing I do is just some evil scheme
A memory from your lonesome past keeps us so far apart
Why can't I free your doubtful mind and melt your cold cold heart?

Another love before my time made your heart sad and blue
And so my heart is payin' for things I didn't do
In anger, unkind words I say that make the teardrops start
Why can't I free your doubtful mind and melt your cold cold heart?

Another love before my time made your heart sad and blue
And now I know your heart is shackled to a memory
The more I learn to care for you, the more we drift apart
Why can't I free your doubtful mind and melt your cold cold heart?

Why Indeed?? xoSusan

Charms for My Mom

I made wine charms for my Mom for her birthday. My Mom has many interests: party planning, entertaining, dominoes and mah jong, quilting, sewing, reading, and writing poetry to name the most current. She is a font of Wisdom and Grace. I tried to honor her spirit in my charms with words that describe some of her attributes. I, of course, used words from Wuthering Heights as my source. Mom's charms are abstract in nature, cuz well, personality traits are kind of abstract in nature, no??

My mom tries to teach me to persevere and move forward with a positive attitude and to stop with the Regret, already!!! Unfortunately it is a lesson she has to try and impart to me, A LOT!! Thanks for not giving up Mom. Giving up is not in her repertoire. xoSusan

Monday, January 11, 2010

Ink-Jet Transfer Play

While waiting for the paint to dry on the canvas I just sneak peeked you, I played with transfers. My tools were ink-jet images printed on Apollo 7039 transparencies, Golden's self leveling clear gel, and acrylic painted ATC backgrounds. I also used some of those cardboard postcards I posted about earlier. You know, the cardboard from the cat food cartons that I gesso'd and painted with sprays and glimmer mists. I sealed them with PYM. I had to, cuz when a spot checked the paint with the GSLCGel, the sprays smeared. Bummer. Out of the attempts that night only ONE was a failure. I'll show that first:

Not sure if the problem was too much GSLCGel or what. But the next ones turned out Grungy, not perfect, and therefore exactly what I wanted! Thanks to Andre, of Aftermath, for sharing the steps: apply GSLCGel to substrate, let Gel get slightly tacky for barely a minute, lay down transparency, burnish with paper towel, lift and rejoice!! I also used a bone folder to burnish. This is the only method that I have found to provide consistant successful transfers on top of acrylic paint. Hey, Marianne, I haven't tried the Elmer's Caulk yet!!

Here is the image I used:

Feel free to use this in your Art. I changed the color to black and white before printing to get rid of the background color and to save ink. Also, don't forget to mirror the image before printing, so the transferred image is not backwards. Trust me, I forget to do this often and get so mad at myself for wasting ink!! The next ones are the catboards, oh I mean, cardboards, teehee:

I think I'm going to bind these into some kind of book, some day. A lot more transfers, experiments and embellishing have to happen first. Below is the image I used for transfer. Feel free to use it.
Next on the horizon is thinking about trades for the upcoming Art and Soul Retreat!!! I'm so excited!! Who's going?? Give Me A Shout!! xoSusan

Canvas Sneak Peek

Yeah that's all you get. For Now. I figured it was about time I posted some of my own Art. teehee. xoSusan

Look What Jimmy Made!!!

Well, you met Erin in my last post, now meet her husband, Jimmy. Jimmy is an Extremely Talented graphic designer and artist. He often shows his work at galleries in Philadelphia, and recently had the well deserved honor of designing an AMAZING Mardigras display at Universal Studios. Among other arty things, Jimmy is a people and pet caricature artist. Check out his website, McIllustrator. You too can have yourself or your pet caricaturized by Jimmy. Now, you know how it is when you "inherit" a friend through marriage. Well, Jimmy is a dream cuz he endures lots of girl talk with patience, and so far hasn't told me to hit the road. Always a good feature in a man, teehee. I am one lucky girl, cuz look what Jimmy gave me:

copyright J. Mchugh,

don't even think about copying, or I will go Ninja on yo ass

HELL YES, THAT'S THE MAN IN BLACK, MR. JOHNNY CASH!!! thanks Erin for making Jimmy give it to me!!! teehee. Thank you Jimmy, you are the best Friend-in-Law a menopausal Johnny Cash lovin girl could ever have!!!! xoSusan

Look What Erin Made!!!!!

I am Blessed with a Capital B to have some Very Very Good Friends. Let me introduce Erin, who recently married Jimmy, who you will meet in my next post. I met Erin when I was the young age of 30, new owner of a screaming newborn. Later, to become Miss Samantha, my Valentines Baby, who will turn 16 this year. We interrupt this post to bring you Samantha's new look:

I just couldn't resist. She is absolutely Gorgeous, if I do say so myself. She looks exactly like her father, who was and still is an Extremely Good Looking Man. I am so happy she got his perfect nose and not the Sager Ginormo Ball of Flesh!! Anyhoo, back On Topic.....So I was living in the sticks, asked a neighbor for a babysitter, and met 16 year old Erin, who lived down the street. Erin was a shy but smart, sweet but funny, an all around awesome kid that I would be proud to call my own. So I thought, hey, what better babysitter could I ask for? Maybe Sam will turn out a bit like her. For many years I "mothered" Erin, along with Sam. Erin was a dream, she loves to organize and clean. I reaped the benefits of her skills when I was a very busy full time workin married woman with a big house to take care of. I moved from the sticks with my divorce, but always kept in touch with Erin. We weathered each others heartbreaks, moves to Hawaii (hers, not mine, dammit) college, jobs, and lots of Art. Erin is a very talented jewelry maker, is a genius with paper folding, makes exquisite shadow boxes, floral designer, a truly gifted mixed media artist. And I was lucky enough to see this girl evolve into a wonderful woman who I mother less, but Friend more, know what I mean?? I BALLED my eyes out at her wedding. Sam was mortified. teehee. Erin is now the age I was when we met. I have been hounding her to have a baby so MY 16 year old can babysit HER infant. The circle of life, no? Anyway for Christmas, she created these Stunning envelopes as my gift. The computer does not do them justice!! I overlapped them for scanning purposes:

How beautiful are they?? She and her husband also designed a calendar with her gorgeous nature photography. I am so proud of her. Here is my beautiful girl in all her creative hilarity:

Yeah, that's Jimmy doin all the work. Thanks, Erin, for the beautiful Christmas presents. Now get pregnant already!!! xoSusan

Sunday, January 10, 2010

More Blog Love

Wow, I am fortunate to know THE MOST AWESOME Bloggers in the world. Not only are my blog friends Talented, Wise, Funny, Inspirational, you are all unbelievably GENEROUS with your friendship, and ART!!! Big Thank You goes out to Sherry of Got Art? who sent this wonderfully festive Happy New Year ATC:

How cool is that?? I love it!! Sherry is taking a little hiatus from blogging but visit her blog anyway!! There is so much talent to see there from ANY of her posts, past or present. I'm sending Positive Thoughts out to Sherry and hope YOU will do the same!!

I received a Christmas Card from Marsha of Tumblefish Studios, Gorgeous As Only Marsha Can Do It!! Beautiful detail, The Most Intense and Juicy Colors Ever!!

And in True Marsha Style, she enclosed a print of one of her horizontal works, that I requested to add to my "Marsha Wall". Yes, I am a stalker of The Highest Caliber!!
How Stunning is That???? Marsha also Generously enclosed another print, but I'm not going to share it here. I am going to Emulate Marsha's RAK and send The Magic along to a dear friend. Payin it Forward!!! xoMarsha Many Many Thanks.

I just hopped to Marsha's blog to get her address to link, and was deeply saddened by news she shared. One of her dear blogging friends lost her battle with cancer. I did not know this artist personally or by her work, so I will let Marsha's post speak for itself. Marsha's father has been diagnosed with cancer, her daughter has been in and out of the hospital frequently this winter, and her dear friends have seriously ill parents. I am going to join Marsha in asking for prayers for all of these Beloved People in Marsha's life. We Artist Blogging Friends are a POWEFUL and LOVING group of AMAZING STRENGTH and SUPPORT. Thank You Thank You for adding your Positive Thoughts, Prayers and Comments to all Your Comrades in this Big Wonderful Bittersweet thing called LIFE.

My Dear Friend from The Other Side Of The World, Lorri of Artivity in Australia, has also had a terrible loss in her life. Her Cherished mother passed away recently. Although I feel powerless to Really Help, I did the only thing I could, support her with Words and Love. Lorri's blogging about her painful loss is very real, very raw, and an amazing tribute to her mother. I have had to brace myself to visit her blog, because although, I try to be supportive, I can be a coward too. Lorri's writing is so powerfully written, and I am thankful she has her blog to help in a small way to purge her emotions. Lorri sent me an angel.

I didn't crop, sorry. Please say a prayer for Lorri and her family.

My Mom is celebrating her birthday this week. The family is celebrating this Saturday with a dinner in her honor. I am so blessed to still have my parents with me. I Love You, Mom. I Love You, Dad.

Me and my Dad.
Me, my sister Deb, my sister Linda, at her wedding 2008.
Mom and Dad's Engagement photo.

25 years together.
The Colonel and his wife attending a Military Ball.

Sam and my STUNNING Nieces.
Me, Mom and Dad
My cousin Dionne and My Wonderful sister in law, Robin.

My hilarious Nephew Joe and his Awesome wife, Erin.
The coolest Brother, Dan and The Coolest nephew ever, Tim.
Me and Dad at Linda's wedding.

Me and Sam.
I Love and Appreciate Each and Every One of You.
So this is what happens sometimes. We start out carefree, silly and shallow and End Up, Saddened yet Thankful, and therefore Grown Up. I was going to delete the beginning of this post because it started out too lighthearted. After visiting Marsha's blog and reading Lorri's latest post, I felt completely different. Then I realized turning on a dime is what life does. Keepin it Real is hard. Much Much Love, Susan