Monday, March 30, 2009

A Blog Award from Karleen

Oh my, I've been awarded another blog award. How wonderful is that? Karleen, of the blog Vibrant Jewels, gave me this award. Her blog name is very appropo because yes indeed, she does use vibrant jewels in the beautiful jewelry she creates. And her gorgeous creations are in her etsy shop. Thank you so very much Karleen for thinking of me and giving me this award. I am honored to accept it and to pass it on to three other deserving artists. My choices are:

Dawn Gold of Gold Betty Boop

Christy of Average American Girl

Faye of Faye's Art Blog

Just click on their names to go to their blogs and enjoy their beautiful art work.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Nature Art

This is a 4x6 inch piece I did over a year ago and posted on my blog way back then. I'm posting it again now because I want to enter it into the Saturday Surprise challenge, of which my good art friend Heather Robinson is hosting. The theme this week is Mother Nature. Also, when I first posted this piece my blog was very new and not that many people knew about it or visited. So this time around perhaps more people will view and hopefully enjoy it. If you want to know how I made this piece, here's the link to my first post, where I explained that.

Regarding nature art, I love it. It's one of my favorite themes. I mean, what could be better than using items from nature to create art? I used tea dyed cheese cloth to wrap this piece, kind of like a present I guess. I love using cheese cloth in my art, and love it even more if it's tea dyed. The idea to wrap it like this came at the very end, when I thought it was done. But it wasn't quite done yet, according to my muse, Bonita. Oh yes, I do love her....but sometimes she can be frustratingly contrary and unpredictable. However, on this piece she came through for me, and I think wrapping it with the cheese cloth was the exact right thing to do. Thank you Bonita!

Lately I've been involved in a heart postcard swap in one of my favorite yahoo groups. I've already posted two that I've made, and will be posting a few more in the near future. Oh, it's so good to be making art again, after a dreaded art slump. Making art rocks!!! And Bonita has been very supportive and cooperative lately, which makes my heart sing.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Another heart fabric postcard

Well, I seem to be in the mode right now of making fabric heart postcards. And actually, being in the mode and mood of making art, any art, whatever it is, is a good thing in my book....since I'm just recovering from being in a dreaded art slump/funk. I love using hearts in my art, and also using fabric. I have a wonderful stash of accumulated fabrics, many of them remnants bought at thrift stores, some at yard sales. Sometimes I buy clothes at yard sales, which tend to be very very cheap, for the purpose of cutting them up to use in my art. It's rare indeed that I actually buy new fabric to use in my art, except for quilting fat quarters (always on sale) occasionally, because I love the colors and patterns.

When I make art postcards, they are always 4x6 inches, the standard size for a postcard. Or as near to that as I can get. And most times, when I work with fabric in my art, it's hard for me to resist fraying the edges, especially with postcards. I love the way frayed edges look, and also love using the threads from fraying, glued down for great texture. Which is what I did on this piece, and then rubbed the threads with lavender acrylic paint for contrast.

I used the same Mod Podge technic on this piece as on my last post, to add strength and flexibility to the fabric. It just works so well, it's almost amazing. MP is also relatively inexpensive (still, after all these years), and I always use a 40% or 50% off coupon when I buy it. The fabric I used for the two squares is the same fabric I used for the pc base. The middle piece is cut out of a window blind sample I got at Lowe's, the same as in my last posted piece. (Lowe's has a wealth of great things to use in art.) The hearts were punched out of a paint chip. Last but not least, I chose to glue down (using gel medium) two small skeleton leaves.

I do like the colors on this, and experimenting with color combinations. Although I don't think I do that often enough in my art. I don't really know much about color, so I mostly just go with what colors I think look good together.

I'm submitting this to Saturday Surprise ( for their challenge this week.  The theme is Sewing Basket -- using anything that can be used for sewing in our art. 

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Heart postcard for a swap

I'm so HAPPY to be posting again with some more new art, after a too long dry art slump. I worked on this piece yesterday, and had fun making it. Well actually, I started on it two days ago, because it had to dry overnight. I love using hearts in my art, which I do fairly often, so signing up for this swap in one of my favorite yahoo groups was right up my alley, so to speak.

I remembered I had done a certain technic on a postcard swap a few years ago that worked out well, so I chose to revisit that technic for this postcard. I cut out a piece of muslin fabric and frayed the edges and saved the threads. Then I put it on top of a plastic bag, and painted it with lots of matte Mod Podge, basically saturated it. That's why it had to dry overnight. Then I peeled it off the plastic. This technic is quite simple, and gives the fabric some strength and stiffness, and yet is totally flexible. It almost ends up feeling like a thick piece of plastic. It totally changes the feel of the fabric, but doesn't affect the look of it.

Then I painted it with Sweetheart Blush acrylic paint, and then glued down the thread I'd saved from the fraying. I love using threads for texture, especially on fabric art. Once dry, I rubbed orange paint over them with my finger, to bring out the texture and the contrast. I used the same orange paint on the frayed edges, to frame the whole piece. The three strips on the right were cut from a window blind sample I got at Lowe's. I painted them with yellow paint first, then rubbed orange paint over them to bring out the great texture. Then used a paper punch to punch the three hearts out of a yellow paint chip. After I glued the hearts on, I used a triple tip brush to paint on the parallel lines. I love that brush, and bought it at Joann's a while back, but they no longer carry it at the Joann's I shop at. What a shame, it's a great way to paint on parallel lines. I take really good care of that brush!

The large heart was cut out of paint chip, and then I glued down printed fabric over it. The details of the pattern on the fabric don't show up very well on this scan, but it has a cool linear pattern, with just the right colors for this piece. After I glued that down, I pulled out some squash seeds I'd washed and saved, and glued those down around the heart. Then I painted them, and used the triple tip brush again to paint the lines on. I'm amazed at how those lines changed the whole look of the painted seeds. I sealed the whole piece with Future Floor Finish (FFF), which gives a glossy finish.

Regarding the colors I used, I love this color combination, it's one of my favorites. I've used it a few times in my art, but actually not that often. I was using brown so much in my art for so long, and I love it for sure, but felt I needed to get back to using more color in some of my art. Because I also love using bold color. I don't know, maybe I just go through certain phases at certain times, which never seem to be predictable.

I think it's fun to revisit certain technics that I forgot about. This is a great and simple technic, and I'm glad it came to my mind for this piece. I love the way it gives strength to lightweight fabric, and feels so different than gluing fabric to cardboard. I didn't "invent" this technic, I learned about it online, but forget the source. If I could remember, I'd include the link, but I simply don't remember.  I'd also like to say that although the Mod Podge easily penetrated to the back of this muslin piece, it doesn't penetrate the same way with all fabrics.  So if it doesn't penetrate through to the back of the piece, you may have to turn it over when it's dry and Mod Podge the backside, or Mod Podge both sides more than once, to get the strength and stiffness you want.  Basically you can play with this technic to get your own desired results.  

So that's how this piece was made, with no pain or angst or problems. Woohoo for that. Any questions??? Or suggestions??? It was so great to have fun making this piece, and I'm excited it's for a swap. I just hope the person I send it to likes it. That's always a consideration in a swap, isn't it?

Friday, March 6, 2009

Three Hearts

This is a 5x5 piece I created yesterday. I haven't been doing much art in the past month, so I was happy to get this done. The background is a dyed paper towel, glued onto frozen pizza cardboard (FPC). Then I painted random lines onto that in lavender, and glued down a frayed piece of muslin fabric. I took the frayed threads and glued those down also. When dry, I rubbed green paint over them. I used an embossing tool to make the dots with turquoise paint. An embossing tool always makes perfect dots, although I didn't get them on there very straight. I cut the hearts out of corrugated paper, rubbed them with different color paints and glued those down, and sprinkled very fine glitter on them. Easy peasy, and now I can finally say I got some new art done. Ahhh, now I feel so much better! It bothers me when I go this long not posting on my blog. Then again, sometimes life intervenes.