Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Ahoy me matey

I hope everyone's Thanksgiving was wonderful. I had a rather dull one this year. We had plans to eat with Daryl's family but I had been sick and they were 7 and a half hours away, so that fizzled. I had no intention of cooking, so we had to hit the town to see what was open, and not a 2 hour wait. After checking three other restaurants we ended up at Denny's. Woo Hoo. Actually, it was really good but not terribly traditional. I got the turkey dinner, Daryl got a cheeseburger and Asher got chocolate chip pancakes. But we were all happy and we were together so that's all that matters.

On the artfront... I have been busier than a one legged man in a butt kickin' contest! I've got a show this weekend and I'm trying to get some new stuff ready for it and it is coming together rather slow. I've got new ideas but they are not quite coming together, yet.

I've drawn the pirate ship along with other pirate stuff for some boxes I'm making for boy treasure boxes. Or girl, I guess. I mean, I like pirates. Surely some girls do too.. haha

So here it is all painted in. I made the mistake of not using watercolor paper. I used 300 series Strathmore Sketch paper which says it's for watercolor pencils wet or dry, but I got a little ambitious with the water and then added real watercolors on top of it. I tried to iron it with my regular iron which helped a tiny bit, but it still looks pretty warpy. I've seen tricks where they spray the whole sheet of paper on the back with water to straighten it out, but I'm afraid to do that since it's not watercolor paper. Any suggestions?

I'll be 'round to visit all ye skally wags soon.

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Saturday, November 19, 2011

Treasure Boxes

I've been painting some treasure boxes the last couple days and here's one I call Indian Sun. I have a show coming up and I thought I'd offer some new things for Christmas. Although at the rate I'm creating these, I might not have many to offer!

I had an eye in the center of the sun motiff, but decided I didn't like it. So I filled it in.
Then I felt it needed more embellishment, so I started playing around with some bling...

Ehhhh... not big enough and not quite right.

But this... this I like. And so it is.

I have another box that is ready to show you, but I need to take some final pictures to show it off. I will tell you it's a pretty and shiny snake head! If these don't sell at the show, I'll be adding them to my Etsy and Artfire shops.

Thanks to all you guys... my friends, fellow artists, creative minds, and incredibly talented bloggers. You are wrapped up in one as the people who always bring encouragement and love with your comments. I love you guys! Our "little" online world... it is fantastic!

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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

ARtisan StARs

I have been working on a new project for Christmas. I have been asked (along with other artists) to create an ornament(s) to be sold for a club called Junior League, which raises money for different causes to help the community and of course I said yes ;) While this is partly charity, I will be compensated some what for each one.

After thinking about what I could create for a while, I came up with painting a wooden star I call ARtisan StARs. They are about 7 inches in diameter. I will create them as the orders come in. Right now, I've just provided two prototypes. Tonight was the reveal meeting, so I hope my ornaments were well received.

inked in the design before I picked up Asher from school

I got my husband into the act, he is cutting the stars out of wood with a scroll saw. I drew the pattern and he cut them out. He's pretty handy to have around, I guess I'll keep him.

sorry about the poor lighting, I was painting in the studio at night
another night time shot
These are fairly labor intensive but I enjoyed making these. I've got about two hours into each one not counting cutting out time. I didn't get a picture of the final product which just has a gold cord on it so it can hang from whatever. I will also have silver cord.

Each star is unique and I couldn't make two exactly alike if I tried. I've used my india ink and metallic paint technique. The designs are spontaneous. I love the way the flat black contrasts with the metallic sheen.

"Candy" - more traditional Christmas colors. Both sides look pretty close.
"Ribbon" - my kinda Christmas colors ;)
swirl side of "Ribbon"

Wish me luck!
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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Tutorial for Recycled Foam Stamps

I've put together a little tutorial for my homemade stamps at the urging of my friend and Creative Sistah Stephanie of Dragonfly Design Studios.

These "green"and grungy stamps are fun to make and might just fill a little niche that you may need but don't know you need it yet ;)  They are made from the packaging that ground beef, pork or chicken comes in and I've also used a styrofoam box that I brought some left overs home from my favorite Mexican Restaurant.

So here we go...

Here's what you'll need. Sorry, I forgot to add in the ink pad...

Start with your recycled foam. Here I've used the lid from a white styrofoam box.

Then cut it up for the usable flat parts

I started with a sketch of a key (in sketchbook) that I thought I might use for something. You don't have to do this, you can just draw straight on your foam and that's what I usually do, but for simplicity's sake, here is a little sketch. Don't forget your drawing will be in reverse.

I put the foam under my sketchbook page and traced over the top of it to dent in the foam, then I traced it with a black marker so you could see it easier.

Then you may want to shade in the parts you want to "carve" out with a sharpened blunt tool like this pencil... it worked great. This kind of stamp looks like a wood carved stamp to me, so make sure you add interesting "cut" marks. I did this by drawing the background with lines going different directions. This will show up on your inked stamp.

"Carve" out your design by drawing with a little pressure to dent in the foam. The white that is left over will be what the ink adheres to.

Carved ~ See all the dents?
Here's the finished stamp.

stamped on cheap packing paper recycled from a purchase

Stamped in my sketchbook along side of initial sketch
Ok, confession time. As I was thinking about making this tutorial today, I thought I better use white foam instead of the black that I've used up to this point so you all could see it easier. But in all honesty the black really looks better in the end result.
Black meat packaging foam
Here's why, see the thickness difference? You can make a deeper cut (dent) and that produces a better imprint.
white foam on top and black on bottom

Here's the stamp I made from the recycled black meat foam packing after I discovered the white really didn't work out so great. I just free handed the stars on the foam real quick, which I usually do anyway and they generally turn out better! haha

Not sure if you can see how much deeper the cuts are (above), but it is fairly significant. So if you plan to do this, do your own experiment or just learn from me here and use the black.

Here's the imprint it made... yee haw!

The foam makes the stamp look mottled and grungy and the cut marks just add to the charm. I love it. This is not for intricate designs, for that get some Speedball Speedy Carve foam and a Speedball Linoleum cutter from the craft or art store, I like Blick Art Materials myself unless you've got yourself a 40% off coupon from Michaels, then get it there!

I hope you've enjoyed my first tutorial!  :)  Feel free to email me with any questions.

Happy stamp creating!

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Sunday, November 6, 2011

Rather insignificant stuff about me

So one of my Creative Sistah's, Andrea of Falling Ladies, has a giveaway on her blog and one of the critera is that you have to copy and paste interview questions. Since I know you're just chomping at the bit and on the edge of your seats... here is mine

1. What should you be doing right now instead of sitting on the computer?

Watching a couple shows off my dvr since it's down to 1% before I go to bed. It keeps erasing good stuff! I know, I live a sad existence.

2. What's the messiest area of your house? and dare you to show us...

Anyone who knows me well enough to have been in my home knows that I am a slob creative genius therefore I have controlled chaos and mayhem throughout. But to answer the question... My kitchen bar. The hubs calls it the magic bar. One day it's cleared off and you go to the bathroom and come back and all kinds of stuff has magically appeared. Also, I try to save every plant I own by taking cuttings and then I end up with their sad little carcasses standing in jars of water. Oh and my desk is right up there, probably before the magic bar but they are both in the kitchen, so it counts as one, right?

The magic bar
3. 5 simple things that make you happy right now, above and beyond the obvious like your family and your health...

                  1.) new art materials
                 2.) watching scary movies/shows
                  3.) chocolate covered raisins
                  4.) black fingernails
                  5.) lots of gypsyish jewelry I've been wearing lately

some of my frequently worn junk.
4. When did you last cry?

Ugh... like an hour ago. the tiniest thing can conjure up memories of my mom and the waterworks start flowing

5. Favorite book...

I mostly read art books and mags, but I guess a favorite book would be one that you've read more than once. That would be a book called Beauty. A very cool version of Beauty and the Beast, my favorite fairy tale. A close second is Lasher by Anne Rice. Really all of her Mayfair Witches books.

6. How many pets...

Currently, we have 2 cats, Glove and Thunder,  a dog Zoey, a lonely cichlid, George and a bunch of lake fish that managed to get into my koi pond along with one gold fish cause all my koi ended up dying. :(
Glove, the princess cat

Zoey and Thunder the jungle cat

7. 2 Goals... one huge and unrealistic one,  and one achievable one...

I would like to be some big time artist and have a big art studio in Maui and have all my family and friends live there too since I probably couldn't stand to be away from them. This is unattainable because basically I'm pretty lazy.

One I can probably pull off is to just keep trying to get in the studio to create. Art ain't making itself up there.

8. 5 things in your purse besides money and a cell phone...

a red bandana
tons of coupons
the very last of my Maybeline "Hot, Hot Hot" red sparkly lipstick that they discontinued :(
my mp3 player
a pair of my son's underwear (you never know)

9. The emotion or feeling you hate the most...

For myself: Guilt... I have to go with guilt. Feeling like I'm screwing up my son, by not always doing the right thing or saying the right thing. the only thing I don't feel guilt about is that I love him unconditionally and never withhold love from him even if I am punishing him.

For other people: indecisiveness.

10. If you could have 50 pounds of anything except money or gold what would you want?

Well I keep thinking 50 pounds of chocolate covered raisins but I'd probably gain like 75 pounds from them, so my second choice is 50 pounds of fresh home grown tomatoes every month even in the winter. Yeah, that would be pretty sweet.

Ok that's it! If you want to join in and get in on the giveaway or just share your quirkiness... go here

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Friday, November 4, 2011

Homemade Stamps!

Today I made my own stamps. I've wanted to do this for a while now and I have a new project in mind. But it would cost a small fortune to purchase so many plus I might not be able to find exactly what I needed. So what's a creative but not so rich artist to do? Why... make their own of course!  I was so pleased with the way they look. Totally grungy like I wanted.

Right now, I'm just using foam and a pencil and a plastic tool that is a flower pick. Check out what I've got so far. These are fun to make! You should try some of your own :)

I'm linking up with Paint Party Friday, although technically I'm not painting... but I've missed it so hey... sue me. Go check out the other players, ok?

Have a great Friday night!

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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Update about CMOE Dinosaur

I have an update about one of my pieces of art. Do you remember the dinosaur that I worked on for a while? It was for charity for the Children's Museum of Evansville. Well they had the Gala last Friday evening and they auctioned off the dinosaurs that had been done up by different artist, including moi. I was excited to learn that mine was the highest bid on dinosaur of the night and fetched over $300. I haven't been told an exact number yet, and it might not be appropriate to tell exactly how much, but I was so excited! I was told everyone loved my piece. It is going for a great project and I hope the new owner loves it.

Thanks for letting me toot my own horn a bit ;)
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