Sunday, September 30, 2012

more gypsy diaries spreads

I've done several more spreads in the altered book that I'm using for the gypsy diaries workshop. Half the fun is looking for images, thinking about layouts, cutting out all the elements. I'm all about the process when it comes to mixed media. The finished product is great, but the amount of UFOs I have laying around makes it clear that I enjoy the doing more than the done.

This one ended up being a color study simply because I like the label, which used to be one piece, and decided I was in the mood for collage. The torn book page was left over from when I needed rough book page circles for something. I colored it with distress stain, cut the flowers from one of my old books, and found the gypsy girl sticker on a 7 Gypsys sheet. The bit of paper upper left is from the class papers. It's more glittery in person and altho orange is maybe my least favorite color, I quite like this one.

I've been into horses my whole life, from when I galloped around the house with a newspaper tail pinned to my butt, whinnying at my mom when I was hungry, to competing in hunter/jumper in my twenties, to trail riding with my friend Babs for 20 years on her exceptional horses. So I've been collecting horse pictures with no particular plan for them. When I started the gypsy book, I knew a horse spread would be part of it since gypsies traveled by horse drawn wagon. I thought I'd journal more on these pages but I'm ending up being happy with them without a lot of writing. 

Many of the gypsy-ish images I found had them holding instruments of some sort so there will be a few music spreads. This on uses an old library card pocket and a tag. The more spreads I do, the less this becomes a gypsy woman book and the more it becomes a gypsy themed art journal. Which is fine. It's not like I had a bunch of stories all figured out in advance. Which is maybe the problem haha. Whatever. I'm thoroughly enjoying working in it, using class elements and ones I already have. It will be a fun book when it's done. I think there are 38 spreads to do, even after tearing out a lot of pages and gluing 3 or 4 pages together. I'm thinking of a table of contents in the front...

This is part of a quote supplied with the class. I like the entire thing but didn't feel like writing it all out. I may put it on the inside cover. I love this blue, with a bit of the book text showing thru. The woman looks like a poetess to me. Wish I was better at different types of lettering. Need to practice that.

affirmation deck swap, mine

When I came across this, I thought these people are crazy, making 52 cards for a swap. But I went back to the post a couple times, looking at all the cards on the ring, wondering what was on each one. Then I went off and looked at the tutorial links. By that point I knew I was gonna sign up for the darn thing. The saving grace here was that in a few days my husband was going out of town for nine days. With all that art time, I figured I could knock them out. Besides, one of the tutorials talked about how she did hers all in one afternoon or something ridiculous, so how hard could it be...

Fast forward to last nite and I am indeed done with all 52 (plus 3 extra just to be safe) cards. Just need to stick my contact info stickers on the back and get them in the mail. The swap isn't until mid-November so I have a while to wait till I get mine back but when I do, it will be one card each from 52 other artists. I think that was the real thing that got me to sign up - all that different art. Most swaps you get 1 or 3 items back. But 52? Couldn't resist.

I whacked up a bunch of cereal boxes. We eat cold cereal at my house at the rate of 3-4 boxes a week, so I had plenty in the pantry to steal boxes from. (So now there's a bunch of unmarked bags of cereal in the pantry (because who would have the brains to mark them before destroying the boxes??) and you're never sure what you're gonna get.)

I cut them to roughly the size of multiples of 2.5x3.5 (ATC size), then glued pretty scrapbook paper on the printed sides. Next day I gessoed the brown side just to get a good base on them. Then got out the metallic paints and went to town. That's a really fun time, smushing the colors around to see what you get. Then I stamped and stencils with a few favorites. Let them dry well and cut them into individual cards. Quite a pile. I was briefly impressed with myself lol.

the backs

Figuring out the affirmations (they all had to be different) was the tough part for me. I'm not religious, not much into contemplating my life and what I'm doing with each day, don't examine my feelings a whole lot - so I looked thru a couple books I had for good thoughts and motivational expressions. Also cruised thru a few quotes sites, culling the ones I was comfortable with. I printed them on tracing paper, then cut them into strips. Got out the gel medium, turned on the Ryder Cup and sat there for 2 hours cutting and gluing. Wasn't too bad and as I worked I imagined a hundred other artists elsewhere in the world all doing the same thing.
the leftovers

THEN... I hauled them all out to the patio table and sprayed them with high gloss varnish to seal them. I'm pleased with them, glad to have them all done, and am looking forward to getting mine back. I don't know if working on one a week will help make me a nicer person but it will be fun to see the art.

Monday, September 24, 2012

a shopping I did go...

A couple times a year my husband takes off for a week or two at sea on a big fishing boat. Great fun for him and a break from household chores for me cause while he's gone, I don't do anything. I don't cook, clean, do laundry, dishes - *nothing*. I eat cereal or Taco Bell and play in the studio during the hours I'm awake and not at work. It's a blast and my week started on Saturday. Yesterday a new art friend came over at noon and finally pried herself away at 5 only because she had dinner company coming in 30 minutes and hadn't even begun the lasagna yet. We had a really good time and it's great to finally have found a local person with many of the same interests. And she lives about 8 doors down.

Today I took myself on a tour of the arty stores in a nearby town that I rarely get to. Let's see what I came home with...

This was the haul from Jo-Ann's. Some of those cool idea-ology metal tags with words and numbers on them, and a few more colors of metallic paint for my Gyspy Diary altered book.
This came home with me from Hobby Lobby. A very cool (and half price) sign that says 'color outside the lines.' Also some Chinese brushes, stamp carving material, tracing paper, black and white Stabilo-type pencils (can't find the real thing anywhere), a new brayer, and more paint. Didn't know there were so many colors.

 And this is the Aaron Bros pile. I hit the big time here. There was a bunch of Tim Holtz stuff in the HALF PRICE BIN!!! Yay. I ended up dumping it all on the floor and looking at it as I put it back. It was a temptation to just buy it all and parcel it out to friends but I restrained myself. Bought two packs of fragments, an edge rougher-upper thingie, embossing powder, slide glass, slide frames, and a 7 Gypsies pack of letters/numbers. Only the book was regular price but I had a 50% off coupon so I made out on it too. Hadn't seen this one at Barnes & Noble and it looks like fun. I spent $40 for $80 worth of stuff. Very satisfying.
 Tomorrow's it's back to work, but there's still this evening - Monday night football, cold pizza and making art!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Gypsy Diaries - travel

Did another spread in the Gypsy book on Sunday. I had in my head that she would be a musician but then when I went looking for other elements for the page, I saw the compass rose; and I'd just come across some old stamps in my stash, so she turned into a traveler instead. And the butterfly... well, I don't know. I'm not really a butterfly person but the page needed something more. I doodled all over it (the butterfly) with metallic markers and it looks ok there, altho the right side seems kinda bare still.

Thank god for Michaels 50% off coupons cause I really *needed* the Sakura metallic gel pens for this project. Much better at $7.50 than $14.99. Even at $7.50 I hope they last a good long while. I used them for the lettering.

Anyway, I like the colors in this one. I'm trying not to be all matchy matchy with this like I have a tendency to be, but I still used gold and turquoise elements and markers to go with the girl's clothes. It all shows up well against that plum colored metallic background paint.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Gypsy Diaries

the front cover - need to do a lot more doodling and
add some ribbon flowers or something, not sure yet.
love the old woman, she's from a cabinet card I own.
Tangie from scrapbookgraphics (mostly a digital scrapbook site) just launched a mixed media workshop called Gypsy Diaries. I signed up immediately and I'm officially in love with this theme. Almost every time I've bothered to dress for Halloween (just not my thing) I've been a gypsy - gauzy blouse, layered colorful skirts, too much makeup, head scarves, tons of jewelry. So looking all over the interwebs for gypsy images and ideas has been a lot of fun.

This is an altered book project, altho you could certainly use a ready made journal, but I think you'd lose some of the inherent grungyness that makes this a neat project. I decided to use a book that my San Diego friend Julie had sent me recently. I removed about half the pages, glued the rest together 3 or 4 at a time (what a mess), painted the cover, and after it all dried overnite, I set to work.
first spread - fortune teller. been hauling the sticker of the woman around for years.
I'll probably still do some more doodling cause I just bought metallic gel pens and NEED to use them lol.
trying to be careful with my lousy handwriting, taking my time... something new for me.

right side of fortune teller spread

One of the neat things Tangie does in this workshop is what she calls patinas - shiny surfaces made with metallic acrylic paints and glitter glue. I jumped right in with my hands, which works way better than a brush for getting the swirling blended look. Then I made one spread because I had an image of a woman that inspired me.

Also got started on the front cover, but need to do a lot more to it. I don't want it to be a diary of me, so I'm going to tell various stories inside, based on my fictitious theme of Tales the Old Gypsy Woman Told Me.

 The last image is the start of a spread about a dancing boy who disappeared. Not sure quite where I'm going with that but I love the collage of the guy and the colors in the background.
inside front cover, still need to do a lot of embellishing and some writing,
but you can see the glimmer of the patina really well

the start of my dancing boy spread