Sunday, June 30, 2013


One of the current MMSA swaps is the color orange. Your postcards have to be predominantly orange, altho they can have bits of other colors on them. 

I made a few collage cards but became disenchanted with them while adding some doodles. Two of them went in the trash, which left me a few short for the swap so I got out the washi tape - something I tend to hoard instead of USE - and made 3 cards.

I paired 4 various orange tapes with a turquoise stripe, birds on a wire, graph paper with math, and gears. It was fun taping up the cards, overlapping and butting tapes to get various effects. I think there's more washi tape cards in my future.

I added the word 'washi' in ransom  letters cut from a magazine, then gave them a coat of Liquitex Gloss Medium and Varnish to make sure the tapes wouldn't peel up.
Added a bit of stitching and called them done. They'll be in the mail to Karen on Tuesday. 

yard sale score

I love yard sale-ing. The thrill of the hunt. Pulling up to the curb while scanning the tables and piles of stuff. Will there be something really cool or is it all gonna be old baby clothes and chipped coffee mugs? Our small-town newspaper comes out on Fridays, and first thing I do most Friday mornings is walk to the bottom of the drive and get it. The yard sale section is sometimes 4 listings long and sometimes 15 but there's always a few. 

I was poking thru some stuff on a table when I spotted an old wooden trunk with a little sign that said 'antiques'. This wasn't the sort of sale you'd find antiques at but I went over and started rummaging thru overpriced not-very-old-never-mind-antique books. At the bottom of the trunk was a small Whitman's Peppermint Patties box marked $5.

$5 for an old mint box? I took the lid off and saw 8 small matchboxes. Intrigued, I opened one and it was jammed full of old canceled postage stamps. Bingo! I got it for $3 and looked thru it more carefully when I got home. Lots of cool old stamps including one for a half cent. I'd never seen one of those before.

The photo of the stamps is the layered contents of 4 of the 8 boxes. If you need me I'll be in the studio making postal art.

Monday, June 24, 2013

my paste papers - photo heavy post!

All scanned at 300dpi so feel free to down load and use however you like, including making things to sell. Just please don't sell them as themselves. Double click to see them big.   



SOC week 3 lime and purple

I will say this for SOC so far - the colors have been BRIGHT! This week it's lime green and purple. I seem to mostly be making backgrounds for these challenges, and will use them up in various things eventually.

I started out with a lime green painted background, then scraped some heavy gel medium mixed with purple paint thru a stencil but it bled and oozed. :-(  Ugh. But I'll use it for a postcard with something over the smeared areas.

Unhappy with the oozing, I painted a piece of watercolor paper with purple paint, let it dry, then scraped modeling paste mixed with line green paint thru a stencil. Very cool textured background and no bleeding. The thicker modeling paste is the trick.

You can see that there is a bit of color difference between the green squares on the upper 2/3s of the card and the bottom third. The top was done with Liquitex modeling paste, the bottom with Liquitex coarse texture gel. They both have a lot of  texture but obviously absorb the paint differently.

I also scraped a bit of leftover green modeling paste onto the lime card and pressed a stencil into it. That has possibilities.

Great colors, ones I don't use much, at least the purple, but I like them and will use them again. Maybe gelli prints this afternoon??

making paste papers

my corner in the foreground with Rhonda to my left
look at all that cool stuff in the background

the patio, actually the left side of the patio, with drying papers
Boy oh boy was this ever fun. I'd never even heard of paste papers until Maria announced a paste paper day at her studio. Paste paper? Say what?? 

my corner of the huge table, looking over at Beth and Elizab
I pretty much had no idea what paste papers were and had visions of lumpy coarse designs, but of course the reality is far from that, and one of the women was kind enough to send me some small pieces beforehand so I could begin to get a clue.

I've mentioned Maria's studio but never got around to writing about that first wonderful time in December that Rhonda and I went. So when she put out the invite, I RSVP'd ASAP how many acronyms can I fit in a sentence LOL??

these are most of my papers
There were 5 of us and we made a *bunch* of papers. I did 27 on various papers - watercolor, deli paper, a page from a large old book, a sheet of brown paper from between the cartons of paper towels at Costco. At first I just sort of did what I knew to do - spread colored paste on the paper and make marks. But it really started to get interesting after the first layer was dry and I put on the second layer. As in gelli printing, layers are the key to a successful piece, at least for me. 
some of Maria's papers on the right

these are mostly Rhonda's papers
And so, on a Sunday in June, in the small historic town of Niles, from a little before 10am to around 430, the 5 of us made gorgeous papers. Her studio is on the ground floor of an historic building and has a large concrete patio just outside the side door. She strung a sting across a corner of the fence and we hung our pieces to dry from clothespins and lay them on the concrete. No telling what passersby thought of the laughing aproned women going to and fro with wildly colored papers waving in the breeze. 
lovely piece by Maria, using a large stencil

I'll scan many of my papers and post them later today, but for now here's a bunch of pics from the day. 

don't know whose this is but love it

a great one by Rhonda

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

SOC week 2

The colors for week 2 of Summer of Color are orange and hot pink. Perfectly good colors which pack a big punch when used together. I had absolutely nothing to work with in those colors so I got out the gelli plate for this one. I may do something more with them before the next colors come out, but for now, this is it. 

Actually I drew the first image with Neocolor IIs and oil pastels. Vaguely inspired by various Mary Ann Moss blog posts featuring this design. The others are gelli prints using stencils, a comb, large bubble wrap, various circle making things, etc. Each has 3 or 4 pulls on it, enough to be interesting without starting to cover up the first layers.

As usual, I like the one on the telephone book page. It'll become a couple postcards I think. Maybe wake up those postal workers a bit.

On a side note - it's been major windy here for like 3 days now and I'm in such a vile mood because of it. I can totally see how those poor Kansas housewives lost their freaking minds from the ceaseless prairie winds. Unripe fruit is being blown from my trees, my hair looks like crap constantly, everyone's allergies are killing them. We live in a wind tunnel here and I hate it! Calgon, take me away......

(rant over)

Sunday, June 16, 2013

first child journal page

Using up my old family pictures is very enjoyable. Most of them I'm just cutting up and putting on a journal page or a post card or an ATC. Not scanning them first. Not worrying about never having them again. Many of them go off into the world via the mail system of one or more countries and live out their lives far from home.

Altho they're far from home here with me, too, I guess. Home was mostly Ohio and Michigan. I'm in California.

Long ways. In distance as well as years. But it feels good, letting them go. No one to miss them but me, and I don't.

Gelli print background. Circles stamped from various circular items - empty scotch tape center, empty toilet paper roll, empty adding machine paper center. Hardly anything goes in the trash around here anymore lol. It's all in my studio.

Some pen work. A little machine stitching.

Sorry, Dina!

I've long wished I could draw better. My mother, as I've mentioned in the past, was something of an artist, doing commissions of kids and dogs and houses throughout her life in small-town Ohio. Many of her paintings hang in my house.

I've taken drawing classes. I've bought books. I've practiced. I just. don't . have. it. The drawing gene. Altho I was looking at Drawing With the Right Side of the Brain (or something like that) this morning and wondering if that would help.

When Dina Wakely posted a 'quickie face,' I decided to try and copy it. They say to draw what you see, not what you think you see.


I proceeded to do that and here's the result. You can see the resemblance, I guess. I figured y'all could use a Sunday afternoon laugh, so look at mine, and then go look at Dina's. Pretty funny.

Sorry, Dina. I tried.

Sunday Postcard Art

I've been following this blog for a while now but rarely get around to doing the prompt before the week is over and the next one is up! So... this morning when I saw the theme, I immediately got to work.

I have several issues of Mechanics Illustrated and Popular Mechanics from the 40s, so I grabbed the December 1944 issue (15 cents cover price!) and flipped thru the brittle old pages until I found several airplane related articles, then began tearing out images and word strips. (The strip 'see the brave fellow' came from an old book.)

The background is very textured which you might be able to see if you click on the first pic which I scanned at 600dpi. I put down a layer of gesso, a used dryer sheet that I'd been wanting to do something with, more gesso, then sprayed and dripped on various inks - tan, green, turquoise - until I had a background I liked.

The dryer sheet wicks the inks in an interesting manner and I will be saving my dryer sheets from now on for future backgrounds and no telling what else. I'm prolly late to the dryer sheet party but I'm here now!

Feel free to download and use the first image if you like.

Monday, June 10, 2013

summer of color - week 1

There are so many challenges and play-alongs out there in bloglandia that it's hard to pick and choose which ones to do. Mandarin Orange Monday, Glue It Tuesday, Wordless Wednesday, Paint Party Friday, Show & Tell Saturday, Sunday Stills. I'm sure there's one for Thursday - I just can't think of it.

One that looked like enough fun to actually get me to join in is the Summer of Color over on Twinkle Twinkle. Each week the participants vote on the next week's color combo from a list of options. So you can vote for your fave, and also anticipate which one it might end up being as you look at the list. By the time this week's colors were announced - citron and turquoise - I'd completely forgotten which one I'd voted for. But I like prompts, regardless of the color choices, so I got to work.

Since I have a million and one gelli prints, they're my go-to when I need to rustle up a project. I rummaged around the gelli box and pulled out 6 or 7 likely ones, then found a piece of scrapbook paper in citron for my background. I scored some heavy cardboard circles in the close-out bin at Michaels one day and decided to make a round abstract postcard. So I did.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

more 21 Secrets art

This was one large page but it doesn't fit in my scanner that way and I was going to cut it in half anyway, so I scanned it after cutting.

Rhonda - this is that page you gave me that was mostly yellow and aqua, that you'd done with the rubber baster brush technique. Remember it? I was casting about for something to do and spotted it in a pile. Perfect starter for one of these pages. I shoulda taken its pic before I covered it all up.

I collaged with dress pattern tissue and gelli prints in the same colors, then just went nuts with stencils, stamps, doodles, paint, gesso, stitched paper bag.

The stamp pad I used to rub thru the harlequin stencil wasn't permanent so when I rubbed gesso on with my finger, they mixed and made the pale aqua areas, which I quite like now, altho at the time I spoke a few bad words when I saw what was happening.

I know the world doesn't need another Etsy shop with handmade journals in it, but that's prolly where most of what I'm making will eventually end up since I already have a lifetime supply of journals for myself and so few friends who would appreciate such a gift or don't already make their own.

I not only really enjoy the process shown in her 21 Secrets video, but it has finally broken me of stopping too soon, of being worried about covering up that cool thing I just put on there.

<conversation in my head> There's lot more cool things around! Just do it! And if you use the last one, oh well. You bought them to USE, right? Right!

I'm loving these....

fabric postcards

Good old MMSA. As soon as I think I'm nice and ahead of the game in getting postcards done for the weekly prompts, Karen posts one that makes me work at it.

Non-Paper postcards.

I read that and immediately thought 'fabric', because (a) I have so much of it and (b) because I know how to make fabric postcards. I'd just picked up a gorgeous shirt at a thrift store with no purpose in mind, other than the fabric was lovely and a large men's (= lots of fabric) 100% silk shirt for $1? Yes, please.

It had sea turtles all over it, so I cut off the sleeves, took the hems out, then lay them out on my cutting board. Next I cut a 4"x6" window in a sheet of paper and held it here and there until I found areas that looked good. I got 6 pieces from the two sleeves with material left over!

I cut 3 pieces of stiff interfacing, then began to machine stitch with a heavy variegated thread in a few different colors. When I had the basic areas done, I dug out various fibers and laces from my crazy quilting days and stitched them down.

Ironed on two-sided fusible, then ironed on pieces cut from a vintage napkin for the back. Zigzagged around the edges and waa laa! - fabric postcards. It took me about 3 hours total to do 3 of them. I might do the other 3 pieces I cut but not for the swap. They're kind of labor intensive, so 3 will do for now. Hope their eventual recipients enjoy them. Double click to embiggen and see all the stitching detail.