Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Artistic Mother's Art Group - Week #1 Background Papers

Believe it or not, I *DID* do my background papers, over a week ago.  I was blessed to get a Friday night with all the kiddos (and hubby) out and worked on them for a couple of hours.  I continued that next day, and then during the week, I began to to stamp, stencil and spray them.

But first, I hit my favorite book store...half price books!

I checked out some poetry books.  Now, I had some on hand already, being a homeschooler (and 11 year user of Sonlight Curriculum!) but wanted to look for some more, one's that I could call MINE, and feel free to write in, copy, etc.  The "I Saw Esau" book was illustrated by Maurice Sendak, who I love.  I have been reading new poems, as well as re-reading some that are old favorites.  Shona's advice to do this is so wonderful, as it really inspires and opens doors to ideas you might not have conceived before.

So, on to my background papers.

I used some colored cardstock, some regular typing paper, and some pages from an old Macy's ad (I don't usually have much junk mail since it all gets dumped in the bin before it hits the house).

I painted each page with gesso.  I found that they all were rather transparent, and did not cover the pages completely (opaquely).

The finished products... all gessoed up.

I used this as an opportunity to use some of the paints, glazes and other coloring items that I have never used before.  Here you can see some of them... the one on the bottom is a glaze over the gesso. I have never used a glaze before (although I have several of them!) and was amazed at their transparency.
A close up of the glazed page.

This one gives a new name to "purple glaze".  hahaha.

Some of the finished papers.

After I finished painting, spraying and glazing, I worked on adding various patterns and images to the papers.

Here are a few of the finished products.

This one used a Tim Holtz image.
I like the way it looks against the colors, almost like a desert scene.

I used some glimmer mist on this one.  

While this picture may not show it clearly, this is one of my favorites.  I used a stencil I have (actually, multiple stencils) of birds on a wire.  I think the way the colors came out, it has a very urban look to it.

I used several Hero Arts floral stamps on this...

I used two different harlequin stamps I have...one single, and one background one.  I used a brown memento in, which turned a rather taupe-y kind of color when stamped over the aqua glaze.  

These were a challenge to get done, even though I had spring break... so you would think I should have had MORE time, but I really didn't.  Getting sick didn't help (my whole family, except my oldest son, has been coughing like crazy for two weeks).  I am looking forward to tackling the "week #2" projects this week!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Illness and Relief

I have been sick for the past three days.  I have been having some mystery problems for over two weeks, but they became worse on Sunday, and yesterday (during a family crisis) the stress caused me to have (what I thought were) heart palpitations, pain and pressure in my chest.  I did not sleep hardly all night, and went to the doctor this afternoon for testing.

Praise God, after blood work, and EKG, and a chest x-ray, my doctor declared my heart "perfect"...but my esophagus is not.  I am having some kind of gastro-intestinal reflux, and it simulates almost a heart attack type-thing.  Doctor prescribed a medication for it, and about two hours after taking it, I feel almost "normal" (what is NORMAL for ME!!).  I am so grateful, as I had many praying for me (it was quite scary).

So to celebrate, my wonderful hubby took me to dinner at Cafe Express, book browsing at Borders, and coffee at Sbux.

AND... what did I spy at Borders??? Just this....

Whoohooo! Shona's on the shelf!  I just found it exciting!

I plan to get on with my "Week 1" background papers tomorrow.  I feel so much better! Can't wait to get back to work.


Sunday, March 7, 2010

Get Ready, Get Set.... Create!

Before I get started on this new creative adventure, I felt I should somewhat organize my art space.  But first, a little background...

My art space had been in about 1/3 of the room we refer to as our "homeschool" room.  It was small and cramped, but I was grateful to have it.  However, I NEVER had privacy, and I have a great distaste for being "watched" while I work (it makes me extremely self conscious).  My children (especially when they were small) would wander into it and borrow (ha!) whatever they thought they needed.

About 14 months ago, my husband decided that for a gift for me, he would convert half the garage to an art space for me.  Downside, I have to share it with the deep freeze, washer/dryer, and some other storage items... BUT, it has a door and the kids stay out!  And I could organize it the way I wanted to, including paint color. 

I moved in about a year ago.  I have a LOT of stuff, but I have been doing art of some sort since I was a child, and really began to get into rubber stamping and mixed-media back in 1989, so I have 21+ years of supplies, paper, etc.

Here are some pictures of what it looks like:

When you walk in the door, my area is to the left.  This is what you see.  It is two 4' x 8' folding tables we have had for years put together in an "L" shape.

This is what is on the first table.  The baskets on the pegboard are left over from my son's nursery.  The wire shelving they are on were freezer shelves from an old freezer my husband found.  In the center you can see the old cassette rack I found years ago at McDougal's, that I keep my excess ink pads on.

Another view.  The old picture, to the right of the calendar, is my mother's baby picture.

A small shelving unit (we have had since we first got married!) that has some boxes of stamps, along with cropper hopper paper organizers (with the paper sorted by either manuf. or style).

I bought a bunch of the Lisa/Becky Rail System items when my husband put this together for me.  I love them (and am so sad they are no longer made).  These shelves hold my prima flowers, buckets of markers, some inks, and stamps.

More Rail System Shelves.

You can see here the paint racks that hang on the rail system... there are three, two with paint, one with my glimmer mists.  I also have two shelves that have my disstress pads, and on the desk is my heat gun, an Ott light, and my new fave item, my magnetic cutting mat with ruler!

The right side of the work area... my mini clip-it-up, a two-tier lazy susan with paint daubbers, etc.

close up of mini clip-it-up

This is directly behind my work area... several Iris carts (slowly collected over 20 years) filled with Embossing Powders, paints, glitter, adhesives, and stamps.  On top of them are more papers, stickers and a large two-tiered clip-it-up.

Close up of stickers.

These two carts were given to me by a good friend.  She had bought them on sale, and never even opened them.  They sat in her attic for years.  (They LOOK like Elfa, but they are not... but all the Elfa paraphernalia works with it, like the melamine top that has my paper cutter on it, and the basket liners.) I put paint in them, tissue papers, Fimo/Sculpy clay items, and doo-dads like eyelets and brads).  I also recycle boxes and use them as holders for my stickles, reinkers, etc. and have those in the drawers also.

Just a fun board to put cards and other items on.  I love to look at them.

 A view from the far end.  This area is long and narrow.
The yellow chair is one I retrieved from my neighbor's driveway (she was going to throw it away...she did say I could have it). It was a horrible shade of green, so I bought some spray paint for plastic and repainted it.  

There is more, including three shelving units with all my cardstock, my bind-it-all materials, boxes of stamps, other boxes with seasonal papers/stamps, my art-related books, and my magazines (I have every issue of Somerset Studio and Cloth Paper Scissors).  

I am going to get started this evening on my week 1 background papers.  I will post pics as soon as I can!

Have a blessed day!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Feeling Unmotivated and Uninspired...

Lately, I have found myself avoiding anything creative.  I tell myself to go out there, to even just straighten out my art space, to do SOMETHING.  Then, I divert into a magazine, reading blogs, or even just watching TV (horror!).

I was inspired at church a couple of weeks ago... a vision of something I wanted to create came into my head as I listened to our pastor preaching... I quickly sketched it out, then when I got home, I got out a canvas and transposed that sketch onto the canvas.  AND...there it has stayed.  Just a pencil drawing on a gessoed canvas.  At first, I blamed not knowing what color(s) to use on the background.  Then I would find another excuse.  One after another.

This week, our LSS's are having a "shop hop" where if you have a tote bag and passport, you can go in and purchase (almost) anything for 20% off.  I (of course) went and bought many beautiful papers and inks (ALL of Tim Holtz's new ink pad colors!).  I brought them home...and their they sat...for days, in their bags by the table.

Today, I went out and was forced to empty some of the bags, so that I could use the tote bag (at another LSS).  As I pulled out the many papers, ribbons, inks and other ephemera, I found myself wanting to sit and create...to use them!  Unfortunately, I had to go vote, tote my boys to their homeschool Karate class, and other various errands (hence why I was swinging by Scrapbook Junkie to check out the latest arrivals...and get them at a discount!).

I am hoping tonight, or tomorrow, to get out there and at least organize all my new treasures.  Maybe lay some paint down on that canvas.  Getting inspired is so hard, and yet, something always seems to get in the way.