Sunday, February 28, 2010

Digital Collage - Dandelion Wish

The dandelion was a very early photo by Irving Penn I found. The girl is from my photo library. They seemed to fit my mood of wishing for long summer days.

Lucky Me!!! I Won in the OWOH Giveaway

Last week I received two goodies from the One World One Heart Giveaway that I had won. Honestly I was startled when I actually held them how beautiful they were. The craftsmanship and the obvious time that went into them was amazing.

First I won this beautiful heart lavender sachet from Sharon at Wildflower House. The detail and stitches on this are amazing. Her work is so lovely. Please run over to her blog and see some of the other amazing things she has done and is working on.. The other nice thing is Sharon is as beautiful as her work. She is just one of those people that emits kindness and grace. The lovely heart sachet has a special place in my sewing room on my sewing table. Thank you so much Sharon I am treasuring it.

The second thing I won was this Karma Bracelet from Cat at Gypsy Nurse - Writing Out Loud. I was really drawn to it when I saw the photo of it during the giveaway. I could not believe I won it till it was actually here and I put it on. It is one of those things that slips right on and sort of becomes a part of you. It warms up with your body heat and the the messages and hearts make you feel so good. Please stop by Cat's blog and see what she is up to. I love how she writes like she talks and there is a no holds on it. We could all learn a little bit about life, love and great jewelry from Cat. Thank you Cat for this wonderful piece.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Alice Liddell - Freebies

Alice Liddell

This week I am doing something different for my freebies. I am giving you four collage sheets. I hope they will inspire you to make some art. It is funny how just one little thing can inspire an artist. A line of a buildings, the accidental melding of two colors, a song, a laugh, despair. Here, it was this little girl charming her way into Lewis Carroll's thoughts. John Tenniel's wonderful illustrations bringing the books alive, and generations blessed with a fantastic story.

More Alice Collage Sheets

These are photographs of the grown up Alice Liddell, Alice with her sisters, Edith and Lorina, and Alice as a child. She is said to have been the inspiration for the books.

The book, the title page, the author, the illustrator, my favorite quote from the book, and my favorite Alice illustrated by Arthur Rackham.

The Alice books were a great inspiration to me as a child. I love to read and I think I have read them at least twenty times each. When I got older it was even more meaningful when I found out there had been a real living and breathing Alice. Today I thought I would share a couple of those images with you. Hoping to inspire you.

Alice Collage Sheets

This week I am going to do Alice Collage Sheets for all of you. Usually I would be posting St.Patrick's day freebies, but this year I decided with the article in Somerset and the new Tim Burton movie about to open that this would help flame the fires of inspiration. These are images from the original book by John Tenniel.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Photograph - Look

These windows look like they have seen a lot of comings and goings. I saw them all stacked up just waiting to be repurposed and knew I had to get a shot of them. They reminded me to really look outside of what I think things are and to always enjoy the view.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Little Tiny Houses - 2 by 2's

These little 2 by 2 inch houses I have been making from scraps from my art table. In my clean up process I did not have the heart to toss some of the smaller scraps so I ended up making these. [They are in a slide folder so if you enlarge it and look the lines are the plastic sleeve they are in.] They take no time at all and seem to satisfy the creative urge I have had but know I can't start anything big right now. After making them I realized I definitely have house stuff on the brain...

Rulers Rule!

Front of rulers

Back of rulers

I have been knee deep in art supplies since Saturday. I have been sorting and going through everything in my studio. Aghhh not an easy job. Although it was a good time to do it, the weather here has been rainy.

Every morning before the rain comes I have been working along side my yard guys in the back. Cleaning yard furniture, pots, statuary, etc... while they trim, cut and put down the new pine straw. Spring will be here soon.

The rest of the time till late into the night I have been in my studio. I haven't done much art just a lot of cleaning. I am starting to pack up my studio in anticipation of selling my house. Dreaming of the new studio I will have. Do you have any idea how many pens I have? Do you have any idea how many dried up pens I have thrown away? Boggling... and paper, don't even get me started.

I did find these small rulers and thought they would be fun to play with as borders. I have scanned them and thought I would share them with you. Hope you can find a use for them in your art. I know I will be using them soon.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Art Creations Friday - Waiting

It has been a busy week full of little time consuming things. I was finally able to do a little art work this morning. Art Creations Friday gave us a beautiful background to work with this week for their challenge. Feeling in a gypsy mood this week I used Leighton's image of this beautiful woman. I have been waiting for someone for two days so I am titling this one "Waiting". Hope you enjoy!

This is the original background image we were to work with.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Some Freebies for You....

This week I decided to post some of the photographs I have been scanning from my collection. I have included lots of little boys. Although I use a lot of vintage photos in my art work, I seem to not use a lot of male images. So, this month I am trying to include more males in my artwork. I hope you will enjoy these as much as I have.

Three little boys with there sister. I love how the baby's hair is slicked down. The little girl with her big bow and very cute glasses. She looks like she just know that these boys are going to be a handful.

This little one is so sweet in his lace. Yes this is a little boy. In fact the picture below is him a few years older. It was quite common to keep baby boys in dresses till they were potty trained and could maneuver the buttons on pants.

I love this picture of this young lad. His hands and feet are so big, yet he still has that boyish appeal. I bet his voice is just a hint away from squeaking when he talks. Till then he looks all handsome in his suit.

I purchased this picture in Montana. I love the fur and way his little leather shoes are all worn. I have several photos of this child up until manhood. He has a presence.

Here is the little one in fur a few years older. Still wearing a little dress. It won't be long before he graduates to pants. I love this picture. The lovely wicker chair, the lace dress, the little worn boots, and his cute little page boy hair cut. Just a very loved child.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

All a Flutter about Snow....

Yes! We got snow this weekend. After watching the weather channel the past few weeks and seeing everyone else get snow we were feeling a little left out. Like the wall flower at the dance. We were not asking for a lot just enough to have a little fun with. Friday night the snow began. At two o' clock in the morning we had snow on the ground and it was coming down like crazy. Big fat wet flakes.

Last chick an I got out the cameras and took tons of night time pictures, then off to bed to get up early. The beach is the first place we headed, then across the inter coastal, the marina and yacht club. The roads were slushy but fine, the landscape beautiful. Here are just a few of the pictures I took. Hope you stand a few more snow pictures.

A little snow man family watching the tide come in from the pier.

Snow at the beach is always so much fun. Everyone comes out to build a snowman.

The Inter Coastal Waterway is quiet. All the boats are locked up, the docks tied down, only an occasional bird is seen. The contrast of the snow on the grass is quite beautiful. The snow melts quickly as there is a lot of heat from the ever changing landscape.

Over at the Yacht Club the boats are covered with snow. It is so strange and quiet. This is normally an area full of activity of coming and goings. The boats seem rather sad. Waiting to be used.

Home from the beach the cherry trees are just beautiful. They are covered in snow. They look like spring brides covered in lace.

Happy Valentine's Day !

Just a quickie to say I hope everyone has a day full of love, a day spent with someone they love, or a day doing something they love. Thanks to everyone, you make my life so much richer. Happy Valentine's Day to all!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Art Creations Friday - Angels All Around Us

This week the Art Creations Friday challenge was this image of an angel. I really enjoy working with angel images. They can lead you just about anywhere. I have been trying to make Bukeh images with hearts and stars etc. for backgrounds. I am slowly getting the hang of it.

My digital collage is about the fact that there are angels everywhere. All around us if we are willing to be open to the idea. Maybe they are just the person who happens to show up when you are walking through the door with an arm full and get the door for you, or the person who waves you out of the parking lot in rush hour, or the person who compliments you on something you are wearing after you have had a bad morning. My collage says open your heart and mind and they will find you.

The past week....

This past week has been very busy for me. Last chick flew out west last weekend for a long visit. We were not sure if he would make it with the storms blowing in. He did, with a long layover in Atlanta. Let me just say not having any boys around was very strange. So, last weekend I started a few projects around here that I had been putting off. Let's just say I have been up to my ears in "stuff."

First let me say, I enjoyed having the whole house to myself for such a dedicated time. I think it was the first time since college that I have really been on my own so to speak. It was better than I anticipated. I enjoyed tackling some things on my own. Unfortunately, I did not have much time for the computer or my art. At most I cut and pasted at night when I was finished with the day. On top of my projects I had a killer headache from all of these weather events. Ugh!

Today I am going to try and play catch up on my emails and such. I scanned boxes and boxes of photographs so I hope to get some of those up as freebies tonight or tomorrow. I have missed everybody this week. I hope everyone is warm, has electricity, and those who have been going through the snowstorm[s] on the east coast are having fun. My folks in the Washington D.C. area say it is amazing. We are expecting "something awful" weather later today and this evening...

Monday, February 8, 2010

Collage Obsession Challenge - Longing

This week the Collage Obsession Challenge is this beautiful starlet. The word inspiration was Longing. I think we are all longing for something. She looked like she was remembering past loves, golden moments. I used Julia's freebie background over at Cemerony for the Roman image on the left. A few lovers from the pre - Raphelites and I think the rest says it all. I enjoyed coloring the image. I have been playing with tinting lately so this was a good time to practice.

Color Label Freebies

Speaking of labels I thought it would be fun to use some of these matchbook labels with there vivid colors. I took a few and added them to this sheet. I also think they would make cool gift tags. Enjoy

Label Freebies

Label sheet one with lots of fun labels.

Label sheet two with some more elaborate labels.

Label sheet three to round things out.

I have been thinking labels labels and more labels as I work on my Remains of the Day Journal. One of the things Mary Ann Moss has us using is labels. I have been on the hunt. I found these in a very old copyright free 1982 Dover book. I thought I would share them with you.

I printed these out on a sticker sheet I bought at one of the big box office supply stores. Then cut out your label and peel off the back and you have a wonderful label. These can be used in journaling or....if you are having the organize my studio ....the labels are great for that, too.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Three Muses Challenge - Birds

The Three Muses Challenge this week is birds. Create something with birds. This is one of my favorite themes and honestly quite challenging. Almost paralyzing in that there are so many directions to go.

Last chick has been furiously working on school projects so he can have a long weekend out west with his girl. He is dashing back and forth between computers and printers. I decided that I should just hunker down in the studio and create a a piece there.

I chose one of my favorite birds - the crow. I decided to do a journal page with a quote. The border I got from New York Magpie's Eyes blog. Judy was generous to allow me to use a photo of her fabric strips for a journal she is making. I took the photo and made the border strips. I love the Hawaiian fabric look. It is true - birds of a feather do flock together.

February Photograph - Birds of a Feather....

When I got to the trail this morning to walk I heard this absolute vibrating symphony of sound. It was this whole flock of birds roosting in six or seven trees. They were wonderful. I was able to shoot several photographs before they flew off to greener pastures.

Four Letter Words - Bird

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Spring Teaser

Yes it is a cherry blossom! I found these this morning. My three luscious cherry trees have begun to blossom already. Maybe last weeks cold and rain was what they needed.

Happy Ground Hogs Day!

I woke up to "gray" today which means this little ground hog will not be seeing his shadow here in my section of North Carolina. Across most of the south it is cold and rainy. Not cold enough for a repeat of last weekend, but cold enough. We were fortunate where I live not to get any snow. Just rain.

Today I thought I would share a ground hog story with you. The first farm my first husband an I bought had an old equipment type barn on it. This barn through the years had various uses probably because of its location - squank down in the middle of the pasture. The horses used it to stay dry in the rain and warm against the winter winds and snow. The ground hog used it to burrow its nest in the floor.

The first spring as I sat out on our deck watching the horses in the pasture one morning feeling like the world was my oyster I saw sudden movement. It was something large, brown and oh my goodness look at those teeth. I ran inside and got my binoculars, it couldn't be a beaver could it? It was way too far into the pasture away from the woods and stream for a beaver. No it was a groundhog!

That was my first groundhog. Soon I was introduced to a family of groundhogs. All living in the ground in our pasture barn.We eventually had to tear the barn down as the floor was riddled with holes and tunnels from the ground hogs. They actually undermined the whole structure. It was a hazard for the horses. We built other shelter for them and kept them in another pasture closer to their barn in winter. We filled in the holes and tunnels with dirt the spring after we tore it down. Every once in awhile I would catch a glimpse of a ground hog along the edge of the road as I was pulling in or out of our driveway. Never again was our pasture filled with groundhogs.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Collage Obsession Challenge #3

This week the Collage Obsession Challenge gave us two images. The front - an older couple - and the back - advertisement for photographer - of a cabinet card. We could use both images together, just one or separately. I decided to go separate.

The first collage was of the old couple. I sat them in the front yard of an abandoned farm house. I read everyday of people losing their homes, farms not being able to break even. here the couple know their future is in what they have made - their children and grandchildren. Isn't that what the future is all about?

The second collage is really a background piece. I combined several photographs with the back of the cabinet card to make one background piece. I love the old feel it gives to the antique store.

Original Image

February Magazine Freebies

January with all of it's storms has been so cold. I am hoping February will be a little warmer. I love this woman's muff and how she has the flowers on her coat. A reminder that spring is not too far away.

I hope all of the letters are Valentines for this lovely lady. She is so pretty.

I love the graphics on this one. The flowers and her profile against them are fabulous.
I hope he has remembered to send his Valentines out early!

She looks so elegant in her large hat and scarf.

Here are February's magazine pages. I love printing these out and using them in my journals. It helps me remember the month I have been writing in when I go back nd look through my journals. The graphics are so great , it makes a beautiful beginning....

Art Journal Pages

This week flew by and I did not get to work in my art journal as much as I would have liked to. I did work on a tutorial for the Yahoo Art Technique - the Bandanna technique. I have not done this in awhile and it was fun to revisit it. I ended up using this technique in my art journal and making a few bookmarks with it. Fun...

This is the page that I used the bandanna technique with. The lovely fairy girls are from Art Chixs and the hearts were from a free collage sheet that Julia from Cemerony was giving away on her blog. I love this quote from William Wordsworth.

My pre cut letters came in handy when I did this page. I felt like I should use my "word of intent" in my journal before the month was out. My word is Grow. I felt like it could be used in so many ways that were positive. I painted my background with acrylics, then did the transfer of the woman and child with gel medium. I then did the letter border. When all was dry I covered the whole page with watered down black acrylic paint and then wiped it off. I then used fine sandpaper and sanded the pages. I felt like the words really needed some muting. Then I did my quote and some more shading.

Quote - Listen

Bandanna Technique Tutorial

Bandanna Technique

I thought I would share this technique that the Yahoo Art Technique group will be doing this month. I know I shared this with you when we were doing the Giant Fat Fat Book, but it is always fun to revisit different techniques. I can see a lot of hearts and Valentines using this technique.

Choosing the Paper

The first step is to find the right kind of paper. A heavy weight 140 to 180 lb. smooth watercolor paper works well. I also like Bristol paper when using acrylics. It is a little lighter - 120 lb. but it works just fine.

Paint and Ink

Once you find the paper you like you have several choices to color it with. Watercolors work well. I prefer acrlyics because the color is permanent and do not bleed. Ink can also be used. I only use ink if it is in a mister or spray bottle. Rubbing the paper with an ink pad over a large surface area can ruin your pad. I often have designated pads for such work.

After you have chosen your paper and paint or ink it is time to apply it. Take one color at a time and spray or paint blotches all over your sheet of paper. Let that dry and then try another color and so on. Make sure you let the paper dry between coats. That way the colors do not get muddy.

At this point you need to decided if you are going to cut your sheet of paper into your project size or not to stamp it. If you want a specific size for a stampdesign then it is time to cut the paper up. If you are going to be randomly stamping then leave your sheet whole.


The next step is picking a bold stamp or several bold stamps. I usually have a project size in mind and have cut my paper accordingly. I find a stamp that suits my project and using a black stamp pad - I love Brillance ink and or Stayz on ink - ink your stamp and start stamping your project sheets you have painted. Make sure the ink is dried befor you touch it or cut up your sheet so the ink does not smear.

Do not worry if when you stamp your design it is not perfect. By the time you are finished no one will ever be able to tell. I often use a black pen to define the lines or fill in where the stamp did not meet the paper. I have found the extra fine or fine sharpie poster paint pen works wonders with this.

Adding the Extras

For the next step you wil need a good black pen - I use a sharpie fine permanent pen - and a good white pen. There is lots of talk about good white pens. I prefer the Uniball Sigma white and the Sharpie extra fine poster paint pen. You need to experiment with the pens you have and determine what works best for you.

Now that you have your pens, the paper is stamped and the ink is dry are finally ready for the fun part. You are going to highlight the stamped aresa of your project with the white pen. You can use the black pen to add swirls, flourishes, dots, crosshatching, etc. to the design. Let your imagination go wild.

This is a fun project to travel with or to wait with. I keep a bag with stamped paper in my car. I keep the pens in my purse. While waiting at the doctor's, car repair, practice, carpool line etc.. I can be creating. It is easy, fast and they turn out quite lovely. I do a lot of book marks with this technique. I hope you enjoy...