"The more you trust and rely upon the Spirit,
the greater your capacity to create."

~Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Decayed Paper Technique

We had an ATC background swap in our Paper Traders group and my background was made based on Jill Geraghty-Groves’ “Decaying Background” technique as described in the March/April 2011 issue of Somerset Studio magazine.

canvas or chipboard base
vintage text & images
sponge brushes
gel medium (I prefer matte)
baby wipes
sanding block
acrylic paint
crackle paint
alcohol inks
spray bottle filled with water

1) Use something sturdy such as canvas or chipboard for your base.  This is a very wet technique so regular paper or cardstock will not hold up to the process (I've done this with success on watercolor paper; this time I used a piece of tablet backing).  Prime with gesso.

2) Tear vintage text and images to desired shapes & sizes.  Apply with gel medium.

3) Once dry, I trim off the excess paper with scissors and then carefully smooth the edges with my sanding block.

4) Mix some gel medium with acrylic paint of your choice.  I usually use a neutral buff color.  You can use baby wipes to wipe the paint off of images that you want to show through.

5) Goop on crackle paint around the edges and let dry.  I used Ranger Distress Crackle Paint in “Picket Fence” and “Antique Linen”.  (Because I am using this piece to make into ATCs, I marked off the sizes for each card and put the crackle paint around those areas so that each ATC would have a crackled edge.)

6) Let your paint dry thoroughly.  It will crack as it dries.  The thicker the paint, the bigger the cracks.

7) After your paint has cracked, you can drip alcohol inks along the edge then spritz with water and it will run down the paper and into all the cracks.  I like to tip my background up on its edge with a paper towel underneath; then I run the bottle of ink along the top edge, spraying with lots of water, and tipping the piece to help the inks run and blend.  For this project, I used Adirondack’s “Eggplant” first, followed by “Latte”.  This step takes quite a bit of water and is very wet and messy.  Let your background dry thoroughly.

8) Now you can use your background as you want.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Let's Go Traveling... to Balboa Park

For our Round Robin Journal project on Paper Traders, I'm working in Janne Ryan's book this month.  Her theme is "Let's Go Traveling" and I chose to feature San Diego's own world-famous Balboa Park, which is one of my very favorite places.  I love the beautiful gardens and breathtaking architecture, the wonderful concerts and plays, and all the fascinating things to see and learn about in the multitude of museums.  Located in the heart of San Diego, it is a treasure of the city with many free attractions and free parking, too.  You can learn more about the numerous things to see and do here by checking out their website: http://www.balboapark.org/

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Gift of Time

This is the final week of the steampunk-inspired challenges on Gingersnap Creations.  This week was a color theme, "Leather, Iron & Brass" and this wall hanging is my contribution.  I have had a lot of fun doing these and it's been a real growing experience.  Each of the challenges will remain open for awhile so hop on over and join in the fun.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

It's a Hoedown!

I've never done a dance card swap before.  These are the cards I made for Nancy's swap on Paper Traders.  I made the pictures by gluing napkin images onto cardstock.  Dance cards are an old tradition from a time when ladies would have a list of available dances and the gentlemen would request to reserve a space on a lady's card... and maybe even in her heart!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Assemblage Art: Train

All aboard for another week of steampunk-inspired assemblage art for the Gingersnap Creations challenge.  The challenge this week was "Planes & Trains" and I had a lot of fun making this train from all of my swap meet junk.  This abandoned engine has become a home for some cute little birdies.

If you feel inspired to try some steampunk-style art, I encourage you to check out the Gingersnap Creations blog and take a go at some of their challenges for this month.

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Sunday, July 17, 2011

Anatomy Swap


This month, I'm hosting an anatomy-themed ATC on our Paper Traders group.  These are the cards that I came up with.  I must admit that even though this swap was my idea, I found myself quite struggling to put together something original and artistic...  But I'm a firm believer of pushing through my slumps and am optimistic that inspiration will return.  I'm not fishing for compliments - just sharing my artistic struggles and hoping that others can relate.  Happy Arting!

Big Aspirations

I had originally made this ATC with the hopes of joining Marion Bockelmann's annual blog swap but I was just too busy to get all of my cards made in time for the deadline.  Instead, I am contributing this ATC to the Paper Traders monthly winner-take-all lottery.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Vintage Swimsuits

Another Paper Traders blog challenge is underway.  This week's theme is "Vintage Swimsuits" and I made this little fashion-conscious mermaid using a magazine image for the background, adding plants and shells, and embellishing her tail with my gold leafing pen.

Blog challenges are a fun way to expand your creativity and show off your art.  So dive on in - the water's fine!!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Assemblage Art: Time Heals All Wounds

I have been waiting for weeks to be able to show you my newest steampunk creation.  The Gingersnap Creations blog challenge for this week was to use gears, cogs, and watch bits so I created this assemblage, which was a lot of fun!  I may have found a new art addiction  =)   Stay tuned because I have another assemblage to show you next week...
The Gingersnap Creations challenges are fun and anyone can play along so come and join in the fun!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Remembering Danny

I received word this weekend that a dear childhood friend passed away last week and although I have not seen him in over 20 years, I have found myself spontaneously bursting into tears ever since I got the news.

I have known Danny Gatten almost my entire life, since we were toddlers; and he was my best friend when we were young children.  I followed him around everywhere... we often walked to and from school together, sometimes walking backwards in the snow so that no one would know that we were coming instead of going; we would play kick-the-can in the street with the other neighborhood kids; we went to the movies, rode bikes, played board games, jumped on the trampoline.  Every Sunday night, our family would go over to their house and the kids would all head downstairs to fight over whether we should watch "Swiss Family Robinson" (the Gatten's choice) or "The Wonderful World of Disney" (the Holso's choice)... usually agreeing to trade off every other week; our parents would be up in the kitchen - our Dads making milkshakes for everyone and our Moms chatting at the kitchen table as women tend to do.

Danny was a fun, popular, and kind person.  When other kids would tease me on the playground, he always stood up for me and would invite me to hang out with him and his friends or let me sit on the sidelines while he played ball with his buddies.  And, honestly, that's all I really wanted to do because I worshiped that boy!  I thought he was the cutest, coolest guy in the world and he was MY friend.  Oh, how I dreamed that someday he would be more!
Eventually, our family moved away and time & distance did their thing.  Although our parents kept touch, Danny and I didn't for very long and we each grew up and went on with our lives.  Once, shortly after high school, I was able to see him again.  He had grown into a very handsome young man and was still so kind and friendly to me.  Funny how no matter the years that had passed, he still made me feel all giddy inside.

I guess I share all this because I, like most girls, have never forgotten my first love.  And I am feeling sad that although I remember the boy, I never really got to know the man... and now he's gone and I will never have that chance.  And it's such a shame that someone so young (only a year older than me) should pass away.  I also feel sympathy for his family who was almost like a part of my own.  Nearly every childhood memory has the Gattens in it - they played such an important role in our lives.

"Mourning is one of the deepest expressions of pure love...  'Thou shalt live together in love, insomuch that thou shalt weep for the loss of them that die.' (D&C 42:45)  Moreover, we can’t fully appreciate joyful reunions later without tearful separations now. The only way to take sorrow out of death is to take love out of life."
~Russell M. Nelson

I'm grateful for my knowledge of the plan of salvation.  My testimony of God's eternal plan of happiness brings me a measure of comfort and I hope his family feels that too.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

On the Road

The Gingersnap Creations blog challenges for July are underway!  I am honored to be a visiting artist for this month... and now I can show you my first contribution - a mixed media art card for this week's theme "On the Road."  The challenges are fun and anyone can play along so come and join in the fun!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Christmas in July

It's time for another art challenge on our Paper Traders blog! This time I made a greeting card for the "Christmas in July" theme using a transparency layered over sheet music and adding a pink flower rub-on:
These challenges are so much fun!  And they're open to all art bloggers so check them out and come play along: http://papertraders-art.blogspot.com/search/label/Challenges

I'm a Gingersnap Creations Visiting Artist for July

I am very flattered and excited to be asked to be a visiting artist on the Gingersnap Creations blog this month.  I'm not sure why they picked me but maybe it's because the overreaching theme this month is machines with a focus on the steampunk style and I did get a lot of positive feedback on my steampunk valentines awhile back.  Whatever the reason, I am really very honored to have been asked!  So now you'll all get to see what I've been doing with all that swap meet junk I've been collecting  =)

The challenges will be announced weekly on Wednesdays so be sure to check back each week to see my newest creation.  And don't be afraid to jump in and join the fun!