September 24, 2008

a new link, and some randomness... d'blogala... the author of 1000 Art Journal Pages, one of my new books, chock-full of wonderfully inspiring art journal pages! (1000 of them!!!) I don't know how I missed her blog before; and, she lives here in the Valley of the Sun, too- how cool is that!

... still over 100 F for a daytime high temp here; it certainly doesn't seem much like fall yet! Hopefully soon... it was cool enough one night a couple weeks ago to open the windows and get a taste of the fresh night air, but since then it's been warmer again. other random news, I am now waiting impatiently for my new pair of eyeglasses to come in- it's been somewhere over 5 years since I've gotten eyeglasses, so my current pair of glasses is at least a couple prescriptions behind my contact lens prescription. I don't like wearing my glasses very often, but I know it's not good to wear contacts all the time. I think I will wear the glasses more often if they don't give me a headache. (I really liked the frames when I picked them out; I hope I still like them once I get them!)

September 23, 2008

paint under my fingernails...

I said I'd be back soon, didn't I? I guess it depends on your definition of soon... haha! Anyway, I have been working on some art, some of it involving paint, which explains the title of this post. (I can't paint without getting it all over my hands, no matter how hard I try!) Here's some pics, with more on my Flickr page: I've started doodling again... I used to do it when I was younger, but stopped somewhere along the way... it's mostly random patterns and lines, but sometimes it turns into something more, like these two. The pic above started as a sort of leaf (or football, depending on your viewpoint!), which I filled in... kinda like a Zentangle, which you can read more about here. This was done during a meeting at work. I can't focus on only one thing... listening to someone talk makes me really tired unless I'm doing something with my hands, so I doodle. I taped this into my journal with tape off the battery backup that was installed on my computer. I fished the tape out of the trash, actually- not sure which is weirder, asking "hey, can I have that tape instead of you throwing it away?" or actually garbage-picking it out of the trash can... but, when you're obsessed with paper and strange stuff, material is everywhere, isn't it?? (and on an environmental note, it's recycling!!)

this is an in-process journal spread... the left page started with red, yellow, and blue paint that got all muddled together- it looks lots better than I thought it would, actually. The right page is strips of magazine paper and masking tape, still waiting to be painted and finished up.

This is not an art project, but it is really cool! We have a number of fishhook barrel cactus in our yard; this one took a while to start growing, but apparently it really likes where we put it, because it's flowering! This flower is already dying, but there's at least one more bud... I'll have to get more pics of the second flower. (I love the yellow and peachy-orange colors!!)

This is also a work in progress: I joined the Art Unraveled chunky book swap (everyone makes 4x4 inch pages showing off a technique they learned, send them to the swap hostess who sorts them out, and we get back pages from the other participants), and have started working on my pages. This is where the paint under my fingernails came from... I start out using a paintbrush, but inevitably end up smearing the paint around with baby wipes and paper towels. I have to make 30 pages, and so far I have 21 painted (the front, anyway- need to decorate the backs, too!). Of course, this is just the first layer- I have more ideas for these pages, which you'll just have to wait for!!

September 11, 2008

a link and a promise

this link: Hulaseventy talks about Through the Viewfinder photography, which looks pretty darn cool! I may have to look for a viewfinder camera, to try this myself, although we only have a small, automatic digital camera, it does have a pretty decent Macro setting. I flirted with wanting to do Polaroid manipulations, but it was a brief flirtation, because I was very late to the party and I found out while I was researching that Kodak was discontinuing Polaroid film... (too bad, because Polaroid manipulations are pretty cool.)

this promise: I have been doing some artwork (you can see some pics on my Flickr), and I got some amazing new art books (I stalked the Amazon package tracking website every day till they got here!!), and I will be back soon to post about all of it!

September 01, 2008

AU 2008 Recap Part 2

Tuesday night I took a class with Traci Bunkers called Printing Blocks MacGyver Style. (She has a really distinctive style; see some of her artwork here, on Flickr.) Basically, the premise of the class was that you can use lots of things, not just traditional rubber stamps, to print with… and did she mean LOTS of things! Some of these things I had thought of or used before, like bubble wrap and sequin waste, but she had tons of things spread out on the table:

Pieces of broom handle, pieces of plastic grid, flip flops, plastic trays from birth control pills, chenille pipe cleaners, etc. All those things can be used for printing?!? Yup, if your imagination is big enough, they sure can be!

She had fun foam cut and glued/taped onto foam core board to make pattern stamps, lace doilies, lots of foam objects that you can heat with a heat gun and impress with patterns (including flip flops- apparently they have patterned soles, if you look at them... ?!? I never would have thought of that!!), things to use as stencils, including the plastic trays from birth control pills… pretty much anything that you can get paint or ink on can be used as a stamp…

Traci said one of her favorite places to shop for things is the dollar store, where she finds all sorts of things for printing! (and one of her favorite aisles to shop IN is the foot care aisle: think corn pads, bunion pads, and moleskin, all adhesive foam shapes originally designed to help out your feet, but in the right hands, they can be used to help out your journal pages or art projects!)

This pic is of her roller stamps, made from a chopped-up broom handle; the top one is wrapped with rubber bands, the bottom one is wrapped with wire. Both have nails in, for handles... I definitely need to try this one! I don’t think Tom would appreciate me hacking up the broom handle, so I guess I’ll go to Home Depot and get a new one (theoretically, they can cut it for me at the store, too... hopefully they won't ask too many questions about what I'm doing with it.)

This is another idea she had that I will definitely try… these foam craft stamps are pretty cheap at the craft store, but they can be kind of boring when you actually use them for stamping. Traci’s idea is to heat them with a heat gun so they get soft, then impress them with a pattern of some sort- you can use another rubber stamp, or anything with a texture. Once it cools, the pattern impression stays, until you re-heat it again. You can buy re-heatable foam at the craft store, but apparently LOTS of (less expensive) things will do this, if you know what materials to pick... including the flip flops!

She also showed us how to do stamp carving; she carves her own really cool stamps out of rubber carving material and also regular old erasers (which she also finds at the dollar store… I definitely need to hang out more at the dollar store!!)... if you can't find the stamp design you want, then you can just carve your own! I carved one in class, and one more since then… I have always wanted to learn this, and it's something I will do more of, that’s for sure.

The pic above is some of the items she gave us that can be used to make patterns for stamping-

Top, L to R: my first carved rubber stamp; an earplug (the kind you use on a crowded airplane); a pencil eraser; one of those things you put on a pencil to protect your finger; a moldable foam craft-store "marshmallow" turned into a stamp.

Middle, L to R: a corn pad; moldable foam impressed with the end of a thread spool; my second hand-carved stamp.

Bottom: carving tool and eraser; pencil (which can be used to draw your designs for carving, and you can use the eraser for making dots- it's always good to have multi-use materials!)

Some of my foam-core and fun-foam stamps... I made mostly patterns, so far... the small one is bits and pieces left over from making the triangle pattern, and looks a lot like bricks when it's used. And the rubber band stamp makes a really cool texture!

This pic shows some of the impressions I made from the odd-ball sorts of items... I really like the oval design the corn pad makes, and the pencil eraser can make some really cool patterns! This class, like the first one I took, was all about thinking about things in different ways and being imaginative with your supplies. It was definitely lots of fun, and useful information!!

another link

I've been trying to catch up on my Bloglines (blogs I have bookmarked, so I don't have to remember them all- anytime you want to see if your favorite blogs have been updated, you only have to go to the Bloglines website instead of opening each one to check over and over). Anyway, this post: Manifest Journals on this blog: Be... Dream... Play... looks really neat!!

I hope you all are having a wonderful long Labor Day weekend, and I will post again soon. (it was absolutely wonderful to not have to get up before it was light out this morning!!)