February 28, 2010

even MORE art!!

I thought I'd post a few more art photos from some past projects... art is being done in tiny little spaces of time around here now, because I'm back to work!! yay!! after 9 months of being unemployed, my self-esteem had taken a bit of a beating (which is an understatement), so I'm glad to be gainfully employed again, especially since Arizona has been pretty hard-hit by the economic crisis. (real estate values plummeted, construction is a big part of the economy, etc. etc.) But I digress-- on to the art! This ATC was for a swap on the website ATCsforAll.com, which is an amazing place to trade ATCs, mail art, chunky books, supplies, and more. The artwork in the gallery is fabulous and a great source of inspiration!! The swap theme was "Monochromatic" so all the cards had to be in shades of a color. This is not the card I planned to make when I started out, but sometimes they have a life of their own, and it's better to go where the inspiration takes me. I used pattern tissue, patterned paper, some ink for shading the edges, and rubber stamping, all to go with the theme of sewing-- I think I titled it "Family Ties."
This card was another for the in-person swap last month, for the Hearts and Love theme. I read somewhere that those conversation hearts candies (you know, the ones with the little phrases on?) had just updated their sayings to retire the phrase "fax me" and include "tweet me" and "text me." Which I think is ridiculous, but that's because I'm not the right age for those things to just roll off my tongue, and I only use my phone to make phone calls... but, I thought "tweet me" would be really cute with this little birdie stamp I have! The background is a paper doily with gold gel pen doodles... and more glitter!
And now, a few completed journal pages-- I started the background on the page above ages ago, and finally did something with it. I wasn't too into the SuperBowl game, if you couldn't guess by the amoung of doodling (except for the commercials, which I really didn't think were all that great).
This page was also started ages ago; I think it was actually one of the first pages I painted in this journal-- and then it sat. And sat. And sat, waiting for me to come up with the "perfect thing" to complete it. (at least that was my mental block, anyway-- perfectionist syndrome-- which doesn't go so well with art.) So, I decided to try my hand at some funky-scrolly lettering... which didn't turn out too bad, I don't think!
and one more page in progress, with a painted paper and collage background... I think "journaling" in stages seems to be the best way for me to work-- I get in a "paint and collage" mood, so I get inspired to start the backgrounds, then they will wait till I feel like writing on them, or adding to them... (or not-- I do have some backgrounds that I love just the way they are) That way, I don't have to start "from scratch" when I feel inspired, but don't feel like getting messy with paint and gel medium. Wow, that sentence is not grammatically correct at all, but I'm too tired to fix it-- the worst part of going back to work is having to get up when it's still dark out, so I'm off to bed!

a little art, and a gopher (plant) update

some art from lately... a few in-progress journal pages, and some recent ATCs. I need to make some greeting cards (I'm working on them, Mom!) but for that, I need to clean off my desk (again). It gets so cluttered, I've finally resorted to doing my painting on the floor of my art studio... which works, except for when the cat decides she wants to walk through my stuff, or when the dogs start playing tag, and tear across the room! the page above is in a journal I've just started working in again-- it's a ring-bound gardening book from the 1950s. I took out most of the gardening pages (saving some for collage purposes), and the ring binding makes it really easy to remove pages for working on! The background was made with watercolors and salt, which makes a really neat-looking background; when you sprinkle salt onto the wet paint, it sort of "resists" the paint, beads up, and creates an interesting pattern.
The page above was done in the last class I took with Kelly Kilmer, which was "all about pens." No pens on this page yet, of course, but I'll get there!
This is another close-up pic of the gopher plant-- apparently each thing I thought was a flower is really a cluster of flowers! it's even more interesting looking than it was before... and that chartreuse color really intrigues me, especially now that the weather has turned gray and rainy again. (temps in the mid-high 60s-- ick!) Yeah, I know just what you readers who live where there's real winter are thinking, but my blood is too thin for these temps! I'm not sure I'd survive in snow anymore!! (at least not without wearing so many layers I couldn't move... ha!)
These last two pics are artist trading cards for last month's in-person trade at Arizona Art Supply... the theme was "hearts and love," even though the trade wasn't until the week after Valentine's Day. The card above was stamped with a new stamp set I bought at Michael's-- they are selling a line of "American Girl" (the historical dolls that have their own book series) craft products, of all things, and these little animal stamps were just too cute to pass up! The striped paper wasn't glittery; I added glitter using a great new glue pen (that I found out about from Kelly), the Sakura Quickie-Glue pen. You can lay (or lie??) down a line of glue just like writing, and get a really tiny line with no globbing, or having to use a toothpick to spread the glue.
This card was a sort of play on the conversation hearts candy that's always around at this time of year. I think it turned out really sweet, with the fabric-- it was hard to give this one up after making it! (does that ever happen to anyone else?) I like the look of fabric in my art-- I'm not sure why I don't use it more often; I have plenty of it, along with everything else. The bee was stamped and glittered with gold, and the gold squiggles were done with gel pen. And hurray, I found my favorite set of tiny Hero Arts alphabet stamps, which I thought I'd lost!! (a clean-up is always in order in my studio, if you haven't figured that out by now...)

February 21, 2010

spring has sprung! AKA, we have gophers...

well, it had sprung, with sun and temperatures in the high 70s (yay!), and then winter threw some rainy weather at us again the past couple days... highs around 60 F, with gray, drizzly weather. Bad for us, but good for the plants we purchased before Christmas... Here is a picture of the gopher, in the front yard-- can you see it?? don't look too hard for it-- this plant is called a gopher plant, scientific name Euphorbia biglandulosa. (we do have gophers in AZ; I've seen them during the summer-- they're cute, but I do hope we never have them in our yard!) We were looking for something that would give us a little color, not a cactus, but still not needing a ton of water, and this is what we found. It's got an interesting shape and color. Apparently the name gopher plant is because if you plant these, you won't have gophers... I don't care about that.
It seems to like the spot where we planted it-- look at all that new growth coming up from the base!
It blooms in late winter/early spring-- aren't the blooms interesting looking?? Not a typical "flower" as I usually think of them, but certainly striking, nonetheless, with the lime green against the grayish green of the foliage. Now, I'm just holding my breath and waiting for the dormant ocotillos we planted to come to life! (and I have been doing some art, just don't have the pics tweaked yet... I'll post them soon.)