Tuesday, September 27, 2011


This might become a book cover.
Or... this might become a book cover.
Or... this might become a book cover. 
Go with the flow. Follow the muse. See what happens.

Whatever happens, it will involve security envelopes and lots of them.
 My best friend Gaye has been playing with security envelopes, and it made me want to also. The only thing is, we haven't seen each other in ages, so it will be fun to get together later and see what we both end up with!

I also got distracted and made some "tiles" for my cover.  I remember seeing a Tim Holz video where he used his Fragments clear tiles.  I made mine by using JudiKins Diamond Glaze to glue old postage stamps (among other things) to the clear tiles.  I think he used Glossy Accents instead of Diamond Glaze, but they both work and both dry clear. 

I can't wait to play more with pages and get the book finished.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Dark Side

Today's Adventures in Texture takes us to the use of gesso and a rubber stamp.  This journal page started out bright and red, but as time went on, it ended up kind of dark. 

I painted a double page spread with red acrylic paint and let that dry.  Then I swiped some clear gesso down one side of one page.  I let that dry somewhat (about 15 minutes because I'm impatient, but I should have waited about 10 minutes longer). 

 Then I pressed a rubber stamp into the gesso.  Since my stamp is just a piece of rubber and not mounted on wood or cushion, I immediately put the stamp in water so the gesso would not dry on it.  The gesso then needs time to dry completely on the page.
I then painted over the gesso impression as well as the rest of the two pages with some brown acrylic ink.  The last thing I added was black, applied with a rubber stamp pad around the edges of the pages and over the gesso impression. 
Yep, I've gone over to the dark side on this one, and I like the grungy-ness.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Text-ured Skin

I have been going in a hundred directions all of a sudden.  Similar to what I do every spring and fall.  I think it's because the heat wave has gone away and days are crisp and happy, much more conducive to making art.

After I made rusty skins, the next day I made skins from pages of old books.  I figured the print was more likely to come off the page on older books.  And I knew I'd have to use the skins with the lettering backwards, but that didn't bother me.  I put them on cardboard to dry, put them up high so they were out of my way, and promptly forgot about them.  It was a nice surprise to stumble across them a day or so later!

I think I'll be able to find a place to use these in the future.  I should be able to use them either frontwards or backwards, although I do wish I'd made a couple of them thinner.  Like the rust skins, these were made by spreading soft gel medium, then letting the medium dry.  When they were pulled off the page, of course a lot of paper came with it, so I soaked them in a bowl of water, then rubbed off the paper with my fingers.

I also did some journaling on the page I showed earlier.  No special plans for that page, just some random stuff I came across!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Rusty Skin

I have rusty skin.  And I'm perfectly fine with that.
I picked up a new book not long ago, and it has a lot of interesting techniques to try.  There is one section about making "skins".  I'm familiar with spreading acrylic paint, letting it dry, then peeling it off to use for a collage element.

But I was intrigued with possibly making a rusty skin by spreading soft gel medium over a rusty object.  I got my rusty object (if you've read this blog from the beginning, you might recognize this object which I found in the road in front of my house once.  My guess is that it is an old tractor foot pedal.)  I spread the medium on the back side and waited for it to dry (about 5 hours, with the help of a fan blowing on it).  I liked seeing veins of rust showing through as it dried.

When I finally peeled it off, I was a little disappointed that it was mostly black from the blacker parts of the metal, not the pretty rusty brown.  But it IS a soft, flexible, usable skin, as the book promised.

I wanted to try again for the perfect rusty color, and spread a thinner layer on the other side of the object.  It was still drying when I took pictures, so I don't have the finished skin, but I don't think it will be what I am looking for either.  I'm sure I'll try this again though.  I just have to find the right rusty objects!

While waiting for things to dry, I spied my journal on the table where I had stamped with wallpaper last week.  I decided to put masking tape on the pages, sponge color around the tape, then peel off the tape.  I am seeing some great places for journaling on these pages!

I like having a lot of projects on the back burner.  But I think I'm going to need a bigger stove, with a lot more burners!

(Forgot to mention the book that has the rust technique.  It is Surface Treatment Workshop by McElroy and Wilson.  I was so taken with all the techniques that fill this book, I paid full price at the bookstore, rather than waiting to order from amazon!)

Monday, September 12, 2011

Plodding Along

Another look at my in-progress paste paper book from Teri Martin's Art Buffet class.  I lost my momentum working in the journal when I went out of town in August.  So now I add a little here, a little there, when the mood strikes.  I extended lines, added doodles, and used a bird stencil.  On another page, lines from one page bled through to the other side and it looked like a road map.  So I just took it further.

My own little adventures in exploration.....

Sunday, September 11, 2011

September 11

There is a sacredness in tears.
They are not the mark of weakness,
but of power.
They speak more eloquently
than ten thousand tongues.
They are messengers of
overwhelming grief ...
and unspeakable love.

Washington Irving

Friday, September 9, 2011

Giant Things

I love surprises, especially fun surprises.  My friend, Jan, must have taken to heart my description at the top of my blog, where I say I collect giant things for my giant coffee cup.  She surprised me when she sent me a giant ballpoint pen.  And it works.  And it writes very nicely too!  Coincidentally, I recently bought a giant pencil at the dollar store.  It has a chalk point, and the packaging says the eraser works on the chalk.  So I have two new things to go along with the giant wooden scissors, the giant plastic nib/container, and the giant brush.  My cup runneth over!

 What I'll bet Jan didn't count on was that I would take some of the rubbery shelf liner stuff she rolled the pen in before she mailed it. I wondered if it would stick to an acrylic block. I cut it in pieces and tried it out. It didn't really stick like I expected, but it stayed long enough for me to stamp with it.

 I also painted it with acrylic paint and stamped. Great for borders on a journal page!
 Another thing I've played with this week is stamping with a piece of embossed wallpaper (anaglypta).

And that's why they call me "she who is easily amused"....

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Very Wordy

I'm feeling very wordy lately.  I have words everywhere.
I got these rubber stamp words last month and have a decision to make on how to mount them.  I can't cut wood with my band saw right now and I don't have enough cushion with the cling back to use with acrylic blocks (plus I like having words mounted and ready to go). 

Remember when I mentioned that I found embossed felt sheets at Michael's?  That same day, I found foam sheets that are thicker than the regular ones.  I bought a sheet to try out with rubber stamps.  The foam is about one-fourth inch thick.  I cut it easily with a craft knife (new blade recommended).  This is gonna work just fine, and now I have some words for journaling.  (I remember people used to cut up those garden kneeling pads for mounting stamps, so this is probably about the same thing, but maybe easier to cut.)

I can also mount these other important stamps that I got a couple of months ago!
Now I can go word crazy And monkey crazy!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Tippity Tappity

Today is Labor Day in the United States of America, a national holiday.  Or, as I call it, just another working day.
It started out as a day to honor working people.  It's one of those holidays that evolved into another excuse to have a bunch of sales at all the stores, which means more and more people have to work on this day of resting and relaxing. 

I work in healthcare and since hospitals never close, I work my fair share of holidays. 

I type for a living.  Tippity-tappity clickity-clack, all day long.

This is Not what I type on though.  I tried to take a picture of my keyboard, but it didn't work with a flash or without a flash.

But you'll just have to take my word for it that most of the letters are no longer on the keys. That's what happens when you type all day every day.
(P.S.  I'm sure that's not actual dust inside that little typing machine.  It must be fairy sprinkles.)