Tuesday, March 27, 2012

No 61 - Restraining Order

Last month, I posted my journal page for Michelle Ward's monthly challenge #60.  I decided to go for #61 this month as well - Restraining Order.  The challenge is to hold back, don't feel like you have to fill up the Entire Page.  Try to restrain your instinct to add more and more to the composition.

I figured this challenge would be a piece of cake for me.  After all, when I try those techniques of adding layer on layer on layer, I always stop after the first layer or two because I like the beginning part so much that I don't want to cover it up.  But I was wrong about this being easy this month.

I was feeling all festive and spring-like, so I started with some different greens to put background color on the double page spread.

I went through the pile of scraps nearby from my stenciling and spraying.  I knew I wanted to use some of the papers on the page, but I didn't want it to look like I was using "too much", so I used my left-over green paints to paint the white graph papers where I had blotted my stencils.  My reasoning was that if my page looked too busy, maybe the fact that most of the papers were painted with the same colors would tone it down a bit.
This is the double page spread I ended up with.  The meditating rabbit is from a sales ad for Pier One.  I've been saving him for something, but I didn't know what.  He just makes me smile.  On the right side are torn painted papers, plus words I lettered.  The cake words are from gift wrap paper.

The lettered words really got lost, so I did outline them to make them stand out a little.  I felt it really helped, and therefore didn't feel guilty about taking that extra step and not restraining myself.  But where I couldn't help myself is the dots in the upper left corner and the bottom right (made with a double ended dauber thing).  What I Really wanted to do was grab the punchinella and go crazy making patterns around the blank spaces.  But I did practice restraint and only made a few dots on each page. 

I was surprised just how hard it was to Not fill in the empty spaces.  But the way I look at it, if the pages had a lot more stuff on them, Mr. Rabbit wouldn't be able to meditate very well.

See Michelle's challenge here and see the sidebar on the left where she has posted links to the participants' responses.  Even though Michelle is going to take a break from the challenges, there are lots and lots of past challenges to glean ideas from if you are so inclined.  Lots of great artwork to absorb! 

 So go...  reflect...  ponder...  eat cake.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Step Away from the Spray

I can't seem to stop spraying things.  I thought I was done, but evidently not.
I gathered some random things hanging around and sprayed them.
Nothing fancy, just a quick spritz or two. 
Then I stamped on some of them, or sponged on some stamp pad ink.

Because when I finally decide how to put this book together, I'm gonna want some things sticking out and hanging on.  I'm sure of it.

Friday, March 16, 2012

The Case of the Disappearing Shirt

I have moved from spraying and stenciling on paper to using fabric.  I thought I had something I would be happy with for a cover of my book.  Something to match the pages I sprayed, stenciled, and painted earlier.
But when the fabric dried, it was much lighter than what I wanted. 
And my brain has shut down when it comes to making a decision about the cover.  Do I want a fabric spine only or a full cover made of fabric. 
That is all still under consideration.  The fabric I used is a smooth white cotton that I cut from a shirt I no longer wore.  Of course, the fact that I already cut off the cuffs previously to make these pockets pretty much rendered the shirt un-usable anyway.  
 A couple of chunks of fabric out of the back... It is slowly disappearing.
I have my eye on the ruffled pocket for something too!
Good thing it wasn't my favorite shirt!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Being Busy

I've been busy.  For weeks.  I have several big and small sheets of paper spread out everywhere.  I have been playing off and on with stencils and sprays.  I've lost track of which sprays I used when.  I only know the ones in the last week have been Colorwash sprays.  Before that, it was mostly watered down stamp pad reinkers in spray bottles. 

At some point though, all that work-in-progress starts to look like a lot of clutter, so I grabbed all the big sheets and started tearing them down.  I'm eventually going to end up with a 5 x 5 inch book of some kind.  I still have some papers that are drying and need to be painted on the reverse sides.  But for now, here's what I've been up to.
My problem with playing with stencils and sprays is that I don't know when to stop.  While one paper is drying, I think that I might as well spray a couple more while I'm standing there!  Then when all those dry, I have to spray the backs.  And then I start some more fronts while the backs are drying.  And on and on.

Once I had a fair number of papers going, I decided to give them all a "wash" made of Fluid Acrylics (a few drops of Transparent Red Oxide and one or two drops of Raw Umber) mixed with water.  Believe it or not, all of the papers here were brushed with that same wash.  They all turned out different because most of the sprays were not waterproof and ran when the wash was brushed over them.  It made for some very interesting colors. 

So I have quite a few pages now.  Loving the yummy colors.
I also have a few extra papers (graph paper and kraft paper) where I either blotted the wet stencils or sprayed lightly on as I went along.
Someone stop me!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Being Oblivious

Did you ever wish you could just put a basket on your head and ignore everything and everyone around you?

I don't know who this little girl is, but she was a cutie-pie I ran into at the Indianapolis Rubber Stamp & Paper Arts Festival this past weekend.  She was zooming around, could not be bothered to stop for a picture or even a hello.  I have often felt like doing the exact same thing!

It seems like every March, I post the same thing after the first weekend - Gaye and I took a road trip to Indianapolis, saw friends, bought a few things, stopped at the antique mall on the way home, yada yada yada.  Same thing this year again, but it is always a fun early spring day trip for both of us.  It's not so much about the show, it's about the day together.

I got this wonderful heart stencil from Coffee Break Design:
Had to have this rubber stamp of the little girl with a shotgun (or BB gun?).  Don't ask me why.  I just needed it!
We had been there only about ten minutes when my name was called as a door prize winner.  I wasn't familiar with the vendor where I could spend my $10 gift certificate, but I did manage to find a blank calendar stamp and a "pull here" stamp.  Thank you DRS Designs.
The main thing on my shopping list was some of Ranger's Colorwash Sprays.  I was hesitant.  They say the new spray bottles spray much better than the old ones.  The old ones spit more than they spray.  I took a chance and got a few bottles.  Time will tell.  I'm looking forward to playing with them.

I didn't take many pictures at all during the course of the day.  However, at the antique mall I did take a picture of this old desk.  The drawers were all at an angle.  Imagine that.  Very neatly done... but why?  I guess it would be easier when sitting at the desk to have the things in the drawer angled towards you.  Or maybe it was made by a drunken carpenter.  Who lives on a hillside.
Oh, I did take a picture of a book Gaye was working on and brought to show me.  Love the whimsical covers!  She comes up with the coolest things!
See you next year, Indianapolis.... Same time, same place.