To close out this blog, I am posting a recycled art project I did recently. I used a q-tips box, tea tins (one from Starbuck's Tazo, and the other from Dean & Deluca), Kleenex hand towel box and lots of old French book pages and other scraps. This could be a desk set, gift boxes or supply containers. I like to position the text upside down for interest.
I made 15 batches of Scottish Shortbread for my husband's work. It is our Christmas tradition, and so nice when everyone starts asking, "Is the shortbread coming this year?" Last year we had a family tragedy and the shortbread still showed up. Someone said "oh, I was afraid to ask if we were getting some this year." That makes me laugh!
It takes quite a bit of time to shop, mix, bake, and wrap. A friend called me 3 times because we are decorating our church together for Christmas eve. Every time she called I said "Still mixing!" So I used 6 lbs of butter and 4 lbs. of sugar...so what, its Christmas!
Oh if you love hats, and there are alot of us out there, check out this post by the lovely Kecia. I discovered her on Dolly Belle's blog. Hopefully I can find one and get it all together by December. I am so excited to see such a different take on a blog hop!
Hope you're enjoying this season of thankfulness! I am thankful that the art gallery I helped my church start is up and running. Details to come...
I have many collections and feel its time for something new. I love magazines, but have way too many of them. Solution: I loaded them up on ebay. I will continue to add more titles regularly. Over the past few months many were sold, but right now I have 70 for sale. There are lots of Somerset Studio and Mary Engelbreit. Here is the link to my store, Twinkle Sweet: http://stores.ebay.com/Twinkle-Sweet
I have been to 2 different Glitterfest's in the Spring and assumed the Fall one would be similar. Well this was so much bigger, that vendors were outside! The variety of artists and creations was delightful. Outside there were plumeria trees in full bloom (pictured) that smelled heavenly. I had a short visit, so I was only able to purchase a few things on my way to another appointment. I so enjoyed talking with many artists. Some of them confessed they were up till 4 AM preparing. There were people with Press passes and cameras taking pictures for magazines. I was so tickled to be there. One of the nicest things that happened was that the artist DollyBelle recognized me and said hello. She wasn't hosting a booth this time, but shopping. I love the way she dresses-its amazing!
You can see the fun things I purchased, namely some vintage posies, a sheet of ledger, and a large tag made by Priscilla. She mentioned giving some classes and contacting me. I collected so many business cards and websites and am slowly going back and reading all their blogs. Glitterfest was too fun!
There have been a few favourite stores of mine that have closed recently. Well today a new online store has opened. It is called Such Pretty Things Shop. If you love vintage anything, you must check it out. When I first began looking online for blogs, Such Pretty Things was one of the first ones I came across. It was at a time of great sorrow, and all of Jessica's pretty colours and ideas were very uplifting. I consider her blog a blessing.
She had indicated that 1 October would be the grand opening, and I quickly made a purchase. There are many different products in various categories; Vintage Craft Supplies, Home Decor, and Jewelry, to name just a few. Her aesthetic is well developed and her colour palette, in soft pastels, is consistent throughout her product line. You must take a look!
Bakerella is a fabulous baking blog. It feeds right into my susie-cakes, williams-sonoma, & martha-stewart baking visions. This little video has clear instructions and is so fun. Make sure you enlarge it to a full window. I will be applying an Autumnal Attitude to mine.
Another Glitterfest is upon us this coming Saturday, October 2, 2010. I have been to the previous Spring ones, and am looking forward to this Fall/Winter one.
This past Saturday, I had the privilege of meeting Dianne White, who created Glitterfest. She is the owner of a delightful store called Whimzy, in Old Town Tustin, California. I enjoyed talking with her about handmade items, and celebrating what is made in the USA. Her shop is filled with curious and delightful supplies for all types of media. She has fabulous taste and lots of decor items. There is even a vintage clothing section.
Dianne mentioned that her sister is the designer for the shop. She introduced me to a new line of unique rubber stamps made by the B Line Designs Company. These are the items I purchased: B line crown stamp, German glass glitter in metallic teal, 2 brass charms for paper crafting, and 2 charms for jewelry. All of the items were carefully wrapped in black tissue for the season, and the hand stamped bag is really cute!
One of the delights I have in visiting south Orange County, California, is going to Paris to the Moon. Unfortunately after 9 years they are closing their doors. I find this very sad. The only word I can come up with to describe this shop is ...magical. They are going to be attending flea markets and other shows in the future. I was fortunate to shop there one last time at the closing sale, and you can see what I purchased. They were the ones to start the "wish" tickets years ago, that have been copied ever since. I talked to the owner and wished him well! Take a look at their facebook page.
In Brooklyn, down under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass, is an area reffered to as DUMBO. Its very artsy, and I always wanted to visit. I did this summer, and here are some collages that I happened upon. I love the vintage- mixed- with-attitude vibe of it all.
These are the supplies I used to make the tags for a women's retreat. The theme for the retreat was "Time is Ticking Away".
I started out with 12x12 sheets of scrapbook paper and rocked a Tim Holtz mask on them. Using walnut ink, I sprayed all over the 2 papers. Some were solid pink and others were solid purple, with a textured finish.
I cut the papers into tag sized pieces and cut off the ends. Then I inserted a grommet. The rest is a combination of 7gypsies gaffers tape, vintage timepieces punched or cut out of the Graphic45 gentlemen's collection, and current 10 cent stamps from the post office. Through the grommet I put different kinds of ribbons (grosgrain, organza, etc). I incorporated a book from 1910, because I love the old german font "Fraktur". The other font used was "Jugend" for the scripture verses/sayings printed on plain white copy paper. I found that font on dafont.com. I also decorated an Anthropologie gift bag I had, to deliver the finished tags.
I like to have supplies out and handy because they inspire me. I found it problematic to pull everything out, just to put it away. This created the desire for decorative, rather than utilitarian storage. I still have overflow and lots of extras in the supply closet. I only tidy up after I'm done. I refuse to be afraid of a temporary mess! I have collected milk glass for awhile on the cheap. It had been sitting in a cabinet, so I took some out to put my sponges in, on the shelf. The white Fire-King dish rocks because it has dividers built in for bits-and-bobs. The lotion, powder, and candles are there because of the colour, but I enjoy using them in a room they weren't intended for. The little bathroom shelf holds pads of distress ink, walnut inks, 2oz. paints, and tattered angel sprays. The oval turquoise glass bowl has birds in relief on the outside and it is holding my bone folders and paper tweezers.The pink champagne saucer is holding round Italian paper clips from Cavallini. The ribbons are on a towel rack from Homegoods. The heart shaped dish is Mikasa and purchased from Ross. The butterfly tray is John Derian for Target, and the glass dish is also his, from a fancy boutique in NYC.
I just made this for a friend. I took an old advert from a vintage 1950s magazine and added my own words to the talk bubble. The colours were naturally odd. I added some ledger paper inside to write my message. So I know this sounds crazy, but her gift was panties and plates. WWWHHHAAAAATTT? She loves vintage plates, the starburst atomic kind, and I added in leopard lace- trim cheeky underpants from Victoria Secret. Yes an unexpected contrast, but for some weird reason they worked! Now don't worry, I wont buy you panties, but she is the type of friend I could do that for:)
Here is a collage I recently finished. I enjoy these vintage women. They have such an attitude in their expressions! I will continue to experiment with different themes and materials. This was mounted upon an oval, pre-cut, pre-drilled piece of wood. I layered Liquitex soft-body acrylics, foreign music, distress inks, stamped text, and images from the 1950's. I coated it with matte medium to seal.
I hesitated, but am so glad I signed up for this. I even sold some things on ebay to pay for it. This course started on May 30th and I am taking lots of notes by copying each post into a word program, deleting what I wont need, and saving all the great info that I know I will want to keep forever. Today I read about facing our fears. It made me recall Proverbs 23:7a "For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he." Oh I am so guilty of putting limitations on myself and excusing things away. I am relying on Kelly Rae's experience and ability to walk me through the process of creating a brand. That is my dream, to create a visual design language that is carried through all my art.
I employ this style of working with vintage books, magazines, papers, ephemera and paint. I collect these items along with vintage notions and boxed games. It would seem so simple to cut up and paste random images. I have found this to be a rather challenging art form, even though I have a strong grasp of design and composition. There are so many placement decisions to make, as if assembling a puzzle. Although the finished image can look quite random, much thought goes into each piece's final location. I often ask myself "How will the first layer of paint/images affect the final layer?" A free download of this digital collage, "Pharmacie Coral", is available at www.lazarstudiowerx.com The artist is Christina Lazar-Schuler.
Quarry Books has just published a new book. It is called "Collage Lab: Experiments, Investigations, and Exploratory Projects", authored by Bee Shay. I found it to be less expensive at Amazon. There are 52 "labs" with instructions and supply lists for an incredible variety of basic and advanced methods. I thumbed through it at the book store and decided this is a must order! Lots of great pictures and demonstrations are included. There are so many options, that I am sure even the most advanced collage artist would learn something new. Check it out!
For interesting backgrounds , divide the paper in halves or fourths, visually or with a ruler. Make sure to dry between colors to prevent muddiness. Add circles and other shapes. Write in, around, or outside of the shapes. Use magazines and cut out people or things to use as stencils. An X-acto knife works well for the fine details. I have used walnut ink in a spray bottle to accomplish this, but any spray method would work. The paper curls when it gets wet, so you may want to trace/cut the image on heavier paper or acetate for multiple uses.
I want to share my findings with you about art journaling. Over the years I have done so much the hard way, purchasing supplies I don't need, only to discover someone else has already invented the wheel. The following will help you get started with minimal time and money.
SURFACE: Good quality paper, that will respond well to a variety of mediums. Choices include bound Moleskine (say: Mole-ay-skie-na) journals or 140lb. hot pressed water color paper. Some artists like this paper loose, so that they can bind it at a later date. The size is up to you.
PAINT: For backgrounds you may want to apply a wash of color and let dry. This can be accomplished with watercolors, gouache or acrylics. The more water you add to the paint, the more sheer (transparent) it will be. There is a balance, however. You don't want to saturate the paper too much. This will cause buckling when the paper dries. There is a process to stretch out watercolor paper prior to use, but that is probably more involved than you want to get with an art journal. A heat gun (the kind used with embossing powders) may be used to speed the drying process. Some acrylic brands to look for are Golden, Studio by Claudine Hellmuth (for Ranger), and Liquitex to name a few.
BACKGROUND OPTIONS: In addition to paint you may add magazine clippings, decorative papers, wallpapers, handmade paper, wrapping paper, doilies, and scrapbook papers. I challenge myself to use what I have, to be more economical. Another trip to the shops just creates another delay as well.
ADHESIVE: An acid free glue stick will work well, along with Herma type adhesive tape. There is a current cult following with the Coccoina glue sticks, of which I am a fan.
MARKERS: There are 2 marker brands that art journalist rave about. The first and most talked about are the Faber Castell PITT markers. They contain permanent india ink and are waterproof. The other brand are the Copic markers. They are refillable, come in 214 colors, and the nibs are replaceable. A good deal can be found on these at SamsClub.com. I purchased the PITT ones with my Michaels/JoAnne's coupons so they were quite affordable in comparison.
DETAILS: You may wish to define, colorize, or highlight your pages. I have come across many references to Portfolio oil pastels. They are very affordable, do a great job, and are made by the Crayola company. If you read the reviews, you'll see that artists stress that they are serious pastels, and not made for children. They rub into the surface quite well and are water soluable. The other favored brand is Caran D'ache Neocolor II. They are watersoluble crayons. A great product description is on Amazon.com. Watercolor pencils can also add detail and dimension to your pages.
We desire to document the things we want to remember. A journal is a record of a moment in time. It may chronicle poetry, emotions, memories, and situations be they fact or fantasy. Diaries are calendar and date specific. These tend to be a pen to paper, listing of events, hopes and dreams. An art journal may differ by containing abridged versions of these elements, with the addition of some form of illustration. Unless destroyed by neglect, an art journal is a permanent testament to its author/artist.
After reading countless art journal books and blogs, I have discovered the many commonalities between accomplished art jounalists. In a future "Art Jounaling 101" post, I will list suggestions to get started.
A friend came over and we applied cutouts from 1950's women's magazines, leopard tissue paper, and handmade paper in a deep red. This was done by using the "cosmos" punch from Martha Stewart Crafts, a styrofoam cone, and straight pins with colored heads. I like the contrast of the magazine text, against the colored papers.
I can see using this idea for parties-just coordinate the colors to your theme. I doubled up on the layers for contrast, but this took sooo long. Next time I will alternate single punches. The focal point was a larger cutout that we glued on.
It has been raining here in Southern California for a week, so when the sun peeked out for five whole minutes, I grabbed the shot outside of the front of the cone.
Maybe you are like me...lots of ideas and lots of distractions. In my studio, I have multiple supplies for many projects, but needed some order. I have an inexpensive Plano shelving unit (purchased at Lowe's,) that I have organized. It included another shelf, but that was too tall for my space. The unit was only around $25, so great value. The items may change frequently, but at least I have a home base. This coincides with the "If I see it, I'll use it" concept.
Shelf 1: Collage supplies. I selected Liquitex because thats what I used in college. I noticed many artists use Golden acrylics, but I can't find those locally, so I will use these to get started.
Shelf 2: For papercrafting I placed my glitters on a spice organizer. I also like to dispense them into salt and pepper shakers. I purchase those mostly from Ross for $8 a pair. The silver on top starts to tarnish, and everyone thinks they are vintage. They just look so fun that way, and I love using them.
Shelf 3: Aka the floor. Here I placed my vintage books purchased at a used bookstore. Many of them are pre-1922 so I don't have to worry about copyright issues. I asked a professional artist about this and have done some investigating. Basically the goal is to use images/text that are not recognizable, and to try your best to see if there are any copyright issues. This of course would be an issue if one is to sell their finished work and for purposes of licensing.
For my purposes, I will concentrate on two main genres of collage. There is an obvious difference between collages viewed in museums, and those seen in say, the Somerset Studio family of magazines. I like both genres and appreciate that both categories contain both self-taught and schooled learners. Both contain fragments of materials and a support. I would suggest the main difference between the two is the tone. One reads as "whimsical", the other as "formal". Depending on materials and mood, I will be exploring both.
I've been researching different options for surface. I can paint and collage on canvas of course, but am considering wood panels as an option. I'm guessing one could be more aggressive with wood, as I have noticed canvas can stretch slightly. I'm thinking ahead about this because I may want to reproduce the finished product.
Why Jam and Talc? This was the rehearsed answer to the question "Do you have anything to declare?" by US Customs Officials. They would look at my friend and I incredulously, and wave us on. Driving away hysterically with laughter, this continued for years. Even though we did purchase jam and talcum powder, it sounded ridiculous to travel out of the States for it.
I have enjoyed painting in acrylics, papercrafting, calligraphy, and card making. I taught art, with an art history emphasis, for years. This foray into collage and art journaling is a new challenge to me. I have a vintage sentimentality that can be seen in my work, and my life.
I am on the search for the perfect. Not the kind of perfect that most people desire. No, the kind that makes you wonder "How can I live without that, now that I know its here?" I am referring to all the things one collects from antique stores, flea markets, garage sales, and thrift stores. These are the things that make my heart race.