Sunday, August 23, 2009

My first challenge

This is the first time I have participated in a challenge. Helga Strauss at ArtChix has created the most beautiful masterboard to play with, and I just couldn't resist!

I made three color copies, and a transparency.Then I cut one of the cardstock copies into strips and wove it back together to make the background and gave it a wash of thinned acrylic paint.

I chose two images with words that spoke to me this week, as my daughter starts middle school:

"Be you" and

"you are marvelous"

I accordion-folded a dictionary page to put under the bird and then added bead fringe and a wire and ribbon hanger.

My daughter asked me if she could put it in her locker. Of course, I said yes, but the whole time I'm thinking "How can my baby be old enough to have her own locker?"

This is a second piece that I did with the transparency. The cage and the bird are on cardstock. The background of the cage is a transparency layered over a sheet of white paper. I added a piece of doily at the bottom of the cage, and edged the whole thing with a white gel pen.

There's still time to play. This challenge runs until Tues., August 25.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

It's hard to believe that the kids go back to school next week. We went for middle school orientation today, and a single yellow leaf fluttered down onto the windshield as we were driving away. It has been a really fun summer, though.

Lesley Venable of Flatwoods Folk Art was kind enough to come to FCCA and teach an altered tins class for us. We started with a regular band-aid tin, and then rusted, stamped and embellished them. I found an old button cover to go on the top. I like to use button covers because they are hinged, and you can hide the hardware you used to attach it to the tin underneath it.

This is my final product. Lesley often puts a little handmade book inside of her tins, so I am hoping to do something similar with mine.

I also got to do a lot of junking this month. Here are a few of my recent finds. I don't know if these marbles are particularly old, or valuable, but I just love the colors. And the dice are very old ceramic dice.

In the background is a vintage pillow. I just fell in love with the variety of colors in it. It seems to be made of old silk handkerchiefs, and it is all hand sewn. The shape and the layering of the pieces remind me of feathers. I think it may eventually become the top of a circus scene that I've had in mind for awhile.

I'd love to hear from you if you know anything about the way this pillow was made, and when they were popular. I don't think I've seen one quite like it before.

I have been meaning to show you what I made in the Illuminated Shrine class that I took with Jane Wynn back in the spring. The second photo shows where I put the lights. I want to put a transparency of a man and woman in the door of the phone booth, but I haven't found the right image yet.

I enjoyed Jane's class so much, and learned a lot of hints and techniques for putting something like this together. Plus, we got to play with lots of "boy toys" like drill presses and torches.

I got off to a rough start with this piece. I had an idea of what I wanted to do going into the class, and I got thrown off a little by the ornateness of the frame.

At lunch-time I was in a panic, thinking I wasn't going to have anything done at the end of the day. Magically, when I came back to it after lunch I was able to resolve the design issues I'd been struggling with.

I am always surprised that a group of people can start out with the same basic materials and come up with such a wide array of designs. At the end of the day we turned out the overhead lights and illuminated our little shrines and every piece on the table was a shining little jewel. Jane's May 4 post has lots of photos of our little works of art. And while you're there, be sure to look at the knockout jewelry she's doing now!