Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Looking Glass Paint

I am thrilled!!

I have been looking for Looking Glass Paint by Krylon for a very long time.  I probably would not have found it today if I hadn't had my friend with me, who spotted it on the shelf.

I had been looking for a regular 12 ounce can of spray paint.  The Looking Glass paint comes in a small 6 ounce can.  I found it at Walmart, of all places.

So now I am ready to make everything look like mercury glass.  I can't wait to try it tomorrow.  I found a small glass lamp today at Goodwill that would look beautiful with the mercury glass paint.   However, I'm going to try it out on something small first to get the hang of it.

I'll let you know how it goes.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Egg Timer

It was so windy today that I wasn't able to let my chickens out of their coop. I guess that's why I was thinking of eggs when I started today's art journal page.

For this page I used Golden acrylic paints, stencils, rubber stamps, Stazon ink, Gelatos, charcoal pencil. I copied the map from a book, the eggs from a Clinique ad, and for the large symbols in the upper right corner, I just typed on my computer then enlarged it on the copier.

I also started working on a collage today.  I'm really into doing transfers with gel medium.  It is the greatest thing. Even though the ink from the photocopy transfers onto the canvas, you are still able to see the paint through the transfer. I like the way it looks so aged.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Painting with a Flower continued.

I posted a couple days ago, about using my wilted, azalea blossoms as paint/ink.

Here's my finished piece of art. All I needed was a few flowers, water color paper, and a Pigma Micron 05 pen. Now I just need to find a cute frame.

No Paint? Grab a Flower!

I have been so happy with my azalea bush.  My husband transplanted an azalea bush from a friend's yard, about 7 or 8 years ago.  It usually has a couple little blooms in February each year.  But this year it's in full bloom.  I should say that it WAS in full bloom.

A couple nights ago, the temperature went down to 28 degrees.  The next morning all of the blooms were shrunken and limp.  It was really disappointing.  I decided to pull off all of the dead blossoms when I noticed that my fingers were turning pink from the flowers and I couldn't rub it off.

The light bulb went off in my head and I went running for some water color paper.  I placed a few limp blossoms on the paper and sort of pushed them around with a sponge brush.  The flowers leaked a beautiful pinkish/purple liquid onto the paper.  It looked just like ink.  I kept squishing it around and I think the paper will make a pretty background for a collage, water color, or some other type of mixed media.

I'll post the finished project when I decide how I'm going to use this homemade, flower-ink, background.

Poor, limp azaleas!

Squish the flowers around.

Not bad, no paint, just flower "ink"!

3 Vintage Milk Glass Lamps

The Acquisition

It was a beautiful morning for yard sales. The sun was shining.  The birds were singing. And a nice yard/estate sale, I spotted 4 cute, little, milk glass lamps.  After turning and flipping and tapping them for a couple minutes, I asked the price.   Two dollars a piece!   "Great", I said, as I was thinking of all of the adorable possibilities for them.  As I was looking around for a box to hold them, a very stern woman walked up to the table and helped herself to one of my lamps.   With a smile, I told her that I was buying all 4 of them. "You won't mind if you just get three" she snapped and turned to the yard sale owner to ask the price. The lady holding the yard sale looked confused because she knew that I was getting them . She said $2, nervously and the snippy woman bellowed "$2.00" to her husband.   As he handed her the bills I could tell that he was a man who's spirit had been broken long ago.   I was so shocked by her aggressiveness that I was at a loss for words. Then to top the whole thing off, she decided that she didn't want the one in her hand, so she grabbed one of the ones that I was putting in the box, saying "you don't care which one I get."

Now, inside I was furious.   I was mad at the woman because she was so rude and mad at myself because I allowed her to do it.  I thought of my long time friend from high school.  She would have said NO and slapped her with the lamp cord if she had continued to persue it.

I know that in the big scheme of things, little white lamps are not that important, but WHAT'S WRONG WITH PEOPLE?

The Dissassemblage

Prior to last week, I had no idea how a lamp was put together, but I took another lamp apart the other day and now I'm hooked!   I took each of the little, milk glass lamps apart, carefully keeping the lamp parts separate. My plan is to sand, prime and paint all of the metal parts, put them back together, and make a cute shade.   I'm not really sure what colors I'm going to go with.   Should I paint the parts gold or should I do something different like blue or yellow?  We'll see.   I'll put pictures up when they're finished.

The Lamps - as you can see I already took the middle one apart.

Al three lamps disassembled.

A lamp is really just a stack of things on a rod with a socket at the top.

Here's the video on rewiring lamps.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Visual Journal Pages

Here are my two latest visual journal pages.

On the first one, I did a little gel transfer action.  First, I painted my background with some acrylic paints.  I used some stencils that I picked up at Michaels.  I made the stencil for the "rays" myself, by drawing it on some cardstock and cutting it out with a craft knife.  The palm tree started out as a picture in a book.  I made a copy, enlarging it a little bit.

Then I, liberally, brushed matte gel medium on the front of the copy and on the journal page in the area where I was going to place the transfer.  I laid the palm tree copy, face down, on the journal page, using a credit card to flatten out the palm tree and remove any air bubbles.  You want to make sure that the picture is touching the paper everywhere.  If there is an air bubble, the ink won't transfer in that area.  I waited a few hours for everything to completely dry.  I suppose that I could have hit it with a hair dryer or heat tool, but I wasn't in a hurry.  After it was dry, I spritzed water on it from a spray bottle and started rubbing the paper off.  You have to keep spritzing and rubbing until it's completely removed.  Voila!!  I added some rubber stamping and washi tape and here it is.

On the next one, I did some Zentangling. If you are not familiar with Zentangle, here's a link.

I started out by writing the words to the Rolling Stones song  "She's like a Rainbow".  Then I started zentangling.  I painted some of the areas with paintbrush markers.  I used a Pigma Micron 05 Archival Ink pen to do the zentangles.

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

I love my Art Supplies!

I've already admitted to being a procrastinator.  Well, I'm also an art supply hoarder.

Today is my anniversary.  Yes, we got married on Valentine's day 23 years ago so that it would be easy to remember our anniversary.  So much for that idea.

I walked downstairs this morning to find 2 cards on the kitchen counter from my husband - one anniversary, one Valentine's Day.  After the first couple years of marriage we just stopped making a big deal out of holidays.  We don't buy each other Christmas presents or birthday presents.  It's not because we are cheap or don't care about each other.  Presents just are not important to us.  This is one of the things that makes our marriage work - we are pretty laid back people.  But this morning I walk down and see those CARDS.  On one hand, I was very happy and touched.  On the other hand, "CRAP! I didn't get him a card!"  I better run into town and pick up a card.

Wait a minute!!!!!  I'm a crafter (I'm an artist in my own mind).  Why would I ever buy a card.  So here is my 5 minute card.  The great thing is that my husband doesn't know that there's such a thing as washi tape or little plastic letters that come with glitter already on them.  He will think that I spent at least 20 minutes on it!  I would have pulled out the ink sprays, embossing powder, and stencils but I was afraid he would show up before I finished.

And, I can tell this story because he never reads my blog.

I wonder if he will notice that I didn't put the first "r" in "anniversary"

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide

I just watched an incredible documentary on PBS.  Half the Sky is about the oppression of young girls and women all over the world.  From sex trafficking in Cambodia to an epidemic of rape in Sierra Leone to forced prostitution, and failure to send girls to school.  This is a powerful documentary.  It highlights some very strong women fighting to help girls gain the dignity that every human being deserves.

If you get a chance, watch this movie.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Beautiful Evening

Here's a couple pictures that I took this evening while walking around the yard.  I like to take pictures of the trees because I envision using them as backgrounds in my artwork by using the gel transfer technique.  I'm a procrastinator, so I haven't actually finished a piece yet, but I'm working on it.

Here are a few video tutorials showing various transfer techniques:

Time to Sow the Seeds!

My husband loves to hang out in the yard.  He always has a million different things going on in the yard.  We have 5 acres so it keeps him pretty busy.  He keeps everything organic - no herbicides, pesticides, etc.  He ordered some heirloom seeds this year.

They started like this....

  Here are the little tomato seedlings that he just separated into cups.

and now they look like this.

He's getting ready to order a couple thousand worms.  Being the ever-supportive wife, I said "oh, that's great" when he showed me the box that he is preparing for the worms,  While inside, I was envisioning millions of squishy, disgusting worms invading my house.

The Worm Box

He tried some strawberries this year.  They are growing, not quite as fast as he was told they would grow, but they ARE growing.

Also, the first year for potatoes.  I can't wait to see if this works out.

The Potato Box
and the nourishment from GOD!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Old Love Letters

Here's my latest journal page artwork.

Years ago, my grandfather bought an old trunk at an antique car show.  When he brought it home, he discovered that there were bags of love letters inside, dating back to 1918.  He wasn't interested in the letters (he actually tossed lots of them), but my mother saved them because she wanted to read them someday.

About a year ago, my mother gave the letters to me and they have been sitting in my closet waiting to be read (remember... I'm a procrastinator!!)

I finally started reading them.  I've only gotten about 1/10 of the way through the bag.  I thought it would be fun to  tell the story of these two lovers on this blog as I dig through their words to each other.

I haven't even tried to google these letter-writers yet.  So this will be the beginning of a project to find out more about these young lovers.  Stay tuned for the first installment of Everett and Peggy: Love Letters.

2/7/2013 Visual Journal Page Close-up

Letter to Everett Evans written on stationary from the Hotel Adelphia

Postmark February 4, 1918

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Updated Mirrors

I've been spending a lot of time lately, looking around for things that I can make better.

I found two square mirrors.  They were just kind of blah.  I thought if they were blue, they could add a pretty pop of color in a bedroom or bath.  This is what I did:

1.  Sanded the frames.
2.  Covered the mirror with newspaper and blue "painters" tape. I also covered the gold trim around each
     mirror because I wanted to keep that gold.
3.  Primed the surface with grey, acrylic primer.
4.  After primer was completely dry, sprayed a light coat of Krylon Ocean Blue acrylic paint.  Tip:  When
     spraying, keep the can moving from side to side to prevent runs.
5.  Painted 2 more coats of blue, making sure that paint was completely dry in between coats.
6.  Sprayed one coat of Krylon clear acrylic gloss.
7.  Carefully, removed tape and newspaper.
8.  Ta Dah!

Lola's Garden Update

A couple months ago, my friend Candi, started creating a little memorial garden for her, beloved, Lola.  I helped her get it started.  We painted some vines and grass, but the rains came and we weren't able to get any further.

We got back to work today, painting flowers.  The flowers were a little more difficult than I thought they would be, but it's coming along.

We did have one little incident today.  There is a big, beautiful (some type of hound) dog that stops by every day to visit Candi's little dogs.  Candi was painting some flowers at the bottom of the wall and, evidently, they looked so real that  Jed, the dog, walked right up to them and lifted his leg. I guess he was doing his own spray painting.

Just like last time, the rain started around 6:00 putting an end to our painting day.  We still have more work to do, but here are the latest pictures.

Lola's Garden original blog post

Little Lola

Sunday, February 3, 2013

More Organization

Have you ever seen those beautiful studios in Where Women Create?  Well, in my never-ending quest for organization in the room where I create, I had my husband schlep this old display cabinet up to my studio/craftroom.  The cabinet definitely could use a coat of paint, but of course, I couldn't wait.

It worked out perfectly.  You can't see it in the photo, but the cabinet has plexiglass doors on the front.

Now, if I just had a couple more of these!

Could I Live Without Coffee?

I've been drinking coffee every day for about 35 years.  I love it.  I have my first cup minutes after I wake up and drink my last cup right before I go to sleep.  I really can't get going in the morning without it.  However, it doesn't keep me up at night.  I can drink a cup and go right to sleep.

My father, also an 8-10 cup a day coffee drinker, has just been told that he should stop.  He has had several cardiac issues over the past 20 years.  This past week, he had a couple arterial fibrillation episodes and the cardiologist told him that he should cut out coffee.  Of course, when speaking with my father, I gave him the old "sometimes we have to make changes in our life", and "your body will get used to not having the caffeine".  Inside I was thinking "please, please, don't ever make me have to cut out coffee"

People that are not coffee drinkers do not understand how comforting that first cup of coffee is in the morning. What about that delicious "after dinner" cup?  Or that nice warm "working on the computer" cup that I'm having right now.

I've never been a real connoisseur of the coffee bean.  However, there is one coffee that really stood out.  I was in Costa Rica for my friend's wedding about 10 years ago.  While having breakfast the first morning, all of the wedding guests were freaking out about the coffee that the hotel was serving.  My husband and I usually drink our coffee with cream and sugar, but we were drinking it black.  When we left everyone was getting on the plane with bags of the delicious  Cafe Britt. After that, another friend of ours that owns property in Costa Rica, has brought back Britt coffee for me every year. It can be ordered online now.

So, could I give up coffee?  Sure I could, but I DON'T WANT TOO!