Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Dia de los Muertos
(Day of the Dead)
Artist Collaboration

Hello my crafty friends!  Today I am posting about an artist collaboration involving the Mexican holiday Dia de los Muertos.  This holiday has been celebrated for hundreds of years focusing on gatherings of family and friends to pray and remember those we have lost.
When you look images from the celebrations, it always involves tons of color, flowers and skulls.  I immediately knew what I wanted to create... a shadow box of sorts.

I found a mesh bag of 3 skulls at our local grocery store and knew they would be the perfect size.  They had an antique color to them, so I applied several coats of Liquitex Gesso.

I knew I needed a flat back so I used a hot soldering iron to burn the back of the skull off and finished by applying a couple more coats of gesso.  Then in pencil, I sketched out my design that I wanted on the face.

Then I turned my attention to my "shadowbox" so I could let the gesso fully dry.  I found a black metal box in the Halloween section of my local Michael's.  I painted the box with some Finnabair Antique Silver crackle paste. When that was dry I covered it with black distress stain to take away some of the shine.  I knew I wanted some color and texture in the back, so I found a piece of silver adhesive foil and ran two pieces through my embossing machine.  Then I used some various alcohol inks to color up the foil.

While the alcohol inks were settling in, I came back to my skull and began to paint my design mostly using Posca Paint markers.  For some of the really small parts, I used a tiny paintbrush and acrylic paint.

After her face was exactly the way I wanted it, I colored some coconut fibers with some Lindy's Starburst sprays.  After I achieved the color I wanted, I hot glued it on the bottom of my box.

The design in my head involved a bunch of small glass jars filled with random artifacts and small Holiday colored bulbs.  I filled them with seeds, bone shards, teeth, watch parts, porcupine quills, a feather, and small stars.  I placed the skull in the box to get an idea of where I wanted the jars, then I then hot glued them to the bottom.  After they were dry I hot glued my skull onto the back of the box.

I colored a bunch of small flowers and a large flower I had with Lindy's Starburst sprays, darkening them up a bit.  I felt I needed some bling, so I attached a few crystals on the skull and the 3 yellow flowers around her head and hung a large crystal from the top.  I wanted the large flower on the top of the box to coordinate more with the box, so I attached a metal silver flower in the middle of the large flower.  On the bottom of the box, I attached some vintage glass fuses to act as a stand.

See more close-ups below.  Hope you enjoyed my project.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Sustainable Souls

This months theme of Sustainable Souls is "Deforestation and Environmental Degregation".
Nearly half of the Earth's original forest cover has already been lost.

I was recently driving down the road to visit my nephew and saw a huge clearing of trees that USED to be there.  They had cleared 10's of acres to build more apartment buildings.  It makes me so sad to see all of these trees that used to be there, now gone.  There should be a requirement for building companies to immediately plant trees in the surrounding areas to replace what they have destroyed.

In my project, I wanted to portray a landscape with the sky and ground with crackly dirt. I used some PearlEx, Primary Elements and Gelatos to color my background. To represent the trees, I adhered some branches and sticks.

My final project is below with some close-up images.

Here are some facts:
Forests cover 30% of the Earth's land.
It is estimated that within 100 years there will be no rainforests.
One and a half acres of forests are cut down every second.
The rate of deforestation equals the loss of 20 footballs fields every minute.
According to the Rainforest Action Network, the US has less than 5% of the world's population yet consumes more than 30% of the world's paper.
Soil erosion, floods, wildlife extinction, increase in global warming, and climate imbalances are a few of the effects of deforestation.
41 pounds of junk mail is sent to almost every adult in the US and 44% goes unopened.
On average, a person in the US uses more than 700 pounds of paper per year.
Be active and plant trees.

Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Sustainable Souls for September
Fossil Fuels

Hello everyone!  It's that time of the month again for the Sustainable Souls Project.  When I first saw the topic for the month, Fossil Fuels, I first thought of black "muck".  My second thought was of the fossilized bones of some sort of animal.

I visited the wonderful Stencil Girl Stencils website and knew I would be able to find something (because they have every stencil you could ever want and need). I came across the perfect "Fossil Fish Stencil" L094 and knew I could make that my centerpiece.

 I rummaged through my stash of cardboard (because every crafter has THAT stash) and cut a piece that was the same size as my other pages.  I applied some Liquitex Gesso to the cardboard and let it dry.  

I knew I wanted some crackle, so I pulled out my Antique Silver Crackle Texture Paste from Finnabair and a Pallet knife.  I laid the stencil over the gesso'd cardboard and scraped the crackle over the stencil.  You will see, some of it oozed under the stencil (don't you hate when that happens?), but I went with it and let it dry

So that I could get my "goopy" black that I envisioned, I messaged my dear sweet friend Susan Brown and asked her if there was a black dye she could recommend for my Amazing Casting Products Clear Resin.  She said "of course", Alumilite has dyes.  Once I got my hands on some, I poured out equal parts of A and B of the clear casting resin, added some drops of the dye to one of the parts (more than I really needed), then mixed them together in a larger cup.  Once all of the bubbles were gone, I gently poured it over my fishy.  Since it was a lot darker than I wanted, I had to scrape it away from the fish so I could see him.  I did like that some of the resin got into those cracks and crevices.

Once this dried, I had to think of a title with my word of the year "Be".  The perfect one came to mind, "Be Efficient".  I grabbed my rub-ons and applied the words to the side.  When we can, we really need to be thoughtful and limit our fuel use, whether it is fuel for your home or your car.  Turn your thermostat down in the winter so it is a little cooler and bundle up with blankets if you need to.  Limit your trips to stores and destinations.

Fossil Fuels are considered a "non-renewable" source because they take millions of years to form and the known viable reserves are being depleted much faster than new ones are being made.  The burning of fossil fuels produces around 21.3 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide per year.  It is estimated that natural processes can only absorb about half of that amount, being a net increase of 10.65 billion tonnes of atmospheric carbon dioxide per year.  Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas that increases radiative forcing and contributes to global warming.  A global movement towards the generation of renewable energy is underway to help reduce global greenhouse gas emissions. 

Links to above products used:

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Mixed Media Moods Board

Happy September!  Bring on Fall!
Today's blog entry features a project that I created for the Mixed Media Moods Board Facebook group.  This fantastic group is lead by DeeDee Catron and Jenn Engle.  Each month they create a new Mood Board that usually has 6 images that inspire you to create any type of Art.  You can use 1, 2, or even all 6 images if you want.  I love these because it gives me a starting point of inspiration.
September was a beautiful display of Summer.

I started by pulling out an 8x10 canvas and added some golden tones of Lindy's Starburst sprays and Adirondack color spray and let it run down the canvas.

After this dried, I was drawn to the turquoise fish net on the board.  I remember I had saved a plastic netting tube that came on a bottle of wine, PERFECT!  I cut it in half and applied white spray gesso to both sides so that paint would stick. After this dried, I painted both sides with a turquoise colored paint.

The greenish teal images of the scales and jellyfish were gorgeous, so I pulled out some alcohol inks and dropped some green and blue colors on the canvas.  They weren't spreading as I liked so I grabbed the blending solution and dropped it over the inks.  That did the trick!  It was coming out a little bluer than the mood board, but I like it!  
The next images I wanted to use was the boardwalk and wooden images.  Awhile back I had saved some unused wooden coffee stir sticks and figured this would be the perfect time to give them a little color and use them on this piece.  I glued a few together and attached them to the canvas to act as a boardwalk.  Then I took the netting and screwed it onto the canvas and dyed the screws with alcohol ink.

I proceeded to go through my "nature" piles of supplies and pulled out some Coconut Fibers and attached some at the bottom with heavy gel.  I knew I was going to be adding some shells that I picked up in Hawaii, so what do shells need?  Sand!!  I grabbed my jar of Prima Mini Art Stones and added some to a small container with some heavy gel.  When it was a good consistency, I spread it above the Coconut Fibers with a pallet knife.

Once everything was dry, I dripped some amber colored alcohol ink over the Art Stones and blended the color with the Blending Solution.  Then I added a few sea shells and sea glass to finish it off.
I felt as if the "blobs" of blue needed some more drips so I added more alcohol ink and blending solution to get longer drips.  I really like how it came out.
Check out the final project and close-up images below.

Thank you for stopping by!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

August Sustainable Souls Project

This months theme is Green Space, Plants, Trees and Air Purification. With constant increase in population, businesses, roadways and such, the only way for those things to be built is to take away one of the most important things we have as humans... plants and trees.  With those additional buildings and cars, we are also polluting the air we need.  

I really had a hard time deciding what and how I wanted to proceed with August. I went simplistic this month.  I took a piece of watercolor paper and coated it in gesso. I added some script stamping in black archival ink.  I then took a Stencil Girl stencil with herbs on it and used it as my trees and applied it with modeling paste.

After it was dry, I colored over the modeling paste with Neocolor II water soluable crayons. I wet down a paint brush and brushed over the modeling past to blend it all in.  I took a Nathalie Kalbach foam stamp and loaded it up with some blue paint and gently added it around the page.

Once it was dry, I kept adding more Neocolor and spreading it around.  I scribbled around with some Stabilo marks all and added water, letting it spread around.  Once I got the colors to a place that I liked, I took a white Posca paint pen and traced around the plants so they stood out.  I also applied some gesso with a palette knife and some dots in the corners with the paint pen.

As with every month, I added my "Be" word.  I chose "Be Green" for this month.  

Hope you enjoyed my project.  Thank you for stopping by!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

July Sustainable Souls Project
Our Sustainable Souls theme for July was "Helping Nature Sustain - Honey Bees".
As soon as I saw the theme for July, I instantly knew what I wanted to do for my journal.

I started off with a scrap piece of cardboard and scraped Liquitex Gesso randomly over the one side.  I dried the gesso with a heat gun and then with a circle stencil, applied modeling paste in the middle to represent a honey comb.  After the modeling paste was dry, I applied a thin layer of Yellow Oxide acrylic paint and a wash all over the surface.

Once that was dry, I used modeling paste through a bee stencil I found on Etsy for my main image.  Once that fully setup, I used a mixture of gold, champagne and silver Inka Gold to highlight and make the bee stand out.

I felt the sides of the piece needed some balancing, so I used "the great equalizer", gesso (to quote my friend DeeDee Catron).  I took a pallet knife and scraped the edges and some of the circles to make them pop.


Once everything was completely dry, I mixed up equal parts of Alumilite Amazing Clear Resin and placed a few drops of Yarrow Ice Resin Tint and just a couple drops of Ancient Root Ice Resin Tint to give myself a warm yellow color.

I let this settle for a couple of minutes to let most of the bubbles disappear.
I then began to pour my resin all over the page randomly.

I let this cure for 24 hours and made up a smaller batch of the same resin combo and poured streaks around the entire page for more dimension.

To keep with my word of the year "BE", I pulled out some white rub-on letters and on the top right corner spelled out "BEe".  Last but not least I picked up my Stabilo Marks all pencil and drew some lines on each edge. I wet a paint brush and watered down the pencil marks for a grungy look.

Voila!  I have to say this is one of my favorite projects for this team.

Here is the final project and some yummy close-ups.

As I'm sure everyone has heard and read that honey bees are dangerously low and as of January 2017 they were added to the endangered species list.  There are many benefits of honey bees and the honey they produce so we need to do what we can to protect and flourish this helpful species.

Thank you for stopping by.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Pink Floyd "The Wall" Collaboration

This will be a short and sweet blog post.

For the second of three journal pages for this collaboration, I chose the song "Mother". I have to say this is one of my favorites of Pink Floyd.  This song has a different meaning to me recently than it has in the past, especially with the state our Nation is in.

The lyrics I chose are:

“Mother should I trust the government?”

“Mother will they put me in the firing line?”

“Mother am I really dying?”

When digging through my stash of vintage ephemera, I found this Roman soldier that I knew would be perfect for this song.

Here are close-up photos.

Thank you for stopping by.