Thursday, November 22, 2007


I've been participating in a great new Yahoo group, the Artist's Circle, which takes us through a project, one step per week. First we coffee stained tags for a book, and this week we watercolored some of them. I made my tags, and half of them were out of watercolor paper, so the pink and green tags above are from that. The lighter green tag is cardstock. The pink tag is just a colorwash, but on the green one I used the iron to move the color around on the tag. The cardstock one didn't turn out so great with the color wash, so I went back over it with watercolor pencils. It's still not so great, so I hope it gets covered with layers of something else later on.

(Sorry, no matter what I do I can't seem to get these in landscape!)

Now, it just so happens that the Created By Hand challenge this week is, whatelse? Tags! I dyed extra papers, so these tags also have the coffee and watercolor treatments. In the spirit of the season, Madeline became my little Christmas angel. I'm going to put them in a frame that has four openings, so Max will get the next two. Maybe I should make him an elf...

Saturday, November 17, 2007

4x4 Friday

The theme this week is trees, so I immediately thought of the scraps I had of my dad's tree photograph. My father is an amazing photographer, and his tree is one of my favorites. This bit was from an alteration I did in Photoshop using the plastic wrap filter. I inked the image with distress inks, and placed it on a tissue covered piece of cardstock. Not the best scan, I know, but my Elements isn't working so I couldn't clean it up.

Check out all of the great entries at

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Tuesday Challenge

The Created by Hand Tuesday Challenge,
Alcohol inks - love them! I probably use them most often on metal, but for this piece I used them on an overhead, then stamped it with the heart from River City Rubber works. In person, it gives the illusion of veins, which is really cool. These are the first two pages from an altered book I've started, and I'm not totally satisfied with it, to be honest. It might be partly due to the way I approached this project. Normally, I have a sketch of the design or project, or at least a clear idea in mind before I start to work. This time, I just tried to go with the flow. That's Matt's method, and I've always been amazed, and a little jealous, at how he can just pick up a brush and create. The background was made with metallic gold tissue that was over painted with arcrylics, stamped when wet, and inked with green and blue alcohol inks. I used the heat tool to dry the paint layers quickly, to get some bubbles and additional texture.

It is my goal to complete the whole book using spontaneous designs. We'll see if I can do it.

Friday, November 9, 2007

4x4 Friday

A new challenge! challenge was using a face, and in looking through my images I realized that I only had women. In fact, I've never really used men much in my art, so that became the new challenge. I found an old man in my sketchbook, and he seemed to fit so well with some more of those new Tim Holtz stamps. This didn't come out looking so great in the small size, but if you click on it, the enlarged version is a little better

For some reason photo scratching came to mind next, and I remembered that a few I had played with a year ago, after reading Karen Michel's great book, Altered Imagery, were in an envelope somewhere. Okay, so the shot is not just of a face, but now at least I've done something with it.

Speaking of altered imagery, do any of you have tips on successful image transfers? I've tried the techniques described by both Michel and Lynne Perrella, and haven't had much success. I just bought some Omni gel that I have yet to use, but I'd love to hear what techniques have worked for others.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Challenge Entry

This was a fabulous break from all of the design work I've been doing lately. I found this site, Created Byhand a posting on a Yahoo group, and the challenge of doing an ATC (or whatever) on a black background seemed to fit perfectly with the sketch I had done the night before. This came together so quickly - the background stamp is Tim Holtz (I just picked it up last night at MDW the text is River City Rubber Works . Pure fun.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Urine Nation

Reader Beware: Those with weak constitutions may wish to skip this entry. On the contrary, those with children or animals may find a sick sense of deja vu.

Phoebe, our cat, spent the entire day under our bathroom sink. She must have crawled in there while I was getting dressed in the morning, and because of the child locks, couldn't get out. We didn't discover her in there until we were about to go to sleep. This may sound terrible that she was not missed during the day, but she now spends most of her time hiding from the puppy, so we have become accustomed to not seeing her until bedtime. Well, since she was stuck, she was forced to go to the bathroom under there. At 11 o'clock at night I'm pulling everything out from under the sink, including all of the toiletries stored there and my hair dryer, and throwing them in the trash. Although I had doused it with enzymes, there was still the odor of cat pee to accompany me to dreamland.

The next morning, Max's pull-up leaked all over me. Then the toilet overflowed. All in less than twelve hours. These odorous events inspired me to finish this sketch that I had started a month or two ago. I think it is a good visual summary of my brain at this point in time.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Halloween Fun

This year, both kids were old enough to really enjoy Halloween. They decided a month ago to be Jedi (Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi, to be exact), since they are both Star Wars fanatics. Hmmm... I wonder where they get that from...

I made their outfits from a robe pattern, and it's sad to say, I'm still sewing with a button hole foot. Lee gave me a great old Bernina a couple of years ago, and it took me almost a year to realize that the foot it came with was a button holer! This is after sewing several skirts, a robe, pj bottoms and Madeline's Dee Dee Doodle costume with it! Can you tell that I'm no great seamstress? You won't be seeing me on Project Runway anytime soon.

The kids had a great time coloring their pumpkins with markers. So much so, I was surprised that they even wanted me to carve them. They couldn't wait to get their costumes on and go Trick-or-Treating, and as soon as it was barely dark enough, they were out the door with Matt. They actually spent an hour out, and were thrilled with the booty they brought home. I bribed them into bed by letting them watch The Great Pumpkin on the laptop in Max's room. It was a good night.