Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Bling and String on My Hearts

A couple of weeks ago I pinned this idea for making paper mache hearts.

It looked pretty easy and fun so I decided to give it a try. I found a heart cookie cutter buried in a kitchen drawer. Those who know me know I would never be accused of being a baker, so I was surprised I had one. It was larger than the one in the tutorial but it worked for me. I traced and cut out my hearts. Instead of the glue used in the tutorial I used hot glue, I'm not a patient person. I was able to quickly make my heart paper sandwich. I used the same brown craft paper torn into strips for my paper mache part as well. I had a lot of it because I save everything from packages I get from online orders. That brown paper comes in handy! Instead of making the flour mixture I just mixed some white glue with warm water. Wrapping the paper was probably the hardest part of the project because of the odd shape. Getting around the point and around the curve were a little tricky but I got the hang of it by the third heart.

Remember what I said about not being a patient person, it took two days for them to dry! Argh! I just wanted to get painty and creative and the little suckers wouldn't dry. I used a space heater to speed up the process. I guess they would have taken even more days to dry if I hadn't done that.

So finally I got to paint and embellish. Mine are a bit more simple than the ones in the tutorial but I really love the way they came out.

The blue/green one has a coat of Martha Stewart glitter paint and several buttons attached with jewelry adhesive. You can't see it at all in this picture but it really sparkles.

On the red/purple one I used a red Prismacolor marker to deepen the red in some areas. Then I highlighted the wrinkles made by the paper with a gold metallic crayon. I love the way that came out. The gold with the red and purple is really rich looking. I glued on three heart shaped jewels with jewelry glue.

The orange one I stamped with red Stazon using a Stampendous stamp. Then I wrapped it with cotton thread and three orange beads. This one is going in as part of a contest on the Creative Jumpstart I'm doing this month.

This was a fun project. I would definitely do this again with different shapes. I'm thinking birds and sea stars maybe. I just need to remember to leave enough time for several days of drying!

Monday, January 13, 2014

How to be Creative

This short film by Off Book PBS has some really interesting concepts on what creativity is and how we become creative people. I especially love the concept of the remix. I know many of my ideas come from a combination of things meshed together to make something new. Very interesting stuff.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Stencil Girl Stencils

I have become a stencil addict. This is not a good thing when you are getting ready to have two kids in college! Stencils are so much fun because the possibilities for how you use them in your art are limitless. You can use them for backgrounds, adding texture with modeling paste, use parts of them as other things...okay I'll stop the Bubba Gump stencil list.

Along the way I discovered a great stencil store called Stencil Girl. They have fabulous designs, a nice variety of sized and good prices. But the REALLY cool thing is you can join their club. When you join you get a special set of stencils sent to you each month, not for sale to anyone else. You get access to a special Facebook page and tutorials done by the artist who created the stencil. It's lots of fun and there is a really nice community of artists on the Facebook page. Check them out at and consider joining the club!

For Creative Jump Start 2014 I created this journal spread using my December stencil club stencil 4x4 by Mary Beth Shaw to add the breeze blowing by the birds in the background. The bird is a stamp I made and I used the method of stamping on my Gelli Plate from my last post on them. I used something I don't normally use...glitter paint. But it added a nice layer of dimension I think. The paint was from Martha Stewart. I do like her paints and this was an accidental glitter buy, but I've liked using it.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

My Gelli Plate Has an Alter Ego

Once again I feel the need to start with the fact that I LOVE my Gelli plate. It is more artsy fun than should be legal and on several occasions has gotten me into commitment trouble. The ones where you show up 20 minutes late for a meeting with a lame excuse because, "I completely lost track of time playing on my Gelli plate:" isn't going to fly in a group of people who don't understand what a Gelli plate is much less the magnetic properties it possesses.

This very thing happened yesterday after work. I got home and wanted to make a quick video on a technique I discovered over Christmas holiday. But instead I played and ended up late for a meeting. But as soon as I got home I was back out in the studio to make the tutorial. A very frustrating attempt at making a tutorial because my camera kept disconnecting. But I was finally able to get it done.

The video includes a foam stamp that I made myself. It's such a simple stamp but I'm silly proud of it. I love paintings and mixed media that feature birds on a wire. I'm not sure why I just do. But for some reason when I try to draw them they never look right. I can't ever get the proportions right. So as one of my goals I want to get better at sketching stuff. I plan to take a few online classes to help with that. I thought for now I'll start simple I will learn to draw birds on a wire. DETERMINATION. So I found this photo online and have been using the birds in it to practice. Practice makes perfect...and I'm not there yet but I am getting better and I think that stamp I made is pretty good.

I hope that you enjoy the technique in the video and give it a try. The possiblities are endless! Have fun getting painty!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Creative Jumpstart 2014

I'm participating in a really fun online learning experience called Creative Jumpstart 2014 ( Different artists contribute video tutorials for different techniques and several big art companies are doing give aways. On top of all that goodness there is a very nice community of artist on the forum. So it's a great opportunity to connect with other people who enjoy the same things I do.

One of the things I like about the contest...besides the obvious FREE STUFF... is that is pushes me to make more art and put it out there. In order to enter you have to post an example containing a product from that company or a household object (this year's theme). So it gives me a reason to get some art done, though I never really need a reason.

So here is my piece for the Luminartes contest. I used Radiant Rain sprays for the background and the heart. The background has Ginger Peach, Fern and Snap Dragon using circles cut from plastic as a mask. The heart was printed on my Gelli Plate with read acrylic paint on deli paper. I cut the heart out and then over sprayed with Ginger Flower Radiant Rain spray.

I'm never sure I'm done with pages and I still feel this one is missing something. But I'm calling it done for now. I do try to learn something from every experience. This time I learned that I should never try to stamp words after 10pm, some of those are really crooked. Since letting go of perfection is another thing I'm trying to work on, I'm posting the pages anyway!