Sunday, February 27, 2011

4A4W lesson 3 - weight

The background for this one is a page from an old copy of Treasure Island. It's brown and brittle and perfect for collaging, and I paid a quarter for it at the thrift shop out at the edge of town. They have an entire wall of books - all $0.25 each. I staggered out to the car with an entire box of them a few months ago and they'll keep me going for ages - all for around $9.

I put a piece of torn paper across the top to get my green fix in. Another book strip down the right side to fill in where the first page wasn't quite long enough. The wrinkly bit on top is the tightly twisted paper handle from a gift bag. I had to work at untwisting it, but there were 3 different types of paper in there, different shades of tan, and I love them as accents. You really can't throw ANYTHING away once you start collaging...

Another mom image, this time on an old car. I tried positioning it here and there, but the cut-off right edge and bottom just looked weird, so I put it in the corner and worked from there. It was taken around 1925-26, I'd guess. She looks about 3 there, no?

The address book page is the real McCoy, from Theresa's little leather booklet. I just grabbed a page randomly, turned out to be the Rs. The fine fountain pen script is so appealing, all the more so because my own handwriting is so poor. It was just lost on the book page, color-wise, so I matted it, per Mary's technique, on part of a wine label we collected in Napa years ago. Just the right green to give it some weight.

The green car is obviously a new piece, and too white around the edges, so I colored it first by wiping some blending chalk over it.

This spread will get beefed up with some journaling. Meanwhile, it has a vintagey feel to me.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

4A4W lesson 2 - color and pattern

For this one I used another image of my mother. She's maybe 4 years old and obviously has to go potty. The high strappy shoes are very cool but she's still got that hair cut. Not sure why her mother didn't let it grow long since pictures of her sisters all show long hair.

For the background I used a piece in pinks and browns with a big lacy flower - maybe a gone-to-seed dandelion or something. Used three narrow torn strips of other papers on the left edge to lessen the weighty impact of the dark photo and to give it some interest. I cut the image into 3 pieces and staggered their placement when I glued them down.

The card on the left obviously has my name on it, not my mother's, but the colors and feel were perfect and I'll either paint over it later or just leave it. Added a couple thin strips of sparkly paper and a ticket to get a bit more color and pattern on the page.

I like this spread a lot. The colors are mostly what grabs me, I think.

Friday, February 25, 2011

hand drawn

Brace yourselves - I'm blogging some ATCs that I drew by hand. Maybe sit down till it's over.

So, I really wish I could draw. My mother was a very good artist, as I've mentioned before, and it bugs the hell out of me that I can't pick up a pencil and render a recognizable drawing of whatever. I was cruising thru the ATCs made for a hand drawn bird themed swap and saw some whimsical fantasy birds that cracked me up. I studied them for a bit, then got out the black marker and gave it a shot.

The results are... not too bad. By the third one, I was starting to feel like maybe my problem had been trying to draw something realistic and that maybe I actually have the heart of an impressionist. <I can hear you snickering...>

Anyway, I'm pleased with these, prolly more than I should be, given that most 6th graders could crank out something similar, but for me, it's a definite start.

Monday, February 21, 2011

4 Artists 4 Ways - glue book class 1 work

A few weeks ago I signed up for a neat class - Artful Pages, 4 Artists 4 Ways - which started yesterday. Four journaling artists with different styles of work got together and offered a class consisting of 3 lessons per week  from each person.

I'm using a small journal, about 5" x 7", so my spreads are 9" wide by not quite 7" tall. A good size for me, not too big nor too small, and I'm gluing together every two pages to give each spread some heft. I'll be using images of my mother and her mother, scanned and printed in various sizes and with occasional Photoshop treatments. (one note about gluing pages together - I had a terrible time with this in a previous attempt - wrinkles all over the place, warping, etc. Since then I bought a rubber brayer and brayer the hell out of stuff after I glue it down. Works great.)

First up is Mary of Green Paper and her glue books. The concept couldn't be simpler - glue and paper. But you still must consider layout, balance of components, color scheme, etc, so she covered the basics in the first lesson and off I went.

In considering how I wanted to handle 4 different types of journaling, I decided to do one glue page spread, then leave spreads for the next 3 teachers, then do another glue page, etc, throughout the journal, so that I'll have a mix of styles all the way thru. I'm also going to mix the teachers on any given page, so that I'll be doing some writing on some of the glue book pages, for example, so that this will end up being a mixed media journal from beginning to end.

For the first one, I used a black and white background, which ended up being sort of a harsh choice, so I covered most of it with other elements. Now I actually like the softer images against the graphic b/w. Some of the papers are from classes Mary's given in the past, so they'll look familiar to some people. This page is mostly greens of various hues. Even the old notebook page on the left is greenish in real life. I'll be writing on it during Hope's week of the class. The image is my maternal grandmother Teresa, dead at 36 from breast cancer.

The second spread is my mother at about a year old. She's sitting in an ornately carved chair with her goofy bowl haircut and her pudgy little legs sticking straight out. I used an old piece of sheet music for the background. I scored a good pile of it during a visit to San Diego in January. I framed the photo with a couple different sheets of fancy paper and filled in here and there with various items from the rest of the sheet music. 'The Little Damozel' was the name of the music and it fit a little girl, so I used it, plus a couple other bits. This spread is quite heavy on the right, but I'll do some painting or something later, maybe during Lenna's week of class, to balance it out.

All in all, I'm pleased with my work from the first class. Now if I can just keep up cause the next class posts on Wednesday, then Friday, and then the following Sunday the next teacher starts, etc.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

All Things French return ATCs

A while back I posted the ATCs I'd made for the All Things French swap. The swap has been completed and my cards arrived the other day.

The first one features a neat vintage background and a couple postage stamps along with 2 small images. Made by DeJa. Very nice card.

Second one has a vintage photo of the Eiffel Tower, a bit of foreign text, a fancy heart and a little 'wish' charm. Made by Sherri M. Another nice card.

3rd card is also on an Eiffel Tower background with a cut out quiche, French bread loaf and French flag. made by LindaLee S.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

ATCs with Text return cards

Back in January, I posted about the ATCs with Text swap. Well, the return cards showed up the other day.

The first one is great - it has all sorts of layers and marker doodles, lots to look at. My fave of the bunch. Made by Terry H.

Oddly enough, the second one features legs also. It has a neat hand painted background and was made by Marline S.

# 3 is stamped, doodled, and glittered and was made by Babynavyblue. No real name on card. The coloring is more vivid in person.

Good cards, fun swap. I've got to figure out some good display method for these things. Something where I can have a bunch of them out and change them easily when I want a different look. Maybe one of those big multi-hole picture frames or a custom-cut mat...

flower photos

We mostly don't do Valentine's Day in our house, but yesterday when Steve came home from work, he handed me a single white rose and baby's breath wrapped in grocery store cellophane. Since I never get flowers, I have no vases, so I put it in a plastic water bottle and sat it on the kitchen counter. Very chic...

Anyway, this morning I sat it near the back patio doors and took some shots, a couple of which I really like. The closeup is lovely at full screen size. I may use it as my desktop image.

Also snapped a few of the... damn, I can't think of the name. Had it a moment ago, but it's gone now. Anyhow, the shots thru the stems are neat.
Cyclamen! It just popped into my head.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Something in a Bowl swap ATCs

The theme for this one was Something in a Bowl. Could be fruit, flowers, tennis shoes, severed heads - whatever. I went the odd assortment route for this one and just cut out a bunch of images from magazines, then spent a while combining them in various ways until I ended up with these. The wine bottles are normal, but the other two are...odd. I randomly cut the bowls from solid colored areas of magazines also.

The left one has a hand painted background and the center one is stamped with bubble wrap. The one on the right is just a couple pieces of fancy paper for the background, pinker on the left side than it shows up here.

Since I was on a roll and had a bunch of stuff cut out, I made three extras to trade. All have hand painted backgrounds with stamped bubblewrap.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Green Paper Feb Challenge - Family Tree

See the three original images here. As usual, we had to use at least part of all three images in a collage of some sort. When I first saw her post, I thought of a family tree and after some resizing in PS, I went to work. Added the definition of 'lineage' from an old pocket dictionary, a bit of color work in PS, and wa-la... my entry, Family Tree. The girl at top left is wearing the dove-in-hand as a brooch.

I like the image of the children and will be using them again. Thanks, Mary!