Wednesday, January 30, 2008

more water and mist

Here are a few photos of the water and Memories Mist technique I wrote about yesterday.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

water and Memories Mist

Tonight's experiment involved water, Memories Mist, and a package of time cards. I found the time cards at Marden's--250 for $10, they're larger than the biggest tags I have, and are manila tag weight and plain on the back so they work like tags. I had watched a video on Craft TV Weekly that showed how to do this...I spritzed water on a tag (placed on a craft sheet), gently carried the tag flat to a small cardboard box (balanced precariously on top of the full laundry basket--what's more important, creating art or putting the laundry away?!) and sprayed it with Memories Mist. The water acted as a resist and left manila spots where the water had been and the rest of the card absorbed the inky spray. Then I spritzed some stamps and water-stamped images on the tags, put them in the box, and Memories Mist-ed away...the images almost look bleached on the tags. Next I put stencils on top of the tags and spritzed those, gently removed the stencil, and sprayed with the Mist--more soft images. In all I used four stencils and two stamps, a tiny bit of water and Mist and I have a dozen tags ready to use on cards or whatever...FUN! If you don't want to wait for the images to dry on their own, use a heat gun like I did and watch the magic happen more quickly. This was a lot more fun for me than bleach or the Castaway pad, was less messy (as long as you don't count the green clogged mist bottle that sort of leaked all over my right hand), and involved very little cleanup--one paper towel.

If you haven't seen Craft TV on TV, you can watch episodes on your computer like I do (because, believe it or not, I do not have a TV)...all kinds of great ideas in 15 minutes or less, each episode focused on a particular technique and/or product. The shows are archived so you can go back a few years and learn some neat stuff. Just Google Craft TV Weekly!

Monday, January 28, 2008

working with artist canvases

For nearly twenty years my parents did wildlife rehabilitation here at Jean's Jungle. In fact, the Woodshed where I live used to be the rehabilitation center--my kitchen was the fawn pen, beaver and ferrets were housed in the livingroom along with a cage of flying get the picture. Anyway, Pilgrim was a runty Great Blue Heron that my dad cared for, nursed to health, and released to the wild. Every year Pilgrim comes back and fishes in our pond and visits on the opposite shore. We know it's him because he is so small and he doesn't take off when Dad talks to him. I made this canvas this weekend for Pilgrim. I inked up the edges of the canvas and stamped 3 heron images on the left. I photocopied photographs of a blue heron taken by Pat Bither, attached them to pieces of black cardstock, and added the puffy letters. I cut three strips of paper (Basic Grey) and attached those to the canvas with glue dots. I added the heron photocopies, and the two envelopes, and some bamboo pieces from another card I deconstructed, The smaller envelope has a tag with Pilgrim's name on it. The larger one holds the story of Pilgrim that my mother wrote before her stroke. I glued a piece of ribbon across the bottom of the canvas, added a punched circle from the same background paper, and made a doodad from an earring mounted on a rollabind disk.

The other image is of the second canvas I made this weekend, 18"X24", GRUNGE 1-9. I picked up my digits and punctuation grungeboard at Your Maine Stamper on Saturday and could hardly wait to start playing. This stuff is amazing! It's paper but totally flexible and has almost a suedey feel to it. To start my canvas, I divided it into triangualr sections and cut pieces of scrapbook papers to fit which I glued on with Scotch Tacky Adhesive. For each grungeboard piece I tried different techniques. 1: Shabby Shutters crackle paint. 2: Versafine Satin Red ink, Versamark, Firebrick Red Distress embossing powder. 3: pine needles distress ink, shabby shutters crackle paint, Glossy Accents and copper ultrafine glitter.
Parentheses: black soot distress ink and copper embossing powder. 4: Versamark and copper embossing powder (looks like metal!). 5. tea dye distress ink and tea dye distress embossing powder. 6. gold embossing powder, glue pen and ultrafine copper glitter. 7: walnut stain distress ink. 8: Pesto Adirondack Color Wash. AND: shabby shutters crackle paint, pine needles and black soot distress inks. 9: tea dye crackle paint and walnut stain distress inks. Exclamation Point: tea dye and shabby shutters crackle paint. I adhered the grunged pieces to the papers with glue dots, added some antique buttons and a beribboned buckle. I LOVE this piece!

canvases were purchased at the Christmas Tree Shops for cheap--9X12 $1.69; 12X18 $3.99

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Tim Holtz Challenge

If you are not familiar with Tim's blog, check it out! There were great tag challenges in December and a new one posted yesterday for January. Each tag challenge includes very detailed instructions illustrated by photographs of Tim at work. The December "12 Tags of Christmas" directions are archived. Robyn and I are hoping to get more Tim Holtz stuff into Your Maine Stamper in Winthrop so we make more of this cool stuff and maybe even teach some classes to inspire others to try these materials and techniques.

Sunday, January 13, 2008


One evening this week I watched an online video on cutting glass for making jewelry and got all excited about the possiblities of using colored glass in my work. The next day my friend Jeanne called to ask if I would like some glass. Someone she knew had cleaned out a closet and Jeanne had two boxes of colored glass that needed a good home. Talk about synchronicity! I drove down on Saturday afternoon to get it. The colors and textures of the glass pieces are amazing. Soooo beautiful. The tools that I need as a beginning glass cutter were also in the bottom of the box. Now I just need to set up a space for this that is separate from my living quarters--think it's time to clean off the 8-foot store counter in the other room as that would be a really good place to work. There's so much glass--everything from a quartsize container of tiny glass pieces for mosaics to sheets that are nearly 8"X10" and all sizes in between.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Keep This! Box directions and photos

To begin with, I inked up the whole box a bit with Ranger's (Tim Holtz) Distress Ink in Black Soot. I also added distress ink to a piece of purple paper (one of the 4X4 pieces), rubbed on Keep This and the wiggly arrow, added cardstock stickers and bubble numbers for 2008. I taped this to the top of the box using doublesided tape.

The other squares shown are sample pages I have placed in my box. I'm up to over thirty of these little squares in my box now. I used rub-ons, stickers, my own journaling, rubber stamping, collage papers, ribbon, and all kinds of other stuff from my stash of stuff.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Getting Started--My First Blog Entry

Here first blog entry. 2008 promises to be a very creative year for me and hopefully for my readers as well. My goal with this blog is to inspire others to release their artists within. I hope to post photos of some of my work with directions/suggestions as starting places for creating unique projects. I know it's only the 6th of January, but I've accomplished so much already this year! On New Year's Day I cut up an old LLBean wool sweater and made a great big slouchy bag with outside pockets (appliqued a flower, antique button as the center) and a matching pair of mittens. The 2nd was a snow day (no school) and I made rabbit dancing in the snow cards and mailed off a half dozen of them. On the third I met with a group of twelve to create keepsake boxes to focus on key words and intentions for the new year. (I'll post phots and those directions later this week.) On the fourth I found a great sale on scrapbooking supplies at the Gardiner Reny's and filled a shopping basket with goodies. On the 5th I took Robyn's class at Your Maine Stamper in Winthrop and had a great time creating and embellishing five cards using Hero Arts 2008 new stamps. Later that evening I created a book for my friend Connie who sent me 20 small squares of colored paper with the challenge to do something interesting with them. The little four-page book is called "C D B!" and that page is illustrated with a stamped bee and beehive. The other pages also are stories in letter code (each letter on one of the little squares) with stamped images to help one decode the sentences. What fun I had with that! (Thanks to William Stieg's CDB for inspiration.) Today I've been investigating blogging and here it is...

I chose the title Notes from the Woodshed for a couple of reasons. First, I live in an apartment in what was once the woodshed attached to my family home while I help to care for aging parents. Secondly, there's a jazz/music reference here--that beginner players were often sent to the woodshed to practice is one take on the phrase. I also chose the word "notes" because I am a writer (National Writing Project Fellow 2002) and the primary tool I will use in this blog is writing notes about what I'm dreaming up and creating.

Tomorrow I'm going to figure out how to attach photographs to this blog so I can illustrate more clearly the things I write about.