Thursday, August 22, 2019

It's Teatime at A Vintage Journey!

The talented Jennie hosts the August challenge at A Vintage Journey, called "A Cup of Tea for Your Art".  Here's what she says about it:

Pour yourself an extra cup of tea (or coffee) 
and use it in your project

In your cup you could dye lace, ribbon, wood, paper and flowers, or use it to create splashes or cup rings on your project. And don't just limit yourself to "ordinary tea" - there's green tea, yellow tea, black tea, herbal teas and fruit teas - whatever you've got in your cup!

I love the theme of this challenge, as an inveterate tea-drinker!  So right away, I tea-dyed a stack of copy paper in some deep English Breakfast tea... and dried them in a low temperature oven.... got a bit of scorching on the end paper as you can see, lol! 

But now, what to do with them?  I mulled this for a long time, given that I died the papers on the first day the challenge was posted!  And finally, after a fortnight, I decided to jump whole hog into the theme, and create a little tea bag book.  This template comes from the wonderful Making Handmade Books, by Alisa Golden.  Basically, one cuts and folds to create little tea bags - these are about three inches by four and a bit.  And because of the tea dying process, there is a wonderful, albeit subtle, vintage feel to these modern paper tea bags.

I knew I wanted some sort of affirmation or positive "vibe" for this little book.  I must confess that even though my former life was immersing myself into and teaching about public policy, the meaning of society, the purposes of public discourse and government and so on, the current political sphere here and elsewhere is overwhelming, and I can only fight through/back/onward by trying to create works that embody some sort of reference to normal/morality/hope.  I thought about sketching tea cups and tea pots on some pages, with quotes on the alternate pages, but ultimately my drawing skills put that idea to rest!  I do have some stamps that would be appropriate, but I wanted a more rustic look.... so once again, my brain went into the mulling mode whilst these pages hung around my table.

I decided I could probably letter something decently, so came up with some short phrases.  Then, in looking through my stamps, I came across some beautiful Penny Black and Hero Arts "Chops" stamps, quite in keeping with this strange fascination with all things Oriental I seem to have going on, lol!  The stamps are in keeping with the more "handmade" look I wanted.  I did not ink the English translation on the Hero Arts stamps (which are the larger brushstrokes) but that is how I knew what the chop conveyed.  And the Penny Black stamp has the name in the title on the stamp.  They are stamped with Vintage Photo Archival ink.

On the back pages, I lettered with a pointed pen and sepia ink:

The covers are made from eco-printed hyacinths and cherry blossoms from many years past in Connecticut.  I am dipping my toe once again into this media, and came across these papers recently.  As these were made by steeping and steaming plant materials in a "tea" of vinegar and water, they seemed to fit the theme, as does their coloration. 

Here is the back of the book, which had some cherry blossoms and daffodils when made.  As you can see by the intro photo, I made a little tea bag title tag out of another of these papers; this has a beautiful grape hyacinth print which you can just discern here:

Thank you so much for stopping by, and please do leave a comment - I love hearing from you!

xxx Lynn

Friday, August 9, 2019

Marvelous Metallics for the Funkie Junkie Boutique Blog!

The ever-talented Jenny Marples is hosting the August challenge for the Funkie Junkie Boutique blog, and the theme is Marvelous Metallics.  Here is her description -

There are so many ways to add metallics to your projects, from embossing powders and pastes, metallic finish cards and foils, metallic inks and paints to metal embellishments. And you can leave them untreated for a touch of glamour or alter them for an aged or more grungy look. Show us how you like to use metals on your vintage or shabby chic projects.

I love shiny, and have been wanting to play around with my lovely collection of gilding flakes.... but not the usual.  In poking around my art books for inspiration, I re-discovered the gorgeous coffee table book I have, covering Klimt's complete repertoire of paintings.... I have always loved his use of gold leaf, and in looking at his work, I realized I also love his use of repeated patterns, but in a looser fashion - not every pattern is identical to its neighbor. 

I am also quite taken with loose brushstroke calligraphy and mark-making, particularly in the Japanese style  - I do seem to be on an Oriental kick lately for some reason.  At any rate, I recalled the Tim Holtz/Stamper's Anonymous Brushstroke stamps, and a background that they produced a few years past called "Rings".  And as another version, I pulled out a smaller stamp from Hero Arts called "Painted Circle" which also uses the dry brush technique to scribe a circle.

Lastly, as I am readying a portfolio of cards and other paper craft items in hopes of gaining juried entry into our local winter market, I decided to see if I could produce cards using the gilding flakes and these beautiful stamps.

Below are the results.  I made several long cards using the Hero Arts design, rotating the image a quarter-turn each time I stamped.  The larger Tim Holtz circular brushstroke is more solid, but I decided to use it anyway, and I am happy with how it took the metallic flakes.  The rings stamp is more "splatty", but it still yields the impression of brushwork to me, and again, I am pleased with the outcome.

The word "greetings" was created by applying double sided tape to a piece of 80 lb. cardstock, removing the protective layer on top, and applying flake, to produce gilded paper.  I will definitely be looking for more uses of this technique, as the paper is gorgeous.  The word itself looks better IRL, but you get the idea.  I could see this with the word "peace" for a holiday card as well, since the image brings a globe to my mind.

Here is the more solid circular brushstroke up close.  The photos do not do justice to these beautiful flakes!

Here is the "Rings" stamp on black card, mounted (as is the "greetings" card) on a piece of linen textured Tonic Studios gold card.  I cut out the centers of the linen mat, so as not to waste all the fabulous gold real estate!

Here is the Painted Circle from Hero Arts.  I added a torn piece of mulberry paper that I had sprayed with Heidi Swapp gold, and then rested on a silicon mat that still had a bit of brown on it - gave it a lovely tarnish, and again, I will repeat this technique for upcoming holiday cards.

The variety of colors in each of the flake collections I used is just fabulous.  I was moving too fast to make notes, but I did use flakes from Cosmic Shimmer as well as Indigo Blu.

I repeated this motif on a white card, just to see... I rather like it.  My original thought was to stamp some Kanji calligraphy stamps down the side, and I also tried a Seth Apter stamp that resembles such type of calligraphy.  But it added too much detail, detracting from the abstract pattern I already had - thus the plain strip of gold mulberry paper.

All of these panels will be mounted on cards proper, and envelopes made once I get past my month's end deadline.

As always, thanks for hanging in with me - I hope you enjoyed your tour!  Please do leave a comment if you wish - I always love hearing from you!

As mentioned, I will be entering this into the Marvelous Metallics challenge at the Funkie Junkie Boutique blog.

Friday, July 26, 2019

Precious Metal for A Vintage Journey challenge!

Amanda is hosting the July challenge at A Vintage Journey, the theme of which is "Precious Metal"... here is her description:  For this challenge we would like to see some kind of precious metal feature in your project. Think gold, silver, brass, copper, aluminium, steel.... It could be in the form of embellishments, cardstock, paint, gilding wax, foil, gold leaf or rub ons. Just remember to ensure that you create in one of our preferred styles of vintage, shabby, mixed media, art journaling, industrial, timeworn or steampunk.
I have been noodling with the idea of steam punk insects, having wanted to do this since I saw VonPappe (Claudia's) fabulous beetle years ago.  and decided to see if I could give that a go for this challenge by creating a steam punk scarab beetle, as I had seen a steam punk beetle necklace that inspired me.  

I stamped the largest beetle in the Tim Holtz Entomology set (CMS328) using Delicata Celestial Copper on black card.  I use a sticky grid sheet in my stamp platform rather than magnets....

I then die cut the beetle out with its corresponding wafer die in the set  (Sizzix 663068).  These dies yield amazing detail! The poke holes also function as registration marks; simply align the skinny leg bits to the stamping underneath the die. 

I ran transparent wings (93785), through damask Alterations folder which I had out from my last make.

I painted the wings with Copper Mixative alcohol ink, but made even though I had used a copper pigment ink to stamp the beetle, the wings now made the body overly gold looking.  I was able to correct this by applying Prima Gilding wax in Aged Bronze to the wings.  You can see the contrast below; the left wing has the wax.

I recently purchased a bunch of small watch findings and gears from Ebay, as none of my gear dies cut anything quite this small, and I figured my insects would need these smaller bits.  This beetle is a prototype for a little book of steam punk insects I am making for my entomologist and steam punk enthusiast brother for his birthday.

I attached these little metal bits to my beetle body using E6000  glue, which is the best for gluing metal.  I was pleased with the results, although it is tricky for my big hands to be fiddling with these tiny gears with a very sticky glue, lol!

Now for the background..... I wanted some texture, but nothing too outstanding to compete with my beetle....and I wanted an abstract look. 

Since my beetle is metallic, I decided to create a gossamer piece of gold paper for him to perch on.  I thus sprayed Heidi Swapp's gold spray on thin mulberry paper.  The paper resists the spray slightly, leaving a not quite opaque look, and the paper's fiber provide a bit of textural interest. 


For the background, I decided to experiment with a very rough, handmade watercolor paper I had recently purchased with some eco printing in mind....

I sprayed it heavily with the Vibez Taupe of the Morning spray from Shimmerz paints.  The paper is absorbent, and maintained the rough texture....but I wanted more contrast.

Once I sprayed with Lindy's Gang Red Hot Poker spray, I got the look I was going for.

For the sentiment, I knew I wanted to use a small one from the Tim Holtz Theories (CMS 329), and decided to use one of the larger planks from Tim's Bigz die of the same name, since my rusty background reminds me of pine bark.  I cut this from cream card, and keeping with my metallic vibe, colored it with layers of Cosmic Shimmer Metallic Gilding Polish in Apricot, Treasure Gold and Red Bronze.  I then stamped my sentiment with Staz-on black ink.  It looked a little blah, so I put on a thick layer of Clear Rock Candy crackle.

I wanted the crackle to show more, so I put a thin layer of Golden's Shading Gray Fluid Acrylic on, to seep into the cracks.... this is a transparent paint, similar to Payne's Gray in watercolor.... and revealed the crackling quite nicely, albeit made the sentiment a bit hard to read.

Ultimately, my wings now looked a bit unfinished, so I touched them up with Onyxite Treasure Gold wax.... mounted the piece to a piece of black card, and then to a 5 x 7 inch card.  Done!

Thanks so much for hanging in there with me, and please do leave a comment - I love hearing from you and appreciate them all!

I am entering this into the current A Vintage Journey "Precious Metal" challenge, Bleeding Art mixed media challenge, SanDee and Amelies's Steam Punk Summer Challenge, and Creative Artiste current mixed media "Anything Goes" challenge.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Heating it up for the Funkie Junkie blog!

 Suzz is hosting the latest Funkie Junkie blog challenge, and she's calling it "It's Heating Up!"  Here's her description: 

July is when the weather here in the Midwest really starts to turn warm and muggy. This is the inspiration for our challenge to interpret the heat with using one or more of the following colors: Yellow, Red or Orange. Your challenge is to create a vintage or shabby chic project where the main color is yellow, orange or red. I can't wait to see how you turn up the heat in your art!

I had several ideas, but settled on using alcohol inks on embossed foil, a technique I have used in the past several times.  With the new Gunmetal and Rose Gold mixatives now available, I was curious to see how well they played with the regular alcohol inks.  

I chose two older Alterations embossing folders from Tim Holtz - one a flourish and the other a damask pattern. 

Although I love the warmer colors, I don't often use them exclusively, so I set myself a challenge to do so, allowing only the mixatives to play along.   I'd had a play a few days ago using only two yellows, and only two reds on embossed foil using the Kaleidoscope 3D folder - although pretty, the inks did not yield the color blending I was looking for. 

So this time, in addition to the gunmetal and rose gold, I selected Honeycomb, Raspberry, Poppyfield, and Valencia Orange, hoping that I could get some lovely blends when the inks meet under the influence of blending solution.

To start, I covered some 110 pound cardstock with foil tape.  I use the kind of tape made to repair heating/air conditioning ducts, as I have leftovers from such a project in Connecticut.  But Ranger also makes foil tape sheets, which Linda carries at the Funkie Junkie Boutique, which are generously sized and somewhat easier to apply, therefore.  Don't worry about wrinkles as these will iron out once embossed.  Once the foiled card is embossed, it looks like this (pardon my reflection - I have roof windows in my studio which make it hard to photograph anything with my poor skills, lol!)

I colored this pattern with lots of the Raspberry and Poppyfields, with a bit of the orange; in the heat of the moment, I did not capture that on my phone.  Then I added a bunch (too much) of the Rose Gold,  I found that the Rose Gold mixative looked very silver and was covering up the colors.  I put a generous amount of blending solution on, and essentially dripped off most of the Rose Gold.  This reaction surprised me, because in an earlier make several years past, I used the regular gold mixative, and it seemed to sink below the colors, only to emerge once things dried, as you can see here.  (This is the Anna Griffin Acanthus folder).

 The silver in the photo of the finished damask card front is the Rose Gold.  The lighter, colored bits are Valencia Orange and Honeycomb.  I shall definitely have another go with this mixative - I think I probably had too much ink on the surface for it to do anything but float on top.

On the flourish card, I went much lighter on using the Poppyfield, as it tends to override the yellow and orange.  Here, I used the Gun Metal mixative, again with a much lighter hand.  It shows just along the spine of the flourish.  But you can see much more of the Honeycomb and Valencia Orange here.  You can also see in this extreme closeup the seams of my tape - another reason to use the foil sheets!  

I finished the cards by attaching to regular card bases, with heat embossed sentiment die cuts from Gina K.  

The "Hugs" is embossed in several layers with Ranger's Liquid Platinum, about which I learned from Butterfly.  The "Just Because" has about 4 different layers of various embossing powders - I couldn't get anything I liked, and ended up with final layers of Ranger's Snowflake Tinsel over layers of liquid platinum and black sparkle.

Thanks so much for hanging in there with me - and please do leave a comment, as I love hearing from you!  I am entering this into the Funkie Junkie "It's Heating Up!" challenge.