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.