Thursday, May 30

New Growth

Things are starting to grow around here! :D I planted some herbs earlier, and I wasn't sure if they would come up...I really just put them in empty spots in the flower beds, as the greenery would look really nice with the marigolds I planted. And finally, finally, they are starting to sprout. Some have yet to come up, and I wonder if a bit of that is just they are taking longer to germinate, or if maybe I need to replant some seeds.

I think I'll give the late ones another week or's been a little chilly lately, so maybe they just wanted to hide a little bit longer. With the sun out today, and the heat way up, it's the perfect weather for them to pop out and say hello to the other plants. :)

Wednesday, May 29

Happy Mail, Mixed Media 'wall art' and Sweet New Jeans!

I got some happy mail yesterday morning - right before I had to go to work, of course! I 'instagramed' all of it, but I thought I would share it with everyone on my blog as well.

This kit was loaded with dimensional goodies, and I couldn't wait to get started, but wasn't quite sure how to start either. So, maybe it was a good thing that I had all day at work to think about it.

Aren't those butterflies precious?! Still not even sure how I'm going to incorporate them, but love their little gem bodies!

So I started, of course, with a layer of gesso to give everything something nice and gritty to stick well to, and then collaged some papers on.

Next I added some of the cute washi tape, and stamped a little with the tiny stamps included in the kit. I didn't cover it 100%, because what happens next didn't need it!

And then I used gel medium, tinted with various acrylics, to make a  'wood grain' texture --- EEE!! This is where I left off last night, and it's all dry this morning and looking so fabulous...I will share soon!

On a side note, I went shopping at a close friends store this past weekend, TnA Clothing, and picked up these super loud, but super sweet jeans! They're skinny jeans, but so comfy!

Monday, May 27

Inglis Falls Scrappy Page

I finished this scrapbook layout the other day. It's just a tiny one - 6x6", but it's the first "true" scrapbook layout that I have ever done! It documents James and my adventure to Inglis Falls this past late winter / early spring. I used random snippets of materials - form different kits I subscribe to. And then I stamped with Unity SMAK kit stamps :)

There's lots of dimension to it, and I even embossed a bit to add more interest / textures.

I love these little vintage polaroid frames that I was able to place my pictures in.

It's the perfect size to fit into one of the sleeves in my Project Life :D Now I just need to make 3 more layouts for this particular sleeve :)

I've entered this in the Unity Inspired Challenge, and used their sketch above for the basic layout (with some small 'creative' changes to make my layout work :)

Cat Beards....

I'm not sure if you have all heard about the "Cat Beard" phenomenon on the internet lately (If you haven't, it's a must-Google!)

I thought I'd give it a shot with dear Oreo, and then share with all my lovelies here.... It wasn't easy, but after video taping many attempts, and then just taking a still from the video, I got myself a somewhat cat beard :) (And Oreo got the longest neck massage)...My trick to it, was scratching him around the neck, and then raising my hand up...he would look up trying to reach the hand for more scratching. I think it turned out not half bad :D

Thursday, May 23

Be Free Mixed Media Painting on Canvas

"Be Free" - 8x16" Mixed Media Painting on Canvas. Available for sale.
I finally feel that this mixed media piece is complete. I have titled it "Be Free" after the quote in the piece. The idea of the quote is following the thought, "Be free like the butterflies" Here are some juicy detailed images for you. I don't have too much to say about this piece, as I shared the progress of it in earlier posts.

This mixed media painting is available for sale :)

Wednesday, May 22

LifeBook Week 20 - Cherry Blossoms Tree

Here is Week 20 from my Lifebook class. It sort of revolved around the making of a tree - and everyone here knows how much I love trees! 

With spring here, and all the cherry blossoms blooming, I thought it would be completely appropriate to pull from that inspiration.

The quote came to me while I was listening to a song, to which the lyrics were doodled behind and then painted over top.

I used my gold paint, and added shimmer to the pink paint to give a nice glow to this piece (as shimmery tools were used in the lesson, I thought it was appropriate to pull out - especially since I rarely use my shimmer medium...I have a huge bottle that I've had for years, and there isn't even a dent in it!).

I am obviously behind in these lessons, and some I skipped as they didn't quite appeal to me at the moment. Some are half started, waiting for the next bit of inspiration to continue. Mostly - I have been busy with commission paintings and work - summer is crazy hectic for shifts at work at the hospital - I have an 8-day stretch coming up, with a half day off, and then three more. But when fall / winter comes, we will be ready to hibernate...maybe fly somewhere south and warm for a week or so :)

Monday, May 20

Lifebook Week 17 - Lily Faux Stained Glass

I have finally finished week 17 of my Lifebook class. This one took a little more time, as it was a little (way) more detailed, and the process was simply a slow one that you had to take your time with.

But, the effect and the results are stunning! I love how this all turned out, and it actally made me want to consider taking a real stained glass course in the future.

Thursday, May 16

Typewriter Hello

I have this square card that I made to share with you today, that I'm entering in this month's Unity Inspired Challenge. This greeting is 100% stamped :) I used elements from about 4 different kits. It makes me happy that I've grown comfortable enough with stamps over the past couple months to be able to layer them up and not have to have patterned paper within the creation - I made my own by layer stamps and different coloured inks! :D

I 'popped' up the layers to give some extra dimension, and coloured in the typewriter in with my aquamarkers. On the base / white layers, there are stamped and embossed leaves to give that plainer layer a little more interest. 

I based my card for the challenge on the sketch on the bottom left and the colour scheme - it's just so pretty for summer!

Since my card is square, it is a little off of the card sketch - but it's for slight guidance only anyways ;) 

Tuesday, May 14

Painted Mailbox and May SMAK kit

It's been busy in the art studio working on commissions this past week (and into this week!). I finished up a large custom wedding invite order - and now I'm working on this mailbox (for the same wedding - for cards). I haven't ever really painted a mailbox before, but so far so good. The curve at the top throws for for a loop sometimes, but I have found that working on the floor with it makes it easier.  Also on the go - I tend to jump back and forth between projects as they are drying - are a couple watercolor painting commissions. I finished two up two watercolor paintings last night, and might share with you later this week if their owners are okay with it :) I'm also working on a pig 'lawn ornament' that I'm painting - except I will not be sharing on my blog, as per request...but it is fun and different to work on!

I also got May's SMAK kit in the mail from Unity Stamps. I love how big and wonderful they are! I am always just jumping to get my hands on them when they arrive. I still cannot believe how many stamps they jam-pack onto that 8.5x11" sheet of red rubber - literally no waste of materials - which is always a plus :)

I am always eager to tear them from the sheet - I almost always do it right away after opening the package. It's just so much fun! I really don't have a very organized system for these stamps yet, I basically just store them in their respective plastic ziploc bag, and keep them all in a box - it works for me. And the simple storage solution, means I'm more likely to keep it going :)

With all the custom work going on, I didn't have time to get into them a lot. But I knew I wanted to stamp this one in my journal, and so I did - using inks to create a pink to orange ombre effect. It stamped so pretty! I'm using this particular impression for a "grateful" list for the week. 

Friday, May 10

Stardust Art Journal Page

I recently read this quote in a book that I finished last week, The Magic of Reality: How We Know What's Really True by Richard Dawkins. It just sort of stuck with me, and I knew that I wanted to put it in an art journal page. 

I started by stamping all over the place, using Unity's SMAK kit from April. Then I applied a layer of clear gesso, and went to town with colour! I used neocolours, pencil crayons and then finished the colour off with PanPastels - smoothing all the layers together, and uniting them all nicely. 

Lastly I ended the page off with black puffy paint. I recently picked up a bottle for a Life Book assignment, and although I'm still working on that page, I know I will have plenty for other projects...I was only able to purchase a large bottle. 

I really like the contrast of the shiny typography against the matte coloured background.

Thursday, May 9

{ Poppies } & Unity Blog Hop and Giveaway!

I am thrilled to be a part of Unity Stamp Co's blog hop this week! If you are following the hop, you just came from Unity's blog. It is truly an honour to be included with all the other lovely ladies of Unity :) - and the first at that! No pressure they told me, hehehe :) I must say I love their stamps, and have become quite addicted to them. Be sure to leave a comment on this post, and the other posts in the blog hop, for your chance to win a $20 gift certificate to Unity Stamp Co. Winners will be announced on their blog on the weekend. 

My first greeting to share with you is based on the Unity Inspired challenge that is just about to end. It is based on this sketch:

I used stamps from the February Stamp Kit, Let Love Grow; from the April SMAK Kit, Celebrate The Good Times, and Itty Bitty stamp, Wishing You Joy. I stamped the poppies onto patterned paper and cut out and collaged them onto the card. The little wood veneer flower on the top corner was embossed with white embossing powder before being affixed.

I hope everyone is enjoying the sunshine, Oreo is most definitely!

The silly kitty keeps darting outside, only to stop at this first step on our pathway and then starts rolling around in the dirt...and then wants back in. Oh lovely creature, hehe. :)

And, don't forget to leave a comment here, and on the rest of the blogs on the hop, for your chance to win a $20 gift certificate to Unity Stamps! There is always such lovely work on everyone else's blogs that you won't want to miss them!

Next up is Angie Blom's blog! :)

Wednesday, May 8

Mixed Media Flowers Progress - Part two

This is where I left off with this particular piece of artwork in my last post. After waiting over night, it's now all dry and you can see all those lovely strands of colour that I was talking about before. In areas where it's just the clear gel medium (with no colour, or less colour), the paper patterns underneath will be perserved.

Isn't that just beautiful texture?! The thing I like about gel medium too, when working with acrylics, is that if you only put paint on top, you can always use water or rubbing alcohol to get down to the layer that had the gel medium over it (and sometimes past it if you're persistent). It's like a security layer that not many people know about. Once again - it depends on what medium you mixed with your paints, but after a bit of experimenting you quickly get the hang of it. I oftern 'scrub-through' old paint layers to get peeks and snippets of the original patterns on the piece.

Now, because I was just in a gel-medium-lovin' sort of mood, I added some more, but this time mixed in some colour throughly. I also added some water and glazing medium to thin it out a little. Next, I poured some clean tar gel over top to add some clear texture that I will accent later with colours.

Once it was all dry (sped up this time with a heat gun), I used some of my homemade colour sprays and dripped and sprayed all over.

Here's a close up for all the yummy texture, patterns and colour that are now going on in this painting

The layer of brown gel medium works so well on top - it's thick in some areas and scrapped quite thin in others adding so much interest.

And of course, to really appreciate all this texture-goodness, you need an angle shot:

Next, I pulled out some stamps (these are Unity stamps from various kits). I used the woodgrain to stamp around the edges of the canvas, which I will be painting later. The texture is stamped in black though, so it should peak through a little. If not, then I'll just restamp - I have begun to really love stamping, so I'm completely okay with a do-over :)

I used the lace stamp and the words ("life" and "together"), and along with versamark and embossing powder, I embossed the images with white on the canvas. I find embossing really makes the impressions jump out.

Next, it's time to add some paint! I add some white to mellow the edges out, and to give the next colour some sort of base so it doesn't look too crazy when I put it on. 

Next, I add more colour (red) and after that I use some PanPastels to add more colour and some subtle shading / varience in the current colours. Then I sprayed a fixative, and did a quick clear layer (the PanPastel smuges a bit here, but since it's just for added colour, not an actual picture, it's not a big deal).  

Finally, I feel that I'm ready to start adding some elements: the flowers! I have three of them, like I said before, I like odd numbers. I make their stems out of washi strips, and then glue down the flowers once I like where they are.

I add the next set of elements - some premade leaves that came in my mixed media kit in the mail - I altered them by first covering them with a thin coat of gel medium so that the paper leafs wouldn't just "absorb" colour (if they absorbed the colour, it would look more dull, and less vibrant), and then splattered them with colours. I also added two chipboard pieces - an envelope (which I stamped in red a sentiment and words), and a stamp. I sort of wished that I added them earlier, so that they were more integrated, but there's nothing I can do now. So with them, I'll be focusing on making them more a part of the canvas.

I use my faber-castell markers and start adding shading, and using some more paint for more shading. I colour the birds on the stamp piece.

I decided to add two chipboard butterflies. I use paint on them to make them seem more part of the canvas and this painting. I choose two - bringing the total number of 'items' to five - again, this girl loves odd numbers. I add some rub-ons, more dimenstional black paint, some white, more colour to the leaves and stems - right now really just trying to make everything work together, but at the same time, I want the flowers and butterflies (uhm, one's a moth I guess heheh) to stand out.

Not quite done, but so close! I'm going to let this piece rest for a night, and then continue on tomorrow with a fresh look at it. Thinking of adding a word, but then again, I might leave just the sentiment at the bottom to stand on it's own. And, thinking of adding one more pair of leaves to the large flower, maybe.