Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Red cards

I just spent a little time uploading some cards to my Flickr account, which holds pretty much my portfolio of art. Thought I would catch up here as well, sharing some cards I've done recently and haven't posted. No main theme of this card walk should be You Know There Are Scraps Involved! hehehehehe

This card was made for a girlfriend. It began with the idea of the flag strips. Added almost the last of that twill tape, and some orphaned stickers. The 3 patterned papers are all part of Basic Grey's Lime Rickey collection, tho. And the candles are Quickutz diecuts.

This was a card for another girlfriend. First thing that caught my eye in my scraps stash was the vintage calling card paper scrap, so that became the base design-wise. Then, I was looking for a vintage collage sheet image that suggested partying or a party, because the inside sentiment plays off of that theme. So, I pulled out my collage sheet binder and the first thing I ran across was that very old BMuse image of a performer in the Paris Follies, a showgirl. Yeah, okay. I distress edged both in red ink and adhered to a red mat. I am finding that I'm growing tired...real tired of feeling like I must find perfect combinations, no matter how long it takes. It sometimes takes the time that makin another card would take. That's just wrong, so first 'it works' rules these days, lol.

Here's my dad's birthday card. The photo is one of him with his childhood gang, all on their hobby horses, lol. Circa 1932 or so. I combine it with 3 patterned papers from the Flair Designs western collection (also old, but not as old as the photo). Letters are Cosmo Cricket.

Red is a funny color when it comes to matching shades, hues, tones. I have a particularly hard time with it myself, but I think anyone is hampered by their materials. Just seems to me that so many other colors are easier to combine and match. And believe it or not, I think that black is hard as well.

On the other hand, I think that green, brown, and orange is easy to work with. Colors are funny, which is why if you are completely lost when trying to combine them, paper collections may be a necessity. I'm enjoying them, because I run to them more and more when I need to have some colors match 100%. This is usually when I've loaded orphaned scrap elements on the piece.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mothers Day!

Happy Mothers Day! I hope all of you moms reading this have a blessed day. :-)))

My mom passed away on this day 2 years ago and we will be remembering her at our family luncheon today, as well as honoring Hubster's mom, my sister-in-law and me. I'm sharing the card I made my mother-in-law:

I'm suffering with what I can only describe as spring allergies, I guess. My ears are stuffed, my throat glands are a bit sore, and my eyes are junked up with stuff. I'm taking Vitamin C bombs and sipping green tea like no tomorrow, washing down my antihistamine like clockwork. Trying to hope it won't get worse and thankful it's not worse and that I can suffer through naturally. Most stuff seems to run its course with or without prescription meds. We'll see...fingers crossed.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Sorry to be so long in posting. I really have no good excuse. I have not been creating stuff that ever gets finished, lol. Work in progress seems to be my middle name. Life has also taken center stage.

So, even though I've nothing to share art-wise at present, I did want to pop in and say I'm still alive! And the Muse is beginning to get antsy to create, so I'll have some stuff to share soon, promise!

In the meantime, great good luck for surviving the month of May, possibly second only to December for busy social lives. One week down, 3.5 more to go!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Toasting Special Days...

Hubs and I celebrated San Jacinto Day with old friends at a local eatery. it was tinis all around (mine was a delicious lemon-drop martini).

And for dessert, chocolate brownie and ice cream for 4:

Saturday was a gorgeous day here, but Friday was a bit scary for awhile, as we had strong wind gusts and sideways rain, thunderbolts and lightning, very very frightening!

The birthdays keep on coming in April. This one for a sister-in-law:

It's hard to see in a scan, but I added plenty of gel and glitter penning.  

I also used a Stamper Corners sketch for the design. The papers are all from my Blackhole of Stash.

I also scallop-punched one edge of each of the overlapped paper strips, then edged them with the gelpen. It adds a nice texture and interest in person, but it also is hard to see in photos. The diamond 50 is also a punch. I handcut the paisley on top and outlined it as well.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Happy Birthday, Hubster!

 The Hubster turns 60 today and so the card I made him reflects his love for the brass instruments he played in his high school band.
 I had these very old B-Muse collage sheet instrument images. I cut them out and paired them with some Basic Grey Marjolaine papers an assorted alpha stickers.
 The circles were cut using my discontinued old-skool and beloved Coluzzle templates. The blade on my Coluzzle knife finally dulled out, and since I can no longer buy the refills, I'd taken a chance and picked up some Fiskars swivel knife blade refills. This was the moment of truth and I am happy to report that they work great in the Coluzzle knife. YAY!!! (I was really dreading having to face a life without my Coluzzles, but now I don't have to worry, big relief!)
 The inside sentiment, which I wrote and printed out, says, "Strike up the band / On the day you were born / Happy Birthday to the guy / Who can always toot my horn!" LOL He liked it. :-)))
Tonight we are having a private dining party at Cullen's of Houston, a fancy restaurant that is hosting the dinner portion of Houston's Titanic Centennial Exhibit. They have a round room suspended from the ceiling that seats 12, and for $12,000, you can book a private tour of the Titanic Exhibit at Houston Museum of Natural Science and transport by motor coach to Cullens for an authentic Titanic dinner for 12. Sadly, we did not purchase that, but hey, we'll be looking at the richy riches who did and eating pretty much the same food for a whole lot less money. It's gonna be fun.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Here's the story...

Just in time for an Easter Sunday, this is the story of new beginnings and redeemed lives, art journaling style. Or, how I altered a background spread in my Little Gluebook of Wisdom quote journal.

I had originally painted this background with leftover paint, not thinking as I painted circles...circles with dots in them...that ended up making the circles look like pepperoni pizzas:
 I first applied a whitewash (1 part paint, 1 part acrylic glaze medium, 2 parts water), but that wasn't gonna make it look any less pepperoni-ish. I then considered a planetary space spread, but I wasn't feeling that either. So, I diecut a city skyline with a Sizzix border and used it as a template to paint one on my spread. Better! But still too many planets, suns, etc. Cleaned my navy paint off my brush with some sky strokes and got an idea:
 I completely covered the entire spread with more navy blue paint, then cut out another skyline diecut from a piece of deli paper that I had stamped with a brick background stamp, and glued it down. I then went about applying layer after layer of lighter colors of paint, each time blotting and wiping with a paper towel to let the underlayers peek through, finally winding up with this:
 Now, onto the sides of the spread. I've had these colored images of french provencial icons and crests, etc., and for reasons known only to my Muse, I determined to use them here. After adhering, I laid down a coat of lighter blue for a few seconds before wiping off the paint with a baby wipe. The end result was a staining of blue, which muted the images that had been white. I also cleaned my brush on the top of the sky, adding more blue to it and creating a stormy sky effect.
 Here you can see the stormier sky along with the stained side images:
 This photo shows a bit of the different colors in the sky (from the layers I painted):
 Here's the finished (for now - I still need to add a favorite quote) background:
My first thought after studying it was that it really reminded me of a scene from Ghostbusters, lol. I was expecting the camera (my eye) to pan in on a hi-rise balcony adorned with gargoyles and Sigourney Weaver! Oh, what an imagination can conjur up, lol.

One thing is for certain, though. This page spread looks NOTHING like it did originally, does it? Mission accomplished, and no more pepperoni pizza planet nightmares!

I hope you and yours have been having a lovely Easter weekend. Here's to new beginnings and redeemed lives for us all. <3

Friday, April 6, 2012

"Egging" it on...

I made two versions of this Easter card this year, one Designed 2 Delight digital stamp image a bit larger than the other, with the same papers and trim. The stamp is colored with colored pencils. I also used Card Patterns sketch 159.
Then I made this one with some collage sheet and german scrap images and a Stampers Corner yahoo group sketch.

I've been using eggs as a motif in my art lately, and it is Easter and all, but I just also think eggs have caught my eye, simple as that. Perhaps it's because it is Springtime. Pinks and greens are calling me.
 On a wild hair this week, I finally began to cover the first composition book art journal that I began in 2009, worked faithfully in for 3 months, then every few months, and less and less. This year I began doing something in it a few times a week, if only to add a layer to a background, gesso or paint a page, etc. I was feeling vintag-y and grabbed an egg collage sheet image, some scrap paper and washi and gaffer tapes, and without too much thinking, laid down a front and base cover with my Royal Coat decoupage medium.
 By then I was more comfortable with glueing larger pieces of paper, so I chose a pretty simple pairing of floral patterns for the insides of the covers.
 I even used my Martha Stewart border punch to create a pretty scalloped eyelet design on the edge of the green paper. After the back paper got glued down, I happened to notice that the last page was painted with complementary shades of pink and green. Karma! lol
 I've had this white roses paper for ages, from a photo paper stack / slab, probably Die Cuts with a View. And I'd always been afraid to use a big piece of it. I guess I shouldn't have given it a thought, because I love looking at it. :-)) I used a brown Pitt brush pen to outline the outside edge of both covers and clean up the look.
 Then, seeing an awesome opportunity to use up some ancient Chatterbox cardstock alpha and other assorted stickers, I boldly branded it by name, and then gave it a couple of protective Royal Coats to seal it all. I 've known this art journal for 3 years as the 'Almost Daily', so it would be silly to change that now, even though it really did not end up being worked in literally that often. The added irony makes me smile, so it's all good.
It's also really cool to begin to see this journal fill up. I still have virgin pages left, but few in number enough to feel completely confident that I will fill it up and finish it off this year...definitely over the hump and then some.

I'll show some recent backgrounds tomorrow -- laterz!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

More (Hot) Air.... :-))

Another air-balloon themed creation to share. This time, a post card. I love the techniques in Angela Cartwright's book Mixed Emulsions, but I've not yet mastered the oil painting on photos yet. So, I got out my oil creme pastels and colored a magazine image of old London before adding some gesso and collage elements. This kind of altering technique is very satisfying to me, for some reason.

I will be back tomorrow with an Easter card to share. Enjoy your Good Friday!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

It's Haiku Humpday!

Art journal page created for April's Paper Traders blog challenge - air balloons. Come join in!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Odd Couplings: Textured Vintage

Part of my creative makeup is to couple odd things. Well, actually, things that are generally considered by others to be odd, because apparently I do not think they are odd. :-))

 Here, in the photo above, are the unlikely components of a recent artventure. My task was to create a birthday card for my longtime art swap friend, Kim, whose main genre is vintage, but she also has a bit of a rebel side, too. So my Muse immediately took advantage of this, whispering to me to make something vintage as a nonconformist would.

 I've been trying hard to be more intuitive: listen to my initial creative ideas and go with them. My first reactive ideas to what my Muse threw down: create a little work of art on a card, and make it textural. I should also add that I had just received the image of that lovely young lady from my friend Trish Bee, and I'd left it on my desk to file away later. But that stare cast a spell, so I combined it with a few images from an Alpha Stamps collage sheet.

I also had just finished watercoloring a wavy-cut piece of watercolor paper that had been rak'd to me years ago and had sat patiently in my little miscellaneous papers bin, waiting for me. As I have often said, I seem to only be able to watercolor stripes, and this must be proof of that, lol. I was actually trying out colors I do not normally "see" on the palette, as was suggested somewhere from my blog reading a while back. Not all the colors ended up being perfect matches to the images, but enough of them were, and that caused me to see this as a sign to make my stripes the background here.

Also in my mind I was wanting to replicate the ribbed lace effect of the girl's dress. I soon concluded that I had no materials that would literally replicate it, but I might go for the effect of it. As in, reminds you of... I went to my window racks of ribbon and my eyes kept resting on the purple ribbon. Again, the ribbon is not exactly, but reminds you of... I really like that the white edging on it mimics the white line across the dress bodice. And it blended beautifully with the purple in the background.

The finishing touches were the Prima flowers and the base mat of the card. I tried to choose 3 colors that were in both the images and the striped background. I chose the rose pink, the light blue, and the grayish brown. I chose a large and small flower in each color, then coupled them. For the mat, I chose a scrap sheet of card stock that looks at times dark purple and at times dull grayish brown. And it has tiny stripes in it. If that didn't scream, use me!, I don't know what would.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Wish It So

So, do you old-school scrapbookers remember back in the day when it was perfectly acceptable to float embellishments on your layout, without anchoring them to anything? When you did this with stickers, it was called Sticker Sneeze? (Sticker Sneeze is the derisive term for a layout that appears as if the creator sneezed stickers onto the page and whereever they landed was where they stayed.)

Floating has remained pretty much taboo, although if it's anything like anything else, it will probably be back in fashion before too long... At any rate, as of this moment, still taboo.

Anyway, taboos like that weigh on me sometimes. And I wanted to break the taboo. Bad.

Usually, I can repress my rebellious urges, but not lately. It really got into my head that the next card I made needed to have floating elements AND look awesome. So, I made this card I'm sharing today with that in mind, and while I'll refrain from complementing my own work, I'm quite satisfied with my result. And doubly happy to report that I also managed to satisfy my inner rebel.

It helps to be able to float elements when they are part of a person's wishful thinking and imagination. As you see here, this young lady is obviously thinking about these sweet desserts and wishing she had some.

As you see here from the inside sentiment, they are birthday cake treats. But I really liked that the outside card front didn't scream that -- you have to open the card to really understand what is going on.
I also liked that the white rub-on alphas and astericks that I used ended up blending into the colored wax pencil background a tad, instead of remaining opaque, which added to her whimsical wishing.

And since I slayed the SneezePolice, you might could even call me The Girl With The Dragon Taboo! {{{oh good groaning lord}}}. Ok. Maybe Not.  winkwinkwink

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Haiku Humpday!

I have been following my friend Teri's weekly homage to poetry, Poetry Party Wednesday. At first, I was {{{{YAWN}}}}. But, for her, I tried liking it. And now, I've gradually warmed up to it.

I'm still a schmuck for the rhyming line over the non-rhyming one. But, I decided to have some fun this week and try my hand at writing a haiku to put on a postcard I wanted to make using a cool collage sheet image from Terri Kahrs and Crowabout.
Poem and collage by Aimeslee Winans; bird image by Terri Kahrs and Crowabout
"Death by DoDo" ~ poem and collage by Aimeslee Winans; bird image courtesty of Terri Kahrs and Crowabout.
*Entered in Sunday Postcard Art - Green challenge*
As you may know, a haiku ideally should be a 3-line poem with the following criteria: a 5-syllable first line, a 7-syllable second line and a 5-syllable third line. Other than that, anything goes. I love the image of this dodo bird and researched a little about them online. That is when the haiku came to me, as well as the little scenario background for my art piece.

For the background, I used a family text scrapbook paper scrap glued on a piece of thin used packaging cardboard, scribbled on some Inktense color in blues and greens and purples, set it with a baby wipe, stamped some tropical shapes with Ancient Page dye ink, distressed the edges, stamped a compass "sun", added more Inktense in yellows and oranges, set that, added some watered-down white acrylic here and there, then ran a black Triart marker all around the outside edge.

And, of course, I had to create my own title, so Haiku Humpday it is! Don't know if I'll do this every Wednesday, but I'm feeling good about doing just that! Now, what to do next time??? Would you like to join me????

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Card Share Catchups - Tuesday

Last catchup on card shares for awhile, I promise...

atc tag card. collage sheet image courtesy of terri kahrs and crowabout. stampers corner sketch.

We've had a rough time with weather down here. It is in the 50's tonight. Twenty-eight hours ago it was 81 degrees. Twenty-fours later, it was 59. Happy Spring! LOL
paper artsy ferris wheel stamp, hand drawn and colored background.
While the rain does its dance, I am keeping busy at home. I grocery-shopped Monday and was exhausted, so today's bad weather (and Wednesday's lighter remains) gave me a good excuse to rest and recover. Anytime I go anywhere or do anything physical, I always have to recover a day or two.
Basic Grey Porcelain papers, unknown tree and sentiment stamps, Stampers Corner sketch
So, I kind of messed up. I vacuumed Sunday night because we had this freaky weird carpet bomb infestation of doodlebugs (pillbugs) in the kitchen and family room part of the house by the back door. I should have rested on Monday and then shopped Tuesday, but I didn't because we were low on toilet paper and the storm was coming. Anyway, I wound up pulling something in my back and or groin, and by Monday afternoon I was hurting.

The Hubster happened to have one hydrocodone that he'd been saving from his root canal a year ago, and he gallantly offered it to me. I went off those cold turkey 6 years ago, against my doctors wishes. But I needed one last night, and it truly saved me, too. Helped me sleep. Woke up today to buckets of rain and while reviewing my discovercard statement I discovered (haha - literally) 2 erroneous charges for $19.95 each from MVQ Credit Complete and Experian Credit Report! I get on the phone and it is now a fraud case. Avoid those companies, they are either scams or they get consumer info illegally or unethically, because I never bought anything from them. And if you see a charge from either on your statement, call your cc company!

Anyway, my card making tip for today is to make card components to have on hand. If you want to enter a challenge for atc's, make one to put on a card like you would a stamped image or a collage sheet image. Make some backgrounds on bigger paper and then cut them into card base sizes. You can pretty much use any technique or material on a card. Practice hand lettering an inside or outside phrase on a precut or diecut label or shape.

You can even make a game of it. If you have some really old diecuts, like Sizzix's toast and toaster and jam diecuts, you might have to make a larger card (5x7 or half-sheet) so they will fit, but arrange those with the caption "A toast to you" or something similar. Use patterned paper to cut them out doesn't have to literally look like the shapes would realistically.

I happen to have some old Sizzix lipstick, purse and compact dies (don't mean to pick on Sizzix, but some of their dies were / are just plain silly-looking now, lol). In the back of my mind has sat an idea like I'm talking about. The front has all those diecuts and then I stamp an old wrinkled lady inside with a printed smart-assed caption that I can't yet quite think up. But look out when I do.

Another game to play is to just blindly or randomly choose some bits and bobs in your stash, choose a color combo, grab some paper, some tools...and just punt. This is a good idea when you need a challenge..when you are bored by your regular way. Still another idea is to almost do the opposite when you need to just keep your hands busy to do some thinking or whatever. Then you would look at doing something routine and assembly-line-ish, like drawing or painting or stamping or coloring backgrounds, focal point images, etc. You've seen me do the herringbone technique for a few backgrounds. I can do those almost blindly now.

If you are trying what I've been doing, you might want to stick to just a couple of color combos at first, until you get used to doing cards a different way. It makes it easier to combine elements from your "started stuff" pile into a card. Color and style are the two elements that stop me when they are not complementary or similar.

Well, I am off to a hot shower and bed -- and hopefully not too much pain, Advil is my only help tonight!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Card Share Catchup - Monday

A few more cardshares to catch up with!

Masculine card...

Feminine card...

Either, really...

I wanted to keep talking about my card making changes, I guess, because it's a big part of my creating. I would say to those of you who don't make cards to just bare with me, except that I think some if not all of this can be applied to whatever you create.

Something I'm beginning to realize, by making my cards as a daily warm-up, is that my perfectionistic tendencies are thwarted or reduced. I put more value on "making" something cool out of the "starting stuff" (backgrounds, focal images, paper layers) that come out of the warm-ups, and less value on creating "the perfect card".

Day by day, I see more and more how less often I think about creating perfection, and this releases a risk-taking creativity that is at times better than perfection. And more fun. I mean, sure, we've all had our eyes lay on a perfect piece of art and said WOW (and some are lucky to have looked at something self-created!), but this is a comparable feeling: good.

I am all about pretty and good as opposed to the prettiest and the best, because I'm in this for escape, for creativity for therapy. Sometimes, putting so much pressure on something stops us from performing, and that does happen to me with creating art. Keeping it fun, fresh and frugal.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Card Share Catchup - Sunday

Time to share some cards I've recently made!

I am finding that with my change of art priorities this year, I have so far been able to avoid the dread that has always accompanied my card making on a deadline. How? I now usually make card making my warm up activity. It seems like I'd have less time to make the cards, but I am beginning them sooner and I end up spending less time in total. I don't obsess so much over finding perfect papers, stamps, etc. (unless my meds make me air-headed, then all bets are last week!). I tend to look at the cards I've started when I need to mail one off quickly.

I've also begun starting feminine and masculine cards during warm up. It is good to have cards of both kinds to choose from. I know this will probably get old after awhile, but for right now it is a new and cool thing for me. I hate feeling the dread and drag of needing to come up with something I have to mail off tonight or tomorrow, and my meds are popping my focus all to hell or the muse is on strike. The reprieve my warm ups are giving me is so healing for me (lessens my stress), without having to take a pill or give up an activity I love.

More thoughts on this to come. Have a great Spring Sunday!