Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Fun with NeoColor IIs

Hello, blog friends! Today I have a ScriptureDex Rolo and a Mother's Day card to share.

First, the Rolo. This is the front and the back of the Rolo illustrating 1Corinthians 13:13 in the New Testament. I get a lot of my Bible verse texts from a little calendar a realtor sends us. The challenge last week at Think Monday, Think ATC was AQUA, and this text had that pretty blue-green color. 

I used a technique I'd seen on YouTube to color the card by heavy-coverage scribbling NeoColor II crayons and then blending them out with matte medium. That way, the color is permanent when dry. Well, you are supposed to use your fingers, but I tried using a brush which left stroke marks. After I adhered the verse, I realized that some of the marks looked like they were extending the tree trunks down and that gave me the idea to get my "Epic" fountain pen and draw out those tree silhouettes.
Funny how ideas are born, huh?

For the back, I just decided to put the 3 words from the verse, and used some old scrapbooking stickers that I have way too many of and are all the time trying to use up. I am now at the point where I am always missing certain letters now, so I had to use a different color sticker for the H in Faith. After that, I decided it needed a little something at the top.

I looked through my border stamps and thought this butterfly border from Hero Arts would work. I colored it with Inktense pencils, which layer nicely over other media. I am once again late in participating in the TMTA challenge, but late is better than never.

My second project to share is our Mother's Day card for my mother-in-law. She L-O-V-E loves any card I make her, so I decided to play with some die cuts that have been in my binder for ages. They are ancient, from maybe 2004. As you can tell from the design of that flower, they are so old that look is "in" again, relabeled as "mod" or "retro".  I have several, bought at Hobby Lobby during my scrapbooking days. Here are some of my others:

You will probably one day see them again once I figure out how to use them.

Okay, the die cut I used for my card was originally pink card stock. I thought, let's gesso and then use the NeoColor II technique using my finger to blend in the matte medium. Here are all the parts laid out ready for a couple of coats.
Okay, flower coated. On to the technique!
I had some little punched circles in my bits and bobs, so I glued some down on my flower and then began scribbling and blending the parts.
And ended up with them looking like this. I decided to leave the tiny flowers gessoed and did not use the tiny tag. The thing I love about this technique is if you scribble a LOT of color on, the wax in the water-soluble crayon sets up with matte medium and hardens just enough to create cool texture that you can feel. And a lovely painterly look to boot!
Okay, I adhered a small piece of white card stock to the back of the bloom and then collaged the parts onto a piece of patterned DCWV card stock lightly brushed with gesso and matted onto my card base. I've had several vials of Martha Stewart micro beads for a while and never used them, so hey, why not now, right? I needed something to fill the center of the bloom. I also have Flower Soft, but I wasn't feeling like dealing with it.
I adhered the beads with my trusty old KI Memories Gloo (which is basically the same as Glossy Accents and Diamond Glaze), by squeezing the glue into the space, spooning them onto the space and then burnishing them in a bit after letting them set up a few minutes. After letting them dry for a few hours, I went around and added a few different shades of gold Stickles. Then I smudged more Stickles on the bloom's circles.
I pricked holes thru my C-Thru ruler around the edge and took a purple Sakura gel pen and drew the faux stitching.
Because there was gold in the flower and yellow in the paper, I chose these gold stickers and it really set it off better. I love how repeating touches of color on a piece can make it look better. (On that bow, I quickly and sloppily - on purpose, not like me - outlined with a blue Posca because when I finger-blended the bow, more color came off on my finger than on the bow...a light touch is required when blending.)
I used the little flowers on the back of the card.

Lastly, I wrote a poem and printed it out in PSE. I write poems sometimes for my cards. Writing was my first love in school. At some point it hit me, I might could do just as well as those Hallmark guys, lol, at least on the card inside. 

My mother-in-law did indeed love it. That's the best part, plus I got to use up stuff, try new techniques, take some arty risks and just PLAY.

I am joining the following challenges with my Mother's Day card:

That's all for now! Thank you so much for coming by to see me. Let me hear from you. TTYL, xoxo

Sunday, May 6, 2018

A Friend From Back In The Day

Hello Friends and Happy Sunday. Hope your week goes good and thanks for stopping by.

I am sharing this Rolo today that I made for the Think Monday, Think ATC challenge theme "1900". It features the Bible verse from Proverbs 17:17 - "A friend loveth at all times." I decorated the front and back and combined them in this photo. This is a stamping-preferred challenge, and my Rolo uses several stamps.

On the front: Stamps used from Technique Junkies, Cornish Heritage Farms, Starving Artistamps and Impression Obsession. I used Distress Markers to color the focal image and sentiment, then I went back over the lines with my Platinum Carbon Epic Fountain Pen.

On the back: Stamps used from Leave Memories, Impression Obsession, Artistic Outpost and Fiskars. I added little collage elements from my bits and bobs left over from prior projects, and I used a shimmery gel pen to highlight the butterflies and the focal sentiment.

As usual with the TMTA challenge, I rack my brain to figure out how to mash up the theme with a Bible verse. For this 1900 theme, my mind went immediately to my CHF and AO stamps, as they are primarily vintage images. This CHF stamp, Pastoral Woman, was one I'd seen before in an old magazine, so I Googled and found the original illustration the stamp was made from:

And check it out: September of 1901! Pretty darn close, enough for government work and blog challenge themes for sure! I took some artistic license and did not use the same colors as I thought them a bit too drab for my tastes. The illustration artist was Guernsey Moore. 

My Rolo turned out pretty much as I'd envisioned, except for one near-fatal boo-boo (which is standard operating procedure for me - ha!). I colored in her eyes, then grabbed my white gel pen to add a dot to each. It wasn't until I'd made the first dot that I realized the ball point was way to big for the image and made her be looking to the side. Now, my first instinct is to get in there and try to fix it, but I've learned the hard way that I will most likely just make it worse, so I did the other eye the same way, said a little prayer that I didn't make her cross-eyed and accepted that my Pastoral Woman was just going to have to be looking askance. Sometimes you need to be happy with what you have to be happy with. ;-) 

Well, that's it for me this time. Thanks for visiting and comments are always appreciated!

Monday, April 30, 2018

Glue Book Cover Recover

Hello, there! Thanks for dropping by and I hope your week is already a good one.

A while back, I know I mentioned having had to re-do the covers of my Puns & Roses Glue Book that has a colorful word play theme. You can see the pages I've done in it HERE. I finally took the time this past week to make and attach the cover plate, give it its final sealer coats and edit the many photos I took of the process, so it's time to share. I will give only a brief summary of my process, as I'm sure you don't want to see 50 photos hahaha.
The photo above on left is what my glue book looked like originally, a discarded lined blank diary with a stitched binding that had a soft plastic-y embossed cover. 
Eventually a few areas began peeling off, which I didn't mind except that it began to be messy and I soon lost my patience. So I first sealed it with Royal Coat Decoupage Medium and for a while that worked.  
When it began to peel and mess again, it became worse. So I had to finish peeling it all off and re-do both the front and back, and the spine.
After viewing some YouTube videos and reading some online project tutes (none of which really addressed my specific challenges), I decided to recover with tissue paper that I was recycling from previously received gift bags. (I save everything, lol). I chose a French print tissue for the bottom layer, followed by a pink tissue and then a roses pattern on the pink for the spine and the front label. This was the first time I'd ever done anything like this, so my process was quite organic, with me just trying to logic out next what I should do.

Since I could not get 100% of the messy flaky plastic-y stuff off, I first wrapped the text block in wax paper taping it securely and then I gessoed the entire cover first. I am so glad I did because it made the surface more even and blocked the black color of the book boards.  
Here's the first French text layer of tissue paper. This paper was thicker than normal tissue and was very easy to decoupage on in one piece, using matte medium. I let it dry thoroughly, over night. 
Then, the more transparent pink tissue, which tore easily so instead of fighting it, I tore it into triangular pieces and layered it on. This gave it an interesting texture that I liked.
I used my yellow paint pyramids to help it all air dry at every step. (The BB's are there if I need a weight.) I didn't get a pic of when I glued the strip of roses tissue to the spine, but I basically cut a strip sized to wrap the spine and glued it on.
And that's where it sat until this week, when I took some card stock from a James Avery junk mail catalog cover and die cut this Spellbinders frame and QuicKutz alpha fonts from it.
I covered the frame mat in the pink and roses tissues, and muted the pink a bit with beige and pink Versamagic. I used black to grunge it up some.
The blacks of the recycled card stocks didn't match but oh well. I decided that some black satin ribbon to edge the roses tissue on the spine would help it look more finished.
The inside is not so pretty yet, as I haven't really decided if I want to tissue it or adhere some heavier paper, add a pocket, or what. 
So, the inside covers can stay this way for a while, or until the pink tissue needs to be covered. 
I do think the ribbon was a nice touch.
I am ecstatic over how this project turned out. My glue book pages inside are saved and remain non-traumatized by the recover, and that was my main objective.
Plus, I wanted it to look nice and I think it looks much better than before.
I learned a simple way to recover or cover a book or journal with tissue paper. The glue book itself is a recycle since it was originally my daughter's diary she discarded. I was able to use recycled tissue papers and junk mail ad card stock (James Avery magazine covers are not too shabby!)
And I love how the spine looks on the shelf, so easily recognizable...no label needed!

Thank you for suffering through all of these photos! I am participating in the following challenges with this project:

Have an artylicious week!

Monday, April 23, 2018

Better Late Than Never: All Aboard!

Hello again! I'm sharing a ScriptureDex Rolo today. Proverbs 3:6 says "In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight." 

Last week's challenge at Think Monday, Think ATC was TRAINS, and because Rolos are now allowed, I do always try to participate so I can get motivated to add to my ScriptureDex. I do have to admit, though, this one was hard at first to come up with a meaningful Bible verse connected with trains. I finally remembered something I'd read a while back using a train conductor analogy to explain faith, so I Googled and found it and the verse it referenced. Gotta love Google!

The front and the back backgrounds are all stamps and Distress Inks applied with a finger sponge dauber. On the front, I used stamps by Clear Dollar, Cornish Heritage Farms, Stampers Anonymous (Tim Holtz) and Sweet Stamp Shop. On the back, the stamps were by Sassafras Las and Technique Junkies. I resized and printed the conductor analogy from the internet.

Luckily, TMTA challenges remain open, so I am entering my Rolo even thought it's a bit late.    Hopefully, I can get "back on track" with them this week. And as I used a background stamp of The United States and the theme over at Moo Mania is USA, I will participate there, also.

Hope your week leads you straight to some art and happiness! Thanks for visiting and commenting, and see ya next time. xoxo

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Try It On Tuesday Guest Designer Post for "Nature's Beauty" Challenge

Hello and Happy Tuesday! Thanks for dropping by. I'm happy to be participating in the Nature's Beauty Challenge theme over at Try It On Tuesday as a Guest Designer. Please click over there to see all the sweet makes the TioT gang has made for this challenge when you are done here.

Here is the art journal page I created for this challenge. It's in my Book of Wisdom quotes journal, and I re-worked an abstract background I had already created that sat for many months waiting for me to know what to do with it. 

Here's what the background originally looked like. Not bad, actually. A little Asian vibe with some stenciling and a few strips of painted deli paper collaged onto acrylic paint. But the more I looked at it, the less I was feeling it. I am doing a year-long self-study in abstract painting/art and am a firm believer that all of these mixed media backgrounds that we create in our journals are indeed works of abstract art, so when I came across an exercise to re-work one abstract form into another form, I decided to do it to this page. 

First, though, I did arrange my collage elements on the original to be sure. And what I saw was confusion. I could not tell where those birds were or what they were flying over, and I wanted to at least be able to see it was land, even though it's an abstract. So, I gathered my Posca paint pens, Inktense pencils and blocks and my wax colored pencils and went to work transforming it into what I call folk art grunge.

The first thing I did was change the pentagonal shapes into tree tops with my Poscas. Then I began dividing up the space into little plots and bigger parcels of land, and then a river and a road emerged. I didn't have a plan nor did I worry too much about it as I went about it.

So I eventually ended up with this background, which I love! I like how the colored pencils on top of the Inktense's India Ink produce a batik-like look, but not always. A little unpredictability keeps it interesting. And in places, I didn't add much or any Inktense so it's just the colored pencil on top. I used the Outliner pencil in my Inktense set to make the black marks and grungy outlines. And to define and separate each tree top, I used my Platinum Carbon "Epic" Fountain Pen which writes beautifully on mixed media.

So, a word about the birds: these are some of many diecuts that came with a crafts calendar I bought over a decade ago and I'm still trying to use them up. I love these birds, such personalities! I always want to assign human traits to animals. I should probably blame my childhood reading list...Charlotte's Web, Animal Farm, The Incredible Journey...and of course Disney on the TV and in movies. I'm especially drawn to motley crews and cut-ups. So this little unlikely group migrating back North in Springtime looks normal to me. Seems perfectly natural that they are chatting to each other as they are flying, and that a dragon fly is leading the way! Hahaha, well, why not? At any rate, the scene and situation look a lot clearer now, no? And it's not realistic, so it's still abstract.

The quote I used is an incredibly old Chatterbox scrapbooking sticker and I liked it but frankly I thought the Hubbard dude's name was fake because it sounded so dorky. So I googled him and he was definitely a real person and quite a mover and shaker in the American Arts and Crafts movement as well as a philosopher, poet and writer. And it turns out, I had to read one of his books, Message to Garcia, in college but never paid attention to him. I made a compass base for the quote using my bits and bobs -- this gives the viewer a clue that the birds are returning after their winter vacay.

I'll leave you with a few more detail shots so you can better see the yummy texture created by the layering of mediums I chose :

Thanks for enduring all of these photos and for coming to hang out with me and TioT

(P.S. - I also want to include this journal page in Art Journal Journey's Recycle and Collage Challenge for April...because I really did Recycle and Collage, lol. xoxo)