Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Bird House No. 2

Here are my photos of my second altered bird house. This one I painted using ranger's distress crackle paints. Once the paint was dry and all crackled-up, I inked it with some dark brown stazon ink. The roof tiles are made of punched paper that I edged with brown ink. The green tiles were stamped before they were punched.
Each of the children have wings that were made from a stamp that I embossed with gold.

These were a lot of fun to do--I've got one more that I think I'm going to do, not for the swap, but just for me!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Altered Bird House

Here are some photos of the first of the altered bird houses I did for the swap at the IAA. I used acrylic paint and paper, along with permanent ink. I stamped the swirls using acrylic paint and clear stamps. It was a little tricky because of the shape of the house, so I actually had to stamp with them without a block.
The roof tiles are paper that I punched out using a 1 inch punch and inked the edges of.
The butterflies are all made out of shrink-plastic. I used white shrink-plastic, stamped with Stazon black ink, and then after it was shrunk, I inked over the surface using chalk ink and embossed. The black comes right through and the color gives it a little added dimension.

Tomorrow I will try to get my photos of my other ones up.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Photos of India

I know I've been really quiet this week. But I had a nasty stomach bug that just wouldn't quit. I'm finally feeling better and getting back to my work, and I'm hoping that I'll have some new stuff to put up tomorrow.
In the mean-time, I have these 2 lovely images of India. My mother traveled there two years ago and took a ton of photos. She wanted to print some out and frame them, but she wanted them to have a more fine-art quality. I used photoshop to alter them and I have to say, I'm happy with the result. I did 5 in all, but these 2 are my favorites.

I used the magnetic lasso to highlight the woman, then inverse selected and converted the color profile to black and white. I also turned up the contrast a bit to give it a bit more punch.

I used the same process as above on this one, except instead of sharpening the photo, I used a blur on the area surrounding the elephants to give them more focus.

I hope everyone had a pleasant weekend!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Late to the Dance

I am massively late to the dance on this one--the band has packed up and the floor is littered with confetti. But I feel the need boogie-oogie all by my lonesome for a moment.
I'm talking about the challenge for the GPP street team for June. It was a rubbing technique, which I won't go into details here since Ms. Ward did such a bang-up job explaining it herself, so you can just follow the link.
While I was trying out the technique something wonderful happened. I was having trouble finding the right paper weight. Too thick, I got no image, too thin, it would tear with water. I was sitting at my very messy table pondering weather or not to throw in my crayons when my eyes lit-upon a piece of tyvek that I'd left out for another project.
For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about, Tyvek is some super-duper-space-age-material that isn't quite plastic, isn't quite paper. It's manufactured by Dupont and wonderfully enough, is the stuff that they use to make the priority mail packages at the USPS. You know the ones that they give away for free....
Anyway, this stuff is water-proof, tear proof, and does fun stuff when heated. Best of all, it is thin, so it's perfect for doing a rubbing. Here is what I did with it. I Should mention that I heated the edges to cause it crumple and bubble a bit; which is why it isn't flat.

And here is how I incorporated it into a piece in my art journal:

I have to say, I'm just in love with this technique. I'm going to hit the post office tomorrow and then off to a cemetery to get some rubbing's....

Monday, July 14, 2008


I've been thinking a lot about generosity lately. I am so fortunate to be surrounded by generous people. The piece pictured here is a prime example of that: the stencil was a gift from my friend Kris as was the label "hope chest", the photo came from a member of IAA, and the beads came as a gift during a mail art swap.
I made this as a gift for a friend of mine who is in the middle of working on her doctoral dissertation on Polish feminist bloggers. I find this topic incredibly fascinating since I myself am two out of three. She has been incredibly generous with me in not only discussing her work, but mine as well. Debating artist philosophy, meaning and process with me over email. I count myself blessed to have such a wonderful and giving friends. Artists and non-artists alike.

Friday, July 11, 2008

altered tin

I made this little tin the other day and just hadn't gotten around to taking a picture of it. I wanted something that I could throw in my purse to keep Advil/antihistamines in. I bought an altoids tin--it's for the "minis." I liked it because it slides open, and takes a little bit of pressure, so i figured it would be less likely to come open in my purse and dump out. I tried sanding it first...but the shape just wasn't conducive, so I spray painted it silver instead. Once it was dry, I alcohol inked it. I drilled a hole in the end for the charm (made from shrink plastic and pearl-ex), and glued a photo of one of my ATCs that I like. I punched out stars and colored them it with some gel pens and used some rub-ons for the swirls. Once it was dry, I spray-sealed it and viola--all done.

Monday, July 07, 2008

How to drill a hole in a fragment

I am absolutely in love with all the wonderful Plexiglases crafting products that are out there. And a good many of them don't come with holes drilled in them. So I thought I'd post a little how-to for drilling. It's not as scary as you might think.
Here's what you'll need: a drill with a small drill bit--I'm using 1/16th bit that is made to cut through metal. Safety goggles, a drilling block (this needs to be big enough to be sturdy and level so that it doesn't wobble. I use an old wood cigar box.) Wall putty/sticky tack (this is the stuff that you use to stick stuff to the walls without leaving a mark.) And whatever it is you're going to be drilling. (I'm using a prong frame from retro cafe art gallery, but the process is the same for fragments.)
Here is a photo of my stuff (drill not included.)

Take a small piece of the sticky tack and place it in the middle of the object and then stick it to the surface, this will hold the piece in place and keep it from moving around while you drill. Since I'm drilling through both a prong frame and Plexiglases, I put a second piece of putty between the the Plexiglases and the metal so that I can drill through both simultaneously. Here's a photo of it all ready to go:
I like to pre-mark my holes so that they are even, using a light colored sharpie. They need to be far enough in so that the drill bit won't break through the outer edge. Then, with a steady hand, drill through. Go slowly and try to put even pressure on the top of the drill.

Here is a picture of the charm with the holes drilled through:

Now you're ready to turn this into something! Here's what I made with mine:

Sunday, July 06, 2008


I just finished up this ATC box as part of my work for Retro Cafe Art Gallery. It comes in pieces that you assemble--which makes the decorating process a lot easier. I used chalk inks in purple and brown and then heat set them for the background. I over stamped with some Stazon for the swirls. The trees and leaves are all hand cut out. And the bird is shrink plastic. Each side has a tree and a bird, but I've only posted 2 sides. (sorry my pictures are so bad. I am so NOT a photographer!)

I've been hard at work on some other projects, so I'll try to be good about posting this week. I hope everyone had a happy 4th.

Thursday, July 03, 2008


I finished up this little shrine from Retro Cafe Art Gallery yesterday. I used some distress inks on the music paper, and then orange and blue chalk inks (heat-set) and over-stamped with Stazon. The bird is from Retros Birds II collage sheet. I am very happy with how this turned out. All I need is a nail to hang it on my studio wall.