Sunday, August 28, 2011

Background Fun

Found a fun background tuturiol at Balzer Designs.  Gave it a shot and came up with these two double page background spreads.  SUPER fun to make and I like the results.

Watercolors, ink, acrylic paint, scrapbook paper, stamps, Cray-pas crayons.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Undercover Busy!

It's been a while since I've actually posted something on this blog, but believe me I've been busy arting away just the same...just undercover busy!

I don't know about you, but I've got a ton of scraps/mementos/stubs just hanging around my house that I just can't part with because they conjure up a memory or two.  So, I decided to try and figure out how to save them in an orderly fashion.

I've been hearing a lot about Smash Books (made by KC& Company) lately.  They are basically a book to contain all of the everyday scraps of life.  Not wanting to waste money on buying a commercially produced book, when I'm sure I can produce my own, I decided to start poking around youtube to see if I could find something like a smash book to hold all of my scraps.  I came across this awesome 2 part tutorial for making a Junk Journal out of an ordinary school composition book.  Given that I have MOUNDS of scrapbooking paper, I was sold!  I still have a lot more distress inking to do, but I'm pretty sure I can ink as I go.

Here's a peek. 

Ordinary Composition Book

Tons of Scrapbooking Paper & Cardstock  

Equals One Big Fat Junk Journal.

 The outside spine is reinforced with fun hounds tooth duct tape (and ribbon underneath - see tutorial).  I also added some huge paperclips that I found at Old Navy, tabs, fun shaped paperclips and metallic binder clips (info also included in the tutorial) from Office Depot to hold my scraps.

 Here's a page containing stubs from our trip to the Academy of Sciences this summer and stubs from the Smurf Movie last night (I suffered through was horrible and I like kids movies!).  The page needs a ton of inking, doodling and whatever else I feel like adding.  Either way, it's great to have a place to store all the "Scraps of Life", which by the way, will be the title of this book once I get around to making a name plate.

  I love the 'no pressure' feel of this book. 

Friday, August 19, 2011

Little Monster Touch Up

So I was looking at the monster I created for Little Miss Faith yesterday (see my last post) and something about it REALLY bothered me.  BAD. 

What if Little Miss Faith and the Little Monster really got along and decided they liked to cuddle up together?  Looking at the "old" Little Monster, that would have been a baaaaad idea.  The "Faith" writing that I did was in glitter glue, and when dried became SUPER scratchy.  Not good for cuddle time.  AT ALL.  Especially cuddle time for one little special baby girl who is not feeling her best.  OH NO, we need suuuuuuper soft. 

Sooooo, welcome the new improved Little Monster with hand embroidered stitching that is just that....suuuuuper soft.  Good riddance super scratchy glitter glue. 

What WAS I THINKING!?  Oi Vey!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

A Little Monster for Little Miss Faith

Over at Milliande, one of the members posted a discussion about a 4 year old little girl and her mother that could use some "arty" cheering up and it brought me to tears.  Being a single mother to a little boy, I just can't imagine what the mother of this little girl is feeling or thinking...

Here's the post:
Faith has Acute Lymphoblastic Luekaemia and was diagnosed on 27th may after 5 wks of being very ill. She was airlifted to Royal childrens hospital and began chemo right away. The first round lasted 4 wks and made her very lethargic, unable to walk properly and her hair begin to fall out. After this round she didnt quite reach remission.
The current round of chemo lasts 8 wks and her bone marrow will be tested again half way to see if she has made remission. She has stayed amazingly positive throughout and takes all her procedures in her stride. I do have to hold her down for any injections which is quite distressing but i just think that it needs to be done for her to get better.
I have to sleep with her everynight as she doesnt like being alone but it helps me keep an eye on her temp incase it goes up.
Once we get to go home there will be monthly trips to Brisbane for 2 yrs following unless she relapses and then we would be required to return to Brisbane to go through the intensive chemo again and a bone marrow transplant.

I cope quite well most of the time but I do have my moments at night when Faith is asleep and its quiet that I sit in the lounge and cry simply wishing for it all to be over but her strength and gorgeous face gives me the strength to keep going.

This is quite a lot for anyone to go thru, let alone a 4 year old!!!  My heart goes out to her and her mommy.  So, I decided to make her one of my famous cute monsters.  I made one previously for my son when he needed cheering up (and 2 years later it's his favorite friend!) and thought it would put a smile on her face too!  I also decorated a little bag to hold all the other goodies I sent her.  I sure hope this very small gesture helps in some way.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Tentacle Girl - Art Journal Page

So I finally finished "Tentacle Girl" that I previewed the other day.  She turned out to be less "tentacles" and more "branches" once I decided what the page was all about...

In her hair are the lyrics to "Blackbird", a song by The Beatles. 

Blackbird in the dead of night,
Take these broken wings and learn to fly.
All your life you were only waiting for this moment to arise.
Blackbird fly, blackbird fly...
into the light of the dark black night. 

Why, you ask?  Well, I just finished reading the book "Blackbird" by Jennifer Lauck and it really resonated with me.  It's a memoir, narrated by a little girl who suffered a traumatic childhood...filled with the day to day struggles of a terminally ill parent.  I can relate.  My father was terminally ill for the majority of my childhood.  The type of illness where death is considered a relief to the sufferer, and the loved ones. 

Sad, but true. 

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Tentacle Girl - (Work in Progress)

I've been so obsessed with the 1000 Journals Project ever since watching the documentary the other day that I decided to pull out my book entitled 1000 Artist Journal Pages.  If you've never thumbed through it, I strongly encourage you to as the book is brimming with inspiration!!  If you don't own it, it's really just a book filled with photos of journal page submissions from all over the world.  Most of the submissions are from every-day people, however, there are some submissions from well known mixed media artists. 

One page in particular caught my eye and inspired me to create a "like" piece which I have entitled "Tentacle Girl".  The inspiration piece looks more like a Mardi Gras mask...mine clearly does not.  Take a peek at the two side by side below...

It is a work in progress right now.  I need to finish the tentacles (I'm thinking more half circles shooting out of the sides), some white designs in her hair...journaling...more face color and it will be complete.  Her face is an altered magazine image that I gesso-ed and used oil pastels on.  The tentacles are strips of 12x12 scrapbook paper and the background color is acrylic paint & copic markers.

I'm having FUN, FUN, FUN with it!