Sunday, February 9, 2014

Back in the Saddle - Mixed Media Collage

Whew!  Getting married is hard work!  And then you're thrown back into life and catch up on all the things that fell behind while you were arranging flowers and organizing the catering.

I finally started making some things again.  Right now I'm working on some mixed media collage pieces.  Here's the first one I finished.

This is canvas board with many (I lost count) layers of different things.  Paper, paint, join compound, watercolors, lace, inks, wood (the heart), shrinky dink gears, and little droplet embellishments.

It feels good to be back at the craft table!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Going to a chapel, going to get married.

Actually it's not a chapel, it's a barn.  And we're getting married, but not legally married because the government of Michigan is still terrified of the GAY MENACE.  But I digress.

Our wedding is coming up in October and we're in the throes of planning and panic, which I hear is customary.  I'm doing some crafting for the gig, which will include:
  • my wedding headband, with autumn leaves and bling
  • A necklace and earrings for my ensemble
  • the flowers, from boutonnieres to bouquets.
  • a wishing tree made with LED branches, so our guests can use those neat scratchy magic color things in the shape of leaves and hang them on the tree.  This is our guestbook.
  • some of the gifts for our wedding party
This is me:

Photo from Arizona in August
It's overwhelming, yes.  But this blog is going to take a little side tour into wedding crafting territory occasionally until after our big day.  I hope to share photos and maybe even some in process material if I remember.  I'm usually halfway through a project when I think, "Huh - I should have documented this."

The wedding is on a very tight budget because we're paying for everything ourselves, being quite light on family and lacking in the parental department.  That said, I think we're doing a great job and being practical, ignoring a lot of the wedding propaganda that insists you must spend every last dime and/or go into debt to give your guests programs printed on gold leaf and personalized toilet paper.  No.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

A favorite from this weekend

I made a handful of new magnets this weekend.  This is my favorite.  Painted chipboard with paper tape, decorative paper, ink and gel pen, and a clay moon face I made using a mold.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Behind the Scenes. The messy, messy scenes.

My partner tonight mentioned that in order to apply for a table at a local artisan market, the jury requires a photo of the artist's workspace.  I laughed.  Why? reason.

My little desk gets pretty out of control when I'm on a crafting jag.  There are bottles of paints, glues, inks, ribbon, embellishments, papers...and so much more, all crammed onto any available surface.  Eventually I'll have had enough and tidy it, and enjoy that sweet feeling of an unencumbered workspace that won't send cascades of detritus sloping down onto my newly-finished-and-not-yet-dry crafted item, smearing paint and glue everywhere. 

I wonder if I get points for enthusiasm.

On a related note (and I realize I should maybe feel embarrassed to admit this, given the photo above) I went craft shopping tonight and picked up some fabulous alphabet debossing dies on clearance.  I can't ignore the sweet siren song of red-tag merchandise.  I hope to play around with them this weekend and have something to show you on Monday!

What I'm Working on Now

Crafters have to be ahead of the game when it comes to seasonal items, so I've already started on Halloween themed magnets.  I'm going to be working on some that will be pins, some pendants, and hopefully some hair clips.

This is what I made this morning.

The left magnet is chipboard gesso'ed and painted black with acrylics, then embellished with a hand painted mod melts rose, green ribbon, orange washi, and a text sticker.  Some mini-tinsel in Halloween colors is glued onto the edge.

The right magnet is a skull bead I cut in half and filed down a bit, with a mod melts frame and green chipboard insert, on top of orange polka dot ribbon (with a little glitter) and a black, hand painted chipboard back.  I stamped two little debossed stars on each end using my GCD Studios Chip Art Mini Stamps.  The white dashes are my beloved gel pen.

When working with chipboard, I find it's best to gesso it before painting so the colors really pop, unless you're working with a very white chipboard.  Stamping is easier on bare chipboard than painted (because you can easily wet it for better, deeper impressions) but a sturdy whack with a hammer still gets the job done on dry, painted chipboard.  Just be careful; it can crack or crease and you may need to do a little touching up.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Why oddly, and why altered?

I've been making things for a long time.  When I was a kid, I would get into trouble for foraging into my mom's crafting supplies (mostly acrylic paints and silk flowers) but it was her own need to express herself creatively that inspired me to do the same.  When asked in third grade to make a model of a house for school, my mom and dad went a little over the top and instead of using a shoe box or similar, I had a hand constructed real model ranch style made from thin plywood with a removable roof and landscaping.


I'd also shave crayons with scissors and meticulously glue the shavings onto paper to create dimensional art (and a huge mess) or later in my college years I'd create near life-size palm trees for a summer school reading program out of butcher paper and tomato cages.

I think it might be odd (ha) that I didn't really continue with art classes in high school since I loved creating things so much, but to be honest I didn't think I had talent for art.  You know, real art.  Not-crayon-shaving art.

I never stopped making, though.  Years later, I found out that art can be more than sketching or sculpture.  Now I wish I'd taken those classes!  It's taken a while to develop some skills and an aesthetic that is my own.  I've always been attracted to shadowy places where real and imagined are just flip sides of the same coin.  I love queer, strange landscapes and unsettling scenes.  I visit the uncanny valley.  I employ vivid colors and a paradoxical marriage of whimsy and grotesque.  I believe just as much in inspiration as horror.

I never stopped working with dimension and I've held on to my love of constructing little scenes in boxes of various sorts.  I idolize artists like Frida Kahlo and Salvador DalĂ­ while at the same time appreciating Kelley Rae Roberts (I'm a possibilitarian!) and Jane Davies.  I just like work that speaks, boldly and directly, to the human experience.  I like taking objects and making them into something else entirely different. I like seeing what things are and what they could be.