Sunday, March 27, 2011

Steampunk Springtime

This project started with my score of Spirofoil.  I loved the way this product worked with my die cut machine.  I started making metal flowers colored with alcohol inks and had no idea what I was going to do with them.  A recent score of watch parts and pieces got me even more inspired to put my flowers together, as I knew these would be great focal points on my flowers.  I combined my watch parts with Tim Holtz's gears and other found objects to achieve an eclectic look.

My messy craft area sometimes can inspire me too.  I spied a few boxes left over from my last Configurations project.  A light bulb went off and I thought I could make a flower box for my industrial flowers.  I glued two boxes together, covered in paper and finished with tissue tape.  A little green floral foam and some lichens I gathered on Lake Superior's shore made a perfect flower box, but the scale was off.  My blooms were way too large in comparison to the box.  More brainstorming.

I had gone to a local flea market earlier in the day and scored two old wooden Velveeta Cheese boxes, which are are perfect size to store your ATC's by the way.  To help my scale issue, I decided I would stack the two boxes, allowing me areas to create assemblage in.  Problem solved, and an opportunity to flesh out my steampunk springtime theme. 

I started to stuff my flowers into the foam and decided I did not like the bare gold wire.  Inspiration struck again, and I reached for my tissue tape.  This stuff is just amazing, and worked just like floral tape!  I wonder if Tim knows of this delightful technique.  I added more watch parts to simulate leaves, or budding steampunk flowers.  I found that the box needed more interest so I came up with some unopened flower buds with more watch parts and gears.  A few wire coils also add a bit of texture. 

The bottom is stuffed with all kinds of found objects.  I started with an old grapevine wreath, which I cut up to resemble a little nest. A bird from my holiday stash got a cool spritz of glitz, a bit of glitter and a punky little watch part eye.  On the left side there is a meat grinding part (looks like an old phone dial), an awesome clock part, old bone dice, a bobbin and a light bulb egg.

On the other side a print block and sign creates another place to shelve objects.  The tin was from my score of watch parts.  I had a few old fuses left from my last project and amazingly, I found another roller skate yesterday.  I have a ton of vintage bingo pieces, thanks Dad, which I peppered in to bring a touch of red to the bottom. A small jar of keys and a few charms add some movement to the piece.

I added in a metal birdhouse, colored with alcohol inks, as well as a time piece and spinner from Tim.  I like to add authentic vintage finds along with the reproductions that are out there to help stretch both products.

This is my second assemblage piece, and I think it just may be my newest crafty addiction!  When I get started on one of these, I just can't stop until it is finished. 

I hope you enjoyed reading about this little creative journey.  Thanks to all of you who stop by check out my posts.  I really do appreciate the feedback I get from you all!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Finally Finished

I have been working out this project, at least in my mind, since this past holiday season.  I received a Configurations box at that time, so I slowly started to collect small objects to fill my first assemblage piece.  This weekend I went to an amazing estate sale and hit the jackpot.  I could hardly wait to finally start putting things together when I got home with a wonderful bag of vintage goodness.   

My favorite area of the piece is the one with the roller skate.  This was a score from my recent shopping trip.  The photo was chosen because I dreamed of being a ballerina in my early childhood. 

Another extra special spot on my piece is the mailbox.  I actually purchased this off of ebay after seeing one from one in the art of one of my swapping pals.  I have a love of snail mail and all things postal, so this little area is a nod to that.  I even created some mini mail for my mailbox, which cannot be seen, but I know it is there. 

Another highlight for me from this collection is the metal mini dice.  I have no idea what they were supposed to be for, but I love them.  Other odd objects I used:  old car fuses, game pieces, hardware, scrabble tiles that I had previously altered, vintage toys, broken jewelry watch parts, keys, light bulbs, notions...the list goes on and on!  It is definitely something you need to look at for a moment to take it all in. 

Yes, I probably could have edited a bit, but that is a skill I just have not mastered yet.  Even if it is busy, I am happy with the result. There are many things in here that hold special meaning only to me and it was a joy to create. 

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Birds!

I made these tags today for a swap.  The background coloring is the left over alcohol ink that was dried up from making my flowers.  I simply added a bit of blending solution and mopped up all that color.  After drying with a heat gun, the background was stamped with Concord Distress Ink.  I added the birds stamps with permanent ink.  A bit of texture and interest was added with the ribbon, charm and trinket pin.  The flower is definitely center stage though. 

I made these from Spirofoil.  I wish they photographed better!  I ran this awesome vintage craft find through my Big Shot with the Tattered Floral die, and it cut pretty well.  I did have a few corners that were stuck, but I was able to pull them apart with no damage.  I colored the foil cut outs with alcohol inks. The center button was chosen and added to a small length of wire, to which I strung my flowers.  This allowed a perfect way to attach my large embellishment as well.  Hopefully they will be well received by the recipients.  As always, the creative process was a joy.

I also recently finished up some chunky book pages.  The theme was birds and blooms.  I used a vintage bird book I found at an antique shop in Grand Rapids as my inspiration.  This was my first time using the flowers you can buy in a jar.  I stretched them out by cutting out some flowers, again from my die, with ephemera. I spritzed the flowers with inks and Glimmer Mists to unite them.

I used a bit of distressed sheet music to provide a back drop.  I finished the pages off with tissue tape, as you may know, I am addicted.  I think this frames out the page well and adds more texture.  The back of the page which I did not photograph, is embossed and distressed.  I had to make 20 of these babies!!!

I can't wait to see how my birds and blooms Chunky Book turns out!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Caged Bird Tag

This tag was created for a swap with the gals over at OWSE.  I started by inking with a foam applicator in several colors and then further distressing with spray inks.  I used gears and a spinner to create a layered embellishment.  The die was my source of inspiration and the subject of my swap.  It is by the one and only Tim Holtz.  I used alcohol inks directly on the bird to achieve a nice rich color and left the cage as is.  A brad is the eye of the bird and a direct application of alcohol ink created the rich red color.  I revisited my original crafty passion of beading by adding wired drops with crystals from a broken vintage necklace. 

The bird and cage were cut from the coolest stuff ever.  I found some vintage craft supplies at an antique show!  I scored four packages of foil sheets that originally sold for fifty cents a package. I paid five dollars for the lot, which included two sets of dried up useless paint.  The foil cut like butter in my die cutting machine. Pretty cool!

Altered Corsage Pins

I thought this was such a cute idea and so simple.  I added a few cyrstals from old broken vintage jewlry along with a few bead spacers.  I tried to "stop" them with crimping beads, but that did not work.  I resorted to a dab of Glossy Accents at the bottom over the cripmed beads and that worked fine.   I plan to use these in other projects as well as for pins on my vision board.

I considered adding glitter to the pearl portion of the pins, but decided against it for this batch.  I think that this would be a good addition though.  I also think using different types of beads would yeild a totally different effect.  

Sunday, March 13, 2011

A journey begins

I am excited to start another round robin journal swap.  I am currently in two that are wrapping up and I am excited to see the outcome.  I intend to document my participation in this one here in my new creative little world. 

Above is the inside cover of my book.  This journal came from a garage sale.  It was made by an artist, I picked up three of them and I wish I got more.  The pages are filled with interesting paper; college handouts, magazine images and other office ephemera.  I have encouraged my partners to add to the cover, we shall see if they take the bait.  

The piece that is covering my address is a chunky book page that I am working on.  It needs something else still...

These are two of my favorite envies, created just for me.  I am showcasing my swap buddies art in my journal.  The theme is mail art, which really can be interpreted in so many ways.  I have attached them so that the pocket is still intact.  I just love pockets! I love making books, and journals, and art!  Anyhow, I have tucked in a little card that I embossed and inked.  Inside is a list of all my swapping gals.  I also have a letter tucked inside the other side.  It is written on vintage ledger paper and tucked in an old air mail envie.  My wish is for my partners to take creative liberty and add to any part of the book...

The back of the book is filled with more recycled mail, stickers, stamps, tissue tape and book pages.  Such a fun start to a very cool little project.  Stay tuned to see my entries in more mail art journals that are traveling the world. 

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Yet another first

I just love trying new things.  It seems like I am always doing "something" for the first time.  Here is a picture of my first altered scrabble tile pendants. 

I started by creating a small collage on my tiles.  In these, I used napkins and postage stamps.  I intended for these to be finished at this point, so I added foil tape around the edges.  I experimented with folding the extra foil on both the front and the back of the pendant. After completing this experiment, I prefer the cleaner look of folding the extra on the back side. 

The bail was then added to the back. I had some trouble finding them, but Hobby Lobby proved to be the spot.  I purchased two types, one found in the bead area, and another type found with the glass bead making supplies.  I prefer the later, however they are a bit more expensive.

These pendants were then sealed with Glossy Accents.  I did not get a very good finish with my first coat of Glossy Accents.  I think this was user error and lack of experience.  Due to my poor application, I decided to add a second layer.  When I was adding the additional Glossy Accents, I remembered that I had just received an order of watch parts.  I added them last minute, and I love the way they turned out!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Winter Inspiration III

While I am so tired of winter, I still continue to strive to take inspiration from it.  I created these little ornaments some time ago, but I decided to drag them out after reading this month's issue of Cloth, Paper, Scissors (CPS).  This magazine is such an inspiration to me.  When it comes in the mail, I always have to wait to read it until I can be with it for a while because I savor each project, each image, even the advertisements are eye candy.

I am always stuck by the constant call for art.  I often wonder if I am good enough to submit and fantasize about doing so.  Well, yesterday I took the plunge.  I stopped thinking of all the reasons not too, stopped listening to that critical inner voice, and I just simply took action and did it. 

CPS was calling for several genres of art including holiday gift projects, as well as wired art submissions.  This made me recall these sweet little ornaments I recently created from wire, broken jewelry, found objects, buttons and beads.  So simple, so forgiving and so elegant.  So submitted!  It was an easy process.  I hope for this to be the first of many submissions.  Perhaps one day, I will grace the pages of my coveted zine! 

I have gifted these ornaments many times to family and friends and find they are usually happily received and displayed year after year.  I love the feeling I get when I see a bit of my artistic musing out in the world being enjoyed by it's recipient.  When this happens I feel affirmed on a very deep level.  It is important for me to create beauty in the world.