Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Tag Tuesday - Butterflies

Today's tag challenge at  Kard Krazy was butterflies. 
(click for better view)

I used part of an old French music sheet as the background, layered an information scrap torn from an old nature book and then used an old image of butterflies and a dandelion, altered with Spica pens. Watercolor pencils, distress inks, and sheer multicolored ribbon were incorporated into the piece. There is gold leafing around the outside of the tag, but it's not showing very well.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Mixed Media Monday-Cooled Down, and Simon Says Layered Skinny

Last week for the Mixed Media Monday challenge we were seeing red. This week we were challenged to "Cool It Down". I enjoyed doing this one quite a bit.

(click to see details)

The background is 5 x 7 handmade paper on which distress inks were used. The Geisha and the bamboo were rubber stamped, and then colored with Spica and Sakura pens and colored pencils. I distressed the torn rice paper with Japanese characters and also added an old jewelry finding. The bottom is trimmed with cotton lace dyed with distress inks. The handmade paper has plant material in it, which adds to the general feeling of the piece.

Also, I did a Skinny (3x 5) for the Simon Says Layer Challenge and it is also for the latest Alphabet Skinny Swap - the letter Y. 

(click to see details)
The title comes from the small printed area in the center. The background is Tim Holtz Idea-logy paper, on which I used a small page torn from an old Thesaurus. I included images of a bunch of grapes, a copy of an old wine label, a piece of cork and an old jewelry finding of a grape leaf. I'm pretty happy with this one too!

Have a great Monday!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Day of Sorrow

A dear friend has passed away in Charleston. Cadwallader "Quaddy" Jones and his wife Lucy were some of the first people I got to know when I started attending Church Creek PCA church, Charleston SC, in January 1980. After John and I were married, we became one of many, many people they had out to their beach home for visits, cook-outs and sometimes we house sat for them. What fun that was, their home was on the beach front on Sullivan's Island!

He was one of the finest men I ever knew, and one of his daughters is a good friend. He and Lucy were born the same years as my parents and I had been raised to call my parent's peers "Mr. & Mrs." but they quashed that right off, saying they were just plain Lucy and Quaddy. We all sang in the church choir together for years. Quaddy had been ill for several years with Alzheimer's and went to be with his Savior Wednesday evening, 25 Aug 2010 at 88 years old.

What makes this sadder for me is that I cannot travel the distance because of this illness. John is going down tomorrow and will attend the funeral Monday. Sometimes I just hate this illness. It's a 4 hour drive and I would be exhausted before the first hour was up, and be a burden on everyone. It just breaks my heart.

If you want to read about him, there was an article in the Charleston paper here.  John served as an Elder alongside Quaddy for many years at Church Creek and we had deep respect and love for Lucy and Quaddy and their family.

Many blessings on the family.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A Skinny, Birds, and Dog

We've been seeing the red headed woodpecker frequently at the feeder, and a juvenile one as well. The juvenile is as big as the parent, but its head is black instead of red. You can't tell the gender in these woodpeckers, the male and female look exactly alike so we don't know whether we have the same adult coming nearly every day, or a pair. I guess if we see two out there at the same time, we'd know then! They are so fun to watch.

The artwork for today is a Skinny for the Alphabet series; we're on the letter X.
(click to see details)
I used some copies of ephemera, words from an old book page (where the title comes from), gaffer tape with letters on it and then rubbed gilt on the card and gaffer tape. I've enjoyed this series of swaps and will miss it when it's over.

Poor John has had to get up several times a night because Abby has some kind of stomach illness and has had to go outside to the bathroom a couple of times in the middle of the night. And we noticed today that she has been chewing on her tail and it's bleeding. We called the vet, but they were closed on Wednesday afternoon. Poor Abby, she can't tell us how she feels and we don't know what to do to help her. Calling the vet first thing in the morning!
Here's hoping for a happier doggy tomorrow!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Tag Tuesday - Ancestral

Louise always gives us such great challenges at Kard Krazy and today's was in a different direction - scrapbook a tag. Something to tell a story, something to share about your history, recent or ancestral. I chose my great great grandfather.

Lt. Col. Daniel Livingston
(click for details)
Lt. Col. Daniel Livingston served in the Confederate States Army and he was wounded at Second Manassas and Sharpsburg. Regardless of the ongoing heated political debate about the American Civil War, I am proud of my great great grandfather's service. I have studied our family history and the events that touched my family personally, so it has more meaning for me than just the fact the he was in the CSA.

This tag has a background of a copy of Confederate script (money), a copy of a letter in his handwriting, his photo in uniform, his gravestone photo, decorative black braid and a small bead and metal embellishment.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Something New

I have been wanting to submit something to Mixed Media Monday and today I had the time and energy to do just that. I went in a bit of a different direction, just to flex my artistic muscles. The theme is "Seeing Red".

(click on picture to view details)

I covered a canvas board with a copy of collaged scraps that I made a while back. I've had this ornate piece of jewelry for a some time and it always reminds me of a buckle. I also had three old metal springs which I stretched out, attached to the jewelry buckle, and then attached an old buckle to each end. The large piece is attached with black brads to the board. Turned out pretty well, I think!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Bloomin' Hot with Fall Colors

For all the clouds we had yesterday, today the sun is trying to do double time to catch up. We did end up having a couple of hours rain so it is still humid. To any readers who read earlier this summer about my planting the impatiens and how I had to do it a little bit at a time, today you can see the payoff. I planted them in an area right next to the side porch where there is a large old stump, as you can see in the pictures.

White morning glories grew up over the stump and added to the colors

In the next two pictures, you can see that some animal has been tromping through and breaking off the stems, which is happening at night. The only thing I can think of is a possum. This is the first year this has happened and I would not like to see it next year!

You can see our frequently used birdbath;
 the feeders are behind where I was standing to take this shot.

 And then, I noticed some leaves out on the grass. A few trees are showing their autumn promise in the midst of the heat. I love autumn, but it brings mixed feelings, because I really dread January, February and March up here. It's all brown, no color and cold.

I grew up in the deep South, and I'm sure there are readers who still consider me to be a part of that locality. In Charleston however, azaleas were out in full force in March, and tulip trees, witch hazel and red bud were showing in February. January always had a few days when it would get into the 60's. BUT.......in Charleston there were only two seasonal differentiations - Hot and Not. Hot was always the longer season, and it very rarely snowed. So, all things considered, I love where we are now, tucked away at the edge of the mountains in South Carolina.

Also, as I stood out in the very hot sun, a phrase I heard growing up came to mind: 

"Horses sweat, gentlemen perspire and ladies glisten."

I was glistening enough to make all my ancestors proud!

Hope your Sunday is blessed!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Cloudy Saturday

It's one of those days when the clouds hang low and occasionally it sprinkles or even drizzles. It keep the temperature down a bit, but the humidity is high. Out here in the country, it seems quieter than usual, no breezes to make the trees sway and rustle. I am not sure if it will really rain or not. It's just one of those kind of days!

Yesterday I felt strong enough to be in my studio and I got some things done and out of the way for different ATC swaps and mailed some postcards for Postcrossing. One swap was for the ongoing History of the Month's Names. It's been interesting learning the etymology of the name of each month on our present day calendar. Of course, the calendar itself is hundreds of years old, and we still use it as it was set out, including the names given for the months. The first 6 were named for Roman gods and goddesses, and then July and August were named for famous Caesars, then the next 4 months are forms of Roman numbers - seven, eight, nine and ten. The original calendar started off with March as the first month, then January and February were added.

                                          August was named for Augustus:
(click to view details)
It's funny how busts or statues look when they are colored in. They seem to have an other-worldly air about them until the color is added. Now they look like an ordinary mortal! For this ATC, i used Latin text, distress inks, coliseum image, hand colored image of Augustus' bust and some fabric leaves and an old jewelry finding.

I also host a swap on Swap-Bot for a World Tour. We have been to Egypt, Russia, Poland, Belize and now we are in Liechtenstein. (I enjoy finding countries which are out of the ordinary for trips!)
(click to view details)
This is the crest of the country, altered with Spica pens and distress inks, then I tinted a piece of acrylic with alcohol inks and layered that on top. 

This month's winner of a WTA I was in wanted us to do ATCs with the Seven Deadly Sins as the topic. I chose Gluttony.
Well, I don't think anybody wants to look like that!

I'm thankful that I have felt better in the past 48 hours and am trying very hard not to overdo it and have a relapse of any sort. So rest, rest and more rest!!!

Enjoy your Saturday!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Tag Tuesday - Not On Paper

This week at Kard Krazy, Louise has the theme as "Not On Paper". Interestingly enough, the one I made last week and wasn't able to get a good picture of because my camera had a problem, fits the bill this week as well.
(click on picture to see details)
This is made from fabric, ribbon, chipboard, glass beads, gems, sequins, crown charm, waxed cord, rhinestone, and Spica pens for accent. We often see a submission that fits more than one challenge, so I hope it's OK to submit something that fits a challenge more than once, especially since I have been too ill to even step into my studio the past 10 days. If not, well, at least you get to see what it looks like when it's focused properly!

Some other things I did before having to take to my bed are these:

Asian Series, Vietnam ATC

The Journey ATC
1 For All #11 (Use the clock image)

1970 (6 x 4)
For the Rewind Week in the Bloggerette Society

Hope you enjoyed! 
Click on any of them of you want to see more details.

I do feel better today, thanks for all you prayers and well wishes!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A Nice Surprise!

In the midst of the yucky health problems I'm having, it was a nice surprise to find out that my entry for the Gingersnap Sunshine Challenge was picked as one of the GingerGems! 

That put a smile on my face!!

You can see it, along with the other winners here.  Now, I'm getting ready for a doctor's visit.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Tag Tuesday .............. on Saturday?

This is my entrance for the Tag Tuesday weekly challenge at Kard Krazy. Yes, it's Saturday.

(click on picture to see better)
This is a scan, and it's the best that could be done with the 3D elements of gems on the bottom crown. I actually did this on Tuesday, but the port on my camera broke and I could not upload it to my computer. I have had to order a scan reader and memory card so that I can bypass the USB upload and they are not here yet. I am not happy with the result, but since it is the weekend, they will not be here till Monday at the earliest.

You might wonder why I did not just run out and get them. Well, I live out in the country and I cannot drive very far because of this illness. And this has been a most horrid week, as it pertains to my health. I developed some kind of virus which has made life pretty miserable and hopefully I am on the mend. I won't bore everyone with details, suffice it to say I am looking forward to better days, Lord willing.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Sunday Postcard Art - Houses

This week at Sunday Postcard Art the theme is houses. 
(click for to view details)

Made with an altered magazine image of a house, hand colored prints of old photos, sheer ribbon, fibers, old song sheet (where the title came from), old letter, cardstock cutouts with copper accents, antique French brass bird, acrylic paints, watercolors, pastel chalks, sharpies, distressed inks and Diamond Glaze.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Cat Pinwheel Card

One of my sisters loves to get my art cards and treasures them all, so it is a delight to design things for her. She has had some health issues stemming from a fall at her job so getting mail is doubly pleasurable these days. 
(click on picture to view details)
One Cat......
I used the pinwheel technique from TJ's latest newsletter and then attached an old Coke bottle cap that I had flattened with a hammer. Inside the bottle cap is a vintage image of cats, which was covered with Diamond Glaze and allowed to dry making it look like the image was under glass. The stamp sentiment is from Scrolls Works and it is an apt one for her! I used a paper punch for the corners and then added them to the bottom area, outside of the brads.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

A Wren Skinny and Some Musings

(click on picture to see details)

I had a Skinny (3 x 5) due for the Alphabet Series I am in, for the letter W. I had inked the background earlier for another swap which was cancelled, so I used that background for this. I really like it and hate to let it go, but I know the person who is getting it will give it the TLC it needs!

Since I started this blog, I have been exposed to so many artists, art sites, challenges and art supply sites than I ever realized were out there. I have seen so many different techniques and have met so many friendly people that it has been a heady experience. I  had to reexamine my approach to it all the other day, though. I was feeling overwhelmed, slightly depressed, anxious and I really wasn't sure why. I know that this illness tends to have that effect and magnify any symptoms along those lines, but I still couldn't put my finger on it. After contemplation, I realized that I had begun seeing all this as things I SHOULD be doing, SHOULD be learning, SHOULD have in my supply collection and lo and behold, I wasn't having any fun!

I started doing art last September, encouraged by my daughter and husband to try it and give myself something to look forward to. I was beginning to see some improvement in my illness since it began in summer of 08, and I needed something that I could pick up and put down when I needed to, something to pique my interest. I started off slow, with a few swaps on Swap-Bot and found out, I have a talent for this! What a gift from God, and it was fun too! I began my blog in May of this year and have been spreading my wings a bit and finding it very exciting. BUT...... I do not want to lose the fun! So, I will continue to learn and enjoy, but I am happy not being part of every single thing I see. And, I will do things my style, and if it isn't what someone is looking for in a challenge, that's OK-I like it!

I'm dropping the SHOULDS! If I am not having fun, then I don't want to do it. There are too many things in this life that have to be done, and many of them are not fun, but necessary. My art, however, is my choice to have a most enjoyable time, and if I am too tired to do it, that's OK, tomorrow is coming. I am thankful for each time I can sit down in my studio and I look forward in delight to what God brings out of my heart that day!


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

A Couple of ATCs

After recovering from my Steampunk binge, I realized I needed to get some other things done on my art obligation list. I was just invited to join the ATCDivas group and am participating in the August swap. One thing that is different about it, is that you must create 6 ATCs as near alike as possible. That's new for me! It will take some planning to do a quality ATC but at the same time, simple enough to make several without wearing yourself out. This is my first one, the August theme is Juicy Fruit (and all 6 are ready to go!):
It has to have layers and it has to be using some kind of technique. For this I did a tape transfer of a piece of Victorian fruit image ephemera in my stash. I then stamped a small tag with a background stamp from Stampers Anonymous, colored it with distress ink, and put the tape transfer on it. I used colored fibers and sequins and distress ink to finish it off. The background calendar is from Tim Holtz.

The next ATC is for a series of swaps touring different countries in Asia; this month we are in Mongolia.
For this I used an ancient painting of a Mongolian warrior, deepened the color with Spica pens and added a bit of fancy ribbon. Then I dyed a small sheet of acrylic with alcohol inks and added that as a top layer, one of my favorite techniques.

Hope your Wednesday has been a good one!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Tag Tuesday-Dress Form

A variation on the Tag idea today!  Sarah at Vintage Figments is guest hosting today and our theme is a dress form template found on Mirkwood Designs.

(click for closer view)

Now, I will be the first to say that I went a little crazy with this! I wanted to do something different and ended up spending most of the day on it, and dragging out all kinds of bins and lidded containers as I searched through almost everything on my shelves. As anyone who has been following me knows, I have ME/CFS (severe chronic fatigue) and now I am truly worn out! But it was fun to do and yes, it's different! I used Tim Holtz paper for the background, rubber stamps are by Oxford Impressions, and the dress form is a vinyl wall paper scrap. Also on there is a zipper head, watch parts, a smiley face charm, a Coke charm, number eyelets, sequins, and an antique enamel French number plate with brads; sides are edged with Silver Leaf pen. Some of the metallic things are reflecting light and look reddish, but they are silver. The paper looks as if it may be rippling, but it isn't.

It may be busy, but it's not boring! Now I have to pick up my studio.

Perhaps later. ;)