Thursday, March 31, 2011

Wrapping up...


 While wrapping up a couple of  packages from Etsy sales this week, I was reminded  again of  how much I enjoy 'hands on' as opposed to 'hands on keyboard'  creating.  So with a few days of solitude on my hands this weekend, I'm intending on minimizing my digital creating and maximizing my fabric and mixed media cravings.  Change is calling me.

Although, I have to say, I love some of the new textures, stamps, overlays that seem to be showing up everywhere I look these days. The little stars 'stamp'  at the top of the illustration below is but one example from Holliewood Studios "Kitsch" kit.  My favorite is the "Journal Junk" kit with a variety of 'stamped' images and great papers to layer.  I made this card for a dear friend who suffered a stroke last week at 46.  Change is coming her way now too. 

"Pony Express"  8 x 10 inch digital Illustration
Image Credits -
C. Renee
 Tumble Fish Studio
 Tangie Baxter
Holliewood Studios
 Finecrafted Studios
Crowabout Studio B

While my  internal jury was still deliberating on whether I would pursue more compositions with an abundance of negative space, I decided to print my latest experiment onto cloth .  Earlier this week I  took to the sewing machine and came up with a quick miniature art pillow - perfect to cozy up along side some of my favorite Bantock books.  I am still a real novice when it comes to sewing and the stitching you may be able to see on the photos below,  seemed  off, as in flat.  Eventually I figured out I'd put the bobbin in backwards.  The one consolation was I had  a fat square of the bullseye-esque fabric (actually it probably resembles a more African motif)  which I thought tied in to the details in the composition. 

                                       Mini Art Pillow - "Take One"

Speaking of Nick Bantock - my muse was flying by the seat of her pants and as I was taking the above snapshots, I had to take a little break to have a visit with the king of collage.  Particularly in light of the news he has just released The Venetian as an APP for iPad - wonderful news!  I've been wondering when he would surface once more after his exhibit in Colorado and was happy to hear his wonderful prose and collage will reach a wider audience!  Check it out here -!/thevenetianbynickbantock or for  a measily $4.99 go directly to iTunes to purchase it here  It makes me want to go buy an iPad!

I told Nick straight up that my goal was to make art that looked just like his.  Give me another 50 years and I may come close.  But it never hurts to try and despite my intentions to get off the digital kick, I did succumb only because of how IN SPIR ED I was after turning just a few of the pages in the Griffin and Sabine trilogy...I love mail art! Below, my best effort to 'lift' his style...a goal in progress....

Madame Pelican Mail
digital illustration work in progress - 20 x 12 inches

And to satisfy your literary cravings, here's a little poem by an unknown author on this very subject -

A wonderful bird is the pelican,
His bill will hold more than his belican.
He can take in his beak
Food enough for a week,
But I’m damned if I see how the helican.
Thanks for reading!  Stay tune for ...more changes.... :0)

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Magic Series !! Bullseye? - Giveaway for April


"Tip of The Hat"
Magic Series #2 - art illustration print
Dimensions - inside square approximately 8 x8 inches

"First Star I See Tonight"
Magic Series #1 - art illustration print
Dimensions - inside square approximately 8 inches

Image Credits:
Holliewood Studio
Tumble Fish Studio
Paper Whimsy
Finecrafted Designs

I am really excited about this new series I've coined "Magic".   The second image has been "in process" for months and months - as I worked and reworked it.    Then, on Friday I picked up a copy of Feb 2011 Quilting Arts magazine and the work of several of the artists in the issue just resonated so strongly  and I was able to finish the second image and create a companion to the series.  Now, nothing that I've created resembles the contents in the magazine.  I wish.  What I experienced as I flipped through the pages,   was more the notion  of the use of positive and negative space that seemed to 'gel'.  Now,  #3 is in my mind, and I have several ideas percolating.  So many, that I am wanting to hurry through this blogpost to get back to it.   

What I think, or feel,  is that  I am at the beginning stages of creating the type of illustration/art/images that really seem to spell M-E.    I've been dabbling in mixed media, altered art, illustration and all manner of crafting and techniques related to these different genres for upward to five years now, occasionally feeling like I was getting closer, but not 'spot on.'  The small black and white bullseyes you can see within each piece reflect this excitement and this 'spot on' feeling!  The other grey ones are just watermarks!
I look foward to creating more in this 'style' and hope that I'm not just 'pipe dreaming' as quite often I become infatuated with my current musings, temporarily  - not unlike seeing photographs of me as a teen with 36 inch bell bottoms or "flares" and gasping at how I ever managed to be seen in public!  But oh I loved them then.    The kaboom lasts for a few days or weeks, then  passes,  I get back on the horse, to travel to other places with my muse.

For this time, yet not the first time, your feedback and comments will be extremely helpful to me as I decide whether or not I will 'settle in' to this style.  I have visions of taking these images to cloth, watercolor paper and canvas and think of how much I'd love toss cushions or even an art quilt created out of several squares.

And, in an effort to encourage feedback, I'll  have a give-away in April and draw from the comments (regardless of whether they are negative or positive !!) and send one set out to that person.   In order to qualify,  leave a comment with a link on how I can get back to you should you name be drawn.  Of course, you are more than welcome to travel on over to Etsy where you`ll find them  both listed.  I`ve reduced the price of my prints by eliminating the matting - this makes it not only less expensive materials-wise, but also less costly to ship!   This was suggested by blog readers several months ago!

Thanks and good luck!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Sunday Postcard Art - White

Sunday Postcard Art - White 4 x 6 inch digital

Image Credits:  Tangie Baxter, Dove Stock -, Holliewood \Studios - Stark,

Thursday, March 24, 2011


Hurray!  My February 2011 project is now complete.  I had originally started out with a modification of one of my old blog headers for this project as it seemed to fit   Karen Owen's theme - Grandmother's Attic.     But THEN, Holliewood Studios came out with a wonderful package of images entitled "Auntie Em's."  Since I will be a month late in mailing this to her, I thought I'd add in a 3rd page. I also never send only the prints of digital illustrations but instead either transfer them onto cloth, or cut and paste them.  So, thinking the Granny's Attic page was a bit of a short cut  I created the page to the right, unable to resist the look and feel of  texture. 

Extra Skinny Page - 4 x 8 inch - cut and paste illustration

Blurry Close Up

The below images remind me of my visits to my Grandma's house when I was a little girl.  She had this wonderful attic that was a perfect place to hide from my cousins along with this fabulous junk drawer that was a mile wide and full of things JUST for her grandchildren.  Did you ever yell "All ye all ye outs and free" when you were 'it' in a game of hide and go seek?  I was always "it" I swear.  I only had two girl cousins who were older, I was the youngest and my boy cousins always seemed to cajole me into being 'it'.  I recall summers at the lake when I would get so frustrated playing Kick the Can, "it" again.  Once I filled the can up with sand and just went back inside, leaving them hiding - they may have been bigger and more able to climb trees, but I outwitted them.  Early lessons in girl power!

4 x 8 inch Skinny Page (back) - Granny's Attic - digital illustration with embellishments

Close up of the little round page "pebbles"
4 x 8 inch Skinny Page Front - cut and paste with transparencies, vintage laces machine stitched on and "Fantasy Film" - ironed and pasted.
This is a close up of the transluscent "Fantasy Film" I cut and glued over the glasses to create 'rose colored glasses"  Fantasy Film comes in a variety of different colors and is available here   You can sew  it, layer it, glue it onto other substrates with a subtle transparency.

Image Credits - for the backs of each page and Address Label

In between getting serious about some major spring cleaning this week, I stole a few snippets of time since my last post to move closer in the direction of finishing some already overdue project commitments.  If for no other reason than to relieve my guilty conscious as being late weighs heavy on my mind, I am posting updates to three works-in-progress below.  I hope they also may spark some creativity to those of you looking for a bit of color or inspiration to kick start your own spirit!

Below, one side of a skinny page with another one of Lewis Hine's famous figures - all of the various images now cut and ready to hit the 'paste' ... while I was cutting these out, I happened upon The Story Of The Day by Brian Andreas that seemed to fit in here -

Riding The Pony - Brian Andreas

"When I was younger, my favorite thing was riding the pony outside the Safeway. My dad always said I should save my money for something better, but I could ride for miles all over the West & always end up back at the Safeway & all it cost was a quarter & I still can't think of anything better than that. "

And the image that inspired the above by Lewis Hine -

I've also found myself back in the mood to bead and embroider - and thanks to Auntie Marsha, I have an amazing stash now of vintage tatting!   I hand stitched the soft pink and yellow tatting to the page with green and pink embroidery thread.

And, still waiting for the 'right' inspiration to finish this off -

As always, a big thank you  for following, reading or commenting on my posts!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

More Cut and Paste ATC's as s o o t h i n g Art Therapy!

Seems I had a bit of a 'run with scissors' over the past few weeks, and  enjoyed creating some cut and paste ATC's - good therapy for me.....

Here's a few photographs....starting with -

....a face from Paper Whimsy, a body from Lewis Hine, and wings from Tumble Fish Studio...



then out came an old postage stamp with more images from Paper Whimsy, Tumble Fish Studio and the background of one of the "see below" ATC sized notecards....I ended up applying a coat of Golden Soft Gel on this one....more texture...and well, I think it came out to hide a bit of glue that got away from me!

.....the little figure below is thanks to  a  Land of Nod 'freebie'  and she  became an instant favorite - b e c a u s e I have a favorite blanket too!....(little known secrets)  from Two.....along with more funky borders, tickets and wings  from Tumble Fish Studio and a background from Finecrafted Designs "Full Steam Ahead"

Plunked them all in a little 'see below' envelope....

 I also created a new notecard and matching envelope (2.5 x 3.5 inch-sized)so I had  a way to package the ATC's since I usually trade these or use them as little thank you gifts.

I loved the kaliedescope of colors in bits and pieces that start out from some of Tumble Fish Studio digital wonders!  So, I decided to create similar designs in three different colors....oh, how one thing leads to another and another.... so - below are 3 different color families - I've listed these matching cards and envelopes for digital downloads on Etsy

Finally, after looking at Terri's,  (Pringle Hill Studio) Tracey's  (Glitterbug) and Kate's (The Katherine Wheel) - see sidebar for links to each of their sites,   funky journal calendars for months and being continually inspired by their artwork,  - I did resort back to the computer to create a digital calendar for April - again using the Lewis Hine image  that I had (see below) extracted and colored as a start - these could be habit-forming!!!!

Here's the original photograph from Lewis Hine: 

And with a little bit of digital slowly transformed.....

I don't know if I am finished with this yet - I love the detail Lewis Hine captured on his shirt and the simplicity of the pose.....

Digital Illustration from Lewis Hine photograph - 8 x 10 inches

Thanks for reading and have an artFULL day!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Sunday Postcard Art - Fair Maiden

For a good time... Sunday Postcard Art
 - 4 x 6 inch  low res version digital illustration

Last night, not in the mood for finishing some of my mixed media/sewing projects that I have to attend to!!!!, instead I decided to 'run with scissors' and made a "handmade" cut and paste ATC  version of this illustration - here's a scan of the front and back with 16 individual, little  itsy bitsy peices:

Cut and Paste ATC - 2.5 x 3.5 inches

Visit the others on starting March 20th at 
(and say Hi to Terri from Pringle Hill Studio who hosted this week!)

Image Credits: 
 Finchley, Lorie Davison, Tumble Fish Studio, Sherrie JD, Holliewood Studios, Iktupilli

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Butterfly Effect Update #19

Just when I thought there couldn't possibly be another way to create and design a butterfly, the below group photograph of 28 butterflies arrived in the mail. A huge thank you to Jennifer Rogers-Daniels, the first art blogger/elementary school teacher to complete a class project on the Holocaust Museum Houston's Butterfly Project. I am delighted to know that these 28 Grade Two students each had the lesson on Ending Hatred via this meaningful project. Thanks to Jennifer.

 Some of the children didn't sign the back of their butterflies, so I've decided to not label each individual butterfly.

From Jennifer Rogers- Daniels Grade Two Class Students
Santa Barbara, California, USA
(to view each of the above butterflies individually click on any one of them above)

Jennifer Rogers-Daniels
Santa Barbara, California, USA

And the same day, this precious butterfly from Kim (IMAGIRL) arrived as well!  All in all a great MAIL day!

Kim Collister
Conway, Arkansas, USA

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

What a doll!

Less than a month ago, my art blogging soul sister, Marsha    (MamaFish at Tumble Fish Studio)  introduced me to  Sandy Mastroni's handmade, sewn  and  painted dolls in one of her blog posts here along with a very 'handy' link to Sandy's Etsy shop here.  

Needless to say, I was immediately drawn to her quirky, unique  dolls and purchased my first in what probably, like Marsha  will also become a growing collection of her art dolls.  She arrived early last week and I couldn't have been more pleased.  Sandy has the ability to capture these unique facial characteristics that speak to me!

One of the features in Etsy is the option of sending the vendor a photograph in the Feedback section.  I told Sandy I would do just that and this morning snapped the below photo that features front and center the doll I purchased from her along with my growing collection of other dolls. 

 I NEVER thought for a moment I would start a doll collection - the tomboy that I've always been - and yet - as you can see, one should NEVER say never....

Her name is Plain Jane and she stands 14 inches tall.    Beside her you'll see one of my other recent purchases, the very tall folk art doll I brought home from my recent trip to Puerto Vallarta.    She too is hand carved and painted and signed by an artist named "Roberto." Unfortunately, I've been unable to find a link to any on-line information about Roberto.

Plain Jane's new home in my sewing studio

Sandy Mastroni - Plain Jane - Handmade Art Doll