woyww #8

What's on Your Worktable Wednesday, my edition #8, main edition #143!  Julia over at Stamping Ground is the master hostess and it's the perfect time to check in with other crafters/artists and see where they work and what's in their little creative brains.

For me, my downstairs desk is full of pieces of my Lettering Love journal (class info here) and my ALAW project.  It stays fairly tidy because it's just pens and paper.

Upstairs is a totally different story.  I paint, splash, and make messes .... the project on my desk is a do-over.  I had this canvas hanging on the wall but didn't really love it.  Then I read a couple of posts this week (Jane Davies and Julie Balzer) who both started over on projects...... so I did too.  I kept the bit I liked and will see if I can work it into something new....

I also bought a $1 roll of masking tape to try making my own decorative tape - maybe for my lettering journal?  Thanks for checking in with me.


texture tuesday: white

Kim Klassen encouraged us to work with white this week.  Not a usual subject or color way for me, none-the-less I scoured my photo archives and found a couple of different options.

Original photo:
Taken outside Caesar's in Las Vegas.  Cropped & adjusted by duplicating the photo at screen, adding Kim's "word" texture at saturation 69% (removed much of the blue), and finally adding "anabelle" at pin light 54% for the music detail.

Original photo #2:

Daisies in my neighbor's yard.  Adjusted by adding Kim's "word" at linear light blending mode 24% and then for some texture, "stamped softly" texture at soft light 69%.

Another fun exercise; thanks Kim!  Please take a minute to see the other talented participants and maybe even join in yourself!


lettering love: journal

Lesson 24 of Joanne's lettering love online class was to make a bunch of backgrounds and bind them with duck tape (or washi or whatever tape available) into a journal.   I've been working on these the last few days to the exclusion of all my other projects and decided to share my background pages with you before I start the lettering.

I used a wide range of art supplies & techniques:  acrylic paint, watercolor pencils, oil pastels, stencils, stamps; paint spreading with a credit card, a brush, my fingers, spritzing and splattering.

Front cover:
I was lucky to find this patterned duck tape in a color palette that blends with colors I like to use.  I decided to use a recurring theme of stamped butterfly-ish critters throughout.....

Pages 1,2 (2 is smaller than the rest of the pages)

You can see the edge of page 1 peeking in at the edge....

Pages 7 & 8 - I made them side by side with a big 12" clock stencil as the first layer.  The black & white is another duck tape pattern.

Smooshy finger painting, some brush dancing on the right, stenciling and a small blue butterfly stamp along with mixed use of my duck tapes.

Wanted to have something dark to try my white lettering pens on....not my fave patterns, but maybe the addition of lettering and details will liven them up.

Like these colors MUCH better.

Finally, the back cover.

So, as I finish the lettering on each page, I'll share my progress....  One of my goals this year is to add some pizzazz to my handwriting.  I think I have neat, tidy printing but it's unremarkable and I want to be able to be more artsy about writing when the occasion calls for it.  This class is NOT a calligraphy or class for making formal, structured letters, but more about free flowing, creative, spontaneous alphabets.  I'm having so much fun with it.  AND I like that it combines my enjoyment of making layered, textured pages with lettering.  What could be better?


lettering love: cutouts

Lesson 20 in my LetterLove online class (given by Joanne Sharpe) is about making random painted backgrounds both in my journal and on separate papers. Then, letter a word or phrase, cut it out and glue to a decorated journal page.  This wasn't one of my favorite lessons, but the exercise was interesting.  First, some of the decorative backgrounds I made using paints, collage, markers, oil pastels, stencils, brayer, etc.  These are all on bristol paper about 6x9".


I started out hating the background below - the colors were sagey greens and golds and browns and it was a muddy, blobby mess.  You can just barely see the greens peeking through after I covered it all up with a buff color and started over - now I really like it.
I cut words out of 3 of them and glued them on prepared backgrounds in my lettering journal (a strathmore sketching notebook).
 I really didn't like this background - it started with gluing down a book page and painting over it, but it was too muddy and unappealing for me.

This was my favorite result - using the map just sparked the travel word and it's certainly one of our favorite activities!  Also it seemed to make sense with this background - very tropical feeling.

This word would have been much prettier on a different background, but this is what I had and it's .... okay.

Even though Joanne's class is drawing to a close, the videos and lessons are staying up forever, so the class is available to start at any time - whenever it fits into your schedule.  It was great fun and inspirational and encouraging - got me to experiment with and work on improving my lettering options.  If that's something of interest to you, check out her class and the flickr group.


PAF: beauty from ugly

Interesting challenge from Bonnie over at Pixel Dust Photo Art this week - take something ugly or that you don't like and see if you can improve it by making it digitally artistic.  Hmmm.....sounds like fun, right?  Well it is, but it's so darn addicting and it's hard to know which ugly photo to choose and when does it become "art".  Here's where I stopped....

Here are the elements I used.

My "ugly" is the image of the wing - it's the plastic wing from a Budweiser eagle that my hubby has hanging in the garage.  I keep trying to find a convenient and clear way to showing what I've done and I kind of like this little snapshot idea - what do you think?  Is it helpful or interesting?  Anyway, I combined 3 photos and Bonnie's Artist texture - you can see the word "artist" on the left side of the wing.  I thought if the words were there, that would make me one! Ha.  I used linear light on the ice at 100% and vivid light on the Christmas lights at 55%; overlay on the texture.  I used layer masks (love those!) on both the lights & ice images.

Then I tried another more......elegant.... treatment of the wing and came up with this:

The base photo here is some fall trees in Montreal, the wing and a texture from Nancy Donaldson and another one (the words) from Skeletal Mess (find him on flickr).

I can't wait to see what others have come up with - are you as addicted to the whole PSE thing as I am?

ALAW for february

I'm having so much fun with my ALAW project.  I like that it doesn't move super fast and I have a month to get my 4 letters done.  I'm super impressed with the variety of other alphabets being developed by other participants and hope you'll take a minute to visit - you can join in any time!  Here's my set for February:

I continued my color palette progression paint splatters, my black wavy string connecting all squares and then filling each 3" square with a hand drawn alpha and some tangles.  I decided to back each tile with a solid color paper emphasizing the paint color and think that little 1/8" border helps enhance the color a lot.  I can't believe I was able to find scrapbook paper just the right colors!  And it was on sale!


woyww #7

Today is another WOYWW (what's on your work table Wednesday) hosted by Julia at Stamping Ground.  Let me tell you LOTS of folks participate in this - I guess it feeds the voyeur in us.  It is a great time to see other workspaces and projects they're working on......

I cleaned off my downstairs work table (above) last week in my cleaning flurry and I love it cuz now I have space to work on my ALAW project - an alphabet connected by zentangles and paint spatters.

My upstairs desk is obviously where I do the messy, painty, gluey stuff - I've got this collage going through about it's third permutation and I'm liking this base a little better than the others but there's much yet to do.

What's on YOUR desk?


texture tuesday: anything goes

Kim at Kim Klassen's Cafe is leaving this week's Texture Tuesday (tomorrow) wide open - just use at least one of her free textures.  This group makes THE most gorgeous, soft, romantic, elegant images filled with beautiful flowers and scenery.  I usually comply.  This week I'm a rebel!  I had the idea of beginning with one of my collages, adding a texture and going from there.  What I came up with surprised me and I think I've found a new tool to inspire painting/journal entries:

(ED:  Ooops - as I went to link up, I discovered I apparently missed a week and this week's theme was to use her texture Felicity.....last week was free and easy.  Oh well, hope you guys don't mind....  Next week's theme is to focus around the color white & texture.  I'll remember, promise!)

My original images:
Some paint and collage of magazine pages.

The gazing ball in our yard covered with frost and shadows.

Kim's texture Ugg Love.  Mix and stir and blend them all together and I came up with this:

I flattened my art and the texture to make a new 'texture' layer then applied it to the gazing ball at difference 85%, duplicated that layer again and used vivid light blending mode at 90%.  One of the best things about textures and blending is the vast variety of results - it's such a great way to explore color combinations.  I also tried these:

Look what happens when you distort one of the textures layers, offsetting the collage elements.

As you can see, the options are endless and just like with actual painting, the trick is knowing when to stop!  Here's to a week of experimenting for all of us!  Be sure to stop by Kim's and check out all the pretty and inspiring images.

Okay, here's one pretty one for those of you that made it this far:

I used two textures, Light Paper and If Only then erased most of each over the middle of the flower leaving only the edge details.  FUN!
Also linking to Creative Every Day - I often forget to link to this each week, but it's a great resource to follow some really creative ladies.


tutorial tuesday: wallpaper

This week Ashley at Ramblings and Photos challenged us to use layers to create a wallpaper look behind a main image.  This is similar to tasks I do all the time so just did a quickie to make sure I understood the challenge.  I used a photo of me I took a while ago and added a vintage look (which the tutorial suggested) but I'm more of a modern kind of gal so I also converted me to black and white and went with a bolder wallpaper.  I didn't take tons of time with the erasing, so I have a slight glow around me that I wouldn't have if I were going to do something professional with the idea.  Anyway, here's my wallpaper treatment....