Wednesday, April 23, 2008


I bought myself a sketchbook a couple days ago. I bought a fairly nice one, with watercolour paper (just in case i feel the need). I like the thickness of the paper, and the smoothness. SO much better for drawing than in my altered book... essentially on pages in a book, glued together. The glue left bumps, they weren't thick enough, they had text on them... it just wasn't working for me. As fun as my altered book is, i think i am ready to step things up a bit :).

The skull was drawn yesterday, looking at a skull sticker i had. It was practice for the skulls on yesterday's 'Styx' ATC's. Today, i was at Kelly's blog, Soul Humming (which i adore) and saw a post of a fabulous piece someone created from recycled junk mail (by the way, happy earth day all!) I loved the lines of her face, and decided to try sketching it. I am still not at a point where i can sit and draw without looking at something and sort of drawing it in a VERY similar way, but i think this was good for me, as it was in a different incompatible media, and i was not able to simple replicate what was already done. I am quite pleased with how these sketches turned out :).

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

A touch of darkness...

I just finished my 'Styx' ATC today. I had finished the acrylic, gesso and India ink background a couple weeks ago and knew i wanted a 'river styx' themed ATC, but wasn't sure what to put on top of the background. After doing some sketching in my new sketchbook today, i created a fabulous sketch of a skull with flames (inspired by a sticker i picked up). Although i liked my pencil sketch of the skull FAR more than the painted one on these ATCs, i am still pleased with how these turned out.

I realize that there is a touch of darkness to these cards... sporting skulls on them and whatnot... I usually do not have darkness in my art but i sometimes wonder why. Art is about SO MUCH MORE than just bright, happy shiny things. Don't get me wrong, i love a good cupcake card ( i was drooling over a gorgeous rolo earlier) but i find that people don't focus enough on the darker things. I would love to trade with someone for a card that had a little bit of gothic influence to it. Some major shadows... or maybe even just a touch of something evil. Not a lot... just a little. I'm still a fairly happy go lucky type of person, just have a hidden bit of goth deep within haha. Just a tiny bit...

Monday, April 21, 2008

Vintage pillows

I decided to have some fun with my sewing machine yesterday. Unfortunately my sewing machine was not completely receptive to this idea hahaha. I had decided to create two vintage style pillows, with the lace that i had just picked up the day before. The first one, i was able to sew without a hitch. However, when it came time for the second, i was plagued with problems with the tension on my sewing machine... as in there was no tension.

I took my sewing machine out of storage a couple years ago. It had been my mother's when she was younger, and when they moved it became mine. When i took it out of storage, it was in working condition, except for one small problem. The metal rod that the thread roll sits on and spins on top of the machine was missing. Who knows what happened to it? Either way, it wasn't there with the rest of the machine and hasn't turned up in the couple of years. However, i have up until now simply set the thread on the table beside the machine and it worked fine from there. It worked fine doing that on the first pillow. However, all of the sudden, on the second pillow, it didn't work anymore like that. There was no tension on the line anymore. I don't know what changed between the two. However, if you have 2 people and one hold the thread on top of the machine as the rod would have, it works fine. Which means that i have to suck it up, and take the machine to a sewing repair store to hopefully get that piece replaced. Sigh... Hopefully they can replace it easily, and cheap haha. It is an older machine, so i guess i'll have to wait and see.

Saturday, April 19, 2008


I have been looking around, checking my blogs, and i saw that Bluegirlxo has a new post. She has created this thing of beauty with her 'Uplifted Voices' book. I would totally recommend going and checking out her beautiful art. I find it so very inspiring that i want to try out some of the things she does there. The next of rocks? Fabulous. If i actually do some of these type of projects, i'll post pics here on my blog for all of you :)

Friday, April 18, 2008

Buddha Sketch

I have been getting braver... I have always been avoiding sketching and drawing. I often feel dissatisfied with results, and feel nervous whenever i am drawing. However, i know that sketching and drawing skills are an important part to making art. So, a good way to get over this is to just jump into it, and keep trying.

I was so pleased with the Tribute card i created, i have stepped up and tried another project using sketching. I found a beautiful pic of a buddha statue online, and so i'm trying my hand at making my own sketch.

So, this is my sketch here in my 'practice book'. I bought a book at the second-hand store. I have made pages with painting, sketching, collage and much more. For many of these ATC's and other projects, if i want to practice a technique before putting it with the more expensive materials etc. Maybe i'll post more pics later? I am thinking of going and buying a sketchbook instead of this book here though, i find the text in the background can occasionally be a welcome texture, but often is distracting of clean, clear lines. I could always add the pages i've created so far into the sketchbook. I really like Mary
hand made sketchbook that she has posted on her blog. Maybe something like that could be cool?

I could wait and see what the journal i get from the swap i did a couple months ago on swap-bot turns up. I am beginning to think i got burned on that one, as it has been over 2 months since the due date for the swap and i still have not received my journal as part of the swap. Sigh. I put so much time and effort into the one i sent away (as you may have seen in posts from about a month ago) that it really sucks to get burned, and have nothing sent back to me in return. I really hope the person i sent mine to (which is a different person than the person sending to me) likes the one i gave them, because that would make it better. Sigh. THen again... the one to me is coming from Singapore. Maybe it's still on it's way?? I am hoping against hope for that.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Skavenjah last night

So, last night was a great night. My friend Mike and I got together and we went out to see one of my favorite bands, Skavenjah. It doesn't hurt that the trombone player in the band is my instructor, and that I played with the sax player in jazz band a number of years ago. However, i think i'd love them even if i didn't know a couple of them personally. The energy to their ska is overwhelming. Looking down at the dance floor from our balcony seats, it was a pure mass of energy. I just love going to see bands that are obviously loving what they are doing. The energy was not only in their music, it was flying off of the band members themselves. What fun! You should definately check out their music :) Here is a link to their website.

I have been doing some art and such. I have a project with these copper 'birds' that i am getting very excited about. I think i already talked about the copper houses and wings, I now have digital copies of pictures of bird heads. Just need to get them printed... but i'm out of ink!

I am so pleased with the enormous response that my previous card, 'Tribute', got at ATCS For All. A whopping 14 comments! I never get this many comments, they usually just get maybe 1 or 2 and it is not unusual for them to be none at all. However, i am just so happy with the lovely comments there on this one. It seems to be rather popular and i so enjoyed making it that i am using a similar technique again. This time i am making a 4" by 4" piece. I have one for keeping and one for trading started. Don't know how i am going to trade a 4" by 4" piece, since it is not ATC size, but maybe i'll just use it as a gift instead? Maybe a blog gift or something, if i actually ever win one of those Heart it forward''contests? I decided to go with a blue theme rather than a green theme for this one. I wonder what i will use for the picture? Another woman? Still don't know. If it ends up being for heart it forward, i will probably make a stylized heart type of thing. I guess i will wait and see what mood strikes me :)

Monday, April 07, 2008

Tribute to Kelly Rae Robertson

I was flipping through old issues of Cloth Paper Scissors, and i saw the beautiful art of Kelly Rae Robertson. I love reading her blog and i find her art style absolutely inspiring. I am drawn to the softness/strength of her women. I also love her use of colour and layered paper (in some paintings). Looking at the magazine, i made a version of her beautiful work.

I started this months ago, when i glued a collage of green papers down onto cardboard and cut it to ATC size. I always knew i would create a Robertson-style painting on top of it, but i just wasn't ready yet. Today, after looking in the magazine, i finally felt ready. I drew a sample sketch in my art book/journal. I was so pleased with the results that i felt ready to make this art :). After drawing the woman with pencil, I traced the lines with black gel pen (note to self... get better gel pens. This one was kinda crappy and didn't work so good. Myabe because it's old?)

After the lines were down, i mixed a variety of acrylic colours, mixing all of them with pearlescent medium. I was going to make just the wings shimmery, but then i liked the colour so much that i made them all like that. After all, who doesn't need a little extra shimmer in their life! Haha. I know i do :)

I wonder where this fabulous card will find a home? Will the artists on ATCsforall love it, or ignore it? I hope there will be someone that feels about it the same way i do :). I do find that the comments at the atc site are rather lacking lately, since the move of sites. Hopefully it will pick up later??

Sunday, April 06, 2008

ATC's ready to go!

Wow, it's been a while since my last post! Hunh. I hadn't realized i'd left it for so long till a friend of mine ryan mentioned that the last time i'd updated it had been a music related post. I guess life gets in the way sometimes. I've been very busy with teaching, friends coming in to visit from out of town and my many music activities i am signed up for. I play trombone in the University of Regina Jazz band, and we are just winding up for the semester. Our semester concert is on this wednesday... and i'm not sure i am completely ready on a couple small parts. Sometimes life gets in the way of practicing (and blogging lol).

So, this month, on April 25th i believe, is the birthday of Artist Trading Cards. So, the MacKenzie Art Gallery here is having a celebration, as i believe i mentioned in previous posts. In order to participate, they are asking people to submit 6 artist trading cards, which will go on display at the gallery. So... i guess you could say... in a small way... my art is going to be part of an exhibit at the art gallery! I know for some of you supremely talented, experienced art bloggers this is a regular thing, but this is a first for a newb hobbyist like me. Here are the six cards i am going to submit:

This first one i created using some really cool dollar store finds. When i went to the local Dollerama, i found they had this really cool meshy/plasticy/straw like stuff. It was such a cool texture that i had to have some :). I also found these really cool painted feathers there too, and some stringy fiber/yarn. I sewed the fiber all around the edges of the mesh, sewed feathers on and created a stylized stencil of the letter f. I then spray painted the f onto the mesh. I have always felt rather inspired by the way i see the way so many artists using spray paint with hand-made stencils in their journals, especially at this blog, Dispatch from LA. In the end, i am fair pleased with how it turned out. However, i think i needed to use more spray paint on the edges of the thin stencil, or buy better quality spray paint or something. It didn't seem to work too clearly, i would have liked a clearer edge. Maybe the stencil needs to be taped down more securely? I will be trying this spray painting method again, as i now have a couple stencils made.

This one i had talked about in a previous post. It is createdon foam board, with iridescent ink, music paper and stamping.

I had also previously discussed this marylin atc. I created it with photoshop the colours into the picture, and then photoshoping a second pic that just had the high points of her lips, her eyes, her hair and her shadow. I then used a packing tape transfer to put the second layer on top of the first. I found this one appropriate as they currently have a warhol exhibit on at the gallery.

I have been playing around with felting. I created this card with my grandmother last weekend. I went up for a visit, and we had a WONDERFUL time, art-ing (is that really a verb? haha it is now) up a storm. She is the tin-snips queen. We prepped the pieces for a really neat soldered copper piece that i will be eventually completing. So far, we have the shape of bird wings and a house cut out of a sheet of copper with the tin snips she so expertly wielded. Maybe i should make her something, a plaque or something, with her new title of the tin snips queen? haha.

Other than working with copper, we also hand fun experimenting with ways to dye the wool i had previously picked up, and doing some felting. This pic, called 'stripes' is my first felted piece. I also created a second piece of a felted scene using sheet and grass and sky, but i seem to have forgotten to scan taht one *embarassed*. I'll have to scan and post taht one later.

Lastly, i created one with a copper base. I was rather unsure what i wanted to do with this one at first. I knew i wanted to do something that featured the copper, and also wanted to feature my new intrest and 'skills' (haha) with the soldering iron. However, i just couldn't think of anything that wouldn't be too thick to fit in the atc sleeve (they are quite thin... not meant for taking anything bulky unfortunately. I wish they could take more thickness!). I wanted to maybe make it with a copper base, and the solder a piece of glass to cover the collage within, but then i decided it still wouldn't fit in the sleeve. I liked the collage so much, i decided to just leave it the way it is. I like the texture of the copper as the background. I will have to play more with that as a base in the future... when ihave more ideas of things that will fit? Or maybe when i am creating a 4x4 piece or something? or maybe something entirely different? I like the swapping aspect of ATCs, but i am finding them limiting in some ways. I guess i will just explore and see what's up :)

So, there my cards are, all ready for submission! I will go drop them off tommorrow, and let you all know how the birthday celebration goes later on. It should be a blast!