Monday, December 31, 2012

Published Art – Embellished Cheese Box



This project was made for Stampington & Co. Spring Inspirations 2007. It is hard for me to believe that I made this 5 years ago. Time sure flies. The stamp, S7126 Ornamental Arches, was the starting point. You can find this stamp here.  I had a small wooden cheese box, to this I added some mica, buttons, tiny shells, and the metal seal from the top of a wine bottle.


To finish the edge I added a ribbon and metal buckle. You are welcome to take some inspiration from this piece. What would you change? A different image? What would you want to keep the same? Make use of embellishments you already have, and let your own creativity shine through. I would love to see your inspired piece, just leave a comment with a link to your blog.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Published Art - Storage Boxes

There are many pieces that I have designed and have been published in magazines. Since they were published a couple of years ago or more, I feel that I can now share them on my blog.
I used to work as an “artist on call” for Stampington & Co. That is how I became friends with Jill Shulse, who was also an artist on call, but that’s another story. We would be given assignments or challenges with the resulting art for possible inclusion in one of their magazines, most often Inspirations, which is not currently being published.
This particular project was given significant exposure in one of Stampington & Co. magazines. I had wanted to include which one since it still may be available, but if I wait to find it this post will never get published. If you happen to know, I would love if you would message and share with me!
For this particular assignment we were to use Somerset Artist Papers. We had our choice of three collections of papers, vellums and transparencies reflecting the beautiful hand-tinted photographic imagery of Angela Cartwright. They are currently available here.
Stampington & Co. no longer carries this particular style of paper mache suitcases, but they do have other styles that could be used.
I embellished this one with an old horse bit and some silk flowers with muted colors to match the feel of the paper.
For this suitcase I used a section of garden fencing that I cut to fit. I also drilled holes so that I could attach it to the box. Some artificial fern moss to add to the garden feel!
I thought a cast iron key would be a nice compliment to the ornamental iron gate on the paper. Plus more silk leaves to give a cohesive look to all three boxes.
I made embellished manilla tags with the transparencies from the collection. Once I started it was hard to stop. So much fun to figure out the embellishements to compliment the images!
I placed a picture of my Granny behind the transparency so that she appears to be gazing out the window.  I like to use images of family members in my art.
An image was stamped on the background and silk flowers encased in the Tea Room transparency by sewing around the edges. I like to sew precisely and neatly but leaving loose thread ends is my venture into being free and spontaneous.
A bit of frayed edge ribbon was all that I felt this tag needed.
A stamp from Stampington’s collection, metal finding and a bit of raffia to add dimension to the nest.
Some feathers for this angel.
Stamped image of writing is the background for this transparency.
Metal embellshments and stamped image gives layers and depth to this tag.
Instead of stamping words I chose to handwrite a message.
Simple cord wrapped around the tag was all the embellishment this transparency needed.
Green ribbon & a metal brad. Notice the repetition of colors, stamps and embellishments. This is why the tags although each very different all match with one another.
I happened to have a compass in my stash. Perhaps it is an unfounded fear of becoming lost in a desert that inspired this design. Mostly unfounded because we don’t live near a desert.
Some simple brads and a bit of lace.
A few close-up shots for you.
Someday I would like to print some artist papers and transparencies from my own photographs and create art from them. Another addition to my to do list!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Estes Park Art Summit 2012

Jill K.Berry organized an Art Summit in November at Estes Park, Colorado. It has taken me awhile to process all that was shared. I wanted to give this experience justice and completeness, but I have finally succumb to posting a few pictures and notes of the summit before too much time has passed.

 Art Summit 2012. A group of art teachers came together to talk about art, make art, share art and think about art. This is the only journal page that I consider completed at the art summit. Attendees were Carol Sloan, Liz Kettle, Jill K. Berry, Kim Rae Nugent. and  Libby Rehm who visited and also shared.

Jill is quite familiar with the park and reserved a wonderful cabin with beautiful views just off of the porch.

Due to Jill’s excellent fire starting and tending skills we were treated to a fire every day. I even started a couple morning fires being the first one up on a couple of the days.

We even ate a meal around the dining room table the first night. Then the art took over.

So instead of clearing off the dining room table for each meal we ate the remainder around the coffee table. Which still needed to be cleared before we ate there. Seated Libby Rehm, Jill K. Berry, Liz Kettle, Carol Sloan.

One of many delicious meals that we enjoyed! I wish that I had taken pictures of the other ones!

The paper border that I placed around the negative was the inspiration for this page.

A journal page with “Bernard” the moose started.

Another journal page with Jill K. Berry’s stencils in the background.

A picture of a butterfly was the inspiration for this page. We all brought supplies to share. Other people’s stash is always so inspiring! I found cheesecloth on dress pattern, piano roll paper, leaf and address label. To this I added rice paper that I had brought.

Another started journal page with a map of Estes Park included.

This page needs more work.

Another started page.

Liz brought her felting machine and showed us how to felt. Fun! Fun! She teaches classes using this technique and I would highly recommend her! Actually I would recommend any one of us!

We went for a drive through Estes Park. Beautiful scenery!

Jill K. Berry

What a wonderful experience! I encourage you to get a group of friends together and treat yourself to some time to create.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Prairie Falcon Journal Page in Progress



A journal page that I am currently working on. It started with stickers from the prescription that I took that day for my migraine and a ticket stub for my airline ticket from Denver to Milwaukee that was used, on the day that the Prairie Falcon stopped by. I still have journaling to add and perhaps some other ephemera. I think that I am happy with the bird as it is but I never know. Often when other items are added or I allow it to sit awhile new details become apparent to me.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Adam’s Apple



More fruition from the cabin retreat. This collaged journal page is title “Adam’s Apple”. I’ll let you draw your own conclusions…

Sunday, November 4, 2012

July Sketchbook Challenge – Circles



I know, I know, I didn’t work on this page in my journal until October, and I am not posting it on this blog until November…but I did finish it!  Well almost, if you look closely I don’t have the month written in because I was unplugged from the world at the cabin and couldn’t look it up. I only knew that one of the theme’s was circles. There, I just finished it    J   U   L   Y.

Wow, and now that I look at it here, there is some powerful symbolism tied to the cabin and my Dad that I didn’t consciously place. I often find that if I photograph my work, I see it from a different perspective.

What I was thinking about, while creating this piece, was of course the theme circles and developing a color palette that I like. I consciously thought about adding some straight lines to balance the curved ones and their placement. Incorporating collage was also one of my goals.

For some reason I really like how the one torn edge of the collage paper looks. Perhaps because it is different or maybe because the page itself has torn edges.

I don’t usually work in abstract, but I find working in other styles helps to make my art stronger all around.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

August Sketchbook Challenge – Shelter



I haven’t been working in my journal much lately and have missed it. I also miss participating in the Sketchbook Challenge, so I have decided to complete the challenges for each month that I have missed even though they are over. A few weeks ago I was at our families cabin and thought the Sketchbook Challenge theme “Shelter” fit how I feel about the cabin very well. My Dad built this log structure and I have always admired his skills. I would like to build small dwellings someday…maybe. Anyways, above is a journal entry including the adorable little cook stove that is in the cabin.


Another view from the cabin featuring the old couch that is past it’s prime. I thought I better paint a picture of it before it’s gone.

I am also thinking about the people on the East Coast and how many of them have lost their “Shelter” because of Hurricane Sandy. They are in my thoughts and prayers and I am reminded to fortify my shelter with food and supplies for the upcoming Winter. It is always wise to be prepared well in advance.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Discovering The Gleaners by Jean-Francois Millet



I am in the process of organizing and listing my auction winnings from THE BIG ONE. I always like to do a little research on each item before listing them. A little study of art history in this case. I bought the prints and paintings in lots but the auctioneer pointed out this one as “A print of the gleaners”. It looked vaguely familiar but the title is what caught my attention. So I googled “the gleaners”. and found a copy of the image with the name of the artist Jean-Francois Millet. Then I did a search on his name and found the following information.

"Jean-Fran├žois Millet (October 4, 1814 – January 20, 1875) was a French painter and one of the founders of the Barbizon school in rural France. Millet is noted for his scenes of peasant farmers; he can be categorized as part of the naturalism and realism movements.
This is one of the most well known of Millet's paintings, The Gleaners (1857). While Millet was walking the fields around Barbizon, one theme returned to his pencil and brush for seven years—gleaning—the centuries-old right of poor women and children to remove the bits of grain left in the fields following the harvest.”

Another interesting tidbit that was included was this
”The painting can be seen hanging on the wall of Sheriff Andy Taylor's house in many episodes of the original Andy Griffith Show." All information gleaned from Wikepedia

I’ve been experimenting with setting up different still lifes to showcase my shop listings. I gleaned a bit of oats from our fields for this picture. I hope you enjoy, isn’t art interesting?

This antique print is currently listed in my Etsy shop Metaphor Alchemy here:

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Auction Winnings - THE BIG ONE

 A couple of weeks ago I attended an auction. I enjoy the thrill of the hunt but most times can control my buying impulses. In fact, the last two times I had attended this auction house I left without a single winning bid. Well, except for some empty boxes to use as packing since they are available for FREE. Somehow all the conditions were right and I had the opportunity for winning bids on a large amount of items. A HUGELY ENORMOUS LARGE amount of items. I had to call my husband to come and help. We filled his pickup truck and my car. WHAT WAS I THINKING!!!

You probably are wondering what possible conditions were there for me to obtain so much. Here they are:
1. Auction with a large amount of items.
2. Large amount of similiar items.
3. Rainy weather
4. Packer football game later
5. Small buying crowd
Equals low bids.

We unpacked my husband's truck that night. I left all the items in my car for the next day. I was exhausted from the bidding adrenalin rushes and the loading and unloading. Above is a couple of pictures showing a portion of my purchases. I ended up with a lot of antique and vintage maps, prints, and original paintings. Now I need to organize them, find a place to put everything other than in our garage. Find out what I actually bought since many of the items were sold in lots. Plus there are many other items.
Next the items need to be cleaned and in some cases repaired. Countless photo shoots, research, listing. Then hopefully packing if I sell any of it in my Etsy shops or eBay. WHAT WAS I THINKING!!! There will be more posts to come as I go through my purchases from THE BIG ONE.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Metaphor Alchemy – Etsy Shop



Shipping day for my Etsy shop Metaphor Alchemy. Something for me to aspire to,  x 5 per week. I do enjoy wrapping the packages in brown paper bags, tying them with twine and adding tags with a key for creativity. Time to get back to work…

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Antique Mechanic's Creeper

 I currently have this antique mechanic's creeper listed in my Etsy shop - Old wood with a patina of time and metal, two of my favorite components make up this cart. The shadow, my favorite guy!

I took a series of pictures while my husband graciously posed for me. I had this idea for awhile but I needed the following conditions: A sunny day (for shadow); Mid day sun (otherwise the shadow would be too elongated for my purposes), Husband available (to pose shadow on cart).

I manipulated the photo, adjusting the contrast, shadows and highlights to make the creeper more noticeable. Below are some additional poses not manipulated in a photo program.

 Mechanics lay on creepers to facing up to roll under cars when they are working on them. Most larger shops now have a hoist to lift cars up high enough that you can stand while working on them.