Sunday, July 19, 2015

Grunge Style

So Kimberly's ATC challenge this month was
 "Grunge (Tim Holtz Style)".  
Here are my cards for trading:

I smashed some bottle caps and thought they'd make a nice grungy surface for stamping.

Ancient metal buttons with worn-off paint were added, 
along with a few sticker embellishments 
from the Tim Holtz product line.

Paint, rubber stamping, pencils, and stencils added to the grunge factor.
(Kathy, thanks once again for that sequin scrim you shared with me!
Love it for adding the dot texture!!)

I paid a bit of homage to Tim Holtz for the back of my card, below,
in this little splattered and grungy composition I made in Photoshop:

I've loved that guy ever since I first saw him 
make guest crafting appearances on the old Carol Duvall Show, 
YEARS ago, long before he was licensing his trademark style.
Anyone remember back that far??!!

The finished cards got bundled up in old pattern tissue and TH button stickers--

This was one of my favorite swaps to date.  
Not surprising...
all things old and chippy, rusty and grungy, tattered and textured,
really appeal to me!
Tim, you're a guy after my own heart.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Where Bloggers Create....2015

Another year, another studio tour!  
It's nice to have both old and new friends drop by!
I'm pleased to be participating again in Karen Valentine's 7th Annual Where Bloggers Create Tour (Click on the link to visit lots of other artists' inspiring studios)
I had to miss last year, but am happy to be back and part of the fun. 

I had good intentions of having fresh paint on the walls (a very soft muted robin's egg blue) by the date of this blog party. but it hasn't happened yet (someday!... ). 

My space hasn't changed that much since I had my last tour
 ....except at the moment, it is extremely messy, with lots of projects in progress.  
This year, I decided to include some of the previous, tidied-up photos, 
along with current pics 
showing the REAL DEAL!

Come on in and let me show you around...

This studio is where I do all sorts of creative projects, 
which include both the work I do professionally (illustration, graphic design, textile design),
 and the crafting I do 'just for fun' (jewelry, mixed media, collage). 

 I am a hoarder collector of SO MUCH stuff, this room is pretty packed full. And, like most of you, I love to be surrounded by all my treasures!
Can you tell I like little houses?  I store treasures and supplies inside my vintage doll house.

Old game pieces, my stash of pearls, and other trinkets crowd the shelves.

A tiny guardian angel perched on top, watching over the stash
 Beneath the big house are a couple of smaller wooden houses.  One of them has hooks inside and is just perfect for my etsy jewelry inventory:

The bird hooks below hold samples for the soldering classes I teach.

My Etsy inventory is low right now (understatement!)...but I'm busy making new items! Check back soon.

I store jewelry-making bits and baubles inside these metal boxes.

I've dedicated one shallow shelf to my collection of cute face cups.  I'm always on the lookout for more:

Baskets on the shelves hold stamping supplies, soldering equipment, and more.  

I hope by the time the next tour rolls around in 2016, I'll have my walls painted that light aqua, and will use these new aqua storage pieces throughout my space:

Cute little baskets and tins, just waiting for me to get my act together!

Continuing along the wall, I have closed cupboards plus my photocopier, printer, and computer. 

Next to my computer monitor, I've hung some of my mixed-media angel paintings.  I scan the originals and from them make wood-mounted prints and cards.  I usually have a few of these paintings in the works.

Here is what is currently on my monitor: a collage I'm working on for a tote bag company. This design is called "Retro Beach", and I'm having lots of fun arranging all the images.  Notice that I usually have a bunch of Sudoku puzzles handy for when I need to take a break, ha ha!

 This is what the tote bag 'end product' will look like:

A few days ago, I found this bag (one of my designs) in my local Kroger store (Fred Meyer, here in Portland). I've now done several in a series of this 'retro collage' look.

But I digress.  Back to my studio...

The french doors lead out to a small balcony, ao even here in rainy Oregon I get lots of natural light.  The pennant banner above the doors is also part of my blog header, and welcomes crafters who come to my studio to attend my collage and soldering workshops.  Nice and neat and clean, right??...

...and here is what it currently looks like!

Yikes!  what a mess! Paper crafting and jewelry making, all in a jumble. I have a new printer, too, now making a home at the end of the table.

Lots of collage supplies fill these shelves: old books, sheet music, maps, wallpaper, etc.

...except at the moment, I can't shut these drawers because the paper is crammed in too tightly.          Time to purge!      


The baskets hold textiles, trims and laces.  Then there are my tins full of old postage stamps, and cute wooden boxes filled with old buttons sit below the little window. 

Currently, I have a stash of linens and laces out, trying to come up with some new sewn things for a holiday bazaar my friend and I host every year.  Not sure what I'll make with these...maybe some little zippered pouches? Pillows, maybe?...


Here's what the cute little boxes look like.... 

...IF I could see them!  If you look hard enough, you can see a glimpse of their lids in the far back corner....I need to find a home for all of this stuff!!

My drafting table is the hardest thing to keep organized.  As I work, I am just MESSY, and end up doing my work on any tiny clean surface I can find.  The built in light box is invaluable, and its glass top is great for xacto-cutting.

And now......Keepin' it real:
It looks like this right now!  I had a big illustration project due this week, and chaos ensued!

 I do fashion illustrations for Simplicity Pattern Company, and when a job comes my way, I drop everything to get it done...

This is the fleece poncho art I was working on, here in its ink-line stage of the process
Think I have enough markers?? This is just a portion of them.  I color the inked sketch with either these watercolor markers, or I'll use concentrated inks or regular watercolor paint.

I got the illustrations done by the deadline...whew!! Here's how the girls' version turned out:

This is a little grainy, since it's a scan of a photocopy, not the original...but it gives you an idea of what I do at my little work table.  This art will be in the Simplicity pattern catalog in about 6 months.

The desk when it is "clean"....as you can see, I never really have a completely cleaned-off surface.  There's always STUFF!

Next to the desk is a storage closet.  More hoarding lurks behind the door, in a semi-organized state--bins full of this and that:

The inside of the door holds a a few old illustrations done for Simplicity. I spent years as art director of Daisy Kingdom, Inc., a fabric, craft, and publishing company based here in Portland, until it was bought out by Springs Industries, and they did a great deal of licensing with Simplicity.  I still do freelance illustration and design for them and other clients.

Well, that's the end of my tour. Thanks so much for visiting and seeing where I work and play.  I'm looking forward to peeking inside your creative spaces!  So many kindred spirits out there--and a special thank you to Karen Valentine for hosting this wonderful event where we can all hobnob with each other!  
Again, I'm so glad you stopped by, and 
I'm hoping you'll leave me a comment and let me know you dropped in!  
And I'd love for you to become a follower...a girl can never have too many friends!

 And now, I'm off to go snooping inside your studios!

My Desert Cottage

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Etched Copper...Personalized

I worked on a project last week, and am kicking myself 
that I didn't take more photos of each of the steps.  
But I enjoyed it so much, that I plan on doing more 
projects very soon, and will snap more pics of the process.

Our GodDaughter was confirmed this past Sunday, and I wanted to give her something
that had to do with her faith journey, and also something personalized just for her.
I toyed with making a piece of jewelry, but wanted to steer away from that 
because I've done that with past gifts for her.

I called her mom and asked what her "Confirmation Verse" was ~ each Confirmand chose a verse from Scripture that was meaningful to them.  So, the phrase I used in the project was the first part of that verse.  I decided to make an etched copper cross, and played around with some lettering:

Then (in the steps I failed to photograph), I cut a cross out of copper, filed the edges,
and drew the design directly on the copper with a black fine-point Sharpie.  
The Sharpie ink acts as a resist when the piece is put into the etching acid.

(Side note ~ with the bankruptcy of RadioShack, many of their stores ~~not all~~ are closing and liquidating their inventory.  I got a bottle of etching acid for  $1.40!  Everything was 90% off....they only had one bottle left, or I definitely would have stocked up on those $14 bottles.  So, be on the lookout for closing stores.)

Next, I needed to add a patina to darken my etched metal.  But all I had was some Novacan Black, 
which really only works well on silver soldered stuff.  Since it did very little to darken my copper, I resorted to just using a black Sharpie since I was in a time crunch (what else is new...).

Not ideal for permanency, but it worked okay.
Then I used 0000 steel wool to polish off the raised layer, to bring up all the etched detail.

My plan was to add the cross to a journal, so I bought a plain black Moleskin and tried it out:
 ...but it just looked kind of blah, flat, and maybe too much like a Bible.  
Plus, that elastic band was bugging me.

Then I came upon this gorgeous little journal!  It looks like a treasured antique, 
and has a neat little clasp on the side ~

I just love how it turned out, like a relic from the past, and hopefully our GodDaughter loves it, too!

We were on our way to church that day for the Confirmation service, 
and snapped a quick family pic in the backyard.
So glad my girl is home from college for the summer!

etched copper
on the horizon for me.  I love the process.  It's really pretty easy, with great results.
And perfect for a personalized gift!