Saturday, March 30, 2013

Spam is good for something after all

Saturday night.
Almost midnight.
House to myself.
Stones cranked.
Laughing maniacally.
Spam comments will never be cursed again.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Tutorial Try-Out: Abstracted flowers

The lovely Kristin Dudish has been hosting a weekly series called Tutorial Try-Outs"
You know all those tutorials you come across and bookmark “for later” and never get around to trying?  Kristin is committed to trying one new technique per week and inviting others to play along.

This week’s challenge is Carla Sonheim’s abstracted flower tutorial. The directions are very straightforward and easy to follow and I had no trouble achieving results similar to Carla’s.  But that’s the problem – they look too much like Carla
I want them to look like me! 
(I painted on one big sheet of paper, then cut it into four postcards, and tried to add a color wash to the top postcard but it just smeared all the pencil marks and made a mess)
I often feel like my brain is too literal – I can’t figure out a way to do this without actually doing this.  While I ponder that conundrum, I have at least taken the step of cutting apart my work and gluing it back together in layers.
 I also took a few different hand-carved stamps and using grey and black ink, stamped some flowery shapes on top.

The technique was really fun, even if I'm not wild about my results.
I may have to mess around with this one some more and see where it takes me.
Have any of you tried this one yet?
If you do, be sure to hop over to Kristin's blog to link your work and check out the cool thing Kristin did with her flowers!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

365 Collage Project update

It is the 78th day of 2013 and so far I've made 77 collages.
I'm right on track for making 365 collages in 2013.
I'm feeling rather pleased about the whole thing.

This first batch was created exclusively with the wonderful papers Lorinda sent me as part of our collage fodder exchange.

I tried a monochromatic purple from her papers because I'm part of an upcoming purple swap.
It's my least favorite of the bunch.

I raided my own stash and ended up with this riot of purple instead:

I'm also part of a monochromatic orange swap:

and since I've been really enjoying limiting my resources, I decided to make some postcards using this collage sheet from Lee:
 Lee put the sheet together for a Mail Me Some Art challenge.
The rules are to make postcards using only the images from the sheet.  You can re-size, duplicate or otherwise alter the images and add your favorite art supply, but you can't use any outside pictures.
Here's my take on the challenge:

For this next one, I had greatly enlarged the label for "cape cod cranberries" and didn't know what to do with it.  I thought about cutting up the letters to make new words, and decided I'd get some help form an on-line anagram maker.
Who knew that the letters in "cape cod cranberries" would also spell "creep in, sacred cobra?"

I thought I was done with this challenge and went and had some dinner.
When I came back to the art room there were still quite a few unused bits from all the sheets I'd printed.  Among the bits, lots of letters, and me with the anagram maker at my disposal.
Andrew R. Titus became "Tawdrier Nuts"
 and James L. Titus became "Lustiest Jam"

Can you hear my peals of laughter?
God, I crack myself up.

If you want to have your own fun with Lee's collage sheet, head over to Mail Me Some Art, print the sheet, join the swap and get your postcards in the mail by April 15th.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Collaborations, part 2

I'm part of another great group, making collaborative postcards inspired by Tofu's Millennia mail art project.

This time, Tammy Garcia (of Daisy Yellow fame) asked some friends to choose a theme and a style and she created a card for each of us, filling in one square per card before passing them to the next person.  The cards have gone from Tammy in Texas to Natasha White (Natasha White Designs) in New Zealand to Hanna (iHanna's blog) in Sweden and to Michelle (Lost Coast Post) in California before landing in my Massachusetts mailbox.  This morning I sent them along to Roben-Marie (Roben-Marie Smith) for their last stop in Florida.

Here's what all the cards look like at this point:

My own card is orange themed and pie shaped  (no surprises there!)
The triangle I added is the center one in the top row.  To make it, I collaged stripes of my hand painted papers.

Roben-Marie's theme is Circles, Dots and Doodles.  My square is the lower left and started with a doodly gelatin print. I then painted it with a layer of stenciled orange and pink dots, and glued some blue paper circles  on top.  An embossed blue swirl finishes it off.

 Michelle's theme is "Wonderland" and I interpreted it rather literally as "Alice".
The background is cut up playing cards and there's a tissue paper print of the cheshire cat with some painted and collaged Alice legs on top.

 Hanna characteristically chose pink as her theme.
My square is the bottom center.
I pasted two different painted papers in the background and cut out the star shape from origami paper.

 Natasha's theme is ocean.
Mine is the bottom strip.
I collaged different pieces of magazine paper that had been distressed with citrasolv.

Tammy's theme is happiness.
Nothing makes me happier than painting paper, so my strip is made from some recently marbled paper.  I was digging through my box of random text and found this bit that says "keep the good, discard the bad" and it seemed the perfect recipe for happiness so I glued it down.

Finally, we are making a card for Tofu with the theme of trees and leaves.
My strip used pine branches as a mask for white spray paint.

This has been a great project - thank you all for your beautiful work!

Thursday, March 7, 2013


I've been involved in some great collaborations lately.
The card below was inspired by the Millennia Mail Art project started by the San Francisco based mail artist Tofu.

My "super mail artists" group decided to do something similar.  There were eight of us in the group and we each started a 6"x8" card, divided it into 8 segments and filled in one part before passing it along to the next person in the group.  The cards went round-robin style around the globe, starting last September, and mine has just come home to me.  I made the small collage in the upper left corner.

A rather spontaneous collaboration came after I sent Carroll this postcard:

She sent it back to me with these fabulous swirls all over it and I absolutely loved the idea of giving my card a second life.

So I sent her a background that looked like this and asked her to do something with it:

Here's what I got back:

I decided to combine the two:  I cut up parts of the swirly collaboration and added them to the blue/green collaboration , and added some paint and bits of napkin on top.  It's on it's way back to Carroll now.

Another amazing round robin project just wrapped up.
The Super Mailartists created a postcard zine.
We folded and stitched 5 pieces of cardstock into a booklet.  We then decorated one side as a postcard, taped the booklet shut and stamped and addressed the other side.

Here's what mine looked like after I got it back - you can see just a peek of the tantalizing pages within:

Here are the details:
This is what I sent to Kerri

Kerri made this page and sent it to Stewart

Stewart made this page and mailed it to Danielle

Danielle made this page and sent it to Jenny

Jenny made this page and sent it to Angie

Angie made this page and sent it to Mandy

Mandy made this page and sent it home to me!

This project was so much fun, a number of us have started another round!
Here's the cover of what I just sent off:

More collaborations are in the works, but I'll save them for another post.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

6 out of 60

Terrie (Creative Explorer), Lorinda (Everyday Endeavours) and I are all working on making 365 collages in 2013.
We decided to do a little paper swap with each other for inspiration.

Terrie's envelope arrived Friday, and here's what was inside.

With an evening to myself stretching out ahead of me, I sat down to play.  I challenged myself to only use papers from the envelope - no supplementing from my own stash.

I finished six collages, and it was only when I scanned and numbered them that I realized I am officially up to date on this challenge!

Here are the results:



There's nothing like new materials to kick start your creativity.
Thanks for a fun evening, Terrie!