Friday, September 30, 2011

More Reduction Printing.......


I'm still carving and playing with printing.....reduction style!

IMG_1400Geometrics with a color change and.....

IMG_1401......... "un coq"! 

Sorry, about the lack of blog posts……my computer had a near death experience this past week!  In and out of the computer hospital and a house call, later, I think it has been cured!  When I’m upset or frustrated, I walk the dog…..that little, short legged, white dog put on a lot of miles this past week, how can one “stupid” (well, smarter than me apparently) piece of electronic equipment be so frustrating?!!

Interestingly enough, I didn’t miss being “disconnected” that much….at least not after the first couple of days!  Did I get more done or feel like I had more free time?  Not really.  I did miss those times during the day when I would take a break and read my favorite blogs, but what I really missed, was not being able to look things up!!!  So many times, I would find myself trying to remember how to do something I’d read or seen on line…only to realize, I couldn’t go in and look it up.  Now, that I MISSED!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Sharing my "stacks"......

This Wednesday, instead of sharing my work desk, I'm showing off my "stacks"!

........and I'll just bet you are delighted!  Or you would be if you had a clue what I was talking about......

well, here it artist named Seth Adler, who's work I so admire and who's blog I enjoy, has invited me and 70 plus other fine folks to share their artful photos of the stacks of goodies they live with!

Here are a few of mine.....the tidy ones......!

IMG_1365I like this one, it is simple!  But, I like this one too......

IMG_1380 it's colorful....but, as stacks go, here is one of my favorite....

IMG_1372What's not to love about stacks of cigar boxes with their beautiful graphics.





Oh yes, another favorite....stacks of McCoy and Bauer flower pots!

They live in this cool cabinet my husband made!




Now, that you've seen my stacks....please feel free to visit Seth's blog, The Altered Page  and to see some artful stacks that will have you creating more stacks of your own. 

Monday, September 19, 2011



You won't want to miss it.....Wednesday, September 21 on a computer nearest you.....


visit over 70 bloggers artfully arranged stacks at Seth Adler's blog

The Altered Page

Saturday, September 17, 2011

My book of hats.....

It all started innocently enough...I bought this great old photo album at a flea market.

IMG_1389Hey, I can do something with that! 

Then one day, while looking through my collection of old photos I noticed how many photos I had of men, women and children wearing hats.  Great hats, hats of the period with feathers and ruffles and brims out to here hats...that's what I'll do....make an altered book featuring some wonderful hats! 

So, I started making pages for my book......

IMG_1390This page features a photo of two women covered by a clear overlay of a postcard.  The facing pages look like this......children in hats!

IMG_1391 IMG_1393 I used watercolor pencils to add color to the flowers on these three beauties me they look like Easter bonnets.  See the facing page below......

IMG_1392On this facing pages I used Easter post cards, buttons, lace and flowers to compliment the  Easter theme.

IMG_1395I cut these photos out and glued them onto canvas that I had already  painted and stamped...then stitched the whole page together.

IMG_1394I love the photo on this facing you really think you could dance with one of those hats on your head?

IMG_1396  I just finished this is a photo of my mother about the time she left Norway for America, she was four years old.  She may have even worn that outfit during her travels.

This is a page....that is under construction...a lot could change!

IMG_1397Here are a few more potential photos for the book......

IMG_1398They are all great photos, but notice the two men in the back with their derby's and the ladies in front with "boater's"....such great pictures. 

In spite of having a great book and some fantastic photos, I've had  trouble getting "fired up" about this book, until today! 

That's when Melissa posted a blog about the great ATCs she has been making.  Check them out here at her blog "Red Tape" .  She does wonderful things with cabinet cards.  While your reading her blog, I recommend you click on her Flicker page and check out the whole body of work.

This is the great thing about blogging and belonging to on-line art groups....artists, like Melissa, share something on their blog that can truly inspired another blogger....clear across the country...and get her excited  about trying some new ideas.  Thanks, Mellissa.  I hope one day soon, I will be ready to share my completed book with you and my other readers. 

This Wednesday, the 21st, I will be joining Seth Apter at The Altered Page for the fun collaboration he is hosting called Paper Stacks.  I don't think you're going to want to miss it!

  Thanks for stopping by and I always appreciate your comments.

Friday, September 16, 2011

For the love of Jack.....and Al

I guess this is what happens when you haven't cooked or redecorated or gardened or made anything great all week and your children are grown and you don't have any recent "cute" pictures of you blog about your fur babies...cause they are so cute........and photos, at least.

IMG_1361 yard 2032  They sleep a lot, too, but that's part of their charm.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Reduction Printing this WOYWW!

Here's what I've been up to.....turning this into.....


IMG_1355I've mentioned, a time or two, how much I enjoy carving my own stamps.  An article in the current issue of Cloth Paper Scissors caught my eye....using the same materials used for stamp carving, one could do something called "reduction printing".  Well, this looks like fun, I thought.

I did take the authors advice and start with a simpler, geometric design and then moved on to carving the cat into the soft Speedball product called Speedy Cut. 

I drew the cat on a piece of paper, drew back over it to put down a good coat of graphite....laid the drawing on the material I was going to carve, and rubbed enough to transfer the drawing to the rubber.

I, also, decided to cut the block of printing plate material in half, so I made a few changes in the drawing to adjust.  The finished size is only 2 1/2 x 3 inches.

Then I carved the image into the soft rubber....this is plate #1.


Just for your reference, below is what the plate looked like by the time I was ready to put down the third, and final, layer of paint.  You can see how much material was removed to achieve the final results.


  First, I covered the carved image with yellow acrylic paint and then printed them onto nine pieces of paper I had cut to fit, layer #1.

IMG_1345O.K., here's where it gets tricky....this is like watercolor, you must paint from light to dark but before you can put the next color on, you need to remove the parts of the stamp/plate where you want to preserve the lightest color.

When you are satisfied that you have removed the right amount of the stamp, you print the medium value.  In my case, I mixed yellow ocher with a little cad red to make a rust. 

Before, I stamped over the yellow paint (the first impression) I made a trial run.  I stamped on a scrap of paper using dye ink to see how this stamp/plate was going to look.



It is a little hard to see here but the top practice stamp was my first layer, here I stamped it in red but on the "real" product it is the yellow above.

The artist who wrote this article, Lisa Thorpe, prints the first layer a solid color but I like the white of the paper showing for this one.




The second layer is the red stamp on the top right.  You can see where I have removed material from the cat and the floor.

The green stamp on the top right is the final trim.  More material was removed from the cat, the window and the floor.

Bottom left is the final layer stamped over the second and the first!  Whew, got all that?

IMG_1348 I did use a brayer to ink the stamp/plate each time before I stamped.

IMG_1354Not every print turned out as well as I would have hoped but I learned a lot!  I'm ready to try again.  Oh, yes, the final color I used was made a delicious dark.

This was the first geometric design I, I have two practice runs under my belt. 


The finished print is about half the size of this photo but it still a very strong piece.  

These would be great for cards, tags or to collage to a piece OR to mount and frame!  Plus, in most cases, you can still use the finished stamp/plate as a stamp on other projects.

This is what is on my workdesk this see what fun things other artists are doing go to Julia's What's on your workdesk Wednesday and a new to me fun blog party for "copy cats", love it, Debbie Doos Magazine Copy Cat Challenge

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

A really tidy workdesk on this Wednesday!

I mentioned that I had been cleaning my "play" room, craft room, studio, what ever you call is the place I love to spend time.

A project that started on Thursday, ended on Monday with every drawer, shelf, box, file, nook and cranny sorted through.  I didn't do much furniture rearranging but I did do a lot of paper and fabric purging, sorting and reorganizing.

So, as you walk into the room this is what you see.....NOTHING on my work desk this Wednesday....a totally clean top!

IMG_1334I found the small storage unit, on the right, Saturday at a garage sale for $10.  It serves two wonderful purposes more desk top work space and more storage....yeah!


On the opposite wall, I now have a table where I can keep my sewing machine set up!

My sewing machine/boat anchor is like me: it's old and it's heavy and it's built solid and it still works.

Now, that it is nice and handy,  maybe, I'll use it a little more.



IMG_1311 The bookcase with paper storage units on top!

IMG_1307This is the wall that connects the worktable wall to the sewing machine wall.

IMG_1305Sorted and labeled....cigar boxes hold many a treasure!

IMG_1306On the same shelf, an old metal parts chest with it's many small drawers.

IMG_1309To the right, shelves for baskets and notebooks full of photos and art, ribbon in clear boxes, rubber stamp storage and more.


Same wall, on the left, is a tall storage cabinet....on the door I have a "skirt hanger" that I use for a drying rack.  It is where I hang pieces I'm working on to dry, now they are safe from the cat walking on them and I can't spill or splatter on them.




IMG_1312This is the fourth can see I, also, keep the ironing board in here and the clothes that need ironing....looks like I'd better do that next! 

IMG_1324Whoa!  This is one clean, organized desktop....remember will be a looooooooong time before you see this again!

IMG_1325  Some of my favorite paint colors and tools!

IMG_1328 IMG_1327I fancy myself as the queen of repurposing...thus muffin tin and lunch box storage!

Not to mention, rubber stamps served up on a silver platter......


Hope you enjoyed my little tour....right now I just want to sit in there and admire my tidy area!  It won't last, it will be trashed again soon and I sure hope I can remember where I put everything, that's the problem with getting organized!

Another plus, taking the time to visit all those bits and pieces I've collected over time.  One does tend to forget what is stuffed away in those drawers.  Now, I've got some great ideas for projects to use some of those goodies.

Please come with me as I go off to visit work desks from all over the world on What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday at Julia's Common Ground.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Laboring this weekend!

So far, this Labor Day weekend, I've been laboring!

I've spent the last two my room!  Really, do I NEED to save every silly scraps of paper, all of those might use some day books and magazines that I haven't opened in three years, broken pens and pencils, odd pieces of jewelry, empty boxes.....holy cow, who keeps bringing this stuff into my space?

Anyway, I was merciless and cleared out a bunch of stuff....feels good!

For about three weeks, I have been taking an e-course from Traci Bautista!  Great class!

I'm always a little concerned about taking a class from someone who has a style, that is as strong and individualized as Traci's but, not to worry.  She is so sharing and encourages students to do it "their way".  I've really learned to loosen up and not be afraid to add those final touches.   Also, I've tried some materials and brushes I don't think I would have tried without the class.

Here are a couple pages I've done for my journal, ala Traci....

IMG_1297Actually, the right hand page is a photo copy of a piece I did on a canvas board using the stencil, I shared a week, or so, ago.  I added the red boots 'cause I'd love to have a pair of red boots. 

So, using craft paint and India ink, I painted and dripped ink on the page on the left plus tried my hand at lettering with a brush.  Fun!

IMG_1299Another page made in class....using some hand carved stamps and stencils.  Geez, do I love carving stamps....

IMG_1296Easy peasy when you use Speedball "Speedy Cut", like cutting butter.  I've made about eight stamps, so far, one of the big ones broke in half, so now.......I'm using the broken pieces, thus the odd shape of the one on the bottom.

Also, recently sent off my pages for the color swap I'm participating in.  Mine went to Kansas, to the delightful Elizabeth, who has done a number of great least, one shows you how to rust fabric and paper.  Thus, a possible reason for her choice of colors for the swap....they are rust and white.

This is my interpretation of her color request.......

IMG_1025This is the front of page one........

 IMG_1027 back of page one.

IMG_1029 Front of page two, with white lace and rusty wire screen I comply with the color rules, not so sure about the red........

IMG_1028 Back of page two with some black added to the rust and white.

This is my first color swap and I took a few liberties by adding the red and black......what I was doing seemed to need the color boost.

So long as Elizabeth is happy that's what matters.

My pages are coming from Cyprus, yes, the country half way around the world.......they haven't yet arrived, but I'm sure they will soon and that I will love them!

Enjoy your last summer holiday!  Are you ready for fall?  If you live in Kansas, or any of the other hot, dry areas of this country....I'll bet you are.