Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Earth Day and Cloth Paper Scissors Challenges

Earth Day Challenge - Diva's weekly challenge #164

I'm really enjoying participating in these weekly challenges; it forces me to do something every week, and also post consistently on the blog :).  You can see this week's challenge and all the wonderful submissions from other participants here.

Because the challenge was for Earth Day, I decided to use recycled paper - used tea bags - and because the Earth is round, I went with the round tea bags.  I used Sakura gel pens, Inktense, and colored pencils.

The challenge for me was then to create nature inspired art with tangles.  Some are very obviously organic in nature, but I enjoyed using others which may not be so obvious.  I definitely could keep going, it was so much fun!!!

  • Left - Sedgling Forest
  • Center - Angel Fish Tree
  • Right - Isochor Flowering Trees
  • Left - 'Nzeppel Flowers
  • Center - Rain trees
  • Right - Tipple, Printemps, Amaze, and Flux Mountains 
  • Left - Aura-Leah Plant
  • Center - Flux Plant
  • Right - Eke Plant

Cloth Paper Scissors Magazine Reader Challenge

Cloth Paper Scissors is one of my favorite magazines; I absolutely love it.  Last year they had a challenge to create a mixed-media stitched square (6" x 6" - around 15 x 15 cm).  I decided to enter and submitted my piece below, which was then published in the January/February 2014 issue.

So, here is the finished piece and some of the in-progress pictures.  I hope you enjoy them.
Finished Piece

Finished Piece - close-up

Background - started with a piece of my husband's old jeans
and layered old book pages, stamped and drawn-on tea bags, gesso, and inks. 

Drew and stitched a tree, and then started adding flowers
Close up of the tree branches and flowers
In the end I added more color with Inktense as you can see in the finished piece and stitched it to a piece of felt.

It was so much fun to open up the magazine and see my art in it :)

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Diva's Challenge and Zentangle Inspired Mountains

The Challenge

This week's challenge was to use the new tangle Rixty (instructions here).  It was fun to learn the new tangle and try it out different ways.

I ended up shading some of the triangles, as I messed up one of them :).  I actually like the effect, so... here it is:

The Zentangle Inspired Mountains

While doing the Zentangle workshop a few months ago, I decided to create mountains covered with tangles.  Well... I made them connect on all four sides so that you'd have a continuous design and therefore it could be used on fabric.

Today, I decided to create a few products on Print All Over Me and here are a couple that I would love to see for real - and wear!!

What do you think?

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Diva's Challenge, ACEOs, and Bookmarks

The Challenge 

This week's challenge (here) is to use your initials as a string.  I really enjoyed playing with the string until I got something I liked.  You can see in the second picture the M in pink and the h in purple.


I grabbed a couple of pieces of brightly painted paper (with acrylics) stamped over with hand-carved stamps, and drew some leaves.  I may still fiddle with them, but I might just list them as they are on Etsy.  How do you like them?

Background was done with colored pencil over acrylics

Background was painted with white acrylics
and swirls drawn around a very wonky moon

The Bookmarks

These are very fun and colorful bookmarks and they will last a very long time.  I've had one for several years and it looks as good as new - and believe me, it has been abused!  It has even been dropped in bubble baths several times :)

They are made from art canvas, painted with acrylics, stamped with hand-carved stamps, drawn on with black pen, and finally sealed with 2 or 3 coats of varnish.  Since 2 of them fit together, do you think I should list them as a pair or individually on Etsy?

Back created with acrylics, hand carved stamps, pen, and colored pencil

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Diva's Challenge #161 and a shower curtain

Diva's Challenge #161 - Quandary

Quandary is a Zentangle tangle (instructions here) and the Diva's challenge (here) was to try different ways of creating the tangle and create a piece using it.

First I had fun with two of my hand-carved leaves on a sketch pad to practice sets of threes - the prints have been put through a filter so they look a bit more stylized:

Then I created a tile:

The shower Curtain:

My Mother-in-law wanted to get a new shower curtain to go with her newly painted pink bathroom.  We talked about tones of grey and after going through a bunch of my art, she decided on the dancing trees.  So... I changed them to grey and put them up on Cafepress.  

I hope the shower curtain looks good in her bathroom!!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Diva's Challenge and Bookmarks


When my niece turned 4 (almost a month ago) she got a really beautiful book of fairy tales.  I decided then to make her a colorful bookmark so she would know which story her mom was reading her in the evening.

I made a few for myself years ago from pieces of painted canvas, and I absolutely love them.  They have been bent, folded, and even dropped in bath water several times, and they still look like new!

Since the bookmarks came from the same piece of painted canvas, I made one for Rowan and one for her mom.  Rohan's had to have beads, of course :).  I made the large beads with a Paper Source catalog and UTEE (Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel) years ago; the hearts were printed from hand-carved stamps (and sequin waste on Raquel's little hearts).

Diva's Challenge

Somehow I couldn't find the time last week to participate in the challenge, but I found a few minutes last night to create a tile this week.  The Diva's #160 challenge was to use a spiral as your string.  I had fun with it :)  Please take a look at all the other participants' art; it is really inspiring.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Diva's challenge, Teabags, and Coloring Pages

Diva's Challenge #158: Duotangle: Diva Dance + Crescent Moon

I had never tried to stick to 2 tangles on a tile or ZIA (Zentangle Inspired Art).  I must say it was challenging!!  I kept wanting to add others for interest and contrast!  Well... I did it, but now looking at it, I would have liked to have left some space between the shape in the middle and the one on the right.  Oh well... I keep learning :).  For instructions on this challenge and to see the beautiful art others have created for it, please click here.

Since I love tea, I have a lot of used teabags around :).   I keep wanting to experiment with them, so here are my latest created a couple of nights ago.

The flowers were printed from hand carved blocks with acrylic paint.  The red in the front, and the white in the back.  The outlines were also added some in the front and some in the back.  This is a "one-ply" teabag - meaning, I opened it up completely.

Same process as above.  Ah!  Forgot... the pinkish tone around the border and flower was added with  colored pencil.

These are "2-ply", meaning the tea bags are intact except for a torn piece along the top where I got the tea out.  Again, I used some of my hand-carved blocks to print the designs with acrylic ink.  I then added some details with black and white pens, colored pencil, and a touch of copper paint.
I may also to varnish them or use gel medium so they are not as fragile.  I do like the feel of them as they are, though...

Now the question is... what do I do with them?  Cards?  Put a bunch of them together and create one piece?  Any ideas?  I'm completely open to suggestions.  

Coloring Pages
I love to color and paint, and I often use the same design to try different color combinations or media.  I decided to create pages of some of my designs and add them to my Etsy shop.  People can just download them and start coloring or painting right away.  So, yesterday I added my first coloring page from one of my tile designs inspired by Portuguese tiles called Azulejos.  I have a blog post about those here.

Tile design "Swirls" in my Etsy shop ready to be downloaded, then colored or painted.  It would look great tangled, as well!  Click the picture for the link

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Diva's challenge #157 Charlie (2)

I was not so thrilled with the other entry for the challenge; it was one of those days where everything you try isn't quite right.  So, I gave it another try today and I'm happier with this tile.  For instructions on how to draw Charlie by Erin Olson, please click here.