A few days ago I received some linocut supplies in the mail from MisterArt. For those of you who don't know what linocuts are, they are basically images that are carved out of slabs of linoleum which are then inked and "stamped" onto paper. The process of making a linocut isn't that difficult; however, once you make an error while carving, that's it. You either have to work around it or just can it. So, without further ado, here are two lincouts that I made this evening
Thursday, July 26, 2007
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Etsy seller SweetBerryBird makes some really cool rings, my favorites being this Frog ring and her vintage Pink-Peach Flower ring. The prices are right too, at $8-$12 a ring. I love surfing Etsy, but I have to be careful to keep my debit card out of site while I'm doing it, or I would become a very poor woman very quickly.
Sunday, July 22, 2007
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Some new shoes! Pink is not usually my favorite color, especially hot pink, but the heck with it. I am an artist and I really shouldn't be playing favorites with colors. These shoes were plain ol' beige leather before I got to them. I used a bright pink tissue paper and cut cherry blossoms out of patterned paper for the details. Cutting those suckers out took quite a long time, although I do think precision cutting is a very cathartic way to pass the time. All-in-all, these shoes are now my favorites out of all the ones I've made so far, pink or not.
Saturday, July 14, 2007
My very talented Aunt Denise recently started a shop on Etsy selling her own hand-made jewellery. Right now she's specializing in fused glass and chain maille designs. Here are a couple of her fused glass pendants. I actually bought the rainbow one today, and I can't wait to wear it. I love how that little thread of silver swirls through the heart of the pendant. It's very original and I anticipate getting a lot of compliments on it! ;) The purple one is beautiful too. You can visit Denise's shop here.
Thursday, July 12, 2007
Here are two more vases. The toile one was hard to do, because I really wanted the little peasant figures to stand out, but at the same time I had to use 2 layers of tissue paper so I had to layer them just right so that the figures lined up correctly. Wow that was a long sentence. But you get my drift.
Here are a couple of vases that I've decoupaged as examples for the class that I teach. They were both made with tissue paper, decoupage medium, and sealer, as well as some various extra adornments such as beads and those flat-sided marbles that I'm so crazy about. Doesn't the green one remind you of a gourd?
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Right now, I'm reading "A Thousand Splendid Suns" by Khaled Hosseini. I had the book on order through the library for about three weeks before I got it...that's how many people were in line to read it. A while ago, I read another book by the same author, "The Kite Runner." I have to say that I really love both of these books. I know that is such a simple statement, yet it is completely true. Both novels are set in Afghanistan and while entertaining the reader, they also give a brief history lesson on this very misunderstood country. Hosseini has such a way with words that it's hard to explain. It's the way he describes the "little" experiences in his characters lives that really gets to me. We all have memories of random events in our lives; things that seemed so minor at the time, but for some reason are held onto throughout the years by our conscience. Hosseini captures these small moments beautifully, and wraps them around the larger experiences of his characters. His stories are heartbreaking and hopeful at the same time, and while his writing can be emotionally difficult on the reader, it is well worth it.
Saturday, July 7, 2007
I was going through some old papers recently, and I came across this drawing I made a few years ago. I've never thought of myself as an illustrator, but when I see something like this I think that maybe I have it in me somewhere. I don't really remember what this drawing was all about, but I do remember that the main figure is a queen and the smaller one is her favorite hunting dog.
Thursday, July 5, 2007
A few months ago, I was in a decoupaging frenzy, but I was sick of doing vases, boxes, and jars. I was in a thrift store one day, looking at all those pairs of cast aside shoes, and it hit me. I could decoupage them and give them a new lease on life! Whether you wear these shoes or just keep them as a work of art, this project is a great way to spend an afternoon. For those of you who have decoupaged before, this will be a breeze. For those who have not, it will only be a minor challenge. First, let's talk materials. You will need a pair of either man-made or natural leather shoes, with minor wear-and-tear and no wrinkles. If the shoes are from a thrift store, you'll probably want to give them a good dose of disinfectant spray before you begin. You will need some decoupage medium (I prefer Royal Coat in Clear), acrylic gel medium (I like Liquitex Super Heavy in Gloss), and a sealer (my favorite is Delta Ceramcoat All-Purpose Sealer). You will also need patterned tissue paper or decoupage tissue, which you can find at most craft stores. Tear the tissue into strips that are about 3/4 in wide and 4 in long, give or take. You will need 3 or 4 small foam brushes and an exact-o knife to trim around the seams. If you'd like, you can use some embellishments for the finishing touches. Beads, buttons, fake flowers or whatever you like! Use your imagination. Start by applying a minimum coating of decoupage medium on the area where you will place the first strip. I like to start at the front toe and then work my way down the sides to the back of the heel. Don't over-do it with the medium here. Remember, you can always add more later. Too much medium will make the tissue paper tear very easily, and while you will get the occasional tear here and there, you don't want them all over the place! Take a strip of tissue paper and apply it to the area where the medium is. Leave a flap at the top to fold over into the shoe, and a flap at the bottom to tuck into the bottom seam. Pat the strip down and then add more medium on top; enough to make the tissue pliable. Continue "molding" the paper to fit the shoe's contours. You will have small wrinkles, and probably a tear or two (especially if this is your first time doing this). Flatten the wrinkles down, applying more medium with your fingertip if necessary. Do this until the strip is glued down. When you get to the bottom seam of the show, where the leather meets the sole, tuck the paper into the seam with your thumbnail Really get it in there good. Use a tiny bit of medium if you need to. Once you get it in there, DON'T trim it! I know it's tempting, but wait. Now brush some additional medium to the underside of the top flap and glue that down into the shoe. That should be easy, so I doubt you need a picture to help explain it. Continue gluing and tucking the strips all along the side of the shoe.
When you get to the back of the shoe, place the last strips of tissue so that they meet and overlap one another. If the shoe has a heel, it's up to you if you want to decoupage it as well, but I usually don't and I didn't on this pair of shoes. But if you decide to do it, I'm sure you can figure it out. Sometimes, I like to paint the heel and/or the straps with acrylic paint that matches the pattern. This is a quick and easy way to keep the design cohesive and to give your shoes a professionally finished look. OK, at this point wait until your shoe has dried completely. You should have a whole bunch of annoying flaps of paper sticking out of the bottom of the shoe. It will be really satisfying to get rid of these suckers, believe me, I enjoy it every time. Position your craft knife so that it is in the groove of the seam. You can start wherever you like. Now begin to trim around the shoe. Keep that blade in the seam. Take your time and go around the whole shoe 2 or 3 times before you begin to tear away the pieces. When you do tear the excess pieces off, do so gently so that if you run into a piece that's stuck, you can just use your blade to detach it. Time for some touch ups! Look for small tears and imperfections across the surface of the shoe. If you find any, cover them up with small pieces of tissue paper. Once you seal the shoe you'll never notice that they were there. Now coat your shoe with about 2 or 3 minimal layers of your acrylic gel medium. Let the shoe dry between each coating. Do the same with your sealer.
Repeat ALL steps on other shoe.
You're almost done and now you can really start to have some fun. Embellish your shoes with whatever you'd like. There is no limit to what you can do here. Go crazy! Glitter glue is especially pretty on this project. Rub some on, and then add an additional coat of sealer so that the shoe isn't sticky. Glue your adornments on with the acrylic gel medium, which by this point you know will dry completely clear. The shoes I show here have been adorned with those flat-sided marbles that are usually used in vases. They come in little netted bags at the craft store.
Wednesday, July 4, 2007
I've finished another pair of shoes~I really had a good time with these. Every time I do a new pair, the process seems easier and goes quicker. These took about 45 minutes to put together plus an hour or two for drying time. I also did something different this time. I rubbed some glitter glue on them before sealing. These are way too big for me to wear, not to mention pretty worn out, but their original leather surface was perfect to decoupage on. What's really cool is that you can see my reflection with the camera in all 6 marbles. Tutorial coming soon!