Thursday, December 20, 2012

Papermaking Services

Do you save favorite old shirts, jeans, sheets and the like because you love the color? Do you have a collection of vintage tablecloths but don't use them because they have stains or don't match your decor? Let me turn your cherished cotton and/or linen fabrics into one of kind paper that you can use in a variety of ways. Use this paper to back special photos in a frame or scrapbook, as stationery, to cover boxes to store memorabilia, in artwork. The uses are limited only to your imagination.

Paper can be made into 4x6, 5x7, 8.5x11, 9x12 and 11x17 size sheets. A half pound of fabric yields approximately 25 8.5x11 size sheets.

Requirements: a) fabric must be cotton or linen or a blend of the two
                        b) a minimum of a half pound of fabric is required
If you are interested or have questions, please email me at

This paper is made from a yellow cotton tablecloth which belonged to my grandmother. It was lovingly used and contained several gravy stains. I have used many of these papers in my artwork.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

An Attitude of Gratitude Journal - Day 30

Continuing along with the month long Attitude of Gratitude Journal challenge, here is the last entry, Day 30:

 Today's technique challenge is shadow stamping. I used a wooden batik block for the first time since buying it in October. Brushing acrylic paint on it, I stamped onto the page, then stamped again without applying more paint which gives the shadow effect. The stamp did not impress well onto the paper, probably  because of the layered papers of the previous pages underneath. This type of block is made for stamping onto fabric which has more "give' than a stacked journal page. I do like the subtle background texture it gives the page. I chose a light color palette for the words so that the design would show through.

I thoroughly enjoyed participating in this visual journal challenge. It was very good to have parameters to work within. I often have so many ideas, I don't know where to begin and often don't. I learned a few techniques and learned how some of my materials work together. The journal is half filled. I plan to continue to fill it with words of thanks!

Friday, December 14, 2012

An Attitude of Gratitude Journal - Appreciation

Continuing along with the month long Attitude of Gratitude Journal challenge, here is Day 29:

Today's technique challenge is to incorporate a decorative paper napkin. Here the top and middle layers were adhered to the journal page with acrylic matte medium. Simple and elegant. 

What do you appreciate most in life?
My response: The simple things - a smile, a hug, the sunshine, birds.The ability to use words and actions to convey my thoughts, feelings and appreciation for the people and experiences I have had in and throughout me life. (May I take every opportunity to do so.)

An Attitude of Gratitude Journal - Dreams, Wishes and Travel

Continuing along with the month long Attitude of Gratitude Journal challenge, here are Days 26 and 27:

Day 26 is about Dreams and Wishes for the future. Day 27 is about Travel. One of the things I wish to be able to do in the future is travel out west to see the grandeur that exists there. The photograph above is from an issue of The Nature Conservancy Magazine. The landscape is somewhere in Utah. Gorgeous!

The technique challenge for Day 26 is to make your own "washi tape". Another product I do not have so am skipping this one. Day 27's technique challenge is to use an art medium you rarely do. I chose my Derwent tinted charcoal and pastel pencils for this exercise, but wasn't sure how to incorporate them. I wrote out the quotes, scriptures and responses to the prompts. Looking at the whiteness on the page, I decided to do a quick sketch of the scene in the photo.The left page will receive the pigment of the charcoal and pastels as the pages are pressed and rubbed together with use.

Just two more days to complete!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

An Attitude of Gratitude Journal - Creation

Continuing along with the month long Attitude of Gratitude Journal challenge, here is Day25:

Today's technique challenge is to use a glue stick as a resist. I tried it and it didn't work. Maybe because I didn't have the brands used in the demo video. I decided to try acrylic matte medium instead of the glue (top of page). I applied it through a stencil and let dry. Using Derwent Inktense color blocks and Niji brushes, I applied color over the matte medium and wiped off with a damp paper towel when dry. Applied the second color on top.
I also tried the Vaseline resist technique (bottom right), since I was unable to use it on Day 11. I really like this technique!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

An Attitude of Gratitude Journal, Photography

Continuing along with the month long Attitude of Gratitude Journal challenge, here is Day24:

 I saw this wonderful little vignette on my kitchen windowsill today as the sun was shining in for a short time. The colors are so fresh and cheerful!

Wouldn't you know that the topic for today's journal page is Photography? Of course I had to use this photo!

The technique challenge is to do a photo transfer using gesso. This technique involves placing a photocopy face down in gesso, allowing it to dry, spraying it with water and then rubbing off the paper to reveal the black image adhered to the gesso. I've done this technique before and don't like it because it makes my fingers sore from rubbing off the paper! I decided to do an inkjet transparency and gel medium transfer instead. I haven't done this in many years.

In my experience, any of the transfer techniques are tricky and don't always work the way you expect them to. Here the transfer looks more like a fading, scratched up watercolor than a photo, which is a cool effect but I really like the image and wanted it incorporated onto the journal page so did the following. I sprayed the printed side of the transparency with permanent spray fixative (took it outside to do this). When it was dry I applied gel medium to the back of it and glued it over some of the writing. I REALLY like how that looks!

The quote for today is by Robert Frank, the great American photographer. I saw an exhibit of The Americans a few years ago at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I loved the exhibit and spent a very long time examining the photos and contact sheets. It surprised me to read that this collection of photos was not well received when first exhibited. The audience did not like seeing "the Americans" in these photos. They were too ordinary, too ugly. I suppose they were looking for something more idealistic or nostalgic. Very interesting. Borrow the book, The Americans, from your library if you are unfamiliar with this work. It is an important part of our history for more reasons than what I am writing here.

Lastly, I am pleased at how well this page coordinates with the page of the previous day. I did not plan it, but it worked out. Another very enjoyable prompt!

Facebook Page

I've created a Facebook Page to share information regarding new artwork. If you are on Facebook and would like to follow the page, here is the link:

An Attitude of Gratitude Journal - Friends and Family

Continuing along with the month long Attitude of Gratitude Journal challenge, here is Day 23:

" A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words." - Unknown

What a wonderful quote! To have a friend like that is a gift and blessing.

Today's technique challenge is to use stitching on the page. I collaged scraps of old book pages, sticky notes from Kate's Paperie and trimmings from my prints onto a strip of paper. Next I stitched around it. I wrote the quote, scripture and thoughts then adhered the strip to the journal page.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Ivy Drawing for Bob's Tattoo

My husband, Bob, has been thinking about getting a tattoo for a few years now, but couldn't decide just what it should be. Last summer while attending a church workshop on marriage, he heard about the Greek word for forgiveness, which is a continuous act. He decided then that it would be a good word to incorporate into a tattoo design. It would be a reminder to him to continually forgive as he is continually forgiven. Not wanting just letters, we brainstormed on what plants would be appropriate. He wanted something that would vine or weave around or through the letters. We could not find a plant that symbolizes forgiveness.  Ivy is a symbol for friendship, fidelity and marriage. The plant grows here and we need to continually forgive in our friendships and in marriage, so he decided it was a good choice.

Bob asked me to do a drawing for the tattoo. Here is what I created for him:

 Post Script:

Anthony, the tattoo artist at Ink Side Out, thought it was not a good idea to have the word floating on Bob's arm. He created his own version of this design with the word carved into a stone. This is the final tattoo:

Bob's Tattoo

Friday, December 7, 2012

An Attitude of Gratitude Journal - Celebration and Thanksgiving

Continuing along with the month long Attitude of Gratitude Journal challenge, here are Days 21 and 22:

Back to the color palette that I love! The technique challenge for Day 21 (Celebration) is to use wrapping paper and Day 22 (Thanksgiving) is to add texture with gesso.

While at Jerry's Artarama last week, I stumbled upon this wonderful iridescent ink by Liquitex in Rich Copper. It reminded me of the nail polish I used to wear, so had to buy it! Looking through the gift wrap I have, I found this Christmas one that would match the ink as well as the theme of Thanksgiving, so chose it. Not wanting to use the ink on the entire page I created the grid, wrote the words and filled in some squares to balance the page.

Wanting a new font to use, I typed the words in Microsoft Word, tried out different fonts and chose this one. I printed them out, traced them with carbon paper onto the page, then filled in the letters with markers.

To add texture with gesso and  stay with a grid
format, I used a spackling tape. Once the gesso was set, I removed the tape, painted the page then dry-brushed the Rich Copper Liquitex over it to bring out the texture. I added another piece of the gift wrap, more squares, the quote, scripture and comments.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

An Attitude of Gratitude Journal, Health and Seasons

Continuing along with the month long Attitude of Gratitude Journal challenge, here are Days 20 and 28:

Looking through the pages I had done I saw that I have pretty much been using the same color palette. This is not surprising, I know that I stick with the earth hues, so decided to change it up a bit and challenge myself by using primary colors plus white.

The technique challenges for  these days are to 1) carve your own stamp and use it and 2) look for objects to stamp with.

On the left is a flower design that I had carved into an eraser several year back. I used this with red, added a little white and stamped again, then added more white and stamped a third time.

Here I stamped with two different sized bottle caps and the bottom of one of those add to a pencil erasers. I used these stamps on the left hand page as well to tie them together.

Monday, December 3, 2012

An Attitude of Gratitude Journal - Kindness and Laughter

Continuing along with the month long Attitude of Gratitude Journal challenge, here are Days 16 (Kindness) and 17 (Laughter).
The technique challenge for Day 16 is to "stamp" with a mask. I have done this many times before, though haven't thought of it as such. When creating monotypes, masks are often used to create both a negative and positive of the image on the plate. Day 17 called for using a mask on the page. I don't usually like to buy commercial products made for a specific purpose, but when I saw this mask designed by Tim Holtz, I decided it was versatile enough to use in my artwork.

The first thing I did was to sponge on acrylic paint around the mask. Then I put paint onto the mask itself, pulled it up, turned it over and placed it paint side down on the left-hand page.

 The paint dried so quickly that it did not transfer well. I outlined the design to make it more prominent, but felt it still needed more definition so painted it in with Luminere paint. I used the rest of this paint to fill in the white areas on the right hand page.


Next I added the quotes, scriptures and thoughts.

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