Thursday, March 28, 2013

Thursday Theme: Tissue Tangent

I had a clever series all planned out, based on the three good fairies in Disney's Sleeping Beauty.  I had started with Flora, remember?  But I got distracted from all I wanted to do with certain Spring themes, and last weekend's class jumpstarted my creativity but in a different direction.  So here I go, off on a tangent (shocking, I know) about my new favorite material.

Tissue paper!

I first started playing with tissue paper some short time after Michelle Ward did her Grab a Tissue crusade.  But I did something different with it and discovered that tissue paper gives you great texture when you let it wrinkle as you glue it down to a background.  I later discovered that I'm not so original with this innovation, but that's okay.  I recently rediscovered this technique and have run with it.  Some of this stuff you've seen before, so I'll just show the pics to illustrate the variety you can get with plain old tissue paper.

Alter Bridge canvases, and unfinished mushroom canvas panel.

My winter tree canvas and the layered ATC from two weeks ago.

You can very carefully die cut tissue paper, too, which is what I did here.  I used a Tim Holtz die to cut this to use as a scarf on a spread for The Night Circus in my favorites journal (still unfinished).
Over the weekend, I was using my stamping on tissue to layer images trick and talking with my tablemates about how much I love tissue paper.  So one of my new friends pulled out some beautiful printed tissue and shared it with me!  I used some in my book, as a background for this page that I didn't know what to do with.  Once I had the patterned tissue down, it gave me an idea for what to do not just with the page itself but with a big chunk of blank watercolor paper I had left over from cutting pages.  Funny how one thing leads to another.
Glued down with Elmer's, then dipped in leftover ink from dying the blank watercolor paper for a "mossy" effect (I hope).
So while dinking around with ideas after the workshop, I came up with one that, again, I'm sure someone else has done, but I haven't seen it, so I'm claiming it as my own idea.  See, I've taken to Liquitex's Super Heavy Body Gesso as a way of getting a cool raised texture with or without stencils.  So, I thought, why not try a relief background with that and tissue paper?  That way, if I want the background to be inked, I can ink the tissue paper, which won't work on the gesso too well.  So I rushed home after work and started experimenting.  Success!
See how the gesso stands out with its peaks and such?  And it definitely looks like something applied to the canvas?

With tissue paper pasted down over it, it looks like it's just part of the surface.  I love it!

So now I have a couple more techniques in my arsenal with my new favorite material.  I'm going to start paying more attention to the gift wrap aisle in places like Target and CVS.  I have already been keeping tissue paper from gifts, but I'm hungry for more colors and more patterns.  Especially after seeing the beautiful paper that my classmate shared.  Is there a material you've started to look at differently, or that you always liked but just recently really latched onto?  Give tissue paper a shot.  I'll keep you posted on further experiments :)

Monday, March 25, 2013

Wonderful Weekend!

Sorry I missed Thursday Themes last week. I was so busy prepping for the weekend that I didn't make anything new! What I was prepping for was an awesome two-day workshop with Seth Apter, which was my birthday present from my mom. We had a blast! Seth is a great teacher, and I would definitely take another of his classes. What we worked on was an altered book, using a vintage book that we gutted and made new pages for. Mine's not finished, and it's very different from my usual style. I used a lot of the new Prima papers from the Fairy Rhymes series and based the rest of the work on that style, so it's a lot more girly than usual for me. But I wanted to do something a bit fantasy based so that fit perfectly and gave me a direction. Anyway, I'll just show you what I've gotten done so far and let that speak for itself.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Thursday Theme: Flora

Another thing that Spring makes me appreciate more, besides sunlight and light colors, is flowers.  In the Fall and early Winter, I tend to focus more on trees and foliage and such.  By the end of Winter, though, I just want to see some damn flowers.  That's why I love daffodils so much.  Along with crocuses, they're the first ones I get to see.  And, as with most things that I like, flowers end up in my art.

I started early with the flowers this season.  That's because I had a Christmas project I wanted to do, which never came to fruition but I'm going to try and have it done for this coming Christmas.  For this project, I started sketching roses from Michelle Ward's photos of her garden.

Thank you to Michelle for letting me use her photos as models.

Another flower that tends to inspire me around this time of year is the cherry blossom.  So when I saw these Prima flowers I had to have them, because while they're not exact, they're reminiscent of cherry blossoms to me.  This little banner made its way onto a birthday card which I won't show because it's about 2 weeks late at this point so I don't want to spoil it for the recipient, because I still plan to mail it...

There's a lot I want to do with floral motifs.  I'm slowly accumulating, with Mom's help, the botanical stamp designs from Stampendous.  I want to do a series of ATCs with them a lot like my unicorn from last year.  But I also have these to play with:

Cocktail napkins!  Mom uses these all the time, so I'm going to play with them now too.

And last night, I was at a craft night with my dance friends, and I sketched what was going to be a collection of fantasy flowers designed to look like stylized musical instruments but the first one didn't really turn out that way so I just gave him some tiny friends and a surrounding of moss.

Not my best, but it was fun.

If I can find the time and the right inspiration, I might enter Tim Holtz's Tattered Floral Challenge.  I'm even considering working ribbon flowers into the dance costume my mom and I are working on for my recital coming up.  We'll see.  But I do find myself wanting to wear flowers, look at flowers, smell flowers, and just be around flowers.  I'm even drinking flowers.
It's delicious!  I love floral teas.

Do you get flower fever?  Where have you been working flowers in?  Do you have a favorite?

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Thursday Theme: Spring Colors

Well, if I can't have Spring now, at least I can anticipate it with some color, right?  Cos I'm really tired of dark colors, which is really saying something because I wear a lot of black (it's a redhead thing).  So this week, I started playing with a more Springy palette.  There's decor:

Ok, so they're fake daffodils, but at least they won't wilt.

These are the birds I've been getting at Michael's.  The white ones are from last year, and the green one is new.  I think they're adorable!  And the squirrels stay out year round.

And last night I got to play around with some tags and things, finally using the Spring colors that Tim Holtz released last year, back when they were going to be seasonal only and not part of the regular Distress line.
This is Shaded Lilac, in a tone-on-tone attempt at this background technique: here.  But the stamping wasn't great so the colors got funky.

 Attempt #2 at the above.  But it bugs me that the design is off center, so I didn't do anything with this.

Off to not such a great start, but at least the colors made me happy.  And then I took the Squeezed Lemonade Distress color, along with Bundled Sage and a little bit of Forest Moss, added some Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist and a super sneaky high-tech material*, and started this ATC:

It was at this point, mostly finished, that I realized I should've been taking pictures of the process.

Finished, with Rock Candy Distress Crackle Paint glaze and 7 Gypsies studs.

That ATC has inspired a series, which I hope to work on soonish.  But there's a set of stamps I want to get in order to do it, so it might be a while.  In the meantime, I'm pleased with how this turned out.  It's simple but pretty cool.  And it's bright, which makes me feel like Spring is not so far away.  It's not, is it?

*My secret weapon:  tissue paper.  Shhh!