October 31, 2012

Sandy and Wendy


Happy Halloween!  It has been QUITE a while since my last post - life got a little busy and crazy... including surviving Hurricane Sandy!  Our house is situated in the center of a peninsula and is surrounded by water - two blocks away to the east, south and north ... so we were quite worried about power outages and flooding.  We had a LOT of damage from Hurricane Isabel in 2003.  We were SOOOOO lucky this time - we never lost power and had no water damage = PHEW!  Unfortunately, some of our water-front neighbors were not so lucky.

... but that doesn't mean I stopped making art!  I'll be sharing all the things I've been up to... and today I'll start by sharing the projects I made in classes with Wendy Vecchi at The Queens Ink!  This is Wendy's 3rd year visiting THE Queen and her classes just keep getting better and better!

First class we focused on art journaling.  But before we made any journal pages, we had to make our own journal!  We used all of Wendy's Studio 490 products... stamps, art parts, stencils and blossom bucket embellishments!  Here's the cover...

I also used one of my hand carved stamps for the border at the top and bottom, and as the top of the crayon box.  I like the contrast of the bold border image against the fine lines of Wendy's chicken wire background stamp.

Here's a close up of the crayon box.

Then we got busy making journal pages.  And when I say busy... I mean BUSY! This class was a marathon and very fast paced - I can normally keep up without much trouble but I think I actually broke a sweat during this class - but it was totally worth it!  I love the flourish stamp spilling out of the phrenology head stamp - brilliant!

Then we moved on to some more subtle pages.  We got to use a *secret* new product Wendy is bringing out - but I'm sworn to secrecy!  Trust me - you'll love it!  Once again, I used my triangle stamp as the border, top and bottom.

Here's the next pages... used flower stencils on the right, and hand drew the fern on the left - this is much easier than you would think.  Draw some curvy lines all starting from one point, and then use a water brush and distress stain to to the leaves - easy!  Used my swirly circle and striped border stamps on these pages.  Oh - and used my alpha set for 'art'.

That wrapped up Day 1.... The next day was another marathon - the funky art angel.  All constructed with art parts, with some blossom bucket embellishments, and a flower done with clearly for art.

I decided to go (mostly) mono-chromatic for this project and I love how it turned out.

Here's a close up of the head with the glasses... used the new metallic distress stains and dry rock candy stickles - love that look!

And here's the clearly for art flower...

The finished angel was mounted to a dowel and inserted into a wooden rosette base - genius.

It was an awesome two days with Wendy - it was so nice to see her again - just wish it wasn't a whole year til the next time! 

I'll be back soon to share some more art from my "hiatus"... hope everyone is doing well and survived Sandy with no damage.

~ ellen.

October 9, 2012

Ledger Journal - Painted Maps #3

Hi everyone,

Hope you had a nice weekend - was rather dreary here, but fall has arrived and I'm happy for cooler temps, snuggly fleece blankets, and hot apple cider.  Wanted to share another of my painted map pages.

Used a map of my home state of Maryland this time.  Used Golden fluid acrylic paints, Sharpie Paint pens, and went to town with circles.  Pretty random, but I think it's fun.

As I was painting I realized I could see my actual neighborhood on the map... so drew one more circle to point it out...

This one's a little closer...

I'm still loving the map pages.  Will be doing more with maps for sure.

Getting very excited for this weekend... Wendy Vecchi is coming back to Queen's Ink and I will be there!  Will be great to see Wendy again and "make art" with her!

Life is getting a little crazy at the moment.  Busy at work, and have a family member who is very ill... may be a while before I have more to share... take care til next time.

~ ellen.

October 5, 2012

Ledger Journal - Painted Maps #2

Hello again,

Here's another painted map page in my ledger journal...

This time I painted first.  Used Golden fluid acrylics, watered down to paint flowers, then used black sharpie marker to outline and sketch around the paint, white paint pen for highlights/accents.

Today's quote is from Sarah McLachlan's "Ordinary Miracle"... it's about recognizing all the miracles that we are surrounded by each and every day.  Like the simple miracle of a flower in bloom... the verse I chose says, "It's not that unusual, when everything is beautiful.  It's just another ordinary miracle today."  Another line in the song says "You don't have to teach a seed to grow."  So true. 

Again - text was hand stamped with mini alpha set, outlined with Stabilo-All pencil, and blended with water brush.  Border done with black Sharpie paint pen.

I've got one more map page to share - be back soon!

~ ellen.

October 4, 2012

Ledger Journal - Painted Map


Last weekend I spent a lot of time working in my ledger journal.  As you may have noticed lately, I love maps!  So I decided to use a map as a background for an entire page spread and paint over it... here's the result... LOVE.  Will definitely be doing more of this...

I didn't alter the map in any way.  I've tried that before with white-washing or ink spraying, and I'm always sorry I did it.  So this time it's just "naked" map... much better.  Love the crispness of the map colors and text.

The quote is from a Vonda Shepard song called "Mischief and Control" - awesome song, but this verse is my fave... in case it's hard to read, it says, "There is a painter in all of us.  She knows exactly which brush to choose.  She knows exactly where to make a stroke.  But there's an army of voices she might have to get through."  OMG - that so describes me at the moment... trying to get through all those voices inside my head, influences from other artists, and get down to what is truly "me".   I think this page is a good start!

I used a Stabilo-All pencil to sketch the flowers and then painted them in with Golden fluid acrylics, white paint, and sharpie paint pen.  Text was hand stamped with a mini-alpha set, outlined with Stabilo-All and blended with a water brush.  Border done with black paint pen.

Will be sharing more map pages soon.

~ ellen.

October 3, 2012

Ledger Journal Page - Birds Without Wings...

Hello again,

I spent a lot of time working in my ledger journal over the weekend - here's one of the pages...

Dylusions ink spray background, stencils by Dylusions and Balzer Designs,  torn maps, liquid pearls, and collage images.  Hand carved striped border stamp at top.  Used my new hand carved alphabet set for the journaling, and outlined with a white Sharpie paint pen.

Outlined all the collage images with Stabilo-All pencil, blended with water brush.

Be back soon with more journal pages...

~ ellen

October 1, 2012

Hand Carved Stamps


Last week I mentioned I was taking an on-line class, so wanted to share what I've been up to... I'm a big fan of Julie Fei-Fan Balzer's, and have long-admired her hand carved stamps, so I decided to sign up for her "Stamp Carving 101" class.  It's a BARGAIN at $30, with great video demonstrations and clear instruction.

I haven't done all of the lessons yet, but here's what I've done so far... fun, fun!  I did mostly the same stamps as in the videos, with a few exceptions, because that's how I learn best.

Love this one!

Flower frame

Cool arrow / chevron patterns
But the thing I'm most proud of... an entire alphabet set!  And yes, you have to carve the reverse image of each letter so when you stamp it, it's the right way around.  But there are tips / tricks for doing this that make it super easy! I based my "font" on the way I've been journaling lately.  Note I didn't carve a "W"... because I can use the "V" twice...

So... if you have any interest in carving your own stamps, definitely check out Julie's class.  You'll get addicted!  I'll be back tomorrow with a journal page using the new alphabet stamp set.

~ ellen.