Saturday, August 18, 2018


I had a lot of leftovers after working on the gold and cream color journal pages last month.  Since I had not yet started my mindfulness cards for August, I thought I would play a little bit more with Jane LaFazio's  "Recycled Circles."
When I was finished, I took a moment to study what I had created.  I love how the seemingly different pieces of tissue paper are united in harmony by the similar colors.  I love how the concentric arcs, though made up of separate bits and pieces, come together to form a complete whole, and I love how the stitches bind everything together into one cohesive circle.  All of this led me to this one word, "Unity."  

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Life is a Circle

 The pages for this gold and white color journal were weeks in the making.  I was inspired by Jane LaFazio's Recycled Circles.  These circles are made with several different gold and white tissue papers I had in my stash.  
I started by creating a background on watercolor paper.  I used a variety of gold acrylic paints applied through a few of my favorite stencils.  I then cut the decorated sheet into 4" x 4" squares.
Next, I selected 8 different patterned tissues and cut them into 8" circles.  This way, the finished product would fit onto an 8" x 8" page (folded in the center).  I used binder clips to hold the stack of tissue papers together while I quartered the circles.
From there, I cut each quarter circle into half c-shapes in concentric circles.  I laid out the half c-shapes in decreasing size to decorate each of the 4" x 4" squares.  When I was happy with the design, I used a glue stick to hold the tissue papers in place.  
For added texture, I sewed some of the circle outlines by machine with gold thread.  I trimmed the excess tissue and thread for clean edges.
I mounted all four squares onto an 8" x 8" sheet of watercolor paper folded down the center and then added the "Life is a circle" quote around outer-most circle.

Saturday, August 4, 2018

2018 Summer Mail Art

Hot off the heels of my "Sacred Geometry" Mindfulness cards, I decided to also make these string art nautilus cards for the 2018 Summer Mail Art Swap.  I had wanted to join this annual swap last year, but did not have the time to make the commitment last year  I understand that some years they can have upwards of 20 people that join!  That's a lot of mail art!  Sign ups closed at the end of May and you have the months of June, July and August to make and send mail art to the participants.  So I made up my mind to sign up this year.

This is my well-worn template.

Eighteen.  Count them.  Eighteen.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Speaking of Black Ice...

Since I had already been experimenting with Black Ice, I decided to make my July mindfulness cards using this technique.  Despite repeated tries, I still could not get my stamped images clear and crisp.  They looked blurry and the images were not always evenly stamped, leaving parts of the image lighter in some areas and darker in others.  Yet, the more I studied this stamped image, the more I discovered--sort of like hidden pictures.

Then it hit me.  The images I had created had a dream-like quality.  Images that appear in dreams are not always clear.  Some parts are more vivid than others.  And, the more you analyze your dreams, the clearer they become.  Did you notice the two deer in the foreground?  I didn't at first.  Did you see that she is holding a peach in her outstretched hand.  Me either, but now I see it.

*My black ice piece only measured 4 x 4", so I sandwiched it between two pieces of acetate and secured the corners with eyelets.  

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Black Ice

This is a technique that I've been seeing a lot on youtube.  It's called Black Ice and I finally had some time to give it a try.  It is a stamping technique created by Melissa Kerman.

Since I was just experimenting, I started with scrap silver foil cardstock.  You begin by taking an Archival or StazOn black inkpad and lightly dragging it from top to bottom over the foil cardstock.  Next, you stamp and image onto the cardstock with the Archival or StazOn black ink.  Dry with a heat tool.

The next step involves taking a Versa Watermark inkpad and ever so lightly dragging it from top to bottom of the foil cardstock.   Apply clear embossing powder to cover the cardstock and tap off the excess.  Use a heat tool to melt the embossing powder.  The end result creates an icy-like surface over your image.


Friday, July 6, 2018

Found Poetry

I have always been fascinated by the concept of found poetry.  I love the serendipitous nature of  stumbling across words and creating an entirely new and different story.  It also helps if you have some good text to start with otherwise, who knows what you might end up with, right?

For these gold and white color journal pages, I got out my stash of loose text pages (removed from various altered books over the years) and started glancing through the lines to see what popped out.  At the back of my mind, I knew I would be creating this poem for someone who had recently lost her husband.  I wanted the poem to acknowledge her loss but at the same time offer hope.

I'm not sure I could have planned this any better.  After discarding only a few pages, I settled on these two.  Here is the poem that emerged:

 You had a strange uneasiness.
You lose speed.  You sink--afraid you may drift like some cosmic accident that swallows you up.
In the heart of isolation, memories were invisible riches.
Marvel at the happiness!

I went to Pinterest to get ideas for how to block off the remaining text.  There are some really amazing found poetry pieces posted on Pinterest!  To bring the gold and white palette to my pages, I decided to block the remaining text by painting over the words with gold acrylic.  I actually like that you can still see the text beneath.

I mistakenly cut the pages too short and ended up having to mount them onto watercolor paper sized to 4" x 8".  Even though the watercolor paper was white (also part of the color palette), the contrast was too stark.  I took the leftover gold paint and played with mark-making.  These designs were made with a plastic cap and Q-tip.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Sacred Geometry

I have wanted to do some string art for one of my mindfulness cards.  Traditionally, string art involves using nails to anchor the string.  In the setting of altered art, I usually use mini brads to anchor my string designs.  When I started exploring the idea of sacred geometry, I found this string art pattern for a chambered nautilus.  Since our mindfulness cards are only 4 x 6, the format is a bit small to use brads in place of the traditional nails for string art. That's when I decided I would just "embroider" the nautilus pattern onto my cards.

Here, I used 140 lb. watercolor paper for my substrate.  I scaled the pattern down to fit the 4 x 6 card and ran it off onto cardstock.  I laid the pattern over my card and used an awl to poke holes into the card.  I then chose gold metallic thread to "sew" my nautilus design.

In the beginning, it took me awhile to figure out the sewing pattern (plus my thread kept getting tangled!)  Once I was familiar with the sequence, the other cards were faster to make.  It still took about two hours to make each card, but the process was quite relaxing.