Thursday, July 14, 2011

Speaking of birthdays...

My husband surprised me for my birthday with a Big Island getaway! The mystery destination for my birthday weekend--a Volcano hideway!

I woke up in a rainforest on my birthday!

Flowers from my sister-in-law for our room

Little did I know, he had another birthday surprise in store for me. However, my husband needed a co-pilot for the drive. I was only allowed to view the driving directions which he promptly tore out from an e-mail. The suspense was killing me! When we arrived at the "Umauma Experience," I realized my husband was taking me ZIPLINING!

This was the fourth zipline on a 9-zipline course. I was told an episode of "The Bachelor" was filmed at this location (next to the river). Would you be surprised to know that this line is the length of a football field? Our guides clocked speeds of 57 mph on this line (yep, there's an app for that). Look at me go!

Pausing to take in a view of the Umauma Falls while waiting for my turn to ZIP!

This is the position they tell you to assume if you want to slow down on the zipline. Stretching out your hands and legs increases wind resistance, slowing you down.

You tuck your arms and legs in if you want to INCREASE your speed on the zipline. (I saw no need for this manuever while I was ziplining)

Yet another surprise awaited me when we returned from the Big Island. I came home to this absolutely amazing birthday cake created especially for me by one of my talented birthday sisters, Debbie. It is a vanilla cake with chocolate filling (YUM!) decorated just like a Tiffany little blue box, except this measures about 8" square. Look at the jewelry pouch she made out of fondant. It looks so real! And the piece de resistance--she showered the cake with "diamonds" made out of sugar. How clever! Debbie is the hostess of our Hawaii Altered Book Round Robin and baker extraordinaire! Cake and fondant icing are just a few of the tools she uses to create beautiful works of art--too beautiful to cut! Thank you, Debbie!

July Birthdays

Using the pulled paper background technique I mentioned in my previous post, I created these birthday cards for two dear artist-friends of mine who also happen to be fellow-Cancerians! Happy Birthday to all your July babies!

Pulled Paper "Alphabetica"

There has been a lot of buzz about a new technique book called "Surface Treatment Workshop" by McElroy & Wilson. There are 45 different techniques outlined in this book. For my book this round ("Alphabetica"), I decided to try the pulled paper background.
I began with watercolor paper as my base. I painted the entire surface with red acrylic paint. I then added touches of yellow using bubble wrap. Once the paint had dried, I tore thin strips of paper out of a telephone book (Alphabetica theme, remember?) and applied the torn strips to the painted background using gel medium. I burnished the torn strips and after 1-2 minutes, I began to pull the strips of paper off the painted surface. The longer you leave the paper on, the more of it will stick. You can remove some of the paper by gently rubbing the paper off with your finger. Experiment for your desired effect.
I added each letter of the alphabet using stencils. I was not happy with all the blobbing of paint, so I outlined each letter with a sharpie pen to add definition. Finally, I created a pocket and tucked a tag containing a write-up of the technique for future reference.

A Sampling of Summer Fairies

Columbine Elffrost

Buttercup Goblinglitter

Cherry Elfwitch

Hazel Goblinwand
Inspiration for my fairies continues through the summer. These fairies were made to celebrate milestone birthdays, wedding wishes and just because...