Wednesday, May 29, 2013

No Tape, No Glue Chunkies

I recently showed the Altered Ladies how to make a chevron cut bookmark.  I learned this design years ago and I still marvel at the beautiful effect such simple cuts can create.  If you use two-sided papers, the final design comes as a surprise because it's always difficult to picture how the design will look once you fold the cuts into diamonds (chevrons).   

For these pages, I took a few of my Bulgari jewelry catalogs.  The images are gorgeous and the quality and weight of the pages is perfect for these cuts (not too thick and not too thin).  Although there were many beautiful color photos in the catalog, I liked the look of the black and white photos best.

You can see how I cut three rows of diamonds to create my pages.  Since the challenge this month was "no tape, no glue," I used blingy brads to tack down the tips of the diamonds.  I just love how these chunkies pages turned out.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Majestic Pele

Pele, the Hawaiian Goddess of Fire, is one of my favorite subjects.  This month, I am working in Paula's "Hawaii" book.  I had this idea to create a mosaic of Pele's image.  This image is actually a combination of two separate images.  Because Paula's book is rather small, I used 1/2 inch squares to create my mosaic.  I added touches of glitter glue to give the lava its spark.

It's Graduation Time...

and that means Penny Leis!!  I made one for my nephew with his school colors of red, black and silver.  I used dark blue, light blue and silver mylar to make the blue lei for his grilfriend who loves the water!

On A Pop-Up Binge

Told you I was on a pop-up binge!  Here are a few cards I made using the new pop-up technique I learned.  The possibilities are endless!!

Pop-Up Safari

Ever since I learned how to make this particular pop-up mechanism, I've been wanting to use it in a spread.  Chris' book gave me the perfect opportunity!

The left side of the background is an exiting page in Chris' book.  I found an ad in a magazine that had a similar look and feel and used that for the right side of my background.  I liked this picture of the Masai tribe members with this model in their midst and decided to put them in the foreground of my spread.  And it just wouldn't be Africa without giraffes, right?  

When you open the book, the people and the giraffes "pop-up" in a vertical direction.

Steampunk Barbie

Debbie's theme is "Steampunk Floral Fantasy."  Normally, I would jump at a theme like this--the metal and hardware that is Steampunk are elements that always appeal to me.  Yet, I was stumped for the longest time about what I would do in Debbie's book.  At first, I thought I would do a sort of pop-up mechanism, but it just wasn't coming together for me.

When I hit a block like that, I usually have to abandon the work that I've done thus far and go back to the drawing board--square one.  I began by going to my stash of embellishments and started to pull out everything "steampunk."  There were chains and gears watch parts and all sorts of gadgets, but then I saw the Barbie dress!  It was pink and had a corseted bodice.  There was gold trim on the laces and the skirt was tulle.  It was a fairy dress, no, a prom dress!  Best of all, I knew I could alter it and make it into Steampunk fashion.

I found some dark brown lace and created an overlay for the skirt from it  Then it needed a touch of metal, so I added the chain.  The dress fit nicely in the center of the book, so I used leather-like black paper and die-cut flowers in metallic shades to create this background.  Funny how just a single item can lead to the creation of an entire spread.  All it took was the dress.  I call it Steampunk Prom or Steampunk Barbie!

A Tag Book for a Special Friend

My Altered Ladies Group took on a very special project this last month.  We collaborated to make a tag book for one member of our group who is battling some health problems right now.  Everyone created a tag especially for her.  I created the two that are pictured here. 

Then, out of a handful of envelopes, I created a "book" of pockets to hold the tags.  The envelopes are business sized, folded in half.  I decorated the envelopes with a napkin transfer technique.  I used a variety of different floral napkins that gave the book a very feminine and romantic feel.  

I asked Hope if she would create covers for the two envelope books.  Her choice of floral papers and loving attention to details (book hinges, book corners, shaker front) complemented the pockets and tags perfectly! (bottom photo)

When I presented this very special gift to our dear friend, she was so touched!  She loved all of the pretty pages and couldn't wait to open them, touch them and inspect each page and every tag more closely.  She swooned over the colors, the floral patterns and most of all the sentiments that everyone sent her.

Thank you, Altered Ladies, for creating this treasure and for bringing much needed joy and delight! 

Magazine A-Go-Go Chunkies!

So for this month's chunky page swap, I challenged the players to create all 10 of their pages from a single magazine issue.  I was pleasantly surprised at how colorful, how imaginative and very different everyone's pages turned out!  

I created my pages by using several different sized square punches.  I was drawn to patterns, shapes and colors as I punched away.  Once I had a multitude of squares, I loosely grouped them into themes.  Usually, it was a color that unified the different squares.  Sometimes, it was a common subject.  As I assembled the layout of my pages, I also found myself creating pages especially for each of the players in this round.  

I played around with different layouts and liked the three-dimensional quality created with the use of foam mounts.  I also liked playing with the negative spaces.  This turned out to be one of my favorite chunky rounds!

Designing Women

I had the pleasure of working in Lois' Designing Women book this month.  In a poem she wrote, she invites the artists to share a favorite color, technique, destination, hobby, dream and to "leave a little you behind."

For some reason, I knew that I wanted to create a flag book in my spread.   One afternoon during a "playdate" with some art buddies, I sat down to make my flag book.  I went to my scrap paper stash and pulled out samples of my favorite papers.  I am drawn to rich, dark colors, metallics and bling.  Before long, I had a delicious selection of papers to use for my flags.

I had initially intended to showcase a few adjectives that friends of mine have used to describe me on the flags, but abandoned that idea because I did not like the look of the words on the back of the flags.  I went ahead and adhered the flag book into Lois' book and proceeded to decorate the background pages with stamps using perfect pearls, but something was still missing.  I turned to my friend Su, to get some ideas.  Since Lois' book has to do with leaving something of yourself behind, something personal, Su suggested incorporating a handprint.  What could be more personal than that?

I pulled out all of my metallic paints and started covering my hands in paint to place a few of my handprints on the background pages.  I then took the words that my friends used to describe me and wrote them along the outlines of my handprints.  This is how it turned out:


Hello Dalai (Lama)!

Stephanie's Pocket of Quotes book is already bursting at the spine!  Just about everyone that has gone before me has created a pocket and filled it with quotes for her book.  I wanted to do something just a little bit different...

I am not a big quote collector, but I did recall having seen the Dalai Lama's Instructions for Life not too long ago.  Those were sort of quotes, right?  And there were 20 of them.  How to create a pocket for the Dalai Lama's instructions?  Does his robe have a pocket?  And if so, what would it look like?

Then it hit me.  I had seen prayer flags.  I dug out the ones I had picked up at a local thrift shop to study how they were made.  To my surprise, these were hand made in Tibet.  Perfect!  I needed to create my own set of prayer flags that would be big enough to display all 20 Instructions for Life.

I used handmade mulberry paper cut into 3" x 3.5" squares.  I printed out the 20 instructions onto red tissue paper using the freezer paper technique (that was a whole other story in itself!) and then affixed 4 instructions per flag.  I attached the 5 flags to a piece of string.  Now what?

Next I found a beautiful illustration of his Holiness and decided to cut out the outline of his body and use that as a "pocket" to house the 5 prayer flags containing the Instructions for Life.  The only thing left to be done was to figure out a background.  When I saw a picture of the Tibetan flag (see a theme here?) I knew I could re-create the flag using red, blue and yellow markers.  This is how my spread in Stephanie's book came out.

I have to thank my husband who affectionately titled to my page as "Hello Dalai!"

Three-Color Palette Chunky Challenge

So I decided to challenge our Chunky Players this round.  You know how we all seem to gravitate to our same favorite colors?  Well, to take everyone a bit outside of their color comfort zones, I asked each player to give me three numbers between 1 and 50.  I then matched each player's numbers against a master color list and gave them the three colors to work with.  Some combinations were complimentary.  Others, not so.  Therein lies the challenge!

As the pages started to roll in, I was amazed at how creative everyone was with this challenge.  They gladly trusted me to take them out of their comfort zone and the result was quite wonderful!  

The colors I chose were tangerine, prussian blue and silver.  I had recently taken an altered book technique workshop where I finally learned how to create a tunnel book.  I employed the tunnel technique to created my chunky pages this month.  It was a bit labor-intensive, but I had help from my Altered Ladies friend, Pat, who eagerly volunteered to die-cut my birds and branches so she could practice using the Big Shot!  I think she had so much fun, she will be buying a Big Shot of her own very soon!  I prepared all parts of my chunky pages and assembled them on my recent flight to San Francisco.  I love passing the time on an airplane doing art projects!  By the time we touched down, my pages were pretty much finished!