Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Playing With CitraSolv

 I can't believe I waited so long to experiment with CitraSolv!  One of my Altered Ladies friends sent me a coupon for $1 off a bottle, so with a little help from my co-worker, I finally found the product at Whole Foods.  My next mission was to head down to the annual Friends of the Library book sale and pick up a bunch of National Geographic magazines.  Apparently, the ink used in these magazines works best with CitraSolv.  The only thing missing was some art buddies to play with!

Last weekend, some art friends came over for a playdate.  Late in the day, I asked two of them if they wanted to play with my new bottle of CitraSolv.  No hesitation there!  First we tried to follow the tutorial in a recent Somerset Studios magazine issue.  That was not particularly helpful, so I turned to trusty YouTube for CitraSolv videos.  Seemed easy enough.

I gathered up the supplies we would need (besides the CitrSolv and magazines) like newspapers, spray bottles, and bubble wrap and plastic bags (for texture). We spent latter part of the afternoon happily spraying CitraSolv on pages of the magazines.  We tried to apply the CitraSolv with foam brushes but quickly learned that it was better to use the spray bottles to saturate the pages enough to yield results like you see in the images above.  You can also apply CitraSolv to individual pages that have been torn out of the magazine, but to be honest, leaving the entire magazine intact worked really well.  After liberally coating the colorful pages with CitraSolv, simply close the magazine and squeeze out as much excess liquid as you can.  Then wait 5 minutes or more before separating your pages.  

It was so exciting to see what surprises the CitraSolv created.  We used bubble wrap and plastic bags to add texture to the still-damp pages.  CitraSolv pages make for interesting, almost haunting backgrounds.  Some look like the cosmos, some resembled the skin of a reptile.  You can keep them as is or embellish over them.  Best of all, they are so much fun to make!

Scooby Doo Be Doo...

I was not quite sure what I would do in Rosemary's "To Be or Not To Be" book.  Then I saw this quote.  I added the fourth line you see here and instantly my page was born!

Monday, July 15, 2013

My Favorite Birthday Pic

Celebrating with my hubby on my much fun!

More Boiled Books (with the help from my furry friend)

Since I have been enjoying long daily walks with our dog, Jester, I decided to use that time to explore the flora and fauna right here in our neighborhood.  I am noticing plants and flowers I have never seen before.  On one of my recent walks (learning from the first set of boiled books I made), I focused my collecting on textures and patterns instead of colors.  I also picked up pieces of tree bark and decaying leaves in the hopes of creating a darker page color.

Using the same method described in my earlier post ("Nature's Beauty"), I created the boiled books you see here.  I used a slightly larger page to create these accordion books.  I added covers and a paper clasps (one with a buckle) to complete my little books.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Fun With Teri

One of my Sketchbook Sisters, Teri, was visiting from the Big Apple.  We made it a point to get together while she was in town.  Here is a picture of the two of us under the famous banyan tree at the historic Moana Surfrider Hotel in Waikiki.  We met for drinks and spent a gorgeous evening talking about art and listening to beautiful music.  So much fun!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

The Wisdom of Maya Angelou

Our Altered Ladies AB RR is winding down.  This month, I worked in Pat's Speech book.  One of the prompts for her book invited us to share a passage or quote that really spoke to us.

I recently came across this quote by Maya Angelou.  It grabbed my attention when I first saw these words.  I decided to share it here:  "When you learn, teach.  When you get, give."  So simple, yet so powerful.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Nature's Beauty

After picking up the latest issue of Cloth Paper and Scissors "Pages" magazine, I wanted to try the technique that Laura Ryan shared in her article entitled "Boiled Books."  The technique uses plant material for dyeing paper to make books.  I couldn't wait to get started, so I grabbed the dog and headed outside to start collecting plant material!

All of a sudden, there was a whole new reason to take the dog out for a walk!  I found myself scrutinizing my neighbor's yards.  My eyes were drawn to colors, more so than textures.  I was also focused on finding fresh plant materials, not so much the decayed leaves or tree bark.  By the time we finished our walk, nearly two hours had elapsed!

I took my treasure trove of nature's palette and spread  the items I had collected out onto a paper towel.  As they were drying, I created my little accordian fold book out of a single sheet of 9 x 12 watercolor paper.  The finished book came to roughly 2 x 3" sized page.

I began to place my plant material into each fold of the tiny book.  When all the folds were filled, I used binder clips to hold the book together.  I placed the book into a large pot with 2 gallons of water and 1/2 cup white vinegar.  I brought it to a boil and then let it simmer for 1 1/2 hours.

I removed the book from the pot to cool.  When the book was cool enough to handle, I removed the plant material from the folds.  The paper is very fragile when wet.  To help the pages of the book dry completely, I used a hair dryer.

I was surprised to learn that the flowers that I thought would bring lots of vibrant color to my pages barely left a mark.  Other plants that did not seem to be very interesting left beautiful texture markings. Note to self: the next time I gather plant materials, I will try to focus on plants with more texture including decaying leaves and tree bark.

To give my books (yes, I made two) a more finished look, I created simple covers for the ends using chipboard and scrap paper.  I also made paper clasps to keep the book closed.  Aren't they cute?


Yes, I am working ahead on these hybrid chunky pages.  This idea for my own page came to me quite quickly.  My theme is "Pleasure & Pain."  There is a beautiful portuguese word that encompasses both of these emotions.  The word is "saudade."

There is no English translation for saudade, but it has been described as a feeling of longing for something that one is fond of which is gone but might return in a distant future.  It relates to feelings of melancholy and fond memories of things, people, days gone by.  It is sadness coupled with a paradoxical joy derived from acceptance of fate and the hope of recovering or substituting what is lost by something that will either fill the void or provide consolation...a universal feeling related to love which occurs when two people are in love but apart from each other.  Saudade occurs when we are thinking of a person whom we love and we are happy about having that feeling, but he or she is out of reach, making us sad and crushing our hearts.  The pain and these mixed feelings are saudade.

Saudade has been described as "the love that remains" after someone is gone.  It is the recollection of feelings, experiences, places or events that once brought excitement, pleasure, well-being, which now trigger the senses and makes one live again.  It can be described as an emptiness, like someone or something that should be there in a particular moment is missing, and the individual feels this absence.  It brings sad and happy feelings all together, sadness for missing and happiness for having experienced the feeling.