Sunday, March 29, 2015

Secret Obsessions

Su's Dark Side theme is "Secret Obsessions."  I must admit, I have long been fascinated with body adornment and modification.  From ancient cultural practices like Chinese foot binding, lip plates or discs, brass neck rings and corseting, to the more modern practices of tattooing, piercing and yes, even vajazzling, all are intended to beautify the human form.

For my spread in Su's book, I began with a picture of a nude female torso--a blank canvas of sorts.  As I glanced through the pages of Su's book, I discovered that a few of the pages could almost look like a full body tattoo. That's when I decided to print my female torso onto vellum because I wanted the design of the underlying page to show through.  I then used the back side of the printed vellum for a more subtle effect.

Adhering vellum is not the easiest thing to do.  Most times, I will use eyelets or brads because unless you can find a way to cleverly disguise it, tape will usually show through.  After some research, it sounded like spray adhesive was the way to go.  I applied a light coat of spray adhesive to the back of the vellum.  After a few seconds, I placed the vellum onto one side of the page.  This part was a little tricky and it took me two tries to get the first half of the page down in the right position.  I thought that pre-folding the vellum would help guide me to position the vellum in the correct place.  However, if the crease ends up anywhere else but in the gutter, you will see another visible crease in the vellum.  After some work, I managed to get the second half of the page properly adhered and then trimmed the overhang from the pages.

Up close, you almost can't tell there is a picture of a nude body.  The image becomes more visible the further away you are.  I also love how the page design appears to tattoo half of her body.  That left me to explore another form of body adornment--a nipple piercing--on the other side.


Sunday, March 8, 2015

Silly Patron Saints

I am working in Lisa's Silly Patron Saints book this month.  The artwork that preceded me was phenomenal.  It would be impossible to top their humor and their skill level!

Once I got over my initial intimidation, I turned to what I knew best.  Lately, I have been very conscious of just how much physical space my craft and art supplies actually take up in (and out) of the house.  The reason for this is because my husband is in the process of building me my very own craft room.  Finally, a space all to myself where I can store all of my supplies and materials and create art!  Now that I will be soon faced with the task of moving and reorganizing my art supplies, I am starting to realize that there is NO WAY I can possibly fit everything I have into my new space.  At least not if I plan to work in that space too!  As much as I would love to simply relocate all of my things into the new craft room, the reality is that I will have to purge and get very clever with storage solutions to get it all to fit.

This is what led me to choose my Silly Patron Saint for Lisa's book.  My spread features the Patron Saint of Ever-Shrinking Storage Space.  Sound familiar?  I have stacks of drawers and boxes and bins all about the house that are packed so full of stuff, they can't close properly.  I took a picture of a chest of drawers and created drawers--not unlike the ones I have--that pull out (and not too easily) to reveal my stash of embellishments, charms, fasteners.  I didn't even bother to show you my bling, game pieces, stickers, tags, die-cuts, pens, markers, papers, ephemera, books to alter, ribbon/fibers, fabric/lace, tapes, glitters, adhesives, tools, tissue/napkins, stamps, punches, mark-making tools, dies, stencils, paints, ink pads, stains, technique books --I could go on, but you get the idea.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Champagne Magnets

A few weeks ago, I was vacationing in Sonoma with friends.  What an utterly fun and relaxing time!  Each morning, we went for extended walks in the neighborhood.  During the day, we shopped and explored different wineries.  In the evenings, we shared delicious meals while talking into the wee hours of the night.  One afternoon, we went to a Champagne Bar called Sigh.  If you order a bottle of champagne, they will open your bottle using a saber.  This ceremonial technique for opening a bottle of champagne is called sabrage.  We were fortunate enough to be at Sigh when another table ordered a bottle.  The owner took the bottle outside into the courtyard to open the bottle for them.  The force of the blunt side of the blade hitting the lip breaks the glass to separate the collar from the neck of the bottle.  The cork and collar remain together after separating from the neck.  In one fluid motion, the bottle was opened and ready to pour.  I had never seen a bottle opened like that before! 

To commemorate our weekend together, I wanted to make something to send to the girls that would remind them of the fabulous time we spent together in Sonoma.  I borrowed the motto from Sigh's website which read:  "The sound of the cork escaping from a bottle of Champagne should mimic the *sigh* of a contented woman" to create these fun little refrigerator magnets to send to the girls!  

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

How Do I "Chillax"?

Rosemary's book wants to know what you do to "Chillax"?  I have never really been a morning person, but about 6 months ago, I began to change my routine.  I started getting up early to take our dog, Jester, on an extended morning walk.  We live on a hill, so I prefer to start our walks by heading uphill.  When we get close to the top of the hill, there is a turnaround for the bus.  We usually go to the bus turnaround and then head back down the hill.  If I can keep Jester walking (instead of sniffing), we can finish our walk in 40-45 minutes.

At first, I used to walk him in the 7 o'clock hour, but I found that too many other people were out walking their dogs at that time.  The dogs were too distracted (and distracting) for Jester.  I prefer to walk when there are no other dogs to bother us.  So, we started walking earlier and earlier in the morning.  Before long, I had found the hour of the morning where we could walk to the top of the hill and back without running into anyone.  Our walking window is in the pre-dawn hours--between 5:45 and 6:30am.  These early morning hours have long been my favorite time of day.  When I was younger, it was the hour I strolled in after being out all night.  Now, it is a beautiful, peaceful time where Jester and I can walk in quiet solitude.  It is my thinking time, a time when I can preview the day that lay ahead and gather my thoughts (or formulate my ideas for upcoming AB spreads!)  Our early morning walks have become one of the most relaxing things I do for myself each day.

When I started to think about how to illustrate our Chillax moment, I had this vision in my head.  At that time of day, the only source of light is from the street lamp posts.  With every lamp post we pass, Jester and I cast long shadows of ourselves onto the pavement.  The photo you see on the left side of my spread is a picture of our shadows taken early one morning (not terribly flattering).  The photo you see on the right is one view of the spectacular sky we enjoy each morning.  How do I Chillax? dog...walking in the quiet solitude of the pre-dawn hours.