28 August 2009

A Most Productive Evening

My son and I lazed around all day, and then my daughter when she came home from school, but it paid off this evening once they were in bed. I had a few things that had arrived this week that needed putting away (Santa Claus stamp, stuff from Alpha Stamps, papers from Finchley Paper Arts, etc.), so I sat down to take care of that. I stamped in my Moleskin journal with the new stamps I'd gotten to see what they looked like and also tried one of them on red Mylar tissue with StazOn ink (looked good).

The thing I am most pleased with is that I FINALLY finished covering a Moleskin journal that I started last year sometime. I figured out that if I were careful, i could attach these exceedingly delicate laser-cut tissue peacocks (gotten at a craft store in Wickford, Essex) to something with gel medium. I did that but then didn't know where to go from there.

I tried filling in the blank area with Oriental character stamps, which was okay (but not great) until I did it with Perfect Pearls--then it was too bright and I couldn't figure out how to tone it down. I'd already decided to cover over the whole thing with magenta gauzy paper, but the PP were just too bright.

Tonight I had the brilliant idea (if I do say so myself) to blend everything together by putting a page of sequinette (sequin waste) over the cover and then putting the magenta gauze over all. And when I checked that out, I realized that even better was to cut away the sequinette from the peacock in the lower right corner of the cover, so that it could be clearly seen and the top one was more obscured. I was pleased with that.

Also, it worked great to run the sequinette through the Xyron, lay it carefully on the cover, and then lay the magenta over it--the adhesive from the Xyron came through the holes in the sequinette and grabbed the magenta. Only problem is that on the back the sequinette wrinkled a little in one area and didn't get adhesive--I used a Tombow glue stick over that spot, but I'm not sure it's going to dry clear. Will check it in the morning.

I also successfully added the string of pearls around the edge of my water nymphs piece using Ranger's Matte Accents. I am coming to adore that stuff! Hopefully this weekend I can get the glass spheres adhered, and then it will be done.

22 August 2009

Trying Something New--Matte Gel Image Transfers; Xmas Cards

All right, I am continuing to force myself to do something, anything, just don't get bogged down in choices and decisions. Thus I have two mini canvases drying now that I have followed the directions on this project from QuietFire Design to the letter (except that I had already gessoed the canvases--we'll see if that makes any difference).

When I was in England last summer, I saw some lovely 3D stickers of Oriental scenes, and I thought it would be nice to put them on small canvases and hang as a set. So I'm doing one image transfer for that project, and the other one is just a fairy on a 2x2 canvas. When it's done--if it's all right--maybe I'll hang in in Kayleigh's room, or I guess I could keep it and give it to her for a Xmas present.


I'm still trying to decide if I want to give the full court press to making Xmas cards this year (and possibly selling some of them). I'm going to have time during the day, and if I spend maybe a week being very clear with myself about the designs I'd offer, I think I could do it. Need to look into Google shops and etsy shops again since it's been a year and policies/procedures may have changed.

I do feel a distressingly familiar feeling coming up again, which is that I have all these techniques in my bag now but I don't know exactly what I want to do with them. The fact that Kayleigh lost the Bunsen burner for my mini-chemistry set is extremely annoying, because I was getting to a point where I knew what to do with it but I don't want to finish it without that, nor do I really want to spend another $16 on a replacement. Anyway, I may be coming up to a hurdle to deal with again, because I still think that much of what I do is not very personal for me. The things I've done that were it's very clear to see--the Magic challenge was definitely all me, and I was pleased with the war piece even though I wouldn't give it to anyone. But there seems to be a large gulf, or maybe more properly an abyss, that I am going to have jump sooner or later. What am I afraid of, that I have nothing interesting inside me, or that I have no taste? I *must* be willing to experiment and accept that not everything will work out. It's only by doing that I'm going to really get anywhere, and I can't give this up.

Rummikub pendant

I began by using Red Pepper and Butterscotch alcohol inks pounced on the back and sides of the tile with the Ranger felt applicator pad. I dried with a heat gun (learning not to hold the heat gun too close or it begins to melt the tile).

Then I used StazOn Jet Black to stamp the head of The Calligraphy Robe on the tile. It was much harder to see than I thought it would be--think I used too much Red Pepper. Blending Solution removed the StazOn as well as the alcohol ink, so I applied more and wiped the whole off to start again.

Starting again, I applied Butterscotch and Latte inks directly to the tile and angled it to move the inks around before they dried. Then I pounced Red Pepper on with the felt applicator. Finally I put four small drops of Butterscotch on the felt applicator and pounced those all over. I dried a little with a heat gun but am now setting it aside to dry for a bit while I work on something else. I am going to stamp the lady's head again but this time in gold ink and emboss it with mirror gold EP--so I need to make sure the EP won't stick to the alcohol ink!

A little later on . . .

Hmm, I am thinking that what I should have done was to stamp & emboss first, then apply the alcohol inks. Guess I'll try it, but I'm pretty sure this tile is headed for the bin (or my daugher's playthings).

Well, the EP did work out all right (used Ultra Detail Mirror Gold), but then when I tried to use some alcohol blending solution on a tortillon to lighten the face, I discovered that it removes EP as well--didn't expect that. I was able to restore it with some Krylon Gold Leafing Pen applied with a (different) thin tortillon. The face looks odd, though. My daughter will get to play with it after all.

11 August 2009

How to Finish the Water Nymphs Piece?

The water nymphs piece is not done. I could clearly see that when I took a picture of it. But what does it need, and where does it need it?

Maybe something more, something 3D along the lower lefthand and bottom sides. Could add necklace of small glass spheres from Alpha Stamps to main nymph? Put iridescent wash over all but nymphs, so they remain clear and glossy? Seems to need to be under some kind of layer--looks too raw to me. But I want to keep the difference of the women from the rest of the piece. Maybe put glaze over the nautilus and matte gel over the rest excepting women? Include an interference blue in the nautilus glaze?

Also could experiment with circles of white paint--it occurs to me the white of the water & foam on the nymphs isn't carried through the piece. Not sure where to put the circles, though, because I really want to preserve some of the open space between the nymphs and the cameo. Maybe larger ones over the lower area and a few smaller ones in upper area? Will have to experiment on a duplicate image.

And still would like edges to look a bit more finished. What if I glued small mosaic tiles in blue shades all along edges? That might be quite nice and actually be in keeping with the whole water theme, since I associate mosaics with baths.