19 February 2010

Ongoing Projects

I have so many things to do I thought I'd better make a list:

1. Finish "Bathtime" piece
This requires continued messing around with it. I think I am on the right track--this evening I painted interference violet and blue paints over both the clear granular gel and the black background, and it ended up reminding me of wisps of steam rising up in a hot bathroom. The rivulets of clear granular gel remind me of the condensation that forms on the mirrors and drips down. I think the "bubbles" are going to work out all right with the glass balls over them, but I'm not sure yet. Should I put some kind of border around the circles--and if so, what in the world would it be? And how to adhere the balls to the piece is yet to be decided. I am going to need to paint some overall covering over everything too, and I need to decide what that will be (soft gel, heavy gel, gloss/matte/satin, etc.). Finally I have to decide how to integrate the nude woman panel into the whole thing. Using glass mosaic pieces at the corner of both the small panel and the large one does a good job, but I need to decide if I should add some blue & purple swirls into the fog at the bottom of the inset panel, or if I should add just a few streaks of interference red paint to the larger background panel. Or what the heck--maybe both!

2. Finish two fairy canvases
I have the idea of wrapping each with wire and having crystals strung on the wire. That's also how I could attach the bottle with glass shards inside to the piece. Also need to put a couple of layers of gel medium over them.

3. Complete house accordion book
The cover is done and the signatures are sewn in, but I need to add text to them. I think I'm going to put stuff in from Alain de Botton's The Architecture of Happiness. I need to decide what the test is, lay it out on the page, and execute it.

4. Complete Renaissance women's triptych
The triptych itself is done, but I need to make a final decision on the paper for the signatures, choose the embroidery thread for sewing the signatures, create and add text & illustrations to the signatures, and sew them in (must also choose beads to cover the spine sewings). I think I'm going to use the Katherine Phillips poems, because its weirdness is useful to demonstrate the small box that women used to beat their wings against, some more successfully than others.

5. Finish off the little blizzard books I made a few weeks ago. They need covers (or to be incorporated into something larger) and text on the pages. I haven't thought about these much so am not sure where I'm going to go with them.

I'd really like to wrap up these projects so I can think about the new book styles I want to try and also figure out some different ways to use the beautiful chiyogami papers I received for my birthday last week. I am now a proud members of those in their forties! And happy to be there.

06 February 2010

House book--folded accordion with pockets and sewn signatures

I started with a leftover strip of paper from making an Inventor's Journal for my son. When I had folded it into an accordion, it seemed a bit tall, so I decided to fold it up from the bottom to make pockets. Got to have something to put in the pockets, so I tore another strip of leftover paper (Strathmore 400 drawing paper for all of this) into variously sized panels and put two in each pocket. Then I tore some longer strips and folded them into two 2-sheet signatures.

Using Tea Dye Distress Ink and the ink applicator Tim Holtz likes to use with it, I applied the ink all over the accordion and the panels. I wasn't sure yet what I wanted to do with the signatures so left them alone.

I used the General's Classic Sketching & Drawing Kit that I had with me to make three circles on the front cover, using a pale pink, a dusty rose, and a hint of blue. I grabbed a paper napkin (all this so far done in a coffeeshop) and smudged it. Then I used charcoal to draw a house outline on the front. (I did practice on some scrap first.) It looked a bit plain and clearly needed something on the front. As I experimented with adding a door, it was immediately clear that I needed to draw an open door. Very pleased that I could figure out how to do such a thing, I did it and then added some marks to the roof. It ended up looking like a thatched roof. The only way in is through the door, which stands invitingly open.

When I got home, I glued the edges of the accordion pocket shut with a very fine application of Matte Accents (it was easy and to hand). I had thought about sewing them shut but decided that is for another book--I didn't want to add the stitches on the front cover.

I added some yellow and white with the pastel chalk pencils to the house, then I added some Dried Marigold and Tattered Rose to the inside pages of the accordion. I left the loose panels and the back of the accordion with just the Tea Dye.

Some content was called for--I couldn't put it off any longer. I decided that this was going to be a book just for me, rather than something on the level of a gift. Reading The Architecture of Happiness, by Alain de Botton, had such an impact on me that before I returned it to the person who'd loaned it to me, I had to go through the whole book and write down the sentences that moved me the most. There were a lot of them! Also this summer one of my goals was to learn to use Photoshop Elements. Combining these things into a book seemed just right, somehow.

So I imported photos, some from royalty-free web sites and others that I or my mom had taken, fiddled around with layers and such in PSE, and then overlaid the image with a quote from the book. I guess this has really turned out as a contemplative or meditative book for me, because I love to pick it up, thumb through the little pages, and read the quotes. My thought for the slips of paper in the pockets is that I can use those to write down notes about things I'd want in my fantasy house. The end result is pretty simple, and if I were going to turn it into a gift book it would need some things added to it, but for myself, I love it.