Altering

September 16, 2006

Last week I received two books ordered from Amazon, “Living Out Loud” and “52 Projects” (also Google their names for their internet sites/ authors’ blogs). So much inspiration in these little books, so much fun awaiting! I love how art is referred to as “play”. That’s exactly what I feel. I’m on the floor, playing. Playing with color, experimenting, marvelling at my products.

A few months ago I participated in a swap-bot swap of free cards – those postcards you can pick up for free on racks in restaurants (more specifically in restrooms…). That was really fun, and although I received many beautiful cards, others I had nothing to do with, except…alter! Nowadays I try to alter everything I set my eyes on. The other day found me on the floor, painting an egg crate. It’s a small crate that had 6 eggs in it, and when i tore the top cover off I was left with a small “shadow box” in hand. So yes, altering is fun. But I was going to write about my altered postcards. I usually do all my technique experiments in a journal/book I keep for this purpose, but for the acrylics techniques, I thought it would be a good chance to use my free post cards.

I still feel like a girl-in-a-candystore whenever I talk about art. What can I say, it’s new to me, and it’s just so much fun! So painting without knowing what the outcome would look like, spritzing water on paint, using acrylic paint to stamp, experimenting with different transfers, OH THE FUN!! 🙂

First, I tried Try It Tuesday’s technique from week one. I only had three acrylic colors, so there wasn’t much deliberating or choosing, but it was fun, I love the outcome, and I must try it more and more!

Then I tried Artchix’s acetone transfer technique. I loved the results, but it was a bit difficult, and the fumes really gave me a headache. I’ll try it again, but only outdoors.

And lastly, the image transfers with acrylic – also quite difficult to get a good result, but I gave it a few tries, and I’ll have to try another tens of times before I can really make it “mine”, and understand exactly how much paint I need, which images are best to transfer, or how much time I should let it dry (if at all). I transferred a laser printed picture I downloaded from the Flickr group for images:

And then a magazine cut out:

Playing with collage

September 10, 2006

It’s amazing how I fail to do what inspires me the most – what makes me feel so very good – clean my house! On Friday, I finally cleaned and organized things (don’t get too excited, I’m very un-organized, so that just means I pushed my crafting supplies into a drawer), and as the weekend started there was no one happier than me. I love clean and clear spaces, I should remember that. I was planning to work on collages, although I had absolutely no idea what to do. By the time I told myself “just start!”, it was already Saturday afternoon (our weeek here, in Israel, starts on Sunday). I sat down having no idea what I was going to do, and just starting cutting from magazines. It always amazes me that these magazines are “endless”. They’re all cut and bruised, but still abound with treasures. The first collage I did, I pasted into my book of dreams – it’s kind of magic, and I think It’s a spring/summer mix, because I’m so afraid the summer is slipping away. I want summer all year round!

As I said, once I started cutting I couldn’t stop, so this is just a “fun” playful collage that I haven’t pasted yet. I’m not even sure it will stay this way, but I like it:

And finally, a fun purchase this week. I’ve spent so much on crafting supplies, that I thought maybe I would declare September a “use what you have” month. However, I didn’t, because I’m too weak for such declarations. And as I was walking down the street last week I noticed a beautiful shop full of lovely wallpaper. Could I just walk by? you tell me…

My first spread

September 4, 2006

I finished the first spread of my book of dreams, with pockets, and I’m so happy with it! I had no idea what it would look like in the end. First of all, I just folded the pockets (I have to fill them yet), then I just used my new acrylic paints and painted the pages (for the aqua, I combined white and turquoise, and I love the result). I played around with my transparency collages, dabbed some paint on the yellow page, and really loved it. I let it dry during the night, and this morning as I saw it, I remembered the Van Cleef & Arples ad with the girl (I love their ads!), and stuck it too. Last came Jolee’s daisy punchies (I love them, but I can’t help it – who makes them? they’re small embellished punch outs – somebody sits there piecing them by hand?!). I’m really excited about the result – it’s bright and dreamy and I really like it. Paints are lots of fun. I didn’t think I’d enjoy them, but as I use them, I keep thinking of how I need many more colors. I do enjoy the process, and I enjoy “learning” about the materials as I use them. One of the best things about these paints, for example, is that they’re transparent, so I can cover pages with them, and the text will show under. I really like how you can see the Hebrew text under the yellow color. Also, it’s fun writing on a painted page!

My Book of Dreams

September 2, 2006

I’ve been seeing pictures of Books of Dreams on flickr and wondering what that’s all about, and then this morning I found out through Il Bloggo that The Book of Dreams is an initiative by Artsy Mama. I loved the idea immediately, and decided to start a book of my own, although the project actually started in April. I love the idea of altered books and mixed media art, but I admit I had a BIG problem just thinking about altering books or tearing their pages out. Well I’ve overcome that, as I tore apart a book today, glued its pages, and soon enough it will be my book of dreams.

A few months a friend’s family was emptying out their grandmother’s house to make it ready for its new tenants, and I went there too. There were lots and lots of “treasures” there, but at the time I wasn’t into crafting, and being the collector that I am, I just took a lot of old postcards, some old newspapers, and two old books. Dictionaries. Because I can’t let anyone throw away dictionaries. They’re both very old, and I would never use them. The one I chose for this project is a dictionary of phrases and expressions from the bible and other religious books. It’s separated into themes, “women”, “love”, “animals”, “authority”, and is actually very interesting. Since Ican NEVER ignore texts and words, I’m sure they’ll merge into my art, and I like the idea a lot. Since the book is in Hebrew, I decided I would do it in Hebrew and not English.

I spent practically all day on tearing out pages, gluing other pages to each other, and thinking and creating the cover. I like the result, but I don’t love it. I’m going to have to get used to it. I was so obsessed about making the cover, that I didn’t even realize I was supposed to leave it to the end. Oh well, so now I have a wonderful book and a cover, and I can’t wait to start with the first technique, which is “pockets“, but I have to wait for the cover to dry.

Here it is:

For the spine, I printed out a very popular song in Hebrew about dreams coming true (from the Israeli equivalent of “American Idol”, as kitch as you can get…), the “frame” I created is a whole glue stick I melted with my heating gun, at the botton I stanped a bouquet which can’t be seen too well, on the top there’s a parchment shrine embossed on the outside with an old letter stamp. When opening the shrine you can a dreamy looking Evangeline Lilly – I liked the romantic mahazine ad, and only realized it was her after I was done.

This was a lot of work, and a lot of thought, my house is now all scraps, glue, glitter, magzines and paper, but I enjoyed every single minute!

Sticky tape fun collages

September 1, 2006

I saw this tutorial a few days ago, and it looked so simple and pretty that Ihad to try it. I love magazines, and I can page through them over and over again, and now I can even piece them together into a collage. I’ve been wanting to make a collage for a long time, but the magazines seemed too glossy to me. Now this is just perfect. I love the transparency, which means you can stick them over written pages/ layer them, and the possibilities are endless. I can either just stick tape over a picture i like, or create a collage, or even stick lots of strips together into a larger collage – they don’t have to stay in strips! In this picture, the rings on the left are not a collage, just one cut-out, and the piece to the right is a collage. I scanned them over a written scrap page for the transparent effect.

Sticky tape collages

More sticky tape collages on in my flickr album.