Thursday, December 17, 2009

December visitors in Florida

Well, the decorating is finished and the gifts made or purchased. I think I'll share about all the visitors I have had in my yard this month. First the racoons came to eat bird seed from the plant saucers that sit on the ground. I feed the squirrels from the ground in these saucers so they don't bother my hanging bird feeders. I have one squirrel who comes up to my second story deck every morning and looks in my glass doors to tell me it's time to fill the feeders. I've named him Rascal, and he lives up to his name too. When the racoons came, Rascal hurried up to sit on my deck rail and make chirpy noises and look down, so I would come out and see the racoons eating his food. One racoon jumped up into a saucer nailed to a post and enjoyed his seed from a higher view.

Another visitor appeared one morning clinging to the trunk of a palm in my yard. A HUGE pileated woodpecker. For those of you who have never seen one, their bodies can be from 16-1/2 to 19-1/2 long and are black and white. Their heads are red and bold colored. I watched him for a few seconds and then it got better! A second woodpecker came around the trunk! I ran to get my camera from my PC desk where I had just downloaded some photos.....and they flew off just as I came back into my great room. So I don't have a photo to share yet, but I'll be watching for them. That's the first time I've seen two together.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Crowabout Week 56 "A Horse is a horse, is a horse..."

The element page from crowabout for Week 56 was all western images, complete with a gun-tottin cowgirl. While I liked the cowgirl and the words "WANTED" and could see making a wanted poster, I kept reading the words "A Horse is a Horse, is a Horse.." and then I remembered the tune. Those were the words to the theme song for the TV show "Mr. Ed" back in the '60s.

I enlarged the photo of the kids in their vintage western clothes and used the horses and words from the Week 56 page. I added dimensional cowboy boots, a longhorn steer, and other paper designs.

Crowabout is so much fun. Each week a new page of elements is posted, and each artist makes a collage from them, using at least 3 of the elements. Next week it's about circus performers, so I'm getting ready to start my design. Why not join us?

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Melange Team art video - October 5, 2009

Here is our new Melange Team video of art created by our team members.

Come back each week to see another set of creations! The member's name is under each piece. Visit their Etsy shops to see these listings.

Watch for my Halloween piece - MidwestieLady

My Crowabout Entry for Week 55 - Oct 9, 2009

Well, I took the plunge and entered the weekly Crowabout challenge. First you pick up a full sheet of elements from Nancy B. at Crowabout on Flickr - she posts a new one each Saturday. Then you create your own collage using at least three of Nancy's designs or elements from her sheet, and post it back on Flickr on your own page, then add it to the Crowabout collection.

I loved the Week 55 element sheet with the photo of a dog and two cats with their heads wrapped up, a Victorian lady in a long dark dress, hearts, words and other small colorful elements.

This is my creation named "Next?"

The three fuzzy friends wait outside the orange door of The Bow Wow Meow Clinic. The nurse finally appears and asks "Next?" to choose who goes through the Cat Dog door.

I chose an 8" x 8" canvas board and based it in black acrylic. I used mostly Nancy's photos and elements. I added orange scrapbook paper for the clinic door, papers for the pointy sign on the left, stickers for the word "next?" and wooden beads on the clinic and for the door knob.

What fun it was to make this collage! It certainly did take me outside the box of my usual painting and drawing. This kind of collage where you are given the designs and photos is almost like creating a drawing from puzzle pieces.

Try it yourself! I'll bet you will like it too.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Halloween Fun

I like everything about Halloween - the colors, the witches, the jack-o-lanterns with their scary faces, the candy corn and of course, all the costumes.

I'm creating Halloween mixed media art and adding some humor. Below is one of my new pieces.
"They hide in plain sight. They only wear their hats on Halloween. The rest of the year, they meet for tea."

This is an 8" x 8" canvas board based in orange acrylic. Black netting covers the black felt hats kept in hiding all year. Crocheted lace covers one corner of the print of a vintage photo. A tiny cat and a bat accent the scene. Printed fabric is the base on the right side of the piece.

Check out my Etsy store for more Halloween humor:

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Melange Fabric Challenge

The Melange Team of wonderful mixed media artists have a challenge today - use fabric in mixed media art. Glenda Bailey of twocooltexans on Etsy blessed us with this challenge, and encouraged us to add lace, threads, and all kinds of fabric to our art.

Here is my Melange Fabric Challenge piece: Miss Alice

Miss Alice is a 6" x 6" gallery wrapped canvas with 1/2" sides. Green and white acrylic is sponged on the front and all sides. The first foundation fabric is printed with flowers. The tan fabric on the next layer is cotton lace. The next layer is pink hand-dyed paper towel. The layer under the photo is an embroidered doily. Miss Alice is a print from a vintage photo. Above her is a paper print of a vintage letter. Below her is pink netting draped into a silk flower with hand-dyed paper leaves and a faux pearl center. I love the look on Miss Alice's face, don't you?

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Mixed Media Monday Challenge for "make something round"

I was introduced to Mixed Media Monday by Glenda Bailey of TwoCoolTexans on Etsy. Glenda encouraged me to join this Monday's challenge to "make something round."

"BONES" is my mixed media art for "make something round." The three game pieces with the paws on them are the "round" part. This art is based on the quote next to the tree trunk: "If a dog's prayers were answered, bones would rain from the sky." And bones are certainly raining from the sky for this little dachshund.

The angel is a clipping of a very old angel painting and sits in the tree watching. A tiny bird hides in the branches and watches. The tree trunk is stamped with Love, Rejoice, Blessed and Believe. The Scrabble tiles spelling BONES represent the prayer being sent. The measuring tape at the bottom reminds us to ask "does a dog have faith in prayers?"

The model for the dog is a photograph of Oscar, who lives with my friends, Pam and Felix. Pam and I were enjoying a painting day together at my home when Oscar suddenly sat up and looked at Pam, knowing she had treats in her pocket. I snapped a photo of his "little prayer." When I found the dog quote, I knew I had to paint this piece.

Materials: canvas, acrylic paints, paper, wood, stamps, Staz On ink, Golden gel medium and E6000 glue.
Here is a link to MixedMediaMonday:
Visit their blog to see all the wonderful art for this Monday's "make something round" challenge.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Having Fun With Transfers - using gel medium and Mod Podge

Why would anyone want to do a transfer? Wouldn't it be be easier to just glue down a photo or a clipping? But maybe that's too easy for a mixed media lover. In our Melange Team of mixed media artists, we are having a transfer challenge this month. When I began to explore the world of transfers, I discovered what fun it can be! During this last month I have tried many different transfer methods using different liquids and different papers. Here are the two that have worked the best for me.

This is Grey Lady. She was my first successful transfer using gel medium. I started with an actual color photograph of this greyhound printed on cotton that I had purchased a couple of years ago from The Lonesome Pet. (She still sells many different dog breed items on eBay if you are interested.) Using my HP ink jet printer, I copied this color photograph on fabric on to a piece of plain white paper, 24 lb, 96 brightness using only black ink.

Then I laid my own piece of light tan cotton on a cookie sheet and spread on it a layer of Claudine Hellmuth Studio multi/medium matte gel. I used a plastic card, like a credit card,and spread the gel like I would put mayo on bread, a little bit thick. I put the black greyhound print on the white paper face down on to the gel-covered cotton. I burnished it with the back of a spoon to rub it in. I kept burnishing and checking it to see if it was transferring and it was. When I thought it was finished, I checked one corner to see how dark it was, then pulled off the paper. I didn't let the paper dry (that's a different method) and it all came off of the cotton.

I let this transfer dry and later mounted it on light cardboard to make the Grey Lady wall hanging, which is listed in my etsy shop.

The four photos above are samples of my second transfer method - using Mod Podge. I copied a color photograph on to Burlington glossy photo paper (Kodak glossy paper works also.) I used cotton fabric again, and spread on a thin layer of Mod Podge. I didn't use quite as much of the Mod Podge as I did when I used the gel medium. I placed the copied photo face down in the Mod Podge and pressed it down very lightly. No need to burnish or rub it with a spoon. The Mod Podge will begin immediately to loosen the film of color from the photo paper. In 30 to 45 seconds, lift an edge to see if the color film is loose. When all four corners are loose, gently lift off the paper and a thin film with all the color will be left on the cotton. It won't be down into the fabric threads like with a gel transfer, but the film sits on top of the fabric. Your transfer may dry with small wrinkles or imperfections, but that adds to the uniqueness of the transfer. If it dries too glossy for your taste, carefully brush on a layer of matte gel.

Remember if your photo or clipping to be transferred includes words or numbers, print them in reverse on your printer, so they will be readable on your transfer.

Check out the rest of the transfers submitted to our challenge on the Melange blog at:

Don't be afraid to experiment! Keep trying and invent new ways too!

Midwestie Lady - Linda B.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

"We are Family"

I used a print of a photo from my family taken in 1944, writing scraps from vintage letters, tissue paper birds, paper daisies, and three Inchy Art blocks with "W" "E" and "Family." The exact title is "We R Family" and you have to search a bit for the "R."
I used gloss gel medium , heavy matte medium, Staz-On ink, acrylic paints, E6000 glue and images of an angel and dark texture. Four colors of acrylic paints are layered for the background.

After I gathered all my materials and wrote down my idea, then my new printer stopped printing, and I couldn't use any transfer method for the main photo. So I chose a print copy of a family photo instead and forged ahead, letting the ideas flow and the pieces come together. The quote on the side is: The family is one of nature's masterpieces - George Santayana. How true for both our families and our feathered friends.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

My Melange Challenge art - "Adventure" June 15

This week's word for the Melange Challenge is "adventure" - an exciting word! Growing up inthe 1950's, my idea of an adventure was getting in our car, taking a packed lunch and going for an all day drive. Sometimes we took our fishing poles and stopped to fish in some river we found. Other days we explored small towns in the middle of Iowa, driving slowly around their town squares and looking in the store windows. Other times we "drove into town" as we called it and watched the people walking around our own town square on Saturday night.

My 2-1/2" x 3-1/2" ACEO card reminds me of my childhood adventures. The base is watercolor paper; I've added a map, a stamped car image, stickers, a compass brad, the dictionary word "adventure" and a vintage Chrysler car key.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Melange Challenge for the word "FLY"

Instead of drawing or painting something for this challenge, I dug into my collection of costume jewelry. And the cow with wings spoke to me! When DO cows fly? Remembering from my early days, I loved "the cow jumped over the moon, and the cat ran away with the spoon." But maybe cows fly in the early mornings too as the clocks show.

The background on this 5" x 7" canvas is painted with acrylics. The moon has colored rhinestones on his hat, his black eye and below on the curly wire. The stars are brads. The clocks have metal findings and paper cutouts.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

My first mixed-media collage for the Melange Challenge "Dance"

This is titled "My favorite dance partners!"

The photo in the middle is me at age 6, in 1947, in one of my tap dance outfits. The dancers around me are pictures I drew of my pets I have loved and enjoyed. All have gone on to the Rainbow Bridge, except the little guy at the bottom. That's Sterling Samson, my little Westie, my only pet right now.

I used acrylics, watercolors, gesso, gel medium, paper elements of watercolor paper and preprinted pieces. I added ribbon and brads, and am not sure if I'm finished. :-)