Sunday, June 24, 2007

Altered Artists meeting-playing with coasters

Myself and 3 other gals meet once a month to play. This time I brought my big box of coasters and I had pre-prepped some of them to do transfers onto (gesso-gel medium-page from phone book-gesso). We all did our transfers - soft gel medium matte, then an ink-jet copy face down on the gel medium, rub with bone folder, and pull off carefully- (sorry for the quality of the photos, I can't figure out how to get my digital to take good close up pics yet):

We then played with the images a bit, adding stamps to them:

I was able to scan mine:

And one that I didn't transfer onto first:

New Idea

Then Marg had another idea, from a workshop she had been to recently:

First we covered a coaster with scrapbook paper, making sure we had an interesting torn edge:

Then we got out the brown shoe polish, and a neutral polish - it was supposed to be saddle soap but we didn't have any - we dipped into the brown, then into the neutral, then rubbed it all over the coaster:

Then we melted some beeswax in a little cup with a heat gun and painted the beeswax onto the coaster. It was a bit bumpy and matte:

Then we heated the wax on the coaster until much of it melted and dripped off, leaving a nice smooth finish:

Then I buffed it and scanned it:

You can see a bit of picture from the coaster coming through, the next time I do this I will gesso it first. It has a very leather-like quality to it, and it feels awesome! I'll try using this idea for athe covers of a book.

Brenda's Idea

While Marg, Bev and I were doing the wax, Brenda had her own idea to make a kind of a screen or accordian book using the square coasters, some bamboo scewers and some beads for feet:

It's a great idea, I'll take another photo next month when it's all finished!
We have also decided to do a Dictionary Round Robin, so I'll add those pages next month, and we are going to do something very different at the next meeting - you'll have to wait to find out!

Monday, June 18, 2007

June "Mingle"

On my byhand yahoo group we have a monthly "mingle" swap, where we are making fat book pages for a special day for each month. We get to choose the day from a list that is sent out. I chose "Bob Dylan Day, June 21". I used to love Bob Dylan growing up in the 60's. I was a real hippie in California (well as much as I could be at 14!) Here is my offering:

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Coaster Art

I have done some playing with my coasters. I found a great technique in Somerset Studio (Mar-Apr 2007,p 55, Claudia Roulier) that I thought would work well on the coasters and it seems to be working nicely! I have made two collages, one for my daughter's graduation from university (on Monday June 11th)and one for me (for now!).

These are photos of the Asian Collage. I used one round coaster. I prepared the canvas by using gel medium and torn bits of asian book pages. I prepared the coaster with gesso, then gel medium, then a piece of phonebook paper, more gel medium to take a transfer image, then gel, medium on top of that. In the instructions I was following, I was supposed to then add a thin layer of gesso, then stamp and collage on top, but I stopped where I did. I then collaged the rest of the canvas. painted the edges black, and stamped the Asian word for "peace" all around the edges in red. I edged the scrabble pieces in gold. The image in the right-hand corner is from altered pages, and I coated it with a thin layer of gesso. The button stamp on the edge is SU, and stamped in gold Lumiere. The coin stamp on front is also SU, I embossed it in gold.


It was a lovely hot day when my daughter graduated with a BA Honours in Film Production with a minor in Sexuality Studies. We were very proud!!

I made her a graduation gift using 2 of my coasters prepared in the same way as above, but I did include the rest of the technique, so the transferred image is hidden away. I started many months ago, before I knew what I was making, with a cigar box, that I painted with Lumiere paints. It hung around for months for the right project to come around.

There are all kinds of symbols in this collage, some advice, keys to the future, spreading her wings, etc. She loved it!

I am meeting with the girls this week, and have prepared some coasters for them up to the transfer part. We will experiment and I'll post the results!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

June ATC Swap

On my Byhand Artists Yahoo group we have a monthly ATC swap. This month the theme is orange, Art Deco, or a letter of the alphabet. I found an orange Art Deco clip that was perfect! I also thought I would try using a thin coaster from my pile of coasters as the base. I think it worked very well! I have been trying a new technique that I also used on the ATCs. Gesso - gel medium - transfer - thin layer of gesso - stamp - then I covered 2 of them with glaze. The third had a big mistake on it so I tried to fix it (the ATC above). I painted all around the head in orange and overstamped. Then I added the bottlecap. I also edged them all with a gold krylon pen, and added a few beads.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Unmounted Stamps

I have quite a large collection of unmounted stamps. I know that some people shy away from these treasures because they don't know what to do with them. My biggest problem has always been how to store them. For me, its "out of sight, out of mind". When I go to look for a stamp, I look in my stamp trays for the theme I am looking for, and I forget all about my "ums". I have tried several ways of storing these. For a long time I had them in binders, thinking that I would go for the binder when looking for certain themes.

I even kept the binders beside the trays of like-themed stamps when I could. I found that they were still forgotten. I need the stamps up front and centre! The only ums that were used regularly were the few that I kept right in the stamp trays. They were usually ones that came with their own little package, like Paper Artsy. I saw a demo online a few weeks ago that made a lot of sense to me - putting my ums in CD boxes. My daughter had left a CD tower behind when she moved out, and My um's would be right out where I could see them. Perfect. So this is what I've been doing:

Start with a normal (NOT thin) CD case (I bought 3 for a dollar at the dollar store. The normal ones are getting harder to find, though). Take out the black insert. Turn the case upside down and open it. You want the realtively flat side on the bottom, and the side with the lip at the hinge on the left side. Put your ums on the flat side, fitting as best you can. Most of my ums have sticky spray on them (a tacky spray glue that I sprayed on them), some come sticky already, but many of them have nothing. For the ones with no stickiness I just use double sided tape. For tiny pieces or alphabet letters I place a long strip of double-sided tape across and just stick the stamps on. Easy!

Then you will need to cut a piece of paper 4 1/2" by 5 3/4" for your cover. Stamp your images the same way that they are in the CD box (remember - right is left), write the name of your stamps, and the company they are from, if you have room. Mount this paper on the left side lid, with the name on the lip at the hinge, so that when you close it, you can see the name of the stamps in the CD case. Use tape or double sided tape to mount the paper.

I don't mount my stamps on foam anymore, I just use bare rubber. To stamp an um you need an acrylic mount, you can buy them online, and I think Michael's have them. I think you could get scraps from places that use acrylic as well. I've even found them in dollar stores. If i am using ums that I haven't sprayed with sticky glue, I usually use UHU glue to stick them to the acrylic, and stamp away. I usually stamp with a mouse pad underneath to give the cushion needed. I just wash the glue off afterwards, it comes off easily with a baby wipe.

This is how I am storing my CDs, right in my stamp trays, bordered by mounted stamps. The tray will hold 6 CDs, which is a lot of stamps!

I am also putting some in the CD tower that my daughter left. I think these will probably all end up in my shelves, though with the like themed stamps.

So I hope this method will finally work, and I that I will get lots more use from my ums! And I hope that this has helped at least one more person to organise their own ums, or to start buying ums!

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Beautiful Day

I think today (June 9,2007) was the most beautiful day so far this year! the temperature was perfect, not too hot, not too cold. As I was wandering around outside just before sunset I decided to take some photos of this perfect day. Everything smelled wonderful, there were no bugs, the birds were chirping. Perfect!

See the cat? Picture a deer here instead! On Thursday my husband found a deer in our backyard. Awesome! Too bad he didn't think to take a picture!

ALSO---Happy Birthday to Johnny Depp! 44 years old today. Just saw Pirates of the Carribean 3-awesome movie - best yet!!

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Garage sale find!

It's getting quite warm these days, and even with the threat of big thunderstorms, the garage sales were still going strong. I found this big box of coasters, every size and shape you could think of, and bought the box for $1.

There are hundreds and hundreds of these things! Reminded me that I had made a book using Fosters coasters in 2005, which I will share with you.

It was great fun making this book, and I can see making lots more. I will share these with my friends and see what we can come up with.