Collage Lab – Washes

This was an interesting and messy challenge for me.  I really like almost all of the samples that I did, except one which totally sucked so I tossed it.  Really.  It was bad.

I wanted to get some really evident texture on my pieces, so I started with textured wallpaper and gessoed it up real good like in our first Lab.  I did find that some of the washes didn’t want to really stick too well, but it ended up being okay (sort of) because it made the texture even more evident.

This example was done with a watered acrylic over the gesso base.  I added slightly watered down ink for the top, which worked nicely as far as getting some good strong color.


I’m working with colors I don’t usually use, so every time I see this one I do a double-take 🙂  Light acrylic wash over gessoed base, with a heavier acrylic wash on part of the top.  I like how the color is so saturated.


I really like this one a lot.  The layer over the gesso is a light acrylic, and the second is the same paint, just a bit thicker.  I sprayed a really light coat of some Radiant Rain, which is an opalescent spray with an acrylic base that comes in every color in the rainbow.  The colors remind me of watermelon. It is really pretty in the sunlight.


I used inks that I mixed with water and some Radiant Rain.  I did several  coats hoping that the color would build up.  I like the way it turned out 🙂


This one is my absolute favorite.  I love how the color settled in the grooves of the substrate.  Cool!  I used a light ink background with an acrylic paint wash over it.  I did the Radiant Rain thing on this one, too.  It absolutely shimmers in the light.  I love the opalescence.   This effect would be an awesome sky, don’t you think?

Fun exercise.  Where’s my Lab coat???

Collage Lab – Diffusing Images

This swap was a hard one for me.  While I understand that the idea behind the lab exercises is to get familiar with the method, I have a really hard time letting anything go that I don’t “like”.  Stupid, but it’s ingrained in me, I guess.  I essentially did this lab twice, and I probably would have tried again if I had time, but time had come and gone.  Bleh.

I tried both black and white images and colored images.  I wasn’t happy with any of them.  Lightly sanding the colored pics made the image mottled, I guess because of the nubby texture of the watercolor paper, even though I adhered my images to the smooth side.  Don’t know what was up with that.

The black and white images were scanned and printed, and then after they were glued to the WC paper I sealed them with Krylon Fixative spray.  It wasn’t enough to keep the ink from dissolving into the gesso, though.  Those turned out to be a muddy sort of mess.

I probably spent WAY too much time finding pictures.  Yes, I know, it’s an EXERCISE… but, well, you know.

Here are some of the duds from the first attempt:

Foggy San FranciscoYes, the Golden Gate Bridge does get foggy, but I have never seen the fog “chunky” before.

This was pretty chunky, too, with added areas where the picture got mushy and just disintegrated.

The sanding made too many areas where the picture wore off.  I even used the flat side of the watercolor paper, but it still did it.

Okay, here are the GOOD ones (I think)

I like this one okay, but it was a real mess to do.  The ink from the copy made the gesso grey, and pretty soon everything was grey.  After I printed and mounted it, I fixed the image with some Krylon Workable Fixative, but it obviously wasn’t enough.

This one is more mottled.  I like it okay, too.  The first one looks like a rainstorm.

I really wanted this one to turn out, but it looks kind of messy for all the same reasons as the “Treehouse” in the rainstorm.  Ink bled, mixed with gesso, and just added even more grey to a grey day.  Lol.  Like her day doesn’t look bad enough, huh?  Laying down in front of a train??

Oooh… the Terra Cotta Warriors!  I like the way this one turned out, too.  It looks like something that might have been discovered right along with them.  A portrait or maybe a photo for a driver’s license.  Lol

I loved the bleak look of this landscape, and after sanding it and gesso-ing it up, it almost looks other worldly.  Love that tree.

This is my favorite.  I love the picture, and the diffusion makes her even more mysterious.  Maybe it’s the red Burka.

At least now I have some idea of how to get different effects with watered-down gesso.  Something new for my messy art.

More ATCs… They’re keeping my ass off the streets!

Been busy making these little thingies. I’m pretty much obsessed, except I have taken time out to work on an altered box for my friend Penny. It’s a mermaid theme, with a cool focal image of “La Sirena” from the Loteria fabric by Alexander Henry. In fact, most of the Day of the Dead fabric I have is by AH, too. Here are some pictures of two more ATCs for the Dia de los Muertos swap that I’m doing with Swap-bot.

El Alma Sola  ******** Dos Almas

Egad. My photography sucks big time. These things are actually a very precise size, but you’d never know it by the camera angles that I manage to get. Even though my camera has an “anti-shake” feature, I think I must just drink a “LITTLE” too much coffee to have a steady hand. Perhaps I’d better rig a little setup just for ATCs with a stand, some decent light and maybe use my tripod.

Flat Temari

These are from a swap called “Thread Embellished“, in which I did my hardest to adapt a temari design to a flat surface. I think they turned out nice, but I think I like the temari balls better. Much more fun to make.

Smashed Temari

2-D Temari

I am scaring myself a little, cause I’m making these things all the time and not working on things I should be doing. I have three quilts to finish in the next 3 weeks, plus a bunch of other stuff. My quilt guild is having its annual quilt show, and I would like to have at least one quilt hanging. Guess it’s no big deal if I don’t.

This is from a swap themed “Rainforest“. It’s machine embroidered and beaded. I sure hope whoever gets these appreciates all of the work.Maidenhair Fern with Raindrops

Artist Trading Cards (ATCs)

Dia de los Muertos ATC Swap

Dia de los Muertos ATC Swap

I usually try to avoid being a part of anything that has the word “Artist” tied to it, but I may have found my new favorite endeavor… at least until the next one comes along! So far it’s fun, and I want to do a bunch of them.

Joined Swap-bot and signed up for 3 ATC swaps, so I’d say I’m on my way. They swap all kinds of artsy-fartsy stuff on that site. People make up and organize their own swaps, so there’s all KINDS of different things going on there. If you’re into that stuff, you should check it out.

I was thinking a few weeks ago that I wanted to take a break from making quilts, but I wasn’t sure what I wanted to play around with instead. Shrink plastic? Sounds like fun. Papier Mache? Yes, I’ll try some of that. ATCs? YEAH!!

Above is the first of 2 cards that I am making for a Day of the Dead swap. I love this theme, and I’m currently working on a “Dia de los Muertos” quilt for my daughter. Lots of leftover fabrics, so I used some of them to make this. Do you realize how little material was needed for this? MINISCULE!! Plus, I get to play with beads and trims and sequins!

I think I have found a happy home.

Do I really want to be a Apiculturist?

The absence of Honey Bees and Bumble Bees this summer has really made my backyard a sad place.

Just yesterday I was noticing the clover all through the grass in the backyard, with not a single bee to be found. When I walked toward the back of my yard to look at all the Queen Anne’s Lace that was growing on the other side of the fence, what do I see bouncing between the flower heads instead of my bee friends? A GIANT BLACK WASP!! I was so creeped out I came inside and closed the door. It was like something out of a horror movie.

So, today I ventured back out there with Steve and the boys (cats). There are tomatoes ripening, and Holy Moly (mole?) chilis almost ready for salsa. Yumm.  I was standing next to a couple dozen tall purple Gladiolus, and WHAT DO I SEE???  YES, IT’S A HONEY BEE! He’s all by himself, but he is there nonetheless. He likes those purple flowers!

I told Steve that I had to share my excitement and post about the lone bee on my blog.  Yesterday I was thinking that if I want any bees, I would probably have to raise them myself.  Still might have to, but it does my heart good to see that there is a bee in my yard today. I probably should have taken his picture. I’ll keep my camera handy in case he or one of his buddies comes back.

It has been a good day.

Grandmotherhood… Oh My!

My daughter Mona is having a little girl sometime in November. Everyone is excited about it, having thought it would never happen. Her husband has always wanted a child, although I think she just came around to the idea in the last couple years. She’s 39 this year, so maybe she heard that tick tick tick. Do you know that they call any pregnancy over 35 a “geriatric” pregnancy? Sounds like she should be using a walker and soaking her false teeth.

ANYWAY, I just resigned myself to thinking that my only grandchild would be my daughter’s big Black Lab, Nightmare. I was okay with that, as he is one of the sweetest and funniest dogs I’ve ever known.

So, this little baby is coming, and my daughter is simultaneously happy and afraid that she won’t be a good parent, which I think is something every expectant mom wrestles with.  She’ll be a fantastic mom, and I think her baby will be one happy kid.  Mona has always been a “big little kid” with a playful way about her, and I think that should carry over to her child. If your mom is a goofball, you probably will be one, too.  Uh oh, my secret is out!

When Mona had her first sonagram (is that what they are?), she scanned it and sent me a picture, as we are separated by 500 miles. She lives up by Lake Tahoe, and I live in the Willamette Valley in Beautiful Oregon. The sonagram picture showed this tiny little thing with teeny little fingers forming and eyesockets and the skull being quite defined. To be entirely honest, if she  had on a scraggly white wig, she would have looked just like the Crypt Keeper from Tales from the Crypt.  Even though Mona laughed when I told her that, I’ve noticed that I’ve never received another sonagram pic. Perhaps some things I should just keep to myself.  You think??