Thursday, April 19, 2018

Ode to a purple butterfly

I'm once again joining Alison/Craftytrog, our host this month at Art Journal Journey.  Her theme is recycle and collage.  And because it is nature inspired, I am also linking to my friends at Try it on Tuesday, whose theme is nature's beauty

This is an entry for my large art journal.  I had to turn it sideways, though, so I could get everything on the page,

This Irish blessing seemed to fit the focal image I chose.

In case you can't read it:
May the wings of the butterfly kiss the sun
And find your shoulder to light on,
To bring you luck, happiness and riches
Today, tomorrow and beyond.
          ~Irish Blessing
I'm having a bit of tension problems, so my sewing, always wonky and never straight, took an even bigger hit when I added all these recycled pieces to the mix.

I was trying to pair all my colors together,

in order to highlight the purple butterfly.

The tension problem is obvious in this photo.

This would have been a beautiful postage stamp if the PO hadn't forced the envelope through the automated stamper crooked.  Of course, it just makes my wonky stitching more noticeable.

For this journal page, I started with a used sheet of bright pink computer paper.  I added part of a calendar page and the computer generated sentiment I colored with watercolor crayons and backed with part of a sheet of used lavender computer paper.   To the right side of the page, I sewed more of the lavender computer paper, a sliver of card stock that had been part of an address label, a security envelope, a piece of corrugated cardboard, and a piece of pale pink computer paper.  On top of that, I added the postage stamp I left attached to part of the envelope.

This is Day 19 of 22 days leading to bEARTHday.  I recycled everything on the page except the variegated thread, which took the place of glue.

Thank you beyond belief for taking time to visit with me today.  You have no idea how grateful I am that you dropped by.   Today, you will also find me at Art Journal Journey and Try it on Tuesday.  Hope to see you both places, too.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

In the heartland

It's once again time to join Alison/Craftytrog, our host this month at Art Journal Journey with her theme recycle and collage.

These cracker boxes are really great for recycling and they are large, too, which means I can enter them at Art Journal Journey.  I'm getting a lot of mileage out of that Florida state map from the late 1990s.

Some of you will remember when I created Faux Cloisonné last year for a Second Thursday Tutorial.  I stamped the heart with the peace symbol inside it, then outlined the areas using dimensional paint.  After that, I filled the heart using fingernail polish.  I couldn't find my gold pen to turn it into truly faux cloisonné, but I was still happy with it.  It was now time to put it to good use, since the fingernail polish had been repurposed.  The image of the U.S. may have been a die cut, and was sent to me by Patty.

After putting it all together, you can see I'm seeking peace and love in the heartland!

In order for the U.S. to stand out, I ended up outlining it.  Not the best job, but I was fairly satisfied with it in the end.

For Day 18 of 22 leading up to bEARTHday, I recycled a cracker box, part of a leftover map, a gifted die cut, and a faux cloisonné heart and peace sign.  The sentiment was computer generated on the back of colored printer paper from my recycle bin, and outlined using a blue marker.

EDIT:  I just noticed that Moo-Mania and More's theme is United States of America or USA.  Although I hadn't planned this, it fits perfectly and I am going to enter it in their challenge, too.

Thank you for sharing time with me today.  Today, you will find me at Art Journal Journey and Moo-Mania and MoreI hope to see you there, too.  There's still loads of time to be inspired by recycling and collage.  And Moo-Mania and More has just started their challenge today.

Monday, April 16, 2018

T Stands For Fossils

You have seen what I did with teabags when I dyed fabric at last week's T date.

Some of you may

have also seen that I dyed lace and fabric using hibiscus tea leaves.

Finally this is one I dyed using the last of the hibiscus tea and leftover coffee.

Now it's time to deal with the tea leaves.   Normally I would compost them by placing them around my potted plants in winter and around my plants in my veggie garden the rest of the year.  But today, I am going to recycle them a different way.  I will be making fossils. 

I copied this recipe off a web site I visited last autumn thinking this would make an excellent Christmas gift.  I never got around to making these for Christmas and could no longer find the web site on which I originally found the recipe.

However, I planned to change the recipe in order to use the spent tea leaves I removed from the tea bags I used last week, as well as the hibiscus tea leaves, now dry, also from another post last week.

It never dawned on me there would not be enough tea leaves to fill the 1 cup measuring cup.   I ended up having to supplement the tea with my coffee grounds.  It took three days to finally fill the measuring cup with a full cup of both tea and coffee.

Mixing all the ingredients was a pain, and took forever.   Instead of cold coffee, I used my leftover hibiscus tea (after I removed the fabric and lace, of course).

Then I think am sure I messed up, because the "dough" was so stiff, I added some of my coffee.   This turned into a gooey mess.  And people wonder why I don't bake!!!

The instructions indicated I was to knead the dough, then flatten it out onto the waxed paper.   I had planned to use the glass jar to cut the fossils into circles, then decided I actually preferred the organic look better.

I was fairly certain the fossil dough was too sticky to handle,

but patience isn't one of my virtues.

This one was holding up fairly well.

Mid-afternoon, the pieces had dried enough I was able to press the shells firmly into the balls of dough.

Some of these turned out better than others.

The round shell (sorry, I'm not familiar with shell names) was pressed into the top left fossil in the above photo, as well as the left one below it.  That one also got the fan shell, too.  It would be at least 36-48 hours (according to the instructions) before they were completely dry.  But they were already looking like fossils to me.

Imagine my surprise after these had set for 36 hours, how much the color had lightened the "fossils."  The one above is my favorite, and more on it soon.

I can now understand why the instructions were to flatten the dough.  It looks a bit too much like a crater rather than a fossilized rock.

Even though theses were still not completely dry, they were looking more and more like the fossils I expected.

Once again, this is my favorite, BUT, please do NOT use your heat tool to force them to dry, especially if your fossils are sitting on wax paper.

The one on the bottom right is completely dry, so you can see how the drying process lightens them.

For Day 17 of 22 leading up to bEARTHday, I recycled used tea leaves from tea bags and loose leaf tea, as well as hibiscus tea I had dyed my fabric with.  I also repurposed some shells and turned them into pressed fossils.  Because I recycled something, I'm linking to my friends at Try it on Tuesday where their theme for the next few hours is Recycle Something

Now it's your turn to share a drink related post.  It can be photos, a place you visited, movies, postcards, teapots, mugs, a drink cup, books, sketches, mixed media, drawings, paintings, tags, teabags, scrapbooking, or any other art that is digital, hybrid, or traditional, as long as it in some way relates back to a drink, any drink. Regardless, please share below and Bleubeard and I, along with the rest of the T gang will be by to visit.  Old photos are acceptable because they may be taken any time.

365 Day Art Challenge: Week 15 and a bonus

Here are my collages for Week 15.  This 365 something project was created in part and hosted by Hanna at i Hanna.  This entire month I am using nothing but scraps from one of my scrap piles I have collected.  I segregated them by color, and this month you will probably get tired of seeing so many of the same bits and pieces I have cut to make these collages.

In case you missed them, here are Week 14's cards.  I post every Monday morning for the previous week.  All my collages are 4" X 4" (10,16 cm X 10,16 cm).

Food for thought

A banner day

The butterfly song

A spellbinding tour

My cup of tea


Circle of content

This is Day 16 of 22 leading up to bEARTHday, and I created seven small collages using scraps of paper that are too small to be used for anything else. 

Thank you so much for joining me today.  If you are playing in Hanna's 365 Something project, please let me know and I will be by to see what you are making.  Please let me know if you like any of these.  As always, I am very grateful for your continued support of my art.  

So what is the bonus, you ask.  

Ever since I saw a post that my friend Nancy of Quilting Potpourri shared regarding her latest upcycled book (direct link to her post here), I knew I wanted to try the technique she used.  

Nancy shared a clip on YouTube, but it didn't give any information about how to create the transparent vellum like papers that hold cereal and crackers.  Since that was all I was interested in, I didn't watch the clip after the first 20 seconds.

Nancy's exact words are:
Things are embedded in the pages by pressing them between two layers, using a non-stick pressing sheet to protect the iron.
Although I looked at Nancy's lovely art she created, I worried that the pressing sheet would stick to the ironing board, so I tried to cover both the back and front of the pages with the pressing sheet.

What I learned was, you MUST iron both sides, or the items move around on you.  You MUST cover both sides, or the back will show.  And when you double or fold the page to make a single page, the items on the back side have a tendency to shift around.  Now granted, I added a lot more things on my pages than Nancy did, including my idea that I would turn these cracker containers into curtains, which in the end, didn't happen the way I planned.

I almost goofed on the "back"side when I tried to add the words on the left and realized I was putting them backward.  Then, the word "peek" slipped because I had not pressed that side.  The "curtain rods" moved on the right "page" and they stuck to the plastic which I couldn't unseal.  The items on the right side all moved, too.  I realize this is nothing like what Nancy made, but I was making it up as I went along with little to no instructions.   

Regardless, I'm still glad I created this and now know what I did wrong.  I'll share what else I learned.

Cracker containers are larger than I thought they would be, but I should have used two vellum pages, rather than trying to fold one over.  Next time, I will iron the pages I create, then sew them into the pages of a handmade visual journal, rather than trying to add them to a page like this one I added to my large art journal.

Two good things that came from this are, I recycled more than a few items, and I got to join Alison/Craftytrog, our host this month at Art Journal Journey whose theme is recycle and collage as well as my friends at Try it on Tuesday where their theme is Recycle Something.

For Day 16 of 22 leading up to bEARTHday, in addition to my seven collages, I repurposed two vellum/plastic cracker holders, bits of thread from my craft room floor, three used postage stamps, bits of vintage sheet music, bits of an old blueprint, bits of a German book page, a magazine image, a used tag, two images from a desk calendar, one doily, four rings that hold paint chip samples (free at the paint store), bits of a dictionary page, a rejected die cut letter, and a calendar page as the background image.  The sentiment, "Time to peek behind the curtain" was printed on the back of a sheet of used printer paper.  Additionally, I stamped the clock over the word "time" and sewed the pieces together and to the background page using variegated thread.  The entire assembly was added to my large art journal using glue dots and double sided tape.