Tuesday, May 29, 2012

AB Lesson 8

Contentment is the greatest wealth.--English Proverb

Today, I'm showing off Lesson 8 in Elizabeth's Altered Book Class. This week is all about color and color theory. She gives a very comprehensive lesson in her blog post. She talks about colors, their relationships to each other, warm and cool colors and a host of other helpful color facts. This post is useful for anyone who creates art...including, but not limited to fine artists, jewelry makers, beaders, sculptors, etc.

When I talk about our assignment, I always hear the Mission Impossible theme song playing in my head. You know the one where the recorded voice says, "Your mission, if you choose to accept it is (insert mission here). As always, if you fail (and I am paraphrasing here) you will be expunged from the records. This post will self-destruct in one minute--well, not really, but my assignment did!

First, we were to make a color wheel using magazines, junk mail, whatever. Anything except scrapbook pages. Now I own several color wheels but that doesn't mean I am good at seeing the right hues. I tried to follow E's directions--she said her math was a bit off--apparently mine was a lot off! I never was good in math, but since I really did not intend to put this in my AB, I didn't sweat it too much. I also did not label the colors, but here it is:

Our second assignment was to create backgrounds using some of the color relationships we learned or a sgraffito technique which is scratching a pattern in wet paint that has been applied over a dry color. I had better luck here:
Here I used a monochromatic color scheme and painted the background from dark to light blue. Of course, this is my spread for Holland which is famous for windmills and Tulips.
I also tried to bring in some of the complimentary colors--the orange tulip against the blue sky, the yellow next to the purple, and the red one next to the green leaves. My second spread was to try the sgraffito technique which lended itself well to fireworks which made me think of Disney World and watching them over Cinderella's Castle. Not wanting to ruin my book, I tried it on a separate page:
I liked how it came out but felt it was too dark; so when I did the actual page, I used a grey:
I almost think I liked the boldness of the first one better! Oh well, what's done is done. I did like the technique and can see it as grass, outlines of buildings, trees, etc.

Friday, May 25, 2012

IA Challenge-Mermaids

Joy is not in things; it is in us.-Richard Wagner

First, thanks to everyone who commented and commiserated with me on my last post. Just a little addendum...The three calls that I was waiting for from Google with the confirmation codes for some reason went right to my Verizon voice mail--so there was yet another snafu with my telephone! All in one day. Unbelievable! On to more fun stuff!

Hosting her first challenge with Inspiration Avenue Lou Anne picked a subject that is one of her favorites--Mermaids! You can see her post and some beautiful examples of Mermaid art here.

My challenge piece is a mermaid sun catcher. It started out with this sketch I made to get an idea of the size & shape of the piece:
Next I formed the shape with green copper wire. I decided to just fill in her tail with beads and leave the body parts open:
What I can't decide is if I like her better with or without hair:
The hair is just temporarily laid in place...What's your vote? With hair? or Without?

Have a happy, creative weekend everyone! Enjoy the long weekend if you live in the US. Have a safe one!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Technology Smecknology!

The soul that perpetually overflows with kindness and sympathy will always be cheerful.-Parke Godwin

Do you ever get tired of technology? I do, or rather I get frustrated. Last week I had a problem with my Facebook fan page. This occurred right after Facebook switched all the accounts to the new format. It seems I could only post on it via my Etsy shop. When I tried to post directly on the page, it would give me security captcha words that no matter how many times I entered them, they always came up wrong. It took three attempts (with no answer by the way) before the issue was magically resolved. So what's with the automated response to contacting help that they don't answer "every" (?any) questions. If it is not on the forum or someone doesn't answer your posted question--you're out of luck? No wonder the stock isn't doing as amazingly as everyone thought it would.

Today, I went to write a blog post and I got a page that said my blog was removed. So I tried to sign into google which after a roundabout took me to a page that said they "detected suspicious activity" on my account and I needed to enter a code to verify myself. Since I do not have texting on my phone, I had to opt for the automated telephone call. After 3 tries and 45 minutes, no code was forthcoming. My daughter suggested I have the text sent to her phone. It came immediately, and entering the code, signing in, and changing my password...as you can see I can now post. If my daughter wasn't home & I had to wait for the phone code--if it ever came--I wonder how long it would have taken to repair this problem. So what was the suspicious activity? I have no idea, and there does not seem to be a way to find out.

I usually don't get crazy about things like this...but it seems all my technology is turning on me. Why do they have to change what works? Okay, deep breath. Rant over.
Thanks for listening.

Friday, May 18, 2012

IA Challenge--Art From My Heart

You needn't be the biggest or the strongest to accomplish all of life's tasks, just the most determined.-Unknown

In other words--You Gotta Have Heart! When we create art, we put a bit of ourselves into it. Hettienne came up with the Inspiration Avenue challenge this week to create art from your heart.

There is nothing closer to my heart in terms of creating art, than beads. I don't know what it is about stringing them, sewing them, or wearing them, but they make me smile. This week I created a heart bookmark with beads--butterflies and hearts:
Here is a close up of the beading:
Every Monday a new challenge is posted, and on Sunday all the entries are presented in a beautiful post. Why not stop by and maybe join in?

I am also linking this to Jenn's Artist's Play Room this week where the theme is "favorite things". Beads, reading, and color are definitely it for me! It doesn't often happen that the two themes match for me, so I was glad to take advantage when it does!

Have a happy, creative weekend everyone!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Thank You, Roxanne!

"Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves."-James Barrie

Isn't this just the cutest pin? I was lucky enough to win this in a giveaway from my friend, Roxanne on her Mentalmulch blog.
Not only does she make the most adorable miniature art--you may recall I previously won a 1" square painting, but she makes awesome art dolls and aceos, too! She has a new website and an Etsy shop, too!
Thanks so much Roxanne, I love the pin!

Monday, May 14, 2012

AB Lesson 7

Lesson 7 of Elizabeth's altered book class was part 2 of design principles: line, form, shape, space, and texture.
My first spread represents Venice, as I am sure most (if not all) of you will recognize! I tried to illustrate more than one design principle in each spread.
Line is demonstrated by the vertical tie up poles and the broken line of horizontal lagoon line markers. Although I didn't frame any images in a solid color, I feel the muted image of St. Mark's Basilica on the left gives the eye a place to rest in this other wise busy spread. There are rectangles portraying shape in the tower of the Church of San Giorgio Maggiore across the lagoon, ovals in the hats, etc. It is hard to see due to the glare of the photo, but the gondolas in the bottom right are layered onto the page and the hats in turn layered onto them. One of the hats has a ribbon tie attached--which in person provides some texture.
My second page was a collage of Egypt.
I think the shading of the pyramids and sphinx help them to appear more 3D so they show form. Of course, the bamboo background, while also a resting place is filled with lines as is the map. This was the first time I was able to make the words on the page meaningful--I added the word "Egypt".

I feel like it is hard to incorporate many principles into one spread without breaking a few of the others that we previously learned. Thanks for the great explanations and encouragement, Elizabeth! I'm looking forward to the next lesson!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Bowl of Fruit

"Hardship helps a woman recognize good fortune." -Unknown

Firstly, thank you for all the nice comments on my eggshell apple aceo! I thought I would share the whole bowl of fruit with you now! This was made by me back in the early 1980s (or possibly even late 1970s). I got the idea from a magazine(?), dyed the eggshells with Easter egg dye and made it on a canvas panel. I darkened the photo a bit so you can see the colors better...after 40+ years they have faded a bit. Who knew?
I think I had a lot more patience back then, too!

Wednesday's trip to pick up our daughter was horrendous! We were in the minivan to leave at 9 am, backed out of the driveway, and could not get the car into drive! I could park, reverse, be in neutral or low, but I didn't want to do any of those things! After trying for several minutes to turn off the car and hope that it would work, it was evident that it wouldn't. So...at 30 miles an hour (in a 40mph zone) we headed off to the local repair shop that we use. I had to keep pulling over to let cars go by when the line behind me got long. We made it only to find the parking lot full, every chair in the waiting room full, and a line of people waiting to get to the counter. We looked at each other and decided to leave and try another place in town. They were able to look at the car right away and determine that it was more an electrical problem but were quick to add that we might still need a new transmission. Since they could not promise the car that day we elected to go home & I took
our Camry to pick our daughter up myself, thankful that the breakdown occurred at home and not on the road or 2 states over!

The ride up was happily uneventful, and fortunately the rain held off. The original plan was to take what we could and go back the next day for the rest. If you've been to an away college or have a kid in college, you probably know there is a definite day they have to be out. That would be Thursday. To make a long story short...somehow, we crammed everything into the car and still had the rear window and sides clear for visibility. So we did not have to wind up going back yesterday!

My biceps hurt so much from carrying everything down 2 flights of stairs...I stopped counting after 8 trips! I didn't bring the carts or hand truck because they would have taken up too much room. In a two-floor low-rise dorm, the only elevator use is reserved for disabled students.

Regrettably, I didn't get to do too much crafting this week, but I will be back on Monday with my latest altered book pages.

Have a happy, creative weekend!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

APR-Be Inspired By Food

The challenge in The Artist's Playroom this week is to be inspired by food. I've had the idea to try an eggshell painting tossing around in my head for awhile, and this seemed like the perfect time to get it out of there!
Thanks, Jenn, for clearing my head! Be sure to stop by on Saturday to see what everyone has come up with and the next challenge will be announced, too!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

My new website!

Happy Tuesday everyone! I finally got my website up and running. Right now it is mostly filled with the same things as my Etsy shop, but I plan to have some different items on soon that will not be offered on Etsy. As a start, I have listed a few crystal sun catchers with more designs to come.

If you have a chance, I'd love some feedback on the site which is still a work in progress. Positive comments and constructive criticism welcome! Especially if I've misspelled or missed giving any information.

You can visit the site from this link: http://craftymoose.weebly.com

Tomorrow we are off to bring our daughter home from college--didn't the year go fast? Since it is not the last day of move-out, I am hoping it will not be too horrendous! Hopefully, I will be back at the end of the week with some art!

Friday, May 4, 2012


Hold on to your dreams; they will help guide you on your own path to happiness.--unknown

I spent this week creating and mailing out my postcards for the IA postcard swap, so I did not have time to do any other challenges. I have to get going on the next altered book lesson, too! And, I am so, so close to having my website up and running! I thought it would be alright to share the postcards I made here since I am almost positive the recipients do not read my blog!
I actually did not send out the on that says "Grow"...I made another fabric one with a bird, but forgot to photograph it before I posted it! Here's one more:
This was fun for me since I had never made postcards before, and I hope the recipients are happy when they receive them.

Have a happy, creative weekend everyone!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Happy May & Time to Vote

I have three ACEOs entered in a challenge contest, and it is time to vote. If you get a chance, stop by and cast a vote for your favorite. I truly mean this...it does not have to be mine, just your favorite!