'Strange Little Girl'. This is a digital ATC made with multiple layers in Photoshop. This is for the next Artist Trading Cards Yahoo Group digital ATC swap. I love playing around with digital ATCs. It lets me express another 'style' I have. It's also enjoyable for me to take take the tools I use at my day job as a graphic designer, and pull in my 'crafty' side to create digital collages.
For those of you interested in trading digital ATC cards, the Artist Trading Card Yahoo Group group is open for membership, and has regular monthly swaps. They have alot of different swaps each month in all genres, not just digital.


Pages 12/17/08

I swapped Goth Postcards with british artist, Gillian Allen. She sent me a wonderful stenciled card in return. The technique is really cool and the result is a hazy, almost mysterious and ghostly look. It's definitely something I want to try in the future.

She also sent a link to a tutorial she wrote about this technique. I thought I would pass it on to all of you. Making Stencils.

Here's a link to the final goth art postcard pieces. It's a truly fabulous collection with many talented artists. There is quite a range of styles and treatment of the subject. I hope to do more swaps with this group again.


Pages 12/05/08

This is our little Christmas Forest on our front lawn. :-)


Pages 12/03/08

Here is the final frog wreath illustration for the Gladys Porter Zoo. This was a very fun project!


Pages 12/01/08

I was very fortunate to be asked to do an illustration for the Gladys Porter Zoo Christmas card. They requested a 'frog wreath' in honor of 'Year of the Frog'. Why year of the frog? Our frogs are disappearing and many may become extinct. Read about it here. When I did my research, I was blown away at the amount of varieties of frogs there are ... literally HUNDREDS! I'll post the final once this sketch is approved and I actually finish it. Deadline is Thursday, so I have my work cut out for me.


Pages 11/30/08

Illustration for Sierra Nevada Boomers. Thanks for the work KD! ;-) I'm also showing you the pre-sketch presented to the client so you can see it before any modifications to the art were made.


Pages 11/15/08

I was recently in Art Calendar Magazine - the November 2008 issue. Check it out and let me know what you think!


Pages 11/12/08

I just found this video for Caribba Rum on YouTube. If you wait until the final frames, you can see some of my illustrations I did for them. It was a nice surprise to see them in the TV ad!


Pages 11/08/08

These are postcards I am working on for a FaceBook swap I am in. The theme is 'Goth'. (Not that I know much about Goth! *LOL*) Anyway, it's been fun making these. I used an image I found on istock. Her top is a textured paper. I painted on her hair and used a white out pen for the white line work. For the background I used pink colored pencil crayons and washed over some yellow acrylic paint. I finished the edges with two different Cat's Eye rubber stamp inks.


Pages 10/11/08

These are 2" collages I made for the ArtChix Yahoo Group 'Spoil Me' Twinchie Swap. We were challenged to use a specific collage sheet and make collages on a 2 inch piece of paper. I had alot of fun with these. It was interesting using the same image multiple times and getting very different results. I added 3D elements to make the images more tactile. I added copper heishi as buttons, metal washers, silver wire, magnetic poetry and other interesting collage papers. The backgrounds were first gessoed to add some texture and then painted.

*Note: I am fortunate to have several of my twinchies added to a collage sheet at ArtChix Studio. Check them out! Chixies 'Spoil Me Post' and the Chixies 'Spoil Me Collage Collection Sheet'. I am very happy to have my art included! I love ArtChix! ;-)


Pages 10/03/08

This is the page I created for the 'Blissfully Art Journaling' Yahoo Group - 'All About the Shoes' chunky book. I made the background using techniques I learned from Karen Gartel's workshop I took last year. (Check out previous entries which describe her techniques.) I painted and stamped the background using hand-carved stamps. I altered an legs image I found online, enhancing it with paints. I made the skirt from some neato papers my friend Laurie found for me and and glued down metal washers for buttons.
At the bottom, I added a grommett and tied a bunch of fibers and cool ribbons I'd been saving. On my swap pages I also tied on tiny shoe charms. (But I ran out on this page. ;-)
Once I have the swap pages back, I'll post the other artist's work.


Pages 09/13/08

Getting ready to fire the kiln. Wine toppers and round trivets are shown. I made my quota of over 40 wine toppers! There are giant mugs, trivets, 20 small Christmas ornaments, 10 large round ornaments stacked in the kiln below. One more kiln shelf to add and we can fire. I'll show the next round once they are painted with color. I will cover with clear glaze, and they will then go in for another firing. :-)


Pages 08/22/08

Three various Journal Cards, finally painted with watercolors.


Pages 08/04/08

I made these odd charms for a swap on the Zettiology Yahoo Groups list. It was a tough challenge and I spent quite a bit of time to get these to work. I found a stash of these tiny doll arms at a funky little shop in Half Moon Bay in CA. The clerk kind of gave me the 'eyebrow' when I came up to the checkout with 20 doll arms. But I kind of shrugged and gave her the 'eyebrow' back.

I painted the arms with black and white acrylic paint, then spray sealed t with varnish to get rid of the 'sticky' feeling the pain made. I then made a neato loop hook with wire and beads and sandwiched a plain old washer between. I then super glued the washer to the top of the arm and made the loop secure.

I coiled some silver wire around the forearms and secured with a tiny dab of superglue. I thought I was done, but looking at the hand portion, it begged for something in it's palm. I took another batch of washers, sized an appropriate image and printed out label paper. I cut them out, adhered them to the washer, and sealed with a sparkle varnish. After they were dry I used another tiny dab of superglue to hold them in place.


Pages 07/26/08

I did a quick lino carving in ATC size last weekend. I printed these with a Staze-on ink pad, let them dry and then went back in and hand colored with some bright Windsor watercolors. Here's a little more about block printing, (although these were produced with a simple ink pad).


Pages 07/15/08

Digital Collage for and Artist Trading Card swap I am in. I created this in Photoshop and it has multiple layers of graphics and text.


Pages 07/09/08

Journal cards in black and white before they are colorized with watercolors. I usually make several and then colorize them all at once.


Pages 06/16/08

I had a chance to do the black line work on some more wine toppers last night. I did a bunch of Day of the Dead toppers which are pretty fun and different. Next I'll bisque them, but not before I have a nice big kiln full. I'll probably do another 10 tonight and fire when I have 40-60 of them.


Pages 06/06/08

Well, golly! I just found out I was featured in the March / April issue of cardaddix newsletter. I'd sent in a submission awhile ago and answered some questions, but didn't know it was out until I stumbled upon it earlier today. I'm hoping to get a copy soon! *LOL* More later.


Pages 05/31/08

I bought these cool little mini flip-top pendant frames from ARTChix Studio.

The size of the frame is approximately .5 H X .25 W. They were super easy to make. I picked out some artwork, sized it in Photoshop and printed out some quality copies onto heavyweight watercolor paper. Each of the frames pop open and there are two acrylic pieces that you sandwich the artwork between. I slid the image between the acrylic and closed the top. I noticed the tops flipped open really easily, which would not be good if you were wearing them, so I put a tiny dab of superglue on to hold them in place. I attached a sterling silver shepard's hook to the top - and that was it! Two pairs of super cool earrings without much work. This is a really good, quick gift for someone and fairly inexpensive to make.


Pages 05/26/08 (Part B)

Oh! Here's a picture of the raised bed we put in this weekend. It's artistic in its own way and merits an entry! *lol* This was the third of four backbreaking tiers of bricks. We had to dig down about 8 inches, pour gravel and sand and hand place each of the brick and glue each one in. Oh, and carry them from the front of the house to the back! Now it's time for a nap. *lol*

Pages 05/26/08

Hey! Thanks for all the comments. It was fun to see that people actually *do* stop by and read what I've been up to. *Waving* So, it's a long weekend and my husband and I spent alot of it building a raised bed in the back garden. Man-oh-man was it alot of work. It between that (and recovering because we are BOTH so out of shape) I managed to finish up some bottlecap magnets I'd been working on. A couple weeks ago I played around with my first batch of 2 part resin. I read the instructions, prepared everything and anxiously went to work. A few things I learned: 1. Make sure you GLUE down your images inside the bottlecaps because the will LIFT as the resin settles. 2. Make sure to mix your resin more even though you think you mixed enough. Under mixed resin NEVER dries and your pieces will be useless. I learned the hard way. 3. Put a cover or something over the drying bottlecaps. You'd be surprised at how much crap floats in the air and settles on the wet resin. 4. Have a good long handled lighter ready to heat the tops and pop the air bubbles (it's really cool how easy this is) 5. Be sure and go back to make sure the air bubbles are all gone because they will magically reappear if you aren't vigilant in popping them.

Resin, part two! This time I'll nail it! Last week I pre-punched some images and glued them into the bottlecaps. (Those puppies are not going to float ANYWHERE now.) My puncher isn't too precise and there was alot of white paper showing so I covered and sealed the edges with some glitter glue. I let these dry really well. This time I mixed the resin VERY well and was really carefule with the measurements. I let them settle and waved a lighter over the tops to pop the bubbles. After about 4 rounds of popping, I covered them with a large pot lid and let them dry 24 hours. The next day, I superglued on some heavy duty magnets. Overall, I am very happy with the results this time. Next resin adventure will be some molded jewelry.


Pages 05/17/08

Wow, where did the time go? I've been up to my ears in work drama and not much time to be creative or to blog. Apologies to my readers (if there are any readers. lol.) Hopefully I will be back at it. I have several swaps in the works and several new projects.

I got a chance to work on my first set of 'inchies'. So, what's an inchie? It's a 1" X 1" collage. When i signed up, I thought - cool - I can make some of those in NO time. Boy, was wrong. Working small is a huge challenge. Finding small items to add to the collage was tough, and making something tell a story in a one inch space was equally tough. The theme was 'Circus, or Circus Freaks'. Check mine out. I found and resized a bunch of vintage images in photoshop, printed them on to heavyweight watercolor paper. I've added various ephemera items, beads, charms, glitter, vintage German scrap.

Not sure I will do another batch of inchies or sign up for another inchie swap, because honestly ... I have no idea what I am going to do with them. lol. Anyone have any ideas?


Pages 03/31/08

'Keyhole' another Digital Collage ATC.


Pages 03/27/08

'Believe'. An odd digital ATC made in Photoshop.


Pages 03/22/08

I'm taking an online painting/collage course with artist Karen Gartel over at Altered Diva Online Workshops. The 6 week course is called "Softly Spoken" and is supposed to help us make our own painted backgrounds and teach collage composition. I honestly took this class because I wanted to MAKE myself set some time aside and work on some pieces. Having a deadline, and knowing that I paid for the course would surely give me motivation, and it did. The course is somewhat self paced with new lessons given every Monday and a week to turn around the assignment. Karen gives written instructions as well as an instructional video - which I love. The group is able to ask questions, show progress and discuss their project. (Pictured left are my 4 pieces in progress.)
I'm a fairly intermediate painter, and I honestly didn't expect to learn a whole lot of new techniques, but I've been very pleasantly surprised. I've never used gesso on watercolor paper (and it's cool!) and I've learned and interesting way to layer multiple colors which I've never done and will definintely use in the future. All GREAT techniques. I definitely recommend the course even if you *think* you've done it all. ;-) We have 3 more weeks of the class and I'm excited to see what's next. Will keep you posted.


Pages 03/18/08

Last weekend I got a big old jar of broken jewelry at a second hand store for a deal. Score! It was perfect for a swap which was coming up. I cleaned all the pieces in my new super sonic jewelry cleaner, then broke them apart and repurposed them as charms. I got a chance to practice my wire work and making loops. (I'm getting better, but it takes alot of practice!) These will be going to a 5th Anniversary Charm Swap for the ABC (Altered Book Club) group on Yahoo Groups.


Pages 03/14/08

I got my 'Chunky Love ATC Book 'back a few days ago and it's REALLY cool. This was a swap I was in with the Altered Art Obsession Yahoo Group. I grabbed these photos of it off of one of the other participant's blogs because they were quite nice. (These are from Tejae's blog.) I'll try and take a few pics myself this weekend. I'm always so surprised at what everyone comes up with. There are so many styles and 'takes' on the subject. To see my contribution to the book please see this blog entry.


Pages 03/09/08

St Patrick's Day Matchbox Swap - This was the matchbox I made for a swap hosted on Swap-Bot. I had fun with it. I found a bunck of St. Patrick's Day swag at Michaels and made a zipper pull with a four leaf clover on it.
If you haven't made it over to Swap-Bot, I highly recommend it. The owners are making the site better and better for the user. In the past I've had trouble with not getting swaps back, but now the better swappers are making swaps JUST for people with long standing reputations. The community aspect is growing. There are alot of Matchbox Swaps, and there's a huge group of matchbox artists there. Swaps are available for almost ANYTHING, from candy swaps, to music swaps ... they have something for everyone.


Pages 03/08/08

2 Visual Journal Cards. I drew these quite awhile ago, but only just got around to painting them. The card 'Honestly' was in reaction to a friend losing a long loved dog. The dog was really old (17 years) and the last time she came over to play with our own dog she'd seriously gone downhill. Our friend was in denial that it was time she be put down. Seeing her, deaf and blind and moaning when she laid down just went right to my heart. A few weeks later he took her to the vet, and the vet told him it was time. Honestly ... it was a huge relief for me and I was glad she wasn't in pain anymore. Is that terrible? The second card is of random thoughts and doodles. Me, trying to get my act together and do some create work, but too tired to do anything.


Pages 02/29/08

Three mixed media Artist Trading Cards. I used collage, and acrylic paints as well as colored pencils and embellishments. Images are from ArtChix Studios


Pages 02/28/08

Since we didn't have as many signups for the Shipwreck Swap, I had to quickly come up with a bunch more cards so the 5 participants didn't get the same card. lol. The front has a small plastic mirror and a vintage photo which I manipulated in Photoshop to make it look like it was bending in the water. On the back I did a transparency gel glue transfer - TWICE. One layer is of a weather map, and there's a ghostly overlay of a woman playing a violin on top. The butterflies are transparencies.


Pages 02/23/08

This is a piece I've just finished for the Altered Art Obsession Yahoo Group. It's one of 10 pieces I made for the swap. The theme is 'Shipwreck'. The swap hostess is going to make tiny little treasure chests, alter them and inside will have all the artwork from the participants. It sounded like a very unique swap, so I couldn't wait to join in and work on mine. The size is a little odd, 2" X 4".
I started with a large sheet of heavyweight watercolor paper and did multiple layers of lumiere metallic paints. On the other side, I found a nice big piece of vintage wallpaper with a crackle/peeled look and adhered it to the back. After I let everything dry, I cut the cards to the size I needed and was ready to start collaging.
I wanted to do an underwater theme, so I found a couple photos at istock photo and downloaded them. I sized them to the size I wanted and printed them on cardstock to my inkjet printer. I attached the girl's image, painted her hair in several layers of acrylics and then added the boat, tossing on the top wave of her hair. I had some pretty nice bindis, so I added that to her face. Lastly, I did a coating of shimmering sparkle paint on her hair (which the photo does not show well.)
For the back, I used a purple stamp pad and weathered the edges. I found a really cool poem and sized properly in photoshop, and printed to a transparency. I adhered it to the card with sparkle paint and then added some simple metallic stars in the corners. Once I get my treasure chest back, I'll post my return. ;-)


Pages 02/16/08

Just working on restocking my etsy store while my hubby does some upgrade work at my office today. I did these pendants awhile ago, and not sure why I haven't listed them yet. (Most likely because it's work to list and I procrastinate.) Anyway, the moon pendant on the right was made the same way you solder a microscope slide, but I messed around with different glass shapes than the norm. These are about 1" square. Back side (see below) is a pretty pearlescent dichroic surface that is a little texturized. I soldered on sold wire swirlies and added some funky little charms and a wire spiral bead I made. I found an old vintage chain, cleaned it up and recycled it. It's actually VERY lightweight.


Pages 02/10/08

Milagros Charm Swap - ArtErratica. These are charms I made for a swap over on the ArtErratica Yahoo Group. I got alot of practice with making my own wire eye pins and am getting pretty good at it. (After making 15 and then another 14 more for ANOTHER swap!) So, it goes to show practice makes 'somewhat' perfect. By the time I finished I had it down pat. I got these milagros when we were in Tijuana several years ago and it was hard to part with them. But hey, I know my swap partners will enjoy them. I used heavyweight brass beads and made danglies and embellished with random mixed beads of shell, glass and metal. When I get the final swap items back I'll try to post them. I love the ArtErratica Group - it's such a great group of talented artists who take pride in their work and come up with some awesome ideas.


Pages 01/30/08

'LOVE' ATC's. I made these for a swap I am in with the Altered Art Obsession Yahoo Group. We were to interpret, love. Not a great photo, but I did this in several layers. First, I printed out a transparency sheet of the hearts (which I drew and scanned into photoshop) on my inkjet printer. On the other side of the transparency, I painted the flames with glitter glue and the heart with metallic pink Lumiere paint. The background is 140lb. watercolor paper which was painted with acrylics, and aquarelle watercolor crayons. Once dry, I stamped on a background of french script in white acrylic. I did this on a huge sheet so I could cut each card and save time.
The word LOVE was stamped. Once dry I attached the transparency with brads and colored staples. The back is pretty simple with pretty Joss paper. I also attached some retro danglie bead to the gold wire.
There are 14 artists participating in the swap. The hostess will be binding these as a small book. I can't wait to see what the other artists come up with. I'll take some pics and post when I get it back in March.