Friday, June 2, 2017

King Edward Gets a Makeover....


Mixed Media Monthly Challenge
#ccbchallenge
PPF

I'm not sure what happened to the month of May, but it started and was over before I knew it.  There have been many things keeping us on the go with little time for what is most enjoyable...creating in the art space. Finally, I slowed down to work on some of the challenges I had been thinking about all month.

There were two challenges at Canvas Corp Brands. One of the challenges for May was "Old is the New." A few years back, my mom had given me an old cigar box. I thought it was cool and that one day I could "do something" with it. I'm glad I still have the box as it was perfect for this challenge!

Old tobacco box...King Edward needs a makeover, right?
Often, I get caught up in creating and forget to pause for photos. That happened throughout this project! (One day I will get better at this!) The box has several layers.  The first layer included various torn papers adhered with matte gel. Next, was a light coating of gold/copper acrylic paints. Transparency was a goal, as I wanted some of the elements of the box to show through the paint. After the paint was dry, I wanted to add contrast to the gold and selected Golden's teal fluid acrylics.  The stencils that I had on hand weren't quite what I was looking for, so I opted for making my own. Using a hot glue gun, I drew various flowers, leaves and other shapes onto parchment paper. When they were dry, peeling them off was easy! (*If you make these, be sure to connect the glue in all places...think "one continuous stream of glue per shape.")

Using a hot glue gun to draw shapes for unique stencils.

A few of the designs that were created...I made about two sheets of various patterns and shapes. 

The stencils are fragile, so I carefully applied a coat of acrylic paint using a foam paint brush and stamped the designs various places on the box.

Here's a finished look at the bottom of the box. Stencils were used around the sides as well.


Using matte gel, I added the final touches to the box. This included embellishments such as ribbon, a button, flowers and found objects in nature (shell, twigs, leaf). 


The finished product, front view. 

Another view of the box.

Close up, top view of box. 
I'm submitting this project to the challenge "Old is New" and to Paint Party Friday. I'm also participating in the Monthly Mixed Media Blog Challenge, "A Year of Choices...Put a Stamp on It."



#ccbchallenge





Thursday, May 4, 2017

Canvas Corp Brands April Challenge and PPF

There are so many fun challenges, weekly and monthly, that I have really enjoyed participating in over the last couple months. A new one I came across is Canvas Corps Brands Challenge. Their theme for this month is FEATHERS.

 I've also been trying to add posts for Paint Party Friday...even if I don't quite make it on Friday! ;P

The following project is for PPF and the CCBC:

Starting with a plain wood box, I added several layers which included: gesso, torn papers, stamping, washi tape, and acrylic paints. Each area of the box is a little different. Some areas have more paint coverage and others a bit less. Using a cute print of material and a piece of quilted material I hand stitched the two pieces together. (My mom would be so proud!) Next I added some hand stitches around the flowers using hot pink embroidery thread. The fabric piece was then adhered to the top of the lid with heavy matte gel.

The top of the box.
Keeping the inside of the box simple, I used sticker lettering (HOPE) and stamping to write the first line of the poem by Emily Dickinson, "Hope is the thing with feathers." The bottom of the box has another piece of the fabric with the quilted backing stitched together. This box will be my place for keeping found objects in nature...acorns, pine cones, feathers, flower petals, etc. When I need a little inspiration, I can peek inside and be inspired!

Inside the box.

The front of the box is decorated with a beaded key.


Front view with key embellishment.

This project was SO MUCH FUN. I love how the box turned out and am looking forward with filling it with my "nature finds."

In addition to the mood board at Canvas Corp Brands, my inspiration came from the poem by Emily Dickinson, "Hope."
http://blog.canvascorpbrands.com/april-challenge-feathers/
#ccbchallenge


Friday, April 28, 2017

Works in Progress

Several projects are in the works and none are quite complete. (I'm excellent at starting projects and taking awhile to finish them! lol.)

There are a few that are in that "ugly" stage and one or two that are looking great! I thought I would share my paintings/projects in progress and later update each one as it is completed.

The first photograph shows current projects. I am working on a large painting that has undergone many transformations. (Why didn't I photograph the transformation???!)  So far, I really like the direction it has taken in this stage. There are three projects on cold press paper using paints, NeoColor II water crayons, collage, and modeling paste. Two out of the three are birds. I'm not sure where I'm going with those two, but both are experiments using a few new materials, one being modeling paste. The box to the right of the photo is a memory/collectibles box. I've created a box  before using an old cigar box, the box below was purchased at a local craft store. I am super excited to work on it TODAY (a very rare day off)!

Projects in the Works: Large Painting in background, three smaller works on  cold press paper,
one collectibles/memories box for an April Challenge.

Close up of large painting.

Hope you each have an opportunity to create this weekend!

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Paint Party Friday and Mixed Media Monthly Challenge

For the last couple years, my goal has been to eventually link up to Paint Party Friday. I am finally getting around to meeting that goal! I often struggle finding the time to work on projects, but have been thankful to have the last couple days to wrap up something I've been working on for my mom.  I'm not actually sure if I am done with this or if I'd like to tweak or add more flowers. (So please feel free to comment and let me know what you think...finished or add something else?)

In addition to linking to PPF, I'm sharing this on the Mixed Media Monthly Challenge for April. I'm obsessed with COLOR, especially vibrant colors, so I'm going to say my super power is color. I especially love the colors we see in nature. I'm hoping that I will complete and add another work to the challenge this month.

I love the colors and textures, but can't decide if this is actually complete or if it needs something else. 


Playing with my photograph in Aviary. 


Play along at Mixed Media Monthly Challenge!






Sunday, March 26, 2017

Mixed Media Monthly Challenge - March

The Mixed Media Monthly Challenge for March is....BUTTONS! There are many things that can be created with buttons, so this challenge sparked several ideas.

I've been thinking about creating my own mixed media journal for awhile now, so that's what I did! I love the idea of recycling and repurposing items, so my project started with a used file folder. The folder was trimmed to 11.5 x 7.5. Using acrylic paints, a roller, mark making tools and stencils I created a background for the journal. I actually made three background pieces before choosing one for the journal. (This step is fun, so I got carried away!) The background pictured below is one of the three... I forgot to take a picture of the one I selected to use prior to the second step.

This background is one of the three that I created for making a journal. 

After the paint was dry, I used a sewing machine and stitched a border of red thread along the edges of the folder. Folding it almost in half, leaving a flap of about 1.5 inches, the watercolor pages were added to the inside. The pages were secured by stitching down the center of the folder.  

The folded version of the journal with stitched edges, added papers and a 1.5 inch flap.
Adding the butterfly stickers, button, and ribbon were the final steps to completing the cover. 
After looking at numerous buttons, I decided on a simplistic design for the closure. The fiber ribbon wraps around the journal and the button to keep the journal closed. In addition, I added a small round closure of velcro on the inside of the cover. 

The completed journal cover. 

The inside of the journal is a work in progress. For some of the pages, I added decorative paper over the top of the watercolor paper. I may end up adding quotes or other things on these pages. Other pages will be used for mixed media creations.

The first page upon opening the journal. Decorative paper was used on the first page. 

There are endless possibilities of things that can be created inside the pages of the journal. I'm excited about starting some of those items and sharing them along the way. 






Sunday, March 5, 2017

Mesa-Phoenix Half Marathon

Last weekend a several of us traveled to Phoenix, AZ to run the Mesa-Phx Marathon. When I had originally signed up, my plan was to run the full marathon. However, due to an injury and a few setbacks, I changed my registration from full to half in January. Since Roger's training had gone very well, his plan was to complete the marathon with a PR.

We left for Phoenix on Thursday morning with another couple, who barely made the flight (whew)! Since we had a day and a half before our runs, we were able to explore Phoenix and do a few fun things.

After arriving, we drove up to South Mountain Park.  It was a beautiful drive with a scenic overview at the top. (Our friend had rented a convertible Mustang. It was very cool, but also quite tiny in the back seat area, so we drove our own rental.) Along the way, there were many hiking trails, but since our marathon was just a day away, we wanted to save some energy for our legs.

South Mountain Park
On Friday, we spent the afternoon taking a boat ride on the Dolly Steamboat.  Once again, the car ride there was filled with amazing scenery. We really enjoyed the 1.5 hour, six mile cruise. Along the way we saw a bald eagle hovering around its nest. The weather for the ride was perfect. It was a relaxing and peaceful way to spend the afternoon before the race!

View from the Dolly Steamboat

After our ride we headed back to the hotel to get our race things ready for the next day. We had hoped to go to sleep as early as possible, as our alarms were set to 2:30am (ugh!!!) This race is one that you must catch the bus to the half/full start locations by 4:30am, so we had to be ready early! Blake, Roger and I left the hotel at 3:30am and arrived in plenty of time to meet up with other friends and catch the bus by 4:30am. The full and the half both started at 6:30am, but from different locations. I was glad that we didn't feel rushed and were able to do a warm up mile and a half along with warm up drills before the race. The start was unique as both locations received a brief fireworks show before gun time! 

The weather for the race could not have been more perfect. Temps were in the mid to upper forties (perfect running weather) with very light winds. The morning was absolutely beautiful and everyone had amazing races. Roger, Blake, and David all ran personal best times and I came within a minute of a personal best for myself. My half marathon time was the best that I have run in five years. 

My second best half marathon finish at 1:41:47.
*Free pics provided by the marathon event!

After finishing my half, I was able to find Mindy and then Blake. The three of us were able to watch several friends finish their marathon. The most exciting was watching Roger blaze past us to complete his marathon with a personal best of 2:55!! (This time is fourteen minutes faster than his previous record. wow.) I'm so proud of him and the hard work that he put in training for this event. Congrats to everyone who attended the event and finished their runs. :) 

Roger...just past the finish line. 

Roger ran so well that he placed first in his age group and received an additional medal (it was HUGE). Before the awards actually started, many of us took turns taking pics on the award stand. 

While waiting on the awards ceremony, we took this pic for fun.  Thanks to Muscle Milk for making such tall stands! Ha! It was tough for Roger's post marathon legs to make it up that high. 

We enjoyed hanging out and visiting while waiting for the awards. While it had warmed up, it was still chilly for just sitting around. I was thankful for my post run warm clothes! After getting cleaned 
up and taking a short nap, we all headed to dinner in Scottsdale. We enjoyed tacos, chips, and some way hot salsa at the Salty SeƱorita. We even went for some treats afterwards at the Sugar Bowl.

Eating outdoors is awesome! Roger, Blake and Mindy at our "reserved" table. We didn't reserve it, so we made some good jokes about the sign. haha. 
Before we headed home on Sunday, we had to check out the amazing pool at our hotel. While we didn't want to get everything totally wet, we soaked our legs in the hot tub and then in the pool. It was  fantastic and refreshing! I have to add that our hotel, Grand Canyon Hotel, was one of the best that we've stayed in for a visit to Phoenix. It is run by the Grand Canyon University and students who are working on their degree in the field of management and hospitality work here for real life experiences. We would stay there again!

Last stop before heading home...the hotel pool. 



Warming up by the fire pit. There were two of these by the pool. 



Overall, this was a great trip! We enjoyed spending time with friends, seeing some beautiful scenery and running on an amazing course. Everyone is already talking about going back next year. 


Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Mixed Media Challenge: February

This month's challenge is "Sweet Inspirations." Since I love making mixed media cards, a Valentine's Day card was perfect for the challenge. The card started with a sketch of some cute little characters, an elephant and a giraffe. Next, I used Neocolor II water color crayons, stencils, torn papers, stamps, acrylic paints and Posca Pens to decorate the characters and create a background. I added the "Be Mine" on the balloon in Photoshop. It's one of the easier things I've learned to do in the program.

Sweet Inspirations February Challenge: Valentine's Day card


Mixed Media Monthly Challenge