Wednesday, 29 February 2012

WIWO Wednesday - It's What I'm Working On

Today happen to be not about what I'm working on, but who my helper is.

This is the window in my art studio.

I always have help when I'm making art.

Sometimes she needs to walk in my fresh paint to help decorate my table.

Other times she bites the end of my paint brush (while I'm using it) to help my brush strokes become more random.

What a great helper. :)

She deserves a new kitty toy.

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Fake it 'Til You Make It

Today I am digging right in to Jill K. Berry's "Personal Geographies."

I would definitely recommend this book for, well, pretty much anyone who is into art. It's a collection of great photos, step-by-step tutorials, and "easily-relate-able" stories from the author herself.

This past weekend I got into the Head Map activity.

I decided to do it a bit differently than how Jill described it, but the end effect was quite intense for me so I'm happy with the result. Art is, after all, an exploration of self at the deepest levels, is it not?

First I traced Jill's head outline and filled it with thoughts that have been filling my head lately.
Hopefully you can read my writing. 

The second head that I did is what I would like to be in my head, relating to the same issues in the first image. I included some affirmation-style thoughts as well as ideal thoughts that would make my life so much easier.

I've heard time and time again things like "fake it 'til you make it," "act as if," and other sayings that help to manifest ideas.

I think that through this activity of drawing your current thoughts and then transferring those thoughts to more positive and optimistic hopes and thoughts, the act of manifesting has begun.

And can't we all use a bit of hope?

Monday, 27 February 2012

Book Love

One book in particular, actually.

I've had my heart set on this book since I saw it last week at our Art Club meeting. It's a book all about different ways of visual journeys, maps, geographies, goals, plans - anything, really!

The title is Personal Geographies - Explorations in Mixed Media Mapmaking

The author is Jill K. Berry - aka my new idol.

The artwork in the book is truly fantastic and I've just this weekend received a copy of my own to pour over and dig into.

I took a quick shot of the book when it was passed around at the meeting.
I sense a full book review in the coming weeks since I was unable to stop myself from ordering it on Amazon!

One page in particular caught my interest.
My good friend Violette loooooooves crows, and she would definitely fall in love with this art exercise...
Current Barnes & Noble coupons might be available for Personal Geographies - Explorations in Mixed Media Mapmaking.

Friday, 24 February 2012

"Framing" Complete!

On this week's WIWO Wednesday, I showed you two postcards that I've received. I've been trying to figure out how to display them in my home. Since they are textiles, I want to be able to touch them, so putting them behind glass was not an option.

I decieded to flip over a couple of canvasses that I had one hand and paint the BACKS of them black.

I then put a block into the recess in the middle and put on a few dabs of glue (glue gun glue is fairly easy to remove in case I change my mind)

The result is a 3D "frame" which sets off the pieces, allows me (and visitors!) to touch them, and cost me nothing since I had the canvasses and paint on hand!

I LOVE how they turned out!

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Paying it Forward, Part Two

Here are some of my finished works from what I started on the weekend.

Hop on back to Monday's post to see what these pieces are all about :)

I'm hoping that I can send these without having to spend an arm and a leg. The larger ones are 8x10 stretched canvases.

I didn't do much to this one after the initial stages. I thought that it was quite lovely as it was.
I particularly like the mixed colours behind the brown stencil.  
I love red, aqua and brown together, and this piece is inspired by that colour combination.
I think that after studying Teesha Moore's style in January,
I have realized how much depth a border can add to a piece of art. 

I am constantly reminding myself to take a breath and slow down. This piece is an ode to that mantra.
Again, the black dry-brushed border gives the piece the depth that I was looking to achieve.

This and the next one are inspired by a stamp that a friend of mine had at a recent art club meeting. I did use the stamp on these pieces, but it did't work very well on my backgrounds. I went over where I thought the shapes would be. 

Perhaps one of my favourites, I touched this up with some white highlights
and did a light black dry-brush around the border.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

WIWO Wednesday - It's What I'm Working On

I received some incredible cards in the mail this week. They are made completely out of fabric, felt, threads and yarns.

Today I'm trying to figure out the best way to show them in my home. I had to photograph them though, to show you.

I am so in love with them both.

"Enchantment" by Kathy McElroy 
A close-up of "Enchantment." I love fiber arts.

This one appears to be hand-stitched (aside from the edges) by Joan Flynn in Australia. 

The details here are amazing! It must have taken her hours to make this. I feel so fortunate to have received this.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

It's Primed!

My Duracell box is now primed and ready for action.

For some reason I'm hesitating to really dig in to this.

Maybe I will feel better once I become more comfortable with a clear idea of how I will decorate it.

Anyhow, here it is with a fresh coat of primer!

Monday, 20 February 2012

Paying it Forward

Today I began to make some headway on my pieces for Pay it Forward 2012.

I have 5 people on my list, and so I decided to make little pieces of art for them. Some of the pieces are a bit large - I'll have to figure out how to send them without paying a fortune in postage.

Other wise, this has been a fun experience so far. I love making art for other people.

Since I really don't know the recipients at all, I am creating freely without trying to customize my work.

Here is a sneak peek from day two. Tomorrow I should be able to make the finishing touches.

Here is a shot of all six pieces (I'm going to keep my favourite for myself.) Can you tell that I just bought a new stencil? :)

Friday, 17 February 2012

A New Pink Poof

I've put a pink streak in my hair. Right at the front. I thought I'd play around a bit and I'm really liking it.

Happy Friday :)

Thursday, 16 February 2012

What to Do?

My friend and fellow blogger Cheryl Ford gave me this Duracell Battery display box.

I looked at it and imagined there could be many different uses for it.

What do you think I should do with it? All suggestions welcomed! :)

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

WIWO Wednesday - It's What I'm Working On

Today I'm getting together some envelopes and postage stamps to send out the two prizes from last week's Mixed Media Giveaway.

This giveaway was so much fun, I want to do one every week! ( If only I could afford it!  )

Thanks to all who entered - there were over forty entries once all of the Facebook "likes," blog shares, and comments were counted up.

I REALLY enjoyed reading about your mixed media habits. It's amazing how one genre of art can be so diverse! I love it!

If you haven't had a chance to be inspired by the mixed media combinations of some fellow artists, hop on over to last Monday's post to see what their comments say.

In the meantime,


Grand Prize:        Cheryl F. (WA)
Runner-Up:         Angie N. (VA)

YAY! Congratulations!

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Postcards Are Rolling In!

Are you getting some great postcards? I can't beLIEVE some of the art that I'm getting.

In honour of Valentine's Day, I'm sharing some "link love" with all of you.

I've taken some photos of my favourites so far... have a look.

This card is from Carlene Taylor Simmons.
I was so tickled to get this because of the texture that she has created using fabric and her sewing machine along with the paper and paint...
I LOVE your work, Carlene!

This one is from the talented Pippa Gore. Have you checked out Pippa's blog?
She updates it about three times a day - you wouldn't believe how much art this woman makes.
She is truly an inspiration!

This is another card that really blew me away. It's from Pam Parker in Australia.
Get this: the leaves on her tree are made from APPLE STICKERS! Cute and clever.
Pam is just starting out her journey into mixed media and I'd say she's doing a splendid job!

Mark Montano has to be my number one idol in so many ways. I love what he pulls together.
He is like the MacGyver of Art, craft, and DIY.
Who else would put Mary, skulls, butterflies and glitter all in the same place?
I've never seen my name look so beautiful. I dream about being able to write in such a pretty way.
This is how Mark Montano addressed his (butterfly) envelope to me. 

Monday, 13 February 2012

Journal Flip-Through

My 16-page journal - inspired by teesha moore - is complete!!

I made a little video to show you all of my favourite parts.

I'm pretty happy with this one, overall. There are some pages that I like more than others, but all in all, it's a great piece of work that I'm very proud of :)

Friday, 10 February 2012

My 16-Page "Teesha Moore" Book is DONE!

... but you'll have to wait until next week to see the page-through video! :)

In the meantime, have you entered the First Ever Musings On Realities Mixed Media Giveaway?

There are TWO prizes to be won.

Hop on over to Monday's post and enter to win! :)

And remember: 

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Art Should Be Made Everywhere!

I've recently made a lap desk so that I can do my art while watching movies and TV with my monkey.

I am SO SO SO excited about it. It has just the right amount of kitsch, femininity and usefulness!

Here it is in all its glory. The tray has sentimental value for me, so I thought that using it for my lap desk would mean that i could see it every day! Much better than hiding it away for just once-in-a-while use.

I chose to use a tray so that I could have my pens on it while I'm working. The tray edges prevent my pens from rolling away and getting lost in the chair cushions!
I added some nice conservative fabric to the base. This is the part that will rest on my lap. I wanted it to be cushy, so I filled it with a full bag of polyester filling, the same stuff you would use for a cushion.

I tucked the corner edges in neatly to give the whole project a clean, more professional appearance. 

Materials (all on hand):
- a full sized serving tray (mine is a vintage metal one)
- a yard of scrap fabric
- a good amount of polyester filling
- a glue gun

Although I didn't take photos of the stages of this project, I can tell you that it's truly easy as pie:

1. Glue one edge of your fabric onto one of the longer edges on the underside of your tray. I glued right side down so that I wouldn't have any fraying or unfinished edges.
2. With your tray upside down on a flat surface, place the poly filling "flat" onto the middle ridge of your tray.
3. Wrap the fabric around it, pulling fairly tightly so that the end result is a nice, clean cushion.
4. Glue each of the sides, again, right side to the metal so that you get a little lip - it looks nice this way.
5. You should have three sides glued now, and you should be able to see your stuffing from the fourth side. This is the last side that you will glue, and it's the trickiest since you will have to glue and then fasten your fabric down quickly before the glue cools.
6. Pull the fabric tightly and fold under so that the "seam" (between the tray and the fabric) is neat and tidy. Once you are sure you know where to glue, go ahead and put down a few inches of glue. Hold the fabric while the glue cools. Do the same thing until the whole side is finished.
7. For the corners, you'll have some tidying up to do. Again, use your glue gun to make a nice fold. Think about wrapping a gift - fold, glue, hold.

Voila! Stand back and admire your fancywork!

Since these instructions don't have photos to go with them, please feel free to email me or comment for clarification. :)

Enjoy your new lap desk!

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

WIWO Wednesday - It's What I'm Working On

Today I want to show you the finishing touches that I put on my postcards for the International Mixed Media Postcard Swap.

They went in the mail on Friday of last week... you may already have one in your mailbox! :)

My materials:
- watercolour paper
- watercolour paints
- tissue paper and acrylic medium for texture in the background
- magazine clippings for the hearts
- fabric for the flowers
- alphabet stamps and black Stazon ink
- sewing machine stitching for the embellishments and border
- black Micron marker for doodles

I also printed out a cute vintage postcard back to fasten onto the backs of my cards. You can see it in the picture here:

Here is a close-up of the stamping, stitching and magazine heart. I doodled around the heart with a black Micron marker. 

Although all of the cards are different, each one has the same elements and follows the same theme of finding "bliss"

How did your postcards turn out?
Post a link to your postcards in the comments of this blog post so that we can see them! :)

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Did You Know...?

Did you know that I am doing my first EVER giveaway?

That's right - the first ever Musings On Realities Mixed Media Giveaway is ON!

And there are TWO prizes!

All you need to do to enter is hop on over to yesterday's post and read about the prizes and rules! Follow the directions there and enter as many as three times!

Simple, right? :)

See you there!

The Grand Prize

The Runner-up Prize

Monday, 6 February 2012

Mixed Media Giveaway - TWO Prizes to be Won!

Isn't it about time for a giveaway?

Here it is lovelies - the first ever Musings On Realities Mixed Media Giveaway.

The prizes:

The Grand Prize - Mixed Media - includes:
- a postcard-sized book of Acquarello 140 lb. watercolour paper
- a bottle of Adriondack spray ink in Espresso
- a silver doily to use as a stencil
- a rubber stamp in a "crest" sort of image

Runner Up - Paper Love - includes:
- eight pages of somerset studio and other assorted special addition paper in 8.5" x 11" size
- a full sheet of word and plaque stickers

What to Do to Enter: 
You can do as many of these things as you like - each action equals one entry, so enter away! :)

- leave a comment on this post that tells me what your favourite mixed media combination is
- blog about this giveaway and then comment on this post with a link to your blog
- "Like" Musings On Realities on Facebook and comment on this post to tell me that you've done so

The deadline to enter is THIS SATURDAY, February 11 at midnight, PST.

The winner will be selected randomly and revealed in Monday's blog post.

Friday, 3 February 2012

Revisiting My Mandala

On WIWO Wednesday this week I showed you a mandala that I've been working on in my mini journal.

I got a lot of feedback from you Lovelies about whether or not to outline each section in black. Some of you were on the fence just like I was, and most of you said to give it a try.

I did it! And I'm REALLY happy with the result.

What do you think?

I think it's much crisper now, and I'm a lot happier with it. Thanks so much for your suggestions!

Thursday, 2 February 2012

I LOVE Texture!

I think that one of the things that drew me to Mixed Media in the beginning was the texture. It's hard for me NOT to touch something that has a texture. Maybe I'm a touchy-feely kind of person, but when I see an artpiece that has raised areas or patterns, I immediately feel the need to run my fingers along it.

I went though one of the free fashion magazines that come to my house with the mail and found a bazillion textures. Think about it - fashion magazines have so many different fabrics on their models, creative backgrounds in their photo shoots, jewelry and wallpaper advertisements. In fact, I am currently of the opinion that fashion magazines are a GREAT source for textural inspiration.

Case in point, today's journal page. I went through a magazine and cut out a bunch of squares of some textures that I was drawn to. Then I pasted them onto a background of teal acrylic and stamped "I love textures" around them.

I wish they were 3D! Still, they serve as great inspiration for upcoming art! :)

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

WIWO Wednesday - It's What I'm Working On.

So if you've been reading my recent posts, I've been working hard on a 16-page book inspired by Teesha Moore.

It's been fun and challenging coming up with that many different way of expressing myself. As always, I'm in a major rush to get it done. I'm more of a "finished product" person than a "process" person. Sometimes this can be good if you're working on a deadline, but most of the time I feel like I miss out on some things as I whip by them in my process...

Anyway, I decided to do a big mandala for the front cover. I am still working on it, so this really is an in-progress post. I've designed it so that it is not centered and so that it flows over to the inside flap and back cover of the book as well.

Here is a sneak peek:

I'm trying to decide if I should outline each different element in black to really define it. I think that the colours look a bit yucky like this and that a black outline would crisp them up and make the entire design pop.

What do you think?