Thursday, February 25, 2010

trying to stay calm

... my computer is having a software issue. I have an appointment tomorrow at the "Genius Bar," which even though they are geniuses, I'm having tremors in the pit of my stomach. I will try to follow the words of wisdom stated above - and still "plant my apple tree" - which for me means keep creating art. Not being able to get online reliable doesn't exactly constitute "the world going to pieces," does it? But I have grown quite attached to the buzz and chatter among us all. Instead of working in a busy college art department atmosphere - I will be working alone for a few days. We'll see how the computer issues work out - and my connectivity. It's a bit of a miracle that I even got online this morning. I already miss you guys .....

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

70's "T"

This week's T on Tuesday theme is "The 70's"
When I think of the seventies one of the things I think of is health food.
In the picture above, is some homemade granola that I've made for years.
The recipe is from the original Laurel's Kitchen Cookbook - which I don't have anymore - so I looked it up online (something unthinkable in the 70's!)
The tea is Good Earth Tea - which originally you could only get in Good Earth Restaurants in So. Calif.
Another fabulous healthfood restaurant down there (I'm not sure if it's still around) is Mother's Kitchen in Costa Mesa. And then there's The Stand in Laguna Beach. Or the Orange Inn in Corona del Mar.
All wonderful places for whole grains, fresh juices, date shakes, hummus, sprouts ... and granola :)

This is probably a good quote for the health food revolution ...
it all sounds good until a yummy maple bar donut comes along :)


For more of "the 70's" T on Tuesday posts please visit these wonderful blogs:

Monday, February 22, 2010

Inchy by Inch: Letter G

They have an inchie/twinchie challenge every Monday.
Go check it out - maybe you'd like to play too!
Today, I thought I'd show you step by step how I make my illustrations.

I draw directly from a photo on my computer. This is a photo I used in a post on my Words on Paperscraps blog, titled "Saving Red." I was writing about my geraniums that I overwinter in the house every year. I've had the same geraniums for over 5 years now - they are like members of the family :)

Using my Inchie Arts Twinchie ( 2 inch) Square base, I sketch it out lightly in pencil first.

Then I go over the pencil lines with my micron pen. It's a .01

After I've erased all of the pencil lines, I can paint in the colors. The Inchie Arts paperboard material takes the erasing without ruining the surface of the paper. That's important with watercolors. The watercolors I use are a traveling paint kit from Windsor Newton. They have all of the basic colors and it packs up neat and clean when I'm all done.

(you can click on any of the photos to get a larger view)

Thanks for all of your sweet comments on last week's Fuschia (oops) Fuchsia! I'm hoping to make it all the way through the alphabet with flowers from my garden - all of them grown by my sweet husband. He's got the real green thumb! If mine happens to be green, it's probably ink or paint or something like that!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

inspiration from a blogger friend

Patty (her blog is Magpie's Nest) was showing us her zentangle atc's last week.
She said she was doodling her way through the Olympics.
I was inspired to do the same!
I used Inchie Arts black inchie squares and my silver Signo gel pen.
The linework is kind of broad, but oh so smooth :)
Thank you Patty for the inspiration!

Friday, February 19, 2010

spent this morning ....

.... trying to get this color:

I guess there are worse ways to spend a couple of hours.
Standing in line at the DMV.
Sitting in traffic.
Mopping the floor.
Just a few that come to my mind ....
hope you're day is good and filled with color.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

T and h2o

Today's T is hosted by Patty at Magpie's Nest.
The theme she chose for today is "water."
Water is of course the main ingredient in a good cup of tea :)
... and a good bowl of oatmeal!
Aren't we blessed to have so many choices for clean water?
I choose tap water over bottled water ....
but my tap water comes from here:
Mount Pilchuck Washington
(photo courtesy of wikipedia)

When I lived in Southern Calif. the water came from -?- and it tasted like chlorine - ewwww!
Here in Washington, my water comes from the Cascade Mountains. I know this for sure, because my house participates in the yearly water testing done by the city. The street I live on and north of there is all mountain water. The next street over and south of there is city water from Everett. I feel so blessed to be on the mountain water side of things!

Happy T and h2o!
Please visit Patty's blog for the tea party today!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Inchy By Inch Challenge

Having all this fun stuff to play with from Inchie Arts has got me jumping in on the Inchy By Inch Monday challenges. They're going through the alphabet and are on the letter "F" now ... I think I have some catching up to do! For this project I used the white Twinchie Squares (shown here .....)

I think I'll go through the alphabet using flowers from my garden.
I have beautiful baskets of fuchsias on my porch in the summertime.

Using a photograph from last summer, I first sketched my drawing in pencil and then went over it in ink and next colored it in with watercolors.
The Inchie Arts material took erasing of the pencil marks without the surface getting roughed up -
and I'm very happy with how well the watercolor took to the surface as well.
But did you know how to spell F U C H S I A?
I didn't! and had to put in an "oops!" and spell it correctly ...
I can't stand to leave something misspelled!

You'd think it would go by typical spelling rules - is there such a thing? - and be spelled 
 .... but it's named after a 16th c. German botanist by the name of Leonhart Fuchs .... so it's 
 .... oops!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

chocolate art

Some lovely chocolate art created by an unknown artisan over at Moonstruck Chocolates.
A sweet gift from my sweetie :)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

almost a star

I have all of the joints completed except for one.
It's too hard to work on the pages if it can't lay flat.

This is the page I worked on yesterday.
I used handmade lace from a friend, and the yarn band on a skein of fisherman's wool I bought recently.
The saying from St. Francis of Assisi is one of my all time favorite sayings.
It's just so logical.
I used it for This Post over on my other blog a few months ago.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

this little book

has been telling me - "don't finish me just yet!"

he has a friend just like him waiting to be made special

I took the cover off ...

and the two books want to be put together forever

a star book in the making :)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

T is for .....

... "text me?" 
oh come on - give me a break - whatever happened to
"u r cute"
...AND.... almost all of these candy hearts are smudged beyond legibility ...
was someone asleep at the factory?
oh well...
I still have my T
low tech

Next week's T on Tuesday will be hosted by Patty at Magpie's Nest and will have a theme:
Please join these other "T" spots:

Monday, February 8, 2010

Beeswax Final (.... and an announcement)

I'm thrilled to announce that I'm a new member on the design team for this company: inchie arts, llc.
I've loved their product since receiving a box of Inchie Squares from a dear friend as a birthday gift last year.
It's a thick, high quality, acid free, archival material that is extremely useful in the making of "inchies" (1 inch square), "inchies +" (1.5 inch square) and "twinchies" (2 inch square).
I was happy with cereal box cardboard until I started using these.
There really is no comparison.
They take the glue, the inks, the watercolors, the collage, the beeswax - beautifully.
They give your inchies that special heavy feeling that makes you want to hold them in your hand and drop them on the table like poker chips. That might sound kinda weird - but it's a very tactile thing to hold a handful of inchies.

As you know, I've been playing with beeswax for the last 2 weeks ....
I also received materials from inchie arts to "play" with at about the same time.
So, I'm wrapping up my beeswax tutorial with these two twinchies.
I used the "Twinchie Squares" in white.

In these examples I used:

oil pastel

and collage.
In the oil pastel example, I really worked the pigment into the twinchie square base. I used several layers of color. Rubbing in, rubbing off, rubbing in some more, scratching off. If you haven't tried oil pastels and you're the sort of person who used to love finger painting as a kid, this medium is definitely for you. It's very hands on, can get pretty messy, but is very satisfying for creating your own colors and depths of color. You definitely need to apply some type of coating to oil pastel though. It will continue to rub off every time you touch it if you don't. I used beeswax, but an acrylic medium also works great.
The thing with using beeswax on oil pastel is that some of the oil pastel will melt and swirl around in the beeswax - giving it a softening effect. So just be careful - and know that you'll lose some definition in the heat of the wax.

For the collage example, I wanted to follow the same image I had done in the oil pastel. I thought it would be fun to see the differences. I used only torn or cut paper from a magazine. The magazine paper is sometimes tricky to glue down because of it's slick coating, but it stuck perfectly well to the twinchie square base. I think in the past I've had trouble because cereal box cardboard has a slick surface as well. I used to sand it as prep, but even that would still sometimes fail and everything would peel up later.
I dipped this in beeswax as well - which I just LOVE with collage. It really gives the layers of paper a depth and transluscence that I love. I applied the krylon pen edging after the fact, because it will dissolve completely off in the hot beeswax.

Thanks for hanging out with me through almost 2 weeks of beeswax!!!
It's been so much fun ....
I think we all wish we could get together now for a beeswax fondue party
.... at my house!
Now THAT would be fun!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

a beeswax test (part 4)

I wanted to experiment with beeswax as an effective paper coating.
What better thing to try it out on than these paper beads?
I know there are a lot more possibilities out there - but I used what I have on hand.

(click on the images for a larger view)

this is a plain bead

this is a bead coated with "mod-podge" decoupage medium

this bead has diamond glaze on it

and this is the beeswax bead

Here are some of the differences: 
The mod-podge and the diamond glaze needed to be painted on. 
The beeswax bead was dipped.
The mod-podge and the beeswax dried quickly.
The diamond glaze took a couple of hours to dry.
The mod-podge bead will need more than 1 coat.
The beeswax bead needs to be buffed with a soft cloth.
The beeswax gave the paper a transparent effect.
The mod-podge and the diamond glaze did not.

I liked the beeswax best.
Here's a necklace I made with the paper beads and some wood beads from Africa that I already had in my bead stash:

Dipping a lot of beads was easy.
I strung them onto some wire and loosely coiled it up.
I dropped it in the hot beeswax and let it soak for about 3 minutes.
When I took it out, I carefully uncoiled the wire and hung it up to dry.
It was completely "set" in about 2 minutes and ready to buff with a cloth in about half an hour.
You have to wait a little while before buffing because the beeswax is so sticky at first.
That's it.

... next, I want to see what happens to different mediums treated with beeswax - like oil pastels, watercolors, collage, pen and ink, etc.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

tea and roses

My husband has around 75 rosebushes in our garden.
I'm using one of our rose catalogs for a craft project.
Shhhh! don't tell!

My tea is Celestial Seasonings something or other.
I've long since used the box it came in for making inchies, so it's a mystery tea.
It smells like gingerbread though - yum!

I'm making paper beads with some of the colorful pages from the rose catalog.
(Here's a link to a how-to on YouTube)
I'm going to compare different protective coatings on them and show you the differences.
That's for later though .....
until then, have a beautiful day!!!

Please also visit these other lovely "T" spots:

Monday, February 1, 2010

some fun comments and some FAQ's (on beeswax):

can't wait...FONDUE PHOTOS...great party idea, a bunch of us around pots of wax, dipping...
i'll send results!

Neva - can't wait to hear how that went! Wish I coulda been there!

These are AWE-some, Kimmie! I've got to get try this when I have a bit of time to play. The results are amazing! I can see these paired with fabric for great assemblages! Thanks so much for sharing this great technique. Hugs, Terri xoxo
Terri - that was a great suggestion - something I will do again and again. The lighthouse staircase turned out great just sewn very simply onto a piece of muslin - thank you for the idea!!
one question. do you use the little pot of beeswax inside? since it doesn't have pigment in it, it seems like it would be ok...just wondering.
Neva - beeswax is virtually NON-toxic - in fact I wouldn't be surprised if the vapors were actually healthy! Adding pigments is another story though - I guess it depends on what you might use.
‪jgy said...
Great tutorial and great effects!
I wonder what it would be like to dip small objects in Bees-wax too. 

jgy - I am definitely on the the same page as you - and have been experimenting with dipping objects in it - there is more to come on that topic :)

thank you Kimmie,

ok, you say that you melt the wax in 'this thing'

is this thing electric or do you put it in the oven or on the top of the cooker or maybe the microwave... My friend Chriss says that she has a wax pot for manicure of hands and will bring it over next time she come...not sure I can wait that long... so is your crock on the hob to heat the wax... my hob is gas.

Chriss - I'm not positive about what a "hob" is - but my guess is that it's your cute british word for stovetop :) ..... if you heat it on the stovetop - use a double boiler!!! direct heat is dangerous for beeswax, which from what I understand will smoke and catch on fire ?!? .... anyway - I hope you know what I mean by double boiler - maybe there's a cute british word for it that I don't know .... but in the meantime NOT ON THE HOB!! o.k.?

‪layers said...
how interesting to use a pan for a frame.
also interesting how artists develop their own processes--- I melt my wax in small metal cups and tins-- in an electric frying pan-- or a pot sitting on the frying pan with a candy thermometer in the pot.
I got most of my supplies from Goodwill except the wax of course.

layers - great great great idea!!! I know that the incaustic artists use something like an electric frypan with small containers nested inside it ..... and the Goodwill - that's where I get all my vintage bakeware that I use for frames and stuff.

‪sukipoet said...
I love chunks of beeswax like this too and often buy one lb pieces at farmers markets from beekeepers. I didnt know that about putting it in the oven. 

If you freeze the chunk you can then hammer it to break into smaller pieces.
sukipoet - you're right - I tried smashing my block after freezing it - it worked amazingly well - now I have a block of beeswax in the freezer - I hope no one mistakes it for leftovers :)

‪ELK said...
i love bees wax for rookies like me?
ELK - yes - only problem is, you're no rookie, gf :)

there is something oh so magical and wonderful about beeswax ... you've used it brilliantly Kimmie and how you've framed your collage is excellent too!

great tip on popping it in the oven for leveling!!!!

someone gave me a good tip on breaking the wax bricks into smaller chunks ... put your beeswax in the freezer in a plastic bag for several hours, then place it in another sturdy plastic bag and drop it onto a hard surface, smacking it down hard several times...good therapy to get the wild out!
we have a concrete slab and quarry tile floor in our kitchen, it works like a charm 
whatever doesn't break up, pop it back in the freezer and repeat 

I'm scared of knives so I go with the smack it method
Patty - letting the wild out :) .... brilliant! and yes, knives are scary ....

lighthouse staircase

I took Terri Kahrs' suggestion and sewed this piece 
(one of the photographs from my previous post on beeswax)

I attached the words I wrote with a straight pin ....

Not just any straight pin though - this one has a paper bead that I made (and dipped in beeswax).
I made the bead from newsprint - do you see the word "free?" that was purely accidental, but meaningful don't you think?

More on the how to for paper beads (in beeswax) later this week :)

If you are interested in owning this piece, it is listed in my etsy shop.