Thursday, June 30, 2011

"Handmade" Paper & 95th Post

Hey there art fans!  In my last post, I mentioned making "my own" paper, and I wanted to show you what I meant.  I got this idea straight from someone else,  and despite being skeptical throughout the process of making it, I think the final product is brilliant  The three little ones on the right are how I took last week's paper to the next step, having taped over the edges to make a frame and then painted.  I don't know exactly how these will turn out, but have no doubt that you'll see it here for sure.  The big one on the left I made today, with a different matte-finish 
glue--which actually didn't work as well as the first one, with straight-up Elmer's.  

I know the idea comes from an artist who was featured in a recent issue of Cloth, Paper, Scissors, but I unfortunately don't know who (I only had a chance to glance at the article).  The technique involves tearing up papers that look good together into strips, then gluing them down to a smooth piece of plastic (like a thin, malleable cutting board) with a brush.  First, brush glue on the plastic, then lay down a strip, then brush glue over the top.  Continue until the whole plastic sheet is covered, then leave to dry completely.  Once dry, peel the whole thing off the plastic and there you have it!

Today marks my 95th post, which means that I'm five away from 100!  Wow.  I'm amazed to have carried on this long.  So, to celebrate, starting next week I plan to give something away every week to a randomly selected reader.  Please come back weekly for the next 5 weeks (I post on Wednesday or Thursday) to find out what's on offer and how to win.

Thursday, June 23, 2011


Today I spent art day doing all sorts of things: making Grandma's b-day card, shipping some stuff off to Dad, talking the business of art with my friend Brittany (who came over to share art day with me), trying a new technique for making "my own" paper, setting up a Parsley Art Facebook page (Like me!), and creating my first ever e-Newsletter!  If you didn't receive this in your inbox today, contact me (using the address to the right under "Contact"), and I'll put you on the distribution list.  You'll get the newsletter once a month, and I vow to not pass your information on to anyone else.  

If you are arriving to my blog to learn more about my Here and Now in the Studio, see below for more on the skirt, and I'll post very soon some good photos of the pillow and the gray quilt-pieced thing, which is actually an ice pack holder.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Long Time Project

I bought the fabric for this skirt two years ago, inspired by warm weather, a need for some new clothes, and a desire to become the ultimate skirt-maker-ista!  This week, ahem, I finally did it!  I am particularly proud of the invisible zipper (photo #2).  There are certainly mistakes in the skirt, but I learned a lot, and it is wearable and fits me perfectly!  The pleats are an idea I borrowed from another beloved skirt, but they don't really show in this skirt due to the busy-ness of the print.  That's ok though.  I know they're there, after all.  :) 

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Painting Skills

This is a scan of my first successful painting in the style of Gaelle Boissonard. In my painting lesson, I wanted to learn how to do shading and background texture, and Barbara and I created this background together using gesso, a comb, the opposite tip of a paintbrush, a meat tenderizer, and splotches of watercolor paint.  The green paint itself is a mixture of watercolor and acrylic!!!  I never would have thought to do that.

The main lessons for me in this project were the use of white to create depth in the body, and having the patience (aka taking the time) to make different shades of the same color to get the shading right.  Working on a painting really takes time.  And you can't do it all in one sitting.  

The scan didn't capture the entire painting, but I'm planning to keep this one to hang up in our house so maybe sometime you'll get to see the whole thing in person.

A week later, I continued on the theme and created this card for my friend Katie who got a job she really wanted!  After hanging up with her on the phone when she announced the news, I couldn't stop smiling!  I felt like it was almost my own accomplishment!  So that is what the card says: Friendship is when another's victory feels like yours.

Finally for today, here is me at last week's First Friday, with my "sculpture" and wearing a "featured artist" button.  The leg fit right in to the bike-themed show, and I had a lot of fun just being a part of any show at all.  You can see it on display throughout the month of June at the Poudre River Arts Center at 406 N College Ave in Fort Collins.  Of course, you can see replicas at a Brave New Wheel (105 E Myrtle St) and at the Cycologist (217 Linden St), and you can buy fashionable bike bands at any of the three locations.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Card Swap Cards Revealed

The 2011 Six Degrees of HLM Card Swap has finally come to a close, and I have been looking forward to sharing with the world the handiwork of all the participants. Please invite your friends and family to stop by my blog for a look, and everyone who reads this is invited to participate in the swap next year. Click on any of the photos below for a closer-up view.

Here is a photo of everyone's cards lined up on the floor:

Below is Ambra's card: 

Andrea did two designs: 

3 of the 4 images used in Anne's cards were taken in India last January: 

Deborah's pocket design was the base of each of her cards, but each one had a different greeting, and she made all her envelopes: 

Here's my card--come back to the blog in the next couple weeks to learn about the process and see more pictures of it, and maybe even win one of my extras!

Grace was inspired by a vacation she recently took to Florida: 

Haley wanted to create a 3-D card, and the printed paper she found made her think of the wind: 

Jenn's beaded cards took hours of hand sewing, but resulted in an exquisite final product:

The little heart comes out of the black fabric pocket on Jennifer's, and they're sewn around the edges: 

Katie experimented with what I recently learned is called Iris-fold, and combined the folding process with her own photography: 

Kiara made 10 unique watercolor paintings: 

Kyran pulled inspiration from her love for cooking for her card, and made all the envelopes too:

Mivvy's cards were all Christmas-themed, and most (if not all) were photos from where she lives in England: 

Nancy made and colored all her own paper (except the card stock) for her cards: 

The cards Paige submitted were similar in theme, based on the quote she found, featured in the bottom two:

Tara's been doing tons with small quilting projects lately (she recently had a project featured in 101 Patchwork Projects and Quilts--click here to read about it and see her cute name/gift tags). She was no doubt inspired to carry that into her cards: 

Another great year of the Card Swap!  And if you'll do me the honor of coming back to visit my blog again soon, you'll have a chance to WIN one of my pop-up cards to have for yourself!