Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Weirdy Mail!

This is going to be a super short post about the first "weirdy" mail I have ever traded. This will be the first time I have traded mail art for the last few months and it was incredibly fun.

(Quick note- Weirdy mail is mail that you don't put in an envelope, you attach the address and postage to it and send it on it's way. It's amazing all that you can send through the USPS without putting it in a box, a banana is my favorite example so far.)

Anyways, the weirdy mail I made is an embroidered and felted piece. It's a matryoshka, or Russian nesting doll. I made 3 of varying sizes and out of store bought felt. I embroidered the flowers all over their scarves and dresses and felted their faces so they all looked alike. I used velcro to close the two larger dolls so they wouldn't escape in the mail and stuffed the littlest doll in the center to give the whole project a more round look.

This is of the largest doll and the part that I sent free of a protective envelope. I placed packing tape over the velcro side so nothing escaped. The entire thing is hand-stitched, I did not use a machine for any part of it including the embroidery.

This is the three of them nested inside each other waiting for the mail and their new home.

Finally a picture of the three of them separated so you can see what each one looks like. The final piece ended up being about 3 inches by 6 inches total.

Hope you enjoyed these, I will be back with more to share!

Questions? Comments? Look to the little box below...

Friday, May 26, 2017

Mixed Media Valentines

It WAS valentines day not that long ago. The website I trade on had another incredibly fun Valentines card swap, so I wanted to share a few of those cards. I created 17 unique postcards to trade with other artists.

I decided to do a linocut block print for the central theme of the cards so that I could use those prints and then embellish them as needed to create unique pieces. So lets start with the linoblock, I carved the image of two cats (kind of yin-yang) whose little rear ends and tails created a heart. I then printed the cats in several styles - ombre going from white to dark pink, pink, and black. I also carved some smaller heart stamps out of soft linoleum blocks.

The other media I used were watercolors, drawing ink, pens, stamping ink, and glitter.

Lets get to the art!

You can see the cat linocut in detail here. On the left I printed it onto block printing paper, on the right I printed it straight on the watercolor paper. The card on the right was done in watercolor and drawing inks. 

 These two cards showcase that faded Ombre printing I was doing. When I laid out the ink to print the cats I put the red ink at the bottom and white ink at the top and then used the brayer to blend the colors. Again I printed onto printing paper (Reeves BFK) and finely cut it out and glued it onto thicker watercolor paper that I had decorated with the smaller heart stamps I cut.

 These two cards were done much the same as the previous ones however they were placed onto paper that had been decorated with a few watercolor washes and techniques. I then drew or stamped hearts and the one on the right I glittered some of the hearts.

Finally we come to the drawing inks cards. I used the inks much like watercolor to get light washes and then decorated with undiluted drawing inks to create all the hearts.

That's it! There were several more that I did but these were my favorites (or were better photographed). More posts about art coming up!

As always, questions, comments, concerns? Want me to create a tutorial for something I have posted? Find the box below and let me know!

Feeling Felt Part 1

I had a felt filled 2016. I did a lot of work with felt throughout the year with teaching myself how to needle felt and learning how to felt various fibers. Christmas ended up being the most felt intensive holiday of them all.

I have seen so many felt ornaments over the years and have always wanted to make them to gift others (or myself). Felt ornaments just feel like a homemade Christmas to me.

So I decided to make some felt ornaments for a couple swaps I was in. Some of the folks in one of the swaps I was in weren't as interested in Christmas themed ornaments exclusively. So I decided to go with a theme of mythical creatures. Some celebrating Christmas, some not. Let's start with those non-celebrating creatures.

This unicorn was made of store-bought sparkly felt. I embroidered the unicorn with white and silver thread to make it shine.

The pig is made from store bought felt and hand embroidered and beaded.

 Onto the "Christmas-y" ornaments -

This is a Jackalope (mythical horned rabbit creature) who carries his mistletoe with him because he never wants to be caught without. Made of store bought felt and hand embroidered and beaded.

Finally we have an anthropomorphic pickle. In an ugly Christmas sweater. It's also made of store bought felt and embroidered and beaded by hand.

Lastly I have a one-off ornament I made for a different personal swap.

Looks a little odd at that angle but it's a deer in a scarf. Again I used store bought felt and embroidered and beaded it by hand.

Alright, that does it for Christmas ornaments, I still have a couple Christmas-time pieces to share and then we're on to Valentines day. I promise to get us up to what I am currently working on. Keep checking back!

As always comments and questions are welcome just look for the little box below!

Monday, May 22, 2017

More Mail Art

(As I work on these new posts I wanted to update with posts that are more or less chronologically accurate. I created all of these pieces before last January.)

Here are all the mail art envelopes that I haven't uploaded to share. I created all of them for swap partners and they are all made out of gouache and ink on watercolor paper. Still haven't found watercolor envelopes that I like so I'm still going the handmade route. Again apologies for weird blurring on the envelopes, they were actually mailed and I would prefer not to reveal folks addresses. Maybe one day I will learn to take pictures before putting the addresses on.

Front of Envelope

Back of Envelope

This envelope is from last Septembers(!!) trade, it's obviously based off of the original ink illustrations from Alice in Wonderland.

Front of Envelope
Back of Envelope

This is the envelope from my October Swap, I particularly like this one because it's of one of my favorite natural phenomenon, the Aurora.

Front of Envelope

You'd scream too if you had 3 children!
Back of Envelope
 This is Novembers envelope. Obviously of Munch's The Scream. The person I made this for had 3 kids and enjoys that piece of art which is the reason for the characters on the back.

Front of Envelope

Back of Envelope
This final envelope is the one from December. The person I was trading with has a love of chickens so the gauntlet was set.

I haven't done an envelope since then (read last post as to why), and I hope to get back in the swing of mail art again very soon!

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Where have I been? Part 2 (electric boogaloo)

I know I haven't updated for a while and I wanted to get back into the swing of things by updating the very few folks that actually read this blog. The last year has been really trying and there have been a lot of changes in my life. All those changes led to less art and less time to do art. I have actually made some great pieces in the last year and I will be sharing them in the next few posts.

The biggest causes of creating less art is that I had a sick family member move in with us into our cracker box apartment. My health also hasn't been entirely great, with periods of bad flare-ups and periods of relatively stable health. There have been other trials and craziness but my illness and family illness have been the biggest factors in not creating art and not sharing what I have created.

On a positive note my family member is finally stabilizing and I am getting ever closer to a diagnosis for whatever rare disease I have been dealing with. Things are better and I hope they will continue to be so.

I promise I have art to share, I made some really fun things for people last Christmas and I again traded Valentines with other artists. I'm working on those posts now and will continue to update them with short updates on my progress.

Stay tuned for more art! Thanks for reading my babbles. :)

Saturday, August 6, 2016

What else have I been doing?

Recently I have been working on my embroidery. Right now, I am trading in a few swaps that will let me create any type of art I want within a theme (Halloween and Christmas!) . It's the perfect excuse to pull out the old hoop. Below I am sharing pieces in various states of completion. Some of what is here is for swaps, some of it is practice work, and some is just for shits and giggles! ;)

For the Halloween-themed swap I embroidered a Day of the Dead skull on some linen. It is about 5"x3" and I realized it was too large and too time consuming to do more than one or two of them -

I believe this skull is called the "Multicolored Time Suck"
It lead me to the sanity-saving decision of making them smaller. While looking around online for ideas for the swap I found a Halloween bunting that included skulls, bats, and pumpkins. Day of the Dead skulls just seemed like more fun.

The plan for the smaller (4'x2") skulls is to loosely stuff them and then attach them to a piece of chunky twine. They are obviously not done but there will be one for each color of the rainbow plus black and white, giving me 7 skulls total (Don't forget they removed the "I" from ROY G BIV!).

 These are the Blue and Orange skulls. They are both done as far as the embroidery but I haven't stuffed or completely sewn up either of them. That comes next.

These two are the Purple and Red skulls, both are very close to done. 

The last three skulls, yellow, green, and black/white are not close to done. I will post images when finished with everything.

At this point this particular project has taken me many more hours than I had anticipated. I believe it's taken me over 25 hours even though project is only 2/3 of the way done. I'm starting to wonder if I will be able to give these away? The further along I get the more I like them and remember that I never keep art I make for myself...

I believe this spider has learned human curse words while I was in the process of creating it.
 Speaking of Halloween embroidery, I also tried my hand at stump work in the spider above. Stump work is the process of embroidering a project in "3D". Essentially you embroider around a piece of wire or stuff material under your work to make it pop out. I had already drawn out a spider to embroider traditionally when I noticed that a stump work spider would be kind of horrifying and fun! The legs were done with wire and thread wrapped around them and the spider is "stuffed". I am hoping I can improve my skills before doing the final projects for my swaps.

Oh Virginia, you look so... pale and grey?

I also tried my hand at portraits. This one is Virginia Woolf and clearly, it's not done. I haven't finished the highlights and darkest darks but she is coming along. This project is my way of seeing if I would like to start embroidering more realistic subjects. If it works out I am mulling over a project creating portraits of famous female authors.

That's all folks! There is still one more post coming up about making block prints. Stay tuned! 

Questions? Concerns? Want me to create a tutorial for something? Need to scream into the void? Look down to the little box below and let me know!

 **I wanted to note that I didn't use any templates/patterns/designs to make these. I drew the image out and transferred it to the material it would be embroidered on - just wanted to clarify before people ask where I got the patterns/templates.**

Monday, August 1, 2016

What on earth have I been up to?

I have been working on several things recently that aren't watercolor. I have been doing some embroidery, cutting lino blocks for block prints and have done a little bit of watercolor in the form of more mail art.

I will share the watercolor art first because it's been what I have focused on the least. These are the fronts and backs of envelopes. Check out my previous mail art post for more about these envelopes! 

 This is my May envie done in the style of Japanese wood block prints

This is another May envelope which was my idea of what Snoopy and Woodstock would look like a little less stylized and cartoony.

This is the front and back of my June Envelope. Obviously Casablanca themed done in gouache and ink. I had some struggles but finished it.

 And finally my July envie. My partner asked for something to do with bees. The front has the bee and the back is the flowers.

 I'm going to end this post here and post another with all my other art. As always, ask questions, leave comments, tell me I am wrong, tell me you are wrong, tell me about life and love. Just tell me all of that below in the comments section.