Saturday, March 30, 2013

Femininity Abounds

Yesterday, I shared a Feminine Journal I had made from Atkin Bar's box sides, paint, paper lace, ribbons and pearls.  Today, I'd like to share another journal I made at the same time.

This one uses more paint, paper lace, a lilac diecut, iridescent gems, pink gem brads (for closure) and added handmade aluminum foil beads on the spine.   (Foil bead tutorial at Jennibellie Studio's You Tube)

Hubby David loves this one better -- he's a huge fan of lilacs. ,-)

Feminine Journal 2 - Lilacs
Front Cover

Binding Side With Beads

Inside Pages

Friday, March 29, 2013

Feminine Journal Making

Being diabetic, I don't eat a lot of sweets, but there is a variety of Atkins bars with nuts that are a low-carb treat that I allow myself daily.  I have been saving, for quite some time, the box sides from my Atkins bars and finally felt I had enough with which to do something.  The pre-printed sides of the boxes were covered with paper scraps, the white backsides were left as is for more personalization.

Taking an idea from my friend, Jenny's (Jennibellie Studios) journal made with Christmas Cards, I created this Feminine Journal.  It is approximately 6" x 6".
The Feminine Journal aka Foofy Journal #2  :-)

Feminine Journal - Front Cover

The cover was gesso'd and then painted the light pink; then a 6" paper doily was used to stencil the white markings and when dried, a 4" paper doily was decoupaged in place.  The diecut flower was decopauged next.  Ivory flat pearls were then placed around the center piece and smaller ivory flat pearls and ovals were placed in each corner.   The light pink pearl is a brad which holds a white, elastic ponytail holder to the matching brad in the back cover of the book.  The back cover is identical except it does not have any of the ivory pearls,

I initially had binding ring clasps holding the book together but felt it was too harsh for the soft presentation of the journal and switched out to the 1/4" light pink Ribbon. 

The lace was a necessary, after-build addition because the pages were at variance with one another (some bigger, some smaller) as well as to the covers themselves.  It was a visual detraction and not very pretty in my foofy eyes. ,-)

The lace camouflages that variance, thankfully, and adds a further feminine touch.  :-D

I'm not quite sure what I will do with the journal ... but for now, I'll just enjoy its foofyness!  :-)

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Pinkalicious - Flower Girl

Pinkilicious - Flower Girl
My two groups had Monday challenges this week so I combined them.  Mixed Media Mondays with Tracy Weinzapfel Studios challenged us to use babywipes to paint our pieces ... art aMUSEment with Kelly Hoernig challenged us to use a headline from a newspaper, magazine or book and let it inspire our art this week. 

My piece is based on the "Pinkalicious" children's book series, by Victoria Kann, and is an adaption of her "Pinkalicious:  Flower Girl" book.  Its a darling series and if you've a little one in your life who you enjoy reading to, add it to your shopping list.  :-)

The background was done entirely with acrylic paint and babywipes;  the flower bed is stamped with chalk inks and acrylic paint and iridescent gems; the little flower girl was done with acrylic paint for the stenciled body and more iridescent gems;  her face was done with a home-made flower stamp head painted with acrylic paints and markers . The butterfly was a free design from Free Vintage Digi Stamps that I printed to card stock and cut out.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Memories of Easter

This "Celebration of Easter" page has become part of my "Memories" journal.

When I was little, it was a ritual sometime before Easter that Mama would drive us the hour from our little town of Fremont, Michigan to downtown Grand Rapids to the Woolworth's Department Store. There, Mama would shop for herself, sister Diane and me - for a new Easter outfit of a Spring dress coat, a frilly yet sensible dress, patent leather shoes (heels for Mama and flats for us), a coordinating hat and white gloves ... and maybe even a new little purse too! It was always a special treat just to go downtown GR and see all the people rushing around, the traffic, the HUGE buildings and all those wonderful storefront windows with wonders to behold in them - nothing like them in our little town, although some stores tried well enough!
Celebration of Easter

A further treat would be to enjoy lunch at the Woolworth's Diner and if we were really lucky we'd be able to sit at the counter instead of the tables AND have a tasty soda from their fountain too! The trip home was such fun, laughing and giggling at times and quiet too as we all were anticipating the joy of wearing those new things come Easter Sunday morning. Me, especially, as my old shoes were badly scuffed up and my gloves were pretty dungy by that time (I was SUCH a tomboy then) and no amount of mama's bleach or bluing for extra whiteness stuff would help those poor things!

Even MORE fun was the fashion parade Daddy would expect before we left for church that morning. He'd study each one of us in turn and we'd wait, holding our breath, til he gave his approval. It was HEAVEN - Daddy thought we were beautifully attired and ready to go to church and honour our Lord for His most precious gift to us - His son, Jesus. I didn't fully understand all of that then -- I just wanted daddy to feel mama hadn't squandered his hard-earned money on things that looked horrid on me!

After church, we were bundled off (with playclothes in tow) to my Aunt Hazel and Uncle Guy's home. There, it would be a big family gathering with all the aunts and uncles and cousins and where we kids would get to find eggs and play and everyone would get to see us all in our pretty new outfits before the mamas made us change because they lived on a farm and all the mamas knew we'd get dirty without even trying.

It was a magical and special time ... and one of my most cherished memories.


The little hats and hatboxes image was found in my collection of vintage ephemera. I used scrapbook papers, specialty scissors, a napkin border, floral diecuts, a feather, a vintage heart and pearl button, gold shoe buttons, a hatpin, and little cloth roses. The tag says "Unforgettable" and "Treasured Memories". 
The stamped text says "Everything in its own Time" as it seemed rather fitting -- those days are long past and women seldom wear hats and gloves anymore. I'm nostalgic for them.  :-)
You are a Child of God through your understanding
of the sacrifice and resurrection of Jesus for your sins
"Believe in me, and thou shalt be saved."
God bless your Easter!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Irish Tributes and Faerie Winds

Faerie Winds
This morning, I tripped over a darling Irish quote while I was seeking something for a St. Patty's Day tribute to my son-in-law who's of Irish heritage:  "Any man can lose his hat in a faerie wind."

And then, serendipity landed when Whimsey Stamps LLC's FaceBook page had a wonderful little image gifted for free to their viewers.  I simply adored the little faerie with the cone flower!

Clearly, it was meant to be -- and -- so I did!  :-)

To put the icing on the cake of my day, tonite I discovered I was one of three winners in a giveaway hosted by Design Memory Craft for a Ustream class taught by Jen Matott last night featuring their Faber Castell's Gesso product!  We three winners will each receive a jar of the Gesso.  I'm so excited as Jen showed us so many different and creative ways to use the gesso within our mixed media and art journals!  As you know, I'm very familiar with gesso through my fine art paintings on canvas and  have used it to provide an enhanced surface underneath my paintings.  I never knew all the ways gesso could be used and felt I'd won just from the wealth of information Jen provided in her class ... so I consider this a bonus having won one of the giveaway prizes too!  They are having another class April 11th.  I already have my calendar set to remind me!  :-D  I hope you'll sign up for their newsletter too and stay abreast of what they have to offer all of us through those classes.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Texture Butterflies Adventures

Textured Butterflies
Our Monday Challenge in the art aMUSEment group was the word and colour "yellow".

Also this week, in the Mixed Media Mondays with Tracy Weinzapfel Studios group, member Sandy Setliff did a wonderful piece with a textured background that I fell in love with and wanted to try myself.

So, I mixed both the challenge and that texture technique to create my piece.  

I call it my "Textured Butterflies" page and very much enjoyed the learning process!
Close-up Textured Butterflies
I used Frescolina, mixed with Liquitex Titanium White and a dab of Cadmium Yellow and a Crafter's Workshop Templates 6"X6"-Fancy Frames for the corner textures.
I used a paper doily for the textured circle around the gold butterfly. 

The butterflies were made from a kit of Mask Templates 10 Pieces-Butterflies 2.9" To 3.1" with the same texture medium as used for the corners and doily textures.

I used the  Ultimate Romance Twinkling H2O's to colourize the butterflies and also to add a bit more colour to the Foliage.

I added drops of DecoArt's Paper Effects to add the butterfly markings.

Close-up Textured Butterflies

On a recent expedition to Joann's, Papa found some of the Studio G pigment stamp pads in their clearance bins for $1.00 and got me an assortment of colours. I used the yellow-gold with a sponge tip applicator to highlight the corner and doily textures and well as beneath the butterflies.   The foliage was a silk leaf transfer using the Studio G olive green pigment stamp.   I'm sad to see those ink pads only on clearance everywhere now -- they are a richly coloured pigment and transferred beautifully with an applicator!

I'm very pleased with my results.  It was my first time using the H20's, the Studio G pigment Inks and a silk leaf transfer.  I had used the Frescolina just once before with not much success as I'd put it on far too thickly and it cracked.  Speaking of which, that Frescolina adventure was well over 7 years ago now and yet the jar contents were still wonderfully pliable and easily mixed with my acrylic paints!  Yay for Frescolina!  (Sadly, I was not able to find any American supplies through a Google search -- only Canadian suppliers -- which would make sense as it is manufactured there by SPC, the manufacturers of Final Coat and Fini products as well.)


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Surprises - The Liebster Award!

Late last night, I was warmly touched and completely delighted to learn my Blog had received The Liebster Award!

What is a Liebster?  Here's some information -

This award was designed to be a blog award in the pay it forward fashion. once you've been nominated, you award it to blogs that you like that have fewer than 200 followers, to encourage new visitors to visit these new blogs.

Thank the person who gave you the award and link back to their blog, post the award onto your blog, give the award to five bloggers who you appreciate that have fewer than 200 followers, and leave a comment on their blog letting them know that you have given them this awesome award!

A heartfelt thank you to Lori of Lori's Happy Place, who nominated my blog. I am wonderfully delighted and thoroughly "warm fuzzied" that she chose my blog as one of the five recipients.  I will endeavour to live up to that recognition.  :-)  Thank you Lori!



The five blogs that inspire me and I think you should visit are -

It is my pleasure to visit your blogs, see your work and read your inspirational words that encourage all of us in so many ways.  God Bless and keep you moving forward in all of your artful endeavours!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Feminine Things

I recently discovered a quote by Edith Head, who was a well known fashion designer for the film industry in the 30's thru 40's and beyond.   She said:   "Your dresses should be tight enough to show you're a woman - and loose enough to show you're a lady."  I about swooned with delight when I read that!

Edith Head Tribute
I'm a huge fan of Turner Classic Movies - TCM - and love the old black and white neo-noire films especially.   I appreciate the styles and fashion of both women and men's clothing but also the way those stories were told without showing people naked, swearing or with massive amounts of blood and violence.  They were able to develop solid characters and story lines that conveyed the story without having to resort to such cheap measures as most movies today.

Edith Head's quote made me think of my all-time favourite movie "Rear Window" with Grace Kelly and Jimmy Stewart, for which Edith was the costume designer.   The dresses Grace Kelly wore exuded femininity, grace, style, class and sex appeal in every way and I so wanted to be like her when I grew up!  Those were the days!!

And so, I made this little page in dedication to Edith Head and Grace Kelly -- and created it in my new, Foofy Journal.  :-)

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Genesis Heat Set Oils and Journaling

If you've visited my website or known me for some time, then you also know I'm a fine art painter using the Genesis Heat Set Oils.  I won't go into all the wonderfulness of these paintings (including that they are non-toxic oils!) right now as you can discover all of that information by visiting my website - Via Von  :-)

When I began my adventures into art journaling and mixed media, my big concern was that I wouldn't be able to use the Genesis Oils as they require a heat set with a heat gun or oven to set the oils ... and well ... art journaling is done on paper in a collected book of papers.   I had visions of paper ashes flying all around my painting easel and desk and having to keep a fire extinguisher under the desk.  :-(

I switched to other mediums like acrylics and watercolours and oil pastels, etc.  But somewhere in the back of my mind, the thought was niggling ... give the Genesis a test.  And so I did.  Just a simple little piece of blue skies and wildflowers that made me think of my favourite place in the world - Mt. Falcon, Colorado.

There is nothing like the majesty of the Colorado Rockies and wildflowers and grasses talking to the wind as you sit and let God's love for His creation wash over you.

Its magical and heavenly.

Mount Falcon

This painting of Mt. Falcon is one I did many years ago now, based on a photo I took, when we still lived in Colorado.  Cass, Mick, Max, and Mick's mom, Louise, had come out for a Holiday and we took a days outing up there and around Red Rocks Ampitheatre.  Its such a lovely drive with lovely destinations.

The other two photos below were also painted from photos I took that day.  Red Rocks was gifted to Cass that following Christmas.  Max at Mt. Falcon was gifted to Mick that following Christmas.  :-)

Max at Mt. Falcon

Red Rocks Ampitheatre

I'm very homesick for Colorado and especially my Rocky Mountains.  I'm glad I have my paintings to warm my heart and remind me of happy times there.   :-)

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Girlie Girl and Bling Things!

Lydia's ATC Card

I belong to several FaceBook artistic groups and as is to be expected, sometimes members cross over from one group to another.  Lorrie Weber is one of those wonderful people whom I've been privileged to meet through the art aMUSEment group and her own group Craft Stash (where you can sell gently used art supplies).

Lorrie inquired of us about doing an ATC Card exchange geared for her little 3 year old, Lydia, who is a full-on lover of all things girlie-girl and bling.  :-)   I joined simply because -- well -- I'm a gramma!!  What gramma could resist that?!?  lol

I've never done an ATC card before today, but spent a week or so researching them so I could get a better understanding of what they were all about. 

This is what I came up with.  Scrapbook paper, including a bit of Susan Winget's small book of paper (whose designs I adore!), some of it punched with a hearts and scrolls border, cloth flowers, opalescent gems on the bottom and pearls defining the bird area.

Lydia's Book of Pockets
It's not quite geared for a little one, I fear, but am hoping she'll like it well enough anyway.

I thought it might be fun to add a little surprise in with her card and created a smaller version of the Book of Pockets I made yesterday - my "Foofy Journal".  :-)

This little book has 8 pockets and is slightly larger than an ATC Card.  It will hold 8 ATC Cards as long as they are not overly embellished.  This one is, again, made of scrapbook paper and glue with added gems on both front and back for a little bit of bling.  I will set this behind the ATC Card and tie them together with a pink ribbon.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Foofy Fun!

My FOOFY Journal :-D
This past Wednesday, Sarah Spindell, one of my friends from Tracy Weinzapfel Studio's Mixed Media Monday's group, shared photos of a little pocket book journal she'd made in a recent class. 

Sarah was kind enough to do a little video on that process for me, as I was just not "getting" the method she'd described.  I'm a visual learner and a picture + video paints a thousand words for me.  lol

Today, I sat down to watch and make my own pocket book journal.  I am happy to report that I was successful and I am just thrilled with how easy this was to make!   I've named it my "Foofy Journal" and will devote it to all things foofy, feminine, frilly and fun in future!

Inside the FOOFY Journal

 Now I know you're wondering just how this was made ... so if you click on Sarah's name at the start of my blog today, you'll be taken to her blog and can catch that video too!

I will be adding a gold filligree & pearl heart button to the front cover and an eyelet in the back cover to each hold a piece of ivory ribbon for a closing feature.

You can make these little pocket books as large or small as you wish - its really up to you.  It has SO much potential for versatility and gift giving.  Couldn't you just picture this filled with a few little ATC cards during an exchange?  Or how about making one to hold a gift certificate or gift card for a birthday gift! 

I hope you will give a try making one of these!  And tell Sarah:  "Von sent me!" when you thank her for the video.  :-)

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

There is a Season

There Is A Season
Downers Grove, IL got dumped on yesterday with roughly 10" of snow - the most snow we've seen in the past two winters combined.

As other places across the country were seeing Spring flowers peeking up through the soil, we were tucked into our woolies and marveling at the snowfall as it continued throughout the day.

It was truly beautiful!  Still is today.  :-)  Clearly, Mother Nature decided its not our Spring Season quite yet.

In honour of the Seasons to come, and to meet a few Mixed Media/Art Journal group challenges, I took inspiration from the song "Turn Turn Turn" sung by the Byrds in 1965.  The words are adapted from the Bible's Book of Ecclesiastes 3:1.  I further took inspiration from a book I have on Louis Comfort Tiffany where I stumbled upon one of his stained glass lamps done with fruit.  The song and the stained glass themes just seemed to mesh so nicely.  :-)

This was done entirely in tube Watercolour and is the first piece I've done in tube watercolours.   I used watercolour crayons on "God Colours My Heart" but that's a different application than the tubes. Watercolour Pencils are another type of application.   Once applied, however, the watercolours react and control with water the same.   As I continue to play with watercolours I find that I am beginning to discern their control features and gain a little more skill with them.  Its fun to experiment and I am truly enchanted with their capabilities.  :-)