Friday, February 28, 2014

Envelope #59

February 28, 2014

Second month complete. Only 10 months more.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Envelope #58

February 27, 2014

Today's envelope was an experiment to see what would happen if a Sharpie was used on top of a wet watercolor background. I am still seeing how the materials are interacting with the 100 Cotton Rag Resume envelopes.

To achieve this envelope, I used watercolor crayons and then applied water (very little water). I then applied the colored fine line Sharpie background in three separate colors (red, blue, black). I then applied the stained glass lines in the foreground in the medium tip black Sharpie. Finally, I outlined the envelope with a broad tipped Sharpie.

I was surprised that none of the Sharpie lines blurred or feathered with the dampened material. Although some of the colored fine line markers faded in and out of some of the more damp areas, all of the markers fared well.

One note of caution, be sure to open the flap when working with water. Even the least bit of moisture will activate the gummed surface and can prevent the envelope for being used in the future.

Garden Party Cards (cont.)

Since I am giving sending this as a birthday card today, I decided to tease you with my upcoming post next week that reveals three more of the Garden Party cards. Enjoy. I don't know about you, but I can't wait to get over this winter weather in NYC.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Envelope #57

February 26, 2014

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Envelope #56

February 25, 2014

Another experiment in shading. It really is amazing the different results between the Crayola colored pencils and PrismaColor colored pencils. The above was done with the PrismaColor pencils.

Iron Craft 2014 Challenge #4--Rose Card (Project 8)

Iron Craft Challenge #4 was dedicated to hearts or flowers. In a previous post, I mentioned that I was developing a series of paper cut cards called "Garden Party." They were developed for a friend's mother who enjoys handmade stationery. I shared the above card with that post. 

Below are two more in the series. The black card was designed as a blank card for her to send out as she needed.

The red card below was designed for her to receive as a birthday card. I included a blank card for her personal use.

I will share the remaining cards in a future post. There will be ten different cards in the series.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Envelope #55

February 24, 2014

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Envelope #54

February 23, 2014

This is another one that I struggled with--do I color or not?

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Envelope #53

February 22, 2014

Friday, February 21, 2014

Envelope #52

February 21, 2014

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Envelope #51

February 20, 2014

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Envelope #50

February 19, 2014

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Envelope #49

February 18, 2014

Monday, February 17, 2014

Envelope #48

February 17, 2014

Testing out new blending liquid and materials. Also, new envelopes. These are 100% cotton rag envelopes (resume envelopes) from Staples.

Project #7--Garden Party Cards

This week's project is a little bit of a surprise so I am only showing you one sample. I have a friend's mother who is having a birthday next week (she doesn't read my blog so I am not spoiling the surprise). I am making her a birthday card and her favorite color is purple. As a gift, I am sending her matching (but different) cards. Since all of the cards are based on flowers, I am calling this set Garden Party 1. Eventually I hope to design 10 different cards.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Envelope #47

February 16, 2014

I struggled with this one which is why it was posted so late. I liked it the way that it is but couldn't decide if it would look better colored in. I kept putting it aside to look at it with fresh eyes until I eventually decided to just post it as is. Maybe I will do something similar later with color.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Envelope #46

February 15, 2014

Friday, February 14, 2014

Envelope #45

February 14, 2014

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Envelope #44

February 13, 2014

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Envelope #43

February 12, 2014

Sochi Snowflake Book Explained

A couple of people have asked me to provide a little more detail regarding the Sochi Snowflake Book that I completed for the Iron Craft 2014 #3 Challenge. Since I was running out of time to post for the deadline, I thought that I would take this opportunity to explain a little bit more about the design and rationale regarding the book.

First, I wanted a project that wouldn't offend so I purposefully chose to do a double sided book. In explanation, it could be the sanitized version vs the unsanitized version of the Olympics. I chose to only post the snowflake side on Flikr for the challenge so that people wouldn't be offended without explanation (in other words, they would have to view the blog where I could explain the protest side of the book).

The decorative paper is a paper from India that is embedded with little brass beads. The paper is really stunning but there are some drawbacks. First, the thickness of the paper makes turn ins a little difficult. Also, the little beads make the turn ins and paste downs even more difficult. If I had more time, I would have sanded the beads off of the turn ins so the paste downs would have been easier. The beads were supposed to represent the stars in the Russian sky during the Olympics.

As mentioned earlier, I cut out four different snowflakes for the book. I had to make a conscious decision because I had two options--four or six snowflakes (depending on which side of the book I wanted to illustrate). Since the cutting was the most time consuming aspect of the whole book, I decided to only cut four snowflakes.

I knew that the two middle most snowflakes should mimic the changing snowflakes from the Opening Ceremonies. I needed something similar and related. The two pointed stars seemed to fit the bill. The first one seemed denser and the second seemed more open as if it were expanding--just like the snowflakes that emerged into the Olympic Rings.

Once the two middle snowflakes were found, the other two snowflakes fell into place. One that looked like the Olympic torch (first snowflake) and one that looked like fireworks (the last snowflake). The pages look a little tinted from this side of the book. This was totally unexpected. The paint is actually from the reverse side of the book.

The reverse side of the book used images of protest found on the internet. Many of them were widely circulated so I wanted to make sure and utilize those. I wanted also to use a representative show of corporate support and decided to use the Google doodle to show the solidarity that some of the corporations provided. 

The pages were tinted with alcohol inks because I needed something that would dry fast and wouldn't warp the paper by providing too much moisture. I used a red, pink and burgundy palette to represent those that have been beaten and abused in Russia over the new gay propaganda laws.

Once again, to keep the added moisture reduced, I used spray adhesive to paste the images to the paper. The paper was Canson text weight paper.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Envelope #42

February 11, 2014

Iron Craft 2014 Challenge #3--Sochi Snowflake Book (Project 6)

Sochi Snowflake Book
I have to admit that I really struggled with Challenge #3. Not from an artistic standpoint but from a political one. First, I must admit that I am a huge fan of the Olympics and its original purpose. Now, it seems that politics and money have overshadowed the athletic showcase of the event. There is so much money to be made from the Olympics that one of the motivators for the organizers, Olympic committees and sponsors seems to be the selling of the Olympics.

Also, this year and the Russian government's anti-gay stance seems, for me, to overshadow this wonderful event. This is the first year that I have not watched the Olympics. NBC and my cable network, at least in my part of the world, require you to get a special Olympics package in order to watch anything that does not appear in its prime time broadcast. One of my resolutions this year was to watch less television so I decided not to watch the Olympics and in the process got rid of my television service. I have also decided to not drink any Coca-Cola products or visit McDonalds due to their "non-support" of  pro-gay support in their advertising during the Olympics (BTW, this pro-gay stance is one they take at all other times of the year.) So, while the Olympics is on, I will not support these companies. Please keep in mind that I do support the Olympians and have donated money to the US Olympic Committee and have purchased some USOC merchandise as a way to support the Olympic competitors.

So it was with heavy heart that I read the assignment for Iron Craft Challenge #3--create something motivated by the Olympics. I was going to just skip the assignment but it kept nagging at me if this was the right thing to do. Also, I wanted to see if I could complete another year without missing a challenge.

After hearing about the Opening Ceremonies and the difficulty with one of the snowflakes malfunctioning, I came up with the idea of making a snowflake book. A simple accordion book with covers that would contain a collection of cut out snowflakes. Surely that would be something that I could complete. There would be four snowflakes: two to represent the evolving snowflake of the Opening Ceremonies, one to represent the fireworks and one to represent the Olympic torch.

Torch Cutout (left) and
Starburst1 Cutout (right)
Starburst2 Cutout (left) and
Fireworks Cutout (right
Open Book--Snowflake Opening
As I was cutting the snowflakes, I read about the protesters that were being jailed and/or beaten by Russian police officers--some of which were protesting the treatment of gays but also some protesters who were simply protesting the Russian government without any mention of gays or gay rights. During this time, I decided that my snowflake book had to become something different--an expose of the juxtaposition of the good and bad of the Sochi Olympics. If you open the book in one direction, you will see the snowflakes. If you open the book in the opposite direction, you will find a collection of the protest images.

Protest Pages 1 & 2
Protest Page 3 and
Google Doodle
Protest Pages 5 & 6
Open Book--Protest Opening
 Although I struggles with this challenge, I am very pleased to have completed a project with which I am comfortable and that fits the intent of Iron Craft challenges.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Envelope #41

February 10, 2014

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Envelope #40

February 9, 2014

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Envelope #39

February 8, 2014

Friday, February 7, 2014

Envelope #38

February 7, 2014

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Envelope #37

February 6, 2014

Project #5--Valentine's Cards

This post has been delayed because I have been struggling with my final Valentine's cards for this year. I have mentioned that I had signed up for a Homemade Valentine's Swap this year. I had to send out my cards so they would arrive in time (especially since I was sending cards to Singapore and Australia). I was not 100% happy with my main card so I decided to send some alternative cards in hopes my swap partners would receive something they would like.

Alternative Card
The above card is the alternative card. I wanted to use a non-traditional color palette and wanted something that was atypical. I rather like the card and feel that it can be used on a variety of occasions. More importantly, I really like the sentiment--show your love all year around rather than just on February 14.

Final Version--Card Front
The above card is the card that I struggled with on a variety of different levels. Unfortunately, I finally solved all of the problems after I sent my swap partners their cards in the mail. I still might send this to them after the fact so they can see what the card is supposed to look like (rather than the card they received).

I knew that I wanted to do a mobile heart card. Working out the logistics of the card was the difficult part. Which parts to glue to which other part so the mechanics wouldn't show. Getting the hearts to align properly. Where to place the thread and how many threads to use so they middle heart would be suspended.

I also wanted to do something on the inside to create a 3D effect. I thought about using a light box so that all of the hearts would align themselves. I decided to offset the interior hearts so it wouldn't look too matchy-matchy. I still might do another prototype and align them together but I will save that for another night.

Card Interior
Here is the card backlit so you can see the asymmetrical hearts which I think is kinda cool. I will share with you the alternate version next week.

Backlit card

All in all, a very productive Valentine's season.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Envelope #36

January 5, 2014


Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Envelope #35

February 4, 2014