Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A Breath as Big as a Circus Tent. . . .

Well, I have been bitten hard by the art journal bug and now I offer you page number two in my 40 cent composition book! The circus is a hot trend right now, and rather than buying a bunch of new stuff, I remembered my old, classic (pre-Tim Holtz) Stampers' Anonymous circus stamps!

I began by drawing a pennant border on a dictionary page using a fine Sharpie marker - love those! Then I painted it in with my Maimeri Venezia watercolors, which proved to be risky as it ran when covered with gel medium.  Next, I ran some book pages through a Fiskars crimper several times to soften the fibers, and pleated them into curtains! I glued down the outside edges but left the rest loose.

Then I stamped the 7-League Express in the center of the background. I painted black over the top area of the stamp except for the elephant in his seven-league boots. It is a busy stamp and I wanted him to stand out. I outlined him with a white Sakura Gelly Roll pen and a black ultra-fine point Sharpie. I stamped it again below but painted over it with brown for the circus ring surface, so it just acts as a visual texture.

Next I glued down the curtains and also some folded paper tie-backs. This was done with Aleene's Fast Grab Tacky Glue, a personal favorite.  I used Liquitex heavy matte gel medium both under and over the circus pennant border to glue it down. I used the heavy gel as I was gluing it to such a lumpy surface. The watercolor ran, but I decided I liked the subtle streaks of color going down my bookish curtains!

Then I glued down the Stampers Anonymous characters that I had already watercolored and cut out, plus the "Circus of the Perverse" sign. They are all attached with the Fast Grab Tacky Glue. The clown is actually a doll stamp with separate torso, arms and legs, so I could position his arms however I wanted. Love the sign board carrier, he is so quirky!

Then I used a white Posca Pen to write in the quote from poet e.e. cummings (who always wrote in lower case as I recall):
"when god decided to create the world he took one big breath as big as a circus tent and everything began." -- e.e. cummings
So who is the circus of the perverse? That's all of us of course, living our contrary lives in this huge creation!

I have decided to enter this into the Carnival of Curiosities challenge (HDH103) over at the Haunted Design House, as in retrospect and though it was not the intended effect, these Stampers' Anonymous characters have a bit of the macabre to them, or maybe a Ray Bradbury touch. What do you think? I have also entered it into the Bah, Humbuggers' Challenge 33: Something New. This whole art journaling gig is so completely new I still can't believe I am trying it! My gosh, my first Moleskine sketchbooks just arrived in the mail and I'm using gesso for goodness' sake!

I hope you have enjoyed my second journaling attempt; I think I have really found myself with this art form. I love quotes and poetry, and I love applying my stamping, coloring and painting skills to this different form.  I make all these cards and they sit in boxes in my craft room because I don't actually correspond with people via snail mail as I'm way too disorganized!  I think I may put a  For Sale page on The Altered Alice and see if anyone wants to buy some lovingly created Alice cards, LOL! I'm running out of room!

Please leave a comment, I would love to hear what you think of my Circus of the Perverse, clowns, tents, watercolors, Ray Bradbury, selling my cards, e.e. cummings, or anything else you'd like to say!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Altered Alice Chapter 6: Painting the Roses Red!

'A large rose-tree stood near the entrance of the garden: the roses growing on it were white, but there were three gardeners at it, busily painting them red. Alice thought this a very curious thing, and she went nearer to watch them, and just as she came up to them she heard one of them say, `Look out now, Five! Don't go splashing paint over me like that!'  -- Chapter 8, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland 
The club cards were painting the white roses red to avoid angering the Queen of Hearts, so your challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to use PAINT on your creation! Of course you can paint it RED like the design team will be doing, but you can also use other colors. You need to tell us what item was painted and what technique you used!

We are sponsored this month by Creative Inspirations [Store | Blog], makers of wonderful shimmering paint which comes in almost 60 colors, including clear iridescent Fairy Dust. They also carry hot fix Jeweled Inspirations and Metallic Inspirations; I am particularly intrigued by the latter as they look like brilliant nail heads. The Altered Alice design team will be using Garnet paint, a bright sparkling red, and I hope the Creative Inspirations design team might decide to play along! The winner of this month's challenge will receive five colors of their choice.

Be sure to enter by 11:59 p.m. EDT (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC -4:00) on Friday, August 26. The winner and honorable mentions will be announced the last Sunday of the month on August 28.

My Art Journal Page

I have wanted to try art journaling for a long time and decided to jump in with supplies I had on hand, namely a 40 cent composition book and some big ideas. Like fellow design team members Erin and Terri, I had to use this fabulous Stampin' Up embossing folder with big bold roses. (My sister is an SU demo and offers a lot of specials, so if you *need* this folder let me know!)

I used a piece of heavy acetate (I actually recycled a Spellbinders package) and embossed it.  Then I followed Barbara's method of painting with the shimmering Creative Inspirations paint from the back side of the acetate. At first it was very streaky, but the paint dries very quickly, especially given that it was a non-porous surface. I gave it about four coats and it has the most unbelievable glistening radiance in real life. The garnet paint is a bright gleaming red but the shimmer is a deep fuschia pinky-violet color! Fabulous! From the front, I just went over all the raised lines with a black Sharpie and trimmed it out. I LOVE this look! Spellbinders Foliage rose leaves complete the focal point.

As this was the cheapest of cheap paper, first I coated the whole page with Ranger gesso. Then I used my airbrush with Copic markers to tint the page green at the bottom and blue at the top. My foam brush still had some white gesso in it, so I dabbed in some clouds.

Next, I used a Plaid rose stencil and pounced gesso through it using a foam brush. When it was dry, I partially painted my white rose red and added some drips of paint. I outlined the drops and segments of the rose with a black sharpie felt tip marker, and added some white gleams on the drops with a Posca pen.  Then I took a 0.3 Copic Multiliner SP to write in the quote from Chapter 8 about painting the roses red. I tucked in some other words here and there. I really like how this turned out! At this point I had the stenciled rose on the left and the acetate roses that would be placed somewhere to the right but it was missing something. I had planned to use two stamps I had of the card characters that were painting the tree, but they were way too small to hold up against all my huge roses.

I purchased this amusing Queen of Hearts from Mo's Digital Pencil. I wanted to print her larger than the normal, so I used a FREE program called SmillaEnlarger to blow up the image a bit. I think this program does a better job of enlarging than Photoshop; it is a great utility. This allowed me to print it at a blown up size without the least hint of jaggy pixels.  I colored her in with Copics then trimmed her out with a bit of a margin.  But when I placed the cutout on my page, she fell right into the busy background stenciled rose. So I used my black sharpie to color all the margins black, which gave it a nice bold outline. Now it can hold its own amongst the other elements.

I couldn't resist adding this snarky comment, just for fun! It makes me laugh as the Queen looks so out of control!

I hope you have enjoyed my first foray into art journaling as much as I have! After creating this page, I did some "research" (a.k.a. pestering  design team member and art journal expert Sue Roddis!), and have now ordered a Moleskine sketchbook of my very own! Two actually; a red one for Alice and a black one for everything else. I got them for a fantastic price on Amazon!

If you decide to buy some, please use the links above to do so. I will get a small referral fee and you will get the same great price. It is a small way you can help to support this blog and The Altered Alice. Eventually it might cover my Linky Tools and professional Photobucket subscriptions, LOL!!!

I love hearing from you; please let me know what you think about this page, about embossing acetate, art journals, smarty-pants remarks, or anything else you like! Then hurry up and PAINT something and link it on The Altered Alice! Time is running out. . . tick tock, tick tock!

Friday, August 19, 2011

The Twinery Anniversary Give-away - enter by TONIGHT, August 19.

Winning a prize package of 14 spools of yummy baker's twine from The Twinery would be an event to remember! I have entered to win, have you? Time is running out. . . tick tock. . . tick tock!

Get over to The Twinery and see how many different ways you can enter. I hope I win, but if not I would love it if one of my blog readers won!
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