Artifacts May 2017

I seemed to have missed the April Artifacts that I joined in on in the preceding months.  Seth Apter has started this fun group project.  We are compiling a year’s worth of memorabilia, art, pictures, ephemera, etc. to make a book or some kind of thing to hold it all together at the end of the year.  You can find more about it at Seth’s blog  He was kind enough to remind us about getting our work in this time if we wanted it posted.  Here’s what I ended up with.


I wanted to work more with watercolors this time.  I really love watercolor and the effects that can be gotten from it.  I used a canvas block to work on.  I started out by  putting a coat of white gesso on the watercolor paper.  And after that dried I sketched images of a couple flowers and some butterflies I wanted to paint.   Then I added a few washes over the sketches placing small stencils on top here and there to form some patterns.


Here’s a closer look at the work so far.


I painted in the flowers and butterflies more using watercolors and some white guache to blend in with the watercolors to bring out highlights.  I wanted to paint the peonies and butterflies in the Chinese manner I had studied a few years back, but I hadn’t realized how rusty I’ve become.  I really need to practice my brush work again.


At this point I sprayed over the painting with workable fixative, but when I tried to paint over it the butterflies smeared all over the place.  I then sprayed over the whole thing with Krylon 1311 matte finish and that made it possible to paint over the watercolor without smearing.  I also added some of my tore up Sumi painting and some stamps I put on paper, including Seth’s stamp, using matte gel medium.


I was happy with the results but I needed to cut it down to a size which would fit in my book so I formed a window out of newspint and positioned it over the painting to see what part I liked best.


I decided on this part of the painting but I needed to add something in the bottom left corner.  So I added a blue wash and then I added a small piece of sumi painting with matte gel medium.


I’m happy with the result.  I’m definitely excited to explore this way of working with watercolors and collage some more.


June 25, 2017 at 2:02 am 1 comment

Seth Apter March Artifacts

I’m posting my March Artifacts contribution to Seth Apter’s blog

I don’t have time to write about it tonight.  Yikes where does the time go?  I will explain further tomorrow.  Below it my work.


April 16, 2017 at 10:50 pm Leave a comment

Personal Journal Artifacts-installment 2

I have been keeping busy working on my pages for my Artifacts journal.  Seth Apter invited artists to join in and make some kind of collection of their work to put into book form

I ended up making three fronts of pages.  The first page I used a lot of color and painting.  I also added copper patina on a couple of the embellishments.  This got me interested in making a page with oxidizing iron paint and I ended up doing two rusted looking pages.


Stenciled and Painted Page



Rusted Page #1


Rusted Page #2

Rusted Page #2


I started making a page with a lot of colors using stencils and paints over the collage I had already made.  First I covered the bamboo with a piece of clear contact paper to protect it.


I continued to collage and added some small dotted paper pieces for the frame around the chinese woman and small rectangles behind the words on the right and on the bottom.  I pasted on the words on the right and the sentiment toward the bottom with matte gel medium.  I also did some scribbling with a Sakura White Pen-touch pen.


I added dark blue around the letters and here and there on the piece with a Sky Blue Prima water soluable oil pastel and also added white here and there with a white water soluable oil pastel.



I added a painted wooden frame around the bottom chinese letters that I had stamped on a blue scrap of newspaper.  I also glued a frame that I made out of cut up 1/8″ wooden dowel that I used Modern Masters Oxidizing Copper Paint and Green Patina aging Solution on.  I wrapped some fiber around the right dowel to add a little interest  I used Seth Apter Border Lines stamps to stamp around the outside of the piece with Black Ranger Archival ink.



Following are some close ups of the painted and stencilled page.






For the first rusted page I covered a piece of paper that I got from Lowe’s.  It’s something used for roofing and I liked the texture of it.  I covered it with the oxidizing iron paint according to the instructions.


paper from Lowe’s

I tore out a piece of cardstock that would fit aroung the bamboo painting


I used Seth Apter’s dies; Ring Around, Drip Drop and Robo Ring to die cut several pieces out of cardstock, and arranged them on the prepared surface.  I also used his now is the time stencil.  I found the blue plastic pieces at the pool I go to.  They’re pieces from broken up lane lines.


I next spayed the rust activator over the whole paper and let it sit until it rusted to the point I wanted.  I ended up with extra paper so I die-cut some more of Seth’s  shapes and arranged them on the work.  I also rusted some wooden embellishments and added them to the piece.



I ended up adding some of the cardstock pieces that had rust on them and also I stamped the cardstock pieces and around the edges of the work with Seth Apter Border Lines and Solar System stamps.  I also stamped around the piece with the Solar Stamps.  I loaded the border stamps with Archival Black ink and also with the white water soluable oil pastel.  I stamped a clear plastic strip and attached it over the bamboo paining with wire.  I also die-cut a clear piece of plastic with the Robo Ring die and glued it over the center of the bamboo.  I wrapped 26 gauge rusty wire around a plastic cup the same diameter as the Robo Ring and glue it inside the Robo Ring die-cut.


Following are some close-ups of the Rusty Page #1






For Rusty Page #2 I added some hemp woven ribbon to the collage.  I also added string on top of the bamboo with gel medium.  I covered the ribbon and the string with modeling paste and I covered all of this with a coat of matte gel medium.  I covered the bamboo with clear contact paper, and then I painted over the collage with the oxidizing metal paint and added the pieces I wanted to act as a resist when I sprayed over it all with Rust Activator.


After I sprayed over it with the activator, I let it rust until I was satisfied with the results.  I was happy with the way it looked and I really did very little to it after the rusting.  I just added a couple rusted embellishments and stamped around the outside with Seth’s Border Lines stamps.


Following are some close ups of Rusty Page #2




I sprayed over the rusty pages with Krylon Workable Fixatif 1306 to stop the rusting and to protect the other pages from getting stained by them.

March 5, 2017 at 9:41 pm 1 comment

Personal Journal Artifacts 2017

I’m starting to make a journal to participate in Seth Apter’s “Artifacts 2017”


Front of first page



Back of first page


I’m interested in making a book of my years of sumi and Chinese painting that I did.  I have a huge fascination with oriental art and I started to do Sumi painting several years ago to satiate my apetite for it.  I have a large compilation of practice paintings that I’ve done and I want to incorporate them in a combination art journal/sumi paintings book.

I want to find an old hard cover oriental book to make the journal book just like Seth did in his aricle “Inspiration Journal” (starting page 67) in the September/October 2016 issue 68 of “Cloth.Paper Scissors”  However, eveytime I find one I end up not destroying it because I want to keep it intact with the pictures inside.  Eventually, I will find one and then I’ll make the actual book cover.

For now I’m going to start on the pages.  I started by making a big collage of my cut up sumi paintings arranged with other papers and printed words.  I collaged eveything on a large sheet of freezer paper that I covered with gesso on  the back side.  Even though I covered it with gesso, this paper was so thin that it puckered and warped all over the place.  At first I was abhored with the results, but now I like the inconsistency of the papers and how they’re bent and warped.  I think because it goes against the oriental tradition of having everything so perfect and warp free.  There’s a nice tension going on there and I find it appealing.

After I collaged the big sheet I cut it up into smaller pieces.  The first piece I picked to alter futher is about 4 1/2″ X 9″  It’s not cut perfectly straight.  I wanted things to be slighly askew.  After so many years of having to be so pecise about everything, I’ve just let go..

Following is a photo of the first sheet.



Photo of first sheet

I added the word “forever” by using a “Litte Yellow Bicycle” die which I cut out of some contact paper.  I found that it didn’t cut through the contact paper too easily so I ran it through several times.  I then removed the back and stuck the word to the collage.  I then spread black acrylic paint (Deco Art Lamp Black DA067) over the word loosely.


First sheet with “forever” added

Then I took two strips of 3/4″ masking and attached them to the middle of the page about 3/8″ apart. I put matte gel medium (Liquitex) over the sticky part of the tape before I adhered it to the page because I knew I was going to put matte gel medium over the tape and I was afraid it might not work with just taping it down.


I then arranged some old adhesive cardstock letters the way I wanted them over the top and bottom layers of tape.


I removed the adhesive letters and put painters tape along the top and bottom edge of the first layer of masking tape (you can use masking tape here as well but it’s easier to see with the blue painters tape).I then stuck the letters one by one on the masking tape again and painted around them with various colors of acrylic paint.  Here you can see I did the first “A”.


I continued in this manner until I got all the letter outlined with acrylic paint on the first row of masking tape.


Then I repeated the process on the second row of masking tape.



Then I centered a 2″ wide piece of masking tape over the two rows of letters that I outlined with acrylic paint.  I adhered the masking tape in  place with matte gel medium like before an then painted over it with matte gel medium.


Then I adhered painters tape across the edge of the top and bottom of the 2″ piece of masking tape, adhered really big self adhesive card stock letters that I have and painted around them with various colors of acrylic paint.


I took a Dark Brown water soluable oil pastel (Prima Colour A La Cremes Water Soluable Oil Pastels) and I ran the tip of it over the edges of the masking tape to bring out the letters a little more and then I took a brush and smeared the pastel a little here and there.  I sprayed some Krylon 1311 Matte Finish over this area because I wanted to outline the “sumi” with a fine black marker and I knew the marker wouldn’t work over the oil pastel.  After the spray dried I outlined the “sumi” letters with the fine-line black marker.


The top of the page wasn’t resolved so I added a little dimension to the top of the page by spreading on a little flexible modeling paste (Liquitex) with a palette knife.  Then I added some strips of paper, a piece of dry wall tape, and a heart sticker from an old Christine Adolph Valentine paper collection around the sumi painting. Using a Magenta oil pastel I added color around the entire outside edge of the page.  I used a brush with water to spread out the color around the edge here and there.I then spryed over this area with Krylon 1311 to keep the edge from smudging further.


I cut out another large piece of a sumi painting to fit on the back of the page.


I turned the painting face side down on a craft mat and spread matte gel medium over the back.


Then I placed the opposite side of the page over the painting and pushed it down all over to get the painting to adhere to the page.  I pulled the page up and the painting was attached.  I tried to remove as many air bubbles as possible.  The bottom part is just a piece of newspaper that had stuck to the back of the collage, but I really liked the way it looked on the page.


Next I stamped some Chinese writing on the left side of the page to give it more interest and then I stamped over the Chinese writing with this stamp I made (explained below).  I painting over some of the stamping with gesso and reapplied the circle stamp here and there. I added my chop (stamp with my name on it in Chinese) on the bottom right.


Circle stamp made from used pop dot sheet

I made this circle stamp by spreading gesso over the sheet that pop dots came out of.  I had used all the pop dots, but I thought that the left over sheet with the circles missing would make an interesting stamp.  It’s about 1/8″ thick so it is easy to handle and quite sturdy.

January 22, 2017 at 3:42 pm 1 comment

12 Tags of 2016…September


Here we go again with another Tim Holtz blog post.  I find that taking a stab at the tags Tim offers us each month keeps my creative juices going. This one was particuarly fascinating with the alcohol ink resist technique using the Yupo paper.  I had never worked with Yupo before and it was really fun. What great techniques you can use with this stuff!  I plan on playing with it more in the future.  Anyway, following is my tag.





September 22, 2016 at 8:36 pm Leave a comment

12 Tags of 2016…July

I actually have a few of the products for this tag by Tim Holtz I wanted to get on it.  It turns out the stamp I have is different from the one Tim used though. His is Schoolhouse blue print CMS230 and mine is Blueprints 1 steampunk stamp set NIP HC001.  I stamped the globe and then the compass underneath it so that I could fill up the water color panel more fully.



I didn’t have the Distress Micro Glaze so I used gloss medium to act as resist over the globe and compass.  I worked pretty well but then it was really glossy so I sprayed over it with a matte spray finish.   I sewed the watercolor panel on with my machine.

July 4, 2016 at 9:19 pm Leave a comment

12 Tags of 2016 May

I’m getting my tag in for the Tim Holtz May 12 Tags of 2016 .  It uses the same crinkle paper technique as the last project posted except that I could just lay the tag on top of the crinkled, inked tissue paper.


Next I tore the paper off around the tag.


After it was dry I turned the tag around and filed the paper off around the sides.


Then I spay painted it and added ephemera for the finished tag.




May 31, 2016 at 8:27 pm Leave a comment

Fairy Canvas with Crinkle Paper Technique

I love using this crinkle  paper technique.   Originally it was a Chinese technique for adding texture and pattern to a painting and it was done on rice paper.  I started doing it on tissue paper and I like it better because I can get crisper crackling with the crinkles created on the tissue paper.


First I crinkleup the tissue paper.  I try to get as many crinkles in it as possible.


Next the tissue paper is flattened out a bit.  You don’t want to totally flatten it out because you want a lot of the crackled ridges to still be up.  This way they’ll be able to accept the ink better.


I like using the Tim Holtz Mini Ink Blending Tool and Distress Archival Ink to brush over the top of the crinkled tissue paper.  I load the ink (I used Black Soot) onto the ink blending tool by pouncing the tool with the foam pad again the ink palette.  It loads just enough ink to make a pass across the tissue paper and have the ridges of the folds pick up the pigment.  You don’t want to hesitate too much with the inking tool because if you stay too long in one place you’ll end up with a Black Soot circle on the tissue paper.  This isn’t something to be desired; although I don’t mind that occasionally there is a bit of a darker smudge in some areas.  I think this adds more contrast and interest to the pattern of crazing that is created.  I just brush the loaded mini ink pad with the tool lightly across the tissue paper. There’s usually enough ink on the tool to make one pass.  Then I load it with ink again and brush it across the crinkled tisse paper again.  I continue in this way until the entire paper is covered with crackling.


Here’s a closer look at the inked tissue paper.


I tore the tissue paper into two pieces and arranged them on the canvas until I liked the way it looked.  I marked the postion of the paper lightly wih a pencil.


Next I turned the tissue papers (one at  a time) wrong side down on a Ranger Non-Stick craft sheet and coated the back with matter gel medium.  I used a Tim Holtz Distress Collage brush to apply the gel medium.  I like the way the brush applies the gel medium smoothly and doesn’t tear the delicate tissue paper.


I next picked the tissue paper up off the craft sheet carefully and set it in place on the canvas.  I smoothed any wrinkles out of the tissue paper using a dry Distress Collage Brush.


I die cut some flourishes out of clear contact paper Using Sizzlits Decorative Flourishes Set dies.  I removed the back from the contace paper and adhered the flourishes to the top part of the tissue paper.


I cut strips out from some tracing paper and taped it around the tissue papers to prevent the spray paint from going over the edges of the tissue paper.IMG_2041

Next I sprayed over the tissue paper with Mister Hury’s color Mists; Sugar Plum and Deseert and Recollections Cricket and Glacier.  I let the spray paints dry and then I positioned a fairy from Kaisercraft Enchanted Garden Collectables on the canvas where I wanted it.  I decided the wings weren’t what I wanted.  I outlined them with white chalk on the canvas and then cut them off the fairy.IMG_2042.JPG


I placed them on tissue paper and outlined around them and cut them out.


I glued the fairy onto the canvas and then glued the wings back in place with matte gel medium.


I cut the lantern out of the fairy’s hand on the Bewitch paper P1220 from the same Enchanted Garden Collection and using the gel medium adhered it to the fairy’s hand.  I painted in the wings and the antennae, and added some light around the lantern and in the top right of the top of the tissue paper with Acryla Gouche using Titanium White, Light Green and Sky Blue.IMG_2049

I then glued on the two butterflies and the saying at the bottom.


May 1, 2016 at 1:30 am Leave a comment

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