Sunday, January 31, 2010

This is my new favorite personalized gift to give. I made my first magnet board a little over a year ago, but really stepped up production a couple weeks ago. I hate giving people (especially kids) the same kinds of gifts everyone else does. I made the first one for my bff's mom, who is very hard to shop for! Additionally, these are super inexpensive to make and don't take to long if you're in a pinch!

They start as pizza pans from the dollar store. The ones I buy are 12 inches, but this includes the lip on the edges. I start by using alcohol ink to color the lip. It is important to do this first as it can be messy otherwise. I made a template for the patterned paper by putting a piece of paper over the pan and rubbing around it with an embossing stylus. I trace around my template and then cut the circle out of a pieces of 12 by 12 scrapbooking paper. I use a heavy coat of Mod Podge all over the pan to adhere the paper, and smooth it out with a brayer and my fingers. A few little wrinkles are okay, but I don't like bubbles - it makes it harder for magnets to stick. I add a thin layer of Mod Podge on top of the patterned paper, and then a thick layer around the edges to adhere the buttons. I originally put the buttons on to hide the edge of the patterned paper and it's worked very well to help hide flaws as well. Other embellishments would work as well, like gems or maybe even Prima flowers. I've done names or words on these boards, and mostly used letter stickers with another layer of Mod Podge on top. You can see my first attempt here. I'm on the fence about whether I like the coordinating magnets made from page pebbles better or clip magnets, also from the dollar store. These two are for some little friends who are brother and sister, so I used coordinating papers that I thought they might like, and that would match their kitchen.

I have lots going on this week, but I have three more transparency, post-industrial scenes that I really want to finish and post!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

One of the best things a scrapbooker can ever has is a crop group with members who really care about each other, and appreciate each other's artistic talents. I was very, very lucky to meet my friends Ellen and Stephanie this way. Even though our group disbanded, we have remained friends and just recently started scrapbooking together on a regular basis again. I am so happy to have this back in my life! We each have our own distinct style and I love how I could spot their pages in a crowd. I love how we're always ready to share with each other and introduce each other to new things. It's not easy to find good friends anyway, but to find friends who are also awesome scrappers is nearly a miracle! I love you guys!

I did this layout at Ellen's house last night - the first of many of Chloe's first Christmas!

Friday, January 15, 2010

I have three new paintings in progress this week. I loving working with these post-industrial landscapes - they are beautiful to me. I love to be outdoors in natural surroundings, but I find these scenes much more inspirational to me.

One day in November Ethan and I went for a walk with my camera and took a ton of shots down near the Parson's Paper fire site and in nearby neighborhoods. I use a Digital Canon Rebel. I've had it for about 5 years and it's pretty dinged up. It's been dropped, knocked over, parts have been replaced, but it has taken many thousands of photos and still works just fine. This was my first digital camera and I love the freedom.

This week I'm also excited about scrapbooking and doing more altered projects. My studio space has been super packed and disorganized for a long time, and I am finally finding my way back to the surface of my table. When I finally get it perfect, I am going to have an art party to celebrate.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

I am sooo excited that I finally opened my Etsy shop! I have been talking about it for a while and decided to just grab the paintings in my post-industrial landscape series and go for it. This is the painting I did for the Easthampton Plein Air competition. It was fun, but a bit of a challenge because the paintings had to be done outside, and there were heavy downpours most of the week. Luckily Esme was willing to brave it out and go with me almost every day when I got out of school. It was exciting to have my painting hanging at the Nashawannuck Gallery with so many other wonderful pieces. This was one of my first paintings inspired by Ludwig Bemelmans, one of my favorite artists and the creator of the Madeline series.

Friday, January 8, 2010

I made this plaque as a shower gift for my sister-in-law when my niece was born. It made from foam core board covered with patterned paper and then elements Mod Podged on top. The fairy is made from felt and patterned paper with buttons for hands and stamped wings with Distress Stickles added to them. The face is an old picture of my grandmother, Chloe's great-grandmother. The gift box is a Clementine crate decoupaged with coordinated patterned paper. I can't believe my beautiful niece is almost one year old!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

This is one of my favorite pages of Ethan and me. I did it with supplies I received during my month as a guest designer at Scrapperie, when they were a kit club. I took this photo on the street in Northampton. Scrapbooking is one of my favorite things to do!!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

I've been spending most of my free time the last couple weeks trying to get my studio organized. I use it for all my painting, scrapbooking, sewing, and otherwise crafty supplies, so it is QUITE full. I was lucky to have a friend over to help me redo it and make me feel less boxed in when I'm sitting at my table. Now I've hit the place where I just want to give up and just do some creative projects!! Enough organizing, I want to be painting or scrapping! So to give myself a lift I'm posting a painting I did of Ethan the week of Christmas on my new easel. I have been trying to develop my own style of portraits so I'm doing some smaller sizes for practice. Soon I hope to get into these lovely bigger canvases I've been saving.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Happy New Year! I have many resolutions this year, but my biggest ones are to make more art, and to invite more people to my home to make art with me. I love seeing other people work and getting inspiration from my friends.
Toward the end of 2009 I really enjoyed taking classes with Donna Estabrooks and hope to continue. I'd like to take some other kinds of classes too, especially printmaking. The piece above is a picture of Donna I did during one of her classes. It's a mix of drawing with oil pastels, painting with acrylics, and collaging. It is one of the first abstract portraits I ever did and very fun.