Wednesday, July 23, 2014

I'm on Facebook!

I finally took the plunge... directly into Facebook. 

I have had Facebook for years, but haven't been active in about a year.  Drama!  Drama!  Drama!  Haven't we all experienced this?  It has made me rather dubious and disillusioned of Facebook.

However, I am making some really awesome friends in the art world, through this blog and other social media, and decided that I would dip my toe back into the facebook world.

I have created a page just for Charming Clover Studios, and would love it if y'all  would stop by and say hi!

I hope to see y'all there!

Monday, July 21, 2014

ATCs - from Two to Twenty

Work this weekend was something of a small disaster.  They moved a server or something and knocked our cameras, computers, internet, and *gasp* even our phones out!  And that was just Friday.  Everything came back up just after I left.  Saturday was ok until just before I left.  Everything went out again!!!  I went in to the office early Sunday morning and it was still out.  Finally, late Sunday morning, everything came back up.  Thank goodness!  I hope next weekend is better than this last. 

Since everything was out, it give me a lot of time be creative!

I started out making 2 ATCs and I loved how they turned out so much that I kept going!  I made a whole series of 20!  I just couldn't help myself.


Even my Mom liked them so much that she asked for one!  Which totally made my day!

These are all for trade (except #1 - Mom got that one) if anyone is interested!  Send me an e-mail or drop a comment in the box!

Oh!  Saturday night after I got home, I finally got my package!  I'd ordered a stamp set specifically for one stamp (though I know I'll use the others a lot!) so I could finish my Alphabet ATCs for a swap. 

I needed a skeleton and this set gave me the option for two!  Yay.  I love Tim Holtz's stamps. 

I'm dropping off my Alphabet and Art ATCs in the mail tomorrow.  Hopefully I'll be able to show y'all those soon!

Does anyone remember the tv show "Are You Being Served?" put on by the BBC?  I used to watch it on PBS as a kid and I can remember it being so funny!  Of course, it's so much funnier now because I actually get all of the jokes.  I was talking about it with a co-worker the other day and I've started back watching it.  Thanks YouTube!  I'm nearly done with the entire series. 

Well y'all, I'm off to watch another episode or two and then take my sleepy self to bed.  Have a great night!


Friday, July 18, 2014

Love You - a Mixed Media Canvas

Better late than never, right?

This little canvas should have been done last week for the Summer of Color Week 5.  I never managed to find the time.  But thankfully I did find the time this week!  

The color prompts were:  Red, Royal Blue, with a Smudge, Splash, or Pop of Light Blue!

To be honest, there was another reason I didn't get this done on time.  I really wasn't all that inspired.  Well, I was... and I wasn't.  These colors scream Fourth of July and while there is absolutely nothing wrong with the Fourth of July (it's my half birthday after all!), or Fourth related art, I really just didn't want to do something that blatantly obvious.  So I was waiting until inspiration struck me.

I'd been cruising around Pinterest (one of my favorite time-wasting {*cough* I mean, inspiration gathering expedition}), and admiring the work of the very talented Juliette Crane.  I adore her owls.  And I love love love owls.  Always have.  I marveled at her style and decided I'd see if I could incorporate some of her techniques.

Now, I admit... I cheated a little.  Ok!  Ok!  I cheated a lot and turned the whole thing around!  My painting turned out to be more of a Light Blue and Red with a Pop of Royal (and dark) Blue.  But in my defense, my background didn't turn out quite as dark as I thought it would.  But it was too pretty to start over.  And I was on a roll.  And had peace, quiet, and a running camera!

Anyway, with a nod to Ms. Crane, I give you Love You....

 Again, this was a total excuse to buy more supplies.  I'm fast becoming addicted to the Distress Paints (like no one saw this coming!).  Although, I'm mighty pleased with myself because I limited to myself to buying only 3 new paints for this project (Barn Door, Salty Ocean, & Broken China - Red, Blue, & a lighter Blue).

Of course, I have lots of close ups...

Created with flickr slideshow.

A word to the wise...

I did apply a Workable Fixative to the canvas after finishing the background.  I was hoping that this would seal the water-reactive Dylusions and Distress.  It did to a huge extent.  However!
Using Matte Medium which is extremely fluid, as an adhesive does reactivate Dylusions and Distress.  By my second heart, I switched to Golden Heavy Gel Medium (because I still haven't bought any new Soft Gel).  This worked like a dream.  It didn't reactivate the Dylusions and Distress at all.

I could apply anything I wanted to over the background except Matte Medium (and water - my brush was wet and a drop got on the canvas and you can see it).  Use a Gel Medium over a fixative over Dylusions and Distress.  Just to let you know.

I did mention that I had a rolling camera, didn't I?  Well I did!  So of course, there's a video...

I did use a pre-gesso'd canvas.  So why did I start the video by applying gesso?  Well, because I was trying a new technique that didn't work out quite as planned.

The technique is: you stamp into wet gesso to give your backgrounds a little more texture.  I'm not sure if I used stamps that were too shallow, or what, because while you could vaguely see them in the gesso once it dried, by the time I applied the Dylusions Ink Spray, they had totally disappeared.  I'll experiment some more and get back to y'all on this technique.  Or if any one has tried it, leave me a comment - I'd love to see if anyone's had success with this!

Here's another little tip for y'all...

Watery Media doesn't work well over acrylics.  It's painting 101 and we do know it.  I did try to use an Inktense pencil (just to see - because that's what you do when you paint - you experiment and try things).  It worked, but didn't show up as well as it would have on paper - or at least not on acrylic (or oils!  Remember, water and oil do NOT mix!).

There is, however, a solution.  There are Watercolor Grounds on the market.  I have a jar by Daniel Smith that I have yet to try.  I've seen it used on a YouTube video by the artist Wyanne and she used it to great effect.  I'll have to give it a go one of these days and report back to y'all.

Oh yeah, here's the Materials List for my little canvas:

Wow!  Looking at that list, it looks like I used a whole bunch of stuff!  Really, it was just a lot of different paint!

Well, y'all, that's all I've got for today.  I'm quite proud of myself - I managed 2 blog posts and 2 videos this week!  And now I have 2 super cute canvases to find wall space for.  I really am running out of space.  Going to have to find a solution for that!  Like maybe sell something!  Ha!

Oh, by the way, since this is my official last post for Summer of Color, I want to take a moment and thank Kristin oh so much for hosting this fantastic event!  It was so much fun and I loved every minute of it!  I have seen some fantastic art in a huge array of media and met some truly wonderful people.  I will definitely be back next year!

Y'all have a great day and take care!  I'll be back next week with some more ATCs!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Embrace Imperfection - a Mixed Media Canvas

Week 6 of Summer of Color is upon us.  This is the last week and  I have to say how much I have enjoyed participating in this event.  It has pushed my boundaries, made me use colors I normally wouldn't choose, and gave me an excuse to buy more supplies and try them all out!

This week's color prompts were: Raspberry, Tangerine, and a Smudge, Splash, or Pop of Lemon

I broke out another canvas for this project, and this is what I came up with:

I have to admit that I love these colors.  Between the Dylusions Ink Sprays & Distress Inks, I have played with this color combination before.  I'm usually more of a cool color gal, but I've been working on breaking out of that particular comfort zone.  And I'm thrilled with the outcome!

Of course I have a slide show of stills...

Created with flickr slideshow.

And look at me go... I even managed a video!  I didn't realize how short of a video it was going to be until I got to the last frame during editing.  Certainly shorter than my usual 20 minute videos!

I hope you enjoy watching my process!

See, I told you it was short!  Under 6 minutes!!!  Who would've thunkit?

I really really enjoyed this little canvas!  And I'm going to be using another one for my next project - my late (I just couldn't find the time) Summer of Color Week 5 piece.  Hopefully I'll have some time tonight after the baby goes to bed to be able to get that one done.

Until next time y'all!  Laters!

Friday, July 11, 2014

ATCs Coming from my Ears!

For the past several weeks, I have been diligently turning out ATCs for several swaps I've been invited to join, as well as quite a few others.  And I must say, it has been keeping me extremely busy.  Today, I wanted to share some of those ATCs.

There are a ton of ATCs I can't share with y'all just yet, as the swaps aren't quite complete.  I've really enjoyed doing these cards though.  It's been very interesting trying to work on such a small scale, and I have to admit, for me at least, it's not easy.

Besides scale, another factor (of not making things easy), is my youngest daughter.  She's 16 months and very curious and has become very clingy.  If you've ever had a dog, you know when they want attention and you're at a table or computer and they shove their head under your arm?  My daughter does that!  And not only does she want to grab things, she just wants to have all my attention to herself!  It makes it very hard to get anything done!  She has also stopped taking naps.  I used to be able to sit down in the afternoons while she was napping and bang out an art journal page or something.  But now, I don't have that time.  It means I sleep a lot less.  Not that I ever slept all that much anyway (thank you insomnia).

Anyway, that's all I've got for now.  Hopefully I'll be able to get my Summer of Color piece done while at work tonight/tomorrow as I haven't had a lick of time this week.

Laters y'all! 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Follow Your Dreams Video Tutorial

After three (yes, folks 3!!!) crashes from Movie Maker during the editing process, I have finally gotten this video edited and uploaded.

I hope y'all enjoy!

I'll see y'all again soon.  Laters!

Friday, July 4, 2014

Follow Your Dreams - an Art Journal Page

Finally!  I was finally able to carve out some time to actually get an art journal page done.  I've been making ATCs like crazy though!

This week's Summer of Color prompt was: Pink, Apple Green, with a smudge, splash, or pop of Dark Green.

I'd been eying the Distress Paint in Spun Sugar for a while, so I went back (yes, I did.  I went back.  Can you believe it?  I can't.  Man oh, man I'm going to have to go to so many meetings for this one!) to the art store to pick it (and a few other things) up.  I'd seen the amazing blog post Layering with Happy Colors by Paula Cheney and I just loved how it turned out.  Of course, somewhere along the lines I got my wires crossed and I thought she used Spun Sugar when in reality she used Worn Lipstick.  Oh well - that will just have to be another trip.  (Bad Brenda!  Somebody STOP me!!!)

So, anyway, with Spun Sugar in hand, I set to work.  I have to confess, after I got finished I wanted nothing more than a huge sugary pink and green cupcake!  That spun sugar is sooo pretty!  And because it was very very pastel, I decided to try something a little different.  Something out of my comfort zone.  In case you're unfamiliar with my portfolio, my usual work is loud, bright, messy, bold, and in your face.  Usually.  I love using paint straight from the tube with its full vibrancy and strength on display for all the world to see.  But, this Spun Sugar just isn't.  But still, I do love it!  I'd also managed to snag a bottle of Mowed Lawn Distress Paint.  Bingo!  Pink and Apple Green.  With a little Peeled Paint Distress Ink and Hookers Green tossed in, I was covered on greens.  Worn Lipstick and Victorian Velvet Distress Ink and I was totally covered on pinks.

I even got to use a few of my new stencils!  I wanted something light and ethereal.  And I really am very pleased with how this turned out.  Simple, yet full of layers and layers.  I'm happy!

Click through the slideshow below to see closeups of the page!

Created with flickr slideshow.

Why yes I did!  I even managed to shoot a video while I was at it!  But here's the fun part... Movie Maker crashed as I was thisclose to finishing the editing.  Yep.  Gotta love it.  I have to sleep so I'm not putting myself through this again tonight.  I'll try to get back to editing sometime this weekend, but it'll probably be Monday before it's uploaded.  Sorry y'all!

I've got to start reminding myself to add Ink Blending Tool to this list!

After that humongous painting I did last week, I ran out of Soft Gel Medium.  I use that stuff for all of my collage (unless they're super heavy or bulky - then I opt for the Heavy Gel Medium).  But I ran out!  I've seen a bunch of folks using Multi Medium and Matte Medium.  So I figured, why not.  It's a good excuse to use a new art supply.  (Like I NEED an excuse!!!)  I picked up a bottle of Liquitex Matte Medium and I have to say... I LOVE this stuff.  It's super fluid which makes spreading super easy, and it's not as "gummy" (because it's fluid) as soft gel medium.  I have also found that Distress Ink and Stains go over it a lot easier than they do the soft gel medium.  The bottle I picked up is the medium size (16 oz) and I got it for $24 (less a 40% off coupon - you do the math).  I have a feeling it's going to last me a fair little while - although, at the rate I'm going... maybe not!  But I do like working with it.  I haven't used it as anything other than an adhesive for collage but supposedly, it'll thin your paint and all sorts of stuff.  I'll let you know what my reviews are of it after I've given it a full test run.  There is one more point I'd like to make about this stuff though - it is SUPER sticky!  Once it gets on your fingers, your fingers will be sticky through several (I mean it - like several several!) hand washes.  You will get fingerprints and be stuck to your projects.  But if you can deal with that - then ok!  (I can deal with it)

I'm hoping (like cross my fingers, toes, eyes, and ears while I'm at it) to be finished with this next batch of ATCs this weekend.  The deadline for one isn't until the 15th and the other batch is due August 1st so I won't be able to post pics of them just yet.  But I'm sure I can find something to show y'all before then!

Y'all have a most happy 4th of July!  Laters.

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