Monday, May 31, 2010

Outta Here . . .

Our little family is going on vacation . . .. We're taking an RV and exploring the California coast in search of Dinosaurs. Well, that's what Kendra expects. She has decided - at the ripe age of 4 - that she is going to be a palientologist. So, while making our way through The Sequoia National Park, Yosemite, Lake Tahoe, Napa (that one's for me), Big Sur and Solvang, we will be hunting for Dinosaur bones and all things related to them. Our last stop will be the LA Museum of Natural History to see their expansive Dinosaur exhibit. We'll be gone two weeks and although I will have my laptop with me, I'm not sure how often I will be able to access the Internet.

I'll be taking pictures and will post them here as often as I can. I even packed a little box of art supplies so that I can play whenever the mood strikes. Who knows, I may even try my luck at some Mixed Media Monday prompts if I have the ability to do so. So, wish me luck (if you guessed that I'm not really the camping kind of girl well, you would be correct) and happy hunting. I'll let you know if we make any major dinosaur discoveries along the way . . ..

Kristin xo 

Sunday, May 30, 2010

MMM: Personal Symbols

"Birds of a Feather"
Clip art images on Balsa wood 

This week's Mixed Media Monday prompt asks us to examine the personal symbols that reoccur in our artwork. I used this opportunity to review the things I've done over the last year, and noticed that I often use birds, wings and children's illustrations in my work. I also use imagery that tells the story of our coming together as a family, including our hope to add another child to the mix. In addition to presenting something that represents us (in this case, Kendra, our future child and me), I also used some of the supplies that I often turn to in order to create this new piece, "Birds of a Feather."

I recently created a Butterfly Reminder for The Artistic Mother's Group that is going through Shona Cole's new book of the same name. I still had some of the supplies on hand (and inspiration from Shona in mind) when I decided to create this piece from some clip art that I found from The Graphics Fairy. The original bird is black and white and was enhanced (along with it's reduced twin) with stamps, water-soluble oil pastels, glitter and Swarovski crystals. It was then backed on Balsa wood and strung (along with the cage that hangs on the bottom) with wire. Final touches included more Swarovski crystals (beads) and a piece of satin ribbon.

Thank you for looking! I look forward to seeing what everyone does this week. . .

Kristin xo

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Birthday Books

 Little Man

I've been busy this week working on two Birthday Books for my little friends Ashton and Camden.  I used to scrapbook all the time, but I've found that the more I get into mixed media, the less time I dedicate to scrapbooking. . . Having said that, I committed to doing a book for our Goddaughter Ashton each year for her birthday. I have done one every year since she was three. Then, a few years ago, she received a really special birthday gift: a little brother. Camden was born on the same day within the same hour, 7 years after her. Needless to say, I'm now doing two books every May. Here are a few pictures of what I'm giving them today . . .
8 x 8  Scrapbook
Dictionary pages and B & W clip art
Stamps, rub-ons and glitter
 All images from The Graphics Fairy

 7 x 6 Scrapbook covered in fabric
 Acrylic and charcoal
 Detail cuts (craft knife)
 Birthday babies

Kristin xo

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Thursday's Sneak Peek

More to Come

Project number 2 (of 4) that I'm working on this week. Will be revealed in it's entirety this Saturday . . .

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Wednesday's Sneak Peek

More to Come

Working on several projects this week. This is the start of one of them. Final results will be posted on Saturday. . .

Sunday, May 23, 2010

MMM: Marie Antionette

"Her Boudoir"
Altered Mirror

Marie Antionette is this week's prompt for Mixed Media Monday. I really (really) struggled with this one and did not know until today exactly how I was going to tackle the challenge. Visions of elegant cakes, blue feathers and over-the-top furnishings swam through my head. I wanted something glamorous and glittery and when I stumbled upon this black-and-white graphic of a bed worthy of a queen, I knew I had found what I was looking for. I decided to try and capture an intimate peek of Her Boudoir.

This was created on what was once an old family mirror. I finally managed to "steal" it from my Mom (after years of begging) a while back and shortly thereafter, broke the beautifully antiqued mirror that was it's centerpiece. Tail between my legs, I pulled the frame out of it's hiding place this morning and created this 5 x 7 piece in an attempt to win my Mother's forgiveness. . . Dramatic sigh . . .

I began by adhering some handmade background paper to a piece of balsa wood. I then added more bold color with acrylic and stamps and bubble wrap. All images are from The Graphics Fairy and were cut with Cutter Bee scissors and a craft knife. It was given a wash of Diamond Glaze (for a lacquer-like finish) before adding glass glitter to the bottom of the picture and a single Swarovski stone (surprise, surprise) to the top of the bed. Further embellishments were some gold thread, blue feathers (from one of Kendra's barrettes) and a Swarovski button. The last detail came in the form of a tea-dyed tag with a scripted M.

Thank you for looking! I'm eager to see what everyone did with this beautiful challenge. Oh, and Mom, this one's for you. Literally.

Kristin xo

Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Artistic Mother's Group

"Grady Joseph"
The Artistic Mother's Group: Project 6

Project 6 of The Artistic Mother's Group is to create a Nameplate out of a 6 x 8 canvas board, 4 x 6 landscape photo and handmade papers. This week I used a picture of Kendra's second cousin Grady Joseph. I tried to do something a bit more rustic and masculine (to match the subject) while at the same time keeping it pretty (for the recipient). 

The inspiration was taken directly from Shona Cole's  new book, The Artistic Mother. I created new handmade papers for this one and used a vintage dictionary entry (with word Grow) to keep it interesting. Other materials used were black acrylic, a text stamp (on the chipboard letter), wax crayons, wire, eyelets and a bit of black glitter. The coolest thing I learned today was that if I sprinkled a bit of glitter on the wet ink as it comes out of the printer, it sticks! A new discovery for me! Final touches included a smudge of acrylic on the hanging wire and a coat of archival varnish.

Thank you for looking! I am working on Kendra's version which I will post next week. . .

Kristin xo

P.S. Yeah! Spell check is back on blogger! Whew . . .

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Expect A Miracle

"If you're going to doubt something, doubt your limits."
- Don Ward

Sunday, May 16, 2010

MMM: Child's Play

"Preschool Collage"
12 x 16 Canvas Panel

This week's Mixed Media Monday challenge is to create a piece of art using the tools and techniques "that speak to your inner child." Not only did I love the excuse to play with some of my favorite supplies such as crayons and colored pencils, but I also used this opportunity to feature some of Kendra's preschool artwork. As you probably know, those little ones bring home a lot of stuff and although we have a wall in our home dedicated to her artwork, I wanted to do something more with some of my favorites . . .

I started with a 12 x 16 canvas which was covered in four panels (from a blank journal) that had been painted in bold colors and stamped (in relief). Next came more stamping, this time with black ink and various stamps, including the back of an eraser. I then lightly washed the whole piece with some watered-down paint before adding my collage elements from several pieces and copies of Kendra's artwork. Final touches came from smudged charcoal, crayon, pencils and plenty of glitter. It hangs from a satin ribbon and includes a few Swarovski crystal beads hung from wire on the top right.

Thank you for your time! I can't wait to see what all you kiddies did this week . . .

Kristin xo

Friday, May 14, 2010

The Artistic Mother's Group

Butterfly Reminder
The Artistic Mother's Group: Project 5

Project five of The Artistic Mother's Group is to create a Butterfly Reminder from a clipart image and balsa wood. The inspiration comes straight from Shona Cole's new book and is meant to serve as a reminder of what we hold dear. I choose to include the title, my gift, that I found in a vintage book of poems and hang it from the bottom of the butterfly's wings with a jewelry charm that I distressed and embellished with paint and Swarovski crystals.

The body of the butterfly was enhanced with gesso, a text stamp, water-soluble oil pastels, pencil, a photograph of Kendra (jumping on a trampoline), a crown sticker, matte gel medium, glitter and Swarovski crystals. The handle was created from wire and more Swarovski crystals, this time in the form of beads.

Thank you for looking! To create your own butterfly reminder, consider checking out all the beautiful images at The Graphics Fairy like I did. You'll love what they have to choose from!

Kristin xo

Sunday, May 9, 2010

MMM: Wedded Bliss

"Her looking at Him"
7 x 7 Chipboard Album Cover

I wanted to do something a little different for this week's Mixed Media Monday prompt, Wedded Bliss, and share with you the cover of an album I created for my husband on our last anniversary. Although the style is cleaner than what I would normally produce (no Swarovski crystals here), I tried to keep in mind that it was for him and create something that was simple and masculine. 

This album cover started life as a piece of 7 x7 chipboard that was first covered in gesso before being painted with several coats of white acrylic. I then used Claudine Hellmuth's peeling paint technique to create a distressed look on the top layer with black acrylic. Further distressing came in the form of sandpaper and my fingernails. A small black leather frame (intended to be used as a refrigerator magnet) with a picture of us on our wedding day served as the final touch.  

Thank you for looking! I look forward to seeing all your blissful pieces this week . . .

Kristin xo

Happy Mother's Day!

Kendra Ann, age 4

"The mother's heart is the child's classroom."
- Henry Ward Beecher  

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Expect A Miracle

"Kids in Action"
The Artistic Mother's Group

"The moment we move out of the way, we make room for a miracle to take place in our life."
- Anonymous

Sunday, May 2, 2010

MMM: Mother

"I am what I am"
6 x 8 Canvas Panel

I had a good friend at the house the other day and we got to talking about art. I laid out some of the pieces I've made over the last year and, while carefully looking at what she saw before her, she asked me a bold question: "Do you feel guilty about not being able to become pregnant?" Wow. And, yes. I wouldn't have thought so, but my answer came quickly.

I am acutely aware of how lucky we are to have our beautiful baby, and I am forever grateful that Kendra's birthmother trusted us to parent her, but now that we are hoping to adopt again, all of the "old" feelings of not being able to do this, or relying on someone else to do that, must bring it all up again. What I realized in that moment is that I am still holding on to a lot of guilt and fear. And I am sharing it with you because with this piece for Mixed Media Monday, I have decided to let that go. I know that we will have another child, even if I don't know how or when. And I have resolved to live more in the moment and celebrate the family I do have. I am the one who can not give birth. But I am also the one who was lucky enough to carry Kendra in my heart. We are all so lucky. I have finally given myself permission to just be. After all, "I am what I am."

This piece was created on a 6 x 8 canvas panel that was collaged with personal mementos of our adoption including a letter from my Mother-in-Law, a piece of my baby shower invitation and the stamp we created for her birth announcements. To this, I added a wash of acrylic, a charcoal outline representing myself and a heart (made from handmade papers) representing the part of me she came from.

Thank you for looking. And a big thank you to my friend for showing me the light . . .

Kristin xo