Friday, November 19, 2010

New home for my mixed media

Ah the holiday season is definitely here. We've been having a houseful of guests since last week and it's been busy, busy, busy ... a good kind of busy. However with that there's little creative time.

My parents were here until last Wednesday, which was very exciting. Last time they were here was for Alex's birth. Gosh, time flies by. Alex's 4th Birthday is coming soon.

My Mom loved the way I have started to decorated the house and she LOVED my first mixed media painting that I hung on the entryway wall. Remember this?


So I gave it to her.

I always thought that I'd be really happy when I sell my first painting/mixed media/creative item, because that would be a huge milestone for me. A sign that I have created something so beautiful, someone else is actually willing to pay for it. But when my Mom looked at it and really appreciated it and even called my Dad to see what I have created, I felt that happiness that I thought I would have if I had my first sale. It really meant a lot to me, because let's face it, my Mom comes from a really creative and talented family. Plus she is really picky!

So now it has a new home :)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Halloween craft with young kids

Ah, I love October. I love the color of the pumpkins and all the festivities associated with fall. I wish I could enjoy the changing of the leaves, too. But maybe there'll be some colors left when we visit NYC at the end of the month.

This year my kids wanted to decorate for Halloween. In the past I have saved all of my "holiday crafts" energy for Thanksgiving and Christmas. But I guess my kids are getting bigger and noticing all the fun decorations around the neighborhoods and shops. So they have requested that we, too, do something about Halloween (other than dressing up for it).

I bought some decorations from Party City and Target, including the pumpkin lights that you have seen in my earlier post. For a Halloween craft we decided to make a fun banner. I cut out shapes and let the kids stick Halloween foam stickers (purchased from Target) on them. Then we strung them and hung them in the living room.

And oila!





That easy :-)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A little blurry obsession

While at a pumpkin patch recently, I waved my camera at a few pumpkins. I kept the shutter speed open a bit in hopes to find a happy accident: perhaps a blurry patch of orange? Alas all I saw was white. If I were by myself, I would have played with the shutter speed. But I had to keep up with two children who were super happy that they were out and about.

I forgot all about my little experiment until I uploaded my photos today. And guess what, my pumpkin photo wasn't white at all. I could see a lovely hint of orange and pink. I decided to darken it in Photoshop and this is what I got:


I'm in love. There's something about the colors and the light swirls.
I really wanted to wave the camera at something else. But it's night time and the kids are in bed. So I decided to go on a WWW trip. I went around the world and had a blast.










These beauties are going to be backgrounds for something.
For what? Uhm ... not sure. For something I'm sure :)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

I love photography!

Lately I'm too busy taking care of little ones, keeping up with housework and catching up with my e-course. I've had no time for my photography. Well, other than to preserve various moments of my kids childhoods. Even those are often quick snapshots, because 5 other things are waiting to be done at the same time.

I'm so glad that my e-course calls for a bit of creative photography this week. It's not about the technically perfect shot, but the shot that moves your emotion in funny ways.

Here I photographed a string of pumpkin lights by moving my camera in various ways.




It gives these (cheap) pumpkins a bit of personality, does it not?

This makes me want to do "A photo a day" blog. Ah, can I really handles this? ;)

Collaging

In the past week I have worked on my collages. I really enjoy collaging. But I'm not so crazy about the smell of Mod Podge. My E-course teacher suggested PVA glue. I must try that.

The first collage is really a deconstruction and reconstruction of my favorite pages of the latest Anthropologie catalog. If I could have any studio, it would look like this. It would have old world charm. It would have deep colored walls and lots of decorative details around arches, doors, windows, trim and pillars. It would have big open spaces and lots of natural light coming in.


This second piece is an abstract piece. I love how abstract pieces leave me feeling free and satisfied.
I worked on the above piece for a week, arranging and rearranging over and over again. I started to feel a tiny bit anxious towards the end. Maybe it was the fear of making a mistake. I loved the pictures so much, I was very attached to the outcome.

For the second piece, I tried to have a more "where ever it falls, it stays" attitude. I rearranged it a couple of times, but I didn't obsess over it. I was done in 30 minutes.


I'm asking myself, do I love the second one less because I spend less time creating it?
Welllll, I do prefer the first, because of all the details - it's eye candy. But the second one is all mine (except for the black swirls I guess, I used a Cricut to cut it), I painted the decorative papers. So there is a kind of satisfaction in that. 

I suppose both pieces are just different. Why compare? Just enjoy! :)

Monday, October 11, 2010

more flowers

A while ago I made flowers and I loved them so, I said I would make more.
Well, I did a few with a polyester fabric that is bright and wild. They turned out even better than my first ones. and they adorned a few of my bottles in the kitchen. But slowly they have been leaving as I let my kids give them away for a friend's recital and such. These last 2 have gone to our teachers' Birthdays.


Time to make more :)

Saturday, October 9, 2010

My little city

I love old city charm. I tried to capture a bit of the romance and mystery and history of an old town - invented  by my brain - in a little mixed media painting.

Materials: Acrylics, decorative papers, wax paper (clouds), aluminium foil (sun),
sequins, glitter glue, crystal stickers, wire.

I particularly love how the clouds and the balcony turned out. 
I wish the buildings popped out a bit more. Maybe I need to use cardboard or do a bit of shading.
I'll try it again another time!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Little pieces of art

Another week of Experimental Art course. I'm loving it tremendously!
I'm a little bit behind on the assignments ... but I hope to rectify that soon ...

Below I used photography work found in an old Popular Photography magazine and transfered tracings of fairies/people from a promotional calendar I found in Indonesia. I colored the creatures with Sharpie pens.


The above photograph is by Guy Rogers. Unfortunately for the one below I can't find the photographer's information. I have been cutting out photos/ads/etc from magazines, mainly for inspiration. And I usually keep the creator's information, too. So I'm really sorry to the person who took this gorgeous photograph.


I hope I'm not violating copyright laws ...
Please know, this project was created for my personal exploration and to fulfill a fun assignment for my e-course. 

Friday, October 1, 2010

Painting as relaxation therapy

I love painting abstract pieces. It is perfect relaxation therapy! It's great to create without trying to produce something specific. There is no stress that things are not turning out the way I had it in my mind. I never know how it's going to end up even if I use the same materials and colors. And it's always fun to find "something" or "some story" in those paintings afterwards.





The above paintings were done with my fingers/hands only - no brushes or other tools. So I thought it would be great to do with my kids, too! I find it hilarious that my usually messy kids carefully dipped their fingers into the paint and ran to the bucket of water, which I provided for hand washing, every 20 seconds!




Life is funny that way.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Time flies

Oops, has it really been this long since I posted last?
I have been creating, I really have ... but most of it is half done. So I promised myself, no more unfinished projects. This week it's going to be all about completing what I have already started!

Last night I finished my Grandmothers 100 day bookmarks. October 7 marks 100 days since my Grandmother has passed away. In my family we have special prayers at 7 days, 40 days, 100 days, 1 year, 2 year and 3 year anniversaries. Most often, and in my Grandmother's case, close family and friends will be invited. My Grandmother lived and passed away in Indonesia. I won't be there for this event. So I thought it would be nice to take part in this little event anyway by creating a little souvenir for those who do come.

I created little bookmarks. On the front is my grandmother's photo with a quote printed with the Gocco; on the back is a quote by Helen Keller with a bird cut with the Cricut. I used different kinds of paper, merely for my own entertainment.


Today I finished up one of my assignments from my e-course. I sandwiched sequins, lace and decorative paper between two pieces of tissue papers. Then I cut the edges with different punches. I've been wanting to draw something on top of it for days ... actually more than a week. But nothing came to me. Plus I started to love my little pink creation and didn't want to mess it up.

Today I thought: now or never. I took a chocolate colored sharpie ... I still couldn't get myself to draw anything, but while I was looking for quotes for my grandmother's bookmark, I came upon a quote by Marcel Proust. So I wrote that, doodled a little to define my writing space and oila:

In real life it doesn't look whitish on the top. I think it's the Mod Podge reflecting the natural light. I didn't have time to play in Photoshop too much, so this will do.

I still have so many more projects and assignments to finish ... and then .... well, it's Halloween, Thanksgiving, my son's Birthday and Christmas time! 

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Continuing to experiment

I'm continuing to have fun in my art e-course. It's great to create and not feel like it has to result in anything specific. This time all I did was just splat color on paper ... well, more or less ...

I chose watercolor as a medium. Then I brushed and splatted and blew paint through a straw and spritzed with a spray bottle filled with paint. In some cases I used a stencil and added some decoration with a white gel pen or wrote using black archival ink.







Below I actually splashed paint on a baking tray, then gently laid the paper over it. After the paint dried, I drew with a white gel pen to lighten up the painting a bit.



I could create more and more ... but oops, the next assignment has been posted. Another fun one!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

My first E-course

A couple of days ago I started my very first e-course, called Experimental Art. It's taught by the talented Amelia Critchlow - whose collages I love. 


I am so happy that I found this course.  Amelia's instructions are inspiring and her assignments so far are projects that I can finish in one sitting (I have enough projects that I haven't finished!) And now, when I tell Jasmine that she has to sit down to do her homework, I sit next to her and do my own "homework". She thinks it's funny. It works for me!

charcoal

archival black ink

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Knitting

Just something else I have started: knitting!



This is going to be Alex's scarf. And when all goes well, I'll be knitting a matching scarf for Fluffy - a Build-A-Bear puppy who usually sports a Buzz Lightyear outfit.

I was going to knit an interesting pattern ... but lo and behold, I can't find my one and only knitting book. I'm not too worried though. The yarn has a beautiful texture and looks lovely all by itself.

By the way, does this scarf look a bit girly? Sometimes when I look at it I think I need to reconsider who this should go to. But then, Alex keeps putting it around his neck to check if it's long enough yet, and I don't have the heart to tell him that I will make him another one ...

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Blog obsession - boy hats

My obsession with blogs has taken me to IamMommaHearMeRoar's blog recently. On that particular day Cheri was showing how to upcycle old T-Shirts into boy hats. Her samples (and her boys) are super cute and the tutorial is real easy to follow.

Since I have been crocheting a scarf for Jasmine, Alex has been constantly asking: Are you making one for me? Which I suppose I will. I just had to try and make one of these hats first!

I upcycled some of Alex's baby clothes and a couple of hubby's T-Shirts. And oila ....

It's still too big ... but gosh, how cute is that?!!
And it was so easy, I'm ready to make another one :)
Thank you Cheri!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Labor Day weekend

What did I do over the weekend? Our family drove to Bear Valley - a 3 hour trip - to spend the weekend with great friends who have a cabin up there. I love Bear Valley. I love our friends! And I love my hubby's and kids' enthusiasm every time we go to Bear Valley.

The 3 hour trip up though ... not so much. It's actually not bad. But the first time we went up there, I was driving, and it was snowing and it was dark early just when the road started to wind a lot. I guess that first impression is always there somewhere in my subconscious. So whenever we go, I drag my feet a bit.

This time I decided I will do something productive (besides reading and entertaining my kids). I packed up my crocheting needle, a book and lots of yarn. The last time I crocheted was 5 years ago. I was never really good at it. I never finished anything big. All I did was crochet a few flowers for my baby's socks.

Well, after a weekend of crocheting, I must say ... I love crochet. It's very relaxing. I still don't like to make big pieces, because my stitches are not very even, so nothing ever stays straight. My favorite to crochet: borders!



The borders will be worked into some kind of scarf eventually. Not sure what or for whom yet.

But this scarf I made for my 5-year old - who desperately tried to learn to crochet. 


A couple more borders and then it will be done :-)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Silhouettes

In the past week I have been working on this: my children's silhouettes. I photographed their profiles, printed and cut them out, then transferred them onto black card board. I stuck the silhouettes onto some pretty paper and decorated them with flowery stickers, borders and descriptive words.




I hung the silhouettes in my dining room together with my hibiscus series of photos. The photos were taken 8-10 years ago and is a collection that was taken in various locations ... Orlando, Grand Cayman, St John. Ahhh, memories!

PS. Thank you to the link parties on the right, for letting me share what I make!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

More journalling

The Anthropologie catalog came and I was inspired to journal. I planned on cleaning, organizing and getting rid of my junk, so I can actually start finding things. But what can a gal do when her head is full of inspiration?Journal. And that's what I did!




A few more pages for future journalling:






Note: The last page contains a picture from a catalog called Frontgate, I believe.

Oh and a couple of weeks ago, I went to a scrapbook expo. It was great fun to see new products and I totally love the scrapbook outlets and dollar shops! Every year though I let myself splurge in one of the regular, full-priced shops. This year Tattered Angels was the lucky shop. They sell glimmer mists in all kinds of colors. 

I was truly inspired by the lady who demoed the mist by spraying and wiping and spraying and wiping a piece of crumpled paper with various glimmer mists. I thought what is she making? But whatever she was making created a beautiful effect. And so $90 later .... here are a couple of journalling pages:
(the cost also included beautiful chipboards which I am saving for something special.)




Like my daughter said, it's quite messy business. Fortunately I worked in the balcony. But more importantly, it was FUN!