Thursday, August 31, 2017

Beach Beauty Doll Accessories

Back on July 2, 2017, I started making some accessories for my Ella doll. Throughout July I continued making a few small things to go with her beach outfit.
I made her this Sea Turtle Shanty belt from a link of turtle charms by Blue Moon Beads.
Teal and old gold have always caught my eye, and these looked great with the colors of Ella's bathing suit. Originally I made the belt to go on Lagoona Blue, but found the colors worked better for Ella.
Later in the month I had some leftover bits of stretch cord from stone bracelet making. This gave me an idea to make very tiny bracelets for the dolls. 

I used tiny plastic beads and flowers from one of my bead bins, struggled a bit to tie the ends together, but managed. The easiest way to slip them on an Ever After High doll is to pop off their hands and slip on the bracelet. 

though the bracelets are made with stretch cord, I found they don't really stretch well over the splayed fingers of the dolls, so popping off the hands or arms of the dolls and slipping them on that way works best.
I've had a piece of pretty pink lace with a flower sequin edge in my trim bin for years. It seemed like the perfect thing to turn into a lacy scarf for the dolls, so I folded the ends and hand tacked them down to make it scarf worthy.
The final accessory I made was a shell bag, created from part of a garlic bag and a bit of chartreuse colored yo-yo string.
I made it a draw string bag with two handles, sewed the top edged down with a bit of white thread, then plopped in some painted baby shells.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Watercolor Palette Pictures

Back on March 21, 2017, I had taken a picture of this watercolor palette, finding interest in the colors and natural splat textures. 
I had been working on some watercolor backgrounds at the time, ran out of green on one of my pans,
so I borrowed this one. The colors are all my favorite combos, in shades of the elements.

Ideas relating to that subject remained in memory, and while I looked back on this photo today, I saw an opportunity to use parts of the picture as backgrounds for small sketches.
After some selecting and editing, I assembled the 8 block collection of watercolor palette backdrops.
It was then a matter of playing with the textures, so I sketched out little characters in each block to represent the elements. From top left to bottom right- Fire, water, air, ice, stone, and earth.

I did other things with these blocks which you can find on the post- Elemental Palette.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Shattered Sight-collage

(Shattered Sight- May 13, 2017-measures 5.5x 8.5'')

Scrap collage created in the dragonfly journal. I had bits of blue paper in different sharp shapes left on my desk after multiple other projects, and as I played with them I thought of glass, and also found some scraps that looked like an eye with upper eyelid.

I found some other pictures to go with the theme, used flier images, paper scraps, a bit of security envelop, stenciling and marker, black pen, all built upon a sheet of used printer paper.

The theme of this odd collage is meant to represent a sharp awakening to something truthful, or possibly a representation of insomnia and disturbance to noises in the night. It could also represent crusty eyes and eye pains (like an advertisement for eye drops).

Time To Snack Spider-collage

 (Time To Snack- May 13, 2017- measures 8.5 x 9 cm.)

Organic meets mechanical in this mini collage. The idea of a strange looking spider came from a flier scrap with circles cut out of it. The scrap was used as texture for other projects and is of a cell phone with the time showing. This is where the name came from.

I made this picture to use up little bits lying around, like a white strip of paper, a black block of something the spider thinks looks yummy, and super tiny light gray pieces of paper became the fangs.

Most of the picture was drawn using jell pens, and I added a bit of sparkly jell pen to the webs, but the scan doesn't pick up on sparkle well. The colors of the metallic pens used for the spider are also a lot brighter in real life, as shown below in a photo version.

Easter Island Jelly Bean Man-collage

(Easter Island Jelly Bean- May 13, 2017- measures 8.5 x 11'')

During my shuffling through flier scraps on the desk, I couldn't quite decide on what to do with a blue arrow I made and some excess squares of gray and yellow. After a bit of playing and rearranging, I found a face within the shapes and created a drooling tiki man.

A few backgrounds of water and Starburst Jelly beans matched the colors of the face, and this inspired a concept for Easter Island themed jelly beans.

I think it would be fun to have an island themed bag of jelly beans in all the tasty tropical flavors like coconut, pineapple, kiwi. dragon fruit, banana, jack fruit, and whatever else.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Weight Of the World-collage

(Weight of the World- May 11, 2017- measures around 14 x 22 cm.)

Scrap collage made on tan sketch paper, accented with Le Plume marker using a Tim Holtz splat stencil and fantasy lettering stencil. Other paper textures include some security envelope, scrapbook paper, and small selections of fliers and box packaging.

I was going for an oceanic, map sort of theme, the idea coming to mind because I saw a scale for weighing while playing with paper scraps, and wanted to put something round on it.

There's a bit of a pun within the message. The weight of the world can have a double meaning, but in literal terms, who knows how heavy the planet is. Atlas is the mythical god in Grecian stories who's said to hold the world. Atlas also sounds similar to the word alas. Basically, Atlas would know the weight of the world, but alas who knows how much of a burden it is to hold. :P

Scifi Fitness Center-collage

(Scifi Fitness Center-May 11, 2017- measures 8.5 x 11'')

Sometimes a random collage will form at the table when I just don't know what to make, but find images I like the look of when they're together. 

I wasn't sure at first where I was going with the textures and backgrounds, but I saw a window with a city outside, and imagined there to be some kind of indoor cavern with a lookout tower overseeing this large gymnasium room full of fitness equipment (hence the name).

I wanted to further display the idea that came from the collage, which was more so of a concept than anything. A sci-fi fitness center seemed pretty cool when I thought about, so I sketched out the place in a quick digital warm up. 

The floor is polished stone, the window shows a city and the water, and in the back there's a large window showing the indoor rock cavern where mountain climbing and other extreme sports can take place. All of it can be overseen by the security tower with it's look out room, platform, and holographic screens that occasionally show news or advertisements.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Eero and Andy- story inspired art

Apr. 14, 2017
Onto the developing artsy adventure between myself and a friend. This friend has written a few self published books, her first being called "Action Men With Silly Putty". I had started up a little writing experiment for the sake of brainstorming and a bit of fun, introducing the concept of collaborative writing in google DOCs. It's essentially a method of slow pace improvisation acting through text, something some would call online role play.
I'm very familiar with the subject, my friend on the other hand isn't, so we both had a bit of fun for a week or so, and finished the first half of the experiment shortly after midnight on April 1'st.

The project took place in her world, and I introduced some of my own characters into the setting. The first experiment was more so a joke that conveniently ended on April Fools. After what became the April Fools special, we started up something a bit different after that, and changed up a few things.

I can say that since then there's a lot that has happened in the story, and it's been developing into something of a mini story between my character Eero and her characters Andy and Jack. 
We've been connecting through joint writing, and we both have been thinking about each others characters; scheming, dreaming, sharing concepts and songs.
She even went ahead and made a private Pinterest board for the both of us to add pins to that inspire the story we're working on. That was something new to me, I never considered using Pinterest as a storyboard before.

Currently we're at a stage in this mini story where Eero was hired by Jack and Andy, and was given the job of painting the toy company walls. I had this concept where he's going to have an oops moment in the near future, and the guys are going to get splat with paint as they walk by. I made the concept image shown above to express what I see Eero doing with the mess on the wall. I've even been sketching out the image concepts of what Eero has and will be painting on the company walls of "Out of the Box Toys", one of many settings in my friend's fictional world which my character has had the pleasure of being part of.

I've been developing mystery and tension for the story, bringing my friend along for the ride while I introduce a down to earth version of my characters and villains made human. The adventure of E and Andy involves Eero (once Erozion) as a young greaser who meets Andy on a night he's caught speed painting a wall in the toy company Andy works at.
(E's Green Beat and Jade Jacket)
I had it planned to introduce some of my villain concepts into the story, only I gave them a different name and made them into a black market biker cult called the Jade Shoe. We have it planned for Andy to get captured by this gang who's after my character, and E will go to save him. He'll need a disguise, and I've gone ahead and made some fashion designs for E in the story, including the Jade Shoe hoodie design I see him wearing when he goes to save Andy.

Eero has his normal outfit with his blue jeans, green tank top, and biker boots. Then I went through design stages of punk clothes fit for a biker club with theme colors of green and black.
I've also thought about many interesting things, like how Eero will get injured when he goes to save Andy, and that means the guys will find out how much E hates hospitals. This concept has brought up the idea of how punk clothes can be used against the wearer, and how Andy and Jack may have to use Eero's own disguise against him in order to help him. 

Currently all those ideas are ifs and maybes of what could happen, assuming the project reaches that point. Like always, I'm simply inspired artistically by an experimental writing project.
The E and A story has inspired plenty of art ideas including small clips of E being silly, but there's also one thing which was mentioned at the beginning parts of the story. Eero was wearing a shirt with one of the company's toys on it, a design he made himself. That character was given a name by my friend. She decided to say it was a graphic T of Blaze, a character like Batman, but not.

I decided to take photos of G.I. Joe posing as reference for the sake of designing the Blaze T shirt to some degree of how I saw it in my head. My figurine will be a base model for this if I ever get around to actually playing with the idea. For now it's just a concept.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Tropical Lime Finches

(Tropical Lime Finches- Mar. 30, 2017- Measures around 24.5 x 17 cm.)

Materials: White card stock, stamped boarder, scraps of used grocery lists as background, birds created using scraps of a magic eraser box, fios ads, and marker/jell pen. Ground and nest created from scraps of fios ad.

I've been talking a lot about the collage pieces done using scraps of Magic Eraser box. Tropical Lime Finches is the final collage in the collection.

I sort of just found an idea within the shapes of some paper scraps.

Lime Finches are obviously imaginary birds.Though I called them finches, these birds aren't small, an adult female may stand 2 or 3 feet high. They have very large feet, decorative head feathers, and curved beaks.

They make their nests from stones and large twigs, building it on the earth, sand, or in rock crevices behind shrubs and large bushes within a tropical environment. This is a picture of female tending to her chick.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Flowered Sunrise and Toxic Mushrooms

(Flowered Sunrise-Mar. 24, 2017- Measures around 18.5 x 17 cm)

When I start a larger project, I end up getting scraps from a material which gives me extra ideas. "Flowered Sunsrise and the following green mushroom collages on watercolor were the beginning of a small collection of scrap pictures made from leftover bits of a magic eraser box and a few other flier papers.

These mini projects began after I completed two larger images you can see on the post- Lewa The Last Windbreaker.

I had taken a picture of the process for Flowered Sunset. Forgot to look at the picture as reference later during the gluing, but the set up turned out all right. 

Most of the elements of this picture were magic eraser box scraps, excluding the flower and butterfly, which were made from flier pieces and a bit of marker/pen detail.

I changed my mind about using the background shown in this photo, and created a new one with brighter green moss and the use of a Tim Holtz stencil for creating my sunbeams. 
The previous background was saved and used for one of the mushroom images shown below.
(Green Glow-Mar. 25, 2017 left- measures around 16.5 x 21.5 cm) (The Green Mushroom Toxic-Mar. 24, 2017 right- measure around 23.5 x 19.5 cm)

With the mushrooms made from magic eraser box scraps, I created the two images above, and gave them titles written in French for interest.
I used letter stenciling for the titles, (Vert Luer- "Green Glow"-left), and the other (Le Vert Champignon Toxique- "The Green Mushroom Toxic"- right).
Different mediums were used for these. The right one was given a watercolor background, stamped, and then accented with green marker and jell pen. 
The one on the left was placed onto black paper that I added pan pastel to for a soft glow. I really wanted to make them seem like cave mushrooms.
During the process I also discovered a way of making a fairly non toxic sealant for pastel work. I experimented with Elmer's glue mixed with dish soap and water, then tried the same thing using Liquitex varnish. To my surprise, it actually worked, though it kind of dries in an odd, dull sort of way. Regardless, I appreciate it as a simple sealant for the fact it has no odor, unlike the sealants that come in spray cans.
Only set back of using a homemade glue spritz in a small spritz bottle is that the water may cause your paper to slightly warp, and you have to keep up on cleaning the spray nozzle after every use to avoid clogging. 

Green Racer-Collage

Green Racer. Collage measures around 13.5x17 cm.

Made from a light blue watercolor background, scraps of magic eraser box, scraps of green headphones boxes, and parts of some Fios ads. Final touches were added using a stamp and black Staz-on ink.

The green racer started off as just a helmet design made from some scraps, then an idea to give him a bust popped in my head, and out of nowhere came a new character who could become part of an interesting story.

I thought about calling his motorcycle or race car the E-Razor (eraser). He drives so fast that he practically erases tire treads from the road.
The green racer may also be a character in disguise, possibly my character Erozion hiding his identity so he can race without his dad finding out just how many speeding violations he's made.

I would say this is one of my favorites in the collection of Magic Eraser box scrap collages. 

Friday, March 24, 2017

A Collection Of Ukrainian Eggs

Whimsical Chicken Egg

We've kept a collection of different Ukrainian eggs in white painted golf ball display cases over the years. Occasionally during certain months like in April or November, we've made different kinds of batiked eggs, each member in the family having their own unique style.

Today some of those eggs were transferred to a different display case, and I saw this as good moment to photograph them individually.

I haven't done very many eggs, and it's been years since I've tried it, but the ones I do have are distinctly whimsical. 

The chicken egg (made from a chicken egg) makes me laugh every time I look at it. I remember the day I made it, putting my heart into it, and then crying when the first one I was working on cracked from getting a slight bonk on the table, no more than an inch above the surface and still in my hand. I had to start the whole process over again (which isn't fun considering each egg can take up to ten hours or more to create). 

Anyway, I pushed on, loved the colors that peeked through as I melted off the wax, and laughed a lot when I emptied the yolk from the egg (the chicken looked like it was pooping). Originally I put an x where the chicken's butt was, then I realized an actual hole would end up there anyway.

Sometime in the future I hope to make chicks from quail eggs, and display the hen with her babies in a little nest.

Whimsical Fish Egg

I applied a similar style to my whimsical fish as I did my chicken, this time emptying the yolk from a hole in the mouth.

(Crayon Sea Line-left) (Coy Fish egg- right)

The Crayon Sea Line is a funny one. It was the very first egg I ever did. I can't quite remember how old I was, but I think I was maybe only 6 or 7. 

There are many eggs still in the display cases that I haven't taken pictures of, but I did get pictures of whatever was being moved from the case. Most of the egg displays shown in this post are designs done by my sister. I wanted to remember her work, so out came the camera.

The coy fish egg is the beginning of my sister's egg collection. I'm not sure what she calls each of the designs, so I named them just for fun.

(Tropical Reef egg-left) (Thorned Flower-right)

Each piece she's done over the years have had lots of detail and gradient colors. I've always liked the flower one.

Poppies In the Wheat

Poppies In the Wheat is actually another family member's egg. This is one of the more traditional designs from the Ukrainian egg book.

Danish Pastry egg

This egg reminds me of Danish pastries. The white is like a cheese, and the pink makes me think of strawberry jam. 

It's unfortunate that some of the eggs suffered damage during transfer. We used sticky tack to hold them in place within the case, but some stuck too well and the shell came off during removal.

Wine Finches

This egg may have been one of the earlier pieces my sister did, based more around traditional designs. It makes me think of white washed picket fences and grapes in the countryside.

Mushroom Kaleidoscope

Kaleidoscope eggs are always interesting, like looking at stained glass. 

Peacock eggs

There were two peacock eggs, and it was odd how the ink faded on one side for the upright peacock (left). One side remained dark blue, the other one became more purple after many years of exposure to the dining room lamp I guess.

Running Pheasant

The running pheasant kind of reminds me of something you'd see on a crazy quilt.

Partridge In A Pair Tree

Like in the Christmas song, my sister did a partridge in a pair tree egg. These eggs have been turned into Christmas tree ornaments before, so it would probably be a pretty funny series to make eggs for each object in the 12 Days of Christmas song.

Dragonfly egg

The dragonfly egg inspires ideas for an interesting quilt pattern, one with dragonflies that have sparkly wings.

Quilted Star egg

A lot of the eggs remind me of quilts, but this one also makes me think of an alien space ship, or some kind of pod if looked at overhead.

Dark Chocolate Mint egg

I love these three colors together, so naturally this egg makes me happy. It reminds me of Wizard of OZ, structured, yet delicate in detail. 
I'm also reminded of a tasty dark chocolate I once had, filled with white mint cream.