Friday, June 24, 2011

Doodling on Rocks

This craft reminds me of beach-lazy days of summer, and it's so easy and fun, I thought I'd pass it on. Take some beautiful rocks collected from the beach, give them a quick spritz with white spray paint, and use a thin Sharpy marker to do your doodles.  For my daughter's birthday, I left some spray painted river rocks and a marker out on the table for her friends to write on, and now she has a pretty plateful of messages and doodles as memories of her special day.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Encaustic Playdate results in Waxy layers of Whimsy

When you were a child,  you called your friend to arrange an immediate playdate and fun was ensuing within the hour.  As an adult, I find my friends to be as busy as I am, and sometimes our playdates are made weeks, even months in advance.  This is the case with my friend Pat with whom I first played with encaustic medium.  I went over to her house, and we watched a "how to" video on encaustic, laughing at the presenter's obvious need for getting things exact and keeping things clean.  It was hilarious, as one of the things Pat and I have in common is a fearlessness in getting down and dirty in our artwork.  The video, however, gave us the push and inspiration we needed to get to work on our new piece. This latest artwork is much larger and I was much more confident and relaxed in making it.  I layered the pattern papers, self-made watercolor paper and homemade flower paper on the canvas, spreading wax on as I went.  This time, I finally felt I was master of the heat gun in making the wax flow!  Stay tuned as I learn to improve my technique with this waxy medium!

Friday, June 17, 2011

"Yarn Bombing" is my kind of creative statement!

I'm always on the lookout for ideas for art projects, and although I've never really taken to knitting, I am now scheming to try this "yarn bombing" idea. Very "Christo" like.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Creating Jewelry with Silver Metal Clay - Kath's Daily Bling Fix

Up to the time I moved to the U.S. and had kids, I loved metal-smithing.  It gave me a creative outlet as well as allowed me to make jewelry quickly and often.  I admit I wore far more than I sold, but I have always loved creating my own silver jewelry.  Recently, my friend Pat introduced me to silver metal clay which allowed me once more to create silver jewelry a different way.  Silver metal clay reminds me of a gray Fimo or Sculpey dough, but it's really silver grounds mixed with an organic binder and it's sooo easy to work with.  I just rolled out a small bit, stamped it and shaped it into whatever I wanted.  After that, it's fired overnight and tumbled to make it shiny, and ready to wear within 24 hours!  Here are two pieces I made earlier in the week: one is a pair of triangular earrings I stamped with a bubble-shaped texture, then cut and dried over a folded piece of cardboard.  The necklace, I LOVE!  I used liver of sulfur on top of the bird to make it contrast more with the silver background, then shined it up.  Can't wait to create more bling soon!

Graduates Celebrate a Year in Art

For the past year and a half, I've enjoyed teaching at a school for teens who are trying to get their lives back together; they've dropped out of school, done drugs, got into gangs or any number of things that got them kicked out of the school system.  My job is to teach them art every week while they try and get back into school.  It's my favorite job, and the kids really work hard for me to open up and let their creative juices flow.  This week was the graduation of 11 of the teens, and a bittersweet time for me as a teacher.  It's hard to see these kids blossom over time and then fly away to different schools and different lives.  Here is some of the art they created over the year, as well as our reward recipient -- a young artist who really worked hard and put his own twist on everything he did.