Sunday, May 24, 2015

diy stickers

inverted hello

20 sheets of address labels was a recent find at my local second-hand store. Originally I was going to make my own address labels, but then it dawned on me that I could make some stickers.

Rather than make them using a jpeg and my printer, I decided to paint them using acrylics and my handmade stamps and stencils. Below is a quick tutorial of how I did this.

applying a thin layer of gesso

Here is what I used to make these stickers:

  • a sheet of self-sticking, clear labels
  • gesso
  • acrylic paints
  • stencils
  • stamping inks
  • linocut stamps

So let's begin!

First, I applied a thin layer of gesso.
To keep it spreading thinly, I added a bit of water as I brushed on the gesso.

stenciled circles and blotting with tissue paper

Next, I stenciled shapes onto the gesso using yellow acrylics. To aid in drying, I took off the excess paint with a sheet of tissue paper.

side note: Using tissue paper as a blotter will leave the tissue paper with varied colors and patterns which can be used later in collages.

sheet of finished label stickers

Next, I used various stamps with acrylics and stamping inks. Can you read what it says? I have several failed stamps where I forgot to carve the mirror image of the word. I have saved them to use as embellishments.

postcard with sticker and artistamp

Since some of the stamping inks I used were not waterproof, I sprayed the sheet of labels with a fixative. Now they are ready for my mail art. Since the labels are clear, anything under the label will still show through, so I can use them in journal pages as well.

Here's to another creative week!

joining sunday sketches

Saturday, May 16, 2015

abstract playing with paints

Abstract Bird, gallery juana
Abstract Bird I, 4 x 6 inches, acrylics, sumi ink and watercolors

While working on something unrelated to this post, I needed something to hold my selection of paints. I usually have a paper plate to put my acrylic and watercolors on for mixing, but didn't have one on hand, so I grabbed some blank postcards and used them to hold the blobs of paints.

Abstract Bird, gallery juana
Abstract Bird II, 4 x 6 inches, acrylics, sumi ink and watercolors

The first blob of paint I used was phthalo blue watercolor. It was a huge blob of paint, and I didn't use all of it, so rather than waste it, I took another blank postcard and put them together. With each subsequent blob of paint, I repeated that step of joining the tops of two postcards. I was left with three abstract paintings.

Inspired by the Robin who has built her nest in the eaves above my front door, two of the postcards looked like baby birds to me.

The third looked like a hippo. Using a dip pen, I outlined the shapes with sumi ink and atramentis document inks to clarify the images that I was seeing. Do you see what I see?

wishing everyone a good weekend.

joining sunday sketches

Saturday, May 9, 2015

women in history

Estrella Eleanor Carothers, (1883-1957), holding specimen case

My first memory of women's history is from university.  The professor in my university history class devoted two weeks of the course to Eleanor Roosevelt. Those were my favorite two weeks.

The drawing above was inspired from a photograph of Estrella Eleanor Carothers in the Smithsonian's photographs of women in science. Her research in genetics using grasshoppers offered the first physical evidence that homologous chromosomes separated independently during meiosis


For another university class, our assignment required us to interview a female role model about their work.  I interviewed my Mother and am grateful for that opportunity. I had not realized how much she appreciated being able to work and have her own income.

When my sister and I were younger, she had been offered a job at my sister's preschool. Since we were both in school, a babysitter would not be necessary.

It still took some persuading of my traditional Father to agree. After some discussion, she convinced him that it would be better to have a double income for the family.

The job required my Mother to complete her GED and college courses in early childhood education. She worked during the day, and with us in tow, completed the courses at night at the local city college.

Looking back now, I fully understand how much she had to juggle to keep everything running along smoothly for us kids and my Father while she completed all the necessary coursework.

She was an amazing Mother, and I know her spirit still watches over me. Happy Mother's day Mom.

Hop on over to my photo blog to see where I've been on my bicycle!

joining sunday sketches

Friday, May 1, 2015

dip pen drawings

Mildred Adams Fenton, science writer, dip pen drawing

I continue to feed my love of paper. I came across a box of vintage 20 .lb weight typing paper the other day. It has a wonderful, slightly rough finish and is a soft white. The sheets are crisp and make a lovely sound when flipping through the drawings. I bought the nearly full ream for $2.50 and came home to draw on it with my dip pen.

Hazel K. Stiebeling, Nutritionist

Smithsonian's photographs of women science writers gave me the needed inspiration to draw portraits. I drew 10 drawings of which two worked out. Although, the paper becomes somewhat warped depending on how much water is added to the paints, I like the feel and look of it. It mimics the texture of a long lost document.

If you follow me on g+, you'll notice I've been sharing the thought-provoking aphorisms by Matt Berry from his blog: The Experience of Clarity. What sites do you like to visit for daily quotes?

joining sunday sketches
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