Thursday, May 27, 2010

Paper Mosaics - Green Basketweave

While I was painting the book I showed you in the last post I did lots of extra sheets in shades of green for use in paper mosaics. There are so many steps when making paper mosaics that I'm truly afraid to count the hours in a completed piece!

Have a great holiday weekend. As with most of our April, May, June weekends, my family will be at the soccer fields with 10 games for sure (potentially 13) for our 3 kids. Craziness!


Monday, May 24, 2010

Paste Paper Wedding Guest Book

One of my best friends got married Saturday. It was the second time around for both bride and groom and marks the beginning of two families joining together not just two people. The ceremony, in a monastery chapel with huge windows overlooking a beautiful valley covered with trees, was everything it needed to be: special, elegant, and heart-felt. The reception, held at Genitti's Hole-in-the-Wall had, as you might guess, a more fun, casual feel to it. The bride asked me to make the guest book. With the less formal feel in mind, I made the following book...

First, I paste painted a large sheet of Fabriano paper. One side has lines of varying widths that act as guides for the guests to write on. The other side is painted in the same colors but has no discernible texture to it. Her daughter and sister wore green attendant dresses so that's where all the green comes from. The color of the dresses and the book is a light "celery" color.

I kept it pretty simple as the words from the guests on the inside are the most important part of the book.

This is the picture she gave me to work with. Nice of the two of them but a not-so-great background. I sanded the background over a textured printing plate and then scratched into the background with an awl. Then came watercolor and oil pastels. Finally it was sprayed with a fixative.

On the inside front cover the Irish Wedding Blessing was printed on a sheet of vellum and then tucked into the folded cover. The folded part, on the left, is glued down and holds the vellum in place.

For the structure I used Teesha Moore's wonderful 16-page-book-from-one-sheet-of-paper directions. You can see the video here. I had to change Teesha's directions to fit the dimensions of my paper so this book was not a vertical 8" x 10 but about a horizontal 9" x 7". This structure worked really well as the book could lie flat when open so people could write in it without the cover getting in the way. While not a typical, "sign here" type of guest book, it fit the occasion. Guests were able to write a prayer, a wish or some light-hearted advice where ever they wanted in the the book, including tucked away under the gatefolds.

Their day was beautiful and I hope their new life together is too. They deserve it.


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Jerry's Artarama Art Tip Contest

I submitted an art tip at Jerry's Artarama.  They then chose eight to be in the running for a $250 gift certificate. I'm one of the eight!  $250 can buy a lot of paint, paper, canvas, etc.   Please take a minute and help me win by voting by May 26 at:   Jerry's Artarama

My tip is about using acrylic paint and a heat gun to raise bubbles and make interesting textures.  There are a couple of other good tips there too (but don't vote for them).  :)

You don't have to sign up for anything or give any contact info. For those that are inclined to vote lots and lots of times:  thanks very much.  But this contest only allows each voter one vote.  I'll take all the one votes I can get!   Pass it on...


Saturday, May 15, 2010

Taylor Grainger

Three years gone...

But, kept alive through our memories and Team Taylor, a biking group that raises money for Make-A-Wish kids in Michigan.


Monday, May 10, 2010

Paper Mosaic Mirror Frame - Haworth family

A friend and neighbor hosts an amazing art party each November.  She invites five to nine artists to invade her home, pound nails in her walls and show their work for one evening. Lots of people ready to drink wine, chat with friends and spend money attend this four-hour whirlwind event.  A portion of the sales goes to a charity that has been chosen ahead of time. It's a win-win for everyone.  And, what does the hostess get in return for her efforts?  She gets a piece of art from each of the participating artists.  You can bet that her home has lots of cool artwork!

Here's the journey of the half bath mirror frame that I made for the Haworth family of Kalamazoo, Michigan...

The existing mirror is glued to the wall with no frame around it so my dad and I bought wood at a Big Box and made the 2' x 3' frame ourselves.  Several trips to measure, to make sure it was right, ensued.  The frame was painted with a primer then black.

Claudia's home is tastefully done primarily in earth tones so my uber-bright colors don't always work well there.  I made lots of 18" x 24" sheets of brown, terra cotta, cream and tan sheets of paste papers.  Some have a bit of metallic shimmer too.  This reminded me that I can work in brown, even though I seldom do.

The sheets of paste paper got cut down into mosaics.  Here they are drying after being coated with Mod Podge.  The kitchen table didn't see any meals for several days throughout this whole thing.

Rather than just covering the mirror frame with one mosaic style, my intent was to use all the different mosaic styles and colors on the one frame.  Lots of scissor work, glue and time.  Oh, did I mention lots of time?

Here's a close up of one of the corners.  You might notice that the circle at the top has a hole in it.  I had to somehow allow a way to get the mirror frame attached to the wall.  These holes are where the screws will go.  They will be covered with half inch wooden plugs.  Pretty ingenious, huh?

When the frame was finished, I put three coats of a varnish on.  This is important for lots of reasons but mainly because it will be used in a bathroom with moisture around.

Ta Da!  Installed!

After it was screwed into the wall, I caulked around the mirror with a clear caulk to keep any moisture from getting between the frame and the mirror.

Wow, what a project!  The Haworth family is really happy with their new bathroom mirror.  I'm really happy with the results too and fully expect to be doing more of these in the future.  Claudia has offered that anyone in the Kalamzoo area interested in seeing it up close and personal is very welcome to do so.  Contact me at to set up an appointment and discuss fees.  Or, if you know her, you are welcome to go directly to her.


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Basketweave Paper Mosaic Pattern #2

Here's try #2 on the basketweave pattern with paste paper strips.  Each square is one inch.  Once you get a rthymn going, it moves along pretty quickly.  Well, I guess "quickly" isn't quite the right word.  Let's just say it goes faster than "slowly".  I have a plan for all this pink...

You can see try #1, in shades of brown, in my March 21st post.

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