Monday, March 24, 2014

Picturesque Europe: Mixed Media Art Journal/Sketchbook

As a writer, I personally yearn to write in journals adorned with nostalgic imagery and wide open pages to scribble my musings. My newest artist journal, "Picturesque Europe", was created with vintage photos of crumbling, eerie statues, German book pages, postage, butterflies and castles.

The pages in the book are a compilation of neutral colored cardstock: cream, slate and tan.  

The journal has four original collages on the outside and inside covers. The outer collages were sealed with a mix of acrylic resin, exterior varnish and a hint of gold metallic paint. The collages are meant to evoke an old-world and ornate atmosphere.

I also created four handmade paper folders that I adhered to dividers that were altered with a floral border punch.

To see this journal in my Etsy shop Lovely Fever go to:

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Artist Inspirations: The Oregon Coast

As artists, we all need inspiration to fuel our creative fire. Inspiration can be found anywhere;  in a painter's brush strokes, in a poet's melodious words, in the peaceful sound of a flowing creek or in the orchestra of sparrow songs high in the trees. To find inspiration, the key is to open our hearts and souls to all life offers us. When we do, the lily in mid-bloom becomes luminous and the kiss from our beloved becomes transcendent.

I want to record and share the people, places and things that inspire me, to keep my own creative fire burning. Here is one of my all time favorite places:

The Oregon Coast

Last summer, my boyfriend and I went on a vacation to the Oregon Coast. This was not the first time I had ever cruised down Highway 101 along this lush landscape of rocky coastlines and lush forests. But on this trip, this place penetrated my soul on a deeper level and planted thousands of seeds of inspiration. Here are a few photos I took on our travels:

I loved this wood footbridge. So picturesque and peaceful. I could sit here with a book of poems and my journal all afternoon.

This shipwreck from long ago on the beach spurred my imagination. While history tells us exactly what happened, I found it inspiring to create my own stories about the people who crashed on the beach and what the ship once looked like.

Haystack Rock at Cannon Beach never ceases to amaze me. We trekked the beach in our bare feet, in search of sea shells and glimpses of starfish and driftwood. This is an image of Haystack Rock in a late morning overcast haze.

We visited the aquarium in Newport and I was struck my the surreal beauty of jellyfishes. I loved the way their opalescent bodies illuminate in the deep blue sea.

What inspires you? Please feel free to comment on what tiny glimmers of life spurs you to create!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

1953 Beauty and Fashion Ephemera

I am so excited about these retro fashion images from a April 1953 Women's Home Companion magazine that I found at Wiggett's Antiques in Coeur d Alene, Idaho. I cannot wait to use them in my collage work! I included the original magazine images and more in a couple of Collage Ephemera Packs that I have in my shop, Lovely Fever. You can find them here:

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Surreal Dreams Altered Collage Cigar Box

This newest addition to my altered cigar boxes was inspired by Steampunk style and surreal dreams that visit us in the night. Tarot cards, a gypsy fortune teller, full moons and hands are imagery I used to convey the mystery of dreams.

       Materials used:  
  • wood cigar box found at a local smoke shop
  • Images from the Harter's Pictorial Archive
  • acyrlic paint (gray and red)
  • decorative cardstock
  • tarot cards
  • newsprint
  • acrylic mate gel
  • wood blocks
  • Mod Podge
  • Varnish
  • Alphabet Stickers

Artistic Process and Details:
  •  The wood cigar box was first painted with two coats of grey acrylic paint. To add surface interest and texture, I used a pulled-paper technique. With matte acrylic gel, I imprinted strips of newspaper in layers on the outside of the box.
  •  The surreal dream collages on the lid of the box were made from decorative cardstock and Steampunk ink engravings from the Harter's Pictorial Archive. The quote, "Inside this room, all my dreams become realities....and some of my realities become dreams", is from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.
  •  I adhered tarot cards around the outside and inside of the box. Four wood blocks were painted grey, then sea-sponged with crimson and glued to the bottom with Goop contact adhesive. The entire box was sealed with both Mod Podge and varnish.

You can find this altered cigar box in my Etsy shop, Lovely Fever:

Thank you so much for visiting my blog! Happy lazy summer days!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Decoupage Candle Holder Mania

I have been on a decoupage candle kick lately and have put a few new additions into my Etsy shop, Lovely Fever. I have been experimenting with new techniques and materials, such as stamping on tissue paper, using acrylic varnish as a sealer and branching out to new vintage ephemera. There are endless variations in making decoupage candle holders. Mine usually consist of two layers-- vintage ephemera like weathered novel or dictionary pages and a top tissue layer from decorative napkins. Here are a some of my newest creations from my studio:

Victorian Romance--Jane Eyre Novel Passages with Soft Floral Motif Trio

The first layer consists of vintage novel passages from a 1963 paperback edition of Jane Eyre. The pages used had a lovely, natural patina. Then, I carefully separated the top tissue paper layer of fancy napkin decorated with a soft floral motif and glued it over the text. Two coats of Mod Podge and one coat of acrylic varnish were used to protect the fragile decoupage layers. For a finishing touch, raffia was wrapped around the candle holders to add an organic look.

 Wanderlust-- Vintage Maps with Hot Air Balloons

 I first cut and sized sections of a vintage map of Ontario, Canada from a 1939 edition of Collier’s World Atlas and Gazetteer. Then, I stamped an image of a French hot air balloon on salvaged ledger paper. The words, "La Joie De Vivre" mean the "joy of life". I also added some Tim Holtz tissue paper tape of dictionary passages: journey, memory, imagination.The candle holders were sealed with three coats of Gloss Lustre Mod Podge.  

Lush Black and Plum Floral Design with 1923 Jewelry Catalog Pages

The interior layer consists of cut and sized pages from 1970’s reproduction of a 1923 Sears, Roebuck Catalogue, featuring Art Deco wedding rings, necklaces and pocket watches. The exterior black and plum floral design was from the top tissue layer of a decorative napkin. Wrapped around the candles is fabric, semi-sheer ribbon that has various colors of purple, black and gray. The candle holders were first sealed with two coats of Mod Podge. The third layer was with acrylic varnish, which left a lovely glossy finish.

Robin's Egg Blue and Red Roses with Wuthering Heights Vintage Pages

The first layer consists of vintage pages from a 1973 paperback edition of Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. Then, I carefully separated the top tissue paper layer of a fancy napkin decorated with red roses with a robin's egg blue background and overlaid it on the text. Several coats of Mod Podge were used to protect the fragile decoupage layers. For a finishing touch, white ribbon was wrapped around and tied in bows around the candle holders.

I can't wait to make more of these! Thank you for checking out my work! 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Before and After: Altered Cigar Box

My latest creation to come out of my workshop is an altered cigar box. I found the cigar box in a local smoke shop and loved the shape of the box and the quality of the wood. Because the outside of the box already had a thick, glossy varnish, I did not sand it down and wanted the wood itself to be a part of the overall aesthetic. 

The cigar box was first decorated with torn pieces of vintage Wuthering Heights novel pages that had a lovely, natural patina. I then separated the top tissue layer of a soft green floral napkin and decoupaged torn fragments over the book pages. Beneath the box latch, I glued a portion of a vintage earring that has real pressed flowers inside. 

The cigar box lid consists of antique-inspired scrapbooking paper with torn edges, more torn pieces of Wuthering Heights pages, nature collage images, ink-stamped flourishes and a pendant I created and repurposed. The woman in the glass dome pendant is the beautiful Arlette Dorgere, a French stage actress, famous in the early 20th century.

The cigar box "feet" consist of four wood blocks that were covered with Wuthering Heights novel pages. They were adhered to the bottom with super-strong contact adhesive. 

The inside top lid was covered with vintage wallpaper. The outside of the cigar box was sealed with layers of acrylic varnish and Mod Podge.

This was such a fun project to make! This was my first altered cigar box where I experimented with adding "legs". Besides wood blocks, I have seen altered wood doll heads and thread spools used as legs to prop up keepsake boxes. 

This altered cigar box has been added to my Etsy Shop, Lovely Fever :

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Decoupage Candles: Bloom, Bliss, Dream

My Memorial Day morning was blissfully spent in my makeshift art studio-- a spare bedroom in our duplex that houses boxes of vintage ephemera, paint, ribbons, papers and other supplies. I wanted to incorporate one of my latest vintage ephemera finds into my decoupage candle holders. I had found a 1945 paperback edition of the French classic Les Dieux Ont Soif  (The Gods Will Have Blood) by Anatole France and disassembled it for art supplies. I also had recently bought some Paris themed napkins from DaisyFlowerPetal on Etsy, and was very inspired by their romantic designs.

First, I altered the French novel pages by painting it with a soft pink wash that was made with one part acrylic paint and three parts water. I blotted the wash with a paper towel to add a mottled appearance. Then, from my leftover morning coffee in the pot, I added coffee stains to add an aged look. After the papers were dry, I speckled burnt umber acrylic paint.

After cutting and sizing the French novel pages for the glass votive candle holders, I adhered them to the surface with Mod Podge. Then, I cut out images of a romantic rose from the napkins and separated the top tissue layer. I had wanted to stop there, but felt like something was missing. This feeling is always with me while making collage/decoupage/mixed media projects and helps lead me into new creative territories! There is a point when the artist knows they have finished the last detail. So, I had the idea to stamp the words "Bloom", "Bliss", and "Dream" on white tissue paper. I carefully cut them out and glued them centered on the flower images. 

I sized three circles from a sheet of two-sided scrapbooking paper for the candle holders bottom. To seal them, I first applied two layers of matte Mod Podge, then added a final layer of glossy, acrylic varnish. 

I just love how they look lit up! The layers illuminate in the candle light and give off a romantic aura. 

I have added these candle holders to my Etsy shop, which you can check out here for the listing: