Thursday, October 21, 2010

Art Retreat Report

Where do I begin? How about some of the things I made in preparation for the art retreat?

First, I made crayon cupcakes (which I did a whole post on here), which I’ve wanted to do for a couple of years- since I got Collage Unleashed by Traci Bautista. They were easy to make and Angelo helped me by peeling off the wrappers (I had some boxes left over from his birthday party and a few broken ones I’ve collected. Really surprised there weren’t more broken ones) and breaking up some of the crayons. You can give them to your child or use yourself for some interesting coloring fun or use a craft/travel iron (one without holes) to make some really cool backgrounds. For the backgrounds, just melt some crayon cupcake onto the iron and smear around on cardstock or watercolor paper (I like the latter better). You can also melt some regular crayons without the paper onto the iron and do a print or smear around also.

I also tea dyed some silk gauze, cotton cheesecloth and cotton muslin. It helped with some great antiqued collages, including a Halloween one using an image from my collage sheets available on Etsy.

I filled my dye tub with enough water for the fabric to move around in, heated, but did not boil the water, added about 10-11 cheap tea bags, wet, rung and added the fabric and then let everything sit for a couple hours or so. I stirred once or twice, but since I was going for an aged look, was actually looking for a few dark spots.

Then I got to the retreat (I’m skipping over a lot of stuff, like how I was excited to go, but in tears because I’d be away from my babies so long and how I agonized over packing and shipping my supplies. I get separation anxiety with my family and my art supplies.) This is what my room looked like:

I was spoiled all week. I didn’t have to cook or clean, make my own coffee (which was available all day) and someone else (my husband mainly) was providing child and puppy care. And, best of all, I got to spread out my supplies and leave everything and make art as long as I wanted, only being interrupted by food and potty breaks. I didn’t even sleep that much since I was so excited about all the ideas I had. I got to make the shrine for Tara, which I’ve wanted to make for a very very long time. It was labor intensive and sweet and emotionally difficult at the same time. I don’t think I would have been able to do it at home. It took so long to make, I think I would have had to spread it out over months and I might have gotten discouraged. There, I was able to work for hours straight (except for food, potty breaks and getting some experimentation out of my system). Once it was finished, I banged out a bunch of Artist Trading Cards, some small canvases and a cardboard piece. I will post pictures of all that later, but for now, I’ll add some pics of my dyed paper towels (which I hung on the line outside to dry and thought looked like tie dyed cloth diapers). The technique for this is also in Collage Unleashed.

It was a wonderful week. I laughed, I cried and I have been trying to adjust to being back “in the real world”. I also have been refusing to clean up after anyone but myself and occasionally Angelo (and once Dana, but usually I don’t have to do that. She’s such a good girl!) I’ve noticed that after a week of having to do it all [mostly] by himself, my husband is more self motivated in taking care of Angelo and the house. This is excellent, because I definitely plan on running away, um, I mean taking another trip by myself again in the near future.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Hold True to the Dreams of Thy Youth

I added this picture to my Etsy listing for Vintage/Antique boy images. It was something I started in the collage workshop I taught in Charleston and finished later.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Crayon Cupcakes

I posted these pictures on Face Book also. Anyone who commented on them digitally or in person assumed I made them for Angelo, which makes sense, especially since we've been doing a lot of projects recently. However, they are for me and my mixed media art! :) Melt them on a craft/travel iron (no holes) and then smear on card stock to create a background! (Wipe off while hot to clean iron.)

Angelo did help me with them. He peeled off the papers and broke some of the crayons for me. I'm surprised we didn't have enough already broken to use, so i guess we'll have to color a lot more! :) And Angelo will get his own too, don't worry. :)

Cut apart disposable muffin tin (you'll be able to use multiple times), round corners (especially if little ones are helping), put broken crayons and glitter in tins. Avoid putting all 3 primary colors together or you'll get some muddiness.

Pre-heat oven to 250 degrees. Put tins on cookie sheet and into oven. Let melt about 10-12 minutes. Do not move the tins and let cool in the oven. Pop out and you get these cool crayon cupcakes! I'm sure Angelo will love playing with his once I make him some too. :) I'm going to use mine at the Art Retreat!!!! I'm so excited!!! :)

Angelo got his own set!  He liked cutting them apart with his plastic Melissa and Doug scissors and the cut edge made a really cool surface to color with. :)