Birds of a Feather

Regardless the country you live in – you have probably heard the saying birds of a feather flock together. Well, today I want to show you my flock. The art of my flock. Because every single person in my flock is special and deserves recognition. I am referring to my FB group Tangle All Around. Yes, you hear me talk about them all the time. Because they are that awesome! For the past two weeks we have been tangling feathers. I want to show you all the ones they gave me permission to share. It’s a long post and definitely worth your time. I promise!

Artwork by Aditi Parikh.

Artwork by Aga Forra.

Artwork by Aggie Hasselfield.

Artwork by Ana Maria Migone.

Artwork by Antara Bhattacharya.

Artwork by Beatriz Gasco.

Artwork by Brenda DeBock.

Artwork by Cécile Graat.

Artwork by Claudia PbnV.

Artwork by Colleen VanderLinden.

Artwork by Dawn George.

Artwork by Deb Bowmore.

Artwork by Deborah Prier.

Artwork by Erika Bonham Kehlet.

Artwork by Gayle Van Wagenen.

Artwork by Gypsy Black.

Artwork by Holly Eastabrook.

Artwork by Janine Weatherly.

Artwork by Jessica Hudson.

Artwork by Karen Collins.

Artwork by Karen Karstadt.

Artwork by Karen Langen Rushton.

Artwork by Karin Conklin.

Artwork by Karin Conklin.

Artwork by Kristin Esterberg Deceuninck.

Artwork by Lynda Scott Abbot.

Artwork by Maria Vennekens.

Artwork by Maxine Martin Erickson.

Artwork by Oriana Aguilar.

Artwork by Phillis Rosenthal.

Artwork by Rachel Foster.

Artwork by Randi Jameson.

Artwork by Rochelle Babb.

Artwork by Sarah Ibrahim.

Artwork by Seva Skevos.

Artwork by Sherri Lewis.

Artwork by Smita Toke.

Artwork by Smita Toke.

Artwork by Smita Toke.

Artwork by Summer Wright.

Artwork by Susan Olthof.

Artwork by Sylvie Lehaire.

Artwork by TC Carpenter.

Artwork by Tonia Docter.

Artwork by Tonia Docter.

Artwork by Tonje Strand Johnsen.

Artwork by Verena Bossert.

Artwork by Yvonne Dunmore.

Artwork by Zona Lewis Simonson.

Artwork by Judy Vodden.

Artwork by Φίλίνά Λϊνν Σάντάνδερ.

Artwork by 律光千尋‎.

Artwork by Priscilla DeConti.

Artwork by Katy Paul-Chowdhury

And that’s it. Weren’t they all beautiful? Some things to notice. There are all levels of tangling expertise represented. Beginners, more skilled and advanced. Everyone starts somewhere. Some feathers were black ink on white paper, one was white ink on black paper, many were in color. Some feathers were created on fancy watercolor paper, some on mixed media paper, some in journals or sketchbooks. Several were created on whatever the artist had on hand at the moment. You really can tangle anywhere with whatever supplies you have on hand. You don’t have to spend a lot of money in this art form. You can use whatever you have. Even if it is a pencil or a pen or a stick drawing in the dirt. It all works. And it is all magnificent.

Do you need a flock? A tangle flock? I would love to have you come join our FB group Tangle All Around and you can do that by clicking this link. You will need to answer three simple questions so I can tell you are a real live breathing person and not a computer hacking machine. Hahaha! The struggle is real, folks. But seriously, if you are even the slightest bit interested in the art style, come check us out. You will love my flock!

Taking Back the Studio, Part 2

It’s time for step two in Taking Back the Studio! To recap, I have a ton of stencils I have never used and I vowed to work with them one at a time until I have used every single one of them at least once. I drug them all out of everywhere I had them stashed and put them in one cardboard box. Now I am pulling them out one stencil at a time and using them. This is the second stencil so I have a looooong way to go because I found 366 stencils total! Wow!!! But – in my defense – I have been buying stencils for around 20 years. Hahahahaha! Let’s get started!

I began with these basic supplies – some Bamboo Mixed Media tiles from Hahnemühle, a stencil that I have no idea where it came from and two bottles of Dylusions Ink Spray. And a spray bottle of water.

Most of the time when I use these inks I begin by spraying water on my paper. People ask how much water I use – about this much. Hahaha! These Bamboo tiles are roughly 3″ x 4″ and I just hit it with a couple blasts of water. You can see the whole paper isn’t even covered.

I began with the Rose Quartz and sprayed a couple times onto the paper and all over my craft sheet. It wipes right off. And usually I use another piece of paper to do that – so I can use that product.

This is what I had after the color dried. And I did use a heat tool to speed up that process because . . . impatient!

I used some painter’s tape to anchor the stencil to my work surface. I didn’t want it to move when I added more color. I chose this particular stencil because Aurora found her way into the cardboard box and was busily trying to hide this stencil with her ribbons. In my hand is the bottle of Lemon Zest.

I sprayed that lemon zest all over the paper and let it sit for 15 seconds or so. I wanted it to react with the rose quartz a little before I stopped the action . . .

. . . by blotting the excess with a towel.

Isn’t it pretty?

Well, that was so much fun I used the same two colors and made another piece. Mostly using the lemon zest this time and just a little of the rose quartz because apparently it goes a looooong way!

Once it was dry, I placed it under the same stencil and used some white linen to spray all over the top. I didn’t tape down my stencil this time and I wondered if I would have a problem with the stencil moving. I did not. I think I hit is so hard with that white ink it was afraid to go anywhere. Hahahaha!

I really like this one, too! Normally I use white linen when something is too dark. That was not the case here, so I didn’t really know how it would turn out. I like the softness and the subtleness of the white.

OK, remember this one? I liked it better. Hahaha! See all those little sections created by the stencil? Think color blocking gone crazy!

Those are the perfect places to add a bunch of tangles. Because this paper is smallish in size (3″ x 4″) those spaces are tiny and tight. I kept to a few patterns to allow the piece to maintain some cohesion. And I used a couple different Technical Pens from Zebra Pen for the drawing.

And shaded some of the areas. Then I totally got back to work on the book because I am almost done with it!!! Almost ready to submit it to the publisher for the first of what I am sure will be several times! Yayayayay!!!!!

Bamboo Mixed Media and other Hahnemühle products with purchase links
Technical Pens from Zebra Pen
Dylusions Ink Spray

Hahnemühle’s ZigZag Book!

I’ve been working on this project for 5 minutes here and 5 minutes there for awhile now. Today I want to show you a new product from Hahnemühle that will be right at home with any kind of mixed media art you do.

This photo totally came from Hahnemühle’s website showing their newest book – the ZigZag! Eighteen pages fan folded – you can make art on both sides! With a 300 gsm fine grained surface my pens and inks worked sensationally! Let me show you!

This is my little book. The ZigZag actually comes in four sizes, the one I chose to work with first is 2″ square. And adorable!! Haha! Just slip the paper band off to get right to arting!

I had a general idea in mind for what I wanted to do. Underwater on one side and a garden scene on the other. I grabbed my basic tools – nothing fancy here! That paint box is one I set up last year with my favorite watercolors from various dealers – mainly Schmincke and Daniel Smith. If you don’t have fancy brand name watercolors don’t despair. Any water color will do, as will any acrylics, pastels, or most any inks or markers or paints – well, you get the idea. Grab some product and get started!

I decided to go underwater on the front side. I tried to work one or two panels at a time, but you know me. Color tends to get away from me because I get so excited about the ooh! and ah! moments!

And because of those moments I didn’t take another photo until the front was filled with color. Many times I use Dylusions Ink Sprays for my underwater art, but this time I just stuck straight to watercolor. I tend to work with a lot of water, too, and this little ZigZag didn’t even bat an eye! I did slop a little on the back side and had to take that into consideration when I started coloring the back.

I came back and added some flecks of color up and down the length. Some splatter spots, so to speak.

Which you may or may not be able to see in this shot. Hahaha! Hopefully.

And this is the only shot you get of the back side. Ooh! and Ah! moments! Gotta love those! That third and fourth panel from the left – at the top – is where I had some mess from the other side. Some blue and purple that bled over due to my heavy hand with the water. I just worked it right into the color scheme for my flower garden. And if I hadn’t told you – you would never know.

The little ZigZag did a great job taking all that color! I left it sitting stretched out overnight to dry and the next morning when I folded it back up and closed it – this is what I had. The little fan folded pages wanted to escape. So I sat a book on top of the whole thing and had breakfast. When I came back I figured out a different way to wrap that red band to close the book securely. I’ll show you at the end of the post.

And that is really all I had time for at that point. A week or so later I picked the ZigZag up and started drawing in it. I used my Technical Pens from Zebra Pen – they worked great in this book! And started filling in some flowers.

Here is the front side – the underwater side. I used a lot of tangle patterns! I did not have a single problem with this side. It was a little difficult for me to draw in this ‘short’ of a space but it was doable. To deal with the length of the ‘paper’ I kept what I wasn’t drawing on folded and wrapped a rubber band around it. That way I had a section of paper no larger that 6″ wide at any given time.

This will give you a little better look at detail.

And the right half. A lot of fun to do!

Isn’t it cute all piled up? Hahahaha! <3

The back is two panels shorter since the front is glued to the cover pieces. But eight panels is still plenty of room to tangle up a garden scene! I am working on a new book that will house many of the patterns you see on this floral side. Hahaha! They worked great! The only one I had a problem with is that big flower right in the middle. On the mint green section. The fold of the page was so severe that I had trouble getting the black ink to fill in areas. No problem anywhere else with the ZigZag – just this one spot.

And there is the whole garden side.

Super cute! And since I’ve had it folded back up for awhile, those folds fall right into place when I close the book.

Such a fun, versatile book! Any mixed media should work just fine. The ZigZag comes in four sizes. I am going to work with collage in the next one I do. And use a bunch of stencils and paint, too!

The 2″ ZigZag is the same size as my business card that you can just barely see underneath. And I told you I’d show you a different way to wrap that band to keep your book closed. When you get your ZigZag that red band will go from the lower right corner and up across the rooster’s face and slip over the top left corner. I could not keep my book folded that way when I had first added all the color. Now I wrap the band in the opposite direction. Down away from the rooster logo like you see here, up across the front and over the top left corner like in this photo. So wrap it the opposite way than the way it comes to you.

And this is what it looks like from the front when you fold it the way I just explained. All the corners, all the folded pages – they all stay in place just fine! And I threw in a quarter just to show you size. You can pack a lot of artistic punch into a small amount of room! Now. I am no mathematical genius. Not by a long shot. I can just hear my daughter snorting right about now! Hahahaha! But if each ‘page’ is 2″ x 2″ – that makes 4″ of drawing space per page. And 18 pages times 4″ equals (did you hear me just pick up my phone and open the calculator????) equals 72 inches of art space. That is a lot of room! And if you happen to be a member of my FB group Tangle All Around – I am going to be giving some of these away this weekend! That gives you a couple days to go knock on the door and join us – if you would like to!

Hahnemühle has a hit on their hands with the ZigZag! I think I am going to work in the 5.5″ square ZigZag next!

ZigZag and other Hahnemühle product with purchase links
Technical Pens from Zebra Pen

Favorite Color Swap

Let’s see. How many of you know my favorite color? Hahaha! We are going to have a test. Just kidding. Hahahaha! Most of you already know my favorite color is teal. I even used to have teal highlights in my hair. Back in Florida. They don’t do that so much in my part of Maine. Makes me sad.

Facebook group Creative Crafty Friends is a fun place where we get to swap art. Art and crafting supplies. And one of the most recent swaps I participated in was for your favorite color. Rebecca Gay sent me a box packed full of wonderful, awesome things! I want to show you the items she made herself. Isn’t this card wonderful? I can’t remember what this style card is called and I can not get the file to open now – but Rebecca made this card. All of it! And you can not see in this photo, but it closed by a magnetic flap. I love it! So much!

She also made these ATCs with the base color being teal. Scraps of fabric she stamps words on, metal embellishments, scraps of paper (she also made envelopes from those same papers) and ribbon. Hard to get decent photos today – storming like crazy outside. But didn’t she do an amazing job?

I am really curious about this hanging ornament. I think she actually made this. The backside is rounded like an umbrella with all those colors meeting in the center. And it is stuffed with cotton – I think. And I can hang it. And the colors are perfect for my studio, so hang it I will once Mark gets his new hip and can help me with some fishing line and some ceiling action. Love it!

And here is an overview of everything else. Upper right – those two pieces are actually envelopes Rebecca made from scrapbook paper. Cool! There are ceramic buttons and a beautiful bird that will be hanging on a Christmas tree in November. I love it all! Thank you so much, Rebecca!

Want to get involved in a swap or two yourself? Come join us at Creative Crafty Friends. You will need to answer a question or two so the admins know you are an actual person and not a machine. Everyone is so nice in this group! Hope to see you there!

Book update: all the patterns are in place in the book. I’m working on a pattern index now and a few other things, then I will proofread the whole thing many times and hit ‘send’. Hopefully the publisher takes it on the first go round. We are getting close to having this book available! Thank you for your patience <3