Thursday, January 30, 2014

Art Journal Mermaid using Jane Davenport stencils

I'm supposed to be working but I keep getting distracted.  I moved my journal to clean the desk and next thing I knew I found a Jane Davenport face stencil that I had misplaced.  I thought before I put it away I'd just draw my one face for the day.  Just a little sketch, here's what I ended up with.

In all fairness the background was already done.  Just waiting for a mermaid to swim through it.

It has been sitting there for months now just waiting for something exciting to be written upon it.  I drew the face on some watercolor paper using the stencil as my guide.  Then I colored it in with Pan Pastels.  Just like real make up she started out with a base coat.

I just keep layering on the Pan Pastels until I get the right combination and then proceed to the hair.  Using a magic pencil (Aquarellable) I make the lines that I will smear later with my finger or a blending tool.  Then I start adding the colors to go with the background.  This is one of the places in the world where green hair is completely acceptable.

Looking at her I thought "this girl needs a tail" so I cut one out of watercolor paper and did my journaling on that before coloring it in with Pan Pastels.  I wrote all my daydreams down about getting out of this COLD weather and going to sunny warm waters where I might run into this mermaid while snorkeling off of a yacht.  Right before the crew makes me a fabulous gourmet lunch.  One last swim and there she is!

Well, a girl can dream can't she?  You know what they say you gotta dream big and in color!  Keep warm or at least keep thinking warm thoughts.  Thanks so much for stopping by, I'll get "back" to work now, I promise.  Take care ~ Renee

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Just Steampunk Magazine Vol. 4 is here!

I received my complimentary issue of "Just Steampunk" magazine vol. 4 today and I am thrilled to be published in it for the first time!  WooHoo!!  In case you aren't acquainted with the magazine it is full of Steampunk projects from clothing to home decor.  They usually have it at Barnes & Noble bookstores or it is available online from Scott Publications.

Here are a few of the items that I sent them photos of for publication.  I sent in the first batch of photos then the editor sent an email asking if I had more...... I went a little nuts sending them photos of objects I had made.  My daughter compared it to a dump truck dinging as it backs up.  She said when it comes to me and my projects you should never ask for more unless you mean it.  I always have more.  :-)

The beauty of this publication is that you don't have to physically mail in the items, just photographs.  If you love Steampunk this is a great magazine to take a look at!  Better yet, if you love Steampunk and want to try and get published, answer the challenge for Vol. 5!   You can get a copy of the editorial calendar by emailing Thanks for stopping by, take care~ Renee

Monday, January 27, 2014

More Master Boards

I've been experimenting with colors for master boards and the resulting cards that spring from them.  Here is one made using TCW's heart stencil and Dylusion sprays in Postbox Red, Bubblegum Pink and Pure Sunshine.  All pulled together with a few sprays of White irRESISTible spray from IMAGINE Crafts and a tiny bit of white gesso.

From this came several cards and I still have more of the paper.

I hope you all had a great weekend!  Thanks for stopping by, take care ~ Renee

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

My Master Board Class

Hi there!  I know it seems like it has been quiet around here lately but it has actually been just the opposite.  First I was busy getting projects together for CHA.  After I got those mailed out then I began testing new products for companies, ones I can't share as yet but I will as soon as I get the OK.  My studio looks like an explosion of glitter, paper, ink, etc.  You know the look.  Chaos.  Controlled chaos.

During all of this creative "happiness" I received the sad news that "Ink About It", my favorite local stamp store will be closing this Spring.  We're all trying to keep up a brave face but our little local group of artists were looking pretty sad last week when the store held their first of I'm sure many sales.  Looking on the positive side, Lori and Linda have done a fantastic job this past 10 years running a wonderful store, bringing in fantastic teachers (Dina Wakley, Dyan Reaveley, Seth Apter, Tim Holtz just to name a few) and building our own local core of artists.  I am constantly in awe of the talent that is in this area!  Such a great group of talented and sharing artists.

 I will be teaching at least one more class there before they close.  My class will be held on Feb. 20th, 2014 from 6:30pm to 8:30pm.  I am teaching one of my favorite techniques:  The Master board.  In this class we'll be making a master board that can be photocopied or just cut up to make whatever you like.  I like to make backgrounds for cards this way or postcards.  Any scraps can be used to make die cuts or popped into journals. It is a way of making your own background papers in your own color combinations.

Here are some samples of what we'll be working on during that class.  Everyone will have the option of using their own favorite colors, stamps, stencils, etc.



If you're available at that time please give the store a call (978 392-0321) and get on the list for this class.  I'd love to see you there!  

We're gearing up for the next big snow storm coming this evening.  We should end up with a foot of snow from this one.  Maybe we'll have a snowman on our lawn this time, I'll have to get Lanie over here with her parents.  I bought carrots for the nose or a carrot crown, just in case.

Thank you so much for stopping by, leave a comment if you have time.  Take care ~ Renee

Monday, January 13, 2014

Mapping 2014 Artfully! Challenge with Jill K. Berry

I am a big fan of Jill K. Berry and her book Personal Geographies, which discusses using maps as a part of our journaling adventure.  I was really excited when she put out the call to participate in her map making challenge called “Mapping 2014 Artfully!”.  The challenge is to draw a map or create map art  that represents our hopes, fears, plans, etc. for the upcoming year, 2014.  The challenge results are being posted today and will continue to be available to view until January 17th.  There is a list of the participants on her blog, a blog hop that will take you from one map lovers blog to the next, giving everyone a chance to see the artists interpretation of the challenge.

For me personally 2013 seemed to start off with a bang and slowed down to a crawl by December.  I love to travel so when things get difficult or just plain predictable my mind takes me somewhere else.  Since I was a child I’ve always been a daydreamer and still am, thank goodness.  You just learn to hide it better as you get older!  

My personal artful map is an outline of my hand on a street map of Paris.  That’s my go-to place in my dreams when I’m feeling down.  I’ve been there at least a dozen times and it seems as if I know parts of the city like the back of my hand.  Every time I visit there my breakfast is always the same:  a large cafĂ© au lait with a beautiful croissant.  It is my personal ritual to assure myself that I’m really there!  It never gets old.  I’m due for a trip to Paris, I have no definite plans right now but that’s my hope and dream for 2014(and beyond).  The title of my map is "The Back of My Hand".

The background is watercolor paper lightly coated with gesso and then sprayed with Dylusions spray inks.  After it was dry I stamped it and painted black gesso in the center.  The hand is mine, traced onto an old map of my favorite places in the city then cut out.  I folded back part of it and sewed the cuff, then attached a button with a tiny bow.  Using a strong adhesive, I glued my map onto the watercolor paper.

If you have an interest in any type of map art I would recommend that you check out this challenge, here is the link Mapping 2014 Artfully!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Making Faces with Ann

My friend Ann ventured out into the cold weather to come for a visit today.  We usually do some art projects when she comes over and today was no exception.  We both decided we needed to work on our FACES.  Well, not OURS, but the ones we draw in our journals.  Here is what Ann came up with using the Jane Davenport face stencil, Pan Pastels and gesso.

The conversation was about how excited we both are to see what is released at the CHA in Anaheim this week, I'm sure it'll be wonderful stuff!  I did my face on a piece of watercolor paper and used the same materials as Ann.  Pan Pastels, magic pencil, Derwent Watercolour pencils and a couple of left over flowers.  For a stencil I used Julie Fei-Fan Balzer's TCW 3/4 face stencil.

Before we knew it she had to go.  What a nice way to spend a morning!  I hope this finds you all healthy and warm, it is still really chilly here.  Thanks for stopping by, take care ~ Renee

Saturday, January 4, 2014

The sun comes out after the storm.

After two days of what seemed like non-stop snow we woke up to beautiful blue skies and bright sunshine!

Our house and my side garden are covered in a blanket of white, only the deer are munching on any leftovers still outside.  Most of our bushes, etc. will be down to almost nothing by the time spring comes.

The kids across the street didn't even wait for the snow to let up before they made their snowmen.  To me they look more like snow ducks.  I wonder if the deer got the memo yet  that there are fresh carrots across the street?  The carrots look so much more appetizing than my bushes.

Take care, stay warm!  Thanks for stopping by ~ Renee

Friday, January 3, 2014

Snow Day in New England!

Snow Day! or should I say Blizzard?  We received close to 2 feet of snow over the past two days.  Wow!  With the wind chill factor the temperature outside is close to -20 degrees Fahrenheit.  Now that is cold.  Welcome to 2014.  I just stayed in the house all day in my studio or I would have photos for you.  Maybe tomorrow.
I spent the day writing instructions for the pile of cards and tags I have stacked up on my table.  When I'm in a creative mood I just seem to make one thing after the other and then later when I have to account for my actions, as in when I want to send them to a magazine or blog about them, I can't remember how I did it.  I have found some time though to honor my commitment of drawing faces.  I actually have three to share with you.

Life should be getting back to normal soon.  I hope this posting finds all of you healthy, happy and looking forward to a wonderful, productive & creative 2014.  Talk to you soon, thanks for stopping by ~ Renee