As a courtesy to me and the universe, please speak to me before you copy or transcribe anything from this blog for profit- my work may be unpublished but it is of value to me, and if you are using my ideas to profit, hey, I want my cut of it!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Nickelbacks and other artsy stuff

It is snowing like there is no tomorrow. Its been snowing since yesterday morning. There has to be at least 3 inches of snow to shovel. I am too warm and cosy to go out. Luckily I resisted the temptation to put away the shovel. And the sand. So I have been busy inside.... been playing with my inks and stamps. My friend Kim has got me making nickelbacks. What the heck are they, you ask? She named them in honour of us Canadians- 5 cm x 5cm squares- that a nickel so she called them nickelbacks. Going from 1 inch to 2 inches is harder than you think. I guess it reframing of how you look at things. Kimmie had sent me a wonderful asian inspired nickelback and so in return I have to send her one. All week, I had been agonizing over this as Kim is very talented and I wanted to impress her. I had picked the theme of frogs, thinking I was going to get back frogs... but it turns out I was supposed to make something with frogs. So.... two weeks ago, Telus sent out some glossy advertising for their digital media campaign- using frogs.

How perfect!! So, this is what I came up with.

The background was done on watercolour paper using the salt resist technique. I knew it existed before - seen this usually done on silk.. I inked up the paper with Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Fired Brick) , then spritzed the paper to get the ink mixing and swirling. Dropped on coarse salt and let dry. Brushed off the salt, spritzed on some burnt red Glimmer Mist (Tattered Angels) and stamped background with words. The crowns are gold embossed and blinged with rhinestones. I will not be keeping either of them (sooo sad!!). They will be travelling to Dena and Kim this week.

I was also challenged to create something witht he theme "Spring into Green". I am not an ATC person but somehow, this one spoke to me. Again, I am so loving the salt resist technique. I tried it with Stampin'Up!'s Old Olive, reusing the salt crystals. I really like how it turned out. The old salt crystals had picked up some dye and deposited it on the paper. I also used some Stampin'Up! Rub Ons for the first time. they aren't bad at all....

I think I shall turn it into a card for Mother's Day, with green paper, some luscious chocolate chip ribbon that I've been hoarding. Thanks for the idea, Susie!

I cannot avoid going outside so off I go to shovel snow :)

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Cuban rhythms

Last weekend, I attended a lovely Pena(pronounced Penya, but I can't get the squiggly over the n) at the Blue Chair Cafe . It was a show for a Latin Jazz band called Bomba. Their members live in Calgary and Edmonton and when they get a chance to get together, they do in either city and have these little music sessions.

I cannot believe this is the same group Bomba I had heard about when I was living in Calgary all those years ago. I used to occasionally take drum lessons from Luis. I just went to the Bomba site and I recognized one of their guest players- Toto. Toto used to be (and I presume still is) good friends with Luis. This was at least 10 years ago. And as I was looking at the pictures, it suddenly dawned on me that the singer that was also playing the gourd and guitar was Luis that I learned to drum with. He taught us how to drum djembe, but had from time to time brought in the congas for us too. My most cherished memory of my time drumming was this sultry, hot summer evening. This was in One World's old studio, above the hydroponics shop on Centre Street , in Calgary . It was hot and stuffy there. The windows were open yet it was stifling since there was about eight of us and the room was very much akin to an oven. Luis was showing us how to play several lines. He wasn't happy with what he heard, so again and again, he showed us what we had to play and listened. This went on for what seemed like endless hours. By this time, beads of sweat were wending its way down my shoulder blades and between my breasts. The music was pounding. And hypnotic. We could barely hear the traffic outside, though as we drowned out the sounds or cars and honking trucks. At some point in time, Luis turned off the lights in the place in hopes of keeping the heat down. So, there we were, in the evening's half light, beating away our own individual drum lines as he made us repeat again and again till it became part of our selves. Or hands and our hearts took over and collectively, we sighed. The the music started tightening up and for that small window in time, we were transported to Cuba, with the gentle and hypnotic beat of the congas,the clave, his melodious singing and the thick viscous heat on that hot summer day. He used to offer conga camps in Cuba- where one could go and live as the Cubans do, and play and eat and dream with them too. I wonder if he still does that. I would go in a heartbeat.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008


I have been busy inchieing away at things. I was in a 100 inchie swap and finally got back my inchies. Since they aren't mine, I won't post them unless I get permission from the owners.

Meanwhile, I've been working on some Pick a Theme Inchies. So for these, you end up in groups and everyone gets to pick a theme. You make everyone else's themes but yours. In the end, you get everyone else's interpretation of your theme. Its a very exclusive kinda thing.

For this picture, the Themes were: Chillies, Queen Bee, Nancy Drew and Nursery Rhymes

The person on the chillies inchie is whom the inchie is going to. Her name is Phyllis and she is an awesome inchie artist. She has this wonderful knack for collaging and is so very humble about her work. Queen Bee was a bit of work but I am very pleased with how it turned out. I was inspired by an inchie I saw made by someone I traded with named Mrs Noofy. I used a transparency to give the bee's wings some depth. I also took a Stardust clear pen to the wings underneath the transparency. This was all sewn down with beads. There is a crown beneath the bee and it is embossed in platinum embossing powder and decorated with 3mm pearls. I tried to create the bookcover for Nancy Drew (The Whispering Statue) and with the Queen of Hearts- she was very fiddly as there were so many bitty bits to her- the tarts, and the hearts. there is Dimensional Magic/Crystal Effects/Diamond Glaze/Glossy Accents on the little hearts in the tarts. The queen was also coloured in with gel pens and she has a small bit of german scrap foil for a crown.

The next set of inchies are:

Halloween, Winter, Teapots and Cowboys.

I cut the skull freehand, stuck on googly eyes, and sponged around the skull lightly to create contrast. The orange strips have orange peel stickles on it for some bling. The winter Inchie is fairly simple. I had picked up some puffy stickers (yeah!! In the Husky store between Morinville and Slave Lake ). There is some glitter edging the snow and the sky on the inchie. the teapot was stamped with pigment ink and then covered with psychedelic embossing powder. the background was made by bleaching the cardstock. The "steam" was created with a Sakura souffle pen. The cowboy is just collaged. There is copper "rope" hanging from his shoulders. I like how he turned out.

The next set's themes are: Paris, Growing Old,

Vintage and Summer.

I really like how Paris turned out. I used a paint chip for the background- isn't that amazing? I can just envision a feature wall in that colour-gorgeous! the Eiffel tower is embossed in metallic brown on a brown background. Growing Old was a little difficult so I lucked out and found a deck of cards from the dollar store with the stopwatch with wings on them. there is crackle effects on the face of the stopwatch. Vintage was easy- found some images of the internet- antiqued it a little with Tea dye ink. the gold strips were purchased white in colour and the gold was rubbed on with acrylic paints. the "Summer" inchie is a BBQ stamp which I carefully coloured and used dimensional magic on. The silver is my Zig Painty pen.

I am really proud of my inchies. I do think my work is getting better all the time. I have been inspired by many new friends I've made, as we share ideas and techniques as we enchange these little bits of art with each other.