Sunday, February 28, 2010

Soft Sky

Have a wonderful day!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Lemons and Lemonade

We've been housesitting for some friends for nearly three years while they serve a mission, and most of our belongings are in boxes. I looked into one box the other day, and this is what I found. 

My favorite dishes are in pieces. My red bowl is broken to bits. I guess someone must have dropped the box at some point in our move. I loved those dishes. And especially that red bowl.

But look at all those great colors to use in a mosaic. I've never made one before. 

Make it a Wonderful Day!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

More about Mono Prints

I thought I'd describe our process a bit more on the monoprints. A mono print is a single print. The image is reversed from your original. We did these on the same day as our crayon prints, but both types of prints required supervison, so it really helped that I had helpers!

I had a monoprint station set up with two picture frames, brayers, and ink. The helper put a very thin layer of ink on the glass, rolling to an area large enough to accommodate the image. (In our case a CD-sized circle).

The artists brought two paper circles to the station- one with the drawing, one plain.

The helper then placed the paper shield over the inked frame, and the artist positioned the plain circle in the hole. They placed their drawing on top of that to trace. (You don't need to press too hard, but lift the edge to check that the ink is being transferred.)

You can see we had different results- too much ink makes for a very dark print. So we had the best results with a thin layer of ink. The glass needed to be reinked and brayered between each print- or else you pick up some of the previous image. (Which can be interesting.)

We mounted these on 8x8 cardstock.
Have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Mono Printing

While some of my Art Club artists were making melted crayon prints, others were making monoprints. We used thrifted picture frames with glass, block printing ink, copy paper, and a brayer. 

I'm on a circle kick, so we used the CD to trace around and cut out two circles. They were to draw two things that don't go together on one of them. Like a lightning bolt and a tennis shoe. A flower and a frying pan. The sillier the better.
One of my helpers, Robyn, came up with the idea of making a paper shield to keep the kids from getting ink on their hands while they traced their drawings to make their print. She cut out the circle in the middle of a full sheet of paper that had been folded in half. Once the ink was brayered onto the glass of the picture frame, the shield was placed, then the plain paper circle fit in the hole. Their drawing circle was placed on top for them to trace.

For some of my classes, we just used the smaller square frame and paper squares.

In the busy classrooms, I failed to get photos of their finished prints!

We also used thrifted rubber stamps to make a mini stamped mosaic as a "when-you-are-finished" piece. I brought one color of inkpad (black), a bunch of rubber stamps, and colored cardstock scrap. They were to choose three stamps, three colors of paper. Then they glued the  repeated images to a background paper mosaic-style. Simple, but they really admired the artwork of the stamps.
So our printmaking unit included: Foam Plate Portraits, Mono Prints, Cooked Crayon Prints, and Rubber Stamp Mosaics. (And then it was on to pencil drawing! More about that next week!)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

A Month Ahead of Schedule

Have a Wonderful Day!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Crayon Prints

While not a new idea, this is a fun process for printmaking. The electric pan or griddle is heated to a low temperature after being covered with foil.

The artist draws with crayon on the warmed foil. (With lots of supervision and reminders not to touch the pan!!)

A print is made by placing paper over the melted crayon and then pressing evenly with a brayer or back of a wooden spoon.
We did ours on circles of paper- trace around CD, cut out, and print.
The results are a bit tie-dye looking. More crayon equals more color! And more crayon also means a smooth, unique surface that feels neat too. But the fluidity of the crayons makes for some unpredictability-some kids really loved that aspect, others wanted more control.

Another way to do this is to put the paper down in the pan and draw on the paper- the heat melts the crayon, but because you aren't pressing it to make a print, the crayon stays put for a more controlled result.

Or, as an alternative to painted papers, cut the crayon-printed papers into bits for a collaged piece. (This quick flower collage is glued to a wrinkled/ironed grocery sack  leftover from our Aussie Animal paintings...)

Make it a Wonderful Day!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A Cake for Dave

Dave asked for this cake for Valentine's Day. It's a classic sheet cake, but I used a large circle cutter after baking. The frosting is cooked on the stove, and then poured onto the cake while still warm. It's like a layer of fudge on top of the cake, so some of you may want small portions. (Not me. I'm hooked on butter and sugar- my favorite food group.)

MIX: 2 C. Sugar 2 C. Flour  and 1/2 tsp. Salt. Set aside.
MELT: 1C. Butter with 4 Tblsp. Cocoa
ADD: 1 C. Water. Bring to boil.
POUR: Over dry ingredients and mix.
ADD: 1/2 C. Sour Cream and mix.
ADD: 2 Eggs and 1 tsp. baking soda; mix.
POUR: Into greased and floured 9x13 pan
BAKE: In a 375 degree oven for 20-25 minutes. Cool
BOIL UNTIL BUBBLY: 1 C. Butter 6 Tblsp. Canned Milk and 4 Tblsp. cocoa
ADD: 1 pound Powdered Sugar and 1 tsp. Vanilla.
BEAT by hand or with electric mixer until smooth.
ADD: 1 C. Chopped Nuts
FROST: Cooled cake immediately with warm frosting.

Confession time: I've made this cake TONS of times with no problem. But this one baked unevenly, sinking in the middle. So cutting it into serving-sized pieces was a solution to a not so pretty cake! I didn't get a photo of it garnished with strawberries-but this looked a lot better than serving a crater cake in my old baking pan!

Oh, here's a little gift for Dave wrapped in paper I stamped with my carved eraser. So quick and easy!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Heart of Palm

Have a Wonderful Day!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Still Time for Your Valentine!

I know it's last minute, and you probably have everything all ready for your Valentine's Day celebration... But just in case you're running behind, here is a recipe, a craft, and a great thrifted find too!

I made a batch of Lori's famous caramels. She shared her mom's recipe a few years back, and now it's a tradition for a few of us to get together at Christmas to make them. I decided that once a year just isn't often enough to enjoy these!


2 C. Brown sugar
1 C. Karo syrup
2 Cubes Butter
1 Can Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 tsp. Vanilla

Combine sugar, corn syrup, butter; add milk slowly. Bring to a boil over medium-low heat, stirring constantly. Using candy thermometer, bring to softball stage, (or just barely past for a firmer caramel). Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Pour quickly into a buttered 9x13 pan. Cool. Cut into small pieces and wrap with waxed paper, twisting each end to secure. (I cut the waxed paper into  4-inch squares. Shape the caramels as needed with your fingers.)

Homemade Stamps
Even with all the tags and cards I made last weekend, I didn't have Valentine tags. So I carved a little heart stamp from an eraser using an xacto knife and a linoleum block carving tool.

The stamp is made from 1/2 a white eraser. First, trace around your eraser to get the size, and then draw your design on white paper. 

Keep it simple, and remember, if you write a word, you'll need to make sure it's reversed on the eraser. (After I drew mine, I went over it with Sharpie- the black is the part that I carved away.) Rub the whole design with pencil lead. Place paper pattern on your eraser, and trace over the lines from the back. Now your design is ready to carve. It's easy to carve, but make sure to supervise kids and be careful!!

Attach the stamped image to red cardstock. Use double sided thick mounting tape to attach the image to the larger tag. (Mine is a scrap of white textured cardstock with the corners trimmed like a traditional tag.The red circle is made using a small circle punch, another one of my favorites! After attaching it to the white tag, I used a regular paper punch to make the hole through both. Add string to tie to the cellophane package, and tie with ribbon.)

And I love my thrifted plate from Value Village!

Make it a Wonderful Day!!

Print People

I'm finally posting a few of the fun faces made by the kids as part of our printmaking unit...

It was confusing to figure out the mirrored positions of the plates on the black side to match the printed image on the white side! I especially like the results in this one below where the plate for the blue side of the body was overprinted to see two colors...
I experimented with several different glues, but I think any tacky type of glue works for gluing the foam plates. Some of the pieces were curved, so we glued them and then put a heavy book or something on top until the glue had a chance to set up. I like how they create a checkerboard when displayed together. (I was able to offset them to make that work at one of the schools where I had enough room.)

We tried out a few other printing techniques that I'll share over the next week.

Make it a Wonderful Day!! 

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Bits and Pieces

We're good at making a mess...

My friend Karen and I are both the frugal type. We save old cards, and this past weekend we spent some time putting all those bits to new use. (Okay, not all the bits- we'd need at least a month to use up all our treasures!) We made lots of gift tags and some cards too.

These three tags and card were all made from one upcycled card. I love how adding the little jewels gives them some bling. 

These are some of Karen's cute creations...

My daisy punch is my favorite, but next in line are my circle punches. They are great for making tags from Christmas cards-and I added glitter on a few of them for some sparkle. See the country look tags- those are from the outer envelop a calendar came in from a few years ago. Yes, I save everything. And the white string came from a HUGE lifetime-supply sized bolt thrifted from Value Village.

 Good company and making stuff. My idea of a good time!