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If At First You Don't Succeed

I've been trying to get online and add a post to this blog for three days now without success. So, I'll try again! 

I've been working through the techniques in Beryl Taylor's book, Mixed Media Explorations. I took a class from her in Houston the first time I went to International Quilt Festival in 2k7 and really think she's an awesome artist. I've tried many of the techniques previously - but not her 'way' and it's been a fun experience to work through the book...mostly. 

Today, I used up some of the trash - uh, I mean, paper, that I had shipped down here from the States. (You wouldn't believe the stuff I have in that play room). It felt really, really good to put some of it into a project.

I started by gluing strips of white textured wallpaper to a piece of gray felt, then on top of that, I glued down some strips of white tissue paper. Everything I used came from a yard sale (except for the tissue paper which came from a gift) and only cost pennies to make (unless you count the $10K+ we paid for shipping) all these items. Here's what it looked like...

Next, Beryl said to paint the piece with diluted acrylic paint but I wasn't looking too closely at the instructions and skipped to the next step, which was to rubber-stamp script onto the painted tissue/wall paper. I got out my "Let It Be" stamp (don't you love that) and went to town. 

Then I realized I had skipped the paint part and went back and put a wash of silver paint on top. Here's what it looks like now...

I have NO idea what I'll do with it but it was a great to use up some of my glue and paint and of course, trash. :)

I also did one in different colors -

Minus the script -

Beryl's directions said to use strips of paper and I did simply because I was in the mood for a 'no brainer' but as I was playing, I thought about tearing paper into shapes and making a scene.

That reminds me, I did make a bit of a scene early today, which I won't describe, and in order to get over my very grumpy mood, I sent myself to my room, and made this Fabric Paper - also from Beryl's book...

I hardly EVER use black paint and when I realized what was going on I tried to soften it a bit with silver paint and an orange wash on top. It looks like a Halloween Trip Gone Bad with the red slashes running through it. And look at those words. Boy oh boy.

Anyway, I was feeling a little better by the time I'd tried to fix it a little and it doesn't look as bad hanging outside with my clean up rag - which is now surface designed fabric. I don't waste anything.

When I finish painting on a project, I use up what's left on my palette and brush by painting on fabric or paper. 

When I took a workshop with Sue Benner (actually 2 now) (she's that wonderful), she taught me to layer, layer, layer. So...I have a bin of fabric that I've altered by dyeing, painting, burning, foiling, batiking, stamping, stencliling and free motion stitching to name a few. This is the bin I go to first when I want to make something.

I used to just look at it and wouldn't let myself use it for anything that wasn't super special but I've decided that everything I do is super special and I love making art that much more because those fabrics make me happiest.

Anywho, I digress. 

When I go to clean my palette and brushes, I'll look through my special bin of fabric and pull out pieces to apply the paint that's left in the brush - until there ain't no more. Then, I dip it in water and keep applying - until there ain't no more. Then, I'll take a piece of really ugly fabric and sop up whatever water is left to over dye it - until there ain't no more. Now, I have another layer lain down on several pieces and feel like I've done my good deed for the day. 

When I take my tools to the sink, I feel satisfied that nothing is going to end up in anyone's water supply. Down here, that's already a big enough concern. (But I did that in Florida too).

So, after running downstairs for a sandwich (we always eat our big meal in the middle of the day down here) (I'm down 35 pounds!!!), I came upstairs, put Beryl's book aside and played with more strips. 

I love that I went from Halloween Trip Gone Bad to this -

 -even though this is just the beginning of the piece, I think it's much happier.

It's almost 12:30am here and I'm getting sleepy but I wanted to show you my contact cards real quick before I close down the computer. 

I hope to continue with my business, bohemiannie! art, while here in Colombia and have thought and thought about what to put on my next business or contact cards. I decided to make itty bitty collages (business card size) with my scraps - which I can't bear to throw away - and here is the last batch - which I finished yesterday...

I love making them but the best part is handing them out! 

Later alligator!

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