Thursday, December 31, 2009

Last ATC of 2009

Yesterday I sent on its way the last ATC I did on 2009. It features a white cyclamen flower for Rapa at iATCs as part of the monthly partner trade, I used markers and primacolor colored pencils in this one.

These gorgeous flowers come in different shades from white to pink to dark purple and as I just found out the flower is not only edible, but can also be used in tea.

I'm ready to start working on the first ATCs of 2010, Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

About time...

Yeah, it's about time I posted something in my blog; unfortunately I haven't been creating much other than Christmas gifts for my family and for my 2 Secret Santa partners at iATCs and couldn't post any of it online; so here's a quick recap of what I've been keeping myself busy with.

The triptych above is my Mom's Christmas gift -it comes to join the other 38 Nativity scenes we already have -, the background and the faces are all done with acrylics -how easy is it to hate acrylics, ugh....- the clothes come from pieces of patterned paper and I added some bronze dimensional paint for the details.

This is a bird mobile for Annie, one of my Secret Santa's partners. The birds have a word on one side and found poetry on the other side, the hoop was made of some wire and I added large translucent sequins to it. This has been one of those projects I have hated to see go but at the same time loved working on it -I might have to work on one just for my bedroom.

Here's a closeup of the detail in one of the birdies.

Here's Annie's other part of the gift; an altered tote and two -larger than inchies- Alice frames.
Unfortunately I was rushing for posting everything on time and I forgot to take pics of the gifts I sent my other Secret Santa...
Here with the most *terrible* pictures I've ever taken are the totes I painted for my nieces. These ended up pretty cute and not too time consuming; I just printed the letters with a nice cutesy font from the pc, traced them to the fabric and painted them with some fabric paint, I added the flowers and fastened them with an eyelet. The pink tote doesn't look that bad in the pic...the other one is a whole mess, there wasn't any purple in that tote at all it was light-blue with white and yellow flowers. I'll try to take better daylight pictures soon (oh yeah, that shot also includes a close-up of my beloved and battered craft table)

The best part about making all the gifts came 3 days before Christmas when I got the stomach bug from hell...that led to me finishing gifts on Christmas Eve, forgetting to take pics of all the other gifts and not finishing the one above in time to get framed; well there's the holidays for you. Hope you've had a quiet time with your loved ones :)

Monday, November 2, 2009

Cold and Rainy Day

I know better than to believe the weather reports, but today was just too much; I can deal with cold weather in November...but when it rains all day long it can get annoying.
I came home in the afternoon and the bed was just too tempting to pass up, so I decided to take a nap. As it turns out it was a short one because a phone call woke me up. I decided not to waste the rest of the afternoon and I came up with these three ATCs. They are all done with watercolors, the two in the top will be on their way to another house tomorrow; the poinsettia will have to wait for a bit longer.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Deck Project: Week 4

I'm finally caught up with my themes. This is the week 4 card finished in the actual week 4, by the way this is not all I've been creating; but the other things are Christmas presents for my Secret Santas and I cannot show them...I haven't even photographed them yet so I won't be tempted to show them ahead of time.

I could not really find a good match for this week's theme which was "ethereal"; so I used "Light" instead. This one is inspired by "Little Daylight" which is a Scottish fairy tale; from Wikipedia: "A king and queen gain a daughter, whom they name Daylight. They invite all the fairies who live in the woods by their palace, except one, newly arrived, who lives in the swamp and has everyone convinced she is a witch.

The fairy arrives anyway, and demands the baby's name. On hearing it is "Little Daylight" she says it shall be little daylight, as the princess would sleep all day. Another fairy gives her the gift of waking all night, but the swamp-fairy insists that she wasn't done with the curse, and that Daylight shall wax and wane with the moon. A second fairy says that the curse shall be broken when a prince kisses her without knowing it, and the swamp-fairy can not pretend again that she was not done.

As the princess grows up, she is beautiful and full of high spirits at the full moon, and as it wanes, turns wan and withered, as if sickly. The older she grows the more extreme the contrast becomes.

A nearby prince has to flee a revolt in his country and comes to the woods. He meets a fairy who is very cryptic with him, and then comes across Daylight dancing in the woods by moonlight. He sees her three nights in a row, as the moon is waxing to full, and falls in love. The third night, they have a conversation in which the princess tells him she has never seen the sun. He meets the fairy again and talks with her, but the fairy can not tell him the full curse.

The swamp-fairy discovers his presence and prevents him from finding her again until the moon is more than half gone; then, she thinks the withered princess will not attract him, so she relaxes her guard.

The prince finds Daylight again when the moon is new, and she is so withered and feeble that he spends the night trying to minister to her, and when carrying her to help, kisses her.

Dawn arrives, Daylight is restored to her full beauty, and she asks the prince whether the sun is coming."

Mixed Media. Watercolors, scrapbook paper, paint chips, music sheet, acrylics, tissue paper, metallic acrylic paints

Friday, October 23, 2009

Deck Project: Week 3

Last week was really hectic because students at school were completing their final evaluations for the year and on Friday we had the end of year show with the kids all singing and dancing to Disney movie songs. Everything worked out just great -if you take away the fact that there was a huge car accident that same morning and we had to start 30 minutes later because not all the kids were able to make it to school on time-. It was exhausting though and when it was all over I didn't have time -nor inspiration- to work on anything creative at all; I even skipped my Saturday class and chose to sleep in.

Now that kids are at home with their parents I can get some creative time each morning and I manage to get up to date with my deck project. This was the theme for last week "Darkness". This one is inspired by an Italian tale called "The Story of Bensurdatu"; a great king had 3 daughters who went on a picnic one day and got engulfed by a dark cloud where they disappeared. Bensurdatu who was the king's most loyal servant went out to search for them and rescued them from 2 giants and a serpent with seven heads. Bensurdatu married the youngest of the princess after returning to the kingdom.

Postcard size, with watercolors, tissue paper, mixed papers, acrylics, metallic acrylics and inks.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Deck Project: Week 2

The theme for week 2 was "Secret"; I did a bit of research to get inspired and I found an old Japanese tale called "The Crane Wife".

From Wikipedia: "The Crane Wife is an old Japanese tale. While there are many variations of the tale, a common version is that a poor man finds an injured crane on his doorstep (or outside with an arrow in it), takes it in and nurses it back to health. After he releases the crane, a woman appears at his doorstep with whom he falls in love and marries. Because they need money, his wife offers to weave wondrous clothes out of silk that they can sell at the market, but only if he agrees never to watch her making them. They begin to sell them and live a comfortable life, but he soon makes her weave them more and more. Oblivious to his wife's diminishing health, his greed increases. He eventually peeks in to see what she is doing to make the silk she weaves so desirable. He is shocked to discover that at the loom is a crane plucking feathers from her own body and weaving them into the loom. The crane, seeing him, flies away and never returns."

This is postcard size and it is mixed media; the face is done with watercolors, I used music sheet and white tissue paper for the feathers in the hair and in the neck with silver metallic acrylics and black ink on top. The background was done with orange tissue paper, aqua mulberry paper, watercolors, inks, and rub-on letters.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Saturday's Class

Saturday's life drawing class.
13" x 10"

Classes are coming to an end pretty fast, we're having the exhibition in November -not sure of the date yet- and then there's a long break until February. I'm dropping this one off to get framed tomorrow afternoon.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Deck Project: Week 1

Ok, so here's a new idea to wrap my head around... Shelly at Illustrated ATCs gave us the challenge of creating one piece of art a week for 52 weeks -a whole year!- and keeping it instead of trading it. I'm crazy about the whole concept for some basic reasons:
*All my art (large and small) is going to others all the time, it'll be nice to keep some of it for myself.
*Keeping the art for myself means I don't have to stress over other people liking it, AND I can experiment with different techniques
*She gave us a great list of topics to get inspired.

I have some guidelines I set for myself for this project -we'll see how long they last-
*I'm using postcards instead of playing cards as my base - I have trouble fitting mixed media and collage into an ATC.
*My deck will be inspired by the characters of fairy tales (will probably have to branch out to myths/legends with some of the tougher words).

This is my piece for the first week; the topic was
pretend and I chose the wolf from Little Red Riding Hood as my first character. The wolf was painted with watercolors, the blanket/cap were done with patterned paper, and the background has collage pictures and papers, acrylics and watercolors, a rub-on letter and some black ink for the text.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Hosting my First Swap

I just finished hosting my first swap at ATCs for All, and it was a lot of fun; I had the opportunity to see some really extraordinary art -and keep some of it for myself ;)

Here are some of the amazing cards I got from some extraordinary artists; you can visit their blogs or their galleries here:

*Seeking for Art

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Passion Flower

This is a shot from my house's terrace; the purple flower is called a Passion Flower and it grows wildly on a vine that covers the whole front part of the house.
There's something so pretty about the Passion Flower, the petals have a waxy feeling and there are so many other little details in it; to top things off it seems as caterpillars enjoy being here because we have had a super abundance of butterflies since we planted it.

I used the pic above as reference for 2 ATCs I traded at ATCsforAll, I used watercolors and ink in these two.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Talk to the Hand

I joined a very cool mail art swap over at iATCs. I usually try to stick with trading ATCs because postage for anything larger than a regular size envelope can get pretty expensive, but there are some themes that I just cannot say no to.

These are actual outlines of my hands -which I've always considered to be too small...- we were asked to add a hand related quote to each one; these are not actual quotes but phrases of what hands can do for others.
I cut out the hands out of cardboard and added different paper, stamps, and postage stamps as a first layer. I then wrinkled a piece of purple tissue paper and added it on top. It was stencils and green paints over that and finished them with metallic acrylics and ink for the quotes.
I embellished the hands with different elements. I added some large sequins and beads to the bottom of the first hand in this post; the second one had some plastic stars added on top and I used 2 fabric flowers in the bottom; the third card has some fibers wrapped around the bottom and a string of beads along the fibers; the last one has some funky piece of ribbon which I attached with white eyelets and a wire beaded ring on the finger.

Friday, September 11, 2009

I See You...

I used wax crayons, gesso and acrylics in the background. I stenciled the stars and the dots with acrylics and added a transparency on top, I drew over the transparency with white ink to make the details stand out.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Iconic Madonna

ATC for Martha at iATCs for the August Monthly trade. I like the design, so I'll probably use it again for a swap :)

Thursday, September 3, 2009


Coyote ATC for a Pick-a-Theme Swap at iATCs

Mixed media background -wax crayons, gesso, acrylics, stamps, inks-
Hand drawn and painted with acrylics and inks coyote.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Monochromatic Women

It's going to be two years this September that I first learned about ATCs and how has time passed. I have a great collection of art including ATCs, bookmarks, chunkies, inchies, matrioshka dolls, altered houses, art dolls... and there are still lots of things I haven't even tried yet, I'm still looking forward to trading rolos, journals, and pendants!

One of the things I had not tried before either was hosting my own swap and I finally decided to give it a try, I chose "Monochromatic Women" as my theme and I was extremely lucky because an amazing group of artists joined and the art I have already received is just marvelous.

These are my first 2 cards for the swap, the red one has an image of a sunflower which I altered, some sunflower stamps and a packing tape transparency with white ink. The blue card has an acrylic background with an air mail sticker and a packing tape transparency with white ink. I still have to work on 1 more card to add 3 to the swap. I want to take pics of all the cards I get so I can share them with you :)

Vintage Experiment

Ok, I don't really do vintage; I don't have anything against it but the fact is that I use stuff that is easier to get over here, and vintage images do not fall into that category. I had this little girl in my paper stash since last year, she came to me as an extra with a trade I did and I finally put her to good use. I started with some text in the background, it has some oil pastels and acrylics on top, there is a piece of torn tissue paper on top -the paper already had the text on it- I splashed some white ink over it and added the little girl, she has some metallic acrylics on top and white ink for the details.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Rain, rain, go away...

Winter is back here, which means rain every day.
I hate when it rains in the city; traffic gets completely crazy; my commute goes from 40 minutes to an hour and a half; and the lack of sunshine really makes me feel blue. On the other hand I know rain was desperately needed all over Guatemala, drought had really affected the harvests and this is not good for any of us.

This is an ATC for a 1:1 trade at AFA. The background has tissue paper, black and white ink. The girl is an altered image from a magazine, I added gesso and painted with acrylics on top.

Saturday, August 22, 2009


Second painting from my life drawing class.
I was sitting in a weird place because she was leaning forward and I completely misjudged the size of her head, it looks too small.
I got an issue with the shape of the blanket, a friend asked me if she was the "frog ballerina" because she was sitting on a lilly pad...

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Inspiration Tags

I created this tags for a swap at AFA where our amazing hostess is putting the tags of 12 artists into a tag book. The main theme of the book will be art and inspiration.

The top picture is the front of my tags; I started with some watercolors, next I wrote some words I feel a strong attraction to : dream, hope, enjoy, create, life, art; I splattered some gold acrylic paint and ended with the image of the woman's face with black marker.

This is the back of the cards, it's pretty much the same as the front minus the woman's face and the phrase Art is Life written with white ink and shadowed with black marker. I cannot wait to get this amazing book back!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Mermaid Redo...

I have found out that a lot of time when I don't like a piece of art it'll get more interest than a piece I'm particularly proud of. Point in case, the mermaid fiasco I wrote about two weeks ago here...I didn't like what the end product turned out like and I decided not to include it for the Pick-a-Theme swap @ iATCs. Well, you can color me surprised when it got asked in a trade not 10 minutes after I posted...and even more surprised when after I agreed to trade it I got positive comments on it...Anyhow, it was too late to back off the trade and I had to create a new mermaid card for the PAT.

I used collaged papers, acrylics, a mermaid transparency and black and white drawing ink on this one. I'm done with the mixed media cards for the PAT, I have to work in the hand-drawn cards now.

Friday, August 7, 2009


Mom's birthday today! I have been working on this for the last week.

20" x 17"

Watercolor on watercolor paper.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Pink Rose

Lately I've been in a creative mood, I woke up this morning with a great desire for painting something. I'm way behind in lots of ATC trades, but I felt the need to work on a larger scale.

I browsed through my garden pics and I found this rose; the colors are completely different as the real rose was a darker pink and white.

This is going as an extra gift in a package I sent on Monday, I hope the person who gets it likes it as much as I do :)

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Ballerina Watercolor

This is the latest painting I've finished on Saturday classes, it is a 11"x15" watercolor.
I started the drawing last weekend, worked on the first layer of paint during the week, and finished it during class yesterday morning.

There are still some things that are a bit wonky and I need to fix on the basic shape:
*the arms should have had more of a curve in them.
*the back is too wide, she was a really skinny girl in real life.
*the forehead should be larger, I drew the hairline too low in that part.

All things considered, I'm pretty satisfied with this one, especially with the way the colors turned out. Since the other students in the class are working with oils, we'll keep working the same pose for the next two classes; I'll have to choose a different position to create a different piece.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


One of the first cards I received when I started trading ATCs was with an Alice in Wonderland theme, and it is one of my favorite themes so far. This one is for Amerasu over at iATCs for the July partner swap.

I'm thinking I should take a pic of my Alice collection and show it off, there are really amazing things in it :)

Home and Heart

Ok, last piece for the Mixed Media PAT over at iATCs - well at least until I get done with Mermaid #2- This one is for Shelly, and her theme was "Home is where the Heart is". I went with a whimsical style for this one, trying to make it fun and colorful.

*I started with a piece of fabric, the light blue with color circles on top, I read somewhere that you can add some sealer over the fabric to make it stiff and to avoid fraying. I had it already prepared and it saved me time.

*I sketched the shape of the house on top and added a couple of hands of gesso.

*I used my acrylics to paint the walls with bright yellow and the roof with a combination of red/orange/yellow.

*I outlined the house, roof and the shape of the heart with black ink.

*I added bronze dimensional paint inside the heart...I dropped the card face down on the floor when I was cleaning up, picked it up again and waited for it to dry before I can fix the boo boo.

*I added some white acrylic around the color circles in the background.

I'm still considering on adding a border with the same dimensional paint around the card...not quite sure yet.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Mermaid Fiasco

Yesterday I told you about how sometimes when I play with collage and mixed media I'm in for a bit of a gamble...sometimes it pays off, and sometimes you get this:

Meet the Mermaid Fiasco... This poor card started its life as a paper cut, which I was quite happy to try. I searched high and low for a piece of black paper and couldn't find any in my whole stash, quite brilliantly -yeah, right...- I decided to use a piece of blue paper.

I then started to work on cutting the design, which turned out to be quite time consuming and difficult at times.

I finally finished and started on the background, scrunged up white paper over cardstock and covered with blue metallic paint. I added the paper cut and it got completely lost over the background, I thought that I could outline it a bit and started adding white and black ink until I got to a point where I just had to step away and admit that this time I was way over my head... I'll have to start from scratch for this little beauty...ugh...

Monday, July 27, 2009

Portrait of a Fairy

Ok, so this is what I picture the portrait of a fairy looks like ;)
This one is for Deb.

*I started with a vintage playing card that had a character from one of Jane Austen's books -I cannot remember which character though-.

*I gessoed over the image, added light peach and purple squares of tissue paper all over the rest of the card, and finally rubbed a bit of metallic blue paint over it.

*I painted over the original image with my acrylics and added two butterfly wings from a rub-on I had lying around (I think I need to seal them though, so I can make sure it doesn't peel off)

*I ended it with acrylic blue squares and rectangles outlined with black and white ink and some pieces of metallic paper on top.

I like to play with collage and mixed media a lot, granted it does not always comes out as I had earlier planned...check in tomorrow to see what I mean.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Mixed Media Butterflies

One of these is going to Anita in iATCs, for the Summer PAT. She is in my Mixed Media group and she asked for butterflies, so I started working on one and ended up with two :)

Here's a short walk through of how I made these:
*I used some watercolor paper as my base, and did a quick wash with yellow and red watercolors.
*I altered the images from a greeting card, it was a blue butterfly with the 2 yellow smaller butterflies on the corners. The image was too large so instead of wasting half the image I did 2 ATCs from it.
*I first added a watered down gesso coat over the images- I just wanted to give some tooth to the paper so I could add color on top.
*Next was a very translucent coat of metallic paint -blue and yellow- over the entire butterflies' bodies.
*I added the inside details with acrylics, white ink, and black ink.
*I finished it up with a transparency -text on one and music sheet on the other.

I worked on more ATCs during the weekend, and a larger project from my figure drawing class. I'll post them later on during the week.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


These are my latest ATCs for the Flower Queens/Fairies Swap at iATCs. I had to work fast on these ones because they are due on August 3rd, I need to get them out of here by Monday to make sure they'll arrive on time.
These are done in watercolor paper, I applied a first layer of marker, went over it with my Prismacolor colored pencils and finished with white drawing ink.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

A New Addiction

After a couple of weeks of constant rain the sun finally decided to make an appearance, we have had two wonderful days of sunshine and they have been greatly appreciated. I finally had a chance of taking pics of the latest blooms in my Mom's garden and they are just fantastic. Our pomegranate tree is full of fruit which soon will be ripe enough to eat and all the rose bushes are blooming.
Take a look at my new addiction ;)

I have always had this attraction to knitting and sewing, but for the life of me I cannot knit nor sew a button.
A couple of weeks ago comes my Mom with a new hobby she is going to try, using a knitting board. I instantly jumped on the idea but had to wait for her to complete her project first, a salmon scarf which she finished but then work got in the way and my project was pushed in the back burner.
I finally decided I wanted to give it a try so I looked online for instructions on how to use a knitting board and started trying it out with the yarn I had recycled from an old sweater. It is not the most beautiful scar
f ever; to be true I'm not sure I'll ever wear it, but it let me get a feeling for the knitting board. After finishing that one, I got this brown yarn and started working on a complete piece which I finished last weekend.
My favorite part is getting different effects by using different stitches, this one is a ribbing stitch and it made the scarf quite warm and full. It was quite a fun and fast project to work on and I can see more scarves and different stitches coming during the following months.

P.S. The latest issue of Art Trader Magazine is out and is full of great stuff, click on the cover and enjoy all the cool articles and art in this edition.