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 :)