Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Lure of the Sea, sea glass, mystery and magic

Even as I work on art mini books and albums, thanks to Cindy coming by this weekend bringing me a ton of vintage metal items, lace, flowers and paper ephemera, I've also been writing.  Thanks to the encouragement of Brian K. Ladd and Chris, I'm now up to close to 23,000 words on Foxglove Broadsides, which has taken an oddly macabreand disturbing turn which seems to have ramped up the story.  At first I had planned it to be a pure adventure story. but it is now devolving into something a good bit darker.  I think it's due to all the research I'm doing for other projects such as Fireworks.
 I'm also, oddly enough, writing poetry again.  I've been reading a lot of Anne Shrive novels and although her style is not poetic, she writes a lot about the Isle of Shoals and the 1/4 stretch of coastline where I lived off the coast of New Hampshire.  The Weight of Water and Sea Glass are two of her books located there and in Portsmouth, NH.  The Weight of Water has a different take on the Smuttynose murders which occurred on one of the Isles of Shoals in the late 1800's.
While I lived there in my mother's 1940's cottage (little changed even in 2006) about a two minute walk from the rocky cove she loved near Boar's Head, I painted, wrote a lot of poetry as well as wrote a large chunk of Shaman in Exile. My memories of my time there are bittersweet and sometimes I fear I'll never see it again.
So, as is my way, to keep it alive, there shall be a sea glass/Isle of Shoals and Portsmouth minibook in my future.  Not your usual pretty little vacation book, but a more mysterious looking work, as the area is saturated with ghost and murder stories, shipwrecks and even pirates. I've also been immensely inspired by the artwork of Jack and Cat Curio and intend to learn some of their techniques in my larger collage pieces.
Mysterious, haunting, wildly imaginative. Perhaps I'll include bits of the new poetry in some of the new books. Who knows. This is the time of year for the macabre! I can't wait for it to get cool enough again to wear black.
Here's a great shadowbox by Jack and Cat Curio.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Riding the Orient Express

I have been working on this mini steampunk album for my friend Cindy, whose character in our Upstate Steampunk group is a spy who travels on the Orient Express.  This is only my second mini album and I had fun.  (warning photo intensive blog entry!) I made the cover from chipboard backings of paperpaks and the inside pages of cereal and brownie boxes.  I now recycle all of of my food boxes.  None go in the landfill.  The small ones I use for tags, the larger for pages.
I watched a lot of tutorials on you tube and looked at a ton of photos of works on the Graphic 45 ring for inspiration and techniques.  This time, I tried a lot of fold out folios, in addition to the tag making and original page layouts.  I may still add more embellishments as time goes on, like I did with my first Steampunk mini book.
On the cover I used a cut out of a photo shoot I did of Cindy in her Victorian piano dress and superimposed it over a vintage Orient Express train engine.  Then added K and Co. borders, metal embellishments, Prima flower, hand made title and letters.
I made a World Traveler photo page, accented with feather and Prima flowers,  with a pull out tag using a Graphic 45 Steampunk Debutante lady on one side and a copper metallic paper photo mat on the reverse.
On another page I made a pull out portfolio using Graphic 45 papers on the page and folio cover  and then adding photo mats and journaling pages inside.
I distressed a lot of the page edges using pigment inks to give the album a vintage sort of grungy, well-traveled journal. 
This is an envelope style folio I made which opens up too and has small photo pages. Bits and pieces of Orient Express ephemera and Graphic 45 papers from the Botanicabella and Renaissance Faire paper collections.
On the left, you can see the copper photomat tag tucked in on the previous page on the left. 
I tied it off using a vintage style thread label topper to hold the twine closure. 
Background papers are form a K and Co. paperpak.
I did a two page spread in black because that seems to be a good color for a spy plus I had some gorgeous vintage style papers I wanted to flaunt!  I added some photo and journaling tags and left a large photomat on the page so Cindy can add photos after our big 2-day Upstate Steampunk Con to be held in November.  I'm sure we'll take lots of photos at the hotel which is very posh and Victorian. I made the London stamp using a wooden stamp made by  Hero Arts embossed with blue ink crystals and added ColorBox pigment inks to age it.
Here are the tags I made for photos and journal writing.  I just cut cereal box cardboard in various shapes and added the papers, used a grommet setter so I could add yarn and ribbon pulls.
The opposite sides are photo mats and also have sayings on them. 
I did a third portfolio using on the coin page.  This one is a library pocket portfolio and holds the vintage train itinerary listing all the stations where The Orient Express makes its stops from London to the Egypt. This page also features ephemera from the Orient Express.  The resin coin is positioned on a gold circle which came from the top of my instant Maxwell House coffee jar!  It came off perfect and was too pretty to throw away. This green striped portfolio opens up to hold four photos.
It's held closed with a ribbon accented with a Graphic 45 tag, looped around a Making Memories paper button and tied through a grommet hole at the bottom of the page.And the last page holds a handmade book to look either like a passport or like a journal the Orient Express would give to it's VIP travelers.  The book as well as a ticket are tucked into a pocket embellished with a raven (one of Cindy's symbols) and a quote.  On the cover of this little blue book  is the logo of the Vienna Orient Express from the turn of the century and inside on the cream colored linen pages are various posters from the Orient Express and pages to journal.  I used about three pages of linen stationary to make the insert.  I folded the cover and inner pages with my bone folder so the book would fit better, then used my grommet setter to punch the holds on the center fold and tied the book together with ribbon.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Indie Craft Parade and steampunk!

A totally creative weekend and it's nto over yet.  Mark and I attended the Indie Craft Parade (Greenville, SC) and boy was it wild!  Lines out the door, down the steps out the big mill door, down the street!  It was wall to wall crafts and shoulder to shoulder crowds.  All the people made it difficult to see everything (we had to look over heads) and we had to move when the line moved, because we couldn't hold it up to browse.  But I have to say the quality level of the artisan's work was out the roof of the Hugenot Mill and I came away inspired.  Must make flowers and more or my own papers! We left that craziness and went to The Artistry Gallery for a photography show of France scheduled to appear in National Geographic.  Just peeked into Ryan Calloway's blacksmith shop, had a quality visit with Janina Ellis, one of our friends and favorite artists (both Mark listed and I own some of her work) and then listened to artist, Hamed Mahmoodi with his marvelous and exotic storytelling as the sun set and the fall breeze blew the clouds around.  A lovely start to the weekend. 
  So this weekend, inspired, I made my first steampunk mini book, using Graphic 45, 7 Gypsies, Industrial Chic and Tim Holtz papers and embellishments and am thrilled with the results.  Got in the zone on this one and went to town, listening to Valentine Wolfe and Din of Thieves. 
My major inspiration came from Steffogal (with a Grin)  and her Steampunk Debutante Mini Album, Manoli Navarro's, Simply Irresistible card, both of whom are on the Graphic 45 Ring and Zettie Bettie's Vintage Grunge Mini Album video on you tube.
I made all my own pages from chipboard backs of paperpacks and cereal boxes.  I also made all my own tags except for the Dream Journal tag. I did use library card holders, vintage photographs, lace and stamps, my handspun, hand dyed yarns, my own drawings, and ribbons. More photos are up on my Graphic 45 page.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Foxglove Broadsides inspires journal making

More writing on Foxglove Broadsides, more making of journals.  And what's fun is that as I explore the plot line and my protagonist, Cecile gets embroiled in more and more rather off the wall experiences, they all serve as fodder for creating art. 
At first when she's more involved in her duties with the bookstore and steam press (with odd moments of participating in rebellions) I was only doing research on presses, printing, inks, etc.  But as the botany came into it - lots of research there, and as I realized I could use my personal background as a student balloon pilot,
and staff writer for a ballooning magazine), well that came naturally.
The research leads to many photos and stories and they're all so interesting I want to capture them to - so I do with art - and go off on tangents like the research on absinthe, which I started years ago for my novella or series of shorts stories, Two Ruffians and a Rat before it was sold in America. Since I sold more on ETSY over the weekend, I had to replenish the supplies.  That's four journals shipped in the past week, so I have to restock - especially any in the botany/garden variety in time for Upstate Steampunk Con in November.  I'm thrilled to be working with the Steampunk Debutante papers from Graphic 45, as well as others, such as Tranatlantique and Communique.  But I waited along with many others for the Steampunk line to be available.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Art Days are here again!

In between writing I'm spending lots of time working on journals and journal pages, every so often, going out into the garden to work and bask in the cool 70 degree temps and lovely breeze. And what should I discover when I came in but that one of my art journal pages has been featured in the Steampunk Empire photo gallery. Needless to say - I was thrilled since this is the first interior page from The Journal of Cecile Bainbridge, an art journal I'm making for my Upstate Steampunk events and travels where I dress in costume as my fictional protagonist from my steampunk novel in progress, The Foxglove Broadsides. 
I used Graphic 45, K Company, Boo Bunny and 7 Gypies papers and accents, a personal photo of me as my character, a photo of London, a handmade tag, vintage photos, vintage postage stamp and other embellishments.
On other pages, I've added photos from our Upstate Steampunk meetings, photos of my granddaughter in a Victorian hat, vintage photos of my grandparents and aunt,along with many of my favorite altered arts, scrapbooking, and art journaling embellishments,  Also photos of all my steampunk outfits which I have made or upcycled from thrift store finds or my old clothes dating back to the 60's.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Art - a wonderful way to start a long weekend.  I'll be producing steampunk art and writing more chapters on my steampunk novel, The Foxglove Broadsides, based in Victorian London and Paris this weekend.  I would have loved to have attended DragonCon.  Alas, it was not meant to be.  But m,y second shipment of Graphic 45 marvelous Botanica and Steampunk Debutante papers arrived and I have been so excited I woke up at 5:30 AM to start working on my visual art journal - The Steampunk Journal of Cecile Bainbridge, Steampunk Printer, owner of the Equinox Bookstore, Hot Air Balloon Pilot of the Midnight Sun, and Botanist of the Royal Academy of Botany, Research Botanist in the Deadly Plant Greenhouse at Kew Gardens. Yes, she is the heroine of The Foxglove Broadsides, an all in one Victorian woman, independent, impulsive, and unstoppable by her long suffering friend, Nathanial Copper, Tesla type engineer, often finds himself rescuing Cecile, as she is  drawn reluctantly into strange and extraordinary events on both sides of the channel.
To the upper right is the page of Cecile Bainbridge, when she is perhaps her most ladylike, as the botanist fascinated with poisonous plants.  Yes - there are those lovers of plants who have a fascination with the more  macabre species of the botanical kingdom.  And Cecile holds no restraint when it comes to the exploration of such flora.  

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Graphic 45 Steampunk

Writing and art go hand in hand at my house and I often work on art as I write my novels and short stories.  For Shaman Circus and Shaman in Exile, I painted a series of paintings, for Foxglove Broadsides, I'm creating art journals for my Etsy, but also a massive one for myself.  It's Steampunk and Victorian themed and it's almost full.  I'll have to start another.  Yesterday I created a collage, which may end up being on the cover or may end up framed.  I've fallen in love with Graphic 45 Steampunk Debutane and Botanica papers and tags.  They're the most beautiful altered art papers on the market in my opinion and I hope they come out with more on a steampunk theme. They have a real feel for the Victorian and Art Noveau eras.  
On the large collages I also get to use the found objects find  every time I walk somewhere. My friends know how I stop and pick up every piece of scrap metal I see - sometimes for 3D  assemblages and sometimes for art journals and altered books.
This collage is called "Into the Aether" and relates to my character, Cecile Bainbridge, the Botanist of Deadly plants in Foxglove, who becomes a reluctant hot air balloon pilot of The Midnight Sun, a hot air balloon which only flies a night. It incorporates vintage photographs, key, clockwork parts and stamps with found metal objects.  And I always have fun embossing real copper (from a roll of copper chimney flashing found at Home Depot).
Web Analytics