-->

Welcome

Welcome! Artfully Musing is a blog dedicated to sharing art and the techniques and products used. I'll be showcasing collage, altered and mixed media art as well as miniature. I hope you'll check back often and are inspired. Thanks for visiting! Laura
COMING SOON: TUNNEL BOOK VIDEO TUTORIAL

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Mermaid Queen

This piece titled “Mermaid Queen” wraps up this month’s mermaids theme.  The image of the woman is from a vintage magazine.  The sea serpent is a carousel animal.  Many of the vintage images I use I find on sites like Flickr.  If you missed it, here is the link to the post on "Where to Find Images for Your Art". 
To create her trident I used the ends of three spinners, a jewelry drop, and a wooden skewer.  The silver loops on the bottom right are made of silver trim.
The blue pebbles are a product I purchased at Michael’s craft store a few years ago.  I’m not sure if they still carry them. 

A similar product is Robin’s Nest Dew Drops.  They come in a variety of colors and can be purchased at Frantic Stamper and other online stores.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Queen of the Fairies

I was hoping to have this card finished last month but I just wasn’t happy with it.  It’s been sitting around my studio for a few months.  I loved the image of the woman which is from a cover of a vintage magazine, but I just couldn’t figure out where to go with the card.  I almost tossed it.  Anyway I’m finally happy with the results.  It is not unusual for me to work on a piece over a long period.  I usually have about 10 pieces going at the same time.  I like to take the time to make sure that I’ve done the best I can with each piece (basically futzing and puttering until I’m happy).
For this card, I started with a fabric background but by the time I finished very little of the fabric is exposed.  I’ve used German scrap around the edges and base.  Her wings are made of vellum.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Sea Maiden

To create the background I painted glossy paper with alcohol inks.  Her tail is coated in mica flakes.  Her bodice is made of microbeads and her hair is made from fibers.

Butterfly Images for Your Art – Third Set

Below are a series of vintage butterfly plates.  You are free to use these in your art.   To download an image, click on the image to expand it, right-click and select Save As.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Shared Art – Mermaid of Treasure Island

This ATC was a shared art piece made by Ali Brandist and me.  Her tail is covered in The Robin’s Nest Dew Drops.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Idea for Removing Glue

If you are like me, after a few weeks of working on projects all of your scissors and tools are sticky with glue and paper.  Maybe you are not like me and I’m just very messy.  The worst are the scissors I use to cut the sticky backing for un-mounted rubber stamps.  I use Goo Gone to remove the glue.  You can find this product in hardware stores and places like Wal-Mart and Target. 

To make the process really easy I fill an empty Wet Ones container with Goo Gone.  I then put my scissors and tools in the container to soak overnight.  They next day most of the glue is dissolved.  Any remaining glue wipes off easily with a paper towel.  I then wash the tools in soapy water and they are back to new.  For smaller scissors I run a wooden skewer through the handle to keep them from sinking to the bottom of the container.  For very small scissors, tweezers and tools I have a small container of Goo Gone.  The product doesn’t evaporate so it lasts forever. 

Monday, June 13, 2011

High Flyers – Altered Altoids Tin

A couple of months ago the folks at Alpha Stamps (Leslie the owner and Bella the Design Team Coordinator) asked me if I would like to be a Guest Designer.  I was thrilled so of course I said yes.  For those not familiar with Alpha Stamps they are an online company (based in the San Francisco Bay area) that designs and sells collage sheets and rubber stamps.  They also carry a fabulous selection of collage supplies.  I’ve been a customer for years.  Back in May they sent me a box of circus themed Alpha Stamp products.  There were collage sheets, circus themed papers, rubber stamps, blank Altoids tins, chipboard pendants and various bits and bobs.  They asked me if I would design something with one of the Altoids tins and design something with the chipboard pendants.  The design of the rest of the pieces was completely up to me.  Here is a sneak peek of one of the Altoid tin pieces I created. 

FRONT
The wheels are made from wooden spools that have a hole on each end.  I first painted the wheels then attached buttons by inserting the shank into the holes.  The acrobat on the top is suspended in a plastic curtain ring that I painted with alcohol ink. 

Close-up of the Inside

Alpha Stamps has a large collection of collage sheets with theater background images.  I own them all.  I used the images from one of the sheets for the inside of the tin.  Removing the lid from the tin leaves two holes in the top which is how I suspended the acrobats.
BACK



Here is a list of the Alpha Stamp Supplies I Used for this project:
Blank Altoid Tin
Large Spools
Small Spools
Bakers Twine
Gold Metal Handle Pulls
Fashion Fancy Sequins - Stars
Collage Sheet – Slide Mailer/Shrine Stages
Collage Sheet - Circus Performers #1
Collage Sheet – Circus Performers #2
Graphics 45 Paper– Le Cirque Collection – Greatest Show on Earth
Graphics 45 Paper– Le Cirque Collection – Tags
One of the things that I love about Alpha Stamps is that in addition to the great shopping, they have an online art gallery filled with eye candy, a blog with more eye candy and product information, and they host a Yahoo swap group.  As a member of the group you can participate in a large variety of swaps and group members also enjoy discounts on selected products.
Alpha Stamps Store
Alpha Stamps Gallery
Alpha Stamps Blog
Alpha Stamps Yahoo Group
Two swaps have just been announced.  One is to create a circus train piece like the one I created and the other is to create a chipboard circus book.  Here is the link:
Stay tuned as the themes for next month (July) are Circus, Carnival and Magic.  I’ll be posting the rest of the pieces I created for Alpha Stamps and lost more!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Mermaid Garden


For this card I wanted to blend flowers and seashells to complement the mermaid so I glued the seashells onto wire stems.   For additional embellishment I used images of vintage jewelry.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Sea Goddess

The frame around the image is made of pressed plant fibers that I colored with Ranger Distressed Inks.  Her headpiece is embellished with microbeads.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Deep Blue

For this card, I wanted a watery looking background, so I started with watery patterned matte paper.  To make it look wet I coated the paper with Versamark, sprinkled on clear embossing powder and heated.  All of the sea creatures and plants except for the mermaid are images of vintage jewelry.  I added Glossy Accents, pearls and rhinestones to add sparkle and dimension.  The mermaid tail is made from vellum to which I added multiple layers of green and blue embossing powder.  For a final touch I used black Stickles to give it a little sparkle.

Friday, June 3, 2011

King Crab

The crab found a treasure chest and crowned himself king.  The background is matte paper painted with alcohol inks.  The mermaid is embossed vellum applied to white cardstock and embellished with microbeads.  I used a branch paper punch to create the sea plants by punching black cardstock then coating it with microbeads.  I used a hole punch to punch black cardstock and painted it gold to create coins.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Cream Marie

This card is for a swap in the Marie Antoinette Mail Art group.  The theme required the use of only shades of cream.  To give the Marie image a crackled look, I used Ranger Crackle paint and Grafix Rub-Onz Transfer Paper.  Click here to see the tutorial.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Butterfly Images for Your Art – Second Set

Below are a series of vintage butterfly plates.  You are free to use these in your art.   To download an image, click on the image to expand it, right-click and select Save As.