Sunday, March 21, 2010

Collage Play

The first photo above shows the entire collage...I was playing with the newest Tim Holtz dies, from Sizzix, cut a few out, lay all the pieces out in front of me and let them "speak" to me...apparently, this is what they said...I was putting together a sample for a class meeting that night, so I was just trying to include lots of different ideas . In the next two photos, you can see some of the can also see where I stamped the images that I cut, using the dies and the black thick foam we sell at the store to create "custom" rubber stamps. This is a very cool idea that Tim Holtz shared with anyone who was paying attention at CHA...and since I dote on his every word...well here we are..

After cutting the foam, you can mount it to the acrylic pieces that are used as clear book covers by the Zutter company, with the Bind-it-all machine. They are sturdy, but you can cut them on your trimmer...if it doesn't go all the way thru, it will at least score it and you can snap it. I cut the acrylic pieces with my big Fiskars Guillotine cutter. The stamps are attached using the Claudine Helmuth matte medium from Ranger. I let it dry overnight, but I am sure it is usable way before that.

The hook at the top of the collage is one of Tim's dies...the one with the long skinny hinge on it, that I doubled over to create a loop...the butterfly, bird, heart and the word "wish" are made from some Accu-Cut dies...sprayed with Maya Mists...Tim's dies for the bird's wings, labels and keyholes..the gold key (TH die) is just more of the black foam-it's pretty inexpensive, so you can use it for embellishments, too...sprayed it with the Krylon 18K gold paint...(do that outside if possible)

In the bottom photo, with all the black foam stamps, you can see that I did an imprint into the flower piece...just heat the foam with your heat tool, and impress a stamp right away...we've been doing this for years, right?...anyway, I would definitely do this before mounting onto the acrylic as I think the heat might warp the acrylic...these images can be erased from the black foam by re-heating, but...two things to have it mounted on the acrylic by now, so you don't really want to aim the heat gun there..also, the foam is very inexpensive...just cut another flower and impress with a different stamp or leave it plain...All the images were mounted onto colored chipboard, from Creative Imaginations, a 9x9 piece on top of the black 9 3/4 " square piece. I used Zip Dry mostly for all the gluing.
Here is what I did with the bird cage. I sandwiched a piece of mica between two grungeboard pieces, added a patterned paper die cut on top, traced the whole thing onto more patterned paper, and glued it all together...
Here is another photo showing the bird cage on the front of a journal...this time I broke the bars on the bird cage, and since they are grungepaper, they stayed twisted, so it looks like the bird could fly away...and the bird is that black foam effect...please no e mails or letters, I know it is all just pretend...but I like the idea of that little bird being free...
So, now we are on to this week's prize to a randomly chosen commenter...just leave a comment, related to anything...and you will be entered to win this set of Hambly transparencies...there are six of them, I think.
Also, I mentioned in the newsletter, that I am starting a series of musings on the anatomy and physiology of the artist (keeping in mind that I am talking specifically about us as artists, not Picasso, etc)...actually, we deserve the musings so here goes...I will add a different physiological system each week (I hope!)
The Nose (sense of smell) of the Artist:
When we get a whiff of certain aromas, smells, odors, there is a very strong physiologic effect. In fact, I do believe, that it has been established that the sense of smell is the strongest sense for evoking memory. Smells can warn us of the need to open the window when we spray toxic paints or fixatives, or glues in our studio...a good idea to heed this warning! Also, we can smell our materials...certain inks have a strong small...Stazon has an almond odor...grungeboard and grungepaper has a very distinctive smell...some people love it...others not so much. The smells of our world can inspire us to create, new babies, a vintage trunk full of old papers, ...I love the smell of melted wax, and can tell that it is permeating the room...same for UTEE. Copic markers, alcohol inks...brand new books, even, soldering supplies, flux...something burning (an important smell!!) Our world is filled with smells, and we, as artists, experience them all the time. We take in these smells, and they definitely have an effect on us..positively or negatively...sometimes we won't use something because of its smell...other times, we put up with it because we "need" that product.
....and when there are the times that we relish the smell of what we are doing...It is all being recorded in our brains as part of our art experience...perhaps to be remembered at some later date, when this time of creating is brought back to us, letting us relive some happy memories. Our remembrances of wonderful times don't always include photos. Maybe we can begin to notice more how our sense of smell enhances our artwork, our process, and our enjoyment of what we do.
Next week: the artist's stomach!


  1. interesting project - and I agree with your article on smells - smell is the first thing that I use when going into a new place or eating foods - there is just something that I need to know the smell before I enter a place, eat something or use a product- most scents I don't mind some not so much!! I love the smell of Staz-On!!!

  2. anything....well how about some manufacturer requests? I am dying to get my hands on some of the new "My Little Shoe Box" stuff. The American Crafts "Dear Lizzy" line and oh lest we forget Jillibean much fun stuff in all of them. Have you seen them? Does it spark your interest? Even a little? ;)

  3. I love so many, food, the Spring air, and of course the smell of new paper!

  4. These are beautiful Collages. Thank you for sharing them and the thought process and techniques that went into their creation.

  5. I agree, smells spark memories for me so quickly! For art smells I gotta go with Markers!! (I swear I don't sniff them too much.)I also like the almondy smell of Cocoina glue...too bad it doesn't work that great. I confess that I bought it just cause it smells good! I also love the way the pages of a new book or magazine smell, especially if the pages are shiny with a lot of pictures...that type of paper seems to smell extra good.

  6. Wonderful musings! I have come to love the scent of grungeboard. It's the smell of fun creative things to come. I also love the smell of Staz-on and Distress Embossing Ink.
    The collage is gorgeous. It was fun making all the parts. Now I just need to put it together.

  7. I thoroughly enjoyed your wonderful collages.
    Thank you for sharing the stamp making technique that Tim taught you at CHA - it will be fun to try it!

    Cheryl Stauffer

  8. Love Tim's idea of using the dies to cut foam to use as stamps. Thanks so much for sharing it with us. How cool is that?! (Love saying that!) Now I just need to get a few more of Tim's new dies. I love that bird cage!

    Your thoughts about an artist's sense of smell are so true. I am crazy for the heady spicy smell of certain roses in my garden mixed with lavender. It makes me feel so happy and content.

    Lori Northon

  9. Thanks for the reminder about making foam stamps with the dies... I'll have to remember that once mine come in - any day now....

  10. Great reminder, I had totally forgotten it...and I have the bird cage!! Yipee!!
    I love to smell ink...yes-sir-eee!!!

  11. Wonderful art, thank you so much for sharing.

  12. What a great idea ,using the black foam to make stamps from the dies! Why don't i ever think about stuff like that? I wish I was closer to your store,so I could take classes and visit !

  13. I just love your musings on the nose!!!!! How true!!! I love your art work for the week--beautiful!!!!

  14. What beautiful collages Kate....I love all the colors. Thanks for showing us again how to make the foam stamps...
    I can't wait for all the wonderful smells of spring...

  15. Kate - I love this collage and the idea of making stamps from these great shapes. The birdcage is a must have! Great inspiration - thank you!

  16. Love your artwork and your article! I love when I see how others use ordinary things and turn them into something you would'nt even think about.....great inspiration.

  17. Wonderful work! Love all the good tips. Ah, the smell of grungeboard....
    Gloria L.

  18. Love the collages! Of course, Lovin' the grunge rose, esp. since now I know how to make them! thanks Kate! and I love the smell of real roses hehe!

  19. love the collage Kate, seeing it in person was cool!! I love the smell of grungeboard!! LOL! and smells are so evocative, I love the smell of the very nostalgic!!

  20. Thanks for sharing the collage piece with us. Love the flowers on it.
    Speaking of flowers, I love the smell of sweet peas. They remind me of the ones my Dad grew in our backyard when I was a kid.

  21. To the store interior designer. I love the new decorations on the wall at the store! Great job. My living room is done in blue sky and clouds. Even on a gloomy day its happy in my living room.

  22. Hello,

    I don't have anything of the new Tim stuff yet, but within two weeks I travel to London with a friend to a craftshow and I do hope so they have all his new stuff !

    Especially when I see what you create with the, just buying the dies and it gives you "free" stamps ! I certainly will use your idea.
    Thanks for sharing this !
    greetings from belgium

  23. I don't know what to say as this is my first time here..I love collage and that is what attracted me to your awesome site! I used the link from The Vintage Moth/Abby?
    Love your collection of images! I'll be following your blog. Thanks, Deb