Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Tangling with Nature

This is my submission for this week's I am the Diva challenge #228 by Cari  Sultanik that celebrates all things natural and organic. I printed on a mixed-media paper this photo that I took of the cone flower and the butterflies in my garden. Then I randomly tangled on the background with white gel pen. It looks like I collaged the flowers and the butterflies, but I did not. I outlined them with a pen that gives them that dimensional look.

Linked to Paint Party Friday.
Thanks for visiting. Your comments are welcome.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Channeling Dan Quale

What is Missing Here?
Two very highly intelligent creatures are left to wonder: what is it? RANT RUNNER? RAIN RUNNER? RANK RUNNER? RAVE RUNNER? RAPT RUNNER? Do you know? Answer is at the end of this post.

The art work was created using Google Street View map of Santa Fe for this month's Virtual Paintout Challenge. If you click on the link below you will see the station board with missing letters. I added the road runner and his elephant pal as an amusing touch.  Handpainted with brush pens and markers.

At Zia Road, Santa Fe 

Linked to Virtual Paintout and Paint Party Friday.

The answer is: RAIL RUNNER. It is part of Rio Metro New Mexico transit system.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Travelling Journal: A Step-by-Step Tutorial for Making Postal Journals

Do you mail yourself postcards from places you visit? If yes, here is an alternative to those cookie-cutter postcards--handmade journal. You can make it yourself, use it in your travels and, at the end of the journey, seal and mail it to yourself. You not only have a record of your travel experiences but also a mail from the place you had just visited. It is so cool. I have mailed them within US, from Canada and the UK. In all instances, they were delivered  without fail.

Basically, this is a pamphlet style journal stitched into a 12" by 12" scrap  paper. With a few nips and tucks, the scrap paper does double duty as a cover and an envelop. If you know how to make a pamphlet style journal, you are already half way there. I have also provided graphic instructions for making the journal. Please note that I have used the terms journal and notebook interchangeably.

Though this is not an art piece, it deals with the theme of post and postage. One of the journal covers is made with all stamp paper. So I am linking this post to Art*Journal*Journey.

Materials and tools needed:

1. Kraft or scrap paper 12" x 12" for cover cum envelop
2. White copy paper, 8.5" by 11", 5 sheets for notebook
3. Embroidery thread and needle with a large eye
4. An awl for piercing hole (or any sharp object that can poke hole into a paper)
5. Scissors

Note:This is a slim journal made of 10-20 pages. This will keep the postage charges at reasonable level. I have used colorful cover pages. You may substitute plain Kraft paper.


1. Fig 1-4: Take a 8.5" x 11" sheet paper. Fold it lengthwise (fig 2). Fold it widthwise (fig 3). Tear along the fold on the width side (fig 4). You should have two folded sheets, each measuring 5 1/2" by 4.25". Do steps 1-4 with the remaining sheets. You should now have ten folded sheets.

2. Figs 5-8: Take a single folded sheet. Along the fold, mark the center. Mark one inch from the top. Mark one inch from the bottom. Do the same with the remaining sheets. Tuck the sheets into each other like a notebook so that the marks are neatly aligned. Poke the awl from the inside through the center point all the way through the sheets. Do the same with the top point and the bottom point (Fig 8).


3. Figs 9-12: On the right side of the scrap paper, mark the center which is 6" from either side. Place the notebook on the inner side of the scrap paper as shown in Fig 10. The center hole on the notebook should align with the 6" mark. (The scrap paper I am using is plain on one side and that is the inner side. If you are using a paper that has print on both sides, you may either side for the inside.) 

Fold over the left side of the scrap paper over the right side (Fig 11). Crease the fold and flip over the entire sheet (Fig 12).

4. Figs 13-16: The following steps are for making a pamphlet style notebook. Open the flap and using the notebook as the guide, mark the center, top and bottom points on the scrap paper (Figs 13 & 14). With the awl, make a hole on each marked point. Cut a piece of embroidery thread that is 3 times the length of the notebook. Thread the needle with one end of the thread longer than the other. (Fig 15).

Make sure the holes of the notebook are properly aligned with the holes on the cover sheet (Fig 15). Open the notebook and push the threaded needle from the inside center hole ( Fig 16) leaving a tail 3" long.

5.  Figs 17- 20: From inside the center hole, bring the needle to the outside, marked 1(Fig 17). Push the needle into the hole on left from outside (marked 2) and bring it inside (Fig 18). Take the needle all the way across the top hole and push through from inside hole to outside (Figs 19 & 20).

6. Figs 21-24: From hole 3, push the needle inside through the center hole (marked 1) and tie a secure knot with the tail. Trim off excess thread (Fig 22).

Close the journal and the cover the way it is shown in Fig 23. Flip over and fold the two edges as shown in Fig 24.

7. Figs 25-28: Cut off the folded edges and when you open the cover, it should look like Fig 25. Draw the two lines as shown in Fig 26. Trim the cover along the lines as shown in Fig 27. (However, you can skip steps 26 and 27 and fold as shown in Fig 26A below.) Fold the flaps as shown in Fig 27.

8. Figs 29-30: Fold the flapped side over to the side with the flat paper. It should look like Fig 29. Fold the excess paper as shown in Fig 30. 

You have now an envelop journal. 

I hope these instructions inspire you to make a few journals of your own. If you have any comments or suggestions about this tutorial, please feel free to do so.

Thanks for visiting.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Summer Break


Growing up, summer break was a period of guilt-free recreational reading that was totally unconnected to studies. Summer break was when your parents could not yell at you for wasting time  reading comics or Mills and Boon or Agatha Christie. By the time my daughter was born it was accepted that any reading was good for the young minds. My daughter was a voracious reader. She would read the labels on the cereal box as avidly as a novel by Edith Wharton. For her too, summer break meant that she can read without breaking for homework. 

The pyrographic art on the cover of this wooden book box evokes those happy memories of long forgotten days. Using my signature motifs, most of the art was wood burned. Only the elephant and the bird were painted. The style of this painting is Indian folk art. 

Linked to Paint Party Friday


Thanks for visiting. Your comments are most welcome.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Summer of Color Grand Finale: Orange, Orange, Blue

This was a painting I did on a canvas which I then made into a journal cover. Blue is rather predominant in this composition but the focal point is the moon which turned blood orange during the total lunar eclipse of April 2014. Providing companionship to the unusual Moon is Spica the brilliant star of the constellation Virgo and the red planet Mars. I love astronomy and after witnessing this uncommon sight I recreated it as a painting. Additional orange elements are the orange button closure and the orange glass bead.

This  journal cover hews more closely to the orange-orange-blue color scheme. There are two shades of orange and a single shade of blue. I made the cover using recycled sari material that had these lovely shisha (mirror) embroidery. The blue and orange closure was made using fabric and a button. The wrap around cord is also a blue.

Orange and blue are terrific color combinations and I am pleased that I was able to have two things that could fit into the challenge.

Thank you Kristen for this wonderful challenge. See you next year.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Snail Mail Art: From a Pachyderm's Perspective

This was my first attempt at mail art. I was first introduced to this fascinating art form on Dave Dube' artblog and later on I came upon upon this book "Good Mail Day: A Primer for Making Eye-Popping Postal Art" by Hinchcliff, J and Gilligan, Carolee. And there are several boards on the Pinterest to inspire.

Not surprisingly, I used my favorite characters, Elephant Lochanadevi and her child, for my first mail art. In this age of texting and e-mail, it is touching to see this pair still using the old-fashioned snail mail.

I am pleased that it got published in the July 2015 issue of UPPERCASE which is dedicated to Stamps and Doilies. It is quite fantastically put together and you can get a low-resolution view of it in here.

You will find several of these in my Etsy shop 

Linked to Art Journal Journey July Challenge on Post and Postage and Paint Party Friday. 

Thanks for visiting. Your comments are always appreciated.

Coloring Season

Summer puts everyone in a coloring mood, I think. This week's challenge at I am the Diva is to use colors for the tangles. There is, of course, the Summer of Color  hosted by Kirsten at Twinkletwinklelikethestar where the colors for this week's challenge are two shades of green and pink. 

I burned this ZIA on wood using a pyrographic tool. After the design was burnt, I colored the water, leaves and the flower using two shades of green and pink. The colors, especially pink, look a little darker because of the wood. 

Responding to several challenges in one art is a challenge in itself but it streches you in a way that is very satisfying. 

Linked to Iamthediva and Summerofcolor.