Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Another Citrasolv Contest

So, it's actually been a month since my last Blog Post....good grief! I've taken on more responsibilities and am trying to put myself and my Art "out there" more. And, of course, the holidays are upon us. Once they are over, I hope to get back on a regular schedule. Below is my dated blog about the Citrasolv Halloween contest. (spoiler alert: I received Honorable Mention for the second piece!) I was thrilled...and will be entering more contests. :)

If you've been reading this blog, or you're related to me, you know I'm a Citrasolv Artist and I love creating art with the cool looking abstract pages AND entering some of my pieces into their contests.

Their latest contest is titled: "Don't Be Afraid of the Dark" ... it's a spooky, halloween-inspired contest. I highly recommend checking out their website and viewing all of the past contest winners' pieces: http://www.citrasolv.com/art/index.html

I entered 3 pieces in this contest. The originals were scanned into PhotoShop and altered accordingly. I have always been a fan of Edgar Allan Poe - he certainly knows fear - so I used quotes from his novels, short stories and poems to inspire these pieces. They are going to pick 5 winners who will receive a Citra Solv Treat Basket filled with seasonal goodies & Citra Solv products for spooky stains & gruesome grime. Woo hoo! Wish me luck!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Another Crafty Mishap

Where there is experimentation, there will be mistakes. It's apparently the best way for me to learn! I wanted to make another gelli plate, but a 5" x 7" one. I found 2 tin containers (for free!) that I thought would work perfectly. HA!

The circular dish at top is for making an 8" x 8" gelli plate

 I followed the recipe to the letter (I have since changed my recipe, so will post that another time). Then I proceeded to pour into containers. It was at this moment that the heating service man showed up at my door and I walked him down to the basement. By the time I got back to the kitchen the "recipe" was all over the top of my electric stove.

Yes, actually took a photo before I started cleaning - entire surface covered in gelatin and glycerine!

I didn't panic because:
1. my husband wasn't home....LOL! and
2. I knew it wouldn't do any harm....um, pretty sure.

I just couldn't decide if I should scoop up and try to remove immediately or wait to solidify. I decided to scoop NOW. It actually started to solidify or "gelatinize" pretty quickly, so although time consuming, very doable.

So, this all could have been avoided if I had paid even a little attention to the containers that "HELLO!" had holes in them....really? The silver lining is, it made me do more research, which in turn made me realize that I had the PERFECT containers in a box in the basement. Plastic (3D) photo holders.....I have MANY and lots of 5" x 7"s.

The "recipe" leftover from the top of my stove was used again and put in the proper container. All I had to do was nuke for a minute or so.

More on making homemade gelli plates later!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014


Can you say MAJOR redesign??

I realized that my Digi Art Blog did not reflect my life or everything I was blogging about. Instead of having 2 or more blogs, I knew it would be easier for me to combine everything. My art life is so much more than my ETSY Shop. I am a typical Mixed-Media artist, in that I am obsessed and addicted to many, many kinds of media. Please do NOT ask me to choose just one!

Sometimes it feels like I'm going in SO many directions, I wonder if I'm crazy. Then I read other blogs by mixed-media artists and I realize either we're ALL crazy or we are just doing what we do best: Mixing up the media!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Fun with Transfers

There are all kinds of ways to transfer images onto a substrate. Which technique (and glue) you use depends on whether you are trying to transfer from a magazine, book, photograph, etc. and what substrate you are transferring the image on to. For your specific needs, I feel quite certain that you can find a YOUTUBE video to walk you through the process. Kudos to ALL the people on YOUTUBE who unselfishly share all of their knowledge!!

I like using both methods but there can be a big difference. If you transfer and are using the original right out of magazine, book or newspaper .... the image (and type) will be backwards. I don't mind this because it's usually unreadable by the time I'm finished anyway....it becomes more of a texture effect. Hey, maybe you like your text backwards! Also, there is transparency, meaning you can see some of what's underneath the transfer. But, if you want it readable you can just rip and glue right onto the substrate. You can also photograph or scan into computer and reverse image. I find that the simplest and most reliable transfer is done with a toner copy. So, if you don't have a toner printer, just find your nearest copy machine. There are YOUTUBE videos that show how to transfer INK JET prints, so check them out.

I use my art journals for experimentation - no worries - if I don't like the end result, I just cover it with gesso or paint or maybe more paper. Which I will be doing in the future! Here are some of my experiments with newsprint transfers and paper pulls.

This is newsprint on top of a color photo transfer out of magazine

This is a newsprint transfer on top of paint

This is multiple transfers of newsprint using different glues to figure out what works best

I love working with images and words from magazines. Since I purposely don't transfer a perfect image....there are no copyright issues....it never looks like the original when I'm done. I can't pay for ALL the magazines I like to use, so I get FREE ones at the TRANSFER STATION and the library has a bin, too. I have found some REALLY cool images this way. :)

I loved this pattern and wanted to save it, so I scanned it into my computer for more uses

Then I transferred it onto a painted page. I cannot wait to try this again!

You can also transfer with Citrasolv. I haven't had a chance to try it yet, but it looks super easy and very reliable. I will be trying it in the future and post about it! This woman does a great job of explaining the process in her video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Nedq-m7KO0

Okay, I have more, but this blog is getting too long.....stay tuned for Fun with Transfers 2!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

I made Julie Fei-Fan Balzer's Watercolor Travel Kit

Okay, I love Julie Fei-Fan Balzer! I love her style, creativity, stencils, blog, art, journals and especially her energy. Someday, I will take a class from her in NY City!

Thank you, Julie for this awesome idea! Here is the link to Julie's Blog Post where I learned how to make the Watercolor Travel Kit: http://balzerdesigns.typepad.com/balzer_designs/2014/07/hey-dont-thow-that-away-altoid-tin-watercolor-palette.html

I look forward to getting Julie's Blog Posts in my mailbox EVERY DAY!! I, too am a huge fan of making new things out of old things....whether they be packaging, trash, found objects, etc. Julie came up with this cool idea for using an old ALTOID tin and DENTYNE gum packaging with the gum gone. And yes, it does matter which brand of gum.....it has to fit in the ALTOID tin.

My husband gave me his old ALTOID tins and I bought some DENTYNE gum. Already had the watercolors, sponge and water brush. I wanted to make 2...one for my granddaughter, a budding artist and one for me. I plan on making another for an artist friend of mine. YES! They make great gifts, too!

Thinking about gessoing the inside top and write color names. Sometimes they are hard to see.

Now I have to go shopping for some more cheap watercolors and I need a water brush...what a cool invention!

Our granddaughter who has to travel to see us LOVED the kit ... we painted all afternoon!

Friday, October 24, 2014

"Art, Play, Love" Citrasolv Contest

This washi card made with Citrasolv papers received an "Honorable Mention"

Have you heard about Citrasolv Art yet? It's been around for awhile....don't know who came up with the process, but they're brilliant!  Citrasolv is an all natural degreaser. When you paint or spray National Geographic pages with it....they dissolve in the coolest possible way. Basically, you are creating abstract art. (see my posts on July 25 and June 13 for more details)

I love the smell of this citrus concentrated cleaner, but it can be quite powerful

It's the clay based paper or ink that makes this process work. Doesn't work with mags before 1970

Half the fun is finding the National Geographic magazines. I found my first bunch on EBAY for a very good price. But, I have been finding free ones ever since. Thanks to my mom for keeping an eye out for me, too! Check your library's magazine free bin, or your nearest Transfer Station. I always check there, because I found a stack of 11 magazines there once!! In the future I'm hoping to teach classes on this process. It's so much fun because you don't know what's going to happen or how each page will turn out.

Below are three other entries I made into the "ART, PLAY, LOVE" contest this summer.

If you go to Citrasolv.com you will find an "artist support" section that explains all the ways you can use Citrasolv artistically. They also sponsor contests about 4 times a year. I entered one this past summer and received an "Honorable Mention". I am beyond thrilled and, of course, have entered another contest. :) They'll be a post on that in the near future.

If you're looking for Citrasolv, the quickest way to get it (without shipping) is your nearest health food store.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Painted Paper Bowls

While I was writing my last blog post (October 20) about the different ways to make paper bowls, I realized I needed a pic of one in progress. So, I blew up a balloon and grabbed the closest thing....scraps of painted paper towels. These were unintentional paintings....just haphazard cleanup during my gelli print making crazes. Here's the pic I posted...

Well, I had to finish it....so I glued more painted paper towels down. As mentioned in previous post, putting a rock or something heavy inside the plastic cup is very important. Otherwise, like me, you'll drop it, get glue on the floor and hair and goodness knows what else on the balloon. :)  Another thing I learned working with paper towels...they soak up a lot more glue than tissue paper. Again, the recipe I use is (3 parts) clear Elmer's to 1 part water.

Don't you love the texture on this? Maybe you notice the dripping marks on the bottom of the balloon. Well, I wasn't thrilled with all the white spots left on the painted towels, so I did 3 drippings of acrylic paint: (My Studio) Lily Pad Green, Mediterranean Blue, Purple. Love these colors! Had no idea how it would turn out, but the pick above is right after the drippings. Then I thought, I better seal this....so once it was dry I covered it in Golden's Regular Gel Gloss.

So now it's a little shinier. I love the color combinations and from a distance you can't even tell it's made out of paper. But, it's quite sturdy! No paper bowl is complete without a votive. You can put anything you want in them. But, I love the light shining through. SO, the votive picture did not work. I tried a couple of things and am not thrilled with the way it looks, but I wanted you to see the bowl's transparent areas where the paper is thinner.....which gave me a cool idea for the future!

Here is the bowl over an open bulb in the ceiling.....now it's a lamp! No, this would be dangerous!!!

Here is the bowl underneath my "natural" light lamp. It looks other-wordly!

Here is a closeup of the inside of the bowl

Pretty on the inside and out!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Making Tissue Paper Bowls

I know I need to start making videos of my art and craft escapades, and I will. But, for now I'm trying to document everything with still shots. And of course, in my creative frenzy I occasionally forget to take a pic of something before I destroy....I mean alter it.

I'm scheduled to teach a few Art and Craft classes at a couple of Senior Centers here on the Cape. I'm hoping to teach a couple of different bowl making classes. This is how I ended up playing with tissue paper bowls for a couple of weeks. And I'm glad I did, because even though there are many videos and blogs online showing "how to"...... I like to do things my own way and experiment with what will work the best....which for Seniors is fast and easy.

Not sure why I thought it necessary to put so much effort into it since I have an entire closet full of tissue paper.....but, I printed my own from some autumn leaf backgrounds I had just made. They were really cool looking. And yes, this is the photo I forgot to take! :( What is it about tissue paper that is so appealing? Is it its transparency, delicateness, color possibilities, or ability to wrinkle and make cool textural effects? Yes, to all of the above. I have been working with and SAVING tissue paper for a couple of decades. Because of this class that I may teach, I finally organized my stash by color and pattern!!

So, I ripped up my beautiful autumn tissue papers....not into neat little strips, but willy-nilly because that's how I roll. Most of the "how to's" showed working with balloons, but I didn't have any balloons handy and I was on a mission, so I found some different sized bowls and covered them with saran wrap. If you use the bowl method, you have to use the saran wrap unless you want to glue the tissue paper permanently onto the bowl....which you might. I used the Elmer's glue recipe for this bowl (find below).

My autumn tissue paper glued over a bowl covered with saran wrap......drying

Done drying, now have to take saran wrap off bowl

Was really hard to separate....ripped tissue paper in a couple of places

Put a faux votive (never real ones!!) inside the bowl and took photo at night.....so pretty!

The balloon method is really quite simple and a lot more fun, I think. You can make the balloons whatever size you want....that's cool.....and then scotch tape the balloon to a big plastic cup. (see pic below) I learned that it helps if you put a rock or something heavy inside the plastic cup to keep it from tipping over. I only used the Elmer's glue recipe for the balloon bowls. Amazing! The bowl was perfectly shaped and super sturdy!

This is an 11" balloon that was not blown up all the way

I glued strips of painted paper towels onto the balloon just to show you what it would look like

I am not a novice when it comes to glues, but I'm not afraid to experiment and make big messes. LOL But, there's a glue for every project and I wanted to try a couple of different methods to see what worked best. I tried soft gel and Mod Podge (see pics below). It was harder to separate the saran wrap and tissue paper and although it's very sturdy, it almost feels like cloth....I didn't like the end result. But, you might, so don't be afraid to try it. I feel, hands down the old Elmer's glue recipe worked best....especially with the balloon method. Recipe: 3 parts glue - 1 part water - stir.

Either works, I prefer the clear.....save leftover glue recipe forever in a covered container

I'm very glad I tried these different methods and glues, because I always learn things. Everyone should have fun and experiment to realize what works best for them.

Here I used some cool "glitter" tissue paper my mom gave me - I learned you need something to support the bowl ... last picture is this bowl all finished

Bowl method: I used pieces of several different "Valentine-themed" tissue papers and Elmer's glue

Another Valentine-themed bowl - see how it looks different (and shiny) made with soft gel (gloss

This is my favorite ... I used Christmas-themed tissue paper AND Elmer's - look at the lovely shape!

Bowl Method: Used strips of jewel-toned paper and Elmer's ... see the difference in shape??

Thursday, October 16, 2014


My very first post on this blog was titled: "2014 - Year in Transition". Hmmmm.....Now that it is October, I think I would edit the title to read: "2014 - The Hellish Year of Death and Trauma". Wow....no melodrama here!!! But, I was hoping life would have some normalcy by the fall and fortunately, that is the case. Fall is my favorite time of year and I'm enjoying as much time outdoors as I can, in the woods and mostly at the beach. What's the point of living on Cape Cod if you're not going to enjoy Nature in all its glory?

My favorite beach....Cold Storage Beach in Dennis

Always great sunsets at Mant's Landing in Brewster

When I paint or print with the gelli plate, I'm always drawn to the blues, greens and purples. I never, ever tire of these colors. But, when Autumn arrives bringing with it the warm palette of oranges, reds and yellow with a touch of green....I start playing with those colors. I really believe being surrounded by the changing leaves is my inspiration.

Real leaves scanned into my computer

Yes, I'm a leaf freak year round....this is true. But, when they start changing I bring them home to my Studio to bask in their beauty. Out comes my 8" x 10" gelli plate (I have other sizes now....more on that in another post!!) Speaking of gelli printmaking...I love Flikr and I recently joined a gelli printmaking group....if you're interested in seeing some gorgeous prints, check out this link: https://www.flickr.com/groups/gelatinprintmaking/pool

I spent a couple of days slapping leaves, a fern or two and lots of red, orange and yellow paint around on my gelli plate. (Those 3 colors are analagous which means they are next to each other on the color wheel and are soothing!) I had nothing in mind....I was just playing and relaxing....SO much fun! But, I was really pleased with some of the prints and I thought...."oooh, these would make great backgrounds for my ETSY Shop." https://www.etsy.com/shop/TheDigitalStash

These and other autumn products available at 


A sample card made with one of the backgrounds by using leaves as masks

More fun with layer masks in Photoshop

This was my favorite print that I am going to do something with....did not put in my ETSY Shop