Tutorial: Tie Dyed Paper

All we are saying, is give peace a chance!  Whether you remember the 60's or not, tie-dye is an art form that lives on today. The other day I wondered if I could replicate the same effect on paper. I used to teach tie-dye to children in a community ed class, and we used big buckets with different colors of dye. I certainly didn't want to go that extreme, what a waste of materials. Here is what I came up with:

What you need:
* Dr. PH Martin's Radiant Concentrated Watercolors
OR Re-inkers (Like Ranger Adirondack inks) and eye droppers
* Fine Mist water spritzer
* A spritzing box to protect your work surface. Any corrugated box that is big enough will do. Mine was a flat box that can food cans came in.
* Pliable Paper - I used paper that a breakable item was wrapped in that I purchased at Hobby Lobby, it's not tissue paper but more like industrial weight paper towel. You could use any paper towel, napkins or preferably the kind you find on a roll in a rest-room (no stealing!)
* Rubber Bands
* Rubber gloves, if desired

I found that using a double thickness of the paper (two sheets together) worked best, you get more bang for your ink buck.
To begin, prepare your paper by bunching the paper into finger-shaped sections, and secure randomly with rubber bands.
They should resemble this. You'll want to leave some of the paper showing between the rubber bands where your color can seep in. Repeat this process until you have covered the majority of the paper with rubber band secured bunches.

Next, it's time to apply the color. I used Dr. PH Martin's Watercolors, they need to be shaken up to distribute the pigment. You won't need to do that if you use re-inkers. The eye dropper tip is a great way to apply the color without getting your hands messy. I recommend using rubber gloves or you'll have colorful hands if your not careful.
As you apply the droppers of color to each bunched section, spritz the area with water using your fine-mist spritz bottle. The colors will run into each other, but because the colors are so concentrated using the Dr. PH Martin's, or Ranger Re-inkers, they retain their color quality.

It's really fun to see how wild you can get the color combinations. Keep adding and spritzing. The more water you add, the farther the colors will spread. Once you get the amount of color you want applied, set the paper aside until it is half-dry. Inside, in heated conditions, this took about an hour for me.
It's wise to remove the rubber bands before the project is completely dry. This part can be tricky, I suggest removing them carefully to avoid tearing the paper. This is another reason that using a double thickness of paper works best, you have a stronger product. I ended up using some small, sharp scissors to cut the rubber bands off of some areas, by pulling the band away from the paper before snipping the rubber. After all the bands are removed, smooth the paper out and hang it with clothespins to dry completely.
You will want to iron the paper once it's dry. Use a low heat setting, being careful not to tear the paper. I really didn't have a lot of trouble with that, but if you had any previous tears you might make  them bigger.
Here is another example of the finished product. This example is the one I tried in single thickness, which did have some tears in it. 

I applied sections of the paper to card-stock, using a glue-stick and a brayer to smooth it down. Now I can use it in my art work! This one reminds me of a Monet painting.
Thank's for checking out my very first tutorial. Leave me a comment if you have any questions. Blessings!


Had Yourself a Merry Little Christmas?

I hope you had a Merry Christmas, whether big or small. I had one of the best Christmas's in a long time. Why? Because it was fairly stress-free.  Hurrah! I decided to scale a lot of things back this year. I planned a quick and easy meal instead of feeling like I had to cook like Emeril. I made my scheduling plans around what was easier instead of trying to pack a lot in. I said no to a lot of activities that I would really have liked to attend, but decided to keep things more relaxed. It paid off. I feel really good about it (except for my tummy, I ate too much!)

Past Promises
I had said I would post some recent art and then it never showed up. Part was because I wasn't happy with my camera and part was because I wanted my website to look different. So here is my first attempt:
It's an altered file folder. I've been playing with mists and masks lately, using Ranger Adirondack sprays, Tattered Angel's mists, and some other glimmer mists. I also made this fun tag:
And this card of a bird on a branch, using glossy card stock and some dimensional embellishments.
I'll post more pictures soon, ta-ta for now! Be Blessed!


Giving Thanks!

We were reminded at church that being thankful for what you do have, and not feeling down about what you wish you had, is the real secret to emotional health. A good reminder, as was suggested we should make a list of all the things we are thankful for. I'm going to start my list right here, but am mulling over the idea of turning this challenge into some kind of an art project. Until I can see that idea come to reality, here are some of the many things I am thankful for.

1. A God who loves and cares for me
2. An awesome husband and family
3. A place to live in comfort, that has heat, electricity and running water
4. A great job
5. The internet (connecting me to people I would not have in my life if I could not find them here)
6. My pets
7. My health
8. A car that runs well
9. Friends in Christ
10. The Word of God
11. The Holy Spirit
12. Salvation through Christ's Sacrifice
13. To live in the USA
14. Freedom
15. Abundance
16. God's Protection and Favor
17. Opportunities to serve
18. My creativity
19. A place to enjoy my hobbies
20. Insurance

Thanks for looking, What are you thankful for?


Crazy Times

This last month has been a bit stressful. I got the news near the end of September that my mammogram came back suspicious. Off to the hospital for a re-check, where the radiologist confirmed that there was “something there” called calcifications. I would need to have a biopsy on my left breast. 85% of them are not cancer, but because mammography can find things so small nowadays, it’s best to get things checked.
My first instinct is always to pray, and to rally the teams of prayer warriors in my life. I believe strongly in the power of prayer and I’m not shy about asking for it. It works! Even when an answer to prayer is not necessarily one you were hoping for, you will find in the asking so many doors open. God uses us to counsel one another and bless each other with our experience and wisdom.
I am fortunate to have an amazing church family who is super supportive. Family and friends who are good to me, caring and full of love.
So off to the Lemmen Holton Cancer Center I go, to meet with Dr. Melnik, Oncologist.  Dr. Melnik decides to biopsy both breasts, the radiologist saw something on each side but only one was suspicious. I agreed. Why go through it all again if you don’t have to.
 Ladies:, I’m here to tell you that even if the THOUGHT of having a biopsy is scary, it was not as bad as one would think. Aside from climbing onto a  table which resembled a giant toilet hole from a third world country, the actual procedure, (once numbed up) was painless. Even the numbing with Lidocaine was less painful than Novacaine administered at the dentist. Once I realized that it was not hurting me, I relaxed and joked through the procedure. (Those poor woman at the Betty Ford Breast clinic must think I am a goof)
Being told that you might have breast cancer during “Breast Cancer Awareness Month” has not been easy. While it’s awesome to see how much support there is for the charitable side of things, I could not pick up a pizza ad without  being reminded I might have breast cancer. Pink garbage cans on the curb stand out like a flashing light – look at me! You might want one for your house too!
Even knowing that strong faith is the best coping mechanism I have, I admit to letting the final outcome get to me. The day I was supposed  to “know” came and my usual calm and cool self started to melt down. After crying in front of a co-worker, being assured it’s ok, normal and human to feel  this way, I still have a hard time not believing I should be STRONG enough to handle this. Of course, not alone, only with God’s help. Thankfully, it was benign, simply “fibronomotoid” due to being a woman over 50. I give  God the Glory for the things he has done.If you ever need prayer, please ask me. I'd love to support you in that.


I live in a cool city

ArtPrize has rocked my world. If you don't live close enough to pay Grand Rapids MI a visit before Oct. 10, I'm sorry but you may need to weep.

Over 1700 pieces of art from living and working artists from all over the world have converged in one place to celebrate God's mighty gift of creativity. Creativity, the only real evidence that we were created in His own image, as far as I can see. God has endowed mankind with the urge to create. The massive differences between how we each choose to express those urges is what makes each one of us unique.

I've seen an udderly cool cow created from all kinds of tiny cows, a fountain of light, a flower mosaic made of trash, and an entire church space covered with some of the most beautiful art pieces honoring God. That was just a fraction of what I saw tonight. And we've been down to view 5 days so far. We haven't even scratched the surface!

We've had lovely talks with artists on the street who have come from far away to share their vision with the people. We saw people hanging out on bridges, playing music, singing and enjoying the crisp nights. I've struck up conversations with other patrons over pieces...and everyone is smiling. You'd think someone put Prozac in the city water system.  Ok, so that's another conversation.

How does one turn an entire city into an Art gallery? I'm just blown away by how many venues have been willing to let total strangers come in, alter their spaces and willingly staff and stay open often past normal business hours. I get that there is money involved, but deep in my heart I think people would participate in ArtPrize, even if money wasn't a factor. The real prize is how alive my city is. Thanks to all who made it possible!


Dag Blame It!

Or some other colloquialism that means I wish I hadn’t… I just forgot about my blog again. And honestly, the last time I went to log in I forgot my password. So after all of that, here I am - back again. Since last post we have attended two weddings and two funerals. Matt’s dad passed away in March and his Aunt Mag passed away Aug. 1. Janine and Curt celebrated their nuptials in June and Amy and Robert in July.
This summer has been busy busy! We had two family reunions in August for my family and one In July for Matt’s – in honor of his Grandma Margarita’s 100th birthday!
I created a cool scrapbook in her honor, filled with pictures dating back to 1911! What a BIG life she has lived. Hat’s off to you Grandma Marge (or Marge Simpson as she is known). 
We went up North (or northern Mi for those of you who don’t inhabit the Great Lakes State) and visited friends Beth and Jeff. We also went to Frankenmuth and ended our journey in Rochester Hills, where I used to live. We met Linda (haven’t seen her in 15 years) for lunch. We got to visit with my grand-God child, who will be a year old in Sept.! Mackenzie, what a little doll! Her mom Kristen, dad Paul, Grandma Leslie and Grandpa Tom. We enjoyed a show of a tornado just missing our outdoor picnic by a couple of miles.
With all that business there has been little time for art, but lately I have found some. I made some fun wall art assemblages and collages. Will post some as soon as I get them photographed. Working on some Halloween art as well, tis the season after all. Love those black cats!



My husband's dad, Martin had a  massive stroke this week, in FL. The kids had a hard time reaching him. (unusual). Matt decided to call the police and they found him lying on the floor, non-responsive but still breathing.
That same night the hospital performed surgery on him and removed a clot which had formed from the hemmoragiac stroke. He is still on a ventilator, although his breathing is getting stronger.

No one but God knows what lies ahead for Martin, but he is holding his own for now. While family takes turn being at his side, we know he can hear us but can not speak. Many thanks to the warriors who are praying for Martin to recover.

Expect a miracle.


Some New Work

It's been a long while since I have added new work to the site, so I thought it was about time. I've been motivated to make some tiny collages from Paint Sample Chips and Masonite counter top samples that I had left over.
I scanned a couple of the fun ones in, you will find them here - titled "Madamoiselle" and "Exploring the Ruins". Thanks to Itkupilli for the cool image of the man with a cane. Some other elements were purchased from Artchix.


Somerset Apprentice - I'm Published!

I was having a bad day, had just spent an hour on the phone with the phone company, (not getting my way, I might add...) My husband came home to find me dramatically compaining about this less than satisfactory experience when my eye hit the mail he had just brought in. A mysterious publication was lying there. I knew what it had to be, an advance copy of Somerset Apprentice, due to hit the newstands on March 1.
Somerset publishes a lot of wonderful art magazines, and it's always a pleasure and an inspiration for me to cruise through the pages filled with artistic eye candy. I'm excited to report that the article containing my artwork was in there! I had announced this same thing a year ago, but was then told the article had to be cut due to too much content. They generously advised that I would be in the next issue.
A 6 page spread with instructions on how to create the house ATC's (Artist Trading Cards) using a Teesha Moore stamp. I'm honored and thrilled. I feel encouraged now to submit more work. Who knows what's next? You can find their great publications at www.stampington.com


Get Yourself "Gungored". Its' a Beautiful Thing!

I'll admit that I've been a fan of Michael Gungor, his wife Lisa and their original Band, Michael Gungor band for a long time. I was fortunate enough to be a miniscule, lowly, supporting cast member in the choir which worked behind Michael and Lisa while they served as Worship Leaders at Resurrection Life Church. It was always a blessing to bask in the light of their brilliance.
They return to Grand Rapids from time to time, and came last week to share the release of their newest Album "Beautiful Things" with the Grand Rapids community (who, by the way have never embraced them as they should have been, how about a little air-play,  GR area Christian Radio stations?)
Those of us who had the good sense to attend the amazing, intensely brilliant and spiritually mind-blowing event, - "Beautiful Things" were awestruck at the experience. I expected we'd be on our feet all the way through, swaying, hands-raised and worshiping along as they played and sang. Once the experience started (it's definitely an experience, not just a concert) the audience sat mesmerized as the songs were accompanied by spoken word, animation, photography, a trio of string instruments, and a wide variety of instruments, while diverse styles and moods emerged throughout the event.
I still struggle to find words to match how I really felt while being there. One word would be lucky. Another one, blessed. To see what is truly God-inspired brilliance, artistic talent and musical genius that is wrapped up in a band called Gungor.

While I admit that we miss them intensely, its wonderful that they have flown off to share their message of Christ's Love with the whole world. If you ever get to see them in person, don't miss it. I repeat... don't miss it. In the mean time, buy their cd "Beautiful Things". You can find them at www.gungormusic.com , I-Tunes or at any intelligent Christian Music store.


Olympics Fever!

My spouse loves the Olympics. Every two years, whether winter or spring, he is INto it. I'm not usually on the same page with him. I made a conscious decision to revel in them this year. It makes him happy, and it's been fun so far.
I really did go big this year, throwing an Olympics Opening Party for my friends from work. We all got medals, served "wintery foods" like Chili, Soup, cocoa...Which was fine except everyone preferred the munchies and other beverages. Not to worry, a good time was had by all and it helped me to become focused on Vancouver 2010.
I love watching the skaters. Most girls do. But this year, I am really into the snowboarding. Shaun White was amazing! It goes to show you that man really was meant to fly. Just not without the proper conditions, or equipment. The athletes make it look so easy. It's not.
Apolo Anton Ohno is also a joy to watch, and Shani Davis has all the skills. I was thrilled for Lindsay Vonn to win her gold. C'mon Ladies, join in the fun. Support team USA!