Thursday, March 10, 2016

Thrifty homemade helpers

When my dearly beloved and I travel, we love to shop antique, thrift and junk stores. He has treasures that he hunts and I just hunt.

Most of my hunting consists of finding things to use in my art. One thing I love is the old wood handled message stamps once used by businesses. My growing collection has made me long for a rotating holder to keep them all in one location. It was hard to contain my reserved, cool exterior when I found this treasure. Best of all, it came with 4 stamps and cost $8.

 Happy ... that's what I am. Well... happy and organized.

A week later, another city, another store, I found this stamp with its ominous warning from a nameless insurance company. For $1 I could not resist adding it to my new holder.

I love the look of the small font text, but the message was too blatant. There had to be a way to push the message to the background without doing damage the stamp. So... I taped together - in random fashion - a few of the little scraps of paper ... 

used them as a mask and "yay!"... the fading of the You-are-hereby-cancelled message.

And, while I was finding uses for little scraps of paper, I discovered that punching squares makes quite an interesting, not quite so factory perfect, mini stencil. When I wear this out, I know just where to get a new one! Best of all, I can use this on anything without buying permission.

It's personally encouraging to make something that is completely original, your own brain-child. Makes me want to do it again.

A man's heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth his steps. Proverbs 16:9

Thursday, February 25, 2016

A little paint here, a little ink there...

I have a pile of papers that have "art" on them, but not art that is good enough to stand alone. It just needs help. Like this pear...

The shape wasn't bad. It was the colors that just weren't right. I had nothing to lose, so I started painting out the background with white... and then blue, several different blues. It was getting better. I added a little stamping...

and then I went with some of the little tricks that add depth and interest to blah. The piece was getting better.

I used my white pen to line a few details. Love that pen.

And finally, it made me happy enough to use it for some guerrilla art.

 Yep... it's pretty good. I like it.

Friday, February 12, 2016

The value of viewfinders

It's hard to explain. More than sometimes, but less than often, I can spend a day covering paper with color. It's fun, but it's also frustrating, because I don't have any final products that are good. They're just kinda' ... colorful.

Like this group... I look at them and think, and the point would be?

At times like this, I pull out some of my favorite tools - my viewfinders.

These hand cut gems are worth their weight in gold. They can be tilted or moved vertically and horizontally around the questionable piece of art to block out distracting extras and allow the eye to focus on only what shows through the window. This allows me to find usable colors, shapes or objects in an otherwise throw-away piece of work. 

So I worked over this... 

and this...

and sent both pieces to the Photoshop chopping block. 

This is the final result... a blending of the two pieces. The pear was cropped and flipped. The "t" art yielded the colors on the right.

 I added a few more embellishments to each printed copy - stamped handmade paper strips, marks made with various paints and inks - just to make each card front unique. (A tip of the hat to
Seth Apter who taught me that enough is never enough. There are always more little marks to be added.) Each of the final two pictures were taken under different lighting. Hence the change in colors.

I'm happy. I love taking the not-so-great and making them usable. Practical does have its place in life after all.

Rejoice evermore.    I Thessalonians 5:16

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Pantone, Peotone, and the world of color

No doubt you've seen the Pantone brand. The company has been around for many years and describes themselves as the world-renowned authority on color and provider of color systems and leading technology for the selection and accurate communication of color across a variety of industries. If you ever had any question about any color ... go here.
Pantone came to my mind last week as we traveled through northeastern Illinois. Most of our driving was through small and medium towns filled with homes typical of the Midwest... nothing out of the ordinary. Pantone experts obviously don't exert their influence in small town farm communities.  

But then we drove into Peotone, IL (pop. 4, 142). I instantly thought of Pantone, and looked around for color!

Alas, there was none to be found ... until we turned the corner and got closer to downtown. Suddenly brilliant colors broke loose!

I think I captured the most brilliant bursts of color in this small town. Each bright building made me wonder who took the first bold step? Who is the brave soul that chose that particular green to cover such a very large building? Did alarmed neighbors call the mayor to object? Is this just the beginning of a trend as little Peotone, in the shadow of Chicago, strives for attention? 

And then for the most pressing question ... how do the residents pronounce Peotone?

Blessed are they that dwell in Thy house: they will be still praising Thee. Selah. Psalm 84:4

Oh, and by the way... Happy 8th birthday to cHim Prints! Yay! Still here.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

January 2016

I love this blog. I can log all of the things that make me who I am ... a record of little events that get buried by important things. If it were not for cHim Prints, would I remember this? Or this? 

So here I am again, determined.

Happy January to you!

... for He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear... Hebrews 13:5-6

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

To a "t"

There is one thing I especially like about working with paper. Almost anything can be interesting enough to turn into a card ... if the person I am sending it to loves me enough to understand ... ummm ... trial and error, waste not want not ... well, me! So I pick and choose to whom I send my off the wall projects that have a heavy investment of time, but aren't yet ready for prime time.

This project is no exception. In an antique store I found an old wood printer's block - the letter "t". It is art all by itself. I love it. Today I inked it up to see if it would give me a decent print. I experimented with a soft vintage book page and two gelatin printed papers.

I did find that using the block like a rubber stamp (face down) was not as effective as placing the paper face down on the block.

I also had a laser printed background paper sitting on the table. And, I had a block with ink. Seemed like a match waiting to happen. The print came out blotchy which was charming in itself.

 Some pens and coloring around the "t" and I liked it enough to use it as a card front for my "T" granddaughter. I hope she doesn't get sick of the "t" designs before I finish playing around with the prints.

Maybe I should find some friends named Tonya, or Tina, or Terri ... ?

Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children. Ephesians 5:1

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Step-by-step takes a long time...

Early in the summer I learned the true meaning of POA. An aunt developed health issues and needed to leave her home and enter an assisted living facility. She has adjusted well and loves her new home. I am adjusting to keeping tabs on the details of two separate households.

So far, so good. Always lurking in the background is the dread that I will miss something that should have been paid/cancelled/renewed/sold/deposited... You get my drift.

Six months ago, when it was just me and my life, I found an old cabinet that perfectly fits the storage needs in my kitchen. I have made do with something I had for over a year, knowing that the perfect cabinet (at the perfect price) was just waiting to be discovered.

Ta-da! My perfectly imperfect cabinet. It's the right width and height ... just the wrong finish.

Specialty paints are everywhere now. You can get chalk paint, milk paint, mineral paint ... and on and on it goes. I read about all of them and decided to just paint.   

I love the look of paint that shows its age, so starting with just the base cabinet, I sanded away most of the shiny varnish, cleaned away the dust, and painted a base coat of black.


This is the finished rough sanding and the beginning of the first coat of paint. So far, I'm in love. The weather quit cooperating and days got busy, so the base is just black right now. Soon, soon the final layer and I can use this baby!

Oh, I just can't wait!

In the multitude of my thoughts within me thy comforts delight my soul.Psalm 94:19

Thursday, August 27, 2015

This day

This day of August stands large in my mind. It is the birthday of my second son.

The last time I saw him it was Thanksgiving and he was 33 years old. He was full of life and his usual humor. I stuffed him full of Thanksgiving foods, laughed at his jokes, hugged him goodbye and sent him off to his home, 1500 miles away.

Today, he would have celebrated his 42 birthday. Each year, to commemorate the place he holds in our hearts, we plan a family dinner ... some food that he loved to cook and eat. And at our dinner tables in multiple states, we celebrate Grey. This year? Shrimp.

Oh, how we miss him.

Be still and know that I am God... Psalm 46:10