After a long week and even longer weekend I didn’t feel up to doing a particularly intricate entry for my mixed media journal. I started with collage-ing together strips of vintage dictionary paper, and moved to painting a simple poppy scene with whimsical swirls. I used matte decoupage medium, gouache, and a black oil based paint marker. I love how it turned out and it was very calming to create. Watch the video below and have a great Monday!
I haven’t had the energy or the time to edit the pictures for the projects I’m working on right now. Plus I’m sick and feeling sad today so I’m just going to post pictures from my sister and I’s road trip to Yosemite. We went in June of last year, and had a really good time.
The picture above is El Capitan seen from Taft Point. We hiked to Taft Point, before we went to the far more popular Glacial Point which you can drive too; it’s completely built out and has a gift shop with a horde of tourists. We bought some ice-cream though and it was fantastic after a hot sweaty hike.
When I was first getting into henna, I checked out every book the Denver Library had on the subject. My favorite by far however, was “Traditional Mehndi Designs” by Dorine Van Den Baukel a 200 some page “treasury of henna body art”. Over the years I requested the book numerous times, every time I checked it out it was in worse and worse repair. In preparation for this series I tried to request it again, only to find the library no longer had a copy. Presumably their only copy final fell to pieces, so I ordered a used copy from Amazon.
It really is an amazing design book here are a few sample pages:
If you haven’t read part 1, do it now! I shared the recipe I use to make henna paste.
So now that you have a bowl full of sticky, potent, henna dye it’s time to apply it to your skin! There are two methods of application, cone or bottles. When I first started doing henna, many years ago my parents bought me a kit that included plastic bottles and metal tips. Since I have kept and cleaned the bottles I never explored using the cones. I’ve read that the bottles are a bit more manageable for beginners, and you can achieve many line thicknesses with different tips. Henna Caravan has a variety of application options for decent prices. Amazon does as well: cones, bottles.
During the process of handling the paste remember that it is DYE and will DYE whatever it comes into contact with! It’s a good idea to wear gloves while you prepare the applicator and keep paper towels handy.
To prepare for application, take your henna paste and begin to thin it out with lemon juice. You want the paste to flow smoothly though your applicator. In the video below you can see that my applicator keeps getting clogged. You want the paste to be thin enough to be pour-able, but not so thin that it’s no longer sticky. Once the paste is a nice consistency spoon it into the bottle, and snap on the tip. Practice a bit on paper to see that the paste flows well, if it’s too thick add some lemon juice. If it’s too runny, add more of the undiluted henna paste.
When you’re ready to apply henna to the skin, make sure the skin is clean and dry. Different areas of skin will take the dye differently, since it works by dyeing the layers of the epidermis the thicker the skin the darker the stain. Palms of the hands, soles of the feet etc dye darkly, thighs, forearms etc dye more lightly.
Henna or mehndi is the practice of using paste made with the powder of the henna (Lawsonia inermis) plant along with other additives to dye the skin or hair. It’s been practiced for 1000’s of years in the Middle East, India, Pakistan, and Africa. For a more in-depth history check out this article from Silk & Stone.
I started playing with henna when I was in middle school. I don’t have any tattoos and have never really wanted one, but every so often for years now I draw semi-permanent designs with henna on my arms and legs. I recently made a new batch of the sticky green henna paste and wanted to share the process on Zounds! In this mini-series I’ll go over the basic recipe, how to apply the henna paste to skin and then lastly design ideas! Today let’s tackle how to make your own homemade henna paste. Read more
I created this week’s page and video some time ago, but it need quite a bit of editing and it fell to the bottom of the to-do pile. Shaving cream marbling is an incredibly easy technique. All you need is the cheapest shaving cream (not gel!), acrylic paint, and tools to spread and manipulate the paint. You can watch the technique in the video below, really it boils down to spread your shaving cream, pour paint on top, use some type of tool to pull the paint/cream into an interesting pattern and press paper down on top to pull the paint up.
“The Stray” Margaret Keane $195, “First Love” Kane $29, “Pity Kitty” Gig $45
Even if you haven’t seen the recent movie “Big Eyes” I’m sure this style is something you recognize, sentimental figures, exaggerated style, with enormous eyes. Since they were mass produced throughout the 60’s and 70’s they are common thrift store stock.
If you haven’t been on Zounds for a while (or perhaps got a 404 error last time you tried… oops!) you can see that the site has changed a bit. I moved from a free account with WordPress to my own site! I started the process of migrating last January and thought that I would have it done in a couple of months… wow was I underestimating the amount of work required. However, I’ve created a new site, migrated my content, configured all the settings, moved my domain, added tons of new features, crashed the site, got it back up and voila: the new and improved Zounds Designs!
Does it still count as Monday if Monday was a holiday? I know it has been awhile since I updated, I haven’t had the ability to create new content. I plan on covering why in a later post… when I know what to say about it. For now however, I do have a few videos and projects I never got the chance to post.
My second part (if you haven’t checked out part 1 view it here) of the Rorschach Inkblot art journal entry was a simple page:
Between social and family obligations this weekend I only remembered I needed a video for today when I woke up this morning. I wanted to do something a little different with this weeks pages, so I made a mini journal. I’m sure you’ve seen the Rorschach inkblot tests and possibly made your own at some point in middle school art class. I created 6 inkblot pages on old dictionary paper, then doodled around them with different pens, glued each page to another and cut them into half sheets. Lastly I sewed all the half sheets together to make a mini art book with 12 double sided pages.
I posted about the light box I originally made here a few years ago. If you haven’t seen this idea before check out this article on how to make a simple one. My first one was quite small and eventually quite squashed, and didn’t make the move to the new house. Making a new larger set up has been top of the to-do list for a month. I finally put it together this weekend and I’m so happy with the result. I love the ability to take pictures even when the ambient light is dim!
Since my 25th birthday was last Wednesday my pages this week include a variety of things I got. The paper thin wood veneer I bought with a gift card has been really fun to experiment on. In the video I use a mixture I made a loooong time ago for darkening wood. It’s just a can of steel wool and vinegar, the rusty liquid can make a cool effect on most woods. It’s also good for taking the shine down on metal hardware like I did in this project. I want to try so many more techniques on sheets of veneer, I just love wood grain!
If you watched the video last week, you saw that I tore out the right hand page after repeatedly disliking how it was turning out. So this week I show what did end up on that page. It’s pretty simple, not like the endless layering of some pages. Here is the finished illustration:
If you didn’t catch last weeks video watch me create the sun illustration and sewn half page here. For my mermaid I used gesso, watercolors, Inktense blocks, my fine tipped Ultimate Craft Pen, a metallic gold paint pen, and a mermaid outline I made for another project. If you enjoy the video like it, and have a great Monday!
I’ve needed curtains in my studio/office since we’ve moved in. Well we’ve needed curtains in lots of rooms since we moved in but haven’t quite got there. For the office I wanted a very simple, small cafe curtain on a tension rod inside the frame. There is very little space left in that room and large curtains would be in my way.
So when Matt and I went to IKEA last weekend I grabbed a pair of Matilda curtains.
For the past couple of years I have loved playing with the vector creation software Inkscape. It’s open source and free to download, check it out on their website here. Usually I make stuff just for fun, although I have done some work for friends. Like this logo: