Author Archives: wander2home

Cards Done At Camp

This is the third year that I’ve gone to a camp for seniors and the first that I ran an art table at it.  A few participated and that was fun.  What really satisfied me, though, was making cards to send to past attenders who were not able to make it to camp this year.  


The materials were very simple:  a pack of small cardstock from Dollarama, a pad of good quality drawing paper from Michael’s,  cutouts from a beautiful bird calender as well as things I had printed up, a fine-line pen, and acrylic paints and watercolour pencils for background.  I used acrylic paints on eraser stamps for some backgrounds too.  And I slipped in some pages from an old pocket dictionary… 




Square Foot Art: Memorials



This piece was inspired by actual memorials I saw in Waubaushene, Ontario, Canada. I was staying at the Neekaunis Quaker Camp and went walking down the highway one second morning I was there.  I saw a roadside memorial to a young teenager named Benny and further down the road I encountered the Roman Catholic cemetery.  It had a large variety of memorials and the flamboyance of the sculpture/plant gardens in front or around some of them was quite striking.

The next morning I went out with my camera and took well over a 1o0 photos.  When I got home, I selected the ones I wanted to use, cropped as desired in GIMP, and created sheets with the photos sized as I wanted in Inkscape. I printed the sheets with a laser colour printer for later cutting.  Hand-cutting was actually less laborious than creating transparency around the bits I wanted in GIMP.  Besides, some cutting plans changed as I built up the piece.  I also like the tactile feel of actual paper layers.

The cemetery itself was still quite green and I tried to capture than in the background of sponged acryllic.  Touches of diazine violet here add a somber note.  I began to lay down pieces before final gluing, I decided to add the sky blue to the top.  I also moved all the crosses there.  The central one is a massive hand-carved piece with its height there proportionately portrayed here.

Square Foot Art: Wheatscape


I had the central image of this piece on hand for months. I made it from a photo I took in the fall of 2010.  The background  photo is a cropped section of a piece of old farm machinery. The  tall “trees” are actually heads of wheat.   They and the trees and flock of flying birds are from a Dover book of old time prints.  These prints were originally black on a white background.  Dover supplies digital files and I used GIMP to convert the white to transparency and the black to a colour of choice.  I then used Inkscape to put the composition together.  I could duplicate and resize the “tree” and tree images as I liked.  I printed it with a laser printer on acid-free paper.


This closeup shows the gear that is part of the machine in the background.   The graduated sizes of the bird shapes are from the original print.  You can also see the detail of the wheat head.






I decided to use texture in the background.  I used the frugal artist’s modelling paste — wall joint compound — for a layer of texture around the photo piece.  The bottom of a plastic thread spool nicely echoes the gear shape in the photo and I used it all around the photo area.  After it dried, I coloured it with diluted walnut ink.  I then glued on the photo and did more colouring with yellow acrylic.  Once that was dry, I brushed the edges with a copper metallic acrylic on a sponge.  The texture still needed something more so I got out my dollar-store chalk blocks and dusted parts of the spool circles with a dusky pink.

The entire piece was sealed with Diamond acrylic wood sealer.

Square-Foot Art: Leaves


The inspiration for this piece was the definition of “leaf” that I came across when I pulled the full page for use in a journal page.  It talks about leaves as parts of plants as well as leaves as pages in a book.  So I knew I wanted to combine the three: leaf definition, leaves, and book pages, in the piece.

The plywood was first coated with a plain white gesso.  The background is sponged-on acrylic in leaf green, yellow, cadmium red, and pine green over wildly dry-brushed diazin violet. I aimed to capture the colours of a deciduous forest as falls begin (and leaves start to turn colour).

The next layer are the Gideon bible pages with their red edging intact.  Since the text wasn’t important to the piece, I glued them down upside down with matte gel medium after antiquing them a bit with diluted walnut ink.

Closeup of dictionary definition

I edged the dictionary definition with gold ink, but it didn’t “pop” enough from the bible text pages.  So I cut a square of red handmade paper to back it.  I glued the definition to the red backing, let it dry, then glued it down over the bible pages.

The leaves are a bit abstract, with their darker veins in navy blue, olive green and brown on cut-outs from hand-made yellowy leaf green paper.  I used Inktense pencils for the veins, then brought out the colour by brushing with water.  Doing so also gave them some dimension as colour bled a little bit from the drawn line into the leaf paper.  After the leaves were glued down, I drew in the stem with Inktense pencil and brushed it with water to intensify the colour.

The entire piece was finally coated with Diamond acrylic wood sealer.

Square-foot Art

Intuitive Cards: Prep for SoulCollage

A few days ago it rained and I spent a few hours doing art.  I decided to attempt a series of intuitive cards, as a sort of warm up to making SoulCollage cards.

Method:  spend forty-five minutes with the march issue of The Laurel of Asheville magazine and clip out all images and words that “tweaked” my intuition.  Gather up the remainders and put them in the recycle bin.  Get out some 4 1/2″ by 6 1/2″ card stock in different colours and glue stick.  Put things together.  No drawing or writing allowed.  Use only what is at hand.  Take sustenance as needed.  Do it until only a few bits are left.  Throw out the little bits.


First card made.



Results: 2 journal pages and 17 cards.






































The lower left has been upcycled to a Soul Collage card.  I’d like to reuse the upper left in another as well.




















The upper right and lower left have already be upcycled to Soul Collage cards.

Flip Flap Journal Assembled

The bound and titled journal

















It’s taken a couple of weeks to just sit down and do the binding as described in LK Ludwig’s tutorial, but it’s finally done.  The advantages of the binding are its sturdiness and that the pages do truly lie flat.  The disadvantages (to me) were how long it took and the tediousness of working with the outside cords.  I may try a coptic binding on the next one.  And I do strongly believe there will be a next one — the free, sturdy material for a wide format greatly appeals.

“Unfolding Worlds” seemed an appropriate title to spur creativity on those three and four page spreads!  I’ll have a number of single and double pages to play with too, just to break it up. Should be fun.

August Project: Photos of My Life

I’ve decided to join in the Creative Collective August project: Life & Lens.

It’d be nice to capture some of the summer in a collage page for my scrapbook too! This will give me the fodder for it.

Ink Pen Heaven: Day 8

Well, this morning I took a 40% off coupon with me to Michael’s and lo and behold, they had their ink shelf stocked with Higgins Ink!  I got a bottle of Black Magic — an “Intense semi-flat black finish produces the most opacity available… Blends with Higgins Pigmented Inks.”

It works beautifully with my crow quill pen nib — fine lines without gooping up.  And black, black, black.  I really put it to the test too — drawing over artist paint crayon and oil pastel.













To me it looks like winter sunset or maybe the woods after a fire goes past and it is still raging.  It will probably end up on a journal page in the future.  It’s drawn on 4 1/2″ x 6 1/2″  light cardstock.

I’ll save my India ink for coarser nibs that can handle its thickness and produce thicker lines.  But for detail black, this is the best!

Ink Pen Heaven: Day 7

This isn’t really following the book;  just a good way to break in new pen nibs: doing  alphabets!  All those curves in script, all those straight lines in printing.
















I used fairly smooth cardstock I picked up at Dollarama.  I actually did three pages of hand-writing — I’ve not written so much in ages!  My handwriting is naturally legible, so just a little extra care and doing it with a dip pen converts it into my own very readable script for journal pages.

I really like the “scratchy” alphabet on the top sheet.  The walnut ink I used really stands out nicely on the cream-coloured cardstock.  I’ll have to incorporate that combo in journal page pieces and ATCs!