Wednesday, August 14, 2013

On the Street Where We Live

For those of you who are familiar with our monthly "ATC Workshop & Swap" group here at CraftFusion, you know we often have "Challenges" presented to us in addition to our regular Artist Trading Cards.  Each Challenge is voluntary and can be thrown out by anyone in the group.  For each Challenge, each artist is asked to begin with something that they may not normally work with and is intended to stretch everyone's creative imaginations, but most importantly, encourages us to "Color Outside the Lines"!

The Challenge for August was no exception.  Presented by Rita Blocksom, we were each given a piece of 2x4 scrap lumber in various lengths and challenged to create a "house" using any type of techniques and embellishments we wanted. Without themes of any type or other guidelines, everyone who took part in the Challenge definitely did "Color Outside the Lines"!  Just take a look and see for yourself . . .

"On the Street Where We Live" (l to r) - "The Old Lady on the Corner", Charmaine Conway; "Black Cat Society", Nicole Durst; "Fright Night Inn", Terri Durst; "My Island Paradise", Jeanette Lee; "La Sierna", Lylia Hagerty; "The Cat House", Deborah Schinzel; "The Bird House", Charlotte Fern; "The House of Woman", Janis Bush

First covered with strips of dictionary pages placed in all directions, Charmaine mixed faux "stucco" with acrylic paint for color, then applied it to allow the lettering of the pages to show through.  Modeling paste was used with a brick design stencil for the crumbling planter look, then colored with Tim Holtz' Aged Mahogany and Fired Brick Distress Inks. Wood trim from a large box store hobby section was cut and glued to the "roof", with more stucco applied in between each piece for the Spanish tile look.  Dried lichen was applied as a final touch.

Just in time for Halloween, Nicole first gave her wood an overall coating of black. After covering the flat areas with red papers, she then embellished with touches of inks and more paints.  Images of a man and woman were stamped on Shrinky Dink, then placed on the front of the house as "windows".  The roof was constructed from corrugated cardboard, with a copula complete with a Shrinky Dink covering and spider web awning!  A horse drawn coach, also created from Shrinky Dink, was placed on the astro-turf covered based in front of the swinging doors, and the sign was hung from the roof using a jump ring.  Silver trim was added to the base for that wrought iron fence look giving the overall look of Halloween.

Terri also used Halloween as her theme, as she created her spooky little inn.  After painting her wood, Terri used a glittered faux wood grained paper to cover the flat surfaces.  She also used corrugated cardboard as her roof, hanging her "Fright Night" sign with chain and a jump ring. She created her porch covering with corrugated cardboard and added a string of hand-strung orange beads as "lanterns" to guide you through the front doors. To warn of possible dangers for visitors, Terri applied glittered signage on the back of the house, as well as a skeleton who pops out to scare off intruders. Be careful, as you're bound to see a pair of green glowing eyes watching you from the small hole on the back corner . . . watch your step!  For "grass", a strip of fabric was folded in half, then gathered to fit the base of the house. Snips were made and shaken out to cause the fabric to fray before being glued around the base.

Jeanette dreams of vacations in the tropics, and her little house shows it. In bright pastel colors of acrylic paints, you have the feeling of easy Caribbean living and ocean breezes.  Roof "tiles" were made from rolled pages of recycled books, then decorated with gesso and more paints.  Lace and trims were entwined within the tiles, giving the look of tropical vines and foliage.  With the warm temperatures, beautiful butterflies fly freely in the tropics, and in Jeanette's dreams, as well.  It's time to set your clocks for island time and head south, because Jeanette's left the key to the front door waiting on the hook!

Direct from the shores of the Gulf of Mexico, Lylia returns to Arizona with visions of mermaids and sea creatures floating through her imagination.  After first covering her house with torn cocktail napkins in soothing tones of blue,aqua, and green, she's created the perfect place for all those visions to gather.  Her mermaids float over and through small shells and bits of sea glass she's found in her walks along the beach, with their glittery tails and scales reflecting the sunlight from overhead.  With a canopy of shell embellished trim hung around its roof line, you can easily see Lylia's love of the beach and water.  (La Sirena translated from Spanish means "the siren", as in a beautiful woman, or mermaids)

After inking several papers in varying shades of gelatos, inks, and paints, Deb tore each into small pieces and applied them helter-skelter, creating the colorful and lively siding to her house.  To protect the colors and edges of the papers, she applied a thin coat of Modge-Podge.  Her kitty is a favorite stamp done on cross-stitch fabric and colored with markers and inks, and seems to be watching the small silver bird that's landed outside the front door.  And if you look closely, you're sure to see her friendly puppy in the backyard playing and smelling the flowers, while chasing butterflies.  Her roof has been constructed out of corrugated cardboard and painted to give it an aged look, with a chimney made from a drinking straw.  A vintage doily from Grandma was added for trim to finish the roof, and jute was looped around the base as a "hedge", making for the perfect home for Kitty.

From kitties to birds, Charlotte has created the perfect home for our feathered friends.  Covered entirely with bird themed tissue paper, you'll also find flowers growing behind the picket fence all around the base.  And for the birds dining enjoyment, take a look at the hanging bird feeder created from a small, suspended bottle complete with a "wood" perch . . . it's even filled to the top with bird seed! The roof has been created from metal, with various alcohol inks to add brightness and color.  What bird wouldn't be at home here!

Through the years, Woman has always worried . . . about her appearance, her weight, her actions.  Inspired by the page of a vintage catalog showing women in tight corsets and undergarments, Janis captures all these worries to show the actual beauty of woman. Covering her wood with various sized torn pieces of the catalog page that first inspired her, she then added a coat of multi-medium to hold the edges and protect the surface.  After embellishing with inks in soft tones of pinks and browns, she's accented with bits and pieces of female-related items . . . a piece of vintage cloth tape measure, a garter, a sparkly heart, and a true Queen's crown.  As a final touch, she's added a beautiful pair of gold tinged wings and pink fluffy feathers.

So, there you have it!  Please leave us a comment . . . or two! . . . and let us know what you think.  In the meantime, join us in congratulating and thanking all of these great artists for a job well done!

 If you'd like to take part in our monthly "ATC Workshop & Swap", join us the second Thursday evening of each month from 6:00pm-8:00pm and you too can begin to think big in a small way!  There's no membership required and it's FREE!  Hope to see you there!

(480) 821-3758
2986 No. Alma School Rd. #4 ~ Chandler, AZ 85224
s/w corner of Alma School & Elliot Roads in the Mervyn's Plaza
(located between Zoe's Quilts & Catherine's)
Tuesday - Saturday 10:00am-6:00pm  ~  Closed Sunday & Monday

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