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i forgot that i already scheduled a blog post for today so this is #2… ah well.
for those who know me, my deep adoration for poison bottles and specimen vials is pretty obvious. it’s a year-round, deep and passionate love, but during this time of year i think a lot more people share my penchant for such things. as such, i’ve just created and posted two new digital collage sheets for the altered bits site (click to enlarge):
you can find these and 7 other new digital collage sheets here: http://alteredbits.com/digital-collage-sheets.php
do you want to know how i create some of the aforementioned poison, alchemy and specimen labels i use in a lot of my assemblages and books? then read on!
this is an extremely easy process and it’s both fun and super cool looking. use them in a cabinet of curiosities or oddities assemblage or book, or just display them on a shelf. once my stupid over-priced epson printer is fixed (their warranty service is not my friend today — one would think for $2600 you’d get more than a year of coverage) i’ll be making lots more with the new labels i created. [cross your fingers my husband can fix printers — he’s super handy and has recently fixed a stove (twice), a washing machine, a toilet, a sink, a car bumper that decided to fall off, a rototiller, a few musical devices, a broken deadbolt and some other stuff — he’s pretty amazing so a printer should be a cake walk… but i digress…]
okay… to start, you will need this stuff or similar alternatives:
- a bottle of any sort, filled with your specimen(s), or whatever you’re using (there are usually lots of little bottles on the Altered Bits site).
- natural beeswax and something to melt it in
- acrylic paint (burnt umber is used above)
- a paintbrush
- a baby wipe or other moist wiping device
- some sort of scraper can be a carving tool, a super-sharp pencil, a thick needle, an awl, etc.
once your bottle is filled and corked (or capped if that’s what you’d doing), melt some beeswax. when thoroughly melted, dip the top of your bottle into the wax to cover it, and let it cool. keep dipping the top into the wax and let it solidify between dips until you feel it’s built up enough. i typically dip about four or five times for small bottles, more for larger. Set aside and let it dry/harden for about ten minutes.
with your carving tool (or needle or whatever you’ve opted to use), carve some random scratch marks into the wax. pierce it, puncture it, and carve it to give it an old or aged look. remove all little waxy remnants.
now whip out your paint and paintbrush. paint it all over the wax, taking extra care to get it into the grooves and divots in the wax. now wipe the paint off of the smooth parts of wax – the paint will stay pooled in the scratches, cracks and divots and look really quite cool.
(in the above specimen bottle i was going for a wormy-type effect but the green is a little NOT what i was going for. the strands that kinda look like gross tape worms are strands of hot glue i dried on parchment or wax paper and shoved inside — the green is natural food coloring but one of these days i’ll provide some way better coloring ideas. i made this about three… or five years ago and i’m smarter now.) ❤
you can find a PDF tutorial of this here, complete with at least one typo (scroll to the bottom of the page): http://alteredbits.com/art-tutorials.php i’ll actually be adding a couple more “waxen” tutorials (waxen book and waxen dolls) in the coming months as well as recipes for natural dyes, assemblage projects and other fun stuff.
there are lots of fun things going on at alteredbits.com for memorial day weekend! from now through june 1st there are heaps of freebies, sales and extras just for you.
first, get a medium or large frozen charlotte for a mere five cents when purchasing the “how to crackle frozen charlottes” tutorial. limit one per customer — only 20 listed. these will go FAST.
second, get TWO FREE DIGITAL COLLAGE SHEETS with the purchase of four collage sheets, digital or print, or equal or lesser value. or get $5 off the entire “collaged bits” collection (mention this in a paypal note and your account will be immediately credited the $5).
next, “crackled window effect” altered art tutorial price is reduced to $10 plus get a FREE digital collage sheet of your choice. this is a permanent deal, not just limited to memorial day weekend. woots!
FREE SHIPPING on all “Rare, Limited Quantity and One of a Kind” items, from this page of the altered bits site. (shipping will be credited immediately upon purchase and sent via USPS first class post) i will be having LOTS of new things coming in next month and i would LOVE to clear out this section as soon as possible. just leave a note in paypal about the free shipping to jog my cluttered memory. >>
BIG FREE BUNDLES with all purchases over $25 — it will be a delectable, mysterious surprise. 🙂
heaps of items are being added to the site this week and more sales and specials (and some give-aways) are soon to come so check back over the next week or three!
The time has finally come… the Inspired Remnants, Curious Dreams Blog Tour has commenced!! Read through this post to learn about some of the MANY wonders of epoxy clay, find links to all participants in the tour, view the prizes you can win (there are 115!!), and see free giveaways for my readers too! You may want to grab a cuppa coffee, tea or a beer and relax for a few — this is a HUGE post with lots to take in and look at!
First, as many of you know, I’ve been friends with Miss Keriny for a few years now so I was “there” for the ride when she wrote this most amazing book. It was such an honor and a privileged to get to hear the little bits and pieces she shared with me (most of it was a HUGE surprise when the book came out, of course, but I did get secret little-tiny peeks and hints along the way). I was able to learn so many great things about the wonders of Epoxy and Apoxy Clays before the book was even released! I mostly starting using Aves Apoxy Clay as an amazing adhesive in my assemblages, but have also made molds to create smaller items. I am just now getting into “the bigger stuff” since reading (and re-reading) her book and just have to say that I love this stuff!! So when Kerin asked if I wanted to participate in this blog tour, I was giddy. (My son would have said “duhviously!” wich is a combo of “duh” and “obviously”). Like Kerin, I want the whole art world to know about this great and wondrous art material and its endless uses! Kerin is the queen of opening so many eyes to this wonderful stuff!
This is an example of my most recent use of epoxy clay… everything, including the metal objects, hand-made boxes, hearts, bones, gears and beads atop the pieces and other bits are attached using Aves Apoxy Clay. Additionally, I built up the anatomical hearts with this great and wondrous product before making molds of them so I can include LOTS of hearts in future projects. Additional photos of these two pieces can be found on my website if you are interested in checking them out in more detail.
First and foremost, I would like to present the sponsors of this GRAND EVENT…
Visit these participating blogs along the way — the following is a calendar of dates each participant will be posting their wonderful information, art examples and giveaways.
Remnants of Olde: http://RemnantsOfOlde.com/posts
Altered Bits: https://alteredbits.wordpress.com/
Flatwoods Folk Art: http://www.flatwoodsfolkart.typepad.com/
Lilly Bug Studio: http://lillybugstudio.com/blog/
The Altered Page: http://thealteredpage.blogspot.com/
Little Bit Wired: http://littlebitwired.blogspot.com/
ICE Queen Zine: http://www.iceresin.com/category/inspired-remnants-blog-tour/
Happy Mother’s Day!
Strange Dolls: http://strangedolls.wordpress.com/
Brenda Schweder Jewelry: http://www.brendaschweder.com/
Vanessie Art Dolls: http://vanessies.blogspot.com
Lemoncholy’s Flight of Fancy: http://www.lemoncholys.blogspot.com/
A Year In The Life Of An Art Journal: http://oneyearartjournal.blogspot.com/
Marlaine Verhelst Art Dolls: http://marlaineverhelst.com/blog/
Mud Hound Studio: http://mudhoundprimitives.blogspot.com/
Yesterday’s Trash: http://michellereneebernard.blogspot.com/
Remnants of Olde – Alan Rogerson feature: http://RemnantsOfOlde.com/posts
Apoxie Clay & Epoxy Clays Page: https://www.facebook.com/#!/home.php?sk=group_158159677562761
Sponsored prizes that YOU could win (each of the blogs will be giving away these wonderful prizes to MANY lucky winners!). Please note that all physical prizes (i.e. non digital prizes) will be awarded to US participants only. Access to Online Workshops and Digital Collage Sheets will be sent anywhere, worldwide.
To be eligible, all you need to do is leave a comment to this post by May 26. Please note in your comment if you are a resident outside the US.
A) The book: Inspired Remnants, Curious Dreams by Kerin Gale. This will be mailed directly to the winner from Northlight Books.
B) One Aves Power Pack (selection of their most popular formulas) from http://AvesStudio.com. (This will be mailed directly to the winner from Aves Studios)
C) Fluid Chalks Online Workshop by Lesley Venable on her The Art Of Altering site which features many other awesome online workshops. More information about this workshop can be found here: http://theartofaltering.ning.com/group/fluidchalksbackgroundsbeyond
D) Two Digital Collage Sheets of your choice by Alicia Caudle of Altered Bits (yeps, that’s me). You can see my unique and cool collections at http://alteredbits.com/digital-collage-sheets.php
E) Sample pack of Silputty 40 silicone putty mold mix from Silpak. This is the formula Kerin recommends in the book that has the longer cure time. If you want to order any of these materials or have any questions, call Jerry at Silpak 909-625-0056. He was her technical advisor for the book and so it’s great that you can talk to him directly and get any assistance you may need!!!
F) 1 OZ ICE Resin and a mixed metal bezel from http://www.iceresin.com/
Grand Prizes For Book Reviews
Any reader that writes a review ~ however short or long ~ of Inspired Remnants, Curious Dreams on amazon.com before July 31, 2011 and sends an email with the title “Inspired Remnants Review” to firstname.lastname@example.org will be entered in a drawing to win one of these prizes. Please note that your honest opinion is wanted on this review. Please note that all physical prizes (i.e. non digital prizes) will be awarded to US participants only. Access to Online Workshops will be available worldwide.
A) The art piece featured on the cover of the book, “Sacred Totem”
B) Power Pack plus extra Fixit Sculpt clay from Aves Studio
C) A Frozen Charlotte Doll with digital tutorial “How To Crackle Charlottes” from Alicia Caudle of http://alteredbits.com (that’s me again! — see details on the tutorial below)
D) Resin Clay Pendants online workshop by Kerin Gale from http://MixedMediaArt.ning.com
E) Vintage Gentleman online workshop by Kerin Gale from http://MixedMediaArt.ning.com
F) Choice of any one workshop being taught by Kerin and Charley at Art Is You retreat in Petaluma, CA. The registration fee and workshop cost are both waived. http://www.art-is-you.com/mysitecaddy/site3/generalinformation-westcoast.htm
G) One copy each of Jen Cushman’s book, Explore, Create, Resinate and Susan Lenart-Kazmer’s book, Making Connections plus ICE Resin and a selection of bezels all from http://www.iceresin.com/
Altered Bits blog readers will also be entered to win one of these additional prizes (like everything else, all you have to do is leave a comment to enter):
First, PRIZE NUMBER ONE is a collection of three Frozen Charlotte dolls which I will mail to you bundled up with love and pretty wrappings:
…along with a PDF Tutorial I created called “How to Crackle Frozen Charlottes” (creative, huh!):
With this tutorial, you can learn how to create wonderful crackled and faux rust finishes for Frozen Charlotte and Charlie dolls and learn how I create those little 3d hearts on them. This is a great combo with Kerin’s book in that you can learn how to make molds of these girls, and create replicas in Epoxy Clay, then paint them up all pretty like these few examples:
And PRIZE NUMBER TWO (also only for my blog readers) is a collection of FIVE digital collage sheets of your choice from my website: http://alteredbits.com/digital-collage-sheets.php and http://alteredbits.com/collage_sheets.php (yep, I’ll make ANY of them digital for you). Here are just a few examples of some of your many options:
As if ALL of this hasn’t been enough…
During the blog tour (from May 1st through May 19th), you can get $5 off Kerin Gale’s ground-breaking and hugely inspirational book Inspired Remnants, Curious Dreams bundled with her amazing online workshops (I have taken all of these workshops from Kerin so trust me when I say they are A-FLIPPIN’-MAZING!!). All you have to do is enter “Altered Bits” in the note section when you check-out through Paypal and you will receive the $5 back. What a fantastic deal!
Resin Clay Pendants Workshop + Book = $35 + shipping (only $30)
Vintage Gentleman Workshop + Book = $40 + shipping (only $35)
Both Workshops + Book = $70 + shipping (only $65)
Enjoy your journeys and good luck!!
OR, if you already have her book, any of her online workshops will be a mere $15!!! go peek at her shop now!
PLEASE NOTE: Just leave a comment for one entry to win one of these fabulous prizes (every blog on the tour has about this many so hooray!). Get more chances to win by sharing info about the book tour!!! When you leave your comment just say where you posted (facebook, twitter, your blog, etc.) Each post is worth one entry in my drawing!
un voyage par l’obscurité.
that is what i think this newest book of mine shall be called. but of course i change my mind a zillion times before its complete. i may call it phantoms and shadows. actually, wait, i rather like that! i’ll save un voyage par l’obscurité for another book. yes! the bird skull book. (it must be somewhat annoying that i type my thought process(es_ as they are occurring in my mind.)
i photographed this cover yesterday afternoon, then spent much of the evening working on it so it’s already better than what i’m sharing but this will just have to do.
(click photos to enlarge)
singed red velvet with burned holes, lace behind in places, antique bone beads for the centers of the french knot flowers (the bone beads were apparently made in africa or south america sometime between the late 1890s and early 1920s — the bag i got them in was a mix of two kinds and i’m not certain which are which as i’ve since forgotten what the lady told me but i THINK these are the african ones, and the seed ones were from south america).
i love to incorporate things from friends in my art to keep. this frame was from my sweet friend debbie in new zealand, some of the black lace from my sweet friend jo in england, the gorgeous silk green, rose and creamy thread is from my sweet friend lisa in maryland, and the rest of the friend goodies are on other pages so you shall see those soon.
this was a vintage photo of two girls (presumably twins) jumping rope together. i made the one on the right super light by cutting her out of the photo, photoshopping in a background behind her and overlaying her and reducing opacity. you can’t tell in this dark photo, but in person, you can see the “alive” girl’s dress through the ghostly one’s dress. the crackle and such looks WAY better in person but as i was photographing in the son weird shadows and reflections were occurring… or phantoms?
the brass antique frame is not set into the front of the book so it doesn’t look gappy or weird anymore.
and here is the whole front of the book as it was yesterday afternoon (the two lace bits on the top and sides came from a fantastically wonderful etsy shop called “mary not martha”, just in case you want some). all of the edges are now finished and things look MUCH better. kind of “simple” but definitely an alicia-style book, i’d say:
AND, without further ado, i shall announce the winners of the “how to crackle a frozen charlotte tutorial”. yes, i said i was going to only pick one, but i thought i should pick two since everyone was so sweet.
woohoo! congrats, you two! please contact me and i shall email your tutorials straight away (your posts don’t have links to your blogs for me to inform you that you’ve won).
i have gotten about 47 emails inquiring as to how i crackle and age my little frozen charlottes. or maybe 48. i’ve lost count. anyway, i have finally created a PDF tutorial outlining how to create these aged and crackled little babes, with additional instructions on how to create a faux rust finish AND how to create the little 3d hearts (only about 13 people asked about that, but i wanted to include it anyway).
soon i will also offer a kit that will include the tutorial, a small frozen charlotte, crackle medium and paint needed to achieve this effect. this should be available by the end of the week.
you can check it out on the tutorial’s page of the altered bits website.
i will be giving away a copy of this tutorial next weekend. just leave a comment to be entered into the drawing. the winner will be selected at random via a random number generator.
the one world one heart giveaway was so much fun… i didn’t get to make it to even a quarter of the blogs, sadly, but i enjoyed the ones i got to visit and the several people i was able to meet along the way. i am still going to visit each of the participants’ blogs — it is important to me to say hello to all who participated. thank you everyone for such a wonderful experience!
it will take me a bit to get a hold of everyone directly so if you see this before i email you, congrats! i will need some of your mailing addresses but don’t fret — i’ll be contacting you by tomorrow.
each of you get to pick a digital collage sheet from my site (http://alteredbits.com) and i will email the sheet of your choice to you (the little red * means that i have contacted you and sent your sheet — this will help me from getting too confused):
1. Marie of Art From My Heart in California, USA *
2. Constance of Rochambeau in Texas, USA *
3. Karen of Paper Fanatic in Ireland *
4. Janny of Tricolore Mixed Media in The Netherlands *
5. Katie of Katie’s Strange World in the UK (sadly i didn’t see your blog until now as you didn’t leave your link — your offerings were fantastic!!) *
6. Danit of The Letter Project in New Zealand *
7. Carapace of Cara Makes in the US
8. Donna of Creative Journaling My Way in Georgia
9. Lynda of Taylor Made in Oz in Australia *
10. Abigail of Rusted Wings in Montana, USA
i will send you a link so you can download it from my server — it’s a huge print-quality file, sorry.
1. Tammy of Country Folk Art in New York
2. Gaby of Colorful Adventures in Germany
WINNER OF THE FRIDA KAHLO FABRIC COLLAGE ATC
Kirsten of Fleur De Boheme in Denmark
WINNER OF THE TIN OF FROZEN CHARLOTTES
Jacqui of OddDollz by Jacqui in Canada
WINNER OF THE FRAMED BLACK AND WHITE PRINT (of your choosing)
Tristan of Enchanted Revelry in Connecticut
(please let me know if you want the man or the woman)
because my finger twitched at the end there and i had a little guilt (double clicked the random generator just before the number displayed so it COULD have potentially thrown something off), i asked my son to come in and do me a wee favor. i said “pick a number between one and one hundred eighty-eight”. he said “twenty-nine”.
so…. miss sarah. my dear sweet que sera, sarah of Hen Fruit, you win a non-framed 4×6 print of the black and white man. it’s is perfect, too — i was so trilled that my little man picked your number because one of the projects next on my list to finish is that “house of fertility” piece that you said you loved and i said i would finish and send to you. so you get two fetile pieces of art, my friend. hope that’s not too many!
sarah and kerin — you have the same birthday.
it’s frida’s birthday too, right?
on a side note, i think next year i’ll keep it to two or three winners. 🙂 this took me almost four hours to post. i say this with giggles and am sooooo not complaining — this has been fantastic and fun, and so great to meet so many new, wonderful people. thank you, lisa!
it will take me a week or three to get everything out so please bear with me.
lastly, and on a pretty weird note, there was something eerily cool going on when i used the random generator to pick winners. for every category i was choosing, the winner had specifically stated that they wanted that item. it was pretty thrilling.
before i start, i wanted to mention that for the rest of the year, anyone who purchases my crackled window tutorial will get two free digital collage sheets… all in the spirit of the holidays and having more to work with. if you’ve already purchased the tutorial and didn’t get the collage sheets, send me an email and i shall send whichever two you desire.
i had visions of grandeur for this post as i’ve been sick with the flu and not blogged lately, but having said ailment, i spent much more time on my arse than making progress on anything art-related. so, you’ll have things to look at next time.
and without further ado, the winner of the accordion book, art tutorial, collage sheets and embellishment give-away is (says the husby), ms. katie! i removed names so he did NOT base his pick upon his utter adoration for this lovely lady but rather a legitimate handful of chuckles (i mean who wouldn’t laugh at a teletubby with a dildo!?). he also said “the one about the party should at least get a digital collage sheet” so kerin, let me know which you want — great idea he had! 🙂 it feels awkward to me that husby ironically picked the only two people he’s met, so i say that jonee gets a digital collage sheet too because i laughed really hard when i read the comment.
for the holidays and because web design work is sickeningly slow (i’m now officially feeling this recession bullshit), i’m going to be making things i don’t typically make due to lack of time: frameable greeting cards and christmas/solstice ornaments… like green and red skulls, and such. 😉 stay tuned.
p.s. kerin, that card has RESIN CLAY on it. 😉
i’ve been working for weeks on thoroughly cleaning and organizing my studio and have an ever-growing pile of fun things i will probably never use. i was going to post them on my etsy, but then i thought “oh, i can give them away!”. so, today will be my first of several little give-aways on my blog over the next several months.
first up, a 4.25″ x 5.75″ blank black accordion book still in its packaging, 8 custom quarter-page collage sheets based upon your favorite few on my site, and a couple embellishments (beads, buttons, fiber, etc.). in the spirit of halloween and goodies, i will also toss in a free download of my crackle tutorial, mentioned in this post. please note that this book was a gift to me and i never opened it or know how it’s constructed or anything. 😛
all you have to do to enter is comment, and if you feel like it, share your favorite, funniest, scariest, weirdest, grossest, most supernatural, or “whatever” hallowe’en/samhain story (or whatever you celebrate on this date). i will have my husband be the judge if there are stories so as not to have to feel the pressure of choice, and if no stories, i’ll randomly chose via random.org. the winner will be announced next weekend and the parcel shipped.
happy hallowe’en! happy samhain!! i hope you all have a great and safe night tonight.
boy have i been a busy little bee lately! getting ready for a few shows and adding things to the altered bits site over the next two or three days. i’ll have four new collage sheets (witches, bones, darker-themed-alicia-type stuff, as well as some naked ladies and such). apothecary bottles, mico-beads, petree dishes, microscope slides with covers, etc. all coming soon just a little too late for halloween. whoops!
i added three new photoshop textures, or backgrounds — whatever you could want to use them for on the free art page as well:
and last but not least, i’ve added a new tutorial for my “crackled window effect” on the art tutorials page. eventually there will be heaps of free and paid tutorials in both PDF and video format but it’ll take awhile to get them all up. some will be from me, and some from our fellow amazing arty friends so stay tuned.
you know those times when you put yourself fully into making something for someone and it ends up being a big ol’ flop!? well that seems to be my week. first, i was working on this sweet piece for my wonderful friend lisa jurist at mudhound primitives and decided to add a top coat of varnish. i have no idea where i got the image i used but i’d saved it for a long time and it felt soooo right to put it in her piece. about 20 seconds after i brush on the top coat, the image started to bubble, then sloughed off the canvas board! it was a total nightmare. i don’t think there is any way to fix that, so i shall start again. what a jackass i am!
so the very next day, i tried to make something for someone else. total mono-chromatic flop. here, just go ahead and laugh at me, i don’t mind (little hanging ACEO, the flapping flop of an attempt at something sweet):
to make up for it, i started something else for said friend and i felt it was just fine. set it down to dry, tossed my paint-covered baby wipe to the side and went on my merry little way (to watch dexter!). omg. so baby wipe landed on the piece and i could pretend i meant for this to happen but look at all of the black ickiness. i’m sad. so what? send a sweet friend two crap pieces and an IOU? lol. i crack myself up sometimes. i wish there were lots and lots more hours in the day! or that i didn’t have to cut my art time to work (took a month off — bad, bad timing for that one!!).
i did, however, start one and finish another piece that i just so happen to like (both!), so at least i have a 50-50 thing going on this week. will post those later.
off to read emails for the first time in 3 or 4 days, woots! happy creating, friends. 🙂
P.S. Bunches of us have been particpating in The Art Exchange. If you don’t know what it is, here is the gist: you get an email from one of the players, you send a piece of art of sorts to the person in the #1 slot in the email, you move the #2 person up and replace them with yourself in the #2 spot. Sooo… you end up sending out ONE piece of art, and you forward the email to six people. In turn, you get THIRTY SIX pieces of art in return. A couple of the people I’ve sent this too are having difficulties finding players that aren’t too busy. If you’d like to play, post here or email me so I can get you in touch with someone to get you involved. It’s soooo fun!