Friday, February 27, 2015

Baby gift using the Mailbox Muse kit

Hi everyone!  I recently went to a customer garage sale at my local scrapbook store and got a box stencil for a quarter!  How cool is that?  And how perfect to go with my latest Mailbox Muse kit, Baby Baby Baby.  I cut out the box from dark pink cardstock and glued the collage images at random.  When the box was glued together I added sheer ribbon bow with ribbon from Altered Pages and some lovely daisies cut from a scrap of ribbon in my bin.  I also made a matching card to go with.



Do you use baby wipes for clean up when you work?  I do.  And I like to buy the big bulk package because it's more cost effective!  But I don't need the ugly label on the box.  So I took these flower stickers that I found at a dollar store and decorated the container.  Now it blends in to my color scheme and all I need to do is buy the refills.

I like to recycle cans into storage for pencils, pens, markers, rubber bands, etc.  They come in every size so you can find the exact size you need.  Everything in my studio is decorated in pink, green or both.  When I find sales on scrapbook paper I try to get patterns in my colors so that I can decorate the everyday things on my table.  The box of name labels I bought was blue so I wrapped that up, too!  The markers and paint pens that need to be stored horizontal are in pink plastic pencil boxes in another area on my desk.
Color, color, color!  I want every inch of my workspace to be functional but also fun and colorful.  This wire shelf holds a lot of my supplies (see my last post on Feb 9th about building upward) and also protects my DVD player from the avalanche of paper that is usually stacked up on the table


Thanks for stopping by!  We hope you'll come back often.  Drop us a line and say hello.  If you see a project you like, be sure to let us know!
Until next time ... Happy Crafting!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

leftover Gellis and notebooks full up of goodies

What do you do with your leftover Gellis?  I always have a pile of leftover prints, and keep them around for using in whatever??  Today in the art room I found an abandoned, partially finished origami wallet fold book made from a double sided Gelli print.  It needed a cover and a purpose, so it's now full of atcs created from random bits from my collage notebooks (more on those later).
Look at all those leftover Gelli prints--they WANT to be something!
The origami wallet fold book has four pockets, each containing an atc made with more Gelli leftovers, Altered Pages images, and rub-on sentiments.
Now for my organization tip.

Here's the thing--we have a baseball card store.  Okay, so we sell all kinds of sports cards and memorabilia, but the point is, I have an in with the fella that runs the joint, and he keeps me supplied in all sorts of plastic pages, the kind that fit in a three-ring binder.  The nine-pocket pages are perfect for holding the bits left from cut-up collage pages (not to mention ATCs--did you know that baseball cards and ATCs are the same size?), and the 8 1/2 by 11 inch pages of course hold the full sized sheets of collage images.
Have a wonderful Thursday!  
(P.S.--there are a couple more photos of the Gelli book up on my blog, if you'd like to see.)

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Linda Chaves Feature Artist - Part 2

Today on the Altered Pages Blog
Linda Chaves
shares some of her AMAZING ART!!! 
If you missed the post yesterday read Linda's bio HERE
Sunset over the Western Ghats, India 

This was done on A4 Yupo paper, using Indian ink and fluid acrylics with a lot of texture work and a little collage. The script is in Malayalam, the language of Kerala, which I am trying to learn as I spend a month there every year. This was a spectacular sunset, the light turning from bright gold to lilac and purple, forming deep shadows over the tea plantation. Writing done with a metal tipped bottle and white acrylic ink.


Canvas, 40 x 30 cm using acrylics, fluid acrylics, charcoal, Pitt pen and oil pastel. There is quite a lot of collage in the initial layers, which I then worked over with colour and more texture. Inspired by the many Hindu festivals I have attended in Kerala, where the elephants are the stars!

Pink Dreams
A simple piece using acrylic inks, Indian inks and fluid acrylics over Yupo, A4 size. Graffiti in white acrylic ink. A piece in my trademark neon pink!

The Pout
Watercolour paper, 30 x 20 cm I started with Indian inks, rolling them about the paper to form a very energetic first layer. I added swathes of more ink with a wipe. I then found an inspiring photo online (this one a portrait by the artists Malcolm Liepke, and interpreted it in my own way, using inks and fluid acrylics.


 One of my two gorgeous cats. I painted the background in fluid acrylics and inks, paying attention to a ‘fluffed out’ look around her head – as she often struts around the house making herself look queen-like! I used a grid system to transfer the placement of the main features, then added some hand painted collage, before working layer by layer,  stroke by stroke to build up both the density of her fur, and the complexity of her colouring. This took considerable time, but I love the result. The final flourish with white acrylic ink and a very small brush for her whiskers!

Buddha Protects
On canvas 60 x 60 cm, this began by outlining the main features, then slowly building up the form and colour, beginning around the eyes and working outwards. There is quite a lot of collage, both found paper and hand painted. The warmth of the look comes from many layers of glazing with fluid and heavier bodied acrylics. This hangs over my bed,
guarding over me.

Pyjama Days
A self portrait on Watercolour paper, I used a wide range of materials – from fluid acrylics, pastels, crayons, pens and Gelatos., to try to get the right skin tone – and that ‘ageing” look!!!!

Canvas 60 x 40 cm. I first collaged my own given symbol of the triple spiral which I collaged on from bought paper, then I drew in the eyes. I wanted a simple yet very bright, saturated look, which, however, still had great feeling and soul. Painted mainly with acrylics and fluid acrylics

Fifteen Minutes after Sunset at the Grand Canyon
This was one of the defining moments of my life, and I just had to find a way to paint the lasting image which this breathtaking moment has etched in my memory. I knew that colour had to be the most important element, but that also the contrast between the brilliance of the sky, with the ever darkening structures of the canyon. Our gazes had shifted from down into the depths towards this miraculous sky in just a few minutes. I used many layers of acrylics and fluid acrylic paint, using a lot of texturizing techniques to avoid too much monotone and black in the lower half. I used a lot of both bought and home-made spray acrylics, too, to add texture and movement, as well as line work and mark making, both adding and subtracting layers to add interest and to lead the eye around the paged.

Now Linda has one more piece of advice...

I find it much better to begin work when I have cleaned up and organized the studio after work the previous day. Washed up and cleared up. Ideally, knowing what I am going to do, I leave out everything I’ll need to make a start in the morning. I start the day uncluttered, not worrying about the mess which is inevitable during the day - then clean it all up at night. I make lists too.  Lists of what I plan to do for the next day/week/month, etc. Lists of my ideas and inspirations. Lists of my intentions etc. These lists are my friends, I couldn’t live without them! It all helps me deal with the inner gremlins which sometimes conspire to ensure you do not want to get started. Some days it’s an all out war. But gremlins hate neatness, and loathe lists! Most days I win……

Hope you are inspired!!!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Linda Chaves Featured Artist - Part 1

At Altered Pages we are truly honored to have
Linda Chaves
with us as a guest...
We hope you will join us in welcoming her!
Self Portrait - Remembering Roy
I took this from a photograph, and drew a minimal outline on the 20 x 30 cm paper using a grid transfer system. Using acrylic inks with a cloth, I blocked in the main colours and features over several layers. I added a little collage from my hand made papers. I then added mostly fluid acrylics for the detailed finish, using small brushes where needed, and a white Gelly Roll pen.

Linda Chaves ~ Story

I was born in London and grew up in the suburbs – ambling my way through the sixties hippy years and the ups and downs of life through the next few decades. I think of myself as being lucky enough, not only to have discovered that I have two true vocations, but even luckier that I have been able to follow both of these destinies at the right time in life. From the moment I walked into a Primary School classroom, I knew that this was why I was on this earth. I loved every minute of being a teacher, all of it. I undertook a year’s teaching post in Portugal in 1979, and have lived there almost ever since. I love it there – the country and the people are so alive and sunny, and I have always liked being a little different, a little unusual, I suppose.

After many relationship disasters, I finally met the man who would become the love of my life in 1993. I had finally found happiness and stability in my personal life as I had always had in my professional life. When he died in 2009, I was bereft. It was also a turning point as I retired the same year, but my right-brained life of logic and straightforwardness gave me no clues as to how to cope without my soul mate.

Then a miracle happened. Roy’s death had led me to realize that our lives are precious, fleeting and unpredictable. Dreams must be attended to, chances need to be seized, and risks taken. Something inside me shifted, a new feeling, a need to express myself, coupled with a need to see the world. I bought my first airline ticket and took off. Months in India and the deserts of the SW USA have left an indelible impression on me. In four years I haven’t stopped – and there is still a lot of the world to see. I felt a new desire to record all this, to share all my vivid, stunning experiences in some way. I started journaling, both visual journaling and travel journaling. A new vocation, a new passion? Not quite yet. For, from these beginnings, I found that it was the art element that I was enjoying. Me! I had never been creative! I hadn’t had an art lesson since I was ten…this was not possible! I am still convinced I have no imagination! But, the drive to paint and record grew and grew, and I began to paint all that was in my head – images, people, ideas, places in strong vivid saturated colours – I call it “painting from the inside out’, hopefully with heart and soul, with all my personality. I even got a punk haircut with pink streaks! I now paint every day, and surround myself with colour. I do workshops, and have learnt a great deal, but my work is so much better when I paint what is in my head, and from my intuition, without following any trend or expectation.

Now, at 66, I am on the brink of even more ventures – I am holding painting workshops at my home in Portugal, and hopefully in India in the future. I have plans for online workshops teaching my techniques with colour and my ‘secret collage’ work. From my grief came this second life and another ‘me’, and the courage to follow new dreams. Therein lies the joy of life and the result of love.

Linda Chaves

“I am utterly addicted to organizing, a super organizer. From a visual point of view, that is. If stuff is tucked away in a drawer out of sight, never mind, though the drawer itself must be labelled!

I spend many many happy hours in my studio arranging my paints and all my other materials in as many different ways as possible - all together by colour, split into media, arranged by tone (the latest). This is, of-course, a procrastination tactic, too, for those days when it is hard to get down to proper work! But it keeps me happy.
                                                                                                                        Stop by the Altered Pages blog tomorrow to see more of Linda Chaves's amazing art!!! 

Monday, February 23, 2015

Vintage Ladies ATC's

Here are a few ATC's that I swapped a few weeks ago!!!
I first painted my ATC's and the circles with contrasting paint on a small bottle cap. Then I stamped the Eiffel Tower and Paris with black ink.  The women were fussy cut and glued to the ATC.  The final touch was the Dew Drop embellishments!  A Sharpie pen was used to create a thin black frame around the edge!!!

Sharpie Pen to Frame
Now for a simple organizing tip from me.... I have a very large pickle jar I keep on my table that I throw bits and pieces of ribbon.  They are usually ends of spools that are big enough to use but to small to keep on a spool!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Working with the GREEN

Happy Sunday. 
We are hoping you're thawing out on the East Coast. 

Here's some hope for Spring.

The above photo is part of the instructions for the charming St. Pat's Day Blessings Book 
by Trisha Neal, it's a beauty!

We have green glitter, green shamrocks and of course Green Collages!!

Make sure to visit us at wonderful to order new items in many of the specialty categories.


As for organizing, I have another wonderful item from yes, one of my favorite places Harbor Freight (and no I do not get paid to advertise for them!).

Many of us have that wonderful cart on wheels from Ikea or other sources.  I have the perfect accessory for it!


I cannot live without paper towels on hand when I am working.  This handy dandy attachment has very sturdy magnets that hold tight to the Ikea carts.

The towels move as you do!  No more reaching or searching.  I think the red is sweet with the aqua cart too!  

Have a great week of inspired creating and allow AlteredPages to provide you with the tools and supplies that work best!  

THANKS for stopping by today

Stay warm and happy,


Repurposing for Organizational Use!

Labels for Blog FEB 2015

I was really worried about this post. I am not organized in any way. I try but ….. Well two days ago I started a challenge to become more organized. I need to so that I can move in my studio, LOL! So I decided to make something that would actually help me corral some of my stuff. I am happy that it worked.
For my project I used a number of products from Alteredpages. I used Delicata and Staz-on ink pads. Various stamps (love the rubber stamps) which I pounced parts of all over the place. I used some tulle that I had received from a mailbox muse kit. It was the winter 2015 – Baby Baby Baby kit.  I love it.

I hope you have fun watching my video. I hope also that you will give repurposing or recycling a try…see you next month,

Friday, February 20, 2015

Completed WIP!

Happy Friday everyone!!! 

For today's post I am showcasing what was a WIP a few weeks back.  It is a tin wall hanging that I started during our month of cross promo with DecorArt.  I basically had so much fun playing with the paints that I never really created much more than a background.   So, today I have finished that piece by adding collage, steampunk accents, game pieces and layers of more color and shimmer. 

This is how the piece looked at the end of the previous post. 
And, here it is finally finished. 

 This is the planning stage in this pic below.  You can see how much brighter the base colors were.  I just adore these steampunk chipboard pieces and knew they would coordinate well with the metal background.  I ultimately painted out all of the chipboard with black, grey, silver, turquoise and gold...just gave them all a bit of an old metal modeled look.  You will see that later. 
I toned and blended the background colors a bit more adding grey, silver, and gold. I also used an antique gold tinted gel medium.  I love the added texture as well as the transparent color it gives.   Below are a few close-ups of just that.  I also added a skinny little stripe of washi tape for an extra border.  It has an old world script image all throughout.  
I came across the scrabble pieces and the word H O M E popped out at me.  Then, my own gears got to turning and I realized the steampunk cameo gal reminded me of myself, with a family (2 kids), hubby, job, pets and all the craft hoarding...well my mind is always turning trying to keep everything straight in our home.  So, I knew the game pieces had to be worked in.  I covered them with the same washi tape I used for my border as I wanted to tone them down a bit...they looked just a bit too new.  I added a little extra layer of the gel medium for a stronger hold.  Under the scrabble pieces you can see the torn collage images.  These were digital images from Altered Pages that I printed in black and white on plain printer paper.  I wanted them to "take" the paint and gel medium and become truly part of the background and look like they had been there for years. This process worked just perfectly. 

Here are those gears all painted out with their "metallic" finish.
And, a close of up the washi covered game pieces

I hope you enjoyed it!  I really enjoyed actually finishing one of my WIP's.  I have one or two, or 17 of those laying around...I'm sure you can relate.  It felt great completing to find the perfect spot to hang it.  

Remember to check back with the blog daily. Don't forget to leave a comment for your chance to win one of our fun giveaways.  The other fun "share" going on this month is our design team and featured artists are all offering an organizational tip.  I actaully listed my favorite in my post a couple weeks ago...the all too perfect Ikea cart.  I am going to leave it to you guys to tell me what you love and can't live without for organizing your craft stash.  
We would love for you to tell us your ideas for organization.  

Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend! 
Steph S. 

Supplies used:

Steampunk Cameo chipboard
DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylic - in Cobalt Turquoise Hue 
DecoArt Americana Decor Chalky Finish in Yesteryear and Carbon
Silver crafts paint