Miniature sticker mandalas

I've been hoarding stickers for a very long time. When I went to create this project I had two sticker collections I could use. The first was my collection from childhood and the second was the collection I made as an adult. Yes, as an adult. Cult of sticker is that bad. Well it turns out stickers do not last forever. Much of my 25 year old collection is not so sticky anymore.

This is my version of the mandala project I saw on the blog HonestlyWTF. I'm an avid reader and the name is definitely an apt description. You can head on over there for the full DIY but I'll share my variant here.

I made mine at a smaller scale (6 x6 inches) so they could be used as a greeting card in addition to art. Because I wanted to make them at a smaller scale it was the perfect opportunity to use my hoard of little Japanese stickers. I've learned my lesson. Stickers must be used!

I created guidelines on the back of my paper in pencil and then used a light table to view them.

I had planned to make just one mandala to celebrate the birth of a friends' baby but they were so additive I had to make a bunch.

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These would also be fun to make as Valentines!

I see in 3D

Halloween is a little over a week a way and things are starting to get weird. On their own these 3D glasses aren't so odd but I'm loving the creep factor this head form is bringing. That wig below is a little sneak peak at my Halloween costume. The glasses don't have much to do with my outfit other than I can't stop thinking about the classic movie theater pics from the 50's which is the same era my costume falls into. (Another hint)!

So why the glasses? In my studio I came across this 3D sketch pad I'd forgot I had. Basically anything you draw on the paper in black pops off the page when viewed through the glasses. You know, good ol' fashioned fun with optics. I wanted to give a few sheets to the winners of October's mail game but I'd also need to send them 3D glasses. What to do, what to do? Make some of course! 

I used 3D glasses I already owned as a template but then I cut almond shaped eye holes for the lenses instead of the classic rounded rectangles. I added some zentangle type patterns to emphasize the blue and red halves.

Wanna see in 3D?* If you'd like a pair of your own sign up for my monthly wrap up to play the mail game. I'll be sending glasses to Novembers** winners. Every month three people have the chance to get goodies in the mail from me!

*The author is aware everyone already see's in 3D. 

** November 2014 winners of the mail game will get 3D glasses. Sign up here!

Zentangle hearts

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Tis the season for hearts and more hearts. I drew on these hearts using zentangle techniques. I used left over hearts from this years Halloween costume crafting. Do they look familiar?

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An obvious mash-up was to use some hearts from last weeks marbling post.

Marbled hearts

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A couple weeks ago I had the opportunity to take a tutorial in marbling from Lynsey Ayala hosted by The Ladybones Print Collective. Check out some of Lynsey's amazing marbling work.

I used a lot of pinks and purples in my prints as I figured the papers would be fun for making valentines.

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  Do you see the few hearts in this print? 

Do you see the few hearts in this print? 

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  This marbled paper is from Il Papiro a paper shop in Italy. It was brought back to me from friends who visited.

This marbled paper is from Il Papiro a paper shop in Italy. It was brought back to me from friends who visited.

Paper hearts are the simplest valentines to make even if you don't marble your own paper. In grade school we cut them out of red construction paper. Step it up a notch and cut them out of a fine art patterned paper often easily found at art supply stores. You may even find some marbled papers. I suggest getting something heavy weight or plan to adhere to a card stock. Cut into a heart shape and voila, you have an easy Valentine. If you want to get a little DIY you can brush some water colors over a thick piece of paper to cut your hearts from.

  Left heart is purchased marbled paper. Right heart is cut from paper with watercolor strokes.

Left heart is purchased marbled paper. Right heart is cut from paper with watercolor strokes.

As for the marbling I do not have a tutorial but I'll let you know the basics. Marbling itself is a simpler concept than I expected. It's mostly about preparation.

Set up: Prepare a shallow vat of water with Carrageen called size. In the workshop I took this was also referred to as gelled water. The vat can be as simple as a large tubber ware container. Pre-treat paper or cloth with Alum to receive the marbling. Do the first two things the day before. On marbling day mix acrylic paints with water to have the consistency of milk.

Marbling: Drizzle your paint on the waters surface and the fun begins. Using various combs and sticks you can pull the paint to make your desired patterns. Lay a piece of treated paper on your pattern. Pull up and blot off or rinse the excess liquid. Whatever was on the surface of the vat will transfer to your paper.

Here's a link with more thorough specifics.

Below is a gallery of some of the process along with papers and fabric I printed. 

Lastly if you'd like to see my first super amateur Instagram videos relating to this I've got a couple here and here. 

Making fall

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Day light savings is over and Halloween has passed. Sometimes in San Francisco the weather doesn't match up with the season. We're not known for our fall foliage so I made some of my own with watercolors and water color pencils.

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I repurposed my Halloween pumpkins. If you follow me on Instagram you'll recognize the sticks from my Halloween decor. I've been really into sticks lately and have been collecting them on outdoor excursions. 

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