Mask Series #7: Inside The Inner Workings

“Inside The Inner Workings” #7 of my mixed media Mask Series is finally complete! I used acrylic paints, flat-backed glass floral marbles, nail enamel paint, antique brass beads, copper wire, silver-tone metal findings, antique brass gears, zinc plated star washers, antique brass toggle clasps, silver-tone beads, antique silver eyelets, black/gold mesh fabric, copper stretch fabric, black with gold hologram dot fabric, black sequin fabric, white iridescent square printed fabric and put the elements together on an 11 x 14 canvas. The mask base is purple lace with hologram dot sequins scattered throughout. It’s embroidered in gold. I wanted to go for a Steampunk feel with this one. I feel like I got close but I’m not entirely certain. However, I’m really pleased with the result. I hope you’ll enjoy the photo! I have to thank John for herding cats so I could sign the artwork and then snap the shot. This piece is for sale. If you are interested, please contact me.

Mixed Media Mask Series #7, "Inside The Inner Workings," is complete!

Mixed Media Mask Series #7, “Inside The Inner Workings,” is complete!

“Happiness consists in activity. It is running steam, not a stagnant pool.” ~ John Mason Good

Mask Series #7: The Work Continues

I spent a good bit of time on mixed media artwork #7 in my mask series today. It’s coming along quite nicely. This one is entirely more complex than the previous pieces. I hope that translates to something truly nifty that people will enjoy, maybe do a double-take on. And I realize that just because I put a lot of time and effort into something doesn’t mean I’ll come out with something deemed “good.” On the other hand, I’m sure having a lot of fun putting it all together. It probably doesn’t seem like it to my family, though, as I’ve had to go on several scavenger hunts today, looking for specific items that I know I had on hand but couldn’t find. Drove me nuts! I really need a craft/art/sewing room. And one day, I’m sure it’ll happen. So here’s part of what I worked on today. It may not seem like much but it took quite a bit of time and I held my breath a lot. I purposely edited this photo with the colors sort of washed out. I don’t want to spoil the viewing when the artwork is complete. Feel free to ask questions or leave comments. I love to talk…would talk the ears off a mule sometimes. I try to tone it down a bit in replies, though. Stay tuned for more on this project!

This is where I am so far in my work on the background. There's still a good bit to do. So far my adhesive is working very well, and that's saying something. I'm not the gentlest person around, even though I try. Painted marbles, shiny fabrics, reflective fabrics, and a bit of copper wire...so much more to come!

This is where I am so far in my work on the background. There’s still a good bit to do. So far my adhesive is working very well, and that’s saying something. I’m not the gentlest person around, even though I try. Painted marbles, shiny fabrics, reflective fabrics, and a bit of copper wire…so much more to come! Jewelry for your wall! At least, I hope that’s what this will look like when it’s done. 🙂

“Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.”  Benjamin Franklin

Mixed Media Mask Series #7: Started!

I started work on number 7 in my Mask series today. The paint for the background is done so I’ll share that with you. Again, it’s purposely edited this way so I don’t give away the surprise when it’s complete. I’m using lots of metallic colors for this one. I /love/ metal. I’d have more piercings if I didn’t spend all my fun money on supplies! One day I’ll balance that…maybe. 🙂

This is the background for my newest mixed-media art project. I used acrylic paints in purple, turquoise, metallic gold, metallic green, metallic copper, and metallic silver. The canvas is 11 x 14

This is the background for my newest mixed-media art project. I used acrylic paints in purple, turquoise, metallic gold, metallic green, metallic copper, and metallic silver. The canvas is 11 x 14

I used a frame that makes it look like the viewer is seeing things through a dirty window. It goes along with my theme, in a way. I’m really hoping to get a more industrial feel, leaning toward the Steampunk genre, with this project. Stay tuned for more photos! I’m not sure when I’ll get them up but it will certainly be in the near future.

“Happiness consists in activity. It is running steam, not a stagnant pool.” ~ John Mason Good

And just because I can, here’s an appropriate little ditty to send you off with happy thoughts, or at the very least, a smile.

Mixed Media Mask Series #6: Complete!

I’ve been working on this piece for almost a month. It just didn’t come together as easily, or as comfortably as the last two I shared here. There was this idea in my head of what it /needed/ to be…and I couldn’t achieve that with what I had on hand. So my idea needed to be altered. This halted the creative process for me for a little while. I don’t know how anyone else works but when my work doesn’t come together like I want it to, I sort of freeze it for a while…put it on hold. It’s not on purpose. It’s more like my mind just cannot comprehend why in the world I’d want to change a perfectly good idea. I really have to laugh at myself sometimes. It’s better to laugh than cry, right? So that’s when I realized that what I was trying to do was too plain, much too plain indeed. I needed this to look like a party, and not just any party. Mardi Gras in New Orleans! So while it isn’t one of my favorites, I do think I captured the feel of a party in New Orleans.

I used a large white canvas (18 x 18, which is quite large for me) which I painted black. I then painted some streamers and confetti. It wasn’t ‘party’ so much as ‘bon voyage at night’ so I had to amp that up with some paint splatters in brighter colors. I also added a few splatters of the glitter paint to give it a bit of sparkle. I coated the whole painting with Mod Podge to make it shiny and prep it for the vintage Mardi Gras post cards. The post cards I have are indeed vintage (1960s, if I had to make a rough guess) and I had no intention of giving them up. I copied the images onto cardstock and cut the edges with a pair of scrapbooking scissors, creating a reverse scallop. After adding the post cards, I affixed the masks to the piece. The feminine mask is decorated with purple sparkle mesh fabric (a selvedge edge from sequin dot fabric) which I hand-sewed to create a round psuedo-flower. I topped that with an antique gold filligree jewelry finding. The ivory fabric, shot through with pale gold scroll designs shows up very well against the black background. The masculine mask is done in the same fabric. I added some gold mesh fabric over one side and both eyes and affixed a gold braid trim angled over the center of the mask. The last step was to add the beads. I used E-6000 to do this because I needed to believe the beads wouldn’t fall off once the future owner gets the piece home. I figured the best bet was probably E-6000. It’s holding unbelievably well and standing up to a heat test, too. I’m stoked about that. It may not be my favorite piece in the Mask series, but I think it does convey the feel I was hoping to get across. Please enjoy these photos.

"Party Time In New Orleans" ~ Mask Series #6 Mixed Media Artwork by Melody Kittles ~ Photo by J.D. Kittles Photography ~ This piece is for sale. If you are interested, please send me a message.

“Party Time In New Orleans” ~ Mask Series #6 Mixed Media Artwork by Melody Kittles ~ Photo by J.D. Kittles Photography ~ This piece is for sale. If you are interested, please send me a message. My husband’s photography is also for sale, so please do click on this photo to check out his work. I know I’m biased but he really does have some excellent photographs that would beautifully adorn any room or style.

Here's a close-up of the masculine mask, showing the gold mesh, the green embroidery, the gold trim and the gold beads.

Here’s a close-up of the masculine mask, showing the gold mesh, the green embroidery, the gold trim and the gold beads.

Here's a close-up of the feminine mask, showing the purple sparkle mesh flower, the filigree jewelry finding, and the purple bead. You can also see more of the scroll pattern on the mask. This one is embroidered in pale gold.

Here’s a close-up of the feminine mask, showing the purple sparkle mesh flower, the filigree jewelry finding, and the purple bead. You can also see more of the scroll pattern on the mask. This one is embroidered in pale gold.

Thanks for stopping by today. I really enjoy making these. I’ve got two new canvases to create on and I bought some small burlap ‘canvases’ to play with. We’ll see what we will see!

Today’s quote has only a small tie-in to the pictures above. There /is/ singing during Mardi Gras. I’m sure of it. Because we don’t have parties in Louisiana without music. Could one have a real party without music?

Singing is like a celebration of oxygen.” ~ Bjork

French Themed Mixed Media Art

Just a quick note to say that my last panel is in progress and almost complete. I only need to add a few more elements to finish it but I thought I’d still share a photo of the progress so far. I hope you enjoy checking it out!

For this panel, I painted the background with a light turquoise and a pale pink in patches. I sealed the entire panel with Mod Podge. Then I printed out some French themed clip art onto cardstock, and cut a few pieces from some interesting scrapbook paper, and added those to my panel using Mod Podge. I used the Mod Podge to fix a lace border onto one side. I added the two black ribbons atop the lace using Fabri-tac glue. We drink a lot of tea at our house and sometimes we use the Tazo brand teas. The inside of the box has a wonder pattern printed on it. I saved a couple of the boxes months ago and found a use for them here. I cut a piece from one of the boxes and wrapped some specialty ribbon around it. I fixed the ribbon in place with Fabri-tac, then affixed my ribbon-wrapped card to my panel by putting Fabri-tac onto my black ribbons and placing the card on top. I added 3 metal leaf beads to my panel using epoxy glue. I wasn't too sure the Fabri-tac would hold them permanently. I added metal eyelets to my embroidered mask, which was created with a floral brocade fabric and light gold embroidery. I added simple black satin ribbons to my mask. All that remains are the sparkly bits I want to add to the mask. I had a lot of fun putting this together. Both our girls love it and I hope others will, too!

For this panel, I painted the background with a light turquoise and a pale pink in patches. I sealed the entire panel with Mod Podge. Then I printed out some French themed clip art onto cardstock, and cut a few pieces from some interesting scrapbook paper, and added those to my panel using Mod Podge. I used the Mod Podge to fix a lace border onto one side. I added the two black ribbons atop the lace using Fabri-tac glue. We drink a lot of tea at our house and sometimes we use the Tazo brand teas. The inside of the box has a wonder pattern printed on it. I saved a couple of the boxes months ago and found a use for them here. I cut a piece from one of the boxes and wrapped some specialty ribbon around it. I fixed the ribbon in place with Fabri-tac, then affixed my ribbon-wrapped card to my panel by putting Fabri-tac onto my black ribbons and placing the card on top. I added 3 metal leaf beads to my panel using epoxy glue. I wasn’t too sure the Fabri-tac would hold them permanently. I added metal eyelets to my embroidered mask, which was created with a floral brocade fabric and light gold embroidery. I added simple black satin ribbons to my mask and fixed it to my panel with Fabri-tac. All that remains are the sparkly bits I want to add to the mask. I had a lot of fun putting this together. Both our girls love it and I hope others will, too!

If you’d like to know where I found the clip art, you can click here to go to The Graphics Fairy blog. I found the specialty ribbon at Cost Plus World Market. The pretty patterned gray card was found inside a Tazo tea box. The two smaller pictures that look similar to postal stamps are the pieces I cut from a larger piece of scrapbook paper. I used acrylic paints.

He who fears to suffer, suffers from fear.”  ~French Proverb