Challenges have been discontinued, but I hope you will enjoy browsing through this wonderful archive of Alice-inspired art!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Cheshire Tree Art Journal Page

Featured Artist: Ky Sanders
Blog: Ky's Bunny Nest
Location: United States - Illinois

Well, I have never wanted to maim an art journal until I saw this page by my fellow Oh, Alice! design team mate, Ky Sanders. I would really, really, like to (oh so carefully) cut it away from the binding and frame it to hang on MY WALL!!!!  I am totally in love with this page, every detail whether bold or subtle absolutely enchants me and I just love to look at it.  By happy coincidence Ky posted this beauty on my birthday, and I kept looking at it and thinking that this is the happiest my eyes will be on my birthday!  Take a look, and click any picture to enlarge:

The first thing we notice is the absolute explosion of color in the tree! This brilliance was achieved by application of alcohol inks onto glossy paper - gorgeous! I love the torn edges and the torn paper trunk.

Advantus Tim Holtz Idea-Ology Masks, Timeworks, 5-PackThe White Rabbit is always associated with haste and time, and I just love the way she has used the Tim Holtz Timeworks mask to encircle the tree with the Roman numerals of the clockface. The theme is emphasized by the pocket watch and the words "You're LATE. . . you're LATE" stamped on a small panel that is threaded on the twill tape running down the left side. It is bracketed by two images of the Queen of Hearts in her "Off with their heads" fury, mounted behind what looks like clear acrylic Fragments.

I also love the way Ky added just the eyes and grin - we don't need to see the rest to know that the Cheshire Cat is hanging around! The sparkle of white in the eyes seems to indicate a twinkle, which echoes the merriment in that big, engaging grin!

Below the tree on textured hills, we see the rabbit racing along, ever hurrying in his desire to not be late! The copper embossed rabbit echoes the wonderful warm color scheme of the page. What a perfect stamp for this scene! Ky has combed hills out of modeling paste, building up layers of color with multiple applications and distress ink and homemade glimmer mist for color. What fabulous texture! It adds such a tactile element to the page.

It is a good thing Ky lives nowhere near me or I would be on her doorstep BEGGING for this page. I can't tell you how much I love it!  But I know she would never give it up, especially as she has recently decorated the facing page in the journal with a piece that celebrates Frabjous Day:

The final battle of Alice Through the Looking Glass takes place on Frabjous Day, and Ky has echoed this in her design with the checkerboard of the battlefield and the image of the Jabberwocky. The chessboard is actually woven - another very tactile element that acts a pocket. We see a wonderful Sweet Pea image of Alice and the Cheshire Cat looking on, contemplating the battle to come perhaps. Another mask was used to add interest to the background, providing a common element between the two pieces.  Here is a view of the completed two page spread:

I hope you have enjoyed seeing Ky's art journal pages. Be sure to visit her blog and leave her some love - you can see the Cheshire Tree HERE and the Frabjous Day piece HERE.  Ky has been doing more and more art journaling and she has a wonderful style; I know you will be impressed and refreshed when you see her other art journal pages!

And, as always, please leave a comment here for me before you go!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Cheryl Baker's Altered Spool

Featured Artist: Cheryl Baker
Blog: Cheryl's Creative Cards & ATCs
Location: United Kingdom - Norwich - Norfolk

Cheryl first came to my attention when her submission to the Oh, Alice! teabag folding challenge caught my eye! One of the advantages of my being on the Oh, Alice! Challenge Blog design team is that I get to see all kinds of intreresting Alice creations. Cheryl is a great follower of The Altered Alice and you will see her kind comments on most posts!

Cheryl received some Graphic 45 Hallowe'en in Wonderland paper as an early birthday present, but I would say that we are all the benefactors of her birthday gift as we enjoy one of her lovely creations! Decorated spools (Cheryl refers to them as "poles") are a growing trend in altered art and I thought this one was very worthy, take a look! Click on any image to enlarge:
Great things can come from humble beginnings! Cheryl began with a kitchen towel roll core (paper towels for us Yanks) and two CDs! She covered these with beautful patterned papers. The base holds a tiny "Drink Me" bottle, a small key and a teabag folded flower.

On top we see the first of many flowers made from teabag folding. This one is centered with a lovely shank button, I think I have that same button on my jeans, LOL!  There are punched and embossed leaves, but notice how Cheryl used the sheet she cut the leaves from as a stencil and sponged some leaves onto the paper covered CD. She added circular motifs punched from the Wonderland paper.
Die-cut wings extend from either side of the top of this flight of fancy!  A touch of steampunk is added with all the different kinds of chains dangling from the edge, secured to the top CD in all differnt ways including string and jump rings. At the ends of the chains we see another teabag flower and a charm that might be made from an Idea-ology fragment charm; I love this softly colored vintage Alice image! We see the Mad Hatter proclaiming from the top of the pole and the Cheshire Cat is curled up at the bottom.

The Mad Hatter is swinging on his chain. Love the way the petals of the teabag flower echo the hours on the clock face.

The White Rabbit is represented by the "You're LATE!" sentiment tied to a steampunk gear.

I find the fall colors of this piece so warm and appealing. I love the mix of different types and scale of patterns. But the thing that appeals to me most is how the mixture of all these wildly different elements work together to make such an interesting whole. We have lovely teabag folded flowers with softly scalloped edges centered by pretty buttons, then we have steampunk chain and gears. We have a lovely vintage Alice charm and a piece of angular hardware labeled FOOD in a very bold, industrial font. Some things are connected by smooth polished jump rings and others are tied on with string.  It is this pull of opposites that balances this altered spool into a fabulous whole! WONDERful WONDERland creation, Cheryl!

I hope you have enjoyed Cheryl's altered spool as much as I have! Please visit Cheryl's blog and leave her a comment and see some of her other creations, many of which feature Alice in Wonderland! Cheryl always leaves me wonderful comments and calls me Hun, so it will be fun to send some love her way. And please leave a comment here for me before you go!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Hella Sjolund: Twinkle, Twinkle Little Bat....

Featured Artist: Hella Sjolund
Blog Home:  Hella Bella      Post: [Swedish | English]
Location: Sweden

When Sue Roddis of Jabberwocky emailed me the link to Hella's blog post, I laughed out loud. I think this free-standing piece featuring the Mad Hatter, White Rabbit, and Cheshire Cat will make you smile too! Take a look at Hella's WONDERful batty bit of WONDERLAND:

Click any image to enlarge.

 Hella started with three layers of corrugated cardboard cut into circles and stacked. The top was covered with a piece of textured card stock and the edges of the stacked discs were wrapped with flocked velvet diamond-patterned paper. The tree is supported by a wooden skewer poked through the cardboard layers, and the other figures are supported by "L" brackets made of cardstock. All images are Stampotique. 

The Mad Hatter is a combination of two stamps, one for the figure and another for the hat!

I love the added details of the pleated ruff and the hair! Notice the spade made of the textured card stock and how the watch has been added. 

And this cat looks suitably "Cheshire" to me!

I like the detail of the curled ends, one curled up and one down, which turns the sentiment panel into a scroll

I love it that it is taken from the song in the mad tea party scene:

"Twinkle, twinkle, little bat!
How I wonder what you're at!"

You know the song, perhaps?'
`I've heard something like it,' said Alice.
`It goes on, you know,' the Hatter continued, `in this way:--

"Up above the world you fly,
Like a tea-tray in the sky.
Twinkle, twinkle--"'

-- Chapter 7, Alice in Wonderland
  So of course we need a BAT!

I hope you are smiling too!  This Halloween scene is so full of whimsy and creativity that I could not resist sharing it with you. The color palette, limited to black, gray, white, orange and purple, adds a great sense of unity to all the disparate images and lends a spooky mood to the whole thing. I would not have been able to resist adding lots of color, particularly to the Mad Hatter, so I admire Hella's restraint with color all the more as it makes the piece much stronger.

I also admire the way Hella used very simple, readily available materials to create such a wonderful free-standing scene. While the figures are all still two dimensional and the piece is designed to be viewed from one direction, the impact of the depth added by this construciton technique is quite amazing. Most of us, if we had imagined this scene, would have used masking or layering to composite these images into a flat creation such as a card, art journal or some kind of wall art. Hella's move into a three-dimensional presentation really sets this piece way apart from the pack! Great job Hella!

Please visit Hella Bella (see the links at the top of this post) and leave her some love! Hella lists all the stamps used by both name and number. They are so quirky and really suited to this mad scene!

And please leave a comment here to let me know if you like Hella's scene as much as I do!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Trick or Treat, Blog Candy Style!

It is finally here; the day I draw a name from the hat for the printer's tray blog candy! And the name is....

But first I wanted to say thanks again to Donna of Meme's Art Place for donating  this fabulous blog candy. I have to say I personally have NEVER seen blog candy this wonderful, and I know the lucky recipient will be thrilled. Let's take one last look:

Click to enlarge

The lucky recipent, you ask?

The winner is. . . But before we get there, I just wanted to say how effective the blog candy has been at publicizing The Altered Alice, and thanks to ALL of YOU for spreading the word! The blog began on Oct. 4th with my welcome message, and the first artwork was posted later that day.  Word was spreading pretty well for a brand new blog, and we had 27 followers (25 Google; 2 Facebook) on Oct. 21, when Donna offered the blog candy. Since then we have TRIPLED with 77 followers (69 Google; 8 Facebook). THANK again to EVERYONE who helped!

Ok. I had to put all my waffle first because I knew I'd lose you after the winner. We had 29 participants and I used to select the winner.

Linky entry #24 corresponds to Creations by Tee! Congratulations! Please contact me within a week from this blog post (email link in the left sidebar).  If I don't hear from you within that time period, we will draw a new nameTee responded VERY quickly, so no second chance drawing will be held!

Of course I checked to be sure that Tee had followed the rules of the contest, so I can assure you that Tee spread the word. She made two blog posts, one about The Altered Alice and one about the Blog Candy and had the blog candy picture AND the blog badge in her sidebar! You all may enjoy visiting Creations by Tee. She makes handmade art pendants from Scrabble tiles which she sells in her Etsy shop and in the past some have featured Alice in Wonderland! She also makes lovely ATCs and other cool things that you can see on her blog.  Who knows, perhaps we will find a future featured artist here one day, and I never would have seen her blog if she hadn't entered the contest! Don't you love blogging?

Well, I sure hope all of you will remain followers and continue to display our blog badge now that the blog candy is over.  Remember you can submit your artwork for consideration, it doesn't matter when you made it. If you see cool Alice stuff on another blog, there is a place to add a link for that also, or you can email me to point out cool finds.

I'd also like to thank Sue Roddis of JABBERWOCKY for acting as unofficial talent scout. Many of the past and upcoming posts are from pieces that Sue emailed me about, made by artists I never would have found on my own. YOU can be a talent scout too! Remember that The Altered Alice is a community experience and continue participating with your comments, your artwork submissions, and sharing links to other Alice stuff.  I always contact the artist first for permission, so just send me the blog post links or submit them through the Linky Tool and I'll take it from there!

THANKS AGAIN TO ALL!  And leave me a comment, I sure love getting them!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Sue Roddis: Halloween Variations on a Theme

Featured Artist: Sue Roddis
Location: Kazakhstan

NOTE: It is the LAST DAY to enter the blog candy drawing!
I have to admit I am behind on my Halloween postings due to an overload of work and an unexpected out-of-town trip. My real life is really interfering with my blogging! I know you all understand exactly what I mean. So we are going to continue our Halloween tricks and treats into November as I have more amazing projects to share with you!

As one of the predominant features of these two art journal pages by altered artist Sue Roddis is Alice's witch hat, it seemed fitting that they be featured in our last pre-Halloween treat. Sue's first version wound up at The Stamper's Attic, and enjoyed the process so much that she made a variation to keep! It is fun to see both the similarities and the differences.  Take a look:

Click to enlarge

I really love this assembly of Alices! One of the themes of the story was how a people change, particularly Alice! As she said when she was talking to the caterpillar:

`Who are YOU?' said the Caterpillar.

This was not an encouraging opening for a conversation. Alice replied, rather shyly, `I--I hardly know, sir, just at present-- at least I know who I WAS when I got up this morning, but I think I must have been changed several times since then.'
I love the way she has taken the cutout of Alice pulling the curtain back and jusxtaposed it next to the fleeting rabbit. Now two of the Alice's seem to be contemplating his departure, and the positioning also adds a feeling of depth.  The flourishes filling the open space are very nice, it is hard to go wrong with fourishes after all. But what I love most about this page, design-wise, are the dots!

Click to enlarge

There are dots along the outlines of everything, and they really integrate these ivory Alices into the white of the page. they also unify the dark green and black elements, the ivory and black Alices, and the graceful lines of the flourishes.  There is also a sort of altered Jabberwocky-style connection to folk or tole painting which often uses white dots around painted elements on a dark background.

Click to enlarge

This time, the focus is more on TIME. The next spread uses the same assembly of Alices, but the spread is unified, not by dots but clocks! The clock faces throughout really unify the piece and we can almost here the clock ticking away!Of course we have the White Rabbit who was so concerned with time. Alices many changes were distressing to her as they happened in such a short space of time:
`I can't explain MYSELF, I'm afraid, sir' said Alice, `because I'm not myself, you see.'

`I don't see,' said the Caterpillar.

`I'm afraid I can't put it more clearly,' Alice replied very politely, `for I can't understand it myself to begin with; and being so many different sizes in a day is very confusing.'

I hope you will visit Sue's blog and leave her some love. You will find the first piece on this blog post and the second one here, where you will also find Alice reaching out to the transformed Absolem, a caterpillar no more.

Please be sure you are entered in the blog candy contest for Donna's fabulous printer's tray, and please leave me a comment here before you go!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Linda Cain's Halloween Printer's Tray

Featured Artist: Linda Cain
Blog Post: Friends in Art
Location: United States

Linda Cain is an amazing artist. She is on the Tim Holtz design team, among others, and her mixed-media creations are well worth a look! Linda started with a 7gypsies Artists Printers Tray which has 12 artist's trading card sized openings and one (or two) 8 x 8 inch pads of Graphic 45 Hallowe'en in Wonderland. When she saw the printers tray, she said it would be like decorating a doll's house! And she has decorated each "room" in the most amazing way. Look - and you really MUST click to enlarge!

Click to enlarge

Where do I begin to describe what I love about this amazing creation?  First, I guess her concept of "doll house rooms" really applies, because each block could stand alone as a mini piece of art, or indeed a collection of incredible ATCs. Lots of pop-dots and layers were used to give each scene dimension and amazing depth!  I love the way many scenes add to the sense of depth by breaking the boundaries of thier box. Notice how the tea service in the left column breaks the boundaries, so it almost seems as though the tea table is extending towards us; in our imagination maybe we too have a place at the table! The Mad Hatter's top hat extends above the top of the next box to the right, so he is in front of that block but not really in it. Does he tiptoe from block to block when we're not looking?  The pumpkin and one of the living flowers in the lower right corner start from outside their block, in fact they begin as part of the border as though they are growing into the tray. And Alice in the upper right corner is looking over all, the real queen of all she surveys.

Because there is so much going on, the bold checkerboard boundary really helps to contain all the energy and give cohesiveness to all. There is a lot of careful balance between light and dark areas as well as large and small scale scenes. The tall Alice in the upper right corner is balanced by the White Rabbit extending above the top in the upper left corner.  The elements that float above the background,coming to the front of the frames, are carefully staggered - the lower right corner garden, the middle left tea set, and the purple title of the piece in the upper middle right.  So all the frantic energy, the plethora of tiny scenes, and the rich vivid colors are actually balanced and harmonious instead of chaotic.

Linda is a published artist whose work has been featured in Altered Arts, Cloth Paper Scissors, Bead Trends, Scrapbook News and Review, Stamper's Sampler, and Artella.  She has designed pieces for Tim Holtz Idea-ology, Ranger,Teresa Collins, Vintaj, Petaloo, Creative Imaginations, and Small Studio Productions.  If you are really lucky, you can take a class from Linda, as she teaches in scrapbooking stores in Illinois, Iowa, and Missouri.

In addition, Linda is a paper hoarder! I can really identify with that, can't you?  She recommends buying TWO pads so you can leave one intact to just look at, and admits it is a sickness! Must be catching because a lot of us are infected!!!

Please visit Linda' blog, Friends in Art to see more of her amazing work! You will find more details about Linda's amazing printer's tray on this post, and leave her some love while you are there!

This tray is very different from Donna's tray, which was clearly designed as a whole single piece in a very different style.  Remember Donna has DONATED her GORGEOUS tray for us to offer as blog candy in our drive for more followers. Please remember to check THIS POST on how to enter the drawing!  You have until Oct. 30 to enter, but we want you to help us get the word out about The Altered Alice, so the sooner the better!

Please leave a comment here for me before you go!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Sam Royal's Amazing Interactive Halloween Mini-Book!

Featured Artist: Sam Royal
Blog Post: Arty Pants
Location: England, United Kingdom

Sam submitted this fascinating mini-book through the Submit Your ALICE Artwork link at the top of the page. I went to her blog post, but there was a very small sized video that flipped you through the pages. I just KNEW there were wonderful details but I just couldn't SEE them. So I asked Sam if she would take still photos so I could showcase her mini-book here on The Altered Alice, and I am SO HAPPY to show you all the wonders of this charming book.

I have to admit that I look at some mini-books and think "that's very pretty but what do I do with it?"  Don't shoot me! There are other mini-books that I just adore.  Looking at Sam's creation made me realize that it is the interactivity of some books that really sets them apart. The really great mini books allow us to EXPLORE! It may be a variety of textures, materials and image treatments.  It may be interesting construction and lots of tabs to explore like Sue's mini-book. It may be thought provoking. It may be like Hel's mini-book where we are invited to sing The White Rabbit.  They are not just to look at, they are made to experience!

So let's explore and experience Sam's Halloween in Wonderland through these wonderful photos that take us page by page through her creation. There are lots of pockets and envelopes, tags and other items tucked in, panels to open! Click on any of the photos for larger view.

Pull the tab - BOO!

Do you recognize these words on the next page? The a verse from the poem at the end of Through the Looking Glass

In a Wonderland they lie,
Dreaming as the days go by,
Dreaming as the summers die:

I love this clever pocket that holds one tag inside, then another is tucked horizontally behind the pocket itself.
 The tag shapes are interesting and the tassels are wonderful. I love the transparent watch faces on the Mad Hatter tag!
And here is the pocket again with both tags removed.

Another pocket with two tags. I love the way the trimmed out Mad Hatter forms such an interesting pocket shape!

I am not sure what is in this pocket, but we see the pocket with the tag removed below:

Don't you want to untie the flap on that little patterned envelope and see what kind of treasure hides inside?

This attached trifold panel opens up with more scenes inside!

The flight of punched bat shapes continues from the cover to inside the first flap.

Now both flaps are spread open. The large scale of the hand with its minimal detail in the center is balanced by the smaller scale of the scenes on each side, which are just full of rich detail!

 The End - and perhaps the frog footman with his invitation for the Duchess is asking us back in to explore some more!

Isn't this a wonderful little book? There are so many details to love, even the basic things like the brass eyelets on every page. I love the way all the cutout shapes are rimmed with black. I love it that she chose black rather than silver or gold rings to hold the book together, and all the ribbons tied on are so exuberant yet they are anchored by the black polka dot ribbon!  The color black acts as both a thread and an anchor as we travel through the book.

 I so wish I could see it in person as it invites you to play! I want to turn the pages, pull the tabs, pull the tags out of the pockets.  These photos give us some sense of that experience, and I hope you have enjoyed exploring Sam's creation as much as I have!

Please visit Sam's blog, Arty Pants, to leave her some love. Sam says that she loves to create little pieces of art, is quite mad, and spends too much money on crafts.  I would say all three of those traits came together to create this marvelous little book!  Sam is fairly new to this type of crafting, which makes her mini-book all the more amazing! I hope this post on The Altered Alice will encourage her to continue in this direction!

We have some AMAZING blog candy up for grabs, so please go to THIS POST to find out how to enter the drawing for Donna's incredible Alice Printer's Tray! You have until Oct. 30 to enter, but we want you to help us get the word out about The Altered Alice, so the sooner the better!

Please leave a comment here for me before you go!