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

Sunday, January 30, 2011

CHAPTER 1 Challenge - Week 1: Changes in form and dress forms!

"Alice crouched down among the trees as well as she could, for her neck kept getting entangled among the branches, and every now and then she had to stop and untwist it. After a while she remembered that she still held the pieces of mushroom in her hands, and she set to work very carefully, nibbling first at one and then at the other, and growing sometimes taller and sometimes shorter, until she had succeeded in bringing herself down to her usual height.
It was so long since she had been anything near the right size, that it felt quite strange at first; but she got used to it in a few minutes, and began talking to herself, as usual. `Come, there's half my plan done now! How puzzling all these changes are! I'm never sure what I'm going to be, from one minute to another!"
       -- Chapter 5, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Well, just like Alice we have been through a change in location and changed form from weekly to monthly, but the challenge chapters remain familiar despite all these puzzling changes!

Here is how the new monthly challenge will work:
  • 1st Sunday of the month: The new challenge will be posted with the link tool, and a few of the design team samples will be posted.
  • 2nd Sunday: Additional design team samples will be posted.
  • 3rd Sunday: The last of the design team samples will be posted.
  • Last Sunday of the month: A winner will be announced and some of your projects may be given an "honorable mention".
We are starting a week early with the February challenge because we didn't want to leave you with a gap, so we will spread the design team samples over four weeks and the winner will be announced on February 27th. You have a whole month to submit your creations, so we are hoping that a lot more of you will decide to play along!

To reflect all these puzzling changes, the challenge is to make something that features a dress form, OR to make something that changes in form!  While it is not required that your project include Alice in Wonderland, we do encourage it. If your project does feature Wonderland you will get two chances in the prize drawing instead of one!
And now for the big news - STAMPOTIQUE ORIGINALS is sponsoring our first challenge with a $30 gift certificate for one lucky winner, and their design team is going to play along! Be sure to visit their Stampotique Designer's Challenge blog where you can play every week! They are famous for artist Daniel Torrente's quirky characters, but they actually have many artists and quite a few different styles. Jo Capper-Sandon is my favorite with her wonderful mushrooms, and other lines include Janet Klein's flower characters (click next a few times to see them) that remind me of the garden of living flowers! There is something to please everyone at Stampotique Originals!
Here is some inspiration for you:

Lynne Phelps of Savvy Sisters Studio decorated a papier mache dress form using Nikki Sivils papers from the "Something for Everyone" collection. For all the details and many more photos of this dress form, please visit her blog!
You will have to go to Lynne Phelps' blog to see what all these numbers mean!

One of our Stampotique Guest Designers, Kaz of Slightly Wonky Crafts, used the Karin stamp to create a wacky Alice butterfly! Love those irridescent wings! Butterflies are certainly a great representation of a changed form, and the blue caterpillar transformed into a blue butterfly at the end of the movie.

Our own Barbara Washington of Magic Delights created this fabulous shadowbox (it is about 2 inches deep) featuring Alice in Wonderland paper dolls!  By their very nature paper dolls change form as you put different clothing layers on them, so the dolls ARE the dress forms! Very clever! For all the details and more photos, and to leave her a comment about her wonderful piece, please visit her blog.

Another Stampotique Guest Designer, Willy Anderson, stretched the neck of the every popular Gibi stamp to create an Alice when she was too tall! I love the background which is made of layers of tissue tape and stamping, and the raffia bow is the perfect finishing touch.

Enter your links below before 8 p.m. EST (GMT - 5) on Friday, February 25th. A winner will be drawn and announced on Sunday, February 27th. Check back each Sunday between now and then for more inspiration!

Please leave a comment for the design team before you go off to brainstorm about what you are going to make for this challenge!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Oh, Alice! Chapter 47 Challenge Winner!

Winner: Pat Moore
Blog Post: Still Challenged - Tweedles Hello & Goodbye 
Location: Wisconsin, USA

Pat Moore is this week's lucky 13!  Entry #13 was drawn as the winner of the fantasic package of Nikki Sivils products, including a "Something for Everyone" 6x6 pad, 12x12 double-sided paper and matching burlap buttons and brads. What a generous package from a wonderful sponsor!

Pat, this prize package is actually coming to you from the previous Oh, Alice! team who arranged this wonderful sponsorship, so please contact Margie instead of me to claim your prize. You can go to her blog, Oh Bumble is Me.... and click on the email link just under the title of the blog!

Here is Pat's winning entry:

Of course ALL the entries were great, and thanks so much to everyone who played along! The Altered Alice was started as a place to showcase Alice in Wonderland artwork, so let me draw your attention to a few of the entries that feature Wonderland!

To start, did you notice that Barbara and Sue posted their last entries as challenge players? The next time you see their creations for the Alice challenge, it will be as members of the new design team!

Sue Roddis of JABBERWOCKY created this fantastic accordian card from chipboard letter stencils, like you would use for spray painting!  Isn't it wonderful? I love the olive and faded red color scheme, but I think my favorite detail is the white doodles around each letter!

Barbara Washington of Magic Delights used the wonderful courtroom illustration for her card, and I love the bit of Alice logic she used in her sentiment!

Wendy Colledge of Wendymade & all things crafty used the cracked glass technique for her tea party scene, which is set off by a fun pompom fringe! The muted colors are lovely.

Susan Allan of Little Imperfections created a fantastic Alice mini-book from coasters, also known as beer mats! I love the way she used ribbon as a hinge to connect the panels, and she used a fast grab glue called "No More Nails" to create the raised white accents that reminds me of icing. What a clever way to repurpose a hardware store find!

Bernice Rendón of Sweet Escape (and Karber Digital Designs) entered this fun card - don't you just love Alice's expression as she looks at the Red Queen?

Lola Azul of Aputes des Colores did something REALLY different - she used photos of her dolls and toys to create Wonderland scenes to show on her card - so creative and fun!  You may want to check the kid's room for items to feature on your next card!! Be sure to visit her post to see all the great photos. You can see an English translation here.

Deanna Fillmore of L'il Dee's Crafting with a Kitten created this fun blue card featuring a twisted tea party character. She made the deadline  this week, but her great Red Queen card from the previous week did not make it in time, so I thought I would share both cards here!

Thanks again to everyone who played this week! Please continue to spread the word about the new location of the Alice challenges - and to FOLLOW or subscribe to this new blog location!

Please check back tomorrow - we will be starting our February challenge a week early, and sharing design team inspiration with you all month long!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Goodbye to Oh, Alice! and Hello to The Altered Alice Challenges!

Lynne Phelps - Savvy Sisters Studio

If you wish to enter the Oh, Alice! Chapter 47 challenge, you are in the right place! Keep reading!

In Wonderland, Alice learned that everything changes so the important thing is to be true to yourself. That is true for the Alice in Wonderland challenges as well, which will be changing and growing in new directions. When our current Mad Hatter, Jess, decided it was time to move on, I just couldn't let the Alice in Wonderland challenges die so I have stepped up to the plate as the new Mad Hatter of our Twisted Tea Party!

You will find our same familiar challenge Chapters but they will be in a new monthly form, beginning on the first Sunday of the month and posting the winner on the last Sunday of the month. The design team will provide weekly project posts to inspire you along the way! In between challenge posts, we will continue to feature our familiar reviews of Alice in Wonderland artwork.

We are saying goodbye to most of the team, many of whom were there from the beginning:
Jessica (the previous Mad Hatter),  Andi, Emma, Gloria, Ky, Margie, Peggy, Randi, and Tasha. It was been one of the great joys of my life to work with such a talented team, and I wish them well as they pursue new creative endeavors!

Please say hello to the The Altered Alice design team!

Lynne Phelps (me!!!) is becoming the new Mad Hatter of our twisted tea party. You can see my Alice in Wonderland projects on my personal blog, Savvy Sisters Studio. You also see a lot of my Alice artwork in the blog background, margins, header, and badges.

Let me introduce the rest of the Twisted Tea Party!

Barbara Washington of Magic Delights entered the Alice challenges every week and I always looked forward to her entry. She shares my love of the classic Alice illustrations by Sir John Tenniel and her love of Wonderland really shines through!  It took her a while to respond to my design team invitation as she had to finish hopping up and down while shrieking with joy, so I think that bodes well for her future efforts! Barbara's other design teams include Artistic Outpost, Creative Inspiration Paints,  and The Cheerful Stamp Pad.

Donna, also known as "Meme" of Meme's Art Place is staying with us from the Oh, Alice! team. Her work is amazingly creative and innovative and shows a true love of all things Alice. She has been published in several Stampington publications! You will remember Donna as the fabulous artist who donated her Halloween in Wonderland printer's tray to be offered as blog candy in a drive to spread the word about The Altered Alice, which resulted in almost 75 followers of a new blog!

Erin Leveille of Stamp til U Cramp is staying with us from the Oh, Alice! design team. Erin's style moves between cute/whimsical and vintage, and she excels at both styles! Erin has been on several design teams, but she is refocusing on scrapbooking this year so I am especially honored that she has chosen to continue with the Alice challenges! I am also excited that we may possibly see some scrappy Alice-related projects to expand our repertoire!

Sammi Betbeder of  Sammi's Stamping Stuff remains with us from the old team. Sammi runs an online Copic store, Mad for Markers, which serves Australia and New Zealand, and the Mad for Markers blog offers GREAT Copic tips and challenges! She is talented at drawing as well as stamping and coloring and often includes some of her own illustrations in her lovely creations. Sammi teaches Copic classes and is on several design teams including The Stamp Spot, Spesch Designer Stamps, and Inky Impressions.

Sandy Sholz of Stempelchaotin comes to us from Germany. Sandy creates fantastic digital artwork in addition to wonderful projects created with more traditional media. She revels her her creative chaos! I fell in love with the many Alice creations on her blog and thought her artwork would extend our design team boundaries a bit! Sandy's other design teams include Nicecrane, Lisa's Altered Arts, Moonlight Journey, and Scrapbook-Online-Verlag.

Sue Roddis of JABBERWOCKY splits her time between the UK and Kazakhstan. She will be familiar to many of you as she has been the featured artist more than once right here on The Altered Alice, and also from her work on the Stampotique design team. Sue creates the most fantastic art journal pages and other things, many of which feature Alice in Wonderland themes. Sue is going to keep the ALTERED in The Altered Alice challenges! You can see some of her previous Altered Alice reviews here, here and here and I am sure there will be more in the future as I love love love her style!  Sue is also a published author and I hope to order Handmade Decorative Books (A Passion for Paper) soon!

Terri DeVine of DeVine Designs by Terri is a very talented stamper and colorer who owns ALL the Copic colors and is a wizard with her airbrush! She is a good friend of mine and we craft together every Friday, so I have challenged her to come on this journey down the rabbit hole with me. Terri has been stamping for years but is brand new to the blogging scene and I know you will give her a warm welcome!

Tracy Evans of Tracy Evans will be familiar to you as our guest designer during the holidays last year on Oh, Alice! Tracy lives in Cheshire in the UK which I thnk is so appropriate for an Alice fan, don't you? I have followed her blog for a long time and her frequent Alice creations always enchant me. She is always willing to try new techniques! Tracy's work was recently on the cover of a Stampers Sampler issue where she was also featured in an article. Tracy has also been a featured artist on The Altered Alice and you can read the review here. She is on The Stamp Attic design team and a guest designer for The Artistic Stamper.

Oh, Alice Chapter 47:  Goodbye and Hello!
You will find the final Oh, Alice! challenge and design team samples here.

Enter your links below before 8 p.m. EST (GMT - 5) on Friday, January 28th. A winner will be drawn and announced on Saturday, Jan. 29, and we will begin with our first monthly challenge on The Altered Alice on Sunday, Jan. 30. The prize is a wonderful package of Nikki Sivils products, including a "Something for Everyone" 6x6 pad, 12x12 double-sided paper and matching burlap buttons and brads. What a generous package from a wonderful sponsor!
Please leave a comment for the new design team, and remember to FOLLOW us down a new rabbit hole as we continue our Alice in Wonderland adventures together! Be sure to update your readers and email subscriptions (links to subscribe to The Altered Alice are in the right column), and FOLLOW so you continue to receive the Alice in Wonderland challenge updates. Google accounts can follow in the left column and Facebook users will find Networked Blogs in the right column.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Lynne Phelps: Altered Alice Dream Sign with Tags

Featured Artist: Lynne Phelps
Blog Post: Savvy Sisters Studio
Location: Perry, Georgia, USA

I am sorry for the long silence - work and my private life have been very demanding. Sometimes life really gets in the way of my blogging; I know most of you understand!

I hope you will indulge me as I kick off the 2011 posts here on The Altered Alice by showing off one of my own creations. I don't know if I have mentioned it before, but all of the artwork that you see in the blog margins and the blog header are snippets from my own Alice creations that have been featured on my personal blog, Savvy Sisters Studio. I had such fun creating the graphic elements for this blog!  But the piece I am sharing with you today is a different one - my tagged Alice wall sign.

Take a look, and remember you can click on any photo to see it larger:

This started off as a purchase in the craft aisle of a Wal-Mart I believe! ETA: (edited to add) - Sign was purchased several years ago. It was a smooth wood sign with the word dream painted on it in black, and the two eye hooks were already screwed into the top. DIY is not my forte so I jumped right on it! I began by stamping all the images with Stazon, then they are colored in with Prismacolors. ETA: Stamps used are Nature's Blessings, you can see their Alice in Wonderland Collection here and the Through the Looking Glass collection here.. You can see the natural wood background color showing around and through the images.

Then I carefully masked all the stamping and filled in with the red diamond background.

I colored in the empty diamonds of the background with white Prismacolor pencils and added gray shading next to the left edge of all the red diamonds to add some depth. Then I doodled the card suits using a fine point Sharpie marker and colored in with the same, as well as the Wonderland word, which was highlighted with white.

It is hard to see, but I scribbled "I'm late! I'm late!" around the White Rabbit.  I wrapped the edges of the sign with copper foil tape to give it a more finished look.

I took a silver paint pen and added a shadow to one side of all the "Dream" letters. Then I carefully filled in each black letter with a Versamark pen and heat embossed with UTEE (ultra thick embossing powder) in black. I did this about three times to really give the letters a lot of depth.  I think you might be able to see it better in this picture, where you can also see that I clear coated the whole sign with a spray sealer:

I followed a lot of the same steps for the manilla shipping tags, which I tied onto red push-pins that I stuck into the wood along the bottom of the sign. I tried to imitate the handwriting that appears on the Mad Hatter's hat in the original Tenniel illustrations:

This sign hangs from my "Alice Looking Glass" in the foyer of my home, which is festooned with other Alice creations!

One last look at the whole thing. I can't tell you how much I love this sign. Gosh, it is SO much better looking in real life!

It is hard for me to give an unbiased review but I will try to talk about why I think this piece works:  I think I can sum it up in one word - balance!

First, the wooden sign was extremely horizonal. Adding the tags in various sizes and hung at different heights really helps this piece to break out of the rectangle. Adding the long black and white twisted ribbon hanger at the top balances the space occupied at the bottom by the tags. By adding the elements above and below, the wooden Dream sign now occupies the center of the visual space taken up by the piece.

Another thing that I think works well is the mix of scales. Because the Dream word is so bold, the images and the diamond background do not overwhelm it.  The big boldness of the word is balanced by the smaller-scale detail of the illustration and diamonds. The largest letter, D, is anchored by the largest illustration at the left. This image almost makes the D like an illuminated drop cap like you see in old books, where the first letter of a chapter is larger and ornamented. The swash of the D entwines around the kneeling figure of Alice, helping to integrate the word with the images.

There is also a good balance of bright colors versus neutrals. The images in the sign are overall neutral as the natural wood can be seen through the Prismacolor pencils, which really mutes the colors. The black and silver of the Dream word are neutral colors. The sign was actually very muted until I added the bright red and white diamonds.  The tags show the same balance of plain vs. patterned background. The tags do not add any additional colors into the mix, being only black, red and white plus the sponged background, which allows the colored images on the wood sign to seem richer and more vibrant in contrast.

It is hard for me to be objective about my own work, so I hope you will leave a comment and tell me what is is that YOU like about this piece, or even what you don't! I would love to hear YOUR critique on my Alice Dream Sign!