Flying Pocket with a Touch of Steampunk

Copyright 1/13    Diana Putnam
I just finished this piece tonight.....tacking the vintage cabinet pull on the top for the "hanger".

As the Post title says...I have named this Mixed Media piece Flying Pocket with a touch of Steampunk....which I think is a unique, out of the box title for the piece.  

The tray began with just the pocket and more elements went on to the tray, I decided upon the color theme..(.and I love the way the colors blended together) and then began the arranging and re-arranging of the elements until I felt I was comfortable enought to begin.

The piece went together quickly and easily...and the very last pieces that were added were the "wings" on the pocket which immediately gave the piece a touch of steampunk and just really, in my opinion, made the piece...  The little red dots you see here and there are ladybug buttons in two different sizes from those that I sell.  They worked in perfectly.   As I sit here looking at the piece I am wondering if maybe I might want to antique to piece ....  I will ponder that for awhile by hanging it downstairs where I can see it everyday until I make a final decision.

With mixed media the work is definately "original" and I feel that it kinda, sorta is beginning to take shape into a style that is maybe my own look.....we will see how the next couple of pieces develop.  There is quite a bit of a thought process that goes into each piece and it is coming directly from the artists heart....and to me I get a "feeling" when I look at the piece and I think many others might connect with it also so I feel as if I have accomplished what I was after so I am satisfied.

Neeeexxxxxtttt?   Altered Cigar Box

Miss Pru Finished Mixed Media and Neeexxxttt

Te he he....... Miss Pru is on her way to her new home....LOL....  Today was my daughters' birthday so this was one of her presents.....  This was a fun piece.....ribbons and/or yarn in purple/pink and grey,  flowers that match the color of the background perfectly, some jewelry findings for the frame and plenty of American Glamour Dust paints on the frame and the mat; not to mention the swarowski flat crystals that I used to make a halo around her head.

Sooo much fun.....

I think I am ready to start putting together the Levi pocket mixed media....I have moved, re-arranged.

etc. and think I am pretty much satisfied....  The basecoated frame turned out awesome.  Below is the substrate which was the exact size I needed...and is an Ikea mirror.  I love these pieces.  I have used
3 colors on the frame and used a Dynasty deer foot to do the basecoat using a circular motion to apply and blend the colors.  I LOVE blended backgrounds.   For this particular piece.... a levi pocket with dark yellow stiitching......gave me the color palette for the entire piece with just a "jolt" of color...a splash of color..... I think I just may be able to go downstairs tonight and just do a bit more....  I always work from the back forward....building layers of elements, glueing, or another form of making it permanent....then clamping the area when I get to a point where I can't go any further until the areas are dry and set.....  Then I move on to the next project which I think is going to be a bracelet I have in a jar
cap (another neat "tray" for smaller items.)  (My paints were Liquitex soft body paints----I LOVE these paints).

Burnished Patina of Copper for Jewelry

I am looking forward to working these into a bracelet...  I love the burnished, antique, patina of these copper buttons.  

Personally I prefer brass and copper to gold, but my all time favorite is silver.

These buttons are 5/8" and will lay nice and flat for a bracelet or necklace....  will have to set up a tray....  I believe I have some turquoise and some copper swarovski crystals so it should work up real pretty?

Mixed Media Vintage Wooden Shoe Last

This was a fun one..but they all are......  Things go much faster when you have a "tray" of things you think you might want and tools you are going to need.  I worked on the last shoe form 2 evenings for an hour or so ....  In the last picture I added a bracelet....  These lasts make a neat doorstop; in the middle is an open area (the way this last is made) to us for  incoming or outgoing mail , or maybe to hold your business cards.   I used the Liquitex soft body paints,  white sheer pleated lace on elastic, and swarovski flat back crystals.  

Roxanne Jarvis is another artist who loves working with wooden shoe lasts and has had several of her designs published in PaintWorks.  

I am going to sell this one so I will remove the bracelet and will probably add a simple bracelet with a vintage key.   This would work well to hold some of your favorite pieces, a watch, etc.  I 
love different....don't you?


As soon as I opened the zip lock and looked at these buttons I knew immediately I had to use them somehow in a piece of mixed media altered art.  I don't know how yet....but I will.     I was really surprised that I had such a reaction to a little 1/2" brass button.         

Then it happened again with buttons I just can't help but call "grunge".  They were much better than I expected and my mind was whirling again towards thoughts of using them.   They just look as if they have gone through hundreds of washings in some strong soap products made back in the days of old to create worn looks to the buttons.

I have decided that somehow it can be an element that will send your "thinking, creative, " side of the brain into overdrive.  Some artists seem to miss the "soul" in art.  The "character of oneness" that makes a piece TOTALLY the artists..... 

Tonight I got a couple of hours of "create" time in.  I am finishing up the painting I did of our dog (will post it sometime next week) which has turned into a piece of altered art.  I know that I have some paw buttons so I am going to use those, the Glamour Dust paints by Americana in Silver and Ice, some jewelry pieces, colored ribbon, swarovski crystals, and have to go through my beading supplies for some additional items to use.   FUN.....  I want to have it finished up by Friday evening.

Then when I finished with what I could do tonigh on Pru I turned to a wooden shoe last that was sitting on the table, basecoated black and decided to see what I could do different with this little piece.  It is partially painted and I am not sure what to do next so it needs some "thinking time".....

Enjoy the journey with your art....the process, the ideas.


This is some actual material and I am thrilled with my purchase(s).  I can hardly wait to use this material so once again I am thinking substrate, elements, theme, etc.

I may have to crack out the ole' sewing machine.... hmmmm.

Inside my storage cabinet I screwed in a repo of a large clip and have hung the material there....I like to look at what I have as
things sometimes are what inspires me.

Inspiration is really everywhere .... and everyone has to find what works for them.


Cold, smooth, meditation rock.  
Decorative painting "ain't what it used to be" unless you are glued to a specific style such as Primitive and love the work of Maxine Thomas, landscapes with your favorite designer, etc. and are satisfied with what you are doing..... and it is successful for you mentally and hopefully a bit financially.   

Some artists can only paint....and they are old school artists some of which have NEVER strayed from a specific style and are finding themselves getting phased out of the art industry.  Art is moving upward, downward and outward....and art lovers are demanding one of a kind....something they can identify to or with based upon subject matter, elements, etc.  Art is back to "coming from the heart" ... not from the brush, but inside and stirring things up a bit much to the chagrin of diehards.  If books are not selling then artists are going to be looking towards other art alternatives if they want to continue within this field and earning living to supplement income.  Some are willing to make the change and others aren't.

Artists who are creative are taking their art to the next level by learning more about other artistic avenues and doing mixed media and assemblage.  How to do something a different way..

In the painting arena they are looking for paints, brushes, styles, techniques, mediums, substrates, etc.
that work the best for them and how they create....  They are becoming advocates for items that "work", do the job, are quality supplies, and within the artists budget.

Many artists and students are wanting change, wanting to learn and do more but they want to be doing quality work so they are interested more in one on one teaching, finding a mentor, companions to "idea" with, share thoughts, etc. and have no fear of being copied because of the individuality of their art.  Wow, what a concept.  INDIVIDUALITY in Art.  Wheeeeee.  A reflection of imagination, an insight into self....  Art for goodness.  How exciting, what inspiration, and such a challenge for journey.

Some artists will be "too late"....  they don't realize how many artists out there have stretched their wings....and are is an exciting time and has been for about 3-4 years.  No more dull, flat,
color book art ....  the new art brings with it excitement, wonder, stirs the soul, makes ya' smile,
and even remember when ...  and men are becoming buyers as well as women.

I LOVE where I am heading....

Project Trays

My project trays downstairs,  even though I haven't felt good enough to really sit down there and do some actual work.... are progressing.  I walk around the circle down there and find myself adding, subtracting, moving, elements trying to find the best arrangement ....  If I can't find something I want to try I just write the information on a post it note and add it to the tray to be thought about later........  As I finish one project completely I can move another into its' place....  

I think that I am going to start with a Gallery Glass way.  I don't believe I have seen anyone use GG the way I am thinking of doing it....more faux than ever.

We are warming up here a little bit....into the high 40's which feel like a breath of springtime after our days of 0.....  I could actually feel the ice crystals on my throat as I would take a deep breath.

Keep Tuned.

Cleaning....Setting up.....

Today was the first  in I can't tell you how long that I was able to actually go down in my room and do more than just dash in and out.   There was an accumulation of things that needed to be sorted, and homes found....  I guess an ever ending story for most people who are art inspired....  Totally ME time seems hard to come by.... even when you are retired.  Same things need to get done in the house, but I have been REALLY lax so I have to get myself in gear and CLEAN... YUCK.  Not too bad if I can periodically run downstairs for 15 minutes to add to my project trays.  I LOVE winter, I LOVE the cold and I am blessed beyond belief.

Nearly two weeks ago I got to visit and tour a mixed media/assemblage artists' home and now that the scope of everything I was trying to "take in" is settling down (STILL inspired),  I have a real appreciation of her art.  There are so many aspects of preparation for a piece.   I was headed in the right direction or down the right road so  today I was able to set up "project piles", and have elements out where I can see them...  Terri's art is coming from the heart and soul and many pieces she declares "she will never sell" because they are a part of HER.  Therapy art, heirloom type art, art that can tell a story.
The story could be told by the artist or by the person who is moved by the art and make it "her own".
Mixed media and assemblage is hard to teach because it is so individualized, personal, unique, one of a kind and is a communication between the artist and the viewer.  It is neat to know how the the artist felt when she was creating the piece....her story...  Maybe art should come with "a story" be it fact or fiction.

For some reason my first piece is going to be one of skeletons, skulls, bones, etc. and it is going to be interesting to see how it "becomes" as I begin.  I have a lot of different thoughts.  The anticipation of beginning is almost like apprehension ... the feeling of the first date, first child, first grandchild,  etc.  

New beginnings.  Skeletons could mean ghosts in the closet, bones or structure whether internal or external, colors (which I am seeing more of a neutral scheme coming into play as I add items to the tray.  So maybe this is "my style" or is it just going to be for this piece?  One wonders.  So this pile is Skeleton related....we will see when I am done what happens.  The neat thing with this type of art is it is pretty hard to duplicate so it makes the "piece" a one of a kind item which is really neat I think.   I prefer to make as many items as possible when I do assemblage or use one of a kind items.... Many use Tim Holtz and that is fine....just not my preference although I love his inks, papers, etc.  Same with papers.  I won't be "sure" from where they come, because I buy what "I" like.....with no thought as to if it is "name brand".  I have a handpainted feather by my friend and fellow artists Ely Kahn who amazes me with her one of a kind pieces.  She has started to sell companion feathers which are just the icing on the this feather will lend the color to this piece as it progresses forward.  

And this pile:
This is the start of a little girl or boys' denim pocket.  As I found things I might use I put them together.   A leaping frog piece of jewelry,  feathers, , poppy pod, tree bark...  It will be fun to see what happens here.  What else would a child have in his pocket..... Girl, or boy, age? etc.

The final pile for this post:
These two elements are "it" so far; but I will add more "things" as the days pass.  I am pretty sure this is going to develop into a piece of jewelry in either a necklace or a bracelet, but who knows it could change as it progresses.

This is the fun of art.  Sometimes, most times; I have NO idea where I will end up....and as I have heard other artists' say: "It is the journey that is important" the life of the piece.

I also have a painting or two that I am working on..... so that I can move between projects so that they transpire slowly.....but then again they may just flow together and be done in a just never knows.  When I paint I don't work from a pattern, I free hand as I go and the pattern develops after I am done.  I use reference photos for color,
placement of details,  watch for balance, depth, etc.  as one does with just about any piece of art.  Using that third eye... 

There are a lot of techniques I want to try on these pieces ....  I have the products and now to use them in the way that inspires me and believe that it will come together as a special, one of a kind, piece of art.

Curly Q Stash

This will be one of the pieces that I hope I can play around with if I can conjure up some energy.   I am going to add a chain to the top Q and hang from the ceiling to add hand made tags, atcs, etc. to.   Kinda like an art chandilier.... I have quite a few "other artists" pieces that will work just great after I come up with something to use as the "hanger"..  


Recycled Clear Containers for Mixed Media

Those of us who work as a mixed media artist knows the importance of see through AND/OR  labeled containers.

I use the heavy duty lettuce and vegetable containers,  for "see through" and we won't even talk about glass jars which I just cannot throw away if I can get the lables off... to put mine on.   Then there are the foodstuffs which are in strong plastic containers which have labels I can cut off.   The heavy cardboard ones I like to cover with material, contact paper, etc.

As I have said before the Dynamo Label Maker is one of my best friends.  It feels so good to be organized, or "organizing".  It  is never done it seems but is so important and  helpful.


Handmade Steampunk Feather

January 2013    Diana Putnam
My first piece of 2013.

When I was in one of out little boutique gift and antique stores I saw some really pretty handmade feathers.  The one I saw was made using musical note paper.  I loved them, but I thought I could make my own so I laid the item back down and I could hardly wait to get home and put one together.  This one is made using steampunk scrapbook paper (vintage license plate design) and a pipecleaner (at this  beginning stage of experimentation).   Depending on how I would be using the feather would determine what I might use in place of the pipecleaner and paper or material ......  for flexibility I think I would like some wire...

I am going to try putting on some sealer; and maybe some sprinkles of Glamour Dust....  I want to try several different things.... to find how certain things will work or look...

In 2013 I would like to spend some time exploring the assemblage area
of art which is really "in" here in Bend and good pieces like I saw yesterday are in demand.... I have seen other artists' who are doing assemblage but none of it compared to this artists'.  Balance is so important with assemblage and some artists just don't seem to have the
eye of balance. 

I felt very priviledged to get a tour of a Bend Artists' home and see her collection of acquired and handmade (by her) assemblage pieces.  Her 
art work is totally unbelievable and I was just in awe.  

The piece below is an assemblage piece I put together about a year or so ago and immediately fell in love with the process....  

The first two pieces I want to do will be themed Art Goddess and the other one Sea Goddess so I have 2 trays ready to begin an accumulation of items that "might" work into the designs....  The main thing is going to be finding a substrate that
will work the best for each and allow the art to "grow".  


Freezing fog on a pine tree bough.