Monday, June 30, 2014

studio days

It's isn't the most practical, organized or clean but painting alongside my 2 year old is my favorite way to work these days! 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

the evolution of an idea

I love the process of inspiration- seeing something that gives me an idea and then transforming that idea into art never gets old to me, in fact it is my favorite part of the creative process!

Recently I was doing a little yard work at my studio and after weeks of sunny days, I had a crop (like hundreds) of pansies that had grown in the gravel. I had to pull many of them out and after filling a couple of baskets, I felt that spark of inspiration begin to happen!

I plucked the flower off the stems and photographed the the piles of pansies.

I then used those photos as inspiration for a sketchbook page.

I used that sketchbook page to design for more products in my Society6 shop.

There was no way I could throw out all those flower so I pressed and dried them

and will be using them in future projects!

There you have it: inspiration, the gift that keeps on giving!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

puff paint printing

I am teaching a 2 day surface design class called Beneath the Surface in my studio this weekend and I have been busy prepping class samples. And while I can't give everything away, I did want to share one of my favorite fast and easy techniques for filling the surface of fabric with pattern- it's what I like to call "puffy paint prints".

My long time readers will know that I love using puff paint (otherwise known as dimensional paint or 3-D paint) in all kinds of projects. I've use it on pumpkins, I've used it on paper, I've used it to embellish t-shirts and baby onesies but my favorite way to use 3-D paint is to create my own painted fabric. It is made for fabric and after about 72 hours of drying and setting, it is washable! 

My favorite dimensional paints are all made by iLoveToCreate- Scribbles Dimensional Fabric Paint and Tulip Fashion 3D Paint. They are easy to use, really affordable and can be incorporated into all kinds of projects.

I like use plain white muslin or broadcloth to create my own fabric that I use in a variety of mixed media projects. 3-D paint is made to be puffy or dimensional on the surface and I like to utilize the puffy quality by printing with it.  

I start by drawing or doodling my designs (a lot of the time it is something floral).

Next, while the paint it wet, I fold my fabric in half and press lightly and then pull the fabric apart.

You are left with a nice print! Note- you won't always get a clean print but that is half the fun! This techniques really lends itself to working in an expressive and unpredictable way.

I continue to add more designs, fold and print. I use different colors and layer my designs on top of each other.

I work my way across the surface until I have filled it up. 

The result is a surface filled with expressive pattern!

                                     3-d paint fabric from Alisa Burke on Vimeo.

For more ideas on my favorite ways to use puff paint you can head over to THIS POST

Monday, June 23, 2014

summer sale

Saturday was the first day of summer YIPPEEE and to kick off my favorite time of year I am having a sale on all online classes! 

Take $10 off all classes from Monday, June 23- Sunday, June 29th.  

I've been offering online classes since 2009 and I have over 33 classes that are accessible at any time. You can head on over to the shop for my complete list of classes HERE!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

the pelicans have landed

Every summer brown pelicans show up to feast on bait fish that arrive with the ocean currents. But this year they arrived early and by the thousands! For a week the beach was filled and I mean filled with pelicans eating all day- it was a sight to be seen!

Pelican Fun Facts:

Fossils of pelicans date back almost 40 million years ago.

Pelican pouches can hold up to three gallons of water (2 - 3 times the amount their stomachs can hold).

Depending on the species, a pelican's the body length can range from 4 to 6 feet and the weight can range from 10 to 30 pounds.

The brown pelican dives on fish from above and snares them in its bill. 

Pelicans do not store fish in their pouch, but simply use it to catch them and then tip it back to drain out water and swallow the fish immediately. 

Gulls will often sit on a pelican's head to steal its fish when it opens its bill to pour out the water

Pelicans are social birds and typically travel in flocks, often strung out in a line. 

Pelicans incubate their eggs with their feet. They hold the eggs under the webs that stretch from the front toes to the hind toe, essentially standing on the eggs to warm them.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

DIY fire pit

As we made progress on our backyard project we had to decide how we wanted to fill all the space that was cleared. We went back and forth on all kinds of ideas- grass everywhere, mounds with plants, more garden space but we finally settled on dividing up the area in different sections.
The biggest area we had to work with was in the back corner of the yard where the ground slopes. The soil is pretty bad for planting and so we decided to create a fire pit. We loved the idea of having a place to gather and hang out after the sun goes down.

We created a circle that we bordered with large river rock.  We laid down a layer of weed barrier and then added a thick layer of pea gravel to the top.

We went back and forth about digging our own fire pit or purchasing a free standing pit. We decided the free standing pit would be easier for us to contain and clean. We added resin adirondack chairs around the circle.

We even hung a few strands of outdoor lights in the trees above. 

Since finishing the backyard project we have been enjoying lots of gatherings out in our fire pit!

We even keep our fire pit essential on hand!

It doesn't get dark around these parts until after 9:00 pm so we've had some early fires before Lucy's bedtime and then once she goes to bed, Andy and I have been sneaking back outside at dusk to enjoy a little time together. It's been like a wonderful little getaway in our own backyard!


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