Friday, September 30, 2011

Lots of Experimentation

Ah its Friday already, just where did the week go?

This is a collage I made in my Strathmore WC journal. I chose 3 main elements, a person place and a thing, I like to think that the lady is looking down that long railroad track to her future, to the unknown.  The crow is their as her guide, to help her make that first step, to know she is not alone.

This was a little experiment with some new tape I bought recently. After I laid down the greeting card I covered in clear gesso. It gives you a gritty service that you can write on and it takes charcoal really well.

In class we are doing experiment with NevrDull and magazines.  This is so much fun. NevrDull is a wadding polish that you use to rub off the ink.

Some of the part of the pages turn out great and some don't, which doesn't matter since I'll be cutting them up for collage.

Underneath the paper I am putting stamps, embossed wallpaper and other textured items. I even used embossing folders. I have been scouring the house looking for more texture ideas. This was a picture of a towel.

I love how these flowers now sort of look like people.

These were jewels and now they look really cool. I could play with these all day.

 I plan to work in the studio today on several projects and then on Saturday to take part in Massive Action Day Its for writing but I imagine you could use it on any project. I don't plan on doing all 8 hours but I do plan on spending some time on getting some serious writing done.  Check it out and join us if you can.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Daughter of Smoke and Bone

In my household I will have to share that we are a little obsessed with Laini Taylors Daughter of Smoke and Bone. I have been following Laini Taylor for years, just love the way she writes. I loved her mid grade novels Blackbringer and Silksinger, and then she wrote the Lips Touch:Three times which was a National Book Award finalist.  We've heard her talk about this new book from its inception and are so excited its finally available.

 We had pre-ordered the book through Amazon but found the book at Barnes and Noble way before its release date. So we had to take a picture.

A couple days later our package arrived, Sarah carefully opened it.

and here it is the long awaited book.

Oh look there is another copy, yes we each had to have our own copy. In reading Laini's blog all this time we followed her journey through her pre-pub tour and was amazed at all Little Brown, the publisher was doing for her.  Sarah's comment at the time was, I think her book will get a cardboard cutout.  Very few Young  Adult novels get this honor.

and  later that week we saw this.  Yes, Sarah had gotten it right.

So now you may wonder does the book live up to all the hype.  Oh Yes it does, its fantastic.  I finished it on Wednesday, gave it five stars on my Goodreads review.  If you never read YA novels I recommend giving this one a try. It really is that good. You can also head over to Laini's blog and read the first five chapters of the book.  Just click on the link in the sidebar. I know you will love it.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

500th Post Giveaway

Its my 500th post for this incarnation of my blog and I haven't had a give away in a while so here's the bounty. There are a series of zines, a magazine a book and a collection of cards to be used for collage. Instead of giving all this to one person I am going choose five winners.

  First we  have an issue  of Artella's magazine which is full of great articles.

A zine by Samantha Kira-Harding  aka Journal Girl which includes a  interview with Robin-Marie Smith.

A zine by Gina Armfield, with several interviews and articles on Art Journaling.

A collection of cards that will be great for collage in art journals or paintings.  You get at least twenty cards and a few envelopes, plus I may throw in a few extra collage items.

And last I've got a copy of sketchbooking the book by Barbara Stetcher.

So what do you need to do to win one of these, just leave a comment on this post and I will pick a winner on October 5th,

Monday, September 26, 2011

More Art from Layered Impressions Class

I have a couple more pieces to share from the Layered Impressions class I have been taking

This mermaid was done on a wood panel I got at Michaels.  I started with molding paste and then added pastel,  a mix of marble dust and gel medium.   The I drew her with a graphite crayon, I used a stamp as the model for her. I painted her in fluid and heavy bodied acrylics.  I added a little stamping too. The scales were drawn with a micron pen.

This piece was created on a 12 x 12 piece of watercolor paper. First the collage pieces were laid down.

Then I added some pan pastels in several areas  and then a thin layer of gesso over the entire piece.

Then I used acrylics to change some things and highlight others.  I added more collage items and more gesso and paint.

Additional finishing was created with colored pencils and my black stablio pencil. My inspiration for the piece was the bond between me and my dog and how I felt when he came home after he had been lost for a day. I used images of portals and home and a weather vane to show him finding his way back to me, his way back home.

I am so loving this class.  Katie's teaching style is laid back and I love that.  The other artists are all supportive too.  What a great time I am having.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sunday Sketches

I really had fun sketching this one and I really like the way she turned out.  You can head on over to Sophia's blog to see more fantastic Sunday Sketches

Friday, September 23, 2011

The gift of a letter

There are some things from the past that I often like to rekindle in my life.  One of those is the handwritten letter.  Sure with the internet age and instant emails so many of us do not write letters anymore.  I think we have lost something with that.  A handwritten letter is something you can touch and feel in your hands, you know the sender spent time with the paper too.  I have always written letters and I miss the frequency of them.

My friend Kate and I have started writing letters to one another. We live in the same town about 15 miles apart.  We still call each other and send emails but its so much fun to receive letters in the mail that we started to write one another.  I think I will start doing this with other people too. So if I have your address you might get some mail from me.  Today I even pulled out a quill pen to write.  It felt very old fashioned on one hand but oh so pleasing on an other.  When was the last time you wrote a real letter, or better yet received one.  If it been a long time perhaps its time to just let go of technology for awhile and write and send a letter to a friend or a loved one.  I can guarantee they will appreciate it.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Nine Modern Day Muses

For the past month I have been spending my time taking the Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coaching Course. Its a 14 week course that I am taking with women from all over the world. The sessions have been truly amazing. I have learned so many things about the creative process, procrastination, and my own creative blocks.

One of the books we are using as a text is the Nine Modern Day Muses by Jill Badonsky. I have had this book for years but I hadn't read the entire book before I signed up for this course.  I just have to say that this book is amazing.  I think it is a must read for any creative person.  Its full of ideas, exercises, techniques and advice to help you in your creative life.  I can't recommend it highly enough.

Another one of the books we are working with is One Small Step Can Change Your Life by Robert Maurer. Oh I do love this little book. Its called Kaizen and its premise is that real change occurs by taking small steps.  I have heard of the ideas before, SARK does something similar with her technique called Micro-movements. This book covers more than just small steps, I found it invaluable.  This little book has changed the way I view many things in my life. I use the ideas in all areas of my life. Even when I am fighting with myself to just exercise I take the small step approach and its fabulous what can happen.

I started another old book journal. It seems every time I get orange splashed on the page some crows want to come land on it. Art journaling is funny that way. Fall is my favorite season so it stands to reason that would come out in my journal. Here's to enjoying all the wonders of Fall.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Work In Progress

This is the cover of the latest Remains of the Day Journal that I have been making. I used the skirt I bought at a thrift store recently for the fabric.

For the inside cover I used some cotton fabric that had crows on it, continuing with the black and white theme.

This is the back with appliqu├ęd bits, Sarah says it looks like a mushroom but that was not my intent.

One thing that has been fun about making these is trying out all the decorative stitches on my sewing machine.  Some of them are really fun.  I have made a second one, but it will be a gift so I can't show it here.  Now that I have the cover done, its time to make all the pages.  These journals really are a long process but they are fun to make.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Sunday Sketches

Todays sketch for Sunday sketches is a painting and not a sketch.  Since I am taking a class and needed to get the assignments done I figure this can do double duty. The face was transferred to watercolor paper, collaged and then painted . I am not sure I like it, Tell me do you think the eyes look funny? Or is it just me being over critical.

To see other Sunday sketchers head on over to Sophia's blog.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Faces from Class

Its been a busy week here. I have been really enjoying the layered impressions class, I am taking with Katie Kendrik. We have been painting faces on telephone book pages. I have had so much fun with the process that I did five of them.

On this one the telephone page was transferred onto watercolor paper.

Here the paper was glued to the watercolor paper.

This was one was another transfer.

I even took a try at doing a man.

This is the last one I did, I kept the wonky look of the original. Normally I would have given her more of a forehead and more hair but I kind of like her look. These were so much fun I think I will do more at a later date.  Tomorrow I'll start working on a collaged portrait. This is so much fun.

Have a great weekend everyone.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Zen Tree and a Video

I have to interrupt my previous scheduled blogpost for a news update: My trip to Oregon has been cancelled. Dave took the trailer in for a new tire because we noticed the tread on one was bad. That is when we were told the axle was bent. Cost to repair is 1600.00, no longer under warranty. Life sucks sometimes.

I started this zentree awhile ago and finished it last week. The tree was created in a moleskine watercolor notebook with micron and faber-castell pitt pens and some pencil. It was fun. Now that I have done the zen raven and the zen tree hmm I wonder what I should do next.


I found this video the other day and this is such a cool idea. If you have stamps like I do, this is a new way to personalize them and make the work unique. Often I have used a paintbrush with stamping ink and sometimes it works well and other times it does not. These little nibs work great.

Monday, September 12, 2011

What I did this summer

If you remember this post  Go look at it now before you look at the rest of the post.  You'll see over 160 carded batts. I spent the summer spinning them all and here are results.

This is my kitchen table with all the skeins of yarn I spun.  I watched TV and movies while doing all these skeins.

This is a closer view of some of the colors. Now I know the question will be, what are you going to do with all of that yarn. I will pull the colors that have several skeins and save them for another project. With the rest I will weave a blanket.

As you can see I have a lot of blues, greens and purples but there are also gold, peaches and pinks.

and some neutrals too. I think I have at least a little bit of most of the colors out there. I think this will make a fantastic blanket.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Sunday Sketches 9/11/11

When I sat down in church to get ready to sketch this, I discovered that I did not have my trusted kneaded eraser.  I found a school pencil in one of the pews and had to use that.  I think she looks sort of sad as some of my faces do. I figured since it is the anniversary of 9/11 perhaps she is appropriate for the time.  I came across this memoir of 9/11 by author Meg Cabot.  It is beautiful, haunting and sad but worth reading too.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Layered Impressions

I signed up to take Layered Impressions, the online class with Katie Kendrik.  I am so excited to be taking this class.  It starts on Tuesday. If you signup before then you even get a DVD of the class, now that is a great deal. It is more than I usually like to spend on a class but when I looked at the synopsis of what we will be doing I thought it was amazing.  I think it will be well worth price. Katie is an amazing artist and I feel like we will really being going on a journey with her.

I added some collages and journaling to the some of those pages I did while in N. Idaho a few weeks ago.

If you are one of those artists who gets a background done and then doesn't know what to do next, I thought I would offer a little advice. I tend to look at the colors of the background and then will pull out my stash of collage items and start placing things on top that I think will look good. I may go through a lot of images before I choose one that I like. Or there may be several I place on the background and then finally just choose one over the other. The process becomes intuitive at some point, what I choose may end up being an image that I just get a good feeling about. I have often used an image I have left on my desk from a precious art session.

Some artists plan the whole page before glueing anything down. I do that sometimes, but often I just glue down and image and then look for something else, it seems more spontaneous that way. I just don't think that much about it, just go for my first thoughts and glue it down. If my background is a collage in itself I make the collage on top simple. I think the idea is just to play, whatever you do will be just fine.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

My Remains of the Day Journal

I resisted this class for a long time but after I actually saw my friend Jolene's Remains of the Day Journal I had to take the class and make one.  Oh I do love the process, a perfect way to use up all the stuff I have.  I am taking a trip to the Oregon coast in a couple weeks and made this journal for the trip.  I used lots of blues and aquas to symbolize the ocean water.  The way this journal is used is first you make it and embellish the pages and then add things from your trip while you are on it.  There are spots to tuck things, pockets and places to journal.  It will look different when filled. Here is a little video of my pages.

 If you are intrigued by this journal style you can check it out here.  Mary Ann's class is really great, I highly recommend it.

Blogging Change

Sometimes we all find that blogging takes up so much time, we love it so we don't want to give it up, sometimes we take breaks from it but we always come back. I have decided to take after my daughter who blogs 3 times a week. So that will be my plan for a little while. I plan to blog Mon, Wed and Friday. There may be times I do so on other days but I will consider them extra posts.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Completing the Artshine Traveling Sketchbook

I have been working in the various books of the Artshine Traveling Sketchbook for over a year and this is the last one. The theme was the female figure and I had a hard time coming up with something I thought I could do. I have never drawn a female body so I was a little apprehensive. Plus I had no models who were offering to pose for me.

So I started out with a collage. I chose this paper as it looked like wallpaper to me.  I wanted it to look old and faded so I added a wash of thinned gesso to it. I took a floral stamp and used sepia ink to age it a little. I am not sure what else it needed so I left it simple.
 I starIU ed shkhskhkj

Here I used a magazine image as a model and drew her in vine charcoal. Charcoal is so forgiving, you make a mistake and your friend the kneaded eraser comes to the rescue. I should work in charcoal more. This was fun.

I am including this for Sunday Sketches too, so you can check other ones here

Happy Labor Day everyone!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Thrift Store Finds

I have been thrift store shopping. Looking for old clothes to cut up to use in journals and other crafts. I found two skirts and a dress.

I thought the dress was cute so I had Sarah try it on, she says she felt like a 50's housewife but I think she looked darling.

I also been to two library book sales. I went to one in Wallace and got a French dictionary and some old books to make into journals.

I found out our library, which hosts its sales in the basement 4 times a year opens up the basement area in the evenings. I went looking the other day and found a Chinese cookbook, some travel books, an almanac and some old technical books that have great diagrams to use for collage.

On my way out I saw this little gem, I went back to pay for it and they just gave it to me. Its a small book written in German in 1900. What a deal. My library even has a table with free books on it. I got several of those books from that table. You might want to check out if your library has sales like these or even better if you can go in any time and look.