Thursday, February 26, 2009

My First Coptic journal!

I have been wanting to learn how to stitch books together for a long time. I have books on the subject but the words just seemed to blur before my eyes and I could not get my "little gray cells" wrapped around the technique. One of my good gal pal artist friends agreed to show me how it was done as she was stitching up a book to be used as a Journal.

I created covers from a piece of chipboard that was backing a paper pad. I painted signature pages for each signature and ripped plain card stock for the interior pages. Then, last night with awl, waxed linen and needle in hand, I sat down to stitch the book together. My stitches are a bit tight, I was warned about this, but all in all, I am pleased and I GET IT!!!

Request for advice!! iam havong real trouble trying to figure out how to make my photos enlargew hen the viewer clicks on them. I can't find hints or help anywhere- how do You all do it?????????????

Blogger has seen fit to load these shots on end!! GRRR! this is the open cover and the cover of the first signature. This little book has a total of 3 signatures.

Last signature and inside back cover.

The stitched spine.

I know that this is an everyday occurence for many of you, but I am very excited to finally have a grasp of how this is done. I plan to make many more books for gifts in the future!

Here is an update on the next stage of my Cosmos Watercolor. I added in the first layer of background and the flowers have now really taken on their form. My next class is Monday and I will have more to show of this project then.

Here is the first step.

First glazing of the background.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Fredericksburg Diamond

I thought that you all might like to see where I love to hang out and sometimes where poeple buy some of my art!!

This is the exterior Of Liberty Town, the wonderful art mecca owned by potter Dan Finnegan.

Here is a shot of the front entrance which gives one a tiny hint of the wonders to behold after crossing the theshold!

Sorry about the glare on this shot but if you look carefully you can see the stained glass surround of the front doors.

Today I had my second class in another watercolor session that I am taking under the direction of Ariel Freeman. The subject of this session is painting White Flowers. When thinks about it, this subject presents a host of challenges, the main one being painting a subject that is supposed to be devoid of color. Actually the white flower reflects the colors surrounding it and you get the shape of the white flower by painting in the background around the flower. Pretty cool though a bit difficult to wrap ones brain around, at least it is challenging for me.

I am painting white cosmos. Here is my first glase of color and I probably won't do too many more layers. The rest of the painting on this piece will take place behind the flower with a tiny bit more definition to each blossom.

Another challenge is taking a good picture of white flowers painted on white paper!!!! This will be changing very soon!!

Stay tuned for further updates!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Is It Done.........

I am thinking that it is!! I added a few touches and I am very happy with it. I have not decided whether it will be submitted for the call for art, but it is a step towards submitting a piece. It is at the very least, a start of the process.
I created some new collage papers to use. i made some text, paint scrapped green paper and created leaves for the pears to add another color and to spread move the eye around the entire collage. I think that the green really gives it another jolt of color and works well with the other colors in the collage.
Here is a detail of the leaves:
And another:

So now to seal it and frame it.

The next little project was a new pair of earrings. i am not sure why I HAD to Create these NOW but I just HAD to. That is how I work most of the time- I get an idea and I have to run with it. I do write things down for latter use but sometimes I just have to DO IT NOW!!!!

Thesew ere such fun to amke and I used what I have!!!!! LOVE THAT! STASH BUSTING!!!!!!

I used some of my vintage mother of pearl buttons, white glass beads and ss wire, hand dyed silk ribbons to make my fun new earrings! The buttons move as they are a bit off center as the wire goes thru one of the two holes in the buttons and the bead spacer lets the buttons rotate. They remind me of the Jetson's decor!!! I think that I must make more for my Etsy shop!!

As many of you must know, there have been terrible wild fires in Australia. I have been terribly worried about many of my art friends who live in Victoria ,the area affected by the fires. The pictures on the Internet and in the news have been horrendous and heartbreaking. All of my gal pals are fine but very sad and a bit shaken. I ahve been e-mailing back and forth to check up on them during the past several weeks. I decided to deal with some of my worry by working on a page in my journal. I used all of the postage stamps that I have saved form all of our art correspondence and added their names as a small symbol of my feelings for them and to focus my prayers for their safety. Working on this pretty simplistic page really helped! Art therapy in action!!

soory for the glare- I counted the pages with gel medium and I did not notice the glare when I took the photo!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Something New

I am starting to work out some ideas for a call for Artists that has just been released by Liberty Town Gallery in Fredericksburg, Virginia. SO, last evening, with this in mind, I started messing around. I dragged out paper bits, a canvas that I bought ages ago, some of my acrylic paints and the gel medium. I started by tearing up pages of all kinds of text into small rectangles roughly the same size. Then I sketched out a basic plan right on the canvas and started applying the text swatches with the gel medium. I wanted a linear background so I cut up strips in various widths from a very old book of maps and pasted them down as well. This call for art is titled "A Feast For The Eyes" and is meant to be anything about food. I have had a very hard time getting a decent pear this year, you know the kind that I mean; good flavor, nice texture and juicy!!! Every one that I have tried has been grainy and dry- YUCK! I love the shape of the pear and I have been seeing the shape all over the place. You might say that I have developed pears on the brain. So I decided that the collage was going to be about pears. I ripped out pages from an old cookbook with recipes and or instructions about choosing pears and preparing pears.
Here is a picture of my first stopping point. (shown sideways thanks to Blogger-GRRRRR!!!)

Then I began to work on the pears themselves and stopped again.

Well this is ok, but It needed more. So I wnet at it with a charcoal pencil.

Better, better, still not sure that it is done.

Here is a detail shot.

I need to let this be for a bit and visit it every once in awhile and see what it tells me. I had fun with this and I am planning to work on some more, maybe I will look at some other fruits!!

iIwould love to know what you think amd any suggestions about what the collage needs would be greatly appreciated!!

Thanks for your input!!


Monday, February 16, 2009

And the Winner is .........

Dawn U. of Instanbul Turkey!!! I had not met Dawn till I posted this giveaway. This is one of the many things about Art Blogging that I love!!! It has opened up such an amazing world for me!! I have met and become friends with so many wonderful people from all over the world. It has enriched my life to the point that I can't imagine not having Interenet access as a part of my life!!
I have e-mailed Dawn and she has responded. She is thrilled and told me that it has been kind of a hard year for her. So here again, we see another example of how our art can impact the lives of people that we don't even know!!!!! By reaching out and making a very simple offer we can greatly impact the lives of people half way around the globe. Amazing and Mind Blowing all at the same time!!! Art really DOES make the world go round!!!!!
Now I want to send a huge thank you to all who visit my blog and especially to those who take the bit of extra time to leave comments. Your comments and support mean the world to me!!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

New Street Team Crusade!!

Time for another wonderful artistic experience with Michelle Ward and all of the wonderful crusader artists out in blogland!! No, this is not about FOOD!!!!! This Crusade is all about using partial images to add interest, texture and mystery to our artwork. the idea is to make the viewer wonder about what they are looking at. To get people involved and to ask questions like, "How did they do that?" " What am I REALY looking at?"
I have been taking baby steps towards getting a Visual Journal off the ground. I have been creating some background pages and collecting images and stuff to include in a potential journal, someday!
I have a pile and an envelope all ready to go, but other things always push this project ot the bottom of the list. When this crusade first got posted, I decided that i needed to find a way to fit it into what I was having to do to make it more of a TA DA than a TO DO!! ( Don't you just love that- CREDIT Michelle Ward of course!! Make it a Ta Da instead of a To DO!!!!)
I was creating labels in a mad rush to get some artwork down to a local gallery for some pre-Valentines sales (fingers crossed). I ahd some background pages already made. Iwanted to creat labels using gesso resist and spray Glimmer Mists and I thought that by using the already created background page as my "drop cloth" I could add more layers and texture to the journal page and create the tags at the same time. I am not sure that this will yeild the air of mystery but I do think that I will achieve partial images and texture and interest.

This was my starting"drop cloth"journal page.
Then using gesso and some of my favorite stamps, I stamped on the blank tags.

Now you can see the stamped cards and the bits of gesso overstamp on the "drop cloth" sheet.

Next I lined up the dried tags on the Background piece and sprayed away with several colors of Glimmer Mists. (I am begining to notice that I use these sprays quite often!)

Here is the final result. I think that I managed to achieve my goal of playing with the challenge, making it work wiithin my work time frame and achieving lots of interest and texture for my journal page. So now I am one step closer to getting this Journal page done, but at least now it is ready to add to my book so that when I have a moment for adding more, it will be all ready to go!!

Here are the tags that I needed for labeling my artwork. Now I can move these from my To Do list to the TA DA List!!!!

Here is one of the pairs of earrings (loaded sideways again-grrrrr) and ready to go off to be sold!
Yet another TA DA!!!
Thanks so much Michelle, for the inspiration, the energy and the From To Do to TA DA concept!!!
Now I am off to visit the blogs of other Crusaders to see what marvels they have wrought!!

Edited-2/23/09- Several folks have asked how I get the Gesso of of my rubber stamps. If I am using an unmounted rubber stamp I have a bucket of warm water at the ready and I throw the paint covered stamp into the bucket. As soon as I am done stamping, I use an old tooth brush to make sure that I get all of the paint out of the stamp. If I am using a wood mounted stamp, after stamping I take it immediately to the sink and scrub it gently with the toothbrush in a bucket of warm water. As long as you don't leave the wood mounted stamps soaking in water, theyw ill be fine. If for some reason they do come unglued then you have an unmounted stamp!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Give Away to Mark Post # 250!!

Well, here it is!! I am fast approaching this rather large milestone and I have created a special Collaged Heart Quiltie to commemorate the occassion! All that you need to do to be entered in the drawing is leave me a comment and , if you ahve a blog, mention this giveaway in your next post. On Saturday February 15th, we will use the computer generated number picker thing to pick the winner!! I am choosing February 15 because spreading love gratitude affection and appreciation should NOT be limited to one arbitrary day and it is purely a coincidence that my 250th post should fall so close to Valentines. I also did not want this little event to get lost in the shuffle of the large One World One Heart giveaway that ends on the 12th.

This quiltie is approximately 5 inches wide and 6.5 inches long. the definition trapped behind the beaded lace reads "keepsake".

Below is a detail shot!!

So leave me a comment and we will see who the winner is!!! Thank you all so much for all of your wonderful comments, advice and support !!

Big Hugs!


p.s. iIwill also soon be adding several Heart Quilties to my Etsy shop!!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Good Monday Morning!!

Start your week off right!! Click on the links below and let the music set the tone for your week!!

Hopefully these short videos will keep you singing all week!!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

You Must meet my new Garden Mascot and Protector

I have not settled on a name yet but for some reason I think of him as a HE!! Doesn't he have a wonderful grin?? i would love to collect some suggestions for a name, if one comes to mind!
We found him yesterday at a big Antiques and Flea Market that was in Fredericksburg. This event is called the D.C. Big Flea and is usually held in Chantilly, VA just outside Washington. This i sthe third year that they have held a smaller version down close to us. This event has ONLY 400 vendors, the events near D.C have 1100 vendors!!!
The story behind this grinning serpent is magical! He is made of a bronze pot metal and was salvaged from the roof of a building in China that was being demolished. He is about 2 and a half feet long and stands about 15 inches tall. He is very heavy and you can see the markings on the bottom of his feet where he was cut from posts that held him to the rooftop. The dealer had him dated from the 1920's! He has lived out doors for all of his life so he will be living in and protecting my back yard garden. He is my very early Mother's Day present and I am smitten!! We ran into the same dealer today when we went back to the show and he said that several folks had come by with the intention of buying him- they were all dissappointed and I am soooo happy that we plucked him on the first go round!!!
Do you think that there is a chance that he will keep the squirrels out of the bird feeders???????
Heart Giveaway Update:
Tomorrow's post will have the details and photo of the Embellised heart, so check back!!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Heart Quilties and More!

I am still really enjoying my Embellishing Machine! I made up some Heart Quilties for sale in the gallery in Fredericksburg and I did half of them with the embellisher. ( I have tried reloading these pictures 3 times- I give up!! Sorry that they are on end but I think that you can still get the idea of what they look like and that they are indeed hearts!!! GRRRR This has been happening for awhile now - anyone out there know the fix for this BLOGGER BEHAVIOR????)
this first on end photo is of the smaller hearts made with the embellisher.

These were all done on a base of a heart shape cut from a fulled wool sweater- then I played!! To finish them off I added beads to the flower centers and other beaded touches.

THen I made one more elaborate large heart with a crystal bauble! I love making these!!

In the top left corner you can see a bit of paper. I cut the definiton of Heartfelt from a vintage dictionary and trapped it behind the polka dot tulle. Then I finished the whole thing with beads and backed it with purple velvet!! YUMMY!!!

Then I made some Crazy Quilt style hearts. I have been visiting Pat Winter's blog lately, so I blame this on her!! LOL!!!! If Pat can't get one inspried to embellish and Crazy Quilt, then it can't be done!!!!

(This photo is on end as well-Sorry!!)

I used bits and pieces of scraps and samples from some discarde upholstery books. Then I added vintage lace and trims and buttons and beads!!

I also made some earrings with some wonderful Heart beads that I found at a new bead store- new to me anyway!!

I made the little display stands using watercolor paper and Hot Cinnamon Glimmer Mists- I love this stuff!! My hands are the same color as the cards!!

I also decided to add beads to the Red and Purple scarf. Now you didn't seriously think that I was going to let this scarf go unadorned did you???? COME ON!!!!!!

And now for a close up ,Mr. Demille!

A random sprinkling really ups the bling factor!!

I notice that I am coming up on my 250th post!!!!! So glad that I did not miss this milestone like I missed some others. I think that I will have a giveaway- maybe an Embellished Heart- just in time for Valentines Day. What do you think??? I will write a post with all the details very soon , so y'all come back soon!!!


Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Joy's of Teaching Kids!!

I promised a blow by blow description of my Gelatin Monoprinting experience with 40 4th graders and 40 fifth graders, so here goes. I only had two hours,so the time went very quickly but we all had a wonderful time! I always feel that I get so many rewards after an experience like this, I find myself wondering if the kids enjoy it as much.
The morning did not start off well at all. It was bitter cold -12 degrees- for VA that is darn cold!! I went out to load my car after following the list that I had made for myself the night before. I noticed that my right front tire looked a touch low. I park on the very steep driveway and so I usually don't notice this. Fortunately Tom was home from work and he insisted on pulling out the air compressor and filling the tire.. I was late but I did not want the tire to go dead flat on rt 95 and totally miss the class- I would never have forgiven myself.. So Tom filled the tire- he siad that it was indeed flat> SIGH!!
So I got on the road and got to the school and found the room and got set up and then the kids trooped in with very expectant faces. Several teacher wandered through having heard about the gelatin printing and many were making jokes about jello wrestling and wanting to watch!~! the kids wanted to know if they could Eat it- yuck , no it is only plain unsugared gelatin!!

We got right down to it as the clock was ticking and we turned out some wonderful prints. I did a quick demo, we talked about different stamping tools and off they went!! I had promised lots of pictures but in the last minute rush to get out the door and with the tire incident, I forgot my camera!! ARGHGHHHHH!!!
So Mirinda Reynolds the fabulous ARt Teacher at Fredericksburg Academy took some shots and forwarded this one on to me.

THese prints ( on Navy mulbery fiber paper) will eventually become covers for the book of art that each student creates for the artworks generated as they participate in the year long Artist In Residence program. In the lower left corne you can see aparticularly nice print that this girl made using a plastic doily for her patterning!

The kids really did a great job. They were very curious and asked lots of great art questions by trying all sorts of things to make patterns with. We had a very messy, creative and rewarding time!! I certainly hope that the funding for this program is not cut, as I am really looking forward to participating and working with these kiddos again next year!!!


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