recent mini quilts, journaling, collage and cards

I have been very very busy finishing Christmas gifts (yes, really) and, more recently, valentines. I’ve also been working on the Collage Challenge with Crowabout and assorted swaps. I have so much to show, so I put a few of each type of item here (click on photos to see larger version), but there are a lot more on my Flickr site.

Mini quilts. These are fun and I’m finally getting the hang of using my machine. I’m no expert, but I like the way these are all coming out. The base fabric is stuff I painted in workshops with Lisa Englebrecht (Maybe I’ll actually finish the projects I started in Lisa’s workshops someday!) last year. The two that say “hope” are for my youngest brothers and there’s a pocket made from a Hambly overlay that holds a prayer card from our dad’s funeral, which was last year on 2/14. The card is of St. Jude, who was my dad’s favorite saint (and is my second favorite). St. Jude is the patron saint of hopeless cases (and policemen) and I thought my brothers would like a little something to remind them to have hope for whatever their dreams may be. Recently I thought that gluing pony beads on the ends of the hanging stick would finish off the look nicely and I was right! Very happy with these.

Mini quilt for my brother Steve and his
wife. A belated Christmas 2008 gift!
Mini quilt for my brother Mike. A belated
Christmas 2008 gift!
This was Jennie’s Christmas gift and
it was less late than the ones for my family.

Collage stuff. I’ve been trying each week to find a little time to participate in the Collage Play With Crowabout challenge. Here are a few of the recent collages I’ve done using images from that challenge. If you are interested in playing along with us, email Nancy and ask for an invite. Let her know traypup sent you! I’m really enjoying art journaling lately and will be posting more pages from my journals in my next post.

Crowabout challenge week 20.
Crowabout challenge week 21.
Crowabout challenge week 22. The heads
are my mom and myself about 40 years ago.

Cards. Sometimes I have a hankering to make a ton of cards. I can’t bear to buy them in the store because I feel like making them from scratch means so much more. Plus, I have all of the stuff! So I collected all of my Valentine’s Day-related supplies and sat on the sofa watching movies with my husband and made a ton of cards. Here are a few:

Vday 2009 card for Devin
Assorted Vday cards
You make my heart whirl

So that’s what I’ve been up to lately! There is lots more that I’ll be writing about this week. I’m excited to get back into the swing of things.

AEDM: Days 7 – 8 – 9

I am mostly recovered from the weekend of workshops with Kelly Kilmer. Almost mostly recovered. That girl is such a generous, talented and creative instructor. She’s so clever, too! My brain has been whizzing with ideas since the weekend and when I try to sleep at night, I dream about pens and decorative packing tape. If you are at all interested in bookmaking, collage, journaling or simply expanding your horizons, look at taking one (or more!!) of Kelly’s classes. Here are a few of the things I did over the course of the weekend. There are more on my Flickr photo gallery.

None of these projects are complete. There is still a lot of journaling and collaging to be done (what a bummer…haha). I’ve spent the past two nights ripping collage images out of old magazines while we watch tv. Kelly really has inspired me. She also took a look at an ongoing project of mine and encouraged me to teach a class on it. I would never have thought it would be a good class idea, but once she turned on the light, I could see it! One of the other students said she would take a class like the one Kelly and I were talking about, so I’m going to work on outlining that over the next month or so.

The Storyteller book was fun. We made a book out half of a parent sheet of cardstock, folding and cutting following Kelly’s instructions. It’s a fun little book and I can see it being a great travel journal or journal for a specific event where you might not need a whole lot of pages like in a regular book or journal. Here is the cover and one of the spreads within the book.
The Storyteller

Little Book of Faux Monoprints started from sheets of cardstock that we painted and on which we used a bunch of monoprinting exercises. At some point, I just started painting pages and then smooshing them together with another page. It was so freeing. This little book is so cute, but I am not sure what I’m using it for yet.

Snippets was awesome. I love the shape and size of this book and Kelly’s methods of making split pages within the book are really cool. I never would have thought of them myself! This is just the cover. None of my collages inside are complete yet.

Little Book of Faux Monoprints Snippets- A Unique Artist Book
Goin’ Postal was a 2-hour class where we used 6×9 matboard to create mailable art. I am a big fan of mail art and appreciated Kelly’s input on my compositions. This little girl really haunts me. The other side of this card and the other postcard I started are on Flickr.

And I finally learned Japanese stab binding in the Fukoro Toji or Little Bound Book. It’s not as difficult as I thought it was, probably because Kelly is such a good instructor.

Goin’ Postal Fukoro Toji or Little Bound Book

AEDM: Days 1 & 2

I have to admit, despite my excitement to start Art Every Day Month, I wasn’t as motivated when I sat down to do art. But luckily, AEDM basically covers any form of creativity. So here are the creative things I did this weekend:

  • I made a big batch of pizza sausage tonight, managing to turn $10-12 worth of meat into the makins for a total of 6 easy meals for Tim and myself. Yay! And pizza dough was on sale, so that was an extra bonus.
  • Started writing a letter to my aunt.
  • I created our menus for the upcoming week.
  • I began planning the autumn and Christmas decorating (in my head).
  • I doodled in my daily journal, setting up my November calendar page spread.
  • I jotted down a couple of pages of ideas for canvases.
  • When I went to look for my canvases, I realized that stepping over everything and not being able to find what I’m looking for was hindering my creativity, so I did some filing, organizing, recycling and trashing. I filed a bunch of ATCs from swaps and figured out how I’m going to handle inchies (now that I am in love with them and am compelled to make many more).
  • I came up with my plan for revamping an area of my office that isn’t making me happy.
  • Informed myself and my husband that my “office” is now officially my STUDIO and we will never refer to it as an office again.

And, just so this post isn’t devoid of pretty pictures, I’ve added a photo of a recent journal spread I did in an RR. I am in love with this spread and luckily, the owner of the journal in which I did it loves it too! yay!

And after I post this and finish the letter to my aunt, I am going to doodle some more.

Squeezing in art

I’m finally starting to realize that I’m not the only woman on this earth who’s busy and has too much on her plate. I know a lot of it is my own doing. I can’t help having so many interests! And having a lot to do is the nature of running a sole proprietorship. This is just the way life is. The trick is in how I handle it. My lists go a long way towards keeping order. Now I’m working on not whining so much and getting a handle on the anxiety that a long to do list brings along with it. Mom also sent me some vitamin B-12 supplement drops that seems to be helping a little.

1st embroidery attemptWork has been super busy, so I haven’t had much time this week to make stuff, but I’ve been squeezing in some reading and calendar journaling (see photos below). I’ve finished the current issue of Somerset Studio and can’t wait to alter some cutlery. And the current issue of CRAFT has the most amazing (and hilarious) instructions on how to make little stuffed monster dolls and I cannot WAIT to start making some of those. I am, however, being true to my promise of finishing my unfinished projects before I take on new ones.

Well, mostly, anyway. I got a wild hair (or hare, whatever) about taking an online class for webby research purposes and signed up for Susan Sorrell’s Doodle Designs class. It’s a lot more embroidery than I expected and I am not really good at it, but I’m giving it a go! My first piece is shown here. It’s requiring me to have patience, which I really need practice with, so that’s good for me.

That’s all I have today. I do want to let those of you who are commenting here know that I finally did get your comments. I forgot to check my inbox for a few days and found I had a pile of comments to approve. It’s funny how I remember to tell my clients all of these things, but when it comes to my own sites, I tend to forget the simplest things!

Below is the work I did in my pal Karen’s calendar journal for January. This is part of a yearlong project via the Calendargirlz Yahoo Group. If you click the photos, you’ll be taken to Flickr, where you can see larger versions.

Art Unraveled 2007 recap

phew! I’ve been home from Art Unraveled for a few days now, but I still haven’t quite caught up nor have I gotten back into the swing of things. But my box of supplies, purchases and artwork all arrived today, so I’m busy taking photos and scanning so I can write this epic blog post about my week.

Saturday, I flew into Phoenix and Andrea (of SunSpirit Studio fame!) picked me up. We headed over to a restaurant to meet Fran and Angie for a late dinner. Andrea and I then went to Fran’s house to stay overnight. The four of us shared artwork and chatted and hung out until we were all too tired to stand anymore. Andrea and I went to bed, but talked until we fell asleep. This proved to be a pattern for the rest of the week!

Sunday, Fran, Andrea and I went to lunch at Pick Up Stix where I had the best chicken bowl ever. We didn’t hang out a ton because Andrea and needed to head to the hotel to check in and get Andrea’s vehicle unloaded. Boy, she had a lot of stuff for her fabulous booth and make and takes.

Sunday evening was the Meet The Artists event, as well as the opening talk. I had a table and that went pretty well. I was happy to meet all of those people. I almost had a few extra signups as a result, but it never happened. It was ok, though, because I already had 13 signups!

My first class was with Marney, who runs Artella. It was called Blissness Plan Journal and it was a day of taking a more creative approach to a business plan. It was pretty cool and had me thinking about what steps I want to take next in my art and in my web design business.

Monday night, I taught my Websites 101 for Artists class. Boy, was I nervous! But, as my dear friends pointed out repeatedly as I was having small panic attacks, I really know the material and it was all going to be fine. A few students didn’t show up, but the class went great otherwise. The students were awesome, interested and attentive. I am toying with offering the class again next year.

Tuesday was a free day. We went shopping at Apache Reclamation for junk, then met Fran for sushi, then went to Creative Quest in Glendale. What a great store! You should definitely visit it when you’re in the area. We did a tiny bit of grocery shopping, too, and then headed back to the hotel. I had a class that evening with Kathy Cano Murillo, who was awesome. There is no photo here because I’m finishing up the project this weekend and giving it to my husband as his “souvenir”. I will post a photo later.

Wednesday, I took Let’s Face it, Be Fearless with Katie Kendrick. WOW! What a great instructor. I didn’t know what to expect, but basically it was intuitive collage and painting where we did these whimsical face paintings with Katie’s guidance. I was having such a hard time with it for a while there, but Katie really was encouraging and helpful. I feel great about my paintings now. Here they are (click image to see larger version in Flickr):

Happy McHapster Babushka I’ll Pout if I Want To

Thursday, I took Profound Secrets of the Burnt and Bound with Bernie Berlin. I learned a few techniques and got to play with Luna Lights paints, which was pretty neat. It was fun to play around with stamps and learn to get more use out of them. Her class featured Michael deMeng stamps. Here’s what I did:

Friday, I took an Architectural Structures class with Jane Wynn, who is the most enthusiastic happy lady I have met in a long time. She was lovely and helped me with the power tools and we built a box for our shrines and she gave us lots of great feedback and ideas for our shrines. I also learned to cut glass! It was really cool. She has a book coming out in the fall, which I will definitely be getting my hands on. I’d also take another class from her in the future. She was swell. Here is my shrine from that class. This was another project where I was miserable for a period of time until it started coming together. I call it “Birdhouse in Your Soul.” The focal point is a non-functioning night light I got years ago when I was really really into They Might Be Giants. I can’t remember exactly who gave it to me…one of the record company reps I worked with at the time. Anyway, I love that nightlight and now that it’s a bit flighty, it was time to retire it and this was the perfect way to do it. I may add a bit more at some point, like a little blue bird in the “attic.” Yay!

Friday night, I took a class called Resist This, which was based on a technique in Bernie’ book. It was a quickie and we left class early because we were so tired. I don’t have photos now, but will update later with them when I finish the pages we started.

Saturday was the Shopping Extravaganza! It was even better than last year, and last year was pretty good! I had fun all day, shopping, and checking in on Andrea at her booth.

I’m pretty sure I’ll go again next year, if I can afford it. I think it’s a good way to rejuvenate one’s creativity. I look forward to the day when I can focus more on art than anything else and Art Unraveled is a taste of what that would be like (minus the 400 other women milling around, of course!)

This past weekend, I took three classes with Kelly Kilmer at The Artists’ Nook: Taped Journal, More Than Words and Journey to the Soul. The first and the third were about painting and collage and also making a book to do all of that in! The More Than Words class was all about collage. I love Kelly’s style of teaching. She’s super laid back, throws out tons of ideas and techniques, and offers such support! She’s funny, too. Oh, also, she was patient. I was sick and crazy this weekend and she dealt with me without batting an eyelash. I hope I didn’t annoy her TOO much! 🙂

I wanted to post just a few of my favorites here. All of the photos are on my Flickr site.


A fresh journal and new stamps

I love the beginning of the year because my composition book journal is brand new and fraught with possibility. Yesterday, I received the new Winged Whimsy plate from Time To Stamp and I mounted them while watching tv last night. I decided i needed to play with them a little in my journal and here’s the result. I colored in the little baby angels with watercolor crayons and blended with my waterbrush. “Born to be wild” is a magazine clipping. Click image to see it larger.