An Artful Journey 2011 Day One: Simple Books

Olivia's Book
Last week, I shared with you some of the paste papers that I painted on the first day of classes at An Artful Journey. Today here’s a look at some of the simpler books we had the opportunity to create with our paste papers. What I enjoyed most about Albie’s class was the flexibility. She taught us different techniques, and then we could pick and choose what we wanted to do with the techniques. I knew that if Mama didn’t come home with something for the girls, my name would be mud, so I started by creating these simple little books for the girls.

Olivia's Book
First the paste papers…this was a fascinating and really relatively simple process. You can find paste paper tutorials on You Tube; each uses a little different recipe, many home grown. Albie taught us how to mix good old Elmer’s Art Paste with cold water and paint to create our colors. You vary the consistency of both the glue and the paint you are mixing in to get varying hues, saturation, and consistency of colors. From there, it’s all about putting paint to paper and using your imagination. Albie shared her HUGE supply of stencils and stamps with us to use in class, and I brought a few with me. We added paint and design and took away paint and design using the stencils, stamps, cosmetic sponges, credit cards, and mastic spreaders to create texture.

Sarah's Book
Sarah's Book
The covers for each of these little books was created using one 12” x 18” sheet of paste paper, and then I sewed two signatures in back to back; that was the tricky part! I prepped four total covers, but I’ve yet to sew signatures into two of them. I wanted to make sure I’d have some at home without signatures to remind myself how to do the fold. The finished books are 6" by about 4 1/4" after trimming to even the edges.

Covers without Signatures, front

Covers without Signatures, back
As you can see in the second photo above, Olivia has already completely filled in her little book, complete with a "The End!" on the last page. Sarah said she’d let me borrow hers until I had a chance to show all my friends and take photos of it. And as soon as I finished photographing them yesterday afternoon, she quickly took her book back and begin working in it.  Up next, a cute little Do-Si-Do book!

Artful Journey 2011 Sneak Peek

So, what a trip!  I flew through Dallas and was delayed in Dallas for more than three hours. First it was due to weather in the San Francisco area; that accounted for two hours.  Then they decided the weather had cleared enough, loaded us all on the plane, taxied out to the runway, and then turned around and went back to the gate.  "Well, folks, we've had an unknown malfunction warning pop up, so we'll have to have the mechanics check it out for us. I'm sure it will only take a few moments!"  An hour and 15 minutes later, all spent sitting in the plane, the unknown malfunction warning had finally been taken care of, and we were on our way. 

Leah picked me up at the airport and we headed for some lunch before driving on down to the retreat center.  And it rained, and rained, and rained some more!  And it didn't stop raining until Sunday, and there was even some snow thrown in there for good measure!  I'll share pictures of that with you later this week!

So for today, since I haven't had a chance to photograph any of my finished pieces yet, here is a peek at some of the paste papers I painted on Friday.  What a fun, messy process! And Albie is such a fun, wonderful teacher!  I can't wait to try more here at home.  The top piece is the uncut size of Utrecht paper we worked on, 12" x 18".  The bottom photo is some full size Utrecht pages and some smaller Stonehenge pages. The two smallest turquoise edged pieces are little pieces I painted at DJ Pettitt's background painting demo table Friday night.  All these yummy papers and then some became books.  More on those when I get a chance to photograph them this weekend!

Welcome Home...

I had an absolutely wonderful time at An Artful Journey this past weekend, and I have so much to share with you!  I'm still processing it all in my head and sorting through all my pictures so for today, I just wanted to share with you my little welcome home from my girls. 

The picture above was taped to the front door when I arrived home in the wee hours this morning. Olivia's been big into drawing street scenes and city scapes lately.  And below is the sweet little note Sarah left me on the bathroom mirror.  My two little artists....I can't wait until I can take them someplace like An Artful Journey.

An Artful Journey Bound...

Tomorrow morning at 7am, I'll be on a plane taking off for An Artful Journey in Los Gatos, California. This trip last year was truly a life-changing experience.  May sound a bit cliche, but it was.  You can read my posts about last year's trip here.  This year I'm taking Albie Smith's class.  She was next door to DJ's class last year so I got to take quite a few peeks at what they were doing over there.  Color, color, color!  And you know how I love color!  We'll be painting papers and then creating handmade books with them.  My friend Leah is coming again this year as well, taking Nina Bagley's class this time. Leah will be picking me up at the airport in San Francisco, so we'll have some time to catch up in the car on the way down, and then we hope to get in some hiking in the Santa Cruz mountains before things get cranked up Thursday evening.  The forecast calls for rain, but I'll be bringing my LLBean rain boots and hot pink slicker! 

A new thing Cindy O'Leary, our fabulous host, is adding to the Journey this year is a silent auction to benefit the Sisters of the Presentation, the nuns who live on and manage the property.  I created this bracelet specifically for the auction.  The Artful Journey website uses muted colors like these, so I wanted to create something that mirrored what we've all been reading.  I hope you all have a wonderful rest of the week and weekend and I'll see you on Tuesday! 

Tuesday Treasury Shoutout: RushCreekMosiacs and Handmadeology Team

2-8-11 kellyphoto hmet

Etsy guru Tim Adam started a new Handmadeology Etsy team to compliment the Handmadeology blog.  Tim is an awesome resource for Etsy sellers, and this team gives us all a place to come together and share what's working and what's not.  This week's Tuesday Treasury Shout Out goes to Mary Lou of RushCreekMosiacs for creating this "Blinded me with Science" treasury featuring Handmadeology team members. My "Desmond's V-8" is bottom row third spot.  Look at this gorgeous crock Mary Lou created below!  I also had the honor of having one of my photos featured in a great article on Handmadeology about how to get your shop found.  Visit here to see the treasury above with clickable links and pay a visit to these Handmadeology team members! 

Mix It Up Monday: Alisa Burke Inspiration

Alisa Burke, you are an artful genius!  Sarah was sick for a couple days last week, so I stayed home with her, and while she may have been running a fever high enough to keep her home from school, she reveled in having Mama all to herself for a day and a half.  Thursday, she helped me make these fun little glove/arm warmers based on the tutorial Alisa posted on her blog early last week.  The girls and I had seen those very same socks in the Target $1 bin, and when I saw this tute, we went back to Target and picked out enough socks to make these little bits of awesomeness for all three of us.  We are all wearing them today for Valentine's Day.  I'm sure my students think I'm off my rocker, but what the heck, I'm feeling rather stylish!  Thanks for all your constant inspiration, Alisa! 

Flashback Friday: 20 Years Ago...Oh, Those College Days...

Wow, has it really been twenty years? This is me with one of my best friends and sorority sisters, Karen, at Calico Jack’s in Tallahassee in late 1990. I was in graduate school at the time, working 30 hours a week in the Florida State Sports Information office. I remember this night. It was the Friday night before the 1990 home Florida State/Florida game. I worked the press box that game, and it was chaos at the end of the game because it was the fourth win in a row over Florida (our arch rival) and in the early part of Florida State’s 14 years finishing in the top five in the AP poll in football. My college boyfriend, a four-year starter for Florida State, was on the Green Bay Packers roster at the time, spending his fall in the great white north.

I had to work all through college; that was one of my parents’ requirements. They said they’d take care of the undergraduate tuition, room and board; I had to earn the play money. I put myself through graduate school. But I admit the jobs I had during college were pretty fun. While completing my undergraduate studies, I was a photographer for Bob Knight Photo Marketing. My job? During the Fall and Spring terms, go to fraternity and sorority socials and formals and take pictures. We got paid by the number of faces on a roll, so the socials were always the better gigs…more opportunity for large group shots. The formals naturally consisted of lots of couples shots, but I became pretty adept at the “Hey, why not join them?!” encouragement. To this day, part of me still wants to turn around when someone yells, “Bob!” May and June, I shot high school graduations, usually six weeks’ worth, one and sometimes two graduations a day depending on the location. Bob held the contract of just about every high school in Florida at the time. It was during this time that I perfected the art of changing a role of film in a split second (yes, we still used film in those days…)!

After I finished my bachelor’s degree (double in Public Relations and Broadcasting), I went to work full-time for a year for the PR firm that I had interned with. It specialized in travel and tourism clients, so I wrote press kits and had the arduous task of taking writers on trips to the properties we represented. Tough gig, huh! After that year, I went back to grad school and got the job at Florida State. You know, I worked for peanuts, but man I loved that job! I wrote feature stories for the game-day magazines and edited a couple of the media guides; I worked either in the press box or in Coach Bowden’s box during football games; I typed play-by-play at the mens’ basketball games (called by my most excellent friend Nick Gandy…we had so much fun, and I really knew my way around a basketball court in those days…); and I worked a lot of the womens' softball games. Since softball is a non-revenue sport, that role consisted of keeping the official book and serving as the P.A. announcer at the games, most of which were double headers, and then going back to the office after the day’s games to write the press release and get it out to the media. Those were some LONG days. But still, I loved every minute of that job. I worked with some really, really great people, most of whom I’m still in contact with today via Facebook.

My crowning glory while I worked for Florida State was researching, writing and compiling Florida State’s very first set of trading cards, which debuted in 1991. I spent hours and hours digging through old filing cabinets (several of them in the mens’ basketball locker room bathroom…go figure), pulling files and pictures and writing short bios. The set included twenty Bobby Bowden cards, one for each year he had been with the team at that point, and since Coach Bowden was famous for his trick plays, I wrote about different trick plays on the back of each of his cards. As I was getting down to deadline, there were three players I badly wanted that I still had not heard back from: Fred Biletnikoff, Robert Urich, and LeRoy Butler (yes, both Robert Urich and Burt Reynolds played football for Florida State). That day I had left messages everywhere I could think of and actually heard back from all three of them at home that night. My roommate was a guy at the time (not a boyfriend, just dealing with some stalker issues so I needed a male roommate, and that’s a whole other story), and he couldn’t believe I talked to Fred Biletnikoff, Robert Urich and LeRoy Butler all in the same night. LeRoy’s call was actually the most entertaining. Like Stan, Leroy was also on the Green Bay roster at the time and, unlike Stan, he actually got to play! LeRoy was the inventor of the Lambeau Leap! We went to school together and had a great time catching up. I distinctly remember him telling me how proud of himself he was that he was actually learning how to cook. :-) Anywho, that still stands as one of my professional projects that I am most proud of. And look, you can find the cards on eBay now! Just search Florida State trading cards. The first edition was 1991. The publisher gave me the uncut press sheets which I have framed and in storage at home; that’ll be something my girls can take on Antiques Roadshow one day!

Twenty years, seems like yesterday. Karen has two girls now, too, 11 and 14, and we still keep in touch regularly. When I popped this picture up on Facebook for her, she said, “Man, that’s a lot of teeth!”  Check out Tia's blog for more Flashback Fridays!

Painting and Sketching and Talking about Angels

Happy Wednesday to you.  I’ve been taking an online class with my wonderful art friend Wyanne called Paint Free and I have to admit I’ve been struggling with it. Couple reasons really. One is simply lack of time. The class is currently on week six, and I’m only half way through week three! This painting is actually part of week two’s assignment. My inspiration for this was a Boca Grande sunset. It definitely still needs more work, but I guess it’s a start. Any pointers from you painters out there would be greatly appreciated.

And that brings me to the second reason I’ve been struggling. I’m finding I’m simply not comfortable with a paint brush. In this painting, I actually used my fingertips quite a bit. I go back and look at this painting, and I can’t believe I painted it (I think another trip back to Yes You Canvas is in order…). But maybe the large size and large brush strokes are what worked for me. I’m finding I’m definitely not comfortable with small detail work. My lack of patience probably contributes to that. And then there’s my tendency to take on so many things at once. That’s just a part of my nature that I accepted a long time ago. I’m also currently taking Alisa Burke’s Sketchbook Delight class, and thankfully that one is open ended so I’ll have time to stretch it out a bit. The sketchbook format and supplies are definitely easier to bring along and play when I have a spare moment here and there.

Sometimes I think about all that I have going on and wonder how it affects my girls. I try to include them in all my art projects, so I’m hoping I’m cultivating two little artists in the making. They definitely have the interest so that keeps me going. While I’m working on my projects, they are right there next to me working on theirs. I wonder how the heck the parents that have their kids in dance or sports or music or whatever do it? Where does that time come from? We’ve yet to put the girls in any type of organized activity, and as yet, they’ve also shown no interest in it, but I’m sure that time will come. When I think back to when I was a child, I don’t recall being involved in more than one thing at a time. I was a Girl Scout and I was in music classes, but that was all at school. I started playing organized softball at 10 and played all the way through college, and I really enjoyed that so I’m hoping at some point, the girls will want to participate in some type of sport. DH is pushing them towards soccer…while I’m wanting to protect those pretty little shins that already get beat up enough just playing around the house!

I guess in many ways, my taking these classes is bringing me back to school, so the girls and I have something in common there as well. They seem to be growing up so quickly that I wonder if we’ll all be in high school soon. :-)  I’ll end this with one of their funny observations…this one from Sarah as we were experiencing so much rain these past few days: “Mama, I think the angels must be really clumsy sewers [as in seamstress], but really good bowlers.” Boy, does that one take me back. I must have told them that somewhere. Gold star to those of you who know what it means.

Tuesday Treasury Shoutout: gallery32 and fPOE


Isn't this the most beautiful treasury!?  I'm truly honored to be included.  Thanks so much to Trina of gallery32 for featuring me and other fPOE photographers.  My Looking Up photo is third row, first spot. Trina has beautiful work as well, and I'm most fascinated by her iPhone series, like the photo below.  I think I may need to trade my Blackberry in for an iPhone!  View this treasury with clickable links here, view the fPOE blog here, and check out Trina's beautiful photos here.

Mix It Up Monday: A Little Birdie Bling

Happy Monday!  I've been creating glass tile pendants for a while now, first just the pendants themselves and then working the pendants into larger necklaces. I had yet to play around with adding a small pendant as a charm in a bling bracelet, but one of my customers asked me about it, and voila!, I love it!  I will definitely be creating more of these.  This one's chunky, but lots of fun and includes one of Lauren Alexander's cute little birds. It's now available in my shop here.  I'm creating one of these for an auction piece for Artful Journey next week...working on something with more subdued colors to fit Cindy's theme. :-)  Anything new you'd like to see?

The Beauty of a Rainy Day

We’ve had a rainy day around here today. But it’s been one of those lazy, lovely, life-in-all-its-normalcy days that you learn to cherish. DH had to work all day, so it was a girls’ day. We made cookies and out popped this perfect little heart. Olivia held the spatula while I took a picture, and then realizing it was a bit blurry went to take another one at the precise moment it slid off the spatula and broke into three pieces. Livvie just looked at me and said, “Uh, oh.” And I said, “Look! It broke into three parts, and there are three of us, so that just means we have to eat it!” And we did. And it, and the many more we ate throughout the day, was yummy.

During a brief dry and breezy spell, I opened the windows to let some fresh air in, and the girls were having so much fun making a fort by the window that it took all the willpower Molly had to not jump through that window and join them. We took all the screens out of the windows last weekend to wash them and haven’t put them back in yet. I think I rather like it this way!

To top the day off, my friend and former student Whitney came by to visit and personally introduce us to sweet baby Garrett. What a little charmer. Sarah was smitten from the first grin. Whitney and I clicked from the moment she got involved in my office as our student volunteer coordinator, and many times she’s been my wonderful arts festival assistant. I’ve enjoyed watching her grow into a lovely young wife and mom and feel blessed to still have her in my life. So how has your weekend been?

Time for February Free Bling!

Time for Free Bling Friday! picked comment number 4 as the winner of January's Free Bling, so congratulations to Karen from Pennsylvania.  I LOVE Karen's watercolors and am happy to say one of her pieces graces my home.  Go check out her beautiful work!

For February, how about a pretty rose pendant in honor of Valentine's Day?  This is a vintage rose on a 1" glass tile.  It comes complete with a silvertone ball chain cut to the length of your choice. To be eligible to win, simply visit either of my Etsy shops (here for jewelry and here for photography) and leave a comment in the comment box below with the link to your favorite piece along with a way to reach you and where you’re from by midnight Thursday, March 3. Want more entries? Tweet, blog or Facebook this giveaway and leave another comment with the link. The next winner will be drawn via Friday, February 4. Don't want to miss a single Free Bling Friday? Click here to sign up for free weekly email updates or subscribe in the reader of your choice over there in the right column. And be sure to join my Facebook Fan page for Fan specials. Thanks for stopping in!

Sketchbook Project Fun Journal: Day 11

Day 11

You just never know what you will find when you search for quotes! I loved this one from Oprah.  I'm a shoe fanatic myself.  My DH doesn't understand why I need five different pairs of black shoes.  But it doesn't stop there!  I love colorful shoes. I have two pairs of red, one hot pink, one lime green (really...lime green, and they are fabulous), one purplish blue, one black and white leopard with pink trim, two cheetah (you know, one pair of flats and one pair of heels...), two different florals, and I could go on. It is a weakness. The first time I walked into DSW, I thought I had died and gone to Heaven....Shoe Heaven... I cut this pair out of Glamour.  :-)  Tell me about your favorite pair of shoes...

Tuesday Treasury Shout Out: Brizel4theAnimals and EFA

etsy team efa treasury

Isn't this a fabulous treasury?! I love all those sweet faces.  A big thank you to Nicole of brizel4theanimals who created this in honor of our Etsy for Animals team.  Nicole is our EFA team leader and blog mistress extraordinaire!  My "Susie" is bottom row, third spot.  Nicole also creates beautiful tapestry boxes, and I love this one featuring a little owl. I love owls!  Visit the treasury here for clickable links to the work included, and visit the EFA blog here