Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Fat Man is coming!

Christmas is on it's way and I am getting ready to make some canvas journals to give away...
Get a nail brush, paint and gesso'd canvas and paint your little heart out. I like using the nail brush to move the paint around and it's good for getting the paint in the canvas.
After it dried I put a coat of Golden Gloss Medium. I like a little gloss of the covers. It's not too much, it's just right. Hard part is waiting for the gloss to dry. Waiting, waiting and wait some more....
Sew a few signatures and add a button and a closer...then they will be ready for wrapping and giving them away.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Collage Class with Karen O'Brien

Ok, I am a fan of Karen's work and love the way she teaches! Mom and I took another class from Karen O'Brien today. We worked an Red Rosin paper that you can buy very cheap at Home Depot. Then we used gesso, painted, marked, mono printed, painted some more, collaged, stamped and everything else you can imagine. We learned about the different types of paints, translucent and heavy bodied, glues, gel mediums and more, learned some new things. This piece is about 17" x 24" large. It's all about layers. And layers and layers and layers....did I mention layers?? Yep, layer more and takes on a life of it's own. You start off thinking what the outcome would be, but you end up with something completly different....wonderful class....thanks Karen! I look forward to the next class.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Good Seasons

Well, mom is at it again....she has created another great little book out of the cardboard from an Italian Salad Dressing box. She even took the time to look up words in Italian to put on the inside of her cover....very clever mom! Stay tuned, she has more ideas up her sleeve...

Dance my Angel

Thanks to Karen O'Brien and her classes, this is another altered photograph. I added a black background to the photo and sewed on a few rows of fiber to add a little interest. After stamping on the letters of the poem, I added a little gold thread around the edges...I am pleased with the outcome.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Forever in our Hearts

My partner recently lost her grandma, she was an adopted grandma for the past 40 years. We got a chance to visit her this past July and this was the last picture taken of the two of them. Miss Virginia was one the most real, kind, straight forward and loving women you will ever know. She passed away on her terms and in her sleep at the age of 83. She will be missed.

I hope she would be pleased with the page in my journal book that is just dedicated to you little lady.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Fly any where...

Just finished this page this week and wanted to share it with you. Back in 2004, a few weeks after my divorce, I woke up with the sounds of Canadian Geese flying overhead. With my faithful dog, Sophie, by my side I started to cry, I knew from that day forward, without a shadow of a doubt, I would be fine. I could now start my life as I wanted to, as I saw fit, I could now reinvent myself. I love the spring and fall when the geese fly by my house honking. They remind me that life is short so love, laugh and be happy.

Smudge Pot

This was a find! Mom and I were on our way home when we saw smudge pots for sale, only $5.00...ok, we had to stop and see what they looked like. When we drove up to the orchard, there must have been 40 of those pots just sitting there. Some very burnt and sad, some were good enough to bring home. So we picked up a couple and sent them to be sand blasted. They looked so much better after the sand blasting. Now the question is what do we paint on it? We saw some of these pots painted a while ago at the Rogue Valley International Airport . Some were painted with a pear orchard theme. (Which is where these came out of) Thought I would go to the Internet and see how other people painted their pots. You know, I could only find just a few, just a hand full....ok, you know what this means....HELP! ;o) Guess I will have to figure out something fun. If you have any ideas, I will listen....

Thursday, September 23, 2010

First of Many Pages

Since I have finished painting the inside of my journal, thought I would share with you what I have added to the inside of the book. I found some older photos that I thought would be great for an art piece. This picture was of my sister in 1997 before her gastric bypass. As I stared at the photo, I couldn't help but ask, "what was she thinking about?" Knowing I wanted to do something special with it, I reflected back to class I took with Karen O'Brien and how we altered photos. I thought this would be a good photo to try some of the techniques we learned. I am very pleased the way this project turned out. Thank you sister for the inspiration.

My Painted Journal

This is the first time I have painted in a journal. What an experience! Last February, Mom bought me a class for my birthday. She didn't tell me a thing about the class, let it be a surprise, just said she hoped that I would enjoy it. And I did! This was our first (and defiantly NOT last) class we took from Karen O'Brien. We took a book and tore out pages, glued on images and other paper. Whatever you want, glue it....then we painted the pages with acrylic paints. Moving the paint around on the page with an old credit card, disinfectant wipes and paper towels. Let them dry, then added a little more color with oil pastels, watercolor, stamps, gel pens and more paint if needed. This gives a great place to start journaling....I have stayed away from journaling most of me life because, I am not a writer and I get hand cramps! But in looking at others artists work, you don't have to just write like we did when we were in junior high. It is all about art, color, texture, some writing, movement and exploring your world around you. Next, for me comes the "art it up" part of the journey. I now have unique pages to lay my art work.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Rebound Books

Mom's Rebound Books.... recently I bought a book called "Rebound", it has all sorts of books that you can make with objects you have around the house. As mom and I were chatting the other day in her kitchen she was telling that she was going to use the box for art fodder. Remembering the Rebound Book, I suggested that she try the idea in the book. Well, the woman went crazy! I am so proud of her. The Wasabi Book and the Bouquet Garni Book were both that cardboard grey color on the inside, so she painted both and dazzled up the Wasabi. She used oversized envelopes that she received from her art teacher a few years ago. On the Bouquet Garni book, she added some letters to make "soup" to each of the signatures. A simple long stitch to hold the signatures in place. Great job Mom!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Altered Photos

Altered Photos

Another fabulous class that we took with Karen O'Brien! Wendy, Mom and I took Karen's class last Thursday. What a great, creative way to spend some time with your family! We took photos that were chemically treated and photos that were printed with ink jet. bleached, scratched, sanded and painted them. Oh the possibilities are just endless of what you can do! One of my favorite ways of altering photos was the scratching and bleaching...wet your photos and scratch with anything that is sharp. Like a needle or a bookbinding awl. Rinse off the photos and bleach if you like (of course rinse that off too). Karen cut her bleach 25% or you can use a fabric bleach pen.
Depending on the paper you use, the each will react differently. Canon turned the paper a teal color and the hp turns orange...very interesting. Next time mom and I get together we are doing to try all the ideas again. Can't wait!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Canvas Journal

A few months ago my sister was in town and she had this fabulous canvas journal. As I loved on it, I had to know more about how it was made. She sent me the information about how the artist had made this cover.

Canvas, gesso, acrylic paint, pens, leather strap and a fun button!

We (mom and I) set out to find just the right canvas for this project. We found a nice heavy weight fabric at our local fabric store, Plaza Sewing & Quilting Center in Grants Pass. We also found the button we used on the front.

We cut the canvas the size we wanted with an extra length for the flap. With gesso, we painted the front and let it dry. It gave it a nice base for the colors we wanted to add. Then came the fun part. Paint! We chose our paint and began to spread the colors. At first it was a little scary, but had to remember to layer the colors. We used all sorts of tools to cover the surface. One of my favorite tools to use is an old credit card. It helps move the paint around. I also found a old fingernail cleaning brush. That really helped blend the colors and get the paint into the cloth. After we painted we let the book cover dry over night. The next day we put a coat of Golden's Gloss Medium. It gave the book cover a nice shine. If you like a matt look omitt the gloss finish. Next came the sewing of the signatures. We both did 3 signatures with about 3-4 pages each. Sewing was basic, we did the running stitch. Added the button to the front for the closure. Mom added beads to the ends of her leather strip, it really finished it off. Mom's book in the one on top and mine is the on the bottom. After finishing the book I thought of all sorts of ideas we could do. Cat and I just got back from visiting family and friends in Southern California. I think I will make a cover to reflect where we have been. Write a little about our trip. I did save some mementos from the vacation. Maybe the word Hollywood or SO CAL on the front cover.....hhmmm, will give that some thought.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Wire Dolls

A few months back, mom and I decided to make a couple of wire dolls. We thought it would be a great idea to use up the stuff we have instead of buying new....and believe me, we have a lot of stuff! This only put a very, very small dent in all the supplies we have!

We took a couple of large gauged wires crossed them into somewhat of a body shape. Then we took some sculpting clay and make heads, hands, shoes and hats. Then after the body parts where assembled, faces and hats were painted we started adding different kinds of yarn and threads. We bulked up the guys bodies and added a belt....not sure what to do with them, we added magnets and they are proudly hanging on the fridg.


The class with Karen O'Brien was great! Yep, still can't draw great faces but it was a blast. We started off by drawing a very simple face. First one was with dominant hand but do not lift the pen off the page, second was with the pen in the fist, third - non dominant hand and forth was with your eyes closed! CRAZY FUN!!! Great was to get out of your head and into your creative place.

Next Karen had us draw on different types of paper with inks. After they dried a bit, we went in with a white gel pen and drew in the eyes, nose and mouth. At first I looked at my ink blots and thought Freud would have a good time trying to figure out my brain! But after carved in the face, it came alive!! Her class gave me the confidence to draw some more...thanks Karen!

Thursday, July 8, 2010


Oh tonight ought to be and I are headed to a class at Krop Paper Scissors in Grants Pass here in a few minutes! We are going to learn "Faces" by Karen O'Brien. I am very good at stick men so this should prove to be interesting...if you look at Karen's work, she has the greatest faces of her characters. I know that it takes a little time to develope faces....hhhmmm...very excited! ;o)

Friday, July 2, 2010

Found Poetry

You can find poetry is the most bizarre places....recently Cat and I were at the Rogue River Rooster Crow. Our local library had a $3.00 a bag sale...yep, you buy a grocery bag for 3 bucks and fill it up. Well we found all sorts of books that were copyrighted in 1899, maps, books on yoga, love books, poetry and was a blast. I found enough books to last me a lifetime plus! This is one of the "found poetry" piece I did from those glorious pages! The gray is actually silver tape. It's called "Asparagrus"

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Paper Shoes

Several Mondays back, Mom and I found a pattern for paper shoes. Made from 12x12 scrapbook paper with prints on both sides. Carefully drawing out the pattern, cutting and folding, you come up with this adorable shoe. The imagination went crazy with all the ideas for how you would show off the top of the bow, button or lace it up. I keep a few around the house for last minute gifts. You can wrap up a few Hersey's Kisses and away you go with a quick, little giftie....

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Mini Me

Meet Mini of the projects mom and I wanted to do was an Altoid Doll. Mom knew right away that she wanted to use her stickers off of fruits and veggies she had been collecting. It took me a little longer to decide what I wanted my doll to be...then it hit me. I will make ME! A self study of myself. I started collecting small items that represented me. The house we (my partner Cat) were in the middle of building, a heart with a 4, for my quad by-pass, music staff for the love of music and the group Sweet Adelines that I was in. Puzzle pieces and a strip from a Simplicity pattern. I even carved a toothpick to look like a crochet hook and made a little skein of yarn for my love of crocheting. Crazy blonde hair that sticks up...yep, that's me! It was interesting to see what I thought about myself and what I collected for this mini me. This project took us about 8 weeks or so and about 16 hours.

Intuitive Journal

This past weekend, my sister, who is an artist/teacher on Whidbey Island in Washington State, recently came down and taught a couple of classes in the Southern Oregon area. The class I took from her was "Intuitive Journal" was a timed journal. Let me explain, in 15 minutes we were to paint papers she had given us. Cardboard, old calendars, torn out large coffee table book pages, etc. Paint, just paint them any way we wanted. Then she gave us 20 minutes or so to look through magazines and cut or tear out pictures, words and textures. Then we had a few minutes to find words from old, well loved books for "found poetry" get the idea. What you end up with is a great journal that really found you...thanks, Wendy! If you have a chance go visit her blog...she's in my "Creative Souls"