Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Full Tilt Boogie

Have jumped on the Full Tilt Boogie bandwaggon - about a year late, but that's the wonderful thing about Mary Ann Moss's wonderful on-line classes.  You can join anytime and once you have you're in for life!  FTB is all about making journals out of vintage photo albums.

  I'm about halfway through the videos 
and have started making my first book.

It was lots of fun gathering the materials - papers, fabric, ribbons, to say nothing of digging through the stash and actually finding two old albums - one covered in velvet, one in celluloid that are perfect for the projects.

I've made books before in workshop classes and always felt like I was a step and a half behind - I love being able to stop and start the videos, go back and move at my own pace.  Nice to feel some control instead of on the verge of panic!

Go to Mary Ann's blog, click on Full Tilt Boogie in the right hand column - the class is on sale through the end of May, so you have today and tomorrow to get all this goodness for a reduced rate!  And how can you beat that?!

Monday, May 28, 2012

In Memorium

 A House Divided 10x8"

Decoration Day (our Memorial Day) received its name from the laying of flowers on the graves of the fallen soldiers during the Civil War.

In 1868 General John A.Logan issued a proclamation that "Decoration Day" should be observed nationwide It was observed for the first time on May 30 of the same year; the date was chosen because it was not the anniversary of a battle.  The northern states quickly adopted the holiday; Michigan made "Decoration Day" an official state holiday in 1871 and by 1890 every northern state followed suit.

The earliest Confederate Memorial Day celebrations were simple, somber occasions for veterans and their families to honor the day and attend to local cemeteries. At its Decoration Day on April 25, 1866, Columbus, Mississippi commemorated both the Union and Confederate casualties buried in its cemetery.
Following WWI, Decoration Day became Memorial Day and has been ever since a day to honour all those who have served in the military.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Suitcase Saturday

  One of those fun Ross 3 in 1 stackable suitcases.

 This was the largest of the three
and holds my art retreat trades.

 Gathered over the last five years from

Art Fest, Art and Soul, Southwest Passage in Taos and others.

It seems we mixed media types can't get together 
without making stuff to trade with each other.

It's fun to go through these and remember
 the wonderful times and people from all the events.

I included several from my time at
Art and Soul, Portland to decorate this journal.

 using library pockets to hold

all the swaps, trades and goodies!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Stencil Fun

Back in the garage, using my newly erected stencil station and Liquitex Spray Paints.  A new find at my local Michael's.  These are fantastic.  Since they're from Liquitex they come in actual paint colours - not patio furniture colours. 

And they're Acrylic - so clean up is sooo much easier.  But best of all -  NO SMELL!  Yup, you heard me - absolutely no smell.  I love it!

I played around with them, using some stencils from Michelle Ward and Stencil Girl, and amassed a new stack of journal pages.

paint photos courtesy of

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Estate Score!

  It was billed as an estate sale - but it was more like a "here's what was in granny's basement" sale.

And nothing wrong with that.  How could I pass up yards of rusty chain?  And two more pairs of age-softened kid gloves?

A bobbin, a deliciously rusted fork and spike, wooden stars, two small paper ephemera bits.

But the piece de resistance  - a 1942 autograph book.  Partly filled in, but lots of blank pages left.  In the past I've used a couple of these for small journals and they've been lots of fun.

A great score - thanks to granny's basement!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Life on the Coast

Our small patch of front garden on this mid-spring morning,
here by the sea in Morro Bay.  Enjoy your weekend!

Friday, May 18, 2012

From the Bookshelf

This is the third book by Jo Packham and the Where Women Create team.  The first Where Women Create gave birth to the wildly popular Stampington magazine of the same name and introduced us to a score of creative women from all areas of the arts.  This one focuses on organization - and couldn't we all use more of that in our studios?  As always, beautiful photographs and wonderful layouts invite you right into the studios.  Plenty of ideas and eye candy to keep you dreaming for many a weekend to come. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

From Mess to Marvelous!

 I realized a few years ago that there was no way I could keep all the magazines that were accumulating in the studio.  And then there were the stacks of computer printouts, workshop instructions, yada-yada-yada.

 So at first, I put loose items in three ring binders, then I went through many of the magazines and clipped out the articles that I wanted to keep(leftovers went into the collage pile or recycling) and these went into the binders as well.

  But of course,over time, when I would come up with more articles or printouts, they just got shoved into the nearest notebook and you guessed it - pretty soon I had a whole new kind of chaos!

One of my projects this spring was to tame this particular paper tiger. First I amassed all the binders, all the  loose pages and all the magazines that were waiting to be clipped.

Then, duh, I actually came up with all the categories I needed and,"duh 2", made labels for the outsides of the binders so I now know what's in each one.  I know it sounds so simple, you'd think a college graduate, not to mention a librarian, would have done this the first time around.  But better late than never.

Now if I'm looking for that article on "art journaling" I can just go right to the binder that says Art Journaling, if I want info on shops and flea markets - there's a  labeled binder!

Sometimes it's the little simple things that make us so happy!

Monday, May 14, 2012

A Score of 2 Score Pictures

Every May and October Cayucos hosts an Antique Street Faire. The two downtown blocks are closed off and dozens and dozens of vendors set up their booths and show their wares.

I've amassed quite a nice stash of varied ephemera and assemblage supplies there over the years.

This time my goal was old snapshots - and I hit the jack pot.

I use cabinet cards and carte de visite in many of my collages and mixed media work, but I absolutely love these old snaps from the first half of the 20th century to use in my art journals.  At $.50 a piece they are an inexpensive and happy indulgence.

Check out the expression - lower left - Don't mess with her!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Suitcase Saturday

 The vintage suitcase,a gift from my friend Susan
several years ago.  

  Filled to the bursting with book covers. 

 Gleaned from old book shops, library book sales,
flea markets, garage sales.

 I love vintage books that are falling apart, because all the parts can be used in mixed media art.  The spines, the covers, the pages - they're all grist for the altered mill!

Old Mam'selle's Secret

When I did my Shabby Chic Collection
I used many of these covers.

Pretty in Pink

They provided the key element to build the pieces - 
making it easy to choose colours
 and other bits of ephemera
to compliment the covers.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Trip Down Nostaglia Lane

 The Key to the Sea - altered book 7x9" closed

 I created my first altered book back in 2005.  I'd discovered art journals the previous summer after reading Gwen Diehn's The Decorated Page and that led me to altered books.

 I had amassed a small stash of tools and ephemera 
and was nervously ready to begin.

 When I look back on it now, I see I tried to cram as many fledgling techniques and ideas in as possible!

It seems to follow two or three story lines, and is rather a mish-mash of styles.

As they say "You've come a long way baby!", but it is fun to revisit this early attempt, now and then, to see where it all began.