Friday, June 29, 2012

From the Bookshelf

 Here are four delightful little books.  If you love travel and if you love watercolour sketches these are definitely for you.

 Diane Hollingsworth Gessler takes us across the country and back again with Very New Orleans,  Very California, Very Charleston and Very Washington DC.  Each one is a diminutive gem filled with evocative sketches and descriptions of everywhere you'd want to see.

From major tourist attractions, to those little out of the way, special sights that only those in the know can tell you about.

 If you're planning a trip, these make great pre-travel guides, if you're an armchair traveler these are perfect as well.  Delve into just one and you'll be hooked!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Spotlight Artist!

Easy Being Green  11x16

The new edition of Somerset Gallery is on the newsstands and my piece Easy Being Green is featured in its pages.  I had received word that I was accepted, but what I didn't know until I began perusing the magazine was that I'm a Spotlight Artist!  That means that an entire page has been devoted to my artwork!  Needless to say this is quite exciting!  This is my first Somerset acceptance since May 2010 and I've already been notified that I'll be in their  Sept/Oct issue as well.  Woo-Hoo!

Monday, June 25, 2012

From Blah to Bling!

What happens when you see a leather couch you love at a garage sale for only $50.00, but the colour is drab and boring?  Well, when you're married to the creative mind of Sassy Feet, you think "Wait a minute!  We could paint it any colour we want!"  Ingredients - 1.) Leather couch,  2.)  One quart Lumiere copper,  3.) Small jars of Lumiere Metallic Rust, Crimson and Halo Gold, 4.) Medium sized rollers for the base coat of copper, 5.) Foreman Grill Sponges to add the three accent colors,  6.)  Three happy painters - Margot, Destiny and I,  and 7.)  Three hours from blah to bling! Checkout the full story on the Sassy Feet Blog.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Suitcase Saturday

 And yet another of those wonderful reproduction vintage cases from Ross. (If you look closely, you'll notice a few drips of  pink glitter paint.  That's what happens when one shares a studio with Sassy Feet!)

Full of bits and bobs of games.  Gathered from countless garage and rummage sales, swap meets and flea markets.

Monopoly deeds and cash, cribbage boards,

bingo cards, boxes of Trivial Pursuit questions. 

All waiting for  journal page or an assemblage-

like Paint the Town Red with its bingo numbers.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Summer's Here

I remember when I was young and school was out.  Those last couple of weeks of June had a magic that seemed everlasting.  As Elizabeth Enright put it " the summer was a vast ocean stretching ahead and September was forever away."  All the time in the world to read, play baseball, ride our bikes.  No arithmetic, no science, no Catechism.  Just that utter, pure freedom, being 10 years old and standing on the brink of summer.

These watercolours from our trip to Mexico several years ago - 
where time had much the same feeling as those long ago summers of childhood.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Just Say No!

There is a new breed of pirates out there and they're not the swashbuckling crew led by Johnny Depp.  These are thieves that e-mail you after looking at your art website and then say they want to buy.  Sometimes they mention particular pieces in the first email, other times they just say they love your work and would like to purchase a few pieces.  When you get back to them with prices and shipping costs they say they have their own shippers.  The first time you go through this it can take a few more emails before you figure out it's a scam where they charge you for shipping, promising reimbursement and if you actually proceed you'll be out $$$ plus losing your art work.

I've been targeted three times, finally figured it out the first time, and recognized it right away the next two.  Several friends have received these bogus offers as well. It's always exciting when someone praises our work and wants to purchase it - but just beware, there are pirates out there!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Life on the Coast

The delightful, riotous herb garden of Heart's Ease in Cambria.  
Enjoy your weekend!

Friday, June 15, 2012

From the Bookshelf

On Monday I showed you my journal from a Traci Bautista workshop - well here's the book that shows all the techniques, and as they say, so much more!  This was Traci's first book and the one that got so many mixed media types into exuberant doodling and play.  Loads of eye candy, and dozens of wonderful techniques and projects that incorporate them all.  Even several pages at the back, of  stencils, words and images to use in your own art work.  This is a book that gives you permission to play! 


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

It's in the Stars!

 I saw this cool star made from a vintage folding ruler, from the studio of Susan Stoddard (drooling over those drawers!), in the new Where Women Create Book of Organization.  And I thought, I have vintage folding rulers!

 It took me several tries (though I'm an assemblage artists I've never had much luck with "some assembly required"!), but by looking at the picture and adjusting the arms of the ruler,  I finally got it!

I wrapped all the joints with thin pewter coloured wire.

And now it has pride of place on one of the
pullout shelves of my library card catalog.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Collage Unleashed

These shots are from a muslin book I made in a workshop with the inimitable Traci Bautista of Collage Unleashed fame.

In a scant two hours she showed us dozens of techniques to put on the page and make our marks - using a variety of acrylic paints and mediums, ink, gesso, brushes, credit cards, pipettes, straws and sponges.

The result: a colourful fabric journal that is full of
technique ideas and just plain fun!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Suitcase Saturday - Glorious Stacks!

                                                photo courtesy Sarah Blodgett
 Some shots of wonderful vintages cases from near and far.  
Above, in Bea Shay's studio,

on sale at the Cayucos Antique Street Faire,

a garage sale steal at $5.00 for both!

Vintages cases waiting to be turned into Visual Anthologies 
by the master hand of Judy Wilkenfeld.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Give Away!

 It's been a long time since I've done a give-away here at Altered by the Sea.  So when I scored this entire box of 9 boxes of vintage  4th Class Mail labels recently at a thrift store for $1.00, I thought it would be fun to share the wealth!

There are 20 labels in each small box - 
and how cool will they look on a journal page or in a collage?

First five to leave a comment will get a box. If you're one of the five email me ( you'll find it at the top of the blog on the right hand side) with your address so I can send them on their way.  And then you'll score too!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Vintage, Oh My!

What a time we had at Remnants of the Past on Sunday. 
 Beautiful weather, amazing vendors and fun, fun, fun!

My definite favourite merchandise label -
 "Arms & Legs - 2 for $5.00".

A score of several delicious little things -

 Steampunk heaven - look at these totally to-die-for gears!

 Well worn and well loved scraps of old patchwork quilts.

 Tags and ribbon from the talented Anna Corba.

 A vintage locker number and a gentle reminder.

Delightfully rusted letters

Time to sit and rest up -
 Remnants of the Past returns in October!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Remnants of the Past

Our weekend adventure this bright June morning is a trip to the semi-annual Remnants of the Past Vintage Antique Show in San Luis Obispo at the Madonna Inn Expo Center.

 Dozens and dozens of vendors with more vintage-y goodness that you could ever imagine, set up for the weekend to amaze and delight the thousands of visitors who flock to this event every spring and fall.

This year's highlights include Anna Corba and Jo Packham. 

For a wonderful article (and delicious eye candy) about the show, check out the current issue of Where Women Create

 I'll post my score later this week - that's if I can stop drooling long enough to actually buy something!

All photos courtesy

Friday, June 1, 2012

From the Bookshelf

I fell in love with Vivian Swift's When Wanderers Cease to Roam a couple of years ago and was delighted when I saw she had a new book out.  How could I resist a combination of a favourite author and travels through France?  Filled with her charming watercolour sketches and quirky writing style this is a volume that will appeal to armchair travelers everywhere.  I mean let's face it, how many of us can get to France as often as we'd like to?  So, find a local sidewalk cafe, order a cafe au lait and a warm croissant (or a pastis, if it's afternoon) and indulge in a few hours of Le Road Trip - a trip to France without having to bother with security checks and custom lines.  C'est si bon!