Friday, May 30, 2014

From the Bookshelf

The third volume of Tim Holtz's Compendium of Curiosities is now available. Like Volume 1and Volume 2 it is full of dozens and dozens of techniques and projects to get your mixed media juices flowing.  Step by step instructions, each accompanied by a photo - you can recreate a particular piece or - as I do - use the techniques shown to come up with your own ideas and projects.  I've heard some people complain that these books are just an excuse for Tim to sell his many products, but I find that most of the bits and ephemera used can be found in my stash that I've amassed from flea markets, swap meets and rummage sales.  And if I know my readers - I bet that's true of you also.  So check these out, not for the marketing, but for the ideas and techniques - and, as always - the eye candy!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Swap Meet Fun

Spent some fun time Sunday morning with my good friend Susan
 at the local swap meet in San Luis Obispo.

 Not as many vendors as usual, maybe due to the holiday -

but I did pick up this interesting stack of old linens and things

 for a mere $5.00!

Afterwards, we had a delicious breakfast and  time
 to catch up on each other's comings and goings - 
always a perfect start to a Sunday.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Decoration Day/Memorial Day

A House Divided  10x8"

Decoration 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 24, 2014

Art in the Parks!

Memorial Day Weekend and here on the Central Coast
 that means the return of our outdoor Art Festivals

 Art in the Park in Morro Bay runs Saturday through Monday 10-5 each day.

 is today Saturday from 10-5.

Get out and enjoy great art, good food and lots of fun!

Thursday, May 22, 2014


Two more techniques using alcohol inks.

 These two tags, on glossy cardstock,
 were swiped through several colours of ink,
 including a gold metallic, and then stamped.

 I love the marbled effect and the way
the metallic shines through.

 These, again on glossy cardstock, used several
 colours of ink, dabbed on with a blending tool. 

Then laying down a stencil and using the tool with
 blending solution to fade out some of the ink.
Again I want to do more with alcohol ink
so I can perfect some of these techniques.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014


A couple more tag techniques.

The first, using alcohol inks to add colour to metal stampings,

 and adding patina.

The second, on glossy cardstock, using three related 
colours of alcohol ink -
 a bright, a light and an earth tone,

to create an ombre effect.  This is the first time I've worked with alcohol inks, I look forward to doing more and getting a better feel for what they can do.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Life on the Coast

Delightfully distressed boat by the water in Baywood Park.

Friday, May 16, 2014

From the Bookshelf

This is a wonderful book. It spans the time of one summer season, while Renoir races against time to complete his huge canvas, while the summer light lingers over the river and the terrace restaurant, where his cast of 14 models gathers every Sunday for lunch and posing. Each person in the painting becomes a three dimensional character as we learn about their lives and loves.  Also captured is a delightful sense of the countryside outside Paris and the artist studios and haunts of Montmartre.  I was privileged to view this monumental painting several years ago when it made a visit to the LA County Museum of Art.  It's size impresses, as does the individuality of each figure. Reading the book I felt totally immersed in the 1880's French art scene.  One suggestion - when you read it, find a good sized print of the painting and keep it with you, you will want to keep referring to it to remember who's who and check details.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Thrift Store Fun

Stopped by a local thrift store yesterday,

and found some of my favourite things.

Used art supplies.  They always seem to have a bit of
 leftover magic from the previous owners.

 Sometimes I use them as art supplies,

and sometimes I use them in assemblage pieces.

Also found another 6" ruler to add to my collection!
Lots of fun for under $10.

Monday, May 12, 2014


A couple more techniques from
Tim Holtz's Creative Chemistry 102.

The first, called "Smudge", has you stamping on one tag and then without reinking, stamping on a second tag and then smudging the images with a blending tool.  The second tag has sort of a ghost image and looks delightfully worn and distressed.

And this one uses Distress Stains and a brayer to lay them down.

It gives an interesting background that
works well with the stamped images.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

'53 Studebaker

Found this delightfully rusted truck in a local parking lot.

Green on the cab and hood,

blue for the bed.

And a lovely patina of delicious rust over all.

I couldn't resist taking the shots!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Fighting Angel

A few weeks ago I featured an altered book called 
Barbara & Blanche Rose here on the blog.  

This one is a prequel, about their brothers during WWI.

I used an old book that I picked up at
 a Friends of the Library sale.

The title Fighting Angel seemed
perfect for a tale of the conflict.

It was fascinating to go through all my ephemera and
 pull out items relating to France and the war.

I enjoyed creating the various collages,

and trying out different techniques.

I have thought about revisiting these characters and doing one more book that would be set during the '30's and follow what happened to Barbara and Blanche-Rose with their writing and painting careers.