Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween! Enjoy the evening safely! The above card was sent with halloween See's candy to the college kids. The inside reads "Practice Safe Hex". Mom received the glitter pumpkins card from Mini Retreat. Enjoy!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Gesso Techniques

The last class we had at Mini Retreat was a gesso techniques class taught be Nancy. She put together a Bind-It-All book, so that we had a master reference source. I believe all the techniques came from Pat Huntoon's Technique Junkies Newletter. (You should definitely check the Newsletter out - it's like mini classes with color examples sent right to your mailbox!) I trimmed down each of my samples and placed them in the book with the page across being instructions. In the first photo, I trimmed a square of each technique to use as the book cover.
We painted gesso on cardstock and sanded, inked, brayered, and "Cuttlebug-ed" the cardstock for backgrounds. I added one technique to the back (the second photo) in which gesso is painted onto a cardstock and you stamp into it, wiggle a bit, and remove. You are basically taking the gesso off the cardstock in whatever image of your stamp.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Mini Retreat - Rigid Wrap

The third project we worked on was taught by Rinda. We used a material called "Rigid Wrap", a plaster wrap that is similar to broken bone casting material. It's easy to work with, although you should double up the layers to give the sheet some strength. We made a door hanging and then a project of our choice. We used paints, stamps, inks and ephemera.
The top photo is that of the holiday door hanging. I painted a silver/iridescent paint as the background. The moon is a diecut and the Santa is German Scrap. I stamped the gold stars and the sentiment.
The second piece was painted with a variety of Golden Fluid acrylics. I tore several Italian papers for the perimeter and cut out a couple of cherubs. The statue is a piece of ephemera from Rinda and I stamped "Journey". A thin layer of golden glaze was painted all over the piece.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

More Mini Retreat projects...

My friend, KJ, who arranged the Retreat at her development's club house, taught 2 card techniques.
For card on the left, we colored the image with colored pencils and apllied small dabs of glue to the flowers. We then added a relatively new paper product, Flower Soft. In real life, the flowers are slightly puffed, almost as if there are petals. I finished off the card by matting the image to cardstock and a foldover card and added ribbon. I added a "Thank You" sentiment and sent it off to my cousin!

The Halloween image was stamped in permanent ink onto acetate. We then dabbed glue to the reverse side in small areas and applied glitter. I had some trouble getting good coverage of glitter, but I perservered! Guess I'm just glitter impaired - although my craft apron looked did parts of my cheek...strands of my get the idea! I added matting and sent this card off to my mom for Halloween.

Monday, October 26, 2009

I took a brief break from art to visit Megan in Boston. It was Parent's Weekend at Emerson, so my husband and I flew out on Thursday (at the ungodly hour of 6am Ca time) and stayed through Sunday afternoon. The weather was good - warm rain off and on on Saturday - otherwise fine. The trees were in the process of turning so we took several walks through the Public Garden and Boston Common. It's a wonderful city and very visitor friendly. Megan has settled into a nice life there and is quite the whiz at navigating the subways and trains. We had a great time and were also able to meet and get to know some of her new found friends. All were mature, responsible, caring supportive and kind hearted. A vast improvement....
As if that is not exciting enough (afterall, if you have not been to Boston, you can live vicariously through me - kidding!), I received a wonderful surprise just before I left town. Jeannine Stein, the author of the book "re-bound"I profiled somehow found my blog and read the post on the hot water bottle book! I received a very kind and supportive email from her - it has made my month, to say the least! Thank you , Jeannine and so glad you liked the project and the twist!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Mini retreat Book Project

As I have mentioned, I taught a book project class last Saturday at WC's Mini Retreat. I kept the details a secret as I know a few of the ladies are not overjoyed with bookbinding projects - but this one was quite unique.
I recently purchased a book "Re-bound making books from recycled materials" written by Jeannine Stein. Really interesting book projects using items like bath mats, plastic gift cards, old wallets - to name a few. My book? This is a recycled (actually a "re-purposed" new) hot water bottle! My friends could not guess what the book was made of - and just cracked up when I pulled out the hot water bottles!
By following the cutting instructions, each hot water bottle can make 2 books. It's a fairly easy stitch, crossing on the spine to form X's. I did modify it a bit by using a ribbon closure and creating a loop in which to set a pen. I will definitely make this again - adding beads to the spine and painting the pages before binding.
Fun isn't it!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Yesterday, my West Coast Scrap and Stamp group had our Mini Retreat. The history (as I understand it) is that every October a contingent of members go to Club Scrap's annual Retreat in Wisconsin. So, to give those who are unable to attend something fun to do, Mini Retreat was born. This is my second Mini Retreat.

There were 16 of us total - and 4 of us taught classes. KJ Jones arranged the whole day - including meals. Nancy and I provided goodie bags, KJ and Janice provided fabulous bookmaking kits, and there were some door prizes. These are just a couple of photos from the day.
The classes that were taught: book project taught by me;cardmaking using glitter and Flowersoft taught by KJ; art with plaster taught by Rinda; and gesso techniques for cards taught by Nancy. We started classes at 9:30am(mine) and finished up around 7:45 pm. It was a very fun day! I'll be posting projects from the day this week!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

GAB November Page

I was able to complete the November page for my GAB swap. The theme is "The Planet Earth" After gesso-ing the page, I used a variety of blues and a black paints. I found a clip art image of the earth that would work and did some embossing on the page to sort of match. Stamped and attached "hand of God" and page done! It's nice when everything comes together without too much stress and trouble!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A Card for MOM

I'm finishing a bunch of project stuff (including making more twinchies for another swap), and squeezed in time to make a Thanksgiving card for my mom is So Ca. I know it's early - just wanted it done so I can just head to See's for her chocolates!
The cardstock was bought by a friend attending the Cincinnati Stamp Convention - and I think the pumpkin diecut as well. I just added ribbon, wire, punched leaves and a circular stamp. All ready to go in November!

Monday, October 12, 2009


In my West Coast group, several of us are involved in OCAM - one card a month. Those who sign up agree to make a card each month and send it to a name on the list. This is quite a popular type of round robin - I know of several groups who do this.

I was able to catch up - I needed to send to my friend, Sonja, in September and to Lucy this month. The top card is for Lucy and utilizes Club Scrap's Apothecary kit from August. It was made using a "faux bleach" technique of black embossing the main image and using white watercolor pencil and water pen around the image.
The bottom card is made from Club Scrap Matrix cardstock and a variety of stamp images. The rest of the saying is on the inside " ... and if you can't be good, be stylish".

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Art Room

As I've been mentioning for months, my art room has been reformulated and new and improved! I'm finally done with all aspects of installing (and hanging) - so today I was able to clean all the surfaces. I had ceiling and wall dust from hanging bulletin boards and green man - so everything is very clean and uncluttered! (Hopefully, that will last!)
The top photo is what the room sort of looked like before: the sofa bed was against the right wall (that has the large shelf and drawer unit). My desk was originally against the left wall, and the window area was open. The desk and 2 of the bulletin boards are all that remain from the original room. I did not photograph the closet - it was redone as well but not all that exciting!
The final piece was added when I hung green man. I bought him at an art gallery in the town of Murphy's - small former mining town in the Sierras. We have a cabin in Arnold a few minutes east of there. The artist was at a street festival in Barcelona where a man on stilts painted similarly was walking about. His name in the gallery was "Barcelona Green Man". I do think he needs a new name...Any suggestions feel free to comment!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

More Birds...

I am involved in a twinchie swap at Club Scrap and just sent them off today! Twinchies are mini art pieces 2 inches by 2 inches. I made mine a la Andy Warhol Campbell Soup cans - except in very cheery bright pastel-type colors. The little birds was heat embossed on each panel - I added the little flower rhinestone to cover the meeting of the corners. I'll be making several more for a West Coast swap we're doing along the same lines.
One of the final pieces to my room makeover should be arriving via a FedEx today. I'm hoping to hang green man and post the transformation. I'm feeling a bit under the weather today - fighting off something - so no working with power tools today!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Birds of a Feather...

Yesterday, I was in my craft room working on a variety of projects (as mentioned in yesterday's post). Above is the birthday card and ATC card that I made for our West Coast group challenge. This challenge called for a favorite technique...although this is not my favorite, I have not used it in awhile. I lightly sprayed the stamps with water and colored on them with watercolor crayons. The stamps and cardstocks are from Club Scrap's September kit, Birds of a Feather. The colors are very cheery!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

End of the Weekend...

It was a very productive weekend! In between laundry, errands, grocery shopping, and talking to Megan, I was busy in my room creating. I decorated (stenciled and stamped) gift bags that will be the goodie bags for the mini retreat that I'm attending and teaching a book class. Not quite autumnal, I used Club Scrap's Pure and Simple stencil and stamps with spring green ink and black accents. I'll be buying and making a few items that will fill them. My friend, Nancy Young is helping.

In addition to the goodie bags, I made a card and ATC using watercolor crayons for a West Coast challenge. I also finished a mini altered board book with a music theme. Three of us participated in this round robin exchange, each picking a different theme. And..we started these a loooong time ago (3-4years?). So, it's nice to have it done, drying and ready to display.

I'll scan in the next day or so and post the photos!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Altered Book

I made something! I sound like one of my kids when they came home from school with an art project! I'm getting in a few more bits of time actually creating, rather than organizing and cleaning up my room.

I recently completed my September GAB altered book page. This month's theme was actually chosen by me - films/movies. I made the above page to showcase the film "Nightmare Before Christmas (I'm a big Tim Burton fan - and am looking forward to Alice in Wonderland!). The film strip is from a plastic streamer that can be bought at a party store, a la an "Oscar" party. I cut it so that I could make it wider. I did the same when I made Megan's Senior Memory board.
I'm also finishing "twinchies" for a Club Scrap swap and will scan and post soon. This weekend I should have time to play a little!