Friday, July 29, 2011

Friday Findings: The Creative Connection Event Giveaway!

Have you heard the news? The Creative Connection Event and BlogHer Handmade are giving away TWO FREE PASSES + HOTEL for two for their incredible event in Minnesota this September! Visit The Creative Connection blog for all the details.
Attending this event would be a dream come true for me {or any creative person!} The Creative Connection features 3 days filled to the brim with workshops, seminars, incredible speakers, and enough creative energy to fuel a rocket ship! I'm wishing with all my might to win the two free passes!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Embossed Roses Collage Tutorial at May Arts!

Embossing always seems like magic to me! I had so much fun creating this 12 X 12 collage for the May ArtsStampendous blog week. The embossed roses are so quick and easy to make. You can get the step-by-step tutorial at the May Arts blog, or click here for a printable PDF of the entire project. I'm hooked on the collage background technique I used in this project, and I think you will be too!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Friday Findings: Online Magazines, Workshop Bliss, & a Real Book!

As if I weren't distracted enough by all my reading materials, enter another source of fodder: online magazines! I will always prefer holding an actual book or magazine in my hands. I love the glossy sheen of a periodical, the heft of a real book, and the slightly rough texture of paper pages. But online magazines offer their own special delights. They are usually free or very inexpensive. Zoom tools allow you to enlarge the pages for close-ups of tiny details, convenient links to products and other websites are often included, and the magazines are generally accompanied by a blog that offers even more inspiration along the same themes. {Oh no! Don't even let me get started on blogs!}

This post was prompted by a visit to one of my very favorite blogs Dispatch from LA. The blog's author Mary Ann Moss shared a link to the online magazine Covet Garden, and I am so smitten by it! Covet Garden features the kind of casual, eclectic style that I love, and I'm sure I'll be a faithful reader from now on! Thanks Mary Ann!

And speaking of inspiration, I've already posted about the online workshop I am taking with Mary Ann called Full Tilt Boogie, but I have to gush about it some more! The vintage photo album and tattered books shown above are the ones I'm using for the workshop. This is the final week for the class, but it will be available in its entirety for a long time to come. The workshop itself is amazing! It's packed with videos, PDFs, bonus posts, and more. But the absolute cherry on top is the amazing Yahoo group affiliated with the class! So many talented, creative, and generous members all sharing loads of encouragement, ideas, links to wonderful resources, solutions to problems, and just general goodwill. This workshop has been an absolutely blissful addition to my summer, and I'm sure you would enjoy it just as much as I have!

One last finding for this Friday is a book a wonderful book that I ordered from titled Non-Adhesive Bindings without Paste or Glue. Nearly every blog, website, or book that I have read on the topic of bookbinding recommends this publication as a must-have resource. I have coveted it for months, and finally ordered it a few days ago. It's every bit as good as I had hoped and more! And even more exciting, the author Keith A. Smith gave Mary Ann permission to teach two of the bookbinding stitches he created as part of the Full Tilt Boogie class, and he wants to see the books the students create during the class! Guess I'd better quit reading and start binding! Hope you enjoy this Friday's findings!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


Projects in various stages of completion are spilling off my work table right now, but nothing is ready to share. Probably because I can't seem to get my nose out of a good book this summer! I've lugged home stacks of fiction and non-fiction from the library, spent all my pocket money at Barnes and Noble, and depleted the rest of my funds at books about bookbinding, sewing, drawing, collage, embroidery...the list is endless! Add to that the works of fiction that I must read at night so I can fall asleep, and the glossy magazines tottering in piles on my night stand, and you'll understand why I am so happily distracted from my work.

My ever-deepening obsession with bookbinding and my new-found love of stitching are the main culprits. I realized the other day that I am a "sponge" when it comes to learning something new. I like to immerse myself in a topic, read all about it, research it on the internet, and watch endless YouTube videos. I let all that lovely, juicy information steep in my brain till it becomes a brew imbued with my particular flavor of creativity. My daughter always tells me "Mom, you don't have to read a book to do something. Just do it!" But I simply smile because I know all that information is essential to my process. She doesn't understand because she is a "paint brush." She just dips right in to whatever medium she wants to try and happily splashes away! I envy her courageous spirit and sense of freedom, but I cherish my ability to anticipate and savor. A sponge or a paintbrush: which one are you?