Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Tripod Lamp Surprise!

I stumbled past my dining room this morning, still sleepy and barely awake, and did a double take when I spied this gorgeous tripod lamp, that had apparently appeared out of nowhere, standing in front of the windows!

I stared at it for a few moments, blinking in surprise, and then my confusion cleared, and I realized that this could only be the handiwork of my sweet husband! I had pointed out a floor lamp similar to this when we visited The Vintage Marketplace {home of the rusty metal locker!} but never dreamed that I would magically find one in my house! After lots of squeals of delight and heartfelt thanks on my part, Randy confirmed that he had indeed created this amazing bit of industrial chic lighting. The tripod belonged to a dear friend who owns a surveying business. This was the first  tripod he had purchased for his business many years ago, and he generously donated it for this project. A wonderful gift and a very happy way to begin the day!

Friday, February 24, 2012

What's on Your Worktable?

I love getting a peek at other people's work spaces and studios, so I thought I would share a glimpse of my worktable today! I'm putting the finishing touches on the Japanese Stab Binding workshop I'll be teaching this Saturday at Blick. The map pages are from a discarded atlas, and they will be used for a hardcover book with a beautiful ribbon binding.

What's on your worktable? I'd love it if you would share a link!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Poetry Journal & Project Notebook

What to do with a tattered and worn poetry book? Create a handmade journal of course! This journal is destined for a friend who is a poet. I envision her using it to capture those little snippets of ideas that are so elusive when you try to recall them later. I hope she will fill it with her beautiful poems, photos and pictures, quotes to inspire her, or whatever her heart desires. I'm just beginning this project, so I'm recording all the details of the creation process in a project notebook. I just started doing this, and it is already proving to be such a valuable resource! 

In the notebook, I jot down information about measurements, materials used, bumps in the road, and what I will do differently the next time I create a similar project.

I like to include little snippets of the papers I used, and later I will be sure to record where I found them!

When I threw open the curtains for better light while taking photos, I discovered this sweet little set of initials that I hadn't noticed before inscribed on the front cover of the book. I love all the little scribbles, notes, and drawings in the margins that I discover in old books, and the patina that only time can lend to the covers and pages. I hope my friend likes this journal and uses it, but that will just be icing on the cake! I've already found my joy in the making of it.

Burlap & Bling Journal Wrap

As I'm sure everyone realizes, I'm obsessed with books, journals, and notebooks! So the first thing that came to mind for the May Arts/Stampendous blog week was a burlap ribbon wrap with sparkly rhinestones! See the full tutorial on the May Arts blog, and be sure to leave visit the Stampendous blog for lots of inspiration and prizes! For download to this project and many others, stop by my tutorials page at Scribd. Happy crafting!

Monday, February 13, 2012

{Workshop} Japanese Stab Binding

Here's a sneak peek of the latest workshop I'll be teaching at Blick Art Materials in Evansville, IN! The workshop will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, February 25th. Click here for all the details and registration information.

This upcycled sketchbook is just one of three projects that we will make in the workshop using Japanese stab binding techniques. Stab binding is simple, elegant, and extremely decorative!

I loved the whimsical illustrations in this children's book about hot air balloons, so I used some of my favorite pages for the end papers inside the covers.

Blank pages turn this discarded book into a practical and pretty sketchbook! If you are able to join me for the workshop, I will have a variety of books available, but please feel free to bring your own if you have a special book you would like to use. The book should be a slim one, with a spine no more than about 1/2" or so in thickness. I hope you'll be able to join me for the workshop!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Locker O" Love {A Real Life Romance}

Once upon a time {way back in the 1980's} a girl met a guy and fell in love. She loved his laugh, his generous heart, and the smile he kept only for her. They were high school sweethearts, so they shared a locker and met between classes everyday to exchange longing glances and wistful sighs. After 3 years of courtship they were married and lived happily together{with some bumps in the road here and there} for nearly 30 years. As you can imagine, after so many years together, the girl sometimes felt that romance was a thing of the past. The guy was thoughtful of course, and showed his love in practical ways, like keeping the car filled with gas and cooking her favorite dishes. Sometimes he even bought flowers and chocolates. But the girl longed to be swept off her feet by some unexpected surprise.

Then one day it happened! Out of the blue the guy whisked her away for a special day together filled with all her favorite things. They went to an antique show, browsed in a bookstore, and had a cozy dinner for two at a lovely restaurant. {The girl has very simple tastes} At the antique show, the girl fell in love with a rusty metal locker, and even though the guy doesn't share her adoration of vintage junk and peeling paint, he bought the locker for her without hesitation. The girl sighed with bliss, and fell in love with the guy all over again. And that is the true story of a girl, a guy, and a rusty metal locker.

Friday, February 10, 2012

{Explore} Beeswax Collage

Have you chosen your word for 2012? If you're not familiar with the concept, the idea is to select a word to inspire and motivate you all year long. Last year I chose the word bloom, because I wanted to grow and blossom as an artist. This year I'm feeling adventurous and I want to expand my horizons by trying new techniques, discovering new materials, and being open to new ideas. So EXPLORE is the perfect choice for me!

My journey begins with a foray into the world of beeswax collage. I've been intrigued by this process for a long time, but felt hesitant to try it. I feared it would be too messy, too hot, and too difficult. I was wrong! All it required was a block of natural beeswax from the craft store, a metal tin for melting, a natural bristle brush, and an inexpensive griddle. I love the smell of the melting wax, and the dreamy quality it lends to my collage on canvas.

For this collage, I used encaustic wax, which is basically beeswax with resin added to it. This type of wax has a more durable finish and comes in a variety of colors. I have to admit that I probably wouldn't have ventured into this new territory without my trusty traveling companion and very dear friend Michelle! We had so much fun exploring this new medium together, and now I am hooked! I especially love the natural beeswax. The yellow tint lends a vintage patina and instantly ages your art. And as I mentioned, the smell is divine! The encaustic wax is not as pleasant, and definitely requires a well ventilated room. But it has its advantages too. If you're interested in learning more about beeswax and encaustic collage I recommend the books Encaustic Workshop and Encaustic Mixed Media by Patricia B. Seggebruch. Or check out this free e-book at Cloth Paper Scissors. I also enjoyed the Encaustic Collage video by Amy Stoner available for purchase as a DVD or a download at Cloth Paper Scissors.

My first exploration of 2012 was a huge success and I can't wait to embark on my next creative adventure! In the meantime, I hope you'll try something new and set off on your own artful journey. Bon voyage to all!