Saturday, December 21, 2013

Stitched Collage Luminary Wraps

I already posted a little sneak peek of the luminary wraps I made for Altered Arts Magazine, but I wanted to share a photo that shows what the wraps look like in their entirety.

I had so much fun digging into my stash of vintage beads, broken jewelry, and tattered old vintage linens for this project!

Here's a shot of the finished wraps again,  I just love seeing all the pretty bits and baubles stitched together! Don't forget, you can find all the instructions for this project in the FREE bonus digital issue of Altered Arts Magazine right here. I hope you'll be inspired to create your own unique wraps using your stash of vintage treasures!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

{Altered Arts Magazine} Vintage Stereoscope Card Journal

Welcome to my very first official post for the Altered Arts Magazine Design Team! I am so excited to be a part of this talented group, and I can't wait to share lots of inspiring ideas and tutorials with you.

I found this stack of vintage stereoscope cards a few years ago, and they've been waiting for just the right project. They're faded, distressed, and a little warped, but I love that about them!

I decided to cut one of them in half and turn it into covers for a little book. For the signatures, I used Fabriano Medioevalis Stationery from Blick Art Materials. The paper in these pre-folded cards feels so soft and luxurious, and I love the deckled edge. They're perfect for making mini books! I purchased the regular single cards in a pack of 100, since I don't need the envelopes, but they are available with envelopes as well.

To wrap the signatures, I gathered a few bits and pieces from my stash, including a scrap of vintage sheet music, a shipping tag, and a piece of torn canvas fabric.

I folded one of the wraps around each of the signatures, then punched two equidistant holes on the left edge of the covers and the folded signatures to create the sewing stations for binding. A bit of vintage trim threaded through the holes and tied in the front completes the book.

Here's the finished book along with some bits and baubles that I will be using to embellish it. I can't wait to add some stitching, painting, and collage to my Stereoscope Book! If you don't have a stereoscope card to use, you can easily substitute some chipboard, book board, or other suitable material cut to size.

I am so honored to be a part of Altered Arts Magazine, and I'm thrilled to share a link with you for a free bonus issue and a $7 discount for a year's subscription through December 15th! Just visit this link for all the details.

Here's a little sneak peek of the project I created for the bonus issue, hand-stitched Luminary Wraps! This was such a fun project, and you can get the materials list and instructions in the free issue here.
Make Art..Be Happy!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Altered Arts Magazine & A Glittery Sneak Peek!

A glittery glimpse of my worktable today! This is a project I'm working on for Altered Arts Magazine. I was recently invited to join the magazine's design team, and I'm over the moon about it! Altered Arts is a quarterly online publication dedicated to inspiring paper arts, handmade books, collage, assemblages, ATCs, and so much more! I'll be showing up in the winter issue, but the Fall 2013 issue is hot off the presses! Click here or on the image of Altered Arts Magazine in the sidebar to get your copy.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

{summer school for arts & crafts}

Summer school is in session at my house this month! I have to admit I'm a bit of an online workshop junkie. Who could resist watching videos about making arts and crafts while lounging on the couch in pajamas? Not me! I thought it would be fun to share some of the classes I'm taking right now, and hopefully inspire you to treat yourself to a fun learning experience this summer.

The first class on my schedule, SEWN, is all about painting colorful patterns on paper, cutting them up, and stitching them back together in a zany, eclectic, handmade book. The teacher is the amazing Mary Ann Moss of Dispatch from LA. I've taken every single one of Mary Ann's classes, and I watch them over and over again. If you love making books by hand, these are the classes for you! My classmates and I have been pinning patterns like crazy for inspiration. Here's my Patterns Pinterest board for this class. Love all that colorful paint and paper!

I've been smitten with Andrea Singarella's Everyday Beauty blog for a long time now, so I was thrilled when she announced her Vintage Trinket Jewelry e-course on the Jeanne Oliver Creative Network. Andrea's jewelry is pure eye candy, and I love the beautiful pastels and the vintage findings she uses. This course is an unbelievable $10 and I can't recommend it enough. It's perfect for beginners and seasoned jewelry makers alike. I am so excited to have a use for all those bits and baubles I've collected on my junking jaunts.

I loved this inspiring course by Jennifer O'Brien of City Farmhouse! It's another $10 course available on the Jeanne Oliver Creative Network. This summer series of courses is so affordable and packed with tons of wonderful ideas. I'm ready to put a weathered finish on everything in my home!

Photography is a passion of mine, so of course I had to take The Art of Seeing e-course with Cathy Walters, also part of the Jeanne Oliver Creative Network. Cathy is an accomplished photographer, and she generously shared many of her trade secrets and the resources she turns to for her own personal photos.

The last class I want to share with you is one that's very special to me: Nature Journaling with Roxanne Evans Stout of River Garden Studio. This lovely workshop manages to combine all my favorite artful activities in one inspiring and beautiful package! Collage, painting, writing, observing nature, making a handmade book, photography: it's all included in this thoughtful and lovely workshop.

I have to share a secret with you: I don't always get all the projects done when I take these classes, but I learn so much from them and it's such a pleasure to watch the videos! The class forums are filled with kindred spirits, seeking to learn and to share their artful adventures, and I've discovered so many new techniques, ideas, and resources via these online workshops. If you give one a try, I'll bet you'll love it too!

Friday, June 21, 2013

{Library Card Collage № 1} Getting Underway

Serendipity led me to create a colorful collage on a library card this morning! It all started with my customary visit to Pigment of My Imagination, the blog of my dear friend and very talented artist Michelle Mathey. 

I noticed that Michelle had linked her gorgeous Hot Pink & Orange creation to the Paint Party Friday site. Michelle is my artsy-partner-in-crime and paints the most beautiful girls with the funniest quotes and amazing backgrounds! Since I just finished a painting myself, Summer Moonset, I decided to pop over and join the festivities. Thanks Michelle!

And what a party indeed! I was delighted to spot the link of one of my favorite mixed-media map artists, and blogging friends, Mary C. Nasser! Mary's work is simply beautiful and I look forward to her New Work Wednesday post every week. In addition, Mary features a new map artist every Friday, and she has opened my eyes to a whole new world of map-inspired loveliness that I never even knew existed. Thanks Mary!

The Paint Party proved to be a lively place filled with art-loving party guests who shared their latest painterly creations. I decided to visit some of the links and leave comments which led me down a primrose-strewn path of loveliness to the color-drenched blog of illustrator and designer Diana Evans

It was here that i discovered Diana's 10 Minute Warm Up Challenge! Everything fell into place from that point. I shut the lid on my laptop and made a beeline for my studio where I found a pile of library cards, a book page from my Sea of Words mood board, Teal Color Shine from the Summer Moonset Painting, a silver pen, a sailboat stamp I bought on a whim at Michael's, and some gorgeous fabric and Washi tape from Liberty of London. I set to work and within a few minutes {possibly 10!} I had a happy collage of a silver sailboat with liberty print sails. That's an image that's been living in my head for a long time and it was so exciting to see it realized. Thanks Diana!

And that's the epic story of my serendipitous collage. I started out on a familiar course, sailed into uncharted waters, and ended up in a happy harbor. Thanks Kristin & EVA at Paint Party Friday!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

{Summer Moonset}

Painting is an adventure that wanders down unexpected paths. I finished the painting I was working on this week, originally titled Sea of Words, but somewhere along the way it transformed into Summer Moonset! Last month we took a long road trip to Texas and as twilight began to fall a gorgeous moon appeared and began to slide below the horizon, a moonset. That image stayed in my mind and as I began to paint the background on my canvas I simply knew that I had to add a huge sliver-leafed moon to it. Sea of Words is still floating around in my brain, but evidently that's a painting for another day. 

This the 2nd layer of the painting that began with old book pages and cheesecloth inspired by my Monday Moods theme of Sea of Words. I found the book about sailing and the old typewriter book during the 400 mile yard sale earlier in June. That was an adventure in itself! Instead of plain white gesso, I decided to use Matisse Background Colors in Winter Blue and Antique Blue.

The next layer began with a palette of Golden Acrylics: Titanium White, Ultramarine Blue, Hansa Yellow Medium, and Cadmium Red Hue. The yellow and red mixed with white and a bit of Acrylic Glazing Medium created a dreamy orange undercoat that I topped with Ultramarine Blue mixed with Titanium White. Those last two colors also created beautiful tints for the waves. To add a bit of glimmer, I spritzed the painting with Heidi Swapp Color Shine in Teal and Peach and was surprised and delighted by the resulting spatters! Titanium White paint tapped along the curves of the cheesecloth created foamy waves.

And then my favorite element, the huge silver-leafed moon! I used a plate to trace a circle onto a piece of kraft card stock, layered on some Golden Regular Gel Semi-Gloss, and after a minute or so applied some silver leaf. The process required several layers and I deliberately left some spots bare for more texture. I wanted a reflection of the moon in the waves, so I trimmed a piece off the bottom and used the Gel Medium to attach both pieces. Creating this mixed-media painting was so exciting because I just splashed and spritzed and snipped and pasted and enjoyed the process!

I created this painting as an entry in the Blick Spirit of Summer Window Show in Evansville, IN, and I'm happy to announce that my entry was accepted! The show begins June 30th with an opening reception and runs through July 7th.  I can't wait to see all the other entries! 

Monday, June 17, 2013

{Monday Moods} Sea of Words


Seawashed blues, silver stars, old books, a page from an atlas, and even my new coasters from Anthropologie found their way in to the Sea of Words vignette I created for my very first Monday Moods post at SerendipityVintage Studio. A mood board is a wonderful to begin a project or to record the elements that inspired a particular piece of art. A mood board doesn't have to hang on the wall. It can simply be a curated collection of items like the ones shown above.

I'm working on a mixed-media collage painting this week titled Sea of Words, and these glittery silver stars will play a role in a spangled nighttime sky. The larger star is a vintage cookie cutter, and I'm envisioning filling in the outline it will create with larger-than-life silver-leafed stars. But you never know what will happen on the journey to a finished painting!

Here's a glimpse of the first layer of the painting. I used pages from a book about sailing and an old typing textbook. I layered on cheesecloth to create texture and movement for the waves. The canvas is 16 X 20 which is the largest painting I've ever attempted! The process is sheer experimental bliss as I sail along trying new techniques and fusing together my favorite vintage and new elements.

I'll share new layers as I go along as well more projects inspired by this week's mood board. In the meantime: make art, be happy!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

{Fauxlaroids & PAGES}

Are you wondering what in the world is a fauxlaroid? That's my moniker for retro-style photos that I created to look like old school Polaroid pictures! And it's also the name of my very first published article in PAGES magazine. Cloth Paper Scissors PAGES, Volume 3 is available here, and at newsstands everywhere.

I have to admit I was inwardly squealing with delight when I snagged my copy of the magazine at my local Barnes & Noble! I wanted to hold up the pages with my article and run around the store showing it to everyone there! I managed to restrain myself, but I had to share it here on my blog! This is a dream come true for me, and I want to send out a huge thanks to everyone at Cloth Paper Scissors and PAGES for sharing my work, I hope you'll grab a copy soon because it's packed with amazing handmade books and loads of inspiration!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

A Painterly Day in April

Gentle sunshine, a soft breeze, and a free afternoon lured me outside to paint today! I spent a lovely day working on this collaged and painted book cover. It's destined for a coptic stitch book inspired by The Journey of Letting Go workshop with Jeanne Oliver that I'm currently enjoying. A wonderful experience that I highly recommend! {Both the afternoon and the workshop!}

The journal covers began their life as a humble Reader's Digest volume that I picked up for a song at my local library. I love upcycling these discarded books into art journals. They are plentiful, inexpensive, sturdy, and I don't feel guilty about taking them apart and remaking them into something useful and beautiful.

I used creamy colored gesso from Matisse in these luscious shades to cover the book. I especially love the Caromelle. I purchase mine from Jerry's Artarama, and I learned about them from the amazing map artist Mary C. Nasser. Thanks Mary!

I worked on several projects today, including a funky sketch of a girl with surprisingly big hair, and another journal for the Jeanne Oliver workshop. I dabbled in watercolors, and tried out some new mediums including clear gesso, Golden acrylic paints, Derwent Inktense pencils, and Dorland's Wax Medium. I used the latter to cover the painterly bird journal. A lovely afternoon...

All that endeavor made me feel a bit peckish, so I whipped up a scrumptious Naan Bread pizza!
It's so simple, but so delicious! Simply preheat your oven to 450 and spread a piece of Naan Bread with fig preserves or jam and a sprinkle of kosher salt. Top with shredded mozzarella and bake for 7-8 minutes, or until the cheese is melted. Remove from the oven and immediately top with wafer-thin slices of prosciutto and a sprinkling of peppery arugula. A tasty treat for a painterly day in April!
{The pizza was inspired by this recipe, but I substituted the Naan Bread for the pizza crust}

Monday, April 1, 2013

{Red, Black & Cream Collage Journal} The Best is Yet to Be

I had tons of work to do at the studio the other day, so of course I made a 2-page spread in my Red, Black & Cream collage journal instead! The theme of the pages is "The Best is Yet to Be." I love collage for so many reasons: the mysterious layers peeking out here and there, the chance to use up all those bits and pieces I've gathered over the years, and the hidden meaning that can be incorporated into the collage itself.

For example, I was thinking about how at age 49 I'm {hopefully!} in the middle of my life. So I used pages from a french book with those numbers. I created the pages in the middle of my journal to carry through with that idea. I'm a sentimental person, and I view my happy memories with great nostalgia, but I try to view the future with optimism, hence the quote on the bottom of the pages.

Birds are one my favorite motifs, so I used some tiny wooden birds, and a collectible vintage bird card to represent soaring into the future. I tried to restrict myself to the materials on hand, so fortunately some of the goodies I shared in my post about Art is You Nashville were scattered on my worktable! So many exciting things are happening in my creative life right now, so I truly do feel that the best is yet to be!

Art-is-You + Pink Fridge Studio

I'm getting ready for an exciting journey that begins this weekend at the Art-is-You Retreat in Nashville, TN! On Friday, I'll be taking a workshop with one of my favorite book artists, Nellie Wortman. We'll be stitching up a gorgeous hanging luminary, and I've been gathering vintage sari fabric, pretty silk ribbon, and trinkets of all sorts that I can't wait to use!

Saturday is a very special day because I'll be a vendor at the Art Trunk! I'm thrilled to be sharing a sneak peek of my upcoming online shop, Pink Fridge Studio, at the show. The grand opening of the shop will be later this spring so watch this space for news and updates over the next few weeks. Pink Fridge will be stocked with fabulous finds for book arts, collage, and artful upcycling of all kinds! In the meantime, here are a few of the goods I'll be bringing with me to Nashville.

{vintage collectible bird cards}

{pages from a french book}

{tiny wooden birds in glassine bags}

{Extra-large Vintage Flashcards}

I literally gasped when I spotted this box of 10" and 12" flashcards at an antique store last Saturday! I LOVE these and I can't wait to share them at Art-is-You in Nashville along with loads of other yummy artful goods! The Art Trunk is open to the public from 9:00 am - 2:00 pm on Saturday, April 6th, 2013. Hope to see you there!