Sunday, May 31, 2009

An Artistic Affaire Recap

Yesterday i attended a wonderfully and thoughtfully organized art retreat in Los Angeles called an Artistic Affaire created by Kim Caldwell.  No detail was left untouched by pink, roses, feminity  - is was a girlie girl fantasy.

The ceiling was filled with giant pom-poms of pink tissue balls
Here is table 3 - i met a great goup of fun ladies.  
you can see the supplies for our first workshop as well as our name tags, the menu of events, and chocolate!
Here is the tea table - we had a selection of treats including the most devine chocolate cupcakes with strawberry frosting.
There were vendors set up with a selection of products and art for us to purchase.  This is the display of Michelle Legler - one of our workshop instructors.
Here is the display at the drinks trolley - kept stocked throughout the day with tea and cold drinks.
This is my atempt at creating a mosaic - so much fun!
This the table where the place cards were kept. 

more pom poms
Here is another vendor table.
This was the kit box for the workshop given by Amy Powers.
Another vendor table of goodies.
Here is breakfast.

This is me back home in my rented cottage.  Look at all my swag, swaps and treats.
OMG - all I can say is oh - my - god - what an amazing event!!!!!
Stay tuned for more!

Friday, May 29, 2009

ATC's - or birdie business cards?

Since i will be attending An Artistic Affaire tomorrow in Los Angeles, and meeting many new people, i thought it would be nice to have a way to connect.  Since i am new to the area - i'd like to make new friends in the paper arts world.  I'd love to start an local altered book group and perhaps teach classes.  
Instead of just passing out cards with my contact info - why not make them into artist trading cards?  I started with some blue and aqua card stock i bought for 10 cents a sheet at Joann's.  I printed out my name, email and blog address in word - and inserted a clip art image of pink cerry blossoms on an aqua background.  They are not perfect - i am working without my full art studio - and i do not have a paper cutter!
ok - so they are "roughly" 2 1/2 by 31/2. I cut some french dictionary paper into strips and glued that on the bottom of the cards.  Next a torn edges piece of bright pink mulberry paper.

  Then i added a beautiful victorian scrap bird.  These came on a sheet from ArtChix.  I MUST get some more - they were so fun to use.
For a little embellishment i added a shell button applied with a glue dot.
At an antique store in South Pasadena i picked up a stack of old stamps that included these sweet little vellum envelopes. 
 I inserted the atc's and sealed it shut with an egg sticker from Cavallini & Co. 
i think they turned out very sweet - and they'll match perfectly to the artistic affaire event - which will be filled with romance and girly girl flowers and birds and nests and ribbons and lace.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Mixed Media Monday: Feathered Friends

The latest challenge from the Mixed Media Monday blog is Feathered Friends. I have been DEEPLY immersed in all things feathered lately - so i just had to post!
Here is the complete blog post about the event i will be attending this weekend called An Artistic Affaire. This little birdie box is part of a one-on-one swap. I'll be getting a similarly cute box in return. Please come back next week to see it!

Monday, May 25, 2009

buyer beware!

As part of the artistic affaire retreat i will be attending next week, there will be a swap to create altered birdhouses.  I got a very clever idea - how about i create a birdhouse out of a cuckoo clock?  WOuldn't that just be the coolest thing ever?

As you can imagine - this whole losing a job, going on unemployment, paying COBRA, moving to a new city has put a strain on the pocketbook.  But still - i have to LIVE, don't I?  

So i start cruising ebay looking for vintage cuckoo clocks.  There are TONS of them. I don't need to spend a lot of money - because i don't care if it actually works. I just want the box - preferably with some nice carved birds.

I make my selection - i am the first bidder - great - still a few days to go.  I WIN - yay - please send it to my  temporary address. 
 The box arrives.  Gee it is small.  
Gee it is light. What the heck is in here?  
SO much popcorn - where is the damn cuckoo clock???

Oh - here it is.  good thing it was cheap.
Oh yeah, i checked the listing.  It clearly said "MINI" clock and gave accurate measurements.  I must have got caught up in the excitement to buy something that i overlooked the facts.  My bad.  Lesson learned.
But hey - it is ADORABLE.  Just like those mini cows and the mini sirloin burgers....

enough pink already!

ok - you'll only get that if you read the last three posts in reverse order. If you are just joining me - scroll down and get the evolution of my journey, and then come back.

For the last 5 or 6 years i have hosted a monthly altered book swap and workshop in the san francisco bay area.  I had to say good bye in march to move to los angeles to start a new job.  I completed a few spreads in carol's roman and greek book, and mailed it off without really getting a chance for a final gathering.

well, fast forward to now.  The three devoted members of the altered book group want to keep things going.  I will still be very much a part of the group - albeit "virtually".  they'll take turns teaching a technique or leading a project, will take lots of pictures and send them to me!  I will get to create a new altered book to swap via mail.

I picked this old book up at an antique store recently and i thought this book, Beyond Anxiety, would make a great "edgy" altered book.  The religious overtones aside, the chapters are all about fear, guilt, frustration, loneliness and despair.  All the wonderful feelings i have daily alone in a strange city.
yeah, seriously.  Los angeles can be a very scary place.  Not like violence scary, i stay away from those places.  I am talking about the freeways.  i am terrified of the freeways.   people drive like maniacs and have apparently never heard about the NOT passing on the right rule.  If i time it right, i can get stuck in horrible traffic, where i only have to deal with rude people who refuse to merge.  at least i don't fear being crushed by a huge truck, or sideswiped by a killer suv.
There, i said it.  I am a wuss.  I hate hate driving here.  I am from a big city - but nothing prepares you for LA. 

Ok  - i have been here almost two months.  I am getting the hang of it.  
But i am still scared.
what are you afraid of?

parade of roses - an altered book

When i moved to So. Cal. one of my arsty friends suggested the we start a new altered book project.  the theme could be whatever we wanted - but somehow related to los angeles, hollywood, the beach boys - or something along those lines.  I picked up a couple of books in a south pasadena antique store down the street from Zinnia - my new favorite store in the area!
Jim  and i were still undecided on where to live - but i thought if we end up getting a place in pasadena - then i could do something with this book.  You cannot go anywhere in the area without seeing reference to the Rose Bowl, the Rose Bowl parade or the the infamous rose bowl flea market.
(no - i have not been yet.  Seems sacreligous to be buying stuff when my dear husband is making daily trips to goodwill to off load 20+ years of collected treasures he unearthed in garage)  but wait - just wait....)

Anyway - here is the new altered book:

I have very little supplies here with me - so most of my materials came from fashion magazines.  

this will be the sign in page at the back of the book.
This is the back cover, probably needs something else.  i glued rose print tissue over the grid of rose illustrations - but it isn't great as is.  oh well - a work in progress!

artistic affaire swaps

As with many of the art retreats, one way to get the participants involved before the festivites begin - there are swaps.  Some are casual freeform exchange of artist trading cards, some are more elaborate.  Fat books - where each participant created pages to be assembled in a book, are common.
But for the artistic affaire - i chose to be a part of two very different swaps! The first is a colour swap.  Each person is paired with another.  Each person picks a colour or colour theme.  You then decorate a small box and fill it with goodies, all in the colour theme of your partner.  The gal i am paired with chose pink and brown - very fitting for the printemps theme of the event!  i was back home for a couple of days last month and i grabbed a small cigar box and everything pink and brown i could find in my craft room.

I sanded the box before covering it with french dictionary pages
I then added additional papers and borders and a touch or paint.  The fun part was adding the nest and bird to the top and adding all the girlie ribbons and flowers.
The pink envelopes contain images, stamps and stickers.  There is a bundle of papers and an orgnaza pouch filled with buttons and shells and sparkly things.

The second swap was also a "one for one".  We were each paired with someone and told to create an altered birdhouse.  My swap partner has two passions - polka dots and owls.  Well - this would be a challenge!  Since i know nothing about owls  - i chose to create a barn instead of a traditional birdhouse. I found the wimsical owl printed paper in a gift shop near my rented house.
I painted the edges of the barn with robin's egg blue paint and collaged the sides with french dictionary paper and some vintage ephemera. 

I used some flattened stones to create polka dots on the sides and used some hand painted deli paper for the roof.  I added pink stripes to all the edges and a touch of metallic paint to age it.

I used the owl paper on the back (not shown)
Here are all the pretty swaps along with a chinoiserie gift bag i bought to carry them to my artistic affaire!  I cannot wait to see what i get "swapped" in return!

an artistic affaire...

When i got the news that i got a new job in LA, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to treat myself.  I had recently read on some blog about an event called An Artistic Affaire - La maison blanche. (the white house).  It was a very girly artsy mini retreat - complete with workshops, decorative touches and fun food and drink created by Kim Caldwell.  Sure enough they were having another event An Artistic Affaire : Printemps(spring) - the logo is all pink and brown featuring flowers and birds - just what i need to kick start the creativity.
I signed up before i moved to LA, and spent all of memorial weekend preparing for the workshops. 

There will be three workshops with three talented artists.  One of them is a mosaic project.  Down the street was a thrift shop that had a small but perfect selection of old plates in my current fav colour pallette - robin's egg blue or aqua with cream and white and a touch of pink.  We will be creating the mosaic on a box provided by the instructor, but i could not pass up on this cute tray (for a buck!) once i know how to do mosaic - i'll surely have stuff left over - and can make a tray!  
In Burbank on Sat to buy a fridge for our new place, i spied a scrapbook store.  I could not resist two assorted paper packs in aqua and pink.  I made good use of these in my special projects.

Since i had some supplies to gather for the retreat - i made good use of coupons to make purchases at the major craft stores.  I bought a few more cute things.  I am really starting to wonder when this bird obsession (been going on over a year now) is going to subside??

Here is some of that cool tape that everyone is talking about!