Saturday, February 19, 2011

Valentine Week Wrap Up

 Well, other than the unceasing rain and cold and bleak weather here in not so sunny California, it was a lovely week with Valentine's Day kicking it off.  And check out all the lovely little bits of joy i received in the mail!  I participated in a Valentine Card swap.  I showed you my cards HERE.  Here is a stunning orange and fuchsia card and matching envelope i received from Shelley.  Inside was a special treat - a Ghiradelli chocolate!
She did not participate in the swap, but my niece Erica made this card for me.  Click to enlarge - because that multi coloured heart is made up of dozens of TINY little hearts!  So nice to see Erica's beautiful handiwork.  Check out her blog HERE.
 This unique card was from the swap - courtesy of Alicia.  Don't you just adore the red crochet border? Apparently that Victorian lass is having steamy thoughts..!
 This was actually a RAK postcard from one of my online CAG buddies - Marie.  That's California Art Girls in case you were wondering!  Oh, and a rak is a "random act of kindness" - isn't valentines day a perfect time to send a happy little thing like this to your friends? Thanks Marie!
 This intense black, red and gold card was from my friend Karen, as part of the online swap.  The gold foil heart is removable.  Ya gotta love cards that are interactive!  Her husband is a car fanatic - do i see a checkered flag influence here?
 Here is another RAK - this one from Janene - another CAG buddy.  Isn't it adorable? Thanks Janene!  Note to self - postcards only require a 28 cent stamp!
 Here is another card from the online swap group - this one from Becky. The buttons are speared on a beaded pin and poked under the vintage postcard image - how clever! Love the soft palette.
This was my "bonus" card from Karen - have you ever seen anything so original? She got a little scratched in the post, but i think she is just as cute as can be!
  This was the first card i received as part of the swap - before i had even created my cards.  Let me tell you - this certainly put the pressure on to create something "worthy"!  Jen created this substancial heart with pleated ribbon and rosettes.  Love the red sparkly clothes pin!
This lovely two part tag and sleeve came in a matching envelope.  Pam must be a master with computer designed graphics - everything matched beautifully.  I love the little tag on the ribbon - it says Molto Bella.
 Thought i would throw this one in - yes  - it is STORE BOUGHT - but it came from my own sweetie.  One of FOUR cards he gave me after our yummy cheese fondue dinner and chocolate fondue dessert. Note to self: buy stock in Papyrus.
Here is a clever card from my friend Lucie, who also participated in the swap.  Lucie is French Canadian, and so the touches of French make a perfect accent on this queen of hearts card.  Inside was a special treat - lips shaped bath confetti!
I was going to say "last but not least" - but i am still missing a couple of cards from the swap.  One gal has had an illness so will get the cards out sometime in the near future.  And one card has gone astray.  Either due to the post office, or my pathetic pile of bills and junk mail might be holding it hostage!  So stay tuned....

Beeswax Collage Workshop with Lucie

My friend Lucie taught the first class at Liquid Marin in San Rafael, CA last Saturday.  14 delighted students created an 8 x 10 beeswax collage masterpiece under her guidance.  We have started a new program of craft classes and it was a great way to kick off the series.
This is my piece - using a combination of pinks and neutral papers for a background - i went with a couple of birds (what else?) on branches made from dark purple handmade paper.  I just love how Lucie's technique to add colour with solid tissue paper creates a colourful border.  And the two toned string created a striking counterpoint to the collage.
If YOU would like to take a class with Lucie or me - please check out the Liquid Marin web site for details.  The next beeswax class will be offered on Saturday, April 2nd.  If you would prefer not to wait that long for an opportunity to "get creative" with paper, there will be an Intro to Altered Books class on Sunday, March 13th and an Artist Trading Cards class on Saturday, March 26th. 
In my altered book class you will learn all about this exciting and often collaborative medium.  I will provide the vintage book and all the tools and materials to get you started creating collage inside a hardcover book.
In the ATC class Lucie and I will share our different points of view for creating these lovely mini collages - so you benefit from TWO instructors.  Hope to see you there!

Monday, February 14, 2011

happy valentine's day!

Faded pink sweetheart roses from Trader Joe's.  Thanks Sweetie!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Valentine Card Swap

A couple of years ago i participated in a valentine card swap.  It was so much fun to get 10 or so cards in mail - each one from a stranger across the country.  I made a pretty Victorian style card with vintage postcard images and pale blue ruffled streamer paper.  you can see how i made them HERE.   This year i was invited to join again - and i had so much fun the last time - so i asked some of my crafty friends if they wanted "in"!

4 of us ended up in the same group - completely at random, from the 60 people participating.  Here is my card design for the swap.  Normally i would "save" this until they were received - but i think the images don't really do the card justice - so they will still be pleasantly surprised!
I started with a plain white card - pre-scored  - probably from Michaels.  I layered a pink square, a pink and white heart, some torn pink mulberry paper, and a wee little heart cut from a book called The Art of Love!  I sewed, yes SEWED this little stack of pink goodness onto the card with some flower shaped ribbon, and left the threads to dangle.  I didn't measure or fret - just stacked, positioned, and sewed.
In some ways the outside was meant to be a tease!  The real good stuff is on the inside!  There i positioned a fun garland of assorted paper hearts, in descending sizes, also sewn together.  I added a little pink seam binding ribbon at the top and used a tiny glue dot to attach it inside the card.  I accordion folded the hearts in the card - they look a little like butterflies!.
  The idea is that when you open the card, the garland of hearts will flutter down creating a gasp of joy for the recipient.  
My wish is that the participants of this swap will gently remove the top heart from the card and use the ribbon to hang it somewhere.  Preferably where a soft breeze will gently swirl the hearts around with delight.
Finally i wrapped the cards in hand painted deli paper and created envelopes, simply glued together with rolling micro mini glue dots.  I printed all the addresses - including mine, on sticker paper - cut them out and positioned on the front of the envelopes.  Added stamps - and they are on their way - little visions of pink loveliness floating through the mail, like cotton candy.....

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

San Rafael Art Walk Friday Night

Please join me at Liquid Marin on Friday, Feb.11th for the 2nd Friday Art Walk. Dozens of galleries, restaurants and boutiques in San Rafael are participating in this month's REDception themed event. I will be exhibiting my large collection of altered books - many of them showcased here on this blog.

You can flip through the pages and marvel at the diversity of the art contained in the pages of vintage books, calendars, and journals.

Jim Cahill will be playing music from the American songbook for our listening pleasure. Refreshments will be served.

Beeswax Tapestry

I created my second beeswax tapestry collage on Sunday, at a play date with my artsy play date buddies. My camera died and my phone camera decided to be petulant as well. So i only have mine to show you. Once the gals put their finishing touches on their pieces, i'll get a second chance to photograph them.
My tapestry came out of searching through my stash looking for inspiration. I planned only to NOT use any birds.  Yeah - i am trying to break out of my comfort zone! I originally planned to use a cabinet photo as the center piece.  But nothing, as they say, "spoke to me".  So i went instead to a drawer of vintage photographs and grabbed the three shown above. The church on the left is a postcard.  the woman and girl was from a book of victorians with their pets, and the couple in the car with a young boy was an actual photograph.
From there i thought ok, how about a house for this family?  How about a floor plan of the house?  I have several house plan books - i love looking through them and imagining i live there.  From there i thought some vintage ephemera - actual bills and legal documents (bought on ebay), one shows a jewelry store receipt.  Then i found the little book on marriage and ripped off the cover.  Then i saw the paris monuments book cover (a copy) and liked how the orange-y and reddish colour story came together.  From there i invented a trip through europe - perhaps on their honeymoon?  I added maps, monuments and postcards.
Once the entire piece was laid out, i trimmed all the papers and glued them to the canvas.  Then coated it with beeswax and added three dimensional objects like the old key, a little spoon, buttons, and lace.  A bit more beeswax, some black oil pastel to outline the patches and voila! A Family Beeswax Tapestry!!

Here is a much nicer picture of the beeswax collage tapestry i did a few weeks ago. You can see all the lovely birds!
Photos curtesy of Lucie Duclos.
Anyone local to the bay area?  Lucie will be teaching beeswax collage classes at Liquid Marin in San Rafael.  Please check out their website for information about upcoming classes.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Paper Quilts

 Here are the finished quilts made by my artsy friends, which i wrote about here. This is Karen's stunning black, white and rust quilt. In fact  - that is REAL rust - as in the fabric was purposefully stained with nails and wire mesh. Each of her circle/squares was cut into 4 wedges and mixed up for added interest.  She further embellished with rick rack and corrugated metal strips. It is mounted on foam core - and will ultimately receive a nice square wooden frame.
Here is Shelley's gorgeous metallic quilt.  Much smaller circles than Karen's, some left "whole", while others are cut in two, creating an interesting diamond effect in the center.  Nicely framed in a dark wood.  Each quilt square was embellished with  metallic accents that play up the gold and copper tones of the paper.
And finally here is Dorothy's.  Or should i say ONE of Dorothy's whimsical and colourful paper quilts. She made NINE of these - all framed in either black or white 18" wood frames.  Stunning.  She added beadwork to each quilt - the details are quite something.  She plans to sell them at the upcoming quilt SF show.

And so where is mine, you might ask? You can see it here - pretty much looks the same as when i made it a month ago - except it was tacked to the wall in the hallway.  It needs some repair before it could possibly be framed. But you know how it is, i just need to want to do it badly enough.