Saturday, January 23, 2010

More of my 2010 Calendar

I have finished several more spreads in my 2010 calendar and it is ready to mail. I send mine to Modesto and will receive a book from Discovery Bay. Most of the books are on their way to one of us 6 artists.
Just to remind you about my book i introduced HERE. We are altering art calendars in a round robin format. Each of us will send our books around and spend a month working in each other's book. In my calendar, generally on the left page are images by artists and graphic designers. On the right is my artwork. Then i frame both pages to create a cohesive whole spread.
This page was a challenge - the graphic design on the left was a bit weird - guys fishing out of floating windows. I went with assorted blue papers with rough edges and added some fish.
This is my intro page. I added some striped paper trunks to two of the trees on the right.
I added some christmas lights to this page i showed earlier. Not sure what that illustration means - but i figured if the house is on fire (figuratively speaking) i should add some lights.

I just did a simple cartoony drawing on the right to echo the illustration on the left. kind of dumb - but it was a nice way to get the creative juices flowing early in the morning last sunday.
Here was another bizarre illustration of a female hanging by branches. I thought the trees on the Belvedere vodka sort of echoed that.
I LOVE this spread. I started with two different printed papers and made little folded flaps to hide some journalling. 10 - 11- 12- 13 are the dates. I added some tapes and ribbons, but it still seemed too elementary. Then i went through my stash and found two artist postcards with black and white human forms - i cut them out and added one to each page.
Finally, the last page of January faces the sign in page for the artist who will work on February. So i went with a pink themed page - using a hello kitty face. Her whiskers have clippings of "i love you" in 6 different languages. Including pig latin. Iway ovelay ouyay.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Paper Room Divider

Last June we moved into a condo in Pasadena that has a groovy 60's swanky vibe to it. White wall-to-wall carpeting (god i wish it didn't) and a white painted stone fireplace. We switched out our silk lampshades for 70's era barrel shades from the thrift store and bought an off white slipcover for the sofa. Other than that, our budget restraints prevent any elaborate decorating. But we really felt the foyer could really use a geometric divider of some sort. Probably something like the one above.
We even considered concrete blocks like this.
Or this one that combines the shape of the first one, with the heft of the second.
Here is another really cool idea - hanging rectangular glass pieces.
But you know, i am all about paper - so here is my NEW divider! I used about 60 - 4 inch circles precut in heavy cardstock i picked up in the bargain section at Paper Source.
I have been wanting to try sewing paper for a while now - so here was the perfect day. Rainy and dark outside, hubby watching football. We got out the sewing machine and went for it!
I wasn't sure what to expect. Would the tension be right? Would the thread break? Would the paper tear? None of the above. It sewed beautifully. I alternated silver and "pool" discs and varied the distance in between. Going for a random rather than orderly effect.
They provide just a slight division between the front door and the living room. Jim stuck them into the ceiling with upholstery tacks, cus that's what i could find! We just think they are so fab.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Mixed Media Monday - Something New

The challenge this week on Mixed Media Monday is Something New. So what better project to post than my NEW 2010 Calendar!
I participated in three successful round robin calendar swaps in 2005, 2006 and 2007. A few of my altered book friends loved to look through them each month to see what interesting collage and journalling people were doing. So we decided to start up a new project - Calendar Girls 2010~!
The "rules" are simple - we each purchase a artsy spiral bound calendar - they type they sell at the big books stores. Whatever theme you want. Then you "alter" the covers and create a few pages to set the mood and tone for the book. Then you do whatever journalling, collage or whatever for the days and weeks of January.
Then you mail the calendar off to the next person - around the 25th of the month. So you get a new book by the first of February. You alter that book for a month - adding your journalling to THEIR book. Then you mail, get another book - and so on.
When i did the calendar swaps before - they were large unmanageable groups with 30 - 36 people to track. We kept out group small - just 6 of us. This way you actually get your own calendar back in July - like it takes a summer holidday at home - then you send it off again. It comes back in time for christmas holidays.
The calendar is filled with 52 weeks of collage and images and whatever else your creative friends have added. The books can be chunky and dangly - with lots of embellishments. Or they can be flat but richly detailed. I removed the spiral binding and added large rings - then added some fun ribbons and fibres for texture. Added bonus? you can remove the pages to work in them!
My calendar is filled with quirky illustrations and collage from French Canadian artists. I picked the book up last fall when i was in Montreal. I want the book to be inspiration to try something new - modern collage with an abstract edge. No sepia or vintage photos. Keep is fun and bright and silly.
I have altered several pages - using the illustrations in the book as the jumping off point. I like to work this way - rather than fretting over composition - just have fun with it. Either choose the colour theme or the pattern or whatever - and add elements that echo what is already there. it is like finishing a puzzle or a crossword that someone else started - so easy and no stress!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Christmas Tree Lane

As one final act of christmas-y spirit, my husband and i took a drive down Christmas Tree Lane in Altadena. The deodar trees were planted by a Mr. Woodbury back in 1983. They were meant to line the driveway to his estate, a house that was never built.
Every year faithful citizens decorate the 150 trees for the holidays.
We put the top down on the convertible and i shot this video. We were singing in the background - but there is too much wind noise to hear us (probably a good thing!)

If you are ever in the neighborhood. check it out!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Mixed Media Monday - leftovers anyone?

The theme for this week's Mixed Media Monday challenge is "Leftovers". Here is a picture of the mini quilt type collage i did with my niece Erica over the Christmas holidays. Erica has been very active creatively, making all their family's Christmas cards and even bows for the gifts out of holiday themed scrapbook paper.

I was inspired by the work of Kelly Rae for these 5" by 7" canvases. She creates some very colourful collage using bits and pieces of decorative paper and ephemera. Check out her blog to see what i mean.
To get started Erica and I cut out little squares out of leftover red, green, white and powder blue printed scrapbook paper. We made little sandwiches - layering two little squares with a glue stick. Then i cut winter themed words out of her vintage dictionary. Like "snow", "ice", "cold", etc. I also discovered that there was a section at the back of the book with quotes - so we cut out some of those too.
Then we arranged all the little squares and quoted on 5 x 7 canvas boards. Next we added the little words and some 3-d embellishments, like buttons, bows, stickers and crystals. I dry brushed white acrylic paint to connect my squares. Erica used red and green crayon for hers.
My sister can hang these in her powder room over the winter, replacing the floral wall hangings she has in there now.

Thanks Erica - it was great fun crafting with you. Here we are with the glossy card stock we coloured with adirondak alcohol inks a la Tim Holtz. I made note cards with mine. And check out Erica's craft space - she can almost compete with her Auntie Diane for stuff!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year - woowoo 2010!

Last night we experienced something new. The excitement on Orange Grove Boulevard BEFORE the famous Rose Bowl Parade. Around 9 pm the first float crawled up Columbia, outside our living room window. There were a dozen escorts in white jumpsuits and matching helmets, driving white scooters. So cool. We ran outside to see them up close. The floats, not the guys in the white helmets.
flower covered origami crane
The floats turned the corner to line up at the other end of Orange Grove. Our friends Rob and Elizabeth dropped in, Rob himself dressed in the white parade uniform. He had to leave to escort the horse teams that were camping out on the tail end of the 210 freeway that was closed off to traffic. So Jim, Elizabeth and I had a glass of champagne and watched a bit of the rockin' eve from NYC. Then around 11 as a steady flow of more floats rounded the corner, we went down to see them all up close and experience the whole evening with the big crowds gathered.

close up of white flowers
Back to our place to ring in the new year with another glass or two of champagne, we passed numerous parties at our neighbours, all having a wonderful time. it was really cool to see so much activity on our otherwise reserved residential street.
a flying pig
Alas this morning we stayed home and watched the parade on TV from the comfort of our sofa. Then went back to bed, not until hearing the sonic boom of the jets overheard marking the end of the parade.
a jumbo doggie - this was the float that had snowboarding dogs!
i love the white flower spray creating the white water on the waves
While many of the float elements are seeds and grasses, here is a jumbo cluster of gorgeous flowers.
Of course then this afternoon we watched the big rose bowl game on TV, knowing it was just down the street a couple of miles - somehow makes us feel more a part of it. Yes - a lazy stay at home day, but isnt it nice to recharge the batteries, and start the year off refreshed and rested?!
I wish this one turned out better - you know how i love birds!

Happy new year to you all!