Thursday, January 30, 2014

Cathe Holden's Valentine Workshop

My friends and I took a workshop last weekend with Cathe Holden, at her amazing studio barn in Petaluma . Some said it was like being in Disneyland. I said it was like being over the rainbow, or you know at Willy Wonka's chocolate factory. Either way - it was magical!  Her vintage displays of craft supplies and findings are over the top.
Our class was to create three wood collaged and embellished valentine ornaments, decorated with cigar box graphics.  Everything was packaged so nicely.  We did not have to bring a single thing - it was so relaxing to just arrive and have everything taken care of.  She even brought in a delicious deli lunch.
We sat at one long table and great access to tools and supplies. 
It's like you just want to move in and be creative all day long - it is teeming with eye candy everywhere you look.
Here are some samples of my fellow students' work in progress:


 These are my finished items.
 Although we all had the same shapes - we could choose our own vintage fabric from the pile shown above and decorate how we wanted.
Here are Cathe's originals.
Here is the 4 of us after the class in the "library" of the studio.
And here is one of Cathe's family's sheep!  Petaluma has some beautiful rolling landscapes outside the center of the charming town.  It is about an hours drive north of San Francisco.  We would all love to go back to visit with Cathe and learn some more of her techniques.  Please check out her website to see what classes she has upcoming!
and HERE are more pictures of the event we attended.

Monday, January 27, 2014

2014 Altered Book Round Robin

We kicked off our 2014 altered book round robin on Sunday and this is going to be an exciting year for collage swaps!  Everyone's books are so original and a great jumping off point to inspire each of us to create.  
After 3 years of altering little spiral bound calendars, we decided on a colour theme.  Originally inspired by the amazing book True Colors, i have done colour themed books several times in the past.   
First off is K's book above - she titled her book the Order of the Purple Rose - and yes her theme is purple.
 Next up is S's book - titled Bling - it has a black and white and crystal theme.
 D's book is called Cherry Heaven Teal - her colors are red and teal.
Z's book is Called Nature and Other Green Things.  So yes - green theme!
And finally my book which is PINK.  Read more about it below or HERE
Please check back each month as i work in each of the books, twice, throughout the year.
I will be working in the green book first.
Sadly our friend L who moved away last year - but still participated in our swaps decided it was time to move on to other projects.  We'll miss you Miss Lucie!

Pink Altered Book

 Are you ready for the cutest altered book project, like, ever?
This year's altered book round robin swap with my artsy friends has a colour theme. We each chose a colour for our books - and we will send them around twice this year to our group of 5 ladies. As you might have guessed - i chose PINK! My covers were done with a floral print paper with gold foil accents.  I added some wicker handles from a gift bag and painted them pink.  Then i added a bauble and some ribbon for a "closure".
 I used to have a wicker purse with flowers on it that was so cute, everytime i put it on the checkout counter in a store to pay for something - the sales associate would say, "what a cute bag!"    It got to be so common that my husband started talking to us like we were girlfriends. 
"Are you and 'what a cute bag' having wine with dinner?" 
 "Would you and 'what a cute bag' like to go for a drive?
Well i think this altered book is just about as adorable as that bag.
 For my inside front cover i created a collage with scrapbook paper, some hand painted and stamped deli paper and some french dictionary pages.  I chose the page with "rose" - which is the French word for pink.  The bird was originally yellow - so i painted it pink.
 For the title page i used dictionary paper as a background, and discovered i have lots and lots of pink postage stamps.  I sorted my stamps by country and genre once upon a time, and had a lot of queens and kings i just grouped together.  the big pink letters were from a punch out scrapbook sheet.  I sprayed them with pink mist to add more colour.
 For the next spread i used some random stuff i found in my stash.  The page on the left was from a class i taught - where i demo'd walnut ink and gold foil, and water colour pens.  I added some washi tape and glitter tape to the edges.  The image transfer on the right was on a pink cardstock card that i never finished.  I added the bow and the word pink.
 Inside the card i added my intro and instructions to the art group.  Anything goes in this book - so long as it is predonimantly pink! 
For the next spread i started with a cool marble paper for the background and then added pieces of napkins - applied with slightly diluted matte medium.  Remember to remove both back sheets from your napkins in collage - so they have an ethereal transparency.

And finally here is the sign in page at the back of the book.  I used an Italian map with pretty pink and green printing as the background.  then some tall narrow vellum envelopes. An assortment of pink paint chip samples cut from a full deck will be used by each artist to decorate and sign.
I always love the process of "birthing" a new altered book. It is fun to create something from nothing.  And like sending your first born off to college - this book must now leave my protective nest and journey around to my friends to add their own interpretation of PINK!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Two Birds Painting

Here is a sweet little cheater painting i finished this month after starting it last summer.  why cheater?  it is a paint-by-number!  I wanted something to work on to just take my mind off things - it was a great way to just zone out.  and almost go blind, working with a teeny tiny brush and small sections.  It came out quite pretty!

Once Upon A Time AB

 Once upon a time we stayed on top of our schedule for our alterd book swaps.  oh well, 2013 got a little bit off target so here i am in january 2014 completed my pages for the month of october. again i had the pleasure to work in K's book - called Once Upon a Time.  You can see what i did last march HERE.  To recap, we were to create pages telling the story of two girls and their various fairy godmothers and evil fairies - in our own words and pictures.
My spread above started with a background of two carpet images from a catalog.  I thought they could evoke a fanciful tree and a river of fish.  i chose some vintage illustrations to create the characters for the story. It wasn't my original intention - but they look like they are perched on a large tree limb - so let's go with that!  The leaves are stickers and the one floating in the river has a small bug (also part of the story).  Let's hope he disappears!
 I found this tent image in a magazine and thought i'd create some sort of circus-y spread. it turned into a fortune teller with a crystal ball.  the two children look very displeased about what she has to say. Vintage ledger paper in the background.
Here is my sign in tag - i need to create a little story to go along with my spreads and attach it to the tag.  better late than never - this book is now ready for three additional artists to finish it off before we can send it back to K!  Stay tuned - we are ready to start NEW books for 2014...!