Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Endings...and Beginnings! More Collage Cover Notebooks...

I wasn't sure what to post for my last image for the last day of Blogtoberfest. Endings can feel final, but it's not really an ending since many of us will be back for Blogtoberfest again next year.

Besides, I'll have a lot of projects and news to share with you all as the days, weeks and months pass by before the next round of Blogtoberfest comes along.

So what better way to end Blogtoberfest 2012 than to share the finished images of the notebook I blogged about a few days ago and share the beginnings of a new collage notebook?!?

The quote on this notebook reads:

"The woman who follows the crowd will usually go no further than the crowd...The woman who walks alone will find herself in places no one has ever been before"

I really like that quote - I don't know who said it, but I have found it to be true in my life!

Many of the collage cover notebooks I make have a little design element on the back cover that reflects the design on the front cover and this notebook is no exception:

Now for a sneak peek at another collage cover notebook, one that will be available for sale at the upcoming Artisan Bazaar coming up this Sunday:

I thought I'd play with using some molding paste and stencils to create some 3-dimensional covers. I love how this stencil turned out - the raised surface is really cool:

I am getting excited about this upcoming Artisan Bazaar and I hope to make a few sales. I'll try to post before the weekend to keep you updated about my collage notebook progress and of course, I'll share lessons learned from the experience afterward. There is always something to be learned from each opportunity!

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Thank you to Kat of I Saw You Dancing for hosting Blogtoberfest 2012 - she did a GREAT job of hosting and posting some wonderful thoughtful posts, as she usually does =-)

Thank you to the many Blogtoberfest bloggers for stopping by my little blog and seeing what I do here in this part of the world - I hope you come back to visit again soon!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Photo Share #25 - A Shabby, Haunting Piano...

Hello Dear Blog Readers! There are two days until Dia De Los Muertos (Day of the Dead), one day left until Halloween, and one last day of Blogtoberfest left to the spirit of "hauntings" (Halloween) and death (Day of the Dead), I thought I'd share this image I photographed back in my old work neighborhood:

I had been out for a walk when I discovered this old, crumbling, shabby and abandoned piano sitting on the sidewalk. I was struck by the look of it, not to mention the fact that it was sitting in the outdoors, left alone. At the time, I had not brought my camera with me and it was a week or two later that I went walking on the same block to locate this old piano - it was still out there on the sidewalk, no one had taken it away. I really loved the faded patina of this piano, and the exposed keyboard and workings, much of it brass metal. The colors and textures really captured my imagination and I took other close up shots, that I might share with you...another day...

When I look at this crumbling old piano, I can almost imagine the ghost of Jelly Roll Morton playing some sprightly ragtime jazz on it...and I do love me some JAZZ! ;)

Monday, October 29, 2012

Photo Share #24 - An Old Anthropologie Display...

Hello Dear Blog Readers! Can you believe it's only a few days until the end of Blogtoberfest 2012?!? Since there are only a few days left I'm sharing some random images until the end. 

Today's image is one I shot on a field trip to Santa Barbara with my dear boyfriend a few years ago...

I love the store Anthropologie (who doesn't ?!), so of course I had to take a peek at the Santa Barbara store when I found it. I'm so glad I did because I found this amazingly creative paper collage ostrich trying to eat whatever was under the metal cover! I thought he was pretty spectacular...He's not quite Big Bird, but he was a big bird!! ;)

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Sunday Shorts Blogtoberfest 2012 - Animated Makeup!

Hello Dear Blog Readers! This is the last Sunday of Blogtoberfest so I thought I'd share a great animated short with you today...

I no longer remember where I found the link to this awesome animated short, but I loved the action of it! It is Chanel makeup animated by Peter Philips and it is incredibly creative:

Enjoy watching!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Photo Share #23 - New Collage Cover Notebook in Process

I recently mentioned a possible opportunity for selling at a holiday boutique and I received news this week that I will be able to participate! I began preparing some goods in anticipation of this opportunity coming through and here is a peek at a new collage cover notebook/journal I'm working on that will be available for sale:

There will be a quote added to this cover, which I'll share when completed, so be sure to stay tuned!

In the meantime, here are the details about the holiday boutique:

Artisan Bazaar hosted by the Costume Designers Guild
Sunday November 4, 2012
9:00am - 3:00pm
11969 Ventura Blvd, Studio City CA 91604 (steps away from the Farmers Market!)
$1.00 suggested donation at entrance

Friday, October 26, 2012

Photo Share #22 - A New Hand-Bound Book!

It's been over three years since I was able to take a book binding workshop with my very first book binding instructor, Wendy Poma. I've been feeling a strong pull to take one of her workshops lately and a few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to do just that...

I signed up for a workshop that I participated in before because I thought I would be making the same book I made and shared here on my blog three years ago - a metal embossed cover with sewn signatures*. However, the workshop has changed quite a bit since the last time I took it but the final results are still really cool - instead of sewing signatures, we made a book block gluing individual pages together and the spine of the book cover is separate from the spine of the book block so it opens very flat:

Top view of open book showing all decorative papers used

 A view of the flat opening book with the book block spine covered in colorful paper...

It was great fun to be back in Wendy's workshop creating a lovely book from scratch, choosing from her extensive collection of beautiful papers, and deciding on a stencil design to emboss for the decorative metal cover. She was very happy to see me back in her workshop, this time held at Glendale Community College Adult Education, and she was thrilled to hear my news about my own book binding workshop teaching the Girl Scout troop about book binding, art techniques and altered art books...

Yes, we book lovers just want to spread the word about the joys of book binding!

It's easy to see why =-)

* - I hoped to make the same book because I gave the first one away!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Photo Share #21 - Another Peony Photo...

Many of you dear blog readers know of my love for peonies, which I share frequently here on the blog. Today is a new shot of a variegated color peony I photographed earlier this year...

I usually choose the traditional pink color peonies, whether dark or light pink, but this particular bunch I purchased were in colors of pink, cream and the palest of peach tones. I tried to capture the colors in this shot...I'm not sure I succeeded, but I like the softness of the petals in the center of this peony...

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Photo Share #20 - Craft Project in Two Shots...

I've been wanting to make my own little cake stands as I began seeing them on other blogs and the occasional Etsy shop. I already had a sweet pink plate, found at a favorite thrift shop, for some time and thought it would make a sweet cake/cupcake stand...

When I found the cut glass plate and pink candle holder, I knew it would also make a sweet cupcake stand. With a little glue, some heavy books for weighing, and some time for the glue to seal, I made two little cupcake stands in a single morning:

Voila! They are adorning my creative space for now, but I just might use them as display items for an upcoming holiday boutique...more about that coming soon, so stay tuned!

SOME EXCITING NEWS - Today I have a guest post over at "I Saw You Dancing" written by my blog buddy Kat. I was so thrilled to be asked to write a guest post, and it's my first one ever! Please stop by her blog to check it out - I think you'll enjoy it! 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Photo Share #19 - the Gas Station!

I love the element of surprise, don't you?? You can imagine how excited I must have been when I discovered so many lush and colorful hibiscus flowers blooming at the gas station my dear boyfriend frequents...

I was so happy to have my little camera with me so I could photograph all the colors that were in bloom: red, orange, pale pink, yellow and white.

My dear boyfriend thought I was bit nuts to be getting up close to these flowers but they were all in such glorious bloom, I couldn't help myself!! Sadly, I could not get a long shot since it would have meant shooting the gas tanks and that didn't really make for a nice shot, but the individual flowers turned out rather nicely...if I do say it myself. =-)

Monday, October 22, 2012

Photo Share #18 - "Bubbles The Elephant"

Hello Dear Blog Readers! I hope you'll enjoy this week's photo sharing since it will be a mix of Flowers and Crafting, which are two of my favorite things =-)

Let's start with a fun craft project I made a few years back but didn't share on the blog. He is a sweet stuffed elephant I made for my old workplace as a way to boost morale - I named him "Bubbles" due to the small bubbles in the pattern of the fabric:

The pattern came from the book "Last Minute Patchwork and Quilted Gifts" but the reason for making it came from a website I discovered that was created by a fellow named Alexander Kjerulf who considers himself to be the Chief Happiness Officer. His mission in life is to make all workplaces happy ones and this elephant idea is one of many to boost employee morale...

I had a lot of fun sewing up this little fellow and he was well received by the staff in my department. I began to make another little elephant for myself that will be my own little "Ganesha" since the fabrics I am using have an Indian feel to them, but work on my little 'Ganesha' came to halt and I have yet to finish him...but now that I have mentioned him here, perhaps he will be completed sooner than later so he can make his own special appearance here on the blog =-)

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Sunday Shorts Blogtoberfest 2012 Edition - "Blackfly"

I've been sharing some favorite animated short films during Blogtoberfest and I thought I'd share this favorite since it goes with my theme of Nature for this week...

It's called "BlackFly" and it's based on a folk song written about the black fly of North Ontario...

If you go to YouTube to watch this animated short you will find the lyrics to the song...just in case you want to sing along* - Enjoy!

* - this song has a VERY catchy chorus, so don't be surprised if you find yourself singing along! ;)

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Photo Share #17 - In the Flower District

Yesterday I shared an image of nature that was found in an urban setting. Today I'm sharing another such image...

There is a flower district in Downtown Los Angeles and I would sometimes stop for a minute to look at the flowers available when I was in the area. I really loved the way this large bunch of china mums looked grouped together in the large bucket...they looked SO LUSH to me! Have I mentioned that I love flowers like this, such as dahlias and peonies??

Friday, October 19, 2012

Photo Share #16 - Blooming Cacti...

This week I have been sharing photos taken while out in nature...though nature may not always be out in the wilderness. Sometimes it can be in an urban setting...

Back in the days I worked at an awful office job, I used to take walks during my work day and it turned out be a great way to get acquainted with the neighborhood we moved to. There was lots of lovely nature to look at and this blooming cacti was one such example. I am quite partial to this type of cacti so I was very excited to find it growing in the front yard of a local home and shot a photo of it for my enjoyment...and now for your enjoyment as well! =-)

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BTW: today is the day I announce the winner of the Fun and Fanciful Party Hat giveaway and that winner is...

Kristin Maynes of 9th & Mayne - Kristin has lovely illustrations available for sale in her Etsy shop, so be sure to check out some of her wonderful goods. Congratulations Kristin!

And many thanks to all of you who participated in the giveaway...I'm thinking of another giveaway so stay tuned for more details...

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Photo Share #15 - More Tree Bark

I shared a photo of tree bark from a tree in my grandparents home earlier this week. Today I'm sharing another photo of bark from a different tree...

I mentioned that I am not good at identifying tree specimens so I can't tell you what tree this is, however, I can tell you that it was found at a place called Indian Springs. I can also tell you that it is the same place where I found the rustic stairs...

I love the texture of the tree bark and the random pattern of the holes in the bark. The diversity of Nature is so fascinating, don't you think??

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Photo Share #14 - Blooming Pink Tree!

I love to see trees that bloom so when I saw this tree with so many pink blooms, I had to take a photo...

There is something about seeing pink flowers in a tree that makes me happy! More nature photos are in store for the rest of the week so stay tuned...

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Photo Share #13 - Leaf on Sidewalk

Yesterday I shared a photo of some tree bark. Today I will share a photo I shot while on a morning walk...

I came upon this little lone leaf sitting on the sidewalk and I loved the contrast of the color and texture of the leaf against the color and texture of the concrete sidewalk, not to mention the juxtaposition of nature in an urban setting...more nature shots are coming so stay tuned...

Monday, October 15, 2012

Photo Share #12 - Tree Bark at the Homestead

Hello to my dear blog readers and any new readers from Blogtoberfest! I am sharing photos from my collection of images that I have not yet shared on my blog here during the month of Blogtoberfest - some weeks have a theme and some do not...

The photos I am sharing this week will have the theme of NATURE

I love trees...and I love the look of the bark on many types of trees, though I am not good at identifying tree specimens. I think this is a birch tree, but I can definitely tell you that it is from a tree in the backyard of my grandparents home...

I just love the surface texture and the colors of this bark. There will be other bark pictures shared among other nature images this week, so be sure to stay tuned...

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Sunday Shorts Blogtoberfest 2012 - More Richard Condie

Last week I shared the work of animator Richard Condie and this week I'm sharing his work again. This is one of my all time favorite animated shorts made by him called "The Apprentice/L'Apprenti"

The apprentice has a lesson to learn, but will he learn it??? Watch for yourself and enjoy!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Photo Share #11 - Reflecting Puddle

I usually go for a walk in the mornings and every once in a while I take my camera with me because you just never know what you might see. On this particular morning I saw the reflection of the bare tree branches in a puddle after a night of rain...

I like how you can see blue sky and clouds and I like how the sun is reflected by the road surrounding this puddle...

Friday, October 12, 2012

Photo Share #10 - Victorian Home in Echo Park

Many of you know I participated in an amazing photography project called Face Value: Mirror Portraits and if you've read the story, you'll remember that my car broke down and I had to be towed away. While waiting for the tow truck, I shot this photo of the house I was parked next to...

This block in Echo Park was lined with many Victorian/Queen Anne style homes, so I had great eye candy to look at while waiting for the tow truck...that old carriage frame was a nice touch, don't you think??

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Photo Share #9 - Marconda's Meats at Farmers Market

This photo was shot at a butchers in Los Angeles - proceed at your own risk...

My dear boyfriend and I often take a trip to spend time at the Los Angeles Farmers Market located at Third and Fairfax. It's next to the Grove shopping area so there is lots to do and see. On one trip I noticed this display of ground meats at one of the butchers known as Marconda's Meats...

Two little piggy faces were looking out into the world...

I'll have you know I was not the only person shooting photos of this display! After all, it's not every day you see a butcher with a playful sense of humor and sense of creativity in displaying his product...

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Photo Share #8 - A Quiet Spot

During the early summer months I went with my dear boyfriend to see an amazing photography exhibit at the Annenberg Space for Photography. While we were there I shot a few images that I found me at least! Here is one of them:

The particular space that houses the Annenberg is bustling during the weekdays as it's located in a very large and crowded business center, but we happened to come on a holiday and it was extremely quiet. I imagine that having lunch in this space must be very refreshing during a hectic workday...

REMINDER: I have a giveaway taking place and there are 5 more days before it closes; go HERE to leave a comment for your chance to win =-)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Photo Share #7 - Collage Art Card

I found some old images I shot with a 35mm point and shoot camera of a collage art card I made years ago as a birthday gift for a co-worker. I designed it with a taped paper on the back to write a message that can be removed for framing later and made a muslin envelope to keep it protected, which is not shown in this image:

collage elements include: photocopied ephemera, decorative wrapping paper, covered tag, stitched ribbon

I think I made only one other card like this, but it might be time to make a few more...I'll keep you posted if I do!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Photo Share #6 - Breakfast Bowl

This weeks photos will be random images with no theme...
It's been a hot summer and it's only just beginning to cool down, but two weeks ago it was cool enough in the morning for me to make a favorite breakfast. Here are the gathered ingredients:

and here is the finished breakfast in my favorite breakfast bowl:

I am really looking forward to more Cream of Wheat in the mornings...when Fall finally arrives that is!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Sunday Shorts - Blogtoberfest 2012 Edition!

It's been awhile since I've shared any fun shorts and I thought it might make a nice break from the daily photo sharing I'm doing for my participation in Blogtoberfest 2012...

My dear boyfriend recently found me a replacement VCR (my old one finally gave up the ghost) so I was able to watch some much treasured animation festival videos and they reminded me of this hilarious animated short by Richard Condie called "The Big Snit". I remember watching this at a Spike and Mike animation festival and laughing uproariously. I still think this animated short is pretty funny...

Enjoy and stay tuned for next weeks edition of Sunday Shorts!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Photo Share #5 - Holiday Party Hat

I am hosting a giveaway offering a lucky blog reader a chance to win a fun and fanciful party hat that will be made just for them. I mentioned making such hats for friends and I found this old photo I shot* of a finished hat I made for a friend that celebrates her birthday two days before Christmas, poor thing! She has to compete with a big holiday...

Since she is of Mexican descent, I used copies of old mexican currency and corn husk poinsettias to decorate her party hat. She really loved this special gift that was made just for her =-)

* - this photo was taken with an old 35mm point and shoot camera before I received my beloved Nikon COOLPIX camera from my dear boyfriend =-)

Friday, October 5, 2012

Photo Share #4 - Rustic Stairs

This set of stairs was found at an outdoor event in Indian Springs...

I love the rustic look of this stairway...

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Photo Share #3 - Tile Stairs

This is another set of tile decorated stairs, similar to the ones I shared the other day...

This stairway feels like being in Mexico...

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Photo Share #2 - Brick Stairs

I'm sharing photos here for the month and this week I'm working on the theme of stairs, which is something I like to photograph when I find interesting ones like this:

I love the color of the bricks next to the soft creamy color of the metal rails...

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Photo Share #1 - Stairs

Theme for this week: Stairways...

I have a thing for stairways so whenever I'm walking and I find an interesting set of stairs, I like to photograph them. Many interesting stairways were found during walks I took when I was still working at my office job in the neighborhood of Leimert, like this one...

Monday, October 1, 2012

Blogtoberfest 2012 - Let the Party Begin!

Hello Dear Blog Readers and Hello to new readers coming here from Blogtoberfest 2012! I am very excited about this years festival since it is being hosted by my dear blog buddy, Kat of I Saw You Dancing - I know it's going to be a great festival of blogging this year, though I still have the challenges I had during last years Blogtoberfest...

Many of my regular readers are aware that I have the challenge of no internet at home and I have been thinking about how I would approach Blogtoberfest this year. I have decided that what I will do here on my blog is to share a photo each day. There are many, many images I have shot in the past few years since I began this blog, and there are a LOT of photos I have not shared here. I think this month, during this blogging festival, is a wonderful time to share them all with you as my way of participating in Blogtoberfest 2012.

I do try to host a giveaway or two during Blogtoberfest and this year is no exception, but I begin today with a big giveaway since today is not just the start of Blogtoberfest 2012, but a very special day because...

Today is my 400th blog post!!

Can you believe it??!?

I've been hosting giveaways for the last 9 blog posts leading up to this special post, so of course there is a giveaway at the end of this post and of course it is open to all readers, whether old or new, near or far! Please read on to learn what special item is being given away to a lucky reader and thank you so much for stopping by and visiting =-)

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Many of you know that I had my very first teaching gig last Friday, as I led a workshop to teach a troop of Girl Scouts about art books and book binding, so they could earn their book binding badge.

Well, I am happy to report that it was a success!

The girls learned about altered-art books, they learned about traditional book binding with the tools and techniques used to stitch books together. They also learned about artist techniques in mixed media to make one of two small booklets of their own to take home and I think they came away very inspired by seeing examples of altered-art books. Here is an image of the booklets one of the girls had completed at the end of the workshop, using materials provided by me:

There were a few glitches and some on-the-spot trouble-shooting was needed, but it was a great experience and I really hope that I can conduct more of these workshops for other Girl Scout troops in the near future...or maybe conduct these workshops in my home or for parties!

Many of you know that I did a lot of work preparing for the workshop, which sometimes included a little cleaning and clearing in my humble abode, which has been an ongoing project for me, and I will be happy to return to some cleaning in the days ahead now that this workshop is over...

While I was cleaning/searching for supplies, I came across these pieces of poster board that I had nearly forgotten about:

Now, some of you just might be wondering:

"What exactly are those and why keep them???"

I kept these pieces of poster board because they are pattern templates I created after I made this little item...

I made this party hat for a New Years Celebration in 2007 and I actually managed to wear it during a party! It now decorates my creative space these days.

After making this party hat, I made other party hats for a handful of friends, such as this colorful hat...

...and this hat...

It's been awhile since I have made a party hat and I think now is a great time to make one as we commence with Blogtoberfest 2012!! One lucky blog reader will win a special party hat of their very own made by me that will include the winners favorite colors, a meaningful word or Word of the Year and maybe a favorite quote or two =-)

How can you win a wonderfully colorful party hat of your very own? Read on for the rules of this giveaway, but first I'll announce the winners of the giveaways that took place earlier this week...

I held three giveaways this week, on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Sadly, no one left a comment for the paper cutter and paper that I was giving away on Monday so there is no winner for Monday.

Wednesday's giveaway was for one of my exposed spine hand bound books that will be decorated by me before being mailed out and the winner of that giveaway is...Shelly Penko of the blog "Lush Visions" where you can find her sharing her beautiful, colorful paintings - congratulations Shelly!

And only one person left a comment for Friday's giveaway, so this means Kathryn Hansen of "Art Blog by Kat" is the winner of two hand-bound booklets, or 'chapbooks', which is a term that might apply due to the size of the booklets Kathryn will receive - congratulations Kathryn! 

And now to proceed with the Party Hat giveaway - here are the rules if you want a chance to win a fun and fanciful party hat of your own: 

Rules for entering this giveaway...

The giveaway is open to all readers whether old or new, near or far
You must leave a comment to enter the giveaway!
Your comment will be to share a favorite way you like to celebrate the big goals that you accomplish*
Comments will close at 12pm Pacific Standard Time on MONDAY OCTOBER 15
The winner will be announced by Friday October 19

If you'd like a little bonus goodie with your party hat**, follow my blog and let me know you have joined the "Tribe Of Creative Kindred Spirits"! 

Good luck to all who enter the giveaway! I hope you come back to visit and see what photos are being shared in this space during the month - thanks so much for visiting!

Let's party on!

* - for example, I like to celebrate accomplishing a project or goal by treating myself to a special sweet treat like a slice of cake from a local bakery or buying a special art supply like watercolor crayons or some new Prismacolor pencils, which I love

** - the winner will choose a bonus of a small booklet or 'chapbook', some small handmade gift card enclosures or a fun book-marker made by yours truly =-)