Sunday, March 31, 2013

Sunday Shorts Video: Baby Chicks!

Hello Dear Blog Readers!
I thought I would share a little video I made during my time at the Artful Journey Retreat...and just in time for Easter!

My first year at the retreat, I saw a local hardware store in town, so after my first workshop day I made a quick trip to pick up some brushes and glue. While in the store, I discovered that this hardware store sells baby chicks!

Now, I make it a point to visit the baby chicks on my trips to the retreat. This year I thought I would attempt to shoot a video with my pocket camera so you can see these darlings running and chirping away in their holding pen...

Here is the video - enjoy!

Most of the sound for this video is pretty good, but some of it went mute. I have to figure out where the speaker for sound is located on my pocket camera so I don't keep blocking it when making my videos!
I hope you are enjoying a Happy Easter today!

Friday, March 29, 2013

We Have a Raffle Winner!

Hello Dear Blog Readers,
Today is the day the raffle prize winner is announced!

There were only 4 ticket holders so it didn't seem right to use my usual bowl for picking a winner...

So I put the ticket stubs together, face side down...

Then I mixed them up...

It's not easy to do this AND photograph myself doing it at the same time!!

Then I put them back together...

Then I mixed them up again...

...And put them back together...

And I did this one more time until I felt ready to pick one of the ticket stubs...

And now the winner is ticket number...

Number 4! The holder of this ticket is Glenda Hoagland of the blog Pilgrim's Thoughts...

Congratulations Glenda! Contact me to let me know which of these books you want to have for your own and I will mail it out to you:

I have a fun video for Sunday where I share the baby chicks from the hardware store in Los Gatos, where the Artful Journey is held so be sure to check in to watch these cuties in action...

I've also been up to a lot of creative goodness lately like knitting, sewing and creating a deck of inspirational cards for a swap! I will be sharing these projects with you all next week, so be sure to stay tuned!! In the meantime...

Have a Happy Easter!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Magical Moments - Deer Grazing at Artful Journey!

Hello Dear Blog Readers!
I am finally able to share these videos I shot using my COOLPIX pocket camera while at the Artful Journey Retreat...

With some help from my dear boyfriend, the videos were loaded to his computer so he could format them. I then created a YouTube channel to store the videos and with a little more help from my dear boyfriend, I learned how to embed the videos into my blog!

Let me set the scene for these videos I am about to share with you:

I had just returned from a quick trip to town where I had just shot a video of the baby chicks at the hardware store* and as I was rounding the parking lot to park the car, I saw some deer at the edge of the parking lot!

I worked very carefully and quietly to attempt to get close to the deer so I could film them - there might have been a total of 5 deer that happened to be grazing! I shot three different videos to capture the magic of seeing these gentle creatures.

They may not be the best quality considering I used a pocket camera, but I think you just might be able to pick up on the magic feeling this event turned out to be...

Video #1

Video #2

Video #3

Getting a glimpse of deer where I live is pretty rare and being this close to them is rarer still! I am really glad that my pocket camera has a video option, so I could capture this magical moment...stumbling upon these deer grazing felt like a very good omen at the start of the retreat.

I hope you enjoyed viewing these humble videos. Be sure to stay tuned - the raffle winner will be announced and I will share one more video I know you will enjoy!

* - you will see these darling baby chicks on Sunday, in time for Easter! =-)

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Day 3 at the Artful Journey Retreat - Show & Tell!

Hello Dear Blog Readers!
Today I'll be showing you some peeks at the AMAZING creativity that was shared in the Show & Tell on the final day of workshops at the Artful Journey Retreat. The creativity exhibited was truly AMAZING!!

There were 5 instructors at the retreat:

Students from each workshop shared their amazing creations in the Show & Tell at the end of the third day of workshops and the work created was fabulous. Here is a peek at the work made in Jesse Reno's workshop:

I love the playful creatures that take form in Jesse's workshops and the use of color is truly stunning, especially when you discover that all of Jesse's students are taught to use only 5 basic colors and mix them to create the amazing range of color that you see above. I learned to mix colors this way, so I really appreciate the work made by each and every student!

Here are examples of work made by students in Katie's workshop:

Lots of portraits, color, mixed media and whimsical creatures came to life in Katie's workshop!

Here are a few journal pages from students in Orly's workshop:

There was a great deal of rich texture on the pages of the journals from Orly's students. Just look at the color bursting forth!

Here is work made by the students in D.J.'s workshop, all of it beautiful:

Just look at the beautiful elements that came together to create these gorgeous mixed media journals - lace, ribbons, velvet, muslin, paint washes, transfer images, even burlap and bells for the spine of the book above! I hope DJ is teaching next year because I DEFINITELY want to take her workshop!

Here are examples of work from the students in Albie's workshop - I thought I'd save the best for last! ;)

Gorgeous, colorful papers made by fellow classmates...

I wish I could buy papers like these for my collage work!!

A wonderful example of a French Fold book, with buttons to create a pocket - so CREATIVE!

This looks like an ancient book filled with manuscripts of mystery and magic!

The Show & Tell was amazing! It was great to have everyone share their creative doings, to hear everyone praising each other on their efforts, all of it well deserved!

I hope you have enjoyed these peeks into the Artful Journey retreat and I hope you have been inspired by the wonderful art created by my fellow attendees. Maybe you will find a retreat where you live and make a leap to be there and honor your creativity? I highly recommend it!

There are a few videos I shot during my time at the retreat and I plan to share them later in the week. There is also going to be a raffle winner who will choose one of these books I made at the retreat:

The raffle winner will be announced on the 29th! What book will she choose???

There is some fun stuff coming this week, so be sure to stay tuned!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

My Artful Journey Journal!

Hello Dear Blog Readers!
It's a busy week but I wanted to take a minute to share a wonderful gift I received at the Artful Journey retreat - a wonderful new journal*!!

Everyone received a beautiful mixed media journal when arriving at the retreat. These lovely journals were made by Cindy and by D.J. Pettitt, though Cindy would tell you that D.J. did most of the work!

My new art journal - I was born on a Wednesday and I have thing for 'trios' in vintage photos...

I had considered making a little journal to take with me for this years retreat, but Cindy put out the word that journals were being made for everyone!

Cindy also mentioned there would also be an evening of art journaling fun for anyone who wanted to participate. Needless to say, many of us did! I got to know some of my fellow workshop mates during this play time, like Glenda at Pilgrims Thoughts.

I meant to create some more papers that night, but once I got into the swing of art journaling, it was all over!

But can you blame me with a such a lovely journal as this??

The back of my lovely new journal - I love butterflies for their transformational quality...

I will share some of the artful journaling I've created in this journal soon, along with final images of the amazing work created by my fellow artists at the retreat, so be sure to stay tuned!

I am preparing to teach one of my workshops at my favorite bookstore: The $5 (or less!) Bookstore in Simi Valley this Sunday! If you are in the area, come check it out! You can find more details on my Upcoming Events page.

Thanks for reading and stay creative!

* - My "Buy No New Art Supplies" Challenge does include not buying any new blank books, but I am free to receive gifts of blank books or art journals! ;)

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

A Peek at My Creative Workshop!

Hello Dear Blog Readers!
I just wanted to share a few peeks from the creative workshop I conducted on Sunday...

 The "I Am" A French Fold Book - my third creative workshop...

The creative workshop I hosted on Sunday was called "I Am" A French Fold book, which is a 3-dimensional book form. I thought it would be fun to use collage to create the backdrop for what becomes an 8-page, 3-dimensional book that is a standing book. "I Am" is from the self-discovery exercises that were used to glean some personal values from sharing stories...

A collage coming together...Book #1 can be seen in the series below

I had 4 students, with two being a husband and wife team. It was great to see this couple creating their books and sharing their stories to find the values that are important to them...

Putting scraps of paper together to create a rich collage background... This is Book #2

One of the students was my own dear boyfriend! He invited one of his friends, who I have met, and she was very excited to be part of the creativity, since it's not something she does often. Here is a peek at how her collage began to take shape...

This collage became Book #3

Everyone enjoyed making their collages, but they REALLY loved how the page folded into the books! Here is how 3 of the books came together:

Book #1 - is folded

Pages from Book #2

Book #3 is folded and ready to be written in...

And everyone loved writing on the colorful, textured pages to list the values that they embody, which they could now take home and keep!

My boyfriends book is on the left - I love how he added an extra folding page!

I really enjoyed teaching this workshop and I plan to teach again this Sunday at one of my favorite places: The $5 (or less!) Bookstore located in Simi Valley.

Mini Collage Art Books - a LOT of creativity is packed into these little books!

The workshop will be the Mini Art Book, which I taught to my Wise Woman last month. It is a fun workshop and I look forward to teaching this workshop in one of my favorite places - a bookstore! And it is a FAVORITE book store, where I have found wonderful craft books and beautiful vintage books, so there are LOTS of reasons to come out to The $5 (or less!) Bookstore on Sunday March 24th. You will find more details on my Upcoming Events page...

I'll be sharing some videos I shot while at the Artful Journey Retreat later this week, so be sure to stay tuned!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Artful Journey Prayer Flags

Hello Dear Blog Readers!
Today I am sharing the prayer flags that were made for the retreat...

Here is another peek at the prayer flags I made for the retreat, which were mailed in time to arrive for Cindy to begin arranging them for hanging at the Presentation Center:

"Patchwork Composition"

 "Artist Letter"

This is the second time that Cindy has requested prayer flags to be made, which are used to decorate the dining hall at the Presentation Center. Each flag is a creative wonder, being made with any number of materials and supplies. Here are some highlights of prayer flags I managed to photograph:

There was a lot of light which made it a bit difficult for me to get a good photograph with my pocket camera...I guess I should have made some time to adjust the settings on my camera - DOH!

I really like the girl on the flag in the lower string of flags

I love the tree flag to the right of the center...but I do love trees!

I absolutely LOVED the bright colors and dripping ribbons on this flag - it looks like CANDY!

Love the colorful flowers and quilted quality of this flag...

Patchwork scraps, battenburg lace and hand embroidery - this one captured my heart!

Seeing all the flags hanging together is inspiring! I really should make more prayer flags - they are fun to make and great exercises in using up materials in a creative way...

Next week I'll be sharing more creative moments from the retreat, so be sure to stay tuned!

Thanks for reading and enjoy a creative weekend!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Day 2 at Artful Journey Continues - Making a Folio Book

Hello Dear Blog Readers!
I'm continuing with my second day at the Artful Journey Retreat where I learned to make paste paper. In my previous post, I talked about using paint to imprint onto other sheets of paper. Today, I'm sharing about my experiments using Albie's beautiful stamps and stencils that she brought to share with us all...

 One of my papers made using one of Albie's fabulous stencils - this stencil would recur in my papers all weekend!

This time, I would be designing paper with stencils and stamps and I would also use the colored gesso paper paste as a wash, instead of a thick layer, although thick layers of colored gesso would also be used...not to mention a little tea to 'age' the papers*!

Left: light gesso wash with heavy gesso border - Right: light gesso wash and heavy layer to show stencil design

I began to play with some colors that some of my classmates had mixed together: olive green and a deep burgundy/eggplant color. This is a favorite color combination of mine and as I began to play with these colors together, a book began to form in my imagination: a folio book...

Folio book opened: inner folio cover with stenciled border and center with tea dyed background to frame the first page of heavy gesso layers and stencil design

There are many sizes to a book as this entry in Wikipedia will tell you. As this book began to form in my imagination I knew instinctively that it was a folio book, not just for the size, but for the slim signature. A book is generally thicker with several pages making up the book block or codex that we are familiar with.

Many of these are codex books, which are from my personal collection of blank journals that will be used this year!

As I made up a large sheet of paper using the olive green and burgundy gesso pastes, I realized that it would make a great cover for a large size book, or folio...

Folio cover opened to show back and front I continued using this color combination to make pages to go into the folio...

LEFT: page with gesso wash and stamped paint - RIGHT: tea dyed page

 LEFT: page with gesso wash and stamped paint - RIGHT: tea dyed page

LEFT: page with gesso layers and stencil design - RIGHT: gesso wash with stamped paint

Now, I am usually not one to 'name' my work, like my journal spreads or art pages that go into my art journals. When participating in Orly's workshops, I would date my pages as a reminder of the date that it was created, especially since it was created in one day.

However, most of my art pages are done in a series of stages, making it hard to pinpoint the actual end date and naming them never quite feels right to me, so I really relate to Jackson Pollacks eventual decision to simply number his works as he did later in career.

As my folio book began to come together, the style of the stamps and stencils used began to reveal a place and time for me...

The backside of the page shown at the top of this blog post with tea dyed background, painted stamp designs and strategically placed smudges...after accidentally smudging it in the first place!

This place and time began to feel like the Old World, like Italy...and since I used the 'gate' stamp as a border and decorative element on the pages, it seemed like a gateway to enter the old world of Italy. Thus, "Gateway to the Old World" was born...

"Gateway to the Old World" - Cover

Center page with inner cover bordering the center page - it all works together!
 Back Cover of "Gateway to the Old World"

I really love how this folio book came together! It is inspiring many ideas of more folios that I plan to create in the future and I will share them here as they begin to come together...

I have another workshop taking place in my home and it utilizes a book form I am familiar with that I saw being made at the retreat. It is called a French Fold book and it is a fun 3-dimensional book form:

You can read more details about this workshop on my Upcoming Events page!

I'm also working with one of my favorite bookstores to offer my book making workshops. I'll let you know how this turns out, so be sure to stay tuned!  

* - This is the project that inspired me to play with making tea dyed papers upon my return home from the retreat =-)