Monday, December 23, 2013

wishing you merry!

Baby, it's SUPPOSED TO BE COLD outside!  
Instead, we're having record high temperatures for December 
and lots of rain instead of snow.  
The gigantic blue tarp remains over the structure of my new studio to protect it 
while it waits for periodic sunny weather.  
At least the construction crew are enjoying being home with their families for the holidays.

And I'm wishing you the same,
a very merry and blessed Christmas with those you love!

Don't forget to keep your name on the "nice" list throughout the new year! :)

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

new stamps by eileen hull with crafitti direct


My creative friend Eileen Hull has been showcasing some exciting news
over on her blog!  
Eileen has teamed up with Crafitti Direct to produce her
new line of clear stamp designs.
In preparation for their introduction at CHA in January, 
Eileen allowed me to take her first 3 stamp sets (shown below) for a test drive.


On my drive home from Eileen's home, I was already happily planning my project, 
a little holiday journal cover that would combine stamps from each of her sets.  
And of course, it would also be in her favorite color scheme.  
Below are the stamps I chose to use:

Since I'm primarily a painter, that's how I approached this project.
The cover and spine are made from 140-lb hot-press Fabriano watercolor paper
painted loosely with acrylics in Eileen's colors as background for
the stamped cover elements.

For the cover elements, I stamped the barn wood, flower wreath and leaf hinges
on smooth Bristol paper, cutting them to the shapes that fit my project.
For the spine, I stamped Eileen's "grill" pattern directly on front and back
of the fold, using black Staz-On ink for all.

The barn wood inset is painted with a light wash of
Golden Quinacridone Nickel Azo Gold and Yellow Ochre acrylic paints.
For the flower wreath and leaf hinges, I smooshed a layer of grassy green over the
stamped images with a Ranger Adirondack paint dabber (sorry, I couldn't see a paint name).
To paint in the details, I used a small round brush and
the same Golden acrylic paints plus Martha Stewart Beach Glass blue.
I added the impression of white snow on the leaf stripes with a
Sennelier white oil pastel crayon.
For the "real" snow, a line or dab of glue holds the Diamond Dust in place.
A frosty white button sewn to the barn wood cover holds the flower wreath in place.

Now my little holiday travel journal is ready for some watercolor paper signatures.
With the tree branches around my house bending under lots of snow, 
it's just the day for sewing in the pages.
I hope you are enjoying winter wherever you are!

Sunday, December 08, 2013

first snow equals stalled studio construction

This time of year gets especially busy around here, with our anniversary, my birthday, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and three other close family birthdays in a row.
And now, after 8 months of proofing architectural drawings and
enduring endless county requirements and delays,
we've happily (finally) added construction of my new studio to the list.

So far we've accomplished de-construction, removing the attics and roof above the garage and family room, and then started construction with laying
the 40+foot-long support beams, the 20+foot long floor joists,
and the pressure-treated supports for the back balcony.
It may not sound like much, but it's very exciting to have finally started.

I'm hoping to show you photos as building progresses, although initially they won't be very glamorous. :)  The project is expected to take 3 months, but we've already been stalled by our first snow this season.

I hope you'll stay tuned as my small studio becomes a big reality by this spring.
With large windows and plenty of space, I'll have room again to
make my large-scale paintings and also for holding classes.

But first, we have to get through this icy standstill in northern Virginia.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

chunky little book for holiday lists

This fat little book was so much fun to make, using Eileen Hull's 
versatile XL Square Box Scoreboard die for Sizzix,  
as another sample for our class on Saturday afternoon, December 7th, 
at Angela's Happy Stamper in Reston.

Within its small frame, there are plenty of pages to make lots of holiday lists, 
like a gift list, a wish list, and that naughty and nice list.
It can hold tags and pockets, too!

In class, Eileen and I are teaming up show you how to create the box and then
how to use the same die to create a chunky book and a shaker ornament.

Although I forgot to photograph the inside liner of this book, 
it's a series of holiday words doodled in outline and then colored in.  
This book liner to color will be part of the class kit, along with instruction sheets
and handwritten tags for embellishing your projects
for the holidays.

Come join Eileen and me for a crafty afternoon Saturday, December 7th, 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

time to start making your holiday wish box

Ho, ho, ho!  Once again the fabulous Eileen Hull and I are teaming up to teach a class using Eileen's awesome dies for Sizzix.  This time we'll be using her XL Square Box Scoreboard die to create a trio of holiday projects.   Starting with the box shape, we'll make a glittery hanging ornament, a photo box for any season, and a fun chunky book for all your holiday lists.

By the way, check out Eileen's blog to see her stop-animation video showing her 3-D Artist Trading Blocks, the new trend being introduced at CHA this January, using her new block dies!!

And then, come join Eileen and me at Angela's Happy Stamper in Reston on Saturday, December 7th, from 1-4 pm!  We'll be busy little elves all afternoon!

Friday, October 18, 2013

autumn doodle days

I'm so grateful for another beautiful autumn day!

Between a house full of family visiting for the past three months  
(including my sweet youngest granddaughter who is a bundle of energy) 
and my studio construction plans running into delay after delay at the county level 
(where there is a reputation for unenergetic mire ... to be nice about it), 
I need to be coddled by the weather for as long as possible! :)

Not much time for doodling lately, 
although I bought a new Strathmore toned journal 
and briefly tried lettering something every couple days ... yay me!  
Here are some modest results of that short-lived endeavor, some still in progress.  

And since I've been been asked frequently, some info on pens I've used.

"Afternoon sun" handmade journal page:
Fabriano hot-press w/c paper with acrylic wash background
(leftover paint from previous project added quickly to the blank page 
during clean-up), with
black Pitt pen doodles (india ink dries quickly, is then permanent), 
Copic markers (because of the acrylic wash, the Copics don't bleed into the paper)

Emily Dickinson poem in lettering journal:
Faber-Castell Pitt pens black #199 (S),  opaque white #101 (big marker),
gold #250 (1.5), plus red pencil

Flourish doodles in lettering journal:
Pitt pens black #199 (S),  opaque white #101 (big marker),  gold #250 (1.5), 
plus neon red and rose gel pens on special at Target

"Art is the magic and hope of an awesome life" in lettering journal:
Faber-Castell Pitt pens black #199 (S),  opaque white #101 (large marker),
Faber-Castell pencil and magazine words

Sunday, September 08, 2013

summer colors

All winter, 
I'll wait for the return of summer
and its sunlit hues

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

the interrupted practice of art journaling

I so wish I could make the practice of art journaling a daily or even weekly routine. It's such an enjoyable, relaxing, and imaginative outlet.  But the truth is I seldom have that kind of time.  So my pages remain an exploration seldom finished.

Even so, I'm finding out what I like as I try out different approaches and different tools. Since I like to paint and draw and doodle and letter, that's what usually appears on my pages.  Collage can be lots of fun, but I don't much like being held hostage to a pile of paper.  It's just easier for me to draw whatever happens to come along in my bits of time.  And although I love to write, I'm not much of a self-confessional journaler, so for me the pages are all about opportunities for line and color.  I might start with the line and add color, or the reverse.

Sometimes it's a long while before I get back to a journal page in progress.  Often, I don't remember where I meant to go with the page.  No matter.  I just enjoy adding another layer in the time I have, leaving it to finish when I can.  The painted page above eventually became the doodled page below.  It may change again when I have ten minutes.  It's all good.

Thursday, July 04, 2013

happy 4th

Just time for a quick doodle after lunch and before the fireworks
 to wish you "happy 4th"!

Friday, June 21, 2013

making flowers with eileen hull

Sizzix die designer Eileen Hull and I have been using her many flower 
dies to make lots of flowers for our class together next week.  

We're excited about the release of her new "Picket Fence" line 
with Sizzix, now in stores and full of garden details like flowers, 
flower stakes, a seed packet, canning jar, watering can 
and, of course, a picket fence.  

For our "Cutting Flower Garden" class 
at Angela's Happy Stamper in Reston, 
Eileen will be demonstrating the cutting abilities of her dies 
with a fun range of materials, 
like felt, foam, fabric, tissue and even bubblewrap.  

If you join us, you'll be constructing your own 3-dimensional flowers 
and filling berry baskets with your inventive combinations.

Just to add to the garden array, 
I'll share some fun doodled flowers as well.  
With a sturdy paper like cardstock or Bristol paper, 
you can use your doodled flowers to decorate a summer gift box,
 or make place cards for your 4th of July picnic, 
or just add to the bouquet in your berry basket.

The place cards below use Eileen's Textured Seed Packet for 
the personalized name cards.

We'll also make a hand-written flower band to 
wrap around our berry basket.  
Just trace the flower names you choose from the class handout, 
color them in, and attach them around your basket.

Come join us here Tuesday evening, June 25th, from 6-9 pm 
to fill your own berry basket with freshly-made cut flowers.
Yay for June flowers!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

more doodle lettering

Sometimes it's a good day, and sometimes it's not.
Either way, some doodle lettering can add a bit of fun.
Or maybe just slow time down a little.

Saturday, May 04, 2013

doodled song lyrics

Spent an afternoon warming up for a lettering project 
by listening to some favorite songs and doodling the lyrics.

Monday, April 29, 2013

recent class journal pages

A little update to share some recent art journal pages I painted in some really fun classes.  As usual, I seldom finish anything in class, but I always have a good time.   
And, as you can tell, I love color!

The Mindy Lacefield class (above) at Art & Soul was just this past weekend.  
The Dina Wakley class (fourth photo) was at Queen's Ink.  

During the Judy Wise class at Kim's in NC (below), I was invited to give an impromptu lettering demo.