Saturday, April 30, 2011

Day 32-And the winner is...

Just a quick post today to announce the winner from my stop on the Artsy Addicts Technique Blog -hop yesterday.  The winner is  Julia Smith from Stray Dreams Blog-Congrats! Hope you enjoy the Piano Hinge book. 

A big Thank You to everyone who stopped by and also to all those who left lovely comments.

After yesterday's wonderful blog hop I was inspired and headed out to The Assemblage Studio to hang with Teresa for a while, sign up for some wonderful classes (check out their new class schedule), and pick up a few supplies.  After a great visit with Teresa I headed home to try out some of the new techniques I learned in the blog-hop in my own studio.  Some how it ended up more of an organizing session than anything but I did manage to put together some of the beautiful paper flowers I saw on the hop!  I think they are super fun and easy to make too!

Hope everyone had a great time in the blog-hop yesterday-I can't wait for the next one!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Day 31-My first Blog hop

If you're following the Artsy Addicts Blog hop you arrived at this page from Chic Scrapbook Designs by Limor Webber and after reading this blog your next step in the hop is The Best Day of My Life . (It seems that The Best Day of My Life blog wasn't having the best day and didn't add a blog today so here's the next link Miss Danielle Renee . I hope you enjoy your hop here-don't forget to leave a comment to be entered in a drawing for today's project.

Today brings me to my first blog hop-one for the Artsy Addicts group on Facebook.  Today's hop is all about teaching one of your favorite techniques.  One of my favorites and one of the easiest is Faux Leather. This technique is so simple although it does take a little planning as it does take a while to dry-to speed up drying you can iron or use your heat gun but I usually just make the Faux Leather a day or so before I want to use it.

Faux Leather is super easy to make and takes only a few basic supplies that most artsy ladies and gents will have in their stash!

For this technique you will need Ranger's Perfect Refresher solution, cardstock (colors of your choice) and stamp/distress pads (again colors of your choice) and paint or gesso (optional).  You can also use an Iron or Heat Gun (I will explain this later).

Saturate the front and back of the cardstock with Perfect Refresher solution

Rub solution over paper to coat completely, this will soften the paper and give it an oily feel.

Crumple and uncrumple the cardstock until you get the amount of  wrinkles you want (experiment with less or more). Each piece will turn out different.  Using the same colors on multiple pieces of paper will make them similar and coordinate but no two pieces are exactly alike.

When you have all the wrinkles in the cardstock you want completely uncrumple the paper and lay flat on a covered surface.

Using ink pads or dry brushing on paint, apply color to the cardstock, starting with the lightest colors first and adding as few or as many colors as you desire.  Here I used the Distress ink pad in Milled Lavender

Second I added Aged Mahogany

And finally Vintage Photo.

If you want your cardstock to be smooth you can iron it using a craft iron or regular household iron.  To speed drying, or if you used a pigment ink you can use a heat gun to set the ink.  I usually just leave mine on a flat surface to "cure" for 24 hours or so because I like the bumpy texture of not ironing it.

Several other pieces of "Faux Leather" I made.
And now a few pics of the project I made from my "Faux Leather" paper.

Cover of a Piano Hinged book made with "Faux Leather" paper

Pictures of the first page of each signature

 Thanks for stopping by for my first blog hop.  I hope you enjoyed yourself, I certainly had fun working on it.  Don't forget to continue on in your hop with The Best Day of My Life . A huge Thank You to Angee Lee Butler and Marion Smith for organizing this hop!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Day 30-The excitement builds!!!!

What a lovely way to spend a dreary day off-first I slept in, then I bummed around for a while, take out dinner from Caliente and then Coconut cream coffee, a new episode of Bones and finishing touches on my Artsy Addicts Blog hop for tomorrow!  I'm so excited for it to start I'm not sure I'll be able to sleep-or maybe it's just the coffee! LOL!  Here's another tease for tomorrow's project!

 Remember to stop by and leave a comment to be entered in a drawing for the posted project and to check out 23 other talent ladies projects in the blog hop- including my friend Chrys' blog Scrapbooking Kamps Style .

Days 28 & 29

I've been working away for the last couple days for the blog hop that's fast approaching on Friday-few more finishing touches and things will be ready to go.  Don't forget to stop back on Friday to check out 24 wonderfully talented ladies showing their favorite art techniques.  I'll have a drawing for a give-away open to anyone stopping by and leaving a comment. The hop starts at 9 am-don't be late. Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Day 26 and 27-Organizing, sorting and planning...

Day 26 of this art challenge was Easter Sunday. I was working the whole weekend so didn't head home to hang with the family, I slept in and then decided to get a little organizing and sorting done in the studio instead of diving into a fresh project.  An hour or so in my studio then I hit the shower and headed to work.

Day 27 brought about some planning, you see my friend and co-worker, Chrys, had convinced me to join a blog hop-my first. If you're not familiar with a blog hop essentially you go from one blog to the next in succession, they usually have a related topic or theme, reading and commenting on the blog posts.  The one Chrys and I are doing this week is an art technique hop.  Essentially we will be making a project using a technique, taking pictures of it and posting instructions or a video of how to do the technique.  Sounded first, then I started thinking about everything I had to do to get ready and have a project done.  Just the thought sent me rushing into the studio to start prepping!!!! may take me til Friday just to be ready.  I'm not going to post pics of what I worked on today-that would spoil the fun of Fridays blog hop but I will post a picture of the supplies needed for my technique as a tease and will let you all in on a little treat. 

Anyone who shows up on my blog on Friday and posts a comment will be entered in a give-away for the project I am making for the blog hop.  You do not have to be a member of the blog hop to participate but you do have to leave a comment.  Saturday morning I will randomly draw one winner from all those who leave comments on Friday's blog hop post by 11:59 pm (central time) Friday night. If a member of the blog hop wins I will send a few little extras along with the project posted on Friday-a little bonus for participating in the hop. So if you want to be the lucky winner make sure you check out my blog on Friday-looking forward to seeing you all there!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Day 25-It's amazing how much clarity a nap can bring

I got home from work today and had plans to meet a good friend but just hit a wall-emotionally, creatively and physically. I just couldn't muster the energy to meet my friend to create which frustrated and saddened me as I text her to cancel. I decided a little nap was in order and it's amazing how you can wake just a few hours later with a renewed energy and creativity. Having been driven out of my studio temporarily due to the cold damp of springtime in my basement, I relocated to my bedroom and started clipping, gluing and sorting.

I had an idea in mind from class on Thursday but of course I couldn't get it to work like the instructions so I had to once again modify the process to get the page to work but with a little extra folding and playing I finally got my "pop-up" to work and my lady way flying across the page like planned.  A few more swipes of paint and glazing medium, a few phrases here and there and it was finally looking more like the picture I had in my mind when I started. Here's what I ended up with:

And here's a close up of the "pop-up" portion of the page

Well, now that I've got my gluing, painting and cutting out of my system for the night I'm off to bed for a little more sleep.  Hope everyone has a very Happy Easter.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Day 24-insomnia in action

Close up of Rose Garden clothesline page

Once again the life of a night shift worker has come back to haunt me on my night off. Wide awake, mind racing at 1:30 am-pretty much the story of my life for the last, lets say 15 yrs.  So once again I dive into a pile of paper, glue and start to create. The page is changed and rearranged until I'm satisfied with the placement, a pile of buttons give dimension to the rose garden at the base of a bridge, a leaf here, a butterfly there and in the next hour and a half I managed to finish the page I'd started at class earlier in the night-another step closer to finally finishing my first altered book!

Finished Rose Garden clothesline page

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Day 23

Wonderful day filled with art-we got a start on Assemblage's Facebook page (check them out on FB by searching The Assemblage Studio, LLC), delicious dinner with Teresa and Skye at Caliente and then back to Assemblage for another installment of an Altered Book class-the most productive Altered Book class I've taken.  I finished one page (start to finish), put the finishing touches on a second page and got over 1/2 way thru the design of a third page-this makes me SO happy!!!! Not only did I get to spend time with wonderfully creative ladies, visit and chat, I got work done!

Finished pop-up peek-a-boo page

Work in progress-clothesline garden page

Days 19-22

It's been a busy week and I haven't had much time to blog but I have been working on projects. Sunday (day 19) brought about another piano hinge book-this one made with a beautiful Italian rose print paper that I recently acquired and was anxious to find a project for.

Binding of Rose Piano Hinge book
Monday (Day 20) I took on the task of beading all the Piano Hinge books I'd made and then in the evening started on a new project, potentially for a new class, a tag book made of foam core and book board. Needless to say the instructions in the magazine I was following were great for the cover but not very helpful for the inside and it's taken a while to get it together and I'm still not completely happy with it. Going to have to work on it a little more before I take the time to embellish it. Tuesday and Wednesday (days 21 &22) were filled with problem solving for the House tag book.  Here's a preview of the House tag book.

Cover of House tag book. The brown square in the center lifts out like a window for a fun dimensional effect-the window (obviously) still needs to be embellished and finished with fun paper and do-dads.

Inside of book-tags and pockets still need embellishing and jazzing up.
Today I'm off to Assemblage to hopefully launch a Facebook page for Assemblage (Woo Hoo!), have dinner with friends and then another Altered book class!  Will post later on today (Day 23). Hope you're all having a beautiful spring day!

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Saturday, April 16, 2011

Day 18-updated

Back to Assemblage today for,as predicted, fabulous Kathy Hackbarth's Piano Hinge Book Class. I always look forward to Kathy's classes she's always so patient and wonderful. The 7 of us gathered around the class table once again to soak up the masters knowledge, time flew by and the next thing we knew books were nearly done (minus the embellishments) and it was time for lunch!

Front cover-still needs embellishing and beading of my linen threads

Cool Piano Hinge spine

Inside signatures
Quick break for a cup of coffee and I'm headed into the studio to crank out a couple more of these fun books-It's always good to have a few gifts on hand and these would make great gifts for someone. No use wasting such a miserable weather day-must create!

I've emerged from my studio again for a brief break-here's a little peek at the newest book-waiting for some jazzing up!  Also have a beautiful rose print book in progress but I had to stop cutting signatures because my hand cramped up...there's always tomorrow.  Good night all!

Cover of book number 2

Spine with alternating color signatures.  I used my trusty Japanese handsaw to cut the end of the skewers off (Thanks Skye for the saw suggestion-I love it!)

Day 17

The paper doll frenzy had to be rescheduled due to participant illness but the day was not a loss.  Planning lunch with co-workers for a party and a quick pre-anniversary party trip to Assemblage to help out, then a quick trip home to pick up a few things for the party and back to Assemblage for the festivities.  Teresa and Tyler deserve giant Kudos for the wonderful decorations and delicious snacks. Hours of fun was had by all! I'm attaching pictures to prove it!

The 9 foot "birthday cake" made of hat boxes and other fun objects
Jeanie and Adele

Delightful treats

The hostess Teresa

Cute vintage doll cart re purposed for a wine caddy-too cute!

Tyler with the Bird Lady, one of several circus characters found at Assemblage this week

Tyler and the Black Swan
The party broke up, we all filtered home for the night and it was time for me to hit my studio.  Tunes jamming on the CD player, gesso and ink flying as did time, the next thing I knew it was 2 1/2 hours later and I had another couple of pages done in my altered book.

"In Flight" page

Close up of front of tag page

"Time Flies" page

Close up of back of tag page
After all this excitement today I need to catch a few hours of sleep before what I'm sure is going to be an amazing Piano Hinge Book class at Assemblage Saturday am.  Also don't forget about the 3 pm Altered book class on Tuesday the 19th and a repeat evening class on Thursday the 21st at 7 pm-there are still openings available call Teresa at Assemblage tomorrow to join us for this fun class! See the link on this blog for Assemblages contact information.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Day 15 and 16

The good thing about plans is that they are just that plans-they can be changed and frequently do in my world.  Yesterday I'd planned to just hang out and work on a project before work and as I'm laying in bed contemplating if I wanted to stay in my nice warm bed a little longer or get up, put in a load of laundry and work in the studio I got a call from my friend and owner of Assemblage Studio.  She had a flat tire, the auto club wasn't able to come for at least 1 to 2 hours and she had a couple of ladies coming into the studio to complete a project. She asks "Can you open the shop for me?" After a brief discussion I was up and out of bed getting ready to go to the shop...plans changed-not gonna hang in bed today...I guess I was meant to work on a project today (not lounge in bed)! One of the things I love most about working at the shop is I can work on projects while I work-the best of both and play!  I packed up a few supplies and headed off to open the shop, stopped at Starbucks for a venti (it was gonna be a long day-had to work my "real" job when I got done at the shop), and settled in for a day of art and meeting lovely new people.

I got to the shop, did all my usual opening stuff-turning on lights and music, filling the cash register, opening the door and then settled in to work on my latest page. The ladies showed about half way thru my page, worked on their project a beautiful memory box for one of the ladies grandparents.  As they worked we chatted (shocking I know...I'm such a quiet person after all! LOL). I always love to hear if this is a customers first project or how they got into doing projects-every story is always so different but also comes down to one similarity- Love.  Either love for art or for the person the piece is for or even for the piece itself. It always amazes me how art brings so many different people together. The ladies finished their project, went on their way and I was back to working on my page.  It still needs a few finishing touches but overall I got thru most of the work, whether I had intended to or not.

My nearly finished page

Today I woke excited, I knew I wouldn't really be completing a project but I'd be prepping for a project I'd been looking forward to for a while.  My friends daughters are having birthdays and I missed the party last weekend because I went to Chicago with the boys to see Stevie so I thought I'd plan a little birthday surprise for them.  We're gonna have a paper doll birthday party tomorrow! I received the Cricut Paper Doll Dress-Up cart for my birthday several years ago and love it and I think the girls would have a total blast dressing up paper dolls and watching them cut like magic.  I dug through my studio for paper, embellishments and all kinds of fun stuff and packed it all up. Then I had to do a test run-I'd used the cartridge before but never with the Gypsy and I had to make sure I knew what I was doing before I was surrounded by 3 squealing girls waiting for their new paper doll to be cut and I didn't want to be standing there clueless-took a few cuts to get it right but I think I might have it down now.  Really can't wait to have fun with the girls tomorrow!

The beginning of my paper doll-ready to be embellished
Don't forget the party at Assemblage tomorrow 4p-7p. Hope to see you all there to celebrate 5 wonderful years with Teresa!