Thursday, August 30, 2012

My altered book from Julie's class

As promised, here are the pages from the altered book I made in Julie Fei-Fan Balzer's class this past Saturday. I think I may still add a bit more to it, but I'm not sure what yet.  This page has two inclusions that flip.

This page  has another flip page, and a scalloped edge.

The next page has a cut out flap with a washi tape tab that when opened lets you see through to the image on the following page.

The image is a layered packing tape transfer - a cool way to build a collage element.

This page I showed yesterday; it has Julie's autograph.  I cut out a heart shape creating a window to the next page.

And finally here's the back of the heart window, and on the right side I adhered the cut out heart after trimming it just a bit.

I love how the book is shaping up!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

A Fantastic Weekend of Classes with Julie!

This past weekend I took two classes with Julie Fei-Fan Balzer at Absolutely Everything in Topsfield, MA. She brought along her Mom to help with the class! Julie is a fantastic teacher - very practical and real, a true what you see is what you get person who isn't afraid to tell it like it is - maybe that goes along with being a New Yorker - all bundled together with a terrific sense of humor. It was such a pleasure to take a class where you bring all your supplies from your own stash and create a project from the ground up rather than essentially having a prepped kit that you just put together. I know that I can make these projects again and again! Julie shared SO many techniques...."but, wait...there's more!" as well as her process for doing them. I love learning by seeing how someone does something.

Saturday's class was an altered book project with paint and stencils used in the class. See my inky fingers? It was a good day :-)

I had Julie autograph this page in my book.

A really fun part of attending classes is connecting with people. This is my friend Erika in the middle that I've "met" online through her blog, but now happily know in person!

For Sunday's class, we started by creating painty pages of deli paper by monoprinting with a gelli plate. I can easily see this becoming a new obsession! You can create textures with the end of a paintbrush, a paint comb, bubble wrap, cardboard tubes - basically anything that isn't sharp, and you can get 3 to 4 generations of prints from from one application of paint. Keep layering, and embellishing, and the end result is fantastic collage fodder. This is the floor next to my chair with all my painty papers drying. Actually everybody in the class had papers drying everywhere on the classroom floor! It was so inspiring to see ideas that people tried. Julie's work is so colorful and I loved learning more about color from her. I see how much I play it safe by staying monochromatic or using neighboring colors like my favorite blues and greens, but you can really create more interest by adding in just a bit of a complementary color like some orange with the blue and a bit of red with the green. Then to add in a bit of black or white - it seems to make the colors so much more vibrant.

We cut up our papers into small pieces and created 2 canvas collages with them. All the lettering was done with a paint brush, and I could really use some practice there! Give me a dip pen and ink and I can make pretty letterforms, but my control with a paintbrush needs some work!

I had to take pictures with more friends - this is Tracy who I met last month at Dyan Reaveley's classes who has also been bit by the art journaling/mixed media bug!! :-)  So much fun to play together in more classes and chat over lunches.

...and I ended up sharing a table with my friend Catherine, who lives close to me in Maine. I've taken classes FROM her, and really enjoyed taking one WITH her!  She's so talented and it's inspiring to see her process as she created such a cool piece.

A truly awesome weekend that has left me so inspired - thank you, Julie!!!!

Tomorrow I'll share the pages in my altered book - this post is getting rather long, so you'll just have to check back ;-)

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

CC2C week 19 Collage

We're up to week 19 at Linda's Compendium of Curiosities Vol.2 Challenge and this week it's a featured product - Kraft Resist.  You can find the techniques to try with it on page 41 of Tim's book and also check out his recent blog video for more Kraft Resist tips.  Since I can't share how I did the technique on my collage, I thought I'd share my inspiration behind it.  I've wanted to find a project to use the map and compass page of the Kraft Resist tablet which I love, and I recently finished a book about Highclere Castle which is the setting for Downton Abbey which I also love.  The castle is the home of  the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon, and the 5th Earl discovered the tomb of the Pharaoh Tutankhamun along with the famous Egyptologist Howard Carter in 1922.  The image in my collage is from a postcard I've had for many years - one of my bought ancestors - and written on it is "The Old Harry".  I thought Harry was a good stand in for an English gentleman explorer.  I placed him so that Cairo Egypt which is written on the map is just behind his left shoulder.....although they did their archeological explorations in the Valley of the Kings outside Luxor....

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Whatevers #3 - The Rutherford-Jones family vacation

Another month for a Whatevers story!  I'm really enjoying participating with these monthly pictures from Catherine, Nathalie and Vicki (check out their blogs to download the picture and join in).  I love seeing what the new picture is on the 15th and pondering about it to "get to know them better" lol!  It's so fun to let their story grow in my mind for awhile and then put them in my canvas portfolio journal.  This month, instead of a bright and colorful background with the black and white photo, I chose to color the photo instead using a combination of distress inks and watercolor pencils, and I kept my background more neutral and subdued.  I used a crackle medium that turned out to look more like wood grain which I think fits for my story in a national park.  I stamped flowers and grassy leafy bits using archival ink colors (which stamped beautifully over the paint), but found it didn't stand out well, so I doodled flowers and leaves over the stamping with a black pen.

I hope you enjoy my story of the four Rutherford-Jones sisters.

Here's the text on the page for easier reading:

Summer vacation.  The four Rutherford-Jones sisters have spent months thinking about it.  They hoped to go to a seaside hotel where they could sip lemonade, eat cucumber sandwiches and try a different flavor of ice cream everyday, but their parents have very different ideas of what a summer vacation should be.  Being teachers, they do their best to turn vacations into learning experiences.  This year, they decided to take their daughters on an outdoor excursion to a national park, gave them a list of native wildflowers to find, and while walking along the rock-lined path, their father, Prof. Rutherford-Jones, enlightened them about the process of quarrying granite. After finishing the 4.7mi park loop trail and finally sitting down for a rest, he posed a question for each of them to figure out how many steps they each just took. While he and their mother set out their picnic lunch, each sister got to work figuring out their stride length to complete the calculation.
...ahhhh....summer vacation.

flower stamps: Donna Downey for Unity Stamps

Monday, August 20, 2012

CC2C week 18 tags

Here's my tag for week 18's Compendium of Curiosities 2 Challenge - sponsored this week by the Funkie Junkie Boutique - where you'll find the technique on page 47 of Tim's book called whitewash stamping.  I have to confess that when I read the technique, I thought it would never work for me, because I don't seem to have the greatest results with Picket Fence stain, but I've stuck with all the challenges so far and got out a kraft tag and it worked!  It's a fun effect for your background and here's my close-up view:

So if it worked with a kraft tag, I had to try it on a regular manila tag ;-)  Much brighter colors, don't you think?

Stamps: Graffiti Splatter stamps by Tangie Baxter, phrase stamp - Donna Downey for Unity

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

CC2C week 17 tag

I created this tag for this week's Compendium of Curiosities 2 Challenge - this time sponsored by Simon Says Stamp - where we're using page 61 of Tim's book that gives ways to use his Core'dinations papers. I love the way you can get a worn vintage look with them. I was even able to create veins in the leaf die cuts!

Here's a closer look:

Distressed dots background stamp on the tag - Unity Stamps. A good match for the embossing folder, don't you think?

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

CC2C week 16 collage

Week 16 of Linda's Compendium of Curiosities 2 Challenge and this week it features a product from page 54 of Tim's book - Perfect Pearls Mist. I used it on the backgrounds of my mini collages. After making the three collages, I attached them to a long corrugated cardboard piece and added copper wire wrapped and coiled to try to direct the flow of the piece from top to bottom.

Here are close-ups - I liked how the Perfect Pearls really shined in the middle piece with the bracket frame.

Supplies: images - Digital Collage Sheets, bracket frame stamp - hand carved, vintage book text

Friday, August 3, 2012

The Whatevers - Margaret's Regrets

This month's Whatevers picture is this image of a woman.  You can find her by checking out the blog posts by Catherine, Nathalie, and Vicki to read their stories and play along with the Whatevers.  I've placed the photo of wistful Margaret into my journal on a multi-layered background that started with modeling paste through a stencil and then had distress inks added, paint stamped, and paper collaged to it from various scraps: postcards from French Kissed Postcards, vintage stamps from a Stampington collage sheet, and strips from French themed sheets from Digital Collage Sheets.

The right side closer up:

...and the left side contains her story:

Margaret always did what was expected of her.  She married at 18, and while raising two sons and a daughter, she somehow managed to keep her household running smoothly.  There were always times though when she found herself wondering how her life could've been different...

Her cousin Evelyn had run off to Paris in order to escape a marriage.  She renamed herself Genviève and rumor had it she posed for famous painters and sculptors.  Such scandalous behavior was never talked about in family conversation, but there were times when Margaret remembered her and considered how if she had had just a bit of her bravery she could have interesting stories of her own to tell. 

So instead of continuing to sit in the chair all prim and proper with her hands neatly clasped in her lap, Margaret thought of Genviève as she looked off into the distance and raised her right hand to her cheek...