Thursday, December 9, 2010

Look What Canada did!

Would you not have loved to be present at this food court in Canada, taking a little break from Christmas Shopping. Brings tears to my eyes!

Monday, November 1, 2010

My Suzi Blu Cards from Suzi's Stamps

I'm not sure why making cards is so difficult for me. I surmise that perhaps it is because it is a more exactly art form. Altered Art appeals to me because it is not exact. Plus, the one skill I truly haven't got a handle on is color. It is such a trial and error thing for me.

Here are three of my favorite finished Suzi Blu Stamp cards. The first one is in my favorite color - Pink. I have added a crown and Stickles. The heart is a glitter embossing powder that I had never used before. The flowers were a ribbon roll that I got at Stamping Details and cut apart and then put rhinestones in the centers.

I am wondering if this is Suzi's Stamp or if I copied a card she made for me that I thought she was going to make a stamp. The saying was her saying "Love is the whole point." The design her all hers..

I love this stamp. I just happened to have the ice cream cone sticker and thought it went great. Now I am going to look for actual cupcake stickers. I'm sure they are out there. . .

The backgrounds were done with H2O's and metallic water color paints that i was fooling around with - I don't do that very often. Suzi was videoing and I was just making backgrounds for all her girls I had stamped. Fun.

What has helped me the most when I really think about it is the section of Somerset Magazine where they have an artist select her palette and then show what she did with it.

I have also learned from Chris Cozen , Suzi Blu (at Suzi's link you can see what she did with her stamps) and Julie Prichard is to select something out of a magazine or scrapbook paper that has already made the decision of what colors look good together and then try to emulate them. But, that takes some forethought and preparation.

When I was visiting Suzi the other day at her seaside new home she talked again about selecting your palette before beginning. I just thought artists just picked a color and then looked at what they had done and then selected another color that they thought would look good with the first color. I had no idea that there was preparation involved!

Here are my humble attempts at card making with Suzi's darling stamps from Unity Stamp company owned by this wonderful woman, Angela who I met at Melody Ross' Brave Girl's Camp this year.

Theses were all done before I tried to add embellishments. They are just missing something! The final products are the single photos. There were more and the best one's I did are already sent to some of my dear friends and relatives. I love that I had things I personally made to send. I hope they loved getting them from me.

The remaining cards are the finished cards. I know I talked about being "challenged" are cutting and being exact. Trust me, I truly was on theses but because of the angle I shot theses photos, and then cropping them in PhotoShop, they look like I didn't cut evenly. No, I was just too lazy this time on my birthday - yes, today is my birthday - to mess with this aspect. I hope you can see the difference when the cards are finished.

Yes, those are big dimensional stones that make the flowers in her hands. I love all things lumpy. Glued them down with E6000.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

U F O's - Sally Jean Alexander's Halloween Necklace Class

Silly Sal's almost finished necklace

Sally Jean helping Silly Sal

Last week Margo and I took a soldering Halloween necklace class from Sally Jean Alexander. I consider her a nationally know artist of considerable repute and when ever I can take a class from this level of a teacher - I do. (My first nationally know artist/teacher was Lynn Perrella. I took the class at Art Unraveled in Phoenix several years ago. What an excellent teacher).

Our Work Room at Cheryl's home

Sally Jean's class was her at her friend, Cheryl's private residence in Poway. Cheryl is a jewelry artist in her own right. Her pieces are exquisite and can be purchased in her Etsy store. As you can see, the room where Sally Jean taught was huge. We were not crowded at all and every table had two power strips.

Sally Jean and Margo

There were 16 of us and it seemed like only my friend Margo and I were the only ones who hadn't signed up for all 4 days of Sally Jean's classes. Displayed in Cheryl's home were her chandeliers (yes plural) she had made in previous Sally Jean's classes. So very beautiful.

This class theme was Halloween. Sally Jean took us through simple steps, with a demo showing us what that step entailed as we moved through the process of making the main focal point - a shaker shadow box made out of 5 main pieces of glass and 4 little pieces that her husband had cut for us.

Margo, Sally Jean and Silly Sal

In preparation, I had spent a day with Margo and Kathie tuning up my limited soldering skills. After being frustrated with the two soldering irons I already had, I went out and purchased a Weller 100, a rheostat and a stand. Much better! What a difference it makes to use the right tools.
Friends Kathie and Margo at Silly Sal's

I had also decided to us my own art and choose the 1st thing I had ever drawn from my 1st Suzi Blu online class which Elena of Scrapbook Royalty had commissioned me to draw and paint. It ended up being two paintings called "Good Witch", "Bad Witch." I shrunk them in PhotoShop CS5. Didn't know what I would need them for but they ended up being my main focal point.

Then I went through my children and my Halloween photos when we were all much younger and resized them.

Sally Jean showed us how we can solder ANYTHING including small branches which she attached to her piece. (She has requested that I not publish photos of her necklaces).

If only I had stayed with her simpler design with just a chain and charms hanging from the chain. I thought, what if I don't do this again. I want this to be like I want it. I decided I wanted all my glass charms to be a part of the chain, not dangling from the chain. I had no idea how much work that entailed. Yikes!

Silly Sal's necklace in progress
Taped but only partially soldered

I left that day's class with my main piece soldered and a couple of other pieces soldered with their jump rings. I learned a lot and knew I could do much better with practice.

More charms in various stages of developement

This Sunday I finished my necklace, but I don't wear pieces this big so what to do. In the mean time I had found more photos I wanted to incorporate into my family portrait of our Halloweens. Enter fate or one good turn deserves another!

The newly purchased tree where
Halloween charms will reside in the future

Yesterday I was helping my friend Suzi Blu to move to Leucadia, I met the person who Suzi is renting from and who also lives on the property - Patricia. What a talented and wonderful person. I think Suzi is going to be very happy here. Patricia also owns a store in Leucadia/Encinitas on Pacific Coast Hwy called Embellishments. Here is her card.

Business Card for Patricia's business

Before we went to visit her darling shop we were in her garage because she said she was going to have a garage sale this coming Sunday. There I saw this metal display tree. (I had been entertaining the thought of using a Manzanita branch to hang my Halloween charms). I purchased this "metal tree" and as you can see from the photo below, it is waiting for the fruit (my family charms) to be transformed once again and hung.

Various stages of Silly Sal's second attempt
at Mermaid Shaker Shadow Box

Back at the class, I had purchased two extra kits from Sally Jean. One of that day's project and another of the day's before which I had seen a photo. I decided to make a smaller shaker box out of my favorite mermaid I made in another Suzi Blu class and put teeny sea shells, seed beads and a very teeny tiny sea horse. I have yet to foil wrap it but wanted to get this up as soon as possible. That is the same for the shrine piece of glass that I purchased in the extra kit. There I put my gypsy painting after sizing it and creating a background for it too.

Nothing is finished as you can see. But, like all my friends, I have multiple projects going at the same time. I just started Danita's online class through Crescendoh. Then there is Suzi Blu's current online class which I am constantly sketching and painting.

Sally Jean at Cheryl's Goodie Table

Check out the cookie on top of the scone
that one of the students had made for this class

Did I mention how good the treats were at the Sally Jean class - plus lunch from Panera's - Yummy!I will for sure take another class at Chery's when Sally Jean returns next year to teach. I think you should too. I know you wont' be disappointed.

Side note: This week I was honored to be Jenny Doh's Crescendoh Guest Curator for her Art Saves feature. It is my true story. I am truly blessed by all my old friends - never to be forgotten - and my new friends found and cultivated by opening my heart and soul to art. For me Art Saves!

Oh, by the way, U F O's stands for Un-Finished Objects. Well, my project is almost finished but it is also still a work in progress. I will explain as I go along.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore

Sally and Alice

Alice in Wonderland has gone home to Nova Scotia. Her two week visit has ended. My husband's Ham Radio/Skype friend Alice has returned home with one more of her "Bucket List" items completed - visiting Southern California, specifically San Diego.

Alice hold photo album gift from Bet

Prior to arrival, Alice knew that I have a group of friends that get together once a week at my home to play. A month ago in anticipation of said gathering, Alice sent a giant box to our home with instructions not to open.

She had been following me and my friends on my blog and said she felt like she already knew everyone.

When the play day arrived, September 23rd, we were all surprised that Alice did not choose to play along with us. I had provided paper and Suzi Blu, Crescendoh, Brave Girls Camp and Elena's Scrapbook Royalty Stamps plus ink for those who didn't have ongoing projects.

Kathie's hands and jewelry

Since we hadn't seen each other all summer, it was a time to share. Kathy had brought the jewelry she had been making recently with metal and wires.

Bet and Jackie working on their Kumihimo with Kathie supervising

Kathie taught Georgia, Diane, Bet and Elena - Kumihimo. She brought a bunch of Kumi looms she just happened to have around the garage. (You ought to see her garage)! It is an ancient Japanese braiding technique. Kathie once was one of the editor/writers of the now defunct Expression Magazine. It was such a great magazine and missed by all who know and read it.

Georgia hold glasses case she made with Kathie

Georgia and Bets besides learning Kumihimo from Kathie , did take time to take advantage of the stamps I had available. They are now ready to make cards whenever they have the need.

Cards Georgia made for me

Georgia brought me a hostess gift of some cards she had water colored and some cards made with bleach. Thank you Georgia!

Kat and Nina with Diane Standing

Diane showed us what she has been working on since her last Chris Cozen class. Plus for her birthday, she received one of Chris' paintings as present from her brother. We were so envious of Chris' painting and also loved the many colorful pieces Diane had completed.

Alice and Jackie

Jackie worked on four 4x4 canvases preparing them for 4 photos of her late husband, Frank, and his Memorial to take place in October.

Kat with Halloween Canvas in Progress

Kat completed a "kool" canvas with a Halloween Theme. She did a great job and we were amazed at how fast she worked!

Kat and Nina Sitting

Nina was very quiet this day. I don't think she had gotten a lot of sleep the night before. Everyone was happy to see her again and congratulated her on being back on the radio again! Nina did work on one of her canvases that she was dealing with flesh color issues and I believe resolved the problem.

Suzi came not to play but to get organized and make lists. She maintains that the book Organize from the Inside Out has turned her life around an made her much more productive. Even her refrigerator is organized! That's a win - win.

Elena and Sally

Elena came to eat bacon. . . and Alice didn't disappoint her with her little munchies made with Wonder bread, bacon grease, bacon and processed cheese. We also had Alice's delicious version of Sloppy Joe Sliders.

The Food for the Day

I had made what I thought was tons of the Barefoot Contessa's Mac and Cheese with 8oz Black Diamond Extra Sharp Cheddar and 12oz of Gruyere Cheese. Surprise, surprise, it was almost gone by the end of the day.

Everyone Hard at Work Doing Something

For desserts we had 5 different choices of Alice's homemade bars: Peanut Reeses Squares, Chow Mein Noodle Drops, Vanilla Fudge, Cashew Almond Bark, and Five Star Bars.. She had made them at home and brought them in her luggage carefully packed. They were a hit with everyone. I especially liked her homemade Peanut Butter Cup with dark chocolate!

Alice's Hand Writing and Acrylic Stamp

After lunch, Alice had drawings for bags filled with "stuff" Alice had brought to share. There had also been "goodie" bags for everyone when they arrived including everyone got an acrylic 4x6 stamp of Alice's unique handwriting. I had 12 of them made locally at Ready Stamps. It's a great way to support the Cerebral Palsy workers who make the stamps.

Sally and Suzi Blu and our stuffed Canadian Beavers from Alice

Kat with two of her "Goodies" from Alice

Early evening found just Kathie, Bet and me sipping Santa Margarita Pinot Grigio and drooling all over Bet's iPad! Kathie has an iPhone along with Bet's and we looked at all the free apps she has. I have the first Droid, so I just tried to find something similar for my phone.

Everyone will all have their own special memories of Alice. They also have all the mementos from Alice of things having to do with her Canada including little Bucky Beaver stuffed animals which Suzi and I got in our bags.

On Top: Elena, Sally, Suzi and Diane. Standing: Kathie, Georgia, Bet, Nina, Alice, Kat and Jackie

Finally for Alice - a group photo. Elena with her amazing Canon camera expertise, set up camera and then was able to jump into the group - not to be excluded! It was a success!

The next day I learned why Alice wasn't creating at the table with all of us. She had been taking literally hundreds of photos of all of us . Thank you Alice. Without those photos, there would have been no blog because to me blogs need photos!

Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore. She has returned to her beautiful beloved wonderland of Nova Scotia.