Saturday, April 30, 2011

Soldering with Rita Reade at Jackie's new Play House

The Night I met my natural mother
Nov 27, 1980
(date to be stamped on blank muslin above)

This weekend I decided to take a class where I would make something I already knew how to make. Crazy? I first wanted to support my wonderful friend Jackie in having a class at her newly transformed home into the most wonderful shabby chic Play House - her entire home! Plus, my great friend Suzi Blu now lives upstairs (I helped move Suzi here).

Jackie and I had learned this fabric technique from the wonderful K.C. Willis. (Please check out my previous blogs where I feature various classes, teachers and projects: Margo blogs 4/4/11, K.C. Willis blogs 7/22/10 and 2/14/11 and my Terri Brush blog on 1/24/11 ). K.C. has since stopped teaching this class and chosen to preach for Jesus. Plus, she lives in Colorado. Jackie Baxted and Rita Reade had given their wall hanging a new twist by adding soldered words.

Sample Project
(created by Jackie and Rita)

I had seen the above sample with the soldered letters "Mother" and was inspired. So on my own I had designed a project to give my Aunt Chris who lives in New Jersey for this years birthday/Mother's Day present. (I have no idea if she will think it kool or not but know she would appreciate the intentions). It is a photo of her mother and my grandmother.

Helen Malko Gorsczcyk
(nothing sewed - still playing with it)

It is a woman's prerogative to change her mind and hence the night before the class I decided I wanted to make the focal point photo using the photo of the night I met my natural mother for the first time at my full sister 's home who I had just "found" two weeks earlier. Whew, that was a long sentence which I'm sure is grammatically incorrect. I needed new stuff (fabric/canvas) stained and frayed. (See first photo on this blog for almost completely wall hanging).

Joe and Irene
(work in progress)

Prior to all that I had been working on my own for a canvas piece that features the only photo I know of with my natural mother, Irene, and natural father, Joe, clandestinely together all dressed up and on the beach at Coney Island. I decided to embroidery this piece by hand in a very free style manor and once again, the project is not quite finished. . .

New Friends
Patty at work

Patty's work in progress

Sharon at work

Sharon's work in progress

The added bonus to taking classes is always the new people you met and the old friends you hook up with once again. I sat across the table from Patty Montejo and Sharon - new people and very interesting. Sharon is a quilter and together they have their first big even on Saturday, Oct. 1 in Temecula. Lots of artists original work to purchase! Can't wait. Check out the link above to visit their website for more information.

Old Friends

Robin at work

Robin's completed tapestry
(kool hanger)

Plus, I also got to see Robin Sanchez who I had met at Terri Brush's soldering class at the Urban Barn in Temecula. I had invited her to Jackie's once a month "playday" where Margo Beatty gave a great demo of her soldering techniques. I love Robin Sanchez's shabby chic style in all her art and jewelry projects and loved what she created this day!

If you can't get away to take a class, please check out my dear friend Margo's amazing online soldering class through Suzi Blu's Ning site. Margo takes you step by step close-ups and holds your hand and answers all your questions. Plus there is a place to display all you have done in this class for other students to see. Truly IMHO Margo's class for a beginning soldering class is the best and you own the video for life and can down load it to your computer and it is darn cheap - $55.

Photogenic Kat at work

Kat's almost completed tapestry

Plus, my good friend, Kat Baker, was also there. Last month Kat became a grandmother two times! Darn, I'm jealous. Her daughter had a son and her step-daughter had a little girl. Kat is in 7th heaven.

Standing - Sharon, Patty, Kat and Robin
Sitting - Jackie, Rita and Sally

I had never met Jackie's friend/teacher/woodworker Rita Reade. What a well prepared teacher who provided everything for you including a soldering guns if you truly were a newbe to soldering. Knowledgeable and friendly. Liked her very much. In the photos above of Jackie's art room - the cabinets you see are Rita's handy work since she constructed them for Jackie with Jackie's found doors!

Rita also provided lunch. Delicious. Her is her recipe for her marinara sauce with the surprise ingredients - meatballs from the frozen food section at Walmart. Rita is from Sicily and goes back every other year to see her family. She currently lives in Fallbrook with her husband and and kids.

Rita's Recipe for meatballs and marinara sauce:
Soften in 1 T of Olive oil, 1 t garlic (Rita uses the Costco Garlic) and 1/4 of an onion (not a 1/4 of a cup). Add: 1 t sugar, 1 t kosher salt, 2 of the largest cans of tomato sauce (brand not important), fresh oregano and fresh basil (no amounts given). Two secret ingredients: one potato peeled and quartered and a pinch of cinnamon. Walmart's frozen meatballs Cook for 2 hrs. Rita did not put this over pasta. Had it keeping warm in giant crock pot and served with fresh bread and green salad. It was sooooo good! Thank you Rita.

Jackie, Rita and Sally

I hope you will take the time and visit all the links I have included. These talented ladies all have something different to offer in this world of altered art with all the lines are blurred. Scrapbooking, quilting, thrift shop shopping, painting, sketching - it is all over-lapping. I think this is wonderful. Support your local artists/teachers/stores but also be sure to take advantage of those coupons that Michaels' offer also. And share all that you have learned so that we might all benefit from your new finds!

Work Stations


More Stuff

One of three sewing machines available

Teacher's products for purchase

Monday, April 4, 2011

Soldering with Suzi Blu and Margo Beatty

I can't remember for sure who first showed me how to solder. I think it was my friend Kathie or else it was Debi. But as far as formal classes go, I have only taken from two artist - Sally Jean and Terri Brush. Both these classes were taken within the past year and I have blogged about both teacher. I found both Sally Jean and Terri Brush's classes valuable to my growth and interested in soldering. But neither of the classes gave me the close up personal instruction that my friend Margo Beatty gave me in my own home with her watching carefully over me and showing me all her personal tricks of the trade that she has finessed. Margo has taught me how to attach a jump ring without fear!

About six minutes into the above video, Suzi interviews me and features some of the pieces I have made that there are also stills shown below.

NOW, you too can have this personal attention from Margo. My two wonderful friends, Margo Beatty and Suzi Blu have teamed up to help you perfect the skills you might already have or to learn how to use those tools (soldering iron) that you purchased in the past and have sat (the tool) lonely on your shelf or in your art/craft drawer. Margo is absolutely amazing. She will hold your hand and take you step by step to some beautiful finished beginner projects. Please check out her class found on Suzi Blu's online class network. Remember, when you take a class from Suzi Blu, you own the video and the PDF's forever. You download them to your computer and therefore, can go back and review them 5 years from now if you choose!

For this class Margo even prepared an EPUB (in addition to the PDF) if you have a mobile device and know how to get it into your phone, iPad or other mobile device. For the Android platform you can use a program for your PC called Calibre that will change an EPUD file to a MOBI file and now you can upload Margo's EPUB to your Kindle App. (Too much info?)

Crown base made in Terri Brush class.
Embellishments were added when I got home.

Crown made at home during a playday with Margo
See what happens when you don't use black backed copper tape?

Currently I am really not into making jewelry. I personally wanted to use my soldering knowledge and add those soldering projects someway to my art and canvases. At the end of the above video you will see some of what I have chosen to do with my soldering. I did learn how to make my initial crown from Terri Brush. But in a huge class like she taught at the Urban Barn in Escondido, CA, there was only so much one on one any teacher can do.

My second crown was done at home after Margo observed, demonstrated and assisted by explaining how I might better from the foundation. The soldering joints ended up so much neater and smaller after practice. Then I decided to include some of my Suzi Blu girls in my art pieces after resizing them in Photoshop. The two crowns I made are not large enough to fit on one's head (I wanted small crowns for "my girls") but look wonderful in my art room.

Above canvas background was made at Elena's Charity Wings retreat "Seaside Soiree" in Oceanside. Liz Hicks directed with new products that gave us this wonderful water background. I then drew my own mermaid when I got home. But, I didn't feel she was complete until I had put one of my own crowns on her.

Glass and technique to make this mermaid Shaker box pendant
was from Sally Jean's Halloween Class
I made this at home during PlayDay with Margo
using my original art

Shrine glass kit was purchased from Sally Jean
My original art Photoshopped

I just realized that my really small crowns can also be charms. Can't wait to do that next week when some of my friends meet at my home for our weekly intimate soldering "PlayDay." There are always new things to discover from all our friends. Keep you eyes and ears open and be ready to find new skills to either discover for the first time or to increase your skill level on old skills.
Above, very small crown charm "work in progress"
Less than 1 inch in width

Again, see the copper when you don't use black backed copper tape

Early soldering work before practicing and having
Margo personally supervise my soldering

Silly Sal concentrating on soldering the branches
in the photo below. What great hangers. But, they need to be blackened.

I learned from Sally Jean that you can solder just about anything!

Beveled Glass 1 inch charms done right!

The above fabric/paper/glass large wall hanging is a work in progress done in KC Willis style. I am doing all the sewing/embroidery by hand since it is a very special piece featuring the only photo that anyone has of my natural mother and father together dressed to the nines at Coney Island Park in New Jersey. When it is completed, I will post the finished project.

*Still need to take a photography class. My camera skills don't seem to be improving.