Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Christmas Card 2012 - Danita inspired

Sally's finished Christmas Card 2012
Back a couple of months ago I took a class from Danita in person at Jenny Doh's Crescendoh Studio in Santa Anna along with my friend Elena. Here is the link to that blog.

The one done in class is a 12x12.  It was so much fun.  When I got home, I decided to give the boy in my painting a laser mustache and make it my son (who at 36 does have a mustache and a pug rescue dog). The bow tie references my son's first suit for cotillion which he picked out himself at JC Penny's in 4th grade.  It was black and white plaid with a black satin bow tie. All the rest of the boys wore blue blazers and camel colored slacks.  Love my son!  Never a follower - always a leader.

Sally's finished painting made in Danita's class
I had decided to make another Danita inspired painting/collage at home and make my character again, a little boy since I just became a grandma for the first time in March.  So this painting/collage represents my grandson.
Scanned actual painting
The actual painting/collage is dimensional. The white around the child's face and Rudy's tail is fur from JoAnn's.  There are actual beads in the center of the  poinsettia's and there is a laser cut little bird up in the flowers.

Jump forward to November and I am thinking about Christmas Cards for Ernie and I to send out.  I try to always make the 125 cards from scratch.  Last year was so much fun.  I Photoshop-ed Ernie's photo of when he was about 4 years old and a ring bearer in his aunts wedding into my dad's 1948 or 1949 Christmas Card. I am either  four or five years old.  Then I changed the greetings on the display that my dad had included.  The change said, "Greetings Ernie and Sally" instead of "Greetings Harry and Sally."  
Sally and Ernie's Christmas Card 2011
I am standing in front of a huge Christmas tree that was in the front yard of the house where I grew up. My dad obviously hung balloons on the tree to represent Christmas ornaments.  (I don't think you could get giant ornaments back then).  My adopted father was a single father and very creative and enjoyed doing this for his Christmas cards each year to send back to his family in Chicago. the cards were always a photo of me and in different places.  So much fun!
So this year I decided to PhotoShop the 8x10 canvas I did at home and fix a few things that can easily be fix/sharpened/re-size, etc. for the card in PhotoShop.

Now, those that know me well and my poor family that has to deal with my quirky mind, might figure out what I meant in my greetings and the drawing.  In Danita's class, I drew a young boy.  Well, my grandson is only 9 months old this December and so to make that point, "that blue thing" that is where a red mouth should be is his pacifier denoting in my strange mind, that he is really just a baby.

Plus, if you know what "Easter Eggs" are in the computer world (per Wikipedia, "A vitual Easter egg is an intentional hidden message, inside joke, or feature in a work such as a computer program, movie, book, or crossword"), you will see I put a very small, hard to find and read "Easter Egg" on the front of the card too.  

Here is the clue: "What is my families favorite college football team?  Don't know me that well?"  Read on.

The greeting on the front of the card reads "Rudy, Nine month old Grandson Karl, Ernie and Sally. . ."  Rudy* refers to the sad wonderful movie, Rudy which takes place at Notre Dame.  Instead of calling the reindeer Rudolph, for my purposes (and in my weird mind), he was the inspirational Rudy.  

Then if you look really, really close to Rudy's collar, you will see two initials - ND - for Notre Dame.  Aha.  I know, who cares?  I care!  I'm not even sure my kids will get it. . .

This all becomes very significant since this year, ND is in first place in the BCS and will play second place Alabama in the National Football Championship Game on January 7.  Go Notre Dame!

So now you have my version of "the rest of the story." **

**phrase made famous by Paul Harvey

* Rudy is a 1993 American sports film directed by David Anspaugh. It is an account of the life of Daniel "Rudy" Ruettiger, who harbored dreams of playing football at the University of Notre Dame despite significant obsticales.  It was the first movie that the Notre Dame administration allowed to be shot on campus since Knute Rockne, All American in 1940.

Merry Christmas 
Happy Holidays

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Two GREAT days with Sally Jean

Silly Sal and her angel
Last week, I once again went to Cheryl Simpson's home where Sally Jean teaches.  The facilities are amazing and Cheryl is an incredible hostess.

Thursday's Class

It was good to see other artists I usually only see at a Sally Jean's class like Alicia.  And of course Margo and I sat together.  I had been gone the week before so missed my weekly playday with Margo.  I lucked out having Rita Reade from Vintage Market Place on my left and Margo on my right.  
Choose your angel's body

Choose your angel's head

With Sally Jean's classes you never know exactly what you will be making.  Today was no exception.  There is always that wonderful element of discovery and surprise.  Thursday we created glass angels with vignette's inside the glass.  Sally provided the glass and the angel heads.  There are always new techniques to learn and revisiting old Sally Jean techniques that are in need of refreshing. They say your dogs look like you.  Well, my angel body looks like me - squatty  body and all. . . Once I get the pin cushion for her to stand on she will grow those legs I always wanted.

We were rewarded at the end of the day with a surprise little project.  Sally's inspiration was  the medals that are worn on uniforms.  I made my "Grandma" badge.  Easy and fun.  And again, a little new technique was learned in the creations of this little badge.

Margo showing us her angel

Close up of Margo's angel

I feel I am never completely prepared as the other's as to what to use for my vignettes.  You never know what the subject will be or could be.  I will spend the next few months at garage sales and flea markets looking with completely different eyes.  I took a small cut glass wine bowl/glass for my angel because I felt I was really limited as to what I brought to use.  Plus, everyone else had very beautiful and sophisticated vignettes and since I have this first and new grandson, mine would be more child like friend.   That's my story and I'm sticking to it!
Alicia Gilaro's Angel
Titled "Partridge in a Pear Tree"
Cheryl's angel

Here are some of the Thursday group's angels.  There were 16 in total.  We lined them up in Cheryl's workshop.

The Artists 

Alicia Walker or Pink Alicia
Alicia is a joy to be around.  She is the original Pink Alicia.  Everything she collects is pink it seems.  Her angel had a pink skier, a pink Christmas tree and I think, a pink deer in her vignette.  Crazy!  And it all sat upon a snow bank in her glass bowl!  Why don't I have a photo. . .?

Close up of Rita's Angel
Rita hold her angel
 Rita Reade played outside the box.  She is the only one who chose the small doll head and then a large wine glass bowl for the body.  At the time, I though "what?"  Well, the finish project with her lace skirt on the outside of the bowl was beautiful (not cute - Rita hates the word "cute").  A joy to sit next to.  Always supportive of what other's are doing and willing to share anything she has with others.

Rita is the proprietor of the Vintage Market Place at the Oaks. Check out the schedule and be sure to drop by this upscale flea market.

Friday's Class

Sally's Jean's class on Friday was the most difficult I have ever had to do.  Only because we were working on such a small scale.  Again, limited as to what I brought for the vignettes.  I loved seeing what all the other students brought to use and used so very effectively.  Susan Bezek, a teacher in her own right, had the tiniest and so precious little rocking horse.  I wanted to steal her treasures.  Got to be on the look out for sure for "stuff" for vignettes!

Michelle Hurtt
Sally's creativity has no bounds and some of the students went in their own creative direction with much success.  My difficulty mainly was working so small and that my collage work did not dry sufficiently to bend and stay even with the clear caulking.  But, I can fix that.  The antlers were great and easy and so was the wheels.  Loved the pussy willow tails and how she worked out the deer head.

Earlier in the week, I guess there was a teddy bear.  Sally didn't have a completed project, only the tummy.  I sure wish I had taken that class!  But, I had just returned from NJ and knew I would be tired and I was.
Alicia Gilaro
Friday, Margo and Rita were not there.  But, everyone is so friendly and nice and others come from afar without their buddies.  I made friends with those around our big table - Another Alicia (there were two), Tiffany Smith, Susan Bezek and Juli Lloyd.  Alicia and I met for the first time at Elena's Seaside Soiree a couple of years ago.  

Plus, Pam and Ann were at the table behind me.  Always great to reunite with art friends.

Tiffany's beginning vignettes
Susan's vignette's
More vignettes in progress
Three more vignettes
This one with a ballerina motif.
Woodsy motif

Susan Bezek
holding Sally Jean's Reindeer
Tiffany Smith's angel

We all expressed our enthusiasm for Sally Jean to return in the Spring with new ideas and projects.  Yes, I learned a lot of new techniques, but even if I didn't the camaraderie and girl's day out are really worth it, plus, again Cheryl Simpson's hospitality.

Pam Munns

Debbie Udall Wilcock
Tree's from Wednesday's
non-soldering class

Be sure to check out Sally Jean's sale site at Gray Mouse. Then search Sally Jean.  Her new tote bags are gorgeous.  Got to see a lot of her wares in person at Cheryl's.
Margo Beatty and me
Sally Jean, Margo, Cheryl and Silly Sal

On purpose I don't show a close up of Sally Jean's sample projects.  She has worked hard to create theses projects for us.  I want you all to get the feel of her classes and want to take classes from her when she returns.  She has so much to share and takes everything to a new high.  She is the one that suggested I put my angel on a old fashion tomato pin cushion (which my friend Mary is going to bring to me since she collects theses little gems).  Then I decided to scan a Queen of Hearts playing card, reduce it and print it on shrinky dink and make a chard for around her neck hanging under her jeweled collar.  One idea leads to another.

Thank You Sally Jean

Monday, October 1, 2012

Graphic 45 "Little Darlings" Baby Book Album designed by Magda Cortez

A couple of months ago, my dear friend and close neighbor, Kathie,  introduced my "PlayDay" group to a new instructor/designer - Magda Cortez.  Her website is in both English and Spanish.

Kathie and our friend Dawn had taken a class from her in Oceanside.  I loved the book that Magda had literally engineered since that is what she is - an engineer.  The book was amazing and Magda had used Graphic 45 paper (one of her favorite companies to work with).  While in class Kathie told Magda about our "PlayDay" group. Magda had expressed interest and Kathie asked me if we could include her.  The rest is history.

Magda is amazing.  What is so much fun is watching her create before our very eyes.  I have spoke about her already, in my Halloween post.  Wow, you should see the book she created (two in fact) with the Halloween theme.

But, this post is about her baby book!  Since I am a new and first time grandma, I feel madly in love.  She had already taught the class.  I begged her to teach it again at my home and she easily said, "yes."  We all got our paper and began.

Here is Magda's video using Graphic45 "Little Darlings" paper.  Enjoy.

I needed one immediately for my best friend Carole's daughter's baby shower.  I decided to give Carole (the grandma to be) the book at the end of the shower.  Everyone loved it.

Original made for Carole
Then I proceeded to make four more.  Very, very, time intensive.  I made one for myself, another one for my dear friend Patty who just had her first granddaughter, one to be auctioned off at my friend, Elena's Seaside Soiree in December and one to keep for the next grandma that might need it!

The first one for Carole, I made the cover exactly like Magda's in her video.  The next four I played with the covers with just little tweets.

Used some flowers I had in my stash and decided not to put anything down the left side.  Used the larger banner and cut down the "For Baby" announcement.  Softer look.

Simple with a tad of lace

This one is more coral in color.  Plus, I used the satin flowers you find at Michael's.  I cut the bottoms off and opened them up so that they weren't so pointy on the bottom and would lay (lie?) better.

More Coral in color
Below, different lace down the side and keeping it pink.

Here is the cover of my book for my grandson.  In the below photos, I like the first one better without the flowers on the side.  But, in person, I am very happy with the bottom book that actually has the white flowers down the side.  I think maybe I need to ink the white or should try to tea dye the white.  Too much of a contrast, right?

My Grandson's Book
Find Magdalena Cortez on FB and friend her.  See all her new designs.  Wait until you see her Christmas books.  The Graphic 45 Nutcracker Paper book is fantastic and so is her other Christmas book and her GingerBread Book.  She designs everything herself!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Danita's class at Jenny Doh's Studio

Danita holding one of her original canvases
Me, Danita and Elena at the end of the day
 Last Saturday, Elena and I drove up to Santa Anna to take much awaited Danita Class at Jenny Doh's.  Jenny's Studio is perfect for classes and everything was ready for us!  Her studio is located in vintage old town of Santa Anna where there are many artist's studios and The Art Bar which has been a fixture on Broadway for many, many years!  Too bad Elena and I didn't have time to stop in and visit The Art Bar.  Next time for sure!
Jenny introducing Danita
Upon entering Jenny's studio the first people we saw was the owner of Paper Tales, Michelle.  Her store is located in Point Loma and is my favorite store for many reasons.  Right now they are enlarging their space while other stores are either closing or reducing their store foot prints.  Paper Tales is so very shabby chic with a comfy couch to rest while shopping, a vintage pink stove for ambiance and I noticed a darling new Miss Kitty microwave in the back for her worker bees, who are terrific!  Just a darling store.  Be sure to support your local stores whenever possible!

I had taken Danita's online class where we did sewing.  It was offered by Jenny Doh through Crescendoh and was an excellent class.

Then this year I took Danita's online class which was also excellent.  But, I wanted to see Danita up close and watch her work in person. She did not disappoint.  I had no idea she was so tall!  And, she is beautiful but inside and out.

Danita is an excellent teacher.  In this class, she starts out with a blank canvas and took us step by step through her process.  She would demonstrate and then we would go back to our seats and try to produce.  She would walk around the classroom and help everyone who wanted her help and/or opinion on what they were working.

At all the seats was our "swag bag" with goodies from Danita for our project, if we choose to use them or forgot to bring papers ourselves.  

Also, we each received one of Danita's paintings.  They were all different and my could not have been better for me and my family! Thank you so much Danita for your generosity and thoughtfulness.
Our present from Danita
Paper Tales owner, Michelle in long gray dress.
Nicole to her right.
Elena had chosen for us to sit right in front of one of the big open windows in the studio.  It was going to be another hot day in the Southland.  An added bonus is that when Danita demonstrated, Elena and I were right there and could see up close and from Danita' s perspective what she was doing.  It was great!

Step 1 - the paper collage
Step 2 - the paint
Step 3 - the head and body
Step 4 and 5 - the face and clothes

Step 6 - details
Elena started out having trouble with her little angel's eyes.  She 

asked me to take a photo and post it on FB while she was laughing so very hard.  But, after a couple of re-do's and some help from Danita, her girl was a success.  I think it came out absolutely darling and so Elena!
Elena's background
Elena's first try had Asian eyes, per Elena
Elena's darling finished Angel

My canvas on the other hand. . .  I love backgrounds but hated the background I did.  First off, once again I am not working in "my colors" which Elena reminded me.  I was trying to do the background using colors that are in my 6 month old grandson's room.  Well, I didn't get close and am not finished with the results.

Background with subject cutouts
Sally's work in progress. . .
Sally's eyes and drawn pug
But, I did love making the boy and his pug dog.  Very happy with that results.  It's amazing how using Danita's technique, your faces evolve.  She has absolutely some step-by-step procedures for you to achieve anything even close to her results.  My boys eyes are bigger than usual and his eyebrows a little thicker and he has ears.  She says theses are the things that differentiates the little baby boy. I have been sketching all the different drawings I want to do for my grandson's room, but had no idea how to paint the face and the eyes.  Now I do.

Here are some canvas in  progress from other participants in Danita's class.  Oh, on my left sat Linda, whom I had met years ago through Elena.  I wish I had a photo of her background canvas after I took her pictures.  The picture is nice but her finished background was GREAT!  
Linda's work in progress
Here are two more student's canvas in progress.  Wish I had gotten theses artist's names!  Took their photos because I loved their backgrounds.

Loved her canvas background
Loved this background canvas too!
Elena is having her once a year Seaside Soiree, November 30 through December 2nd at Scripps in La Jolla.  Danita is going to be the teacher all day Sunday.  Below is the sample canvas that Danita will be teaching.  Elena's work is all for charity.  She is a registered non-profit charitable organization.  Please support her and her good works.  Her three day event is amazing and so much fun.  Check out her site to see the other teachers and the planned activities.

Seaside 2012 flyer

Danita's Sample Canvas

Then there is the group photo with all of us.  

Our Class