It takes me and friend Judith Cassel-Mamet 10 months to come up with and test various approaches to the projects we teach at our annual Mixed Media workshops. Since we both approach everything differently, we can feed off each other's ideas and methods and that is the fun part of developing our curriculum!
Mixed Media can mean many things but one of the components that we always include is some fiber and stitching. Over the past 4 years, we have also incorporated paint. But not in the way you might think! No drawing or fine painting skills are needed!
We had a wonderful group of creative women in our March workshop and they each made amazing books, using a variety of new techniques.
Judith and I are now contemplating our next workshop which will be held in 2020. If you subscribe to my newsletter, you'll get the details first.
Meanwhile, I hope you are living in a place with lots of sunshine and are looking forward to Spring!
I just finished teaching a 2 day workshop with my friend and cohort, Judith Cassel-Mamet. We had 18 students in a lovely sun-lit classroom inside a church near Washington Park. Everyone created 3 books during the two days and we taught many techniques such as how to print on paper with a gel plate, how to create books using different types of bindings, and most of all, how to layer on paper using a variety of methods to create unique, abstract art.
One of our students gave me a "thank you" card with a pop-up showing the Manhattan Skyline. (we both called NY our home even though we live in Denver now!)
That got me inspired.
My favorite online book-making teacher is Faith Hale. She teaches at Creative Bug and yes, I pay $4.95 per month to access all their classes. I enjoy this learning platform because they have so many classes ranging from 5 minutes to 6 hours so when time is short, I can pop in to see something that might interest me. So I learned this 3-D folding technique from Faith (she called it a rainbow bridge) and it was super easy and fun to make. The class is "Altered Book Daily Challenge" if you want to delve into this interesting way to think about using books in a mixed media environment.
Coming from a publishing background, cutting up a book makes me cringe a little but since I have 2,000 books in my personal library, I think eliminating a few this way would save them from the landfill. So I'm OK with that!
The view from our apartment is totally different from the view from our house and in some ways, even though I live in the same neighborhood, I don't recognize the landmarks around me.
But I've been thinking about how a change in perspective could change how we look at our own art.
One of the things I learned from other artists is that you need to flip your work around in every direction to see things you didn't see before. I have found this advice invaluable. It helps me see composition, shapes, and values. It shows me where I need to add or subtract something. If frees me from seeing the details of the image I'm working on to seeing the "whole picture".
I encourage you to try this as one more tool in your art box.
And yes, this is a metal sculpture I used to have in my back yard but now, is placed on my balcony. I love seeing her every day but on a snowy day like today, the outlines really stand out. The artist is Arabella http://arabellasmetal.com/ . She is a Denver-based artist and I feel lucky to have been able to collect two of her women.
What a fun weekend!
This Mixed Media Adventures Workshop was my favorite so far. Judith and I have been teaching these workshops for the past 4 years in various locations and with different projects and I think we have figured out the best venue, the best content, and the best group of creatives to bring together to create an atmosphere where we thrive at an affordable cost.
When we announced our February workshop, it sold out in a week so we scheduled another one in March and that too, sold out. I don't know if we can put on another one this fall but we will be thinking about that.
In any case, we will definitely be creating a new workshop for next Feb 2020 so if you are interested, be sure you are signed up to my newsletter where I will be announcing the details.
Hope you are having a creative day.
In case you haven't heard, I moved to an apartment and am selling the house we have lived in for 30 years. Quite a change.
But part of the change is going through all the boxes and things we have stored, thinking we would need them some day. One of those boxes contained my husband's postal stamp collection.
Discovering he collected stamps was a surprise to me since that was a hobby I spent many hours doing with my Dad. I've always loved the stories and histories that stamps reflected and when my husband said he didn't want them any more, I took them to my studio.
They weren't worth more than the postage printed on them but I didn't want to use them for regular mail. Besides, it would take eleven 5 cent stamps to mail a letter today!
So I decided to make them into art tiles.
Here's the one I inserted into my Valentines Day card this year. He loved it!
It all started with a text message...
"Hi grandma I was wondering if u could make me a pouch for my drawing tablet. Could it pls be gray and pink. The measurement if 14.2 x 8.6 so could u pls make it a little bigger. Love u so much.
Of course, I checked out my stash and incredibly, I had no pink or gray fabric! (not my favorite colors!) So I went shopping and bought some FQ's in a variety of values and started making the fabric using my left-over Stitch & Slash technique.
Because I have been making wallets and purses for a while, I was pretty confident of using a zipper to close the top and attaching the lining for the inside.
I thought a 9" opening would be fine but no! Did you know a 9" zipper doesn't open to 9"? I didn't until the entire pouch was made and I couldn't insert the cardboard tablet I made in the dimensions of her tablet.
Back to the drawing board.
But problem solving is a part of all my artwork so instead of starting over (which I hate as much as ripping out stitches) I cut out the zipper and finished the raw edge with some couching. Then, it was too short. So I added some Sari ribbon to the edge and added more couching.
So instead of a zipper, I created a tab and added that with a couple of magnetic closures.
To personalize it, I added her name using some alphabet beads.
All in all, I think it turned out cute. I hope it fits and she likes it. If not, I can always make another one now that I know how to do it right!
Took a break from packing and donating things to Goodwill (yes, I'm moving next week!) and rewarded myself with a class on sewing up a bag using waxed canvas. I was obviously distracted because I had to use my seam ripper TWiCE! (you know that broke one of my rules but it had to be done.)
Andrea is a wonderful teacher. She explained everything, gave us numerous tips, and in the end, everyone made a wonderful bag. The instruction for this bag are included in her newest magazine — By Hand Serial #8. You can buy it here. I am one of the artists featured in this magazine so I hope you will support her and buy a copy!
Best part of the class was meeting and sitting next to Ali DeJohn, the founder of Makerie. We became friends as we were the most challenged students in the classroom but helped each other out and had fun, regardless of our mistakes. We both are involved in creative retreats, knowing that it can be life-changing. And it was fun to be on the other side -- being students instead of organizing and teaching.
Ali and I will be creating together one of these days, as soon as I get this move under my belt. Can't wait!
I was so excited to receive a copy of LookBook #8 published by By Hand Serial.
I was one of several fiber artists featured in this magazine and if you live in or are thinking of visiting the Front Range of Colorado, I encourage you to buy this magazine. I learned so much about my local community and my New Year's resolution is to take up knitting! (Just love all of these hand-dyed yarns!)
Obviously, fiber art runs in our family. My husband's cousins' daughter is also featured — Dani Frisbie, owner of Sunshine Yarns — small world!
After 30 years of living in my old house, I'm moving to an apartment! One of the most time-consuming things I'm doing to prepare to move is going back over my life by reviewing photos (thousands!) and files (hundreds!)
One of the files I'm reviewing tonight concerns the publication of my first quilting book "The Patchwork Quilt Design & Coloring Book" published in 1977.
I couldn't resist sharing this photo with you because it shows how things were done in 1977. When you wanted to share something with fellow employees, you created a "Routing Slip" that was stapled to the item and included a list of initials who needed to know this information. Once the person saw it, they would cross off their initials, put it in their "out-box" and the mail guy would pick it up and put it into the next "in-box" of the person on the list. And this would continue until it eventually was returned to the person who sent it in the first place.
The list was always prepared with a pecking list -- most important person to least important person. That way, if you were on the list, you always knew where you stood in the corporation.
It took months for information to be shared in the old days. I'm not convinced that wasn't a good thing!
I love making my own stamps. I found some small wooden letters at my local craft store and glued them onto a wooden substrate. Remember, reverse the letters if you want them to read correctly I didn't care since I wasn't making words,
This is my favorite stamp!
Carol Ann Waugh
I am a fiber artist and love color and texture!