Monday, December 13, 2010

New year

 I'm back into my Moleskin date book for 2011 and I decided to decorate the cover this year.  If I could figure out a cheap way to do it I would love to make my own datebook but the Moleskin is the perfect size to keep me organized and a great place to make art that I can carry around.. 

To make cut watercolor paper to size. I used 140lbs because this calender is has a soft cover.  Glue with any white glue to tack it down and then cover with crystal clear tape or clear book-cover paper or clear drawer liner (like Contact paper).

Working on my visual journal to cap up the end of the year. 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Sewing pages

          Trying to take pictures in my apartment at night leads to yellow photos.  I really have to find the book for my camera and read the directions YIKES.  I'm working on a journal for one of my friends.  The cover is plain brown paper and I did some artwork on it and I sealed it with a clear acrylic so that it won't get stained and he can still doodle on it.    This is the last page and I took another stab at a portrait of him and added a quote that I thought was fitting.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Day Trip Joshua Tree

My best friend had a conference right outside of Palm springs so I drove up for a few days of fun.  The drive is perfect as the surrounding areas have almost no traffic so it was a quick trip.  We spent last Thursday at Joshua Tree climbing on rocks. looking at birds and avoiding the spurs of Teddy Bear Cactus.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Susie's journal.

The next book in the round robin is ready to go and we are all on a little break to get caught up.  The holiday season and extra projects have a way of getting stuck.  This is  Susie's book  and she wrote a lovely intro into her book and  putting together little things to get to the big picture.  I made this self portrait a year ago but I went back and improved it and am much happier with how it turned out. I found out that black Gesso is much easier to control vs. liquid acrylic paint when you have to paint a larger area.   The photograph/ illustration turns into a flip out where I made notes for my day.  Tuesday was my usual day off when I worked in retail and it has morphed into my health day where I go to the acupuncture and chiropractic and walk to the next neighborhood and get lots of exercise.  It was raining on and off that week so things were a bit wacky.  People in San Diego can't handle the rain.  The roads flood and the number of accidents on the road triple for the day. 

The second photo was of a rose I took after the rain and then I layered tracing paper over it and worked on a paper cut overlay.  It's been a while since I have cut anything this intricate but I have a new knife and it works like a dream.  It's a ceramic knife from Slice and you can hold it close to tip without hurting your finger.  Magical.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The most wonderful place on earth

       A few years ago I got an e-mail about a class with Sabrina Ward Harrison and I jumped at the chance to visit Carol Parks studio in North Hollywood, California and spend the weekend playing. A year earlier Carol had written me a note about adding me to her mailing list because she got one of my mail art packets.  I said sure and later ordered a few of her zines and wear her similarly title button Artfreak on my art bag. Everything about the trip was wonderful because it was the perfect group of people in the perfect place.
       Carol's studio was mind blowing as art filled every corner and sprung from the ceilings and every nook and cranny.  She allowed all of us to take pictures of her house in pieces and laughed at me as I touched almost everything in her house.  I still have a little kid in me that likes to experience things though touch.  I was also raised going to museums every weekend when I was 5 or younger so I know what not to touch as well.  I had the pleasure of going to Carol's studio eight months later for another class and another great weekend.  I rode in Carol's car to the supermarket for lunch and she gave us sound advice about not drinking diet coke and the wonder of making art and the magic of being uncomfortable, broken down and creating art.  I have take some of my favorite pictures here and look at them every day. She has a small and wonderful garden that looked magical on film.
       Carol stopped holding classes so she could focus on her book and her own art promising to return to us as soon as possible.  I found out today that she passed away on Sunday.  I hope she finished her book as selfishly I was looking forward to having her words forever in my home but they will stay alive in my memory.  She will stay in a special place in my heart and I am heartbroken and send only the best to children and close friends who were left behind.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Elena's Journal

Tracing paper, marker, color copy of photograph, colored pencils

 Colored pencils, pen, art tape and colored paper
 My first love was paper -Hand drawn paper roses, rice paper, vellum envelope, ribbon, color copies of rose petal
Colored pencil and color copy of photograph
        Elena is new to art journaling and asked us to share ideas and our favorite techniques.  I love working with paper and figuring out new ways to use traditional items like tracing paper.  The roses drawn on tracing paper applied with matte medium to paper and hand colored with marker.  The roses have a bumpy quality to them to add a bit of texture.  Most of the photographs I take are of flowers so I used a close up of a rose to drawn them on paper that has a tooth grain surface.  Color copies of rose petals and a hidden message can be read on the bag.  The last page is colored pencil with a color copy of my photograph take at one of the local flower fields. I use Derwent-coloursoft pencils that blend nicely when more than one color is used but I used an erase to blend on a slightly raised surface.

Monday, October 11, 2010

More fun on the road

 If you are lucky enough to get a seat by yourself on the plane than you can do lots of crafts without bothering your seat mate.  I made a new doll by the light placed conveniently overhead.I pre-cut the paper to size and pack kiddie scissors in my bag.
 Safely placed on my art bag with my favorite paper-doll Molly.  The new doll was wearing the clothes I wore on my trip to the east coast.
 I packed a yummy lunch for the plane ride.  I love Southwest but if I have to eat cheese flavored crackers I'll be ill.   Homemade chicken salad with toast, two nectarines and lots of pumpkin bread.  Plenty to cover the 6 hour plus trip.
It was raining on and off all week in Maryland and DC but it was pretty clear on the way to the airport.  I missed getting a shot of the trees by the side of the road.  In California you see concrete or grass as far as the next building so I was presently surprised to see tall trees that were thick and unfortunately still green.  I'm a sucker for changing leaves and barely one to be seen at the beginning of October.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Packing your bag

Before I take a trip I draw what I'm going to pack so I don't forget anything. I like to pick a color scheme (black, white, gray, blue) and mix thing up (textures and shapes) so it doesn't look like I'm wearing the same thing every day.  I went back east to help my mom unpack but we also went to a financial worship (I know all these secrets about your FICO score now) and had a meeting so I had to dress up a bit one day. 

 My datebook is thick but palm size (4x6ish) and has the cutest dog illustrations in it.   If I don't have anything written on the pages I use them for notes, doodles or mini collages.  The back of the book has 40 or so blank lined pages that I use for writing and I have ripped out quite a few to leave notes for people and plenty of the pages are left.  The girl with the red hair is one of my bookmarks.

The weather went from hot and raining to cool and sunny so I didn't end up wearing my skort or short skirt but they pack well so I didn't care.  I fold everything with a board to make them super flat and roll the skirts and workout pants.  I board fold my t-shirts at home because I have an old fashioned dresser with shallow drawers and you can get so many more stacks in t-shirts inside of it.  I have an actual folding board but you can easily use the cardboard that comes with 81/2 x 11 packs of paper.

I have all of my clothing memorized (makes shopping so much easier) so I make my list while I'm out then I just come back and make sure nothing is in the laundry.  When you stick to the same colors you can usually stick everything in the same load of laundry (the purple dress I use as a night shirt).  I always wear jeans more than once and pack extra underwear in case I workout that day and need a fresh change of clothes for the evening.  Wear your heaviest shoes on the plane and in my case those are clogs that give great foot support and easily pass for dressy.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Altered Book Class

         I only gave myself one day off to have jet lag and feel weird so today it's back to blogging, making art and walking around town getting back into the grove of things. 

The weekend before I left town I had the pleasure of taking an altered book class from Orly Avineri  .  The title was lost and found and the the books were about loss.  The funny part was I just wanted to take a class with Orly so I didn't care what the class was about and when I got to the class I was a bit worried that it would be an emotionally heavy class and I wasn't sure I was up to that.  Well the whole day was about the process of altering the book and letting your ideas coalesce and I had the best time meeting everyone and  I got to look at Orly's journals and nosh on a lovely lunch.

Somewhere in hour 4 I started to have a mini melt down.  This has happened a few times in art classes it's like my brain gets full and I can't think any more.  If I'm lucky the class is almost over and I can fake it trough till the end but when I was with Orly I had a couple of hours left and she saw me pushing my paper around and told me to do something else. 20 minutes later I was back in my brain and ready to work on the back cover.  I have a 50 /50 chance of throwing out anything I make in a class.  Sometimes I'm just trying to follow the directions and I'm not really tapping into my own thoughts so what I actually make doesn't fit into my style but this little book did. The cover was a process of layers and I went back and reworked a few items that I wasn't married to and I love it.

We lost one of our dogs and the dog pictured, Kino, is the one that is left.  This is the first time Kino has been the only dog and this is his second home as his owner had a heart attack, 3 years ago and my boyfriend couldn't let Kino go to the pound.  I didn't think the dogs would get along but they worked it out eventually. 11lb dog and 80lb dogs can find a way to get along.  I'm a bit worried about him but I think that as long as he can be inside as much as possible and laying on the couch he is a happy camper.  My boyfriend misses having a big dog but hopefully I can give him some tips on how to relate to a little dog.  I grew up with a little dog so it's easy for me.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

sail away

I'm setting sail for a little vacation, if you can call helping my mother move a vacation.  Funny she doesn't sound excited about unpacking the past 36 years in another house but luckily southwest ran a special and I saved 70 bucks on the ticket so I am one happy camper.   I'm not telling her I'm coming until right before I get there. I love fall on the east coast and hopefully I can squeeze some time in with friends and some sight seeing at my favorite haunts.  Plus six hours of art on a plane when I'm not catching up on my sleep sounds divine..

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Journal pages

Journal pages which include any idea that pops into my head.  A good warm up for my next journal that will have an actual theme.  I've had a few funny dreams lately that may work themselves my journal pages.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Round Robin -Ann's Journal

The theme was love and trust me I had to put this down for a few weeks for fear that I would draw hearts everywhere.  The hearts were an after thought when I finally started in this journal.  I had some intense conversations with a friend this week and he's going though a growth period so I wanted to draw a man with a tree growing from his head. It morphed a bit into the tree branches with red tips and the heart formation. 

The companion page was from another conversation I had with different friend about going to an event. In essence we were both talking about ending a friendship because of a mutual friends actions.  The problem indirectly affected me and hurt a number of my friends.  We both used the word heartbreaking to describe the situation.

Round Robin -Ann's Journal

I spent 20 minutes trying to make this horizontal to no avail but I still wanted to post the second spread I made in Ann's journal for our traveling Round Robin.  I think this is one of those exercises where you turn your head sideways and see the world in a whole new way.

Lotta Jansdotter linen fabric scrap, colored pencils, sharpie marker, gold pen (uniball).  I just uploaded a new picture ta da.

Friday, September 17, 2010


         I'm this style of painting has a fancy name like vignettes or pieces but I keep seeing them lately and I wanted to try my hand at this style.  I pulled out the canvas I that was present two years ago (yikes) and started drawing my favorite pictures from one of my journals.  I think painted over the pencil marks with black paint and will fill each block with coordinating colors.  I left this at my friends house so I have something to do when we goof off on the weekend. The last time I took a formal painting class I was 12 and it was in oils and I painted the side of a recreation center. 

Updates on the way.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Brown bag journal

I love looking at the back to school supplies and I bought these cast off book covers that are a great weight for book binding.  I used them to wrap around the covers and left them untreated so the owner can decorate them as she wishes.  I'll be interested to see how they turn out in the future.  The inside papers are 140lbs water color paper, brown, ledger and a few post cards thrown in. This was the second time I used pamphlet stitch and it's a great stitch to use if you are in a hurry.  I put a book together on the bus a few weeks ago on my way to a drawing class.

  The splatter is strawberry juice and I don't think I will ever be able to replicate the results but I love the way it turned out..  I would love to say it was on purpose bit it was a complete happy accident that I'm very happy didn't end up on my light green carpet. 

Happy Accidents abound.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Off hours

I volunteer at a Children's Museum and it's just as much fun when it's closed and everything is silent.  It reminds me of working on the sets for plays in high school.  It takes a lot of work to keep the hundreds of kids that come through the doors happy.  All the windows help to make this the greenest building in downtown San Diego. 

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Friday, August 27, 2010

Work in progress

At the moment I'm not sure what this is but I'm having fun working on it.  I would love to make one that stands up but this one is destined to go in a book.  Each of the items lifts up or beds forward so you can write on the backside.  I'm adding more elements so that it looks like it is a story about the woods.

Last week I took a grueling travel journal class and I am so glad I got a chance to go to a mini sketching boot camp.  The teacher was very direct which was very good for the side of my brain that can't follow directions. The teacher told us that we will remember places more once we sketch them and anything that helps my memory is awesome.   The third day of class I was terribly late because I missed the bus and the next bus was early so I missed the connection.  It was a grand mess but everyone ended up being late because of the traffic into our travel location.  The most challenging part was drawing fast when the sun went down.   I enjoyed the process and can't wait to get back to drawing every day.   Draw something everyday.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Adventures in the woods

On Saturday my camera just stopped working.  I knew it was going to happen because I dropped it a few weeks ago and I noticed my pictures were not as crisp as they had been and I had to fix most of the pictures in post.  Fast forward to a trip to the electronics store and an actual helpful sales person and I have a new Canon SD1300 IS Elph.  It is half the weight of my old camera and it takes awesome pictures.  I need to find my old camera case or make a new one for it so it stays fresh and new.

     Sunday we drove up to the woods and took out our sketch pads and drew into the evening.  It was a wonderful evening and we were sorry that we didn't bring anything to put on the grill because the family in ear shot of us was having the best hot dogs and buttered buns.  We went into town and hit one of the local restaurants.  The last time I ate here I had  amazing (insert fireworks) French toast and since it was dinner we had the special of the night.    .