Monday, September 27, 2010

A Gathering of Ravens and Art

Look at what the mailman dropped into my mailbox on Saturday. This was from my small art secret swap artist, hosted by Samantha Kira. This is the work of Nessa Colant all the way from Belgium. Her art is totally awesome. I have been taking peeks at her blog the last few weeks and this girl rocks. Her use of colors, and text and imagery makes me feel good all the way into my soul. And she's ever so sweet and generous. I mean seriously, LOOK at all that scrumptious booty. It felt like an early Christmas.

All weekend I have been working on a small journal that will have 24 pockets; the perfect place for artist trading cards or other small treasures. It is titled 'a gathering of ravens'. I know, ravens are supposed to be black however my flock is disguised in a flight of color.

The journal will be ready for adoption from my Etsy shop very soon.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

More Journals and Secret Pen Pal Art

Today was a chilly one and blustery but I LOVE it. Bring it on. Can't wait for the snow to fly. In 1991 we got blasted with a snow storm on Halloween. I had just started dating my DH and he had come over to take my now oldest son who was then 8; trick or treating. We had quite an adventure that night. And then it got so bad he couldn't go home. His little Mazda roadster literally got buried in the driveway. It took 2 days before anyone could get around the city. Gosh that was so much fun. It is one of my all time favorite memories this time of year. No one will ever forget that Halloween and the kids were thrilled cuz every school in the city was closed the next day which was Friday anyway. Even most offices and retail was closed. If you were not working for an essenctial service, police, fire, hospital or tow service you were told to stay off the roads and worry about digging out your home and cars. Anyway today was a wonderful day to stay snug indoors and create the day away.

I just finished up this tiny, itty, bitty journal and have listed it my Etsy shop. It's 3.5" tall and 1 3/4" wide with 20 colorful cardstock pages. Earlier today I sent the journal shown below

on a journey overseas. I used photoshop to obscure the name on the tag so as not to ruin the suprise of the person who is going to be recieving this journal just in case she happens to visit my blog before it arrives. It is my contribution to Samanatha Kira's Small Art Pen Pal exchange I am participating in. Today was the due date to mail our small art off. We were also asked to write a letter to our secret pen pal as part of the project which you can see peeking out from under the journal. I love giving and getting surprises. I am excited to see what might be arriving on my doorstep next week.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Color Play With Glimmer Mist Tutorial

I love color. BIG, juicy, BOLD, can't take your eyes off it, color. And I adore just as much, the more subtle colors of the earth, no less vibrant but darker, deeper; the kind of color you want to fall into, like jumping into a pile of fresh raked leaves. All this lace and trim started out pure white.
A few days ago, I decided it was time again for a color play day and I created all of this...

And this....

Want to try it? The playful colors were created using Tattered Angel's Glimmer Mist. I tend to follow  one rule when it comes to color mediums, that if it works on paper it will probably work on fabric too. This is what I did it and what you need if you want to try it.

plastic or newspaper to protect work area
freezer paper or other plastic, water resistant,
surface ( I use a plastic tray meant for tube paint. It's 12" by 18" and I picked
it up at Michael's) the freezer paper will work just fine though spray bottle filled with water.
lace, trim, fabric, whatever you want to jazz up with color
Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist in colors of your choice.
( I used the following colors: Pink Bubblegum, turquoise blue, sunflower, cherry red, yellow daisy)
plastic gloves if you don't want inky fingers.

1. Cover your work area with plastic. Optional, depending on how neat you want to be.
2. Cut a large piece of freezer paper and secure it over the plastic with tape so it doesn't slip around.
3. Rinse your chosen fabrics, trims under running water and squeeze out any excess water, though keeping them damp. (This helps the fabric absorb the colors)
4. Spray the surface of the freezer paper with the glimmer mist. You can do one color at a time or spray multiple colors leaving room between each color. If you overlap the colors a bit they will create a rainbow effect on the pieces you are staining.
5. Spray just a bit of water over the inks to spread them out a bit. The water slightly dilutes the inks but does not effect the final colors, *unless you add alot of water in which case you get more muted results*
6. Now the fun begins. Take a piece of lace or fabric and lay it right over the wet ink/water on the paper. It will absorb the color. If you lay a piece over several colors it will create a rainbow of color. Don't be afraid to allow the colors to mix and mingle on the pieces. Smoosh the fabric pieces down into the colors so they can absorb the ink/water. Once you are happy with the color and level of saturation, gently squeeze the fabric or trims to get the colors through all of the fibers. At this point you can spray a little bit more color with the glimmer mist right on the pieces and squeeze a bit more.  I repeat this process until I had used up all the ink/water on the paper. When I  knew I was done with that color combo I wiped the damp color residue off  with a paper towel so I could begin fresh with new colors without having to put down new paper.
7. Lay the colored fabric on paper towels to dry or if you have a place to hang them to dry, hang 'em. I dried mine outside on a chair I use for such purposes.
Once dry, it is ready for you to use. One of the coolest aspects of this process, is that the 'glimmer' in the mists does appear on the fabrics in places so it is ever so slightly shimmery.

The earth tones were created using Adirondak's Color Wash spray and Tim Holtz Distress Ink refills in the same manner as above. In the case of the ink refills, I simply squeezed out a generous helping of droplets of ink on to the freezer paper and then sprayed them with the water to dilute them a bit. The colors remained strong and true.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

What I Love

Seedling for Herm
I've been lost in thought the last couple of days. Thinking about all manner of things as I work and create; scrutinizing everything, considering it from every angle; a form of inner reflection. I got to thinking about how I surround myself with what I love and cherish; my family, my daughters and hubby are the foundation from which everything else flows. They are my anchor, they keep me grounded. Of course there is the adult responsibilities that come with the above.  Gotta keep 'em fed and housed and to meet their emotional needs. That in itself is a full time job.

When I think about my art and look at what I hold close, it's all those things I turn to every time I create. In my little area, I am surrounded by paints, brushes, fabrics, embellishments of all kinds, things rusty and found, things discarded and old, photos and images from every conceivable source. Everything within a few steps reach. It's all just stuff, but it feels good to be among it all. It makes up the place I feel most safe and secure. It's a place where my heart can follow it's own course, where I can spill myself out and flow in any direction I decide to go and being aware of that feels authentic and true. I believe this is where my heart belongs.

When I art journal it becomes my centering place. Susan G.Wooldridge writes of the process in this way. "I slip into quiet world where I zero in on what's within and around me. It's a wide, empty canvas to carry anywhere, welcoming possibility. In the shelter of it's covers I form, shape, hold, dabble, with who I am. Iv'e been tracking my life, working things over and out, writing poems, making lists, taping things down, and scribbling with black ink. My journal helps draw the mystery of what's around me deeper in; it holds me and my sometimes dangling life together."
Susan G. Wooldridge 'Foolsgold'
Tiny journals arriving in my Etsy shop soon.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A Riot of Colors

Just playing around with paints today with no real destination or final result in mind. Sometimes it feels like I can't find the center of a piece. It's 'heart' is elusive. These painted papers are riots of color, a lot of nothing but chaos.
I have no idea what they will grow up to be, but that is ok.
I am reading Foolsgold by Susan G. Wooldridge; a chapter or two whenever I need a 'creative' push and this quote seems to fit my lack of direction today. "Sometimes the only way out is by going deeper in."  

Sunday, September 19, 2010

A Creative Heart

A creative heart; the person this being given to has a very creative heart which is why these words worked their way into her journal. I was trying to find just the right words to describe her when inspiration struck. I had actually finished a different page and everything I needed this journal to say was on my art table all along. I love when something I am working on simply starts to bloom and come together. When the 'voice' of the piece begins to whisper it's intentions or sometimes, has to shout at me in order to be heard. I do try to listen to my own heart as it speaks but sometimes life gets so busy I don't often hear what I need to hear. This time however, everything is falling sweetly into place.
A few more peeks.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Teeny Tiny Journal and Seedling No. 4

Teeny Tiny Pocket Journal
Today I spent most of my time hunkered down behind the sewing machine. I wish I had more hands. I wish I had more room. As I was sewing, I was day dreaming about my perfect art space. I'd have a painting area with lots of room to spread out and where papers can be left undisturbed so they can dry rather than me having to relocate all of them all over the house so we can eat dinner at our table. I have often thought I should simply invest in a set of cheap tv trays. Anyone remember those? I had them growing up and on special nights we'd eat in the livingroom around our black and white tv. I'll just tell my family that from now on, the table has become off limits to anything other than artwork. I could go on and on about what I would love to have but given that it's just a dream I guess I will just feel grateful I have a corner of my own to create in and a DH that doesn't mind when my art over flows into and onto almost every available space in our home. I have friends whose hubby's are not so understanding and would never put up with it. yeah, I think I will count my blessings.
So here are peeks at what I have been working on today and what I managed to get done and listed into my Etsy shop.
I finished my first of several tiny journals I have in the works.
This journal is 3.5" tall by 2" wide with a 16" wrap around enclosure.
It has 6 fabric pocket pages with a total of 12 tiny pockets.
I originally designed them as a unique place for my growing collection of 'moo' mini cards, but anything that is tiny and special can live within it's pages too.
Some other views.

I also finished Seedling Journal No. 4. Here are few peeks.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Announcing The Pocket Art Exchange

Extreme Inchies
Vicki Sun, Susie LaFond, Daneila Dietrich, Margaret Werner

Margaret Werner, Susie LaFond, Vicki Sun, Susie LaFond

Lelainia Lloyd, Marcy Hudziak, Tina Shoaga, Daniela Dietrich

As promised, I am hosting a tiny art exchange here on my blog. The above photos are of tiny bits of art (part of my collection of pocket art; these are some examples of 'extreme inchies") The complete details for the swap are  the following:

Announcing the first ever ROD POCKET ART EXCHANGE. Here are the details.

Theme is Inspiration. What inspires you, is it color, is it words, is it a song, maybe it's textures or images? Think broad and expansive, embrace, capture and express it in a tiny format.

Due Date Nov 6th.

7 for 6 exchange of tiny art. (1 tiny art form is for your swap mama)

Each player will create the following tiny pieces of art.

2 ATC's, (artist trading cards) 3.5" by 2.5" 3 Original Moo sized cards 2.75" by 1.10" (note, these are not the printed ones you can purchase but are created as original pieces on any sturdy base paper), 2 mystery items can be anything that is tiny. Think inchies, tiny tags, mini stitched fabric art anything that is small that will fit in a small bubble envie and not bigger than an ATC and farily low profile. You can also simply make another ATC and Moo if you so choose.

Everyone will get back 2 ATC's 3 Moo's and 1 mystery selection. Everyone likes a little surprise in their lives especially when it's something fun. Send the artwork, a return mailing label (this makes mail prep so much easier) $5.00 which will cover the return envie and the postage, which might vary depending on what everyone sends in. Postage funds may be paid by check, cash or with paypal at if you so choose. Just let me know so I know that is what you are doing. This swap is open to oversea's players and I welcome you to share in the exchange.

If you wish to participate please shoot me an email at
 and I will add you to the list.  I will confirm everyone via email with my mailing address along with the complete details for this exchange.

Come along for the ride. It is sure to be a fun adventure not to mention, a fun way to get a little art in the mail. If you have any questions please send me an email.    

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Revealing More Secrets

A fabric pocket page.
I love surprises. I love hiding things in pockets. I love secret places for special objects. I guess I simply adore and go crazy over pockets of any kind, doesn't matter if they are made of paper, fabric or a combination of both. When I was very little I loved nothing more than to make tents out of blankets and hide myself in the haphazardly constructed structures. The smaller the space, the more cozy I felt. So today I have been creating pocket pages for the journal I shared in my last post and that led me to the idea of creating a tiny journal made entirely out of pockets. I created a size perfect for holding ATC's (artist trading cards) and a really tiny size for 'Moo' mini cards. I collect both and am always trying to find the perfect way to display and store them. What better place than a tiny journal with pockets to keep the 'pocket' sized bits of art safe. They will be revealed soon in my Etsy shop.

A note about 'moo' mini cards. A few years ago I started creating these as original works of art. In other words, base paper cut to size which is 2.75" x 1.10" and then they became the substrate on which to create tiny pieces of art. Somerest Studio published an article called 'Extreme Inchies' that I wrote about the technique in it's May/2008 issue. They are quite addicting.
Here are examples of two of my original extreme inchies.   

 I absolutly love tiny pieces of art and I will be posting details for a pocket sized art exchange here on my blog that will be open to anyone who wishes to participate. I will reveal those details tomorrow. So stay tuned.

And here is one last peek at fabric page in that secret journal.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A Beautiful Mess And A Secret

SSShhhhhhhhh. It's a secret. This journal is a work in progress and in a short time will be going to someone very special. I still have a lot to do on it before it's ready for it's journey.
I have been spending the last few days making a big, colorful and beautiful mess. I have been working on pages that will be calling this journal home as well as journals I have in the works for my Etsy shop. 

Saturday, September 11, 2010


In those days,
we finally chose
to walk like giants
and hold the world
in arms grown
strong with love
and there may be
many things we forget
in the days to come,
but this will not
be one of them.
Brian Andreas

 Take a moment and hold your loved ones close,
think about everything you have,
take nothing for granted.
Your life is a gift. You matter.
You make a difference in this world. 
 Take a moment and remember
those that were taken from us
and say a prayer
that this will never happen again.
 And if you are here reading this, please know you matter to me.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Art Journaling News

A few days ago I was given the most amazing news. I received word that one of my 'HuG' style Remains of the Day journals is going to be featured in a future issue of Somerset's Art Journaling magazine. It is my favorite among their many art publications. I am so excited and honored.
Today I finished another Seedling journal which is available for adoption in my Etsy shop. Here are a few peeks some of the pages.