"Art is my vehicle through life; may we share the ride together." Ron Wickersham

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Home from Austin

We just got home from a few days in Austin babysitting this little guy. He is talking more now and is so much fun to be around!

We took him out for Mexican where he tried out his new two-spoon eating technique. Actually he may have something here- it was much less messy than usual! 

Miss him already!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

"Well Traveled" Mini Album Class

This was a class created for the Little Blue House Summer Release in June using the beautiful paper line "Well Traveled" by Carta Bella. For some reason I forgot to post it then. Elaine and I collaborated on creating this one. I did alot of the math-involved construction and Elaine did alot of the decorating. This elegant book has lots of space for 4"x6" photos and is a beautiful keepsake for a special trip.

The entire book is constructed from cardstock, papers and chipboard for the covers. Love how it turned out!  Here are some peeks inside.

Love these three little pockets with room for tags and a tiny booklet for even more photos.

It's on display at the LBH and we still have kits available if you would like to make one in class!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

AG Retreat 2013 Beach Book

This is the beach book we all made at the retreat last weekend. It consists of 7 double-page spreads approximately 7" square, created on watercolor paper. Seven members each designed one spread and kitted the pages for us to create at the retreat.  We also received two mat boards to create our own covers.  I painted mine with several metallic blue and champagne paints and glued on a section of a collaged patterned paper. The title is a sign I downloaded from the Internet.  The resin starfish was a giftie and the raffia with shells attached was tied around a gift of saltwater taffy.

The pages were all finished and then glued back to back to form the book. The left side of the first page was adhered to the front cover and the right side of the last page was adhered to the back cover.  Since there were an uneven number of pages, we had the option of turning the center page the opposite way so it would open from the spine. This is a clever way to add interest in the book. Before attaching it to the neighboring pages, a strip of trim with beading and dangling shells was glued to both page edges. When the book is closed, this forms a decorative edge on the spine. (See below.)

Here you can see the page slightly opened and then fully opened. (This page was designed by Cher Blasengame and features some printed transparencies and glittery paper for the mermaid tale.) I also added a piece of glittery tulle over the water.

This is the first page of the book, created by Jeri Aaron. The background is inked heavily and the coral pieces are painted with Twinkling H2Os, giving a nice sheen. Real shells are glued to the bottom.

The next page was designed by Nancy Bridges who was not able to attend the retreat. I love the idea of tearing the paper in several strips for the water. I added Diamond Stickles to the torn edges and some bird stamps.

This page was designed by Joan Wehmhoefer. The palm trees are on a transparency colored with Sharpies on the back side. I also glued sand to some areas. The surfboard is cut from real balsa wood (it cuts really well with scissors!) and inked. Again, a real shell and shell chips are glued to the right page.

This page is a tribute to Jimmy Buffett, designed by Kris Hankins. The focal image is actually a pocket which holds a tag with his "Perfect Margarita" recipe on the back. The signs were printed on the computer, cut out and then stamped with a wood grain stamp and inked to look like wood. Did you notice the shark?

This is a very serene page designed by Joyce Kochalka.  Lots of ink blending in the background, a stamp in the upper left corner and tiny seagull diecuts.  The little fence is real wood and wire.  Dried moss, sand, shells and a tiny piece of driftwood are glued to this page.

The last page was left for whatever we wanted to do to it. I made pockets to hold some of the little make-and-take tags and miscellaneous bits.  I stamped the beach huts on different colored inked papers and cut them out to add to the pockets.

I'm loving my little beach book, full of wonderful memories of this year's retreat.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Beach "Junque" Book

As I mentioned in my last post, we all created "junque" books for our annual retreat. The idea was to add pockets, envelopes, junk pages, etc to the book before going on retreat. You could make lists, notes, add copies of images from the web, stamp and/or color images to use at the retreat. Once there, we drew names and worked a spread in three other books. We had a limited time to create these pages so it was a challenge to come up with a layout that worked with that particular book as well as using whatever we had on hand. (Warning: lots of photos in this post!)

This is the cover of my book. I cut off the covers of an old book and glued on lace (water), muslin pieces (clouds), alpha stickers (title) and a paper punch (butterfly). Then I gessoed over the entire cover to hide the various colors of what I'd just glued down.

When that was dry, I started painting, glued down the corrugated cardboard and burlap for sand and added some shells.  I added Stickles to the lace and butterfly, charcoal pencil around the clouds for shading and some paint and ink to the cardboard.

Closeup - I love how that old, old lace worked perfectly for waves!

This is the inside cover and first page. I used alot of "artist papers" (the insert pages from Stampington magazines) that I've been hoarding for years. The inside cover just has a vellum pocket to hold vintage images. The first page is torn in three places to form pockets for the tags on which I sewed old photos of my husband's grandmother.

Two more pages. The stamps on the left page are from a set by Artistic Outpost which are perfect for the vintage beach theme.

This spread was created in my book by Renee. The coral background is a page made with beautiful scrapbook paper. 

This page was created by Teresa. I love that image of the two little girls!

Another pocket with shell images. The "Summer Dream" is cut from the June Southwest Airlines magazine, layered over strips of washi tape.

Love these pages. The small top right page is a restaurant coaster covered with VerDay paint.  The paper slide was a giftie at the retreat which I covered with glue, sand and shells and added a vintage image inside.  The brown pocket is a folded security envelope with a window. I added lots of ink and stamps from that same stamp set and a vintage beach image inside along with some tags.

This is the back of the envelope covered with some gorgeous paper by Lynn Perella. It's just paper but the starfish looks so dimensional. 

This spread was created by Joyce. Lots of pretty stamps and texture on these pages.

On the left is a piece of Prima packaging with a tag clipped to it. The right page is another pocket with images tucked in.

I love this tag I made using a photo of my two grandsons at the beach in Florida over Christmas. The background is made with Tim Holtz's "Marbled Stain" technique using white, Tumbled Glass and Stormy Sky Distress Stains and overstamped with Vintage Photo and Pumice Stone. I dyed the silk ribbon with the two blue stains and added twine, shells, a tiny bottle with sand and a tiny tag. I die cut art metal for the "2" to symbolize the 2 boys.

Another spread. The right page with the palm tree was part of a wedding invitation we received (hey, this is a junk book, remember!) and I tore the Palm Beach girl from scrapbook paper. The sand is Vintage Photo embossing powder.

This vibrant page on the left is the back of the previous page using Spiced Marmalade and Picked Raspberry inks and the stamp set I'm in love with.  The right page is an acrylic pocket I made held together with washi tape. It holds vintage photos of relatives at the beach.

And, last but not least, on the other side of the Prima packaging is the collaborative postcard we made at the retreat. Each of us started with a 4"x6" white card and divided it into four approximately equal sections. I just used straight horizontal lines, but there were some very creative divisions.  I created one section (the girl on the bottom) and gave it to the person sitting to my left (Julie who worked the top section) and it continued to the left until finished. Alisha created the second section from the top and Annette did the third down. I love how well the designs coordinate. This is a fun exercise to get the creative juices flowing!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

A whole month!

I can't believe it's been an entire month since I last posted! How time flies! This month has been extraordinarily busy and I hope life will settle back down to "normal" now and I can get back to blogging more regularly.

So, what have I been up to?  In mid-June we went to my hometown, Stowe, Vermont (where my mother still lives) to celebrate her 85th birthday. My daughter, son-in-law and grandson, Carl, joined us there. We spent a lovely, cool week together and my mom enjoyed having her first great-grandchild visit. He kept us hopping though and I think she was totally exhausted by the time we left.

Main St., Stowe

Josh, Carl and Kelly - Mt. Mansfield

Picking dandelions

Presenting his handmade card to Great Grandmom

Not long after we returned, we flew to Albuquerque for a long weekend to celebrate our other grandson's first birthday. It had been about 6 weeks since we'd seen Drew and he had grown up so much. He's still not walking but is very close! Kelly, Josh and Carl also came in town for the birthday bash and it was fun to watch Drew and Carl interact with each other. They still don't play together, just side by side, and they are both learning to share - really cute.

Not exactly a cake smash!

Fascinated by gorilla at the zoo

From Albuquerque, my husband and I went to Los Algodones, Mexico, for dental implants for me. I needed some major dental work done and we researched dental tourism, which is big now considering the high cost of dental work in the US. We decided to go to Los Algodones and check it out. We planned to just return if we felt it was sketchy or shady. We were pleasantly surprised and they started work soon after the initial x-rays and consultation. I had nine extractions and four implants (to support the entire upper arch of teeth) that day, went back the next day to test the trial set of teeth and then back the following day to get the temporary set of teeth. I will have to return in about six months after the implants fuse to the bones to get the permanent set.  We were very happy with the experience and I recommend it to anyone who needs major dental work. I saved about $15,000!! 

Close to US/Mexico border near Yuma, AZ - flat, sandy and desolate

Charming "hotel" owned by dental clinic - only one in town and it was free!

You know you're out of the country when you see this!

About ten days after we returned, I went to the annual retreat of an online group I'm in. For four days, we arted, laughed, chatted, met new friends and rekindled old friendships and had a blast! Every year the retreat has a theme and we create a book that several members design. This year's theme was "Vintage Beach" and we made a fun beach book.  Everyone brought make-and-take projects for us to work on and we also worked on beach-themed "junque" books that we had made at home and then passed around to three other members to work in also. I'll post photos of those books later.

And that wasn't all - in between all those trips I also designed a few layout classes for a mini-release for The Little Blue House.

Whew! I think I need a vacation!