Thursday, June 27, 2013

Five on Friday

It's not quite Friday yet, I know...But I've had lots of inquiries about why I haven't been updating my blog, so I decided to just get to it a day early.  Back by popular demand:  Five on Friday, this week, delivered on Thursday.

What I’m reading:  I just finished Neil Gamain’s latest novel, The Ocean at the End of the Lane. It’s fantastical, almost like a fairy tale for grownups, and a quick read for those who like to keep it light for summer. I loved it.  Next up:  Revolutionary Summer, The Birth of American Independence, by Joseph J. Ellis.  

What I’m eating:  DH and I have been doing Nutrisystem for the past few months.  I only lost 12 lbs, but since my thyroid is completely non-functional, I’m happy with that.  Lou lost 35 lbs and he’s determined to keep it off this time. (He lost on NS five years ago, but the weight has slowly snuck back.)  We choose just the meals with like, not their entire selection, and it works for us.  Of course, we won't be on NS in Hawaii next week...

What I’m listening to:  I finally got Sirius radio, which I listen to almost constantly. I’m obsessed. I especially like The Coffee House station, which a friend introduced me to and which is acoustic versions of songs. I also have days where I get stuck in an era, like the 70s on 7 for example.  What do you listen to?

What I’m watching – Can the Borgias really be over?  I’m not thrilled with the series ending, but I’ve enjoyed each season so I can’t complain. I’ll miss those amazing costumes and the decadence, though I could have done without the incest between brother and sister (which really creeped me out).  On  a different note, the season ender for Madmen was perfect. I read the recaps on, and if you haven’t done that, I highly recommend it. I think Don may have to watch his world fall apart in order to integrate his past with his present, and I’m guessing the last season will be more about that.  You can run but you can’t hide!

The baby update:  Allison is 27 weeks into the twin pregnancy.  She had an U/S yesterday and was told they are  2 lbs 4 oz and 2 lbs. 6 oz.  I don’t know how parents tell identical twins apart, but I suspect these two boys are going to have lots of fun playing tricks on people.  Liam has started to CRAWL – a funny version of pulling himself along – and he gets into a sit up position by himself and is also pulling himself up to standing.  He’s still just as happy – joyful really – as ever.  And I know having two little brothers in the picture is going to make him even happier – eventually…

 What's going on in your world?

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Lollapalooza I

Every summer for the past few years I've tried to do some sort of online summer art series.  One year I did a six-week class with Claudine Hellmuth; another year it was Carla Sonheim's Drawing Lab book.   This year I'm taking Martha Lever's Lollapalooza online workshops, which are issued in a series of 3 different sessions.

The first session was about creating journals using a bound spine.  Although Martha uses a Rubi-Coil binding device for her book, I have a Zutter Bind-it-All machine which works just as well.  I have to say that I just really love Martha's style.  She likes to say things like, "I do it this way, but you can do it another way. Sure, why not?"  No stress, no need to be in lock-step formation - just the way I like it.

Martha shows how to collage a cover for this journal, but when she mentioned that you could also use fabric, I had an aha moment, remembering that I had some canvas fabric (an old carryall turned inside out) that I'd already painted, so I sewed that to paper and used it instead.  Also, I was able to unload lots of my old, unloved scrapbook paper, as I knew most of it would be covered with other papers anyway.

Martha uses the word "snippets" to refer to the things you will put in your book.  In the same genre as Mary Ann Moss' Remains of the Day journal, this book is built around all those bits and pieces of things you've maybe drawn or painted or clipped and saved, magically bound together in one place and looking like that's how you meant them to be in the first place (when really, you didn't have any plan at all).  I love that idea, because I've started so many journals that I didn't finish, and probably never will, that I'm happy to finally have a place where everything can be viewed at once.

So this cover is a piece of canvas, gessoed, painted, stenciled, stamped and written. Isn't that binding great??

Close up of the cover...

 And here are the inside pages. Look at the wonderful layering and glimpses of succeeding pages.  Martha taught us all about that.

The face sketch in upper left is from a Misty Mawn class I took.  Little girl's face on upper right side page is an image transfer onto sticky-back canvas, ala Claudine Hellmuth.  (Snippets!)

Arting with my friends one day, we used foam canvas to make stamps.  That's what you see on both pages here.

Sketches with colored pencil and watercolor.

More colored pencil on the left, plus a zippered bag gifted to me from one of my art pals.  I'll be putting tags in there soon.

More colored pencil sketches, and a peacock and poem.

The little girl on the left is an image transfer.  Background on left and right pages were done in an online class with Julie Prichard at Land of Lost Luggage. She's a layer master!

I love drawing faces of all kinds. These are acrylic, watercolor, and pencil.

The silver pot on upper left was my first attempt at using frisket with watercolor. I love the effect.  "Seize the Day" on the right is a little class I took with Lori Vligen. I love her writing.

Watercolors, and some gelli plate page backgrounds.

And more gelli pages and watercolors...

Those little nonsense creatures are part of the class with Carla Sonheim.

And that gate on the left is a villa in Italy.

 The face on the left was my first attempt to use Shiva Paintsticks for faces.  I liked the blended effect.  And that walrus on the right is watercolor, straight from the Museum of Natural History. I love to go there to sketch the animals.

There are still some more pages to finish in my book, but I've got a good start on it - at least 3/4 of the way through and will finish it this weekend.  Did I just say FINISH?  I'm really addicted to working on the book, and good thing I'm almost done because it's time for the second section of Lollapalooza.    Hope you enjoyed this little tour as much as I enjoyed making it.  I keep swearing I'll do more blogging, and though I don't always get to it as often as I might, I do enjoy reading all your blogs, too!