Monday, October 31, 2011

Assemblage Projects from Mini Retreat

For the mini retreat assemblage project I chose to repeat a Stampaway class using Tim's die cut houses of chipboard and my specimen boxes.  They're covered with a sampling of the papers created during our first project.
These first 2 photos are of Lynda's assemblage project showing the houses in process and then the completed piece.  The first house on the left has a pleated roof made of tape measures and the dimension in person is fabulous.  The roof of the third house is metal flashing tape run through a texture plate and the 4th is actually done with rows of paint from a Viva Pearl Pen.  And I don't know if you can see it, but look closely at the third house.  The door is actually hinged and she has a clip art lady standing just behind it as though she's stepping out.  Very clever.

These houses in progress belong to Laurie and the background below was taken at the same time as the houses.  Check out the house on the right; that background shows off a stamped image made with the Clearsnap Magic Stamp on the right and tiny polka dots on the left created with drywall tape.  The second house from the right also showcases that Penscore stamping with a stencilled flower near the roofline.

I thought this background paper was fabulous so imagine my surprise when I took the photo below of her finished piece.
Look how the colors changed.  She decided it needed more contrast so she darkened it with blues.  Simply amazing.  And if you look closely you'll see a rub-on alphabet letter on each house which denotes each member of her family.  And the token on the roof of the second house from the left has a W, which is the initial of their last name.  Way cool baby.  We were digging through my many stashes, looking for an embellishment for that roof and it was perfect.  Kismet!
Now here are 2 shots of Bonnie's finished assemblage.  Notice the metals she used and you'll see how someone who loves to create jewelry using metal objects can incorporate that same talent into other projects.  She's got flashing tape rooftops on the 2 houses on the left, but lots of metal elements are on all four.

But look more closely.  On her background she'd used punchinella of stars to create what looked to me like smoke from a chimney.  And sure enough, the next time I looked, she'd added a chimney to the house.  But the biggest hit of all are the 2 wire trees on the left.  When she worked on the layout she was unhappy with the empty space and said it needed trees.  So I suggested wire, and before you could blink she'd created those two coiled trees.  Talk about the perfect finished result!  And check out the 8 on the door.  Wonder if she likes 8's as much as I like 4's?
The photo above is Moneta's houses in progress.  I wanted you to see the 2 pieces of eco board she used as a door and a window, inked and stamped. 
Here's here finished piece above.  The paper on the largest house was a page torn from a textbook on how to build your own home.  I found it at the library book sale and knew I could tear out pages to use in art, and sure enough, these little die cut houses screamed for just this touch.  Can you see the stamped spiral near the top?  It was created with the plastic canvas circles I provided to be used as stamps.  Works everytime.

The photo above is Carol's completed assemblage and I wish I'd taken more photos of her houses in progress because her layering process was wonderful.  On the first house on the left she added a clip art postage stamp, then on top she layered a small square of masonite from Coffee Break that she'd collaged, and then she added a key from an adding machine I'd disassembled years ago.  Made the perfect doorknob.

The third house from the left is my favorite and not just because I watched the transformation so closely, but because it was truly unique.  I'd given everyone collage sheets I'd purchased from Teesha Moore so they could accent some of the pages of their books.  But Carol focused on one of those images early on in the assemblage project because the shape of the doodling matched the shape of the house.  If you look closely you'll see she added perfect little pearls with a Viva Pearl Pen, but then in true Teesha fashion she added the striped accents in black with a pen.  That's a button in the center of the house but she inked a red bingo marker to add that black element of N39 on top of the button.  And yes, that's some of Tim's tissue tape across the bottom that reads Pasadena.  Another favorite element of mine: check out the Blue Goose cigar band from Coffee Break that adorns the roofline of the house on the right as well as the metal token atop another piece of ecoboard.  These girls were so intense while they worked on these projects but the end results showcase their many talents.

Now for the last 2 photos which are Sharon's project, both before and after.  First she chose one of her background pieces which was antique sheet music inked and stamped with the Clearsnap Magic Stamp.  It was and still is beautiful, and in a color palette she doesn't normally use.  In the above photo you'll see the 2 houses in the middle that showcase her usual palette which includes Ranger's Adirondack Stream and Lettuce with a hint of Wild Plum and Red Pepper.

Now look at the finished project.  Everyone was given a piece of glossy black cardstock and she chose to use that as her background instead of her sheet music.  I've got to admit, I'd never have considered it, but wow, it's perfect!
So now let's talk about details.  Check out the roof on the 2nd house from the left.  Again, she used a Viva Pearl Pen to create all those polka dots of dimension.  She's got one of those adding machine keys as her doorknob, and the base of the house is a piece of the aluminum flashing tape run through a texture plate and colored with Viva's Inka Gold.  The little glass marbles along the roofline were a nice touch for added dimension.

The little house with the rounded rooftop needed an accent so we dug around in my stash and found the little string of jewels.

These photos can't begin to showcase the fun, creativity, talent and whimsy we experienced during the retreat.  But I'll tell you that the best thing about a retreat in my studio is being able to dig into drawers and bins for that perfect element, and that's something I can't replicate in a class, no matter how many boxes of supplies I ship.  Everyone will tell you that their kits at conventions are generous, but until I figure out how to include these little surprises, it's never going to be the same.

A heartfelt thank you to all the ladies who came to play, and to Carol and Moneta who were here from Illinois, because it was their persistence that convinced me to play hostess for a day of play.

I'm already trying to come up with a date for the next one, so no matter where you live, make sure you contact me if you're interested.

And thank you all for coming back to take a look at the photos of the finished pieces.  Aren't you glad you did?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A Day of Art and Play

Saturday's Mini Retreat was so much fun.  Bonnie had run away home by the time someone suggested a group photo, so my apologies Bonnie. 

Six ladies came to play with inks and paints and so much more I can't begin to make a list.  But I can show you what the table looked like throughout the day.
Everyone was having fun no matter how they look in my photos.  Contemplative in this shot perhaps?

Our paper arts project kicked off the day, stopping briefly for pizza and then kicked back in for a while longer.  But those papers would be used in the assemblage project, the wearable art project and in the book art project at the end of the day, so it required much attention.
We played with so many colorants and tools you can't even imagine.  Clearsnap's Magic Stamp (Penscore) was a huge hit, just as it always is in my classes.  The Viva Inka Gold was popular on metal, wood, and even aluminum flashing tape.
Stencils were another favorite, as were masks.  Sometimes new products hit the market and we play with them relentlessly, then put them aside.  But in my classes we continue to use the much-loved items.

Remember Junkitz and their foam stamps?  I pulled out my stash so everyone could play with Ranger's Dabbers.  A huge hit at this little party!

Now let's talk about stamps.  How could I possibly decide on which images to set out?  By the time we began working on our journals I knew we'd need to stamp, so I tried to select images that would work well on 4x4 pages.  But of course the IKEA cabinets lining the room held thousands more and since they're labeled, everyone had the opportunity to look for that certain stamp that would complete their page.

Our book covers were canvas that we painted using Claudine Hellmuth's Studio line of Acrylic paints by Ranger.  We had solids, polka dots, stripes, as well as patterns.  Just fabulous!

Nothing gets a woman up on her feet faster than stamping.  Whether they were up to select an image or use an image, there was lots of activity going into the 7th and 8th hours of play.  At one point Bonnie got a call and asked what time this event was supposed to end.  The answer:  6-6:30, followed by laughter, because of course we didn't finish as planned.

Come back later to see the assemblage projects.  Please.

Monday, October 24, 2011

What is trash, really?

Before I chat about the retreat, let me clarify something from my last post.  The trash collectors didn't cart away anything of value.  Stamps, ink pads, books, magazines, etc were all donated to my daughter-in-law for her 2 little girls and for the private school they attend.  Mind you, there are still many boxes yet to be delivered to her.

The things that went in the recyling bin were empty containers, cardboard & chipboard rolls and boxes and pieces that I salvaged from the recycling bin and then put back in the bin for pick up last week.  You know, the sort of thing you keep because you see the potential, but you never get around to using.  Well, it went to the big recycling center in the sky, or wherever it is, because it was taking up far too much space in my studio.

The things that went in the trash were things I'd made, or started to make, or demo pieces from my classes that were never finished and would never be, no matter how long I kept them.

Most of the "trash" was paper that again went in the recycling bin on wheels.  Why do I print all those emails and tidbits anyway?  I could and did fill multiple drawers of file cabinets with printed instructions that are saved on my computer that I can reprint should I ever teach that class or technique again.

Imagine how many years I've been teaching.  Just slow down and think about that.  Now imagine that I plan for 20 in a class and only 16 show up, or I plan for 50 and 42 show up.  That means I'm bringing home extras everytime that I toss in a box for the trip home.  Then that box gets more tossed in the next time, and the next time, and so it goes.  Suddenly I have boxes filled to overflowing with printed matter that I can't possibly store.  So it becomes recycling material.  Shame on me.  These days I try not to do handouts in my classes for this very reason.  Instead I offer my email address open to questions that I'll gladly answer.

So no cause for alarm ladies.  You didn't miss out on a thing.  And if I ever decide to really dig through the clutter, I'll invite you all over and let you help dig.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Countdown has begun

Forgive me for a brief, lingering pause...I went to see Moneyball over the weekend and ... be still my heart  ...  He's such a pretty little thing, and I love baseball, so it was a great movie for at least 2 reasons.

Last night the purging began in the studio.  What to keep, what goes out in tomorrow's trash pick up.  Too much stuff, no matter how fabulous or  potentially fabulous it may be, is never a good thing.   I figure if I've had it in a box for over a year, it no longer has value.  Peter Walsh has proven this time and again, and I have to pay attention.  And my tiniest attic cubby (4x5) is about to be tackled tonight.  Surely if it's been housed behind that door since we bought the house, had the built-in bookcases done and created that little niche 9 years ago, it really needs to find a new home.  I'd love to think I have time to tackle the one that's 15' long, but we'll have to save that for another rainy day.

The ideas have been floating around in my head for some time...what type book/journal do I want to teach at my retreat in 11 days?  What will my assemblage piece look like?  How much ephemera can I incorporate into a day of classes?

The paper arts projects and the wearable arts project are finalized.  Oh my, they're too exciting for words. 

If you see lights on in the studio til the wee hours, don't be surprised.  Creativity is afoot.