Monday, November 28, 2011

I've just finished taking Roben Marie Smith's Mixed Media Mayhem online class.  We made a "journal" out of utilitarian file folders.  Spray inks, stencils and gesso was about all the supply list consisted of...oh, yes, water.  Lots of water.  I really enjoyed exploring these techniques and was amazed at the tremendous possibilities and results.  Lots of spontaneous creating which is good for the soul.  Here are some pics of my finished, hand sewn journal.

2011 Holiday Card Swap

I am ready to send out my holiday cards (handmade, of course!) to the members of my card swap.  These are also members from The Arizona Calligraphic Society of which I am a member.

I hand lettered this quotation and scanned into my computer.  I fused some sheets of muslin to freezer paper and ran it through my printer and made some mini color washes after printing.  Finally I sewed onto Strathmore Grandee Felt, a wonderful cardstock.

I really like how the white pops on the envelopes, too.  Happy Holidays!

Friday, November 4, 2011

The Remains of the Day; A Handmade Book

I recently completed my first Remains of the Day Book from the fabulous Mary Ann Moss class.  After spending the better part of my free time for several days viewing the remarkable works of the folks who have taken her workshop, I was hooked. Sent in my payment and soon after began creating my book.

I'm not sure what it is, but we all know the kind of teachers we've had who bring out the very best work in the students that they teach.  It is a special gift.

I seriously had no idea of what I was doing for the most part of designing and completing this book.  The book is based on using the materials, largely paper, fabric and ephemera and bits and pieces of our life.  Things we save.  Things we collect.  Things that resonate with us when we view them. Things that make their way into our life without our consent or invitation.  Things we cannot bear to live without.  Things we keep somewhere we don't even remember where. 

When I say that I didn't know what I was doing, I meant it.  There is this intuitive energy that overcomes and the choices one makes, decisions on placement, the right thing to do next; they all occur with grace and ease.  There is no resistance.  Complete presence.  I call it Divine.  Your hands are creating, but Spirit is working through you.  You're not alone in this process.

The most amazing discover in this journey was the simple, ordinary, unremarkable pieces of paper I randomly included in my book, to me, suddenly took on the opposite energy and breathed new life, became extraordinary in a delightful, still manner.

I am a calligrapher.  A lettering artist.  Words speak to me.  More specifically, the alphabet in general.  I think Mary Ann originally used this technique as a travel journal.  From my view, it has morphed into so much more.  What a tribute to a great teacher.  I've reunited with my beloved sewing machine, fearless. 

This is the cover to my book.  It is made of fabric scraps including bits of muslin and canvas that I've hand painted and hand lettered on.  I've been lettering on muslin and canvas quite a bit recently since taking Lisa's Creative List Quilt class.  The overall size of the book is approximately 6 X 9 when closed.  It called for a 3/4" to one inch spine, but I could have used a bigger one!  
Book Cover Fully Open
Book Back Open
Book Front
Book Back Closed

Book Front Closed

Here are some random pages of my book.  It actually has three sections with approximately 10 pages each.  Quite chunky. Lots of my pages include my own calligraphy practice sheet scraps, bits and pieces of stuff in my scrap box.  I've posted up all my pages on my flickr site as well.

Remains of the Day Book

Here is a video/slideshow of my book.  More blog to follow