Saturday, July 28, 2012


I meant to get right on this first thing this morning but it ended up that I have been running, packing, moving and running since 9:00 and I'm still not ready for the movers at 9:00 tomorrow morning :(

So the Random Number Generator did its thing and the winner is number 11 out of the 13 comments and that means that Jeanne is the winner!!!!!


Woohoooo!!!  E-mail me your address Jeanne and I will get my Quilting Arts Workshop DVD titled 
"Digital Design for Screen Printing - Creating Mini Canvas Screens for Surface Design"

I hope everyone is being super creative this weekend!  I'm going to be unplugging the computer tonight so I will touch base with you all sometime Monday or Tuesday with pics from the new studio loft!!!!!


Monday, July 23, 2012

More from CREATE NJ and FREE Giveaway!!!!


Yes!!!  An unexpected package arrived the other day containing my Quilting Arts Workshop DVD copies!!  I am so totally excited to be giving this first copy away!!!  It still blows my mind to think this actually happened!!!  YAY!!!

So how can you win???  I'd like to make this more challenging than it is but I have A LOT of packing to do as I am moving next weekend LOL.

Simply leave a comment here on this post by this Friday (July 27th) at midnight and I will pull out the Random Number Generator and announce the winner!!!!  

Back to more from my CREATE NJ workshops!  I have to tell you that one of the most important things about artistic workshops/retreats is the ability to meet and hang out with other like-minded souls.  I have been to enough retreats to expect that I will meet some amazing people and connect with a few very special ones.  CREATE NJ was no different.  

Julie Fei-Fan Balzer's workshop was awesome!!!  Marilyn and Sandi, whom I met in Michelle Ward's workshop were also in Julie's workshop.  Another connection I made was with Deb Averitt who sat next to me in Julie's workshop.  Deb's journal came out FABULOUS!!!  Here she is with both sides wide open!

Is that super cool or what!!!!????

I loved EVERYTHING about her journal!  The mix of blues and greens were awesome!!  She tried something different on every page as we all played with Julie's stencils and borrowed stamps from each other at our table.  Of course, everyone's journal came out fabulous but Deb's just had that over-the-top appeal to me!  After the workshop, Deb and I caught a bite to eat and listened to each others' stories.  Deb is another amazing woman full of creative energy that's just starting to burst from the seams!  If this is the beginning, I can't wait to see what she does next!!!  You go girl!!!

Here are more pics from Jodi Ohl's workshop.  Look at all the fabulous colors that everyone is working with!  
John McAllister

Lisa Lentini-Pombrio

Michele Luxenberg

Terry Commander

Sally Lentz

Dana Zatman

and Edie  
(who's last name I forgot to write down, sorry Edie)

Everyone made such cool stuff and Jodi inspired all of us to really have fun with it and we did!!!

The last workshop I took was Jenn Mason's IrRESISTible Paper Engineering Mash-up!  This was an awesome workshop where we got to try out a whole bunch of different types of resists on paper.  Now I know how these resists work and how they are affected by watercolor and acrylic paints and I can go purchase the ones I like best!!  Here are shots of some of the resists with watercolor paints!

I think my favorites were Diamond Glaze, Gesso and the Ranger Watermark Re-inker.  The watermark re-inker is shown in green below and the resist actually darkens instead of lightening up.  Beautiful and Thanks Jenn!!!

Here are a couple more shots of my friend Gina's Debris Journal pages from Michelle Ward's workshop!


So don't forget to leave a comment to be entered to win my Quilting Arts Workshop DVD!!!!!  See you soon!!!!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

CREATE Yummy Recap

Is it Sunday already???  Grooaannnn, I need a week off!  Got home at 1:30 a.m. this morning from a FABULOUS fun time at CREATE Mixed Media Retreat in Somerset, NJ.  I tried to squeeze in as much as possible so I didn't leave there until 9:00 p.m.

CREATE was awesome!!!  When I got there Thursday, I ended up jumping into Jodi Ohl's workshop for Sweetheart Magnets.  It was a blast and just what I needed to get rolling!  I will share class pics later but here are mine, not yet finished.

We had a blast making backgrounds to cut sections of to use as the background to our embellishments.

Somehow I think I was meant to be in this class as I came away with not only some fun art but two new friendships.  Sandra Koterba (below) is such a wonderful woman.  I sat next to her in Jodi Ohl's workshop and we immediately started chatting.  Sandi and her friends were also taking Michelle Ward's Debris Journal workshop!!  Sandi's artwork is BEAUTIFUL, as she is, and I'll be seeing her again in October at Art Is in CT where she will be teaching wet felting geodes!!  You go girl!!!!

Check out her workshop here!!

Also in Jodi Ohl's workshop, I met Gina Konopack who became a fast friend!  Gina is an interior designer  by day and is into all kinds of fun mixed media techniques which she also shares with her 8-year-old daughter!!  How fun is that??!!!  I was totally drawn to Gina's choice of colors and her background papers and it turned out that we were both taking Michelle Ward's Debris Journal workshop the next day!!

So my first night at CREATE I met two amazing women who have touched my heart and I can't wait to catch up with them!!! 

The next day, I regrouped with Gina and Sandi in Michelle Ward's workshop where we were consumed by  all things Michelle!!!  I can't even begin to tell you how impressed I am with Michelle as an artist, teacher and woman.  I love her art, her ideas and techniques and who she is as a person.  The Debris Journals were all amazing and is was a hugely successful workshop!!!  Half of the attendees were going to be in her second class the following day but I wasn't able to get into that one.  Here are some shots of my pages:

and a couple of shots of Gina's pages:

I luv, luv, luv Gina's X page!  Here colors were bright and explosive and I loved the combinations she used!

I've got more to tell about CREATE and my other classes and will get the rest out there later on today!  Here is Michelle with Gina!!!!  Great shot girls!!!

See you soon!!!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Studio Sunday and CREATE New Jersey

Packing, packing and more packing...that's how the next two weeks will go.  Had to run out last night for more small boxes to pack my books and magazines, but for the first time in over 10 years, I will be giving up half of my books and magazines in order to reduce my "stuff".  Now to hit the clothes closet, ugh.

Here is the second image in my mini series of leafy branches.  It did not come out as good as the first but I'm still experimenting with the best mix of imagery to use.  The first image looks a lot more like it all happened on paper.  I do like the look of digital but I think the look of the raw collage and its texture is important to highlight on these.  We will see!

So I am really excited that this week I get to drive (5 hours) down to New Jersey to the CREATE Retreat sponsored by Cloth Paper Scissors and Quilting Arts!!  One of my original workshops was canceled so the current line up for me will be:

Friday - Michelle Ward - Debris Journal
Friday night - Jenn Mason - The Irresistible Paper Engineering Mash-Up
Saturday - Julie Fei-Fan Balzer - Stamped and Stenciled Journal with Pockets

Check out the workshops and instructors below:

It will be so nice to just enjoy the process and meet some really cool artists!!!  FUN, FUN, FUN!!!  Let's hope the buggy makes the long journey.  I'll be driving back late Saturday night so I might not be up bright and early for Studio Sunday LOL.  The ferret babies will stay with one of my sisters for a few days.  I know they will miss me :(

I hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend and staying COOL!  It's been bad all over, I think.  


Saturday, July 14, 2012

Searching for Branches and Joyful Layering

Welcome to THE WEEKEND!!!  I swear these weeks are flying by which makes me really worried about being ready to move on the 29th!!  Of course, I am ecstatic and thinking all about arranging the new studio and living space.  I can visualize most of it already but I really need to think about storage and an area where I plan to teach a few workshops!

Ok, I'm off to a really good start this morning.  A little studio play with some ideas on using all of my screen-printed and stamped deli paper collages.  I went searching the grounds around my work before leaving yesterday so I could gather a few leafy vines so I could scan them into Photoshop Elements to make into brushes.  I was thinking stencils and screens, but this is what emerged.

There was a post I did here on re-purposing our artwork.  The image above is a perfect example of repurposing my art.  The key here is layering.  As you can see, the background is from a picture of one of the pages that I collaged using torn pieces of the deli papers that was stamping, screen-printing and painting on.  On the left side of the image, I added a brush of one of my swirly borders which is a Thermofax screen as well, and then layered another painted and stamped page that you can see coming through the leaves of the new brush I made.  By layering all of these elements and using some of the blending modes in Photoshop Elements, you can create fabulous designs!!  I printed this one to watercolor paper and used my ultra-fine point Sharpie marker to draw messy, sketchy lines around the leaves and vine.

I know I should print this to fabric and experiment with stitching!  We'll see!!!  So basically, this process would be considered my "Digital Monoprinting" process as it results in the look and feel of an advanced monoprint.  What I love about this process is that all the imagery is mine and I am re-purposing those nice big pages of collage I have been working on.  Stay tuned for more!

Now let's get busy creating!!!!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Sunday Night Blues

Who doesn't get the blues on Sunday night thinking about the long upcoming 9-5 week (or more like 8-6 lately).  I really need a vacation :)  Anyway, there is so much to do and only 3 weeks to do it so I'd better just "go with the flow".  I had a lot of printing fun today and collaged a little bit.  I let my sprayed fabric dry overnight  and the one thing that I noticed is that the Liquitex spray paints allow the fabric to keep its hand.  The colors are cool and I just experimented with them randomly on the fabric.  Those two pics are below.

I'm thinking I might experiment again with wet fabric and see how the results are different.  Below are unfinished collages using some pieces of deli paper.  The middle piece was spray painted.

My new favorite color?  Liquitex phthalocyanine green mixed with phthalocyanine blue.  I love this deep water color!!!  A lot of the printing to deli paper that I did today was actually using the paint palette.  I would mix up colors directly on the paint pallet, stamp into it or scratch lines in it and then lay the deli paper on top to pick up the print.  I love the subtle patterning as shown in the pic below on the far right side.

This was just stamping over a previous Gelli plate printing but I was working with the reds and thought it would be a great addition to the orange and pinks.  I had stamped into the Gelli plate with hand-made stamps.

I bought some new mixed-media paper by Strathmore in a little 8" x 6" size to see how the paper was different from watercolor.  I'm thinking about the orange compliment palette paper print for a very simple little collage that I can frame a series for the loft.  Gotta create those pieces that need to be on display!!!  

I want to thank LuAnn Kessi for her e-mail on repairing gelatin printing plates.  She said, 
"Put your jello plate in the oven and melt it down, then back in the frig to chill. Works great for frozen jello plates, old jello plates, cracked jello plates, etc.  You can do this over and over and over again!"

I had no idea I could salvage it!  Thank you so much for the very useful information, LuAnn!!!

I've got a few Thermofax screen orders to go prepare for shipping.  I hope everyone had a beautiful summer weekend and Friday will be here again before we know it!  (I think I'm just trying to convince myself.) LOL


Saturday, July 7, 2012

Where to begin????

Ok, the biggest news?  I will be moving (again).  It makes me really tired just thinking about it LOL.  Where am I moving to???  Wait til you see this!!!  (you've got to click on the link)

I have been given the SUPER-FABULOUS opportunity to move there!!!!  What is so great about this???  Well, the artist live/work lofts are connected to the Western Avenue Studios building ( which is an amazing old mill building turned into art studios (I've mentioned them before).  This is another phase of the complex development.  If you look at the next link, my unit is #202 in the lower left corner of the floor plan.  This unit is 1335 square feet of completely customizable studio/home space.  And, this unit has an exposed brick wall as well as a wood ceiling (14').  It has a warmer feel than some of the other units with just plaster walls.  You can build and configure anything you want to within that space.  WOW!!

So what does this opportunity mean for me?  
  • I can minimize my living space and maximize my studio space
  • I can SELL MY ARTWORK within my space
  • I can display my artwork in the hall and open my studio to the public on "Open Studio Saturdays" (the first Saturday of each month plus weekends at the holidays)
  • I can become a part of the artist community that is a significant component of this entire complex
  • I can TEACH WORKSHOPS in this space
  • I can order and pick up Thermofax screens every day (LOL if Friends Fabric Art puts up with me)
  • I'm sure there is more :)
Friends Fabric Art is my vendor for Thermofax screens.  Remember, you can order on-line directly through them if you have a design you want to make into a Thermofax screen!!

The next 3 weeks are going to be sooooo hectic for me.  On the 19th - 21st I will be down in NJ taking workshops at the CREATE retreat and then will be, for the 2nd time in 7 months, packing up everything I own and moving again the following weekend.  I'm apologizing in advance for lack of blog posts LOL

Ok, so now to the good stuff!  Liquitex has a brand new product out so you know I had to try it!  Water-based professional spray paints!!!!

Yes, I bought 7 cans ($11 each).  I took them outside this afternoon to experiment with them but it wasn't a lot of fun because the humidity here must be 100% today.  I did spray fabric and paper and will show you the results later once everything dries.  I thought these would be a very cool alternative to the Color Wash sprays.  Once the acrylic dries it's there to stay.  Liquitex has a huge selection of colors and these cans are big 12 oz cans!  I went into Michael's to get black acrylic paint and came out with a basket full of other stuff!  

The picture at the top of this post is the double-page spread in my big journal, the first half of which you saw a few posts ago.  The page on the right (below) is the one I am currently working on so it is not finished yet.  

The other picture is another page in the same journal that I created from taking color laser copies of the originals so I could cut and paste them together on the large pages.  The imagery was created by using my paint palette leftovers with stamps made from sticky-back fun foam layered on top and some Thermofax screen-printed deli paper as well.

And last, but not least, is my reject gelatin printing plate.  I was so bummed because I created a nice big gelatin printing plate last weekend and intended on using it Sunday night.  Well, that didn't happen and now that my refrigerator is really empty, the darn thing froze over.  Big bummer!  The only part I could salvage was around 6" round circle so I worked with that for a little while before boredom set in :)

I think at my new loft, I will get a small refrigerator that I can keep gelatin plates in ready for printing at any time!  I'll be careful not to set the temperature too cold.  That's it in a nutshell.  My head is spinning, I need a nice long vacation away from everything (but that won't happen) and I can't wait to begin my new life adventure in my artist loft!  Tomorrow will be all about play in my current studio and I'll post again tomorrow night!

I hope everyone is having a fantastic weekend and stay cool!!!!


Monday, July 2, 2012

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Studio Sunday and Paper Printing Results

It is absolutely beautiful here today though a tad bit warm.  It's expected to be in the high 90's again but I will be well protected here in my comfortable studio as it will stay cool being half under ground.  I had a lot of fun just letting loose and printing yesterday!  If you haven't had a chance to watch any of the free videos I am posting, go check them out on my blog page titled STUDIO SERIES FREE VIDEOS.  I will be adding more soon.  The first set of 3 videos is all about Thermofax screen-printing on deli paper, watercolor paper and palette paper!!!  Using one of my favorite screens, which you can order in my Etsy shop shown HERE, is the basic stripes.  I use this to make backgrounds and pieces to rip up for collage.  These 2 shown were done on watercolor paper.  The deli paper prints come out fabulous too!!!

I have also been playing with Gelli plate monoprinting but intend to make a much larger plate of real gelatin for monoprinting and I will share that fun as soon as I can!  The other upcoming video is stamping on top of the prints made from everything in the two previous topics. FUN FUN FUN!!!

Of course, I can't help but share pics of all the fun I had!!!  These collages were created using painted, printed and stamped deli paper and stamped palette paper.  Both of these papers are fantastic and fun to work with.  The palette paper (Strathmore size 12" x 16" is a little on the pricey side but the fact that you can  spread around your left over paint and print on top of that without wasting a single sheet makes it very worth the cost.

It's quite the mix of imagery but what I am actually creating are more "master boards" that Traci Bautista refers to in her artwork that I mentioned in a previous post.  I will create color copies of these pages from my big journal and use that to cut up and use in journal pages and other collages.

Last, but not least, I want to share a couple of adorable pics of my stinky ferret babies, Daisy and Dylan, as they sleep peacefully in their hammock (so freaking cute!!!).  I still need to find them a good, loving home as they are quite the handful!  The house I'm renting has seen quite a few interested parties and I may be moving earlier than I though.  Stand by on that :)