Sunday, April 28, 2013

Studio Sunday and Bee-utiful Digital Design

Welcome to Sunday!  I've been busy working on new screen and stencil designs as well as just following my muse.   I've been doing a little research on symbolism and the bee is a symbol that I gravitate to in many ways.  One of the reasons I went searching for a bee image is because I have an Alex and Ani bracelet with a bee on it which symbolizes perseverance.  The bee is represented in many different cultures in slightly different ways, as many animals are, and additional symbolism includes hidden wisdom, fertility, accomplishing the impossible and the sun and energy.

It's all really interesting to me so I have decided to do a little art project creating imagery that includes symbolism that reflects me as a person.  Instead of listing a number of qualities with words, I am going to use symbols to sort of tell the story of me.

So this is the first image in my "personal symbolism series".  I printed this image (6" x 6") on top of copies of previously created artwork.  Layer, layer, layer!!!  I really love how the colors just pop through the design and creates a different look with each background.

I've got a whole bunch of new ideas swarming around in my head and I spent the entire day exploring one single image.  First I drew a turtle shell then scanned it into Photoshop Elements 10 and manipulated the heck out of it!  Here is a sneak peak as I'm not exactly sure how I will use the new imagery yet.

I am putting together imagery to use during the Far Away Places workshop with Michelle Ward and Lynne Perrella that I will be attending May 10-12.  These are "Ancient Tiles" that I'm creating to use in the workshop as I create my fantasy far away place.  I'm really excited about it!!!  I think I have been so tied up with other projects that I really missed all of my digital play so I totally let loose yesterday and it was a very fruitful day!

Starting Monday, I will be all absorbed in the on-line workshop I am taking called the Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design!  This workshop is going to change my life :)

Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Margaret's Got a New Toy...Oh Boy!!!

And she's off!!!!

and peeling LOL
(how the heck am I going to use these?) there is something I can use!  
Ooops, is that a little sneak peek of a new stencil design????

Monday, April 22, 2013

Custom Thermofax Screens in my Etsy Shop

Seeing as now I operate my own Thermofax screen machine, I am ready to take customer orders.  To order a custom screen with your artwork, follow these steps:

  1. Send me your high-res jpg file first to my e-mail address at the top left of my blog.  Once I receive your image, I will determine if the image is acceptable for screen creation or if minor edits need to be made.
  2. If I need to clean up the image slightly to produce a cleaner screen, I will send you a final proof for your approval.
  3. Go to my Shop and select the size screen you would like and once I receive payment, I will produce and ship your custom Thermofax screen.  

There are 3 different options to choose from.  

The first is a full 8 1/2" x 11" image which is the largest size I create.  This size is $14.00.

The next size is half of the full size which is approximately 5" x 7".  This size is $11.00.

The last option is for 4 mini designs that are approximately 3" x 4" in size.  This option is a little more expensive due to the fact that I have to cut and tape off 4 separate sections.  This size is $16.00.

Once the screen is made, I will delete all artwork you provide from my computer.  If I modified your image at all, I will send you the clean file so you have it for future use.  I will not store your images for future use as the artwork is owned by you and I do not want to be responsible for it once the screen is produced and shipped.

If you have an image that you would like to create a repeat pattern with, I will work with you to  create the layout you desire, but there will be an additional design fee of $5.00 applied to the overall cost of your custom screen.  A proof will be provided for your approval and the final file will be provided to you for future use.

Feel free to contact me with any questions about this service before sending your imagery to me.  Have you checked out my new Workshop DVD, Paint, Print, Layer, Collage: Creating With Personal Imagery?  This is the perfect workshop to help you create your own personal imagery that you can then order a custom Thermofax screen from!  Click on the image to be re-directed to the Interweave Store for purchase.

Thank you!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Studio Sunday

Just wrapped up the Printing the Journal on-line workshop I was teaching on and I had a great turnout and had a great time with the participants who jumped into the forum to share their work and ask questions.  It was great! These are all pictures taken from collages I made from printed deli papers and re-used artwork along with sprayed through stencil techniques.

The workshop will definitely run again (date not yet determined) and if anyone is interested in the next session, you can e-mail to let her know.

These pages are backgrounds for continued journaling or building and laying more imagery upon or left as is such as the image above.  

I've been creating Thermofax screens left and right and the orders keep rolling in.  I will be creating more designs for my ETSY shop in the near future.  Over the next few months, I am going to be creating new art for myself and for testing my potential for going down the serious path of surface and pattern design.  I have signed up for the first module of this workshop taught by Rachel Taylor called the Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design.  I am soooo totally excited about this and even more excited that Terri Stegmiller will also be taking the workshop at the same time!  Terri is so incredibly talented and I can see her being totally successful following this path!  Check out the workshop on Rachel Taylor's site by clicking on the title below!

And one more thing...Barbara and I will be attending this incredible workshop in May with Michelle Ward and Lynne Perrella called Far Away Places.  I have taken workshops with both of these amazing artists and  to take a workshop with both of them together will be the ultimate!!!  Can't wait!!!  I'm going to create a fantasy far away place and I'm already creating my own artwork for it.  It is going to be fantastic!!!

I have been cleaning up the studio and spent yesterday putting together 4 large cabinets to organize the studio with.  I was exhausted and there is still a lot of clean-up to do so I will share pictures as soon as I can.  I'm psyched that we can open the windows now and let fresh air in!  I'm still waiting for everything to burst into multiple shades of green but the signs are here and it's only a matter of a few more warm days!!!

Boston Marathon Bombing - Last week was surreal.  I was completely glued to the bombing that happened on Monday and then all of the fallout straight through Friday night when the remaining bomber was taken into custody.  Boston is forever changed by this event of terrorism, but will become stronger in its vigilance to fight against terrorism, protect the people and support the injured from this horrifying experience.  The survivors of the bombing are up against such huge challenges to heal and rebuild their lives and rise above all of this.  My heart goes out to each and every one of them.


Monday, April 15, 2013

Boston Marathon 2013

Normally a day to celebrate significant accomplishments, the 2013 Boston Marathon, April 15, 2013, will forever be embedded in our minds as a horrific day in Boston.

My heart goes out to all those people who have been directly and indirectly affected by this act of terror. 


Sunday, April 14, 2013

Studio Sunday

I look forward to next week when I will be able to get my life back to some sense of normal.  I've been so out of touch with everything around me and trying hard to get everything done on projects I'm working on at the moment.  Here and there, I've been able to find little pieces of inspiration that are fueling a growing desire inside of me to begin again, to reach, to take things to the next level.  This seems to be the cycle for me and when I feel my intuition telling me it is time, I have to follow it.

Does it have a lot to do with spring?  Maybe.  Does it have to do with pushing one idea so far that I've become over-exposed to it?  Could be.  Spring is such a time of renewal and rebirth.  We see it all around us and then we feel it and the energy driving it all pushes me to find new inspiration and to entertain new ideas.  I thought I would share some of my current inspirations that are feeding into my thoughts and ideas.

I had been looking through the work of some surface and pattern designers from the '50s and happen to come across Rex Ray, who is a current day artist, and was so drawn in by his paper collages that I just had to purchase this book.   

Then, along the same lines, I came across the art of Angie Lewin who makes amazing block prints.  Yes, I bought this book too :)  I love how shapes and lines play against each other and, of course, the nature theme always draws me in.  Very inspiring art and it wants to make me doodle!!!

I have loved Sherrill Kahn's work from the first time I ever saw it and I own 3 of her books and this one is the newest.  It arrived Friday and it took everything I had not to sit and read through it to soak up all her inspiration.  I have never taken a workshop with her, but she does have a DVD out through Creative Catalyst which I'm thinking I might just order.  Sherrill uses all of the Jacquard paints in her work on fabric and paper and I think she is an amazing artist.

My last piece of inspiration to share is through an article in the newest issue of Somerset Memories magazine.  I love the style and look of Dorota Piechowiak's journal pages (p. 16 and 17) in the magazine.  All of the texture and layering of pieces and the color scheme limited to black, white and a few other shades like the green popping through it all in her photographs.  

In looking at all of this inspiration I just shared, there is still the common theme of layering.  Layering is what creates these amazing images and is what pulls you in to explore how the artist created such a beautiful image.  So this spring, if your intuition directs you to seek new inspiration, follow the call.  

Have a great week!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Art Journaling Exposed 2 is Here!!!

Well, I guess when it rains, it pours!  Almost back-to-back my new Workshop DVD came out and now Art Journaling Exposed 2!  I just downloaded my copy and I'm cracking myself up, yet again :)

Join me as I create fabric hinged journals using Scor Tape!  This new volume is fantastic and you won't want to miss anything!!!!  I'm honored to be included in this publication with some really amazing artists!  It's a great Sunday morning read with a cup of Joe!

See you Sunday!!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Paint, Print, Layer, Collage Workshop DVD is Here!

Oh My GOSH!!!!  It seems like I've been waiting forever and now it's really here!!!!  I'm soooooo excited!!!  We will have to wait until next month for the hardcopies that I can give away but for now we can watch via download all we want!!!!  

If you have or will be downloading your version, I want to hear from YOU!  I want YOUR feedback!!!  I want to know if this Workshop DVD inspires you!!  Leave your comments HERE!!!


Sunday, April 7, 2013

Studio Sunday and NYC Trip

I've been silent, but I've been here.  Working diligently away and keeping the boat steering straight ahead through my Printing The Journal workshop that is currently running on  It's going well but there is a lot of information that I have shared in the workshop so I'm trying to make sure everyone is having a good time!

In the midst of my busy schedule, Friday night I flew down to NJ to land at my friend Sandi's house as she had invited me to attend a workshop with her in NYC on Saturday!!  Sandi Koterba is one of the most artistic people I have ever met and with such a wide range of talents!  She has her hands into everything and everything she touches is gorgeous!!  You might remember this pic when she came up to stay with me in January when we set up her blog.  Check out her blog here for more info on Sandi!

I can't say enough great things about her!!  You can see that she absolutely radiates here in this picture and she is like that all the time (except while sitting in gridlock traffic in NYC for 2 hours LOL)!  Sandi had invited me to attend the Doreen Kassels workshop, "Magical Ornament Girl and Sculptured Skinny Legs" workshop that was held at Michele Luxenberg's Studio (Little Bird Creations) in NYC in it was an awesome time!!!

Here is Doreen with a couple of her very adorable characters that she makes from polymer clay!!  Doreen is going to be teaching in France very soon and Sandi will be taking the trip with her!  What a fantastic experience!!!  

Sandi and I both chose to work on our rendition of Doreen's little fox.  Soooooo cute!!!  Above is Sandi's finished Foxy Lady looking simply adorable with her pink striped tights, crown and bows for the tips of her shoes!!!  Below is my polymer clay figure ready to be baked in the convection oven before painting with Doreen's original in behind.  

And here she is after some painting!  I added a flouncy skirt before she went under the bake and found out the hard way that very thin pieces of the polymer clay will break off without additional support :(  That's ok!   She was looking better with paint but still not half as cute as Doreen's right behind her.  I think mine is also saluting someone??!!? LOL

Sandi's friend Jackie came with us to the workshop as well and her rendition of one of Doreen's more human-like characters was fantastic!  Jackie sculpted her very own interpretation and clearly had a blast doing it!  Love all the layered clothing!!

Sculpting with polymer clay was something I had never tried before.  It was great fun to step outside my box to try something new, but I think my heart lies in 2-D rather than 3-D LOL.  Sandi loves to work the polymer clay and there is no question that she is great at that, too!!

Arriving late Friday night to Sandi's, I didn't see much other than the couch I landed on before passing out.  The next morning, I awoke to find myself in the most beautiful and cozy little gallery house filled with Sandy's artwork, as well as some of her favorite acquired pieces.  Here are a few shots to give you an idea.

It was such a wonderful visit with Sandi and to see her studio and hear all of her stories related to each piece of artwork.  As I look at the pictures now and think about our conversations, it seems to me that I have walked into Sandi's story book filled with her travels and treasures that are still being written and unraveling to reveal all of the many facets of Sandi's artistic self.

Sandi was such a gracious host and her husband, Frank, was just as welcoming.  (Thanks to both of you!)  

It was such a great adventure in too short a time but I would do it again in a heartbeat!  Michele Luxenberg hosts wonderful mixed-media workshops from her studio in NYC and Sandi will be teaching Zentangles on fabric coming up soon as well!

Well, I have loaded up most of the images that I will be continuing to sell in my Etsy shop in Thermofax screens.  Check the shop when you get a chance and I will be adding new designs to these offerings as well. A few people have asked about custom screen designs and I will be adding that as an option to purchase. 

Unfortunately, the cost of shipping outside of the U.S. is higher than I was originally paying and I have had to adjust the international shipping rates to avoid paying for the balance myself.  I'm so sorry to have to do this and please feel free to contact me directly if you believe the rate should be different.  I found that most of the packages I was shipping internationally should have been up in the $12.00 range and higher depending on the weight.

It will be good to get back on track in another week after the workshop is finished, just in time for some great spring weather to head this way!  (fingers crossed no more snow) LOL  This year, I'm being slammed with allergies which hasn't happened for a long time and it's making it hard to concentrate as my ears are blocked constantly. :)  I expect there will be news coming soon on Art Exposed, Pages and my Paint, Print, Layer, Collage Workshop DVD coming out from Cloth Paper Scissors so stay tuned!!!!  It's almost time for another giveaway!  

Have a great creative week!