Friday, September 3, 2010

New Artwork

I've been invited to join a wonderful online group called An Affair with Art. The terrific ladies who are members of the group are mixed media artists from all over the country. There are online swaps and 'mingles' and a monthly lottery where each participant makes one piece based on a theme, then at the end of the month there is a drawing and the winner gets the goodies. All of them. Then she selects a theme for the following month and the whole thing starts again.
I made some 'fern paper' this month and used that for my lottery entry. Below are some of the papers and the tag project I did for the lottery entry. I love tags. Love to make them, love to get them, love to give them... welllllll sometimes I would like to keep them, but that's half the fun of giving them up... they go to a new home where they will be loved and admired and that is defintely a good thing.

The theme is "Numbers". I chose the number three, but decided to do something other than just use numerals.
So, I made fern paper with three ink colours
There are three elements in the design on the tag
There are three colour feathers in each cockade and three feathers in each.
The numeral is 3, embellished with three colours of Perfect Pearls
There are three doubled strands of each colour fiber in the tassel at the top of the tag

Here is the tag for September's An Affair With Art Lottery, along with two samples of the fern paper I made

Monday, August 2, 2010

I promised to show you how to prepare a book for altering.

In the previous posting we talked about how to choose a book. Once you have inspected the book, know that the binding is a good one and the pages are in good condition to work on, the next step is to determine whether the fly leaf and end paper are in good shape. If not, you may want to add a new one. I'll get to that later. But on the chance that you will want to do that, don't do anything to that part of the book yet. The next step is to start removing pages to make room for the artwork that will be put in the book.

The flyleaf and end paper are in good condition here and there is no sign of tearing or stress in the fold
<----End paper


This book is ready to prep. Consider skipping the first few pages before you start removing pages. This will give you options for a sign in page if you are going to enter the book in a round robin swap or for the pages to introduce your theme.
There are several good methods for removing pages from the book. The best and most common are:
  • Tear against a ruler

  • Free-hand tear

  • Cut away
It is probably not a good idea to tear out all the way to the stitching due to the risk of damaging the thread, especially if the book is an old one or a cheaper new binding. In this picture you can see that the ruler is held against the center, near the seam. This keeps the tear from going all the way to the stitching.

This also ensures a relatively straight tear and allows you to 'grade' or 'shade' the tears so they are not all exactly the same distance from the binding.

Some artists prefer to cut the pages because it gives them greater control.

To do this, insert a thin cutting mat under the page to be removed. Lay a ruler on the page so that the left edge is where you want to cut. Use a good sharp craft knife to cut the pages. I suggest that you take the time to do one at a time.

An easy way to remove pages is free-hand tearing. Use the thumb or a finger from the other hand to guide the tear so it doesn't get into the binding seam.Always tear slowly so that you can stop if you are getting too close to the center of the book.

*Note: if you are going to be folding pages to the center, the part of the page that is left after tearing or cutting will allow you to glue or tape to that piece. This is helpful if you are making a pocket with the folded page.

I like to save the pages I tear out. This gives me the chance to use the book pages for collage or to cut out words/phrases for another page. You can also save illustrations or photos to use later.

This is how your book will look when some of the pages are removed. If you will be the only one working in it, you can remove pages as you go. If it will be entered in a round robin in which other artists will be working in it, you will probably want to remove pages through the entire book. Some of your participants may not know that they need to make room for their wonderful creations. Do it for them to save yourself (and them) some sad surprises.

Some guidelines for you when working in other artists' books:
  • If pages have not been removed by the book owner, you should remove sufficient pages to make room for your work. If what you are doing is 5 or 6 pages thick, then remove that many plus one, from the area where you are working.
  • Remember, even a coat of paint adds thickness to a page. If you are using only ink that is not an issue, but paint definitely IS.
  • Do not start your work on the back of someone else's work. That also creates problems with thickness and you run the risk of accidentally getting paint or other media on the previous pages. It can also cause problems with the page that has already been completed.
  • Use wax paper or freezer paper behind the pages where you are working. That way any excess paint or gesso or medium will be on the wax paper not the previous artist's work.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

It's been a while. I didn't intend to take so long, but things have a way of happening. We have a very sick cat and then my camera died and I couldn't do the images to go with my planned texts.
Since I am planning to teach an altered book class (see below for the June 13 entry) I thought it would be good to post a short tutorial about selecting a book to work on.

I have my camera back and have some pictures now. Soooo... without further ado, here is that short tutorial.
  1. Look for a book in reasonably good condition. A little worn and messy is OK, but the binding should not be severely broken. Experienced artists can fix a lot of things but you don't want to start your journey in altered books with a problem

  2. Inspect the book to see if it is sewn rather than glued. A glued binding will not hold up to the stresses of altering.

  3. Check along the header tape for the scalloped shape of each signature.

If you open the book so that the center of a signature is exposed (that's the opening in the middle of the set of pages) you should be able to see evidence of the stitching. This book will hold up well as you work in it. The next step, which I will post next week is about prepping the book to work in it.
Next is an example of a book that won't work for altering.

Below is an example of a glued binding. The glue isn't always so obvious, but you can see that there is no evidence of the kind of scalloped shaped that characterize a sewn book. This particular example is a Reader's Digest Condensed book and is typical of these publications. Although the book itself isn't a good candidate for altering, you may want to try to use the attractive covers for another purpose

Sunday, June 13, 2010

As promised, I am posting information about my first class as a free lance teacher on this blog. I am happy to announce ......

Beginning an Altered Book Journey
1 to 3 PM. July 10, 2010
At Stamps and More by Eleanor
2510 River Rd
Piedmont SC 29673
(exit 39 off I-85)
Ph. 864 295 2929
Toll free 877 296 2929
Cost $30
Call the store to reserve your seat
You will need to pack
A book to alter (more about how to choose a book in another post)
Basic tool Kit of
ruler (Tim Holtz ruler recommended)
personal paper trimmer
craft knife with fresh blades
cutting mat
double sided tape
paper awl
bone folder
large eye needle
All other tools will be provided along with a class kit of materials to use in the book.
In this class you will learn how to evaluate books for altering, how to prepare the book, a variety of techniques for creating layouts and interesting features for your pages and some methods for creating covers that give a clue to the theme of the book.
You will receive your class kit containing materials for your pages, a handout with instructions for the techniques you will practice in class, information about how to evaluate books for altering, and a list of publications you will find useful as you continue your creative journey in altered books.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Projects in the works

I have some projects in the works which I will post later next week. These will mostly be cards, but possibly some new tags. Work on my studio is going slowly and making doing art a little difficult for the moment. So, it goes slowly.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

I'm currently working on creating several new classes. If any of these ideas appeal to you, please let me know either in comments or in an email. Further details will be posted later.

Beginning the Copic Journey - re-designed
  • You will receive the hand-outs with extensive information about the markers
  • You will learn three blending techniques
  • You will be shown how to correct 'mistakes'
  • You will be introduced to the Copic Air Brush System
  • You will take away at least two images you can later use in projects

Continuing The Copic Journey - Destination Mixed Media with Copic Markers

  • You will receive a handout with information about the techniques shown in the class
  • You will learn how to use colored pencil, water color, waterbased markers and other media with Copic Markers
  • you will take away images using the various techniques that you can use in projects

Journey into Stampscapes - Beginning the trip

  • You will receive a handout with the basic instructions for constructing a Stampscapes Scene and information about the stamps used
  • You will complete three projects designed to help you learn the techniques for creating a sense of light, atmosphere and perspective
  • You will learn some basic 'rescue' techniques for fixing 'mistakes'

Journey into Stampscapes with Copic Markers

  • You will receive a handout with information about techniques for using Copic Markers to add color to Stampscapes scenes.
  • You will complete three projects using the markers
  • You will complete one project using the air brush system to create the atmopsherics that are so special with Stampscapes.

I am also open to any suggestions you may have for classes you would like me to schedule. I will post information about when and where as I am able to make arrangements

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Repeat Copic class

I spent the day in Concord NC taking the Copic Certification class again. There is way too much to absorb in one day, so I'm glad I did it again. Sally Lynn is an excellent teacher. In all, it was a day well spent.
Oh... congratulations to Mary Haverland and Christine Coile who certified today. Yay for you, ladies!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The classes I had scheduled for this Saturday at Stamps and More by Eleanor have been cancelled. I'll post time and place information later when I have some other classes scheduled. If you have any specific class requests I will try to schedule them at Stamps and More or some other convenient local venue. In addition, I am considering offering private in-home party style classes. They would work as follows:
  • I will work with the hostess to determine what kind of project(s) are desired.
  • I will create samples and class kits with all necessary materials for the project(s) requested, one kit per student.
  • If requested, I will provide extra kits for purchase at the time of the event.
  • Participants will bring a basic tool kit which will be specified for the particular class. Usually theses tool kits will consist of scissors, ruler, tape or adhesive and bone folder.
  • The kits for card workshops will typically contain materials for 4 cards except when the designs are unusually complex or involved.
  • The fees for private classes will cover the cost of the materials plus $10 per participant. Typically this would be aproximately $15 for a card class. Fees will be higher for classes with very complex cards, altered arts or mixed media classes due to the cost of the materials involved.
  • A minimum of 5 participants will be required.
  • These events will typically run 2 - 3 hours.

If you are interested in hostessing or participating in this type of event, please contact me via email at

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Trying to start setting up my home studio today. I had a lot of stuff already there and fitting in the supplies and equipment from my classroom is going to be a challenge. But I will get it done. It should be interesting.
I wish I could do classes here, but the covenent for this neighborhood forbids home businesses. I'll think of something.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

I am tentatively sceduled to teach an introductory class on Copic Markers on Saturday, May 15 at Stamps and More by Eleanor. That is to be followed by a class on creating textures with copic markers. Details are available by calling the store - 864 295 2929 or Toll Free 877 296 2929 or on the store's website

A new venture

Everything is changing. My employer no longer needs my services so I am trying to start a new venture as an independent teacher. I will be teaching classes in rubber stamping, altered art , mixed media and related topics. I need all the prayers and help my friends can muster that this will be a success. This is the first post in the blog that begins this new Creative Journey. I loved the students and the chance to design and work with all the wonderful products becoming available to stampers, scrappers and people working in altered arts. I hope to continue doing this but in a different way.

Come back to view this blog for updates on class schedules, locations, times and related information. I will post pictures and other things of interest to altered art fans. So come along with me and take a Creative Journey with Linda