Monday, December 31, 2007

New Year's Journal

I didn't really plan to make another journal right now with so many irons in the fire but this is what happens when I follow my muse. I just had to work with paper; and I love making my own journals. Here is how it happened.

My friend Kay (no website) came over for a play day and I suggested we make Jackie paper together. (See my blog entries of November 10-11 to read about the technique for making patterned paper that Jackie Crist originated.) My Jackie paper is morphing though as I am adding white paint and my own fillips to her basic technique. That's how it usually goes. We each add to the basic recipe until it reflects our own taste.

I made a lot of paper as I want to include pieces in packets when I teach. I think it is such beautiful paper. I make it on a type of white tracing paper which makes it very fragile but also very beautiful. I love the ripples that come in the tissue paper as it gets wet.

Then the next day I tear paper for the signatures in my book. I am using thick printmakers paper for the most part so only 3 signatures this time. My next book wont use such thick paper but I like to use what is on hand.

I choose a likely sheet of paper that I've just made and use a window mat to choose the exact area that I will use for my cover. I cut that out and glue it to the 8x10" canvas board, folding the margins over the edges.

This is the backs of the canvas boards. Since I'm going to attach the thin paper to the inner side also I glue a white sheet of paper on the big red labels first.

Here I am tearing out the paper for the insides of the book covers. Only I decide I like this sheet even more than the sheet I'd chosen for the front so I decide to reverse both covers. Now they'll have sort of borders but that's okay with me.

I spend about a half day painting this tiny strip of canvas for the spine. I keep comparing it to the cover, then tweaking it, comparing it, tweaking some more, sanding it, stamping it, . . . you get the picture. Lost in the ozone where I love to be lost. Finally I make a decision and glue the spine and then sew the book together.

These are the tissue, resin and copper wire danglies I tie on the strings. With a typewriter key for good measure. I made the danglies in a class with Susan Lenart Kazmer at Artfest 2007.

Voila! My next journal just waiting for me and for the promise of 2008. If you want to make a journal like this I suggest Teesha's directions as they are easy to follow. Happy-happy!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Friends and Family

We had a lovely Christmas with friends and family. Mary Ann's beautiful canvas brightened our little tree area. John was very enthusiastic in his admiration for this piece. Thank you, dear Mary Ann. We love it and appreciate your thoughtfulness.

We celebrate Solstice with a group of local friends who love to grow things organically, as we do. This is a picture of John that I took on that evening. Mostly we lit candles and expressed our gratitude for another year of health and happiness. It was solemn but also very powerful and in that way, joyful.

Hermanito refused all invitations and slept a lot. Here he says, "wake me when it's over".

Back at the Solstice Party. We have a new baby to celebrate. Little (!) Tao joined us in August. He was born at home beneath the grape vines. His mother and father are in awe, besotted with adoration and so are the rest of us elders. Mmmmmm, baby flesh. Give me a big helping.

Tao is alert, bright and observant. I keep smooching his blubby cheeks. He's sooooo yummy.

I quickly incorporate all of Mary Ann's fabulous wrappings into my journal. And her envelope window idea. The girl is genius!!!! Link her site. Right now. Then come back.

I spent a lot of time diddling in my journal. It's a good thing to do when the days are less inspiring or very stressful. A nice escape.

I rarely share pictures of my family but for once, here they are. Stephanie on the left, Shellie in the middle and me. My daughters. My best friends. My partners in crime. You know. No bond is stronger than blood.

My dear John, who seems to sit close to the candles every time. This one was taken Christmas Day at Stephanie's house.

My Shellie girl. Mother of Nate, nurse, painter of watercolors, wife, daughter, friend.

Grandma and Nathan. He is all my hope for the future of the world. A wonderful, gifted and humble person who is thoughtful and kind. I am very proud of him.

One last picture of my girlies. I guess this makes up for all those years I didn't carry pictures in my wallet. Sooner or later you have to puff up your chest and say, "aren't these people wonderful? They're my family." That's what I'm feeling tonight.

Edit: There's an adorable picture of my daughters doing a craft project together here.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Bouts of Dither

What can I say about this week. There is nothing new to report on the fate of our friends. Our own lawyer had nothing encouraging to say about the situation yesterday and we've heard nothing new from the father. I am going to go mum on the subject unless I have good news. Thank you to everyone who has shown or felt compassion for our friends.

I've made a decision to apply for only a few art fairs this summer. I have agreed to teach at a number of new venues and find so much reward in that. A slice of one class sample is shown above; I am working, but very slowly this week. I think my body has gone into a form of hibernation. With the passing of the solstice I look forward to longer days and increased energy.

Be well and love each other.

Monday, December 10, 2007

So Much to Share

Edit: There are great photos here of Adriana being interviewed on television and of her book launch party. Having never been to Argentina, I found it fun just to see what they looked like, how they dressed and so on.

Things are simply popping here. I can hardly digest one thing before another presents itself. One that got away from me was Adriana's big book launch the 7th on a television station in Argentina. She doesn't speak english nor I spanish but I surmised that there was going to be a big party involved with live music and lots of publicity. This is her 2nd book and that is my painting on the cover. She has a new blog so if you read spanish you can find out more about her.

Lost of time has passed in the form of new journal pages. Above is one based on my state of mind after two days of teaching at Innerstandings. Calm, peace and fulfillment. Gratitude.

I did some of the lettering on this page as a demo during class. Love to letter all loosey-goosey.

Also a class demo on collage and using scraps for a 2nd collage.

Ahhhh, the promised martini recipe. The perfect holiday tummy warmer.

I made this page one evening with Katie here. Both of us caught up in a whirlpool and unable to move.

Guess who loves to travel? Xalapa has birdwatching, coffee plantations and orchids that give us vanilla and a town that specializes in ice cream. I can do that. Next November - Day of the Dead.

Using some of the stamped paper I demo'ed online and shared with the class. This was another class demonstration.

Maybe I'll just thank Pilar again in every single post. My mornings begin with her sweet love jam.

I'll be teaching in Wisconsin on the 17-18 of October 2008. More news on that as soon as possible. I've never been to Wisconsin and I am excited to the moon about it. If you live in that area you can read about the venue here and here and mark your calendars. I've marked mine!! xoxoxo

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Class Wrap Up

I found a few more photos to share of the class from last weekend. Linda Womack is hidden behind a lamp fixture; it is the only 'almost' shot I got of her. She teaches encaustics and uses the journal to work out ideas for future projects. Next to her is Chris Schutz. I tried to get photos of everyone but in the turmoil of teaching it was difficult.

Our hostess Diane Havnen-Smith made these rich and lovely journals to sell. She can be contacted at the Innerstandings site.

Wronda Gustafson sat next to me and made journal pages on regular paper. Which is beautiful when glued onto heavier paper later. She is a spiritual worker and I can imagine keeping a journal would be important for her. (self-reflection and meditation)

At the end of the two days of sharing and happiness Diane made several rounds of Pomegranate Martinis. In my next post I will put up the recipe and a wad of journal pages I've completed. I've decided I love teaching journaling best of all. It is my deepest love. Although both days were structured on the same lesson plan they diverged considerably due to the individuals involved. And there was so much more I wanted to add. I will try to share some of it here in future entries and to keep everyone motivated to keep exploring.

(BTW, katie left in the early darkness and arrived safely home around noon. What an extraordinary week!)

edit: I almost forgot to add that we have a new well pump and have replaced the deep pipe that was old and funky; all was fixed quickly and effortlessly by our proficient local well repair fellows. They are my new heros. Yay for delicious, pure water directly from the hidden springs below our feet.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

A Time to Remember

I will never, ever forget this weekend. For so many reasons. I met with a full room of eager journalers two days in a row. We had a marvelous time making pages and laughing and exchanging information. The women filled me. I hope I filled them in return.

And now Katie and I are hunkered down at my house waiting for I-5 to reopen so she can go home. She lost touch with Walter for 2 days due to the flooding. I was fearful. But Walt is safe although he was surrounded in their house by water for awhile. We made the best of it by staying busy. Katie and Lisa in the photo above during class.

Lisa again.

Karen Ehlers. I want to say so much but I am whipping this out before Katie and I hit the Goodwill. Shopping and distraction therapy. I'm so happy to have met Karen. We will stay connected, I hope, as with so many who sat at the table. All women I want to keep in my circle.

Here's another wonderful woman. Jeanne Levy. Check out the links.

Kathy Lopez came all the way from southern California although her luggage didn't come with her. She flew into Portland when a snowstorm was expected. Thank you, Kathy. I am and was so honored that you made such an effort to attend.

Diane our hostess at Innerstandings authored this journal page prior to the class but I had to include it. I love her colors and everything about this page.

Dierdra Doan created the next two layouts. Visit her blog. She is a most interesting and well traveled woman. She is also an accomplished singer and married to a musician. What amazing women were in attendance.

Joan's spread. She also created the pages at the end of this post. She is a many time visitor to Japan, loves that culture and it is reflected in the collage she made.

Bobby and her page. I have to hurry.

Carol Cotton and one of the pages she created. She'll be showing this weekend at the Portland Artist's Cooperative show at the Multnomah Art Center.

Dayna Collins and one of her clever layouts. A busy, talented, generous woman and a teacher herself.

Debbie Motz who came from Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. She asked me to stay at her house! Soooooo nice and so much fun.

Diane fixed my favorite meal and everyone raved about it. She told me to stop saying she cooks gourmet meals so I won't say that. I sure can't think of another word for it though. Maybe I'll just say really, really yummy.

Jackie Crist, another teacher from the Portland area. What a card. I want her at all my parties.

Joan's geisha. I didn't get clear photos of several women and for that I apologize. Katie is sharing hers with me later so there will be more. But for now, stay safe and warm. Love to all.

edit: I have over 50 emails to answer. And will asap.