A very cool thing

As I've written before, I'm participating in K.C.Willis' Collage Camp and Mixed Media Mania classes and am learning a ton and have lots of fun (finished projects coming soon, I promise). Well KC is beginning to offer Studio Retreats right at her very own Lipstick Ranch in Colorado. How cool is that? I'm starting to save my pennies right now because I don't want to miss out on this opportunity. What a great way to have a vacation - I can't think of a better one - KC provides everything you need - no schlepping the sewing machine and a suitcase of supplies across the country. I can tell you from personal experience, that can get to be a real drag. At the Studio Retreats you just show up and make art. Like I said before, how cool is that?

If you want to learn more just go here. Tell KC I sent ya'. And to temp you even more - here's a sample of her amazing work!


Paper and Fabric (and beads?) Oh My!

This is one of the projects that I'm working on in that on-line Joggles.com class with Jane LaFazio. When I first started the project I got a little overwhelmed. Do WHAT? and then huh? - but I plugged along, following the directions (sort of), the whole time thinking "well this is a bunch of crap" and then lo and behold, when I got to the final step I liked it. This is fabric and watercolor paper and a lot of gel medium. I think that I would like to do this again but BIG and in just fabric with a lot of Steam-A-Seam instead of medium. I also think that this needs a few beads? What do you think?


May is finally completed -

It took a good long while but my May Bead Journal Project page is finally completed and I can move on to my June page (though I doubt it will be completed during these last few remaining days in the month). I'm also participating in Collage Camp, taking a class with Jane LaFazio at Joggles and am getting geared up to participate in the shrine segment of Mixed Media Mania. My plate is full, it seems like all the sewing machines are running at once (oh if only I could really accomplish that) and the studio is a giant heap of fabric and trim and beads (with the occasional cat napping in the middle) so I should have something completed soon to share. There are numerous projects in various stages of construction and I need to simply sit down and finish them. I did finish the May page, so there is hope for me.


Speaking of beads . . .

My old friend Kelly is an amazing jewelry artist. When I first started accumulating beads I thought I'd make jewelry but I just don't have the eye for it. I look at a pile of beads and wire and findings and say "hmmmm I wonder if I could somehow sew that together instead?", hence the bead embroidery came to pass. But Kelly has been making jewelry for years and she keeps getting better and better. I hadn't stopped by her website for awhile and when I did I was blown away, not just because of her great jewelry, but because of the amazing contest she is having on her blog. She is giving away her stash - yes - her stash. You know - those odds and ends that you have little bits of or you know you'll never use but someone else would love? Yes, those. Giving them away. Want to find out how you can win them? Go check out her blog - Silver Parrot.


Gone Camping

Well my idea of camping - since 'roughing it' in my book is a hotel without room service, the thought of actually *camp camping* is the furthest thing from my mind when I think of a summer vacation. Instead I've discovered a most wonderful camp experience that I can enjoy in the privacy of my own home (or back yard if I use the laptop) Collage Camp! - how amazingly cool is that. KC Willis of Lipstick Ranch fame has opened an art camp on line - with videos and a community and your own page to post your work, you learn new things and have the opportunity to share and get feedback from all the other amazing folks that are there. We share tips on finding supplies and there's even a section on errors others have made so we can avoid them (like wait for glue to dry before you sew - I've done that one myself a few times). So, if you are interested in fabric collage, check it out.

KC also has some new mixed media classes starting as well - Altered Book Workshop, Altars and Shrines and Works on Paper. I'll probably be taking one or two of those later in the summer - they look amazinging fun.

I really encourage you to try one of the on-class class experiences. I learn a lot and really enjoy these experiences - in a different way than say going to ArtFest, but I learn every bit as much, plus there's the added advantage of working at your own pace and on your own schedule (and not wearing shoes - that helps too). With so many people facing financial uncertainty and not going on a proper vacation, taking one of these classes can be a relatively inexpensive way to have some special 'me' time. Plus there is the perk of meeting new people on line who share the same interests as you. Give it a shot - I know you'll like it.

In the meantime, my plate is pretty full. I'm taking another amazing class from Jane LaFazio at Joggles.com. I had such a great time and learned so much in the last class I took from her (even though I never finished my projects), I had to take another when I saw it posted. The first week was all about painting backgrounds for our little art quilts - I had a BLAST-A-RAMA! I love love love splashing paint around and dug out some stencils and stamps and played with those too. I knew there was a reason I kept so many of my supplies from the old rubber stamping days - you never know when this stuff is going to come in handy. Here are a couple of my backgrounds - if you want to see the rest, journey over to my flickr page

And of course last, but never least, the project most dear to my heart - the Bead Journal Project page for May is still in progress. It seems like I slow down the beading in the summer and summer has amazingly come to the Pacific Northwest. But I am plugging along on the May page and since I have a brilliant idea for June (okay - it's brilliant in my mind, we'll see how it goes), I have new motivation to finish May and begin June. Here's how the May page looks at the moment. Not much more to go and I can put the purple and gray beads away and take out something more colorful