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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Gorgeous card from Brenda

Got another amazing card in the mail from Brenda. I want to show it off because the design is striking.  The gray background coordinates perfectly and the bright colors work so well together.  

It might be hard to see but she also added a bit of dimension with the addition of our favorite, Diamond Glaze, to select spots on the card.  The first question I had is who made these adorable stamps? They are Invoke Arts stamps.  I have some I purchased ages ago and I love the designs they offer.  Since I no longer live near a stamp store, guess I'm missing some really good stuff.

Here's the link to the site:

I want to frame this card!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Dina classes hosted by The Ink Pad NYC at Westbeth Center

Lucky me! I recently attended classes by Dina Wakley, hosted by The Ink Pad NYC. They were held at the Westbeth Center Community room and it was a bright and open location for the class.  

First thing is that even though I was hugely excited about these classes, I almost didn't make it.  I had a seriously ailing back, and I actually had to really work my way up to attending. Armed with loads of ibuprofen, back warmers and loads of determination I drove in for the class. I found parking a block away and had my rolling suitcase loaded with supplies. Thanks to my dear pal Brenda, I never had to lift anything. She really was a lifesaver. She's such a girl scout, she's always prepared. I hope she's in all my classes forever. She made her own journal to create in, and cleverly stamped images instead of trying to pack dozens of stamps. The girl is a genius.

Our first class was Layering and Listening. Brenda and I found seats near the front and ended up sparking a friendship with Lisa Mita who is an amazing artist.  Here's a link to her Facebook page. 

We laughed a lot and Lisa really got me to break out of my clean-freak mode (more on that later)! We also met Laurie, who we learned to love even though she was such a space hog (LOL).  

We were armed with a large piece of watercolor paper and we had to create 25 layers! Each different color was a layer, using a stencil was another layer, etc. It was a challenge to keep track after about a dozen or so. We were learning what our layer quotient was, or how many we liked to have as a background. It was a great exercise. Learning the basics of composing a journal page was SO helpful to me. 

What I really loved is how we got to play in Dina's class, but we also had a goal in mind.  She had us create two journal pages, based on a formula. The pages incorporated the layered page we made, and it all came together by the end of the class. I had two completed pages and that made me sooooooo happy. This is where she soared as a teacher, in my opinion. I've taken classes with teachers who just let you play with techniques or supplies. However, with these type of classes I later feel as if I didn't get my "money's worth" out of them. Not in this case.  

Plus, we got to try out Dina's paint colors which are beautiful. They are colors that work really well together and are not the same old basics. Dina had some cool tools as well, including a needle-tip bottle for painting extremely thin lines.   

Here are some pictures from the class. I apologize to Dina, I was snapping when I could as my back didn't allow for carefully executed shots. She's a lot of fun, but you also really learn a lot.

I managed to get Lisa in the picture below, she's on the right!!

The 2nd class was Delightful Painted Deli paper. I had to take a pic of this page. I just had to copy the teacher and make a page using the heart mask. This technique is SO fun.  I was totally nutty about cleaning and Lisa and Laurie both appropriately scolded me into sanity. The whole point is to be messy, use all the paint and don't waste anything. I'll have to add a picture of the page Lisa started in my journal, using the leftovers from the heart mask I had been about to wipe off.

I'll have more to say about this later, but I was so happy I took this class. We had a smaller group and Laurie finally got some much needed elbow room, when some people from the first class left for the day.

I know that using deli paper with the Gelli plate is da-bomb but I never had thought about using deli paper to create backgrounds. Dina told us that she and a friend will get together and create 25 at a time, and use them for projects. It's such a great idea.  

My favorite technique is using stencils to do rubbings with the deli paper. I'll have to do some samples and talk more about that later.

Below it's Brenda, Dina and me!

Our class pack, Laurie, Lisa, me and Brenda! What  great way to spend the day.  

Okay, well I had better wrap up this post because it's a long one. I plan to do some show-and-tell and show off my journal pages.  

toodles for now . . . 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Gelli plate site, book and so much more

I'm nuts about the gelli plate.  I've been able to make some amazing backgrounds and ergo, fun cards with this art tool.  I've introduced it to my clever and artistic nephews as well, and they seemed to enjoy it as much as I did.  In pursuit of some new creative fodder, I stumbled upon this site which has some intriguing ideas. I am now totally inspired.  


These techniques were shared by the author of a book called Gelli Plate Printing - Joan Bess.  Now, being that the world of mixed media is a much smaller world than I would have ever believed, I just so happen to have been attending an amazing class by Dina Wakley (yes, I am a name dropper - unapologetic one at that) hosted by the Ink Pad NYC and they had a wonderful little mini mall set up in the back of the classroom.  There it was, the very book I had just seen online.  

Being that there's no greater pairing (the exception, chocolate and peanut butter) than attending an art class accompanied by shopping, I had to buy it.  Now I cannot wait to delve.

Joan Bess book Gelli Plate Printing

Just the cover art along is so intriguing. 

So please, stay tuned as I intend to employ the ideas from the book for myself. While I was attending the class I heard rave reviews about this book, so if you are a book junkie like me and you have a Gelli plate, you probably don't need much encouragement to check it out.

I'm working on some posts about the Dina classes, which were really amazing.  My head is brimming.  I have loads to share, so stay tuned.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Canvas artwork

Hi all!  Well I have been working on canvas. My friend Dottie took a class at CREATE, NJ and she was showing us her works, which are currently on display in her school. So she gave me the basics and I created one. We had fun doing an online class of sorts, conferencing so we could work on them together.  

So here is my first attempt.  I found it interesting and it is a many-day process. First you prime the canvas with gesso. Then use papers to build your house or structure. You use gel medium to adhere the paper to the canvas.  Next paint with one color. I used red acrylic and watered it down a bit. I also added some black to differentiate the roof. 

When the paint is dry, apply a generous layer of gel medium. One thing is that I ran out of my Golden soft matte gel medium. So I purchased Liquitex (no mention of anything regarding soft, etc.) but just said matte medium. What I learned is that Liquitex is extremely white, which makes the next step difficult. Since the Golden is more translucent, I much prefer the Golden, which was also thicker and easier to layer. 

Once you have a layer that's wet, use a chop stick to outline the houses, or areas on the canvas you want to highlight. I also created clouds, since there was such a large open area int the sky. You could put birds, a sun, etc.  

Any areas in dark brown were drawn out/scraped with the chopstick. I did windows, roof lines, etc.

You have to allow a long time for the gel medium to dry. Once it does, use a contrasting color paint and fill in the scratched out areas. In the case of the clouds, you can paint directly on top of the gel medium. The last step, is the fun stuff embellishing. I added beads, metal pieces, a key, a paper dye-cut bird (put a bird on it) and a watch face. 

I love how it turned out and I am working on a few more which will be gifts for friends. So I can't let you peek yet. 

It's been a relaxing and creative weekend.  I am really enjoying myself.  I have to say that I feel I accomplished a lot and I was listening to Coldplay's latest Ghost Stories. It's a beautiful album and really is perfect music to create by. It's dreamy, and so ethereal.  

Do something creative every day!!