Sunday, June 29, 2008

Journaling Techniques Lesson 3/4

I've also been having a lot of fun painting papers for backgrounds for my journal; here are the results:

I've used watercolors on some, acrylic paints on others. Most of the watercolor pages are sprays, and some of those used either plastic wrap or paper towels on top for added texture. For some of the acrylics, I put paints on a tile, put my paper on top, and brayered it. For others I scraped the paint on with a credit card. And on one I used a comb for texture. I've done several things I've not done before, and it was a lot of fun. I think that the watercolor ones will be easier to use as backgrounds - not sure how easy it will be to add anything on top of the acrylic ones - but I like them all (at least all of the ones I photographed).

These are all techniques taught by Sue Bleiweiss in her Journaling Techniques class.

Completed Journal

I finished the journal I was making for my son. The cover is made from a brown paper bag - can you believe that? Looks remarkably like leather. Basically, you paint it with brown paint, then crumple it up and smooth it out again, and rub rubber stamping ink over it, and this is how it turns out. I'm really pleased with the results. I modified the pattern somewhat, and here is the front cover:

This is inside the front cover - it is lined with black wool felt, and the tag reads "Joy is not in things; it is in us."

Three of the inside pages:

Close up of the spine:

Close up of my closure (one of my modifications to the pattern):

My son is a writer, so I filled the journal with lined pages. I'm making another one similar to this one for an artist friend, and that one will be filled with various kinds of art papers.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Leather Look Journal

I've been working on a couple of journals the past few days. Unfortunately, I don't have anything finished yet, so no pictures to share. But my latest journals will be gifts. These use brown paper bags and paint to make a surface that looks very much like leather. It's really amazing. Anyway, I'm really having fun with the journal making class. I hope to have some pictures to share in a day or two.

In other news, my son and daughter-in-law have finished the hiking that they were doing. They spent a month on the trail, starting from West Virginia, then going into Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and ending in New York. It's really hard to imagine hiking as far and for as long as they did. I'm glad they had a good time, but I'll be really glad to see them in another week or two.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Lost in a Good Book by Jasper Fforde

Very enjoyable book - witty and smart. Unusual story - not exactly believable. Set in an alternate England in the 1980's where the prevailing culture is based on literature. The main character, Thursday Next, is a Special Operative in literary detection. When her husband is eradicated, she moonlights as a Prose Resource Operative in the secret world of Jurisfiction, the police force inside books. She is apprenticed to Miss Havisham of Dickens' Great Expectations, who teaches her to book jump like a pro. I rate this book 4 out of 5.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Shaving Cream and Watercolor Backgrounds

I had a lot of fun making background papers a few days ago. I marbled the first four using drops of paint in shaving cream.

I used watercolor sprays on the next four. I used a Heidi Swapp mask on the first one, blotted the second with paper towels, and covered the third and fourth with cling wrap.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Fabric Bowl

Sweet P has a contest on her blog to post pictures of unique containers in our studios. So this is a fabric bowl that I made. It is sitting on a not-so-unique container - a cardboard box! I keep name tags and pins and that sort of thing inside it.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Third Journal

I finished another journal yesterday, and this one is my favorite so far. I have always loved oriental art, and I have quite a lot of oriental paper and fabric and rubber stamps and stuff, so I am going to use this journal to do oriental artwork.

Here is the cover - I appliqu├ęd the square with the geisha face onto the background fabric. I used a set of ornamental chopsticks that I have had for a long time - thanks Michele!

This is inside the front cover - left side is the cover, so it is fabric. Right side is a piece of Japanese paper:

This is fabric - leftover from a wall hanging:

This is the back of the page above - I fused two pieces of fabric together to make this page:

Another fabric page:

And back of the above page:

Inside (white) pages are cardstock, so it should be heavy enough to stamp or paint on without bleed-through. I'm looking forward to filling this up.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Paper Towel Fabric Vase

This is another project from my Mixed Media class - this is made from dyed paper towels! I tore them into pieces and fused them to muslin, then to wool felt, quilted the layers, then cut the sides and sewed them together.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Red Leather Diary by Lily Koppel

The author, a journalist for the New York Times, finds a diary in a dumpster in 2003 written by Florence Wolfson. The diary was a gift to Florence for her 14th birthday in 1929. She kept the diary for 5 years. The story was interesting, but not told in a very interesting way. It was obvious that it was written by a journalist rather than a creative writer. It was an interesting look at this young woman's life in New York City during this time period, but it was a somewhat disappointing read. I would rate this book 3 out 5.

My Second Journal

This journal is the second one from Sue Bleiweiss's Journal Making class. It uses binder rings, so the pages are removable, and I tied ribbons and fabric strips to the rings.

There are pockets on the inside. The ones in the front hold my pens, pencil, eraser, and water brush.

The pockets in the back hold my scissors, white gel pen, bone folder, and 6" ruler.

I'm using 90 lb. watercolor paper for the insides, which I cut 6"X9". All in all, I'm quite happy with how it turned out. Oh, and this journal is for me.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Fiber Postcards

I made 3 fiber postcards and 2 ATCs yesterday and today. I love this technique, which I learned from Sue Bleiweiss in her Mixed Media class. Basically, I started with a base of wool felt, then used Misty Fuse fusible web and fused on a variety of things - dyed cheesecloth, mulberry bark, fibers, ribbon, organza, painted paper towels, foil, tulle. I used several layers of Misty Fuse, which is so light that it you hardly know it's there. One of the postcards will be for an individual trade I'm doing with Ruth, whose blog is here. I'm going to let her choose her favorite.

Then these postcards are some that I made during the first lesson; they are made with tissue paper fused (with Misty Fuse) to muslin, then colored with several things - including color wash sprays, acrylic paint, and silver krylon pen. All but one will be traded with other members of the class, but I will have one left from that batch. This means that I will have 3 postcards and 2 atcs available for trade with anyone else - so if you'd like to trade with me, just leave me a comment please.

ETA: Ruth selected the third postcard, so the first two are available, along with one of the last two and both atcs.

Atonement by Ian McEwan

I finished this book several days ago, and thought it was excellent - very well written. The story begins in 1935, when 13-year-old Briony Tallis sees a flirtation between her older sister Cecilia and Robbie Turner, the son of a servant. But Briony is too young to understand what it all means, so when her 15-year-old cousin Lola is assaulted, Briony convinces herself and everyone else (except for Cecilia) that the attacker was Robbie. The book follows the story into WWII and to the close of the twentieth century. I rate it 5 out of 5.

I started another book when I finished Atonement - The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs. The only reason I started it was that it was the current month's selection of my online book club (Bookworms Reading Group, a Yahoo group) . I wasn't really all that interested in it, but thought I'd try it. I didn't like it well enough to finish it - although I must admit that I didn't give it much of a chance. I usually read more of a book than I read of this before giving up on it, but I hadn't chosen this book myself. I'm sure that a lot of people would really like it - it just wasn't the sort of book I like myself.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Journal Making Class

In addition to Sue Bleiweiss's Mixed Media class (which ends this week - we had our last lesson on Monday), I've signed up for two more of her classes. The first one is Journal Making, and it started this Monday. I finished my first journal for the class today. The second class is Journaling Techniques, and it starts next Monday. I'm going to be busy! But I love her classes!! She is a great teacher.

So here is the front cover of the journal I made this week:

Here are the signatures (groups of pages). The one farthest to the left is already sewn in to the cover in this picture. The dark blue on the left is a fabric pocket.

Here is the inside front cover:

And this is inside the last (decorative) page of the last signature:

I made this for my daughter-in-law. Since she is an artist, I used drawing paper for the signatures. I'm really pleased with how it turned out, and I think she will like it too. I want to make a journal for my son, too, but with lined pages. I haven't decided yet which style of journal I'll make for him.

Silk Hankie Vase

Made for lesson 3 of Sue Bleiweiss's Mixed Media Surfaces for Fiber Artists class. Stitched with Ricky Tims' Razzle Dazzle thread (in the bobbin) then stiffened with Paverpol.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Concertina Book Front Cover

Mulberry bark, foil, and crystals on felt. After completing the cover and showing it to one of my sewing friends, she made the comment that this would make a wonderful birthday card. Since the next day was my other sewing friend's birthday, that is what it became. She seemed really pleased with it. The inside pages are below.