Friday, March 18, 2016

My Coloring Book Contest Entry

Hastings Bookstore Coloring Contest Event

It's so much fun that today there are coloring books for adults. About seven years ago, at a lunch at my sister's house, I spent an hour coloring on her patio and felt like a silly radical. Now, I see that maybe I should have pursued it to publishing. Ah well, the time machine isn't working right now. 
When Hastings Bookstore put up posters for an adult coloring-book contest - I had to join in on the fun. Plus, it would be nice to have the prize. This would make me a paid artist.
I colored the vines, woods and birds with a combination of regular color pencils and a few watercolor pencils. Then, glued the image to a canvas for some stability. I drew, painted, and used magic markers to make the faux frame.
The original coloring book page is to the left.
 We are allowed to alter the image in any way we like.
Since Harry Potter has many wonderful paintings that come to life, I glued pieces of white leather on the bird to make it appear like it's flying out of the frame.

I covered the whole canvas with a sealant to keep everything protected, added a wire on the back to hang. Done.
Hedwig come to life!
It's mailed off and we wish our little artwork Good Luck!

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Must Have - Matching Journal with Purse

We rather like this one for March.

This vintage Louis Vuitton was uncovered at the Goodwill (we're guessing it's the real deal because it smells all leathery, sewn nicely, and has the name engraved. When I put it in the cart, some lady approached me and said, "If you have second thoughts about that purse, let me know."
     Well, this reaction to it made me want it to buy it even more, plus I already had ready to go, the  journal that would match.
For the journal, I cut up a raggedy LV purse and glued it on a plain book. The belt came from a different purse and attaches by a snap.  I'm always scrounging around yard sales, and this rhino pin had all the right colors and it weighs down the front to stay snugly in place.
To make it more personal, on the inside I glued some of my ATCs (artist trading cards),
and gave it a finishing coat to seal the images.

These small journals go everywhere. I jot down
everything from To-Do lists, doodles, art and writing ideas,
to interesting quotes from authors that we meet.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Author Event for Friends of Linebaugh Library

Don Keith speaks at the Friends of the Linebaugh Library annual meeting.

Of course Zane and Mimi helped with the table decorations.

Director of the Linebaugh Rita Shacklett enjoying the event.

Mr. Keith signs books.

Even the ones in miniature!

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Bookish Decorations for FOLL Annual Author Luncheon

Working on the Book Table Decorations for the FOLL Annual Author Luncheon and man, my whiskers are stuck together. Don Keith books in miniature as well as other author titles all dolled up in leather covers with a whole bunch of letters in every size, shape and weight.
Stacks need to dry, but they are looking good.

One Don Keith book in miniature. Only another dozen to go.

But they are cat-size reading.

Monday, October 12, 2015

The Nest by Kenneth Oppel is not to Mimi"s liking but it is to NaiEva

The Southern Festival of Books is in its 27th year, Nashville Tennessee.  It's my favorite time of year, the weather is perfectly orange and yellow and there's always a colorful moment that happens like sipping lemonade and chatting with Garrison Keillor.
This year, Mimi insisted on seeing Kenneth Oppel and hearing about the Nest. I already have a stack of his dragon books, plus, we're always looking for our next Pen Pal author for the Linebaugh library, so I was affirmatory!  Oppel is our age group - 4,5 and 6th graders.
You never know what you'll learn at these sessions that are held in state room around the and underneath the plaza.
This is what we learned:
Issshh, that's a bit creepy.
Someone asked Oppel how much creepiness do you put in a novel?
The Creepometer, if you will.
Well, he didn't see this as particularly creepy. And besides kids think on a whole different level than adults. But, he did put in some of the anxieties that he had as a child.
Someone asked about the importance of writing "an issues" book.
He said, "I didn't set out to write this book as an issues book, I wrote it as a
baby being born in a wasp-nest book." 
ha ha. Okay, that's funny.
Mimi was no longer amused.
Where's the nest? Where's the baby-bird lunch? Hmmm.
She wanted to go to another session.
Yet, I was intriqued! Plus, Oppel is cute. Not Mimi's type.

He read a few passages from the book., and saying it is really a story about temptation and a strive for perfection that may not be a good thing. I felt it could also be a story of dealing with the experience and fears of another baby in the house that may replace you in the family.

The human baby brother is sick. The kid telling the story has anxieties, so Oppel coined a new genre: Sick Lit, which is also apparent in a lot of new fiction. Plus, this may be aliens instead.

So, of course, I got the book, got all my dragon books signed and can't wait to find out what happens to that kid and the baby and the sick baby and the aliens or maybe not aliens. And wasps are really creepy, we have those giant nests in Cheboygan that looked like they will collectively eat you. The creepometer is at an 8.6.

Mimi not really interested, so she went and saw Lauren Groff and appreciated the Delicate Edible Birds instead.
The beauty of the festival is that this is something for everyone.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Laguna Teal Somerset Studios Challenge

Brother graduated from high school and there has been all kind of commotion to do with that, but we've still been busy making art and reading and re-reading Somerset Studios magazines.
When we saw the Laguna Teal color challenge in the back of the magazine, we thought well why not do a piece in that color since we've been channeling Monet's paintings for the Paris challenge. For that one, we used Monet's most famous Water Lily series. Monet was born in Paris. Monet also used a lot of Laguna Teal. We sorted through copies to find the one that uses the most, and we chose: Rough Sea at Etretat.
We love scouring yard sales, the Goodwill and second-hand shops for Mixed-Media treasures, and that's where we found a bunch of inexpensive prints to decoupage, copy or use in journals.
We glued it on a journal from Michael's craft store (We also wait for a sale or use a 40-percent off coupon to save on costs). Glues are important and we prefer The Ultimate. The Ultimate makes sure that it's stuck forever without being stuck on your skin.
 We buy up old leather coats and skirts and cut them into usable pieces and store them in the studio like you would fabric scraps. These painting journals takes lots of tiny strips of leather, so save all the bits in large plastic Ziplocs.
Now for the challenge! You know I'm up for it.
This piece of leather from an old coat looks like a great match. The cork of the journal mimics the sand in the painting,  so we'll let some of it peak through.
Who knew we could find leather to match - this makes the whole thing just right.
I cut and then glue down each strip of leather with corresponding colors needed on the painting. Not tough at all, just tedious. It's essentially painting with glue. I use a paintbrush for the glue, put it on the leather and then pat it down. Leather is easy to work with in this format and will stretch or shorten as you wish. Cut, strip, glue, cut strip, clue for at least an entire day, and Oui, we have our own masterpiece.

So does Mimi like it?
She thinks it's okay.
Ah, what does she know she's a genuine Grumpy Cat.

It turned out kind of nice with lots of textures and plenty of Laguna Teal, probably because these folks are at a lagoon.

Anyone out there?