Thursday, July 24, 2014

UnMatched Book Artistry

Soman Chainani author of the best-selling YA series The School for Good and Evil will be visiting Murfreesboro schools September, 2014. For Literacy Day on August 2nd, we've designed miniature versions of his books for every age to craft together at the Friends booth. We will provide the supplies, and even some to-go bags if you can't stick around (literally). 

Here's what we'll be doing.

Supply List:
Leather Square
Ultimate Glue
Glue brushes
Crayons, colored pencils, etc.
Photo of book cover printed to size of matchbook

1. Empty the matches out of the matchbox (we found our matchboxes at an estate sale).

2. Photograph the book cover and then print it out to the size of the matchbox.
3. Gesso the entire matchbox and let dry (this is like a primer to give the box a gritty coating).
You can paint the inside of the box, glue book pages down, add secret messages, etc.
4. Once dry, glue the photograph to the front
5. Glue a leather square to the back and side of the matchbox.
You can carry the leather over to the front if you like that look.
We found old leather coats cheap at yard sales and cut them up into matchbox size squares.
Tip: Take a nap on one of the coats.
I accidentally made some copies in black and white, but no matter, watercolor pencils and crayons can enhance them.
6. Draw pencil lines on the ends and sides to look like pages of a book.
Tip: Use a ruler to make the lines.
There you have it - the Cutest Little Book that is UnMatched anywhere!
So, go ahead and make a miniature library of all your favorite books.
It doesn't take up a lot of room.



Thursday, June 12, 2014

Dawn to Dusk in Photos, May 1, 2014, Part II

Receiving cool ATCs.
Scarlett Fields work for the day.
The class is all too soon over, but we learned a bunch of layering techniques.
In a few short hours we take the night class with again Pam Carriker.
It's a smaller relaxed class and we're doing a lot of girl talk.
It will help branch out of our color rut.
But to be honest, I still use orange and grey. Never purple.
I'd been complaining about my long drive from Murfreesboro, until this lady (blond with glasses) said she came from Alaska. Okay, I'll stop whining.
Pam shows us what do with all those wonderful colors.
Just before I went to the room, it's late and I've been up since 4 a.m., Pam and I make a cool trade: One of my leather journals for her brand of mixed-medial adhesive.
Now that was a fun moment and a pretty good day.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Dawn To Dusk in Photos May 1, 2014, Part I

Art is You Retreat
It starts too early, just before 5 a.m.
Luckily, we are over the storms and the weather in nice.
Stretch break half way through.
It's a four hour drive to Memphis from Murfreesboro, but I've gotta GO!
My broke-down car makes it, and I'm greeted by a little friend.

The hotel actually dips into Mississippi.

Signed in the front desk and headed to the class with Jenny and Aaron.
Everyone should match their hair color to the tablecloth.

I'm only about fifteen minutes late, but they look way ahead.

But of course I have the Book!

And get it signed.

But, big surprise, wrong class due to a computer glitch.
So, after making a nuisance in this one, I meander around the hotel
until I find Pam Carriker's class.
They are underway.

Time to catch up, so throw in a Jerry Lewis photo somewhere.

More layering techniques

Pam comes around and helps everyone.

At lunch, it's amusing to see Andrea DeMeng's clean hands.

Before returning to Pam's class, I peek in to see what other classes are doing.

They are making Books in Leighanna Light's class.

Books in the making.

Art supplies look cool. Leighanna's personal stencils

Michael DeMeng demonstrates a new technique to his class.

A secret stash of goodies.

Now, I'm really behind, my class is already underway.

Pam's stencils are wonderful. Page in her art journal.
So why not do a color wash of her stencil on the shirt that I'm wearing.
(Yes, I did have a tank top underneath.)

Friday, March 28, 2014

Cannonsburg Village Leather Journal Sale!

You are going to love the most Perfect Leather Journal for all your art and writing needs.
Come to the Cannonsburg Village Community Sale!
I'll be there selling one-of-a-kind leather journals made from re-purposed vintage leather coats.
Priced to Sell A Lot!
Raising money to give Naieva her biggest desire - a couple days at Art Fest in Memphis.
"Hello, I did all the work, so why is she taking the credit," Zane Grey.
Cannonsburg is a cool place to shop.
Saturday, March 29, 2014

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Secrets of Vintage Leather Journals

As you'd expect, it starts with an idea.
Lusting after those amazing leather journals from Italy, that cost too much, I thought, why not try to make one for cheap.
Leather material and new leather coats in the stores are expensive. But, Goodwill, yard sales, places like that have beat-up leather cheap and even better during half-off day. So it starts with scouring around for some scrumptious leather in funky places. This is actually the most fun part of the process. Look for coats that have great pockets and straps. 
The next step is to cut the coat apart. For those who aren't blessed with claws, just use scissors.
Measure the size piece you need against the journal you're using, adjusting for the pocket or most interesting part of the jacket to land on the cover or the back.
I've pick out just some different size and type of plain journals on sale at the craft stores for now. We've learned that the Ultimate Glue is a great one to use. It's the right thickness, dries quick and adheres to some heavy layers.
Once it's glued, you stretch the leather over the book.
Embellish and glue down leather straps, buckles, whatever cool things that you've dug up in your junk journeys. This one I've actually cut up an old purse. However, coats provide the most and easiest materials to work with.

Seriously, do I need management behind my back? No.

Once all the stuff is glued down and  things separated with the wax paper, press down on them and let them dry. A heavy press is a nice thing to have as well, but a big old dictionary can work in a pinch. A nice tip: see the wet rag to the right of me, it helps to wipe off glue from my claws as I work.

Drying time will take a few hours, so take a long catnap.

Then, look over all your work, glue down any openings along the corners, trim anything that doesn't look right to you. It's suppose to be kind of raggedy, so just use your artistic judgment of how you'd like it to look.

Then you can ship them off to whoever lusts for them.
The truly inspired artistic cool people will want them.

Any Questions? I thought not.