Friday, December 19, 2014

Good Old Fashioned Cassius Christmas

It's time to put down the research for our latest children's book: Finding Cassius
and have a bit of Christmas cheer.

Sending out the Christmas presents.
Matching our leather journals to the right purse.

Then there is all that wrapping.

Which leaves me to do the real work - design the Christmas cards!

Perhaps get out the supplies.
And take a family portrait.
That's a Very Merry Good Old Fashioned Cassius Christmas!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Art with Abandon

Spring time. Sprinting up the stairs, late for class at the art retreat, I noticed art lying there on the steps. Not wanting to steal, thinking someone lost it, I set it on the table and figured the owner would return for it. Later that day a fellow artist came into class squealing that she found the Art Abandon Project book by the deMengs in the bathroom. Well, shouldn't she return it? Apparently not, this is the Art Abandonment mission, to leave art for free to the lucky person who discovers it. There is a note attached saying you can keep it.
Well, I'd blown my one chance because I didn't stop to read the note.
I did sell a suitcase full of leather journals that I re-purpose from vintage coats at the retreat. With all this art abandon, whose to say there couldn't be an art swap? I'd taken every bit of money that I didn't have just to attend the retreat, so this would be the only way to take home some goodies. Quite nervous to ask, but what the heck?  I traded a leather journal for Pam Carriker's mixed media adhesive. That's seemed kind of amazing.
 The Art Abandon book was never far from my thoughts. Would Andrea Matus deMeng want a couple leather journals in trade for her book? She did purposely leave one in the bathroom so there is a chance. My heart racing, hoping not to make a fool of myself.
Near the end of the day, I crept into her class and sheepishly asked, and she said, "Yes!" 
Every artist can use a leather journal. Andrea deMeng showing her clean hands at lunch.
Mid Summer. Every year, we attend the Western and Southern Open Tennis tournament in Ohio.
I make Tennis Art Journals with photograph/paintings of the players and have them sign their pages.
What if, this year, I randomly hand out leather tennis journals to the players?
Tennis players keep journals in their bags, keeping track of their progress and points to remember, tendences, coach tips not to forget, that sort of thing.
Plus, the public is usually taking something from the players such as an autographs, selfies, a towel, headbands and sometimes even their racquets. It might be nice to gift them something instead.

In the beginnings stages of the tournament we can get this close to the players as they are pacticing. Ernest Gulbis. Fernando Verdasco. Elise Cornet

Sometimes we can get even closer!
 It's complete abandonment of tennis journals with tennis ball designs on the covers.
First, I handed Jelena Jankovic a couple. She smiled.
Walking down the corridor, I notice Francesca Schiavone being very nice to some kids wanting selfies with her. So, why not. I hand her two of them and wasn't prepared from the response.
She held them to her chest and said, "no, no, this is too nice. No, I can't take this. Yes, I will take only one. This is much too nice." I thanked her and took one back. Then she grabbed me and did the Italian kisses on one side of my cheek and then the other. I was to reciprocate, but being American and we don't normally do this in America, rusty, I did kiss her on the cheek and say, "I'm glad you like it." She continued, "You just don't know, I write in journals all the time!"
Once I walked away, some guy came up to me and asked, "What did you give her?"
I told him and he said, "That looked really nice."
This was going better than expected. I passed out one to Wimbeldon Champion Petra Kvitova. She got one with parts from a Coach purse. Elise Cornet liked hers and thanked me very much in her French accent.
One of my favorite players on tour is Fabio Fognini, but you never know which Fabio will show up - he's a little wacky. I had two journals left that looked manly, plus I was tired of toting them around, so I told my family I was going to give the last two to Fabio. They told me not too because he probably wouldn't appreciate it. Well, I wasn't looking for appreciation, just fun.
You never know how this is going to go? So which Fabio will show up when handed the journals?
The really nice one!
My son took this photo and he looks pretty happy about his tennis journals.
Once home, I checked in to  Facebook to  post photos of tennis players, and I get a message that I WON for the submission of a Book Review Contest -
A boxload of art supplies from Pam Carriker!
How cool is all this stuff - and even Pam Carriker art!
Hmmm,  Karma. I spent the weekend giving away art to come home and find that I've been gifted art.
Our preacher once said, "Try to give something away. You can't. It will just come back."

So, we'll have to get busy making some more art with all these cool supplies.
Thank you so much Pam Carriker. I love it!



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.)