Saturday, June 26, 2010

Answering questions regarding my new online class

My page:
Kara's page: (Kara, by the way, sadly does not have a blog).
A few of you have asked me about the set up for my new online class. Effective this summer, Ning has made several changes to their host site. The big change being that to host a group is no longer free. In order for me to keep my online classes up and going, it would cost me $50 per month. Several students asked if I would keep my online classes up, and in an effort to try to make everyone happy I have moved A Life Made By Hand off of a ning site. I have set up different sites for both ALMBH and the new class, Memories and Reflections.

Both classes are now set up like a "tree". What that means is that wherever you go, you can click on something to link you back to the main class site. It is similar to a ning group where you're still clicking on something to get somewhere (like everything on the web) yet, unlike the ning group, the way I've set it up is MUCH more user friendly.

Here's how it works:

There's a blog for videos. You do not have to have a blog account. You use the email and password information that I provide to you. You do not have to save this information either as it is accessible on the main site for you to use at any time. The only class information on the blog is the videos. They will remain there. However, once you've watched the videos, unless you want to go back and watch them again, you won't be using the blog on a regular basis.

On the blog, there are direct links to the other class sites. Clicking on those will bring you directly to where you need to go.

There's a yahoo group set up for all of the printed class material. I have set the yahoo group up in a specific way, removing any unnecessary buttons and tabs. The class material is all in the files section. Students are free to talk and discuss things by posting whatever and whenever they want. Once you've downloaded the class materials, you don't need to go to the yahoo group. You can get messages delivered into your mailbox (individual messages, daily digests-which compile the day's messages into one email, or you can go no mail and check the website if desired). On the main page of the yahoo group (the home page), all of the links to navigate the sites are all there. The blog password/sign in info is there. The link to the flickr page is there. Everything can be easily accessed.

Finally, there is a flickr group. If you only want to go to one place daily, the flickr group is it! The private flickr group is where students can post their photos and view work done by their classmates. There is also a discussion group there where you can talk amongst yourselves. I have posted information on keeping the photos private, if that is what you want to do.

There are direct links to the yahoo group on the flickr site as well.

Remember: participation is not mandatory. I do not expect any student to participate actively in discussions or posting their artwork. That is optional and completely up to YOU!

I hope that this answers any questions that you may have had about how the site works. It's VERY easy to navigate. Yes, it's different then ning, but I actually think that it's much more user friendly and easier to find the information.

Other questions I've been asked:

1. Are the collage exercises new?

YES! There are 38 collage templates/prompts provided for this class. By doing these exercises, hands on, you will learn the basic design principles for collage. These will push you regardless as to whether or not you're a beginner or you've been creating collages for years!

2. How many journal prompts are there and are they new?

There are 184 NEW journal prompts. One a day from July 1st-December 31st. None of the prompts are dated nor do they relate to any specific subject. These are not your run of the mill journal prompts, but prompts designed to evoke memories and to make you think.

3. Will you be teaching us how to make books?

YES. I will be teaching two book structures, showing you my finished book structures and discussing other possibilities of things you can do on the pages and with the book structures.

4. I'm new, will this class work for me? or I've been making books, collages, journaling, etc... for years, will this class work for me?

YES to both. I gear my classes towards both beginners and advanced. I always feel that as artists and human beings, we are always learning. I structure my classes that way too. There are ideas presented at how to look at things with new eyes as well!

5. How do I sign up? Can I sign up at any time? Will the class information remain up and accessible?
Please go here for more info! Yes and YES!

Questions? Leave in the comment section or you can email me at


Friday, June 25, 2010

more journal swap pages

My pages:
Kara's pages:
How did the swap work? Well, we each had a journal. I would work in hers and she would work in mine, then we would swap. When we were done, copies were made. We then had a paste date and pasted the pages in the books. So, we have copies of all of our pages! Yay!

Blog Love:
A fairy house on a journal page!
Studio space envy
Objects in space
Give Seth a hand!
Timothy Karpinski Art
Zine Love

Yummy stuff to make:
Stuffed couscous peppers

Apartment Dwelling in the 21st Century

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Journal Exchange

My friend, Kara and I exchanged a small moleskine journal from May 2009 until March 2010. I will confess up front that she is a MUCH better swap player than I will EVER be. I tend to wait until the last minute for everything and work best under pressure. Crazy, but true. I'll be showing you our pages over the next few days.
Always put your contact information on the inside cover! Just in case!
Kara's luscious pages:
So, I've had a few people email me and ask me why I'm not teaching any painting techniques in either of my A Life Made By Hand or Memories and Reflections online classes. If you've noticed my journals in the last couple of years you'll see that I haven't been using a whole lot of acrylic paint in my books. Instead, I've been focusing on the paper and collage aspect. Yes, I haven't forgotten about paint. I'm not focusing on it right now. I've been dabbling and getting painty fingers with acrylic paint for years. I want to explore more with paper and its many possibilities. I want to learn more composition. I want to learn design. I want to push and pull with paper and to see what I can come up with. That's just me.

That being said, I've been encouraging my students to explore what is most comfortable with them. Start with what you know, or what is comfortable and then work and push past it. So what does that have to do with my online classes??? Well for starters, working and thinking outside of the box.

Yes, you can take the exercises and templates in my online classes and use them solely with paper...but what about pushing the envelope?


What about substituting a piece of paper for a painted background, or a piece of fabric or something else?

What about making color copies of previous journal pages and re-working those?

What about taking old sketchbook pages and using them as collage fodder?

What about using your photographs that you were going to toss as background paper?

What about asking yourself what if?

What if you've already worked through all of the collage prompts?

What next?

What if you have already taken all of the prompts, and turned them sideways or upside down (thus creating new prompts!)?

What if you want to go the next step?

What if you're taking someone else's class and that someone else is showing you acrylic paint techniques or you're playing with fabric?

Take THOSE ideas and blend them and combine them with my collage prompts.

You see, friends, the trick with art is to never take things at face value. It's to take the ideas, twist them, bend them, shape them and make them into something new. Something that says you made it. It's to push the envelope and to find new ideas. I encourage my students to realize that when you take a class, don't just take things as they are. Do the exercises. Work with them hands on. Try it again. Don't give up. Keeping making pages. Keep pushing. Keep asking yourself, what if? Don't just stop after working with an exercise once or even twice, push it to the next level. See what happens. If I can do it, so can you.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Better late then never, right?

Last page of my journal:
Complete with a little ATC card drawing from Tristan
I haven't forgotten! I didn't take many photos with Jane and Jeane, but here they are! We were wayyyy too busy having some serious fun for me to remember to pull out my camera half of the time.

How can you resist a shop called this: Reviews here (and yeah, the price changes every minute depending upon who you ask)
Jeane and Jane ready to go shopping!
Mid afternoon snack at Heirloom (the cupcake is highly recommended. The Strawberry lemonade, sadly, is not.)
Some short, but sweet blog love:
Hannelore Baron
Greenaid seedbombs

Films Watched:
The Celluloid Closet

A slideshow of my Fragments Journal (April-June 2010):

Monday, June 21, 2010

8 June 2010 journal page

This is one of the last pages in this journal. I'll be showing you the last two in the next couple of days. Then I'm going to give you a peek into the journal that a friend and I shared over the course of the past year.

I've been crazy busy working on my new online class, Memories and Reflections. Everything will be on the site by June 30th. I know I said on the class site that it would be 30 collage prompts. Well, I couldn't stop and now it's 38 collage prompts. The journal page (the writing part) handout is 12 pages long. There are 8 pages of bookbinding/book construction handouts.

This week I'll film the videos. Next week, I'll upload everything to the site. I'm super excited about filming the videos and the ideas that I have to share in them. I'll have videos not only that demo how to utilize the collage and journal prompts and how I create a page, but also at least two additional videos on how to create each book from scratch, AND additional videos that show ways of approaching the page. I will also show you how I created the pages and additional ideas/techniques that you can do on pages. What I love about the journals is that they not only make the best personal every day journals, but they also make great travel journals. I brought both of these books with me everywhere and worked in them every chance I got. People oohed and ahhed over them and asked to do these books as classes.

My Memories and Reflections class started out as a part two, or a sister class to A Life Made By Hand, but it's blossomed and flowered into something else. I decided to take the ideas and journals that I made and to combine them into this class, so it's actually more than one class. It's all new collage and journal prompts (I don't like to repeat myself) and MORE. The "more" part is the two new book structures, where I show you not only how to construct the books themselves, but give you my techniques/ideas for working on the pages. It's at least 3 classes for the price of one!

Several of you have asked if you have to take A Life Made By Hand to take this class. NO. Each of my classes stand on their own. That being said, as I said above, it does make a nice sister class to ALMBH.

I have also been asked if I will be leaving the classes up, YES. I've said it before and I will say it again, YES. I have no plans to take either ALMBH or Memories and Reflections down. I've moved ALMBH off of a ning site to a new site that will stay active for new and old members. All of the class material is listed and archived so people can access it at any time. People can sign up at any point. The prompts are NOT dated. They are numbered, so you can pick and choose as you go, do a few or do all!

If you have ANY questions, please email me. For more info on Memories and Reflections please follow the link here.

Last, but not least, Happy Solstice everyone!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day!

Blog Love:
Jane and Jeane and our L.A. Adventures
Alma's tips on recycling a magazine
Julie Chen, Craft in America and handmade books

Happy Dad's Day to all of the Men Folk out there who have chased after little feet! :)

Happy Father's Day to David-Love you!

Here's a picture of my Dad with my 2 month old nephew!
Happy Father's Day, Dad-Love you!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

7 June 2010 journal page

Sadly, all good things must come to an end. I'll be off running around La La Land with my two buds today before I put them on a plane this evening and bid Adieu until I see them again next month! Safe travels, my friends! It was AWESOME to see you both, as always. :)

Blog Love:
Lynne, always the generous soul, shares some secrets
Carla Sonheim's sketchbook paintings
Mary Blair Collectibles
Glad I picked this book up this past weekend...two thumbs up!
Fascinating: 8 Mysterious Unsolved Sounds (thanks, David!)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Where I Shop for Art Supplies and Books in Los Angeles

4 June 2010 Journal Page
I thought I'd do a quick run down of some of my favorite places to shop for art supplies and books in the Los Angeles area:

Art Stuff:
Kinokuniya-Los Angeles-pens, paper, tape, books, etc...
Nova color-Los Angeles-for paints and mediums
Kelly Paper-Los Angeles-where I buy my paper, 100 lb Accent Opaque index cardstock

Graphaids Los Angeles-Mom and Pop art store...
Artist and Craftsman-awesome selection of handmade and decorative paper at great prices, tons of art supplies!
Dick Blick Los Angeles-Fun to wander

Blue Rooster Los Angeles-will order almost anything. Small but well stocked!
Paper Source Pasadena and Beverly Hills-Fun paper store. I don't like the BH store since they downsized on paper. I prefer the Pasadena store. Lucky me that they opened another store on Fairfax and Third!

Baller Hardware L.A.
Swain's Glendale 
Carter Sexton North Hollywood 
Art Supply Warehouse a trek from LA in Westminster but worth it
Sticker Planet Los Angeles-the name says it all...tons of stickers in a store that's a little bigger than my bathroom.

Kinokuniya Downtown LA-books, paper, washi tape, stamps, pens and more!

Firefly Venice
Urbanic Paper Boutique Venice

I'm not going to comment on each bookstore. We try to go to each one every few weeks. Some we go to more frequently than others.

Iliad North Hollywood-My Favorite Bookstore. Ever.
Alias East Atwater Village

Sideshow Books West Los Angeles
Skylight Books Los Angeles
Soap Plant/Wacko Los Angeles
Book Soup Los Angeles
Vromans Pasadena
Golden Apple Comics Los Angeles

Family Los Angeles
Giant Robot Los Angeles
Kinokuniya Downtown LA-books, paper, washi tape, stamps, pens and more!
Book Alley Pasadena

Century Books Pasadena
Hennessey and Ingalls-art books galore
Arcana Books-more art books

For those of you in the L.A., or who have shopped in L.A., what are your favorite places?

Monday, June 14, 2010

3 June 2010 journal page

Blog Love:
What are you reading this summer?
Jane's Rockin' June Birthday continues all month with a special coupon code for a COOL vendor
Bookshelf *ahem*
Wafa Collective
LOVE this...Catherine's adventures with her pogo

Yumminess to try:
Veggie Kebobs

Speaking of adventures, I'll be off on an ART adventure this week with two good friends. I'll still be posting daily and I hope to compile a blog post with photos of all of the fun we had! Stay tuned. Same bat time, same bat channel!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

1 June 2010 journal page

Did I tell you that I finished this journal? I have a few more pages to show you. Then I'm going to show you a special project that a friend and I did together. A little break before I show you my new journal. Don't worry, you'll see it. :)

Blog Love:
Master your DSLR camera
Stella Sketchbook love part one and two
journal page love!
Karin Kramer
Sharyn's pages make me smile
Paula's Must Read List

Yummy Stuff that I Must Make Soon:
Strawberry Yogurt Soup

Films Watched:
Queimada (aka Burn!)

Saturday, June 12, 2010

31 May 2010 journal page

Blog Love:
Not only does Julie take damn good pictures, she also speaks her mind.
Berlin's Book Forest

To Bake/Make/Cook:
Ice cream cupcakes-oh hell yeah, baby!

Films Watched:

Still taking sign ups for my new online class, Memories and Reflections. Also, I've moved my current class, A Life Made By Hand to a new site, so I am still taking sign ups for that, as I will be leaving both classes up and people can sign up at any time for my classes now. Thanks!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Workshops at Ink About It Westford, MA August 2010

Mark your calendars! August 13th and 14th, I will be returning to Ink About It in Westford, MA teaching FOUR NEW classes! The samples are now in the store and there's a sneak peek below. This is the ONLY time that I will be teaching these classes in the New England area, so if you're interested, catch them while you can! I hope to see YOU there! If you have any questions, please email me! To sign up, please contact the store asap!

Friday, August 13th

10 to Noon

The Language of Color

Yearning to create luscious, layered mixed media backgrounds? Want to explore the world of acrylic paint hands on? Itching to make painted pages that are uniquely your own? In this class you will create a plethora of painted mixed media pages that can be used in any art form. Explore hands on techniques that are guaranteed to get your creative spirit inspired! You will leave with a pile of painted papers that you can use in your art journal, altered art, collage, canvas work, atcs and much, much more. Fully detailed handout included in the class, as always!

Optional- You can bring your journal to class to work in, or the teacher will be supplying paper for you to work on

Supply list: Scissors, small selection of favorite collage ephemera, cork back metal ruler, roll of waxed paper, roll of paper towels, permanent black inkpad, container to hold water, 3 1" brushes to glue and paint (I like chip or bristle brushes)

Followed by from 1 to 6 p.m.

Addicted to tape!

Love collage? Have you been caught buying up rolls of tape and you’re not sure of everything that you can do with them? In a bit of a sticky situation? Looking for some new ideas of what you can do with one of the hottest art supplies around? Look no further! In this class we will explore a myriad of techniques, tips, tricks and ideas that you can do with decorative tape. Learn how to layer fun and colorful backgrounds using what some call stickers, but what most call tape! We will explore masking tape (not the old stuff, but the fun colorful stuff available in many different designs and colors), decorative tape, and more! Walk out of class with your head spinning with ideas, and a smile on your face.

Optional-You can bring your journal to class to work in, or the teacher will be supplying paper for you to work on.

Supply list: Scissors, small selection of favorite collage ephemera, bone folder, cork back metal ruler, roll of waxed paper, roll of paper towels, permanent black inkpad, container to hold water, 3 1" brushes to glue and paint (I like chip or bristle brushes)

Saturday, August 14th

10 to Noon
Metamorphosis: The Art of Altered Pages

In this two hour mixed media class, you will combine scrapbook paper with layers of acrylics and acrylic mediums. You will layer, slather, scrub, and alter scrapbook paper into your own stunning creations. This is a class for both newbies and advanced. We will push the boundaries of acrylic layers. We will explore a plethora of mixed media techniques working hands on to create a pile of pure paper delight. Learn techniques that you can apply to any medium! Have a love for paper? Love paint? Love deep, rich, textured, sensual layers? Itching for something unique and truly yours? Ready to get messy? Yearning to learn tons of new techniques? If you've ever thought either "I wish I could do that!" or even, " I can do that!", then this is the class for you.

Supply list: plastic card (like old credit cards, grocery store cards, etc...), Brayer, Alcohol baby wipes (a full pack), 3 1" bristle brushes, container to hold water, waxed paper, paper towels, apron (if desired).

Followed by from 1 to 6 p.m.

Everything you wanted to know about pens(!) and more...

Are you a closet member of PAA (you know, pen addicts anonymous)? Do you hoard pens? Do you want to learn different things that you can do with your pens? Are you stuck in a rut using the same black gelly roll glaze pen again and again? Are you curious about which pens you absolutely need? Wondering what works with your mixed media projects and what doesn't? Look no further. Most of you know, I don't travel light to my classes. In this class, I will be bringing ALL of my pens for you to play, learn and explore HANDS ON. We will not only work with the pens and learn what works, but we will be creating mixed media collage pages ("and more"). We will be using the pens on our newly created collaged pages. You will explore different writing techniques as well (think Urban Calligraphy style!)-yet, this is not a calligraphy class! YES, we will learn everything about pens (and more). YES, you will explore and play with different writing styles and techniques on your newly created pages. YES, you will walk out with a pile of completed pages and tons of ideas. YES, you will be inspired. YES, you WILL have fun!

Optional-You can bring your journal to class to work in, or the teacher will be supplying paper for you to work on.

Supply list: Scissors, small selection of favorite collage ephemera, bone folder, cork back metal ruler, roll of waxed paper, roll of paper towels, permanent black inkpad, container to hold water, 3 1" brushes to glue and paint (I like chip or bristle brushes)