Thursday, January 31, 2013

T'was the Night Before Classes....

and all through the hotel not a creature was stirring except the crazy artist whose hotel room is overrun with art supplies and art books! Snip! Paste! Scribble!

Looking forward to the morning! In the meantime, I'm making myself at home. I promise I'll get some sleep!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

30 October 2012 Journal Page

In other news, I've added THREE new venues to my teaching list for this summer! Locally, I'll be at The Word is Art in Culver City. I have classes scheduled there for May-July right now. I'll be trekking back East in June this summer (Tristan's school schedule has changed our travel plans but we'll adapt!) I'll be at The Ink Pad in NYC June 22nd and 23rd. The following week, June 28th and 29th, I'll be at Kept Creations in Whitman, MA. It's a new venue for me but folks have been raving about it. I'm really looking forward to it! I'll be back at Art Unraveled in August (yay!!) In September, I'll be teaching at Art is You for the first time. All of my class information can be found here. It's going to be a busy summer but it will be a GOOD summer. 

I'll be blogging from my phone the next few days and taking YOU along with me! I hope you're up for it!

Blog Love (LOTS of it!):

In the meantime, check out this astounding blog directory list from Seth over at The Altered Page. This will keep you busy for weeks! Huge kudos to Seth for posting such an amazing list.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

What is a Journal?

I posted this the other day in my latest online class. I thought that it may benefit others by reposting it here.

A journal can be anything that YOU need it to be. It's not solely for angst or problem solving. It's a place to document, dialogue, process, question (am I...?) reflect, experiment and explore. 

A journal is what *you need at that moment.* 

I look at my journals and the journals of others and they are so unique and rich in human lives, experiences and history. They are valuable treasures. 

I spent Sunday morning with several art journal friends and we were passing our books around. Each was unique and so truly reflective of the individual. Some had pages of heartbreak, others pages of dialogue, some reflected their day. Each book had value and worth to their own creator (artist) as well as to their friends who appreciated the gift in holding their books and catching a rare glimpse of their friends that they may not get in daily conversation. Each journal had as much value as the person who created it.

My two cents on all of it.

Monday, January 28, 2013

27 October 2012 Journal Page

Several folks have called this page "creepy" but I remember exactly when I made it and how I was feeling at the time. For my birthday, David and Tristan took me for a ride through one of the woodsy areas outside of L.A. It's great to be able to find an image that fits right at the moment. I always try to work from what I have and I stress to my students use what's in front of you and don't spend too much time searching for the "perfect" image. Make it work.

Super excited about my classes at Frenzy Stamper this week. I finished the last of the new handouts last night and I can't wait to teach this weekend!!! I'm heading out to Kelly Paper (our local paper store, not my living room! LOL) to pick up paper for the books today. 

I hope that your week is a GREAT one!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

"You Guys Look So Cute"

Comment directed by a total stranger at a small group of us while we were art journaling at the Farmer's Market. We attracted many strange looks but we were having a blast with our books. A good day, indeed!

Now it's back to work prepping for next weekend's classes in Scottsdale. Solitary work but well worth it in the end when you have happy students who can just dive into their work.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

New Marker Love: Molotow One4All Markers

It's not a secret that I love pens of all kinds. A good friend gifted me with ten of the Molotow One4All Markers for Christmas. I LOVE these pens. The Molotow pens are similar to the Sharpie Waterbased  Paint Pens but there are MORE colors available in the Molotow line (see here.)

Some things you should know-

-the pens are refillable!!!!
-always store the pens FLAT
-the pens write on a variety of surfaces (check out the neon pink and yellow above that's on paper, tape and transparency.) 
-It's a pump and shake system (similar to the Sharpie Paint Pens)
-You can change the tips (the pens are available in different tips sizes as well)

All in all, the pens are quite yummy. They're expensive but with care, they should last you a long time. I'm hoping to add to my collection soon!

More on the Molotow site here.

Friday, January 25, 2013

A Good Day, Indeed!

David and I started our day off at the Taschen store in Hollywood where we found the four books (that have been on our wishlists for awhile now) above on sale. Yay! I also bought a copy of Vidvinkel Magazine at Barnes and Noble to cut up. 

We also trekked to Taschen in Beverly Hills but (luckily) they didn't have anything else that we were looking for. Since I was in the neighborhood, I hit Paper Source where I found some adhesive book cloth for half off. I picked up a couple of rolls for my classes in Arizona next weekend.

From there we headed towards Artist and Craftsman on La Cienega. They have an excellent selection of handmade and decorative papers for EXCELLENT prices ($3-5/sheet.) I picked up papers for my classes at Frenzy Stamper in Scottsdale next weekend. Hopefully my students will like them!

Next on the list was a trip to Nova Color for some gel medium (Nova Gel #207) for classes next weekend. 

Last but not least was a trip to Book Soup. Nothing new but it's always fun to look and I love that shop!

Last night we trekked out to a couple of our favorite haunts and found some new treasures (as well as Uppercase magazine coming in the mail-yay! It's already time for me to renew and I WILL be renewing as I love that magazine. In my small opinion, it's the BEST creativity magazine on the market.

When we got home, my mat board from was waiting for me. Yay!

So this weekend will now be spent prepping all of the materials listed above for my Frenzy Stamper classes next weekend. I'm really looking forward to teaching there. It's always a lot of work to prep for a class but it's well worth it when I see the smiles on my students faces. I'm really looking forward to it!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

More Thoughts on Keeping an Art Journal

Art journal pages should be your safe place where you can explore new ideas and possibilities. They're also your place where you can open up and say anything upon the pages. Some folks don't always feel comfortable journaling on their pages for a variety of reasons:

Some don't like their handwriting. Remember, your handwriting is a part of you. There's something about the human touch on a page that you don't get when you cut out words or use rubber stamp letters. Your writing is a part of YOU. When my Dad died, I saved little bits and pieces of paper that he wrote his notes on. Those were my treasures.

Some are afraid that what they're writing will be read and misinterpreted by others. I always say that unless you're in a dangerous situation where writing your thoughts openly will put you in harms way, journaling both your good and bad IS extremely beneficial and healthy. We all have good and bad moments and it's nice to have a place to process them. I've often been asked why I write my thoughts so freely and openly. It's my journal and my hope is that someday someone will read them and think, "I've felt like that." or that my son will think, "Hey, Mom was human and she made mistakes and had good and bad days." Yet most days I am writing for ME and not for anyone else and I don't care who reads it. It's MY journal and if someone misinterprets what I am saying, it's on them. Not me. Journaling is about reaching out and connecting and sometimes it goes beyond just connecting with ourselves. 

That said, there are always ways to hide your writing, too (if you don't really want it to be read.) Write first and then paint or collage. Write and then partially collage over it. Draw, doodle, stamp, make marks on top of your writing. Sometimes the simple act of getting the writing out and onto the page and then layering over it is all that is needed for some. I think that it's better to get it out than to keep it locked in.

Some feel that they don't have anything to say. EVERYONE has something to say (look at facebook. ;)) Journaling doesn't have to be about, "Today I went to work..I hate my boss...I went home, collapsed on the couch and went to bed." Journaling can be about any and everything. Everyone has something worthwhile to say and contribute. You don't have to write about your day to day business but what about little events that happened that put a smile on your face, a dialogue with something that you heard on tv or read in a book, unsent letters, lists, dreams, hopes, goals, thoughts that are on your mind that you need to process some more, etc... It's all good and it's all worth writing about. Even pages and pages of venting can do someone good if getting it out and onto the page helps them in some way.

I had horrid handwriting for years. I practiced and played on my journal pages. I've never taken a calligraphy class as I don't have the patience for it but I tried different pens, brushes and styles of writing and I found that the more I pushed myself and opened up, the more I liked what I was doing. Contrary to popular belief (at the time), I had nice handwriting! I'm still playing and experimenting with my handwriting and I'm having fun doing it.

Keep it up. Your journal is your place to experiment and play. It should be fun, a relief even and not stressful. It's not art that's meant to be hung on walls. It's art that's for YOU.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

24 October 2012 Journal Page

I always enjoy using images in different ways. I was told that this page was "weird" but I can look back on it and remember exactly how I felt when I made it and the feeling that I was trying to get across on the page. For me, it says exactly what I wanted (and needed) it to say. Isn't that what art journaling is all about?

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

February 2013 Classes


8th Stampin From the Heart New Directions 11:30-3:30

Create your own uniquely hand bound, paper and tape covered journal completely from scratch! Once we’ve created the book, we will start to work on the inside creating richly layered pages. Combine layers of paper, tape, pens and much more to create your own visually expressive pages that tell your own unique story!
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, 1" brushes to glue (I like chip or bristle brushes), a few of your favorite glue sticks

9th Banana Rose Westlake Village Wanderlust Journal 11:30-3:30

Looks can be deceiving. Create this surprisingly complex looking by quite easy journal with pages that flip and fold up and out. You’ve probably never seen anything like this before! The journal is also small enough to slip into your bag for on the go art journaling (I’ve worked in it on a plane, in a car, etc…) After we construct the journal, we will dive deep onto the pages spilling layers of color, texture, pattern, journaling and more. Walk out with your head spinning full of ideas and inspiration!

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, 1" brushes to glue (I like chip or bristle brushes), a few of your favorite glue sticks

17th Stampin From the Heart Moments 12:30-4:30

While we’ll begin this class by creating a stunning portfolio, the main focus on the class is also constructing a set of individualized art journal vision cards. We’ll be creating a small deck of art cards layered with a myriad of collage, pen work and much, much more! These cards can be used for art journaling, travel journaling, scrapbooking, inspiration, vision boards and more! Inspiration at your fingertips! 
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, 1" brushes to glue (I like chip or bristle brushes) or a few of your favorite glue sticks


June 22nd and 23rd Ink Pad NYC
July 30th-August 3rd Art Unraveled Phoenix, AZ
September 25-29th Art Is You Petaluma, CA

I hope to see YOU there!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Basic Steps For Creating A Collage

Start by picking out things that you are drawn to. 

If you are overwhelmed, limit your choices. 

If your choices are too many, consider rotating your supplies (I have a now stash which I work from daily and a later stash which I rotate from when I get bored every couple of months with my now stash.) 

Arrange the elements on a page.

Think of it like you are solving a puzzle. Spend a few minutes (not an hour) seeing which piece you like where. 

Notice how every time you move the pieces you get a new collage. It's not that one way is the right way and the other is wrong. It's that there are many possibilities and opportunities! 


Repeat the above on a new page. 

Make several pages like this, each time trying to push yourself to do something a little different than you did before.

Make several pages before you go back and look at them again. 

Wait a day or more.

Step away from your pieces. Evaluate them in a new light. 

Does it need something else in this corner? Could you pull more color from somewhere on the page (Maybe there's a hint of blue in the corner that you could repeat elsewhere on the page?) Maybe there's a circle pattern on a piece of paper in that top left corner that you could draw somewhere else to draw your eye into the piece more? 

What are you drawn to? 

What do you wish you had done differently?

What color palettes do you want to explore?

Whose work are you drawn to? Can you imitate their work and try to learn from it?

Don't compare your work. Learn from others but do not be too harsh. 

All work has value.

Push and keep pushing. 

Always ask, "what if?"

Don't be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone. 

Some Additional Tips:

Use what you have. Even junk mail can be shredded to make collages. Turn magazine images upside down. Don't feel the need to buy what the latest and greatest toys are, use what's on hand and within reach.

When gluing, burnish things down with a dry rag or paper towel. I've found that not only does it help to wipe off any glue that's been smooshed where it shouldn't be but also it helps to make things really stick to the page.

Use an old magazine or catalog as a glue surface. When you're done, pop it in the recycle bin.

The more you work (especially in journal form) you realize what imagery, patterns, colors, symbols, etc... you are drawn to. Don't beat yourself up over not having a visual vocabulary immediately. It will slowly reveal itself to you with time and work. Be open to it. Look for it in the works of other artists.

What advice would you offer to someone who is creating a collage for the first time?

Sunday, January 20, 2013

New on My Shelf

Ever since we got home from our whirlwind East Coast Tour, David and I have been revisiting our favorite local bookstore haunts trying to see if there's anything amazing that we missed while we were gone. Last night at Skylight Books, I picked up "Darling: The Art of Being a Woman" and Anders Nilsen's "Don't Go Where I Can't Follow.

Darling was more than I usually pay for a magazine but I kept flipping through it and couldn't put it down. It's more like a gorgeous, over-sized book than a magazine.

I have been looking for Don't Go Where I Can't Follow since I first saw it a few years ago. At the time, I didn't have the funds so I didn't buy it figuring that I could pick it up later on. It quickly disappeared and went out of print. I've been stalking all of my local bookstores ever since Drawn and Quarterly announced that it was reprinting it, . Passing it by last night was not an option.

At Alias Books East the other night, I walked in to find David holding up a copy of Andre Breton's Manifestoes of Surrealism and smiling at me. I had just mentioned it earlier in the day to him. The clerk smiled big when I handed it to him. He told me that it had just arrived the other day and that he had carefully cleaned and covered it. While he wanted the book for himself, he said that he was happy that it was going to a good home.

What new books are on your shelf (or in my case, the ever growing pile next to the bed) these days?

More Moments...

Home from a good day of teaching! I loved seeing how my students interpreted the ideas in the class today! Even though I've been teaching for over fifteen years, I always get nervous when I offer a new class. I wonder how my ideas will translate and if the students will enjoy it. We had a little show and tell at the end of the class and it was fascinating to see how unique each book was, how bits and pieces of the students were reflected upon the pages. It never gets old! 

I'm planning on relaxing tomorrow and enjoying the day with my family. February is going to be crazy busy (in a GOOD way) so it will be nice to have some time to slow down, work in my journal, read and relax.

Friday, January 18, 2013

A Really Good Way to Spend a Friday

I thought I'd try these containers from the dollar bin at Target. I was intrigued by them after seeing them posted on Pam Garrison's site. I bought five to use for classes. They're great for the paper tapes and rubber stamps but not so good for the larger rolls of deco tape. I'm going to go back and get a few more for my pens! Thanks, Pam, for the great idea!

One quick comment, if you send me an email or buy something from me, I am usually very prompt (always within 24 hours, most of the time unless I am teaching, on an airplane, driving, sleeping or in the shower) and answer immediately. IF you have signed up to take an online class from me and you haven't received an email from me, please check your spam box. IF it's not in your spam box, please email me and let me know. I am adamant about communication and I just want to reiterate that fact.

Happy Weekend!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

GREAT Mail Day!

Another page from my Moments journal

Goodies in the Mail!

The mailman dropped something heavy on my doorstep this morning: a surprise package from a friend, my "I love you" rubber stamp from Rubber Soul and my tape order from In the Clear. 

I dropped off my samples for Friday and Sunday's classes at Stampin from the Heart last night. I apologize for dropping them off so late but they're there now!

Happy birthday, Art!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

19 October 2012 Journal Page

Some bits of housekeeping to take care of:

Starting with my classes this weekend (yay! First classes of 2013!!!), I'm trying something new! I'll be bringing a deck of journal prompt cards to each class. Students can pick random cards to use as prompts during class. I'll rotate the cards out every now and then with new ones. I'm very excited about this new idea and the possibilities that it offers in my workshops! You can see a picture of the deck here.

Been posting lots of work in progress pages here on Instagram. I'm in love with the latest journal that I've been working. It has lots of cut outs and it's giving me a kick in the pants in a different direction as I think about the pages before I glue anything down. One of my favorite pages is here. Another one (not finished in this shot) is here. I'll have them on the blog soon. I'm halfway through the book already.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

22 October 2012 Journal Page

Hard to believe that it's that time of year (already!?) when I go crazy for Valentine's Day stuff. I'll be on the quest for pinks, creams, XOXO's, L O V E stamps and the like. I rarely ever buy holiday stuff but for some reason, Valentine's stuff makes me go ga ga. I'll share some of my collection within the next week or so.

Monday, January 14, 2013

A Sneak Peek at A Beautiful Necessity

Above you'll see some pictures of the journal that I've been working on since late December. I'm teaching this class for the first time this Sunday in L.A. at Stampin From the Heart (from there, it will go to Fremont for my classes in February!) I am SUPER excited about it. 

It looks like there's paint on the pages but there isn't! We'll be making the journal from scratch (super fun and easy) and then learning new collage and mixed media techniques for the pages. I'm really jazzed about debuting this class. 

The sample is NOT in the store yet as I'm trying to finish up the last few pages this week. I may not have it in the store until Friday (my apologies) but trust me when I say that it's NEW techniques and that you will LOVE working in this journal. It's user friendly and travels well (it went to MA, upstate NY, NYC and on the plane with me!) I can't wait to finish it yet at the same time I know that I'll be sad to have to move on from it.                                                       

Sunday, January 13, 2013

21 October 2012 Journal Page from "Moments"

A lazy Sunday that I've been looking forward to for weeks now. It's after noon and I'm still in my pjs and fuzzy bathrobe. I'm off to work in my art journal that's been calling my name. I'll be posting in progress pictures to my instagram page

Films to recommend:
Blue-watched it last night and it's visually stunning and inspiring
Night Watch-Started watching it in Boston. I need to get the DVD. 

Blog Love:
Reverb Remix-something to consider in 2013

Saturday, January 12, 2013

22 October 2012 Journal Page

Another page from my "Moments" journal.

“One's destination is never a place but rather a new way of looking at things.” -Henry Miller

Friday, January 11, 2013

19 October 2012 Journal Page

Mary asked: "...Unbound pages? I have recently come to the same decision as I am interested in exploring more kinds of paper and techniques. Are you planning to bind the journal at some point? Are you creating on the back side? Do you have a size preference for this new format? Inquiring minds want to know." 

I'm not planning to bind the journal. It is what it is, a portfolio of single, unbound, different size pages. I did work on both sides of the pages (front and back.) I never have a size preference for any of my journals. I like to make each one different in size, shape and construction depending upon my mood at the time. 

I had in mind when constructing this journal that it would be good for various purposes:

-An on the go journal with pages that I can add at my own leisure. The portfolio holds everything in nice and tight so you don't lose pages. It also allows me to make different size pages as well as to add postcards, photos and other found objects without attaching them to the pages. It's a container full of moments of my life!

-mail art: make different size postcards and keep them in one place until you're ready to send them out!

-daily inspiration collages: display them around your home or office. Give them to friends and family! It's a great way to keep, display and rotate your artwork.

-portable travel journal pages: instead of lugging a heavy journal, just bring a few pages, the portfolio and you can make pages from ANYTHING as you travel.

-mini size it! Make an ATC (artist's trading card) size or postcard size portfolio. It's adaptable so that you really can make it ANY size or even different shapes.

-sew pages in! Yes, you can sew pages into the book if you'd like.

I could go on! The possibilities really are endless. I hope that this inspires you!

I'm debuting this class next month at Frenzy Stamper and I'll also be teaching it later on in the month in Fremont, CA. I'm eager to teach it and see how my students translate the ideas!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Moments Journal

"Moments" Cover

First Page of the Moments Journal
 I decided that I wanted to create a series of unbound pages that I could take with me whenever and wherever I pleased. "Moments" was created to fill that need. I am not thrilled with the look of the cover but I love the functionality and purpose of it. It is exactly what I wanted and needed to make at the time. While I may not love the look of the outside front cover, the first page speaks volumes for me (and no, it's not a picture of me.) I hope that you enjoy seeing the upcoming pages as much as I enjoyed making the book.

A quick reminder that I have some upcoming workshops in Monterey (this month), Scottsdale and Fremont (next month) as well as a few local workshops. You can find out more information about all of my upcoming workshops here. I am also actively looking for more venues across the U.S. as well as closer to home. It's getting harder and harder for me to find teaching venues as more and more shops close. I'm a big fan of supporting Mom and Pops as much as possible!

My latest online class is buzzing with activity, Marvel: Your Precious Life is now going on and our first facebook chat will be this Friday. I'm not closing registration at all and the workshop is completely work at your own pace. You can sign up at any time here. I'm really enjoying seeing what my students are working on in the class, it's always my favorite part of teaching (seeing how folks translate the ideas and make them their own.)

My bags are all unpacked but the house is a mess and things are in piles. I'm trying to ease my way back into my daily routine after being gone for two weeks. I'm not one for New Years Resolutions (I don't have to wait for January 1st to make a change) and the like but I do know that I want more walks, more reading, more art, more homemade things in my life in 2013.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Home Again...

Here's the inside back cover of my "Connections" journal
Connections Book Closed
Back at home after fifteen days on the East Coast. It was a whirlwind trip where we seemed to go, go, go more than anything. I hope to do a recap soon with some pictures (especially since we took a bazillion of them.) 

It was a sad trip but it was also full of love. My little red headed monkey nephew made sure that all of us had lots of love, kisses and laughs. My Mom proudly showed off her new condo (she has mixed feelings about it, rightfully so, but I know she'll be okay. My sister is only a five minute walk from her front door!) My baby cousin started college today (yay!) My cousin, Bev, is in recovery mode after head surgery and a broken arm (lots of love, Bev.) Life goes on and while we carry the memories of our loved ones within us, it hurts like hell sometimes and there are some much better moments than others but we repeatedly pick ourselves up, sew up our mended hearts for the bazillionth time and take baby steps forward all while not beating ourselves up if we happen to fall and stumble again in our grief.

It's the first full day of 2013 spent in my own home. I have a bunch of errands to do, bags to unpack and emails to catch up on. I'm trying to take it all in stride and not beat myself up over getting all of it done. It will get done. I haven't had any real sit on the floor art time in over two weeks so that's a big priority for my day today. I've managed to glean bits and pieces of art time here and there but I need a wee bit o' ME time today. 

If you have a few minutes, this article is well worth the read.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

16 October 2012 Journal Page

Heading home today. I'm going to miss my family especially my little nephew. Leaving is always hard. 

Above is the last journaled page in my "Connections" book. I'm working in two different journals at the moment trying to see if I can multi-task with two very different formats and styles. I like to try new things with my work and it will be interesting to see what happens!

Instagram link to pictures from our trip to Boston yesterday.

Off to play with my nephew before we leave. Later, gator.

Monday, January 07, 2013

16 October 2012 Journal Page

Our last day in Boston was a full one. We headed into Downtown Boston and hit a slew of bookstores. Also hit Rugg Road Paper (not like it used to be) and Black Ink. I loved walking through the Boston Common. It's so pretty. There are a ton of pictures on my instagram page.

Sunday, January 06, 2013

15 October 2012 Journal Page

“What can we do but keep on breathing in and out, modest and willing, and in our places?” Mary Oliver

Saturday, January 05, 2013

16 October 2012 Journal Page

Been go, go, going so much the last two weeks. Hoping for a bit of quiet journal time at some point today.

Friday, January 04, 2013

15 October 2012 Journal Page

Had a great time in New York City. I posted a few pictures to Instagram. Took a ton of photos on the regular camera and hope to have a post about it soon. We hit several bookstores and walked everywhere. It was a very nice time and I'm grateful that we finally had the chance to get there.

Happy First Weekend of 2013!

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Goodies from the Ink Pad

Can you tell I had a blast shopping at The Ink Pad in New York City today?!?! I LOVE that place! Can't wait to return in June!

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Bare Bones Journal Kit

On the train to New York City for 24 hours. Here's my absolute bare bones journal kit. I also have napkins to glue on as well as wipe off excess glue and burnish with. I can toss/recycle them as I go.

In the ziploc bag are background papers, collage ephemera, stickers, glue stick and three pens.

Not much but it keeps me sane!

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

15 October 2012 Journal Page

Happy New Year!

"Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.”– Ralph Waldo Emerson

My latest online class is in full swing. I'm looking forward to seeing what folks do with it.

I love the above page. It says so much of what I was feeling and thinking. What seeds are you hoping to plant in the new year?