Saturday, August 31, 2013

26 June 2013 Journal Page

Thank you for all of the love yesterday. It is easy to let things get you down but I am thankful that there are hands to pick me up and get me back on my feet again. It is comforting to know that I am not alone in my thoughts.

Feedly isn't working on my laptop. I can only access it on my phone so I haven't been able to post as many blog love links as I'd like to lately. Sooo, I jumped on Pinterest today and found some pins that tugged at my heart that I thought I'd share here. The page I loved is their name and then next to it is a link to their website.

Francisca Pageo her website is here
Kelcey Loomer  her website is here 
Clare Caufield her website is here
Wendy McWilliams her website is here  
Koi Pond her website is here
Cassia Beck her website is here

Have you found any new artists lately whose work you love? I'd love to hear!

Friday, August 30, 2013

Seeking Peace

Seeking peace on so many levels. I find it in my husband's arms, in my son's smile, on the pages of my journal. Sometimes it's not enough and I want and need more. This is one of those times.
Sending peace and strength to all those who need it right now.

Thursday, August 29, 2013


Sometimes very simple pages can be the most effective. I remember not loving this page when I first made it. Looking back at it two months later, the imagery and words are perfect at representing how I felt.

One quick tip, Montana nibs do NOT work in Molotow pens. I tried it last night. I'm eagerly awaiting the tiny Molotow nibs that I ordered from Blue Rooster in L.A. I buy the Molotow pens in colors that aren't available in the water based Sharpie paint pens. I like how the Molotow pens are refillable. I just wish the extra fine tips/nibs were easier to find (they only have extra fine pens in black and white.) 

My last class ever is at Stampin from the Heart tomorrow. Sad but thankful for the many years of teaching that I had there. Thankful to Karen for giving me a chance when so many store owners (still to this day) don't understand what I teach. I will miss my Fridays with Nina and Sundays with Laura. I will miss Judy sitting to my left and Tricia to my right. (Judy and Tricia have been taking my classes at the store every month for a very long time now.) Without sounding like Romper Room, there are many other faces whom I will miss including T.A., Valerie, Kathy, Irene, Lorraine, Pam, Angie, Darcy, Kara and many more of you. I will miss all of it. I know my students will, too. I am VERY thankful that Word is Art opened up just a few minutes down the street yet there is so much that I will miss at Stampin mostly all of the people who made it so special. *Thank you*

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Layers of Inspiration

I've had the same pieces of art hanging on the small wall next to my bed for the past three years now. I decided to change that yesterday. Armed with scotch tape, washi tape, stickers, pens and a collection of book and magazine clippings that I'd been saving, I went to work. 

I carefully removed the art that was on the wall (which will be relocated elsewhere in the house) with the exception of my Edward Gorey print and my Lynda Barry sketch. Those are staying on the wall though you can't see Lynda's work in this photo. 

I treated the wall as if it were one of my journal pages. Admittedly, I kept reaching for my glue stick. I used rolled up pieces of scotch tape stuck in each of the image's four corners. Washi tape and stickers were added for bits of color, visual interest and to try to bring the large piece together some more. I added some pen work as I went. There are little hidden notes to my husband in there. I want to add some poetry and some favorite quotes eventually. I was so happy working on the wall that I thought I was going to burst with excitement!

It took me four hours to do and I loved every second of it. My plans are to keep adding images, tape and text. It can easily be removed from the wall (so the landlord doesn't have a cow.)

I know that some folks have inspiration walls and cork boards and things like that. My kitchen walls and cabinets (both inside as well as out) have artwork from some of my favorite artists on them. Most of my walls are lined with bookshelves. This is the first time since I was a teenager that I've been able to truly collage and cover a wall. 

My walls, ceiling and doors of my bedroom were COVERED with layers and layers of posters, magazine clippings, photos and flyers when I was a teen. (To this day, I refuse to have thumb tacks in my home. You think stepping on Lego is bad?! Ha! It's nothing compared to the amount of thumb tacks I stepped on growing up. Those damn things should be banned. They were always jumping out of my wall no matter how much I pushed them in.) My fascination with musicians started with the Monkees and the Beatles. It then moved onto hard rock with lots of long haired musicians (especially drummers) covering my walls. Bobby Rock, Paul Geary and Johnny Gioeli completely took over my walls. Bobby was the only one who remained on the wall over the years. Later, I became obsessed with film and a variety of film posters covered my wall into my late teens and early twenties. Funny that I don't remember my walls at that age as much as I do when I was a teenager into hair bands. 

Last night brought me back. I loved the freedom of being able to add to the wall things that were of interest to me. As an artist, I'm always looking for visual inspiration. I truly believe that it is everywhere. It's just a matter of keeping your eyes open and being aware of your surroundings. Now when I wake up in the morning, all I have to do is look to my left! 

It also has left me thinking that I may need to go even bigger with my journals at some point (even bigger than the Really Big Journal that I taught years ago.)

Monday, August 26, 2013

Pieces of Me

One question that I am asked repeatedly in classes is if there should be a theme in the book that the students are working on. Usually by theme most folks mean a subject like dogs, dolls, favorite books, travel, vampires, whatever. I always respond by telling them that if they feel the need for a theme that they should follow their heart and that themes have always been extremely difficult for me. My books are about any and everything. I have made only one themed book (focusing on Frida Kahlo and my trip to see her exhibit in San Francisco) in my life. Themes stop me in my tracks and make me uncomfortable. They make me sweat and it isn't pleasant. 

Last night I was thinking about my books and my pages. I was thinking about all of the different things that I've explored repeatedly on my pages. You know, the things that call to me and bubble up on my pages time and time again. I got to thinking, "These are YOUR themes." 

Life, love, despair, grief, hope, all of the bits and pieces of daily life, living and survival make up me (and you.) So, dear students, I guess I have a theme that I've been exploring in my books for all of these years. It's tied and strung together (like pearls on a string) by my experiences, my reflections and my tears. Glued together with paste and sticky tape, embellished with pens and markers are all of the many pieces of me.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Saturday Night Goodies

David and I headed West last night for a couple of hours. We hit two bookstores (didn't find anything. Haven't found anything at either store, unfortunately, in months.)

I had phoned Dick Blick earlier in the day and was happy to discover that their West Los Angeles location carried the Molotow markers. Unfortunately, they don't have the replacement tips or the extra fine empty pen cases but I managed to find a few new colors that had to go home with me. 

We popped on over to Westwood for (forgettable) pizza and yummy ice cream cookie sandwiches at Diddy Riese. The line for ice cream was insane but we passed the forty five minute wait talking about movies, books, you know, the things we love. We managed to get to our car before the meter ran out. Parking in Los Angeles can be crazy but weekend nights always seem to be the worst. We rarely go out on weekends (as I'm usually working) so it was a nice treat.
We ended our trip out at one of our favorite bookshops, Book Soup on Sunset. We reminisced about how we miss the days when they were open until midnight and how easy it was to pop across the street to Tower Records or Tower Video. (Virgin Megastore is gone, too. We're lucky to have Amoeba Records still!) 

I always loved Tower Records. When I was a teen, I'd take the T (train) from Wollaston, MA to Downtown Crossing in Boston. I'd walk around to all of the local record shops (the small, indie ones as well as Strawberries, an East Coast chain), through the Commons and then head up Newbury Street to Tower Records. I loved how my parents trusted that I was able to take the train, find my way around and stay out of trouble. I was always a quiet kid who could get lost in art, books, movies and music. I spent a lot of time day dreaming (I still do.) It's nice to have found someone who shares my passions. 

Back at Book Soup, I was ecstatic to find Volume Two of Julie Chen's Handmade Books. Happy dance! I bought it (hopefully to encourage them to get more books like this as well as to support an indie shop that I love so much.) David found a couple of books in the bargain section. David pointed out that they expanded their recommended section which probably spells trouble for both of us! I always love their recommendations. I noted that both the Bunuel and Cocteau books I mentioned yesterday were on their recommended shelf along with a few others I have on my own shelves. 

Home to Tristan and a family viewing of The X-Files. Tristan has been asking to watch it every night. With over ten years of episodes, I think we'll have something we all can enjoy watching for some time. 

I ended the night staying up late reading Bunuel while everyone else was snoring. I've got about twenty pages to go and I don't want it to end. Like director Akira Kurosawa's autobiography, I've enjoyed it immensely. I appreciate books where the author talks about not only their experiences, passions and thoughts but they also open your eyes to new perspectives. I loved hearing about Bunuel's life as one of the Surrealists. His thoughts and idiosyncrasies made me feel less alone in my own strange mind. It's well worth a read even if you've never heard of Luis Bunuel, it may make it all the better! Now to bug David to watch some of our Bunuel films on dvd and laserdisc.

"I am the sum of my errors and doubts as well as my certainties. Since I'm not a historian, I don't have any notes or encyclopedias, yet the portrait I've drawn is wholly mine-with my affirmations, my hesitations, my repetitions and lapses, my truths and my lies. Such is my memory." Luis Bunuel

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Books I'm reading and recommending, Journaling this Weekend and More

Ahhh, the weekend is here. I'm taking a bit of time off this weekend. Still working on a new journal project but it's fun and something that I love to do so it doesn't feel like work (vs. when I have to sit at the computer which does.) 

My buddy, Marcia in Colorado pointed out some great deals that are happening this weekend. The Paper Mill Store has free shipping on the 140lb Exact Index (they still have it as Wausau not Neenah Papers.) There's no code but you have to make sure you select free ground shipping when you checkout. I've never ordered from them before but several folks I know have raved about them.

Another deal she pointed out is a guy on ebay who sells the water based Sharpie Paint Markers. I've ordered from him many moons ago but he has the entire set of the new seventeen colors for $45 with free shipping. I'm not sure if Michaels is still carrying them (I rarely go there) so I wanted to point this out to folks who may be interested. I bought a ton of them when they were on sale at Michaels so I'm set (as are my students who can use my pens in class) for now. 

I finished reading When I Was a Kid: Childhood Stories by Boey the other day. I laughed out loud several times while reading it. I also could relate to other things that weren't so funny but were well done in the book. One of the things that I loved about the book is that if he didn't like what he was writing, he just crossed it out and left it on the page. I met Boey at San Diego Comic-Con and he was a very nice guy with a great sense of humor. I'm hoping that he comes out with more books. 

Still reading My Last Sigh by Luis Bunuel. I've been taking my time reading it in an attempt to slowly savor bits and pieces of it. I'll put it down and read something else and then go back to it. I'm thoroughly enjoying it. Next on my to read list is The Difficulty of Being by Cocteau. I posted a list of books on my want to read list the other day and didn't hear a peep from anyone. At least I'll have a record of the books that I really want as someone has been using my Amazon Wish List as a shopping guide buying books for themselves. Whoever is doing that, please do me a huge favor and stop. If you want to buy a book for me, thank you! If you're not buying a book for me but for yourself, please add the book to your own wishlist and stop using mine.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Play Time

No, not the Tati movie (love!!!) but real in the flesh play time. When was the last time you cracked open your journal and truly thought, "what if?"

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Fremont, CA Workshops October 11-13th

I am very happy to announce that I will be teaching five NEW workshops at a private studio in Fremont, CA October 11-13th (classes are open to the public.)

Interested in signing up? Questions? Please email Kelly for more info!

Payments for the Fremont, CA workshop must be made in advance. Due to the fact that the teacher is traveling from Los Angeles and must prep for the workshops in advance, there are no cancellations allowed. No refunds.

You may send someone else in your place if you are unable to attend the workshop, or you will receive a kit for the class. You can either pay via paypal (see button below) or send a check or money order. Once you've signed up for the workshop, you will be sent the address and directions to the workshop location. If you have ANY questions you can email me. I will also give you my cell phone number so you contact me.

The Schedule is:
Friday, October 11th
An Artist's Manifesto
10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

followed by
Luscious Layers
from 3 to 7 p.m.

Saturday, October 12th
Essence of Me
10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

followed by
Love Your Lettering
from 3 to 7 p.m.

Sunday, October 13th
A Trace of Me
10 to 2 p.m.

***If you receive an error message, please email me at NONE of the classes are completely full yet though some are almost full. You can sign up for ANY of the classes and just email me with the name (or names) of the one(s) that you want. Thanks.***

Fremont Classes October 11-13th with Kelly Kilmer

If the button above doesn't work for Sunday's October 13th's A Trace of Me class, please try this button:

A Closer Look at the Classes:

An Artist's Manifesto

We're thinking BIG! Start by constructing a large journal from scratch using a recycled hardcover book. Then we'll spend the rest of the class creating our own unique, personal pages. Learn about color, composition, design and more while focusing on visual self expression on the pages of your new journal. Prepare to push and be pushed (albeit gently and in a good way!) out of your comfort zone. We will be using a variety of different size and shaped images in this class so you can collect some of your favorites in advance but I’ll also have a large plethora of collage items for you to choose from. You will walk out of class with your head full of new ideas!

Supply list: Scissors, small selection of favorite collage ephemera, bone folder, cork back metal ruler, roll of waxed paper, roll of paper towels OR an old rag, permanent black inkpad,  1" brush to glue (I like chip or bristle brushes), a few of your favorite glue sticks, an old catalog or magazine to glue on (if you don't want to use all of your waxed paper for this.)

Luscious Layers

What do you get when you combine layers of paper, tape, pen work, stencils, stickers, stamps and self expression? You get your own lusciously layered papers made by your own hands!

We’ll be exploring hands-on a variety of ideas involving composition, design, color, shape, repetition and much, much more. Learn to create intricately rich layered papers that are uniquely your own. These are unlike anything you will ever see in any paper store. Ready to be framed or hit the copy shop and make duplicates of your favorites!

Please note that students can also bring their journals to work in as these pages can be glued, taped or attached to the pages of their books.

Supply list: Scissors, small selection of favorite collage ephemera, bone folder, cork back metal ruler, roll of waxed paper, roll of paper towels OR an old rag, permanent black inkpad,  1" brush to glue (I like chip or bristle brushes), a few of your favorite glue sticks, an old catalog or magazine to glue on (if you don't want to use all of your waxed paper for this.)

Essence of Me: Tape Journal Revised and Revisited

Bringing together some of my most favorite materials (and I bet yours, too!) such as tape, paper, pens, stamps and stencils, you will learn a plethora of new layering techniques. This book isn’t solely an art journal. It’s an experience! Very popular when I taught it several years ago, the tape journal has been revised into a smaller but much fuller version of its previous self.

I will be bringing my large collection of tapes (paper, deco, washi and more) for you to use. I’ll also have a wide selection of stamps, ink pads, stencils and collage materials. You’re always welcome to bring your own supplies to use but this is a small heads up that I tend to bring everything but the kitchen sink in my classes!

Supply list: Scissors, small selection of favorite collage ephemera, bone folder, cork back metal ruler, roll of waxed paper, roll of paper towels OR an old rag, permanent black inkpad,  1" brush to glue (I like chip or bristle brushes), a few of your favorite glue sticks, an old catalog or magazine to glue on (if you don't want to use all of your waxed paper for this.)

Love Your Lettering: A Little Book of Type

One of the things that I hear repeatedly in my classes is how many people hate their own handwriting. At one time, I was one of those people. After many years of being told by teachers and friends that my handwriting was atrocious, I’m now being complimented on my writing. I’ve never taken a calligraphy class. It all comes from experimenting in my journal. I’ll teach you everything that I know so that you’ll walk out loving your handwriting. You’ll also be walking out with a little book full of layers of color and text created by YOU. We will be getting messy with acrylics in this class, so please dress accordingly. 

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,  1" brush to paint (I like chip or bristle brushes), and a container to hold water in. You may want to wear an apron.

A Trace of Me: The Journey Starts Here

You will create a landscape format journal constructed of different sized papers. We’re going to be pushing deep with new techniques and exercises in this class going beyond the traditional, “Today I did this…” Create a rich journal made by your own hands using your favorite materials to document your journey. We’ll be focusing on new collage, journal and writing techniques in this class.

Supply list: Scissors, small selection of favorite collage ephemera, bone folder, cork back metal ruler, roll of waxed paper, roll of paper towels OR an old rag, permanent black inkpad,  1" brush to glue (I like chip or bristle brushes), a few of your favorite glue sticks, an old catalog or magazine to glue on (if you don't want to use all of your waxed paper for this.)

I hope to see you there!