Monday, March 31, 2014

The Seeds We Plant

With the help of good friends, wonderful students, store owners willing to give me a chance and family, I am going to be traveling to teach this summer in:

-6-8th Northern California (Fremont)
-19-22nd in and around New York City (two locations)
-27th & 28th Massachusetts (on the South Shore)

-15th New Mexico (Santa Fe) 
-18-20th Colorado (Loveland)
-30th-August 2nd Arizona (Art Unraveled.) 

I will be linking and adding more information about all of this within the next couple of weeks. I am excited and grateful for these opportunities! Please stay tuned for more info. 

If you're in Southern California, catch my Little Love Notes: Triptych Book Revised and Revisited this Sunday at the Art Bar in Santa Ana. More local class info can be found here.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

12 February 2014 Journal Page

"Think of things that disappear.

Think of what you love best,
what brings tears into your eyes.

Something that said adios to you
before you knew what it meant
or how long it was for."

Naomi Shihab Nye

My friend, Meryl, shared a delicious link with me that I need to pass along to you. The artist's blog is Paper Thought. Her website is Elise Wehle.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

A Lesson in Perspective from a Stranger at the Farmers Market

Sitting at the farmers market journaling with friends this morning. We were approached by an elegant looking older woman. She started talking to us and telling us her story. She pulled up her sleeve. A tattoo of numbers. She spoke ten languages and told us that while her whole life was taken from her, "they could never take my knowledge." She began to tell us the story of how she became the mother of twenty two orphan children when another well dressed woman came over. They embraced and off they went arm in arm to cooking class.

All I can think is how quickly things can be put into perspective and how kind and loving we need to be to each other.

Friday, March 28, 2014

10 February 2014 Journal Page

"I don’t really want to become normal, average, standard. I want merely to gain in strength, in the courage to live out my life more fully, enjoy more, experience more. I want to develop even more original and more unconventional traits."  Anaïs Nin

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

4 February 2014 Journal Page

A love letter to my son on his birthday (the 4th of February.)

I started another journal the other day. You can see a glimpse of it here on my Instagram page. I've posted a couple of the pages in their early stages (I post in progress shots on Instagram and finished pages eventually are posted here to the blog.)

I am a busy bee working on a new online class, another surprise BIG project (that I finished a few days ago) and my summer classes (not all of them have been announced yet.) Hoping to have some big announcements in regards to all of this very soon! Taking time to work on me, too!

mary blair

I know that I've posted about Mary Blair before but I can't wait to go to this exhibit in San Francisco!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

1 February 2014 Journal Page

Wishing on my pages. Using markers, pens and patience to pull together my papers. Images and colors selected to represent me. Making a page that reflects my thoughts and dreams at that moment in time. Little snippets of me caught on paper.

Monday, March 24, 2014

My Place to

Process. Explore. Express. Experiment. Wonder. Wander. Be. Contemplate. Communicate. Document. Meditate. Mediate. Love. Ponder. Play. Unravel. Unfold. Unwind. Unfurl. Blossom. Withdraw. Reach out. Become. Journey. Learn. Teach. Look. Listen. Expand.

All of this and much, much more I can do in the pages of my journal.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Sunday on the Floor

Sitting in my favorite place (on the floor) working in my new journal and listening to an old, unedited interview with John O'Donohue on Krista Tippett's On Being. I am in my happy place.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Friday, March 21, 2014

29 January 2014 Journal Page

A short post for today. I've been working on two big projects which I will share here very soon.  In the meantime, I'll share one of my favorite recent journal pages. I love exploring different combinations of paper, pen and words and seeing what develops.

Blog Love:

Nora Krug

33 Books on How to Live (I have or have read about a third of them.) I apologize in advance if this makes you add more books to your wish list, too.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Well May the World Go...

This is my tribute page to Pete Seeger. His words, his lyrics and my reaction and thoughts on his death.

Chorus (and after each verse): 
 Well may the world go,
The world go, the world go,
Well may the world go,
When I'm far away.

Well may the skiers turn,
The swimmers churn, the lovers burn
Peace, may the generals learn
When I'm far away.

Sweet may the fiddle sound
The banjo play the old hoe down
Dancers swing round and round
When I'm far away.

Fresh may the breezes blow
Clear may the streams flow
Blue above, green below
When I'm far away.

Words and Music by Pete Seeger (1973)

More Pete Seeger here

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

March Collage Sheet of the Month Club

Thanks to everyone who signed up for my February Collage Sheet of the Month! I'm very excited to share with you the collage sheet for March.

You can sign up on a month by month basis (I'll announce when the new sheet is ready on the blog.) You'll receive via email a digital, high resolution PDF file of an 8 1/2 x 11" page collage sheet (of the 8 1/2 x 11" image shown in the photo above surrounded by tape, pens, etc... ) You can download your sheet, save it and print it out as much as you'd like. 

Please allow up to 24 hours for me to respond. 

This collage sheet is exclusive to the Collage Sheet of the Month Club and is only available here (it will not be passed out in classes, etc...). 

You can order March's sheet for $4:


Thanks for looking!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

April 2014 Classes with Kelly Kilmer

Here's my list of classes that I've booked so far in April 2014.

I'm ALWAYS looking for new teaching venues so if you know of any that may be interested, I'd love to hear.

My workshops for 2014 (the ones I've scheduled so far) can be found here.

If you're not near where I'll be teaching, but you're interested in taking a class, I do offer a variety of online classes (22 different online workshops as of June 2013.) You can find out more info on the right side of my main blog.

 My workshops are always process-based learning while creating a unique product. I am well known for not traveling light and bring a large variety of supplies including (but not limited to) collage material, rubber stamps, stencils, pens, markers, tape and more. There is a small supply list below each class description.

 Thank YOU for your interest! 

Sun 6th Art Bar Santa Ana Little Love Notes: Triptych Book Revised and Revisited 

 I've revised and revisited different formats of my extremely popular Triptych Book class since I first taught it at Artfest in 2001. This has to be my most favorite version of the book.
You will create a book where the pages swing out door-like. Explore using a variety of different mediums and materials as you work your way through the pages. Learn a variety of new and unique methods in self expression as you work in your book.

This book has pushed me to think and step outside of my box. I will be pushing you in the same way in class (and you will love it!) Be prepared to step out of your comfort zone and have a heck of a good time doing so.

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.


Sat 12th Banana Rose Westlake Village Cultivating You

 Get ready to dive into this class by creating a truly unique book form using a variety of handmade and decorative papers selected by you (and provided by me.) A variety of new techniques will be demonstrated, discussed and built upon during the workshop. Walk out with several pages started and full of new ideas that will keep you working on this journal days later! 
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.)


Sun 13th Word is Art LA Composing A Life: A Journal Box (a special six hour class making a box with four books, collage and more.)

This class has been brewing in my head for several years now and I can't wait to share it with you! In this special six hour workshop, you will learn skills in box making, book making, collage, assemblage, art journaling, self expression, composition, design, and much, much more.

We will begin by creating a book box covered in papers that are chosen by you (and provided by me.) Next up is creating a variety of books that fit into the box. Learn a variety of simple but fun construction and bookbinding techniques.

After the work is done, we will switch gears and begin to fill our pages. You will learn a plethora of mixed media techniques including but not limited to collage, color, composition, design, pen work, layering and much, much more. I strive to make each of the techniques that I present in my classes different than other classes and you will love what you create in this workshop!

You will walk out of class with a finished box, all of your books assembled, several pages richly layered in your own unique style learning the techniques and ideas demonstrated in the workshop. You will love what you create and all of the new possibilities that will be presented and shared in 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.)


Sat 26th Making Place Escondido My Interior Life

A book bound by your own hand is a precious thing but what if it’s also a book that is full of your own visions, thoughts and musings? In this unique workshop, we will be diving onto the pages learning new collage techniques, pen work, layering ideas, journal prompts and how to explore our own personal process of putting ourselves onto paper. You will walk out of class with a bound journal with several completed pages along with techniques and inspiration to fill them all!

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

I hope to see you there!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Lá fhéile Pádraig sona dhuit!

 My buddy at the bank asked me the other day what I was doing on Saint Patrick's Day. Well, I don't drink nor do I like corned beef and cabbage (especially since I'm a vegetarian though I never liked it as a kid.) I do, however, love the music and literature from the Emerald Isle and I'll be partaking in a bit of sensory delight throughout the day.

In the summer of 1995, my family (my parents, sister and me) flew to Ireland to spend some time there. It was the first time that Erin and I left North America. What we experienced there stayed with us. Good people with a strong sense of community, heritage and love for their common man. People who didn't forget where they had come from. People who loved to talk and share stories. People genuinely interested in how their neighbors and even strangers were doing. 

We stayed in B and B's (bed and breakfasts) all throughout our trip, making reservations in advance. Except for one night. We decided to get a little adventurous and head out without any planning. Well, little did we know that a HUGE festival was going on where we were heading and there weren't any rooms to be had for MILES and MILES (I'm not exaggerating.) Dad pulls the car into this very elegant looking place (keep in mind that we're a red and white checkered table cloth kind of family) and asks if there are rooms available. The whole time there are dogs barking and growling at us. Dad comes out with a shocked look on his face and says that he got us a room but that it was four times what we had been paying. Well, all of the Irish Women in the car (Mom, Erin and me) get pissy and protest. Dad gets annoyed and goes back in and cancels the reservation. We drive on. For four hours. We finally get to a B and B in the middle of nowhere and explain our situation to the woman who tells us, "I've just taken the mattress off of my own bed and given it to a stranger." She sees the look on our faces and says, "Let me ask my sister." She proceeds to YELL for her sister (who lives right next door.) Her sister comes out immediately and explains that she used to run a B and B but she hasn't done so in many years. She'd be delighted to have us stay with her. We're total strangers. She doesn't know us. We don't know her. Yet she opens her entire downstairs up for us to stay. In the morning she makes us a warm, hearty breakfast. My Dad tries to pay her and she won't accept it. She wishes us a good, safe journey and we are off on our way (knowing damn well that we have a reservation for that night.)

This is what Ireland is to me and what I carry with me every day.

“Every life is in many days, day after day. We walk through ourselves, meeting robbers, ghosts, giants, old men, young men, wives, widows, brothers-in-love. But always meeting ourselves.”
― James Joyce

Tristan's Latest Lego Video

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Ready for Class!

All set up at The Word is Art for class. Love teaching here!! Looking forward to a good day.

(Those of you wondering where the oodles of tape, stamps, pens and ink pads are, they're all neatly set up on that table near the open door. Trust me, they're there!) 

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Paper Storage

I've been cleaning and rearranging. I tried rolling up my handmade papers and sticking them in a basket. It was too messy looking so I went back to my favorite way of storing parent sheets of handmade and decorative paper. I folded each sheet into quarters and arranged the papers so that the folded areas were visible (allowing me easier access to see what was what.) I make books and collage so folding paper this way doesn't hurt it.

What a trip down memory lane! Visits to Flax (San Francisco), Paper Post (Thousand Oaks), Paper Studio (Tempe) and many, many others (some long gone stores, sadly) all flashed before my eyes with each piece that I lovingly folded down. I tore small pieces from several of the sheets to put in my "now bag" for use.
I've tried multiple storage methods over the years: coat hangers, flat under the bed or behind a door, rolled, etc... and I always go back to folded papers.

I love the basket that they're in. It comes complete with a tie! It also holds a lot! Yum!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Frida on my Shelf

Some buy shoes; I buy books. Over the years I have built up a collection of my favorite books on Frida Kahlo. This week I decided to rearrange my shelves so that they are all grouped together and easily found when needed. 

My favorites now rest together on these brave shelves:

“I used to think I was the strangest person in the world but then I thought there are so many people in the world, there must be someone just like me who feels bizarre and flawed in the same ways I do. I would imagine her, and imagine that she must be out there thinking of me too. Well, I hope that if you are out there and read this and know that, yes, it's true I'm here, and I'm just as strange as you.”
― Frida Kahlo

Missing from the above photo are:
The World of Frida Kahlo: The Blue House (I just ordered it.)
Frida Kahlo ArtBox (it's somewhere...grumble...)
Frida by Jonah Winter and Ana Juan (I keep this with my childrens books) 

Frida Kahlo Links of Interest:
MOLAA in Long Beach Frida Kahlo, Her Photos opens this weekend
Inside Frida Kahlo's Studio by Lisa Sonora Beam
Frida Kahlo Books
Frida Kahlo's Passionate Hand-written Letters to Diego

Thursday, March 13, 2014

25 January 2014 Journal Page

 Emie left a comment on my blog the other day, "I figured something out just now.... one of the reasons I LOVE your pages is that you seem to say a lot with just a few words.... I can't seem to paraphrase my feelings. Being able to say what your feeling in a few words is special! I don't want to write a lot in my journals but just a tid-bit of what I'm after. Any suggestions? Thanks, Emie" 

Hopefully the page above will help to give you an idea as to how I think and work sometimes. On the above page, I stuck with repeating the same word over and over. I said few words (as opposed to this page where I wrote a lot.)  It all really depends on my mood. I rarely plan what I am going to say. It's more a spur of the moment type thing and what's going on in my head when I sit down to put pen to paper. I start by picking my images and papers as to how I FEEL at the moment when I go to sit down. I work from there. I pick the first things that convey those emotions.   

My best advice is to pick up your pen and start playing. Write the first thing that comes to mind and keep writing. Don't worry about pretty, perfect. Go for real and honest. Don't judge your pages. Keep pushing. Experiment. Play. Try new ways of playing with your pen and making your letterforms. After making several pages, THEN step back and see what you like and what's not working for you. You will not love every page that you do. Just keep moving forward and learn from what you've made.

Housekeeping Reminder:
Teaching this weekend in Escondido and Los Angeles. Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Only Lovers Left Alive

David and I went to a LACMA screening of Only Lovers Left Alive on Monday night. I LOVED the film. My interest was piqued with the stunning visuals (I'm waiting for someone to have some screenshots of the books that Eve packs) as well as the intimacy between the two main characters in the film. There have been very few new films that I've absolutely loved lately (American Hustle and Frances Ha are the two exceptions.) A good film to me is one that you can't stop thinking about. Only Lovers Left Alive was just purely delicious and quite fun!  

After the film, Tilda Swinton was there in conversation with Henry Rollins. Anton Yelchin was also in the audience and Tilda persuaded him to join them on stage (we were in the second row so at that point, my photos with Anton have two rather large heads in them.)  I enjoyed hearing how Rollins dissected the film and posed some extremely thoughtful questions at Swinton (David said that Rollins made the film sound more interesting to him than it actually was.)

I will be first in line to buy the DVD when it comes out. I'm (impatiently) waiting for the soundtrack to be released as well.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Glimpses of Me


I always speak my truth on my pages even when it hurts. Little bits. Long prose. I write what I need to depending upon my mood when I put pen to paper. Pretty is never the desired outcome. I don't crave perfection. I want real, honest pages. I want my voice to shine through.

Monday, March 10, 2014

24 January 2014 Journal Page

Busy week ahead. Had two great days of teaching this past weekend and am now starting to prep for this coming weekend.  Have to go back to cleaning my art area/living room. Slowly but surely, right?

A Bit of Housekeeping:

This weekend, I'll be teaching at The Making Place in Escondido (please call the store to register) on Saturday as well as The Word Is Art in Los Angeles on Sunday. These are my only two classes in Southern California in the month of March. I hope to see you there!

Blog Love:
WWI Soldier Diaries placed online
WWI Family Stories Uncovered (go look at the trunk)
Tristan's latest music video using stop motion animation 

Sunday, March 09, 2014

Inspiration is Everywhere

Inspiration is truly everywhere. Be it the ripples on a lake (taken yesterday at the front door of Banana Rose in Westlake Village) or the colors of today's sky in an early (for me) sunrise.

Open your eyes to what is around you. What one thing inspired you today that you may have overlooked? How can you use it to inspire your art?

Saturday, March 08, 2014

23 January 2014 Journal Page

Running off to my class today. Bags packed for the weekend. Ideas up my sleeve. Toys to share. I hope that your weekend is a good one.

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Must Have Books in 2014

Irene Hardwicke Olivieri: Closer to Wildness

David, Tristan and I have been going to San Diego Comic-Con for some time now. I always enjoy trying to find books of art by new-to-me artists. Several years ago, I visited Mark Murphy's booth at the Con (whenever he has a booth there, it is always first on my list) and was introduced to the work of Irene Hardwicke Olivieri. If Mark has a book for sale (whether he publishes it or recommends it, I usually buy it.

Last Fall, David and I went to Santa Monica's Robert Berman Gallery in Bergamot station to see Irene's work. I was enthralled and extremely delighted to have a chance not only to meet and talk with the artist but also to be able to see her work up close. I was very excited to hear that Pomegranate was publishing a hardcover book of her work this year.

A couple of weeks ago, Irene had a contest in her facebook page. I won a copy of Irene Hardwicke Olivieri Closer to Wildness. I've had the book for a couple of days now and I keep picking it up and looking at it. A book like this is very hard to put down. Even when you put it down, the work stays with you.

Surreal. Autobiographical. Poetic. Breathtaking. Stunning.

What books are you really looking forward to this year?

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

20 January 2014 Journal Page

Busy week! Been rearranging things in my studio (aka living room area) and trying to make things more accessible (and cleaner.) 

Also busy prepping for both of my classes this weekend (at this moment, they are both a GO. Remember, daylight savings time is also this Sunday, so if you're taking classes Sunday morning, Spring Forward!) 

I hope to tell you about two new books (one is out, the other is not) tomorrow. Trust me when I say, you're going to want to check them out.

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

What I'm Reading

I started rearranging my art and book area. I moved my books around last night and found a few gems that I haven't finished. This is where you'll find me later on today after I get some more cleaning/rearranging and art done!

Monday, March 03, 2014

19 January 2014 Journal Page

Thanks for the kind words of support over the weekend. They are really appreciated. I try very, very hard not to censor myself on my pages so when my pages are censored, I tend to feel violated.

A Bit of Housekeeping:
Classes this weekend include Essence of Me: A Taped Journal at Banana Rose in Westlake Village and An Artist's Manifesto at The Art Bar in Santa Ana (direct links to sign up are on each store name.) You can find more here.

Blog Love:
Life Once Removed
A Creative Library

Sunday, March 02, 2014

No More Resnais
Hiroshima Mon Amour

"Making films is fine, but seeing films is even better."-Alain Resnais
Last Year at Marienbad

Thank you, David. You always introduce me to the very best things in life.

Saturday, March 01, 2014

Instagram, Censorship and The Female Form

Last night I posted the above photo of a work in progress page to Instagram. I often post photos of my artwork that is unfinished and in progress to the site. It allows me to document, process and share the work with others. A few hours later I received an email from Instagram saying:


We’ve removed something you posted on Instagram for violating our Community Guidelines.

Please review our Guidelines and remove any other content on your profile that may be in violation. Additional violations may result in your account being blocked or disabled:

Please remember:

-Don't share posts that aren't yours
-Don't share photos that show nudity or mature content
-Don't share photos of illegal content
-Don't share photos that attack an individual or group, or violate our Terms of Use

Thanks for helping us keep Instagram a safe and fun place for everyone.
The Instagram Team


In other words, someone flagged my photo as being inappropriate and Instagram removed it and has threatened to block or disable my account if I post any more "inappropriate photos."
"What Is Censorship? Censorship is the suppression of ideas and information that certain persons -- individuals, groups or government officials -- find objectionable or dangerous. It is no more complicated than someone saying, "Don't let anyone read this book, or buy that magazine, or view that film, because I object to it!" Censors try to use the power of the state to impose their view of what is truthful and appropriate, or offensive and objectionable, on everyone else. Censors pressure public institutions, like libraries, to suppress and remove from public access information they judge inappropriate or dangerous, so that no one else has the chance to read or view the material and make up their own minds about it. The censor wants to prejudge materials for everyone." (found via Culture Shock on PBS)

I'm a collage artist. I cut and paste images together to create pieces of art that speak for me and to me. The image on the page above is something that I found in a book. I often collect images of women that I can use on my journal pages to represent me. In other words, these images speak for me and are meant to actually represent me. 

So the idea that someone found the above image to be offensive is appalling to me. It's the female form from behind. It's not pornographic or lewd. It's beautiful and simple. Yet someone reported it and instagram removed it.

Perhaps Instagram needs to change its policy to something along the lines of what Blogger has:
"Additionally, we are aware that there may be content on Blogger that is personal in nature or feels invasive. Please note that Blogger is a provider of content creation tools, not a mediator of that content. We allow our users to create blogs, but we don't make any claims about the content of these pages. We strongly believe in freedom of expression, even if a blog contains unappealing or distasteful content or presents unpopular viewpoints. We realize this may be frustrating, and we regret any inconvenience this may cause you. In cases where contact information for the author is listed on the page, we recommend that you work directly with this person to have the content in question removed or changed."

I was teaching recently and a student told me (as she flipped through my journal) that I was brave. She pointed to a page in one of my journals of a woman with part of her breast exposed and said that while she could relate she could never put an image with "that" in her journal. Do you see anything vulgar, pornographic or upsetting here:

I have seen photos on Instagram and other sites of both adult men and women that are definitely offensive. Have I ever reported them? No.

The human body should be celebrated and appreciated. Not censored and labeled offensive. If you don't like what I post, don't follow me.

I'm 39 years old and it's taken me a hell of a long time to get to where I am. I went through hell and back growing up and being constantly told that I was ugly, fat or basically worthless by those around me (especially during my school years.) Now I'm taking my voice back and I'm not putting up with this kind of behavior any longer. 

It's 2014 and it's about time we all grow up. 

Read More Here:
Why Instagram Censored My Body
Instagram Fears the Nipple