It’s that time of year again when I teach back-to-back art retreats so it’s been extra busy. I tried to get a free moment to update my blog before I left last week for the CREATE mixed media art retreat sponsored by Cloth, Paper, Scissors magazine, but as you can see, it just didn’t happen.
Me and Christen Olivarez, Director of Publishing (aka the Big Dog) of Stampington & Co.
I arrived in California Tuesday morning by 7:30 a.m. because I spent the day at the Stampington offices shooting my step out photos for my upcoming feature in Somerset Workshop. I’m so thrilled to be one of the four Workshop artists this year. The issue comes out in October so the editors are working hard on it right now. I will be doing mixed media jewelry, of course.
I taught 4 workshops Wednesday and Thursday. I had Friday day off, which I spent at a gorgeous little tea house called Paris in the city of Orange with my art friends Ruth Rae, Elena Lai Etcheverry and Kari McKnight Holbrook. Our fourth in the group, Kristen Robinson, was teaching her upcycled journal workshop so she didn’t get to join in the fun, but I did bring her Rosewater Macroons and Paris green tea from the store as an afternoon snack before the Artist Faire evening.
Me and the uber talented Kari McKnight Holbrook full and happy from our tea house lunch.
The workshops were a whirlwind of activity and instruction, so I wasn’t able to get very many pics during my teaching. I always want to give my students 100% of me, so I don’t really get any picture taking or social media time. I did manage to snap a photograph of the lovely couple Becky and John. These two are an amazing art team. Despite Becky being in a wheelchair, there is nothing this woman can’t do. She is a living, breathing example of the saying if you can dream it, you can do it. They were in my mixed-media journal class and you should have seen Becky make the most amazing collaged resin paper. John did the hammering and metalwork, but other than that he was simply there for support.
becky and John, husband and wife team. This couple is so wonderful, inspiring and talented!
As much as I enjoy every class I teach, I think the extra special one this time at CREATE was my Cold Enameled Heart necklace class because there were just so many techniques and tips and art experimentation packed into these six hours. Everyone loved our new Iced Enamels and had a blast playing with color on metal and then sealing it with ICE Resin. We did layering with ICE and the results were stunning.
I came home on Saturday and immediately spent some time snuggling and playing with my daughter. I was so happy when nap time came and we settled down for a nice long rest together. Bliss! Sunday was washing my clothes so I can iron them and repack them and then also grocery shopping and making a couple of casseroles so my family has meals when I’m in Milwaukee this week. I leave Wednesday morning at 6 a.m. for the Bead and Button Show, more workshops and out ICE Resin booth. This show isn’t quite as jam packed with the schedule so be sure to find me on Facebook for some pics of the week.
There was a little glitch with the Interweave store over the weekend and sign ups for my webinar this Thursday were not available. The good news is that it’s been fixed and the link is working. If you have some time Thursday, May 16th at 2 p.m. EST to take my online workshop/webinar on found objects, mold making and casting, I’d love to have you join me. Remember, even if you’re working and not able to join, you can still sign up and watch the webinar at your leisure. Here’s the link: http://www.interweavestore.com/on-the-hunt-for-found-objects-how-to-create-new-and-eclectic-molds
It’s that time of year when I’m starting to gear up for the next round of teaching and workshops across the country. It’s been nice to be home working in my studio since March, but I find myself getting a little itchy as the days tick by and the retreats draw near. In just a few weeks, I will be in Orange County, California for the Cloth, Paper, Scissors CREATE art retreat. I do love this event, as my fellow instructors are so darn inspiring with their class offerings and the students are radiate with positive energy as they are learning and creating. Talk about being in the flow!
I’m teaching 4 workshops — 2 all day ones and then 2 evening classes. Like always, I’ve packed a lot of instruction into them. We always end the day with a completed project, but I structure my workshops so we begin with basic techniques and build on them as the minutes and hours progress. We work up to things logically, but so quickly, that my students will often say halfway through “Wow, I had no idea we’d be doing so much!” I love it when that happens.
So for all you West Coasters with a little bit of time on your hands and who want to make art, check out the CREATE website and all the incredible class offerings. Not just mine, but also my dear friends Kristen Robinson, Ruth Rae, Elena Lai Etcheverry, Pam Carriker, Kari McKnight Holbrook, and Joanne Sharpe. You can see all their bios here. Remember if you are looking for unique art supplies, handmade art from some of your favorite instructors and unique mixed-media jewelry to wear, the Artist Faire is free and open to the public. I’m working on some pieces from my book to sell, specifically metalwork bangles, rings and earrings.
Here are pics of my classes:
Resin clay, painting, texture, hand building, fiber jewelry, cold connection attachment, making clasps and findings
Cold enamels, texturizing, forging, dapping, doming, disc cutter, cold connection – lots of fundamental metalwork.
Heart’s Desire journal. Resin, resin paper, fabric flowers, doodling, stamping, surface texture, forged wirework. Lots of technique packed into one workshop!
Cold-Enameled Heart Necklace class. Learn all new enameling techniques for adding color to metal and also advanced resin techniques as well, plus metalworking of making forged neck collars and handmade findings.
Jen and Jenn taking some pics before my filming begins.
With Thanksgiving right around the corner, I’m feeling much gratitude for my experiences last week. As you may know, I spent a couple of spectacular days in the Interweave/F&W studio in historic downtown Loveland, Colorado. I was there to film a dvd workshop on mold making and casting for Cloth, Paper, Scissors magazine.
As if the filming wasn’t enough, I was able to do this hand-in-hand with one of my best friends, the amazing Kristen Robinson. Kristen was there to film a resin jewelry dvd for CPS magazine and is also one of their 2013 DVD Workshop artists. Being able to film a dvd and have Kristen beside me was like birthday and Christmas all rolled up together.
Our director for the shoot was the incredibly talented Jenn Mason, editor of Cloth, Paper, Scissors and a pretty kick booty mixed-media artist as well. It was really fun to get to hang out with her for a few days. She is actually a very funny person with a great sense of humor. Joking and giggling is always part of her process. I believe it’s how she manages to shake off some of the stresses of her very high-pressure job.
My favorite part of the shooting was when Kristen and I got to go into the prop department and pick items that spoke to us to create the backdrop of our sets. All of the artists were asked to bring samples of our work, but then we had an entire room of goodies to choose from to help the set look more like our home studios.
Kristen’s set is simply gorgeous! It looks just like her — cream and lace and vintage and oh so pretty! We got it set up and displayed in about 20 minutes and then she started to roll. Her entire taping, plus some extras that were added for some future promo material, ran about 3 hours.
It was my turn right after lunch. We stripped down Kristen’s set and put up mine in the same amount of time. In the prop room, I chose and old door, a vintage shoe stretcher, an old box with rusty nails poking through, a crackled white chair, burlap sacks and then pops of color with glass and ceramic items. I loved how we literally went from one visual extreme to another in less than 20 minutes.
Ready for my close up…
After some photos of the set, it was my turn to begin. I have to tell you the truth. The first 5 minutes of filming are miserable. You can’t help but be nervous and stiff and feel as though wads of cotton are in your mouth. My voice sounded tinny and my movements seemed so theatrical. However, very quickly I found myself getting into the groove. My “student” for the day was Johnny Depp on the camera monitor. The next thing I know I was simply doing what I do…talking about my love of found objects and teaching how to make molds and do castings. Knowing that everything will be edited and that everyone in the room was there to make me look as good as I possibly can helped tremendously. Now, there is nothing but excitement to see how the project all comes together.
Then Wednesday, Kristen and I had the day to ourselves to do a little shopping and then a long talk about CHA and ICE Resin business. Of course, we had to get a little antiquing in there as well. Always on the hunt for treasures to mold and cast!
The plane home was uneventful. I took Thursday off to catch up on some family things and then I spent Friday teaching locally. It’s amazing how the days just seem to fly by. I had planned to update my blog Thursday, but time just slipped on by.
I hope you enjoy the pics of the trip and filming. No worries, I will be sure to post more about what month the dvd will be released next year, etc. as I get updates. For now, I hope you, too, are feeling the gratitude for your life and all the wonderful things you experience on a daily basis.
The last 10 days or so, I hung do not disturb sign on my studio an let everyone at work know that was going into art making mode; overdrive. I have two major deadlines – one I can talk about and another I can’t yet. Between the two, I need to create 25 brand new pieces of work. Yikes! That’s how many I had to make for my book. My heart took a crazy roller coaster ride while I had a momentary freak out. Then, I did like I always do. I took a deep breath, sucked it up and went to work.
Tonight, I’m packing 10 of the new collages, assemblages and jewelry up for my DVD shoot Tuesday with Cloth, Paper, Scissors. I’m off to Colorado tomorrow morning and, although I feel stressed because I didn’t get a chance to practice at home from start to finish, I’m as ready as I’ll ever be.
As for the other big thing in the works, I have made 13 pieces — all jewelry — and I have another two to go when I get home. I hope to make an additional two to throw in for good measure. I try really, really hard to keep editors happy. (grin)
My Seaside Soiree packet for guests and instructors arrived in the mail this past week. Love the altered sea glass necklace handmade for everyone by Miss Vicky. She rocks!
While I was working, I heard from Elena there are only 2 spots left in Seaside Soiree at the end of the month in gorgeous San Diego at the Scripps Institute. I will be teaching a fun journal using ICE Resin and some wirework and all kinds of painting, stamping and resist techniques. This event is a fundraiser for Charity Wings. It’s the only event Elena does each year to specifically raise administrative funds for her 501C3 organization in order to keep up the crazy event schedule she does the rest of the year raising money for all kinds of amazing charities.
If you happen to be local and you don’t necessarily want to attend the long weekend, you can still support the organization by coming to the amazing dinner and art auction Saturday night, Dec. 1st. Tickets are $50, a great tax write off and also a chance to bid and win some incredible original art.
Jenn Mason, the editor of Cloth, Paper, Scissors magazine contacted mixed-media artists six weeks or so ago and asked if we’d be willing to make a piece of art for their Artists Give Back fundraiser for the National Breast Cancer Foundation. (Please be sure to click the link above and read all about this cool event!) Artists were chosen because they’ve been either 2012 contributors to the magazine, or teachers at their CREATE mixed-media retreats. I’ve been honored to have done both this past year.
Being a successful longtime artist, author and designer herself, Jenn knows how busy working artists often are juggling it all. She made it super simple to participate by asking for either a 5×5 or 8×8 canvas. The only other rules were that it had to be fairly flat and uplifting. Easy peasy.
Since I had just received a brand new box of Susan’s Industrial Chic Mixed Media Line to design with, I knew I wanted to incorporate something from it into my canvas. Also, as much I do love the color pink now because of my sweet little girl (I used to despise it), I was trying to keep from being too cliché so I wanted to work in my favorite turquoise with pops of red color palette. I also wanted the piece to feel relaxed and happy, which is why I included my handwriting in it. Still not a big fan of my handwriting, but I’m trying to be more forgiving of such things. I had some of Ranger’s Grungeboard in my studio from a class I taught years back that I used for texture, a large chipboard lowercase b that I had from a Creative Imaginations project from way back and of course, ICE Resin paper and a resin-filled bottle cap from my stash. The long metal piece in the middle is new Industrial Chic.
Cloth, Paper, Scissors September/October issue is hitting news stands now. The art made for this fundraiser is gorgeous! And the coolest part is that anyone who wants to can own a piece by purchasing it from their Etsy shop, which went live on the 28th. My piece is up for sale. I’m hoping one of you take it. As a matter of fact, if someone who reads my blog buys the piece and let’s me know by email, I will send you a handmade ICE Resin bezel charm as an extra bonus goodie.
Go check it out. Be inspired by great art and help make a difference too.
I know an instructor is not supposed to ever have favorite students, but I can’t help it when it comes to Jessica. She is just such a wonderful, sweet soul. She and her mother took my class last year and came back again this CREATE for my Mermaid Dreams class. I just adore her!
I honestly had the most amazing time at the CREATE retreat put on by Cloth, Paper, Scissors magazine in Orange County this past week. My classes were big time fun, my students were incredibly creative women and I sold lots and lot of earrings and books and mixed-media goodie grab bags at the Artist Faire Friday night. I also got to room with one of my bff’s, the talented Kristen Robinson. It was like having a slumber party, and we didn’t get to sleep before 1:30 a.m. any night of the week. Then up at 6 a.m. Whew! Haven’t done much of that since collage and I can tell you I feel like I’m getting old when I work on 4.5 hours of sleep for nights on end.
Mermaid Dreams was all about making your own molds from found objects and then casting them in resin clay. One of the students took this concept and ran with it. She even brought some taxidermy eyes to add to her cast focal beads. Love the little mold of the skeleton key for a mustache!
I also took two classes, which was just heavenly for me. I took Jenn Mason’s Dirty Little Secrets Gelli Printing class as well as Alisa Burke’s Larger Than Life Canvas class. Since both of these were printmaking/painting classes playing with all kinds of surface treatments I was just in Heaven to be playing with my paints again with mixed-media. I also got to spend some time with my sweet friends Pam Carriker and Kari McKnight Holbrook. It was wonderful to see them and chat.
Tami and Elena are both local so they whisked me away from the hotel to get some fresh sunshine. We went to Fullerton to the amazing shop Gilding the Lily and then ate a yummy vegan lunch next door.
Another awesome part was having Friday day off of work, so I got to hang out with my girlfriends Elena Lai Etcheverry from Charity Wings and Tami Bayer, one of the lead Fiskateers. Tami was there giving away Fiskars tooks and spreading the orange scissor love to the students and teachers and Elena was raising money for Soldiers’ Angels. We went to this incredible vintage goodies shop and ate a healthy vegan lunch. We also watched a commercial being filmed on the street right in front of the shop. It just wouldn’t be Southern California without some celebrity or photo shoot or filming going on.
On the quick plane ride home I just kept thinking of the line It’s a Wonderful Life. It is indeed!
My table for the Artist’s Faire. Don’t you love the vintage dress form? I wish I could say she is mine, but she belong to my sweet friend Ruth Rae who let us borrow some of her beautiful props for the faire.
Yesterday, I pulled my dirty clothes from my suitcase and put them in the washer and dryer. I took them out and repacked them for tomorrow’s trip to the Bead and Button Show in Milwaukee. Back to back trips can be tiring, but I always look forward to the incredible shopping at the Bead and Button Show because it’s where I get a lot of my supplies for my classes. That and the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show. I also get to meet up with Susan. I haven’t seen her in person since CHA and 6 months is a long time. While we talk all the time for our business, it’s just not the same as getting to see each other and work in person.
My classes are kitted up, my bags are packed and I spent some time making new ICE Resin jewelry to sell at the Artist’s Faire night next Friday at the CREATE mixed-media art retreat in Irvine, California. There are still spots open for some amazing classes. Check out the roster of instructors if you have a minute and then figure out how to join me next week.
My dear friend Carol La Valley helped me make some fun Mixed-Media Mad Bags for the faire. I took a lot of my paper and bits an bobs of things I have left over from my classes and projects that are taking up too much space in my studio and we made some fun creativity bags. There is some resin paper in there, some French paper, metal charms and trinkets, grungeboard and chipboard shapes, and a funny soft plastic baby party favor with movable hands.
Punching some French paper for my mixed-media mad bags
If you are around Wednesday and Thursday, I still have some spots left in my classes. Mermaid Dreams necklace, which is all about mold making, resin clay and making your own beads is all day Wednesday. Wednesday evening is Whimsical Rings, where you will learn how to make an adjustable ring shank from copper or nickel, how to use a circle punch and dap and dome metal and then proper cold-join attachment for colorful lampwork beads. My ICE Resin class Thursday is almost sold out. Only a spot or two left. But students will collage 3 mixed-metal bezels and learn how to work with a jeweler’s grade resin.
Some of the goodies on my table that we put into the mixed-media mad bags
As always, I’ll do my best to blog from the road and update with some fun pics. That being said, I always have the best intentions of this but then get to the retreats with all my friends and such creative students and I just tend to soak up all the great energy and get lost in the camaraderie of creativity.
I have a Workshop in the January issue of Cloth, Paper, Scissors magazine on making molds of found objects and then casting the molds with both ICE Resin and resin clay. This was such a fun article to write because I was able to spend the better part of a week in October using up more than 2 big containers of my Art Mechanique molding putty on all kinds of bits and pieces I have lying around my studio and almost as much resin and resin clay.
Oh I do love to make molds and cast objects. It really is addicting once you get into it. The little baby above is a frozen Charlotte doll body and face that I made a mold of and then cast in resin clay. I then painted her up to look exactly like the real thing. Her sculptural skirt is 18-gauge bronze wire that I hand formed into a cage and drew a bead on either end for her feet. The rest is a little bit of resin paper, some paint, vintage lace scraps, ribbon and 7Gypsies tissue paper and bookbinding tape from my stash.
The article shows you very clearly how to do this mixed-media art technique step-by-step. My friend, Carol LaValley did the step-out photos (she’s also the person who did it for my book) so they are nice and close on the hands. I’ll be teaching mold making of found objects and resin clay this summer at the CREATE Art Retreat hosted by Cloth, Paper, Scissors magazine.
The issue also features photos of the dresses made for Craft Couture at Summer CHA. Mine and Claudine Hellmuth’s dress is in there, along with the other winners.
I’ve had people ask me why I don’t also show the step out photos in my blog as a free tutorial. The reason is because once you agree to write an article for a magazine, they own the copyright to the work for usually the first 90 days after the publication hits the newsstands. Even though it’s my art work and writing, if I put the information on my blog now, I would technically be competing with the publisher. I can show you sneak peeks and also a scan of one page or so, but not show it in its entirety. I only mention this because there are often a lot of questions regarding publishing and, particularly with the availability of free information on the Internet these days, folks are often surprised to learn there are some definite professional rules.
If you are a fan of Cloth, Paper, Scissors magazine, you’ve probably already seen the workshop. If you only purchase it occasionally, head on over to your local bookseller when you get a chance. I’d be most appreciative!