a bit of what you love

The rain is getting me down, it is cold and grey and horrid! You would think an English girl would be used to it, but I want sun flooding through the studio windows, I am tired of listening to the incessant patter of rain on the roof and the wind howling about my precious domain! I escaped downstairs to the computer to wander a while in the land of blog looking for solace. I found some here at this wonderful blog. So in an effort to cheer myself up I am making a list, what do I love?

Well this is easy… paper swaps, Saturday I received two paper swaps in the post, which leaves me with four I need to mention altogether! The wonderful things never cease to amaze and inspire me and it was just what I needed to bring a bit of spring into the studio, colourful scraps from all over! And paper, yes I love love love paper. So here they are my little gems

treasure hunt swap from Stuttgart

From Beth in South Africa, amazing textures

this month's mini swap, one small envelope STUFFED full of wonder

and last but not least a huge thank you to cynkowe poletko for sending not only fabulous paper but also an amazing and inspirational book in my swap. The universe is truly a place of many luxuries, and artists are super generous ambassadors!

so many wonders

fabulous little book full of surprises

I am off now to make dinner for my family and spend some time eating  jelly beans and giving thanks for the splendors of my life. Hope you are all having a great day to.

paper swap joy!

Here as promised some pictures of my paper swap goodies…

Thanks Michelle

busy weekend

Wow! what a weekend! First, opening day for SAVI, and my first day on the job as a creative mentor. It was an energy filled day that ended with a great reception. Everyone is eager to get to work on the business of being an artist! That’s me in my customary brown! So I should have known it was all too good to be true…

Sunday I get a phone call while I am grocery shopping, the youngest has torn a hamstring at a dance competition. Today we are off to see doctor #3 for an opinion on how badly torn the muscle is. Crutches and snow and a busy rehearsal schedule do not make for a happy kid!

Then as our oldest is driving back to school in Ohio, her car is acting up, she gets of the highway OK, Dad drives out to the rescue in the middle of the night, but when Dad is trying to baby it back home he hits a pot hole in a construction zone and the car is toast. Many dollars later it is towed off the highway, but he gets to spend a exciting fun-filled day today trying to find someplace to scrap it.

Ah the joys of real life…

But on the bright side, yesterday my paper swap package arrived from Michelle in Poland. It is full of all kinds of wonderful goodies… my batteries were dead in the camera (figures!), but I will post some pictures as soon as I have time to get to the store!! So a big hug and thank you to Michelle for cheering me up!

paper swap – vintage – woot!!

This month’s paper swap was for vintage paper, so of course I was absolutely in with both feet. I was paired with Joanna in Poland this month, you can visit her blog here. It’s all in Polish, but I have been reading it by using two different translators and comparing the often hilarious results, so I can at least get the general idea of what she is saying!! My envelope arrived earlier in the week, but because they are such a treat I waited until today to open it… and here’s a peek at what was inside and all the lovely stamps that were on the envelope itself!!

last paper swap till autumn

LaWendula wisely decided that we paper swappers should take the summer off… so here is the last paper swap for a while. This month I was actually matched with her, and the theme was art mistakes! here’s what I sent her, notice how I made sure you can’t really see anything!!!

and here’s what I just received today in return, everything is too beautiful to be called a mistake ūüôā

The Avenging angel is done and dusted and off to her new home. I decided to go with the halo and wings, mainly because I liked the added dimension. So here is a new picture of her top half

teaching continues, speaking of which, I made a mistake during a class demo and sewed a set of signatures into a journal upside down, since I can’t sell it that way, and I don’t want to undo the whole thing, I decided to give it away, so leave a comment here, or at my other blog by June 25th and you could win this adorable little book.¬† Finally school is over for both my still-at-home kids. Yea! Summer!! Looking forward to much time in the studio, and new work that may be finished enough pretty soon to post… have a great afternoon.

new binding…

Karin over at a view beyond words posted a binding tutorial, of course you know I had to try it right away! Even if you have never made a book in your life you will find this binding elegant and unbelievably simple, so a BIG THANK YOU to Karin for sharing! So I used the binding on some of my little scratch note pads, I made a cord by braiding three colours of wool and then since my interior pages weren’t card stock like Karin’s I bound them in little stacks (they are heavier than text weight however). The covers are decorated with this great German book I picked up at a thrift for a quarter, then I applied acrylic transfers over the top. I decided to just keep them simple as I liked the graphic quality of the transfer on the beautifully aged colour of the paper from the book. I loved how the first little one turned out so much that I decided to make a second similar one, just a little larger. I haven’t quite finished it, as I need to add a charm and finish the cords properly.

I was so happy with how these turned out that I made one more with much thinner thread, just to see the result, so it is the little pad on the right in this image. The one on the left features a travel themed tag along with those great map illustrations!!

I find I can’t stop making tags after the tag swap! See here are two more

more paper swap

I cannot even begin to say how amazing the paper swap is. My package¬†came from Robert yesterday. I was busy marking mid-term¬†exams, I didn’t want to open it in a rush, so it sat taunting me for much of the¬†day. When I went to pick my kids¬†up, I took it along, and opened it while I was waiting in the¬†car. I always feel so overwhelmed with the generosity of these people I do not know, and I particularly want to thank Robert for somehow knowing exactly what to put in there, the wallpaper sample might have been an easy guess, but the icons and medieval book images, how did he know?? I even snuck into the studio after class last ¬†night, just to tinker a little, I couldn’t wait to get to work with them.

Week one after my decision to leap and I am starting to feel twinges of worry about finances, but it’s OK I knew that I would and unanimously everyone I know has been super supportive of this¬†decision. So I am off back up to the¬†studio, just waned to drop in and say THANK YOU paper swap partners and of course the fabulous LaWedula¬†for organising the whole thing!! You all rock!

finally some progress

So I have been really struggling with this “book” to go to the¬†show in Leeds. This is a new group for me so I want to send work that really seems mine, if you know what I mean… plus the work had to fit into the cabinet drawer and also had¬†to be interactive, which was an added layer of challenge for me. I had this bright idea of a layered accordion book, long , really narrow, with lots of pockets and pouches into which I could put little works that the viewer could take away in exchange for whatever is in their pockets, bag or generally about their person. I am really enjoying all the ephemera that I am receiving via the paper swaps, so it’s really a continuation on a theme…

The big problem for me was working around this preconceived¬†idea, usually I just get stuff out that looks like it belongs together and play around and screw up a lot before the “magic” happens. Having a clear idea of what I wanted¬† to¬†manifest¬†was disabling.¬† I have finally finished the main structure of the book, except the¬†covers and tonight I spent some blissful hours making fun tags, cards and baby books to go in the pockets, anyway, here’s a sneak peek¬†of the book in progress and some of the¬†contents so far.


Of course now what sucks is that I have to teach tomorrow, plus I have a meeting and another dentists appointment, just as I am finally hitting my stride against this deadline… oh and not to mention I have to finish typesetting the¬†playbill for the¬†high school musical by the weekend too. Boo!

radiolarian and some paper too

This week I watched the AMAZING documentary proteus by David Lebrun. If you haven’t seen it I absolutely recommend it – it is one of the most visually stunning things I have seen in ages. Really!

It absolutely made me want to abandon my current book project which of course I can’t do as it has to leave for the UK in a few more days… but in the¬†meantime I am dreaming of radiolaria!! They are so beautiful… and organic. I showed the video in my 3D class and we are now making projects inspired by the¬†images and ideas in the movie. I will post some images when we are done!!

Also my paper swap arrived from Karen in Australia! There was all sorts of fabulous-ness inside, again another creative distraction¬†when I really should be finishing that book… OK blogging is also procrastinating from finishing the book too. I hate working to deadlines. The projects never cooperate when they are being rushed….