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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

At Home with Claudine Hellmuth

I've enrolled in an online course for 12 weeks with collage artist Claudine Hellmuth. Claudine's mixed media techniques are unique and versatile. I used some of her products in classes at Stampassion, but now that I've ventured further into mixed media art, I'm using her techniques even more. Many pages in Laura's journal include Claudine's paints which I purchased at the closing sale at Stampassion. Super rich pigments and textures. These products make me feel like a real artist. Unfortunately, the products aren't available anywhere locally now but I've found online sources and the ladies at Scrappin' and Stampin' in Bridgeport carry her products and now I know how to get there easily.

I'll be posting the technique book as it evolves. I'm really grateful to be spending my summer with Claudine. She's on Facebook, Twitter, her own blog and posting to the classroom. I don't know how she does it!

Here's a sample of the larger project we're working on. My work to follow.

Memory Box Class with Dave Brethauer

Last Friday I traveled to Bridgeport, NY to take two fabulous classes with Dave Brethauer from Memory Box. The classes (colored pencil techniques and watercolor) were wonderful. I've bought and read both of Dave's books on coloring but there's nothing like asking the author directly. I learned so much. Of course I love the new stamps and the papers are gorgeous. The store was warm and welcoming and the ladies there are obviously like a family together. Here's a shot of the class from Dave's blog and they had two cakes thanking Dave for the Memories.

Great time. And he remembered me. I was thrilled.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Stamper Heaven

I've been a rubber stamp addict for about 18 years. Over the years I've stored my stamps in many ways: pizza boxes, shoe boxes, photo frame trays. But when our local stamp store closed the retail shop, I was lucky enough to purchase fixtures from the store.

These photos were posted on Facebook but now that I have the blog, I interact with crafters and artists that don't have access to my Facebook page so I'm sharing them here as well.

These photos were taken as soon as had the room set up and lots of things have changed. At that point everything wasn't in the room and I've had to make adjustments to get the rest of the stuff in there. I imagine that I'll always reorganized some part as my needs change. I'm going to give in and take the closet for art supplies rather than seasonal clothes. It's feeling a little too closed in.

I love seeing all the stamps when I'm creating a project. It's especially wonderful when doing a card challenge or working on altered art. I can just stand in the middle of the room and look around for inspiration.

Estate Sale

This weekend I went to an estate sale to pick up some books to alter. I don't want to pay a lot for books that are the vessel of art but the topic and condition are critical to starting a project. I was on a search for something interesting and I found it.

The estate was of two professors who had a personal library of about 20,000 books. They were both members of Mensa and the scope of the library was amazing. Almost every room was wall to wall bookshelves. Here is a small section of the basement which had custom built library shelves.

More than half the books had clips and post it flags marking pages and passages. Many were dated with what seems like the date purchased or read and some were annotated. They left themselves, and each other, notes which have traveled on to those of us who followed behind them. Opening the books was a mesmerizing adventure.

It was fascinating to peer into the lives of what was clearly two very interesting people. The sale brought their love of reading to so many people. Customers were talking to each other about their interests and envisioning this couple. I've been thinking about these two people ever since I left the house. I went back with Andrew. We each ended up with a case a books for a song. I couldn't decide what to purchase. Since I'm trying to declutter my house, I was hesitant to bring in more books than I'll alter but I knew this was a unique opportunity.

Here are my treasures. Aristotle to Gone with the Wind, Plato to Boy Scouts. Some will be altered; some will be pulled apart for collage materials and a couple I can't bring myself to change. The open book is called Verses I Like and is filled with clipped passages. My favorite title is Words that Heal the Way. So many pages in an altered book are captioned with single words or quotes: how fitting.

Thank you Millicent Lenz Gilson and Robert Gilson. I'll think of you when I pick up one of these books.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Check out the wonderful give away at Pretty Pink Posh

Paulina Nakamura's blog is always full of great card ideas. She LOVES pink. She's on the DeNami design team so there are always great DeNami samples on the blog but she has lots of other card designs too.

If you haven't checked out her blog, look here. She's having a great giveaway with five punches. Leave a comment by July 13. I'd say good luck, but I'm hoping to win myself.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

DeNami Fall/Winter release

When I saw Nami at the Springfield, MA expo, she talked about the upcoming new release which would have a sneak peek every day leading up today. Yesterday, she posted the flyer with all the new stamps. I'm really looking forward to getting some of these stamps and playing with them. The Design Team has done a great job creating sample cards to feature the new stamps. Check it out and see what stamps you like best.

DeNami is hosting three prize packets for commenting on their blog and sharing what you like about the new line. Check it out. The prize packets are all cute. Great job Nami.

To Love and to Cherish

I made this folder to hold a card and gift for a colleague and his wife when they recently married. The folder includes Anna Griffith papers which coordinate beautifully and are so elegant. The cover has a silver circle tag with a silver vellum sticker. Inside, I embossed a chipboard heart (their name is Valentine!) with silver embossing powder and added a rub on quote that I've always loved: Come grow old with me, the best is yet to be. The tag and pocket were just an embellishment for the side to hold the gift (lots of cash!).

The card uses a discontinued DeNami stamp, which I love, layered on shimmery papers, both silver and ivory columns. I've included Memory Box ivory pearl accents and a DeNami sheer white/silver ribbon with a touch of silver cording.

This was really fun and easy to make. The whole folder is just one 12x12 piece of cardstock scored, folded and covered with scrapbook paper. It looks totally different with a change of paper. I love having something unique to present a gift of cash or a gift card because it makes the gift more personal. Congratulations Jason and Christa!