Friday, January 31, 2014

Road Trip

Road trip! I will be spending the next 2+ weeks teaching throughout southern California and Mexico. And with the "real feel" temperature in NYC a balmy 8 degrees, this trip couldn't have come at a better time. I am excited to be seeing some old friends once again and finally being able to meet some of my long time Internet peeps for the first time as well.

My travels start in San Diego where San Diego Book Arts is hosting my two-day workshop Mixed Media Memoire. If you are in the neighborhood, they are also hosting a Meet and Greet book signing  at McCoy House in Old Town State Park on Sunday 2/2 from 4:30 to 6:00.

From there I head to Long Beach where Orly Avineri and I will be co-teaching If Walls Could Talk - a two-day, texture-making, art-journaling, book-binding experience. I will then be teaching Background Check at Gilding the Lily in Fullerton. Following this, Orly and I get to repeat our collaborative experience If Walls Could Talk again a few days later in Redondo Beach.

I next head to Pescadero on the southern tip of Baja in Mexico where I will be teaching a two-day workshop called El Libro Abierto - The Open Book. This will be held at the amazing home and studio of Patricia Larsen.

You can join me on my trip via my frequent updates on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. And stay tuned for  a recap on my blog when I return home.

If you are interested in taking a workshop with me, you can see my 2014 schedule here. Registration is now open for workshops in NYC, Connecticut, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Ohio, and Australia. Registration will soon begin for classes to be held in Massachusetts, Maryland, and Pennsylvania.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

2013 Trends in Mixed Media

Becoming a member of the Craft & Hobby Association - better known as CHA - has been a fascinating and exciting experience for me. Membership comes with a lot of opportunities...not the least of which is the ability to attend their annual trade show. But more than that, they provide support, education, networking, and a host of other services.

If you have been wondering what CHA is all about or are interested in finding out what membership entails, click here.

Soon after I joined as a Designer Member, I volunteered to be part of the Trends Team. Among other activities, the team puts together an annual report that reviews the trends of the prior year and predicts those to come. Not surprisingly, my focus was mixed media. The report also includes general crafts, paper crafts, home decor, beading/jewelry making, sewing/wearable arts, and fiber arts/needlework.

While the report in its entirety is available only to CHA members (yet another reason to join),  I wanted to at least share with you a summary of my findings regarding mixed media.

(special thanks to the folks at Art is You for creating this mosaic)

2013 has seen increased popularity in:
  1. Upcycling and recycling of nontraditional materials
  2. Use of stencils in innovative ways
  3. The manufacturing and use of stamps (rubber, cling mount, etc.)
  4. Zentangling, mark making, and doodling 
  5. Integration of hand-done and digital approaches
  6. The use of the Gelli Plate in expanded directions
  7. Adding faces to artwork via drawing, stencils, and stamps 
  8. Encaustic and faux-encaustic approaches
  9. Art journaling
  10. Online workshops
  11. Live workshops taught collaboratively by multiple artists
Any trends I missed? Add your thoughts by leaving a comment to this post...

Monday, January 27, 2014

Mixed Media Medallion I

I have been spending a lot of studio time exploring the new releases from Spellbinders. Among my favorite are the items from their collection A Gilded Life. Created in conjunction with Debbie Murray and Shea Fragoso, the line consists of bezels, pendants, dies, texture plates, and relics. Filled with European flair, these items seem at first glance to be ready-made for jewelry projects and home decor. For me though, they scream mixed media.

I am preparing for an exhibition in NYC in April and have decided to create what I am calling Mixed Media Medallions to use as components of my artwork. But as you will see, if you attach a chain to these pieces they would actually make some pretty cool jewelry -- which would be a first for me.

This is the first in the series...

There are so many stunning bezels to choose from in this collection and for this piece I started with the bronze, small Crown Bezel. I snipped off the loop at the tip of the crown as I would not be using it as a connector.

For an old world look, I used a patina solution to alter the surface of a small piece of copper sheeting. I cut this to size using die #1 from the matching Crown Circle Dies to create the background inset for the bezel.

Wanting to add a bit of edginess to the piece, I cut a piece of decorative paper into a jagged gear using a die from the Sprightly Sprocket die set.

For me, combining the elegant bezel with a grouping of found metal objects is the perfect mix.

Once I had all the components prepared, it was time to stack and glue. In the end, a mixed media medallion was born. 

I look forward to showing you in a few months how I will use this in a mixed media artwork for the exhibition.

Supply List

Spellbinders Paper Art Supplies:

MMM-001 SpellbindersTM Artisan X-plorer 
GLSB-003 SpellbindersTM A Gilded Life Crown Bezel Bronze - Small
GLD-003 SpellbindersTM A Gilded Life Crown Circle Die
S5-048 SpellbindersTM Shapeabilities® Sprightly Sprockets

Other: found objects, decorative paper, copper sheeting, patina solution, adhesive, tinner snips

Saturday, January 25, 2014


Work in progress...

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Blurred Lines Giveaway

If you are familiar with my blog, you know that I think creativity belongs to everybody. I am a big believer in blurring the lines between creative categories and having everybody play nice together.

To this end, I was invited by Allie Gower to share my thoughts and artwork in her article Blurred Lines on the Scrap n'Art online magazine.

It begins "I am all about blurred lines when it comes to bridging the gap between different creatives..." The remainder of the article can be seen in the current January 2014 issue. It is available to subscribers only but Allie was extra generous and has provided 10 one-year subscriptions for me to give away.

To be eligible to be one of the ten lucky winners, please leave a comment to this post by end of day Friday 1/24.  I will email the winners on 1/25 but be sure I have your email address so I can contact you if you have won. Good luck. And keep those lines blurred!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

CHA 2014: Post 2

I may be a bit biased, but I though the best booth at the CHA Mega Show was from Spellbinders. Hands down. More of an experience than a traditional booth, the space consisted of 4 unique rooms, multiple demo spaces, a full-size crafting table, a product wall, tons of completed projects, and an endless amount of inspiration. See for yourself...

The Media Mixage Room

The Craft Room

The Gathering Place

A Gilded Life Room

The Product Wall

Tool 'n One

Spellbinders introduced many new products at the show. One of the items with the most buzz was the new Tool 'n One. It was voted one of the top three creative crafting products by CHA. 

This tool performs a lot of functions useful for crafters and artists: piercing, folding, paper removal, inking, distressing, curling, and more. It is the solution for all those die users who have ever had trouble removing the small bits of paper that stick in their dies - regardless of the brand. And I have a few of my own, unique ideas for using this tool that I will share in the coming months. It is a must have.

You can head here to see all of the new releases from Spellbinders.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Art Journal Must-Haves

Today on Somerset Place, the wonderful blog of Stampington & Company, you will find a post entitled Top Artists Reveal Their Art Journal Must-Haves .

I am honored to be one of eight journalists included in this post. Head on over to see our list of must-haves!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

CHA 2014: Post 1

I recently returned from the CHA Mega Show that took place in Anaheim, California. Sponsored by the Craft & Hobby Association, this now annual event brings together manufacturers, retailers, designers and other creative professionals for a blockbuster conference and trade show. Hundreds of companies exhibit their newly released product lines as part of The Marketplace. The Education component includes workshops, business seminars, and demos. Round table discussions, chapter meetings and networking events make up the Community component. And of course, there are endless informal connections happening round the clock.

I have been a Designer member since July 2013 and this was the first show that I have attended. It by far exceeded my expectations and I am happy to say that I met my goals of leaving both exhilarated and exhausted. Of course leaving the single digit temperatures of NYC and spending time in the 80 degree weather in Southern California was an added bonus!

For the many of you who could not attend, the following is taste of CHA 2014!

The event took place at the Anaheim Convention Center.

The weather could not have been better.

So much effort goes into planning and set up before the show even opens.

Day 1 marked the start of the Education Program and the first of my two workshops.

Some of the 51 people who attended my Mixed Media Magic Canvas class.

A special thanks to Spellbinders for sponsoring the workshop and providing their expertise, assistance and product. Also extending thanks to the following companies who graciously donated supplies: Tsukineko, DecoArt, and Fun Stampers Journey.

The show floor opened on Day 2 and the Education Program continued.

The crowd was excited waiting for the doors to finally open.

People eager to see and buy the new product releases flooded the booths.

On the afternoon on Day 2, I taught my second workshop.

50 people attended my Art Journaling: The Basics class.

We even made some art in between all the laughing.

Many thanks to the following companies for generously providing supplies: Spellbinders, Authentique, StencilGirl Products, Tsukineko, Prima Marketing Inc., and Blue Moon Beads.

That evening I attended a Bloggers Networking Reception sponsored by Prime Publishing where bloggers met with company representatives.

I left with both new connections and 4 bags of swag! Thanks for the generosity.

For me Day 3 was filled with meetings, seminars and a few very special events.

My publishers North Light Books and F+W Media had a booth and sponsored a number of book signings. Special thanks to my publicist from North Light Meaghan Finnerty for setting this up. I had a chance to spend time with my editor Tonia Jenny and also with Tommy Semosh from NL.

I had a great time signing copies of my new book The Mixed-Media Artist.

Both Rosaland Hannibal and I are contributors to Quinn McDonald's new book Inner Hero Creative Art Journal, and we joined Quinn for her signing.

On Day 4, I briefly walked the show floor one last time and packed my bags to head back to NYC -- also know as Winter! The show continued for one more day after I had left.

Though I said goodbye to CHA for 2014, you do not have to just yet. Stay tuned for several more posts highlighting the booth, products, and people of the CHA Mega Show 2014. Stay tuned...