Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Happy Birthday, Rylan!

My grandnephew turned one on Saturday, and I made him a couple of things for his birthday.  Well, OK, maybe the photo album was for his parents.


It is called a "maze" book, and can either be tied open to display (above) or closed (below) as an album.  Here's the cover and the first couple of pages:



Starting to think about making him a card, I decided that a one year old needed a card made out of something soft:

Rylan Bday2 2010

This big "1" is made of craft foam, and the greeting is embroidered on the inside.  I think he can safely chew it!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Creativity: Not necessarily a straight line

Today I thought I would show you how to go from DSCN1765 to DSCN1770 in 10 easy steps.

  1. Leave your job and enrol in some art school classes to unlock the right side of your logical, left-sided brain.  Here I learned how to paint with acrylic paints, in a large format, creating backgrounds.
  2. Leave your backgrounds to "cure" for 8 years because you don't know what to do with them in their large format, and they are too good to cut up.
  3. Receive from your generous sister some Stampsmith photo stamps.  Put these in a box to "cure" as well because you can't figure out what kind of cards to make with them.
  4. Take a class in making handmade books.  Make a few, then put this aside.  (Was severe artists' block setting in?)
  5. Dream about buying a Zutter Bind-It-All but tell yourself you can't justify the cost.
  6. Wait at least five years and then begin the challenges over at Michelle Ward's GPP Street Team.  I have never been one to do the many card making challenges I find on the Internet, and I often wondered why I didn't do these when I needed a creative jolt.  But I recently found this site, and Michelle's challenges seem suited to my love of basic art supplies and techniques, and this one particularly intrigued me.  I started to think about those large papers again.
  7. Join a new artists group.  Several people in the Vancouver Artist Trading Card Group make books, and I was drawn back to this wonderful art form.  I made a few hand stitched and folded books and found some wonderful blogs to further inspire me.  Some of the book artists I found on the Internet use recycled materials, and make books containing mixtures of different types of pages.  What a wonderful idea for a journal!  I also started to think again about buying a Bind-It-All and a couple of the people in this group helped me by answering questions about it.
  8. Get inspired by iHanna's blog.  (I found this wonderful blog through the GPP Street Team Challenges).  I'm especially drawn to Hanna's use of bright colours and I decided to paint the other side of my large papers.
  9. Find a used Bind-it-All.  Many people bought this binding machine and found they just don't use it.  It was sold as a scrapbooking tool, and although there is nothing wrong with the machine, some people like to make their own books and some people don't.  I found that one of the ladies in my local stamping group didn't use hers.  This made both of us happy!
  10. A few days before the monthly stamp club meeting, decide to make everyone a little coil-bound journal.  Who knows, they too might be inspired to try a new medium.  I was a bit rushed but I got them all done.  And used up a lot of supplies that had been sitting around for awhile, including some scrapbook paper that had been "curing" for a few years as well. 

Thanks to everyone who had a hand in this creative journey.  Creativity is not necessarily a straight (nor short) line.

Monday, June 28, 2010

The King and I

This handmade book was inspired by an article by Jeannine Stein in the March/April issue of Cloth Paper Scissors - "Books with a Repurpose".  In this article, Jeannine shows how to use recycled materials (postcards, food packaging, greeting cards, etc.) to make hand sewn books.


The covers of this book are made from large playing cards and the pages are security envelopes, sheet music and plain paper.  I didn't have any book cloth for the spine, but I had a long strip of sturdy zebra printed cloth generously given to me years ago by a member of Canadian Stamp Talk, and it seemed to work fine.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Grid Lock and Baggies.......Again

OK, I told you I can't stop.  If you missed the earlier entry, you can read more here.

Here is a blue grid from the blue baggy:

GPP Streat Team Challenge 41 Grid Blue

There isn't so much in the pink baggy, so there are a few paint chips on this one.  But hey, they were in the baggy.

GPP Street Team Challenge 41 Pink

The yellow baggy is actually a yellow/orange baggy; I guess I don't work very much in these colours:

GPP Street Team Challenge 41 Yellow

Yeah, I just can't stop.

Happy Weekend, everyone!  I'm off to the Grind today to trade ATC's!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Grid Lock and Baggies

This month on GPP Street Team, Michelle Ward is challenging us to do a grid in our journal.  She even shows a really nifty way of dividing your paper up without having to do the difficult math and measuring.  I like this!

She suggests that we might want to use some of the new paper we buy "for ourselves", thereby freeing us from the "pack-rat" syndrome that prevents us from cutting into the beautiful papers that we buy. 

Now I love grids, and I may be even more of a pack-rat than Michelle suspects.  I have a drawer full of paper scraps that I can't bear to throw away and they are nicely organized in baggies by colour.  Oh brother.  But this quirk of mine made it an easy challenge for me.  I pulled out the "green baggy", and it wasn't long before:

GPP Street Team 41

I love grids and I love paper!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

May Vintage ATC Swap

The May Vintage ATC cards were swapped out recently.  Here are two beauties I received:

File1015 File1016

Here is the one I created:

April 2010

Friday, June 11, 2010

Demo Day

This is how we renovate older houses in our neighbourhood.  Just a hundred yards from our place, this beautiful Edwardian house served for many years as a group home for troubled kids and had been well maintained by the owner – the City of Vancouver.  Sadly, its fate was sealed because it occupied a double lot that recently sold for more than $2 million in our overheated property market.   A few minutes after this picture was snapped (with my cell phone), it came tumbling down.  The Douglas Fir lumber will be ground to bits and carted to a landfill.  Soon to be replaced by two cardboard mc-mansions.  A triumph of greed over imagination.  - guest blogger Richard McCallum


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Beautiful Card!

My sister, Dianne, doesn't have time to blog much any more, but she continues to bless me with her beautiful work.  Here is a card I received recently:


It is three dimensional, embossed in gold, and all sparkly, in addition to the beautiful colouring you can see here.

Thanks, Dianne!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Still Stepping on the Scale

Michelle Ward's challenge to work in various size formats (see this) is still rattling around in my head, so even though I'm past the June 1 deadline I'm still "stepping on the scale".  So many of the entries have inspired me that I've got  large size, acrylic painted papers drying in the basement.  I plan to make books so they are being painted on both sides.

Here's one with paper painted only on one side:

DSCN1096 DSCN1745