Tuesday, March 29, 2011

WOYWW First Timer

Hi, my name is Jan and I'm a paper junkie!  This is my first time attending the What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday linky party.  For some time, now, I've been reading the blogs of others who were participating in WOYWW and decided it was time I come clean and share some of my messy habits.

I do have a "studio", well, it's more like an extra bedroom but it has lots of stuff in it and a worktable.......that right now looks like this........

IMG_0359I HAD to take a picture!  It is soooooo tidy and BARE!  Not to worry, I've just moved my stuff and set up in the living room..................

IMG_0456  really it is the dinning table at the end of the living room.  The truth is .....I usually have a mess on both tables! 

I like the living room because in the evening the pellet stove makes it warm and cozy, the T.V. is on and that's where hubby and the fur babies are....I don't want to be left out.  If, I have something really messy to do, I go into my craft room to spray and/or sling paint.

I'm not leaving this area until I show you my turquoise chandelier, I'm so proud of, while many are appalled that I would paint this brass beauty.....in my world "it rocks"!

IMG_0458Needless to say, it gives off a lot of light, which is pretty helpful at night. 

So, what I'm working on is an altered book about "Hats"!  I found and old photo album at a flea market and through the years I've collect lots of vintage photos of men and women from the late 1890 and the early 1900 wearing these incredible hats.  That was a period where every woman wore a fashionable hat with flowers, ribbons or feathers....some hats had all three!  Not to be out done, men had and would wear hats for all occasions, as well.  I'm hoping to preserve some of the "style".


IMG_0453This page will be "Easter Bonnets" and the page with the dance program will be "Party Hats".

Here are the two sides of the one page I have completed..... completed meaning, the stuff is glued down! 

IMG_0461Women of the world.......setting off for exotic places with their "Travel Bonnets" on and their pass ports in their pocket.

IMG_0462 The backside of Travel will face Easter bonnets....thus the Easter theme!

Please come see what is on everyone else's workdesk this Wednesday at

Julia's What's on Your Workdesk Wednesday

Monday, March 28, 2011

Good thing some flowers like cool weather.....

Oregon has been wet and cold so far this spring.....fortunately daffodils don't seem to care.

IMG_0446IMG_0451IMG_0447 Front yard is a bloomin'.......daffodils, speedwell, primroses, a white rhody, and this pretty pink "Spring Bouquet" Vibernum...........

IMG_0450 Got half-a-barrel of lettuce started.........

IMG_0449 And a pot full of my favorite color combo.......

IMG_0452I love yellow mixed with a pinkish or a deep dark blue purple......with a touch of orange thrown in for good measure.

IMG_0442Can't imagine what we'd have if the sun would shine!   Soon enough...it is suppose to get to 60 degrees this week, that will be a nice change.  I'd like to get some radish, spinach and beet seeds planted one of these days.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you will join me at An Oregon Cottage Tuesday Garden Party.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Here's what HOPE looks like to me......


After much struggle, I decided a butterfly was the perfect example of "Hope".  There is a saying "Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly".   Sounds like a new beginning and very hopeful to me.

I choose warm gold with a touch of blue and a sprits of orange for the background.  Then I copied the butterflies, from the Graphic Fairy site, onto tissue paper and glued that over the background and then layer the beautiful white paper with the rings over all.

If you missed it, this is part of a series,,,,,here are the other pieces.

IMG_0418Faith has a green background and a sparrow.

IMG_0417  Love is represented by blue with some red overspray and a little wood red heart.

Some Biblical versions use the word "charity" instead of "love, making the two words interchangeable......so I did a piece for each.  So here is Charity.........


Here is the completed set!


Thanks for visiting.....I love to hear from you and your comments are always appreciated.

I am linking to:

Met Monday

Creative Everyday

Masterpiece Monday

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Envelope Swap is Here!

So let's talk "envies".....no, not the plural of envy but an abbreviation for envelopes. 

For those not in the journal/collage world, this is a fun way to dress up "snail "mail envelopes that you have transformed into a piece of art.  Does it make paying bills easier, I doubt it, but it does make the recipient smile!  Imagine getting a birthday card in one of the envelopes below.

Art envelopes, also, can be taped or stapled into a journal and saved in that fashion or made into a mini-book of just envelopes.

Recently, I participated in an "envelope swap" with ten other members of an online group, I belong to, called ABC Altered Book Club.

Here is what I sent........

IMG_0189Envelope No. 1 was fabric stitched to the envelope and embellished with lace and buttons. The sheet music formed a pocket on top of the envelope and contained the vintage advertising and calling cards shown in front.


The front of another envelope, the original had the big flag on it, I added the smaller flag stamps and used rubber stamps and red ink that resembles hand writing.  The words "Urgent Delivery" are a part of the original envelope, I stamped the words "cancelled" and "priority". 


The reverse side of the envelope above.


Two other "envies" done with fabric yo-yos, clear overlays, maps and tissue paper.


I glued a vintage post card inside of this envelope, so that it would show through the clear address portion, then I added postage stamps, ink and a overlay quote, that reads"The secret of all those who make discoveries is that they regard nothing as impossible".

So, here is how a swap works.....I made  five envelopes, I bundled them up and sent them off to the hostess who, in this case, lives half way across the country and then you turn south.  Said hostess receives all of the envelopes (remember, there were ten participants) and "divvies" then up.  Then happily, a couple weeks later, you get this BIG envelope in the mail that contains your swap envelopes.....all made by wonderfully, talented women who live in different parts of the country.

These are the beauties I received.......

IMG_0420The one on the left is from Cat Case and the, I'd love to know where she got the artwork, one on the right is from Jeanene.


Check out the backs, they are just a cool as the fronts.  Notice the "coke" bottle cap Cat used for the center of her flower.

TOOOOO cute!





IMG_0422 Look at this hand drawn beauty from Pamela C.

IMG_0423 The sweet "Think spring" bird was done by Brigitte and the cleverly done red and blue envelope is unsigned.  Here's the back side of these three.




I'm not certain what I will do with my collection but I am leaning towards adding them to my journal.

For now, I am putting them in a bowl and setting it on the coffee table for all to see!

This is my third "swap" and I think they are a blast!  Hope you enjoyed seeing them.

I'm linking this blog to How Sweet the Sound Pink Saturday

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Hope is in the works......

I just completed Faith....I am still stalled on "Hope" but some ideas are slowing seeping in.

IMG_0398 This background is a collage of wallpaper and a page from an old journal that I ran through the printer and printed the clip art bird on to the page.  Then, of course, covered it all with the same cool paper with the circles.  Love that paper!


Taking the photo outdoors really does make a difference..........

IMG_0399The photo is crisp and the colors are true.....you know, what the $1000 camera does automatically!  Maybe someday but, for now, the little Canon will have to serve the purpose.

I guess today I will be experimenting with "HOPE" and finishing another book I have started.  Thanks for stopping by.......I'm still open to suggestions......what color do you think "hope" would be.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Series #1


I've not worked on a series of pieces before, this has been interesting.

First one was easy...........

IMG_0388 These are 6x6 inch block canvases.  The background on this one is acrylic paint and Smooch spritz  sprayed over a paper doily used as a mask.  I lettered the word, and added it, before layering this beautiful tissue-thin paper over.  I topped it off with the red painted wood heart.

IMG_0391This one took more layout and construction time.  The hand of charity was lost if I put it under the tissue paper, so I layered it on top and added the heart.

IMG_0393  "Faith" is almost finished!  But "Hope", now that has been difficult!  I cannot come up with a design or color that says...HOPE to me.  What color says HOPE to you?  I am leaning towards yellow, however, yellow is not one of my favorite colors......struggle, struggle, what to do, what to do?

That will be my challenge for this week.  Please feel free to leave your suggestions. 

Friday, March 18, 2011

New Journal Page.......

Just finished this journal page.......sometimes things come together so easily and other times, not so much.

This was a fun and the inspiration came out of the blue and was totally influenced by the recent purchase of some "Smooch Spritz"!  Michael's, at least our local Michael's, is making some product changes so they are having some great clearance sales.....I bought two package that each contain two spritz bottles for $3.98 each, along with some cool clear stamps that were $3.98 a package.

Thus, a page made with a dictionary page, sheet music, some paperdoll cut outs used as stencils and paper lace trim.....all glued down and spritz with Smoochie....yah gotta love that brand name!

IMG_0377IMG_0378  IMG_0379Yeah....that was fun!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The best part of teaching.......

Indeed, the best part of teaching is how much the teacher learns from the students!

We are three classes into the Altered Book Class I've been teaching at the Woodburn Art Center.  I've taught Tole, or decorative, painting in the past, but, this was the first go 'round teaching collage/altered books. 

Students always ask good questions and force you to think out of your comfort zone and I like that.  It is so much fun to see each persons interpretation of the class work.  We are altering a child's Golden book because they are small, not too many pages and a nice size for a beginner.

IMG_0279This gives you a good idea of the wonderful, light filled space workspace the art center offers.


Thea and Pat busy creating and here are a few pages some of the students have completed..........

IMG_0367 IMG_0368 The pages above are Margaret's tribute to her Mother.

IMG_0369 IMG_0371Thea's book depicts happy times with her fur babies!

I forgot to take photo's of Alexis' work, and it was so great...darn.

A couple people were missing today, hopefully, they will be back next week.  Margaret and Thea will have more pages completed by then, too, so I can share those with you. 

I am so impressed with how clever and imaginative this work is for "first timers", however, all of these women are accomplished artists and crafts persons......it's pretty obvious they know their way around a paint brush! 

Saturday, March 12, 2011

My Inspiration Board.......

In my case, an inspiration board is usually a pin up board covered with so many pieces of paper I can't find anything......inspiring or not!

So, today I rearranged and weeded out and came up with this........

IMG_0339Seems I like color.....and want to paint in a much freer and abstract fashion!  I love the alphabet stencil as is.....with its worn and painted edges.

The top right is a watercolor sketch I did and below that an experiment in encaustics, there is a photo of painting I sold and the sketch and watercolor tulip. 

The other pieces are works of other artist or magazine photos that I really like and a paint color chart, I did, for reference. 

IMG_0343 Orange, purple, pinks and gold.......LOVE 'EM!  Now, I'm inspired.

Visit lots of creative folks at Creative Everyday

Thursday, March 10, 2011

It's Done, Done at Last!

In November of last year, I wrote HERE about a china cabinet that has taken us 12 years to refurbish.

Well, now, it has taken 12 years and four months........but it's DONE, all the way DONE!

I thought I wanted glass shelves, but I hear they can and do break and the shelves would be almost four foot long, so I opted for wood.  Well, that decision took until after Christmas! Then I had to find the proper board, so I thought.  Proper board came in the form of pressed board, very, very sturdy and doesn't bow under the weight of a bunch of pottery sitting on it.

Okay, now we are, almost, into February.....had my son cut the board to size for me....no hurry!  That only took a couple weeks from his house to back to mine.....NOW we need to get some trim for the front of the boards and paint them.  So, what is it now, the second week in March...decorated and DONE! 

Well, here it is...TA DA....shelves all dress up but guess what, the drawers are still empty....not to worry, that won't last long.

IMG_0310Just a little reminder, on the bottom of one of the boards I found the signature of the cabinet builder and the date May 1919.  There is, also, a town and state but we are not positive what it says...we thought it was Wassen, NJ but that doesn't exist.  We need to do a little more research.

IMG_0321The cabinet makers name is JJ Cady.  Can you read the name of the town?

IMG_0312  Our lovely, almost like new, china cabinet/secretary has become home to some of our favorite collectibles and family heirlooms.

On the right is a chocolate set, from Bavaria, that was my mother's, along with a Hull vase that was hers.  We collect Bauer Art Pottery and these are some of our vases, I've added some other Hull pieces, some chintz and some Lusterware and one of my favorite pieces....it's the round perpetual calendar on the bottom shelf, it is made of celluloid and is French.  When I want to change the date I have to go find my French dictionary so I know what the month is.......since it is "perpetual", it is set for my birthday "perpetually"!

IMG_0319 Another favorite is the shell souvenir tray with the woven grass frame, I picked that up years ago at an estate sale.  I like the old glass Japanese floats (the green ball in the silver dish) and have several that I float in a water feature during the summer.

You can see the space between the boards in the back, and I could have covered it with new bead board or something, but you know what....I like the primitiveness of this old cabinet that Mr.Cady so lovingly made, where ever he lived.

Thanks for stopping by, please come again and feel free to leave a comment.  I'm linking to Common Ground's Vintage Inspiration Friday and Boogieboard Cottage's Masterpiece Monday, A Stroll Thru Life's Tabletop TuesdayThe Answer is Chocolate's March Open House and Between Naps on the Porch's Metamorphosis Monday.