Spring is here in the Chicago area. The trees are gorgeous with their little buds and flowers. Having all of the windows open allowing the breeze to sweep through the house and freshen everything up is one of my favorite things. Recently, though it's been about cleaning out drawers, closets and cabinets. I find I need less and want less as the clutter can be overwhelming and even restrictive. So many new ideas and ways to look at things are coming at me without that clutter. I look at everything and see potential for another piece of art -- a quilt, a wallhanging, a canvas, and a journal. Inspiration comes regularly and at unusual times. As spring continues and summer approaches I wonder what other ideas will come to me. What classes can I take that will either teach me a new technique or just be a chance to share creative time with other like minded artists? What classes can you take to do the same? What new idea could you do with friends or even at your children's parties?
Some of you know that we are teaching classes on various techniques and projects. It has been communicated mostly by word of mouth but it's time to put it out there --- so to speak. We are available to teach at your library, park district, community center, home, party, wherever! Our classes are fun, informative and some might say a little crazy (all in a good way).
As a natural extension of our desire to learn and share what we learn, it seemed like the "right" next step for us. We are continuing to develop classes that showcase techniques for you to use. We are almost professional students ourselves, taking classes from nationally renowned artists, learning techniques to use in our own artwork.
Our classes include:
Upcycled Book Page Wreath: Festive, elegant, recycled, and simple to make wreath from the pages of a book - literally!
Petite Images: Take a small canvas, use a little paint, fabric, paper, magic (and lots of other craft supplies) to make a petite treasure to hang on a wall near you!
Handmade Journals: Create a journal that fits your personality and recycle at the same time! Take a hard cover book, various scrapbook and watercolor papers, duct tape and heavy thread to make a basic journal. With the addition of collage, paint, ink, stamps and stencils, you will start simple and evolve into a unique, colorful, fun, and one of a kind journal for your art, thoughts, souvenirs and more.
Journal to Go! Get started faster with an easy button and string journal. Quick, fun, and limited only by your imagination. Or turn those maps you collect on your travels into a travel journal!
Handmade Flower Brooch and Hair Clips: Using your scrapbooking supplies, silk flowers, glue and findings, make your own hair clip or brooch.
We have several classes booked this spring. Email for details or to set up a class in your area.
I know it seems I've fallen off the face of the planet, but no not really. Many areas of life kept me distracted from posting but not away from creating! Four new journals and some lovely felt flower pins and hair clips. What do you think?
and then there is the jewelry -- felt flower pins.
I have more to make but they are really fun and easy to make. Tutorials are available on the internet. Check them out and enjoy!
Well, the exploration continues into journal styles. I happened across this idea and sat down with the supplies I had in the house (yes used my stash). It's about the size of a wallet, with small mailing envelopes as the pockets and the pages of the journal. The base is an old cereal box cut to size, paper to cover it, envelopes, ribbon and a button. But now that I'm looking at it again, what if I used fabric instead of paper to cover it? FYI the "button" is actually a scrapbooking brad that matched and some ribbon that just wrapped around to close the entire thing.
This journal is going on my next trip to collect all of my little souvenirs but it would work for just about anything, receipts, coupons, lists, anything. Enjoy!
great group of ladies at the Wauconda Area Public Library who took our wreath making class last night. Sue and I thoroughly enjoyed ourselves; you are all a whole lot of fun. All of the wreaths created with book pages are fantastic and will look wonderful in your homes. See for yourself - here are two photos.
We are looking forward to coming back this summer to teach more classes. Yes the journal class is definitely on our list. See you soon and enjoy!
This past Thursday, I was at the Indian Trails Public Library, to teach my handmade journal class. What an uUnbelievably cold and windy day. The class wasn't going to be very large but this wonderful January-in-Chicago weather may have chased a few away. We had a small but fun class. A young lady joined her older sister, thinking she'd just hang out with us. My immediate response was "she can make one too." Her sister had assumed that she couldn't since it was a class for teens BUT all we had to do was help her with the sharp tools (awl and needle) and she could make her own journal. An art book as she named it.
We all thoroughly enjoyed her skull decorations with their googly eyes (thanks to Sarah Heimsoth at the library for finding those). Very nicely done. I hope you can see the detail in their photos below.
Do you see the eyes? One of them has one red eye and one black eye!
The holidays are done. Been done. Immediately after the first of the year, I headed out on a 16 day business trip. Home last weekend - tired but glad it went well. Catching up at work and home kept me from blogging but not creating (see today's other blog entry).
A trip, no matter what the reason, provides many opportunities for so much inspiration, introspection, and meditation. On the plane, in your hotel room, on walks after work and more.
I came home full of ideas for new art, new classes, and more. Worth the time away in so many ways!
Journals continue to keep my attention. I diverted to small pieces of art in the fall but journals called me back. In fact, I have made 4 new covers in the past couple weeks. Actually, I made two while on a business trip this month; I'd love to have seen the hotel housekeeper's face when she sees the desk in my room covered in plastic and paints, art supplies, journal covers and more! This one is made of a recycled hardcover book with a fabric spine, fur and flower decorations. ALL BLACK! I love it. Very luxurious. Yum.
are almost over but we're enjoying every moment from quality family time, to getting to a movie, to fantastic time with friends. Soon work calls me back. But I'm ignoring it for now. This is the relaxing part right? Then why am I so exhausted (happy exhausted mind you).
This year was an experiment in new things for me/us from new ways to eat to expanding twistedfiberstudio into new adventures. Autumn brought a renewed outlook on what brings me the most joy -- teaching and making art and even may I say crafts. You see a list of classes that we will be teaching in the new year. (New classes will be posted as they are scheduled - stay tuned and check back in.)
Earlier this month, my BFF from university (http://bluestalking.typepad.com) and fellow artist was talking to me about her finds at local resale and thrift shops that she's using for everything from crocheting to journal making to a dozen other art projects. Well I was convinced. So a date was scheduled to hit the shops.
This past Friday was the day! And three, or was it four, shops later we had multiple bags of items. Jewelry for use as charms, ornaments for next Christmas projects, raffia, tissue paper, straw wreaths, heart charms (Valentine's day is close), red silk flower petals, and so much more. We saw some of the funniest things too.
The infamous wooden plaque...
My friend's daughter AKA Girlie joined us and we started counting the number of wooden plaques with lovely photos laminated on them. We almost had enough for gifts next year. But the treasures and memories were wonderful. In fact I talked my husband into going to another one on Saturday. He bought a couple nostalgic things as well.
On that note I wish all of you a very happy new year and may all of your dreams and wishes come true!