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June 25, 2011 – UPDATE:  Unfortunately, the book is all out of order.  I’ve notified the sketchbook people, and hopefully they will fix it.  

It’s finally here.  My sketchbook project from last year has been digitized for all the world to see.  Lucky you.  If you want to take a gander, please click on this link:   Ignore the HORRID photo of me and click on the ARTWORK TAB

You will be able to see my sketchbook along with some paintings I had uploaded to the sketchbook site.   For all of you who also worked on the sketchbook project and signed up to get your book digitized, please let me know by commenting and adding your sketchbook link to the comment.   Thanks.

Since my birthday is at the end of the year, (December 28th.  I  happily accept gifts.)  I was younger than all the other kids when it was time to go to kindergarten. I cried everyday as my mother walked me to school. Actually, the real story goes that I was expelled from kindergarten.  For spitting at the teacher.  (Me?)

So, having been unceremoniously kicked out of kindergarten, I missed all the kindergarten fun of cutting, pasting and gluing.  Which probably explains why I love to do that now.

The piece above was done by pasting images under a piece of glass with good old Elmer’s glue, then using some gold metallic powders (sparingly as I was told by the teacher) in some key spots, painting the back of the plate (I chose this ocher color), another layer of metallic and then varnish.  It was unbelievably time intensive, but fun.  The actual plate is a bit darker than this photo, but it was hard to photograph glass.  The size is 5 and 7/8 square.

My Sunday art teacher also teaches this glass class during the week.  I had been looking at all the spectacular pieces she has in her studio for years and finally I decided to try it.  I was not disappointed.  I was, however, rather heavy-handed with the metallic.  The teacher had to constantly scratch off some of the metallic which I promptly put back on.  I told her clearly she had no Latin blood.  If it was up to me the whole back of the plate would have been gold metallic!   Be on the lookout, I will be trying this again.

This week is Thanksgiving in the U.S. so I would like to take this opportunity to say how thankful I am for my beloved husband, my siblings, siblings-in-law, cousins, nieces, nephews and dear friends.  I have been truly blessed in the family & friends dept.  I would also like to say how grateful I am to you, gentle blog-reader.  Thank you for continuing to visit and comment.   I wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving.   This concludes the sappy portion of this post.

Theft of innocence

A fun class with artist Christopher Staples taught me how to transform pages from National Geographic magazine to the most wonderful marbled and manipulated papers using a natural cleaner and degreaser called CitraSolv. This product not only dissolves chewing gum, lipstick, and adhesives, it also breaks down the ink on the pages of National Geographic without damaging the paper.  The packaging says it’s made from clear liquid from the peel of an orange, essential oils and biodegradable cleaning agents derived from coconut.  It’s also vegan. I guess that’s  in case you want to drink it.

No, I thought not.

After we created some of the most fabulous papers I’ve ever seen we went to the 2nd step which was to then take the pages we created and use them to make a collage.

The images that came out of the manipulation using the CitraSolv were absolutely incredible.  You take the product and either spray it on the pages using a spray bottle, or paint the pages using a brush.  You can then add some Saran wrap to get some really amazing effects.  Close the magazine,  let the pages dry and voila!  You’re in business with some of the prettiest papers ever.

This collage just emerged by itself.     I have never blogged nor have I made any art having to do with 9/11, but this one just happened.

My sister took the class with me.  Here is her collage:

If you want to try this here are my suggestions:

Use CitraSolv in a ventilated area or outside if possible.   Use rubber gloves if you don’t want to get ink on your hands, but if you do get in on your hands, you can use the CitraSolv to get it right off!

As a side note:  Do not get a manicure the day before you decide to try these techniques.  (Like I did.)

to New Zealand.  I wish I was off to New Zealand.  My sister took the collages to the post office today and sent them off for the collage exchange that I spoke of in a previous post.  In case you forgot, this is for a collage exchange run by Dale.  Here’s the link again

Here are the collages, they are all aprroximately 8″ x 10″:

core-values4Core Values


Memories of Home


Can you hear me now?


Masked Ball


Take a chance on me


Stairway to Heaven


Secret Dream


Fish out of water


Individual Hopes


Shoot the Moon

(or “If God is all knowing, why does he need a quick pick?”)

The collages were a lot of fun to do, especially when we did them on “collage weekends” which oft times included cosmos.    One of the collage girls has already started on some collages for next year.  I may do that too.  But first I may have to start on some cosmos.


I am not fond of flying.  I am not fond of a number of modes of transportation.  I also do not like enclosed spaces, crowds, wide open spaces, heights…the list goes on.

An internet buddy told me that as one gets older that part of the brain deteriorates.  He said that he used to have a fear of flying, but now he’s asleep even before take-off.  (I think it’s probably because he’s drunk.)  I also have anxiety.  Lots and lots of it.  This same person says that goes away with age too.  I’m still waiting.  Perhaps a spike in my frontal lobe will do the trick.  I once read a book about a guy who ended up with a railroad spike in his head.  He was fine.  Or seemed fine.  But it was realized that he couldn’t think about the future.  Or plan ahead.  Which would force that person to stay in the “now”.  This is a popular concept.  Most recently made even more popular by the Eckhart Tolle book  “The Power of Now”. I am not in the Now.  I am in the future, past, I’m bouncing all over the place.

The picture above is a collage called “Fear of Flying”   I was inspired to do a collage by my sister, who just won third prize for her fabulous collage called “The Future Just Happened”.  It is currently on display at the Katonah Museum.  I was also inspired by my sister’s good friend and brilliant assemblage and collage artist Jean Tock. Last year she took part in an interesting collage exchange project out of New Zealand.  I want to give it a shot this year.  The site for it is here:

I hope to do a few more collages this weekend.  And then maybe it will be back to watercolor next week.  I hope.  I am planning on it.  Unless I get a spike in my frontal lobe.

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