Monday, December 21, 2009

More Later...

Just a quickie post to put this photo up.  This is from the last Holiday Ornament class (click on photo to enlarge).  I still need to post pictures from the last Collage College class....really running behind these days!

More to come.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Home-baked Goodness

I am rushing around like a mad hobbit, trying to get ready for Marie's holiday sale, but wanted to do a quick post to show you the domestic goddess Chris in all her Betty-Crocker-glory:

Now, see what you're missing if you don't come over for Collage College??

I hope to post pictures soon of the latest batch of cute charms and coasters our newest class made, as well as the wonderful holiday ornaments that were created last week.  Check back in a few days.  Off now to paint some more............

Thursday, December 3, 2009

A Little Glimpse

I am getting ready for a new class tonight, but wanted to do a quick little post to say that I will be participating in Marie Livingston Bullier's annual Holiday Boutique next weekend, Dec. 11-12.  She always puts on a wonderful sale, so I'm tickled to be a part of it.  In addition to a few soldered items (charms, necklaces, ornaments and coasters), I'll have some small mixed-media collaged paintings.

It will be a collection of angel images, collaged with snippets of vintage Scripture and sheet music, etc.  In my illustration work, I do very realistic renderings for Simplicity Pattern Co.  (you can see some of that work here), so this is a nice change for me:  working in a different style, a little more "folk-y" but still painting girls, girls, girls (like I've been doing for 30 years now......Aaaack!).  I'll be selling originals as well as prints made into cards and possibly ornaments.  We'll see how much I get done in the next week!

Meanwhile, I've been pulling everything out of the cupboards for the Holiday Ornament class tonight.  We were only going to be having one class, on the 15th, but had enough interest to have a second.  I CANNOT wait!! I want to make about 50 myself....but that won't happen.  You'll see class results here soon.  I wish my three sisters lived closer---these would be so much fun to do together.  (I miss them so much around the holidays :- (

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

November CoLLaGE College

Our second session of Collage College was terrific!  What a great bunch of creative participants!!!  I was delighted by everyone's work and just plain enjoyed hanging out with 8 fantastic ladies, including the best partner ever, Chris. (Chris, below, is holding up an actual Mag Rag!) (And notice how cute our students are...)

I've noticed a pattern with our 2-night classes:  in the first class, the students are fairly reserved and it's really hard for me to read if they are enjoying it or if they even 'get it' or if they are overwhelmed or ???  In the week between classes, then I'm convinced they have 'gotten it', because I watch as their little copper-wrapped efforts turn into darling pieces of art.  By Class #2,  they arrive and talk about how much they've been thinking about the possibilities with collage and soldered charms since the previous week, and some even dream about it! And it's waaaay more obvious that they are enjoying themselves.  Plus, they get to see their finished, soldered, shiny charms that were slaved and fussed over in Class 1, and that gets everybody revved up for fun.  And then, by the end of Class 2 in which everyone is so much more confident and experimental, we're all a little disappointed that there isn't a Class #3 the next Tuesday! Anyway, it's fun to observe the dynamics and the comfort level people feel as they get more involved in the process.  I LOVE having these classes and am really looking forward to more in 2010!!!

Here are pictures from Class 1--we had both experienced crafters and several novices, old friends and new.

Working away...

Now on to Class 2!
Showing off their handiwork:

Doesn't she look sweet?:

Now see how sneaky she is?....stealing her sister's charm as she looks the other way:

Meanwhile, the other students are slaving away at their awesome coasters:

And here are the final products:
I didn't realize until posting this how Louise captured the word "nightingale" in the sheet music----I think this one is so pretty:

Actually, they are all beautiful!  I'm just so sorry that I didn't get any close-up photos of all the completed little charms this time--just slipped my mind, and now they are spread all over Portland.  I found some new decorative initials and love how they turned out.

Thanks again to everyone who attended November's classes!  Hope to see you at some upcoming classes for more fun!  If you would like to comment and are having difficulty, and/or do not have a Google account, just click on 'comments' below, and then click 'anonymous' on the menu and leave your name at the end of your comment.  I'd love to hear from any readers---it's great to get feedback on these blogs!

And HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!! I know I have much to be thankful for!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Halloween Class was a Hoot!

I'm a little late posting about our Halloween Class--too much candy distracted me!  The bowlful of treats is almost empty now, thank goodness.  Very few trick-or-treaters braved our steep hill, so much was left over.  It's so hard to resist those "fun size" candy bars---since they are so tiny, they must have hardly any calories, right????

Our class had 5 goblins who showed up ready to make some spooky charms.

There was a lot of cutting and pasting going on, and witches and owls were flying all over the place.

I made a new friend who is crafty and clever:

And saw old friends who keep showing up at every class :-)

It was a great, ghoulish group!  Chris and I are always thrilled by the wonderful stuff everybody comes up with.

I hope everyone had a chance to wear their spooky jewelry as October came to a close. Thanks to all of the attendees for a terrific class! 

Now it's November already (!) and our regular Collage College sessions start up again one week from tonight.  Chris and I are having a blast putting on these classes, and tweaking them a little as we go along.  We've added a second Holiday Ornament class that filled almost immediately,  and we're busy brainstorming projects we want to do in the new year.  Keep checking back here for updates!

I think I need to have a tiny little Snickers now.....

Monday, October 19, 2009


Tomorrow night brave souls will be gathering at the bewitching hour to conjure up their own creepy amulets.  Our special Halloween Class is scheduled and here's a little peek into the crypt:  (click on any picture to enlarge)
Just like Dr. Frankenstein, we'll be cutting and pasting little creatures together--adding hats and pumpkins and foreboding words-- and making our own little ghoulies and witch-lets come to life.  BWAH-HA-HAHAHAHAH.  We'll have a cauldron full of sweet vintage images as well, for those who don't want to venture to the dark side.

We'll be making little charms to hang around our necks to keep the evil spirits away.  Our intrepid students will learn how to wrap copper tape and get everything ready for soldering.  Those who dare will try their hand at the magic soldering wand.

The evil Professor and her trusty assistant, Igor (sorry, Chris, I couldn't resist) are lurking in the shadows and are anxious to pounce on this next batch of innocent apprentices.

See you there.   If you dare.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Beautiful Collages

We just had our second class Tuesday evening and I am amazed by the beautiful collages everyone created!  Our project was crafting a 4" coaster, using a variety of botanical, butterfly, and bird images.  We combined them with vintage script or sheet music, and added vintage postage stamps.  (I scored a big collection of fabulous stamps at Goodwill last week---what a terrific find!)

Can you believe how beautiful these are?  The backs are just as pretty:

On the backs we used more sheet music, French text, or vintage wallpaper, then finished them off with little rubber pads in the corners.

Here are a few more (they are fantastic!):

Our parting shot is of the lovely Kathleen and Michele showing their handiwork (note the cute charms on their new necklaces!):

 It was the perfect ending to our first session of Collage College!  Chris and I had a blast and LOVED our first group of attendees.  Next week: our special Halloween Class!  EEEEEEEEEEEK!

Friday, October 9, 2009

WOOHOO...1st class was a blast!

Our Inaugural Class was fantastico!  Chris and I had so much fun and we're pretty sure our attendees did as well.

After slaving to get my studio clean, it was torn up again by the end of class...which is exactly what I was hoping for!  Our seven students made the most wonderful charms. Even those who didn't consider themselves particularly crafty were creative divas.

The first class focused on easy charms and simple collage construction;  the most challenging aspect was the TINY scale we were working in.  Now we know to provide a few more long-nose tweezers, and to remind people to bring their reading glasses!

The ladies learned how to wrap their copper tape and burnish it well to prepare for the soldering.  After a soldering demonstration at the end of class, we said goodbye until next week.  Chris and I are now soldering the charms for the students (we'll save hands-on soldering instruction for another time) and adding little crystals to some of them.  Here they are before silvering:

They turned out so great...I love them all. The house charms have street maps of Portland on the backs. The initials are backed with mirrors. Darling!

Next class will have the students working on larger collages and learning a few techniques for doing backgrounds and altering photos.  I wish this same group of women could just come over every Tuesday night and just hang out and have fun!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Can't wait to get started...

We are really looking forward to starting up Collage College classes in October! We've had such a great response to our flyer and we want to send out a big THANK YOU to those of you who have already registered.  If you need to download another flyer to print out, click here.  But if you still want to get into a class,  you need to act quickly.  The November classes are full, and there are just a couple spots left in the October and December classes.  The additional Halloween and Holiday classes still have room for a few more---each of those is going to be a blast.  (I will be posting pictures of the holiday projects in a future entry--please check back for a sneak peek of these goodies!)

A special thank you to Dear Dan for helping me build the flyer and this blog.  It is very handy having a computer-savvy guy in my back pocket!  There is so much I still want to learn---he seems to do it all so effortlessly.  What a doll.

little danny

Friday, September 11, 2009

Getting Organized

It feels great to be getting my studio more organized!  I'm used to working in a little (?) bit of chaos, with maybe a 5" X 5" spot on the drafting table clear enough to work on, and piles of materials and reference surrounding me, rushing to meet a deadline.  But with our fun studio classes looming around the corner, it is the perfect opportunity for me to get all my crafty stuff in order, and focus on putting all of my ducks dominoes in a row.

Still time to get your registrations sent in.  Can't wait to hear from you!

Enjoy this glorious weather... And happy 15th birthday today to my Gretchen Rose!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


Greetings from The Land of Blog, a place I have visited (all too frequently) as an outsider looking in.  And now here I am, taking the plunge, and starting my own blog.  I'll be taking baby steps at first, learning the ropes, and trying to figure out all the bells and whistles--so please bear with me, with these very plain vanilla first posts.  I will be adding the sprinkles, chocolate syrup, and the cherry on top as soon as I can wrap my brain around all of it.

My hope with this blog is that it will follow the progress of my new venture:  teaching collage and soldering classes.  My good friend Chris and I will be gathering groups of like-minded artsy-craftsy types for workshops in my studio, where we can share my stash of vintage ephemera and our know-how and have fun creating collages and jewelry.   So far, interest has been great and we are excited to start!  The very first flyers were mailed out today and we can't wait to hear back from all of you.  We know the classes will fill fast, so please get your registrations in as soon as you can.  We may consider adding more dates if we see the need.

Check back here as I update the progress we're making as we get ready for the classes.  I'll be posting sneak peeks of the studio and projects, and will have our registration form to download as well.  In the meantime, please leave a comment below and let me know you visited!  Hope to see you soon!