Monday, June 30, 2008

Hi Ho, Come to the Fair

Whew! It's tomorrow... Canada Day Celebrations all over the city and I will be taking part in the Osborne Village Venue in the Artisans' Market. It is supposed to be a hot one, so I hope that tent is air-conditioned. (Wishful thinking) At least I will be out of the sun. Our tent will be in front of the Medea Gallery, across the street from Carlos Murphy's.

the exerpt from the paper says:

Osborne Village: The two-day Canada Day Street Festival takes place today and Tuesday, during which Osborne Street through the village is closed to auto traffic. Events at the festival include an artisans’ market, live entertainment on three stages, and activities for children.

I have a few last minute finishing touches to finish up my last book so I'd better get on with it...

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Mokume Black and White

After a few weeks of this thing being in pieces, I finally got it together. The cover is quite wild, with intentional texturing of a heretofore untried means...I like it! I realize the back is somewhat different than the front, but they came from the same stack. The main difference is that I rolled the back cover veneer through the pasta machine a few more times, thus creating a wider annular ring type appearance.

The inside is textured too, and this particular sheet was made by mixing translucent with a type of ink to produce the soapstone-like effect.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Fresh Prints of Bel Air

Okay, so this is a little bit of a stretch, and a bit long winded, but here goes anyway.

Last week I attended a "funktion" for art educators and art people who utilize recycled materials in their art work. I would think that all artists use a bit of recycled materials, or at least most of the ones I know do, so here is what I did.

At the "Funktion", there were all sorts of giveaways, ranging from huge poster size pieces of silver cards to baskets to upholstery samples to pieces of buckskin. I gathered up a few treasures and hoisted them into my trunk, where they sat for a day. I had to wait until hubby wasn't around to "unload" my stash, as he is always bellyaching about the "junk" I bring in.

So in my collection of stuff were these document separators, made of just the right weight of paper that I normally buy to use for my background tags for beach bracelets and other items I make from polymer clay. After I have the name of the items printed on the computer, I cut the card stock up into the right size. First, however, I "decorate" the card stock with spritzed paints and sponged prints that I make up as I go along.

They never look like much, but I only use about 1/6 of the design for each card, so in small size, they are fairly attractive. After the paint is dry, I iron the card stock, and use a piece of recycled gift tissue wrap between the iron and the card stock. The decorations of faint red circles you see on this image is the extra ink from the tissue which also transfers to the paper, creating unique prints that I rather like.

After that, I print the information I've saved on my computer with names and descriptors of the items. I don't need to worry about the plastic tags and holes on the periphery of the paper, because I normally have to trim the cardstock anyway.

Oh yes, I also include a picture of some of the real stones I took a few years ago at a beach called "Belair" near where I sell some of my beaches bracelets, so that goes on the tag too. As you can see from the actual scan of the bracelet on the finished cardstock, the real stones aren't quite as colourful as my "factices", but these are the stones I would like to see on the beaches in my dream world.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Necklace and two bracelets

Today was a work at home day. I have a busy week ahead of me, with several evening appointments and lots of daytime things to do, so I thought I'd take advantage of the one "free" day and get claying. On Sunday, I had prepared some sheets of clay with metal leaf and had to use it within a few days as it gets a bit "brittle" and breaks in the most inopportune spots if it isn't used quickly.
Originally, I had intended to use the sheets for books, but I've done several blue books so opted to do simple shaped beads instead. For once, I actually measured the size of the bead cores, and tried to make the beads for the necklace graduate. Well it is nearly the end of the school year, so why not! I made a very simple focal bead for the necklace, and even baked the beads in ascending order of size. For the bracelets, I decided on uniform size as I wasn't sure what kinds of spacers to use. I ended up making blue donuts for spacers for one bracelet along with some blue swarovskis. For the other, I used more spacers and one less bead.
Instead of poring over the sink to wet sand all the beads, I put them in the rock tumbler with sandpaper and let the machine do the work. I find that if I hold the beads in my fingers to sand them, my hand gets quite sore, and I don't want to run the risk of developing a repetitive motion injury. So, even though it might not do as fine a job of repeat sandings at progressively finer grits, putting the beads in the tumbler for several hours does not a bad job. Of course I could leave it running for a few days but who can wait that long! The beads were quite smooth and after the tumbling, I buffed them to a satiny finish.
I'm not much of a jewellery designer, but I am hoping this necklace and one of the bracelets will become part of someone's collection this Friday. If the colours aren't right, I can always start with some other coloured metal leaf next weekend, and hopefully those will be more suitable..and I can put THESE in my own drawer to wear.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Bookmaker, Bookmaker, Make me some books

Last weekend we took a little road trip and while hubby was driving, I had an opportunity to complete some books that had all the elements prepared save for the binding.
Since I hate to waste precious moments when there's stuff to be done, I decided to bind them and add the beads to the sides. Besides, I have seen that prairie scenery MANY times, and other than the usual comments about special roadside rocks and things, there isn't much new on that horizon.

The larger ivory with the map-like surface treatments is my favourite of this group. It has some interesting mokume gane details in it, but they are hard to see. They're rather subtle. I used a new kind of ink in the ivory mix to produce an almost soapstone effect. The books are filled with archival parchment in an off-white tone that blends nicely with the faux ivory.
I also completed another tangerine and green book that I may get around to posting on here someday. It has a curvy bottom (sounds kinky but not) and some cool textural elements on the covers.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Finding the buttons

Here is the collaged jacket that Quilter Judy Morningstar created recently. She did it as a commission and asked me to make unique buttons for it. You'll have to look really closely to see where they are, but if you treat it like a "Where's Waldo" exercise, you'll find them.

Funny thing is, that when she contacted me about making the buttons, our monitor was not working up to snuff and I really couldn't see the colours in the swatches she sent in her emails. So I made up a couple of sets of buttons on spec, and after a few horrific postal experiences, the buttons eventually found their way to Judy's studio and onto the jacket they went.

Judy's work is gorgeous, and friends tell me that her quilting classes are always exciting. I'm thrilled she asked me to make buttons for her and am looking forward to making more.

Judy Morningstar travels all over the country teaching quilting techniques, and the collage work she does in fabric is extraordinary. You can read about some of her quilting experiences at