Thursday, February 26, 2009

Mixed Media with Jane LaFazio, Class 5

We're winding down, and it's so sad ... I often say that I wish the class was an ALL-DAY CLASS, and that it went longer than six weeks. But 6 weeks is a reasonable length of time for people to commit to, so I "get" that. But all day .. now THAT would be lovely.
So. Class Five. So many beautiful finished, or near-finished works of art.
this seed pod inspired work from LINDA

this digitally-manipulated photo art by KENNETH,
featuring Jane's shoes & socks

and Liz's HAPPY BUNNY with DANGLIES piece !!!

Rachel, sharing Kenneth's finished "CHAOS" work ...

We also had WORKS IN PROGRESS to share:
Michaelanne's "I SEE PARIS" canvas,
ready for next steps

and Jean's two canvas grounds, ready to go ...
So much good sharing. So much information! I find that the SHARING offers up as much "teaching" and "learning" as the structured lesson sometimes.
I learned or was reminded that:
One can use GLOSSY medium to make things shine
One can use GOLD THREAD to stitch things, to make them special
One should always save their magazines & catalogs, for INSPIRATION

One can print an image on PRINTABLE CANVAS & then cut out bits to collage
into their work
One should always THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX when creating
Yvonne used MOULDING PASTE with a stencil in creating her work
Linda then played with that, making darling CHAIR SILHOUETTES on cardstock
Rachel used MELALEUCA BARK in a piece of her art - textural, interesting
Kenneth loves SHINY
Glenda loves working with FABRIC
Liz worked with an 8 year old girl and lots of BUNNIES to just "HAVE FUN"
Lauren collects OLD TYPEWRITERS & found great inspiration in Sunday's paper
One can pick up FREE BOOKS outside most public Libraries ...
And there was so much more shared ... it's ALL good.

But wait - there's more.
Jane showed us how she "finishes" these painted/textured canvases backgrounds that we worked on all last week ... By different techniques with the same result, she APPLIES an image on top of the canvas {I opted to use the 'tissue paper that disappears when medium dries' method for my first attempt} ...


a finished POPPIES piece, next to INSPIRATION - birds

at right, Jane's background canvas & Jane's new sketch

Jane covering the back of her sketch with GRAPHITE

after that image was transferred onto the canvas, Jane goes over the design in PERMANENT INK (ie, Sharpie pen)

Jane's POMEGRANTE coming to life ...

AND THEN, there's this method:

one traces one's IMAGE onto Artist's Tissue Paper with a SHARPIE or other permanent pen {I used a PITT, but I think Sharpie would be better} and one trims excess tissue from around edge; then one places that image on their canvas to get placement just right {this is MY work here ...}

next, one applies MATTE MEDIUM {I use Liquitex brand} to the canvas BENEATH where your tissue will be applied ... THEN, gently apply Matte Medium OVER your tissue to adhere, smoothing out bubbles, wrinkles, etc ...

BE CAREFUL not to tear the tissue though -- BUT IF YOU DO, you can simply SMEAR THE WHOLE THING AWAY and start over {Jane showed us how, and then -- sure enough -- I had to do it, too !!!}

and now, VOILA - a bird on a branch, drying until next steps !!! {looking a bit gray here - that's the medium, drying - don't know why, other than the ink may have bled a bit ???}
THIS BLOG POST SET A NEW RECORD -- my longest ever, my most illustrated ever, and it took me 1 1/2 hours to put it all together !!!
-- Princess Magpie

ART SUPPLY QUEST from Mixed Media Class 2/23/09

So much inspiration comes from taking an art class ... not just from the finished pieces, but from the conversations as well. Products Used & Inspiration Found & Techniques Discovered were three key themes in this Monday's MIXED MEDIA with JANE LA FAZIO class.

Michaelanne & I have been shopping, both physically and on-line, for some of the products that we've learned of in this class - some products are quite pricey {printable canvas} and so, worth searching for a better pricepoint.

Me, being the neophyte in this class of talented artists, found the GOLDEN website very helpful the other night:

And when I take the workshops with Chris Cozen, who teaches for GOLDEN, at Stamping Details {Poway, CA} in March, I know I'll learn so much more ... they do carry a nice selection of Golden product there, too. FYI.

IF YOU MISSED MY POST EARLIER about those workshops, here is the link to Stamping Details March calendar:


Judikins DIAMOND GLAZE, which is what Linda told us she used to adhere some tiny BEADS to one of her projects, early on in our journey with Jane ... I found it online at the following:

Here's the link to the DIAMOND GLAZE FAQ {frequently asked questions}:

RE: Printable Canvas

SINCE I HAVE NOT TRIED PRINTING ON CANVAS / FABRIC, I CANNOT VOUCH FOR ANY OF THE FOLLOWING, NOR CAN I RECOMMEND A PARTICULAR BRAND {those of us in Jane's class should ask Linda what brand she used for her project last week ...}:

Fredrix Desktop Inkjet Canvas (8 1/2 x 11 ") - 6 sheets @ $12 :

Assorted grounds (cotton, linen) for printing on "fabric" found here:

Remember the beautiful book that Linda used for her CHAIR inspiration, "Revealed" by Carolyn Quartermaine? Here's a link to that lovely find:

And Nancy showed us a book, GOING BACK HOME, that spoke to her recently:

And JANE has a very nifty THREAD/EMBROIDERY FLOSS organizer called "Floss Away" by Nordic Needle - here's that link:

There - that should get everyone going on their hunt for things they can't live or create without!

-- Princess Magpie

Friday, February 20, 2009



Visit the website of STAMP FRANCISCO and check out "It's not just for Christmas any more".

"To celebrate Audrey's use of our
Log Baby rubber stamp we are having our first giveaway prize know as BLOG CANDY. By visiting the blog, you'll get a sneak peak of new stamps, new artwork, limited quantity specials and so much more. It won't replace the newsletter but it is updated almost daily.
You will also find FREEBIES collage images to download for your art. They will change often and will not be archived.
Subscribe to the Blog ~ Visit the Blog ~ subscribe to TWITTER
We are looking forward to your comments and suggestions."

The Candy
6 UNMOUNTED photo stamp type rubber stamps 2.5" x 4" each as shown
3 Card stock collage sheets 8.5 x 11" design of your choice
Assortment of original Vintage Labels
Assortment of Misc. Goodies (stickers, ribbon, etc) as much as we can fit and still close the priority mail envelope!


Good luck to you all!

-- Princess Magpie


Hey, crafty friends --

I discovered two scrapbook shops in POWAY, CA over last weekend -- and I was super impressed with both.

STAMPING DETAILS on Midland Road, ... which had a lovely assortment of rubber stamps, inks, alcohols, transfers, rub-ons, papers, Golden products (matte medium, gesso, soft gel, etc ...), etc. In addition, they not only OFFER really cool classes & workshops, but they have FANTASTIC SAMPLES of the projects one will undertake IN those classes and workshops on display. There were several wonderfully kind & helpful employees on hand last Saturday to steer me in the right direction, and one even gave me, a first-time visitor, a little guided TOUR of the place. I am most excited about the CLASSROOM SPACE they have - excellent lighting, a great table, decent chairs {this is important, you know, when you're going to be sitting there for hours ...} and best of all - they keep class sizes to a small number so everyone gets individual attention and enough space to work. Sigh.

and COOL SCRAPBOOK STUFF on Poway Road, ... this place was a bit overwhelming when I first walked in, but everyone who works there was SOOO nice, and the store is layed {laid?} out in a nice, this-makes-sense sort of way. They carry wonderful product lines, they have plenty of product, and it's a BIG STORE, with something for everyone. They, too, have classes -- although I did not check out their classroom space.

I love living on the coast, but it's nice to know that within 30 minutes, I can be in Poway, shopping at my two new favorite spots. :-) BIG SMILE.

your happy ...

Princess Magpie

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Mixed Media with Jane LaFazio, Class 4

Monday, February 16, 2009. Another rainy Monday {God, I love that weather ... it's the BEST. Thank you, God.}.
Today, Jane showed us how to prepare two cotton canvases, unstretched, untreated ... we used white Gesso to lay down the foundation for an antiqued-looking background ... for what comes next. Images of JANE'S FINISHED WORK appear here ... wow, wow, wow.

Jane is so good with POPPIES ... love this piece.

I could write a poem: "Why is the Blue Quail Sideways?!"

As we do every week, class begins with everyone showing & sharing with the rest what they completed between last Monday and this ... I sat in awe of the finished {and in progress} work of my classmates. My piece was just one-fourth complete - I'm still working on the hand-stitching and embellishing of those last three squares, so I can piece it back together into VOILA! a finished piece of art.

four squares - and on the right, 1 embellished, 1 partly-embellished
{this is my work ...}

Jane also showed us how to carve our own rubber stamps. Yes. You read that right. If I were so inclined {oh, and I just might be ...}, I could now design my very own rubber stamp/s to use in my artwork. Another big WOW moment for me. It's easier than it sounds; yet harder than it looks. Does that make sense?

first, sketch your design on plain paper

then turn paper face down on the rubber block, and using the side edge of your pencil, "transfer" the image onto the rubber

next, use a sharpie to re-draw over the pencil lines so it's easier to see the pattern

BEFORE YOU BEGIN CARVING, decide WHICH parts of the design you want to PRINT, and which you want to be "negative" space. You'll be carving out the negative space. SO: using a cool tool designed to carve out the rubber (linoleum tool, maybe? I'll have to clarify), you begin slowly, and carefully to carve away the rubber around your design.

after you've finished a small portion (a corner, maybe), TEST YOUR WORK by stamping it ... instant gratification!

If you are an artist and can DRAW, this is for you. If you are somewhat challenged in that regard, then this is something that would take plenty of practice, trial & error, etc. But - it can be done!

For now, I think I'll stick to ... mixed media, with a focus on collage. And home-made scones & banana bread. Don't know that I'll take up Rubber Stamp Carving ... yet.

Stay tuned for next week's post after art class!
-- Princess Magpie

To view a little Blogger's Eye Candy, check out what Audrey did using JUST ONE STAMP (baby in a log) from Stamp Francisco:

Very creative; very cool. And FYI, there's a GIVEAWAY to be found at that link - take a look, enter for yourself.

Good luck!
-- Princess Magpie

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Heart's Delight by Ann Deakers

Do visit my friend Ann's creative blog, which includes a link to her ETSY shop ...

She has the CUTEST things on there - mostly knit / crochet work, but some very nifty quilted and collaged work, too.

Princess Magpie

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Mixed Media with Jane LaFazio, 3rd Class

Wow. Today was a whole lot of fun! A rainy day, perfect for sitting inside with a lovely group of like-minded people, all just ... CREATING.

Jane showed us the end-purpose for the pieces we began in our first class meeting ... where we took 9 squares of coordinating papers, etc to create a background for THIS

this is Jane's amazing finished piece ... note the stitching, the beading, the endless interest ...

Then Jane told us how to "get there" ...

Jane, putting one together so we could see how it's done ...

We started by cutting our original into four equal squares. We then applied quarter-circles of more coordinating papers (including gift wrap, music scores, travel maps, tissue paper, etc) on each of those four squares. Jane advised that we work on each one individually, rather than try to have all four "make sense" as a whole. The randomness that comes from doing it that way is a whole lot of fun! And I find that I adore working with matte medium, gesso, and paints ... who knew?!

this is Jane's example from this morning ... LOVE the colors - it's like a sunrise, or sherbet.

and these are MY 4 squares, drying at my station. whew!

Jane also shared with us some amazing work she's done recently ... such talent !!!


I'll post my finished piece when it's ready ... for now, I'm excited to get to work with my piercing tool, my embroidery floss & threads, and my beads, sequins, baubles ...
Your oh-so-content ...

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Crocheted Hat Giveaway

Okay, so today I discovered a way cool blog, Simple Sparrow.

And on Simple Sparrow's blog, I discovered a note about a VERY COOL GIVEAWAY, for a darling crocheted hat ... the contest runs 2/8 - 2/15, so VISIT THIS LINK (below) and put your name in the hat (pun intended, I am sure) for the drawing!

If you just want to visit the Blue Corduroy blog's home page, here's that link:

Happy Tuesday, and good luck to you !!!


Princess Magpie, aka DAH

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Rocky makes Paper Dolls

Honest to God, one hour after I was smiling at artist Jane LaFazio's cat BUDDY in her art studio {as posted on Jane's blog}, I walked into our living room {read: NOT my art studio}, and found this:
hmmm ... what happened here?

on closer inspection, one sees a bit of an ANGEL shape ...

Apparently, Rocky found it amusing that I found it amusing that PETS could play with art supplies ... so he indulged my sense of humor by stealing a map of Siena, Italy and CHEWING paper doll shapes into the folds.

This, then, is Rocky's "finished" product:

look closely: there are THREE "angels" in his layout

And this, THIS is Rocky -- cleverly pretending he had absolutely nothing to do with anything:

Isn't he the cleverest Rat Terrier, EVER?

-- Princess Magpie
P.S. for anyone who hasn't seen his darling face, I post this:

Rocky, ready for his close-up !!!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Prince (not so) Charming

You know what I wish? I wish that for just one day, I had a spouse that totally "dug" me. That loved me without conditions, that thought it was way cool that I'm all "into" art / being creative now that I'm not working ... that could just let me be ME, without criticizing every move I make (or for that matter, every move that I don't make).

I've heard of those men who love their wives, and who love them EVEN IF said wives are a little sloppy around the house, or a few pounds overweight, or if said wife suffers from a disorder like Migraine ...

I've heard of them, and heck, I've probably met one or two in our circle of friends. I think those men are remarkable. And I think their wives are very, very, very blessed indeed.

For tonight, I get to feel a tiny bit sorry for myself ... publicly.

One girlfriend says "oh, don't put anything on your blog that you don't want people to know". Well, like, DUH. Of course not. It's a BLOG, for crying out loud!

But her point was that I should consider NOT blogging about how my life really is ...

But then, what is the point of the blog?

I could just do nicey-nice stuff all the time (that is, if I even HAD nicey-nice stuff to post!) ... but then, where is the human interest in that?

I once had a dream - that it would be wonderful to produce an "ALL GOOD NEWS, ALL THE TIME" news network. A few of us talked about it at my old office, and came to the conclusion that GOOD NEWS just wouldn't "sell". People would tune in for about one or two little stories, and then get sick of the HAPPY STUFF. Shoot. That's just not cool.

Another girlfriend said "where the heck is all the complaining? aren't blogs for posting about one's pet peeves and such?". For her, I did one PET PEEVE post - once. She liked it. A lot !!!

I don't know. Maybe I just need to use my blog once in awhile for a good, hearty GROUSE session. Is that so unreasonable?

Believe me, if Mark had a blog - it would likely be FULL of complaints about me. In great and gory detail, I'm sure ;-) !!! God knows, there is an awful lot about me to complain about ...

Still, just for one day, I'd sure like to have that wonderful man that just loved me ... for me ... warts and all. Wait, NO, I don't have warts. Don't get all grossed out over that - it's just a play on words.

I'd like to say that I feel better already, just having written all the above. I don't. Yet. Guess I'll go fold some more laundry and ponder things some more.

Can I just say this? Right now, I'd be so much happier if we HAD attended our friend Andy's ENGAGEMENT PARTY tonight ... I was SO looking forward to it. Got all ready, makeup, hair, clothes carefully chosen ... dressed and ready to go. Came downstairs and Mark wouldn't even look at me - said he'd "changed his mind". Said he couldn't stand the idea of going with "a viper" (that would be me, I think).

So now I'm in my flannel jammies, feeling good and mighty sorry for myself ... a good cry would help most gals in my situation, but I don't even cry over this stuff any more ... it happens all the time, like this.

Ooooh, now I'm really working up a good GROUSE session.

I better go. Before I say something I'll be sorry for.

-- PM

Thursday, February 5, 2009

working with HELEN SHAFER GARCIA, artist

The mixed media art class that I am currently involved in had a wonderful substitute teacher this week: HELEN SHAFER GARCIA, a local {San Diego county} artist who is a very busy working artist ... she teaches, she paints for local publications, she is involved with a local art museum ... she's a busy lady! We were fortunate to have her share a technique with us on Monday where we took a collage piece as our background, drew a "TREE OF LIFE" image, as simple or as fanciful as we liked, on top -- in pencil -- and then, using NEGATIVE VALUE SHADING, we made that Tree of Life "pop" ...

Helen's STASH BUCKET of colored & graphite pencils

Walking around the room, seeing everyone's unique work coming to life, was so much fun. And so humbling!

Here, some photos of Helen demonstrating the technique to us all:

the "inspiration" - a finished piece by Helen, some posters with birds and butterflies ...

Helen demonstrating the shading technique ...

Helen's amazing, beautiful work ... WOW !!!

And here, a link to Helen's own website -- she has a blogspot, too, full of creative entries -- you can access her blog right from her website:

I can't wait for Monday, to see how everyone's project is turning out ... and to have regular instructer, Jane LaFazio, back in our midst.
-- Princess Magpie
by the way, MY project is not yet ready for it's close up ... ;-)

Monday, February 2, 2009

Kelly Rae Roberts - Inspires Again !!!

Okay, so I've fallen in love with this new mixed media piece - it's little bitty, at just 5" x 5" - by one of my fave artists, Kelly Rae Roberts.

This little lovely is available as a fine art print on Kelly Rae's ETSY shop ... visit her at:

Be prepared to spend some time there, though. Her work is enchanting!
And if you, like me, are into BLOGS, hers is so dang inspiring ... visit her blog at:
Happy Monday, my creative friends ...
-- Princess Magpie