Travelers Notebook Insert (Volume #1)

I finally finished my first Midori Travelers Notebook insert.  The paper in this insert is the Midori paper in 003.  It took watercolor and ink beautifully.  After I decorated the covers of the insert, I covered it in clear contact paper.  I thought that you may enjoy watching as i flip through my volume one insert, as I know one of my favorite videos to watch are ones where I get to see someone’s completed journals.  You can watch the video HERE and I hope you enjoy!

I recently taught a private class that I like to call “Pieces of Art.”  The class was held at my friend Heather’s beautiful home.  I am so grateful that she opened up her home to me and the other beautiful souls that created with us.  Everyone’s artwork looked amazing!

If you are interested in taking a class at my studio in Bucyrus, Ohio or would like me to bring the class to you and your friends in a private lesson, just email me.  It is always a good time 🙂

Thanks for stopping by and remember to always keep art in your heart.

Artiscape 2016

Another year at Artiscape has come and gone but it has left me with wonderful memories and an arsenal of new art techniques with new mediums.  My friend Tonya and I stayed at the Embassy Suites in Dublin, Ohio Thursday until Sunday, April 22-24, 2016, where Artiscape, an artist’s gathering, took place.

Our first class on Thursday was called “Rusted” with the talented Shari Replogle.  She showed us an awesome technique to make your artwork appear rusted and incorporated it into this encaustic assemblage workshop.  This was the first time that I had ever worked with encaustics and I enjoyed it.  Just be warned…it is an expensive medium to get in to.

Here I am with Shari and my pieces I created in class.  One of the pieces is not quite finished but the bird feather piece is complete.  I love how it turned out.  My husband found this Blue Jay feather in the woods behind our house.

Artiscape-2016-Encaustic-artwork

You can find Shari’s “Wax on Wednesdays” videos on YouTube HERE and her blog HERE.

On Friday, Tonya and I took a different approach to wax as a medium and worked under the instruction of the wonderful Serena Barton to create artwork with cold wax medium in her class “Paper, Oil and Wax.”  Very different from the hot wax in encaustic and so much fun!

In this photo with Serena, I’m holding a collaborative piece that she and I worked on together.  Basically I didn’t like where it was going and she helped me work it out 😉

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And here are all of the pieces that I created in class.

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You can find Serena on YouTube or more about her and her wonderful books, merchandise and artwork on her website.

Friday evening was the Preview of the Marketplace where many vendors were set up selling merchandise.  There were also artist demos by Mary Beth Shaw (aka: Stencil Girl), Carolyn Dube, Trish McKinney, Melissa Becker, Sally Lynn MacDonald from Gel Press and Jan Lill Worms.  I streamed live during the event on Periscope, which unfortunately is only available for twenty-four hours.  I was so busy worrying about the Periscope broadcast that I forgot to take photos, so I apologize.

Saturday’s class was “A Jumble of Journals” with the creative and enthusiastic Lovely Linda Crofton.  We made SIX…yes SIX journals in only four hours!  Linda provided us with a TON of awesome goodies and six great journals made from various materials and bound various ways.

Lovely Linda’s website can be found HERE.

Saturday night was dinner and entertainment.  This year the theme was Masquerade in Venice.

Lisa Ohmer, the owner of European Papers and creator of Artiscape, announces the entertainment for the evening, which was Hashtag Comedy, an improvisational comedy group from the Shadowbox Live.  It was quite funny!

Sunday’s workshop was “Souvenir of Venice Journal” with Jan Lill Worms.  I really enjoyed the more traditional bookbinding techniques in this class and learning the Dos Equis stitch that we used for the spine.  Jan is an amazing bookbinder and instructor.

You can find Jan Lill Worms’ website HERE.

Before we left Sunday, we enjoyed snacks and tea at the Madhatters Tea Party.

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And look at this wonderful headpiece.

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We shopped the Art Fair then headed home.  It was a great weekend and I was sad to see it end, but after four days together, I think we were ready for a break 😉

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Hope you enjoyed my glimpse into Artiscape weekend.  Do you have any retreats that you like to attend?  I’d love to hear about them!

Favorite Online Classes

It is no secret to my friends that I am a sucker for online art classes and workshops.  I take as many as I can, as often as I can.  Some of them have not only an element to them, but also a self help or positive message along with them.  I mainly look for art that inspires me and if there are emotional and uplifting elements with it, I consider it a bonus.  So, I thought that I would share with you a few of my favorites.

First up, and in no particular order, is Inspiration Wednesdays by Donna Downey.  Donna has a year long workshop that she teaches online called Inspiration Wednesdays.  Every other Wednesday for the entire year, she sends you a lesson that you create in your Inspiration Journal, which you can purchase from her or purchase one of her online classes to learn how to make your own.  I get excited every week that I know it’s time for a new lesson!  She uses all sorts of different mediums to create gorgeous art journal pages.  The lessons are always different and inspirational. I absolutely love it!  And the best part is that it is only $35 for the entire year!  What an affordable price.  To find out more information about Donna and her workshops, visit her website:

Donna Downey

The next artist is known for her beautiful, whimsical and fierce females.  She also creates beautiful works of art in watercolor, as well as mixed media, and lives in Australia.  Have you guessed who it is yet?  It’s the lovely Jane Davenport.  Last year she had one of the best selling books, “Beautiful Faces,” which she created into an online workshop that you.  The book is used as a tool during the class as well as her videos from the workshop.  I took the class and purchases her book.  Definitely one of my favorite online workshops and one of my favorite books!  Jane also has many other workshops available.  You can find them on her website here:

Jane Davenport

Another favorite artist of mine is Christy Tomlinson.  Christy is know for her “She Art” and “She Matters” art retreats.  I’m sorry to say that I have yet to attend one of her “She Matters” retreats, but it is definitely on my bucket list.  Her “She Art” girls range from cute, faceless figures to women with gorgeous flower headdresses.  Christy also has a workshop on creating bracelets out of belts and is deep into the planning craze.  All of her workshops that I have taken were amazing and I highly recommend them.  You can find Christy’s website here:

Christy Tomlinson

I’ve had the pleasure of taking several in person classes with the next artist.  She resided in New York City for several years before returning to Boston last year.  To me, she is the Goddess of art journaling and such an enthusiastic teacher.  I present to you, Julie Fei-Fan Balzer.  Julie is an amazing stamp carver, stencil and stamp designer, teacher, art journaler…the list goes on and on.  She has an array of online classes from stamp carving to how to create a Junque Journal.  I have loved all of her classes, online and in person, that I have taken.  You can find them here:

Balzer Designs

And last but definitely not least is an artist that truly tries to help her students understand art and the beauty of life.  Kelly Rae Roberts focuses on creating art with a positive message.  Her new course “Spirit Wings,” is no exception.  The class started a few months ago but you can join in the fun at any time.  You can find the “Spirit Wings” class as well as several others here:

Kelly Rae Roberts

I hope you find a workshop that suits you.  Have you taken any classes from these artists?  I would love to hear which classes you took and what your experience was like.

Thanks for stopping by!

New Mixed Media Canvas Class

I finally have a new mixed media canvas class scheduled for Saturday, July 25th, from 12pm-5pm, at my studio in Bucyrus, Ohio.  We will be creating this painting:

MM-Canvas-Tree

You can use any colors that you desire and trust me, no artistic talent or drawing is required.  We will create this painting using acrylic paint, inks, water soluble pencils, and other mediums.  You will not need to bring any supplies except for an apron or old clothes in case you get crazy, which will hopefully be the case 🙂  And you will have an 11×14 canvas painting that you created to take home class.  The cost of the class is $45.  Just send me an email if you are interested.  Space is limited so it is on a first come, first serve basis.  Hope to see you soon!

Gelli Plate Journal Workshop

I had such a great time co-facilitating the Gelli Plate Journal Workshop with Sandy Laipply.  The ladies in the workshop were amazing and created beautiful journals with their gelli plates.

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I can’t wait to teach another gelli plate workshop!  Have you ever used a gelli plate?  What are some of your favorite techniques to use on the gelli plate?

Trip to Amherst

A few of my mixed media buddies and I decided to take a trip up to Amherst, Ohio to attend an art journal class at Stamplistic.  Rather than just driving up for the class and arriving in Amherst at the time that class started, we decided to make an afternoon trip out of it 🙂

Once we reached Amherst, our first stop was a little Polish Bakery called Kiedrowski’s.  I purchased a shortbread cookie, which my daughter thought was delicious and suggested that I purchase one every time I go up there…lol, and a Snoogle, which is one item that the bakery is known for.  It was equally as delicious as the cookie!

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After the bakery, we did a little shopping at Pat Catan’s.  It was my first time at a Pat Catan’s store and I never realized that they carried fine art products.  It was a nice surprise.

After shopping, we headed to Mr. Hero for dinner.  Hot buttered cheesesteak and waffle fries with cheese please 😉

Then, finally the art journaling class at Stamplistic and taught by Jennifer.  The class was based on techniques that are done by mixed media artist Dyan Reaveley.  We played with her spray inks, stencils stamps, even her new paints!  We had a lot of fun.

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We also did some shopping at Stamplistic as well.  I can definitely see us taking another trip there in the near future!

If you would like to get details on products sold at Stamplistic or check their class schedule, you can visit them on the web at www.stamplistic.com

They also have an online store full of scrapbooking and mixed media goodies!

Thanks for stopping by my blog 🙂

Create New Jersey

So, I just returned home from a fun, art filled weekend at Create in New Jersey.  In case you have never heard of Create, it is a mixed-media art retreat that is hosted by Cloth Paper Scissors.  They have several other retreats at other locations, such as Chicago, IL, Dallas, TX and Seattle, WA.  For more information on the retreat, check out this link: http://www.createmixedmediaretreat.com/ehome/index.php?eventid=75796&

I took three classes with the amazing Julie Fei-Fan Balzer.  If you want to check out her website, you can find it at:

http://balzerdesigns.typepad.com/balzer_designs/

On Friday, we created a stenciled art journal by using ink, paint and stencils.  After we painted and inked all of our pages, some of us traded pages with other classmates before binding the pages together to make our very own journals.  Then we learned how to add more paint and ink to transform two completely different pages into one cohesive spread.  It was a great class!

Me and Julie Fei-Fan Balzer

On Saturday, we learned how to make an interesting and pleasing face, not a “pretty” face in Julie’s Explore Faces class.  If you have ever taken any of Julie’s classes, you will know that she is not about making things “pretty” but about making them “interesting.”  It was great to see all of the different styles of faces that were created in class, even though we were all given the same instructions.  And I have to say, this is my favorite class that I have taken to date!

Faces class w/ Julie

The fun weekend wrapped up with Julie’s Authentic Stencils class on Sunday.  This was a very interesting class that guides you through making your very own stencils.  This includes finding things to make into stencils, such as magazine clippings, to actually designing and cutting your own stencils.  I can’t wait to create my own stencils to use in my artwork to truly make it my own.

Julie Fei-Fan Balzer journal demo

Julie Fei-Fan Balzer journal demo

If anyone were considering taking classes from Julie, I would tell them, “What are you waiting for?!?!?”  She has great techniques and tricks that she passes along through her classes, and she is very charismatic.  I’m so glad that I was able to learn from her.

I also have to give a shout out to my husband who actually drove me 9+ hours to go to the retreat.  Thanks babe, you’re the best!!!