Monday, December 26, 2016

Journal Spread - A Good Night

Lots going on over the holidays in my studio. Some pieces taking longer than others. I did manage to whip out another catalog spread. This one was inspired by a book I found while cleaning up my basement -  Getting along in Russian by Mario Pei (probably late 1950s). Given the current political climate I thought I should brush up on my Russian just in case. You can tell the book is dated by some of the "common" phrase provided - like: Where is the ashtray? I should like to have for breakfast orange juice or prunes. What an awful dump! and of course the very useful I think I may have dysentery ... I think the five phrases in my piece are pretty important too lol. This is the "before" page...
And the "after". I always try to keep a part of the original page...
Painted background (Payne Grey and Chambry Blue). Stamped gold paint using a Tim Holtz stencil. Dripped Naphthol Red Light high flow acrylic and Iridescent Bright Gold Liquitex Ink. Additional marks using POSCA pens. Vintage atlas map and scrap as well as cool 1968 Russian stamp. She came from a spread in an old Better Homes and Garden mag... 
Enjoy. Jewels

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

HELLO world...still going strong at Maple Hill

Goodness - May!!! My poor neglected blog. I'm thinking I am going to do some revamping over the holidays...
..of course saying and doing are two very different things.
But I am going to give it another go and see if get enough traffic to justify posting. I am much more active these days over on Facebook and Flickr.
Just seem to get more interaction there.
The pictures I am sharing are from my Sales Catalog (Younkers) Art Journal that I have been trying to do 15 min exercises in (though often it goes longer than that)....

Any who, hope you will leave a comment to let me know your visiting. Enjoy. Jewels. 

Friday, May 20, 2016


Johnny is asking the class if they are ready for ICADology lol!

I really enjoyed ICAD last year though I did not art everyday - still I did create a lot of fun cards and loved seeing how everyone else interpreted the themes. SO....going to try and do it again this year. Here is my first "warm up" card. I found a ton of the old kind of cards at my parent's place and hope to repurpose them this year. Hope you join too!

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Mail Art - Found Poetry

I'm bummed - BIG issues with Flickr and I am unable to add pics there at the moment. Using Facebook and my much neglected Blog to "capture the memories"....

Latest mail art swap was Found Poetry - however you wanted to create it. I chose to take a page out of a book and randomly circle words to get my poem. For my two cards I used an old Readers Digest book (the ones with the cool covers) and happened on a story that had lots of opportunities!

I also used new techniques I learned from Tammy Garcia's Novel Approach class and I really love how they turned out.
First up - Lenna's card..
And her envelope - cool story about the back picture. It reminded me of paintings by Lenna's Great Uncle William Glackens which is why I chose it ...

I had a hoot with Jo's - I knew she would appreciate the humour - and the text really was on the same page LOL..
Same style for Jo's envelope - notice it's another woman reading a book which I think was a great tie in to our overall theme.

Well our next theme will be a challenge for all of us! It's Dendritic Painting - never heard of it - neither had I and just accidentally came across it - check out this video...

looking forward to REALLY going out of my comfort zone... Enjoy! 

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Novel Approach - Part 1

Fun fun fun…I am half way through all of Tammy Garcia’s (aka Daisy Yellow of ICAD fame) Novel Approach workshop (still time to sign up if you are interested – see badge on my sidebar).

Being untypically non-conformist (definitely out of my anal comfort zone – I even told Jo this was going to be TOUGH for me), I have been hopping through the classes and not doing them in any particular order. I will definitely go back and do them all – seeing a lot of creative stuff from other participants that is providing inspiration. Let me share what I’ve done so far (sorry, can’t share actual techniques in respect to the instructor, who, by the way, has done a fantastic job – one of the better online classes I’ve taken).

There was some pre-work including the creation of an Inspiration Board. I chose to make mine portable recycling the end board of a large water paper pad. It’s been carried around a few rooms since the class started! If nothing else I wanted to be COLOURFUL and mostly RETRO (my two favorite go to zones). 

And then the fun began – we are working in old repurposed books (hence “novel”). Over the years, I have taken several runs at prepping books but never got to the next step. I know I will be going back to some of those and arting in them now that I have taken this class. Plus I liked Tammy’s prepping instructions. This was my first spread using a cool  background technique.
That was it – I was hooked lol. My next spread involved a song lyric (from Chris Stapleton – Traveller album – highly recommend) and a cool use of those letters you find in the hardware store to stick on your mailbox. If nothing else, I’ve been able to dip into my heaps and heaps of retro pictures. 

This next spread was a simple collage – a warm up for other exercises to come. Pick a theme (gee, wonder what mine was) and get to it – of course I had to include a copy of my drawing of dear Mr. Darcy. 

This “rainbow blend” was not exactly executed as taught but I am quite happy with the results. And I really was singing Gliddy Glup Gloopy while I was creating it. 

My most current spread is from a class called Spaced Out – it was about circles and blending. Again, like most of my classmates, I took Tammy’s original spark and made it my own. I have to say this is probably my favorite so far (though so were the first four lol).

This close up is now the desktop background on my work computer – it gets a few comments.

Still have prism, design a cafĂ©, word collage and more to get through. I am trying to be spontaneous but I have to say every time I have a break at work I am thinking about how I will interpret the next assignment (and what I need to go look for in those heaps and heaps of paper, argh….!).
I’ve learned ever so much and enjoyed every minute of it – as well as everyone else’s work – hurrah! Enjoy. Jewels.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Something Different Mail Art

The Three Amigos have been at it again - our latest swap was "Something Different" - the challenge was to use a substrate you have never used before for the base of your postcard. Well the gals were very ingenious - and none of them were alike!
The first to arrive at Maple Hill was Lenna's wonderful Yupo paper - never heard of it before! 100% polpropolene which gives a wonderful effect. This pic does not really do the rich, shiny colours justice - love it L!!!!!!
Jo's took a little longer to arrive - her's was a cool effect on acetate - you can read all about her process on her blog here. Awesome!
So... me being a librarian, I had to Google "postcard substrate". I actually had quite a few hits (and choices) but decided to go with this technique of using a pile of sewn together magazine pages.
Tear 10 pages out of magazines, apply a little glue to keep them together while running through the sewing machine...
...I did a stippling effect to freestyle around the surface (my poor old machine really get's put through its paces...).
The original article painted the surface but I loved the graphics so much I decided to let them show through and did a little painting here and there. Love the succulents in the shoes - making me thing of Spring (and a fitting postal stamp as well). 

It was delivered to Jo with my 70's gal in green - I really enjoy arting up the envelopes as much as making the main piece. I always think how fun it will be for the person on the recieving end!
The flowers and china really appealed to me for Lenna's card - and "joyful friend" describes exactly what she is (hugs my friend). Another old stamp from my stash....
and fun envelope!
So - Found Poetry is up next - stay tuned. Enjoy. Jewels

Friday, January 15, 2016

Liberate Your Art 2016

Last year I participated in Kat Sloma's annual Liberate Your Art swap where you create postcards of original art made by you, send in and get five postcards back in return plus an extra one from Kat. I had fun and got some lovely cards so thought I would do again this year. But this time I am submitting five different pieces courtesy of the company MOO that make it SO easy to get your work printed. It's cost friendly (I was really organized and took advantage of their sales right before Christmas) and good quality. I have already sent a couple of the extras I got back to friends and relatives....
This mail art was made a while back for my friend Jo - I think it was our very first swap! I've since done a better job "standardizing" my size. I do remember it took FOREVER to get to her in England - we agree it must have gone around the globe a couple of times - but fortunately it finally made it.
Mo and I did a "one staple" Mail Art Exchange which I first found out through Daisy Yellow's Tammy Garcia. I've done a few of these and they are sooooooo fun.
Collective Nouns was the theme of this Mail Art that I sent to Lenna. I loved using the old pattern graphics.
My mail art pal Leslie and I did an exchange on Renaissance Mash Up. I found this picture of three young girls and wondered what they would be like today!
Lenna hosted a big swap awhile back with a theme of Summer - I went with Summer Camp Songs and made my card based on an old Girl Guide song I used to sing.Can't remember who ultimately got this but I think it was another of my pals Beth.
I also sent an extra one for Kat - this was one of ICAD cards from last year that Tammy hosted.
I always like to have fun with the envelope I send everything in. For some reason Liberate your Art reminded me of the French Revolution (have no idea why) - but it was all about freedom! And that certainly is the spirit of Kat's swap.
And of course I had to let Marie Antoinette have her say on the back (hee hee).

So there you have it. There is still time if you are interested in joining so be sure to check it out here.
Enjoy. Jewels