Sunday, January 31, 2016

Shabby Chic 44 an Shabby Chic Heart

Shabby Chic 44

Shabby Chic Heart
I am in both the photos on these two spreads.  In the top one I am with my mother. I do not know where this photo was taken for sure but perhaps it was at a party in Portland, OR  My aunt, uncle, and cousins lived there and we visited frequently.  In the bottom photo I am with my friend Roberta.  She lived up the road from me and we played everyday after school.  She even went on a vacation to Disneyland with my family.  

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Shabby Chic71 and Shabby Chic Kob

Shabby Chic 71

Shabby Chic Kob
My Mom and Dad worked for Goodyear Tire in Los Angles.  In fact, that is where they met. Dorothy was working as a secretary and my father would make up excuses to visit the office where she worked.  In 1948 they married and soon moved to Kent, WA where they had purchased ten acres. They also purchased a house up the road from the acreage and had it moved onto the property.  Here is a photo of moving day.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Shabby Chic 24 and Shabby Chic Ole

Shabby Chic 24

Shabby Chic Ole
Ole was a neighbor of ours when I was growing up on the farm in Kent, WA.  She, in fact, suggested my name to my parents which was accepted.  I loved going to Ole's house to hang out.  She had a huge old farmhouse and barn.   We were not allowed to go in the barn by ourselves though.  There were cats and dogs, cows, a horse or two, and an old pony.  The animals changed with the seasons it seemed

When I graduated from the University of Maryland I moved back to the Seattle area and lived with Ole for about nine months.  During that time she got very sick and had to enter the hospital.  She never returned to the house and I was left with the responsibility of the animals.  Finding homes and taking care of her wishes was not an easy task.

I found the picture of Ole in our farmhouse living room.  Ole is on the left.  My favorite memory of Ole was the amazing cinnamon rolls she would bake each Sunday.  She baked them in a wood burning oven.  You know how hard it is for kids to wait for something. Sunday mornings I would jump on my bike and race to her house thinking for sure that the cinnamon rolls would be ready. They have to rise!  Why does it take so long for that process?  I still remember the pat of butter melting on them.  They were just about the best!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Shabby Chic 8 and Shabby Chic 48

Shabby Chic 8

Shabby Chic 48

I can come up with a story for just about all of my collaged spreads.  Sometimes I like to tell you and other times I leave it to you to figure out your story.  In Shabby Chic 48, I have only a slight clue as to the gentleman.  I am wondering if it is my brother's father.  I do not know.  The photos were found in an envelope with my mother's previous married name on it.  There were pictures of my brother and my mother in the envelope.  Since it was not something that was talked about around me very much when I was little  I do not know much.  The funny thing is that I found an insurance policy made out to my brother that his dad took out.  I have set it aside to give to Jerry soon.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Shabby Chic 82 and Shabby Chic 84

Shabby Chic 82

Shabby Chic 84

Interestingly last night at Bookies, a group of people who get together to discuss bookmaking, a question was asked about how my shabby chic journal was going to be bound.  To me it was obvious that it was already bound with the sari ribbon.  That got me to thinking what constitutes binding.  Is it possible that sari ribbon wrapped around the journal to keep it in place is not a binding?  To me it is. Thoughts?

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Shabby Chic 34 and Shabby Chic 64

Shabby Chic 64

Shabby Chic 34
Shabby Chic 64 appeared on this blog a few days ago but I added to it since then.  This morning I just held my new Fragile journal and smiled.  I actually have finished a journal from start to finish.  My non-New Year's resolution is coming true.  Finish journals.

By the way, I am going to reach my goal of posting each day in January.  In fact, I have posts lined up through February 2.  The January challenge was a great for me since I am mostly creating in previously created journals.  I will keep you posted on how I do throughout 2016. :-)

Monday, January 25, 2016

Shabby Chic 3 and Shabby Chic 59

Shabby Chic 3
Shabby Chic 59
I finished my Shabby Chic journal this afternoon.  This was an involved project that took almost a month of working on it every day for several hours.  This journal has 9 pages front and back (18 separate works).  I will post both sides of each journal page for the next eight days.  The photographs that I will be including all came from my parents estate.  Some of the photos have people I know and others do not.  For instance, Shabby Chic 59 has me sitting on some man's lap.  I have no idea who he is!

Sunday, January 24, 2016


I am not much of a gambler and I do not know of anyone with a gambling problem.  I have been to Las Vegas twice with many years in between.  I did play the slot machines.....loved walking around looking at the people.  That was it.  So where did this spread come from?  The mind is a scary place!

The envelope on the left came from Terry Garrett.  I believe he used an old calendar or magazine cover to create it.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Fisherman's Club

Fisherman's Club
Funny how quickly some collages come together and how some take days and weeks to finish.  This one took about an hour and not all that much thinking.  It just flowed together with what I had on my desk late yesterday afternoon.  Again I created it in my envelope journal.  A huge thank you to Terry Garrett for sending me snail mail which shows in the background.  There is something secret about this club.  Can you figure it out?

Friday, January 22, 2016


This is the cover for my shabby chic journal that I am creating for an art journaling workshop. I shared one of the pages a couple of posts ago.  It took me many hours making decisions and creating yesterday. I polished it off this morning and am happy with the results. Now to continue on the inside pages.  I would like to have it mostly completed soon as I have another class to prepare for which is happening in March.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

A Walk in the Woods

A Walk in the Woods

My friend Liri Ben-Dov lives in Israel.  She sent me a card which is the background of this spread.  I do not know the artist who created the amazing painting of the forest. I found the images for the figures on French playing cards hence the diamonds and the hearts.  Liri's message to me below was included with her bi-monthly ATC.  I thought her words poetic, eloquent and poignant.

Israel is my country, a country of conflicts and contradictions: joy and sorrow, religious and secular, Arabs and Jews, sweet and bitter, quiet and thundering, cannons, war, and peace.

 Liri Ben-Dov

Please note on the right side of the spread, the Harvey Milk stamp.  It was sent to me by Brian Kasstle.  Thanks Brian!  How perfect is that? Harvey would have approved of this spread, a nod to PEACE.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Shabby Chic Journal Page

Shabby Chic Journal Page
I am in the process of teaching a new workshop that I am calling Shabby Chic. The page above is one that I am thinking is almost done but I want to live with it for awhile.   I first heard of Shabby Chic when I was visiting Paris many years ago.  Tim was off doing some work while I took a walk through one of the arrondissements (Paris is divided into sections) where I found an alley.  When I reached the end of the alley and turned around, a huge dog was standing in front of me about 30 feet away. You can image that I thought I was a trapped goner,  Fortunately, the owner of the dog came out and took charge.  She was an American. expat who was very friendly.  We ended up chatting for quite awhile. Within 30 minutes of knowing her, she had invited Tim and I for drinks late that afternoon.

Her house was amazing and it was decorated in what she called Shabby Chic.  Paint was peeling off the walls as was some wallpaper.  The furnished items were all from flea markets.  Her house was very eclectic.  I loved it!

Sometimes I feel that my art is eclectic.  I find ephemera wherever I go.   Yesterday I was attending a lunch meeting for the NW Collage Society and scored big time.  The birds above were in the napkins that the hostess gave us.  I knew immediately that they would become part of my Shabby Chic journal.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

The Secret Season

The Secret Season
Attraction historically has not been easy for some men.  One had to be very careful.  There were looks and codes to be followed.  Somehow it worked for the most part although not always.  It is so much easier for couples to meet now but not in the 1940's and still certainly not in many countries around the world today.  It saddens me that gay men are thrown off buildings in ISIS occupied areas of Syria just because they are trying to be who they were born to be.  The Secret Season honors the past and hopes for the best in the future.

The envelope on the right came from my friend Connie Rose who lives in northern California. Thanks Connie for the collaboration even though you knew nothing about it.

Monday, January 18, 2016


Voice 01

Voice 02

Last night while I was working in my passport journal I started rummaging around in one of my paint cupboards and re-found an ink spray that Seth Apter had given me last May when he stayed with me during our workshop together.  It is Fireworks Pear Tart.  I really was not sure what it would do and found out that it gives bling or sparkle.  I have not been into sparkle in my work but thought why not. You can see the before Pear Tart and after in the two photos above.  In this case I like how it tied the two sides of the spread together.  I used only one shot of spray on each side and then rubbed a bit.  It is a water soluable spray.

This spread is called Voice.  Hmm!  I wonder why?  The obvious is the voice of the bird.  I love this time of the year because very soon the birds will be back.....birds other than crows and seagulls.  I love it when robins first start visiting the neighborhood again.  It is a sure fire lead up to spring.  But the left hand side of the spread is a different voice.  It is the voice of the past.  Of course you see me in an altered photo, but you also see my grandfather and father in the photo.  The little boy is my dad. His dad died when he was only three.  So there are few photos of my grandfather around.  Not only am I giving voice to his existence, I am giving voice to the fact that I would not exist without either of them having lived.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Leyendecker Tribute

Leyendecker Tribute
I have loved Leyendecker's work for quite some time.  He did many covers for the Saturday Evening Post and ads for Arrow Shirts.  The three male figures in my tribute came from the new digital files available at the NY Public Library.  Each figure was in a different ad.  I put them together in this spread to honor this wonderful artist.  Leyendecker was gay and lived with his partner, Charles Beach, for many years in New Rochelle, NY.

The envelope used on the left side of the spread came from my friend Ingrid who lives in Sweden. Her choice of color was replicated on the right.  Thanks Ingrid for this unknowing collaboration. :-)
Ingrid primarily is a fabrics artist. She is also an avid photographer.  She has had many shows of her fabric art in Sweden which I wish I had a chance to attend.  Check her out by clicking on the link.

Saturday, January 16, 2016


My Collage Society partner, Jan Clem, and I, with many volunteers and two professional hangers, hung the NW Collage Society Winter 2016 Show Thursday and Friday.  It was a massive task to hang 86 pieces of art but it is done and it looks great!

On Thursday afternoon several of us went to a Mexican restaurant for a 4:00 lunch after one long day of show preparation.  We were starved but we found an atmosphere of atmospheres to dine in. Wherever I go I look for ephemera.  First, I asked the waitress where they got the wallpaper.  It had a terrific texture.  No one seemed to know but one of the diners at my table asked me if I still had my exacto knife on me??  No, but maybe next time! :-)  Then when the bill came, it was in a Jalapeno pepper can.  I coveted the can because of the label but I could not talk the waitress out of one.  She did tell me I could find the cans at Safeway.

So when all the diners got outside of the restaurant I was provided one of the cans from a diner who will not be named.  We had a good laugh over this one.  This diner had scooped out the cans and found that the restaurant had a supply not only on the wait staff table by the front door but in the kitchen.  So I do not feel so bad about the sticky fingered diner's task.

This is now known as The Case of the Missing Pepper Can!

The spread LaMorena was completed in my envelope journal.  My Swedish friend, Ingrid provided the envelope on the right.  Her collaborative part is the four green circles on the right which were on the back of the envelope.  Thanks Ingrid! :-)

Friday, January 15, 2016

2016 NW Collage Society Winter Show

2016 NW Collage Society Winter Show
Tomorrow the 2016 NW Collage Society Winter Show opens at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle, WA  It will run through March 26, 2016.  There are 86 collage works in the show and I had two pieces selected for inclusion.

Unspoken Truth

Things in Common

Thursday, January 14, 2016

On Display

On Display
I am in an envelope exchange with quite a few people.  I just finished this one hoping to get it into today's mail and guess who came early, the postman.  This particular envelope is going to my friend Cindy in CO.  I added a little surprise inside which you have all seen previously.  I thought that this particular composition, although simple, came together quite well.  The background is a gelli print, the middle ground is a vintage auto, and the foreground is a fashion drawing that I found on the NY Library digital site.  Three parts and fini!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016



Dreamy took a bit of time to complete.  The background has been sitting around for weeks. Today I found these fashion drawings on the NY Public Library site.....  http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/ . This digital collection is copyright free.  I thought they were perfect for this postcard because of all the line directions.  There are the umbrella lines and the lines on the patterns in the dresses which all seem to compliment each other in their contrasting directions.  Does that make sense? :-)

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Please Don't Let Us Disappear

Please Don't Let Us Disappear
Quite some time ago I began a passport journal.  Using an expired passport of mine, I started adding this and that of little leftover pieces of ephemera.  The journal is one of those that is far from done but fun to revisit and add to like I did today.  There is a little pocket made from a glasscine envelope on the right side of the spread.  Inside is a tiny journal that I can work on next.  It is challenging working tiny much like creating artist trading cards!

Monday, January 11, 2016

Girl's Got a Mission

Girl's Got a Mission

The envelope started out in Bemidji, MN.  It has made its way into my envelope journal. Thanks Terry Garrett for such a fun start to the "Did Not Know Collaboration!"   No one including me knew that the envelopes would end up in a journal.

I added the stamps, the star, the blue dots, line and pencil work and the other collage material including the woman.  The other side of the spread is one that you have already seen so I did not include it again.

Sunday, January 10, 2016


I just love how printing on old dictionary pages turns out.  With a little help from Tim I was able to add some filters to the image.  The red and black paper was a gift from my friend Michele which I collaged to the substrate.  After the filtering I stenciled just a bit and then added "Kayaker".  It all seems simple but it took a long time to explore filters.  I just love how the words come through the image of the man.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Kitchen Sink

Kitchen Sink 01

Kitchen Sink 02

Kitchen Sink 03
Following my original plan of uploading even my art warts to this blog, I decided to do a little Photoshopping to see what might come of turning a wart into something acceptable to me.  First this spread is like throwing everything into the kitchen sink hence the name. Knowing when to stop sometimes is a problem for me.  It seems that this is one of those times.  I won't bore you by telling you all of what I dislike about this spread, but for me it is just too much.

Kitchen Sink 02 which is a crop of 01 seems to me to be the best save of the spread.  It needs a something in the foreground which I could Photoshop in and which I may do. Perhaps 03 could use the same treatment if I decide to take the time.

Kitchen Sink 04
I decided to do one more thing to Kitchen Sink 01.  I really did not like the barking dog.  So I decollaged it and added another Japanese comic character.  Things are looking up but not much. Moving on.......

Friday, January 8, 2016

Fish Fry

Fish Fry
This morning I have been working in the envelope journal some more and this time I am using an envelope from Terry Garrett and a card from Michele Unger.  Terry's envelope to me was much longer and I folded it in the journal.  Michele's card was a thank you for something I must have done for her a year or so ago. Combining the two into a spread was great fun.

On the salmon part of the spread the seaweed is made from cocktail umbrellas.  Since the salmon is King in the Northwest you can see why I placed a crown on its' head.  When I visited Terry in MN the walleye is one of the prominent fish along with the Northern Pike.  Hence another fish had to be added to Terry's envelope.  Reading menus in MN I noticed many entries for fried fish.  Doing a secret collaboration is quite fun.  Thank you Terry and Michele for mail. :-)

Thursday, January 7, 2016



WOW!  Now this is busy!  I love busy though and there are so many things about this spread that I like.  First, thanks to Irene Rafael for sending me snail mail art.  The front of her envelope is her spectacular piece of mail with just two additional things by me the geisha and the white "circle".  The bottom portion is my doing.  I wanted to tie the two pieces together and my attempt at continuing the red and black on the left hand side does that as do the drips.  My final touch of pink also brings the top and the bottom portions of the spread together.

Irene's heritage is Japanese-American.  Her family was interned in "relocation" camps during WWII. Irene is masterful at keeping her heritage alive.  So in the bottom portion I have included Japanese comic book figures that were given to me by my friend, Jan.  If there is any attempt at minimalism it is mostly the bottom portion of the spread.  I kept it simple and yet it is busy.  I like that other mail is showing through in many different places along the borders of this spread.  I thought of cutting them off but decided not to do that.  It does not affect the spread as one can see the beginnings and end of this collage.  The bottom portion of the spread was the interior of an envelope.   The title Sam comes from the phrase just under the gentleman near the geisha.  This spread evolved over about two hours this morning.  Thanks Irene for inspiring me! :-)

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Condensed Soup

Condensed Soup
You know those stormy cold winter days when the wind and the rain are pelting you and all you want to be doing is reading a book by a roaring fire.  Remember those days when your mom made grilled cheese sandwiches with tomato soup?  If you are like me you dunked your sandwich right in the warm soup.  Condensed Soup brings back those memories for me.

The envelope on the left side came to me from my friend Irene Rafael in CA.  The right side envelope came from England but I am not sure of the sender.  No matter I appreciate the wonderful mail art that comes my way. Thanks Irene and the mysterious British person.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016


I do not know if it will happen but I am going to try and post something each day in January.  This may be a tall order and I give myself permission to slip.  A valiant try is all I can hope for.

Rain is a spread in my envelope journal.  You know the one, the one where the signatures are envelopes that art friends have sent me.  This time I am creating on an envelope that came from Sweden and my friend Ingrid.  Several weeks ago I found a Modigliani portrait that I liked and I also found a photo of a woman sitting almost in the same position.  With a few cuttings and a few tweakings,  I was able to combine the two into a new portrait, the one you see on the left.   You recognize the head done by Modigliani. The arms and hands are of the older lady.

The right hand side of the spread was fairly blah and I just happened to have some  two figures that looked good on that background.  I added the word "rain" and it was done.  One might say how do the left and right sides go together.  Well for me the word "London" is the answer.   What do you think?

Monday, January 4, 2016



I had plenty of sushi when I lived in Japan for two years.  One time it was so fresh it had been caught right before serving.  I swear it moved on the table.  The Japanese eat pickled plums with their sushi. I do not care for pickled anything much.  It is a hold over from when I was young.

In Sushi, I used teabags, store bought paper, raffia, and my new love, Stablio Woody pencils. If you have not tried them you are missing out.  They are very water soluable and can create wonderful ink blots, drips, and can be transparent or not.  They are applied like a colored pencil and then the magic begins.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

be Original

be Original
I did another PhotoShop of a model seen previously which I printed and paint transferred into my envelope journal. I finished off the spread with stenciled paint and a collage.  Doing the transfer is an interesting process as one thinks that all the paper fiber is rubbed off and when it dries you discover it is not.  I watercolored over portions of those fibers which gives the purple tinge.  It is harder working on paper that is envelope quality.  Anything wet soaks through which can be nice for the other envelopes.  It can be problematic for the spread being worked on as it is easily destroyed or damaged. I still like the idea of a collaboration with the unknowing sender. :-)