Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Trammel Collages 03

Below is my third set of four in the trammel package.  This series of collages is very organic in nature.  Doing them was a "it just felt right" activity.

Trammel Collages 03


I am heading to San Francisco on Monday to attend CODEX.  I first heard about it from the curator of special collections at the University of Washington.  I am not sure what to expect except for what I have seen on the link above.  It will be an adventure.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Trammel Collages 02

Here are the second set of four collages now residing inside of my trammel envelope.  I personally like the cowboy one a lot.  His stance of his hips tilted in move my eye to the left.  I am so into movement in a piece of art.

Trammel Collages 02

If President Trump insists on a fence along the Mexican/US border I have some decorating suggestions for said fence!

For more ideas you might like to click on the following link.....


Sunday, January 29, 2017

Trammel Collages 01

Here are the first four of fifteen collages made from ephemera that I had stuffed in zip lock bags just waiting for but never selected previously for a collage.  Creating these quick collages was really fun. I say they were quick but they actually were done in three parts with time in between.  I first did the background and put them away.  I then sewed on them and put them away.  Finally I did all fifteen foregrounds in about an hour yesterday.   I could have done them in one setting though.

Trammel Collages 01
This is the second envelope I made out of the brown waxed paper.  So now I have to decide which envelope I will put the collages in before binding with twine.  You will know by Trammel Collages 04 in a few days.

Trammel Envelope 02


Sam Smith - Stay With Me

Although he has been around for the past few years I am listening to him almost everyday and enjoying his music even more.

Image result for sam smith in the lonely hour

Saturday, January 28, 2017


The idea for making a trammel comes from Mary Snyder Behrens (link below).  I found her series on Pinterest and fell in love with the idea.  According to Behrens a trammel is a box created to hold memories of found items.  I have made my own interpretation of her idea.  

I made an envelope out of brown waxed paper.  I crinkled it and added some line qualities with heavy string (on the inside of the envelope).  My found items are pieces of ephemera that are scraps that I could not throw away.  I made fifteen collages out of those scraps.  The collages go inside the envelope and I will then bind the envelope with more twine, never to open it again.

The idea of a memory inside the envelope relates to memories inside our brain.  We can not relive memories but we can hold onto them and revisit them through our thoughts.

I taught trammel creating in my  Tuesday garage class.  It is really fun to see what has been interpreted by these artists.  I suggested that perhaps someone might like to bury their trammel in a hole in the backyard. I do not think I have any takers on that idea.  That is just fine.  I suggested binding it with twine after the collages are complete and inside the envelope. I call this collage bondage! That is difficult for some because they want to look at their creations again.  No problem, that is perfectly acceptable.  Once the idea is out there it can be interpreted by the artist in a way that suits him or her.  My instruction is just a suggestion.  I am always telling my students that they are the artist and can make decisions different from the instruction.

Others want to follow the instructions to a T.  That is fine, too.  Some do not like the non-descriptiveness of the plain brown waxed paper.  They want to stencil or collage the envelope.  Guess what?  That is fine, too.  

I may be cheating a little because I am uploading my collages to this blog.  So I will in a way be able to revisit each one anytime I like by returning to the blog.  I think that is the best of all possibilities because I can "lock" up the collages and still be able to see them.  Tomorrow....the unveiling of the fifteen collages. :-)

Trammel (cover)


Mary Snyder Behrens

Behrens "book" inside the collaged fabric cover has just captured my attention.  I love it.  If you get a chance check out her work by clicking on the link below.


Friday, January 27, 2017


I have been asked many times about my backgrounds and so here are six that I am working on at the moment for a new series.  I have combined my new butterfly graffiti, tissue paper, and napkins to create them.  As soon as I have them completed I will share them side-by-side, background and finished collage.





I just love crows and here is a photo taken in South Africa of a crow who has "stolen" a man's dentures! :-)

Thursday, January 26, 2017


I am not sure whether or not I am going to add a gloss finish or a faux encaustic finish to this spread. It resides in an altered book.  I tore out at least 1/3 of the book's pages and then created hinges by tearing all but a ruler's width of all the other pages.  I then glued every three pages together with matte medium to create hinges for watercolor paper from India.

For the collage part, I "quilted" rectangles and squares and then started adding middle ground and foreground images.  In my garage workshop that I hold three times monthly one of my students mentioned that the most difficult part of collage is just that, the middle ground and foreground. Sometimes that is the case for me, too.  I started this collage several months ago and just could not find what I wanted to add other than the man's face.  In about an hour Monday I had it mostly finished.  It just came together.  It had to be the right time.  This morning I added the teabag string and some black spatters.  Now it will wait until I decide on the final coat.


There are so many great series to watch now.  Amazon and Netflix are providing some exciting viewing.  Some of my favorites are:

1.  The Crown
2.   Sneaky Pete
3.  The Night Manager
4.  Transparent
5.  House of Cards
6.  Grace and Frankie
7.  Broadchurch

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Ribbon Binding Journal

Ribbon Binding Journals

I belong to the Belltown Bookies and we meet once a month at ArtWorks in Edmonds, WA.  At one of our fall meetings, Ann brought a little journal that she had purchased during one of her art excursions.  I fell in love with her little book.  No one had made it from our group and I was determined to figure out how the book was created.  It is really very simple once you dissect the book.  I made sketches and after the meeting I could not sleep until I had made a mock-up.

As the students in the past weekend workshop that I taught will tell you, this is one of those books you will make over and over.  Two holes go in the from and back covers.  

Since this is an accordion book, you punch two more holes in the first page of the accordion and the last page of the accordion to match the cover holes.  You do not punch all the accordion pages.

You simply "sew" the ribbon, in this case sari ribbon, through the front two cover and accordion holes.  Then wrap the ribbon around the spine and "sew" through the back two cover and accordion holes.  This is how it stays together.  It is strong and makes amazing hand-made journal gifts for art friends.

I am an Andra Day fan.  She was asked to sing a song on the Hamilton Mixtape from the Broadway show.

Image result for Hamilton

Hamilton Mixtape - Burn

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Plastic Bag Journals

Plastic Bag Journals

Just before Thanksgiving my art friend MaryAnn gave me a thank you gift.  It was a lovely journal that she had made out of plastic bags.  I went ga-ga over this journal.  That evening I had to make one which turned into making eight over a period of days.  The process is easy and fun.  MaryAnn first learned about the process from Karen Michel at ArtFest several years ago.  So thank you both for leading me to a fun activity.

All one does is iron nine layers of plastic bags, cut to the size of the journal you prefer, one layer at a time.  You can even make pockets and do transfers on them.  I sewed some stitches on one or two and also sewed paper yarn in several.  


Some Writer, the Story of E.B. White by Melissa Sweet

This is a charming biography of the author of Charlotte's Web.  Order it out of the library and you will be rewarded with a delightful nonfiction book.  

Monday, January 23, 2017

Cloth Teabag Journal

Cloth Teabag Journal
Cloth Teabag Journal
Cloth Teabag Journal open

Cloth Teabag Collage #1

Cloth Teabag Collage #2

Cloth Teabag Collage #3

Cloth Teabag Collage #4

Cloth Teabag Collage #5
Each of the above collages fit inside one of the five cloth teabags bound with the safety pins. Although I used safety pins one could sew the binding instead.  The collages are small, 3.25 x 2.5 inches.  I stamped on the front of each teabag on this one.  On a previous journal of this type I did transfers on the front of the teabag.  The teabags have also been soaked in tea to give a hint of color.
I got this idea when I was searching for teabags online.  I taught my original mini teabag journal this past weekend at a workshop in Edmonds, WA.

Oddball Zebra

Image result for oddball zebra


Sunday, January 22, 2017

Dos-a-Dos Journal

Dos-a-Dos Journal

Dos-a-Dos Journal (top view)

The past two days have been really busy as I taught a five journal class.  We made five mini-journals small enough to fit into a shirt pocket.  It was a fast paced day but lots of fun.  The Dos-a-Dos journal (means back to back in French) is made from one sheet of paper with a cover added.  It is like having two books attached back to back.

Here is one way to make the book..it is a different way than the one I made, however.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Pocket Accordion Journal

Pocket Accordion Journal

I had promised way last spring that I would make a pocket accordion journal for a friend who wanted to house ten pieces of art.  I thought of this design immediately but it took until December 31, 2016 to finish it.  I was bound and determined that I would get it done in 2016.  It was not mailed until the new year but at least it has been sent and received.


Recently I found the image below.  It reminded me of a work that I did some time back called Italian Gothic.  http://artjuvenation.blogspot.com/2013/10/northwest-collage-society-art-show.html


Friday, January 20, 2017

Kantha-like Accordion Journal


journal interior

journal interior open

Here is another brown waxed-paper journal.  This time the journal has been shellac and sprayed with an acrylic water to give it a patina look.  I love the texture that is created between the paint water and the shellac after it dries.  Since I am a fan of Kantha cloth I decided to create this journal in that style.

'Junk' (2011) Award-winning animation HD

Image result for junk 2011 short film


Thursday, January 19, 2017

Matchbox Accordion Journal

Matchbox Accordion Journal (cover front)

Matchbox Accordion Journal (cover back)

Matchbox Accordion Journal (side 1)

Matchbox Accordion Journal (side 2)

It is only l.5 inches tall  and about 20 inches long but it collapses quite well into a matchbox. I like books that are small and can fit into your pocket.  This one fits the bill.

Van Gogh on dark water.....

Image result for van gogh on dark water


Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Soda Grandma #2

Soda Grandma #2

Here is the other side of the piece I did on Soda Grandma.  Soda Grandma was an artist.  The paintings that I saw of hers were landscapes and floral.  She was self-taught.  She also played the harmonica.  As she aged her family was concerned about her transportation as she did not drive. They gave her taxi money which she refused to spend on taxis but instead on flowers.  Since she loved to make corsages for seniors, I imagine that is how the flowers she purchased were used. According to her granddaughter, Soda Grandma never criticized anyone. She was someone everyone thought highly of and enjoyed.  If you needed a little TLC because you were upset, Soda Grandma would say, "Let's have peaches and toast!"

In Soda Grandma side 2, I have collaged the Ritz cracker box because of the stale crackers she offered others.  The Campbell's Soup child stamp that I made comes from one of the books that she hand-made for her daughters.  The book was full of magazine illustrations of the time.  I am sure I would have enjoyed Soda Grandma in person as much as I enjoyed listening to stories of her life.

NW collage artist Robert Stockton sent me this video via Facebook Messenger recently.  It is worth watching through.....very unusual.