Sunday, December 30, 2012

The holidays...

are almost over but we're enjoying every moment from quality family time, to getting to a movie, to fantastic time with friends.  Soon work calls me back.  But I'm ignoring it for now.  This is the relaxing part right?  Then why am I so exhausted (happy exhausted mind you). 

This year was an experiment in new things for me/us from new ways to eat to expanding twistedfiberstudio into new adventures.  Autumn brought a renewed outlook on what brings me the most joy -- teaching and making art and even may I say crafts.  You see a list of classes that we will be teaching in the new year.  (New classes will be posted as they are scheduled - stay tuned and check back in.)

Earlier this month, my BFF from university ( and fellow artist was talking to me about her finds at local resale and thrift shops that she's using for everything from crocheting to journal making to a dozen other art projects.  Well I was convinced.  So a date was scheduled to hit the shops. 

This past Friday was the day!  And three, or was it four, shops later we had multiple bags of items. Jewelry for use as charms, ornaments for next Christmas projects, raffia, tissue paper, straw wreaths, heart charms (Valentine's day is close), red silk flower petals, and so much more.  We saw some of the funniest things too. 

The infamous wooden plaque...
My friend's daughter AKA Girlie joined us and we started counting the number of wooden plaques with lovely photos laminated on them.  We almost had enough for gifts next year.  But the treasures and memories were wonderful.  In fact I talked my husband into going to another one on Saturday.  He bought a couple nostalgic things as well. 

On that note I wish all of you a very happy new year and may all of your dreams and wishes come true! 


Sunday, December 23, 2012

It's here...

Merry Christmas to you all!  I hope everyone is with family and friends, enjoying time with each other and creating even more memories.  Happy New Year and may it be a safe, joyful and creative year for all.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Pop up Art Fair

Thanks to my friend and trainer Lisa, who decided 10-12 days ago to have a pop up art fair at her studio and invited me to join her this past weekend.  It was so whirlwind that I didn't get a chance to tell you all about it.  Seriously terrible marketing on my side. My apologies. 

Now for the great news ... drum roll, please... we are "popping" up again this Saturday from 1-4pm at 195 Northfield Rd. in Northfield IL at the Work in Progress Fitness Studio.  Yes a true pop up. 

Jewelry, paintings, book page wreaths, art collage, handmade journals and more!   Stop by and see us. 


Sunday, December 2, 2012

Fantastic Wreath Class

Lee and her wreath.  Beautiful!

Yesterday, Sue and I played with taught a fabulous group of women at the Morton Grove Public Library how to make a holiday (or year round) wreath with book pages.  The hardest part was tearing the pages out of the book for most of us. 

Sue and I saw new techniques and ideas for finishing the wreaths.  Thank you Celeste, Renee, Lee, Candice, Cathy, Judy, Esther, and all of rest of you.  Special thanks to Nancy for inviting us to teach. 

We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and hope you did too. 

Here are a few photos from the class.  Every one of them are gorgeous. 

FYI Renee won the raffled journal.  Congratulations Renee!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Journals to go...

I've been experimenting with other styles of journals - easier - faster versions.  One day, researching surfing the items on Pinterest, I came across this adorable journal.   Gold has been my mood lately or shall I say golden?  That does mean I painted it gold and "aged" it accordingly.  My scrapbooking stash came in handy.  Sweet, easy and so amusant!

Inspiration comes from many places...

This week has been a vacation from the full time job and I've spent it creating, doing paperwork, preparing for teaching a class this weekend and a bit of retail therapy.  I've thoroughly enjoyed it.

These three pieces are done on art board.  I used my romantic notions of Paris and some of the new notions I bought at the Cloth Paper Scissors Create Retreat.  The hand lettering turned out well even though I find it to be something I have to truly focus on when lettering.  The gold leafing adds some richness to it.  

The lovely image at the right is entitled "Sweet Girl."  Again I was looking for another outlet for using book pages, while incorporating my girlie love of dresses. 

This last image incorporates a technique that I'll be teaching locally to incorporate book pages again while highlighting a particular message of importance to me.  "...he proposed marriage to me..." 

I love them but today I purchased frames to showcase them and WOW is all I can say.  I actually did a little happy dance when I looked at them in the frames.   Right now, this week, these creations, have brought me so much joy and happiness.  May all of you see what I see.  If not, take a chance and create your own "petite" image. 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Christmas season has begun at our house

Today, I realized I'm looking forward to the holidays.  It may be the holiday food shows and the commercials but the real spirit is here for us too.   While watching some of those shows this morning, I whipped up this little wreath and decorated it for the Christmas season!  Enjoy!

Book pages wreath (6" diameter)

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Have you noticed I can't stop yet?

I can't stop with the book pages.  I just spent a little time this morning trying to make a star out of book pages.  While the instructions I had found (various ones) needed some tweaking, I think it turned out nicely. 

A smaller one -- from 8" x 5.5" book pages

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Book pages continue to inspire me...

Book pages really do inspire me - to change my behavior, learn, love, dream, explore, ... and especially create. 

I had to explore more opportunities for art with words but more specifically pages from books. First cut the pages apart - line by line or two lines at at time.  Put them in a bag/box/pile and randomly pull one or two strips out.   

Words speak to us and on this project - I was reading each line to see what it said to me and how to highlight it in the art piece.

Then playing with color.... It overwhelms me and excites me all at the same time!  I know I cannot overthink it or I'll never put any color onto my art pieces. 

(You can see on the backside above how I tested the various colors on the paper to see what it would look like.)

but it results in a ..."proposal of marriage"...

Okay I'm a sucker for love and romance! 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

SUCH Fun -- Holiday Wreath Class

Let's get started! 

Listening intently to the "how to"

Getting into the process!

Large group -- So much fun Ladies!

Last night the clocks changed back an hour here in the Chicagoland area where I live, giving me an extra hour of sleep before I headed out to the Algonquin Public Library to teach a class on wreath making using book pages.  I'm home and curled up (it's cold outside) and very happy.  The class of 17 ladies were so creative and enthusiastic.  Those ladies that said you don't do crafts...ever... well you can say that no more!  Everyone did a fabulous job and your wreaths looks fantastic.  While we took photos of the actual class time, I didn't get photos of your finished wreaths.  If anyone wants to send me a photo.... PLEASE do so!  I'll post it. 

In the meantime, Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Wreaths...I'm on kick

I'm definitely on a kick to make wreaths.  More pictures below...

The left one is book pages but built with cone shaped pieces, the one on the right is magazine pages --- and is huge and not finished... it needs something in the middle. 

I'm teaching how to make the original book pages wreath later this fall (November and December) at a library near you.  Check your local library class schedule and SIGN up please! 

Monday, October 1, 2012


I think I cannot stop trying to make these book page wreaths.  And of course I had to try my hand at a magazine page wreath...What do you think?   It needs a center piece ... I know... but I'm still trying to figure it out!  Any suggestions?

Monday, September 3, 2012

Book Page Wreath

A great friend of mine wondered if I had ever made a wreath. Not since I was in grade school...She had seen on line the various versions of a wreath made from book pages, almost blasphemous since she is a librarian but adorable nontheless. 

Sue and I started investigating lots of various ones to make before we try our hand at teaching others how to make them. 

Sue made three this weekend -- magazine pages and coffee filters the primary goods -- I'm going to get photos...somehow.  I tried my hand at making a wreath with book pages (librarians close your eyes).  It went pretty well and turned out very nice, if I say so myself!   What do you think?

Hanging in our foyer (no lights on)

Hanging in our foyer (lights on)

Step One

Steps Two and Three

Final step -- add a hanger

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Create! Part 3

On Wednesday Sue took a class  taught by Cathy Taylor on using Citrassolv cleaner to alter magazine pages into graphic designs that can be further altered to show any image you want.  I didn't get any photos...yet...but believe me they are amazing.  The hotel smelled like citrus cleaner all day and most of the evening though!

Yesterday we both took metal journal classes -- mine with Sherrie Drummond on using license plates to make journals (see photos below - love them) and Sue took a class with Thomas Ashman  - again no photos but so unbelieveable -- check out the metal strapped book in his gallery.  He taught them how to make these books, although Sue is planning a handbag out of it rather than a journal or book. 

We enjoyed ourselves thoroughly and made new friends and spent time with old friends too.  Next year's dates are already on the calendar 21-26 August 2013. 

Monday, August 27, 2012

Sue Pelletier Rocks Create!

Retreat -- other fun and craziness. 

Wednesday I took The Painted Quilt with Sue Pelletier where the creativy is freewheeling and awesome.  The women in this class were phenomenal, creative, innovative, and so much fun!  But Sue is the star of it all. While I'm not the most creative person by some definitions, I'm proud of the art I make and the joy it brings me.  The process keeps me sane and my soul full!  Being covered in paint and glue is the best.  This class was to include elements and things that symbolize me...All of the symbols are very identifiable as me from home to a fleur de lis to girlie clothes to hearts of love, all saying JOY....  Here is how my process evolved.

Thanks Sue for steering us!  (Oh and Seth rocked with the Berninas too.)

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Create Retreat!

Another retreat for us...and Sue and I had a blast.  We learned several new techniques and even more ideas for current ones. 

On Wednesday evening, we took a "Fuji Emulsion" class with Tiffany Teske we used a DayLab to make instant photo prints from our own photos and images.  While many of us grew up with at least one Polaroid instant photo camera (the peal apart photo or the "shake" it variety), we never knew the science behind them or how to remove/scrap the image from the paper, using the resulting emulsion or skin as another textural option.  Until now.  Tiffany showed us this technique and how to take these emulsions and put them on paper, fabric, metal, even a shell. 

Love it!  Now we have a new tool in our arsenal....but where to use them?

I'll get more posted in the coming days! 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Create Retreat is almost here!

Two weeks and counting until my first class at the Create Retreat in Chicago!

I've signed up for three classes and may find a 4th one yet!  I am so excited.  I'm taking classes with Sue Pelletier, Tiffany Teske, and Sherrie Drummond.  Now off to check my supplies and evaluate what I need to pick up for class...

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

A different kind of painting

Well I'd love to say I've been quite creative but...this is the kind of painting I've been doing.

Painting shelves in our linen closet in preparation for the new closet doors that are being installed this week. 

I suppose I could have done some fun color but my husband isn't too keen on that one! 

I'm working on the more "fun" side -- promise! 

Monday, August 6, 2012

Things you find while traveling

As I'm going through my photos from recent trips for work, I came across this one that I meant to post weeks ago.  I have to use it in my journal collage somewhere.  

"One must always be serious about hygiene."   I just love the graphics (Thailand). 

Friday, August 3, 2012

Travel Down Under -- Work not play

This is where I was last week...In my top three cities world wide!

And this is one of my favorite foods -- Moreton Bay Bugs -- a crustacean!  So fantastic!  Had them three times in 5 days! 

Monday, June 25, 2012

Something else that makes me smile...

I'm evidently on a path right now to see the things in my life that make me happy! Beyond the immediate (husband, family, friends) I surround myself with items that bring me joy and comfort. 

This is a shot of a quilt I bought almost 10 yrs ago on the Route 127 Longest Garage Sale.  I was just looking at it recently and realized how much I still love it!  It hangs proudly over our couch and is the main "punch of color" in our living room! 
Had to share....