Saturday, January 31, 2015

These turned out well

I think the room scene turned out best, though Eve is a fun piece. Definitely, that room scene is one of my favorite pieces from 2015. The wine bottle has a touch of Picasso inspiration and the setting is inspired by a Van Gogh room. That tile and my Dia de los Meurtos shrine, that I've posted before, are keepers. I like some of the drawings I've posted before, too. The egg still-life drawing and my fantasy landscape are two pieces I've had framed. You'll see that I have framed these ceramic pieces. I designed them with that in mind as it protects the edges. Maybe, I could some day do a whole series of tiles and set them in a wall. Wait, I will not fall into the trap of declaring a goal and not following through. I'll rephrase that to Maybe, I "might"...
Funny how I did not think I'd like ceramics. Too heavy for my arthritis. I just wanted to get the class behind me, in the event that I someday wanted credit for all my art time, like an AA degree. I did not realize how helpful everyone would be, nor how relaxing working with clay could be. 
Also, I've actually underestimated how teachable art skills really are. Sure, it helps to have talent, and we have Michelangelo and Picasso and all the other greats whose work we love.  Art is just so much more than great works. One can learn and build on skills and get great satisfaction from creating. I like arts and crafts but the discipline of fine arts oddly seems to be more free. I does surprise me that I actually really like some of the things I've created. I see in class how much my classmates and I have progressed. That is one of the fun pats of class, to see a teacher's reaction to work. Diane Richey-Ward is retiring and it's a shame for students, though wonderful for her. She gets so excited when she sees a student "get it". I'm sure I'll bask for weeks over her "That's a killer piece, Karen!" when she saw my contour drawing this past week. I hate that it's so early in the semester. It will be a let down if I don't get that response again. Just kidding, Diane! It is my second class with her and I know I'm getting better at drawing, I'm sure she'll note that. She's an excellent and encouraging teacher and loves to celebrate her student's successes. The thing is, I did learn something and I expect to learn more. My art will not make it to the Louvre, nor even grace all my kids' walls. It does not matter, even if its eventual fate is the trash bin. Ceramics is one medium, though, that has taught me the most. It's uncertainty and fragility, and yet its enduring permanence, has reinforced valuable lessons about art and life. Uncertainty, fragility, enjoying the moment, not knowing the outcome, joy in imperfection and meeting challenges, as my wonderful teacher, Linda Gelfman, says "Why not? Go for it." So many life lessons exist in approaching a lump of clay.
Not that fine art will lead me to give up playing with paper or to stop scrapbooking. A fun card, an interesting approach to story telling, a "hot-mess" art journal page all are fun for me, too. They are certainly more affordable. Though, with my stash of scrapbooking supplies that could be debatable; however, those supplies did help when I tried my hand at collage last year. That reminds me that I've yet to post my "Joys of Childhood" collage piece. That was a a great deal of work that I'm quite happy with. It's is a bit of a tribute to Joseph Cornell and Claudine Hellmuth. I know you are wondering about that combination. It was fun. Once I get some good photos of it, I'll post them.  A teaser, LOL!
Hope you are all having a wonderful day. I'm going to celebrate an adorable 2 year old's birthday this weekend. I'm so looking forward to seeing him. We are so fortunate to have some little ones in our family right now. I was going to go the the Crocker reception tonight to mark the start of the Toulouse -Lautrec exhibit; but, I fear it will be somewhat of a crush! The show will be here, in Sacramento,  a while and  the important thing is going to see it.
To art and life's joys! Talk with you again, later.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

More observations from CHA

 I am not doing a comprehensive analysis of the CHA show. I just did not make it everywhere. I took a lot of classes and I do get tired and sore if I overdo. I was there several days and did get to check out quite a bit, though only just a few in any depth. This is where I miss the two shows a year. I will try to get to the Paper Arts show this summer where I'll check out the collections more thoroughly.
There are plenty of good review spots on the web and I'll direct you to some of them at the end of this post.
As any of you following CHA on the internet know - planners, multi-media and party were seen everywhere at the show. The show seemed smaller than in past and still featured a good number of paper lines though Basic Grey and Fancy Pants and once again, October Afternoon were missing.
A trip to my LSS (local scrapbook stores) is going to be necessary. I do like checking things out in person. Yes, I am fortunate to still have local stores, despite my favorite being long gone from the area.
Bright pinks and turquoise/light teal with plenty of gold were prominent - great bright colors for cards. Here's a quick look at some #American_Crafts products

Some manufacturers, like #Lawn_Fawn, did tone their colors in a couple of lines down a bit to fit the needs of scrapbook folk who want their photos to shine on the page. I always love the cute elements in Lawn Fawn's stamps and am happy they have dies to match these. You can get some lovely personalized die cuts for your pages that way. I've tried to use more cute elements on my scrapbook pages. Tiffany Tillman kindled my love of "cute" elements and they do help tell stories and sometimes add that bit of humor.
Here are a few treats from #Lawn_Fawn.
(Sorry about the slight blurriness in the photos. I need to get that lens checked out.)

Here are a few mixed media glimpses. Don't displays like #Faber-Castell and #Kirarina make you feel like you are in a candy shop? #Prima has some lovely new mixed media products, too.

Note that a number of European manufacturers were seen at the show. I'm showing #Indigo Blu and #Pion here

Metal was big, too. Lots of gold at Teresa Collins. Shimelle had silver. Elsewhere, copper and iron looks both black and rusted were seen. Loved the mercury glass effect one can get with the mirror finish at Rustoleum! Glitter, lots of glitter. One of my favorite lines, that I looked at in more detail, was this one from crate paper, Craft Market.

I think that "fenestration" or seeing through windows is a popular design theme these days. In scrapbooking it's popular with the use of die cutting machines giving us negative spaces. Transparencies were popular at CHA, too. Especially mixed with foils. Stencils can give us that idea of a grid or design over a pattern, Memphis design comes to mind with a mix of pattern, too. In home decor and fashion we find lace, lace-ups, lattice, wire construction, peek-a-boo triangles and burned holes. I expect some of those ideas may find their way to be translated to paper.

Some sites to check out for CHA reports


Scrapbook Update


Live from CHA - Charity Wings

May Flaum Designs

Bib Pattern Give Away

The Craft and Hobby Association show is not just about paper crafts. Fabric crafts are also a part of the show.

Lorine Mason is a very talented designer who gave me a fun bib pattern to give away on my blog.
I'm a recent step great-grandmother; so, as we were talking about crafty subjects like the Digiscrap Geek Podcast and sewing we were also discussing babies. Lorraine had this pattern collection of adorable bibs.
This 10 page pattern includes full size patterns for the four featured bibs, supply list, and very complete construction instructions.
If you love to sew and have some friends or relatives with little ones this should be just the crafty treat for you. Looks like a lot of fun to make these.
If you want a chance to win this pattern please leave a comment here on this post. You MUST leave your e-mail address or have a link to your e-mail on Google to be eligible to win.
The winner will be chosen randomly. Good luck!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

My resolution scrapbook page using a GIS template

 Supplies: Sketch/template from GIS membership template library – Kim Watson, kits – Just Jaimee (at The_Lilypad) Storyteller September and October 2014 collections,styles – Mommyish, fonts – Courier new regular, Gill Sans Ultrabold 
This page was posted on the blog at Get It Scrapped today.
The membership has access to over 110 Photoshop templates and sketches searchable by number of photos and layout type. Check out the article at Get It Scrapped's blog where you can see how other creative team members interpreted the sketch.
There are lots more wonderful benefits of membership at Get It Scrapped. 
Even nonmembers can access some great classes on the site and are welcome to attend our on-line crop on this Saturday, January 17. If you have a headset and microphone you can join in the audio conversation. If you do not have a headset and microphone, there is a chat box for typed conversations and links. (Earbud headsets and basic computer built in mikes can work.) If you have a camera you can let us see what you are working on and one person at a time can even share their screen if they wish.
Now, about this layout: 
“I picked this sketch because I am a fan of Kim Watson’s delightful layered bits style. It used one photo and I’ve wanted to do a page with this story and photo of my weight loss for some time.”
“I found the multiple colors in the photo a bit challenging at first but the multiple pieces in the template was a help because I found I could incorporate enough color in the elements to unify the page. I used two kits by the same designer to be sure all the multiple parts worked together and I kept pretty much to the structure of the page though I did rotate it.”

Thursday, January 8, 2015


Here I am, in Anaheim, curled up in bed and thinking of things I still need to organize for my visit to the Craft and Hobby Association trade show. I'll be riding a scooter about the show floor Saturday through Tuesday and doing my best to see where some of the trends I've spotted are showing up.
Since I'm so very tired right now and expecting an early start tomorrow, I'll just briefly mention a few trends I've noticed.
One is contour lines. You know those from topographic maps. I've seen them popping up a lot in design and will be looking to see if they show up in any collections.
Another design trend I've spotted is fenestration Architects and medical folk know this term. Windows or openings in a membrane. It's of an over all design versus just openings cut by a die or electronic cutter. The openings are not necessarily regular like a lattice. Actually the spaces where light passes through a fern leaf come more to mind. Ferns are important now and this may be a part of the general trend. Burned out areas are another way designers have been getting these somewhat asymmetrical patterns. I saw some cool stencils from the Canadian company Magenta that fit this trend too.  I'll be looking to see if more companies are exploring this idea. I think there may be a new fern stamp or two out there also.
The quirky boldness of Memphis design is in vogue. Not sure if that is a trend that will make it to paper crafts, we'll see.
Color products seem to be everywhere. I'm sure there will be some interesting innovations. I like Marion Smith's pigments for creating ones own sprays. There are several other products around I'm anxious to check out.
I'll look to my notes for other thoughts about trends and write a bit about them though it may be after the show. I think I'm a bit overbooked. Another reason I'd best fall asleep.
More later and I hope to get some good photos, too.

1/22/2015 Here are a few photos illustrating contour lines - the top center paper from #Websters_Pages, Dream in Color collection and the inside treatment of a book from #Books By Hand

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year and more cards for Just 12 Days

copyright Karen Poirier-Brode 2015, Just 12 Days

Hope everyone is having a fabulous New Year!
I played around today learning a bit more from Danielle Young at Scrapaneers.
You can download these cards to print subject to the usual rules re: personal use only at Just 12 Days Card png Download Google Drive
I had fun creating this set of #pocket cards. The candles are not specific to any holiday, just ideas from several.
Don't forget to get out your glitter glues and add them to the card sets.
The classes Danielle teaches are great and really helped me recall things I've learned before in Illustrator. I highly recommend you check out Scrapaneers for classes. Lots of fun and useful stuff there.
I probably should have done more around the house today since time is counting down to my trip to CHA. I've been studying design trends and it will be fun to see how many of them are incorporated into the new products.
Craft and Hobby Association sneak peaks are available at Nancy Nally's site Scrapbook Update. Do check them out and let me know if you have any questions about any of the products or designs that you'd like me to check out.
I'm working on my trend update post and will try and post it before I leave for the show.
Hope that 2015 is fabulous!

Montreal - A Girdled Porcupine (reflections on a reunion in 2013)

Forty years, unbelievable and yet, a reality; that it's been that long since I graduated from McGill with my M.D.;C.M. and a l...