Monday, December 14, 2009

Annual Christmas Luncheon and Card Exchange

A crisp day with a few flurries but not enough to keep us from gathering at Val's for our annual Christmas get together! Val had made some very nifty ice stars to hold candles. They are made in a mould and of course, it was cold enough on Saturday that they didn't melt, not even with the candle inside! Here she is lighting the candles before very many of us had arrived.

Our day got off to a bit of a scary start! Joyce and I had just arrived and hung our coats. Joyce had traded her sensible outdoor shoes for her nice heels and was going to put her gift under the tree when down she went! She must not have noticed that there is a step down into the living room. She hit the floor with quite a thud. Nurse Jean swung into action and took charge of the situation until the fire truck arrived. Here is Joyce with the Surrey Fire Dept. waiting for the paramedics and the ambulance to arrive. They all thought it best to err on the side of caution and transport Joyce to the Peace Arch Hospital for x-rays and an examination. She is still in hospital with a crack to her pelvis. Get well cards are welcome!!! just send them to her home address and they will be taken up to her in the hospital. She should be in for at least a week. Poor Joyce!!

After the ambulance left, we tried to get on with the party! but certainly still concerned about how Joyce was faring at the hospital. We kept in touch with her son, Bob, during the afternoon for up-dates on her condition.
Rita and Wilma enjoying the Christmas party.........

Dorothy and Bev doing their best to ignore Eileen the photographer!! Thank you Eileen for sending the photos for the blog!

Eileen, Louise and Bev

Dorothy and Win

Fay, Louise and Bev

Lots of fun and conversation was on the agenda for the day!
Margot, Frank, Win, Nan, Wilma and Muriel in the kitchen.

Jean, Diana and Muriel

Diana and Terry

We all agreed that the hand made cards this year were some of the best we've had! Well done group!! and the gift exchange went well, with some mystery Santa gifts as yet still a mystery as to who gave what....

Trying for a good group photo. I'm sure you know just how difficult this can be! especially if one is setting their camera on the mantel to delay and hoping to make it into the picture when it goes attempt, missing Eileen, I think she was trying to set it up correctly.

Another attempt...........

And finally, all together, all seated, everyone accounted for, except Joyce. We all hoped she was going to be ok.

Do you have more pictures to add? Love to receive them, you know how much we like looking at photos! Thanks again to Eileen for always remembering her camera, and taking some great shots of our day!
Thank you so much Val for opening your home to all of us and hosting our Christmas party!!
See you in January! when we will be celebrating Chinese New Year by making a paper fortune cookie, complete with a fortune to exchange, looking at an Asian lettering style / font and a Chinese brush demo by Violet.
Wishing everyone reading our blog
a wonderful Holiday Season from all of us at Alphabeas!!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

November pictures!

Louise introduced Joyce and asked her to tell us her have to believe this is a colourful lady!!! lots of fun.

Joyce demonstrating Copperplate for us. Not an easy hand to write on the chalkboard without a "whopperplate" pen. We had her do several small demos so we could easily see how she makes her letters.

Another small group gathers round.

Joyce works on a small light table so she can easily see the guidelines she works with.

Such concentration!!

An idea hatched at the October meeting. Louise was married just after that meeting and of course, with all she has going on in her life wasn't able to attend so we were able to plot and plan.
I thought it was Rita's idea but someone attributed to Eileen. We each were to bring a veil to wear.... I think only Fay's was the original one worn at her wedding 45 years ago.
Louise borrowed one for a picture!
And Frank made one of his extra special cakes just for Louise! Thank you Frank!!

See you all in December at the Christmas luncheon, card exchange and fun afternoon at Val's!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

November meeting

We had our regularly scheduled meeting on November 14th. The program was ably led by Joyce Z showing us her copperplate. I apologize for not taking my camera so I have no photos to share. Eileen has some but her sizing skills need tweeking! Joyce had photocopied exemplars, liners sheets and gave each of us one of her favourite nibs, a Brause 66EF. Anita offered to write the day up for the Broad Edge and was busy gathering samples from around the room. Everyone in attendance seemed to really enjoy the day of lettering. Thank you Joyce!

Our next time together will be at Val's for the Christmas luncheon. Your seasonal cards, a small gift for under the tree and something delicious to share for lunch is all you need to bring!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Day two - Martin Jackson workshop

Layout and Design
Building on what we did in Day one, we moved on to looking at ways to make our beautiful letters look good in a design. The day was one of questions. When you have a project in front of you and a nice white, blank sheet of paper, what do you do? What is the project? a poem? a card? a poster? a quote? knowing that will help decide what size of paper to use. Should it be in a horizontal format or a vertical? would it look good done in a circle? a poem - then you can use a flush left format or maybe you prefer the look of a centered poem. Are the words happy? humourous? sad? When you have answered some of these questions, it is time to start working with thumbnails. These are a great tool to help with what your piece will eventually look like. Martin's approach to layout and design is to use onion skin paper which is really quite impossible to find these days, or tracing paper which isn't near as good. Write your words out in lines and then using the onion skin paper, trace over the words in a pleasant layout, your eye decides what pleasant looks like. Once you have a good looking piece on onion skin, it is time to take it to a light table and transfer it on to your good paper. Lots of questions and lots of possibilities to attempt. Anything that you are pleased with.....Margot will accept it for the exhibition!!

Here are a few photos taken before my camera battery died. I am still learning how to use my camera and have decided that I really don't like the feature that tells you that your battery is about to die instead of letting you check periodically to see if you are close.....

Nan working on a layout for an alphabet.

Martin's desk

Wilma working on numbers

Jean's circle writing

Frank writing names

Eileen's work space, and a nice numbers layout

Martin demonstrating writing in a circle

group photo, missing Jean the photographer and Joyce who wasn't able to attend the second day. Day one she had a bit of a tickle in her throat, by day two, she had a frog. Hope she's feeling better now.

Next up will be our November meeting where we explore Copperplate with Joyce leading us. Remember! potluck lunch, bring something to share for lunch and your own plate and cutlery.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Martin Jackson Workshop Day one

Day one, Colour Blending with Martin Jackson.
We started with a discussion of inks to use, some lightfast, some not so much! but nice to work with, i.e. Dr. Marten's , old Rotring transparent acrylic inks, etc. We started with a demonstration by Martin and then we were set loose to try what we had in ink or Martin's Magic Color inks. We also watched demos using Nicholson's Peerless watercolours, gouache and writing on black paper. A full day with lots of writing on good paper 90 lb or 140 lb watercolour paper - really has to be good quality paper or it shows, and learning and enjoyment when the inks did what they were supposed to do! Here are just a few photos taken during the day - Thanks to Eileen for taking so many and reminding me to take some too!! I am sure Eileen's report on Day one will be far more extensive when it hits the newsletter in the Spring.

Martin's demo piece - I think using Peerless Watercolors- who knew?! I have a booklet of them and haven't really done anything with them since buying them as the "must have" at an international conference, year unknown.

Martin's demo piece using gouache (I think!)

a sample of participants work - can't believe I forgot to photograph my page and I left it at the venue overnight...

Martin's demo piece on black paper, using very subtle gouache colours with a touch of Dr. Marten's Bleedproof white added.

Stay tuned for day two!

Are you impressed John?! blog entry up on the day it happened?! this was just for you! in case you were feeling left out of the action...

Please excuse my photography (Bev) as I didn't use a flash so as to not distract people. I didn't do the work justice.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

October Meeting part one

After our business meeting, if we are not stitching together our newsletter, we have Galleria. Several times a year it is an assigned theme and the other months it is something that has been generated out of a previous program, homework, if you will.

The Galleria for October was to have finished your book made in June with Louise and filled it with something. Here is the collection of completed books set out for viewing.

Margot leads us through the Galleria each time.

I am not sure who this belongs to, it looks like a great travel journal!

Rita showing her finished book.......great flowers by our artist!

See! the pictures loaded first try in this entry but flatly refused to load for the next entry, which originally was the first........
Finally! with so much on this past week, I am finally down to the blog on my list of "to do"! Thank you very much to Kathleen for sending the pics right away after the meeting!! For whatever reason today, I am having a bit of trouble adding photos to the blog. There are still four more that refuse to load. I thought I had this all figured out and then it throws me something I don't know how to fix!! It might just be that I have to do the other four in another blog entry. They, of course, are the first four I wanted to show you! isn't that always the way?!

This was part of the Galleria, ably led my Margot. The books were made in June with Louise and they were part of the homework for the summer..... fill those books with something, suggested it might be a good travel journal. Here is Violet showing her book and on her right is Janice Woodland who was leading the October program for us.

Nan's book.....lots of letters!

Fay explaining how she has been using expired calendar pages in her work.

another page of Fay's

Can you believe how much Marilyn's grandsons have grown?! wasn't it just a bit ago that Rhonda brought a tiny baby to the meeting?

Let the fun begin!! the program, led by Janice Woodland, "tag book". Here are Joyce and Janice with Margot in the background.

I had to leave before the program began to attend a funeral.
It looks like the packets of materials exploded and took over everyone's workspace!
Kathleen with Rita to her right......

Jean, concentrating! Fay distracting Eileen, Val and Anita busy.

Fay will always share her grandchildren and or travel pictures! Eileen, Val and Anita.

and finally, a photo I have tagged as "The Bridesmaids". I think you had to be there!!

Thank you very much to Janice for teaching this book structure! looks like everyone had a great time. I haven't even had a chance to peak in the bag but I really must do that before the November meeting.

November - Copperplate with Joyce!
if you do not have an oblique nib holder, let me know, I have several and could share.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

September Meeting

The September meeting was jam packed with things to accomplish after having the summer off.
The business portion of the meeting always takes about an hour it seems. We are a chatty lot! and then the Fall newsletter was hot off the presses and needing to be sewn together and then put into the envelopes. We had decided at the Executive meeting in the summer that we would try a year without having Galleria on the dates when we sew the newsletter. At least we had that bit of extra time! While everyone ate their lunch, it was time to have our draw to share Diana Haines' studio contents. Her daughter Melanie had said that their Dad asked her to please make sure that I was given her calligraphy things and I immediately said I would share with her friends at Alphabeas. It is hard to believe that Diana has been gone 5 years now and now her husband Don has passed too. There were enough things that we drew all the numbers at least a half dozen times. Everyone present seemed very pleased with their treasures.

And then, it was on to the Program. Remember, we were supposed to have had a two day workshop instead of the meeting so some last minute planning happened when the workshop did not fill. With our focus on calligraphy, it would have been easy to present another lettering style but there is more to it than that! Why not an exercise in design and layout.....

We were each given the same instructions and we got 14 different posters to be used with the upcoming exhibitions.

1. Pop outside and find something to either write with (twig, rock, etc.) or something to make a
mark with (leaf print, flower, berries, etc.).

2. At least 1" tall, write the word "EXHIBITION" it could be diagonal, horizontal, at the top of
the page, at the bottom of the page, across the middle, no rules!

3. Decide where to make that mark with whatever you found outside. Think about adding
some colour.

4. Write the information 'where' and 'when' in a triangular shape.

5. Write the information 'who' and 'why' in a rectangular shape.

6. Add our contact information.

All of this was done quickly without too much planning, it was to be spontaneous and quick. We
were done in about one hour!! These are the posters, and as we didn't put our names on the work or some of the names were lightened when I attempted to remove all the scan shadows, they are anonymous!!

It is amazing what you can do just putting pen to paper and crossing your fingers!!