Tuesday, May 26, 2009

May meeting

This is what happens when you get busy doing other things! I completely forgot that I had not written about our May meeting. My apologies! Thanks to Kathleen we have photos! sadly, I haven't managed to get them in exactly the right order but I'm sure you will get the idea of what we did.

We made a meandering card with Violet. She demonstrated several ways to decorate our papers and the folds and cuts needed to make the card meander.

One of the techniques, using acrylic ink on wet paper, was to use saran wrap on the wet surface. You can scrunch it up or lie it flat to make different design impressions. Below is Violet demonstrating the technique and above is Violet and Jean possibly discussing the fact that you really don't need the super fantastic saran wrap as any dollar store plastic wrap will do.
Once the demonstration was done and the decorating underway, one step was to fold the pages correctly so that once it was decorated and then dry, you would know where to cut. Joyce, Val and Margot were at the folding stage here.....and the photo seems to be looking over Terry's shoulder!
This is the first part of the demo........spray your paper lightly on both sides with water. Everyone was busy taking notes!
Once you have dropped some colour onto the wet surface of the paper, you can tip and turn your paper to manipulate the colour a bit. Another way to spread it around a bit more is to spray your page again - lightly! you do want it to eventually dry so you can write on it and decorate it with coloured pencils, pen and ink, embossing, gel pens, rubber stamps, etc.
Margot was the lucky recipient of this card! Violet's birthday card for Margot.
Another example of Violet's lovely decorating!
A much smaller version of the meandering card.
Thank you Violet! a very enjoyable afternoon.

Homework for the June meeting is to complete yours!!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Letters of Joy

The first weekend in May, many Alphabeas members attended the Write On Calligraphers annual Letters of Joy celebration. It had been a few years since we were so well represented. Some of us are not so sure that going down just for the day of classes on Saturday is the right way to go!! a very early morning is necessary in order to arrive in time for classes at 9 am... 4:30 am is very early!!

My first class was making a Piano Hinged Folded Accordion book with Patricia Grass from Forest Grove, OR. If you ever want to take a great book class, Patricia is your gal! she has so much knowledge and information to share, she always works with the most wonderful materials, papers to die for.....and everything cut precisely for you.

My next class was Parallel Pen Empowerment with Brenda Broadbent from Paper and Ink Arts. I didn't take any photos but it was all about learning how the pen works and how to take it apart should you ever need to tweek it. I have never had any problems with my set of four but it can happen... I have also taken the all apart, or so I thought! the nib comes out too!! I quickly had to make sure that it would also go back in and sure enough, it does with ease. Phew! We also tried colour blending with the cartridge colours and learned that you can fill the barrel of the pen instead of using a cartridge should you need more ink than one will hold. If you had a job where the colour had to be constant for say, many envelopes, then filling the barrel with the same mix of ink of gouache makes perfect sense. It won't leak - apparently! I will have to give it a try.

My next class was with Lisa Engelbrecht. I had never taken a class with her but heard that she is a fabulous instructor. We were doing decorative letters using all kinds of different gel pens, pan pastels, bling......

She had us start by using a monoline tool, just doing the upper case letters of the alphabet, then said to try making each stroke with two strokes, then three, then five, then ten, up to thirty! then make the letters with many strokes and not lifting your pen / tool. Then make a masculine sort of letter, then a feminine letter, then adding embellishing marks. And finally fill in some of those spaces with one or some of the many gel pens she had with her for us to try. Some I had never seen or heard of....and I have a few!

We walked around the room at the end of the class taking photos of everyone's letters. Here are just a few to show.
Pays to sit near an artist! The Ls are Suzie Beringer's!

A many many stroke B just waiting for some sparkle gel pen......

Suzie's 'delight' using pan pastel.

It was a wonderful day, seeing old friends, taking classes, doing a bit of shopping and then having dinner in Mount Vernon on the way home and actually giving driving directions good enough for Violet and Fay to find Jo and Nan and I at El Gitano Mexican Restaurant! A long day but a good one!!