On the grid 11. Plus a video from my daughter.

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And..something new... My daughter told me that she wanted to make rainbow loom tutorials.. I challenged her to invent her own project and this is what she came up with. I am so proud of her.. she filmed like a champ and she is only 8. She directed the camera angle as well as the opening and closing credits..and told me she wanted the supplies to show on screen too. She sat with me through the editing..and I can only imagine that in a few years she will be editing her own footage as well.

More to come from her too..she's out in the living room inventing a new bracelet. :)

Book Review Numero Seis: Modern Calligraphy

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Modern Calligraphy is a nicely written book featuring beautiful writing samples throughout. The author not only explains how you can create beautify hand written objects (invitations, place cards and such) but she also explains the supplies well. While other books leave you wondering where and what to buy to complete each sample, this is not the case with this book. There is a nice supply guide at the back of the book.

Included in the book are lovely exercises to get your inner calligraphy flowing. Practice, practice, practice. I did not come out of this book ready to hand write wedding invitations, but I did come out of this book understanding what is needed to write wedding invitations. Let's also note, I will not be getting into the wedding invitation business anytime soon.

Practicing lettering and understanding the pressure needed to create thicker and thinner lines (and when to make them) will help me with my fun time Copic brush tips. This information combined with the knowledge from this book which I reviewed earlier has no doubt turned the quality of my penmanship up a notch.

I was expecting this book to swerve away from the invitation and place card writing tips and tricks.. I don't know.. with "modern" in the title, I was expecting some non-traditional calligraphy examples. Having said that, the book indeed was fun to look at, fast to read and contained it's money worth in content.

Still talking about #passingnotes

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Fuji X100s on location.

Fuji X100s on location.

We were the only ones having fun at coffee this morning... Everyone else sat straight faced... staring in to their phones or laptops at the Parkette. I like to think that we got the most done at this meeting as well... who knows.

He reads about my new note passing concept.. he remembers the loose leaf.. the blue ball point pens AND several stories about being caught passing notes... and even what was written in those notes that prompted meetings with the principal at our school... epic.

We share childhood stories and talk about creative ideas.. we laugh.. a lot. I can't have coffee without laughing..

Blue ballpoint pen forever.

More to come.....

Online #mixedmedia Ecourse Sale Ends Friday

Class sample!

Class sample!

Class sample!

Class sample!

I have a sale on two HUGE online workshops for you that ends this Friday! Make layered, rich, thought out paintings...I'll help you every step of the way if you want.

Click here to learn about the 8 Great Paintings Workshop.

Click here to learn about the Mixed Media Variety Show with Julie Prichard.

You won't want to miss this...

Patched Up.

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Fuji X-Pro1, 35mm Fujinon

Fuji X-Pro1, 35mm Fujinon

I've been collecting patches since Brownies, 1979, I guess.

Recently, I convinced my daughter to elect for the patch anytime a souvenir was warranted... We sew them all over her backpack. 

Last week was the monthly embroidery club meeting at the sewing machine shop.. I was not interested in the project, so I stayed home... See, there are thousands of digitized designs you can download for your machine. There are discs full of them that you can purchase as well.. I soon tired of those and purchased digitizing software.. Which means anything I can get into the computer, I can spit out embroidered. I'm working on my handwriting... which is a little complicated.. because why learn one complicated software program when you can learn two at the same time? I'm forcing myself to get better with Illustrator....and then to take those files and digitize them..

Fourth image from the top..those are the fruits of my labor.. Making my own patches... I can sew them on to anything that I can't directly embroider on to (machine limitations). They sure are fun to hold....

Taking it back old School.... #passingnotes


There were hundreds of them. All meticulously folded and written.. Passed to each other in class and in hallways... I'm bringing back the art of the "note".

Stationary doesn't count.. Fancy art pens..nope. These have to be on looseleaf paper..written in BLUE ballpoint pen. We always chose blue. If you had one of the old Papermate Medium point  ball point pens... the white pen with the blue cap.. those were the best. I remember when I first used one of those pens.. much better than the Bic counterpart of the day...

The notes talked about boyfriends, general teenage girl gossip... a lot about hair and heavy metal rock bands.. (Dude- Scorps.) Many of the popular topics (guys) had code names so as to divert the attention off of our true loves should the notes fall into the hands of the wrong person.. My note passing career peaked in 1985.. ended in 1989.. much too short.

During that time period, I remember receiving notes from guys too. Passed on the beach of all places.. passed from car to car on the FREEWAY.. (Kate- if you read this one day, don't EVER do that.) For some reason guys did not have the same ability to write a note as we did.. They were almost always short..and almost certainly would mention that we were "cool chics".. 

The notes are gone now.. But I can still picture them. I picture them in an old Reebok high-top shoe box under my bed. I want them back. So we are writing.

I'm never going to stop writing either. As long as I have someone to pass the note to, I will. I am going to stop texting... and start writing. I am going to save every piece of paper that comes my way. I've got this first note in my grid book... preserved... and the others soon to follow will also be included. They will be placed right in chronological order of the rest of the pages... with their postage envelopes... 

Long live the note. Bringing it back to stay.

While writing one note, my classmate's daughter did not have any idea what she was doing... what?? Is THAT the way we want our kids to grow up? The note is important.. I also remember carefully taking apart empty Chapstick containers and rolling notes around the spindle inside them in 7-8th grade. Those were the best of times.

Book Review Numero Cinco: The Art of Urban Sketching #books

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Let me start off by saying that I am not sure what my expectations were for this book..

"The Art of Urban Sketching" is wildly popular book by Gabriel Campanario.. Soft cover, some 317 pages, it is quite impressive.. but this is not the book for me. I can't finish it.

This book has been dominating the "Acrylics" category on the Amazon US site for many months.. In fact this book ran head to head with my book for several months..back and forth in the #1 bestseller position.. I'm a little confused though, because this book has very little to do with acrylics.. if anything.

I may have misinterpreted the premise of the book.. look at the cover wording carefully: "Drawing on location around the world".. and "See the world one drawing at a time" are written on the jacket.. I was hoping to have some sketching lessons in throughout the book. Instead there are some tips here and there.. but none of them seemed to help me propel myself into the world of sketching. Absolute beginners who are looking for tips on how to pack light, avoid conformation while sketching "in the wild" and what t buy to get started... yes.... I don't think I am the target demographic for this book. (I can't think of any instructional book that I have read that does not tell you how to pack light and/or has a supply discussion...so I didn't need that in Urban Sketching.)

This book delivers exactly what it says on the jacket though- you will in fact see the world one drawing at a time. Gabriel takes you though the globe with a few pages dedicated to each city. The San Diego section was very familiar to me.. so yes, you can find a sketch for your city and recognize it. I kind of think this book as more of a tour guide than a book for learning.

So that said, this is a lovely coffee table book.. maybe something neat if you are a world traveler. Instructional step-outs and drawing exercises will have to come from a different title.

Happy Valentine's Day

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I found these bouquet photos I took last year of roses from my garden.. This year I have 4 new bushes.. and I already have some buds on the way. I can't wait until they are back in bloom again.. I can't wait to see all of the color come back into the garden.

We're off on a holiday weekend, but I will still be checking in on the teaching network daily. Happy Valentine's Day to you!

Book Review Numero Cuatro: Thinking With Type #typography

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Thank you for tuning in to my book review series... I am not receiving these books complimentary from authors or publishers... so rest assured these are my honest thoughts regarding each book.

I read through "Thinking With Type" over the last 10 days and I have to say that this is a well written book. It is easy to understand, the graphics illustrate what the author is writing about, and overall, this is a nice read. This book would be the type of book I would dream about if I was a college student.

This book covers a lot of ground. There are definitions for strange terms you may have seen in your editing programs, which I found very helpful. What will I get out of this book? I can apply my new-found information to all future writing projects I complete.. Not too shabby. There were also helpful references to InDesign, which I have used to write my last handful of online workshop PDFs. (An unexpected bonus!)

In addition to what I would call the "scholastic' information contained in this book, there are many examples of type as they relate to the information in the book..

Long-time readers of my blog know that I am a strong believer of finding out everything there is to know about a subject before diving in to that subject.. This book may have been a touch too technical for my current design status, but there is no doubt that following all the way through with this book was not a waste of my time.

So there you have it. See you for the next book report.

Online Workshop Sale!! #mixedmedia #ecourse

Now through the end of February, save on two of my online workshops!

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The HUGE course, "Mixed Media Variety Show" is on sale for a whopping $20 off this month! Pictured above is a class sample. There are tons of discussion points, tips and professionally edited video awaiting you in this course.. Did I mention there are no time limits for the course and unlimited instructor support? Indeed. Click here for more info.

A class sample from the online workshop, "8 Great Paintings".

A class sample from the online workshop, "8 Great Paintings".

The "8 Great Paintings" online workshop is also on sale now! Show me anywhere that teaches you how to make 8 paintings for only $59...I dare you. Click here for more info and to see all of the class samples. It's huge. Really.

I hope to see you in class....if you're already a class member, come on over to chat today! We have private online communities for every workshop and I am in there daily. See you soon!

Book Review Numero Tres. 1000 Journals Project

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I almost feel like I should edit a video review for this one..because I feel my written word may be misconstrued... But I am lazy. I will rely on your thorough study of the next few lines of text instead.

I did not like this book.

(insert diabolical sound bit here)

Let me clarify.. I like this concept. I think it is neat.. I even participated in a similar project at Sea World (of all places) when I was a child. But I think I can only go so far as to say that this concept is neat-o. The printed results as bound in this book...not so much.

So..there are a gazillion (I guess 1000...I did not count them) sketchbook/journal pages in this book...but most of them are small...too small to read. The "open call" format is apparent.. and so I guess you can say, "Frick- this IS what the majority of journals look like out there.." Call me a snob then.. I like what I like. I'd rather carefully curated journal pages of the artist-man.. not the everyday journal rescuer. 

So.. if you like this sort of thing... you may consider the similarly named counter part, "1000 Journal Artist Pages" instead.

I wanted to like this book.. I really did. I like the hard cover..I like the size..but..I don't know. Have you seen the movie?

No affiliation with either book or author.