Saturday, December 31, 2011

Linda Kittmer's 2011 sketchbook journal

Sketchbook challenge participant Linda Kittmer created a wonderful fabric journal of the 2011 themes that she's given me permission to share with you all here on the Sketchbook Challenge blog:


Inside is a page for each theme in 2011:

January: Highly Prized

 February: Opposites

 March: Spilling Over

 April: Branching out/out on a limb
 May: resists

 June: Pathyways

 July: Elements

 August: every day objects
September: unfurled

October: views

November: imaginary animals
December: trashed, ruined and decay
You can read more about each of Linda's pages on her blog here.

Click here for a list of all the 2011 themes with a link back to the original post.

December prize winners!

Chosen by random draw, the winners of the December prizes are...
(click on the winners names to see their sketchbook page)
Winners must email Sue at with their full name and mailing address by 1/9/12 in order to claim their prize. 

2 packs of decorative papers, A Somerset Studio Gallery magazine and a unique Traditional Asian Hand bound Journal with 46 accordion style pages that form pockets to let your creativity run wild."

A Smorgasbord Mixed Media Collage Pack! Enjoy this feast of papers to stimulate your collage imagination.  Includes 4 sheets of handmade or decorated sheets of paper approximately 9"x12" plus a wide variety of smaller treasures.  Each kit is unique.

A set of twinkling H2O's in Pearlesque colors and a set of 4 Radiant Rain Color Concentrate!
Thank you to everyone who posted photos in the flickr group and congratulations to all the winners! 

Friday, December 30, 2011

Sketchbook Challenge Workshops & More

Check out these opportunities to learn from the Sketchbook Challenge artists. 

We keep our commercial presence to one monthly post so that we can share other opportunities to take workshops, purchase art or enjoy other offerings from all of us. Check out our workshops and  books. Thank you for being a part of the Sketchbook Challenge! It's an honor to share this journey with you.


January 2012
Online Sketching & Watercolor: Journal Style
with Jane LaFazio starts January 24.
Jane will guide you through basic drawing, inking and a straight forward intuitive approach to painting with watercolor. This 6 lesson class is geared for beginners, but all levels are welcome! More info here.

January  2012 
Sue Bleiweiss will teach the Kitchen Foil Coptic Stitch Book at Ink About It in Westford MA on January 14.
In this workshop you’ll transform ordinary kitchen foil into a gorgeous coptic stitch book that lays flat when opened.  You’ll spend the first part of the day creating the covers for your book and then after a short break for lunch you’ll assemble your book using a single needle coptic stitch technique.  More info here.


January  2012
Playing With Paint with Lyric Kinard
an on-line class at Quilt University.
Four lessons over six weeks, beginning January 20th.

January  2012
STITCHED workshops with Alma Stoller, Kelli Nina Perkins and a total of 20 mixed media/fiber artists. Play for six months. Take one or all of the video workshops for one entry fee. Join in the forums to share and discuss your progress. 
More info here.

October 2012
Art Camp for Women. Make a space for art, come and play! Join me for a three day art SPREE in the beautiful mountains of Colorado. All supplies are included, just bring your jammies and let the creativity spill.


January/February 2012
Workshops with Susan Brubaker Knapp

presentation Feb. 16: Point, Click, Quilt!
workshop Feb. 18: Start With a Photo

Concord, NC presentation Feb. 13: Thread Sketch It!
workshop Feb. 14: Thread Sketching

Palmer Divide Quilt Guild, Palmer Divide, CO 
presentation Feb. 2, 2012: details TBA
workshop Feb. 3, 2012: Thread Sketching: Dragonfly
private workshop Feb. 4, 2012

Burke Quilters GuildMorganton, NC 
presentation Jan. 23, 2012: Yes, You Can Do Needleturn Appliqué!
workshop Jan. 24, 2012: Cripps Pink Apple

Mooresville Centerpiece Quilters Guild, Mooresville, NC 
presentation Jan. 9, 2012: Point, Click, Quilt!
workshop Jan. 30,2012: Surface Design Madness


June 2012

 Italy Illuminated with Diana Trout 
Join me in Fabriano Italy, June 20-28, 2012 for a sketching, painting, bookmaking, papermaking, illuminating trip! Our host is Giorgio Pelligrini, Director of The Museo della Carta e della Filigrana (Museum of Papermaking and the Watermark) in the historic walled city of Fabriano. Working in the spacious and beautiful library at the Museo will be interspersed with sketch and sightseeing tours around the area of LeMarche with a side trip to Perugia in Umbria.
More info here.

CCF03242011_00000March 31- April 7, 2012 
Join Pam Carriker in Cortona, Italy!
Derivan Liquid Pencils are a relatively new medium that takes sketching to a whole new place! With different tints in both permanent and rewettable formulas, they offer a wide range of creativity and allow you to ‘sketch’ without picking up a pencil! I’ve been working with the creators of Liquid Pencil and am excited to have a line of new products coming out that make this new medium especially user friendly to Art Journalers. If you love the look of sketching but are unsure of your drawing skills, this class will give you exactly what you need to begin sketching in a journal made with hot press watercolor paper.  As we gather memorabilia from our day trips, we will add them to the covers of our journals to finish off an artistic keepsake that will bring back the once in a lifetime memories of our time in Italy. 

Picture Yourself... among the sights and sounds of beautiful and romantic Tuscany: olive groves, vineyards, centuries-old buildings, winding streets, texture and vibrant sunlight. Feel the warm ambience of Cortona, overlooking Lake Trasimeno and the Val di Chiana, originally fortified by the Umbrians, claimed by the Etruscans, touched by the Renaissance.   Almost unchanged for centuries, Cortona is one of Tuscany's jewels. Experience...the joy of painting en plein air yourself in a relaxed and inspiring atmosphere with the expert instruction of a nationally known artist and instructor and the camaraderie friendship of a small group of learners and seekers. Enjoy...great Italian food, delightful wines, new friends, breath-taking vistas, history and the hospitality of the people of Cortona. More info here.

May - October 2012 
CREATE May 30-June 3 2012
Artful Gathering June 2012
Art Unraveled August 2012
Art Is...You October 2012


February 2012 
Join artist Carol Sloan at Artistic Artifacts on February 24 & 25, 2012 for a mixed media bookmaking class. "Bound By Heart, Made By Hand"
Put together a hand bound journal or artist book as you learn to integrate your personal keepsakes. You will learn how to construct a book using techniques that anyone can master. We will cover ways to add your vintage ephemera, add bits and pieces of lace, trim, fabric & fibers as well as treasured papers. Using acrylic mediums, we will make the outside of your book waterproof and extremely durable. Whether you use your journal to record your thoughts, do some urban sketching or jot down ideas for your next project, you’ll love the techniques that you learn AND go home with a “one of a kind” hand bound book that will be the envy of all your friends! 

June 2012
Join artist Carol Sloan at  “Art Camp For Women” on June 7-11, 2012 for brand new bookmaking workshop Simplified Bookmaking.”
I've created a special bookmaking project just for Art Camp that is sure to please everyone! We'll be learning three different binding teachniques, constructing personalized covers as well as learning tons of techniques to embellish the inside pages. This will be a great class for beginner bookmakers as well as advanced ones. Remember that you don't have to bring ANY supplies to Camp! We will have them all waiting on you. More info here.


January 2012
Exploring the Self-Portrait with Jane Davies
Starts January 2, 2012
There is something about self-portraits that is both compelling and intimidating. Have you ever thought about creating self-portraits but recoiled in fear of the idea?  Just what IS a self-portrait?  Does it have to be serious and introspective, revealing your innermost secrets?  Or can it be inquisitive, playful, experimental, or even silly?  In this workshop it can be all of the above.  We will explore the self-portrait through contour drawing, painting, and collage; we’ll deconstruct and reconstruct the self-portrait, create fantasy environments for it, layer one portrait over another, and generally use it as an anchor for discovering the expressive potential of our materials and imaginations. More info here.

Unlocking the Secrets of Color, Starts January 4, 2012
Color is one of the most immediate and emotionally affecting elements in visual art, packed with symbolic and cultural associations, personal meaning, and expressive potential. Your choice of colors can make or break a collage, painting, or mixed media piece; even a small change in color can be the key to transforming an otherwise so-so piece into a stunning work of art. In this workshop we will explore color through hands on exercises, learning how to mix them, and how they interact and relate to one another, and how they work in composition. After taking this workshop you will be on your way to making confident color choices and developing your personal color style. More info here.

October 2012
Abstract Landscape: Exploring Color and Composition, October 1, 2012
In this workshop we will discover the tremendous
versatility and power of the abstract landscape to evoke mood, memory,
and emotion. Through its simplicity we can explore the use of color and
principles of composition while mining our own personal and emotional
landscapes. We will begin with sketches, and proceed to small studies in
collage and paint. In the afternoon we will work on several larger pieces,
on paper or canvas (your choice), and plan to finish one, while leaving the
others open-ended. Working on a several pieces at once allows you the
flexibility to try out different approaches while giving your ideas some
breathing room. Come and immerse yourself in color and form, collage
and paint, exploration and discovery! More info here.

Plaster and Wax: An Encaustic Mixed Media AdventureOctober 2, 2012
Plaster and encaustic are two of the most ancient art
media. In this workshop we bring them together to create works of art rich
with layering, depth, and texture. The absorbency of plaster makes it
possible to use vibrant acrylic paints as well as watercolor to achieve
intense hues, while the subtle sheen of resin and beeswax gives luminosity
and depth to the surface. Working on birch plywood panels, we will also
explore a variety of media including oil pastels, graphite, foil, and alcohol
inks using techniques both familiar and experimental. Come join the
adventure in this exciting combination of plaster and wax! More info here.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

In my Sketchbook: Seashells

My Sketchbook
Jane LaFazio here.
My Sketchbook

I'm enjoying drawing from life, then creating stylized designs based on the real thing. I'll use the designs in my other work, like stitching and fabric surface design.
My Sketchbook

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Old Journal/New, Restructured Journal

Leslie here.  To say that I used up my Sketchbook Project journal is NOT the same as saying I trashed it, but it seems that my journals look like they have quite a bit of "mileage" when they are full!  There is a unique satisfaction in filling the final page of a journal, isn't there?  Along with a filled journal is the excitement and anticipation of the next one!  I opted to participate in yet another round of the Sketchbook project, in addition to continuing as a contributing artist to the Sketchbook Challenge, because I enjoy it so much.  Since the SBP is what inspired our blog, even more reason to continue with it.
When I received my new 5x7 journal, I decided to take it apart and customize the signatures (or paper sections) inside the book.  The only criteria for the books is that the cover must remain the same size:  the depth of the book can be up to one inch.  I wanted more watercolor paper, and since my theme for this round is "Thread and Surface", I put some canvas "pages" in, as well.
Looking at the top of my filled sketchbook.

It is filled with yummy pages of stuff!

Here is the newly-created sketchbook, in front of the filled one....

I can't wait to start working in this new book!

Old and new together.

So, how about you?  Are you in for 2012?  If so, are you choosing a new journal or do you have pages that need drawings before you move to a new one?  I am looking forward to continuing with this wonderful online project in 2012, and I hope you are, too!  The work that you share on the Flickr site is a continuing source of inspiration to me!  Thanks for coming along on our adventure this year.  There is so much more to come!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Trashed fabric scraps

Carol here.
I tend to hang on to little scraps of fabric, textiles and fibers that I like or that have special meaning to me...others would trash them.
Nope, not me. I've been known to retrieve treasures from the trashcan as well.
Evidently I've done this my entire mom used to call me "Trashcan Annie" (even though I'm not sure who she is). I couldn't bear to let some things go.
I will occasionally pull a handful of scraps out and make something out of them. They make quick and colorful backgrounds to layer other interesting things on top of.

Take this pile of black scraps I had.

I really wanted a smaller black shoulder bag but couldn't find one the right size.
I pulled out a piece of Roc-Lon Multi-purpose cloth that my friend Ruth Chandler gave me and set to work.
As usual, I do things the hard way - no plan, hardly a sense of direction - just jump in and pay the cost later.
The physical activity of sewing those scraps on was soothing to me, helped me to think about what I wanted to do and how I would do it.
I did figure out a general size that I wanted and filled the piece of Multi-purpose cloth up with all the trim, fabric, leather, lace, sheers and textiles that I could cram on it.
The Multipurpose cloth is wonderful! You can cut it and not worry at all about fraying edges! I simply cut the shape of the flap I wanted and sewed the side seams together. I did stitch the entire flap edge with a zig zag to cover most of the white of the base cloth.
I decided (as an after thought) to add a liner with two inside pockets- I'm sure that it would have been much easier to add one before the entire bag was made...but I made it work.
There are no mistakes to me, only more opportunities to screw something else up , um I mean to flex my design muscles.

You have to be brave if you're going to design your own "stuff", don't you?

I had an old drawer pull from my mom's house that I had been saving for "just the right project" and I think that this purse just screamed for it.
I used large "O" rings from an old purse for the shoulder strap (gotta recycle ya know) and finished up the new black shoulder bag.
I took it for a trial run to a couple of stores and judging by the looks that women gave it (plus a couple of compliments) I think I have a hit.
So - here's another idea to use up all those scraps that I know a lot of you are hanging onto!

I hope that everyone is having a peaceful and sane holiday season.
Take time to rest, reflect and remember to flex your creative muscles.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Friday, December 23, 2011

Old Peeling Metal

Susan Sorrell-I love going to these places that sell old house furnishings for people restoring old homes. I came across some wrought iron fences, grates or gates leaning against each other and I loved how the spaces and designs blended together. Plus the peeling paint is awesome!!

I cropped my image and did a drawing of just the top part of the photo.

I was wondering what I would use this drawing for and I got an idea! Santa brought me a new Android camera/phone for Christmas and I thought I would play with some of the Photo Apps that are available. Wow..I never thought I would be able to be so creative with my phone! Here are some of the filters I used on the drawing.
I made my drawing "fat".

Here it is in Fish Eye.

Mirror image vertically.

Mirror image horizontally.


Colored and Curved

Colored and Mirrored


There are a bunch more, but you get the idea! I can see a lot of different ways I could use this as a fiber art or embroidery piece. It is nice to take a drawing and make it into a whole new image!!

Happy Holidays Everyone!!

Susan Sorrell :>