Thursday, July 31, 2014

Summer Fun!

Guess where I've been??

If you guessed Guadalajara based on the photo above, you can be forgiven, but I've actually been in Florida on a much-needed vaccay with my husband!

First we hit Key West.


And then Miami. We were so busy in Miami that I barely got my camera out and took photos. However, we did a little drinking at the Eden Roc bar...

... and a little gambling at the Hard Rock Casino...

... and won 1000.00 at 3-card poker! So yeah, it was a great trip.

But now it's back to reality, and back to the studio. I left the place in a complete shambles before going on vacation, and when we got home, sunburned and exhausted, it took me a week before I could even open the door and face it. But after a full day of reorganizing, throwing things out and putting things away, it's clean, it's clean, it's clean!! 

Before leaving for Florida, I had gone a little bananas with an online, 50% off coupon (plus free shipping!) and did a little paint shopping. While browsing the site (I wish I could remember which one it was, but it was either Michael's or JoAnn's), I came across some of these cool paint bottle toppers that allow you to use the bottles as paint "writers". With my obsession with painted Stacked Jouranling, the fit seemed obvious. 

I also dashed over to and bought some spray bottles with the intention of using them with Golden's hi-flow acrylics. This whole haul cost me about 50.00! 

Usually, I'll admit it, I'm a bit of a snob when it comes to the paint I use. I prefer to use the best paint I can afford in my paintings- which usually doesn't include "craft" paint- because I feel that those who invest in my work deserve it. But when it comes to painted and monoprinted Stacked Journaling, the expensive, high-pigment load paints just aren't necessary, and all those lovely little bottles of vibrant color are so hard to pass up.

Of course, I needed to store all that paint, and that was suddenly a problem. After a lot of wrangling of my supplies, and a lot of rearranging, I finally dedicated and entire drawer to these little bottles of love.

While cleaning the studio, I banged up against an ongoing issue for me: how to easily store my handmade stencils. For so long, these babies have been sitting out on my workspace, getting shifted from this end of the table to the other, because I just haven't found the perfect storage solution for them.

But as I uncovered layers of supplies and materials in my clean-up, I ran across these sheets of paper that had arrived in the box of a very inexpensive shelving unit my husband bought a couple of months ago. There was a stack of them, and my husband, by now well aware of my loathing for throwing out anything that has a potential use in my studio, asked me if I wanted them. 

They're large- 11" x 15"- and I thought they would make an interesting journal. There must be 20 of these sheets! Clearly, the packing machine in the factory went a little gonzo and accidentally dumped them all into one box. Fortunately for me, that box found the right home. 

Looking at their size and at the smaller size of my collection of stencils, I realized that I could make a quick folder to hold my stencils out of two of these sheets and some washi tape.

First, I grabbed some of my painted papers and collaged on top of the sheets, to give them more stability and strength. Then I just taped them together on three sides.


 Presto! Instant stencil storage!

I love simple, free storage solutions!

But wait, there's more! Some actual art really did get made this week, too. I know, I'm Wonder Woman, it's true; you can stop applauding, now. No, really, it's embarrassing. Oh, ok, I'll wait, go ahead and clap.

My husband has been transferred to yet another location (thank freakin' whoever that this transfer didn't require a move!) and his new office has several rather empty walls. So I went to work and created this piece for him, another in my series of altered Stacked Journaling.


This piece started as much of my current work does: with a wooden cradled panel to which I've adhered a piece of printmaking paper. I paint the paper, then add monoprinted SJ to it, and then using a refillable marker with more Golden hi-flow acrylics in white, I outline the negative spaces. (The entire process is detailed, with lots of photos and instruction, here.)

This process fascinates me no end, and leads me to my next project.

Remember when I bought these beasties a few months back?


The plan was and is to mount paper onto them and then paint on them, but it took me a while to find and have shipped to me artist paper this large (30" x 40".)

Well, I have, and it arrived today!

I obviously haven't unpacked it, yet, but it's a beautiful printmaking paper by Canson. Mounting it on my cradle boards will take four hands, so my husband has agreed been cajoled into helping, and once that is finished, I'll post here to show how we did it. 

In the meantime, create a happy summer!


Kathy said...

My hands hurt from so much applauding--can I stop now? The vacation must have done you a lot of good to get so much done upon your return!

elle said...

wow! you have been rocking AND rolling. Good for you!

Jeannie said...

I bow to you, oh Creative Goddess!!! You have been busy! I had the same dilema with stencils and I went and used a 50% coupon at Michael's and bought an artist portfolio that is 14 x 17 or something like that. Now they are all in their little pockets waiting for me to get off my perch and do something. :) Have fun painting! I love the art you created for hubby's office.

Lisa Chin said...

Love the stencil storage! The stencils are awesome too! Great job on the new piece for the hubby's office. I'm glad you didn't have to move after all the work you have done to your new home!

Shoshi said...

Well, Judi, here's another one with sore hands from applauding! Wonderwoman, indeed! What a fascinating post. So glad you enjoyed your lovely holiday in Florida, and thanks for sharing the stunning photos you took. Your studio is awesome - so lovely and spacious, and I love how you use materials to the best possible advantage. The stencils I have made are no larger than A4 and I store them individually in clear pockets that file away in a ring binder - that way they don't tangle up with each other. I keep a piece of paper with each one that's been stencilled with that particular stencil so they are easy to identify.

Aren't we fortunate to have such wonderful hubbies? I simply don't know what I'd do without mine - he's my rock and support, especially at the moment when I am dealing with some difficult health issues.

I am interested in your refillable markers and fluid acrylics - this is something I'd very much like to try. What sort of markers are they? Are they available in the UK? I love the outlining you are doing, of the stacked journalling. Nobody would ever suspect it came originally from text! Just gorgeous. Your hubby must be thrilled to have one of your beautiful pieces to grace his new office wall.

Keep up the good work. A visit to your blog is always a great tonic!


Stephanie said...

You should manufacture those stencils, very cool! Good storage idea for them.

Are those bottles by Darice? i think I saw some locally and wondered if they would work for this technique. Great work too!