Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A "Mish Mosh" of things...

Got a bit behind in posting things I wanted to share with everyone - so forgive me as I throw it all in one post to catch up and in no particular order...

I've always loved books. As a matter of fact I still have some of my original picture books from when I was a child - three of my favorites - Madeline; Make Way for Ducklings; and Eloise - sit in my collection of hundreds of children's books most of them signed by their authors - so it's no mistake that I have a new love in my recent incarnation of the adult me - making books - I created a class that I call "A Gaggle of Books in a Box"

My book samples for the class ...
where students create five different mini-books - a scroll book, a star book, a corrugated paper bag book, an accordion book and a shipping tag book - that all fit in a box (actually in an altered oatmeal tub) - and this Sunday I was thrilled to be able to teach this intense but fun class at VIVA Gallery upstairs studio - thanks to Erella, Joann and Nancy for coming to play with me! Yes, play - they each walked away with their five mini-books and their parting gift from me - a little rubber duckie and a mini-water color set.

Erella with her star book

Nancy holding her star book - Joann's yellow star book on table and Erella's red accordion book in the background

Erella and Joann at "Show & Tell" at end of class

Joann's tea book - it's her corrugated book using tea bag packages for pages instead of paper bags - beautiful!

Joann and Nancy looking at student work

Joann and Nancy working on scroll books
Erella working on scroll books

A shameless plug for my next class - Saturday - 11/22/08 at a private home studio in Sherman Oaks from 11 am - 4 pm - and includes a light lunch served by our fabulous host for the day - contact me privately to sign up - the class is "Reflections - A wall hanging/banner" based on the "Freedom wall hanging/banner" I won 3rd place in the Art Unraveled art competition this past August - spaces are filling quickly so contact me for more info -

Four-panel "Freedom" wall hanging/banner

Close up of a panel

A couple of months ago I signed up for a chunky book swap on Art Techniques Yahoo group - we had to sign up for a technique to demonstrate in our pages and there could be no duplicate techniques in the book - it started out as a normal chunky book 4 x 4 swap - where they may grow to as many as 35 or 40 sign-ups which means you make that many original (no photo copies) 4 x 4 pages - somehow this book grew and grew and grew and GREW! When it got to 50 participants someone suggested that we form group two - but everyone protested - after all it was a technique book and no one wanted to miss out on a single technique - and then it grew to 60 participants - then 75 - then 80 - 90 - 95 and then gasp! a 100! But wait ... it didn't stop there - the final count was 120 sign-ups! Yes ... you got it - we had to make 120 - 4 x 4 pages of our technique - no photo copies and send them to our fearless (and now celebrated) leader - Sherre - at first it seemed overwhelming - I brought them twice to my mixed media group to work on - and still I wasn't finished - but then it became "Zen like" exercise - and I finished and sent them off - poor Sherre and crew had 120 priority boxes in her dining room & living room to be stuffed with sorted 120 pages times 120 entries - yikes! Then the icing on the cake - my box arrived with 120 different fabulous technique pages to peruse and hopefully try on my own - I decided to figure out a way to bind my pages into a book - what a surprise since I'm a "book person" - here's the result - It was so much fun - I signed up for a chunky book swap for AU with only a mere 30 pages - piece of cake!

Pages I made for AU Technique chunky book (30 pages) (very similar to page I made for Chunky Fat book (120 pages)

Ribbon binding - Chunky Fat book 120 - 4 x 4 pages

Front of fat book - this is one of the pages used as the cover

Overhead view of bound book

Side view of 120 pages bound

The book!

It's bound loosely enough that it can lay flat to use when working on a technique - each page has the technique described on the back

I divided the 120 pages into 5 sections (signatures) and bound each one separately on the Bind-it-All machine - then tied the 5 bound signatures together with colored ribbons

The pages all together - it's such an amazing book! I feel like all 120 of us are in a special international club - connected by our technique pages -

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A New Nation...

Tears stream down my face as the announcement came at 11 pm* that we have a new President. My heart is full. As a young Jewish girl raised in the South, I remember seeing water fountains marked "white only" and "colored" - there were white and "colored" schools - African Americans could not eat in the same restaurants as me - or go to the same restroom as me - growing up I never saw a black person in anything but a menial or blue collar job. I went to school with only white students until my senior year when 9 black students were bussed to our school of 3500. The only black people I knew were maids in a white friend's home. In school the only thing I studied about black people was about slavery and the Middle Passage and the Civil War - all from a white perspective. From today on when young people look in their history books a new face will be seen on the page with all the Presidents - all white men - 12 were slave owners - from today on they will see a new face as the President of the United States - Barack Obama - the 44th President of the United States - an African American face for all of the people. Never in my lifetime - never during the Civil Rights Movement - never was this idea ever in the realm of my imagination.

I'm trying to get my head around this - I'm overjoyed and can finally say "G-d Bless America!" and be proud of this country and the people who had the hope and courage to see something in this person to lead us in these dark and troubled times. And to know that my home state of Virginia turned the tide and voted Democratic for the first time in over forty years! If only Tim Russert and Martin Luther King, Jr. and Bobby Kennedy could be with us to see this historic day. I like to think that the healing of the deep wounds of our great country are finally beginning to heal after over 200 years. This gives all minorities hope for things to come in our lifetime. America has turned the corner today and I am so proud to be an American!

* 11 pm - interesting fact - when Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation - word got out to the country at 11 pm - it was 11 pm last night that the announcement broke by the various news stations that Barack Obama had enough electoral votes and was indeed the next President of the United States - I can't help but think about the fact that it was slave labor that built the steps of the Capitol in Washington,D.C. that our new President Barack Obama will stand on January 20th to take the Oath of Office.
I was born in Washington, D.C. and grew up in the suburbs in Virginia (the part that the Republicans said didn't count) - Fairfax County - When I was in high school my father was elected Chair of the Fairfax County School Board - a lifelong Nixon Republican - he was given the difficult task of deciding along with the Board whether to integrate the schools - he struggled long and hard with his decision - he was always one to do the right thing - there was a tie when the Board voted - it was his vote that decided that indeed the schools would be integrated - the toll of this decision and the stress my Dad was under during these difficult times took a toll on him - but he was a part of history and change that was good - I didn't understand the magnitude of all of this at the time - I recently read the newspaper clippings that he saved accounting these meetings - I never really told my Dad how proud I was of his decision and the courage he had at the time - he passed away 25 years ago - and although our politics were never the same - which made for lively dinner table conversations over the years - I'm pretty sure my Dad would have been supporting McCain but I know that my Dad would have been proud of our country's courage to do the right thing - I love you, Poppy and I'm so very proud of the work you did at a time that wasn't easy - but then the path of courage never is.

Monday, November 3, 2008

VOTE! Like your life depends on it...

because it does! I thought long and hard about commenting on this blog about voting and the election - and was not going to discuss political choices in a place where I present my creative endeavors - but after reading so many of your blogs - artists that I really respect for their artistic and creative savvy - I was shocked at how many well known names have clickable buttons to vote yes on Prop 8 here in California - so I can no longer hold my tongue - The artistic community has always been forward thinking and full of folks who are willing to march to the beat of their own drummers - I urge each of you to search your heart and soul before you mark your ballot and vote for discrimination - because that's what you'll be doing if you vote for Prop 8 - you will actually be voting against a large population - a large part of this artistic community - you are saying that people you know and work with and call friends deserve to have 2nd class citizen rights and that we need change our state constitution to do this - this is not a vote about the bedroom - this is a vote for discrimination and against human rights - it is distorted facts and half-truths begun by the powerful and wealthy Mormon Church and picked up by other religious right groups - Don't believe them - don't just listen to propaganda but do some research and read the facts -

Not that long ago women were discriminated against because they were thought of as 2nd class citizens and did not have the right to vote - Japanese Americans were rounded up and against their will placed in camps right here in America - Armenian Americans were not allowed to buy homes in sections of this state - and African Americans and Latinos and others were - by law- told who they could and could not marry - and now it is my Gay and Lesbian brothers and sisters that are being discriminated against - take a stand for human rights - think about all the art friends you enjoy working with and call friends and how this will affect all of us - do the right thing - join me and many others in this community and VOTE NO! ON PROP 8 tomorrow - (and a vote for Obama too!)