Bookmaking 101

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Bookmaking 101

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Great for scrapbookers, crafters, artists and the curious

Cost is $25 per student (includes materials)

Sign up by emailing annhuskey@hotmail.com

Monday Sept 14th 6:00 pm

  • Learn basic bookbinding techniques
  • Create a pamphlet stitch booklet
  • Create a book from a single piece of paper
  • Gather ideas for other book structures

My Betony is Returning

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Time marches on, and it is yet another fall. The temperatures have not hit their fall note but there is a noticeable shift in the air. My garden has been attentive to this change and bits of Betony are returning to the butterfly garden, bit by bit.

Some people think of Betony as a weed but I love it. The native perennial is extremely resilient, easy to care for, edible and, in my opinion, quite pretty. The optimistic looking green leaves form in stalks and are flourished with small light purple bell-shaped flowers.  The bed grows quite thick with them in the fall and they become a light purple blanket in the garden, during the fall and winter, when everything else is dying. They offer color in the cooler months when all else seems gray and bleak.

I am still painting, crafting and preparing for the winter sales. I am hosting a class for bookmaking basics in a weeks time. I am also going to promote the event tomorrow at our local art park by giving away free reconstructed history books.  I am hopeful about the outcome but I have to keep reminding myself that all I do with my art is a labor of love. This is not something I do for money, although money is nice, it is something I do because I need to. I have been making art my entire life and without it my life does not feel right.

Studio, life and garden

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My writing station

This week has been big for my family and I. It was Tristan’s first week back at school. A welcome change for me and my family, this change has brought with it a return of some time that was lost during the summer months.

I am not just saying that I have regained my sanity but I am asserting that I have been granted the opportunity to write and create more freely.

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New display made from found wood

Already I have created several jewelry displays out of found wood. I have also created over 30 new jewelry pieces, painted two new paintings and begun the process of creating new small booklets out of upcycled vintage materials.

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Two small new paintings

I am so proud of my progress in this past week and am delighted to share with others. In the coming weeks I will be a vendor at two craft fairs. I also have some pieces for sale at Anita’s funky emporium, including a God’s eye box I created and a pair of earrings made with vintage glass buttons.

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Another new display

Be on the look out for the classes I will be teaching in September. I will be teaching classes on bookmaking 101 in the class room at hobby lobby. These classes will teach basic book making skills. I will have more information on these classes in the coming week.

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Small booklet

I also hope to be creating a new line of ornaments this year in addition to the ornaments I have sold in the past. I will be selling these on the annais etsy and possibly at the lemoyne as well. 

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St Francis overlooks my tribute to him

In the garden there are exciting updates as well. I pulled out the tomatoes and planted lettuce and bok choy. The peppers are going crazy and we have an overabundance from just two little plants.

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My little front yard veggie garden

I am still able to gather many fresh herbs and all of the flowers are doing quite well.

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Flowers are doing well

Some of the plants that I collected from vacant lots are establishing themselves and even having babies.

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Captured flower from a vacant lot. It has yet to be identified.

I am so excited for what the future holds!

Summer is over

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Here in the deep south it doesn’t feel like it but the hot and humid days of summer are quickly coming to an end.

There are several ways I know this to be true: the kids are back in school, the days are getting shorter and the fall gardens are being planted. 

I heard it said that in times past that no matter your economic situation you were looked on as lazy if you didn’t have a garden in the deep south. Perhaps it is my desire to be a true southern lady, or my desire for economic autonomy or perhaps it is my innate appreciation of nature which drives me. No matter where it is I draw my biggest inspiration, the fact remains that I am an avid amateur gardener with equal parts love for floral as well as edible plant life.

To date I have an extensive flower and herb garden. I have planted a variety of flowers with fragrance, color and butterflies as the deciding factors on the species for inclusion. The herbs are culinary herbs popular in everyday cooking. I grow ginger, garlic, chives, several kinds of basal, rosemary, thyme, summer and winter savory, oregano, cilantro and mint.

I also have a small veggie garden. Partially enclosed in a fence, the garden is bordered by several flowers including a climbing rose,  lobilia and milkweed. Currently I am growing bok choy, butter lettuce, beans, arugala and several kinds of peppers.

It has long been my dream to press some of my flowers and use them in my art. However, I love looking at them so much that I never want to pick them. Despite this I find that I draw so much pleasure and artistic inspiration from my patch of garden everyday.

Studio – Update – New Book Making

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I am continuing to paint clouds and I am slowly getting more happy with the paintings.
I will keep on keepin on and in the end they will be awesome.

I was recently at a place called the “Sharing Tree”. The store located in Railroad Square offers really affordable craft supplies with a special discounted rate to teachers.

I fell in love with the folders that were being sold 10 for a dollar. The folders don my favorite colors of coral and sea foam green with a natural fading.

I knew right away that I wanted to folders to make books with. I have begun experimenting in books that I can make with these folders and I really would love to create some content for them as well.

I am thinking of doing watercolors of flower or a loose narrative painted outside of the lines.

I am really enjoying being a maker lately !

Painting Landscapes in Watercolor

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I have started painting Landscapes

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This was before the foreground was added into the painting.

I am beginning to paint clouds.
They are often the most beautiful and dramatic part of a landscape.
I am also gardening in the hopes that I will be able to paint in the garden.
Specifically I would love to paint roses.

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These paintings are watercolors but I am tempted to work in oil.

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New Studio

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studioWe finally have our new studio set up in our new home.
The task is now painting, drawing and creating new inventory for the store.
I have made several promises to myself which include drawing everyday, Photographing stock and being more vigilant with social media. So far I am doing pretty well on all of these fronts. Balancing my day job, my marriage and being the mother of two boys under 6 is incredibly challenging and sometimes I worry that I am not focusing enough on any one of those areas. I believe though that I am settling into my role as a full time adult and I feel more satisfied than ever with my life.

I recently listened to a series of stories on the radio show “This American Life” about people settling into their “Plan B” and sometimes I wonder, “is this my plan b?”
I believe the answer to that question is complicated because it brings up a series of other questions, such as, “what were my initial expectations from life?”  I really don’t think my expectations were ever very much. Certainly not the pie in the sky type dreams that many kids have. I always wanted to be an artist (which I am). However,  I never really expected to make a living from it. I thought that I may end up doing something artistic for a living while maintaining my real work as an artist on the side (which I am).

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I am somewhat discouraged with one aspect of my current existence. I do wish that I currently had more exposure as an artist and was showing more of my work. However, I believe that I am not showing often because I am not applying for shows. This has something to do with the rather hectic year I have had. Having a baby, getting married, buying a house, and changing jobs several times has left little room for much else.

This next year I am really hoping to settle into a routine within my studio and apply myself more in the studio. As an artist I believe that I have a unique voice which needs to be heard.

A video of some of my past and current art

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I for my job I have been using a service called Animoto. My work has a paid account. However, I have really enjoyed creating the videos using this program and created a video of some of my past and more recent work.

I did this with my very own free account. The free account has some limitations. You are limited on the formats you can use. You cannot do the sound editing and you are limited in time on many of the videos.

However, with that said I am still pretty happy with the results of this 30 sec video.