My mini art studio.

Pretty sure this little set up will work great.  Love the sunshine right next to the table and the only supplies I have (except for 2 tubs of fabric/textile art supplies under my bed) are all contained within this small space.  It has to work, seriously, because this is the third time I have tried to get an art space right in this house.

I went through 10 years of supplies and ended up getting rid of over 3/4 of my stash.  Nothing left in the bedroom or hallway closet.  2 friends and 1 sister raiding the stash and 3 trips to Goodwill got it all out of the house.  I still have plenty left for my many interests: Art Journaling, Artist Trading Cards, Mail Art, Encaustics, Textile Art, Needlework, Book Binding and Bead Making.

It was an easy task to accomplish as I have a tendency to use the same stuff over and over again and had a fairly good idea how much space I would have left after keeping all of the essentials.  It was also easy because I finally got to the point I was so tired of digging to find stuff I needed.  Sitting down on my bedroom floor going through tons of boxes, containers, bags and drawers was exactly what I needed right now as it kept my mind occupied.  I haven’t felt like myself in a long time.  I can’t tell you how many times I started a page or project and just froze.  So many things in my life seem off kilter.  I decided that maybe it’s time to seek some professional help and try to get myself all figured out (if that’s possible).

But back to my little mini studio in the sunshine…..

Here it is:

Mini Art Studio - Junquemail Contessa

Mini Art Studio – Junquemail Contessa

I took all of my stamps out of their packaging, got rid of a ton I will never use and tossed the keepers into the little rolling table.  The stamps I kept were the ones that work great for backgrounds.

Studio Storage Stamps - Junquemail Contessa

Here’s a close up of what I decided to keep within easy reach on my working table:

Studio Storage Table - Junqemail Contessa

And here is how I keep some of my ephemera within sight.  I organized them mostly by manufacturer but some are organized by theme and size.

Studio Storage - Junquemail Contessa

If you want a peek into some of the supplies I knew I absolutely had to keep, here’s a link to my “Can’t Create Without” Pinterest Page.

Thanks for stopping by for the tour, hopefully this will be the last one for a long long long time. xoxo

Machinists Journal and Winners

To begin with….the randomly drawn winners of the fabric bundles are:
1. Papict 2. Zoeashton 3. Planetmallows 4. Becky Knutson
Congratulations and enjoy!  And since I was a bit late on the drawing, I’ll throw in an ATC made by me and a few more little bits and bobs.
Please email your address to craenelson (at) cox(dot)net.  Packages will be mailed Tuesday Sept. 2.

Machinists Art Journal:
I finished it up this morning.  The size is: 6.75 inches tall x 4.75 inches wide x 3.5 inches thick (tightly closed).
It consists of 250 pages including 14 envelopes, 14 pocket pages, watercolor paper, mixed media paper and patterned paper.

Now…off to find another thick and chunky hardcover book to turn into a journal as the Machinists Journal has been snatched up by my sister, Andrea.
Peace, friends….xoxo.

Machinists Art Journal - Junquemail Contessa (Handmade - Book Binding)

Machinists Art Journal – Junquemail Contessa (Handmade – Book Binding)

Machinists Art Journal - Junquemail Contessa (Handmade - Book Binding)

Machinists Art Journal – Junquemail Contessa (Handmade – Book Binding)

Work In Progress: Machinists Journal

I spent the morning putting together the signatures for a new journal I am making.

Art Journal Signatures - Junquemail Contessa

Art Journal Signatures – Junquemail Contessa

My sister had this book and I was initially drawn to it because of the “steampunk-like” illustrations…but when it came apart last week, the cover begged to be made into a journal.

Besides some minor repairs, I’m going to leave the cover as-is.  Maybe add a grommet to each side to run a strap through.

WIP: Machinists Journal - Junquemail Contessa

WIP: Machinists Journal – Junquemail Contessa

Time to begin the repairing, the stitching, the gluing.  I’ll add a few pockets and envelopes.  Geez, it feels great to be creating again…but I really need to start doing some journaling in all of these books I am making.

Have a great weekend, friends…thank you for your visit. peace, xoxo.

Hey there, friend. It’s been awhile. (Vintage Fabric Giveaway)

Took a few steps back and now I’m moving forward again…isn’t that what they call the Cha-Cha??

No boring details….just thankful that I’m here, where I am and in one piece….because man…I shattered.  Grateful to those who put the pieces back in all the right places.  Confused why those I thought would be there, weren’t.  Surprised that strangers could see me drowning when those closest to me couldn’t.  I couldn’t even see I needed to be rescued.  Faced a few fears, cried a few tears, ate a whole lot of cookie dough ice cream and stayed in pajamas for a few weeks.

My pity party is over…I have uninvited myself.

To get back on track and hunt down my wandering muse, one of the first things I have decided to do…since I haven’t touched an art supply since my last post, was bring my art space out of the closet and next to a window.  A big window…in our bedroom.  My husband (the cutest boy in the whole entire universe) actually suggested it.  And it makes a huge and wonderful difference.

I’ve been researching (aka Pinning) some techniques to bring more fabric into my creations and decided to finally organize my fabrics.  Since I work on a small scale, samples and swatches are the fastest and least expensive method to accumulate an awesome working stash.

I threw everything in my fabric boxes and bags on to my bedroom floor and sorted/grouped the biggest collections today:

Vintage Menswear Suit and Shirt Swatches

Vintage Menswear Fabric Swatches - Junquemail Contessa

Vintage Menswear Fabric Swatches – Junquemail Contessa

Vintage French Wool Samples:

Vintage French Wool Samples - Junquemail Contessa

Vintage French Wool Samples – Junquemail Contessa

Silk Kimono Scraps:

Silk Kimono Scraps - Junquemail Contessa

Silk Kimono Scraps – Junquemail Contessa

There were tons of smaller bits and pieces of menswear suiting, French wool and kimono silk that I set aside in one pile.  I love the idea of having these on hand for fabric beads and mixed media creations like this bracelet made by Baggaraggs on Etsy:

There were too many to fit into a 2.5 gallon Ziploc bag (my self imposed limit)….so, I put together 4 bundles to share (about 75 pieces in each).  If you would like the chance to win one, just comment on what you would use them for (ATC’s?  Art Journal?  Just to look at?) and I’ll draw 4 names on August 24th.  (International friends are welcome to join in.)

Please consider the fact that these bundles have samples over 50 years old and I only know that they have been in plastic bags in my closet for about a year, some less than that.  I have no idea what environments they were in before.  My house is dog friendly but non-smoking.  Some samples are extremely odd shaped (they way I got them) and may have slight staining or sticker glue on them.

Vintage Fabric Packet Giveaway - Junquemail Contessa

Vintage Fabric Packet Giveaway – Junquemail Contessa

Just my way of saying thanks for sticking with me. Let the creating begin…again.  Peace, friends. xoxo

New Art & Junque Journal

Yay! Finished another art and junk journal.  This one is upcycled from an old recipe binder.  Rings hold 5.5 x 8.5 sized paper.  I used a lot of the papers left over from the two journals posted earlier, some map pages, pre-made and handmade envelopes, pockets and a bunch of other types of paper.  This one will be my new working journal…I already have a few page ideas that I can’t wait to start working on.

The printed sari ribbon I have been using on my handmade journals was purchased from LaShell Wyskochil’s Etsy Shop.

Art and Junque Journal -  Junquemail Contessa

Art and Junque Journal – Junquemail Contessa

Tabs were made from ribbon scraps and words from dictionaries mod-podged on to cardstock.

Art and Junque Journal -  Junquemail Contessa

Art and Junque Journal – Junquemail Contessa

Elastic was added inside the front cover to hold extra paper and journals cards.

Art and Junque Journal -  Junquemail Contessa

Art and Junque Journal – Junquemail Contessa

Another great thing about today….we relocated (temporarily) our offices to the other end of the building.  Office space that is less than half the size of what we had before.  That meant a lot of purging.  A facility manager was going to toss these Sherwin-Williams paint swatch files.  I asked my boss if I could take them and he said “YES!”.  There are about 1500 cards between the two. So, a lot of color cards to play with and 2 file boxes to alter into rolodex type journals. 🙂

Paint Color File - Junquemail Contessa

Paint Color File – Junquemail Contessa

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend.  I appreciate you stopping by…. xoxo.

Final Entry: Contessa Art & Junque Journal

What do you say when you are done with an art journal?  Did you “retire” it?  Lay it to rest?  Send it off on a new adventure? Is it closed for business?  I’m struggling to find the right words right now.

When adding the last few pages I made to the inside of it, I realized it couldn’t hold anymore.

I have finished a few art journals…but this one was my first handmade one.

This is the one that I really dove…head first…into journaling with.  I tried new art journaling techniques (not all of them successful) and used a lot of supplies (again, not all with pretty results) for the first time in it.

I shared in it my happy moments and the most heartbreaking and darkest moment I ever had…the loss of my brother.

I am truly grateful for art journaling.  It got me through it a lot.  Letting me express myself, be myself…no holds barred.  It took me when I was ecstatic, overwhelmed, afraid, comfortable, sick, frustrated and content.  It took me at times when no one else would.

So, this time finishing a journal is a bit different for me.  Give me a moment….

xoxo

Contessa Art and Junque Journal

Contessa Art and Junque Journal

 

Handmade Art Journals

Handmade art journals complete with pockets, tags, journal cards and envelope inserts.  Made using scrap paper, sari ribbon and fabric pieces, wool, dictionary pages and ephemera. (Avital Gertner’s Bookmaking Tutorial)

Art Journal with flower ribbon wrap:

Over 500 pages (front and back) including: 28 handmade envelopes, 5 mini notepads, 6 pockets with journal cards tucked in.  Size:  4 ½ inches wide, 5 inches high, 3 inches thick (tightly closed).

Art Journal with gray/white ribbon wrap:

Over 200 pages (front and back) including: 22 handmade envelopes, 5 mini notepads, 10 pockets with journal cards tucked in.  Size:  3.25 inches wide, 4.25 inches high, 4 inches thick (tightly closed).

Thanks for visiting…xoxo.

Handmade Art Journals: Junquemail Contessa - Upcycled Materials (Bookbinding)

Handmade Art Journals: Junquemail Contessa – Upcycled Materials (Bookbinding)

Handmade Art Journals: Junquemail Contessa - Upcycled Materials (Bookbinding)

Handmade Art Journals: Junquemail Contessa – Upcycled Materials (Bookbinding)

Handmade Art Journals: Junquemail Contessa - Upcycled Materials (Bookbinding)

Handmade Art Journals: Junquemail Contessa – Upcycled Materials (Bookbinding)

Handmade Art Journals: Junquemail Contessa - Upcycled Materials (Bookbinding)

Handmade Art Journals: Junquemail Contessa – Upcycled Materials (Bookbinding)