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10/31/14
My Little Book
Filed under: General, Book Arts, Mixed Media, Painting, Creativity, Inspiration, Art Journal, Creative Every Day, Quotes
Posted by: Mary @ 9:21 pm

I finished my little book tonight. There has been an ongoing problem with the underside of my thumb and right now it is being wrapped in duct tape in hopes of solving the problem. My surgeon examined my teeny-weeny itty-bitty thumb and he said no, he does not want to do surgery on my little thumb, so let’s try something crazy instead, hence the designer duct tape. It has been difficult to sew, write, draw, and use markers for a long while now, although painting has not been a problem. Somehow things got easier with the duct tape wrap and I was able to finish this spontaneous project that I started last weekend.

The book is made of four 7.5″x11′ pieces of watercolor paper folded in half and stitched together with yarn using three holes that I made with my awl. I used my ink blot technique to create a background for each page. I did the paint dribbling process all at once in the book over my masonite painting board without waiting for anything to dry and made a big mess. It was a lot of fun! While the book was drying, I went through my selfies and printed a page of those in wallet size. Then I found quotations from one of the altered card decks I made and printed out a page of those. These quotations were from the book Brave Intuitive Painting by Flora Bowley. When the book was thoroughly dry I added the selfies and quotations to the book with gluestick. I outlined each item with my Tombow markers and tonight I added one handwritten word for each photo and another faint line with a white gel pen. Those single words came from another altered card deck so in a way I am recycling or repurposing my work. Here is my finished book!


Mary MacIlvain

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03/30/12
Book of Days - March
Filed under: General, Book Arts, Mixed Media, Creativity, Art Journal, Creative Every Day, Book of Days
Posted by: Mary @ 8:22 pm

I am taking a year long mixed-media art journaling e-class called Book of Days with Effy Wild. It is a free class generously offered by Effy and there are tons of inspirational videos plus live streaming. She shares techniques and an outpouring of ideas as well as her unique approach on this art form. Several e-newsletters per week act as a guide to help you keep track of the many offerings and everything is archived on the password protected website. It is truly awesome and there are over 1200 member artists at this point. I chose to alter a used book to contain my work but you can also use a plain composition book.


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02/24/12
Greeting Cards Transformed into Art Book
Filed under: General, Book Arts, Mixed Media, Creativity, Inspiration
Posted by: Mary @ 7:45 pm

Ever wonder what to do with that stack of leftover Christmas and greeting cards? Too nice to throw in the recycle bin, let them be the inspiration for a second life as something useful. Jennibellie has a creative solution to this dilemma illustrated in a series of enchanting YouTube video tutorials that will captivate you. This process makes such a beautiful book for art journaling or memorabilia. It was so enjoyable to create this art book and it will be a pleasure to fill it with my mixed media work and ephemera.


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01/21/12
Book of Days
Filed under: General, Book Arts, Mixed Media, Painting, Creativity, Inspiration, Art Journal, Creative Every Day, Book of Days
Posted by: Mary @ 9:09 pm

Book of Days is a yearlong art journaling adventure in an altered book. It is run by Effy Wild and as she said in one of her videos “This rocks my pop tarts!” The class is free and you will learn so much about mixed media and art journaling from Effy. Here are the front and back covers for my book.


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08/27/11
Easy Mixed Media Booklet
Filed under: General, Book Arts, Collage, Mixed Media, Painting, Creativity, Creative Every Day
Posted by: Mary @ 2:07 pm

Here is an easy mixed media collage booklet that I put together last week. It started out as a 4″ by 9″ 16-page promotional booklet for the town of Chester that I picked up somewhere. It was in my pile of local interest flyers and turned out to be the perfect size for this. First I glued pairs of pages together with mat gel medium and separated the pages with wax paper while they were drying so that they wouldn’t stick together. Once everything was dry, I removed the wax paper and primed the pages with gesso. After that was dry, I painted color fields of acrylic onto the pages to make interesting backgrounds. Finally, I sorted through my collage bins and chose items that appealed to me and glued them down using a glue stick. Here is an animated gif of the booklet.


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07/07/11
Enchanting Little Booklet
Filed under: General, Book Arts, Painting, Creativity, Inspiration, Creative Every Day
Posted by: Mary @ 3:44 pm

The 21 Secrets workshops continue to amaze and delight! This time I made a little booklet from Silky Hart’s Paint Writing class. There were problems with the pen nib not working when I switched from ink to tinted gouache, so I improvised and used a chopstick to draw shapes and then enhanced the drawing with colored pencil details. I will do some ink writing of special sayings in the little booklet later on as I couldn’t wait to see what it would look like. It was so easy and wonderful to assemble the booklet and it is like a small treasure in the palm of your hand. Enchanting!



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12/31/10
Word for 2011: Focus
Filed under: General, Book Arts, Mixed Media, Creativity, Art Journal, Creative Every Day
Posted by: Mary @ 8:25 pm

Last year my word for 2010 was create, posted in Full Moon Dream Board. In 2010 I started off by creating a full moon dream board, then took two online creative classes, exhibited work in the Middletown Art Guild show, attended the Art Is You conference, attended a Quilt Retreat, and nurtured myself to grow as an artist.

This year the word I have chosen to guide me is focus. Focus is a point of convergence as well as a sense of direction and purpose. My intention is to look at the many ways I express myself artistically and synthesize disparate media into a more cohesive and unified whole. The coming year promises to bring continued growth and exploration with more of an emphasis on mixed media.

This index card book that I made recently shows one of my main areas of interest, book arts. It was inspired by a photo in Artists’ Journals and Sketchbooks: Exploring and Creating Personal Pages by Lynn Perella. At this point there are papers glued down to the background of all the pages and I need to add writing and embellishment to the pages. Yarns were added to the spiral binding to give the book texture and an additional layer of interest. It is so gratifying to hold a creation like this in my hands.



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07/05/10
Art Journaling Takes Off
Filed under: General, Book Arts, Mixed Media, Painting, Creativity, Inspiration, Art Journal, Creative Every Day
Posted by: Mary @ 7:08 pm

Pockets, flaps, and envelopes were added to the pages begun in the art journaling workshop at Dirty Footprints Studio a few weeks ago which was a lot of fun. The pages are starting to look more interesting now that details are being added to the layers of texture. The pages I have been using for this workshop were separate sheets of watercolor paper folded in half. Today I sewed them together in signatures of one page each so that I can paint on the reverse sides as double pages. It looks so cool!



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03/21/10
Collage Bag Book on Front Porch
Filed under: General, Book Arts, Collage, Creativity, Inspiration, Art Journal, Creative Every Day
Posted by: Mary @ 5:03 pm

It was such a beautiful day today that I decided to drag some collage supplies out on my front porch and work with my masonite painting board in my lap. Somewhere on the web I remembered seeing a book made of paper lunch bags, so I have been saving Dunkin’ Donuts muffin bags for an occasion like this one. I took 6 bags and folded them in half, nesting them. I measured in about half an inch from the center edge and marked holes down the fold spaced .75 inch apart, then used an awl to make the holes. There was a small ball of variegated chenille yarn in my basket of embroidery threads so I used that to loop in and out of the holes from back to front to make a simple binding. I cut 4 lengths of the yarn spanning the book to be sure it was long enough to make it all the way back and forth. Then I got out a used puzzle I had been saving for collage work and glued some puzzle pieces on alternating pages of the book. Next I used my old typewriter rubber stamp alphabet to stamp some letters and some words. This is just a beginning and I plan to play with and work on my book some more as this has been a lot of fun!



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04/01/09
3 Little Books
Filed under: General, Book Arts, Creativity
Posted by: Mary @ 7:23 am

On Saturday I spent the day making 3 little books. Using the basic accordion book idea from Handcrafted Journals, Albums, Scrapbooks & More by Marie Browning as a jumping off point, I experimented with the design of my own small book. The book does not close perfectly because of the way I constructed the cover as one piece with no spine or hinge, but it is quite pleasing standing up on a table or bookshelf as a display piece. I plan on working on the design further and posting step by step instructions when I have worked out the design issues. These books measure 3-1/4″ wide by 4-1/4″ high on the outside with the inside signature measuring 3″ wide by 4″ high. Materials used are chipboard, scrapbooking paper, yes glue, glue stick, 24″ by 4″ strip of cansons mi tientes paper or cardstock pieced together, miscellaneous photos, images and ephemera, ink pen for writing in book, bone folder, ruler, pencil, wax paper, and cutting tools. Instructions for a basic accordion book with separate front and back covers can be found at Anna Hawthorne Bookarts. Here are a few photos of my 3 little books.



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01/03/09
Collage/ Ring Book
Filed under: General, Book Arts, Collage
Posted by: Mary @ 12:15 pm

Collage does not require a lot of materials to get started (basically glue, paper, found objects, and scissors) and there are a lot of things that you can do with collage. The book Collage Unleashed by Traci Bautista is truly inspirational and a great jumping off point into your own explorations. There are links to web sites/blogs for other collage artists on Traci’s creativityUNLEASHED blog.

This is a collage I made a couple of days ago to add to my shell cover ring book. I used card stock, scrapbook paper, handmade rice paper, glue stick, a paper punch, scissors, a rotary cutter, and a brayer.

Here is the shell book. It is 6 inches square and I am using it for journaling, drawing, collage, and other creative work. There are instructions on how to construct your own ring book on Mary Art::

These books are a lot of fun to make and they can be used for just about anything.
Mary



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12/30/08
New Beginnings
Filed under: General, Book Arts
Posted by: Mary @ 9:09 pm

Last month I launched a new web site Mary Art:: to focus on creativity and different types of artistic expression. I have been doing creative things since I was a child but have never been able to focus on just one thing and say this is it, this is me. I have always wanted to explore different media and try different ideas. It is inspirational to see what other people are doing worldwide now and it is good to share your work with others in the creative community. There is no one right way of doing things and there is growth in experimenting. No matter what your circumstances in life are at the moment or where you are at artistically, it is the journey that is important, not the destination.

This is a bound quotation book from my web site that started out as a piece of fiber art…

Starting this blog is another new beginning. I would like to share, i would like to participate in challenges such as some that i’ve seen listed at Artsy Visions, and I’d like to grow.

Welcome to my blog and web site.

Mary


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