Friday, January 29, 2016

Creating with Beads

I attended a Meet-Up group this week that is all about crafting. Little Craft Box Texas was very inviting and everyone was friendly - what more could I want!?

This time we played with making jewelry. Before I went to the meeting I did a quick inventory of my beads. I decided to either re-string beads I made last year but never wore, or use new beads in a bag that I had in my bead collection for a few years.

I ended up making a necklace from the Venetian beads in the bag. I like Venetian glass beads the best. I have made necklaces with them using various spacer beads in between, gold, silver and now black.

I packed up my tools and supplies. I use the crimper with the blue handles to hold the ends of the necklace together. I took a beading class this summer at CJ Bead Shop in Katy, Texas. Sadly, this store is closing. The owners Craig and Joy are looking for another retail space. They sell online too.

I also like Agate beads which are considered semi-precious and come from volcanic rock. In this photo I’m wearing Agate beads and displaying the Venetian beaded necklace I put together this week. Thanks go to Zue for taking my photo! We all had a fun time talking about our lives and hobbies.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Visual Art Journaling Techniques

©Anne Rita Taylor 2016

I recently met with ladies in Houston who have a Visual Art Journaling group. It was fun to catch up and make art while visiting. My supplies included a 9 by 12 pad of 90 lb. paper by Strathmore, Golden Fluid Acrylic paints and old calendars. These paints come in squirt bottles. Densely pigmented, a little goes a long way; and they dry quickly. Art Journaling helps me to express my feelings while I am playing. 

I cut out images: a flower and a tiger. I squirted Green Gold directly on the paper painting with a one inch brush. I used my 3.8 mm Pilot Parallel pen and Uncial calligraphy for the quote by George Burns. On the next page I painted Yellow Oxide for the background leaving some white space and used a UHU glue stick to attach the tiger. I chose a 1.5 mm Pilot Parallel pen for the quote in Italic calligraphy.

I was working quickly while we talked for a couple of hours.  I cut out a turtle from an old calendar. For this background I painted Ultramarine Blue, lightened a bit with Winsor & Newton Permanent White gouache. My 3.8 mm Pilot Parallel pen was perfect with Italic calligraphy.

For my last page I cut out a seabird called a blue-footed booby and left in some of the rocks, water  and sky background. Using the Ultramarine Blue I lightened with Silver gouache paint by Pebeo. I used a 6.0 mm Pilot Parallel pen for the quote: I am my possibilities by Gabriel Marcel. 

The quotations are from a book by Richard Kehl, It Takes a Long Time to Become Young. I may add more collage elements or writing to each page. Visual art journaling is all about self expression, so we can see where it takes us.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Carving Images for Prints

©Anne Rita Taylor 2016

On Saturday I taught several people how to carve images to make prints. One of my printed postcards "On The Road in Houston" was in a 2013 pack of The Printers Guild and sold at The Printing Museum. I carved the driver and words. Lettering is tricky since it must be carved backwards. 
I have been carving since 1990 and sold my prints at The Printing Museum in Houston. I also authored an article published in RubberStampMadness in 1992, Sept./Oct. - Sculpting The Image. The material I carve comes from Nasco (currently I have no affiliation) - 800-558-9595.

In the past I taught Carving at a few places including The Printing Museum and The Houston Calligraphy Guild. Now I am a part of the Rubber Amateur Press Society. We swap quarterly pages with our new carvings. In a past swap I used a Ukrainian currency - pre-Euro dollars. I carved an angelic figure after increasing the size on my copier. I used Foundational calligraphy to write the Rilke quote.

These are the linoleum cutting tools I use; I buy them at Michaels and Hobby Lobby. The set costs about $20 and has 5 blades.  Mostly I use the #1 lino fine carving tool before I gauge out big pieces of material. I encourage you to try carving - it is lots of fun!

Friday, January 8, 2016

Photo Box

©Anne Rita Taylor 2016

I realized after my first post that another interest I have is photography. I went to Las Vegas in 1999 and visited the Paris Hotel. I took several photos of their Paris fountain and managed to get into a juried show in the FotoFest 2000 Exhibit at the Archway Gallery in Houston, Texas. I also had a box that looked like a book and had the same photo on both sides.

So I decided to place my Fountain at Twilight photo on the front of this box. The tricky part was getting the correct size on my copier.

I used a Premium paper which is thicker than regular copy paper. And I enlarged the 4 x 6 inch postcard to 150 per cent on my copier. I used PVA glue on the copy photo and wanted a little room around the sides and am pleased with the result.

Friday, January 1, 2016


The reason for creating this blog is to have fun - sharing knowledge of my interests. The last 20 years have been spent learning calligraphy, art journaling and making books, mostly by taking weekend workshops.

Plus I taught - my instruction included various forms of book-making at the Houston Book Arts Guild and Austin Book Workers. At the Houston Calligraphy Guild I taught White Vine Lettering, Star Books, and Accordion Variations. I also taught Carving an Image at various places in Houston, including The Printing Museum.

My other interests: writing, reading, carving images, painting, beading, making collages, crocheting, flower arranging, traveling, leading demos and workshops, playing with origami, and making Zines.

I hope you read my blog; while learning new ideas, mostly with book arts and calligraphy, you will get inspired!  Buy my handmade books on Etsy:

©Anne Rita Taylor 2016