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It’s 7:30 pm and I’m back at my hotel after a long…intense….and intensely fun day of getting artsy.  Although my day wasn’t without it’s interruptions. The problem with travelling and being a mom-to-5 is that even when you’re hundreds of miles away, you’re never really “off duty”.  I got a phone call at 3:50 pm from my daughter wondering where my grandpa was as he was supposed to pick up the kids at 3:35 pm from school – the last day of school I might add.  So I had to call home and talk to our nanny and I found out that he had left the house at 3:15 pm.  Now keep in mind that it’s only a 15 minute drive to school so he should have gotten there in plenty of time to pick up the kids.  I tried his cell phone….no answer.  Just as I’m beginning to panic the school secretary calls to tell me that he arrived and the kids were on their way…….so heart beat returned to normal.

Then at 5: 15 my second oldest son Josh called to ask if he could skip Karate “since it’s the first day of summer” – what that has to do with anything I don’t know.  If anything, with summer here and many days filled with endless relaxation, frankly he needs to get out and do something constructive.  Of course he was very put out with me when I said no.

Then, about a half hour ago, I got a text message from my husband telling me that he is going to have to take our oldest son Zach to the hospital because his left foot is swollen and he is in a lot of pain.  I asked him what Zach did to his foot, and my husband texts back “nothing – it looks like he has a growth under the skin causing it to swell”……Well, I’m sure you can imagine what that did to my heart rate. So I would appreciate any and all prayers for Zach that it’s nothing serious – because I won’t know for awhile – our emergency room waits in Canada can be very long.

Thank goodness all of that happened in the last half of the day otherwise I would probably have lost my creative flow.  As it is, I’m probably going to have a hard time sleeping tonight until I know what’s going on.

So onto today. Donna has two washrooms in her studio and today was the first time I walked into this one – imagine my surprise when I saw all the gorgeous altered paint brushes hanging on the wall.


Here are a couple of close up shots:



Aren’t they incredible?  So imaginative.

So last night was our first night and we spent most of it in prep work the biggest task being cutting and adding gesso to the pages along with collaging our image to our cover.  Today our job was to paint our pages, and then alter the image that we had collaged on the front cover.  DJ had given each of us an image of a raven that she had taken.  She converted it to black and white and printed it onto a heavy stock paper (about 110 lb).  We then collaged it to 300 lb watercolor paper and covered it with a coat of gel medium.  She alters the images with paint – essentially painting out distracting background elements, and then painting in the image – using the values in the photo as a guide – making it look like you actually drew and painted the image itself, rather than it being from a photograph – it’s a really cool technique and one that I’m looking forward to playing with more.

So here’s DJ Pettit’s original project that she is teaching us. This first picture shows her front cover.


This second picture shows a sample of what the inside looks like. Now her pages are somewhat decorated but not “finished”.  She likes the book making part of it, and then sells the journals once she’s made them.  The pages are bound with fabric and she incorporates different fabrics to the inner covers and spine.


Now of course we each chose our own color schemes – she is teaching us the how-to and then we add our own style to it.  Of course I tend towards bright, bold colors – teal, magenta, chartruse, orange, yellow – those are my all time favourite colors – so I incorporate those into my work. Below you can see a picture of my front cover in progress – all the painting is done, I just need to seal it and embellish it.  The fabrics beside it are some of the ones I have chosen to bind and decorate it – I’ll be adding others as well as some ribbons too.  I didn’t take a picture of the inside pages because there’s not much to see right now – I simply painted them in a rainbow of colors using my favourite color palette.  IMG_3740

There are 24 pages in all, double sided, so painting them took a long time…and it was very messy:


And this is pretty clean compared to some people – some of my classmates had their whole hands – front and back – covered in paint.  What you see above is progress for me.  When I first got involved in mixed media I used to wear those little vinyl surgical gloves because I didn’t like having my hands stained and messy.  Now….well my hands get messy, my arms and face and even hair have some paint on them.

I think I mentioned yesterday that Donna’s mom caters most of the meals.  Here’s a picture of today’s dinner spread which was mashed potatoes, a spinach and strawberry salad, turkey meatloaf  (by far the BEST meatloaf I’ve ever had), green beans and then cream puffs and mini cheese cakes for dessert.


Now one thing I haven’t mentioned is that Donna has a candy bar set up – check it out below:


Hello!  Way too much candy for my own good.  So far this weekend I have totally blown my healthy eating plan.  Hopefully I haven’t set myself too far back on my healthy eating and fitness plan (I’ve lost 8 lbs in about 1 1/2 months). I’m going to have to hit the gym hard on Monday.

Here’s a close up of my dinner plate:



So that’s what we did today.  Now I’m back at the hotel, blogging here with you all.  I think I’m going to pop into email and then maybe read a bit before going to bed…and of course I’m going to be praying that Zach’s foot is okay.  I’ll be back tomorrow with some more photos of Day 3!


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