Mini Gelli Arts Printing Plate

Gelli Arts recently came out with two smaller sizes of printing plates.  I grabbed one of the smaller ones out of our first shipment but sadly a customer wanted it and I had to give it up,

So the second shipment came in and I quickly added paint to it so that I could keep it, lol

It is the size of an index card and so I quickly pulled out a stack of cards, my Dina Wakley paints and started printing.

Michelle  McCosh Gelli Prints

 

when I was done, I made this little mini book which I will fill with quotes.

Michelle McCosh Gelli Printing

The Q was an old red metal letter I found in my stash and I used black acrylic paint on the Gelli Plate to add the print to the front.

Michelle McCosh Gelli Printing

This was a quick and easy project to make but so much fun.

 

Street Tools

Everybody uses recycled materials to make marks in art, it is a lot of fun figuring out ways to reuse what was once considered garbage.

I keep a lot of these items in a plastic candy bucket which I pull out for classes and although I kinda like saying “Don’t forget to use some of my garbage on your pages” I decided that it was time for a more trendy word,  So I am now going to use the term Street Tools.

 

#streettools

I will start using the hashtag #streettools in social media.  So remember when it becomes a very popular term, you heard it from me first, lol

 

What is in a Title or a Name ?

On the shuttle bus going to the Airport in Utah last week, there was a flight attendant and myself.  (apparently flights at midnight are not popular in Utah)

_salt-lake-city-435x261

 

We struck up a conversation and she asked me if I was an Artist.

I don’t know what made her ask me, maybe it was the paint on my arm or my artisan crafted bag (love this bag, it is a razor bag made in Nepal) that gave it away. anyway,  I answered her with a “NO” and I wondered why I did that.

It made me think .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  when I think of the word “Artist”  I think of fine artists who paint sweeping scenery or stunning realistic portraits and I don’t do that.

Am I a Crafter ?  Well the answer is both Yes and No.  Do I do Art?  Again the answer is both Yes and No so I decided to come up with a term that describes how I think of myself

 

 

and I came up with Craftist.  I am both a Crafter and an Artist combined.  So next time someone answers me I will be able to answer them.  I am a Craftist!!

 

and for those of you interested here is a photo of my lovely bag. The bags are made in Nepal by skilled women who work with community based Fair Trade organizations.

 

michelle mccosh bag

Flying to Utah

I am here in Utah for a trade show and to teach a mixed media art journaling class to other store owners.  I flew in the day before so got to visit Salt Lake City and visit the area.

I did a lot of walking around, it so different to see mountains or even hills for that matter, Florida is just so, well flat. The temperature was over 100 degrees but was definitely not as humid as Florida and it was fun to see something different  than the route to the store, lol

here are some random photos from my walk.

Here is the Courthouse in Salt Lake City.  I was suprised at the amount of homeless people sleeping on the benches and on the grass.

 

 

Courthouse-utah

Lovely spring flowers and of course the grass itself is so different than Florida, softer more like the grass I am used to in England.

Flowers-Utah

 

The reflecting pond in front of the temple. It was just like looking in a mirror.

 

reflecting-pond-utah

 

Statues are located through the grounds

Statues-Utah

I love the bark on this tree, I think it would make a beautiful stencil.

utah-tree

 

tree-utah

tomorrow I teach my class and then on Tuesday I am taking a bus tour organized through Crafters Home to visit some of the manufacturers in my industry.

 

It has been a crazy few weeks.

I don’t think I have stopped running in the last few weeks.  (don’t get confused it was NOT the exercising kind of running) . . . . just a lot of things happening in life.

First, at the beginning of March we went on a Paper Muse Cruise to Cozumel and Belize aboard the Royal Caribbean’s Liberty of the Seas.  It was a wonderful time and during the “at sea” days I taught mixed media classes.

In the first class we constructed an Art Journal using a number of fun techniques on watercolor paper.

Paper Muse Cruise

Paper Muse Cruise

The 2nd class we created a canvas using Tim Holtz Distress paints and beeswax.

 

Whispers of Art, Ranger, Paper Muse Cruise, Michelle McCosh

Whispers of Your Art

Here are some of the different canvases that everyone made.  They were just absolutely fabulous

1stphoto 2ndphoto 3rdphoto 4thphoto

 

The third class was the Mariner’s Box

Mariners Box Paper Muse Cruise Michelle McCoshwe left two compartments open so that we could get souvenirs from the cruise.  I managed to buy a beautiful shell and some Worry Dolls that will go in mine.

and the fourth one we continued with more techniques in the Art Journal

Paper Muse Cruise

Paper Muse Cruise

Here are some of the photos from our Art Days.

Artdays3 artdays2 artdays1Artdays4artdays5Artdas6

we had 38 in our party and we were able to get the whole side of the restaurant reserved for us, although trying to get everyone to wave at the same time was impossible.

Paper Muse Cruise

In Belize some of us booked a private tour through NCQ Adventure Tours.  If you go to Belize I highly recommend them.

These are some images of Belize

Belize paper muse cruisePaper muse cruise Belize

 

We went to Altun Ha which is the most extensively excavated ruin in Belize and was a major ceremonial center during the Classic Period, as well as a vital trade center that linked the Caribbean shores with other Maya centers in the interior. The ruin consists of two main plazas with some thirteen temple and residential structures.

  The “Jade Head”, representing the Sun God, Kinich Ahau, was the most significant find during Dr. David Pendergast’s excavations. At approximately six inches high and weighing nine and three-quarter pounds, it is still to this day the largest carved jade object in the whole Maya area. The Jade Head is locked up in a bank vault so we did not get to see it, but, the ruins were amazing.

Paper muse cruise Belize

Paper muse cruise Belize

 

Paper muse cruise BelizePaper muse cruise Belizeruin2

Two of our group were teenagers and they decided to climb the first ruin we came to:

Paper muse cruise Belizethis was taken from far away.  Up close it is quite steep and tall!!

Apparently I mistook myself for a teenager that was in shape and I decided to climb up as well.

halfway-UpHalf way up and I am still smiling

crazy2

The girls were watching me and saying to each other “what an idiot I am”CrazyWhen I got back down I was told that this was the ruin that was not recommended to climb as it is quite treacherous.  Nice of them to tell me AFTER!!

After we had explored this ruin we went to the Baboon Sanctuary where we had close encounters with the Howler Monkeys.  It was amazing to hear them howl to each other.  I loved my time spent with them.

Paper muse cruise

Nacho and his wife who gave us the tour were so nice and provided us with water, sodas, tons of local snacks (yummy), took us to lunch and to a local grocery store so we could stock up on spices and then dropped us off at a market after giving each of us gift.  They are very knowledgeable about the history of their country witch they obviously love and we had a fantastic time with them.

Next stop the cruise ship made was Cozumel where we were treated to some street dancing and enjoyed shopping and lunch at a local eatery.  The dancers were incredible and their costumes amazing.

Paper Muse Cruise streetdance2 streetdance

 

During the cruise my Dad unfortunately suffered a stroke, I did not find out till I was in Cozumel and had phone service.  So once we docked I ran to Orlando.  (Luckily my Dad is expected to make a full recovery but, I thought I was going to have a break down when I found out).  Two weeks later I flew to Connecticut to teach an Art Journal Class at one of my friends stores and from there I went to Framingham, Ma to attend a retailer event.  Then I flew back to South Florida to host an amazing Mixed Media event with DJ Pettitt.  I brought a horrendous cold back with me and I am now just starting to feel like a normal human being again.  . . . . So it does not seem like I have stopped to breathe this year.  Anyway stay tuned for my recap of Connecticut, Framingham and DJ Pettit.

Sweets from my Childhood

I was in an Art Journaling class last week when one of the girls was talking about a Candy store in South Florida called To the Moon.  Apparently this store is a treat for the eyes as well as the taste buds.  They have over 13000 items in stock, their main focus is hard to find candies and chocolates from the early years and also a large number of international treats and they also sell some kitschy fun gift items.

While we were talking I suddenly remembered a candy bar from my childhood growing up in England called Caramac.  When I used to visit England regularly a few years ago I  used to treat myself to one but they were always a little harder to find.

My Aunt used to own a Sweet Shop on the High Street in a small town in Shropshire and I used to love getting a small bag of pear drops or a couple of parma violets when I visited as a very young child but I don’t remember if she carried Caramac.

Anyway someone asked me what it tasted like and I couldn’t describe it other than to say it was a distinctive flavor, so I googled it to find out how others describe it and came up with this:

A Caramel flavored “Chocolate” bar.  (there is no cocoa in it)

788px-Caramac

I looked up the definition and Wikipedia says:  The bar is a pale yellow colour, and is manufactured using sweetened condensed milk, butter, various flavourings, and sugar

aah. and I realized the reason I love it must be from the condensed milk!!

Now I remember the candy very well but not the wrapper, I wonder if they had a different one when I was a child. . . . but more importantly I will have to find out if this candy store carries it.

A long over due update

I bet you wonder where I have been, I am still here, I have just been unable to get off the hamster wheel for the last few weeks.

Here is a run down from the start of 2014

I had the day off on New Years Day, it was nice to have the day to myself.  I did a little cleaning and organizing in my craft room and even took a nap. My craft room would need a month of 12 hour days to get organized properly as it has been a dumping ground for the last 4 years.  One of my goals for this year is to get it back into a creative space.

January 2nd I was back at work, I taught five classes at the store and then I flew to California for a Trade Show and it has been non stop ever since.

The trade show which was held in Southern California was fantastic.  I love going to the trade shows not only to see what is new but to catch up with fellow store owners and my favorite manufacturers.  Over the years some of the industry people have become great friends and I love seeing them.  This year was extra special. . . I had some of artwork featured in my all time favorite manufacturers booth.  It was such an honor.  Ranger is an awesome company.  I can never say enough good things about them and the people that are associated with them.  Can you say “girl crush”

Here are two of my pieces in their booth.

Ranger-Booth-Art CHA 2014 Tim Holtz Michelle McCosh

Ranger Booth

My two pieces are the Paintbrush Card on the left hand side and the Eiffel Tower Tag on the bottom.  There were no words to describe my feelings as I walked by the booth and recognized my art. :)

Here are some more detailed images of the card

Ranger-Booth-Art CHA 2014 Tim Holtz Michelle McCosh

Paint Brush Card

I used Adirondack Paint and Archival Ink on the card.  The background was made with my Gelli Arts plate.  I also painted the brush handle on the gelli plate.  The brush incidentally came from my paint brush pot.  I often leave my paint brushes in dirty water for extended periods of time.  Not usually a good thing but in this case I though my brush was very “Arty”

Ranger-Booth-Art CHA 2014 Tim Holtz Michelle McCosh

The Brush!

I used some Tim Holtz Rubbings on the handle. I was going to paint the ferrule (the metal part of the brush) but I really loved the rust that was showing and did not want to interfere with it.

Ranger-Booth-Art CHA 2014 Tim Holtz Michelle McCosh

Close Up of Rust

Ranger-Booth-Art CHA 2014 Tim Holtz Michelle McCosh

Another view

Brush1

This is the Tag that I made.  . . . again I used Adirondack Paints and Archival Ink\.

Ranger-Booth-Art CHA 2014 Tim Holtz Michelle McCosh

Eiffel Tower Dream Tag

Ranger-Booth-Art CHA 2014 Tim Holtz Michelle McCosh

another view

Ranger-Booth-Art CHA 2014 Tim Holtz Michelle McCosh

Bottom View

 

 

Since I returned from CHA I have been busy designing and teaching classes and getting ready for the cruise.  We leave in two weeks to travel to Belize and Cozumel for a few days.  I am teaching four classes on the ship, here is a little peek.

Cruise Projects Michelle McCosh

Sneak Peek

Just in case anyone going on the cruise reads this blog I do not want to spoil the surprise so I will schedule a post for when we have left Fort Lauderdale that will show the completed projects.

Two weeks after we get back from the cruise I fly to Connecticut to teach an Art Journaling class at the Papercraft Clubhouse in Westbrook,

Art Journal Michelle McCosh

Art Journal – The Power of 7

 

after that I go to an industry training event in Massachusetts.

I will be back April 1st and then DJ Pettitt comes to the store to teach on April 3rd.  Talk about a whirlwind.

As all of my classes are designed through the end of this month so now I have some time to breathe and will be able to update this blog.