Wednesday, August 28, 2013

What's Your Re-Purpose?

Flea market find. Bizarre bazaar. Junk junkie. Picker. Hoarder. Magpie. Pack rat. Rusty gold. Roached. If you've ever taken a workshop at Art & Soul, you're probably familiar with some of these terms. Because, when it comes to mixed media... well... there's just something about recycling pieces of the past!

Rummage sale. Yard sale. Garage sale. Estate sale. Thrift shop. Salvation Army. Goodwill. Heck... how about the garbage! We'll go just about anywhere and pick up anything that strikes our fancy. I know some days I've found more goodies in the trash or on the ground at the flea market, than I've purchased from actual vendors!

Grungy. Grimy. Patina'd. Rusted. Scratched. Dented. Worn. Well-used. The bigger the story an object tells... the better. We seem to love that about the items we covet. They just look like they have a tale to tell. And the way Art & Souler's upcycle these beauties in our many classes simply amazes me!

And whether you use your vintage goodies for collage, journals, assemblage, jewelry, art dolls, sculpture or something else... your creativity makes my heart smile.

So tell me girls and boys... Where is your favorite place to shop for retro recyclables? What's the coolest thing you've ever stumbled upon? How do you like to upcycle your fabulous finds? Do share!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013


No... you're not seeing double! We actually just wanted to bring you a sneak peek of some Portland Art & Soul workshops for 2014... but we realize you're probably shopping for supplies for this year's Portland event as we speak! This little Portland-Portland overlap is going on because we've moved our flagship event back to the beautiful Oregon springtime... when we originally had the mixed media gathering. As I was looking through and choosing classes for next year, I got really excited about what we have coming up... and so I thought I'd share a few of the workshops with you!

Kate Thompson
Fabric Art Book
Kate is a new and exciting artist who combines teaching you how to make a 6" x 8" fabric 4-signature book with a wood based front and back cover. You will be learning a unique coptic loop binding technique which will be used to attach the covers. You'll get to work with gesso and plaster to cover fabric for the pages and discover how to make lace, fabric, and plaster borders to trim your pages. Yum!

Clarissa Callesen
Gut Instincts
Okay — I know it sounds gross — but, oh my gosh what you will do in this 2-day class is fabulous. You'll learn to create strong translucent panels filled with inclusions of found objects, transparencies, string, wire, and fabric. The first day you will be working with sausage casings in their wet state (hence, the gut part!). The next day you will be embellishing the dried gut with writing, paint, stamps, and sewing. The panel pieces will be formed into a wall or window hanging and accompanied by a talisman string of small objects.  I mean, come on — how cool is this????

Suzanne McNeill
Treasures Unearthed
When Suzanne taught this class in VA we were flabbergasted!!  The finished items looked exactly like relics from the past.  Do not miss this opportunity to create these 'unearthed relics' from reactive brass, copper, bronze and iron materials, adding patina treatments to produce amazing colors. Learn to patina metals that 'bloom' overnight into rich colors... iron to rusty orange, brass, bronze, and copper to verdigris.

Jen Crossley
Looking Glass Book
Many of you have taken classes from our fabulous gal from Down Under.  This one is very unique. You will  learn how to make a glass and metal book...  you will discover a metal binding technique... metal etching and glass effects. Learn how to drill a hole into glass safely. You'll discover patinas, paint and a distinctive yet simple binding technique.

Susan Bezek
Santos Crown
Who doesn't love or deserve a crown??  These beautiful art crowns were inspired by Susan's love of anything Santos! The crowns can be made in any size by enlarging or reducing the pattern. Embellishing is the key here — and the fun part. The more the better!

Ruth Greening
Copper & PMC Hinged Pendant
A great combination of copper sheet and PMC embellishments, assembled with cold connections and wire! Use those silver 'orphans' that have been on your work bench or create something especially for your creation. It will be a unique piece! You'll learn to cut, texture and form the copper, work with PMC, ball wire and make cold connections! Add patina to copper and silver, wow what a full day of fun and a beautiful pendant!

So I hope you enjoyed this sneak peek of our 2014 Portland Art & Soul retreat — which will be taking place April 7-13, 2014. We'll keep you updated on all the important event dates, like when classes are up on our website and when registration begins. Enjoy the rest of the summer and we'll see you very soon for our 2013 Portland Art & Soul retreat, September 30th - October 6th (P.S. it's not too late to sign up)!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Oh, Goody-Goody!

If you've ever attended one of our events... you've probably gotten a little excited when we handed you the goody bag. You can barely wait to check into your room and... forget unpacking... you dump it out on the table to see what kinds of art and craft stuff you got!

Well, we thought we'd introduce you to some of our new sponsors for the Portland 2013 goody bags! I'm sure you'll recognize many of the names and will want to know more about the others. So, thanks to the following companies for supporting Art & Soul and our wonderful mixed media events!!

Red lead is a veritable online smorgasbord of stencils, stamps, paper, ephemera, trinkets, and art workshops. Check out their delectable assortment of goodies!

I Love To Create has brands (like Tulip, Aleen's and Duncan) as well as signature artists (like the Crafty Chica) that you may recognize. With craft paints, glues, accessories and much more across so many artistic categories... you're bound to "love to create" with them!

Clearsnap has a distinctive line of inkpads and accessories — in all kinds of colors, styles, ink types and more.

The name Lion Brand Yarns just exudes quality and choice. Excited to have them on board!

Ever heard of Fancy Pants? Well, I got 3 words for you then.... cutest... papers... ever!!! Oh, and coordinating stickers too!!

Imagine Crafts (you may recognize them as Tsukineko) has a quality selection of scrapbooking, rubber stamping, crafting and quilting supplies and tools.

Scrapbooking papers, albums, die cut stickers, dimensional embellishments and fun kits are just some of the products you may recognize from Die Cuts With A View.

Now, you may be saying... these companies are really awesome.... but what are they donating for the goody bag? Well, we wouldn't want to spoil it for you. So we'll just let you see when you get to the registration desk at Portland Art & Soul. Oh, and try not to rip the bag out of our hands, okay.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

16,000 Strong!

Nope, it's not the number of BTU's I need my air conditioner to have just to cool the house when these summer heatwaves come around! Would you believe that we just signed up the 16,000th person for Art & Soul Portland? And that's not even the all-time total... it's only the number of people we signed up since we started registration on the computer (yes, we actually used to do it the old fashioned way — by snail mail)!

To celebrate the milestone, we offered a little incentive on our Facebook page... a special gift furnished by Judy Gula, the purveyor of our on-site store, Artistic Artifacts. A gorgeous set of vintage ledger paper was the secret surprise and was awarded to one very lucky Dawne Evans. Hooray!

And as fate would have it, Dawne was actually going to take some classes last year... but as it happens for many of us... life just got in the way. She had even purchased some items to alter for the classes... and is excited to take them out of hiding for this year's event.

Ain't it grand when things work out like that? So again... a note of congratulations to Dawne for being our 16,000th "electronic" attendee. And a huge round of applause for Glenny Moir... our illustrious leader who has kept Art & Soul going strong for so long. She may not realize it, but Glenny has changed thousands of creative lives! Now that's worth celebrating.

Keep up the good work!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Portlanders... Special Evening Class by Jenny Doh!

Just in case you live under a rock — I'm sure it's made of paper maché, and painted with glitter and such — you've probably heard of, seen, or read a book published by the incredibly creative Jenny Doh.

For 6 years she held the title of Editor-in-Chief and Director of Publishing for magazines like Somerset Studio, Belle Armoire, Altered Couture, Haute Handbags, Somerset Life, Apronology, and their many sister publications... producing artful crafting how-to magazines that we all cherish in our collections.

Most recently, Jenny founded — an online site featuring creative content from artists and crafters, coupled with their stories that highlight the power of art. If you've ever heard of the Art Saves movement... well, that's Jenny Doh!

In addition, Jenny has written or co-authored at least 14 creative books in the past 3 years alone!

• Stitch Studio (Coming in 2014)
• Serge It!* (Coming in 2014)
• Washi Wonderful (Coming in 2014)
• Stylish Weddings (Coming in 2014)
• Crochet Love (2013)
• Print Collective (2013)
• Craft-a-Doodle (2013)
• Stamp It! (2013)
• Creative Lettering (2013)
• Journal It! (2012)
• We Make Dolls (2012)
• Hand in Hand (2012)
• Signature Styles (2011)
• Where Women Create: Book of Inspiration* (2010)

So it goes without saying — although we're going to say it anyway — how excited we are to have Jenny as a guest teacher at our Portland 2013 event! She'll be teaching a class called The Keys to Publishing, where you'll get to learn the nuts and bolts of publishing, as well as exploring your concepts, intent and proposals... directly from an inside source! If you've ever thought of publishing an art or craft book, this is the class for you.

Jenny Doh
Friday, October 4, 2013
6:30pm - 9:30pm
Art & Soul Portland
Red Lion on the River

Sign up today and start your foray into publishing with the most talented editor in crafting! And whether or not you're taking her workshop, join Jenny Doh before class — from 6:00 to 6:30 — for a wine sampling and book signing event! 

For more information on our Portland Art & Soul mixed media retreat, visit our website