Thursday, July 15, 2010

Ok, so I'm a little messy!

My laptop, may it RIP.  The piece of crap that was my Toshiba Laptop lived a short, illness-plagued life Huh...they say a dog grows to look like his owner, maybe a computer mimics it's owners health.  But I digress.  The initial problems began when it was barely a year-old.  Lucky for me the first problem was covered under the warranty.  If you've ever owned a laptop you know my lucky ran out about 13 minutes after the warranty expired.  The Toshiba continued to have problems and at one point Rick did a bit of unauthorized surgery pulling off a something-something-video-something transplant using his dead laptop as the donor (don't tell UNOS but I'm not sure the proper donor consent forms were signed.)  In the end, my computer suffered the effects of being used by me (let's be honest, I'm not always the most careful with my toys) and my kids (one is 4 and one is a TWEEN, need I say more on that subject?)  In the end it was missing 2 keys, required electrical tape on the AC box to hold the front and back together, had issues at the connection between the computer and the AC cord,  and looked like somebody ate lunch on it- more than once! (hmmm any one of use could be the culprit on this one.)  Last summer, a friend offered to lick the jelly off the keyboard.  To be fair to me it wasn't jelly (and he didn't lick it) but it did look like it was "washed with a Hershey bar" as my father used to say.  About a month ago my nephew noted the missing keys and asked me what happened to my computer.  Ever the quick wit, I told him it as trying to morph into an iPad.  We all had a good laugh but I think I offended the stupid thing (the computer not my nephew) because it kicked into self-destruct mode and finally died during another unauthorized surgery- this time to fix the AC plug/wire/thingy.

During the months I spent planning my blog I always envisioned myself blogging on my laptop while lying in bed after getting the kids to sleep.  I saw myself typing all my profound musing at the end of the day while relaxing and waxing poetic about my life and beautiful sleeping children.  REALITY  CHECK: the laptop's dead, the kids don't sleep,  I don't wax and I'm no poet.  So I either type the entire blog on my iPhone, and while I am sure there are bloggers out here who do that it just ain't me, or I cue up for the iMac.  I stand in line along with my husband, 2 kids, 1 rabbit and 2 fish- waiting for my turn on the desktop.  Rick's Fed Ex life, with the exception of flying, is over the computer and Chase would "…rather play electronics than play outside".  Ryann adopted a pet this summer in the form of a beautiful iPod Touch.  He goes everywhere with her and she lovingly pets him all day long.  Sometimes he puts his paws in her ears and she drifts off into another world only coming around occasionally to scream something to us- like we have little white paws in our ears?  When she gets in trouble and gets the pet taken away or when she needs a little break from it she only has two choices apparently: 1) any stupid idiotic Disney Channel sitcom (on the Disney Channel, on the DVR, or on-line) or 2) the iMac to play iTunes, Club Penguin, or YouTube.  Even the rabbit and the fish have priority over me.  Here is sit, finally by myself- Rick took the kids to the park to a presentation on bees- and I am actually going to get a something posted.  Yippy for me!

(Standing up) "Hi, My name is Danee Kaplan, and I am a slob when I craft." (everybody now) "Hi Danee….."  I want it out there at the beginning of this blog that I can only craft when my workspace is completely overwhelmed with crap.  I have finally recognized that I will continue to get stuff out until I have only a teeny tiny workspace left.  Ahhh, now I can really create.  Yes it drives Rick nuts- but please don't send him any sympathy notes, he stews about it enough as it is.

I am taking an on-line Class with mixed-media artist Claudine Hellmuth.  Over the past 8 years I've discovered that the artists that I like rarely come to Michigan to teach classes.  Since it isn't that practical to travel to classes like some of friends with grown kids,  I've decided to try some on-line classes.  In full disclosure I admit that Claudine was in Michhigan last summer, teaching in Alpena, but it was impossible for me take the class at the time.  I tried to take an on-line class from Graphic Artist Traci Bautista last year but it was a disaster.  It was her FIRST on-line class and while I give her some latitude for that the class was a mess.  She was completely unorganized, not very accessible for questions, never seemed to post the instructional videos or directions on time, didn't have a good supply list, and overall just plain sucked.  I shied away from any online classes for the last year but since I really love Claudine's work and the 12 week class was only $79 (not including the supplies) I decided I had nothing to lose.  So far Claudine's class is very well organized.  I have completed a few projects and I can say that I've learned a lot already and it's only week 4.

We are making a "recipe book" with techniques:
This is a gesso imprint technique- apply gesso (over painted surface) with credit card and using a stylus, make an imprint in the wet gesso.

This is made by painting the surface red, swiping a watermark ink over the surface and while it is wet adding a thinned out paint.  I realized after doing this and an other similar technique that I thinned the paint out too much.  

Again, paint too thin.  Made by painting surface blue, adding watermark ink on a floral stamp and washing over with thinned black paint.  This example is a mess but if done' correctly it looks pretty cool. 

My favorite technique so far (again I would do lots of things different next time).  This is a Gesso transfer.  Paint surface teal- when dry apply Gesso with credit card so there is a nice thick layer- apply the PHOTOCOPY of Ryann print-side down directly into the Gesso and let it dry overnight.  When dry, mist with water and rub off all of the paper.  You have to rub and rub and rub but eventually you are left with the image embedded into the Gesso.  I took a little pink paint and colored the cheeks and used Tim Holtz Tissue Tape (which I am completely in love with) on top and bottom of the image to smooth the transition between the image and the board.  
This is Chase.

Check out Claudine's Blog at

Time to get crafting.

Later's Baby


  1. It looks like a good online class. I had a bad experience with one, but am now just finishing one I love. Hope you get a new healthy laptop.

  2. Just wanted to give you a bit of encouragement (in the beginning it always helps to know you have support out there) Good to read the post. Happy creating.

  3. Love your blog name. I can relate to the messy bit. I can barely walk thru my craft area. The online classes sound fun. I will have to look into it.

  4. Love the blog!!!!! I'm so excited for you. Keep it up. You will grow to love it!


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