Saturday, February 25, 2012

No Rabbits, No Queen of Hearts . . . Just Alice

I think it was the "cane heard 'round the world".  Alice Stroppel solved a common problem -- scrap clay -- with her brilliant idea, the Stroppel Cane.  We all dream of having an idea that goes viral, and Alice has succeeded.  Clayers all over the world are making beads using Alice's great technique.  Now she is coming to Creative Journey Studios to teach workshops on her other distinctive techniques.  On April 21, she will be teaching her take on face canes.

I know you have seen her wonderful whimsical "girls" and now you will be able to create your own batch of beauties. Then on April 22, she will guide you through the process of drawing on polymer clay.  All together now ... "but I can't draw, Alice!"  She possesses the magic to turn us all into happy pen and inkers.

If you haven't seen Alice's work, you are in for a treat. Her designs are simple, but effective ... whimsical, but brilliant.  She has a wonderful blog at which showcases her many talents.

When we first opened, Alice (and her trusty video camera) came up from Florida to help us get the doors open and to document the process. She gave us lots of pointers on videography and made the first video tour of our facility.  We will always remember all the help she provided as we started this journey, and we can hardly wait to have her back!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Excitement in the Wings . . .

We have some wonderful classes coming up. The excitement is almost palpable. The month of March starts on Thursday, March 1st, with another Creative Journey Studios:  First Thursday Project. This time Patricia and Ellen are presenting a spiral book project "Birds of a Feather."

Next is Mary Pratt's "Songbird Triptych" class that we rescheduled for Thursday, March 8th.  Take the extra time and get the word out to your friends about the great opportunity this class offers.  Mary is well known as a muralist as evidenced by many of the local restaurants.  While wandering around Buford, you can often see work in progress in her studio. In this small, intimate class setting, you will have access to all of Mary's brilliance.  We've included all the canvases and supplies.  We think you'll find this class is worth your time and money.

Next on the horizon is the start of Jan Stephens' Three Session "Wire-Wrapping Class."  The first class starts on Saturday, March 10th, with a hammered link collar and wrapping a donut shaped cabochon.  You'll be wrapping like Queen Latifah and Jay-zee before you know it!  Oh, wait . . . wrong rap!

On Thursday, March 15, we are introducing Mamie Velez to our class lineup.  She will be teaching a calligraphy class called "A Flair for Flourishes."  This is a great class to begin your journey into the world of calligraphy.  If you are already a calligrapher, this is a great class to expand your range and learn to create fabulously embellished projects.  You will learn the basic strokes and have the opportunity to practice before her next class.

Later, Thursday, March 22nd, Jimmie Boatright is going to make our filigree shine with her "Embellishing Filigree with Beads" class.  'Filigree & more' brings you access to about four hundred styles of American-made raw brass filigree made with vintage dies by a small family-run business.  Filigree has often been used as an armature for building jewelry. We continue that tradition by beading on pieces of filigree. Jimmie will teach you the basics of seed beading as well as discussing design options.  We'll have everything you need for this class, and once you are an expert, you'll find more beads at the Atlanta Bead Market, where Jimmie and Judy DeWitt will be delighted to steer you to the best goodies.

On the weekend, the March 24th and 25th, Patricia DiBona and Ellen Prophater are teaching the "Sacred Altar" mixed media class.  Patricia has a treasure trove of vintage images to collage, and Ellen will lead you through the paces on the polymer side of things.  You'll learn techniques as well as design in this fun project.  Ultimately, you will participate in a guided meditation and have made your own personal shrine to focus your thoughts and dreams.

Finally, the month ends, Saturday, March 31st, with a visit from internationally known teacher, Carol Simmons to teach her new "Art Nouveau Leaves in Mokume Gane". We are very excited to welcome Carol to Creative Journey.  Carol has received a lot of attention for her kaleidoscoped pendants. She has developed an amazing system of piecing slices together after using her Simmons Slicer System, which she is working hard to bring to the polymer market.  Her background in science is evident when you witness her precise mathematical mindset.  One of her strengths is her color sense, and she spends a great deal of time thinking about color palettes.  Now she brings that enthusiasm to mokume gane.  She has created bright metallic billets which she ultimately forms into mokume veneered leaf pendants.  If you like color and want insights into a shiny finish, this is the class for you.

You can read more descriptions on the calendar pages and you can get more information and sign up by calling 404-314-5767. Registration for classes will close three business days before the class.  This gives us a chance to prepare for the correct number of students.  Come experience the new classroom and check out the new store

Monday, February 6, 2012

Meta Strick . . . What a Doll!

Meta Strick is as unique as her art dolls. We are so fortunate to have a nice selection of her wonderful dolls in the gallery. Meta paints, sketches, cuts, carves, sews and assembles these mixed media treats. Sometimes she makes a miniature book for the doll to hold, or finds an antique handkerchief to serve as a skirt, or adds an old thimble to fill the basket the doll holds. She often uses her calligraphy to add just the right word to complete her doll.

Meta uses acrylic paint and 16 x 20 canvases to create her ethereal female images. Meta also loves to work in her sketch book, never wasting a drop of paint. Brushes are emptied on random pages to
become an inspiration later. She participated in last year's sketchbook project. Some of her beautiful faces adorn note cards we have for you at CJS. You can see the digitized sketch book at✓&display_name=Meta+strick&theme_id=&commit=Search&country=&city=&province=&state=

Art has always been a part of Meta's life. From her earliest days, she claims to have had an aversion to coloring within the lines, even choosing to fill the white spaces outside the lines with her own drawings. She trained formally at Carnegie Mellon and has been sharing her wisdom ever since. A leader of the Vermont hand crafters, she makes her art and teaches workshops. The students at the Community College of Vermont are fortunate to be inspired by this art dynamo. And we are fortunate to count Meta as a friend, and love that we can share her art with you.

You can see more of Meta's art by visiting her website at As you peruse her site, you'll see why we're so impressed with Meta. Then come in and visit the gallery, and add one of Meta's dolls to your collection. It will put a permanent smile on your face!