Oh my dears, Spring is in my blood!  My eyes see her colours everywhere; drink in the high, flawless azure of the Alberta sky; scent the rich loam thawing under the sun’s gentle caress.  The blood is racing in my veins like sap rising.  I’ll have to strap myself to the saddle to keep my seat on the gallop this season will bring.

There is so much to do.  I will be teaching solidly through March, April and May, before taking off on a three-and-a-half-month adventure with my daughter . . . .

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March and April

The first offering is a two-part workshop, “The Book as Art”, being held here in our stunning Bow Valley of Alberta.  I have not offered a workshop like this here since 2011.  It’s my custom to repay my community every year for its support by offering locally-delivered workshops at greatly discounted rates. I am offering these workshops for just $100 plus a $15 materials fee for two 12-6pm days.  This is a third or less of what you might expect pay to join me for these workshops elsewhere, so it’s well worth the journey if you’re willing to make it.  Part 1 is 21 March 2015, and part 2 is 4 April 2015.  If you are interested to take a spot or two, please message me through my contact form.

Book as art poster 2015-page-0

I am also offering my training workshop “The Care and Mending of Books” at various times and locations in Alberta.  This is a workshop I have delivered to the staff of public, university and school libraries for a few years.  I taught it at the Canadian Library Association Conference in Victoria, BC last May and have now been asked to offer it in Alberta.  This is a full-day workshop and I have one or two places available at the Three Hills Public Library, Three Hills, Alberta on 28 March, and also at the Paul D. Fleck Library at the Banff Centre in Banff on April 7th.   The cost is $150 per person.  Please contact me if you are interested in attending.

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The Care and Mending of Books Workshop

A healthy collection is a happy collection!  Is packing tape your best book mending friend?  Join Dea Fischer of Canmore Public Library to learn the skills and tools you need to mend and repair your own materials.  Extend the life of your collection materials at minimum cost, and reduce your reliance on bindery fees and replacement materials.

In our morning session, you will learn and practice repair techniques on several most common repairs (e.g., broken spine, torn pages, replacing pages, repairing torn hinges).  In our afternoon session, you will learn and practice more advanced mending and conservation techniques, including re-casing a book, replacing a spine, repairing and reinforcing corners.  During the day, you will also learn aspects of collection maintenance and handling, and some reinforcement techniques to avoid or delay some common problems.  You will also participate in a question and answer session to deal with your mending and repair questions.

May

Then, in mid-May, I am flying to Portland, Maine.  I am excited and delighted to be the featured artist at a getaway with Idyllworks of Maine!

Idyllworks offers extraordinary getaways for busy women around the globe to connect and unwind. Designed to encourage relaxation and spark creativity, each of their getaways is a unique opportunity that I’m thrilled to be a part of.

One of the perks of making a living as an artist is that I get to share my craft with others. At this getaway I’ll have the opportunity to teach an intimate group in a beautiful setting about what I do and spend the weekend with them as they embrace their own creative spirit.

I’ll be working with guests to hand construct your own unique and beautiful long-stitch journal.  You will then go on to work with another featured artist, Leslie Beattie, to work on content for your lovely journals.  As an added bonus, this getaway takes place in gorgeous coastal Maine. When we’re not developing our artistic skills, there will be plenty of time to explore the surrounding areas or relax on the porch and take in the views from Grey Havens Inn.

Find out more about the getaway here. It’s worth mentioning that Idyllworks accepts both full retreat registration and also day registration for those living more locally.  I would love to have you share this incredible experience with me!

Idyllworks_for_Day_Students__Page_1 What’s next?

June through October this year, I am so excited to be taking a leave of absence in order to travel through the UK and Europe with my beautiful, soon-to-be-graduating daughter, Millie.  It’s in the nature of a grad trip and the chance to move her toward her goal of attending the UK art school her father graduated from.  I am working on setting up some teaching in the UK while I’m there, so watch this space and I’ll let you know.

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And of course, if you aren’t able to join me for one of these great workshop opportunities, I have an instructional DVD and download with Cloth Paper Scissors: “Handmade Book Essentials”, and a web seminar, “Tags, Flags and Memories” available from the Interweave Store and Craft Daily.  Whatever you do, I hope you will get out, get your hands mucky and your heart singing this spring!

DVD

The new Interweave title is out!  Cloth Paper Scissors’ new eMag “Art Journaling Exposed” is now available for download.  The inaugural edition of this wonderful new interactive product features my article on making some quick and easy travel journals. 
I travel quite alot, and it is an ongoing effort for me to continually reduce the amount of luggage space I use.  I am always caught up in difficult choices and decisions about what to take, and what to leave out.  Sometimes, I get a little too ruthless with my editing and find myself in wonderful, beautiful and memory-filled locations . . . . without any art supplies!

A few years ago, I was traveling to California for a family wedding, and, among wedding gifts and extra clothes and shoes, there was absolutely no room to spare.  I reluctantly left my art journal at home.  Yet the trip was so rich in memories, special family times and sharing, and I just had to do something to capture it all.  It was on that trip, completely without journal or materials, that I found myself looking with a very different eye at the maps, brochures, ephemera and postcards I had collected throughout the trip.  I had always collected such materials as something I would use later to add to the memory album.  On this trip, there was so much I wanted to hold to my heart and sear into my memory, so many moments that would be lost or slip away if I waited to record them some weeks or months after I got home.   I found myself taking a second look at these materials, and began to see them as fundamental materials I could use to create a travel journal.  The memory value became richly multi-layered.  Everything from the underlying structure through all collage elements, binding materials and trims originated from my trip.  There was a freshness and immediacy to journaling in this way that I found exciting and fun.  Working this way, as I went along, I started to create daily pages of the trip on 5 x 7″ postcards, journaling on the back of some of the postcards, collaging on others.   By the time I got home, I had quite a number of pages already completed, and enough material to create several more.  I did the painting, drawing and writing layers I wanted to add when I got home, using extracts from my written journal.  Then, I bound them all together into the concertina flag book you can see in Art Journaling Exposed.

I had so much fun recording the video clips for you when I was filming at Interweave’s studios in Colorado last December.  It is such a cool thing to be able to talk to you personally and demonstrate how to make these things right there in the magazine.  It puts me in mind of the Daily Prophet newspaper in Harry Potter!  The new eMag is chock full of fantastic inspiration from many of your favourite authors, delivered in a truly value-added way.  It is exciting to enjoy the information in this way.  It’s like attending a mini version of a CREATE retreat right on your own computer.  The download is available for both Mac and PC, and as an app for iPad.

All your favourite authors are participating in a blog hop this weekend.  I hope you’ll stop on by and visit with my friends, and check out what’s going on.  Enjoy the blog hop, and we hope you will enjoy this inspirational new title too!  Don’t forget, I will be teaching three workshops at CREATE in Irvine, California, and four workshops at CREATE in Lisle, Illinois.  I look forward to seeing you!

With very best wishes

Dea Fischer

Blog Roll:

Julie Fei-Fan Balzer

Traci Bautista

Jane Davenport

Jacqueline Newbold

Jennifer Osborn

Joanne Sharpe

Melanie Testa

Diana Trout

and Outside the Box with Jenn:

And so at last, the time to gather my tools and head to California for the CREATE Mixed Media Retreat is upon me.  The excitement suddenly hit me at a visceral level last night, and I couldn’t sleep for all the ideas and plans and things to remember teeming my thoughts.  My suitcase is mostly packed, final materials are being prepped this weekend and then I’m off for a delightful week back in my home of Southern California.
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I’ve had one of those wonderful days today where I was able to give undivided time and attention to mastering a new technique.  I am practicing some new book forms, always looking for new ways to express what my hands want to say, as well as having new and interesting techniques to share with others when they ask for playshops with me. 

Today, I wanted to practice a different type of concertina or accordion book utilising apertures and cutouts.  I never tire of creating books with apertures and views, and can’t seem to work fast or often enough to create all the ways I find to express this. 

The aperture and the doorway perpetually fascinate me.  I return again and again to the theme, photograph doors and doorways everywhere I have travelled.  I have built up a huge collection of photographs of doors and doorways, both humble and grand.  Last week, some of my favourite images finally made their way into a little book I’ve long wanted to create called “Door”.

Artist’s Book “Door” by Dea Fischer 2011

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Hard at work

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I’m delighted to confirm there will be some tools and supplies available for purchase at the workshop, including a wonderful selection of reference books on bookmaking and mixed media art, courtesy of Kensington Art Supply in Calgary.  Many thanks to Annette Wichmann and her staff for their support of this event.  http://www.kensingtonartsupply.com/  Check out their wonderful new premises next time you’re in the area.

Tools available for purchase at the workshop include:

  • bone folders;
  • scissors;
  • steel rulers;
  • self-healing cutting mats; and
  • craft knives.

“The Book as Art” workshop to be held on 12 & 13 February is now full.  Thanks everyone for their interest and enthusiasm.  If you are still interested and didn’t get a chance to book, do send me your details and I’ll put you on my waiting list in case anyone drops out. 

Confirmations have now been sent out, if you didn’t receive yours or need more information, call or email me.  I look forward to seeing you all there!