Monday Art – handmade books & portraits

We all have a story to tell. Today was about following up with last weeks lesson on  the human body and fasteners. Handmade books and the tying of the ribbon, making a bow to keep the collection of words and objects together safely.

We first began with the accordion paper book with images of the face, expression and limbs. Starting with familiar faces with names to moods with feelings. We used a variety of lead pencils of different weight, 8B was the favorite, then onto different thickness of felt pens.

Into the garden with the accordion style book with pockets.

If you have any questions in regards to this project please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Susan Fae at the Art Tree.

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Monday Art – Working with Fasteners and the Human body

Monday Art making paper dolls from mat board and velcro

Monday Art making paper dolls from mat board and Velcro

Monday art is a day that The Art Tree sets aside to create and try something new with the materials and supplies from the Picture Frame studio.

Mat board dolls with common fasteners for home and office are the tools used in this lesson. Two arms, two legs and a torso with head made from; black mat board, white mat board and thin package board (found in men’s shirt packages) or the back of office writing tablets.

You can see that we cut the shapes out, then used black Velcro dots for the joint areas on the black paper doll and we stitched the snaps onto the thinner cardboard, and of course the “butterfly buttons” or brads for the other paper doll.

What we discovered:

The snaps took a bit longer to align for a four year old but once the sound of the snap was heard they were ready for the next snap. Putting the body parts together was a bit of a puzzle, sometimes attaching the limbs were more fun that knowing where they actually were located on the body. Like putting a leg on the shoulder joint.

The office style “butterfly buttons” or brads were like threading a needle but once the concept was understood and finding how easy the legs and arms became movable the fun began.

We worked from the floor up to the door handle for ease of understanding snap alignment and the motion of the limbs. This is when the figure became more action oriented, decorating and identifying; eyes, nose and mouth became secondary.

What I look forward to:

Once the familiarity of the attaching and movement happen with these paper dolls, I hope to hear of their adventures. Stories would be a great follow up project for these action figures.

One of the students observed that my fabric mat board doll had muscles, the threads looked like veins. Hmm, here I thought that I was swirling around with the machine keeping things together while having fun.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

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From Sweaters to Picture Frames

From Sweaters to Picture Frames.

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The Cherry Thief – Children’s Book Review


The Cherry Thief by Renata Galindo

Kudos to Galindo for both story and illustrations, she does an exceptional job at making an investigation to find a thief, fun and an imaginative adventure.

Galindo’s illustrations are simple crayon drawings, primary colours only, with the exception of chef. Light yellow washes are used for some page backgrounds emphasizing some of the small details.

This style of art would be appealing to young children wanting to play along with the investigation. The scribbles and and playful dot patterns would be fun to imitate.

 Having all three of the main characters different sizes allows the pages to be utilized top to bottom.  The mysterious blue character is open to having a name given to it, I’d call it “Blog” combined words  (blue hedge hog).

The Cherry Thief, has a subtle way of offering classroom or family participation; discussion on the missing cookies or the Spring season, dog’s incredible instincts and communication between people you don’t know.

The visuals in this story are important; the hand shake with the blue guy, foot prints, body gestures (angry, confused), and personal perceptions both literally and artistically.

 I challenge you to pull out the crayolas and MAKE ART!

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Raven and the Red Ball – Wordless Book

Sarah Drummond Artist and Naturalist created a visual story about; a dog, a raven and a red ball. Drummond’s small and lively wordless book Raven and Red Ball is a collectable for artists and bird lovers.

The strong images are memorable and any one of them would look great framed with a 4 inch white mat. What would be really great is to hear the different versions of the story from a childs perspective.

This lovely little book has big heart.

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Choices – Framing your Art

The whole idea around Custom Picture Framing is that you have choices.

Things to consider when framing something special;

Are you or your art; Contemporary, ornate, unique ?

How would you like your art to be represented?

  1. clean and simple, easy to read.
  2. important, large liner decorative frame
  3. unique in colour and style
  4. well thought out, considerate of the subject


The linen liner is like a margin in a book, it sets the art apart from the frame, creates a clean and easy to read boarder around the art. A sense of importance with a special frame on it.

Style of Frame matters if you want to make a statement that connects; you, the art, and the theme of the subject.

Presentation is significant when promoting the arts. I encourage you to consider picture framing your art with care.

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Document Frames – Wall Arrangements

Displaying your Documents

I have Five frames and mats that are identical, which makes it easy if you have five identical documents. Custom Picture Framing is meant to make every document framed unique, so ….

Why have all the frames the same;

1. a team of people in the same office share the wall space to display their professional status.

2. one person has multiple levels of achievements in the same area of expertise.

3. a person could look at a collection of documents as one important statement.

4. a family history of education, rather that photos

If you have any more ideas please send them my way.

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Customers Know – art and framing

The Customer knows when it is time to change the frame on a beloved painting.

My client  was promised this landscape painting her grandfather painted for her mother many years ago and until just recently it was gifted to her.  It is a beautiful original painting of the mountains (24X48″), the view is as if you are sitting on a park bench looking  west.

It wasn’t even hung on the wall before it was brought into The Art Tree art framing for a new frame. The new frame is a 3″ seamless white liner with a Larson Juhl beaded black frame with red undertones, it compliments the painting nicely.

IMG_0944 1960's frame

out dated frameold style frame

Would you like this frame?

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Shadow Chasers – Children Book Review

Shadow Chasers by Elly Mackay


Even thought the cover of the book is shown above, these quotes are from the back of the book;

“Surprising as it is nakedly inspirational.” – Jay Bushara, The Huffington Post

“Glowing paper dioramas are the heart and soul.” – Publishers Weekly.

These quotes from other authors and publishers are as creative as the illustrator & author of Shadow Chasers.

In this book daylight is beauty during the hours of sunset and a little at sunrise. During these times of the day the colour of the sky may be bright pink or orange and the SHADOWS are most dramatic due to the position of the sun. Mackay has taken the theme of Light and created a poetic visual of how the setting sun can magically move shadows.

Three children playfully skip through the trees, while creatures big and small appear as shadows throughout their journey. The children in the story are like paper dolls in action, they interact with nature, while nature magically changes and plays with them.

The three lovable characters are consistently in the foreground, wearing patterned clothing and have enthusiastic gestures. As their journey comes to a close so does the light of day and the brother piggy backs the smallest one home. The warmth & charm of this story is about siblings enjoying the simplicity of life, it is a feel good book about observation and interaction with nature.

Mackay’s etsy shop

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Options in matting colours for Picture Framing

Custom Picture Framing offers many choices in colour and design. What you choose now can easily be changed or updated in the future, no need to throw the artwork out.

A client brought a framed print into the studio, she liked the frame but just wanted a bit of an upgrade on the matting.



We changed the blue & red mat to an off white & gold (2nd), and from regular glass to museum. You can see the difference in the photos, but what was interesting to me was when I went to photograph the blue mat the flash went off, not for the white one, both in the same position and lighting.



The over all image is brighter with the white mat and the details are more noticeable. Colour is fun to play with and can really say something about the art, but if you’d like the art to speak for itself, sometimes neutral is the best way to go.

Which one do you like?


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