Sunday, July 14, 2013


I've been admiring the work of Anna Dabrowska (AKA Finnabair, or Finn) for years, and literally jumped at the chance to take a class with her at Michele's studio.  It took place on Thursday, and it was easily one of the best classes I've ever taken.

In case you don't know anything about Finn, she's from Poland, she designs for Prima and Sizzix, amongst others, and she is super talented, warm, funny, and a great teacher.  Just click on her name above and you'll see what I'm talking about.

Back to the class.  It was an all day event.  And when I say all day, I mean we started at 9am and finished up a bit after 6pm.  Michele provided lunch, so no one even left the studio for food; we just kept working.  Why do we say working?  It's really playing.  SO MUCH FUN!

So many goodies included in our class kit. Most are Finn's creations for Prima.   This isn't even the entire haul:



We used a Prima journal (Finn's design), took it apart and started decorating the covers.

In addition to all the embellishments Finn brought, we also could add our own favorite bits of grunge, so some rusty, crusty odds and ends from my stash found their way onto my journal covers.  In the above photo the covers had scrapbook paper glued on, the elastic closure was protected with masking tape, and we were ready to embellish.  I don't have any step by step photos, but here are some works in progress from around the room.
Marjie really isn't bored.  She's just waiting for glue to dry.  Click on her name to see the gorgeous pieces she created.

My friend Seth, dabbing his embellishments with Silks glazes (the most delicious colors in the world!)  If you don't already follow Seth's wonderful blog, The Altered Page, well, click on his name and get over there! 

Diane showing off her autumn colored beauties.

That's me in the middle, putting my journal back together.  In the back, Kelly, Karen, and Finn.  One of the (many) reasons I love taking classes at Michele's studio is the opportunity to create in the company of so many like-minded peeps in such a warm and inviting place.  Trust me, not all venues are so welcoming.
Finn, demonstrating a technique:
Aren't those sleeves the coolest?  They keep the paint and glue off her arms (and in the winter, off her shirt sleeves).
Marjie took this photo of me with my finished cover.  The color is a bit off, but I have more accurate pictures coming up.
Here are my front and back covers.

You can see how color unifies such a bunch of diverse elements.
The covers took all morning to complete.  In the afternoon we worked on some pages, and each double page layout featured different techniques.  All deceptively simple.  Deceptive, because they look like they took forever to do, and they really went very quickly.  Most people brought photos to use.  I didn't.  I brought some of the images I've collected.  I'm not even sure I'm going to insert them into this journal.  I like them well enough to mount and frame them. 
Finn taught three layouts, but by the third I was done.  Exhausted.  Happy, but exhausted.  So I only have two to show.

I love the technique of using scraps cut into squares and rectangles to create a graphic background.  Quick, easy, low-tech, low-cost, and very effective.  We also used stencils, sprays,shading with soft pencils,  and some stamping.  In the third layout, the one I didn't do, Finn demonstrated adding fibers and embossing to the pages.
Great picture of Michele and Finn:
And as always, we ended the day with a group photo.
Finn will be teaching in the US and Canada all summer.  If you can get to one of her classes, do it!  Here is her schedule:


Helen said...

I love Finn's work too, and her range of embellishments and papers is stunning. Looks like you all had an absolutely wonderful time. She is coming to the UK soon too, but I couldn't get to a class (boooo!)

Nancy said...

Some day ... some day, I'll get in one of her classes! Your journal is beautiful, Eileen!

Dorothy said...

That is so awesome Eileen! what fun!!

Socrates said...

Beautiful work! I haven't taken her class, but I bought her kit when she was in Palm Springs in January. As you've seen on my Kindred Spirits book cover... Love this technique.

Michael said...

Beautiful work as always! Love the colors!

leida said...

As always, great stuff eileen! thank you for taking us with you!!

Marjie Kemper said...

Wasn't that the best?!? Your covers and pages are just gorgeous. I think I was 'in the zone' with my heat tool. Thanks for the shout-out, Eileen. Hope we have another creative play date soon!

Carol Sweeney said...

Your covers are gorgeous, love all the photos and info and links, thanks!!!

Sue Young said...

Beautiful!!! I'm drooling !!!

Lori said...

What an awesome class! Your piece is fantastic, and so cool you got to meet Marjie! What a great time!

Laura said...

Hi Eileen! I hopped onover from Meetup, and I love your post (and you whole blog, actually!) I was fortunate enough to see your work in person, and may I saw that your pictures do not do it justice! It was so gorgeous. I particularly loved your use of colors in both the background and the main collage. And all your rusty bits from your stash. I need to train my neighbors and friends as well as you!

Patzee said...

What a fabulous class! It's wonderful when after years of crafting, a new technique or way of looking at materials sparks creativity. Well done!

inge said...

Hello Eileen,

How great to read about this day !

And you not only had to create with Anna, Margie and Seth were there too, so you were really amongst artists !

I like a lot of Finnabairs creations and I hardly can believe it, but I will take a class with her !

My local craftshow has a creative scrapbook event in october and Anna is one of the teachers.
I chose the workshop where we also will create a journal cover and pages, so I think it will be a similar one as you had.
It was not cheap, but I said to myself that I owned it to follow a workshop from someone I can learn and have fun for a whole day, no matter the price.

Now I read your post, I'm even looking more forward for the event !

I'm looking forward to see her busy, see her create, see her using all kind of materials and then incorporate it into my own style and color schemes.

So thank you for this sharing, now I definitely know I will have a super fun day !

greetings from Belgium