Friday, April 18, 2014

Keys 4 Art 2014, Part III (DJ Pettitt is in the house!)

Ever since I discovered the wonderful world of art journaling, book binding, and mixed media, I have wanted to take a class with DJ Pettitt. I'd look at her glorious creations online and drool. Last year that dream came true in the form of a four day workshop DJ gave at Donna Downey's studio in North Carolina. I met Elena and Jacquie there, and we had such a great time, learned so much, and enjoyed DJ, both as an artist/teacher and human being. So much so, we wanted the rest of our art sisters to have the same experience. If you follow DJ (and if you don't, you should!), you know she is a passionate and talented photographer, especially of birds, and the lure of being able to get some shots of Florida wildlife was too much for her to resist. So, DJ Pettitt is in the house! We spent the next two days with DJ, and they were wonderful! And after our workshop was over, and we went on to other art projects, DJ spent her days out and about, going to bird sanctuaries and getting those photos she wanted. Check out DJ's blog (link highlighted above) to see what she saw.

DJ brought lots of her journals and some tote bags to inspire us.

DJ is a generous, patient teacher, and she spent as much time as was necessary with each of us.

Our books consisted of two signatures, with the pages connected by fabric "hinges." In this photo, DJ is watching as a template is used to mark the holes for binding. DJ has an amazing technique for book binding that is not only beautiful to look at, and results in a very sturdy book, but is easy to do. 

We created covers, entirely out of fabric, embellished them, and then did the same for the inside covers. We also did a wrap which went around our two signatures. The hinges I mentioned were temporarily held in place with a glue stick, then sewn in place on our machines. (Helpful tip from DJ: Use Elmer's Extra Strength glue stick. It will NOT gum up your machine needle.) Some machine stitching was also added, if we wanted, to the journal pages themselves. The following photos are all of my book. Not my usual color scheme, but these are the colors I was drawn to for this project. Considering our tropical setting, fitting, I think.

Here are some of the books my friends made.

Using DJ's binding technique, the buttons on the spine are not merely decorative; they help hold the whole thing together. Look at this beautiful lineup:

If you ever get the chance to take a class with DJ, run, don't walk, to sign up. And remember, you will only add 5 pounds to your luggage if you bring along a Janome mini sewing machine. Just trying to help. 


Patzee said...

Wonderful post! I absolutely love your color palette--a step out of the ordinary for you. That's the best part of these classes: One never knows what will happen, what flames will be sparked. DJ is such an amazing instructor and human being. I am very lucky to have been able to spend so much time with her along with my art sisters.

Jennifer R.D. said...

This is a fabulous post about our time with D.J.
Your book is gorgeous and I love looking at all of our books lined up. Thanks for being the group historian.
Jen ox

leida said...

This is exactly why i need to one day
take a class. i cant see myself creating just beautiful work on my own, even if i had the supplies and instructions! sometimes, the human element is the best tool! thank you for sharing eileen!

Elena said...

Isn 't DJ awesome? I knew everyone would love het! And yes Eileen !! Thank you fir being the group historian! Your posts take me back to that happy place!

Elena said...

PS: DJ has a post on her blog about her trip to Florida!

Lori said...

Wow! What gorgeous books! Looks like a totally cool class!