Calling Card: Fairy Tale Summer

Carla Sonheim is a regular supporter of UPPERCASE magazine through her Calling Cards. She has a really fun class on offer that starts next week. Check out her terrific class video!

Fairy Tale Summer

Fairy Tale Summer — our last class of the summer* — begins this coming Tuesday, June 21! We are re-running an edited version of the year-long class from 2014, “Year of the Fairy Tale.”

Assignments will be modified slightly for the summer session for a “doable” class, but you will have forever access so you can revisit the lessons anytime (and do the full assignments if desired). This is the last time this course will run live.

Class dates are June 21 – August 11, 2016; we will illustrate 8 fairy tales, one each week; each fairy tale includes both a drawing assignment (Tuesdays) and a mixed-media assignment (Thursdays).

Just $149. Click HERE for details and to sign up!

P.S. Previous “year of” participants can join again at no additional cost… email me to get on the list: 

“Making Art a Practice: In and Out of the Sketchbook” with Cat Bennett

Carla Sonheim is hosting a new class with instructor Cat Bennett. You might recall our feature about Cat in issue 27 of UPPERCASE. “Making Art a Practice: In and Out of the Sketchbook” is a 6-week online course that includes 12 video classes. "We’ll spend two days drawing in the sketchbook with a focus on colour, line and shape," describes Cat, "and then jump out of the sketchbook to do a bigger project. We’ll draw and paint the world around us— food, clothes and the objects in our homes, plants and landscape, and people. And we’ll do so in different ways—painting using only lines, making cut-paper images using only shapes, then bringing line and shape together in different ways."

"Our goal is to draw and paint in experimental ways and to get ideas for our own work. We’ll mostly work on a larger scale outside of the sketchbook and try things out. We’ll approach everything we do with a spirit of adventure and discovery!"

To watch a video of Cat and to register, please visit the Carla Sonheim website.

Thank you to Carla for her continued support of UPPERCASE magazine and its original content through a Calling Card ad.

Sewing my first garment since Grade 9 Home Ec!

Photo by Crystal Reynolds /  Crystal Ink

Photo by Crystal Reynolds / Crystal Ink

With rolls and rolls of fabric, it seemed like at least one of the projects I needed to tackle for my Windham Look Book was to sew a garment! I was daunted... I haven't sewn any clothes for myself since high school. Rather than leave it for last—what I thought might be the most complicated thing to sew—I decided I should start with making a shirt first! I figured if it failed miserably, I would still have time for a plan B.

Luckily, I had help... in the form of a very thorough video tutorial "Sew a Sailor Top" hosted by Fancy Tiger on Creativebug. After downloading the pdf pattern (comes with the class!), I was able to follow along step-by-step. It was so helpful to watch the video before as preparation and then during the project for guidance... If you've never sewn a shirt before, I highly recommend starting with this one.  

It turned out great!

Photo by Kirstie Tweed /  Orange Girl

Photo by Kirstie Tweed / Orange Girl

I used two fabrics with the same turquoise and black, to add some interest at the collar... and a little surprise as a lining in the sleeve hem.

photo by Kirstie Tweed /  Orange Girl

photo by Kirstie Tweed / Orange Girl

Once I got started, the project went quite quickly. With my pattern cut out and prepared, I could easily sew another top (or two!) with some other colours.

Calling Card: A Gathering of Stitches Retreats

A Gathering of Stitches is proud to announce their full list of offerings for 2016, building off a successful first year of offering world class instruction in sewing and quilting in the rustic beauty of Maine. AGOS is quietly building a reputation as one of the leading retreat coordinators in the United States. Bringing dynamic creative talents from around the country to Maine to share their knowledge with small intimate groups, in locations that celebrate the remote quiet that is the Northern tip of the Eastern US, is the hallmark of an AGOS experience. 

This year's line-up includes:
• Jennifer Beeman of Grainline Studio •
• Norma Loehr of Orange Lingerie •
• Cal Patch of Hodge Podge Farm •
• Amber Corcoran of Fancy Tiger Crafts •
• Alexia Abegg of Green Bee Patterns •
• Christine Haynes of Christine Haynes Sewing Patterns •

Amber and Jaime of Fancy Tiger... who, coincidentally, are also supporting the spring issue of UPPERCASE magazine with a Calling Card! Thanks, gals!

Amber and Jaime of Fancy Tiger... who, coincidentally, are also supporting the spring issue of UPPERCASE magazine with a Calling Card! Thanks, gals!

Mindful Mending with Katrina Rodabaugh 

Mindful Mending with Katrina Rodabaugh 

Design (AND MAKE) Your Own Clothes With Cal Patch

Design (AND MAKE) Your Own Clothes With Cal Patch

View all the details here.

Thank you to Samantha Lindgren at A Gathering of Stitches for her ongoing support of UPPERCASE content through a purchase of a Calling Card ad. I have a few Calling Card spaces left for the spring issue. For $400 Canadian ($290 USD) your ad will appear in print, on the blog sidebar, on Twitter and in the newsletter/blog. Great value for reaching UPPERCASE readers!

Calling Card: A year-long online art class!

Carla Sonheim has opened registration for her 2016 year-long online class:

“Y” is For Yellow!
(And no, you won’t paint everything yellow!  )

Carla writes:

In this class we will march through the alphabet as a fun way to move through our year (“P” is for Picasso! “C” is for Collage!), while tackling the more serious question,

“How do you create a body of work?”

As mixed-media artists we are always trying new media and experimenting with new techniques — which is awesome! But what can happen is we don’t take the time to focus long enough on the things we really love so that we can create a cohesive series that is uniquely ours.

I have found a lot of value working in series over the years; choosing and sticking with one media/subject matter for a period of time really has helped me… and I will share with you what I can about the process.

Are you ready to work hard in a fun environment? Let’s refine, focus, and create a body of work this year!

In this class:

• You are encouraged to focus on your favourite media. (Don’t know what that is? That’s okay, there will be plenty of techniques to try with both the drawing and mixed-media lessons.)

• There will be 26 short drawing exercises, one for each of the 26 lessons. These are meant to be warm-ups to give you ideas on how to face the blank page. I’ll keep them fun!

• In addition, there will be 7 mixed-media lessons, 3 optional assignments, and 3 surprise lessons. They will include techniques (old and new!) in watercolour, acrylics, charcoal, and other media.

Class begins January 8, 2016. Cost is $198. Sign up here.

Thank you, Carla, for supporting UPPERCASE through a Calling Card ad. Look for her ad on the sidebar of the blog and in print in issue 28 coming out in January.

Calling Card: Inkello

Thank you to all the fine folks who sponsor the blog and magazine through their Calling Cards. For $400 Canadian, your ad will be on the sidebar from now until April 10 plus printed in the next issue (January-February-March 2016). If you want to have a seasonally-themed Calling Card for the blog sidebar now and switch the artwork in the new year, that's ok. Please see all the details here. I appreciate your support.

Christine Schneider is the proprietor of Inkello. Christine is a fourth-generation printer (she's also a designer and illustrator). 


To print her letterpress goods, completely hand-powered, she uses a press from 1897. It is operated with a foot treadle and is distinctive for a big, blue flywheel. She also prints on a tabletop press with a hand lever from the 1950s.

Inkello has some fun and clever letterpresses items, like these triangular Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich Booklets. "Ten pages inside, alternating between grape jelly and peanut butter-coloured papers. Set of two booklets accompanied by a small pencil. Details for curious letterpress enthusiasts: the crusts were printed using wooden furniture, and the texture in the bread was made using BBs glued to a wooden base!."

I'm also fond of their Heart Personalized Knitting Tags, which would be a lovely gift for prolific knitters. The finishing details and textures of Inkello's products are really well done.

Win with CourseCraft

Online learning has really taken off. If you’re an independent maker or entrepreneur and want to get in on the trend by teaching your own class, CourseCraft has created the infrastructure to do just that, easily and free of tech hassles so that you can concentrate on providing great content. CourseCraft has been a long supporter of UPPERCASE magazine—you'll have seen their Calling Card in many issues of the magazine. You can read more about them in the forthcoming issue 27. Founder Sara Funduk has a generous giveaway for UPPERCASE readers:

Steer your own course!

We've put together this 'E-Course Starter Kit' to give you everything you need to get started with your next (or first) online course! The Nikon P7800 is a highly rated camera with a super fast f/2 lens, 7.1x zoom and full 1080p HD video capabilities. The assortment of fun office supplies will help you get all your ideas down on paper and stay organized. And lastly, we've included a free Pro upgrade for your course so you can take advantage of all the features of CourseCraft.

E-Course Starter Kit from CourseCraft (value of over $700)
- Nikon P7800 camera
- 3-pack of Studio Oh Woodland Creatures notebooks
- Kate Spade Expletive gold paper clips
- Set of floral sticky notes with matching pen
- free Pro upgrade on CourseCraft

To enter, simply enter your email address on this page. A winner will be chosen on Monday, September 28th by CourseCraft and they will contact the winner by email.

Calling Card: All Aboard with Jasmine Jimenez

A couple of years ago, I was invited to speak at the AIGA San Diego Y Conference. I met lots of really nice people and one of them was conference administrator Jasmine Jimenez (she was impressively organized!) Thanks to her, I had a great experience.

Jasmine recently got in touch to support UPPERCASE magazine through a Peep and a Calling Card—both will be appearing in the Fall issue. (That's issue #27 which is off to print today and will be released by October 1.) The funds received from Calling Cards and other advertisements go directly to paying contributor fees, so thank you to Jasmine and my other Calling Card advertisers for supporting fine content for fall. You can see them all on the blog sidebar—please click through and discover their talents and services.

I'll let Jasmine take it away from here:

Hi, My Name is Jasmine, and I believe Essential Oils are the answer that many people are looking for, whether they are aware of it or not. I make light of 'jumping on the oily train', but you should know, that once your ride begins your wellness destination is just a few stops away. Just like the train needs the track to move forward, our bodies need a stable infrastructure to function well. Without well-balanced systems, our bodies may want to give out on us. It doesn't matter which side of the ‘health tracks’ you have lived on in the past, you can always take the small steps over to the wellness side. Essential Oils and oil infused products will act as your boarding pass to a healthier non-toxic way of living for you, your family (kids too!) and your friends. 

I choose essential oils because I believe there is always another way. The "possible" side effect on every single label is what prevents me from buying medicine, accepting a prescription and from having faith that the neatly designed box of the shelf is magical in any way.

After you enrol, a transition will begin to happen. I know because it happens to all of us. You will realize you've stopped shopping at the store for the brand items your have in your home today. Your home will feel cleaner without all of the cleaning products. You will realize that you feel better each and every day. Your instinct about how to use essential oils will start to kick-in, and they will begin to feel as natural to you as they are to our Mother Earth.

You can find me at and we can start your journey to feeling better today!

Jennifer Joanou Recent Works

Jennifer Joanou has an exhibition of recent works opening this Wednesday at the Rivington Street Gallery in New York City.   
Recent Works    
May 20 – May 24, 2015   
Opening Reception   
Wednesday, May 20   
6:00 – 8:00 pm   
Rivington Street Gallery   
2 Rivington Street   
New York, NY 10002

ant to support UPPERCASE's next issue through a Calling Card or Peep?

Barb Skoog: Clouds on Water

A Journey into the world of Marbling

Barb Skoog is one of 75 printmakers profiled in the current issue. When I was going through the many, many submissions (250!) to curate the content for this printmaking-themed issue, I was delighted to see a paper marbling submission. Barb generously donated a delicious stack of hand-marbled papers for subscriber copies (for those subscribed prior to the end of March).

It was tempting to keep this beautiful stack all to myself, but I know there are dozens of subscribers out there who now have the joy of holding her papers in person.

Barb is a Los Angeles-based artist specializing in the Turkish form of marbling called Ebru. She writes, "This centuries-old art form involves floating paint on thickened water, making patterns and designs using special tools, and then placing paper, fabric, wood, or other materials on top of the water where the image is immediately and permanently transferred. In addition to having my work featured in art and lifestyle magazines, juried shows, and galleries, my marbled pieces have been used in bookbinding, in mixed media, as fashion accessories (purses, scarves), as home décor, and more."

If you'd like to learn this technique, Barb has a freshly-launched eCourse. The video below offers a happy teaser on what you'll learn in the course. It looks like so much fun!

Barb has a special offer for UPPERCASE readers. Using the promo code UPLOVE, you can get $80 off the regular price ($259) and take the course for just $179 if you sign up by May 31. Class officially begins on June 8 (6 weeks guided instruction) but students have access to all info for six months.

Thank you to Barb Skoog for her support of UPPERCASE through a Calling Card. If you'd like to purchase a Calling Card ad for the next issue and for the blog sidebar, please visit this page for more details. 

Calling Card: Stencil Girl

Mary Beth Shaw, photo by Greg Barth Designs

Mary Beth Shaw, photo by Greg Barth Designs

I know there are a lot of UPPERCASE readers who love to do art journaling and scrapbooking. Stencil Girl products make unique stencils that can enhance your art-making experience. Stencil Girl offers wide collection of stencils designed by a long and growing list of artists. The stencils are meant for mixed media and there are no rules on how to use them. Through varying media, layering and other techniques, they're a fun way to explore making marks. Here's founder Mary Beth Shaw's story:

Mary Beth Shaw worked in the insurance industry for 18 years before she quit her job in 2000 to re-ignite a childhood love of art.  She is now a full time painter and internationally known workshop instructor. Her creative process is largely self taught, spontaneous and joyful. She is author of Flavor for Mixed Media and Stencil Girl , both published by F&W and is also a columnist for Somerset Studios Magazine. 

In 2010, Mary Beth recognized a need for 'artist designed' stencils and created StencilGirl Products, which has quickly grown into a respected supplier of high quality stencils for all media. Living with her husband and three cats, Mary Beth is passionate about every moment of life. 

Stencil Girl has released a new Stencil Club collection for April, designed by Jessica Sporn. Here's Jessica, below, describing how fabrics from her childhood inspired the new, groovy collection.

And in the second video, Jessica shows how to make a gesso resist and then offers a peek into her art journals.

I'd like to thank Stencil Girl Products for supporting UPPERCASE magazine's original content through their purchase of a Calling Card ad. 

Calling Card: Liesel Beukes' Bhoomies

Liesel Beukes is a South African illustrator and artist living in Munich. Her work is whimsical and imaginative and soulful. She has created a world of characters called Bhoomies whom you can get to know on a special website and throughout 2015 on her calendar.

Liesel writes, "The Bhoomies are little earth spirits that live in total unison with nature. They grow an inch on the inside every day and take life as it is: beautiful, extraordinary, light, easy and joyful. They are ambassadors of happiness and support all earthlings to live their lives whilst believing in possibility." Through her 2015 calendar, one can spend every day in the presence of these fairy creatures.

The patterns are printed on the back of every calendar page, "to give the calendar a second life as gift wrap," says Liesel. She has also compiled a playlist for the calendar, giving this project a unique sensory experience.

Thank you to Liesel for placing a Calling Card in the forthcoming issue.

Calling Card: Jennifer Joanou

Jennifer Joanou is one of those multi-talented artists who finds a way to express themselves no matter what the medium or the method. The first iteration of her creative career was as a fashion designer in Los Angeles; her work was popular in Hollywood and was sold in Barneys. Then about ten years ago, she began art journaling and found that it encompassed all her loves: fabric, photography, paper and paint.


Her website has an intriguing opening page and is a great invitation inside her journals, which are extensively presented. She also shares work in progress on her blog.

Postcards and stickers of her journal pages are available in her shop. Gift them as a set, send them to friends or tack them to your inspiration wall as incentive to start your own journal in 2015.

Thank you to Jennifer for supporting UPPERCASE magazine through the purchase of a Calling Card. I'm pleased to report that the Calling Card page for the forthcoming issue is now full, but if you're interested in being part of the spring issue, spots are now open.

Calling Card: A Gathering of Stitches

A Gathering of Stitches is offering some amazing retreats next year! Participants will have the opportunity to work intimately with some really talented and generous teachers in 2015. 

Sherri Lynn Wood of Daintytime will be spending two intensive days teaching a small group to quilt with curves, April 30 and May 1, using the extensive facilities of AGOS. Wood’s first book, The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters will be published by STC Craft in March of 2015.

In July, Amy Butler and Heather Jones will lead a small group through their colour stories, and how to translate them into quilts. This exclusive retreat will take place at the luxurious Point Lookout resort in Northport, Maine.

The dynamic trio of Carolyn Friedlander, Chawne Kimber and Rebecca Ringquist take up residence at the Medomak Retreat centre in Washington, ME, in August, for a long Slow Stitching weekend. Slow down and connect to needle and thread or floss in a summer camp setting with a small community of stitchers.

For the garment sewists, Lauren Taylor of LLADYBIRD will spend four days exploring the joys of making clothing at AGOS. Start the Fall with new skills for creating your very own handmade wardrobe at this September workshop.

Thank you to Samantha Lindgren for her support of UPPERCASE magazine through the purchase of this Calling Card ad.

Calling Card: The Other Alice

Alice Young remembers the first time she picked up a professional ink pen. "I was captivated. Ink is alive—flowing and liquid—with an independent will and life of its own." Though she does her daily work as a graphic designer, her after-hours passion is calligraphy. "When I'm tired of being slick and sensible," she says, "'The Other Alice' emerges."

"In my calligraphy, I strive for a high level of craftsmanship, but I am wary of the trap of perfection. Hand lettering should retain the human touch, which has a natural rhythm and imperfection."

The Other Alice's Etsy shop offers a selection of calligraphy-based artwork printed on high quality cards with white and coloured ink on premium recycled stock (Neenah Environment). 

Thank you, Alice for supporting UPPERCASE magazine through this Calling Card.

Calling Card: Blackbird Letterpress

Blackbird Letterpress is the name of Kathryn Hunter's creative and prolific letterpress company.

Kathryn Hunter started Blackbird Letterpress in Lafayette, Louisiana, in her friends' house in 2003. Blackbird began with the purchase of a Chandler and Price "Old Series" platen letterpress (circa 1904) from a long-time printer in Hammond, Louisiana. The movable type came from a printer outside of Chicago. One crisp October weekend (well, crisp in Illinois, not necessarily in Louisiana), Kathryn and her friend flew to the big midwestern city, loaded a couple tons of type and cabinets and other goodies out of a basement into a moving truck, and drove it back to Bayou Country. A collection of vintage printer's cuts came from a long-time printer in New Iberia, Louisiana (the trip was luckily much shorter that time). Blackbird Letterpress currently works out of a mural-clad building in Baton Rouge, which they share with a metalworking business and two frisky guard dogs. 

Their Etsy shop is stocked with Christmas cards, paper ornaments, perpetual calendars and handmade notebooks. Blackbird Letterpress can also be commissioned for custom letterpress projects and beautiful wedding stationery.

Thanks to Kathryn for her Calling Card. (If you'd like to be featured in a Calling Card post and have your ad in the Winter issue of UPPERCASE and on the blog sidebar, I have three spots left!)

Calling Card: Canoe Wedding

If you've ever dreamed of a romantic destination for your wedding, then nothing comes close to the Canadian Rocky Mountains for scenery and drama. Kirstie Tweed is an outstanding wedding photographer (she photographed my wedding nearly 10 years ago) who lives in a National Park — Banff, to be precise. Close to Lake Louise, Canmore and other mountain destinations, Kirstie and her husband Kevin have built the website Canoe Wedding as the ultimate resource for couples planning on tying the knot in the region. From venues to activities to restaurants, Canoe Wedding offers great information whether you're a tourist planning a visit, organizing a romantic anniversary getaway to the mountains or just indulging in a fantasy of the perfect wedding.

For a dramatic winter wedding, don't let the temperatures below zero give you cold feet — Kirstie and Kevin are the most thoughtful and warm people you could want to document your special day. They've also compiled Tips for a Winter Wedding so you'll be well prepared (not to mention stylish!)

Thank you, Kirstie and Kevin, for being such champions of what I do at UPPERCASE.

Calling Card: Tempest Studios

Artist Erika Schulz believes in keeping busy. "I have a few series of artworks ongoing at the moment. I don't believe in tackling one subject at a time, so I switch between spaceships and robots, medieval gargoyles, birds, nature, and fantasy/macabre illustration. I try to challenge myself to grow as an artist."

"My inspirations are as diverse as my subjects, although if you knew me well, nothing I do would seem such a stretch. I grew up in a house surrounded by Asian artwork, collected by both my mother and grandmother. Summers were spent near the ocean or a mountain lake. My father introduced me to The Lord of the Rings, and Dune at an early age, which lead me to Star Trek. Fantasy novels were always my prefered escape, and throughout my life I have been fascinated by ancient history. What a strange melting pot, but perhaps not that uncommon. Nature, fantasy, fiction, and history, what a wonderful world for creativity and imagination."

She has a busy month ahead: Her Alberta Aviary series will be on display from November 15 to December 4 at the Bluerock Gallery in Black Diamond, Alberta. (Bluerock Gallery is also a fine stockist of UPPERCASE magazine.)

Then, she'll be showcasing her work at Red Deer's "All Things Pretty Market" on November 22 and 23rd. 

Prints, cards and zines are available on her Etsy shop.

Thank you to Erika Schulz for supporting the content in UPPERCASE issue 23 by purchasing a Calling Card ad. If you'd like to have your Calling Card appear on the blog, sidebar, social media and in print, please visit our advertising for the details.

Calling Card: Paper and Ink Arts

After reading the current issue, you're probably inspired to pick up a calligraphy pen! I'd like to suggest a visit to Paper and Ink Arts, one of the advertisers who supported the content creation of this issue by purchasing a Calling Card ad.

Even if you're a seasoned calligrapher, you'll always be in need of new ink, nibs and paper and it is great to have a reliable source for your favourite things.

In addition to calligraphy supplies, you'll also find general creative supplies like markers, paints, papers.. even adjustable craft tables! Thanks again to Jennifer of Paper and Ink Arts for her support of UPPERCASE magazine.

If you'd like to have your Calling Card appear on the blog, sidebar, social media and in print, they cost just $400. Select an image that best represents you, your product or service (squarish image 3 inches wide at 300dpi ), then click here to upload it and get your Calling Card ad designed by me and shared with the UPPERCASE community. You'll be supporting UPPERCASE content creation, boosting your profile, be immortalized in print and be serving the community with your creative offerings

The Great Canadian Scrapbooker Carnival

Katharina Doyle , co-founder and publisher of Canadian Scrapbooker is dressed to preside over the Carnival!

Katharina Doyle, co-founder and publisher of Canadian Scrapbooker is dressed to preside over the Carnival!

Letters always catch my eye... particularly here when they're glittered stickers.

Letters always catch my eye... particularly here when they're glittered stickers.

Jackie Ludlage , Canadian Scrapbooker co-founder and editor-in-chief strikes a pose with Katharina.

Jackie Ludlage, Canadian Scrapbooker co-founder and editor-in-chief strikes a pose with Katharina.

Crystal Reynolds , the art director of the magazine, is new to scrapbooking but has all the design experience. Here's a page in progress.

Crystal Reynolds, the art director of the magazine, is new to scrapbooking but has all the design experience. Here's a page in progress.

More type. What can I say? My eyes are always drawn to letters.

More type. What can I say? My eyes are always drawn to letters.

Carnival participants bring their own supplies to work on their books, but lots of vendors are close at hand to inspire ideas and tempt wallets.

Carnival participants bring their own supplies to work on their books, but lots of vendors are close at hand to inspire ideas and tempt wallets.

It's interesting to see surface pattern designs in the scrapbooking industry and see how those trends relate to quilt fabrics (a hobby that I'm more familiar with.)

It's interesting to see surface pattern designs in the scrapbooking industry and see how those trends relate to quilt fabrics (a hobby that I'm more familiar with.)

The Great Canadian Scrapbooker Carnival is organized by Canadian Scrapbooker magazine and runs through Saturday at 5pm.