Arts Day Festival in El Cerrito

Save the date! October is National Arts & Humanities Month, and to celebrate, the El Cerrito Arts & Culture Commission is sponsoring a free Arts Day Festival on Saturday October 17th from 1 pm to 5 pm at El Cerrito City Hall, 10890 San Pablo Ave. We’ve packed the day with a slew of fun indoor/outdoor activities for kids (of all ages) and adults.Arts Day 2015 poster

The final schedule is here!

“The Puppet Circus” shows at 2 pm & 4 pm;
Les Blank short films at 2 pm;
Poetry reading with Kirk Lumpkin at 4 pm;
Artist’s talk with Deb Danziger at 3:30 pm / “Beyond & Below” exhibit by Deb Danziger – all day;
Photography workshop with Dale Mead at 2:30 pm, repeated at 4 pm (bring your own camera or smartphone);
Popular light classical music (string trio) at 1:30 pm;
JCT Trio (chamber music) at 3 pm;
The Del Mars (surf music) – all day;
Up-cycling craft activity – all day;
Chalk art activity – all day;
El Cerrito Historical Society: History Room Open – all day

Who can resist a puppet show by the Puppet Company of Children’s Fairyland (2 to 2:30 pm & 4 to 4:30 pm), the chance to get down and make chalk art on the sidewalk, and croonin’ surf music by the Del Mars (1 to 1:30; 3:30 to 4; 4:30 to 5 pm).

And there’s more! Film shorts by Les Blank, a poetry reading by Kirk Lumpkin, street photography workshops, light classical music by string trio Florian Altvater,violin, Milda Martisius, viola, and  Andrew Ritchie, cello, and chamber music by the JCT Trio.

Painter, muralist and art teacher Deb Danziger will give an artist’s talk from 3:30 to 4 pm about her solo exhibition in the City Hall Gallery, entitled Beyond & Below.

Jellyfish in Eagle Nebula, Oil on Canvas, 36"x12", © Deb Danziger

Jellyfish in Eagle Nebula.  Oil on Canvas, 36″x 12″.  © Deb Danziger

Visit me all day at our creative reuse “Make ‘n Take” booth, where we’ll get crafty turning discarded or well-loved but no longer wanted fabric, books, ephemera and scads of other fun stuff into unique treasures. If you missed the ACC booth at the July 4th Festival, or if you came by and loved it, here’s another chance for you to make stickers, magnets, bookmarks, collage masterpieces, garlands, mail art, and much more. Also, free books while they last!

Creative ReUse crafting

Local arts and cultural groups with exhibits at the Festival will include El Cerrito’s Playland Not-At-The-Beach, The Arts & Culture Commission of Contra Costa County, the El Cerrito Historical Society, and the Shadi Holiday Display Committee.

All performances and activities are free, and there’s free parking across the street in the DMV lot. For sustenance while you’re enjoying the Festival, two excellent local companies will provide food for purchase. WhipOut! Food Truck has a great variety of American Food, and local gourmet bakery Encorecake will have their delicious cupcakes for snacking and dessert.

Want to get involved with or volunteer to help out at the Arts Day Festival? Or are you hosting an arts event, performance or exhibit in October in El Cerrito that you’d like to have included on the Arts Month web page? Other questions? Call Suzanne Iarla at 510-215-4318

Upcycling Arts and Crafts

A different kind of Fourth of July parade marched through the El Cerrito Arts & Culture Commission (ACC) booth at the City & worldOne Festival: fair-goers of all ages and types stepped into our booth and walked out with the wondrous artworks and crafts they created from the discarded fabric, sad old messed-up books, and donated ephemera I gathered at the El Cerrito Recycling Center Exchange Zone.

Creative ReUse crafting

Glue sticks swiped, scissors snipped, and our trusty li’l craft machine was busy laminating bookmarks and churning out magnets and stickers.

Creative ReUse crafting

Postcards, envelopes, stickers, magnets, bookmarks, and collage masterpieces transformed by endless imagination rose from what most people would label as junk. Creativity flowed.

Creative ReUse

Smiles and pride in making new treasures from old discards abounded.

Creative ReUse crafting

Some will be gifts.

Creative ReUse crafting

And some will be kept as treasures.

Creative ReUse crafting

Kathleen Glenn, the biggest booster of the arts in El Cerrito and owner of Glenn Custom Framing on Stockton Avenue, created a special bookmark.

Upcycled bookmark

Several generous people crafted postcards that the ACC will mail to Blue Star Moms, a group that puts the cards into care packages going to military service-members. These are some:

Upcycled postcards for Blue Star Moms

What materials are you using in your artwork and crafts that would otherwise go into landfill?
Click here to see last week’s blog post to advertise the event.

Creative ReUse Crafting on July 4th

Headed to the fantabulous City of El Cerrito & worldOne 4th of July Festival? You will not want to miss the El Cerrito Arts & Culture Commission booth on Pomona Avenue, where we’re gonna get seriously hands-on to make a slew of different mail art and other creative reuse projects. image

Using fabric, old discarded books, ephemera and other fun stuff I’ve gathered from the El Cerrito Recycling Center Exchange Zone, we’ll snip, tear, glue, tape, stamp, and collage to create stickers, magnets, bookmarks, collage masterpieces, and all sorts of unique mail art!

Upcycled map envelopes

I’ll show you how easy it is to make upcycled envelopes, postcards and greeting cards at home using old magazines, calendars, maps, fabric, etc.
Upcycled fabric postcard

You can make postcards to take home and keep, mail to a friend, or we’ll cover the postage to send them to Blue Star Moms, a group that puts the cards into care packages going to military service-members. We’ll also have the address so you can mail your postcards to sick children

Declare your independence from buying new art supplies – learn how to give new life to materials that would otherwise be sent to landfill or recycled! And beside saving you money, creative reuse is great for the environment!

BooksI hope to see you on the Fourth!

No Sew Fabric Postcards

I started making fabric postcards years ago because I didn’t have the sewing chops or time to make bed-sized quilts. Postcards are my way to make very small-scale art quilts with the added wonder that they’re mail-able! Click here to see my 2012 blog post about my fabric postcards. I had been collecting vintage postcards since I was a kid, and once I began to print my own photos and designs onto fabric it was a small hop to sew them into mixed-media fiber postcard form. Here’s an example, my self-portrait photo that I printed on cotton, then adorned with a bit of gauzy fabric and stitching around the design.

Fabric Postcard

Here’s another, my photo of an egret flying with random stitching around the design lines.

Egret soaring fabric postcard

For these fabric postcards I adhere the front to thick stabilizer and then add a backing. I designed this back by scanning the back of an old postcard in my collection, cleaning it up in Photoshop Elements, and adding my name and website.

Fabric postcard back

I print this back onto fabric and then sew the front/stabilizer/back together and edge the sandwich with a satin or zigzag stitch.

These mini-quilt postcards are so much fun to make – but I recently came up with a much quicker no-sew version. I use the same design for the back, but instead of printing onto fabric I print it onto paper cardstock. The front is fabric – I print a few of my postcard-sized designs onto a sheet of pre-treated cotton, then cut each out and run through my Xyron machine to back them with permanent adhesive.

Fabric postcards

You don’t have to use a Xyron, you can use glue or double-sided tape, or spray with adhesive. Then I bond them to the cardstock backs, using a bone folder to make sure they’re well-adhered so the edges won’t come apart during their trip through the mail.

Fabric postcards

I just checked with my local post office, and they said the normal postcard rate would apply: that’s .34 for delivery in the US and $1.15 internationally. Since the postcard rate in the US applies to cards up to 6 by 4.25 inches if you want to make them larger just use the current first-class letter rate, which is now .49.

Anna's hummingbird fabric postcard

Interested in learning how to make the mini-quilt type of fabric postcards? Click here to see a free preview of my online class on CraftArtEdu, “Fabulous Fabric Postcards.”

Want to learn how to print your own fabric? Click here to find out more my ebook, Inkjet Printing on Fabric.

Transfer This! Free Workshop at Flax Art

I’m beyond excited that Flax Art & Design, the fabulous art store in San Francisco, is having me put on a free workshop demonstrating my favorite products, Transfer Artist Paper (TAP) and Lutradur!

I’ve told you about both products in many blog posts (see my list below). TAP is my go-to heat transfer paper, the best I’ve ever used. TAP allows you to easily transfer crisp, colorfast and washable images to almost any surface with your household iron. You can inkjet print, paint, stamp, or draw images onto TAP for a variety of amazing effects.

Owl wooden box

Lutradur, which I’ve also written extensively about, is a spun-bonded polyester that combines the best qualities of fabric and paper. It’s a fantastic medium for mixed media as well as for artists looking to add a new level of texture to their work.

Lutradur butterfly hanging

I’m a demonstrator and teacher for C&T Publishing,makers of TAP and Lutradur. In this free 2-hour lecture/demo at Flax, I’ll show you the entire process – from creating an image on TAP to successfully transferring it to Lutradur. I’ll bring a wide variety of samples to show you the endless potential that these two products make possible, and to spark your creativity and imagination.

Lutradur and TAP butterfly window hanging

The free workshop is March 15th, from 1 to 3 pm. Space is limited, so sign up today to reserve your spot! Call Flax Art & Design at 415.552.2355, or click here to sign up online.

Want to know more?

Check out my book: Inkjet Printing on Lutradur.

CraftArtEdu class: Inkjet Printing on Lutradur.

CraftArtEdu class about using TAP and other heat transfers onto wood.

And here’s a list of my blog posts about Lutradur and TAP:

Egret in flight lutradur art quilt

Transfer artist paper on lutradur

Photos on wooden boxes

Evolon and Transfer Artist Paper

Transfer Artist Paper on cotton

Digital collage on art board

Image Transfer to Wood

More on lutradur, Digital Ground and TAP

Wingspread Mixed-Media Art Doll

Printing with Golden’s Digital Grounds on Lutradur

Butterfly Bliss mini-art hanging

Inkjet Printing on Fabric Workshop

Inkjet Printing on Fabric

Workshop taught by Heidi Rand

The Village Shops, 10330 San Pablo Ave.,  El Cerrito CA

Saturday January 18, 2014 — noon to 3:00 p.m.

$40 plus supplies

Inkjet printing on fabric: One-day workshop

Welcome to the exciting world of fabric printing!  Learn to print your artwork, images and designs on fabric using your home inkjet printer. This exciting craft opens the door to endless possibilities for creating original fabric to use in quilts, art pieces, gifts, home decor, and much more.

Fabric vases

Fabric vases

I take you step-by-step through the entire process, from preparing your files to print, to choosing the right fabric and getting it ready to go through the printer, to post-printing treatment, and much more.  I will discuss the importance of knowing what kinds of inks your printer uses, and give you tips to get fabric through even the most finicky printer.

Fabric cuff bracelet

Fabric cuff bracelet

With many examples of printed fabric and fabric artwork and crafts, you’ll get new ideas about what to do with your images and designs, and the knowledge to go home and start printing your own!

If you can’t make the workshop, I also have an ebook to teach you to print on fabric.

Pre-registration is required. If you have any questions or you’re interested in registering, please email me

My other scheduled workshops:

INTRODUCTION TO SELLING YOUR ARTWORK ONLINE : February 8, 2014, Noon to 3:00 pm, $60

Overview class designed to teach you about the many different options to market and sell your artwork and/or crafts on the internet.  You will learn the pros and cons of having your own website, selling through print-on-demand websites, selling your handmade work on Etsy or similar sites, using blogs and other social marketing tools, and much more.  This information will save you much time in doing the research on your own, and save you from wasting time and money on the wrong kind of venue for your situation. Handout included.

Sell Your Artwork & Crafts Online book

EXPLORING LUTRADUR : ONE-DAY WORKSHOP : April 5, 2014, Noon to 3 p.m., $40 plus materials

Learn how to create personal art with this exciting new product that combines the best qualities of fabric and paper.  Lutradur looks, feels and folds like translucent paper and doesn’t tear or fray. It’s the perfect medium for a wide variety of mixed media art, crafting, and sewing.  Each person will complete at least one project at the workshop.  Handout included.

Inkjet Printing on Lutradur Ebook

INKJET HEAT TRANSFER TECHNIQUES : May 24, 2014, Noon to 3:00 p.m., $40 plus materials

Learn to make creative and unique artwork, crafts and gifts using heat transfers and your inkjet printer.  We will explore several products and techniques to transfer images and text to a wide variety of surfaces.  Each person will work on two transfer projects at the workshop.  Handout included.

Click here to see a list of all of my workshops.

The Wild and Wonder of Bay Area Gardening, ACMG Seminar

Master Gardener 2013 poster

The 11th Annual Fall Seminar on Bay Area Gardening, “The Wild and Wonder of Bay Area Gardening,” sponsored by the University of California Alameda County Master Gardeners, will be held on Saturday, October 26, 2013 from 8:30 am to 3 pm at the Lake Merritt Garden Center, 666 Bellevue Ave., Oakland.

Anise swallowtail butterfly laying egg on fennel

My wonderful husband George McRae will speak at Session 3, from 1:30 to 3:00 pm, about “Creating Habitat for Wildlife.” He will show my photos and discuss how to attract and make a beautiful home for birds, bees, butterflies and other pollinators in your garden and your world.  Click here to see the schedule of classes.

Towhee eggs in nest

Towhee eggs in nest

The entire seminar covers the garden cycle from dream to harvest, with twelve workshops presented by outstanding garden experts.

Hummingbird at abutilon flower. UC Botanical Garden

You can choose 3 of the 90 minute workshops, one in each class period (a maximum of one Master Food Preserver class per attendee). The seminar includes morning refreshments, a book sale and lunchtime demonstrations.  Click here to sign up online. Some classes have limited enrollment, so for best choice sign up now.