Sunday, July 3, 2016

Bookbinding/Journal Workshop

I'm almost settled into my Studio and Shop at "The Shops at Damascus Electric". All is going well.  I've been asked many times if I would teach a workshop. You asked and I listened - below is a description for a book/journal class in my Studio July 30, 2016.    Stop in to sign up or email me at  

Handcrafted Art Journal/Book
Workshop with Bette Brody (Bette’s Creations)
Time: 11AM – 4:00PM
Date: July 30th

Cost: Class $85 – (includes all supplies) Payable to Instructor (Cash, check or credit card)
Students:  Require a minimum of 4 students for holding class

In this class we will make a 5x7 art journal.  All aspects of the book will be discussed: covers, spine, end papers, and signatures..

Supplies provided:  all paper torn or cut to size, Book Board cut to size, Needles for sewing, Tyvek tape, Book Cloth for spine, waxed linen thread, beads, eyelets, decorative paper, bone folder, awl, gel medium, brushes

Sample journals  are at my Studio (The Shops at Damascus Electric) and you may also view some on my blog:

Optional Supplies student may bring:  Embellishments for the cover

Monday, May 16, 2016

Bette's Creations - Damascus, MD

Whew---Lots has been happening.  I now have an open studio, art gallery and shop in Damascus, MD called Bette's Creations.  I am located in "The Shops at Damascus Electric" 9890 Main St. There are eight vendors within the Shops offering a variety of goods and services.  The Shops have a facebook page which can be found at    Bette's Creations is also on Google Maps and facebook:  When in the area stop in, take a look and say hello.  My Grand Opening is Saturday May 21st 10-4

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Getting Back in the Driver's Seat

I envy those who are prolific writers.  Words come so easily to them.   I am not one of them.  In fact I have a very hard time “tooting my own horn” when it comes to me.  I can’t lay out for the world to see my most inner thoughts.  Hence the very long lapse in my blog posting. 
Retirement 2 ½ years ago has put me in a very happy place. So what’s new?  Well (I’ve been told never to start a sentence with the word “well”), I have been taking painting workshops with various artists and many online workshops.  The online workshops don’t seem to get done , other than watching the videos and taking it all in.  Absorbing it all like a sponge so when I do paint it all comes out in various ways without me thinking about it.  When I paint I can’t think about what is the correct way to go about it, or think about color choices because when I do I freeze.  I have to be free and not think.  I love making backgrounds.  It is the most freeing. It doesn’t matter what substrate I use.  I have to admit I do have a stack of what I call “unfinished pieces” just waiting for me to have a vision for the next step.  Eventually it comes to me.  When it doesn’t work out gesso is my friend.
Until recently my largest painting was a 16x20 – for me this was BIG.  Then I took a workshop with Annie Lockhart ( at Donna Downey Studios.  We painted with our fingers, so liberating, on 30x30 canvas.  Oh boy that huge blank canvas was a bit intimidating at first.  Annie made the whole process to be free, just my style.  I got into it so much I ended up with six canvases.  We were given two for the class.  I was on a roll and couldn’t stop.  I finished 4 of the six and have two by my easel waiting for the finishing touches.  Then I took another workhop with Donna Downey ( at her studio, “Paint Like an Artist”.  The canvas here was , yikes 36x36.  Again paint with your fingers and create a background.  Then step back and look at it and see what is inside there.  One of mine vaguely showed a bird and a face.  Not what I wanted to see but I went with the bird.  I call it “Bill’s Bird”, Donna’s hubby liked it so I named it after him.

I am also covering boxes, wood and cigar (inside and outside).  This has been fun and rewarding.  All are different sizes and shapes.  Most are covered with paper and embellished.  A few have been mixed media.

Then I switched to building my inventory of handcrafted journals.  I truly love making journals.  This is my first passion, then painting, then jewelry.  I seem to dabble in way too many artsy things.  I guess that’s a good thing.  Keeps me busy and happy. 

Before I forget I took a break and took a “Celestial Fusion” class with Jean Van Brederode ( ) at her studio “Charmed I’m Sure”.  Loved it and her studio is to die for.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Love at first Sight...Art

Have you ever fallen in love with a piece of art?  I did last year at Artomatic Frederick 2013.  Fascia (aka Connie Berlin) displayed a series of paintings (“Women in Dimension”).  I immediately fell in love with “Veranda Willow”.  I think the bold colors caught my eye at first.  I cannot recall how many times I went back to look at her.  I have thought of Veranda many times since then, but I did not have wall space to adequately display her until recently.

I revamped my dining room a couple of weeks ago.  I was in a quandary as to what art work I wanted to hang back up.  One evening it dawned on me ‘Veranda Willow” would be the perfect piece to hang.  All I needed to do was contact the artist to see if she was still available for sale and she was.  “Veranda Willow” is now in my dining room keeping a watchful eye over my doll collection.
This piece was one of Fascia's favorites and I'm sure it was hard to let her go. 

To see more of Fascia’s work go to

Veranda Willow by Fascia

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Artomatic Frederick 2013 - So far so Good

I am displaying my handcrafted journals/books and mixed media at Artomatic Frederick.  ( Artomatic opened its doors September 4th and runs through October 5th.  My artwork is on display in building 115 E Chruch St, Frederick, MD room 16.  There are 350 artists displaying artwork, it is well worth the trip to Frederick to view.  It may even take more than 1 trip to soak it all up.  There were over 3500 guests this past Friday and Saturday alone!  I have already had some sales, journals and mixed media.  So I can say I am a happy camper.  It is always a warm feeling when someone makes a purchase.  It took me a long time to let go of some of my artwork - I call them my "favorites".  Seems the favorites sell right away.  I can say I am in a happy place right now, being retired and have the ability to work on my art every day or not at all.  It is a very nice luxury. 

I have met and become friends with some new artists - it is always nice to make new connections in the world of art.

I am quite busy with several custom orders, 2 journals, 5 "girls" (  and 2 "Friends".   I also have students signed up for my "Paper Design" class and "Polymer Clay - Coptic binding" class.  All classes are taught at the Artway in New Market, MD.  (  Check it out!

Now back to my art. 

Until next time....

Monday, September 2, 2013

Day 6 & 7 - Glacier National Park - Montana

Day 6: Many Glacier
Up bright and early - cool morning - blue sky - few clouds - warm afternoon.  We were on our way by 8AM.  The drive to "Many Glacier" (east side of Glacier National Park) takes 2 to 3 hours depending on traffic and number of photo stops along the way. Since it was Saturday we did not have to stop for road work on the Road-to-the-Sun.  The first photo stop was for "Wild Goose Island".  This stop is always congested, but today we were early enough it wasn't a problem.  It is a definite photo moment - unfortunately pictures do not do justice.  The 2 pics below are from the early morning and late evening.
Photos along the way - prior to the Park entrance.  As usual the first stop you think "this is it", then a bit further up the road its "no this is it"  and on and on.

The Many Glacier area is known as the "American Alps".  The Many Glacier Hotel opened in 1915 and resembles a true chalet atmosphere for the décor and the alpine beauty surrounding it.  It is now a registered Historic Landmark.  The hotel has a large wrap-around lakeside balcony offering 180 degree views of Swiftcurrent Lake, surrounding rugged hillsides, three glaciers and incredible serrated peaks.  It is a great place to just sit in one of the many chairs and take in the scenery, which is what we did while having lunch. 

 Later we took a trip to Grinnell Lake, which consists of two wooden boat rides(the first on Swiftcurrent Lake) with a short hike from one boat (Chief Two Guns) to the next boat (Morning Eagle) which crosses Lake Josephine.  Then another 2 mile hike in the woods which includes crossing a suspension bridge to Lake Grinnell, with an optional short uphill climb to "Hidden Falls.

This is Swiftcurrent Lake and surrounding area.

Swiftcurrent Lake:
Hidden Falls: These butterflies are friendly - they land on you and visit for a while.  These were the only ones I saw in Montana.
Grinnell Lake:

Waiting for the boat for the return trip:

We stopped at "Two Sisters Café" for dinner.  The place was packed, excellent food and enough memorabilia, stickers, and a solitaire game on the table to keep you amused while waiting for dinner. I did not take a picture of the building, but it cannot be missed - it is painted purple and pink.

The ride back to Columbia Falls was uneventful and we were never in the right location to get a picture of a sunset.  The drive in the dark on the Road-to-the-Sun is a bit scary to say the least.

Day 7: Slow day - relax and enjoy the last day.  Went shopping in Whitefish for a bit and snapped a couple of pics - then hot tub and dinner.

Welcome to Whitefish:  This is ski resort area, has a beach, performing Arts Center, historic shopping area with lots of boutiques complete with an ACE Hardware.

These art mosaics were on the side of a building.  I thought they were quite unique.

Flower baskets in Montana:

Day 8: Home: Kalispell - Denver- Dulles - Damascus.  Very LONG day.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Day 5 – Glacier National Park

Day 5 – Glacier National Park

We were up bright and early to make our way to Polebridge, Bowman Lake and Kintla Lake.  The drive to the back door of the park is mostly on gravel roads.  By the end of the day the car was covered in dirt so much we had to stop and wash the windows, headlights and tail lights.   Polebridge is something else, consists of a small Mercantile with their own baked goods – really good!, The Northern Lights Saloon and a cute little outhouse with a window and air conditioning. 

On the way to our destination we stopped at the “Home Ranch Bottoms”, complete with internet and bar. 

From there we took a detour to "Red Meadow Lake" - supposedly moose were there - NOT.  It was a ride through the forest to the lake.  Once there the lake was calm and serene.  Quiet and peaceful.

Now on to Polebridge, Bowman Lake and Kintla Lake.  I wasn't sure what to expect at Polebridge but I was a bit surprised there were only a couple of buildings on the site.  The Northern Lights Saloon was recommended to us by locals for dinner.  It was quaint and layed back.  Turned out food there is excellent, but Friday night is Pizza and beer night with live entertainment.  After Bowman and Kinta Lakes we came back for pizza and beer.  I will say, the pizza was really good!
Polebridge is nestled between the Continental Divide and the Whitefish Range residing in the North Fork Valley.

Did I mention you do not want to run out of gas on this trek?  There was not one gas station once we left Columbia Falls until we returned.  Except, you could purchase gas in Polebridge for $6.50 a gallon.

Here's Brian having a beer and chatting with one of the locals while I perused the Mercantile and snapped photos.

Off to Bowman Lake (6 miles = 50 minutes).  The drive to Bowman Lake is a very slow, dusty, and bumpy ride on dirt roads, and passes through the tiny community of Polebridge and sections of the park that notably burned in 1988.   Gravel, narrow, winding, pot holes and rocks road not wide enough for 2 cars to pass at the same time. To say it was interesting when a truck pulling a camper was coming at you is an under statement.  Here is Bowman Lake.  The pictures do not do justice to the area.  The lake is surrounded by mountains, calm and a beautiful blue/green.  I failed to mention all of the lakes we have been to are crystal clear.  There are many strenuous trailheads one can take from this point.  We choose not to.  We still needed to get to Kintla Lake and back to Polebridge for pizza and beer.

Kintla Lake:  The clouds were rolling in, we heard thunder in the distance, rain was near  - so we did not stay long.  Kintla Lake is a lake in the northwestern portion of Glacier National Park in Montana. The lake is located in a rather remote portion of the park, close to the Canadian border (like 16 miles).

One way back to Columbia Falls we stopped to read the historic description on a log cabin.  Turns out there was a deer family grazing in the meadow and we didn't notice until we got out of the car.  They saw us but did not seem to care - at least the buck didn't.  I failed to snap the pic of the doe and fawn together.
Next.....  Many Glacier