brought to you in living colour by Quietfire Design
May 2006 - Issue 54


Gentle Thoughts





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Hi there, Artlings

Here it is! Drawn by my 12 year old son -
the winner of the

5th Anniversary Challenge!

Francie Davies from Sherwood Park Alberta! (The photo is her Dad in the Navy)

Thanks so much to everyone who sent in a post card! - I think most of you must have been out in your gardens! Everyone who sent in a submission will be receiving a little present in the mail!

Click here to enlarge each of the submissions for the draw!

Donna K





Mary Beth






Beth A.


If you know someone who would like to receive notice of byhand, just have them email me and I will put them on the list. Bye for now and thanks for visiting!
(250) 723-0321 Quietfire Design

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If you wish to contact me, my email address is:
Quietfire Design, Box 1231, Port Alberni, BC
V9Y 7M1  Canada


Some changes in the sign-up for the newsletter!

I now have a delivery service for the newsletter announcement - I could never tell if the emails were being delivered or if they were even going out of my computer! I don't think my server liked me sending out thousands of emails at once.....

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Books to Inspire

Rubber Stamped Jewelry
by Sharilyn Miller

I've had this book for quite a while, but find I can easily go back to it again and again for ideas!

This book tells you what tools you will need, basic wireworking instructions, how to use polymer clay as well as techniques for antiquing it and turning it into beads. Some very cool techniques using shrink plastic are shown. Throughout these technique pages, you'll get a lot of ideas for your own creations. The book doesn't go into soldering techniques, but the author recommends taking a basic stained glass workshop in your area should you want to make soldered glass charms.

The project gallery takes up more than half the book. One of the most fun things I learned was the use of vinyl tubing as beads!

There is something in here for all levels of abilities!

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In Association with

Quietfire 2006 Retreat

Westcoast Whisperings

Friday evening, Saturday and Sunday, July 21-23, 2006

Planning for this year's retreat are coming right along.

There is still some room in this year's retreat !

This year's project will be a book in a box, but not just any box. Read on......

We will be going on beach and forest walks to collect treasures to decorate a locally-made finely crafted cedar box. The same gentleman who creates my cedar book covers will create the boxes sized just for us. Not only will the box contain our collected treasures of twigs, shells, sea-glass and rocks, but it will also be home to a very special handbound leather journal!
In addition, on the Friday evening after the reception and registration, artist Nancy Quinn will be leading us in creating a little felted book which will be completed on Sunday (when it's dry!).

As last year, there will be a spa evening (at my house this year!) and maybe some artsy field trips! Each participant will receive a goody bag. I'll see what I can do about lining up some massages! The workshop and the accommodation are both at the Best Western Barclay which will make it really convenient and relaxing. There is a special conference room rate and you are responsible for booking your own accommodation Mention you're part of the Quietfire Retreat!

Continental Breakfast, all day coffee, tea and treats and lunches are included in the cost of the Retreat.
All class instruction and project materials are included in the price of the Retreat. There will be some supplies students will be required to bring.

To reserve your spot for this special weekend, the cost is $100 CAD which becomes nonrefundable after June 15, 2006. The balance of $120.00 is due at that time.

Please check with me for availability at the retreat before you book your room!

To register email

Here is a sample of the book in its basic form. You can do more decoration! This is a split strap binding. You will be copy transferring onto leather, copy transferring onto wood, decorating the text pages, setting copper rivets, just to name a few fun things. I'm collecting up ocean and seaside quotations - and bring yours to share, too!


Stolen Moments

The dangers of living with an artist....

We were chatting one day on the byhandartists group and somehow got onto this topic.... Do you see yourself here?? Prepare for a smile!

From Linda Tanaka:
when my dear Dad came down to spend a little time with DH said to him as soon as he was in the kitchen...."make yourself at home, but never ever eat anything from that fridge unless you are 100% sure it is food!!!" I have paste, and glair and various concoctions for bookbinding and artwork in there...That paste looks quite tasty until it gets mouldy....
from Donna Cerny
I need to remove that container of book paste, get rid of it, and cook up some new stuff. I try to put the paste in some sort of recycle-toss it container because it generally turns into a science experiment before I can finish it off!

from Joanne Ross
...woke up today with a headache, but I think it was from sniffing too much Podgy until the wee hours of the morning.

from me
If you're expecting company, don't leave the toothbrush you use for spattering paint and ink in plain sight!

more from Donna
Suzanne, I did one better than saving spoons for measuring dyes. Our first microwave oven was purchased to process dyeing wool for rug-hooking. "What's for dinner?" "One yard of off white wool with onion skins..." You had to be careful things didn't run dry because the wool would end up with the texture of a potato chip I'm told!


Fabric ATC! Made with the fusible stiff interfacing (now available in the byhand Products section)

Click here for directions and details!


Using Brilliance inks as resist!

I can't remember where I read about this or who I heard it from, but it's a very cool technique. For this card, I stamped on glossy cardstock using Brilliance Gold ink and the Dotted Harlequin background. Once that was dry, I smeared (ahem, Direct-to-Paper application) Memories Sand ink over the background stamp. I wiped away any excess ink with a kleenex. When that was dry, I inked up the Italic Letters with the Brilliance Coffee Bean pad and stamped the letters. (I also used Brilliance Coffee Bean for the clock face - Magenta) The final addition was the Alphabet Brads and Earthy Square buttons. The brad prongs with a little stretching will go through the holes in the buttons and through the cardstock. Cool, eh?

here is a close-up of the brads in the buttons.


check out this little flying heart - made with
Gold Bails and
Burgundy Puffy Hearts
held together with Mini Glue Dots

Using Masking Fluid to make white letters!

I believe I originally learned this technique from calligrapher Martin Jackson many years ago and if you've taken any of my weekly classes over the years then you have most likely tried this.

What is masking fluid? It's a rubbery fluid used by watercolour artists (and I'm sure others) to "mask" out areas in their painting they wish to remain white. It can be painted on with a brush (normally the brush is dipped in soap first, otherwise the masking fluid will never come out of the brush) and once dry it may be painted over with watercolours keeping the surface under the masking fluid untouched. When the watercolour is dry, the masking fluid can be removed by a rub with your finger or a "rubber cement pick-up". I always have my finger handy, so I use it!

You can letter with masking fluid. I use Winsor Newton (it's now available on this site).

Gather together your bottle of masking fluid, a small cup to pour into (okay, if you're really lazy then you can pour it into the lid, but it will get the threads on the cap gummy - ask me how I know this....) and a larger nib (I used a Mitchell Roundhand nib #0 without the reservoir). For this project I lettered on Arches 140 cold press watercolour paper.


Pour a small amount of masking fluid into the cup. Warning, this stuff has ammonia in it and it's rather stinky!
I dip my nib into the cup (not too deeply!) for this technique. The fluid clings nicely to the pen (this photo shows the underside of the nib where the reservoir usually sits on a Mitchell nib). Sometimes you need to wipe some masking fluid off the topside of the nib or you get thicks where your thins should be....

This was really difficult to photograph as there is not much colour in the masking fluid. A bit of practice with this technique always helps! You can see I have it on quite thickly in some places and less so in others. Yes, some of my thins filled in with too much masking fluid....

You can see my liner underneath, gee it'd be nice of that "d" followed the slope line. You get to see all the warts, don't you?

This will dry flat. Don't paint over it till the masking fluid is dry.

For painting, I used the wet-in-wet technique. I used a wide brush to apply water all over the surface of the watercolour paper. Instead of using watercolours for this project, I used Magic Colour Acrylic Inks. (This allows me the security of being able to letter over top of the colour after it has dried - watercolour is likely to get messed up) It's always a bit of a surprise to see what you will end up with!
I diluted the Magic Colors in a Rinky Dink (about 50:50 with water) and used a smaller brush to add in Process Cyan Magic Color
The second colour I added was Mars Red.

The third colour was Delta Violet which is a very strong colour and can easily overpower other colours. Tip your paper this way and that and allow the colours to run.

You can see the letters beginning to stand out. Allow this to dry

Once the paint is dry, you may start rubbing off the masking fluid. Then go ahead and add the rest of the lettering to the piece. I used a Mitchell #3 1/2 nib for the small lettering. Keep in mind this is pretty rough paper!

This month's Gentle Thoughts at the top of this page is the final product from this demonstration!
Have a blast experimenting and playing!


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Suzanne's Schedule

2006 Current Schedule

June 17 Victoria, BC The Altered Book Island Blue Print
June 18 Victoria, BC Coptic Bound Journal Island Blue Print
July 21-23 Port Alberni BC Quietfire Retreat  
August 26/27 Denman Island BC The Altered Book Denman Island Arts Centre
September 30 -
October 1
North Vancouver The Copper Book This is a private class, but if you're interested, please contact me, and I will send you in the right direction!
October tba tba Burnaby Community Ed.
November 18 Victoria, BC tba Island Blue Print
November 19 Victoria BC tba Island Blue Print


To see a complete list (more or less!) of the classes Suzanne teaches, click here!

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Blue ATC swap

Beth Ann continues to hostess a 3 for 3 swap of Artist's Trading Cards! Our recent challenges were Red, Orange and Yellow and Green (and you can see those ATC in the previous issues of byhand). Beth Ann says she is going to put us through the whole rainbow of colours!

Thanks Beth Ann for being a wonderful hostess - and thanks to everyone who played.

(ATCs are Artist's Trading Cards which measure 3 1/2" x 2 1/2")

Click on each on to see the larger version.

Anne A.

Anne A

Beth Ann

Donna K.


Donna C.


Jane H.

Jane S.



Judy B.

Kathy L.

Linda T.


Mary Beth








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Hand Mingle

Mary-Beth suggested we have a Hand Mingle.Well this was too much to resist for some of us that had some time on our hands! (so to speak....)
Many of us took the template from the Mirkwood site, but some of us used our own hands. This mingle was so much fun that Mary-Beth has convinced us that we must do a Hand Swap so that we can make a book of hands. Sounds like fun to me! Thanks Mary-Beth for organizing us!

Here are some of the hands from our mingle*, more next month! Give us a hand!
Click on each hand to see it larger.

Donna C.

Joanne R.

Linda T.

Linda T.



Nancy C.


other side


*A mingle is when you have a list of people in which you send one item to the next person on the list.



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The Sale continues!

The Scor-it Board

Don't miss out on this great opportunity! Click the link to read about it.


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What came in the mail!

Nadia sent me this very amazing envelope which included my Hand Mingle (see above for her hand mingle!)

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© 2006 Suzanne Cannon
This newsletter is for the personal use of the subscriber and may not be reproduced without written permission from Suzanne. You are welcome to email or print it in its entirety to share with friends, but ask that you include this copyright. Thank you for your help and your understanding.