ATC Update

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I’ve written about Artist Trading Cards (ATCs) in the past.  I belong to a group of people who meet once a month at the North Plains Library to exchange ATCs.  Each month we create on a theme.  Before exchanging our cards, we share what made us create the cards we did and any special techniques we tried.  It’s a lot of fun and there’s no judging.


Our next meeting is Thursday, September 15, at 6 pm.  Our theme this month is “Strong Women”.  You’re invited to come visit or participate.  If you’re making cards, bring one on the theme of “Fair”  to exchange with the Sherwood ATC group.


Another option is to find ATC creators online.  I recently joined ATCs For All —  You can look at other people’s ATCs and choose which groups you’d like to exchange with.



Fall-themed Art

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The last few days have had me thinking about fall.  I’ve never been much of a decorator for seasons or holidays but my friends and I have been intrigued by the idea of fairy houses for a bout a year.  Earlier this week , Janice, Rhonda, and I took action.

We bought Styrofoam pumpkins and then searched our stashes for items to use.  I found a rusty miniature fence I trimmed into a stairways; used a plastic frog for a door handle; Janice gave me halved walnuts for window boxes; and, the farm had lots of moss to dig up and branches dipping with moss.  Add a marble, miniature birds and nest, seedum, rocks, and dried lavender and it was done!

If I can remember to water it, my pumpkin can last through to Halloween.



Rhonda opted not to carve into hers   Now she can change the look for different seasons….


Fall Calendar of Classes

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Hi. I had a great summer playing in the workshop and getting to know many of you. Our fall schedule is now ready and descriptions for the different classes will be posted shortly. As always, you can register online or by contacting me via email. Contact me by email if you have questions.


This fall’s schedule is a little different than summer. Here are some updates:

1. I have no kid’s classes listed. Kids are still welcome to come on Wednesdays and I am also ready to do one on one classes and group classes as requested. If there is a specific genre of art your child would like to explore, I can usually accommodate that.

Here are some examples:

  • Bring a scout troop or den to work on a badge that involves art (or dutch oven cooking) … or…?
  • A kid’s party making ornaments and Christmas cards so that parents can hold an adult party at their home.
  • A birthday party tie dying shirts.
  • A field trip for a youth group or Sunday School class to explore Art Journaling.
  • A group of homeschoolers to build with clay, glaze, and fire in our kiln.
  • One on one session to work on a specific interest or skill — such as wood burning.

2. I have had a number of requests for adult “parties”/art sessions. This can be a lot of fun as friends and/or families play together. Let me know what you are interested in doing and we’ll plan it together.

3. Tuesday nights will be devoted to journaling.  You can come to one or come to all.  Cost is $5 per session.  Occasionally there may be a materials fee.  I will let you know in advance if that is the case.  We are going to start with Junque Journaling ala Julie Balzer.  I’ll post what we’ll be focusing on each week.

Open Studio is Wednesday from 10 am to 4 pm. You can bring your own project and come work with me (FREE) and come work on whatever I’m working on. I’ll announce the project and fee each week. OR, you can come and use my tools — die cut machine, embossing, stamps, stencils, tile saw, etc. — for $5 per hour.

4. We still have space open in the woodburning class, radical dimensions in art, and the mosaic mural class. These are taught by guest teachers. Go to the website to read more. They promise to be very engaging!

5. This fall I will be substitute teaching for Beaverton and Hillsboro School Districts on Mon, Tues, Thurs, and Fri — when needed. If I am not subbing on a given day, I may send out an email letting you know what I’m doing in the workshop in case you want to join me.

6. I am looking ahead to the winter schedule and am thinking of some December events — resin jewelry, mosaic frames, kid’s days (kids do art while parents go shopping…), ornaments, card making, shibori scarves and more. Please let me know if any of these sound good to you or if there is something else you’d like to see taught.

Looking forward to an art filled fall!


Denny’s Workshop at Helvetia Farms
12814 NW Bishop Road
Hillsboro, OR 97124

A place to learn, to create, to play, to make new friends, to purchase art and supplies.

Process and Experimentation

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My friend, Kierstan L. Betancourt is an incredible artist. If I lived near her, I would want to spend every day learning from and with her. Anyhow, Kierstan took a 30 day challenge with a painting. I think she had to add a layer to it every day for 30 days. Some days I loved what she had done and other days, well, not so much.

I didn’t see what Day 30 looked like but it was a reminder to me to just keep going. Regardless of whether I like how my project is turning out or not.

Every day I choose a project to work on in the workshop.  Today I worked on layering, adding more. It’s only a one day project but I’m trying to learn to layer, to add more, to experiment.

It all started when I noticed that the soap in the bathtub looked like a bird.


I couldn’t stop thinking about it so I cut a stencil of a bunch of birds similar to that bird. (If you haven’t cut your own stencils before, it is SO easy.  You use a stencil burner or multi-purpose burning tool.  Contact me for help.)


I took a piece of marbled paper that I wasn’t thrilled with and stenciled the birds in black. They were too abstract so I added orange, black, and a white dot for eyes. A bit better. I then drew around the birds. Now they popped out of the background.


Stenciled city streets in white over the entire page but decided I really only liked it on the birds, so I gessoed over it.


Then I put a poem about nature from a book from the 1800’s on it. In little pieces. I stamped tissue paper with a vintage bicyclist and glued it on. Nope. Painted over it.

Stenciled flowers in blue over the background. Stenciled a brown tree on using negative space. It was too subtle so I used a different tree stencil and versamark and then poured gold embossing powder on it and heated it up.



I like the effect. The birds are now hidden in the branches of the tree. Oddly enough, some of the stenciled flowers also had absorbed the powder and embossed too. Very interesting. I like it on a blue background.


Not sure what I’ll do with this but it was an interesting process.


I am currently working on my fall schedule.  It should be finished this weekend.  I haven’t had a ton of students since opening July 1 but I have had a ton of fun with those who have come. Remember, you don’t have to come for a class.  You can come do art with me one on one or during studio time.  You can also suggest new classes.

We have a couple of guest teachers coming in the near future and it is not too late to register:


Janale Petersen will teach wood burning on Saturday, Sept. 17.  I can’t wait to take this class myself.  Nearly every day, Janale is posting new pieces she has done.  They’re gorgeous.  We will be creating our own pieces on blue pine.

Radical Dimensions

Kelley Knickerbocker is teaching her innovative stacked glass technique in  “Radical Dimensions in Glass” October 1 and 2.  I’ve taken this class myself.  It will help you see your new projects with fresh eyes and a new technique.  Kelley is an outstanding teacher.


Christian Peres Gibaut will be leading the Mosaic Mural Workshop November 11-14.  This is an incredible opportunity to learn about the South American style of mosaicing, learn how to plan and execute a group mural project, and take part in creating one yourself.  This is definitely hands on and fun.  Christian comes to us from Argentina.  A rare opportunity!

For more information on or to register for any of these featured classes, contact me or click on the course listed on the home page.  Information is also available from the “featured” tab.

Week of August 21, 2016

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Today, six of us worked in the studio marbling.  It was all about experimentation — trying different kinds of paper from pages from a book printed in 1880 to water color to typing paper; playing with different paints — premixed acrylics, enamels, mixing our own enamels; paper coated with mordant and some without…  We had some, not quite failures, but unexpected results and some attempts we really liked.


After drying and ironing the paper, we made some cards, a keepsake multi-media piece, a tag with drawing, and more…

What does the rest of the week hold?

Tuesday: I’m in the studio all day.  I’ll probably be working on some Artist Trading Cards.  Stop by and check out the studio or do some art with me. In the evening, we’ll be making accordion books.

Wednesday: I’m in the studio all day. Bring your own project and let’s work together or come for Open Studio time and use my Cricut machine or embossing folders, stamps, stencils, gelli pads, and more.

Thursday: The Stepping Stone Class has been canceled.

Friday:  I’ll be  in all day.  Have a couple of friends who’d like to get together?  It’s not too late to schedule a workshop.  You can come up with the topic or I’ll help you.  Maybe you’d like to carve rubber stamps?  Make a mosaic?  Build with clay?  Or just scrapbook together?

Saturday:  6-9 pm is our Coloring Together time.  It’s free.  Bring your coloring book, a treat to share, or just yourself.  It’s a great time to relax, talk, laugh, enjoy the sunset.  Note: I have a selection of coloring books for sale if you need one.

NEWSFLASH! Saturday’s Wood Burning Class has been rescheduled to Sept. 17. We still have room for two more participants. Info on the class can be found on this website or by contacting me.

Two other courses that are coming up soon:

  1. Radical Dimensions in Glass by Kelley Knickerbocker.  Oct. 1 & 2.  REGISTER NOW!
  2. Mosaic Mural Class with Christian Peres Gibaut.  Nov. 11-14.




Week of August 14, 2016

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I’ve had so much fun this week…  Marbling paper and then learning to use my Cri-cut machine and mounting the die cuts on the marbled paper…. and catching up with friends from the past (sounds so much better than “old” friends….).  If you’ve never used one of these machines, drop by and try mine out.


I did a collage using the leftover negative of the die cut.


One of the things that really hit home for me this week occurred while marbling paper.  I was telling my friend how my benign essential tremor has impacted my art.  My hands shake when I take photos or try to do any work that requires fine motor skills.  My vision isn’t that great either.  So I try to accept my imperfect renderings  — process being more important than the end product and all.  In fact I choose to do art that not only allows but embraces my infirmities.  I deliberately make rectangles that are lopsided so that I don’t feel bad about trying to do a perfectly balanced rectangle and failing.

My friend dismissed my explanation, saying, “You never were a straight line kind of girl anyhow.”


Why should I try to be something I am not?

I decided that I need to remind me of that truth every day.


This week:

Tuesday night: Join me to make accordion books.

Wednesday, 10-4: Open Studio time.

Saturday: Exploring glass fusing.  This will be a very small class.  Contact me for more information.

As always, if you just want someone to do art with, bring your current project and come and work with me.  We’ll each do our own work but it is so encouraging to work alongside someone else.  It keeps me motivated and encouraged and brings new perspective to my work….

Hope to see you soon!




Mosaic Mural Workshop with Christian Gibaut!

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Mosaic Mural Workshop

Christian Pérès Gibaut


November 11-14, 2016

@ Denny’s Workshop, Hillsboro, OR

Much more than a mosaic class, a truly unforgettable event. In this workshop, students live a real mosaic mural process and a unique team working experience.

Especially focused for North American audiences, this workshop showcases and highlight the little-known South American mosaic world and introduce techniques that are not often used in the States.

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Students learn about all the questions they will have to solve when they face a mural project, such as: how to go from the concept to the design first, and from the design to mosaics then; the importance of the context; how to scale the design to the wall; materials availability; assembling a working team; budgeting; how to choose the right methods for any project; deadlines; among others. They are also introduced to specific cutting techniques to create beautiful and clean pieces saving material on the process. Students learn to work with direct and with double direct method for a mural. During  4 intensive days, students will receive a theoretical and practical instruction on a mosaic mural project from conception to completion. Students come to this workshop as individuals and exit it as a TEAM!


Instructor: Christian Pérès Gibaut —

For more information, contact Denny Nkemontoh at



Scrapbooking Retreat

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BOGO Scrapbook Retreat — Aug 13 — 1-9 pm — $30

Pay for one person and bring a friend FREE.
Work on your scrapbook in the beautiful Helvetia countryside. Use my embossing folders, stencils, stamps, and more. I’ll clean up the mess afterwards! Limited amount of paper and ephemera free with class. (Additional products available for purchase.)
Note: Cost includes snacks. light dinner (think soup and salad?) and beverages.
Register now!
 While this is not a Scrapbook Class, I will be happy to help anyone explore new methods of scrapbooking or use of new tools.  I used to sell Creative Memories and have myself completed approximately 30 scrapbooks!

Change in Woodworking Class Date

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CHANGE IN DATE OF CLASS! Sept. 17 Woodburning Class!


Janale Petersen’s wood carvings are very popular today. Read how she got started at I am excited to announce that Janale will be teaching a Creative Woodburning class at Denny’s Workshop on Saturday, September 17, from 1-4 pm. Cost is $50 plus $10 for materials. Bring your creative self and leave with a piece you have woodburned! Register now before all seats are taken.

$50 + $10 Material/supply fee


Week of August 1, 2016

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Tuesday, Aug. 2, 7-9 pm — Join me in art journaling using some of Elisa Burke’s methods.

Wednesday, Aug. 3, 10 am to noon Arts, Crafts, and Kids will be building with clay.

Wednesday, Aug. 3, 1 – 4 pmOpen Studio.  Come work in my studio and use some of my resources — stamps, stencils, die cuts, and more.

Friday, Aug. 5, 9 am – 4 pmGlass on Glass Mosaic.  This class will be taught by April Petersen.  Don’t miss it!  Register by 9 am Wednesday, Aug. 3, to take this class.

Note: More info on these classes is on website or contact me for more info at .

Don’t forget that you can propose topics and workshops to me or just come and play in my studio.  I’m having so much fun as people come by.

During the last week I’ve journaled, marbled paper, created pieces for the wall using the papers and resin, colored, stenciled, experimented with different kinds of paints, drawn on a shell, made Artist Trading Cards and more.  What would you like to do?