Monday, December 24, 2012

Monday's Musings

Made with Drawing Pad on Keith's phone.  It's become a Sunday tradition.

Wishing all of you a delightful holiday season filled with joy, laughter and love, and wishing you a new year filled with rich possibility, good health, and an abundance of creativity.

Thank all of you for your kind messages of love and concern.  I'll be back to blogging next week, and hopefully I'll even have some new pages to show you.  I've been playing "catch up", but that's meant baking cookies, cleaning house, and most importantly, spending time with the family and friends that I love so much.

To those of you who celebrate - "MERRY CHRISTMAS", and as always................


Thursday, December 13, 2012

I'm Still Standing - Barely

Yah.  The latest in a string of unfortunate occurrences.  There has been no journaling.   No classes.  No catching up on blogs or email.  No shopping.  No baking cookies.  No fun.

In between restless snippets of pharmaceuticaly induced sleep, I contemplate my creativity and hear "evolve".  What that means, I'm not sure, but I hope you stick around for the journey.

I hope you're doing well, and I hope that whatever the holidays mean to you, your desires come to fruition.  Hugs and kisses.........


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Tuesday Tips and Techniques: Use Your Printer!

When we were on vacation in Missouri, Suzi and I had our afternoon at Hobby Lobby.  (Of course we did!) I was watching my pennies, after all, I still had lots of shopping opportunities awaiting me in California.

While we were at Hobby Lobby, I found a great 12" x 12" sheet of scrapbooking paper that was tiny, handwritten words.  I LOVED it, but I didn't want to pay almost $2.00 for it.  So..........I took out my fine point sharpy and wrote my own words directly into my art journal.

On one side of the book, I wrote down all of the "Momisms" I could think of, and on the other side of the book, I wrote down all of the things that I could think of that make me happy.

 I took digital photos of each page, and now I have them on my computer ready to print out at a moment's notice.  I can alter the tint, reduce or enlarge sections of them, and basically alter them in any way I choose. 

So take advantage of your printer and put it to good use!  You'll save time, effort and money, and you'll have papers that are uniquely your own!


Monday, November 19, 2012

Monday's Musings


to ME!!! 

I have always been one of those people who absolutely LOVE birthdays.  I have Mom to thank for that because she instilled the specialness of birthdays in me by example.  She always did everything in her power to make us feel extra special on our birthdays.  She would bake the cake of our choosing, and she would also prepare the birthday dinner of our choosing.  For me, the cake was always the same - chocolate cake with chocolate frosting.  My brother almost always requested spice cake with caramel frosting, and with his birthday being a week before mine, it was double yumminess!  My sister was not so predictable in her birthday cake selections.

Mom's gone now, and I'm happy with my 3 tiered, no-calorie, virtual, journal cake!  Birthdays hold an even more special meaning for me with each passing year.  It's a time for me to remember the too many friends that died before their 50th birthdays.  It's a time for me to feel grateful for another year with my friends and loved ones after surviving breast cancer.

So yes - I LOVE my birthday.  It reminds me of how special I was to my mother, and it reminds me of how much I have to be grateful for.  Today, I'll be having birthday  lunch at the new (and closer!) Mentor Melt with Keith (who has the whole week off from work!!!), Nick and Heather.  And Heather is making truffles for me - far better than any cake in my opinion (but what I wouldn't give to have Mom bake one for me...)  And that's today's musings.


Saturday, November 17, 2012

Weekend Journal

My big project this week was creating my winter project.  My winter project is the first installment of what is going to be my year-long project - a daily journal that will be four volumes grouped by season.  This is volume one, "Winter", which will include January, February and March.

Now that I know what I'm doing, I'm going to make a video tutorial of my next volume, "Spring".  Meanwhile, here are the stages of what I did to create this journal.  2013 is just a few short weeks away, so remember, it's not too early to prepare!

Remember all the papers I created?  Each page has been torn in half.  One stack was folded in half and used for the signatures in this journal.

Cardboard from my stash

Brown packing paper that the people at Amazon LOVE to use in their boxes.  I have quite a stash of this too!

Crumpled and smoothed flat again because I want lots of texture on this cover

Gel Medium applied to the cardboard and pressed onto the paper

Paper torn to size and more gel medium applied to fold the paper to the inside covers

I forgot to take photos of the binding!  I used a scrap of red polka dot fabric and sewed the signatures to the fabric using embroidery floss.
I applied gel medium to both the fabric and the spine of the journal and pressed the signatures in using jars to hold everything in place until it dried.  You can see some of the polka dot fabric between the signatures.  I left lots of space in this journal so that I have plenty of room to add tags and other 3 dimensional items and still have the book close properly.
I added more brown paper to the inside covers to hide the binding fabric

I added a layer of gesso to the outside cover and let it dry.  Afterwards, I mixed black and pearlescent blue craft paint together to get this nice, shimmery, metallic gray color as base color for both the outside and inside covers.

This nice paste paper that I made at Barb's is shimmery and wintery to me - perfect to give a finished look to the inside covers.

Now, on to decorating the cover!  I have no idea or vision in mind so I'm just going to go with the flow!

I think I need to add another layer of pearlescent blue.  I want this cover to be shimmery and sparkly like winter snow.

I'm thinking of bare tree branches against the cold, gray, winter skies, and a little white to brighten things up and suggest snow.

Hmmmm.....what about some snowflakes?  I discover that I don't know how to cut them out.  Google to the rescue!  Not too bad for my first attempts - especially considering their small size. (My journal cover measures 5" x 6")  I add some sparkle paint to the snowflakes (cut from copy paper scraps)

Once the snowflakes dry, I attach them to the cover with gel medium.  Once they dry, I add spatters of white "snow" with craft acrylic.

I then decide to add more branches and write "Winter" using black dimensional paint.  And of course, I decide that the entire cover needs a layer of the winter sparkle paint!

I'm still debating on how to finish the spine.  I'm thinking that I'll add fibers and dangling items at some point.  I'll keep you updated.


What can I say?  I can't get enough of making these Styrofoam stamps, and my journaling class is having fun with them as well.  I'm hoping to finally remember to take my camera to the next class so you can see what they're doing!

I test my stamps inside my journal, overlapping images and selecting different colors.  They make great background pages and I'm often able to "find" things in them as an added bonus.

I think these two "stamp test" pages are going to develop into some nice journal pages

And here's a completed journal spread.  As the holidays approach, I'm reminded that it's a sad time for many people.  If you're one of those people, try to remember:  "Just because you feel alone doesn't mean you are."


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Tuesday Tips and Techniques: Playing with Paper Three

Alcohol and Acrylics

This is one of my favorite techniques for making background papers.  Here's what you'll need:

  1. Card stock pre-painted with acrylic paint. (artist or craft acrylics will both work)
  2. 91% Isopropyl Alcohol (I bought mine at Walgreens)
  3. Craft acrylics
  4. Water
Paint your card stock (or other heavy paper) with craft or artist acrylics.  You can use a solid color but I prefer mixing the paint right on the page. ( Using metallic and glitter paint yield striking results!)  Let it dry.

Get your alcohol ready by pouring a small amount into the cap.  A cap full is plenty for one or two sheets of paper.

Set your alcohol nearby.  Now mix craft acrylic with water in an approximate 60% paint, 40% water mixture.  I use an egg carton.  Apply the paint to your page with a brush.  Work quickly because you don't want the paint to start drying.  If it seems like it's drying too fast, add another brush full of water.

While it's still glistening wet, begin dropping alcohol into the wet paint.  I do this using my index finger to flick the alcohol onto the page.  I also sometimes sprinkle the alcohol directly from the cap by tapping my finger on the cap.  Experiment with the application!

The alcohol reacts with the acrylic paint, and the paint spreads out away from the alcohol.  Here I've used a contrasting color for the top layer so there would be more contrast, but for more subtle texture, use similar colors.

You'll have a stack of yummy, textured paper in no time with this technique!


Monday, November 12, 2012

Monday's Musings

Some days, it's more important to make art in the kitchen!

Adas Polo (Persian rice & lentils, dates, raisins and chicken)


Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins with Pecan Streusel Topping


Saturday, November 10, 2012

Weekend Journal

I have lots of artsy goodness to share with you this weekend, so lets get started!  First, here are my finished canvases currently on display at the 33rd annual East Shore Invitational Art Show.

"Watch Over Me", mixed media/acrylic 24" x 18"

"Shaman's Tale", mixed media/acrylic 11" x 14"

"Hope and Faith", mixed media 12" x 12"

"Tree of Life", mixed media/acrylic 11" x 14"

"A Mother's Love", mixed media/acrylic 11" x 14"

"Inner Knowing", mixed media/acrylic 12" x 12"

It was good to work on canvases for a change.  I'll be completing more canvases in the coming months.


Another really fun thing I did in the last couple weeks was to make 10 inspiration cards to trade with April Cole.  If you haven't seen her blog, you need to check it out because you're going to LOVE it!   Here are the cards I made for April:

And here are the wonderful cards that I received from April.  I enjoyed this swap so much that I'm going to host a swap myself very soon, so stay tuned. Thanks very much, April!


It's been a while, but remember my travel journal?  I'm still continuing work on my pages for our California journey.  It's been slow going due to technical difficulties like my printer running out of ink, resizing photos, using a new laptop, etc., etc., but I've finally have the first few pages almost complete.

California Day One

I still have lots of little details to add to these pages - as well as the other pages in my journal.  I didn't realize how time consuming this would be, but I also didn't realize how rewarding the finished product would be!

I'm going to be showing lots of little details, because I know "The Californians" are eager to see these pages!  Hopefully you'll get some ideas for your own travel journals too, like this little add in booklet. 

This is one of my favorite details!  I wonder what's behind the door?

This little detail was well worth the effort.  It tickles me every single time I open the door!

 The blue mosaic wall at the Sawdust Festival opens to reveal photos I took of the cards that I bought there.  I met some fabulous artists there and saw some fantastic artwork too!

Business cards glued back-to-back make great tabs!  "Thai Bite" is on this side, and "Zona's" is on the other side.

I have photos of my steak breakfast and mimosa for the big empty spot.  My captions and other details must still be added.

We had so many great adventures on the California leg of our trip that I'm sure I'll be working on this journal all winter.  I hope you enjoy seeing it!


Well, in my mind it's official:  Autumn is over with and we're now in the state of limbo that I refer to as "pre-winter".  All of the beautiful leaves have mostly left the trees now, and it's mostly cold and gray now.

Our second puzzle of the season has been completed - an autumn scene as a last-ditch effort from me to hold on to the season. 

Not to worry, though.  There's beauty to behold every day if you're paying attention.  Enjoy the beauty in your day, and have a fabulous weekend!


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