Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Tuesday Tips and Techniques: Clean House!

OK. I know including the word "clean" in my post title will scare a good number of readers away, but let's face it - sooner or later, "clean" is a necessary evil in creativity.  We creative types are natural born hoarders who see the creative possibilities in nearly every item we look at, and more often than not, we welcome and embrace the item into our home to give it new life.  I don't know about you, but I have a terrible time getting rid of these treasures.  


Let's begin with those avalanching piles of crap, er, precious papers, postcards, and ephemera right next to your my work space.  Make sure to weed out everything that doesn't belong (oh - that's where the water bill went!)

Now, let's go through all those folders, bags, and other places you have your  I have my stash.  When's the last time you looked through all those magazine images, quotes, phrases and other items that you've torn from books and magazines?  If you're like me, you've had some of these images for a couple years or more.  Do they still speak to your creative muse?  Did you come across a page, flip it back and forth and wonder, "why did I save this?"  You've outgrown it.  Get rid of it and make room for new images that appeal to you!

OK.  On to the paint.  (Am I the only one that has little piles of art supplies everywhere?)  I have paints located in several different areas.  I have my "stock supply" (which is fairly neat and organized), and I have a bag of assorted paints in a tote bag.   When I run out of a color in my bag, I go to my stock supply to replenish.  

Now is a good time to assess your paint.  What colors are you running low on?  What colors might you add to your collection?  Do you have tubes with just a smidgen of paint left?  Put those aside and use those up first when you begin prepping more background pages.

It's also a good time to remove those items that don't belong to the paint family!  (Anyone know of a Stevia technique?) You may also want to look through your mediums, pens, brushes, etc.  Make a list of the things that need to be replenished.  It's not too late to ask Santa for some help!


If you haven't guessed by now, this post is selfishly more for me than you today.  Cleaning is a breeze, but when it comes to my 100 list of strong points, organization comes in at around 637.  Seriously - when it comes to organizing my materials the word that comes to mind is "overwhelming".

I'm determined to start my 2012 year of journaling in an organized fashion.  My main dilemma is categorizing paper.  Do I group by color or subject?  Do I group by genre, ie., Asian, texture, primary, seasons?  It makes my head spin!

I'm working on this today and it occurs to me that I'm over-thinking the entire process.  So here's what I'm going to do until I hear from you.  I'm going to sort all of my paper by color.  Then I will sort each color into 4 categories: 1.People (faces/body parts)  2. Nature (plant life, animals)  3. Things (inanimate objects)  4. Textures.  

That will at least put some organization into the paper for now.  I'm already thinking that I will make "Asian" a category as I already have plans for an Asian inspired journal in the new year.  

I WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!  Please let me know what has worked for you when organizing your materials.  I'm especially interested in organizing the paper, but please do feel free to leave a comment on any helpful solutions you've found!


Do you still have a couple projects that need some finishing touches?  Now is the time to complete those journals so that you can begin fresh in the new year.

Think of how wonderful it will feel to have your 2011 projects completed and tucked away for safe keeping as you move forward into new adventures in 2012.  When January arrives, all you'll have left to do is "Celebrate, LOVE, and Create!"

Monday, November 28, 2011

Monday's Mandala

Number 6 in the series of 24

For those of you who may have missed the beginning, this is a page in the Mandala Journal that I made earlier in the year.  Go HERE to see the 1st post on making the book.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Weekend Journal

Feeding The Well

As your body needs nourishment to function, so does your creative spirit.  Nourishment for your creative muse is in abundance everywhere, and more often than not, it is free for the taking.

It doesn't cost anything but a little time (and the price of your favorite hot beverage) to go to your local bookstore and flip through your favorite artsy magazines.  Looking at the way other creatives use their materials often sparks new ideas in your own creative muse.


Even an afternoon stroll is manna for the creative muse.  Capturing photo images of things that spark your imagination is a great way to both "feed the well" and document your journey.  

Mother nature is a great abstract artist.  Looking through the lens is a great way to focus on one area at a time.

Don't forget to look up!  You might see a great crackle effect in a beautiful blue sky.

When is the last time you really paid attention to the different colors and textures of tree bark?  Don't you think trees are amazing?  Don't forget to use these types of images on your journal pages.  You can print them "as is", or how about manipulating them in your favorite picture program.  I've taken these same four images and made copies of each.  Afterwards, I easily transformed each image by adjusting the color tint and/or saturation, and by altering the contrast and brightness.  

Altering your images provides limitless possibilities for hours of art journaling fun!


Just as your body needs rest, so does your creative muse.  Take a break from the paints and markers.  Get out of the house and really embrace the beauty surrounding you.  That includes the beauty of the friends and loved ones eagerly looking forward to spending some time with you, whether it be a a quiet walk on a sunny day or chowing down on pizza in front a bad movie!

Take time for quiet moments.  Enjoy the splendor of "the little things".  Slow down and just enjoy the moment of NOW.  Your creative muse will thank you.  Your spirit will thank you.

Life is but a brief moment, my dear friends.  Embrace every breath with gratitude and opportunity as you continue on your journey to "Celebrate, LOVE, and Create!"  Enjoy the rest of the holiday weekend, and I'll see you again on Monday.


Photo by Keith Thompson

Keith captured this lovely image of the sun behind the trees as we were sitting across from the falls in the above images.  It was not as dark as it appears to be. Let me interject here, that after the hike down and back up the steep path to the falls, I have officially declared myself OUT OF SHAPE! 

Photo by Keith Thompson

While I was snapping photos of bark, someone was snapping photos of me!  

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Giving Thanks

On this national day set aside for gathering with loved ones far and near, let us all give thanks for the many blessings in our lives.  I hope that each and every one of you is able to spend Thanksgiving in the way that your heart desires, and let us all strive to keep the spirit of thankfulness and gratitude each and every day.

I offer all of you my sincere and heartfelt gratitude for your kind words, support and friendships that I've made here on my blog.  Have a safe and joyous holiday weekend.  Celebrate, LOVE, and Create some wonderful memories with those who surround you.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Tuesday Tips and Techniques: Experiment with Shaving Cream!

I was feeling in an experimental mood last week and tried various ways of creating paper.  The first thing I did was pull out my old blender and make my own paper.  It wasn't a major fail, but it wasn't pretty either.  I'll save that for another post.

I started thinking about all those years ago when I taught preschool, and I suddenly remembered playing with paint and shaving cream.  So I bought a can of shaving cream on my next shopping excursion and at the first opportunity, I pulled out the supplies for decorating some paper.

I needed a base on which to place my shaving cream.  I didn't have any plexiglass laying around so I came up with an experimental alternative.  I have plenty of cardboard scrap, so I decided to coat one side with Mod Podge and let it dry.  (Mod Podge to the rescue again!)  I had no idea how it would work, but it worked out quite well.  In fact, I'll be able to use it for the same application again.

My first attempt was with left over acrylic paint from a project I had just completed - Monday's Mandala.  I used a wooden skewer to manipulate the paint into the shaving cream.  The colors were pretty but just a little too subdued for this self-proclaimed "queen of color".

I swirled the remaining acrylic paint into the shaving cream and added drops of red and yellow food coloring.  NOW I was getting somewhere!  Look at the brilliant color - yum!

Once again, I mixed the remaining food color back into the shaving cream.  This time I added a few drops of  blue color to the mix.

It's so lovely just like that!  I hated to put paper on top of it, but hey, that's kind of the whole point.

At this point, I apparently forgot to take any more photos.  That's a great testimony to just how much fun I was having.  It was really more fun than an adult should be allowed to have!

Here are the completed papers, dried and ready to be used in my art journals.  I think they turned out great. I started out scraping off the shaving cream mixture, but after just a couple times, I began rinsing the shaving cream off of the paper under cold running water.  It worked great!  I used paper from my Canson Mixed Media Pad this time, but next time I think I'll use water color paper and see how that turns out.

I hope this inspires you to experiment with things you might not have tried before.  There's always something new to add to your repertoire as you "Celebrate, LOVE, and Create!"


As promised, the drawing for the winner of my Birthday Giveaway was last night.  First, all 33 entries into the Goddess bowl....

All mixed up and ready for Husband Extraordinaire to reach in and pull out the name of the lucky recipient...

And the winner is............................................................................................

Jolene, from the Pieces of Me blog.  Take a look at Jolene's colorful blog - it's wonderful.  Congratulations, Jolene!  Contact me via email to collect your prize.  Here's what you've won:

My mixed media painting, "Sugar Skull I"  from this year's "The Skull & Skeleton in Art: Folk Art to Pop Culture" show at The Gallery at Lakeland in Kirtland, Ohio.

I want to thank each and every one of you for taking the time to participate and to comment on my posts last week.  I'm slowly making my way to each of you.  Your comments are always greatly appreciated.  I read each and every one!


I ordered a Creme Brulle Frappuccino expecting a nice, toasty warm drink.  I now know that frappuccino means iced cappuccino. Lesson learned.  It was tasty none the less!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Last Day

Well, my birthday week is drawing to a close, and so is my Birthday Giveaway!  What?  You don't know what I'm talking about?  I'm having a Birthday Giveaway and today is the last day to enter.  Keith will be drawing the name of the lucky winner tomorrow night.  Go HERE for details on how to enter by MIDNIGHT TONIGHT (EST)  The winner will be announced in the Tuesday Tips and Techniques post.

The yummy spice cake with cream cheese frosting that Keith made for my birthday

I had an AWESOME Birthday week, and I thank each and everyone of you who make Angelia's Art Journals a regular stop on your creative journey.  Thanks also for your participation in the giveaway and for your wonderful comments!

What am I doing now?  The Birthday Princess is on her way off the computer and on to making some great art!

Whatever your Sunday involves, I hope you're having a great time as you "Celebrate, LOVE, and Create!"

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Weekend Journal - Birthday Edition

Today's the big day - yep, it's my birthday!  If you haven't already guessed, I'm a fanatic about my birthday and birthdays in general.  I've given it considerable thought this morning, wondering why my birthday is so important to me, and I realize there are many reasons.

We didn't have a lot, but Mom always made each of her three children always feel special and loved - especially on their birthday!

My parents were both from Tennessee and moved here to Ohio, so all of my extended family were far away.  We would always have a special birthday dinner, and as we got older, we were always allowed to choose what we wanted for dinner and what kind of cake we wanted.

I remember my birthdays as being joyous occasions, and I carred those traditions on to our sons and my hubby, because their birthdays are special to me too.  After all, it's really quite a miracle that we come into this world.

I received a birthday postcard from my dentist's office, and I really like the message it contained: "Birthdays are special occasions.  As children, we look forward to a birthday with anticipation and excitement.  As adults, a birthday often is a time for reflection and renewal."  That's how I look at my birthday.  January 1st isn't the real New Year for me - my birthday is the New Year.

Photo by Keith Thompson

My birthday is a time of reflection and looking forward, and I always take time to remember my dear friends and loved ones whose young lives were cut short by illness - many of them not making it to my age.  I think of them often and miss them dearly.  Every day is truly a blessing, and when my birthday comes around, I make a mental note of gratitude that I am still here and able to enjoy the opportunity of each new day.

So.....that's part of why I'm such a birthday fanatic. Life is short, my dear friends.  Get out there and "Celebrate, LOVE, and Create!"

Scroll down to the "Tuesday Tips and Techniques" post from Nov. 15th to read the details!

SPECIAL NOTE:  A big thank you to my hubby, Keith, for making this one of the best birthdays ever! I especially like the goofy, "Happy Birthday Princess" video that he posted to my Facebook page and that I included in today's music list. Love you, Babe!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Thursday Art Journaling Class Part Two

We had a lot of fun yesterday - as always!  The project I chose was actually inspired by watching Bravo's "Work of Art".  I decided that I would provide the same images to everyone and just tell them to "create a journal spread using these images as you choose."

I selected these images of bags of grain and a brick wall.  I was anxious to see how everyone would incorporate these images into their pages, and I was not disappointed!  No one was able to finish their spread during class, but they each got a good start and direction of where they wanted to go with their pages.

Everyone seemed to enjoy this assignment.  I have to say it's the most quiet our group has been in a long time!  Everybody was "in the zone" of creativity.

I've trained my students well.  Here are paint stained paper towels drying by the sink, waiting for their owners to collect them at the end of class.

I hope you've enjoyed this sneak peak into my Thursday morning Art Journaling class as much as I've enjoyed showing it to you.  Enjoy your weekend and as always, take time to "Celebrate, LOVE, and Create!"


Don't forget to leave a comment to be entered into my BIRTHDAY GIVEAWAY!  To see more details on this giveaway, please scroll down to the "Tuesday Tips and Techniques" post from November 15th.  

I was gifted with these General Pastel Chalk Pencils last night.  I've never tried them before and I have to say I like them a LOT!  I don't know how Keith managed to select items that I don't have, but he did!


A stormy, Thursday evening sky foretells of the first covering of snow on our deck and cars.  It was just enough to sweep off and remind us that winter is just a few days away.
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