Friday, January 30, 2015

Documented Life Project - Week Four

January Theme
The Blank Page and How to Face It!

January 24

Art Challenge: Writing

Journal Prompt: Words with Friends

This week's journal challenge stumped me quite a bit.  I had dozens of ideas in my head but I never could get anything started.  So yesterday, my Amazon order came in containing the amazing "Love Post" stencil by The Crafter's Workshop.  I'm so glad I ordered it because I adore this stencil!

I started by brayering a thin layer of gesso over my pages.  Once that was dry I scribbled Gelatos over the page and blended them with a wet baby wipe.

I got so involved that I forgot to take pictures!  Needless to say, I really didn't like how the gelatos blended, so I brayered some Dina Wakley Media Heavy Body Acrylics in Lime and Turquoise over and around the background.  Some Liquitex Basics Prism Violet around the edges and the 12x12 Harlequin Crafter's Workshop stencil with Titanium white covered my "mistake" nicely.  I then brayered some more turquoise over the pages.  Mind you, I loved where this was headed.  Add in the Love Post stencil and I was headed somewhere that was making me very happy!

And then......

I didn't take pictures during my "argh I screwed this whole page up" moment because I was too busy trying to fix it.

However, I am happy with the end result!

Let's just say that there was a lot of gesso and a whole lot of layers involved in trying to fix what I had broken!


Stencils - The Crafter's Workshop 12x12 Love Post, 12x12 Harlequin, 6x6 Mini Harlequin
Stamps - Inkadinkado Circles and Dots
Liquitex Basics - Titanium White, Mars Black, Cadmium Red Medium Hue, Prism Violet, Gesso
Dina Wakley Media Heavy Body Acrylic - Turquoise, Blackberry Violet, Lime
Faber-Castell Gelatos - Cotton Candy, Blueberry, Lime, Green Tea
Sharpie - Purple
Ebony Pencil
Charcoal Stick
Uni-Ball Signo Broad Point White Gel Pen

For me, this is really a rather limited supply list!

I hope your DLP Week 4 went better than mine!

Happy Creating y'all.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Thirty Days hath September, April, June, and November - Artist Trading Cards

Can you tell what this swap is all about?

Are you starting to get a clue?

 You guessed it!

It's all about Months!!!

I finally got to use my "Time to Flourish" Graphic 45 papers that I won from their Instagram giveaway a few months ago.  These papers are beautiful and were perfect for this swap!


Distress Paints
Graphic 45 Papers
Distress Inks
Bubble Wrap
Elmer's Craft Bond Glue Stick
Month Stamps - can't remember the brand
Prismacolor Colored Pencils Set of 12

These were super easy cards to make.  The difficult part was deciding where to tear & cut the papers!  I blended Distress Inks in coordinating colors to the paper on the ATC base and then collaged the papers.  I added dots of distress paint with bubble wrap and collaged sayings from the back side of those beautiful papers.

I stamped each month onto a piece of mixed media paper, cut it out and glued to my cards.  I didn't have my inktense pencils with me (and wish I'd used those instead), but I lightly scribbled in a coordinating color so they month's name wasn't stark white.

After they dried, I called them done!  They're very busy but they are so pretty that I just adore them!  I sure hope everyone in the swap likes them too!

That's all I've got for today y'all!
Happy Creating!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Documented Life 2015 - Helping a Friend

Today I'm sharing another Documented Life Project art journal cover.  This one I did for a friend as an art lesson.

I have a wonderful local friend who is very crafty.  She can decorate a cake like no one's business!  She also makes ATCs and does all sorts of other artsy things.  We got together with Elizabeth a couple of weeks back and she was not happy about her DLP journal cover.  She'd tried to paint it and had done a great job but she wasn't happy.  She asked me for help.  How could I refuse?

I took the opportunity to give them both a little "art lesson" on how I painted my own journal.  It was so funny because Elizabeth sat there watching me and suddenly blurted out, "Oh that's easy!  I can do that!"  It is easy and she could and she proceeded to make a stunningly beautiful cover for her own journal.

Our other friend is still a little timid when it comes to mixed media projects but I know she has great potential if she will just let herself dive into it!

I used a variety of acrylic paints, stamps, stencils, paint pens, and even charcoal to brighten this journal.  I used only my fingers, a brayer, and a spouncer for tools.  I got messy, had fun, and had them both cracking up - how I ended up with paint up to my elbows is anyone's guess!

I hope my friend will smile and know how much I love her every time she picks it up.

Until next time, happy creating y'all!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Documented Life Project - Week Three

January Theme
The Blank Page and How to Face It!

January 17

Art Challenge: The Color Wheel

Journal Prompt: "I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn't say in other way..."
-Georgia O'Keefe

This week's journal prompt was The Color Wheel.  I knew I'd gotten a new Crafter's Workshop stencil (Rosetta) that I really wanted an excuse to use, so I decided to interpret this challenge literally.  I must say, this is the absolutely most beautiful color wheel I have ever made!

I wanted to continue using black somehow in this spread and I have always heard that colors look amazing and really pop over a black background.  I will admit, I don't own black gesso and I've always been a little intimidated by starting with a black background.

Now I could have tinted my gesso black, but instead I used my trusty brayer (y'all have no idea how much use that little ol' brayer gets!) and black acrylic.  I brayered it really really well so that it was thin and flat - I wanted to make sure it wouldn't be tacky and make my pages stick together.

I then put my stencil down and took a sponge pouncer and began making my color wheel!

Look how pretty the stencil is!  I'm not a stickler for washing my stencils, and I definitely don't want to wash this one.  At least, not yet!

I used a combination of Liquitex Basics & Dina Wakley Media Heavy Body Acrylics for my colors - I wanted to use Dina's paints because I wanted some really bright colors.

Here's my paint list:
Dina Wakley Media - Tangerine, Lemon, Lime, & Blackberry Violet
Liquitex Basics - Light Green Permanent, Phthalo Green, Primary Blue, & Cadmium Red Medium Hue

The paints blended really well together and gave me the colors I was looking for!

I really liked the black lines of the stencil and had every intention of keeping them, but my stencil had wiggled a little bit and I had some bleeding.  I'd picked up a Faber-Castell Stampers Big Brush Marker in White on my last trip to Hobby Lobby and I wanted to try it out and see just how opaque it really is.  It is fabulous!!  I went over all my lines with this marker - which is India Ink and waterproof when dry!

As a way to fill in those big blank black spaces on either side of my color wheel, I used another Crafter's Workshop Stencil - Tile Texture and some Golden Fiber Paste to add some texture.  I also used my favorite Turquoise (Dina Wakley Media) and Magenta (Dina Wakley Media) to frame my pages - I used a smaller sponge to add circles with the opposite color on each page.

I added my quote in yellow with a Sharpie Paint Marker and I thought I was finished!

I actually took pictures and was getting ready to upload to my computer when I picked up my white Gelly Roll pen and started doodling.  The doodles really "finished" the whole page and filled in open black spaces!

I know it's only three weeks into the new year, but it feels like it's been much longer.  I'm really proud of myself and the art I've been creating.  I'm trying my best to push my boundaries as an artist and I think I've done a pretty good job so far!  I will definitely be picking up a jar of black gesso soon and working color on black more often.  My experience was definitely a good one and one that I can't wait to repeat!

Happy Creating y'all!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Being an Artist on the Go

Good morning y'all!

I get a lot of art done while I'm at work.  Work being that place that gives me money to buy more art supplies (and other necessities like food and stuff, but mostly art supplies).  I don't believe I've ever mentioned where I work or what I do.

I am a dispatcher for Campus Security at a local private college in Mississippi.  As such, my job consists of watching endless cameras, taking mostly pointless phone calls (there are a lot of stupid people who both attend and work at a college), fussing at students about why I won't let them take 40 different ID photos and then pick the best one, and sending my officers to open this door or that.  I am very grateful that nothing major happens on my campus very often.  It's really nice.  My husband is a 911 Dispatcher for the local police department and he has a much more exciting job than mine.

That being said, while I don't have a lot of "free time" per say, my hands are often quite idle.  I have a huge bank of monitors in which I watch a whole lot of cameras, but that doesn't require me to push any buttons.  So with my idle hands, I create art to keep them busy.  ATCs are perfect for working on at work because they're small and usually not all that messy.  I don't often sling paint everywhere when I'm working on something that tiny - the bigger the size.... the more mess I seem to make.

So what do I carry to work on, what supplies, and how do I tote it all around?

When I started bringing more than just a sketchbook and a few pencils/watercolor set (that would fit in my usual over sized purse), I used decorative trunks of various sizes (ranging from very small suitcase to a little larger) I found at Michael's.  These are very sturdy trunks and they hold a ton of stuff.  During the summer when there were few students around I would bring 5-7 trunks!  I literally looked like I was moving in - but I'd just started making ATCs and I didn't know what supplies I might need.  As the year progressed I have minimized my supplied to one small trunk which holds my distress inks, paints, stains, and all my dylusions, tattered angels, and distress sprays (which I don't always bring with me) and one bag.

I saw this bag on the Gelli Arts blog (you can find the exact post here) and decided to pick one up for myself (since I wasn't lucky enough to win their amazing give-a-way).

It is a 15" Canvas Riggers bag from Harbor Freight.  Designed to haul tools around, this bag is well made, sturdy as all get out, and the perfect size for toting art supplies!

I have managed to slim line my travel supplies into just about only what I need for a project (or 2) that I am currently working on - a particular set of ATCs and/or a journal.

Here's my bag - sometimes it's a whole lot fuller than this, but I try to keep it as minimal as I possibly can.

Nearly every pocket is full and of course it is full to the top as well.  But look at all those goodies stashed in there!

I haven't taken the time yet to decorate my bag.  I have been too busy using it to worry about decorating!

I'm sure y'all can tell what some of the things are just by looking, but I've pulled everything out of the bag so you can see what all I've stuffed in there.

In the main body of the bag I carry:

A small box which contains ATCs I'm working on
My handmade art journal
The pink box with the latch is my "Zentangle Kit" - that's a different post all together - but I keep my Micron & Pitt Pens as well as pencils, erasers, etc. in there.
Another canvas pouch full of pens, Sharpies, more white pens, my souffle pens, an x-acto knife, etc.
A non-stick craft mat (because my boss would kill me if I got paint on the computers!)
A Heat Gun
Random Stamp set - that one is the January 2015 Layers of Life Kit by Unity Stamp Co - I plan on using it in my art journal
Koi Watercolor Field Set - I always have this watercolor set with me - it has 24 colors and comes with a fantastic water brush.  That way I always have some way of coloring something.  And I have been known to break it out and paint on paper tablecloths at restaurants!!

 In the pockets of my bag I carry:

Various paint brushes & palette knives
A couple of sponge daubers
Black & white paint pens
Stamp Blocks - 3 sizes
Another random stamp or 2
Sharp Scissors
A Water Mister
Black & White acrylic paint
Molding Paste - 2 tubes... I actually thought 1 was Fiber Paste - will need to change that!
Large Ranger Archival Ink Pad in Jet Black
Elmers Craft Bond Glue stick - the best little glue stick I've found yet
Color Box pigment ink pads in Frost White & Black
and my set of Neocolor II Watercolor Crayons

Like I said, this is kind of a "light" load for me, but I really only have the one set of ATCs which are very simple in materials and my journal.  Often there is a lot more.  I am so impressed with this bag though - it holds so many things and I keep stuffing it fuller and fuller!  The only drawback is the straps aren't long enough to put over your shoulder... otherwise it is fantastic.

That's all I can think of for today y'all.  See ya next time!
Happy creating!!

Monday, January 19, 2015

It's a Circus Out There - Artist Trading Cards

Another fun ATC Swap hosted by the one and only Elizabeth.  I'm so glad Instagram brought us together!

This is for her new Monthly ATC Club.  I know, I know!  Every time she mentions it I always tease her about it being the "HeMan Woman Hater's Club".  And I swear she is Spanky.  Which I guess makes me Alfalfa.  I'm not sure how I feel about that!!!

The Theme for January is "Circus".

Circus....hmmmm I searched the internet for Circus stamps and really wasn't over the moon about any I found.  While searching a sale at Unity Stamp Co (one of my absolute favorite stamp companies ever!!  and I swear they don't pay me.  But maybe they should.  hint hint!)  I came across this little guy.  It's called "and Then There Was a Boy" by Suzi Blu.  There was something about him that just screamed "Ring Master" to me.  I was so happy when my package came, although he is way too tall for an ATC, but I made it work!


Derwent Inktense Pencils
Washi Tape
Ranger Archival Ink - Jet Black
Dr. Phil Martins India Ink
Distress Paint - Black Soot
Pentel Sunburst White Gel Pen
6x6 Harlequin stencil - The Crafters Workshop
Sharpie - black

These were such fun cards to make.  I love Suzi Blu's style - her little girls and boys are cooky and quirky and fun.  I'm definitely going to have to order some more!  She has this wonderful Gypsy Tent stamp that is definitely on my list, but unfortunately it was far too big to use for an ATC.  It may have to show up in some of my art journaling this year!

Happy creating y'all!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Documented Life Project - Week Two

January Theme
The Blank Page and How to Face It!

January 10

Art Challenge:  Gesso

Journal Prompt:  “The beginning is always today.” -Mary Shelley

What an amazing journal prompt!  Appropriate for the beginning of a new year and to remind us all that each day is a new beginning.  These days I have to remind myself constantly that tomorrow is a new day and no matter what, I have another chance tomorrow.

This prompt led me to thinking about the phoenix.  From the ashes of its predecessor the phoenix is reborn over and over again.  And if we think about it, each day that we wake we are like the mythical phoenix.  We can rise from the ashes of yesterday and make today burn as brilliantly as the sun.

Thinking along these lines, I decided to use sun colors for this entry.  Fiery reds and yellows, brilliant oranges, and being good - used black as well.

Have I mentioned my decision to start using more black in my work this year?  If not, I meant to!  I rarely if ever use black in any of my work.  It's such a strong color to use and one has to be careful using it because it can be overwhelming.  But black shouldn't be as scary as I have made it out to be - it's a beautiful shade.  Therefore, as one of my "art oriented goals" this year, I have decided to incorporate black into more of my work.

We were to use Gesso somewhere in this week's spread.  It took me quite a while to figure out just where I was going to use it, but I eventually figured it out in the end.

That being said, here is my Week Two journal spread:

Making a mess can be so much fun!  And look at me go - I took progress shots!  While I adored the piece without any white on it - and I truly didn't feel like tinting my white gesso black.... I did finally find a place for the gesso!

Supplies Used:

Distress Paint - Mustard Seed & Barn Door
Liquitex Basics Acrylic Paint - Black & Alizarine Crimson
Gelatos - Tangerine
Molding Paste - Golden
Distress Ink - Fired Brick
Recollections Washi Tape 
Stamps - Tim Holtz & Dylusions & Prima
Stencils - Tim Holtz & Heidi Swapp
Black India Ink 
Old Book Paper

I used Liquitex Gloss Medium & Varnis to seal my Gelato - I knew I wanted to stamp over it and didn't want it to smear or stick together.  That's why it looks so shiny.  The Gloss Medium worked perfectly to seal it so I will definitely be using it in the future.

Looking at this picture I can't believe I didn't outline the gesso circles in black - I outlined the bird so surely I was thinking of outlining the circles too - I must have gotten distracted.  I even got up to check and nope - didn't add anything to them.  Will have to do that sometime later today!

I did go back and outline my gesso'd circles and it's made a word of difference.  It definitely makes my page look finished. 

I hope y'all's DLP projects are going well.  I'm astounded that I'm keeping up!  But that's one of my main goals this year.  To do lots of journaling!

Happy Creating y'all!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Can You Hear the Music? - Artist Trading Cards

The very last ATC Swap of 2014 ended with a "Music Swap".  Anything music themed.

Being somewhat tired of the reds and greens of Christmas, I knew I wanted something bolder and brighter.

I took old music book sheets and sprayed them with Dylusions Ink and adhered to an ATC base.

I then stamped Dina Wakley's Scribbly bird on top of my sprayed page and then painted in the body with Claudine Hellmuth's Acrylic Paint in Charcoal Black.  It gave the bird a very nice matte finish.  I left the legs unpainted though.

I then spread Picked Raspberry & Spiced Marmalade distress inks on my craft sheet, spritzed with water, and swiped an old book page through.  I love love love those color combinations.  I cut those out to make hats for the birds.

I used a tiny recollections stencil and gesso to make the stripes across the left and highlighted one stripe with a blue souffle pen.  I added bright green dots to the right of the bird with another souffle pen. 

I used Dina Wakley's Heavy Body Acrylic Paint and a liner brush to outline my bird.

A "Fa La La" stamp from Unity Stamp Co. brought a little Christmas along with the music theme.  That was stamped in Frost White by Colorbox.

Super simple and super fun!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Documented Life Project 2015 - Week One

 January Theme
The Blank Page and How to Face It!

January 1

Art Challenge: Book Paper

Journal Prompt: Be Your Own Goal Keeper


Ok, so I'm a little bit behind in posting this - because I've been behind in my blogging a little.  But I'm so excited to share with y'all my spread for Week One!

I used actual old book pages as well as some Tim Holtz tissue paper on the background.  I then smeared Peeled Paint and Chipped Sapphire Distress Paint over the pages - keeping it thin in some areas and thicker in others.

Some patterned paper for the bird, the circles are actually cut from gesso'd book pages (I made extra when I was making my Christmas ATCs), lots more paint, a few stencils, black soot distress ink, paint pens, and a charcoal pencil to make this spread lovely.  I stamped arrows from a Tim Holtz stamp set pointing to each of my goals which I wrote in the white circles.

My favorite element on this spread though are the funky painted circles.  These circles are very special to me because they were painted and given to me by my dear IG friend Astrid.  They too are painted on old book paper.  But aren't they just awesome?  She sent me an envelope full of them and I was able to tie in the colors of her circles with my spread!

It's very busy, I know.  But it was so much fun to work on something this size as opposed to itty bitty ATCs that I got a little carried away.  I know I'm going to enjoy this project so much this year!

Thanks for stopping by!
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