Friday, July 31, 2015

Documented Life Project - Week Thirty

July Theme

July 25

Art Challenge: Real Life

Journal Prompt:  At this Moment

I really think that this month's prompts were made just for me!  What a perfect chance to make some vaguely scrapbook-y pages!  Real Life At This Moment.  Well, it's maybe not from this week but a couple of weekends ago when we had our fabulous Instacraftcation!  This picture is of Elizabeth, myself, and Lilia at a local restaurant after our first day of meeting and crafting with our new friends!  I love these girls.  And let me tell you... I only met them a year ago.  Last year at this time I had not met them yet!  And within the space of a single year we have grown so close.

I used acrylics for the background and neocolor II's for all the drips.  I dug through my stash of ephemera and die cuts and found lots of random bits and bobs.  Added a little journaling - the date stamp is for the actual date of the picture.  I added some washi in red and blue as well.  I have to admit that I wasn't massively thrilled with the way the background turned out initially but every day that passes, I like it more and more.

That's my share for this week.  I hope you enjoyed and I'll see you next time!

Until then,

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Lotus Layers - Lots and Lots

Hi!  Surprise Thursday y'all.  I've got a journal page to share with you this week.  I've a confession about this page.  Honestly, I was trying to jump back into the Documented Life Project for what I thought was Week 26.  Oops!  It should've been Week 28 and I still managed to mess up by not actually doing the challenge properly.  This is what happens when I multi task.  Sometimes things go askew in rather awkward directions.

No worries though!  Thankfully I have 11 extra pages in my Dylusions journal so I will simply skip over this one rather than *gasp* gessoing over the entire thing!

On to the journal page itself - poor thing - it isn't it's fault that I cannot read nor count nor focus on more than one journal page at a time.  I still like how it turned out and I will just love it for what it is regardless.

This page is mostly acrylic with some india ink and Stabilo pencil thrown in for good measure. 

I find myself bouncing a lot here lately between the kind of art I have been creating and the kind of art I think I want to create.  I war with my inner artist constantly.  I cannot remember if I've shared a little bit of my artistic background with y'all yet or not but just for the sake of this post we'll say I haven't.  Once upon a time I was on a very traditional art path.  I admired Van Gogh and worshiped his style but could not free my mind's eye to paint that loosely.  I was a very traditional oil painter.  Mind you... this was in highschool, but I had a plan and a dream of how I wanted my art to be.  I had the will of a perfectionist even if I didn't quite have the skill.  So jump forward about 12 years and I haven't bloody touched a paint brush due to major life changing events.  I'd lost my paints and brushes and accoutrements along the way and had to start fresh. 

Since money was a bit of an issue (isn't it always?), I picked up some much more affordable acrylic paints.  I'd really been a snob about my oil paints and brushes - terrible thing I know, but that's the truth and I promised honesty.  I had to have the best.  Maybe not the absolute elite best of the best but pretty darn close.  Isn't a disposable income lovely?  Especially when coupled with an employee discount?  Truly it is.  However, since I knew nothing about acrylics I told myself that I couldn't be a snob because I hadn't earned the right to be such in this new media.  Fair enough and it silenced that particular inner voice.  Freedom from supplies and certain techniques allowed me to open up and explore not only acrylic but other media to be combined with them.  It's really been quite a pleasant journey. 

Back to my original point... the purpose of an art journal is to explore and try as hard as I can that's what I think I'm doing.  Exploring different techniques and ways of using my media.  Exploring different ways of making marks.  It's an awful lot of fun even if there is no real continuity in my style.  Style.  Now that's an interesting word.  It leads one to believe that there is more than just a random mishmash of media being tossed onto a page.  It tricks one into thinking that there is a rhyme and reason for why you did such and such.  In my case the truth is far less interesting.  I did it because I wanted to see what would happen.  Sometimes it turns out well and sometimes not so much.  This page for example... I didn't even think about sealing the layer of writing with a fixative before applying my white gesso.  Over a black watercolor crayon.  Whoops!!  Wet over water soluble equals smearing.  White over black equals grey.  So I went with it.  It gives this page a rather dull-ish, muted, and grungy background.  I'm ok with it.  Next time I will remember to break out the workable fixative.

Hopefully my next foray back into my DLP journal will be more along the lines of "proper week/ proper challenge".  Because I care.  It doesn't matter in the long run.  What matters is that I sat down and bloody painted something.  But there is still a little voice in my head screaming horrible things about how now the entire journal is ruined because I went out of order and didn't follow the prompt correctly.  Evil little perfectionist.  Horrible wee monster of a voice, that one!  I will smoosh it with my journal and hope I can silence it... at least until I get past this page

Don't let your arty monsters get you down and cause you to doubt an entire 17 weeks worth of lovely work all because one page, which is lovely in itself, didn't quite behave properly.

That's my advice on the matter.  I'll let you know how my personal battle goes!

Until then,

Monday, July 27, 2015

ATC Monday - "High Heels"

Honey, I have heels higher than your standards!!

I love Dyan Reaveley's snarky quotes.  I've got a collection of ATCs I did wayyyy back in April for a Shoe Swap hosted by Elizabeth on Instagram.

I sprayed Dylusions Ink Sprays in Funky Fuchsia, London Blue, and Vibrant Turquoise on a piece of Mixed Media paper and cut it up into ATCs.  The shoe came from the February 2015 Kit of the Month from Unity Stamp Co.  It was stamped and fussy cut on mixed media paper and colored using Inktense pencils.  The quote and border stamps are by Dylusions.

I really like how they turned out.  Simple but cute and that quote was absolutely perfect!

I'll be starting ATC Mondays back up again so be sure to check back next week.  I've got a lot of swaps to post!

See y'all next time!

Friday, July 24, 2015

WOYWW - What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday

Hey y'all!  It's time to play one of my favorite games here on the blog... What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday!!

On Wednesdays we wear pink!

I'm sorry.  So so sorry for that but really I had to!  No seriously.  There was a little voice poking me in the back of the eye screaming "DO IT!!!"

But no, for real though... on Wednesdays I like to participate in a little blog hop hosted by the fabulous Julia over at Stamping Ground where we show off our deliciously messy desks and on going projects.

The last time I joined in this blog hop I had just started setting up my studio and it was 20 days ago!!  I know, I know!  It's not Wednesday but I'm still playing because these pictures WERE actually taken on Wednesday.  So there.

Let me just describe for y'all what you're seeing here.... since last time I have gotten my 2 new-to-me tables in place in the studio and am no longer actively working on my folding white table.  However, you can still see my lovely table in the bottom right of the picture as it now serves as a wonderful location to dump and shove things while working.  You can see also that I am still using my drawing board with taped non-stick craft sheet (which has seen much better days).  Not that I need to use it anymore but I'm rather attached to it.

Ok, so let me start in the bottom left hand corner and go clockwise.  Part of my chair.  The journal you see with all the pinks and aquas and black writing is me jumping right back into the Documented Life Project for Week 26.  I had to pick somewhere to start!  It's in progress.  Hiding just under the top left corner of my journal is an ICAD.  Second one I've ever made.

As we go up you can see some Azure StazOn ink, my required cup o' Mountain (crack) Dew and paints.  My lovely fan (as it gets HOT in my studio) and in front of my fan you can see an ICAD I'm working on.  First one ever!  No reason to do it, just wanted to.  And the pack of index cards was $.48 when I was buying my daughter's school supplies.

The blue/turquoise/purple journal you can see lying at the top of the table is the beginnings of a background for one of the #12ArtJournals that I am very behind on.  I was really trying to multitask here.  More paints, pallet knives, spouncers (That word is almost as fun to say and use as "spork".  A sponge pouncer...spouncer!), baby wipes, paper scraps, junk mail and underpaper, brayer, and water cup.

Now for specifics... The plastic container where you can see colorful sticks with white stripes?  Those are watercolor crayons by Faber-Castell.  I bought them last year along with a small pack of Neocolor IIs and a pack of Staedler Watercolor crayons to give them a try.  They're marketed for kids and are much cheaper than their "professional" counter parts.  Under the crayons in the same container are some Faber-Castell Gel Sticks.  Again, they're the kid version of the Gelatos.  Thought I'd try them out.  Actually, that's not true.  I had stuck a bunch of different products on my Amazon wish list while I was trying to decide what to buy and my hubby took some of our tax refund and just bought the list.  Totally awesome of him but it meant that I got some extra things that I wouldn't have gotten rather than some other things I would have rather had.  Oh well.  Can't fault him for trying.  Anyways.....
You can also see my box of Gelatos as well as my big tin of Neocolor IIs.

As for those plastic bowling pins at the edge of the table?  My 2 yr old was playing in the studio and I'm surprised this picture doesn't have her in it.  I truly thought it did.  Must've moved at exactly the right second!

This picture is from later that night.  In fact, it's probably from Thursday morning before I went to bed.  But I was almost finished with my DLP journal and had managed to get a page in yet another journal started by this time.  Oh and that super dark black roll thing in the back?  It's a brush roll where I keep my favorite brushes when I art journal on the go and am too lazy to unpack.

Well that's what I was up to and what was on my desk Wednesday!  Hope to see y'all next week!

Until then,

Documented Life Project - Week Twenty Nine

July Theme

July 18

Art Challenge: Photographs and Memories

Journal Prompt:  "All that I have to remember you." - Jim Croce

So I just had the best weekend!!!  Some lovely ladies came all the way to Mississippi to have a craft weekend with Elizabeth (in pink), Lilia (in light blue), and me (in green... please excuse the goofy expression!)!!!

We totally photobombed Tiffany (in red) who was trying to take a selfie with the metal sculpture outside a local restaurant.  We just couldn't let her take a picture by herself.  This is my favorite picture from the whole weekend and I wanted to use it for this week's prompt.

I printed the picture and adhered it with matte medium while covering it with clear gesso.  I realize I should have probably relocated it on my spread so poor Tiffany's face didn't get creased but one must live and learn, I guess!

The background is pink and turquoise neocolor II's blended with water.  I then stamped a funky border and colored it all in using my Angelic Color pens.  I added some journaling and some stamped words.  Super simple but I think it catches the bright and fun mood perfectly.  And now I have a lovely page to remind me always of how much fun we had!

I'm off to get some work done... see y'all next week!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015


Hey y'all!!

I just wanted to drop in really quickly and let y'all in on some exciting news I just received.

I've been accepted as part of DecoArt's Blogger Outreach Program!

So what does this mean for y'all?  Not a whole lot other than y'all will hopefully get to see some new projects with some new products.  I have several projects I want to do over the next several months so keep a look out for those!

I'll see y'all soon.

Until then,

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Summer of Color - Week 6

The final week of Summer of Color 2015 is here and almost gone!  I'm still behind but at least I managed to get two weeks done on time!

"Orange is the happiest color."
- Frank Sinatra 

This week's color palette:
Orange + Orange +Blue

I started this week's SoC with one of my pre-drawn faces.  I'm still loving the idea of a series of colorful faces so I stuck with it!  I decided to take it back a little to my roots (once upon a time I was a decent portrait painter in oils no less!) and veer away from my whimsical type girls and go with just a regular face.  I wish I'd taken a picture of the sketch first but of course I was too caught up in what I was doing to do that!

Color Inspiration for this week came from my Neocolor ii's.  I used Orange, Cobalt Blue, and Red Orange.

Here's a bit of progress:

I really like how the face and hair turned out.  I even added blue eye lashes.  The orange hues made for interesting shading but I think they were relatively effective.  I chose not to do any dark lines around the face as I didn't want it to start looking "too Haloween-y" with the black and orange.  The hair was done strictly with my cobalt blue Neocolor.

I sprayed some Calypso Teal Dylusions Ink Spray through the Dylusions Bubble stencil because I always love my circles.  It gave me some nice tone on tone texture and added a few pieces of coordinating washi tape (who doesn't love washi?).  I used a brayer and added orange acrylic as well as the orange neocolor.  I got to the above stage and hadn't a clue where to go from there!  Work past the ugly.  Not that she's ugly but the background is "meh".

I stamped a few Dylusions circles, added doodles with my Stabilo All pencil, and my white pen but it needed a little something more.  I found a few pre-cut circles in my stash and colored with my neocolors, stamped with Dylusions arrow stamps and highlighted with my Uniball Signo pen.  I really didn't like the sweep of orange in the hair so to cover I added a crown I'd sprayed with Lemon Zest and Pure Sunshine Dylusions.  To finish I added a heart that had been partial sprayed with Calpyso Teal Dylusions and stamped my "SOC" and my weekly number.  

So my Queen is done and while Summer of Color is officially finished I still have four more ladies to complete.  I'll be posting those as soon as I can get them done.

While I came in late to this event I always enjoy participating.  I say always but this is only my 2nd year to participate.  It is so much fun seeing what Kristin comes up with each week.  You can always go back and check the archives in Kristin's blog (here, here, here, and here) for all previous years' challenges.  Be sure to come back next year for another exciting Summer of Color!

I'm currently working on a way to house my ladies of summer - the ones I've done and the ones I shall do.  I'm doing them all on loose 9x12" watercolor paper and I really don't want to poke holes and bind them nor am I prepared to frame them/ display them at this time.  I've come up with another solution that I'm hoping will work.  If you follow my on Instagram you've already seen what I'm coming up with and I hope to have it finished and a post about it sometime next week.  

Until then, 

Friday, July 17, 2015

Documented Life Project - Week Twenty Eight

July Theme

July 11

Art Challenge: Focal Point vs. Layering

Journal Prompt:  Time keeps on Ticking

Well hello and Happy Friday everyone!  Today I've got another Documented Life Project journal page to share with you.  After all, isn't that what DLPFriday is for?

So this page is all about Focal Points and Layers.  Y'all know I never have any issues with my layers but sometimes my focal point can get lost.  This spread for example... there are two major focal points that even my eyes have trouble bouncing between.... my big clock and the "white space" that is the bird and note on my envelope.  but as you can clearly see, there are so many more layers involved.

There was the first layer of Ultramarine Blue and Prism Violet rolled on by brayer.  Then a layer of gesso.  There was the layer of Light Blue Permanent through a TCW Harlequin stencil and a layer of TCW Tiny Circles with Rouge (a red-violet) acrylic.  Once dry, I brayered a small amount of Titanium White in a few places to brighten things up before adding any more.  After the white, I added Dina Wakley's Lemon and Lime with a brush.

Using a Heidi Swapp stencil and some Magenta acrylic, I pounced a lattice pattern in a couple of places.  I doodled a little bit around the edge of a few lattice bits with my white UniBall Signo.  For my next layer, I used TCW Screen Print and Carbon Black acrylic.  And because I couldn't be satisfied with just those "few" layers, I added a final stenciled layer of Vibrant Turquoise Dylusions paint and the Honeycomb stencil by Prima.  I again outlined a few of those circles using my UniBall Signo.

After all of those layers, you think I'd be done, right?  Of course not!  Now it's time for oodles of Ephemera!

I took an old dictionary page and cut an 8" circle using my Cricut (love that machine!).  I colored it using Distress Ink in the spritz, smoosh, dry, spritz, smoosh, dry technique that I love so much but don't know the official "Tim Holtz" name for!  I used the 7Gypsies Numero stamps to add the numbers which I outlined with my UniBall Signo.  The hands on the clock were cut from mixed media paper using the Array of Arrows stencil and colored using Vibrant Turquoise paint and the turquoise Souffle pen.  The tiny brad with heart was from my stash.  I glued the whole clock down using Tacky Glue.  I only put the brad through the clock and hands... I did not push it through the previous page.

I added various other ephemera from my stash including an actual postage stamp.  Around all of my ephemera, I used a Stabilo pencil smudged with water.  I just used an Elmer's Craft Bond gluestick to glue all my bits and tacky glue for the kraft envelope.

I added a few strips of turquoise striped washi and some Tim Holtz Remnant Rubs as well as stamped "tick" and "tock" on the clock and the sentiment "Time Keeps On Ticking Away" using Dylusions Alphas outlined with my UniBall Signo.

Even with ten thousand layers, I really like how the envelope and the clock stand out from everything else.  Even my sentiment blends back a bit.  This page is super busy (like most of my pages), but I like to think it's interesting.  No matter where you look, you'll find something!

Well that's my share this week!  See you next time around.

Until then,

Supplies Used in this Page:

As always, I'm linking up with Julie Fei-Fan Balzar's Art Journal Every Day weekly link up! 
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