Thursday, March 28, 2013

In My Dreams I'm Free

"In my dreams I'm free and I like the feeling."
The prompt for this page was DREAMS.

I started by doing a gesso transfer of the image of the little girls face.  And I got impatient and started rubbing the paper off before it was completely dry...hence the image not being all there...but it's ok, I kind of like it that way.  I went over the page in a couple different colors of alcohol ink after that.

Then I glued down some ephemera.  The top heart is crackled, with teal as the background and red over's kind of hard to see in the picture.  The bottom heart is a book page where I did a crayon resist over a Tim Holtz embossing folder and sprayed with Dylusions spray inks.  The purple is an ATC size piece of manila folder.  I wrote the word "Free" on it, getting the lettering style inspiration from something I saw on Pinterest.  I went over it with alcohol ink.  After I glued that in, I wrote the rest of the journaling.  I am becoming lettering obsessed, as per the plan, and I like the lettering on this page pretty good.  I have to work on spacing things out a little better...perhaps if I had a plan before I started...or did a pencil sketch first...I'll work on that...

Lastly, I found a really nice and easy tutorial for how to make the little paper butterflies HERE.  (I love origami!)  I sprayed them with Dylusions to match the crackle heart and glued them down...and that's that.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Caught Up

That spider is not so 'itsy-bitsy'...

This is my latest journal page. It's done in Sepia toned Micron pen.  I am trying to practice my lettering skills, which are currently not skills...but if I keep practicing...maybe they will be skills someday!

The quote is from a poem I wrote, which you can read in it's entirety HERE. Ever since I've discovered art journaling, I've been pretty lax in the whole writing department, and my other blog has been sorely neglected...I plan on remedying that.  Words and writing were my first love and I don't want to forget them due to my infatuation with art journaling...I can love them both at the same time, I don't have to choose!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

A Little of This and That

I hate it when life gets in the way of creativity.  It's very frustrating on several levels.  I've been doing a little bit here and there, and here's what's come of it:

"Life is a balancing that always seems to keep me on my toes."  This is done in watercolors, and I am super happy with that's my best accomplishment this week, I think...

I give up on the balancing act and have decided to only do arts and crafts and forget the rest.  I watched a video on FORCE drawing, and this is my poor attempt at it...although I do have to say, she really does appear to give up...

I drew this using a chisel tip and a fine tip sharpie in just a few minutes.  I really like the look of her, and I will have to remember to pick up a pen or pencil and do some quick sketching...sometimes they turn out pretty good!

My attempt at working on lettering.  I have terrible handwriting, and lettering is something I am going to work at ...this is my first attempt at using a liner brush and watercolors, and for me (and my terrible handwriting), it's half-way decent.

This is my absolute least favorite thing I have done in a LONG time.  I hate, that's not strong enough...I LOATHE it...with every fiber of my being.  I thought I would include her to show that they're not all gonna be winners, and that's ok.  You just gotta keep going and remember that art is fun and doesn't have to be perfect or good...just keep learning, playing and practicing.

So, what did you get up to this week?

Saturday, March 16, 2013

It's all there in black and white...

This is one of my pages for the Creative Every Day 2013 challenge (you can read more about the challenge here) :

Made using Black Marble Dylusions ink, black and white watercolor and gouache and Pitt pen for the journaling.

I really like that the theme of the month is entirely optional at Creative Every Day...the point is to get creative, no matter what you choose to do!  I like that message.  But the March theme really seemed like fun to me: Black and White.  I have been reading about tone and depth and scale and shading and all that good stuff, so I thought it might be a good challenge to see what I could do with just black and white.  And this little lady came popping out of my brain and splatted on the page!  I like her very much...she makes me want to try using just one color and white more often and seeing what I can end up with.  Maybe a whole rainbow of girls.

The biggest majority of the girl is made using only Dylusions spray ink in Black Marble (and water).  I just unscrewed the cap and dipped my paint brush right in!  The major outlines are pure spray ink, and the shading is just where I touched water to the edges of those outlines.  Since the Dylusions react with water, I got some great shading with only water on the brush.  Did I ever tell you how much I love the Dylusions?  Well it's true...I love them...le sigh...

I will have to go back through the rest of the Creative Every Day themes and see what peaks my interest.  I had such a good time with this page, that I think I would like to do Black and White more often.  I think it made me pay more attention to the shading and details, knowing I wouldn't have any other colors to distract the old peepers from my mistakes!  

I really enjoy seeing how my stuff is changing...thanks to the kindness of others I am starting to look at my pages with a less critical eye...or maybe I am getting better!  I don't know, but I'll take either option!  I was kindly reminded recently that the reason we art journal is because it's enjoyable...we play, we get better at it, we have fun, we keep going!  It so great to have a wonderful community of people out there who encourage, teach and share the love with each other.  These folks have certainly helped to make my time spent being creative much more enjoyable and I am so thankful to them for it.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Magazine Collage

There is a big huge world just waiting...
I made this magazine collage over the weekend and finished it up last night.  I've been seeing this type of thing around for a while and thought I'd give it a go.  Teesha Moore is one who works in this type of thing, and she has some neat videos on how she creates her pieces HERE (then click the Techniques button).  I think her videos were helpful, even though I didn't alter my page quite as much as she does.

If I would have thought about it, I should have taken a before picture of the magazine page I used (maybe the next time I'll take pictures as I do it so you can see the steps...would that be fun?), but basically, magazine page cutouts as the border, the woman in the middle was one piece.  I glued her down, then cut up a bunch of various pieces and collaged a new skirt and shoes for her.  Then I used a Faber-Castell big brush pen and colored her shirt (it was white), used a black sharpie to go over some of the lines on her and then used gel pens (just cheapies from Michaels, but they work surprisingly well!) to add details to her.  For the lettering part, I used a white sharpie paint pen, which worked ok, but I don't think they are as awesome (or maybe I just got a funky one) as everybody else thinks they are. Maybe I just need to work with it more?  I won't give up on you yet, sharpie paint pen...

Overall, fun, fun, fun...I will be doing this again...and remembering to take before pictures...

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Perhaps you did not know...

I've been a busy little bee this weekend...doing some artsy things like playing with my Dylusions stuff (I'm still not over these, I love them so much!), starting and finishing some pages, trying new-to-me techniques on ephemera and trying some new mediums as well, making some jewelry...and visiting the Russell Stover outlet in Gatlinburg, spending way too much money on chocolate factory seconds.  My husband says he doesn't like the term 'factory seconds' when referring to food, because it sounds like your eating something someone else has already taken a bite of...the Russell Stover outlet people apparently agree, because they call them 'bloopers'.  Either way, it all tastes like chocolate and I am currently trying, with much difficulty, to type a post and not get melty chocolate on the keyboard...because then I will have to lick it off...don't judge me too harshly!  Perhaps you did not know I have no shame when it comes to food...

Let's abruptly change the subject before this goes too far...  Oh look, pictures! :

Quote from Dorothy L. Sayers

Ah, I do love my quotes...and this is a good one.  This page was my warm up.  Perhaps you did not know, but warm ups are what you call things you're not quite happy with...they are not mistakes...they are warm-ups.  I think this is salvageable  but I'm not utterly thrilled with it, so it will have to be added to in the future, I think.  Maybe if I threw some doodles in there?  I don't know...we'll see what happens...

Pomegranate stencil from Julie Fei-Fan Balzer (mini size)
Perhaps you did not know, I will spend ungodly amounts of money I don't have on art/craft supplies...I fear it is my greatest flaw.  I've decided that I am the embodiment of the quote "I myself am entirely made up of flaws stitched together with good intentions."  I can't help myself.  In my defense, I don't ever spend money on useless things like clothing or make-up or hair cuts (I do them myself...I feel it gives me an edgy 'artistic' look...and pony tails can cover a lot of mistakes...I mean warm ups...) or cleaning I think I'm justified in buying more art/craft stuff...  Most recently, I got some stencils so's I could play with my Dylusions in a whole new way.  I've also been hoarding plastic packaging, so I'm eventually going to try to cut some of my own...we'll see how that goes...

Along with the stencils (because free shipping couldn't be achieved without spending $50 or more and because I really wanted one), I got one of Dyan Reaveley's Creative Journals.  Let me just tell you, this is a big honkin' momma of an awesome art journal!  Especially considering all my other journals are 7 by 5 or smaller and spiral bound (except for one), so two-page spreads are practically impossible...  the pages in Dyan's Creative Journals are 11 3/8 by 8 1/4 and stitch bound, so I could do a humongous spread!  Oh, the excitement!  I started putting down some stuff on Friday and here's what that looks like:

In the middle of the pages you can see the Cornflower stencil (Julie Fei-Fan Balzer's design...So far, this is my favorite stencil I think...) and I also used Dyan's Dotted Flowers stencil, trying the 'ghosting' technique for the first time.  I like the much more demure look of the ghosting technique.  I think I got a little heavy handed when doing the Cornflowers stencil.  I'll have to see what I can do to make it blend in a little better...Let's call that part another warm up...  But oh, swoony swoon for the fun I've been having!

I also did this page, just fooling around so I wouldn't waste the ink on the stencils, but I really like it.  I'll have to use it for something:

This picture doesn't do it's much more awesome in person...maybe I'll cut it up for ATCs?  Hmm...

Before I got my Dylusions, I was messing around with alcohol inks and perfect pearls, making my own sprays, and here's a girl I did using the sprays I made:

Ooh, she's so SPARKLY!

I used kraft paper for her face, and I really like how that looks!  I also used modeling paste for her hair, so it's heavily textured.  The only downfall is that when I sprayed some of the perfect pearls spray on, it ended up pooling in the texture and it looks like she's got some really bad dandruff going on.  I'm going to try to hit it with some Head and Shoulders in the form of the black Dylusions and maybe that will help...  You should see how very sparkly she is in real life!  I'm not a huge fan of 'bling' or glittery/sparkly stuff, but I do have to admit I like the Perfect Pearls (I have the little tubs of them).  They add more of a magical gleam than a big glob of shiny, I think that's why I enjoy them...

First time doodling with charcoal...
This is my partway finished page for the Creative Every Day challenge (you can read about the challenge HERE).  March's theme is Black & White.  I tore up some book pages and used gesso to glue them down (the green is a different page...I forgot to stick something in between when I took the picture...this page is all black and white).  Then I just used some charcoal to draw a girl and hit it with some hairspray so it wouldn't smudge accidentally...I really need to invest in some workable fixative, but hairspray works for me till then.  I really like the way you can see the texture of the book pages. I am pretty happy with the shading...I think that's the best part about the charcoal is you just (on purpose) smudge it around and you've got interesting shading!  I bet the worst part about charcoal is when your smudging happens not on purpose...  I am not satisfied with her eyes (they are creeping me out a little...) so I think I am going to try to use some ink and a couple other things to fix them...I'll experiment till we find what works... Perhaps you didn't know, but experimenting is my favorite!

Speaking of experimenting, I tried a new-to-me technique:

Crayon resist fun

I took one of my embossing folders (you could use anything with texture if you don't have embossing folders) and stuck a book page over top.  I rubbed that with the long side of a crayon and then sprayed it with ink.  The crayon resists the ink.  I think this is a crazy amount of fun!  You could also just draw or write with a crayon (or anything waxy...or probably elmer's glue...I bet there's a ton of stuff that would work) instead of doing a rubbing.  And instead of spray inks, you could use watercolors or gouache (maybe even thinned acrylics)...again, there's probably a million things you could test out.  The one in the picture is the most successful one I did, I believe.  I tried using a yellow crayon with pink ink, and that gave an interesting look.  It was just fun whip out the crayons and not know what was going to happen until you sprayed the ink!  Perhaps you didn't know I'm just a kid in a grown-up body!

Finally, I made a kitchen sink necklace inspired by the lovely B'sue of B'sue's Boutique (and who is a friend of my sisters!).  Perhaps you didn't know art journaling is not my only creative endeavor!  You can find out a little more about kitchen sink jewelry from B'sue herself HERE.  And she has a ton of tutorials on YouTube, if you'd like to do some neat jewelry!  And her store (HERE) has a lot of unique supplies, reasonably priced.  This is not a paid endorsement (although if she wants to send me some free supplies, I would not say no...), I've never actually met B'sue...she's just got some neat ideas so I thought I'd mention it...  At any rate, here's my kitchen sink necklace:

All spread out so you can see the individual bits and bobbles

I can't decide whether I should put it on a different chain so that it spread out like the picture above, or if I should leave it like it is and let it bunch up like it does here:
How it hangs on when you wear it

Or maybe I'll just have to make a whole new necklace...there just needs to be more time in the day!

So, what did you get into this weekend?

Friday, March 8, 2013

Prompt6ix #10 Page

I just finished my Prompt6ix #10 Page (you can read more about Prompt6ix  HERE):

Before I go any further, I just gotta say how much I love the Dylusions spray inks.  They are so easy to use and in great colors...  I've had a fun time experimenting with them!

This is the first time I've done a two page spread.  It was a little difficult because I did it in the journal I made, and there is a hump where the pages connect...I think it would have worked a little better in the middle of the journal, as opposed to close to the beginning, which is where I did it...less of a hump in the middle of the book (or on one of the middle pages of a signature), but I didn't think about it and here we are...  I don't mind so much, but I will know for next time.

Here's a close up of the left page:

And the right page:

This is the breakdown of the six prompts and how I used them:
  1. Lyrics- I have lyrics from 3 songs on the page, "Your Color" by Mama Kin ( 'The silence pushes into me'; 'You go your way and I'll go mine.'; 'Now my footsteps echo in the hall'; 'I miss your color most of all' ), "Don't You Cry" by Guns and Roses ('You'll be alright now sugar.  You'll feel better tomorrow come the morning light...'), and "Set Fire to the Rain" by Adele ( 'I can't help myself I'm looking for you').  I love this prompt to use lyrics in the page...  I am a lyric junkie!
  2. Museum- Is in the journaling, which says: 'I realized my mind was some sort of horrible museum where no one curated the archives of what stayed and what faded away.'  Those are my words, inspired by this image:You can't choose what stays and what fades away ... that I saw on Pinterest
  3. Kaleidoscope- For the background, I cut out a paper snowflake and used it as a stencil!  That was A LOT of fun, and I am going to have to do that again!  ...and improve my snowflake cutting skills...snow flake intricacy, here I come!
  4. Tag or Label- On the left page, there's a label (that has the G&R lyrics on it)...I hand cut two bigger labels to go behind (the blue and black outline) the label punch (green part) that I already had to try to balance out the black of her hair on the other page.
  5. Lime Green- In the background and her hair and the book page ephemera...again, I love you, Dylusions spray inks!
  6. Tape- I used some washi tape with music notes on it that I had.  Woo hoo for kismet!

On a side note, the other night, my husband woke me up by violently shaking me and was saying: "I let it out!  I let the snake out!" over and over...  He had apparently been dreaming some really weird dream about a snake being lose in the house and crawling under the bed...he was freaking out!  After I realized the house wasn't on fire and there wasn't an serial killer in the house, it was hilarious! 

I think I must have been thinking about that when I was doing her eyes, because now when I look at her, I think she has creepy snake eyes!  Maybe it's the lighter color around the pupil?  I don't know...I may have to revisit those eyes and see if I can make them less snaky.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Playing with colors and shapes

I just recently got the Dylusions spray inks.  I can't express how AWESOME they are, and I know I haven't even scratched the surface of fun things you can do with them!  I've just been spritzing all willie nillie!  They are so vibrant, the pictures don't do them justice.

The first page I did with them, it made me want to go crazy with color choices, so here's what happened:  

"What you think of yourself is much more important than what other people think of you."

She's not my best girl by far, but I had a lot of fun using the crazy colors...I will have to revisit the crazy color girl face for sure.  I think I can do it better than this one, and I am excited to try!

This is the second page I did with the Dylusions:

"I meant to behave but there were so many other options!"

I really like how this one came out!  I love that quote so much...  The colors are really cool...  I like the packing tape transfer method a lot...  My favorite thing is the doodled tree.  I love that the colors come through the packing tape and the tree shape...  I think it's so much fun!

I don't know if anybody else has seen any of Dyan Reavely's videos (she's the lady behind Dylusions), but she seems like she'd be such a blast to be around.  She's got so much a world of cheerios, she's a fruit loop...  And I love her for it!


Two posts ago, I talked about the wonderful mail art that I received from my friend Cheryl...and how I forgot to take pictures of what I sent her because I was so excited to send it, my brain just went crazy!

Thankfully, Cheryl took some really great pictures and is letting me use them so I can share the girls with you. (Thanks, Cheryl!)

First up, the envelope:

Why hello...

I tried really hard to do good lettering on the addresses instead of just using my normal handwriting, which looks something similar to a 12 year old boys...after I did that, the back of the envelope just looked so blank and boring that I had to make it a little snazzier!  I'm really happy with that thumb...hands are the hardest to draw (I think so anyway), and hers is a little wonky but woo hoo for that thumb!

Next up is a girl on copy paper:

I think she's got that 'come hither' look.

Cheryl makes such wonderful collages that I thought she might like to have a girl to use in her art.  That's why I sent one just on copy paper.  

It works out really well to start out using copy/printer paper to practice your girls (or anything you want to practice, I suppose).  For one thing, it's cheap, so if you mess up or aren't happy with the end result, you can toss it without bemoaning the loss of watercolor or other more expensive paper.  For another, it's easy to draw on because it's smooth and you don't have to worry about funky textures getting in the way and making you have weird/off lines.  And the best part of all, if you do make a good girl on copy paper, you can cut out your girl and stick it to a canvas or journal page and it's so thin, no one will be able to tell it wasn't drawn on directly!  I don't do all my girls on copy paper first (not anymore), but if I have a page that's has a heavy texture or a very dark background, I definitely do!  So that's my shout out to copy paper...Hooray!

And last but not least, here's the girl I did with Cheryl in mind specifically:

Cheryl's Bohemian spirited lady

This girl is probably my favorite girl I've done to date.  One, because I can see where I'm improving, and it's nice to see my girl face obsession is paying off...I've made a lot of questionable faces to get to this point!  (Her hair makes me so happy I could squeal like a pig in mud!)  Two, because it was the first piece I've done with someone (my muse Cheryl) in mind while I made her.  And three, the most important reason of all, because I got to send her off to live with such a sweet, kind person!  Cheryl is so nice and says the best, most encouraging things about my girls!  I think I would want to do art even if nobody liked it, but to hear positive things about what I know that someone likes my girls so much that they want one for themselves warms my heart and makes me want to keep going and keep improving and just paint the sky with happiness!

Thank you again Cheryl, for being my first mail art giver and recipient!  I can't think of a nicer person to have as my first!