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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Looking Ahead to 2012

   I'm sure many of us, as we get through the holidays, tend to reflect on the closing year and think about things we enjoyed, sorrowed over and look ahead with hope to the coming, new year.
   As I look back, if you had told me I would fall in love with collage and paints I would not have believed you.  Somewhere mid-year I discovered many wonderful artists who've influenced me to start art journaling.  I've always had a love of stamping which is why I found their blogs but discovered a new direction to take it.  (I was burning out on making cards.).  I am especially grateful to Kate Crane, Julie Fei-Fan Balzer, Paula Phillips and a UK gal I only know as Rach0113.  I adore the collage elements I get from Paper Whimsy and Cemerony's Etsy site.  
She Art
   The other special blessing I am thankful for is my newest Artsy friend, Melisa Waldorf.  She introduced me to She Art by Christy Tomlinson  and I was off with the collage elements and buying canvases like mad!  And I discovered a fascination with using Rub Ons all over those projects.  Pure joy!  
   And I am grateful for those who keep my love of stamping alive with their amazing inspiration:  Hels Sheridan, Linda's Grungy Monday and Wendy Vecchi.  I've not been able to participate much lately but I love Hels' Sunday Stamper challenges.
   And lastly, I am happy that we were able to rescue two special shelter cats, Billie Jean and Cooper and add them to our "clowder".  
Billie Jean with her squirrel toy
Cooper is very Crafty
My craft room is always full of friends
   Wishing you a Happy and Artsy 2012 - and if possible the companionship you find when you open your heart to an animal in need of rescue from your local shelter!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

WOYWW #127

   It's What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday!  
   I enjoy checking out and seeing what other people are up to, don't you?
   On my desk is a partially completed journal spread - but not too worry as that is how it should be.  I've been doing an online class since Nov 1st (see button on the right, just under the Google Friends box -- have you clicked that yet BTW?) and the goal is just to spend about 10 to 15 minutes a day in your journal. 
   You don't have to journal a lot.  Sometimes just preparing a background is sufficient creativity if you can only snatch a few minutes of time.
     Sometimes I can't stop as you can see from my Saturday and Sunday posts or sometimes that MOJO is just flowing and I get a lot more done in a session and have to start a new spread before the online instructor has moved on.  However, she is teaching techniques also - which is one of the things I really like about Julie Fei-Fan Balzer - there are always good things to learn!
   Off to my job but I'll be thinking of what creative fun I can hopefully get back to this evening!  
   Have an Art-happy Wednesday! 

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Day 6 - Make Waves

Seahorses are purple, aren't they?!
   One of the most enjoyable things about creating art is creating your own reality.  Like purple sea horses!  
   The picture above is some of the detail at the bottom of my recently completed page for Day 6 of Julie Fei-Fan Balzer's class 30 Days in Your Journal -- make sure you click the button on the right and check it out.
   I started my two-page spread on Friday and yesterday's page came out as a sunny day for my background of journaling.  No doubt influenced to the sunny day I woke up too.  (See yesterday's post here.)
Make Waves
   Last night I found a set of acrylic clear stamps from Pink Paislee that I bought last month and had tucked away.  I was sorting through things and when I saw the "Make Waves" sentiment from  Nantucket (00529) and it also had the seahorse and one of the shells, the Intermediate Swimmer badge and smaller anchor stamps. (Other shell and anchor stamps are from an old retired SU! set.)
      I thought in keeping with the wave theme that I would pull out a never-before-used ruler made by plaid with -- what else? -- wavy edges!  I love serendipitous moments like this when all the supplies come together and just work together.  
   I've probably had it in  my stash two or three years (shame on me - LOL!  Anyone else able to plead guilty about stash bought but not yet used?)  Its always fun to discover something like that and put it into use.
   I hope you enjoyed your visit with me and will be back soon!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Days 4 and 5 - 30 Days in Your Journal

   I'm taking part in Julie Fei-Fan Balzer's 30 Days in Your Journal class.  You can click on the button to the right and get more info.
   I was so glad to get the work week over and get home Friday to work on Day 4 of my journal.  It was pure joy to paint a two-page background with Koi watercolors and stamp my favorite vine/leaves from one of Dyan Reaveley's Dylusions sets, Around the Edge DS006.  I then painted the leaves with some of Golden's Acrylics in Green-Gold and Cobalt Teal.  I took my watercolors again and put some shading around the leaves and stem.  
   On Friday I was a bit brain dead as far as putting any coherent thoughts down for my journal so I just lettered in a quote I have on a stamp.  I also doodled some dots with a Sharpie and then used a white Sharpie Poster Paint fine-point pen to color them in.  I doodled my flower around the #4.
   Today, Saturday, I drew in the border to separate my days and put a few more white dots (they're addicting LOL!).     

Oh boy!  Who knew this was going to be a major fix-it up day?!  I made three oops - although I erroneously told our group there were two, I had forgotten the original one I made that should have been a warning of the mishaps to come.  Fortunately Gesso saves all - LOL!
   I first stamped the 2nd 'f' in the word fifth upside-down.  My sun didn't stamp correctly - I guess due to being so close to the seam of the page and the bee in the top left had to be redone.
   Well, hopefully tomorrow it will be a better day for journaling!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Every Nickel Counts - Journal Day 3

   Taking part of 30 Days in your Journal - see the button to the right --->  I recently got a Sticker Nation 2 book and was flipping through it and that turned my thoughts to how the animal shelter we help out does so much with little funding.
   When I walked in, I felt like I had a mob of little children running up to me and wanting to be picked up -- these animals want attention so badly.  I sat down to try to make notes for Stephen when he took his photos and didn't expect that I was going to be "claimed'.  There were more who just didn't get to my lap fast enough and one little enterprising female who jumped on my shoulder from behind as you can see.

   Besides donating what we can, we help with bringing boxes for the cages and Stephen takes photos of the cats for the website to aid their adoptions.  Sadly, cats will stay in a shelter much longer than dogs before someone adopts them.  
   Stephen had been going for a few weeks on his own taking photos and I knew I would find it hard to see cats in cages (or any pet for that matter).    Although all my cats have been rescues, I've adopted in the clean atmosphere of a Petsmart or from a friend who rescued but couldn't keep a cat.  I also suspected I would end up wanting to take some (all?)  home.  (Since I started helping, we have added two more to our "clowder of cats" - Billie Jean & Cooper.)
   The economy is affecting many to the point they feel pressured to give up their pets.  No doubt, some just do it for selfish reasons, but this summer has been hard on people in our area with the horrid drought we're experiencing --we  haven't had a normal measure of rainfall since last February or March, the threat of the wildfires that came so close just two months ago that had people evacuating and then brought even more to the shelter - if only to temporarily house their pets while they went to hotels.
   If you can, when you help needy people this Thanksgiving and Christmas season, try to spare a few dollars or take some supplies to your local shelters.
  They can't tell you thank you, but the animals do appreciate it.   

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

What's on your Work Desk Wednesday - #126

   I have just not been able to get enough time to do anything in my art room lately and it's driving me bonkers!  So, I vowed I would try to do a little of something every day in November (even if I don't blog it) and I thought Julie Fei-Fan Balzer's 30 Days in Your Journal -- see BUTTON to your RIGHT! -- online class would be the perfect inspiration (read that as: "kick in the pants") to doing  something creative each day.
   On my messy table is the journal I was working on last night for Day One of class.  I did imitate Julie's color scheme and big half-circle on the left, but then I went my own way.  I have no idea why, but I decided I was going to journal on the right side first!  I vented on that page (hence, the blurring) and then using the "WHY?" as my kick off point again went a different and more calming and creative direction with my spirit.  Guess I needed to get the garbage cleared out of my emotional pipes - LOL!)
   Julie's blog is here: Her creativity and all the artistic balls she is juggling just amaze me!  I am so in love with her line of stencils from The Crafter's Workshop.  
Check out that video demo and then click on ALL TEMPLATES on the left and scroll down for the Balzer Designs line
   I am definitely becoming a "stencil junkie" and have probably purchased about 90% of hers  so far.  I do like the 6x6 size mostly for my journals as I usually use a smaller Moleskine journal, but I am now learning the value of those 12x12 stencils in combination with the smaller ones.  FUN!
   I almost freaked out when I found out Julie was in Houston a few weeks back -- AND I COULDN'T GET IN for a class with her -- because it was a trade show for retail vendors only.  Oh! the cruelty of the world.... LOL ... OK!  Enough whining!
   Thanks  for stopping by and bear in mind that I'm getting close to my 100th blog post soon and I plan to offer some blog candy then.  I hope you'll come by again!  
   Enjoy your Wednesday and rest of the week! 

Monday, October 10, 2011

I Carry Your Heart Journal Page

  Another one of Cemerony Printable images from Julia van der Werf  that just captured my whimsical heart and I was off and running with this page.  The quote from poetry by e.e. Cummings was just perfect.
   My photo didn't come out as  vibrant as I would like for all of you to see.
   Her dress was a peachy color with olive leaves and red roses so I used those as my colors to jump off with for the background.  Challenge #1 - I found out how little I do buy orange of any kind of media but I made do with a Chalk spray from Tattered Angels that was pale and peachy.  Also used Ranger Distressed Ink in Dried Marigold.  The green was Bundled Sage DI.
   I SO love that leaf from one of Dyan Reaveley's stamp sets - I seem to reach for it every time I'm doing a collage or art journal piece.  I used a tiny Tapestry stamp I had for the rose and Ranger's Archival ink  in Vermillion was the perfect shade!
   Other background stamps from Tim Holtz and the script was an old SU! stamp.
   I colored her eyes with a green Inktense watercolor pencil and dabbed her lips & heart with one of the red pencils.  A minute brush with water brought out the color.
   Circles "stamped" from bottle caps with Dylusions black paints and Golden's fluid acrylic in Nickel Azo Gold.  The slashes and circles technique are รก la Kate Crane's influence from her DVDs on Art Journaling (they are FAB!).  The heart in the middle was from a small Crafter's Workshop stencil I had.  I used the Inktense pencil again.
   The heart border (top & bottom) was an old set form Hero Arts I had never inked up.  So funny what caught your fancy in the past but then never saw the "light of an ink pad" -- or at least until you find the right moment!  Used a white Signo gel pen to color in some of the hearts.
   Thank you for stopping by!  I hope you've enjoyed visiting!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

She Needed ART Therapy

   I've slowly been getting back into taking part in Hels' Sunday Stamper challenge and also Simon Says Stamp challenges.  I was a bit late posting for last week's Sunday Stamper Challenge as I didn't get to post until Thursday, just past.  And I'm putting it quite close to deadline for Simon's -- but you do what you can when you can.
   Things have been quite hectic lately and Friday at work was probably one of the most stressful days I've ever encountered there.  I'm sure my usually normal blood pressure probably spiked quite high that morning.
   SO I definitely needed ART THERAPY!  First was a play afternoon/evening with my friend Melisa yesterday -- check her fantastic blog here.  
  A couple of hours ago I checked Hels' challenge and got to work.  Thanks Gillian for the wonderful colour selection.
Click to see both pages
   I used lots of THE Wendy Vecchi Studio 490 stamps for the backgrounds and accent stamping.  All the word stamps are hers and show up really well in person, but because I did use a Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist which contains mica, in Puerto Rico blue, I found that it reflected against my camera flash and you may not be able to tell all the words in the picture.  I think if you click on the photo and look at it in a larger view, it'll look better. 
    Here are close-ups of the individual pages.  I started out with Paper Artsy Fresco paints in Butter Nut, Sky and Ice blue.  They were thinned a little with water so I could make it more of a wash across the watercolour pages of my Molesine art journal.
   I used one of my new stencils from The Crafter's Workshop known as "Cubist" to spray Dylusions Spray Ink in Amber and Burnt Orange, as well as the previously mentioned Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist.
     I have been on a mixed-media binge the last month or two so that even when time has been rather hard to find to get into my craft room, I've been reaching more and more for some of my new "favourite toys" such as Inktense Water soluable ink  pencils and Caran D'ache Neocolor II water soluable wax pastels/crayons.   I used two of my ancient Sizzix dies to create stencils - one of the star and the other the heart.  I colored the heart with the Inktense pencil and the star was with the pastel.  Then I wet with a small brush and smoothed out the colour within the shape.  I think right now that the Inktense really lives up to its name.  Outlined with white Signo gel pen.
   My regal lady is one of my new collage images purchased from a Digital Artist from The Netherlands who sells on Etsy as Cemerony.  I have a lot of fun images I plan to use in future journal pages soon.
   I was interested to read Hels' comments about learning the Colour wheel theory from Dina -- I've had a similar "epiphany" this summer when I ordered Kate Crane's Journaling DVDs.  I love how the internet allows the UK and US crafter's to share and inspire each other so much!  BUT you have to have guessed that about me as I really do love doing Hels' challenges and checking out her blog as often as I can!
   CHEERS Y'all!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Dance Till the Stars Come Down

   You know how sometimes things start to click?  Well after a bit of a period of no mojo, a recent purchase of some cool digital sheets for collage and watching some Youtube videos got my creative juices flowing again.

Two-Page Dance

Page 1 - Dance
   I love dancing - it's been my hobby for the last ten years to dance as an amateur competitor with my teacher in country-western dancing competitions (not your bar-style dancing either) where we not only two-step, but we waltz, cha-cha and do west-coast swing.  
  I love my Arts and Crafts as much - if not more!
  Thanks for coming by and looking--leave a comment if you wish.

WOYWW #122

   I didn't get this posted until today but took my pictures yesterday.  I finished the project I'm showing and will have a post on that soon - I hope you'll come by again and check it out.
   My latest artsy hankerings have been for mixed media and art journaling.  I've been buying and printing out some wonderful digital collage items.  Hope you can see those few straight on in the center and also leaning against my cutter.
   Here's a sneak peek of one of the journal pages before it was finished.  
   Thanks for stopping by!  Come back soon, won't you?
   Hugs to you!

Sunday Stamper - Week 174 - Mr. Mojo Risin'

   Hels posed the question of what one does when Mr. Mojo "naffs off"?
   For me, I just start organizing and cleaning up my craft space -- sometimes that seems like a never-ending task.  I'm always looking for a better way to store all my hordes of stash in a tiny space.  
   My room is 11' x 13' and is also where my PC is.  
   Lately, I''ve also been in "pick up stuff again-and-again from the floor mode" due to the addition of our new, rescue kitten, Cooper yes -- I did name him after the "MINI" car -- LOL.  (Confession I have a secret hankering for one in Turquoise - never to be fulfilled as I won't drive anything shorter than an SUV in Houston's crazy traffic.  Alas!  I admire them from afar and sigh every time one passes me on the highway.  They're very popular in our area.)  
   I find sometimes that touching my stash gets me into wanting to do something with it and it has paid off in inspiration - which you'll soon see as I'll be posting a two-page art journal spread on my blog in a short while.  
   I hope you'll come back and check it out!
   Hugs to all!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Choose to Shine

   I fell off the blogging-planet for a few weeks due to something sad and then something "most inconvenient" happening.  I think we have life sorted out a bit now and are back to normal day-to-day again.
   I had hoped I would be at my 100th post and blog candy give-a-way by now, but that will probably be another month away until I get back to regular posts.
   My MOJO had escaped for awhile to since I lost my stamping room Muse, Trevor, to diabetes around Labor Day weekend.  When I found myself wanting to be creative I could only slop paints and inks around a bit and went off in a collage direction for a bit.  I've actually made four pieces and created lots of backgrounds on canvas and in art journals.

   My offering today is an Art Journal piece I made yesterday using Dylusion paints and inks and collage pieces from TumbleFish studios.  The stamped words are from Dyan Reaveley also.
   I hope to be back soon with a whimsical piece I did on Saturday and some of the canvases I completed about two weeks ago along the "She Art" lines.
   Thanks for coming by!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

SHE Was A Girly-Girl!

   OK - what can I say but I am hooked on "She Art" at the moment!  I've been needing to work on some cards and a challenge this week, but I am guilty as charged and messing about creating different background canvases when I get home.
   Oh well - it's important to do what makes you happy, right?!  
   The idea for her came together quickly after I prepped the canvas with a tissue napkin I had that had lipsticks all over it.  I sprayed various mists in pinks and light reds on top.  Then I started planning her outfit and putting on rub-ons.  I used the Pitt Artist pens for her hair.  Her lace collar was creamy vintage and I dyed it with Distress Reinkers from Ranger-- I started with Milled Lavendar but then changed it to Tattered Rose.
   I usually finish the last coat of decoupage with a matte look, but I had a small bottle of Mod Podge Sparkle finish which is available from Simon Says Stamp.  
   And somehow for THIS Girly-Girl it just seemed the right way to finish!
    Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 117

   Well, my latest side-track, artsy route had started taking me into Art Journaling and I've been watching videos galore - including the fabulous Kate Crane's recently released duo.  Then I went back to one I got a while ago done by Julie Fei-Fan Balzer and a more recently purchased download video from featuring the ultra sweet Journal Artista, Paula Phillips.
   Next this led to - dum-dum-da-dummmmm -- my friend Melisa introducing me to She Art!  You can read all about my adventure with that in my previous post that is titled "She Heard the Flowers Sing".   It will help explain the mess of canvases and boards you see on my desk that I've been working on the last few evenings after work.
   I'm so glad for something fun like WOYWW to meet wonderful cyberfriends who love arts and crafts as much as I do and I look forward to visiting some of the links to see what all of you have been up to!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

SHE Heard the Flowers Sing

   Simon Says Stamp and Show challenge is having a Stamp-Tember Blog hop and Anything Goes is the theme.  I'm excited to put in my entry as a Mixed media for this challenge.  
   I've been privileged to have a new wonderful crafty friend, Melisa Waldorf.  Just a few weeks ago, I visited at her house for some crafty time together and we worked on cards.  She has lots of lovely, crafty art she made that decorates her craft room.  A trio of wall hangings uniquely placed on the wall within open frames she told me were not completely finished yet, but she had learned to do from an online class called She Art by Christy Tomlinson.

   I joined as soon as I got home--and I am hooked!  By Friday, I had only made it through Week 1 of the class (there are 3) because I've watched the videos a couple of times just because they are so fun.  
   Melisa and I got together again at her house this past Saturday so I could work on my canvas.  I was nervous about adding the girl, but it turned out to be much easier than I expected.  Melisa worked on completing the flowers, butterflies and bird house she needed to add to her three canvases.
   I was so anxious to have a good start before we got together that I ran home at lunch on Friday to put gesso on my canvases.  I realized later that evening the packaging had said they were already prepared and ready for acrylic paints - LOL.  Oh well, better safe than sorry right?!
    I still needed to pack up my supplies in a rolling case and a basket to take with me to Melisa's house.  But I could not keep myself from messing with my canvases (I was taking two 6"x12" with me).  So I did one of Christy's prep suggestions of adding tissue paper and book paper as a background.  
   OK! SET!  I'm ready to let those dry.  On to the packing .... selecting paint colors...matching designer papers to take for inspiration.   Hmmm ... this Olive Green (Master's Touch Fine Art Studios acrylics) is pretty cool -- really looks more like a Kiwi green to me.
   OK - now I'm putting paints on:  pink, red, the olive green and next thing you know I have colorful canvas to dry.  
   Saturday morning - I'm packing a tote and a basket to take, but I'm playing Christy's video on the PC for background noise and I started watching.  Uh oh!  Here's a new acrylic stamp that looks like sheet music -- just gotta sneak a little detail onto the canvas--a la Christy!
   Yeah ... now I'm ready to head out the door.
   Drum roll now ... and here she is finished!
   I added my favorite Dyan Reaveley leaf stamp on the side and swished in some acrylic paints.  Stamped all around the edges and top with one of Wendy Vecchi's flower stamps from one of the Studio 490 sets.  I painted the flowers in with some Tattered Angels Glimmer Glam which gives them a lovely sheen.  
   Melisa loves lace and had the perfect little yellow-flowered lace I added as a collar to her dress.  I put rub-ons as accents on the dress -- you should how crazy Christy gets with them in her videos--they appear everywhere!  
   This has been a lot of fun--you almost don't want to stop, but I needed to have something to post, didn't I?
   Shhh - don't tell!  I already have backgrounds going on four other pieces of board and canvases.  I think I may need an intervention soon -- but not before I get done watching week 3 of the online workshop!
  Thanks for looking!
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