Sunday, August 30, 2015

Half empty or Half full

Yep.. still behind on my assignments for Documented Life Project journal.  The year is more than half over.  But when I look at my journal, I'm happy to see it is roughly half full.  Of course, it's half empty too! 
I need to add some writing and other things to the June page I was working on.  I made a fold out page and combined three weeks.  It just seemed that the themes for those three weeks fit together as one for me.
If you look at the colorful paper on the page where my tags are, that is "geo paper" that I made several years ago.  It took me forever to find a link to the instructions (mainly because it's from 2011).  It's the last piece I have from the play session back then.  Jill Berry has a tutorial here and it's lots of fun. 

Even if I get behind on the weekly assignments, I do work on the monthly calendar for each month, and am now working on both July and August.  September... right around the corner!!  Breathing down my neck!

For some reason, I started thinking about that phrase about half empty versus half full.  In my mind, if something is half empty, it seems more of a negative thing.  Something is missing.  But if it is half full, it is a positive thing... there is potential for something else.  There is more in the future!  Or at least that's how my mind was seeing it, as it rambled and wandered around those thoughts!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

What Day is It?

I think I am avoiding my DLP journal.  I'm not positive.  But I do seem to keep finding other things to do instead.  I must be stuck.

I do keep up with a writing journal, nothing spectacular, just mundane day to day stuff.  I have some days of the week stamps I use in it, but don't like any of them.  So, I carved my own.
 The size was determined by the erasers I had on hand.  I lettered the days, outlined them with pencil, and transferred the reverse image to the eraser and carved.  There are plenty of how-to videos out there if you are interested in carving stamps.

Mine aren't perfect by any means.  I can see now the wobbly sides and all the imperfections.  But if the words bother me when I look at them on the page, I can always doodle around them (like I did on the "Fri").  All the wobbly lines magically disappear!
Have a good week, all seven days' worth!

Friday, August 14, 2015

Bright Spot

I've been playing.  Not necessarily in my DLP journal, but on other journal pages.  I went to Stampaway in Cincinnati last weekend with friend Gaye.  Unbelievably, I did not buy a single rubber stamp.  First time ever.  But I did buy stencils, stamp pads, tools, and paints.  I try not to jump on the band wagon of every new thing that comes out, but can't help but be drawn to the new Dylusions paints.  I love anything Dyan Reaveley does anyway, and really enjoy watching her demos at Stampaway each year. 

Most of my color palette is along the earth tones.  I also love bright colors, but just don't use them a lot.  I have been adding more bright colors to my paints and stamp pads over time, however.  Thus, I did come home with bright bright paints, and if that does not brighten up my life, I don't know what would!  They match the Dylusions sprays I already have and use.
I have only played a little so far.  The first night I was home, I could not resist opening one jar (Fresh Lime), and making some circles with a round applicator tool.  A little of this paint goes a long way, so I made more circles on other journal pages, then used what was left on the sponge with a new stencil.  This paint even looks great on plain old newsprint paper!
I have continued to play a little each day this week, mostly in my "test" journal where I play with new things.  Bright yellow background (Lemon Zest), red and purple on top with stencils (Post Box Red and Crushed Grape), and black added (I did not buy the Dylusions black, but used black gesso that I already had on hand).

Any leftover paint goes into other journals... this is a small journal that already had a layer of grayish paint on the pages, and I used up the purple and black gesso.  (The purple is not as bright because it is mixed with white gesso... I had a reason for doing that at the time, but don't remember what it is at the moment!)
Lots of fun!  I only bought four of the round applicators, and you certainly don't have to have those to use the paint.  But I do like this tool.  It's been a week since I used the green paint, and the sponge did not dry hard at all.  I liked using the edge of the sponge to get paint in only a small part of a stencil.  And on the big purple flower (if I remember correctly), I might have used the edge of the sponge tool with almost no paint left to just swipe "ghost" streaks around the flower (look closely to see that).

Wishing you Bright days as well!!

Friday, August 7, 2015

DLP Catch Up Week 16

I keep jumping around in my DLP Journal.  I went back to April, Week 16, and worked on a double page spread.  The  Challenge was "gelli plate".  I don't have a gelli plate (which is probably why I skipped that week in the first place!)  But I did have some painted deli papers that were used as gift wrap on some birthday presents I received a few months ago.  Back in Week 1 of DLP, one of my goals was to "use what I have".  If there is one thing I'm happy about, it's that I have done a lot of that with this journal. 

First, I stamped out the prompt "A lot on my plate" on the top right side.  On the left side, I did random writing about what I have on my plate (work, life, worries, etc).   The deli paper was then glued on top of those two pages, with the writing and stamping showing through the deli paper.  I had just enough to cover the two pages.  I put down regular masking tape to stamp out the theme and date, adding some washi tape too.  I used yellow acrylic paint and stencils to add some leaves and flowers to the pages.  It wasn't as bright as I hoped, so I outlined them with black pen.

I still need to work with the pages to make them pop a little more, and I think I will add another piece of paper to write about my technique.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Making a Point

Thought I would share what I am playing around with while working on my DLP Journal travel theme pages. 

Since I am combining three weeks into one spread, I wanted some tags or something to explain each week.  I love tags, but come on, how many tags can you use before you bore yourself!  (Okay, I never get tired of tags, but anyway...)

I decided to try out some arrow tags.  I took regular tags, using one for a template.  I marked the center point on the bottom (the end opposite the string).  I drew diagonal lines from that center point to both sides, then trimmed to a point.  Since the other end is shorter (where the angle cut is), I used that short width as a guide to draw a cutting line to the other end.

It is way simpler to show in person than trying to write out an explanation of what I did, but I'm sure you can figure it out yourselves.  Kind of a unique way to use a tag, I think.

In the end, though, I may use a cardstock with a grid print for my arrows (still debating whether to make them look tag-like). 

So, that's what I've been playing with.  Yesterday was 1 minute shorter than the day before.. school here starts in two weeks.  Summer is sneaking away right under my nose!!

Monday, July 13, 2015

DLP Week 23

Happy June-ly  (I'm still part in June and part in July!)... Seems like I really got behind on June's DLP pages.  The theme for June is Travel Journal. 

I feel like this page spread is more scrapbook than mixed media layers!  As with every month, I started out by deciding what kind of calendar to make.  I printed out a calendar off the internet, but only used the days of the week part.  I did use the rest of the calendar as a guide for where the weeks would be laid out.

I used an oval punch to punch out ovals from a map, then glued those to the June calendar, stamping the numbered days on them.  On both left and right sides, I used papers from the book Make Map Art.  I got it some time ago during a map-crazy phase.  It has several papers for making your own maps, plus stickers and a how-to book.
The Challenge for the week was Illustrative Art Journaling.  I wasn't feeling very illustrative, and instead, I printed out images from google earth of places that mean something to me.  (I am not traveling anywhere this month, but when I think of traveling, I think of going back home since I don't seem to get there much lately!)
I filled in some of the other shapes on the preprinted page with writing and parts from maps.
I am currently working on the next assignment, which has turned into one spread for the rest of June.  I seemed to have the same ideas for the assignments for the other three weeks in June, so it will be one big spread and will also get me caught up in a hurry.  I added an extra page as a fold-out for the three weeks to be combined.  Hope to have it ready to post sooner rather than later! 

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Studio Sale (and Way Back Machine)

I wish someone would slow the time machine down.  June has really gotten away from me.  July next week?  Really?  I have pages in progress in my DLP Journal.  Hope to finish enough to share soon.

It's always great to hear from people you haven't heard from in a long time.  My friend Gaye Medbury is famous for her studio art sales and always has the best finds and the best deals.  So, if you were someone who is clearing out your studio and needed to find a home for your treasures, Gaye is a good person to contact! 

Remember Gayle Burkins?  Fantastic bookbinder, artist, teacher, clever mind...  She used to teach at Art Continuum, Stampaway, and other venues.  She has retired from teaching and is selling her 30 year accumulation of rubber stamps, bookbinding supplies, tools, book cradles, mixed media, book kits, and finished art, plus lots of other things.  I wish I had pictures to show you.  Like I said, real treasures.  If you live anywhere near Louisville, KY, you owe yourself a day trip to check it out!!

Gaye and I drove to Cincinnati in two cars to Gayle's condo and brought home, well, two car loads!  (Could have brought more, but us three old ladies were exhausted carrying things up the basement steps!)  The sale will be at Gaye's on Saturday, June 27, 9 a.m. to ?  If you need the address, email me at the address link under my profile here on this blog.  (If you have been there before, you know to not park on her husband's grass.  Do ... Not..!!!)  If you can't come, but know someone who might be interested, pass it along!!

I bribed Gaye and Gayle to let me post their picture.  I think it's a great picture, but they both wanted to curse me... We're all friends here, right?  Such good times we all used to have.  So glad to see this face from the past and laugh over old times!!

Hope to see many of you in Louisville!! 

Friday, June 5, 2015

DLP Week 20

Making progress, slowly!  I finished DLP Journal assignment for Week 20 (still with the May theme of Texture).  The challenge was to use modeling paste.  If you didn't have any, you could substitute drywall spackle, or use an online recipe to make your own. 

Wasn't a problem for me to dig out some modeling paste.  In fact, I had several things to pick from, none of which I have used much.  So, for my page, I decided to use them all... modeling paste, molding paste, fiber paste, and wood icing. 

I started out by putting down a layer of white gesso, then yellow and orange color, then stenciling reddish orange over that.
I spread the pastes through a feather stencil, using acrylic paint to color each of the pastes. 

For the fiber paste, I found a baggie of some experimental pieces from a couple of years ago.  I had tinted the fiber paste with blue acrylic paint, then used a palette knife to spread several pieces out on freezer paper.  Once the pieces dried, I peeled them up... and never used them for anything.  I had heard you can sew through it, punch holes in it, etc.  So I punched holes and sewed a piece to a tag.   
To finish off the double page spread, I used Inktense pencil to make boxes around each example, used purple paint around the border, scribbled some words around the edge with a bright Moonlight gelly roll pen, and made notes about the samples.
I'm pretty  happy with it.  I'll be interested to see how well these feathers hold up over time, as I continue to work in the journal. 

Saturday, May 23, 2015

DLP Week 18

Not only is it May, but May is almost over!  One of the things I started doing in my Documented Life journal after the first couple of months is to make my own calendar for each month. 

The theme for May is Touchy Feely (Texture).  The challenge for the first week was Fabric.  So I decided to make a fabric calendar for May.

One of my goals at the first of the year was to use things that I've been saving (sounds better than hoarding!)  I used a piece of fabric that I painted years ago in a workshop with Sherrill Kahn.  I sometimes get those fabrics out and enjoy them, thinking I'll make a book from them.  But since I haven't done that, this is a good place to use some of this fabric!.

I sewed the fabric to lightweight cardstock so it would be easier to glue to the page.  I messed up stamping the numbers, but my attitude lately is just keep moving, go forward, don't look back!
I picked a fabric that did not have a lot of busy elements on it, so the numbers of the month wouldn't get lost.
Since I was behind on May's assignments, I already knew the challenge for the next week was Stitching.  So I took another piece of painted fabric, wrapped it around the edge of the page, and sewed it in place.  Note:  I have sewn on book pages before.  It's a challenge to be sure.  But this large hard back journal fought me all the way!  Hence the haphazard all-over-the-place stitching!  Move on, don't look back...
At that point, I had not decided what else I was going to put on the page on the right, but knew I wanted to letter on fabric.  When I decided how to bring all that into play, I kind of wished I had not sewn that fabric to the right side of the page, makes it pretty busy overall. 

First, I took a piece of lightweight cardstock and wrote on it sideways with two watercolor pencils.  It was random, stream of consciousness writing, about the fabric of my life, my life in general, where it might be going, etc.  Then I brushed the writing with water to blend the watercolor.  When that was dry, I sewed strips of batik fabric along with my lettered and stamped fabrics, plus a girl from a napkin. 

The last thing I did was lift up the fabric of the calendar page and jot some notes about my technique for the page.  Done and done.  Move on... I like the texture theme this month.  Lots of ideas in my head!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Cry Me a River

I'm still here.  I have been so stuck on these owls!  And stuck in my DLP journal for week 15.  But the Journal Prompt for week 15 was "cry me a river"... so that worked into my frustration at how things didn't go as planned for my page!  Moving on, turning the page (literally!!). 

I still have weeks 16 and 17 to do with the April theme of inks and paints, but I need to feel like I'm making progress.  I am already playing with ideas for May, texture, fabrics, stitching.....

Monday, April 20, 2015

When Good Owls Go Bad

A new issue of Cloth Paper Scissors had a technique for making owls, where you draw the shape with water, then use the dropper of a bottle of acrylic ink to put the color in the water.  The technique for last week's DLP journal was acrylics, so I thought I would try this. 

One of the main adjustments for this journal for me is that it is such a large size.  So I wanted to practice making a large owl in another journal.  I did pretty much everything wrong.  I didn't use enough water, so when I dropped in the color, it didn't do much of anything.  Plus, I forgot to draw in the owl ears with water, so I had to go back and put some in. 

The whole thing ended up looking pretty bizarre.  I can't decide if this looks like Eddie Munster, or a Russian orthodox priest.  Either way, every time I walk by it, it cracks me up.  It's so large, I can't avoid looking at it.  So I guess it wasn't wasted effort after all!!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

DLP Week 14

It's always exciting when a new month rolls around, to find out what the monthly theme is for the Documented Life Project journal.  For April, the theme is Color Safari, Exploring Inks and Paints.  Week 14 (last week) explores Watercolors.

I had a rough idea in mind for what I wanted to do.  I wanted to write with markers that I knew would run when water was sprayed on them.  I  had very mixed results and markers that I expected to run didn't.  I was working outside my journal on separate pieces of art paper.
I wanted the words at the bottom of the page, because the journal prompt was "It's water under the bridge."  I was going to have runny blue ink at the bottom of the page.  But I really liked the pattern on my first attempt.  No reason the "bridge" couldn't be at the top of the page.  Of course, then the words were upside down, so I ended up cutting off most of them.  I used the other trial pages to punch out circles to use for the dates on my calendar page.

For the top of the journal page on the left, I sprayed water through a circle stencil, then took the spray stem out of a bottle of Dylusions spray and just touched it to the circles of water.  Really liked that, but there weren't enough circles and the page needed more.  So I used the spray stem to make scribble marks in the same area.
The rest of the page was done by drawing out the calendar with water color pencil then activating the color with water; putting washi tape across the top of one page; gluing tissue paper fish to the page; and stamping out some lines for writing about the theme and techniques I used.
When I started this page, I didn't know how messy my watercolor was going to get (not much as it turned out), but I didn't want it bleeding to the page before it because that page has a very simple white background.  So I put masking tape around the page borders before I started working on the page spread.  When I removed the masking tape, it tore bits of paper from the page.  I hadn't planned to put anything around the border, but decided to use my No Blot pencil to scribble all around the edges and activate it with water to turn it blue. 

This is a pretty simple page, and I may not be done with it yet, but I'm happy with it for now.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Still Here...

Guess I'd better post something here, huh?  I am still playing in my DLP journal.  Mostly working on different pages all at once, so there are parts in progress.  The March theme was Doodles and Mark Making, which I expected to be the easiest month for me.  For some reason, it has been the hardest for me to connect with.  Not sure why, since I am such a doodler and mark maker.

Nevertheless, anytime I work in the DLP journal, I always smear the leftover paint in my play journal.  The play journal is also where I test out new paints and stencils, etc.   Sometimes I am happier with that than the other journal!

This spread was where I had tested new paint on the left side.  The tubes of paint were different companies, and looked almost the same in the tube, but definitely different on the page.

On the right is where I tested some new stencils, adding tapes and papers to the border.  The big flower was on the cover of the postal service catalog and is a Victorian rose which is featured on a new postal stamp.  The page already had leftover paint on it when I started, and it was lots of fun.  I sponged on Archival ink with the stencils and really like how those inks work so well over acrylic paint with no problem.

Going to try to work more on the March pages now that April is here!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

DLP Week 8

The theme for Documented Life Project for Week 8 is Repeating Elements.  This is a page I've had in my head for a long time. 
I used a piece of corrugated cardboard to stamp lines on the page.

I really had fun with this, and used a combination of acrylic paints, stamp pad inks sponged on and stamped on, as well as permanent black pen for scribbling.  I had some gift wrap tissue paper with the same design, but it was really shiny and I didn't use much of it.  Most of the stencils used are from Michelle Ward/ Green Pepper Press.  And, yes, I'm still going backwards, catching up with past assignments.

Woven Fat Book

I don't remember when I made my first book, back in the mid 1980's I believe.  I just love to make books, any kind of book. 

Even better is having a best friend who also makes books.  Gaye Medbury constantly comes up with new and interesting ideas for books.  I am proud to send out a Book Alert that her new class, Woven Fat Book, is starting today, March 14, 2015, at Creative Workshops.

This is the Woven Fat Book, a fun little book that anyone can make.

Isn't that cute?  The pages are index cards, so that tells you it's a smallish book. 

And one of the things that amazes me is that Gaye has now started playing around with her sample book, making little quickie art pages. These pages are not part of the class, but it just shows you how much fun you can have with a 3 x 5 index card as a book page!  

Now this would be where I would give a disclaimer, that I'm not affiliated, don't get a kickback, yada, yada, yada...  Well, I don't get a kickback, but I am affiliated since Gaye is a friend.  But I do hope you will take her class because it's a fun, easy project at a great price. 

Click below to link to the class info and introductory video: