Monday, July 21, 2014

Less is More

Just playing around....  Traced stencil with water soluble pencil, brush with water...
Add color with watercolor pencils, brush with water.
 Fill in background with scribbling using No Blot Pencil (writes like a pencil, but turns blue when water is added)...
 Add watercolor to very bottom, let everything dry, add some washi tape and stamping.  Call it good.
Return to mandatory overtime at work and hope for more play time.... Have a good week!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Instant Stickers

If you ventured into making a cardboard book like I talked about in a June post, you may have also bought a ginormous roll of the packaging tape (water activated).  The thing is, you either need to get dozens of friends to also make a cardboard book to use it all up, or come up with other ways to use it.  I was looking at my cardboard book pages, and started thinking to myself, I wish I had used a border punch on the edges of the tape before I stuck it down.  So I punched a few strips of the tape just to see what it looked like.  There is lots of potential there, I do believe!

Then I found myself using other punches on the tape.  You can lick and stick them, but I prefer to use a slightly wet brush to activate the adhesive on the tape.  Either way, you have some instant stickers.  You have lots of positive and negative shapes to use.  (In other words, I like the holes in the tape as much as the circles punched out of it.)  And that roll will go a long way!
Have at it!!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Agenda Book

Do you have your secret agent Agenda Book?  Bet you don't.  There are some openings in my class at Stampaway in August in Cincinnati if you are on the fence.  Still lots of good classes at the convention in fact.

I keep coming up with more and more ideas for this little book, and it is not as hard to make as it looks.
Registration at Stampaway USA.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014


It's July.  I know because I just put the word "July" in my writing journal. I am also playing catch-up in my writing journal and there are a few months that have been left blank for now.

I haven't had any time for artsy visual journaling lately, so in working in my writing journal, I have been adding more play just to feed my need.  The July word was cut from a piece of scrap paper where I had used up some leftover paint.

The simplest things make me happy.  I seem to be content just to use a watercolor pencil, then smear it with some water to activate the pencil.  I love the Inktense pencils.  They smear if left as pencil marks, and will transfer to a facing page.  But once activated with water, they are permanent.  I just like the gunginess of haphazard markings.

I have been challenging myself to use all kinds of differnt date designations.  Date stamps, stencils, etc. Then I coordinate the color with some washi tape.

So my "writing" journal has become a little more fun until I can get some Real play time! 

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Bits and pieces

Honestly... who saves things like this:
I guess the answer is, people who are distracted by anything with color on it!  And people who might also be inclined to save things like this....
Or even this.....
But if things like this pile up in your kitchen junk drawer, just put them on a journal page and pretend that you planned it that way all along. 

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Cheap Art

What can be cheaper than making a book out of cardboard?
I was inspired by instructions by Michelle Ward on how to make this cardboard book (See here).  I also have a slight obsession with cardboard, and it was right up my alley.  My book is smaller than her sample.  Most of my boxes on hand were shallow Amazon boxes, so my book is 4 x 6 inches (hers is 5 x 10).  I was thrilled to see I had a box from Cheap Joe's - what a great cover that would make!!  (And if anyone wants to make a book called Joe's Stuff, I might be able to help you out with the cardboard!)
These are the pages, all of which are in progress and will have more stenciling, stamping, or whatever strikes my fancy. 

I didn't realize at first that the Cheap Joe's warning symbols are actually art-related.  But the ink is all smeary in the printing, and they are very hard to read.

Now we are going to have a quiz - were you paying attention?  Did you by chance notice where there might be a little hidden message in this book?  Look closely for a little arrow sticking out.

Just think of the hiding places in those corrugated openings where you might hide little rolled up pices of paper with messages!.

Fun Factor for this book:  10+!!

Sunday, June 1, 2014


I guess stencildoodlery is not a real word, but my rule is once you say it out loud, it's a word.  I don't know what else to call what I have been doing.  Just playing around with stencils, black paper, and my favorite white pen (Uniball Signo). 

Happy June!!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Countdown to August

It's still May, but August is only a little over two months away.  Around here, August means Stampaway in Cincinnati, Ohio.  I mention it every year, and I have missed going only a couple of years.  One year, I even went with a broken wrist and took the classes I had signed up for.

After an absence from teaching for many years, I am once again teaching a class this year.  The Agenda Book is one of my favorites, and I have so many ideas for themes for it.  So, if you are looking for a fun book class, it will be on Thursday, August 7th.

The only down side is that Gaye and I have always helped out in each other's classes. This year, however, her Metal ATC class is the same time as my book class. Bummer... but we will get by.  Both are great classes if I do say so my own self!

More Stampaway info is here:  StampawayUSA

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Off With Its Head

Not really... I did not chop anyone's head off.  But I did print a picture of that cat thingy from the last post and used the head for a mailing label.  That head is just too cute not to use. 
That's another area where I have gotten ideas from Gaye - she sees body parts in everything, and I ended up making a cat body to send her something in the mail.  Even the necklace is actually two crowns punched out then turned upside down.

When I was at Gaye's last week, I got to see the faces she has been drawing.  She wanted to learn to draw faces and just sat down and taught herself.  She has worked hours and hours on these, then made her own collage sheets of the faces.  Below are some tags she made with them.  Pretty impressive!
I just found out it is National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day - not sure how that got by me, but I may have to go to the store, cause it's kind of late in the day to be making cookies!  Celebrate among yourselves!!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Cat's Meow

Lately, I've been so busy with new job, new training, and being out-of-sync with my routine, it seems like I'm not doing anything fun at all.  So it's always a treat when I can schedule a visit to friend Gaye's house even if we don't do anything special or make anything.

No only that, but it's yard sale season again, and she is the queen of finding good stuff at yard sales.  Sometimes she brings home something because it is too good to pass up, then can't find a good place for it.  Like this jewelry holder....
I can see how she ended up bringing it home. Even though she is not a cat person, who could resist that sweet cat face!  The top rack even spins around. Naturally, since I *am* a cat person, it ended up coming home with me instead.

But I'm afraid once Gaye realizes it is not a jewelry holder at all, but a washi tape holder, she will want it back!!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Story Within a Story

Even though I have a Kindle and read a lot of books electronically, I am still a huge fan of Real Books. The kind you can hold in your hand.  I also found I don't like art books on my Kindle.

I do often use Amazon for buying books, and you know how they are good about convincing you since you bought This, you would surely be interested in That, because other people who bought This were interested in it. One day, a book popped up on the recommendation list that I had never heard of.  The title is simple "S".  One of the authors caught my eye: J J Abrams.  He was involved in some of my favorite TV shows, like Lost and Fringe.

The book is described this way:
A young woman picks up a book left behind by a stranger. Inside it are his margin notes, which reveal a reader entranced by the story and by its mysterious author. She responds with notes of her own, leaving the book for the stranger, and so begins an unlikely conversation that plunges them both into the unknown.
It was also described as being similar to Nick Bantock's Griffin & Sabine series, with loose postcards and notes throughout the book.

Unfortunately, it was not in stock.  I clicked on "yes" to notify me when it was back in stock.  I was very patient.  Months went by until a copy was available.

It looks like an old library book, with an embossed design on the fabric-like cover and yellowed pages inside.  It came in a slip cover, and I hated to even break the seal on the cover because it was so cool. 
I don't know how to read this book.  Do I read the book itself, then go back and read the notes? Do I read them all together?  I haven't figured that out yet.  
In the back is a cypher wheel.  I don't know yet what I'll need that for.  It may take me  a long time to get that far!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Signs of Spring

I have been confused by spring this year.  It was such a cold winter. Then it got warm, then cold again, repeat, repeat...  My lilacs usually look like this, but kind of wimped out this year and didn't look like this at all.
One of my rites of spring is the E-cycle event held once a year.  It is a good place to get rid of unused electronic equipment. This year I was able to ditch my old printer, a couple of old keyboards, and other smaller items.  I think there was a dial-up modem in there too.  I takes only about 5 minutes to drive up to the line, pull up to the drop-off point, then several guys converge on my car, open the trunk, and wisk everything away to be recycled. Done and gone... It's a win-win for me.
I "donated" a box of old media, including some 3.5" disks.  These are the old kind with the metal thing on one end.  At the last minute, I decided I might need those metal things, maybe for altered books or something.  So I popped them off and kept a few.

Of course, this is my favorite spring item. 
Happy Derby everybody!!