Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Journal Play

Another journal page in progress, in a journal where I paint the pages with leftover paint from other projects.  I needed some play time, and didn't want to do a whole page, just doodle.  I started with a big stencil and some watercolor pencils.

I traced around the stencil with two colors (black and brown).  Just a messy trace, not really pretty.
 Used a brush to paint the pencil lines with water.  It really gave it a dimensional look.
 A couple of days later, I used different stencils to put pattern in a few of the openings.
 Today I used a face stencil and added half a face.
 I like having this to doodle on just to take a break from other things. Who knows how it will end up!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Two Things

First, I wanted to share this cool little ATC caddy that my friend Gaye Medbury is teaching at Stampaway in Cincinnati this year.  I was in her studio earlier this year and made this one using her artsy collage sheet. 

The caddy can hold ATCs or tags, photos, business cards, whatever fits! As always, she has so many creative samples to inspire the students.

The class is on Friday, August 5-- sign up here at Stampaway

Secondly, I am still one of the few people on earth not on Facebook.  But I did recently enter the world of Instagram.  I'm still trying to figure out what I'm doing, and today I added a video of the ATC caddy.  Instagram chopped off the top and bottom of the video but you get the idea.  I do know the pictures there are square, so it's a learning experience on my part!  My account is here.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

DLP Weeks 27 and 28

July has been pretty busy.  You would think I would keep track of things in my DLP planner.  Except I just got around to making the weekly pages.  I think starting July in a new binder threw me off.  I don't have any inspiration from the preceding week to jump start me!

For week 27, the week ending July 2, the first thing I had to do was cover the whole page, which happens to be the back side of the monthly calendar page from the previous post.  Although that calendar page is a gold color, the back is white.  I debated many options, painting, stenciling, etc... but decided to just print a weekly page onto a patterned paper.  This one with writing is a free insert from Somerset Studio magazine.  The paper was not quite long enough to cover the whole page, so I put washi tape around the edges.  I stamped the dates and days, and that one is done.  Not a whole lot left to say about that technique!
For Week 28, week ending July 9, I decided to use a tag from my stash.  I have these tags with a fold at the top, but I decided to cut off the flap and not add bulk to the planner.
I picked a light color as it looked best next to the preceding page.  I had some of the same background paper left over and cut it to size to fit the tag.  I used washi tape to divide the days, and stamped the dates and days.
 I wrote July at the top, and that one is now complete as well.  Not very creative, but it's okay.
After I made it, I discovered the light colored tag has dark blue on the back, so that will be my challenge the next week.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Random Play

At random times, I'll use up extra paint with a stencil on a journal page, or use a stamp I had out, or just other spurts of playing around, because it's there.  I wasn't liking any of this, then one day, it looked okay to me, after adding a little more to it. Just paint, stencils, stamps, art sticker, more paint, cleaning off a round paint applicator, etc.  It's still in progress...

I'm sure some day soon, that bird is going to grow some legs while I'm waiting for the coffee to be ready.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Working Things Out in July

New month, new month page, even a new binder for the DLP 2016 planner. 
Earlier this year, my sister gave me a calendar that I think she said she got for free. She gave it to me because she thought the pages were about the same size as my planner pages.  Plus, it's a calendar! There was one quote we both liked, but you have to wait til September to see if I use it.
The calendar theme is mainly about fashion and beauty.  I usually check each month to see if the quote for that month is something I want to use.  Even if it's not, the calendar section at the bottom might work for me.
For July, you can see it says "Be Patient, it will go on sale".  But that wasn't what caught my eye.  See the tiny words at the top... "Things have a way of working out."  Wow, is all I can say.  Seriously.  I am going through some challenging work things right now.  I've been at my present job less than a year and things have been in a downward spiral over the last month.  None of it is anything I can do anything about, other than look for another job.  Most of the time, I feel like a 4 year old, wanting to stomp my feet and whine, "I don't want to". 
See, I feel like I'm whining right now!  Anyway, I wanted to use the calendar just for that alone, to look at that sentence every day. The part about things working out, not the part about going on sale.  Although things on sale are good too!

I have been saving quotes from Pinterest off and on, and looked through some I had saved. This one seemed to also work for this particular point in my life, so I printed it out.  I layered it on cardstock, then decided it needed another layer of black cardstock.  I happened to have a small piece of black cardstock that was the right size, but just a little long.  Rather than cut that part off, I used three different size hole punches to punch circles.  I covered up the original quote, and added a July tab. 
It all seemed to work just perfectly, without me having to spend too much time resizing or thinking too hard about it.  Like it was meant to be.  Because sometimes things have a way of working out. :)

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Smells like leather

What a fun time I had last Saturday.  Traveled to Louisville to attend a bookbinding workshop where we made a leather journal.  The class was taught by a very talented book artist who uses upcycled material, Melissa Oesch of ReImagined .  These are some of her samples she brought. Each one is unique and beautiful. 

This is the book I made (below).  My one regret is that I picked flimsy leather for my cover.  We had a choice, as Melissa went around the room letting us be the one to pick. So I have no one to blame but myself. I liked the look of this leather, but in retrospect, wish I had used a heavier leather.  After I got home, I stiffened the cover a little by attaching a scrap piece I had cut from my original cover.  I turned it over to the more suede side, and started sewing it in place, first on the right side of the scrap.  I was just about through with that and ready to start sewing the left side of the scrap and thought - eyelets!  So I used eyelets on the edge of the flap.  I will add a button or bead to the leather tie that wraps around the book.
I did treat myself to one of Melissa's journals, and I'm so glad I did.  I picked this one (on the left) because I liked the more tall narrow size.  Reminds me of the Midori travel journal a little.  That's also how I realized I like the thicker leather.  This journal just feel better to hold.  It has beautiful deckled paper inside too.

I've been experimenting off and on in the tall journal, testing pens, inks, watercolors, and paints.
This paper holds up surprisingly well.  The only bleed through was when I used a lot of water.  The Distress ink pad bled completely through the page when I added water.
Overall, fun class, fun day with friends, good lunch.  It all went too fast. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

June Weeks

I was playing around with printing out some days of the week for another journal I keep, my writing journal.  I'm not always at my art table when I work on this, and thought it would be convenient to have some preprinted days to put on the pages.  I played with font and font size and printed some out. Since it's saved on my computer, I can print more as needed, changing font styles and paper.

Then it occurred to me that I could change the print parameters and print it in a landscape orientation (with just the seven days of the week), and it would be perfect for the planner page.

So that's what I did, for the week of June 5th.  Printed it on ledger paper, added some arty stickers and it's done.
I've recently been playing with a border stamp that I love. I can't tell you who makes it because I don't know.  (It was a gift.)  I just know I went crazy stamping the border on paper, card stock, tissue paper, label paper, and book paper.  I put a strip in my little notebook where i doodle when I'm on the phone. 
And that's how I ended up with this planner page for the week of June 12th.  That border stamp looks great when you cut around the edge of the design.
I'm happy with those two weeks.  I'm getting behind on my PACs (the art cards).  I usually start something once I know the theme, just to get some ideas flowing, then i put them in a plastic sleeve. I need to catch up with those.  It could be that once I finish them and add them to the planner, June won't fit in this binder after all, but we'll see!

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Welcome June

When I made my June calendar, I really had no idea where I was going.  I had no plan in mind whatsoever.  Lately, I seem to just pick up the last thing I laid down on the work table. In this case, it was a new collage sheet from my friend Gaye.  I had printed it on label sheets, and I stuck parts of it all around the page to make a border. 
I planned to use the calendar template from the DLP* downloads, but the regular size was too big.  I reduced it but that was too small.  I experimented until I got the size I wanted.  Like Goldilocks says, it was Just Right! 
Another thing I had laying around was old book pages where I had punched out some bird shapes.  I was about to throw those away, but instead punched some ovals to use as dates on the next weekly page.  For the base of the page, I used some kraft cardstock from my stash of background papers.  I had previously stamped a design on it, I think it was with acrylic paints but it was a long time ago, and I don't remember now.
I divided my weekly page for the week of May 29 through June 4 using different washi tapes. Then I glued the oval numbers to the page.
The kraft cardstock is a little flimsy, so it will have a backing added for the next week before I attach my June tab to the edge. 
*DLP refers to Documented Life Project, the UnPlanner project for 2016. 

Friday, June 3, 2016

May or May Not

More planner pages for May...
     For the week of May 15, I used the grid marks on cardstock to divide the days of the week.  I used my tried and true, go-to favorite tool, Inktense watercolor pencils to mark it off.
I have to say, this is the first time I was not happy with the way the pencils reacted when I brushed the marks with water.  It's not the fault of the pencils, but of the cardstock.  It has a feel to it that reminds me of the matte coat cardstock I used years ago.  If I remember, that had a clay-based coating.  There was almost no difference between before adding water and after.  Except it made the cardstock curl. 
For the week of May 22, I really didn't put much thought into it at all.  I have a few pages already cut to size in my planner notebook, and the red page just happened to be the next thing I saw.  I grabbed bits of stuff already laying around and glued those down.  I drew lines for the days of the week, adding circles of different sizes where I wrote the dates. 
I may or may not like this page.  I may or may not change it.  I think I will do something with those circles and cover them up with something that's easier to see.   But I've already moved to June, and I'm not going to spend a lot more time on it.   

Monday, May 30, 2016

Exploring May

More pages in the planner from May -- This is the back of my May monthly calendar and is for the week of May 1.  It is a file folder cut to size, and I glued down some vintage ledger paper, then drew lines across to designate the days.  I used my hand carved days of the week stamps, and some number stamps.  I like having lots of options for numbers and words, and sometimes wonder if I have too many alphabet sets and number sets.  Hahaha.....no, that's just ridiculous!
On the opposite side, for the week of May 8, I used cardstock that has a grid pattern on it.  I continue to print on label paper, but recently used a coupon to buy full sheets of label paper, so that I don't have to piece the art together if I want to use more than the small labels I had been printing on.  This particular art is from a travel journal Mary Ann Moss did a few years ago. It was available for download at one point, but is also a freebie at The Artsronauts Club

I put the label down one side and continued my lines from the previous week's page to make divisions for the days.  I made the numbers with a stencil and added the word 'explore' with another stencil.
I printed off an expense envelope and punched holes in it, adding it between the two pages.  I don't really need an envelope for expenses, and even if I did, most of my receipts wouldn't fit in that envelope anyway.  I mainly put it there to remind me that I had found the template online (here) in case I wanted one for something else in the future.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

In a Bind(er)

The binder I'm using for my 2016 DLP planner will definitely hold the May pages.  It might hold June too, but it's getting full and that might be pretty tight.  Some people have already started using a second binder.

I bought my original kraft binder from Amazon for $5.  Even though I already have a second one, I decided at that price to order more in case I need them.  And what I get for me, I get for my friend Gaye... so, I ordered three. 

Order went through fine, it showed three binders on order, $5 each.  But what I received was this:
One the size I wanted, and two very small binders, ATC size.  I immediately emailed them to arrange return of the two small ones and to obtain two larger ones.  I received an email with return instructions and a prepaid shipping label to print out.  So far, so good.

Five minutes later, I received another email from a customer service rep telling me I didn't have to return the two items, just to keep them.  And that they would ship out the correct items.  Fantastic, I thought! I was very impressed with the way Amazon handled this.

A couple of days later, this is what I had in my possession:
At this point I was ready to just forget the whole thing.   It's obvious their items are not marked with the proper item number.  And it's probably why I only paid $5 for the first binders I ordered.  That's the price for the smaller binders.

But wait!  A couple of days later, I received another email stating that since I had not returned the original items, my credit card would be charged if they were not received within the week.  But, but, I was told not to return them by someone else!  So I reprinted the shipping label (because I threw away the first one I printed) and had to drive quite a distance to a UPS store to ship them. 

They sent one of those standard "How was your experience" emails not long after that.  I used up all of the allotted space and number of characters to tell them.  I have always had a good experience with Amazon, but this was not one of them. 

In the end, I think I may use these FREE binders that Gaye picked up for me at a recent FreeCycle event held in Louisville.  Everything is free, and these were binders that held paper samples or something.  Same size, maybe a little bigger spine.  Great price!  :)

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Picking Paper

I continue to search in my supplies on hand to find interesting things to put in my 2016 DLP planner. I remembered I had this paper from Paper Direct. I'm not sure if they are still in business as it's been so long since I used to order from them, back in the days when interesting papers weren't readily available.  Okay, I googled them, and they are still in business!  Anyway, this wasn't even originally my paper.  I got it at Gaye's yard sale (of course) because she always gets cool stuff and if you hang around long enough, she needs to get rid of it to make way for something else.  Works for me and the rest of her friends!

This shows two different papers, and both have a different design on the front and the back.  I printed on both sides to see what I liked best and where the weekly calendar would land.  The paper in the back had perforations in it, so I didn't even try that.
I decided on this piece of paper and stamped my days and numbers.  You can see the dotted paper from the previous week.  I ended up cutting it off and leaving just a flap from the other side. 
For the May calendar, I already had decided to use a file folder cut to size.  It is solid color on one side and has a very slight pattern on the other side.  I used a piece of scrapbook paper glued to the tab and part of the page, then attached a vintage label with the month stamped on it.  I really liked the spring-like flowers on the scrapbook paper.  Then I realized that would all be covered up with my calendar, so I printed the monthly calendar template onto velum paper.  I can still see through it and enjoy the paper below.
Looks good to me... onward to the next weeks....