Saturday, February 6, 2016

Random Things

In no particular order (because these are not from the same weeks), new things in my 2016 Planner include:

Monthly view for February:
I had printed blank calendars on several different papers last month, and thought red would be good for February.  I used an edge punch to make the right side border... and accidentally tore part of the design.  A tab covers that nicely.  My planner is a bit flat because I haven't added a lot in the way of 3D embellishments.  I came across this birthday card a friend made for me several years ago.  I like the way it looks with my red February pages, plus it adds some dimension.

Miscellaneous things to use:
One of my weekly pages above, which was printed on scrapbook paper.  I'm finding I like to print on scrapbook papers.  I also discovered a stack of papers from the freebies in Somerset Studio magazine.  One is on the left, a good choice for February.  They have printing and advertisement on the back, but folded in half they make a good sturdy page ready for embellishment.  Came across the giant playing card and I'm not sure yet what I will do with it, but it seems right for February.

Art card and List 10 card:
The small art card on the right was for an assignment to use something from a flyer or magazine.  Instead, I used some numbers from the selvage edge of fabric.  I sewed it to the card, which already has paper with mark making from one of my play days.  I used it last year in the DLP journal, and enjoyed finding a use for this smaller piece.  (Seriously, these selvage edges are as popular as the inside of security envelopes.  Just do an internet search for fabric selvage images and see all the things people are doing with these scraps that were meant to be thrown away.)
One of the monthly assignments will be to list 10 things (last month was 10 books that influenced you).  I happened to have a pad of blank lists, found on a sale table once.  I collaged and stenciled a large tag where I will place my list, and added a batik fabric tie at the top.
The first month of the DLP Planner is behind us.  Moving on to the February challenges. 

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Seeing Red

I have not yet read the prompts for the coming week (#4) of the DLP 2016 planner, but I did start my weekly page early and really love it.

For my background page, I used a scrap piece of bristol board from a play day in the past when I tested new stencils and paints.  I have a stash of papers like this and never liked this one, but for some reason, I decided the to use it as the weight is good for a page in the planner.
I used vintage labels for the days of the week, cutting them in half so they didn't take up so much room.
I put washi tape on the left side and added a nice little art element with the bird, which was on a gift tag last year from friend Gaye.

I couldn't decide how to separate the days of the week.  A strip of black washi tape between each one seemed too much.  Drawing a dark black line with a permanent marker didn't seem to strike a chord with me ether.   Ah.. my Inktense black watercolor pencil.  Still my favorite tool.  I quickly scribbled lines around the page and between the days.
I held my breath and applied water to the pencil lines.  You never know what it will actually look like until the pencil is activated with water.  But I really liked it.  It was just the grungy look I was going for, and I really liked how the acrylic paint resisted the watercolor.
The piece of bristol board I used was pretty big before I cut it down.  In addition to the acrylic paint on it, it had a shimmery spray that I had also tested.  Rather than cut the page to the exact size I needed, I kept it long on one end and folded it over, so the part where the holes are is double thickness.  I glued down some kraft paper under that flap that was formed and put some decorative tape over the edge of the flap.    
 I'm not sure what will go on that page, so I guess I'd better go look at the assignment now! 

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Play dates

Forgot to post this earlier, but this is what I played with for Week 3 of the DLP 2016 planner.  I still have to finish some of it. 

Left:  the Dare2Be card.  I edged the page with my printed label stickers, then printed out the free download to put on top of that.  I picked my word to use (hopeful)... I have a lot to say about that on my card as I feel I have been challenged in all areas of my life in the past year or two. 

Middle:  My weekly date page.  I printed the template on scrapbook paper that I cut to size to fit my printer.  I used my hole reinforcers that I decorated last week.  For the days of the week, I cut the words from a small pocket size datebook from years past.

Right:  I printed out the template for a To Do List and attached it to a really pretty envelope, then punched holes on the left so I can put it in the planner.  Inside the envelope are some notes and ideas about those things I need To Do!  The envelope is held closed with an arrow shaped paper clip.

Three of the days on the weekly calendar have the word "snow" on them!  brrrr... I know it's winter, but it seems like we always get a lot of snow all at once. 

Friday, January 15, 2016

Holey Moley

I've been wanting to do something fun with hole reinforcers.  I started by stamping designs in black ink. 
 Then I sponged on different colors of stamp pad ink. That's all there is to it.  Quick and easy.
 Or so I thought.  I seem to have taken up permanent residence in the Land of Oblivion.  In the picture below, notice that the sheet on the left has no hole reinforcers on it.  That's because they are on the reverse side of that sheet.  How I could have been so oblivious to stamp and sponge the whole sheet without noticing that is beyond me.  But when I realized it, I just turned it over and repeated it all over again.  But you know, once I have used up the reinforcers, that back side of the sheet with all those holes would make a nice embellishment.
 As will my scrap paper where I worked, with all those dots. 
The Land of Oblivion provides lots of happy accidents as a bonus to its residents.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Getting Organized

For some reason, I have trouble with this new planner project.  Not with making my pages, but gathering my thoughts about what to do each week.  Simple solution...  Make a page to go in my planner that tells me. I copied part of it directly from the website and printed it on cardstock to fit the page size.  I need to double check that I have the information right, then embellish the page some and permanently attach the vintage plastic divider tab.  This will come in handy for my scattered brain.

One thing I missed about last year's journal is that I had a place in the beginning of my book where I listed all the assignments for each week and month.  The great thing about this planner is that you do what you want with it.  So, I made some pages where I can record the assignments.  I simply used a ledger type paper, put some reinforcement at the edge and punched holes.  I printed the DLP header off the website to put on the first page.

I have not completed this week's assignment, but I feel a whole lot better about seeing at a glance what I need to do! 

Sunday, January 3, 2016

I Feel Dated

Played around with the Week 1 assignment for DLP 2016 off and on this weekend.  I'm trying to follow instructions and figure out exactly what I'm supposed to do this first week. As usual, I do have a way of straying off the beaten path.  It's only week 1, so that doesn't bode well! 

What I have done so far is:
Monthly divider page for January.  I used a black cardstock page, collaged some map gift wrap tissue from a  Christmas gift along with some vintage postage, and two rows of washi tape. Added a label tab for the month, used a corner rounder, and called it good.  (Note to self:  When using the corner rounder, do it before adding the month tab.)

January Calendar:  Printed off a blank calendar from the downloads, lettered the month, and stamped the numbers.   (Note to self:  Next time use the other calendar, the one that starts on Sunday.  I get very confused with weeks that start with Monday.)  I printed one of my journal pages onto label paper and put labels on the left side of the calendar, and some washi tape on the right side.  Used the corner rounder, and called it good.

Instead of using one of the downloads for the weekly view, I used a timecard.  And instead of making an art card this week, I used the back of the timecard/weekly calendar to make an art card.  I have a plastic sleeve this will go in, with holes punched on the left for the three ring binder.  The front (weekly) part of the card is pretty self explanatory.
For the art card part, I lightly painted it with acrylic paint.  I noticed the words about lost time and time out, and left those visible.  I added on random words all over the card (Archival stamp pad ink) from a word stencil.

I still need to add my notes about technique as well as the challenge and prompt. 
January Challenge:  Trying something new (for me, this Unplanner will be something new).
Week 1 Prompt:  Incorporate 16 into your art. 

Not totally happy with everything, but I don't hate it.  Not going to go back at this point and change anything! 

Friday, January 1, 2016

Twenty Sixteen

Happy New Year!  I always feel like I have a fresh start on the first day of a new year.  I don't make resolutions, no sense setting myself up for failure.  I do like to have goals in mind, but there is no punishment if I don't accomplish them all.

I have unfinished business from last year, mainly my Documented Life Project 2015 Journal.  There are several weeks that I skipped over, and I will finish those.  The assignments will be a nice change of pace from whatever else goes on this year.

I am already suffering from Journal Indecision for 2016.  That is not a good way to start the year.  It is not uncommon for me to have more than one journal going on at the same time.  But this year I am very indecisive about what I want to do.
I usually have my "grid journal", a small journal for writing that has graph paper pages.  I couldn't find one this year and ended up buying a larger lined journal (above).  It will mainly be for writing, but I will also add stamping and stenciling, washi tape, other fun stuff.

I have also signed up for Documented Life Project 2016, the Unplanner.  This is a three ring binder with inserts.  I have played around with their generous downloads of pages for calendars, weekly planner, lists, etc.  I'm anxious to see where that will take me! To see what it's all about, watch their video here.

Before I got my lined journal, I bought this book, Year of the Doodle.  I really love the images of ephemera used on the printed page. I didn't get it to doodle, but planned to use it for my writing journal.  Then I decided that I sometimes need more room for certain days than what that provides.  Not sure what I'm going to use it for yet.  Maybe an idea journal.  I'm always jotting ideas on scraps of paper while I'm working, and then they end up lost or accidentally thrown away. 

So, that is the State of the Arts at my house on this first day of 2016.  Hope everyone has a most wonderful year ahead, lots of creative ideas, and a heart full of joy!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

DLP Angel

Merry Christmas Eve...

I have really lagged behind on my weekly assignments, but I do have several Documented Life Project Journal pages in progress.  I did finish one this month, for week 44.  The assignment was to use tea bags, dryer sheets, or other fibrous paper.

I spread out some used tea bags and coffee filters to see if something inspired me.  The cone coffee filters really looked like angel wings to me.  So I made a color copy of a metal figure I bought earlier this year (by artist Kelly Rae Roberts), clipped off her butterfly wings, and used her as the figure for my angel. 

The triangular teabag, when taken apart, actually makes a square, so I used that for a pocket to insert a card with Week 44 stamped on it.  I made notes, added other things to the page to remind me of other papers I could have used, and called it good. 

Not sure if I'm through with it or if I will doodle some more on it, but I'm pretty happy with it whether I do anything else or not.

Monday, November 2, 2015

DLP Week 42

Moving right along (not counting all the weeks I've skipped)....  in October I actually worked on one assignment in the current week it came out!  It took me over two weeks though.  Gesso, dry, paint, dry, experiment, dry, print clip art and spray with fixative, dry, paint some more, dry,... you get the idea.

October theme: Translucent papers
Week 42 - October 17:  Art Challenge - Vellum
Journal Prompt:  Sheer Genius

For my paper, I picked some stationary I've had for a very long time, vellum-like with bees on it.  The more I thought about bees, I decided it was a good choice for the prompt as well, since what they do to make a little bit of honey is sheer genus!
I needed something to put on the page and found a few things on the internet to print.  I did spray them with fixative so the ink would not run.  I also knew I wanted to use my honeycomb stencil and some gesso on the page.  I thought clear gesso might be a little like beeswax, and I experimented with some transparent inks mixed in the clear gesso.  I tested this in a smaller journal.  It turned out exactly as I wanted.
A few days later, I tackled the page in the larger DLP journal.  I'm not sure why, but the clear gesso and ink combo did not react at all the way it did in my testing phase.  It globbed up and dried as soon as I mixed it.  I could not even spread it, so I mixed more.  I ended up with mostly clear gesso, and very little ink mixed in.  But I kept going, although I might have muttered some things in the process.  I stamped the date on the page and smeared it all over the place.  What a mess.  I kept going.. just stamped the date on a tag and glued it over the smears.  Happy accident.
 To fill in all the blank space, I used a black Intense pencil with the honeycomb stencil, just drawing part of the design.  In the end, it didn't turn out exactly as planned, but it's good enough to move on....
Since the beginning of the year when I started the journal, I have kept a Word document on my computer with each month's themes and each week's assignment.  I print off the month and take handwritten notes as I watch the tutorials online.  If I don't get to that week, I use masking tape to put my notes on the page until I can get back to it.  While I was waiting for the bee pages to dry, I went to the next week online.  It was at that point I realized my week numbers were off.  Somehow I had skipped a week in August on my Word document.  I was able to put the correct week #42 on the bee page, but I have some "fixing" to take care of on previous pages (but I was slightly thankful that I'm so far behind, very few weeks were affected). 

I am glad I had time to play, but I have never had a day where so many things seemed to go wrong.  But as Dina Wakley says, finished is better than perfect!  

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

DLP Week 35

September theme was Journaling with Photos, and the Art Challenge for Week 35 was 'photo transfers'.  There are many ways to make photo transfers, and some I've had good luck with and others not so much!

I had painted the page spread with black gesso one day, with no plan in mind for what would come next.  I usually start out a new month by trying to make a calendar that reflects the month's theme.  But this time, I used calendar numbers from a vintage calendar I got from Good Garbage (a store in Louisville that takes donations and sells them at a reasonable price).  I had been waiting for a month that matched the date/day to one of the calendar pages I had.  Tuesday on the 1st... got it! 

I put masking tape down and used stencils and writing to note the theme, etc.  On the left page, I painted a light colored acrylic paint and stamped on it with black writing.  I picked the quick and easy transfer method:  package tape transfer (instructions can be found numerous places on the world wide web).  After I attached the transfer, I went over it with matte medium so it would not be so shiny (but it still is).
On the right side, I painted another light color where I will do some journaling notes about the process.  I used the dabber top to make some partial circles (and promptly forgot I had wet paint there, turned the pages to a previous page, and these pages stuck together!  Always something)...
The second week in September was of the digital photo variety.  I've struggled with that one!  More on that later.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

DLP Week 29

Just a quick post for Week 29, which was in July, but I worked on it in September.  Not sure it followed the theme and challenge at all, but September was a weird month for me.  At the first of the month, I lost my job.  Spent a lot of time filling out applications online, scanning local classified ads, etc.  Definitely a period of transition, and definitely not something you want to be doing when you are in your 60's. 

But in spite of all the worry and anxiety, it was oddly a time of peacefulness for me.  I was waiting to hear back about a couple of jobs, and in my downtime, I worked on several pages for July.

Happened upon this quote: "New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings."  I made the whole page about uncertainty, trying to figure some things out.  The background papers are printed from the internet, with lots of codes and ciphers waiting to be understood.  On the left is a card and some papers from an old vintage Boy Scout fingerprint kit.  Life is puzzling, mysterious.  If I don't figure it all out by the time I leave this world, that's okay.  Life is an adventure too, good or bad!

And, by the way, I am starting my third week at a new job, doing what I did before, doing medical transcription from home, as I have done for over a decade.   Great company, and I love my job and the people I work with.  I am blessed to always have the right thing come to me at the right time.  The universe unfolds as it should!

Week 11 Borders

I am not really so far behind on DLP Journal that I'm just at week 11, it's just that I never posted a picture of that week.  I kept thinking I'd go back and add more writing.  I haven't.  But I still like the page.  Plus, I have failed miserably at the challenge for Digital Imagery for September, and went back to look at some pages I liked to make myself feel better!

The theme was Borders.  That was back when I was making color copies of journal pages onto label sheets.  Perfect to make a border!  (The pictures were close-ups from Gaye's journal.)

Really like the gray background.  Not sure what it says about me that I like the gray better than any bright colors!

The first thing I did was stamp out "Week 11".  I almost chucked the whole thing then and there, as I apparently cannot stamp two 1's right beside each other without one being higher than the other.  But I kept going anyway.  Used some stencils and did some writing.  Later I added a face from my scrap stash.

Calling it good, whether I end up adding anything else or not.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

DLP Weeks 12 and 13

I combined Weeks 12 and 13, which are weeks from March!  The theme for March was 'Making Your Mark'.  One of my favorite things is mark-making, so it was surprising that I left any pages unfinished in March.  But I did.  I was going to use some papers from a mark-making session using sumi ink and different marking tools.
I wanted to keep the page simple and let the marks be the star of the show.  So I left the base pages blank.  No gesso, no paint.  I toyed with the idea of extending some of the black marks on the brown paper onto the cream paper of the journal.  I glued down the three brown papers.  And there they sat all this time.  I was afraid that whatever I did would mess up these beautiful marks.  That whatever I added to the page would not add anything. 
But, as with some of my other unfinished pages, I got tired of being reminded it was incomplete every time I looked at that page.  Plus, part of the reason I was prompted to finish it was that in sorting and cleaning, I came across some other papers I had played with, also with sumi ink, but with color added.  I cut some pieces from that paper and glued them down.  I lightly drew a box with Inktense watercolor pencil, brushed the lines with water, and drew pencil lines for writing.  Added the information about the two weeks, added a moo card (with a photo from another mark making session), and called it done.   I did try to extend one of the marks, and wasn't happy with it.  Decided to let it go.

Slowly catching up... but still behind! 

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

DLP Week 21

Meanwhile, also back in May... yes, I am jumping all over the place catching up lately!  Monthly theme still Texture.  The challenge was Cheesecloth.  The journal prompt was "Say Cheese."

I was kind of at a loss.  I decided to use a vintage photo that I've had for a few years.  It is very wide.  It covered both right and left side pages, plus I cut off quite a bit on each side.  I originally wanted to fold the ends in and make flaps, but it was stiff and brittle from age, and I just cut off the excess.  It had also been stored rolled for probably several decades before I got it, and it was very stubborn to try to flatten and glue down.

The ironic thing about this photo and the journal prompt is that most of the people in the photo are not smiling.  Some are, but the majority are not.  They are not Saying Cheese at all.

I took a young lad from part of the photo that was cut off, enlarged him and made him smile, even though he was not smiling in the original.  I added other vintage papers and postage, and glued down cheesecloth.  I think I'm done!

Monday, September 14, 2015

DLP Week 19

In my DLP 2015 journal, one page in particular has been bugging me, because it was left unfinished for so long.  In May, the monthly theme was Texture.  I completed the first week for May, with the challenge for Week 18 of Fabric.  The challenge for Week 19 was Stitching.  I had tied the two together by wrapping fabric around the edge of the page and stitching it.  To add texture to the page for Week 19, I glued down braille paper.  I also painted it with blues and greens.  Then it sat there for months.  I had lots of ideas for the journal prompt:  "All I'm after is a life full of laughter."  But the ideas would come and go.  Things I tried on the page didn't seem to be right.  I would abandon it time and again.
 I have been on such a roll catching up, I decided to go back to that page and finish it once and for all.  I used a vintage picture of ladies on some kind of ride.  I have posted it here before in the past, I believe.  I'm not sure where it came from.  But it makes me laugh.  And seeing the sad women in the third row compared to the laughing women in the first row reminds me to not take life too seriously (not sure I could if I tried anyway!)
I have mentioned before that I have the new Dylusions paints.  Having those sitting on my work table inspire me just being bright and colorful!  I had painted some tags and scraps with lime green, and added stenciling with a darker color.  Added some stamping and writing to everything and called it done.