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....

Sunday, May 1, 2016

May Day, May Day

Isn't that a distress call, "May Day"??  I'm in distress, I'm getting behind on assignments again!

April flew by at my house.  I don't know where it went.  I had a lot of extra work, I was sick, I had to wade through tax stuff.  Next thing you know, it's May!

I did play with weekly pages during that time, but I am still a little behind.
For my weekly calendar for April 3rd, I used a large tag that was orange on one side and tan on the back.  I printed out a blank list and glued it to the tag, adding tapes and stickers.  I repeated something I did a previous week and used watercolor pencil to block off the days.  Then I stamped the numbers and words.  I folded the tab over and stitched a piece of fabric to it.  
I picked this tag because I wanted something that matched the art on the left side, a birthday card from friend Gaye!  I made a color copy of the art and glued it to the back of the previous page, added washi tape, and used stencil and paint for more orange color.  
On the back of the orange tag, I painted and stenciled, and added vintage ledger paper with the days stamped on it for the week of April 10th.  I picked several papers that would make a good page for the week of April 17th, but it needed to compliment all the colors currently going on.  I don't try to "match" everything, just make it look pretty good together. I ended up liking the paper with dots.  I didn't want to completely cover up the dots with a weekly calendar page, so I found another way to add the days.
I cut small tags into triangle shapes, added decorative tape, then stamped the numbers and days.  It so happens I had just received some number stamps as a gift :)

I also used stamp pad ink on the edges of the pointy tags.  Really like how they turned out.
You can see the dot/tag page sticking out behind the big orange tag. 
I realized that most of my weekly pages just have days and numbers on them.  There is nothing to say what month it is.  I stamped "April" onto a scrap of card and will put it at the top.  I have it paper-clipped for now because I'm not sure how the back side of that page will end up.  The dot paper is folded, so it may end up with dots too.  Or I may cut that off and do something totally different.  I may do some sewing on the dot/tag page.
The tags are actually only partially attached and I debated sewing around each one.  But I realized I can use the loose pointed ends to hold things.  However, if those "things" start falling out, that idea will be tossed aside! 
I will work on the week of April 24th next, then May 1st.  However, the new theme for May won't be published until next Saturday, May 7th, so I may wait until then to do the first week in May.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Artiscape 2016

I have been falling down on the job in passing along fun things to do.  This weekend is Artiscape, an annual event in Columbus, Ohio.  My friend Gaye Medbury is once again teaching this year, and her students all know she comes up with fun, fresh ideas each and every time. 

One of her classes is House of Thoughts.  How cute are these houses?  But a functional house as well because when you open the magnetic closure on the front, it's a book!  I was the recipient of a house book at Christmas, and I never cease to be amazed at how clever Gaye can be when coming up with new designs.  I know the students will be happy with their house books!  Be sure and sign up here

The other class Gaye is teaching is Journal du Jour.  This is a handy journal with a segmented binding, ready for you to record your daily thoughts or keep track of your convention adventures.  Gaye is famous for having her kits ready to go, everything precisely cut, thorough instructions, and with awe-inspiring samples to get your juices flowing. 

I won't be able to make it to Columbus, but I would be signed up for both of these classes if I were! 
Have fun, students!

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Coming up Rainbows

The monthly themes for the Documented Life Project 2016 Planner are posted on Saturdays.  So I already had some April things in my planner when the theme was posted.  It is "Reaching for Rainbows - Creating Outside the Lines".   Oddly enough, the first assignment for the Pocket Art Card (for a month with Rainbows as the theme) was to work in black and white!

I removed the page from my planner with the April tab on it.  I ended up putting lots of colors of bright washi tape all over the page, kind of like a rainbow.  Very bright!  I put a sticker on the page with the monthly theme written on it.
For my art card, I decided this month I will change the size and make them business card size.  I made this decision based on the fact that I just purchased some vinyl pages that hold business cards. As my planner gets thicker and I realize that two separate planners will probably not be enough for 12 months, I have kept my eyes open for other options.  I can buy more binders (mine were Maya Road brand for $5 each from Amazon), or see what else is available.  The office supply store does have 9 x 7 binders, but they are not any bigger than what I'm already using (as far as the width of the spine).

But next to those binders were other things to fit that size, dividers, pocket pages, etc.  I always like having options of what to use. 
Before I added the washi tape to the left side page, I was pretty happy with things so far in my binder.  However, when I put that page back in the binder, next to the April calendar, for some reason it looked so "busy" to me.  Just overwhelming, too much stuff going on.  But I found a very simple solution.
I moved the business card pocket page between these two pages.  It really breaks up all that busy-ness, and it will even more so as each pocket gets a card later.  There is even a tiny pocket next to each of the business card pockets, so I can put tiny photos or mementos there if I want to.
Things have a way of working out just right!  

And I have also worked some more on my April calendar page, toning down those dirty white circles with some blues and greens.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

March Turns to April

In the last post, I showed my weekly pages (DLP 2016 planner) for March 13 and March 20.  On the left side, you can see where I sewed fabric and a vinyl pocket page to the previous week.  On the black cardstock, I used green Dylusions paint and a new stencil I was trying out. Not sure what else will go on that page, maybe nothing else at all.
For the week of March 27, I went in yet another different direction.  I had some regular sized pocket pages, and picked the green one to use since I was using a lot of green.  I cut it to fit the size of my planner binder.  I put washi tape on the right side to keep contents from falling out of the pocket.  Since April was right around the corner, I punched a tab from scrapbook paper and stamped April on it. My birthday happened to fall during that week, so I will put some birthday notes and goodies in the pocket.
In the past, I never would have done this, but I got out one of my play journals and cut part of a page out to use for my April monthly calendar in the planner.  I liked how it looks with my green theme.
I drew circles for the days of the month, using a black water color pencil.   I had a vision in my head of what this was going to look like.  I used white paint to roughly paint in the circles, which activated the black watercolor.  Hmm... does not look like the vision in my head at all.  Maybe I should have used green instead of black.
But I kept going.  Stamped the numbers for the days, added a border, and days and month at the top.
I wasn't one hundred percent happy with it, but I'm keeping it anyway.  And it looked just fine next to the green pocket page.  Or, it did at the time....

Marching through March

As always in my DLP 2016 planner, I try to find new ways to make a weekly calendar.  In March, I was feeling the impending arrival of spring.  I had a children's book that had big sturdy pages with a lot of white(ish) space on them.  I cut one of the pages to fit my printer and used that for the week of March 13.  

For the week of March 20, I was in a  hurry and simply made a page from graph paper, embellishing it with greens and blues. Both of these pages are very simple, but I'm always going back and adding things to past weeks.  
I don't make a PAC (pocket art card) every week, but I do need a place to store the ones I do make.  I have some pages that store 4 cards, but it's too big for this binder.  I cut one in half, leaving the seam to hold the cards in, and sewed it to the outer edge of the page.  I put fabric over the vinyl of the pocket page so it would be easier to sew through without slipping all over the place.
One week's PAC assignment was to use leaves.  I cut the card from the same piece of practice scrap that I have used for several things already this year.  I punched small leaves from old book paper.

Another week's assignment was to celebrate white space.  I recently came across some watercolor flowers from a class years ago.  We painted around the flower shapes, leaving the white space.  I cut out a card from the larger class sheet, and stuck it in the pocket.  That way I'll see it and remember to go back to it and work on it later. 

I think sewing on the right hand side will move some of the bulk of this planner to the outer edge, rather than the center of the book, where a lot of bulk is already building up!

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Blue Days

I have been playing with blue paint recently.  I went with friends Gaye and Pam to Indianapolis for the annual rubber stamp convention there.  I was disappointed one of my favorite vendors wasn't there (they had a conflict with another convention that day).  So I did not come home with new Archival ink pads or reinkers (number one on my list of things to get).  I did come home with stencils and some new colors of Dylusions paints.

I love these paints more each time I use them.  A little goes a long way, and when I use my applicators to apply the paints, I clean them off later on scrap paper and other journal pages... and always end up with more parts for collage and other projects. 

When I brought home the After Midnight (dark blue) and Calypso Teal, the Calypso Teal looked so close to Vibrant Turquoise which I already had, I didn't think there was much difference.  So I used them both on the page to compare.  Here are the results of my paint playing....

I have other new colors I haven't played with yet, as well as more stencils.

Saw this T-shirt at the convention and thought it was funny:
On the way home, we took a side trip to Nashville, Indiana, and stopped at the two stamp stores there.  It's always fun to stop at a stamp store, because there seem to be fewer and fewer of them.

We also performed research at the ice cream shop around the corner, just to make sure they were selling a satisfactory product.  :)
These oddities were in front of the ice cream shop, made from all sorts of metal parts.

Spring is here some days, and some days it still feels like winter.  I do like seeing more daylight at the end of the day!