Thursday, July 31, 2014

Calling All Pencils

For some reason, I went on a mini spending spree a couple of weeks ago.  I occasionally check out shopping online at Goodwill.  I bid on two things and won both.  Both bids were won pretty cheap, less than ten bucks each, but shipping was more than what I paid for the items.  I was pleasantly surprised by both when they arrived.

Here is the pencil sharpener, shaped like an old telephone.  There is a hole on the left side for the pencil, and you crank the handle on the right to sharpen it.  The blades need sharpening, but it otherwise works. The front comes off so you can empty the shavings.  The phone earpiece on the left actually comes off the hook, like on a real phone.  It is just too cute for words, mainly because it is in miniature.
The other item was what they called a "rabbit stamp" and they apologized in the description that it does not actually stamp a rabbit but rather some scribbling.  I recognized it as a Chinese chop and I figured it probably had something to do with Year of the Rabbit.
It was much bigger than I expected, as you can see with it pictured next to a Chinese chop I already had (which has my name and on top has a dragon since I was born in Year of the Dragon).  What I found fascinating is the middle section with the round thing carved that you can see from all sides. I cannot seem to find a seam anywhere and it looks like the whole thing is one piece.  But there is a marble inside the round section - how on earth did they get it in there?  Don't have a clue.

All four sides below the window part have something carved, either Chinese characters or a scene.  Pretty impressive. 
The symbol on the bottom however kind of looks like a beginner carving.  I searched the net to figure out what the character is.  Definitely nothing to do with a rabbit or new year.  The closest symbol I found appears to be for the word Beautiful or Beauty. 
All in all, it was fun to get a couple of packages and not really know what they would look like in person.  When I go to the Goodwill site, I usually only look at the Office Supplies section.  They also have Arts as well as Crafts/Hobbies, but since their categories are not broken down any further than that, you have to go through every page to see what's there.  I don't usually have the time or patience for that, though I'm sure there are lots of treasures there!
The website is
From what I can tell, Goodwill stores all over the country list items there, so shipping varies depending on how close you live to that particular store.  Kind of fun to look....

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Testing Grounds

Don't you love getting new art supplies?  For me that means another page of playing and testing.

I admit I do get easily suckered into something I may not really need, especially if it is on sale.  This journal was not only on sale, it was on "super" sale, and it came with 9 free pens.  I'm always looking for black pens in different sizes, so that sealed the deal for me. And since I was ordering anyway... decided to order the liquid pencil I've been wanting to try.
The journal is soft leather, with three kinds of paper (plain, lined, and dots), with pocket dividers. It feels good just to hold it.

I played around with the pens first (in another journal).  The result is that just because it says it's "permanent" does not mean it is.  These will be good pens for journal writing, but not necessarily for heavy duty use on other media.  I'm still trying to figure out how to use the liquid pencil, which I got in black rewettable and sepia permanent.  It will take a lot of playing on my part to figure out when and how to use them, and when to use permanent and when to use rewettable.  I was a little disappointed that the sepia was such a dark brown.  I expected a little redder color, but that's just me.

Bottom line, it was fun to test it all out.  (The borders of the boxes on the page were done with watercolor pencil and not any of the new supplies.)

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!