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.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

DLP Week 28

I have been going full speed catching up July pages in Documented Life Project journal.  The theme for Week 28 is "Time Keeps On Ticking".   Once again, I have accomplished one of my January goals of using things I have on hand.  I taught a time-themed book several years ago and recently came across a leftover collage packet I made for students in the class.   Perfect! 

I also used an actual time card (remember those?), which I painted with transparent acrylic ink.  Since it's a time card, I used some of my punches to actually punch the time card, although that didn't really add anything other than make me laugh.
We all know that to use napkins in collage, you need to separate the layers and use the main design.  With the big clock napkin, I liked the second layer too, as it had the faint images still visible, great to glue down as a background. 
When I was done, it was pretty much so-so.  I liked it, but didn't love it.  Then I picked up the acrylic ink bottle again, which has a dropper top, and squeezed ink down the pages.  Liked it a whole lot better then.  The ink (especially on the right side page) reacted a lot differently on the napkin than just the gesso'd page.


Sunday, September 6, 2015

It's Still July, Right?

Yes, I know it's not July.  But that is my focus right now.  The DLP Journal theme for July is Ephemera.  I made my July calendar by stamping numbers on various pieces of paper (i.e., ephemera)
There are borders around the pages with washi tape and torn pieces of painted deli paper from other projects.  I also added some tags that came on birthday gifts from times past (history), and in keeping with what I use on hand, added words to one of the tags.  That was from some art I printed on label sheets, and it's funny that the words were appropriate for how I feel I am standing still right now, even though the original art had more words with a different meaning.  And equally odd is how, if I had done this page back in July instead of now, I would have been in a different place entirely.

For the journal prompt, Life...with a history, I used a Prismacolor gray pencil to write rambling thoughts at the bottom of the page.  When I write like that, I don't make it legible.  In fact, by next week, I'll forget what I wrote and certainly won't be able to read it!  But history is a fleeting thing, as we all know!
You can see the writing better in person than in the picture, but still I felt it needed more, so I stenciled a typewriter over it.  Seems like most of my jobs over the past decades involve typing, so it is appropriate, as a part of my history. 
I may do some doodling and outlining, but overall, I'm happy with the page.  Love the color (Dylusions paints).  Onward!  There is history to be made!

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Half empty or Half full

Yep.. still behind on my assignments for Documented Life Project journal.  The year is more than half over.  But when I look at my journal, I'm happy to see it is roughly half full.  Of course, it's half empty too! 
I need to add some writing and other things to the June page I was working on.  I made a fold out page and combined three weeks.  It just seemed that the themes for those three weeks fit together as one for me.
If you look at the colorful paper on the page where my tags are, that is "geo paper" that I made several years ago.  It took me forever to find a link to the instructions (mainly because it's from 2011).  It's the last piece I have from the play session back then.  Jill Berry has a tutorial here and it's lots of fun. 

Even if I get behind on the weekly assignments, I do work on the monthly calendar for each month, and am now working on both July and August.  September... right around the corner!!  Breathing down my neck!

For some reason, I started thinking about that phrase about half empty versus half full.  In my mind, if something is half empty, it seems more of a negative thing.  Something is missing.  But if it is half full, it is a positive thing... there is potential for something else.  There is more in the future!  Or at least that's how my mind was seeing it, as it rambled and wandered around those thoughts!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

What Day is It?

I think I am avoiding my DLP journal.  I'm not positive.  But I do seem to keep finding other things to do instead.  I must be stuck.

I do keep up with a writing journal, nothing spectacular, just mundane day to day stuff.  I have some days of the week stamps I use in it, but don't like any of them.  So, I carved my own.
 The size was determined by the erasers I had on hand.  I lettered the days, outlined them with pencil, and transferred the reverse image to the eraser and carved.  There are plenty of how-to videos out there if you are interested in carving stamps.

Mine aren't perfect by any means.  I can see now the wobbly sides and all the imperfections.  But if the words bother me when I look at them on the page, I can always doodle around them (like I did on the "Fri").  All the wobbly lines magically disappear!
Have a good week, all seven days' worth!

Friday, August 14, 2015

Bright Spot

I've been playing.  Not necessarily in my DLP journal, but on other journal pages.  I went to Stampaway in Cincinnati last weekend with friend Gaye.  Unbelievably, I did not buy a single rubber stamp.  First time ever.  But I did buy stencils, stamp pads, tools, and paints.  I try not to jump on the band wagon of every new thing that comes out, but can't help but be drawn to the new Dylusions paints.  I love anything Dyan Reaveley does anyway, and really enjoy watching her demos at Stampaway each year. 

Most of my color palette is along the earth tones.  I also love bright colors, but just don't use them a lot.  I have been adding more bright colors to my paints and stamp pads over time, however.  Thus, I did come home with bright bright paints, and if that does not brighten up my life, I don't know what would!  They match the Dylusions sprays I already have and use.
I have only played a little so far.  The first night I was home, I could not resist opening one jar (Fresh Lime), and making some circles with a round applicator tool.  A little of this paint goes a long way, so I made more circles on other journal pages, then used what was left on the sponge with a new stencil.  This paint even looks great on plain old newsprint paper!
I have continued to play a little each day this week, mostly in my "test" journal where I play with new things.  Bright yellow background (Lemon Zest), red and purple on top with stencils (Post Box Red and Crushed Grape), and black added (I did not buy the Dylusions black, but used black gesso that I already had on hand).

Any leftover paint goes into other journals... this is a small journal that already had a layer of grayish paint on the pages, and I used up the purple and black gesso.  (The purple is not as bright because it is mixed with white gesso... I had a reason for doing that at the time, but don't remember what it is at the moment!)
Lots of fun!  I only bought four of the round applicators, and you certainly don't have to have those to use the paint.  But I do like this tool.  It's been a week since I used the green paint, and the sponge did not dry hard at all.  I liked using the edge of the sponge to get paint in only a small part of a stencil.  And on the big purple flower (if I remember correctly), I might have used the edge of the sponge tool with almost no paint left to just swipe "ghost" streaks around the flower (look closely to see that).

Wishing you Bright days as well!!

Friday, August 7, 2015

DLP Catch Up Week 16

I keep jumping around in my DLP Journal.  I went back to April, Week 16, and worked on a double page spread.  The  Challenge was "gelli plate".  I don't have a gelli plate (which is probably why I skipped that week in the first place!)  But I did have some painted deli papers that were used as gift wrap on some birthday presents I received a few months ago.  Back in Week 1 of DLP, one of my goals was to "use what I have".  If there is one thing I'm happy about, it's that I have done a lot of that with this journal. 

First, I stamped out the prompt "A lot on my plate" on the top right side.  On the left side, I did random writing about what I have on my plate (work, life, worries, etc).   The deli paper was then glued on top of those two pages, with the writing and stamping showing through the deli paper.  I had just enough to cover the two pages.  I put down regular masking tape to stamp out the theme and date, adding some washi tape too.  I used yellow acrylic paint and stencils to add some leaves and flowers to the pages.  It wasn't as bright as I hoped, so I outlined them with black pen.

I still need to work with the pages to make them pop a little more, and I think I will add another piece of paper to write about my technique.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Making a Point

Thought I would share what I am playing around with while working on my DLP Journal travel theme pages. 

Since I am combining three weeks into one spread, I wanted some tags or something to explain each week.  I love tags, but come on, how many tags can you use before you bore yourself!  (Okay, I never get tired of tags, but anyway...)

I decided to try out some arrow tags.  I took regular tags, using one for a template.  I marked the center point on the bottom (the end opposite the string).  I drew diagonal lines from that center point to both sides, then trimmed to a point.  Since the other end is shorter (where the angle cut is), I used that short width as a guide to draw a cutting line to the other end.

It is way simpler to show in person than trying to write out an explanation of what I did, but I'm sure you can figure it out yourselves.  Kind of a unique way to use a tag, I think.

In the end, though, I may use a cardstock with a grid print for my arrows (still debating whether to make them look tag-like). 

So, that's what I've been playing with.  Yesterday was 1 minute shorter than the day before.. school here starts in two weeks.  Summer is sneaking away right under my nose!!

Monday, July 13, 2015

DLP Week 23

Happy June-ly  (I'm still part in June and part in July!)... Seems like I really got behind on June's DLP pages.  The theme for June is Travel Journal. 

I feel like this page spread is more scrapbook than mixed media layers!  As with every month, I started out by deciding what kind of calendar to make.  I printed out a calendar off the internet, but only used the days of the week part.  I did use the rest of the calendar as a guide for where the weeks would be laid out.

I used an oval punch to punch out ovals from a map, then glued those to the June calendar, stamping the numbered days on them.  On both left and right sides, I used papers from the book Make Map Art.  I got it some time ago during a map-crazy phase.  It has several papers for making your own maps, plus stickers and a how-to book.
The Challenge for the week was Illustrative Art Journaling.  I wasn't feeling very illustrative, and instead, I printed out images from google earth of places that mean something to me.  (I am not traveling anywhere this month, but when I think of traveling, I think of going back home since I don't seem to get there much lately!)
I filled in some of the other shapes on the preprinted page with writing and parts from maps.
I am currently working on the next assignment, which has turned into one spread for the rest of June.  I seemed to have the same ideas for the assignments for the other three weeks in June, so it will be one big spread and will also get me caught up in a hurry.  I added an extra page as a fold-out for the three weeks to be combined.  Hope to have it ready to post sooner rather than later!