Thursday, March 26, 2015

Embracing My Inner Messy Artist

I love paint. I love to see it spread across paper, wood, waxed paper and even my fingers. I love how it mixes together to make yet another cool color.  

When I was growing up I shared my space with my older sister, who was messy and I was obsessively neat. I'm talking, everything on my dresser was line up like little soldiers waiting for inspection.  I lived like that for many years.  

I am not neat at all now.  In fact, if my sister walked into my house/studio... she would probably have a stroke due to the shock.  I could probably tell you all kinds of psychological reasons for this change in me.  I had control issues, I was the third and baby of the family for many years.... bla bla bla..... you get the idea.

These days I'm going with.... I've embraced my inner artist and she gets so wrapped up in color, texture and the fun of the process that she doesn't give a fig about how much of a mess she makes. Remember Pig Pen from Peanuts?  That is what my floor always looks like when I'm creating. I can clean it up 15 times and still tiny pieces of paper seem to be everywhere. (just the floor... not me personally. :))

The reason for this long story, you might be thinking?  Part of my mess comes from never wanting to throw away a piece of paper that has color on it.  I don't see it as trash. I see it as a potential background.  

This entire page was done with leftover pieces of other projects.  I was running out of space to work.  All those papers were creeping into my work area on the table.  This type of project is therapy for me. I go to this quiet place inside myself and I just tear paper and glue.  It is so soothing.   

The large blue butterfly was left over from another project.  The little butterflies were made using two Stampin' Up punches and more pieces of leftover paper.  Butterflies are a go to for me. I had this background and not idea what to put on it... so once again... the butterflies appear in my journal.  Maybe I use them because they remind me of freedom.

If you feel stuck or the blank page is scaring you, try this technique. Don't think too much, just tear paper and glue. You'll end up with a wonderful and unique background.  That background might be the finished piece or the jumping off spot for another piece. Either way, you've created!!

Link to:  Spring Cleaning over at Journal 52 and Paint Party Friday

Wednesday, March 25, 2015


This page in one form or another has been in my head since the first really cold day in January.  

These buttercups are very close to my house so they always bloom first.  This year the frigid cold, the ice and then snow came after they were peaking up out of the ground.  

I thought they might survive the snow but it kept snowing. The temps were soooo cold. I was a little sad that I wouldn't see the bright yellow blooms this year.

I didn't plant these flowers. I bought our house in the fall and had no clue the flowers were there. They were my great surprise in the spring.  

The more I watched them, the more words like tenacious, strong and preserve came to mind. I found the quote on line and thought it was perfect.

I started this page by writing about our unusual winter. Next I added yellow and green paint and the photos.  I used a baby wipe to remove some of the paint so that part of my journaling showed through. I like the hints of writing.  Some pages in my journal are more about the art and some are more about remembering something. I wanted to be remind myself that I am strong just like these hearty buttercups that would not give up in the face of single digit temps and snow.

As I typed this blog, I realized that I left out a letter in the word strong. I could have chosen not to post this page but I decided that leaving out a letter is part of who I am. If you have ever received an letter from me you will find that I do that a lot.  The misspelled word will remind me that it's ok not to be perfect.  I want to remember the act of creating is more important for my mental well being than a perfectly completed piece.  

The theme in my head recently is... I don't ever want to loose myself again. I want to be accepted and accept myself exactly as I am... misspelled words, loud laughs, loyal to my friends, punctual, loving and with not much desire to ever dust again.  

I hope you are having a good spring (or fall if you live down under).  What have you created today??

Link to:  Art Journal Everyday, Paint Party Friday

Monday, March 23, 2015

Beginner... Watercolors

Water colors, embossing and ink, Oh, My.

I started out playing with some watercolors my friend, Ann, gave me.  I now know they dry much lighter than they appear when wet.  

I also learned that I have a hard time "wasting" the paint left on my brush. Every time I changed colors I wanted to use all that lovely pigment on another piece of paper instead of washing it away in a bucket of water.  I do realize that is not the way watercolor is done... but it was very difficult for me to just wash the brush. Ann just shakes her head at me.

I also learned that it takes a long time for all that water to dry.  Good grief, I could have finished a journal page while I was waiting for this tiny piece of paper to dry.  I was told to start another piece... Where the heck do you put all these wet pieces while they dry?  

Can you tell, I'm new at and not very comfortable with watercolors?  Watercolors are Ann's media of choice. She is slowing teaching me about them.  I won't give up and I'm not ready to embrace them like a long lost friend either.  I have to keep reminding myself that it's about the process... not the finished product.

The tree is done with a Stampin Up set.  I stamped the trunk with brown archival ink. Next I used Tim Holtz's distressed ink and stamped the leaves.  Then I stamped them a second time with Versa Mark ink and embossed them with Distressed Embossing powder.

I guess we can truly call this a mixed media project.  Card stock, Watercolor paper, Watercolor paint, Ink, Embossing Powder and Versa Mark... Lot of types of media in this one.

Link to: Paint Party Friday

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Good Bye De-Stash ... At Least for a While

Due to technical difficulties, there is no De-Stash photo.  I made the card I just can't get it onto the blog.  Grrrrr

I've decided that now it not the time to do this project.  Maybe at a later time there will be more interest and I'll have more time to devote to it.  

I do feel that using the 5 million craft items I own is important. I just can't seem to get the 
projects and the blog going at the same time.

Thanks to Twinkletoes Allan for being faithful and participating.  I appreciate your support, Mo.  

I'll post some of my recent projects when I finish fighting with my pictures and printer.  I seem to be technology impaired today.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Birds and Nests...It's Spring!

I had the best time yesterday afternoon.  I played with gesso, paint, background paper and a Sizzix die.   

These three photos are of my bird nest process. I took a piece of Scrapbook paper and stenciled several colors of brown, tan, cream.  I used a piece of a metal grill rack as my first stencil. The metal is in a diamond design. I turned is in several directions using different shades of paint.  I also used a stencil that looked like camouflage that I bought at Wal-Mart. It was part of a set of six or eight small stencils.  After I had all the browns and tans I went back over the whole page with a bit of olive green.  

Next I cut my page into strips with my trusty 15 year old deckle scissors. I have sure gotten my money's worth out of those little scissors.  I wove the strips and then attached them to a piece of sticky paper so it would stay together when I cut it into a nest shape. I added thin bits of the same paper around the top of the nest because it looked too much like a bowl instead of a nest. 

I took a credit card blank that had a perforated edge and spread gesso with it to make lines on the background.  I used homemade Salty Ocean spray paint (Distressed reinker, matte medium and water) and let it drip over the page filling in some of the line. I repeated that with yellow spray paint that I can no longer remember how I made it. 

The branches are made from card stock and stenciled with brown and tan similar to how I did the nest. 

I used a gelli print that I made last year and a Sizzix die to make the birds. I trimmed their wings so I could have a bit of pink showing. Cobalt blue and sepia Archival inks were used to shade the edges of the birds, branches and nest.  The leaves are a The Crafter's Workshop stencil and olive green Archival ink. 

I am linking to: Paint Party Friday, Mixed Media Monthly Challenge, Art Journal Every Day

Saturday, March 14, 2015


I have found more of that cool paper that had images ready for a card.  I am sorry I have no clue who made this paper. I bought is at Michael's around 1999.  Only crafters and artists keep stuff that long... It will be another Thinking of You card. It's not foo foo so it can be sent to a guy which is nice.

Have you made something from your stash?
We would love to see it if you you.  Please put a link to your blog post below.  Thanks for playing along with De-Stash Saturday

Thursday, March 12, 2015


I seem to be on a monochromatic kick.  I didn't intended for that to happen, it just did. The Documented Life Project prompt was used five layers.  My layers are gesso, tissue paper, embossing paste, paint and sharpie markers.

In some areas I used more than one layer of tissue paper. I love how those areas turned darker.  

The girl, words and rain are from a Stencil Girl stencil.  

When I did the purple page, we were having ice, snow and extremely cold weather. I decided I was doing a rain dance.  My five is made up of the things I was hoping to produce with my rain dance.  They are sunny, warm, breezy, flip flop, deck reading weather.

The butterfly page is in my Altered Cookbook journal.  The butterfly is a die cut from Stampin Up.  It is actually cut from wax paper and painted with blue craft paint. The background is the same blue paint mixed with gesso to lighten it a bit.  The diamond are part of a Stencil Girl stencil.

On the other side of the blue butterfly is a really ugly page. I wish I'd taken pictures as I worked so you could see all the things I tried.  I've worked on it for three days now and nothing seems to help it.  I may paint over the page or cover it with book text.  I'll post it when I'm finished.... How's that for an art journal cliff hanger?

Link to: The Documented Life Project  Paint Party Friday