Monday, April 20, 2015

I Love Watercolor Crayons

 A couple of weeks ago, the challenge for the Documented Life Project was to use watercolor in your journal.  That same weeks a friend at church gave me these wonderful paper napkins.  

As always I separated the white backing from the printed images of the napkin.  I scribbled Lyra Watercolor crayons on a pallet and added a little water.  I used that technique to add orange, yellow and purple to the white layers of napkin and dried them with a heat tool. Next time I will glue the white napkins down and watercolor them on the page because the napkins are way to thin to move when wet.

I used matte medium to glue the yellow and orange pieces of napkin down. Than I glued the printed napkins down from right to left. I had a white spot so I added the purple pieces to the left.  

I have several pieces of sticky back paper that I found in a recycle bin at a print shop years ago. I use a piece of that to back the butterfly in the left upper corner because I wanted it to stand off the page. It works great with napkins because you can just lay the napkin right on the sticky part.  It is stiff enough that I could bind the wings a little to give it a 3D effect.

After everything was dry and sealed with matte medium I went back over the yellow and the orange with more watercolor crayon. I like how I can pick up color on my water brush straight from the crayon and get a really vibrant color.

To add more texture to the page I used a Crafter's Workshop Stencil and embossing paste to make little lines and then gesso and a piece of plastic mesh window screen as a stencil to make tiny white marks. 

Link to: Paint Party Friday, The Documented Life Project, Art Journal Every Day

Friday, April 10, 2015

The Generosity of Friends

There are many things I like about the internet and one of them is the many friends I've made in the on line art community. I have friend on 
several continents!  

Something I've found is that a lot of artists are introverts and some border on loners. Most artists I have met are also very generous. 

An example of that generosity is my friend, T, from T's Crafty Ways.   I commented on Facebook that I needed the stamp of this little boy fishing so I could make cards for my bother and dad.  The next day, the stamp was on my door step.  

Granted... T and I live in the same town but since we both tend to stay home and work on our art, that was a pretty fast turn around for a passing wish.  Thank you, T and Mike, the milkman and art supply courier.  

These little guys are stamped on samples of mixed media and watercolor paper.  I used Versa Mark ink and black ultrafine embossing power.  I rediscovered my Lyra Watercolor Crayons in a drawer recently and I've become addicted to them.  I use a fine tip water brush with them and it is a breeze to finish a card in just a few minutes.  I would like to hug who ever invented the water brush.  It makes watercoloring a small piece so easy.  I don't know who made the stamp. I'm hoping T will comment and let us know.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Great Easter Memories

Growing up Easter morning would brings a basket full of candy with a big chocolate rabbit. We couldn't eat any candy until we return from Mass and had eaten breakfast so I'd check out everything in the basket and then have to leave it sitting at home for the next couple of hours.

My favorite Easter memory is running to my basket after breakfast and finding that there was a bite out of my chocolate rabbit's ears.  This happened every year. As a child, I thought the Easter bunny had returned while we were at church and taken a bite.  I thought it was so cool that he came back to my house for a snack.  I was probably 10 years old before I realized who was really biting the ears off my rabbit.

I asked my younger brother if he remembered the bites out of the ears and he said, he was 12 years old before he realized that the rabbits weren't manufactured with a bite out of the ears. 

Fast forward 60 years and guess what I found at breakfast when I visited my dad the weekend before Easter? Yep, the bunny was still leaving chocolate rabbits with a bite out of the ears. I am very blessed to still have my dad in my life.  He will be 92 in August and you would never know it from looking at him.  He told me that his memory is not as good as it once was.... well for me... he remembers the important things... like the rabbit ears.

The hand drawn bunnies were made by drawing with a stylus in thick gesso as it was drying. The color is sprays inks.  The blue was made by my friend, Ann, with Distressed Reinkers, Water and Matte Medium. Her formula makes a great permanent spray. I made the yellow with acrylic ink and a little water and the pink is Radiant Rain.   After all was dry, I went back and added more color to the lines with Inktense pencils.

Link to: The Documented Life Project, Paint Party Friday Art Journal Everyday., Journal 52

Monday, March 30, 2015

Gelli Print Tape Transfer

I had a few pages left in my journal I started for my 2014 Documented Life Project so I decided to play around.   

This page is actually a gelli print tape transfer. Click the link to see how to make a gelli print tape transfer.  It's much easier to watch the video than for me to explain it.

I did this months ago and then couldn't decide what to do with it.  It was one of the many things sitting in my "what the heck do I do with this" file. It made a really quick page because all the work was done months ago and I just had to glue it on the page. 

At the time I made this, I wasn't that impressed. I really like it now.  I like how the red pops on the black background and how the silver Pearl Ex shows through in places.  I love how time helps me to see things differently. 

Link to:  Gelli Print Party

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