Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Leandra Beads and Bookmarks

There was an amazing tutorial on Paper Artsy for making Leandra Beads and my youngest and I set out making a batch of them on a quiet Sunday afternoon.

These are a not for the faint of heart. There is non-stop dipping things in molten plastic. 

Fun for kids!

But there really isn't anything quiet like having your art incased in a shiny, marvelous bead.

You start with a paper bead which I made using one of my collages.

And then there is a lot of dipping and swirling. You really must go check out her tutorial.

Aren't they lovely!

I wanted to really showcase each unique bead so I made some bookmarks with them. Just simple seam binding and a clamp. It only took minutes but the result is spectacular.

Thanks so much for stopping by.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Respect Yourself: Art Journal Page

Click picture to see all the details, please. 

This is one of my favorite pages I've made in recent memory. The background is recurring layers of the TCW Blazonry
 used both regularly and reductive stenciling (when you wipe paint off through the holes as opposed to applying it.)

You can see the normal stenciling in the white top layer and the reductive edge bits in the blue. 

I also (finally!) used the Ganesha stamp I carved last January. I really love, love, love this stamp but it had got lost in the shuffle. I think the open image works well with simple gelli printed paper. Ganesha is the destroyer of obstacles and in a sense, that is what this page is about. 

To be honest, I think my entire 40th year has been about removing obstacles and letting go any things, ideas and even people that were in the way of my growth, health (physical/mental/spiritual) and happiness. It sounds harsh but there comes a time where letting harmful things stay in your life just won't do anymore. 

The other technique I used here that I adore (but don't hear anyone talking about) is I used watered down acrylic for the yellow drips. You just put a little puddle of paint on your palette (in my case, my craft mat) add a bunch of water and then scrape your brush off along the top of the page. It creates gorgeous, slightly-more-controlled drips and it dries water fast so you don't have to worry about smudging. As much as I love my spray inks, I love this more.

Thanks so much for visiting. I still have several more art journal pages to share so come back often.


Art Journal Week Posts:

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Say Thank You and Grow: Art Journal Page

Click to see this full-sized

This is one of my favorite quotes. I think remembering to be thankful regardless the circumstances is the key to a happy life.

This page happened very organically. I had a miss-mash of orange and pink as the base and I wasn't loving it. So while I was on the phone one day I added a thin layer of green here and there and decided to unify it with stenciling through large holed punchinella.

I ended up being on the phone a long time so I stenciled and stenciled and stenciled, changing the color on my make up sponge slowly from white to blue. There is a ridiculous amount of painted layers on this page but in the end, only the top few show all that much and even though there was a lot going on, it avoids being busy because all the motifs (circles in this case) are the same.

For the banner, I used some gelli prints that tie the flowers in to the page. 

My big fear I was trying to face on this page was using red and green in a non-Christmas setting. I always worry that whatever I make with these two colors will look themed regardless of the images. 

What do you think? Is it Christmasy at all? Did I meet my objective in using red and green in a more generic way? The color scheme is so bold and powerful, I'd love to be able to experiment with it beyond Thanksgiving to New Year.

Art Journal Week Posts:

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Art Journal Page: Home

(click pic to big it!)

Hello Everyone. Welcome back to Art Journal Week!
Are you enjoying it?

One question I've been asked a lot is about my rule, 'paint hits paper before I can use my computer'. How on earth do I do that? What I didn't explain is that I don't mean any big painting session with a finished product - that would be impossible. But I do flip through my art journal(s) and find a page that needs some color or an image that could use some outlining  - something. If I can't find anything (rare) I will pick three colors that suit me that day and paint them on to a background as a starting layer. Some days I add a layer of stenciling, some days a little paint splatter. It's more a few minutes of checking in with my art than any big endeavor. That small act gets my mind in a creative space so when I go back hours later (for me that would be well after 3:00 PM) I'm already warmed up and have ideas I want to get on the page. Hope that makes some sense of a seemingly hard-to-execute concept.


This page is a warm one - lots of pink, red, yellow and orange with a little mangnese blue for contrast. Here's the background before I added the house and quote:

I used green gelli prints for the house and the door is sheet music colored with Dylusions ink. 

The chevron 'molding' around the door is a napkin that I glued on with Mod Podge. When adding the hot pink ink drips I blotted up the remaining ink with an index card so I could cut out the heart for the door and have it match.

Initially my plan was to use the music paper as pseudo white space but then the drips, oh, the glorious drips! I think white space is wonderful but sometimes more is more and this lively, energetic color scheme seems to clash with restraint. 

Thanks so much for visiting.

Art Journal Week Posts:
Day Four: Home (you are here)

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Royal: Art Journal Page

Hello everyone. I hope you're enjoying art journal week. Welcome to Day Three!

This is an interesting page in that I took a 'problem' and made it into something better than I think I could have thought up on my own.

As an unrepentant stencil-blotter, I often slam down the dripping plastic into my art journal with zero thought to how it's going to impact future crafting. Which can be marvelous, really, but towards the end of an art journal some of the pages can be a riot of orange/blue, green/red, purple/yellow. All lovely combinations in their own right but terribly muddy if you let them mingle.

And since my spray inks are water reactive they will blend if given the slightest chance. 

I decided to go with it, instead of fight it and hope that the brown would turn out to be a warm, graceful skin tone. And sure enough, it was. I had to take care in adding the water to my page with a wet brush. I saturated some areas; blending the stencil marks almost entirely away (left side and nose). And in other spots, like the right side of the face and the neck, I used an extremely light touch, bonding the different tones together but not losing the distinct colors and patterns.

I made the face using a Stabillo pencil and a stencil from Jane Davenport and I blocked out the background with a mix of Golden Payne's Gray fluid acrylic and Blick's Titanium White heavy body acrylic. For the crown, I let the stencil blot drive the design; the irregular shape is very pleasing to me. 

Usually I add a quote or some journaling but this image felt strong enough to express what I needed to express that day. And when you're happy with something, knowing when to stop can save you a lot of time and trouble.

Art Journal Week Posts:
Day Three: Royal (you are here)

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Merely to be Normal: Art Journal Week Day Two

Welcome back to Art Journal Week. I was looking at all my post and I already have ten so… art journal fortnight? 

This is so me. Anyone else relate?

One of the easiest tricks for helping your art journal pages not get away from you into chaos is to pick a color and then two colors that are very close to the 1st one. For example here I used, teal, teal with white mixed in and a little blue (ultramarine or manganese, I'm not sure). It gives you a monochromatic background that you can add as many layers as you want to without making it hard to look at. 

*Black and white don't count so I use loads of both.

After that, add in one contrasting color for pop.

While I've been known to empty the whole fridge onto a page, this formula saves oodles of time.

But I see more than one contrasting color, what gives?

Since I never start with white pages (stencil blotting, brayer cleaning and what not) there is always a little something showing through. Generally speaking, that something is enough to add interest without driving the design principles for the page. Had I left more of the mauve and orange on the left showing I would have had to approach this page differently.

Thanks for the visit. 

Art Journal Week Posts:

Monday, January 20, 2014

Art Journal Live: Branch Page

I recently instituted a 'no computer until paint hits paper' rule and now I'm just over run with art journal pages that I haven't shared. So… without further preamble…

Welcome to art journal week! 

All week I'll be posting art journal pages and hopefully you'll see some ideas that inspire you get out your journals and play too.

 click image to see this full-sized

I downloaded the Art Journal Live videos from Interweave and promptly went to work following along with Dina Wakely's class. It was so awesome. 

The topic was when you hit the "now what" spot on an art journal page. The whole video was peppered with wise tips and tricks that were easily put to immediate use.

My page turned out a lot darker, in part because I didn't have any white space to begin with. I always blot off my stencils and run my brayer clean on my journal pages so it's rare I ever have plain white to begin with. But since I love color so passionately, it's never a problem.

Thanks so much for the visit, come back tomorrow to see more art journalling.

Art Journal Week Posts:
Day One: Branch (you are here)