Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Cut Out + Keep: Book Review

I'm really excited to share this book with you guys! 

Way back when the internet was just a pimply adolescent, I stumbled across a seriously awesome website - 

The way I remember it, Cat Morley was this SUPER-COOL girl who was studying abroad and had an awesome blog. That morphed into one of the raddest indie communities online, Cut Out and Keep which has been a haven, a refuge, a home-away-from-home for indie, artsy crafty girls - like me. 

So when Laurence King asked me to peruse Cat and Tom Waddington's new book I jumped at the chance. 

The concept of the book - and you know I love a good hook - is that the couple set out on a road trip of epic proportions: they were going to visit all 50 states and choose what to see an do based on the advice of the site's members. 

The product of this grand adventure is the book, Cut Out + Keep: Around the USA in 50 Craft Projects. 

It's a terrific blend of travelogue and craft book and it has a truly delightful mix of projects and recipes ranging from screen printed shirts to moonshine perfume to Bacon Bit Pralines. Yum!

The projects skew to a younger, indie demographic so if you're looking to go deep on a topic, or for fine art,  this is not the book for you. But if you want to have fun, splash around in the crafty pool and make some unique... even a little edgy, crafts it's a terrific romp.

The book is well laid out and there are loads of stepped out pictures for each craft. I was really happy to see that, as so many craft books are moving to just written instructions and one gorgeous finished product shot. IMHO, showing the steps is superior in every way. 

Another thing that impressed me was how the travel sections introducing each state were thoughtfully written. You could experience their trip alongside them.

Those pages were insightful, full of tips and in no way a 'throw away' bit before getting to the projects.

I can easily see myself flipping through before leaving on a trip to get ideas of not-to-miss stops.

Cut out and Keep: Around the USA in 50 Craft Projects is available March 17.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Podtastic! and Patterns

I'm taking an awesome class by Jodi Ohl called Pod-tastic!

Because doodling is WAY outside my comfort zone I'm being extremely diligent about doing each practice exercise to the best of my abilities (and as often as needed) until I'm comfortable. That way when I move on I can do it confidently.

It's kind of fun being a total noob in an art class :)

1st try:

2nd try:

I think I'm ready to move on to doing these over painted backgrounds. I think I managed to get a flat blob shape to look sort of 3D-ish. What do you think?

As for patterns... I think I've done more than 28 already. Patterns are apparently super-addictive. 

Here's a few of my latest ones:

Friday, February 13, 2015

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Framed Mixed-Media Heart Wall Decor

I'm having a great time with these patterns. 
Sometimes I've been doing them in my art journal, sometimes on loose paper - my son has been doodling them on his arms. LOL.

This one leapt off the page and into a salvaged garage sale frame. I now have a really cute little accent for my bathroom. 

For a focal point I added a recycled playing card. You can view my tutorial for them HERE.

All this color and texture makes me happy :)

I had a little strip left so instead of replicating it in my journal, I cut a piece out and glued it in. Having a pattern index is SO awesome. It's totally worth the additional effort. You can see it all finished in the top pic.

Thanks for visiting.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Simple Health Week Six: FREE PRINTABLE

Well, with my husband's 46th birthday, my 42nd, our 20th anniversary and a cake and crafts party in the middle I can safely say I did not meet my objectives this week. Not even close. 

That is a whole lot of celebrating to shove into one week - and I have a chest cold too.

So this week I'm calling 'RE-DO' on last weeks goals. 

Let's try this again!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Pattern Making

You'll have to excuse the lighting. Sunshine is pretty scarce in the Pacific Northwest this time of year.
We've been driving with our headlights on at noon lately.

Thankfully I enjoy the gloomy dampness immensely. This is home :)

Here are some of the patterns I've been working on for #28Patterns.

80's Leaf: Inspired by the work of Sarah Bagshaw

This one is based on an Ikea fabric print:

This one is inspired by Mysterious Tropical Garden by SmallDrawing

Here it is just painted with Inktense blocks and a water brush.

Then I caved and added an outline to everything. I like the flowers MUCH better but the pomegranates less... what do you think? Do you prefer the details or the softer look and feel of the top picture?

And here's the index page in my bullet journal. I love how it's taking shape.

Monday, February 2, 2015


Julie's done it again. She has a terrific way of motivating people to make lots of art; first with her #CarveDecember and now with #28Patterns.

I started this one by carving a lemon stamp and fill stamp.

Then I stamped in Staz-On for the edge and Ranger Squeezed Lemonade Distress ink for the fill. Then I went over the whole thing, adding some green shadow and bright yellow highlights with neocolors.

And lastly I added the stamp to my bullet journal where I'm indexing my patterns. I've left my options open so that I can either just do a pattern in the journal or make something more elaborate and record it here. 

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Simple Health Week Five: Printable

Welcome to Week Five of the Simple Health Challenge. 

I can honestly say that this challenge is really changing the way I think about food and what I eat. 

I was feeling really sick all week and I focused on water and whole foods. Veggies and most of my "quality food" spots were easy to fill as I made big pots of yummy soup absolutely loaded with fresh vegetables. But the fruit... didn't get a single piece. I don't count cranberry juice. But if I had, then I ate one fruit per day. 

What has been really clear to me after logging my foods this way for a month is how low quality food edges out room in your stomach - and palate - for higher quality foods. If you have a bagel for breakfast, you just don't have room or the desire for a piece of fruit, handful of nuts or some yogurt. 

My goal continues to be to turn that around, keep myself fueled with high quality foods and not leave room or desire for poorer choices. 

This weeks printable:

This week's challenge, in addition to having one small adventure, is to aim for one 'perfect' day where you fill in all the boxes. 

Last week our family managed our small adventure but I was too ill to do the OBB squats and push-ups challenge. 

Good luck this week!