Sunday, December 15, 2013

Journal Your Christmas Continues

A page about Santa
 I have been very busy keeping up with my 2013 Journal Your Christmas class led by Shimelle. As I mentioned previously, there are daily prompts. Though many scrapbookers enroll in the course and keep Chritstmas scrapbooks, I have been using it to keep a Christmas art journal.

Based on a prompt about wrapping paper, I used some vintage style doggie gift wrap.
 I have been finding it very insightful to think through some of the traditions we practice and why. Some of the prompts refer to childhood memories of Christmastime. Interestingly, since I grew up Jewish and converted to Christianity in 2005, I do not have childhood nostalgia for Christmas or childhood memories of Christmas celebrations.

Do you perhaps notice the glitter alphabet letter obsession I currently have?
 So, my writing tends to focus more on the traditions we have built as a nuclear family. But, I also plan to refer to my extended family- especially once we are in Florida for Christmas.

This year, we returned to an former tradition of seeing The Nutcracker at the Fox Theater.

Some traditions encompass my husband's Dutch heritage.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Journal your Christmas 2013 with Shimelle

I altered a vintage hymnal I picked up at a thrift store. This is the cover and spine.

I am very excited to be taking part in Journal Your Christmas 2013 with Shimelle. Each day, she gives some reflections and prompts for journaling. I altered a hymnal (above) and recreated the cover and spine.

My first page is my manifesto page, where I journal what my hope for Christmas is. This is followed by a page and jouranling about Advent. I am using mostly Graphic 45's 12 Days of Christmas collection, with other stuff thrown in.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Beautiful Altered Box

You may remember that last month I entered a challenge posted on the Scraps of Darkness forum. I was beyond excited to be one of the 2 winners. The host of the challenge, Karen (from Lost Coast Scrapper), very generously gave out prizes for the winners. Mine is this beautiful, handmade box using Graphic 45 papers!

Here is the box from the front. Look at the beautiful details!

Now I have my own book of spells!

Look at the design elements!!!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Challenge Win and Feeling a Lot Like Christmas

On Left is Renea's beautiful original. On the Left is my interpretation using a vintage First Communion image.
I was extremely excited to learn that I am one of two winners in a Scraps of Darkness forum challenge  where we lift a designer's layout. My entry was the First Communion journal page above right. I blogged about the challenge here. I was hoping to get a better picture of my page yesterday, but it was overcast and rainy, so the lighting was not cooperating.

I have also been  feeling the Christmas spirit. One yearly tradition I have is to begin listening to Christmas music right after Halloween. I know some people complain about celebrations beginning too early, and not having time for a true Advent season.

However, I have long thought that the early yearning for Christmas is all part of the Advent season of expectation and hope and waiting. To me, Advent and Christmas is one of those times of year when the world is, in the words of Celtic traditions, a thin place. "There is a Celtic saying that heaven and earth are only three feet apart, but in the thin places that distance is even smaller. A thin place is where the veil that separates heaven and earth is lifted and one is able to receive a glimpse of the glory of God."

My art journal plans for Christmas is to join Shimelle Laine's annual Journal your Christmas workshop. It begins December 1. I may attempt to prep some pages beforehand if I have any time. I am so looking forward to this workshop!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Mini Album Part 2

Previously, I wrote about beginning work on a Halloween-themed mixed media Mini Album based on a YouTube tutorial by Anne from Anne's Paper Creations (xannero1 on YouTube).
Embellished Pockets

Even though I am taking a break from crafting jewelry, I still love bling!
I had one of those weeks where all sorts of small things go wrong, so I was so looking forward to my art day today in my studio. I completed the cover and first page. So far, I am really liking it!

Within all these cute pull outs and pockets, there are many places for hidden journaling and also photos, though I have not added them yet. I hav been using a combination of  Graphic 45 Steampunk Spells collection and my Scraps of Darkness Gothic October kit.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Working on a Mini

I have been hard at work on a mini, mixed media Halloween album/journal based on a wonderful tutorial by Anne from Anne's Paper Creations (xannero1 on YouTube). There are many pages, pockets, tags, and other pull outs (what is not to love about all these adorable details??).

I plan on using a combination of Graphic 45 Steampunk Spells collection and my Scraps of Darkness Gothic October kit. Once I have completed it, I will be posting many pictures, I promise!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Dimensional Art Journaling

Scraps of Darkness challenge
Lately, I have gotten more into using dimensional embellishments in my art journaling. I have begun taking part in the Scraps of Darkness  discussion forum challenges. In the example above, I was using a layout by scrapbooker Renea Harrison as inspiration.

I built up a small amount of collage and stenciling on the background. I have a small collection of antique First Communion pictures so I matted one onto coordinating cardstock for this page. I also used some cross embellishments, butterflies, and flower stickers.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Gender and Color Choice in Crafting

One of my addictions is listening to craft-related podcasts. Among my favorites is the Paperclipping Roundtable hosted by Noell Hyman. I was listening to two older episodes (Booth Worthy and The Cake on the Page) where the discussion of color and gender came up. Mainly in a discussion about the color of paper and scrapbook embellishments related to the pages done about boy and girl children, but also on pages about men. Some said they will use things like flowers even on pages about boys. The shows discussed different approaches, but did not say one was superior or another inferior, but that it is up to each individual.

The topic got me to reflect on my own use of color in pages about my son. I do not have strong feelings in terms of certain colors paired with pages about men and boys. For me, it is not so much about using more gender neutral, or boyish colors and embellishments for my pages as it is using colors my son likes. This is because he looks at and reads some of the pages about him. I want the pages to reflect his current personality and tastes.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Favorite Mixed Media Pens

A recent art journal page about our dog, Daisy
 As promised, I am back to discuss some of my favorite pens for art journaling. Love for a particular pen is pretty personal, I think. For instance, while many paper crafters have a deep devotion for anything Copic Markers manufactures, I do not love them.

In my experience, albeit fairly recent, I have tested numerous brands. One thing that is important to me is that they be permanent and not react by bleeding or fading to the wet media I am using.

Tee Juice Fabric Marker, Permapaque Pen, Slicci Pens
I have discovered that I especially love the fine point and permanence offered by Tee Juice Fabric Markers. I also really like Permapaque by Sakura, though wish it came in more tip choices like fine.

As an aside, I included my favorite gel pen in the picture- Slicci by Pentel!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Favorite Gel Medium

From a session with Mindy Lacefield in Lifebook 2013
After being enrolled in one mixed media/art workshop after another, I have begun to have products I enjoy using more than others. For example, I have used many glues and gel mediums like Mod Podge, Liquitex medium, Golden medium, and Deco Art's DecouPage.

Although I know many mixed media artists love Liquatex Matte Medium, I have to say that my favorite so far is Deco Art's Decoupage. For me, it is not as sticky as Mod Podge, and needs less product than Liquitex to adhere strongly.

I have also been on a hunt for permanent markers to write over collaged backgrounds. Though many love using Sharpie brand markers for this, I have not had great luck with them.

I bought a few single markers to test out from various brands. I will be reporting my results soon!

Do you have favorite products?

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Blooming Cheetah

For several years now, I have had the same ruffled leather handbag. It has probably been my favorite purse of all time and also gets endless compliments- even from men! People would stop me in the street to ask about it.

My purse is the light brown. Picture from Overstock.

However, the lining is now coming apart, so I have had to get a new bag.
Yesterday, I found a really cut Betsey Johnson bag at Ross. I think of the print as blooming cheetah! Gotta love the animal print, flowers, and sequins.

My new Betsey Johnson bag.
I am currently testing it out to see how I like it. Yes, I need to test out bags to see if they deserve full-time commitment! Only time will tell.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Favorite Craft Supplies

Indian Pigments (Public Domain Picture).
As I have been trying out various art supplies and techniques, I have begun to develop certain preferences.

While I enjoy using watercolors now and then, I am more drawn to painting with acrylics. I love the way they achieve certain looks especially thorough layering. My long-time love affair with collage also continues in my art journals.

I have come to  greatly enjoy using pastels as well. I am not as into using colored pencils or markers, though they certainly have their place depending upon the results one wants to achieve.

What are some of your favorites?

Saturday, August 10, 2013

A Tale of Three Schools

Lately, I have been consumed by an unexpected change in my son, Liam's, schooling. From preschool-4th grade, Liam was enrolled in Kingfisher Academy, which we all loved. At the end of fourth grade in spring of 2012, Kingfisher decided to move to Tucker. This was a bit too far for us to commute.

He enrolled in The Atlanta School. We loved the education he was receiving there as well, and Liam was making good friends too. Enrollment was a bit down last year, and the school and parents were actively working to market the school better.

On July 29, we received an unexpected email from the Board of Directors. Ten families had decided to not enroll after all, and the Atlanta School was closing. We were all very shocked and upset.

Since then, I have been involved in a whirlwind of online and in person research trying to find a school for fall. We narrowed it down to three. Horizons Academy, Hess Academy, and Waldorf School of Atlanta.

In the end, we decided to apply to Waldorf- so we are waiting to see if Liam is accepted. Of course, I had to create an art journal page about this!

Left-hand side of spread.
RIght-hand side.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Still Life with Pears

My pear still life from one of Dion's lessons.
I fell behind with posting here during a visit from my mother and sister. However, I have been working my way through lessons in Dion Dior's Mastering Twinks online workshop. The workshop focuses on how to use Twinkling H20s luminescent watercolors to bring out their best qualities.

The workshop is fun and I will be posting more projects soon!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Where Have all the Foam Stamps Gone?

Image from Heidi Borchers ' stamp-making tutorial.
Do you recall just a few years ago, when you could find foam stamps everywhere? Places like the dollar store, craft stores, and kids crafts departments near and far stocked them.

Because they work very well with paint, and also on the Gelli Plate, I was looking for them, figuring I would have no problem locating them. Apparently, they are no longer popular for crafting because I searched high and low and had to finally purchase some on Ebay. (They can also be found on Etsy).

Guess I should treat my foam stamps very well, so they last a very long time!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

ICAD Month Two

Fourth of July Mixed Media Collage
Well, I have now entered my second month of the Index Card a day Challenge being hosted by Daisy Yellow. I am having so much fun! I have been testing out lots of techniques that are new to me. The Index Cards allow me to test them on a small scale, which is less intimidating that a big, blank journal page.

One technique I have become obsessed with is using opaque items like tissue paper in the collage. Here is a selection of recent cards I have done:

Sunday, June 30, 2013

More Index Cards

The bottom card is an encaustic collage! Surprisingly, I can do hot wax on an index card.

I have now arrived at day 30 - my first month mark- of the Daisy Yellow Index Card Challenge! Above you can see a sampling of more recent cards.

I continue to be amazed at how well the index cards hold up to heavy mixed media- I have been gluing two together to make them heavier, but even so it is impressive! 

I also continue to be inspired by the wonderful cards being produced and posted on Facebook and Flickr. I have learned some great techniques I am looking forward to trying out. 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Blending and Pastels

I have moved on in the Supplies Me workshop with Jane Davenport to pastels, highlights, and shading. I still need a lot of practice with shading! I have always loved using pastels and will always test them out when I am in an art store. But, I have not used them as an art supply since maybe high school.

I was so excited to play with pastels again. Oh the blending beauty! I got to try out pastel pencils and Shiva Artist Paintstiks - you can see the background I created by blending these above left. The Paintstiks are simply divine!

I have to say that, as a veteran of numerous online jewelry making and art workshops, Supplies Me ranks in my top two workshops ever taken.

Friday, June 21, 2013

My Mug in Cuppa With Friends

Tracey Fletcher King  featured my favorite mug in her Cuppa with Friends series of artwork. She had the idea to take part in the Index-Card-a-Day challenge (you probably recall that I am doing this too). I love Tracey's art and was so very excited to be included. After emailing her a picture of the mug, here is what she came up with.

The picture of the mug I emailed to Tracey.
Tracey's rendering of my mug. I like how she continues the flower pattern around the mug. 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Index Card Progress Report

I continue with Daisy Yellow's Index Card Challenge. I have so been enjoying meeting all the other participants and find their work so interesting and also inspiring.

The top card was based on a polka dot prompt. Originally, I thought maybe I could do something retro 80s - when polka dots ruled! However, I wound up layering a bunch of vintage wallpaper  with tons of gesso and a cookie cutter used as a stamp. I then used a Distress paint dabber in red.

The second card may be one of my favorites of what I have so far done. I altered some da Vinci! I  had a Gelli print background and covered it with gesso. I used netting as stencil, a stamp for pattern, vintage cigar bands, gold acrylic paint, and glitter glue.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Index-Card-a-Day Update

I have been having an extremely busy crafting month. As you may recall from earlier posts, I am not only enrolled in a workshop called Supplies Me where we are learning how to use art supplies as well as more intermediate drawing skills, but also taking part in Daisy Yellow's Index-Card-a-Day challenge.

I have been having fun creating a daily index card. Since I last posted about this, I have created quite a few, as you can see below.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Girl in Green Bikini

My Supplies Me drawing lessons with Jane Davenport continue. We have been practicing drawing women from behind. So, here is my journal page using that technique and lots of colored pencils.

Derwent Inktense for the background, spray inks, Prismacolor for the girl and bikini, plus some light stamping.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Index Cards 6 and 7

Seems I am wrapping up my first week of the IndexCard-a-Day Challenge. Here are my cards from yesterday and today.

Not super happy with this one, but guess it will do for today! Collage, gesso, Prismacolor pencils, Distress paint, stamp, Washi tape:

Yesterday's  I titled, Dandelion Fever. These are growing everywhere in our neighborhood. Dylusions spray ink background, Derwent Inktense flowers, Washi.