Archive | June, 2013

The one with glamorous whimsy

29 Jun

Happy Saturday!

Before I share this weeks project, I want to let you know I added some fantastic women to my blogroll. These women all inspire me in one way or another and I thought it might be nice to give them a shout out. In particular, my amazing cousin just started writing Scalarious; check it out if you ever wondered about living in blended family.

I’m always on the lookout for artwork that inspires me. One artist that always captures my attention is Teesha Moore with her fantastic use of color and the whimsical pages she creates. Using images from magazines, she makes extaordinary layouts that are a feast for the eyes. Since I’ve been upcycling magazine pages a lot lately, I thought I’d try using magazine elements as my focal point and create something a la Teesha.

I started here (and this time I’m working in my spiral bound journal which is 9×12)

J1They were in a pile of pages I’d pulled out of magazines because they spoke to me in some way or another. At this point, I had no idea where this layout would go. So, I prepped my page with a layer of gesso and then decided to use a sheet of tissue paper (which meant I could have skipped the gesso for once).

J2I added a wash of red watercolor which was too intense so I softened it with some gesso (and in the process, tore the tissue so I had to add more. Keep in mind when using tissue that it’s delicate to avoid this frustration)

J3I started cutting out my images and that is when the layout started to take shape. The diamond ring became her crown and the diamond pins became wings. The clock face was a natural backdrop for her.

J5I’m not sure what drew me to these elements; I don’t live in luxury nor am I dripping in diamonds but for some reason, all this silver glitter spoke to me. I do like how well they all go together; they are all in the same color pallet – black, white and silver. There’s no doubt what the focus is on this page.


I added circles around the border of the page (repetition of the circle in the focal point) using 2 bottle caps and a wine cork.

J7I filled them in using various shades of red and white.


J9I stopped here. I’m sure I could have added a lot to make this page really over the top. But I like her as she is. And sometimes you have to know when to stop.

All in all, I was really pleased with the way this page turned out. It’s not as fantastical as Teesha’s pages, but then, I’m not her.

I’d love to know what you think, so please leave me a comment!

Till next week,

The one with the newest granola box canvas

22 Jun

Happy Saturday.

Last week, I shared a photo of some of the does that spent some time  in our yard. This week, we were treated to 4 bucks (and one feisty doe) so, of course  had to post one (of the many) photos I took. Isn’t he something?


You know, I never get tired of seeing wildlife pass through our tiny part of the world. So, this week, I finished another art piece on a granola box canvas. I love the size of these boxes! They’re about 5 1/2 x 6 3/4. Not too big and not too small. Anyhow, this one was for a very special woman I work with. She takes care of our entire building and everyone in it and always makes time to stop by, say hello and share her beautiful smile. I look forward to her visit everyday!

After prepping my canvas (using masking tape and gesso)

CB 2

I began with a layer of misc papers and Golden Gel Medium…..

Granola 1Originally, I started with a pallet of yellows and greens,

granola 2but that wasn’t talking to me so I moved on to reds and blues,

granola 3which turned into mostly shades of reds and pinks as I added layers.

granola 4

Using my (favorite) Winsor and Newton drawing ink, I started sketching out some flowers.

granola 6

filled them in with black acrylic paint…..

granola 7

And completed it with this fantastic quote: “Those who don’t believe in magic, will never find it.”

granola 8

A big shout out to JC, who lent me these fantastic letter stamps by Close to My Heart (I LOVE this font!)

granola 9

granola 10

granola 11This little bird stamp is on tissue paper and I used Golden Gel Medium to adhere him to the canvas.

Thanks for stopping by. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. And in case you were wondering, it was a big hit with my friend.


The one with magazine page painting and a creative warm up

15 Jun

Happy Saturday!

A while back, my hubs put a salt lick in our backyard cause deer love it and I love seeing them. Since then, he’s seen them in the morning, the evening, really, anytime I’ve not been home. Til yesterday afternoon! I was finally treated to a deer sighting by the salt lick! Here are two of the threesome that stopped by for some salt:

deerSix years of seeing deer in our yard and I still love it!

Ok, so on to the art.

Last week, I shared with you Dina Wakley’s creative warm up practice and how I’ve started using it when I sit down to create. In addition to using tags for this process, she suggested using small journals. Of course, I have a multitude of unused cute little journals so I thought “why not start using a warm up journal?”

About the same time, I had come across this fun video showing Shannon Green’s painted paper process. Which I fell in love with! For one reason, she paints on magazine pages and I have a ton of mags! Which I use in a lot of different ways, but never like this. Why am I telling you about these two very different things? Read on….

I started with a nice thick magazine page….

JNext, I used an old gift card as my pallet knife and just applied the acrylic paint right on to the magazine page. No prep. No gesso (can you believe it?!)

Mag pg1Basically, I added acrylic paint until I was happy with the look.

mags 2So, now I had this cool page but I wasn’t sure what to do with it. Until I pulled out my new creative warm up journal. I mean, come on, its cover needs to be a work of art as well!

journal 3aI used gel medium to adhere the painted magazine page to the journal and voila: a pretty creative warm up journal.

journal 3

journal 6

cw 4And now to share my creative warm up. I used a few different colors (all acrylic paints this time) and applied them with a (real) pallet knife. A lot like I did on my painted magazine page. No rhyme or reason. Just working with color. Although, I have a feeling that I created a cool background for a journal layout somewhere down the road.

So there you are. A second creative warm up practice. Tell me what you think. And please share any of your  practices. I love hearing about new ways to jump start my creative mind!


The one with the creative warm up exercises

8 Jun

Happy Saturday.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve struggled with my creativity. Ideas weren’t flowing and even perusing the many artists blogs I follow didn’t help. So, I started watching some of the videos I’d saved on my art journal Pinterest board and ran across a great video from Dina Wakley. She talks about beginning with a creative warm up kind of like an athlete would warm up before playing a game. At her suggestion, I found a box of tags at my local office supply place (although, I’d love to know where she finds tags in boxes of 1000 – I found a box of 100 and was thrilled).

The idea is to get the creative juices flowing, not to worry about creating master pieces. So, I got out some ink refills, a spray bottle of water, my tags, palate paper and got started!

tags 1

tags 2I sprayed each drop of ink refill quite a few times. And then basically dipped the tag into the inks…

tags 3

A few dabs here and there and I have tags. More importantly, it did get the creative juices flowing. So now, when I sit down to create and I’m not exactly sure what I’m going to work on or if I get stuck, I pull out some tags and some paint or inks and play. I LOVE it!

warm up tagsHere are some tags I made using acrylic paints (sprayed with a lot of water). I’ve also tried water colors paints (soft bodied) and they work great.

Of course, now I’ll have a bunch of tags all over the place. But I envision using them on cards, cutting parts of them out for journal layouts or art cards; the possibilities are endless. I used one to send a (short) recipe to my aunt the other day. Art on the front, recipe on the back.

So, thanks to Dina. Such a simple idea but one that has made a huge difference for me over the last few weeks. Let me know if you give it a try. Or do you already have a creative warm up? I’d love to hear what you do before you start.

Till next week,

The one with art journal challenge #4

1 Jun

Happy Saturday.

You may recall a while back when I challenged myself to come up with 5 different designs from similar layouts (read the original post here). I’ve been working on the fourth one. It’s been a long process, but I finally finished it.

I started here:

J1Well, truth be told, I did tear off some of the layers of wrapping paper I had originally used cause it was just a bit much.

J2Last Christmas, my hubs and I made crayons for some of the younger kids in our families. As we were unwrapping crayon after crayon, I decided to save them  for, well, something. They sat in a bag for months until I remembered seeing a video where Donna Downey covered one of her journal pages in ribbon. So, I finally got that bag out and I loved the results.

J3I used Golden Soft Gel Medium to adhere the wrappers to the pages. And let me tell you, that was MESSY! But what’s better than being messy when creating something fun, huh?!

J4I love how it turned out but I let it sit like this for a long time since  I wasn’t sure what to do next. And then, earlier this week, I had the bright idea to add some circles (cause I love circles so how could it go wrong?)
This is what went wrong:

journal 1And how do you fix poorly placed circles? By adding more (sure, sure)

journal 2And since that is clearly not working, how about adding a second ink (an inferior brand that apparently will NEVER dry and makes me realize that I will never buy any other than Winsor & Newton again) to the mix?

journal 3So that when I got frustrated that a layout which had  started out so well, went south quickly, the inferior ink bleeds under the gesso I have added to fix my layout. I put this aside for a bit……. And when I was ready to try again, I flipped through one of my Nashville Art mags and found a few images I thought could help this page. Since it started whimsical with the crayon wrappers, it needed to finish that way. Once the images were found, I finally figured out how to salvage the layout.

journal 5I added (using the highly superior Winsor & Newton drawing ink) these whimsical curly thingies….

journal 6added stripes…

journal 7And these really fun musicians. And I’m back to liking this layout!

journal 8journal 9And as you can see, the crayon wrappers are still a vibrant part of this layout.

I’d love to hear what you think! Till next week,