Monday, July 14, 2014

Summer of Color Week 5...

I'm late to the party with week five's Summer of Color pages.  I figure better late than never tho, right?  Anyhoo, the colors were:

Red and Royal Blue with a Splash of Light Blue

I flipped it around a bit, and did red, light blue with a splash of royal blue.  Here are last week's planner pages...
 I used bits of happy mail Susan DaSilva Gallitto, Linda Rapchak and Leike Michelow - thanks friends!

 The documented life challenge for the week was to use a small photo somewhere.  Turns out, this cute graduation photo from my friend Christina's daughter Alex fit in perfectly with the colors - yeayyy!

Loved this quote from Oprah, so I had to include it...

I am definitely experiencing the wonder on my path right now.  I've got 87 days til I retire, and I am treasuring each moment of my job, while at the same time, gearing up for the new adventure ahead!

Thanks so much for visiting today!  I appreciate you so much and wish you wonder on your journey too!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

First Pages from Sketchbook Skool...

I'm having so much fun in Sketchbook Skool!  It's even more fun than I hoped it would be!  I'm feeling so inspired! 

I chose to work in a Strathmore 500 Series Mixed Media Journal, after reading about it on Roz Stendahl's blog.  I'm so glad I did. The paper is fantastic!  Nice and heavy, with a smooth surface for drawing details.

Here are my pages from the first week with Danny Gregory...

I hope to get another spread done before Friday, when our new klass goes up!

Thanks so much for visiting!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Celebrating Sumer of Color (LOL)...

I didn't notice the mistake til the very end when I was doing the border, but I still love my page.  It makes me giggle every time I look at it...
I did this page for Week 6 of Summer of Color.  This week's colors are Pink, Apple Green and a splash of dark green.  My favorite combo so far!

You gotta love your pages, mistakes and all, right?  They just become part of your story.

In other news, I'm deep into the first week of Sketchbook Skool and LOVING it!  It's more than I even hoped it would be!  Next post I will share my first finished assignment.

Until then, take care and have a great weekend!  Thanks so much for visiting!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Journal Surgery...

Do you ever start a journal, and for one reason or another, set it aside before it's finished?  I do.  Sometimes it's cuz I get excited about starting another one, or maybe I realize the format is hard to use or maybe it's too specialized a topic to fill a whole journal; but for whatever reason, it happens; and this past week it was bugging me.  I had this pile of nine unfinished journals...

I decided to do some journal surgery.  I took the completed pages out of each journal, and organize them in a loose chronological fashion.  I included the cover of the Letter Love one, since I created that one and wanted to preserve it.  Here's the pile...

Then, I cleaned up the edges, and three-hole punched each page, and created two sets of covers out of old record albums.

Now, I have two full journals, filled with random good stuff!  Here's how they look all finished...
I'm so happy I did this! 

Here's a peek at how each one looks on the inside...

Super easy, and now those half-filled journals are not hanging over my head like unfinished projects, and the original journals can go back on the shelf and await the next time they are needed.  Yeayyy!

I wish you a wonderful weekend my friends!  Thanks so much for visiting!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Summer of Color Meets Book of Days...

Week three of Summer of Color was extra fun for me because it was such a challenge.  My usual colors are BRIGHT BRIGHT BRIGHT, and this scheme is pretty muted.  The colors are

Lavender, Grey and a Splash of Plum.

I decided to use these colors on this week's Book of Days workshop spread.  We are exploring the concept of home.  Here's what I came up with...
As you can see I used more than a splash of plum - ha.  Like half the page. :)   And I also broke the rules by adding a little yellow and hot pink in the house, but hey, I'm looking at it as a jumping off point more than strict rules, know what I mean?

If you want to play along, head over to the Summer of Color blog here!

Thanks so much for visiting today!  I appreciate you!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Book of Days Update - Magic Moon and More...

Having fun in my Book of Days...

The stencil is one I cut myself from a photograph of me as a kid.  I learned the technique in Judy Wise' mixed media workshop!  Clouds are done with Julie Fei-Fan Balzer's Clouds stencil and acrylic paint.

The woman on the right is a paint-over technique with a magazine image.  I have such a hard time with those!  I do much better just starting from scratch.  On the bottom left is leftover paper towel from a painting session.

Had tons of fun with this Book of Days page!  The sky is done with two shades of blue acrylic paint, and Seth Apter's Storytime Stencil. 

I hope you are having an awesome week!  Thanks so much for visiting today!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Talkin' about Coral, Teal and a Splash of White: Summer of Color Week 2...

Hey friends!  Happy weekend to you!  It's time for the second week in the Summer of Color Project, and this week's colors are:

Coral, Teal and a Splash of White

I decided to reflect them in my planner again.  Here's how it turned out...

(the mosaic heart was for this week's challenge at Documented Life, and the Quote was for the No Excuses challenge of focusing on lettering)

In other news, I signed up for Sketchbook Skool starting July 4, and I couldn't be more excited!  I'm taking the "Beginnings" class.  I can't wait!

Also, have I mentioned that I'm retiring?  Yes, it's true!  I am going to be a full-time artist in less than 4 months!  More on that to come...

Thanks so much for visiting today!  I really appreciate you!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

One Week in my Planner: OLW, DLP, SOC, and NEA...

Hey there friends!  As I type this post, it's thunderstorming outside, and I am cozy in my studio with my cat Willie on my lap.  I can't think of a better way to spend a Saturday evening.  I love the sound of the rain on the roof.

This week in my planner was extra busy!  I tackled four challenges: One Little Word, The Documented Life Project, Summer of Color Week One and No Excuses!

The first one is One Little Word, which is live today!

The word for June is LIGHT

Here's what I came up with...
 The background here was collaged, gelli-printed book pages.  Candle drawn on top with water-soluble pencil.  Then a layer of gesso over everything but the candle and flame.  Finally the yellow part of the flame was colored with high flow acrylic, and the quote written with  pitt pen.

"There will be a light" is a line from a song I love on my Ben Harper and the Blind Boys of Alabama CD. On the journaling page of my planner, I did a little tribute to the song, to go with my candle page...
The candle page also serves as the Documented Life Page for this week, as the challenge was to use text paper.

 Next comes week one of Summer of Color!  

Being a color enthusiast fanatic, this annual challenge is right up my alley!  The color scheme for this week was:


Here's my planner page...

 and here's how the whole week looks with the flap open...
 (thanks so much to Susan Gallito for the awesome happy mail, some of which is used on this week's planner page!)

 and last but definitely not least is the No Excuses Art challenge for the week, which was to do a page inspired  by the artist Helen Frankenthaler.  Helen was known for pouring huge fields of color onto her paintings which were laid out on the floor; so I tried to pay tribute to that with my background.  Here's how it turned out...

This page was done on the front side of the tip in, as you can see here...

One thing I love about having access to all these challenges, is that each one provides an opportunity to learn something,  play and stretch my creative boundaries.  And they are all FREE!  How great is the internet???!!!

To play along with the One Little Word challenge, click here.

For more on The Documented Life Project, click here.

To find out about Summer of  Color 2014, click here.

To check out the No Excuses Art challenges, click here.

I will leave you with an acoustic version of "There Will Be a Light."  I hope you enjoy it!

Thank you so much for visiting me today!  I wish you a wonderful Sunday my friends!

Saturday, May 31, 2014

New Journal Pages...

Hey there, hi there, ho there friends!  Happy Saturday!  I'm ecstatic today because my computer is back to it's old speedy self FINALLY!  I have been having such problems with slooooooowness this past week it's been ridiculous.  I felt like I was back in 1994 with my first Mac, when I could click on a website, and go make and eat a sandwich, and hopefully, when I got back the site would be loaded.  Do you remember those days?  ACK.  Anyhoo, my computer wiz of a husband figured out and fixed the problem and now things are humming along wonderfully again.

Anyhoo, I've got a few more pages in my Book of Days to share with you today...

With this one I tried out a new stamp I carved myself.  It's the flower with the striped center...
I also added in a clear pocket with a handmade postcard I did for a swap stashed inside

here's the back of the postcard, where I was working out my current journaling system...

For this one I used a transfer technique from Judy Wise' class to get the girl on the page (I did not draw her freehand)...

She came from this magazine article...

and finally, this week's Book of Days Lesson...
My favorite thing about this page is the way her eyes and lips came out.  I was going to paint them, but I didn't because they looked kinda wild with just the color from the background showing through.  A happy accident!

Before I go, I wanted to share a cool thing that I found out about this week.  It's called Derwent Art Academy.  It's completely free, and they have six lessons that you go through, and when you complete all six, you get a set of Derwent Colored pencils of your choice, plus a certificate of completion.  How fun is that?  Check it out here!

And don't forget, there's still plenty of time to join us over at One Little Word for this month's challenge!  Check it out here!

Thanks so much for visiting today!  I appreciate you so much!  Have a wonderful weekend!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

A Perfect Day and more...

I've been working along in my Book of Days, and have three new pages to share with you...

A Perfect Day
 Loved the exercise of drawing a face quickly, not worrying about getting it perfect.  It made the process so much fun!

Inner Peace
 The words are a combination from an article at lifebuzz, things my therapist has told me over the years (that still stick with me), and things I have learned that I want for myself. 

Shining Rainbow
 Another quick face; and I was really excited to finally be able to use spray paint in my journal (the pink rainbow and word unfinished)!  At our old place, there wasn't anywhere outside that I could spray that wouldn't be near the bird feeders.  Now at our new place, we have a big back yard and I can go way up the hill and spray - yeayyy!  So fun!

I am loving how these two workshops complement each other!  I think I have found my groove with the combination of big spreads and multi-day journaling spreads.  Even after the workshops are over, I'm feeling this will be my rhythm.

I just ordered some new sheets of watercolor paper, so I will be ready to bind my next journal when this one fills up.  Did you know that Blick is having a sale right now on Daler-Rowney Cold Press Watercolor Paper Packs?  Buy one get one free!  Can't beat that!  Check it out here!

I hope you are having a wonderful weekend my friends!  Thanks so much for visiting - I appreciate you!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Notes about my Creative Process - A Virtual Blog Tour...

Hi friends!  My friend Lee Clements has asked me to participated in a virtual blog tour, which involves answering some questions about my creative process, and I am happy to oblige!  I hope you enjoy this little peek into my world...

1. What am I working on right now?
I am currently working in three different journals, and taking a number of online courses.  (I LOVE online courses!)  Some pages in each journal are prompted by workshop lessons, and some are not.  Here is an overview of each journal, along with workshop links where applicable...

Book of Days:
My book of days is a handbound journal, that is a record of what you might call my "inner world."  It contains a weekly foray into my soul, as well as my daily musings with a visual twist.
(Workshop pages in this book include BOD and Judy Wise Mixed Media Journaling)

My Planner:
I am using a Moleskine XL Planner to create a log of what's happening in my outer world.  Dates, Appointments, weather, etc,  along with weekly challenges from two online groups.
(No Excuses Journaling, The Documented Life Project)

My Creative Practice Notebook:
I am using a  Strathmore Toned Sketchbook for this journal.  This is a new adventure for me - thanks to the Creative Practice workshop taught by Lisa Sonora Beam.  It holds things that inspire me, class notes, ideas, images, etc.  It's not an art journal, but more of a guidebook for my creative journey.

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
People tell me they recognize my work by my bright colors and whimsical style.  Emotions and color are the two things that drive my art.  My love for animals, music and the 1970's inspires my creations too.

3. Why do I create what I do?
Creating is my therapy.  It soothes me.  I love the format of mixed media journaling for a number of reasons.  A journal feels like a playground to me.  I love seeing the book fill up and get all fat and chunky.  I love being able to flip through it when I'm done and see the progression of life and learning.  It just plain makes me happy!

4.  How does your creative process work?
After my day job, I usually take a nap.  It provides a division between work and home mode, and a little rest gets me ready to create.  Then I spend the evening in the studio, with the cats, working in my journals.  I don't have a schedule right now as to what I do when.  I just go with my mood.  If I don't have any ideas, or I'm feeling stuck for some reason, I've always got workshop lessons to work on.  If I have an idea I want to try,  or some feelings I want to get out, I will dive in there. 

Next week, the blog tour moves on to these two women who have inspired me for a long time.  Catch up with them on Monday, May 26 at their blogs...

Sharon Fritchman:
Sharon is a nurse by day and an avid scrapbooker by night.  She started scrapbooking about a decade ago when she adopted her second daughter from China and never looked back. She lives with her husband of almost 25 years, 2 daughters, and a pet dog she rescued from the Rottweiler Society.  She loves all kinds of music and worked together with Michelle on the "Scrapping the Music" design team in the past!  Recently, she started getting into some art journaling and mixed media pages after taking some online classes.  And she loves photography, too!

Visit Sharon at her blog:  That Girl Fritchey

Julie Tucker-Wolek:
Julie is a prolific scrapbooker, and very creative at upcyling common items into art. Her blogposts are always filled with beautiful pages and creative ideas!

Visit Julie at her blog:  Life with the Tucker and Wolek Clan 

Thanks so much for visiting me today!  I hope you've enjoyed the tour of my creative process!  Hugs and happy Wednesday!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Time for another One Little Word Challenge: What "WILL" you create?

The new challenge is up at One Little Word, and this time our inspiration comes from the word WILL.

Here's what I created...
 This started out as a No Excuses challenge in my planner.  The challenge was to take inspiration from needlework designs.  I saw this design and right away it reminded me of my mom.  She loved owls.  I drew a simplified version of the owl and colored it in with Neocolor II crayons. Then I added the typed words in honor of Mother's Day; and realized it would be perfect for the One Little Word challenge.  From there I just kept adding bits and pieces throughout the week til I ended up with what you see above. 

 Here's the whole spread in my planner...

The word WILL has so many possibilities!  Come on over and check out what the rest of the design team created!  It would be great if you want to play along with us too!  Click here to go to the challenge!

Thanks so much for visiting today, and have a fabulous Thursday my friends!