Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year's Eve! It's the last day of the countdown!

Hi friends!  It's the final day of the Top 2000 Songs of All Time Countdown!  Yee Ha!  The song I picked out of today's lineup is one that I love to turn up LOUD on my car stereo!  Totally dig The White Stripes.  Here's what I made...

#189:  Seven Nation Army by The White Stripes...

One thing that I love about the Top 2000 Countdown, is it gives me a chance to look a little more deeply at songs I love.  I never really knew what Seven Nation Army was about, so I looked it up.  I found out that it's about the White Stripes rising popularity and the negatives that came with that; and the phrase "Seven Nation Army," is what Jack White called the Salvation Army as a kid.  Interesting fact to know and tell - ha.

Anyhoo, here's the video for #189 - Seven Nation Army.  Enjoy!

As always,   you can click here to find out what songs the other participants picked and see their artwork by clicking here to go to Marit's blog!

Thanks so much for visiting and I will see you again real soon!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Day Six of the Top 2000 Countdown - Rhiannon...

It was 1976, I was in the eleventh grade, and Rhiannon was playing on the radio all the time.  I idolized Stevie Nicks, with her gravely voice, long, shaggy hair and gypsy clothes  I loved this song, because it sounded so magical, and through all these years, it still does.  For the sixth day of the Top 2000 countdown, I chose to do this page:

#538 - Rhiannon, by Fleetwood Mac...

here's the video.  I hope you enjoy it!

As always,   you can find out what songs the other participants picked and see their artwork by clicking here to go to Marit's blog!

Thanks so much for visiting!  I will see you tomorrow for day 7 - the last day of the countdown!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Day Five of the Top 2000 Countdown = HAPPY!

The song I picked for day five of the Top 2000 Countdown, is one that I was recently introduced to by my sister, Renee.  She posted the video for this song on her facebook timeline, and when I heard it, I was hooked!  Coming in at #587, it's "Happy," by Pharrell Williams.  Here's how my page turned out...

#587 - Happy - Pharrell Williams
This page was pretty simple to put together, once I had the idea.  The bottom is torn tissue paper, adhered with glue stick, and the title is just handcut pieces of scrapbook paper.  It's probably hard to tell in the photo, but I made Pharrell stand out a little by adhering him with pop dots.

If this song doesn't make you smile and want to dance, just a little, I will be surprised!  Here's the video...

As always,   you can find out what songs the other participants picked and see their artwork by clicking here to go to Marit's blog!

Thanks so much for visiting!  I will see you tomorrow for day 6 of the countdown!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Day Four of the Top 2000 Countdown - Suite: Judy Blue Eyes...

Oh my goodness I love this song!  Always have, always will.  There's nothing quite like the harmonies of Crosby Stills and Nash, in my heart, and the lyrics to this song are gorgeous too.

Coming in at #1118, it's Suite: Judy Blue Eyes...
The paper is black Stonehenge paper, and all the doodling is done with prismacolor pencils.  The white writing around the edge, and the outlining of the big lyric is white signo uniball pen.  The bird is a vintage image that I colored over the top of with prismacolor pencils.

Here's a video of Suite: Judy Blue Eyes, complete with some awesome guitar playing by Stephen Stills. I hope you enjoy it!

As always,   you can find out what songs the other participants picked and see their artwork by clicking here to go to Marit's blog!

Thanks so much for visiting!  I will see you tomorrow for day 5 of the countdown!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Day Three of the Top 2000...

For day three of the Top 2000 Songs of All Time Countdown, I chose one from this year...

#1206 - Royals by Lorde...

I scribbled the lyrics on the page before I started adding paint and mist. If you look closely you can still read them.  I wanted it to look sorta like graffiti.

The red splats and drips are actually painted deli paper bits, cut out and collaged onto the page. 

Michael and I both love this song.  It's got such a unique sound, and the lyrics are awesome too.

Here's the video...

As always,   you can click here to find out what songs the other participants picked and see their artwork by clicking here to go to Marit's blog!

Thanks so much for visiting!  I will see you tomorrow for day 4 of the countdown!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Day Two of the Top 2000 Countdown...

It's the second day of the Top 2000 Countdown!  The song I picked for today is 1968's "Dream a Little Dream" by Mama Cass.  Here's the journal page I created...

#1769 - Dream a Little Dream, by Mama Cass
Materials used include: gesso, acrylic paint, neocolor II crayons, tissue paper, Studio Calico stencil and spray ink, pencil, text paper, molotow markers, and images from the web.

Journaling says:  When I think of the song "Dream a Little Dream," I'm reminded of the 80's movie of the same name.  It was a cute romance where Corey Feldman dances to this song in an effort to win the girl's heart.  I was inspired by a Book of Days lesson, where the focus was on illustrating a story on your page. 

Here's a video of Mama Cass herself, singing "Dream a Little Dream..."

and the somewhat amped up version in the movie...

Marit's got 14 participants for today's part of the countdown!  Find out what songs they picked and see their artwork by clicking here!

Thanks so much for visiting, and I will see you again tomorrow for day 3 of the countdown!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Day One of the Top 2000 Countdown...

Hi friends!  It's the first day of the Top 2000 Countdown blog party!  Yeayyy!

My first journal spread is a title page for the countdown.  It was inspired by a Book of Days lesson on gel transfers.  Here's how it turned out...

The actual gel transfer was an epic fail.  LOL.  I could tell that the entire image was going to rub off my page, so I left the last bit of paper on so you can still see it.  I really like how it turned out.  I just can't really call it a gel transfer.

I meant to have a journal page done today for the December 25th portion of the countdown. Unfortunately, I miscalculated, and the page I did for today, actually isn't on the list til tomorrow - ack!  It's the first time I've missed a day of the countdown!  I will be back tomorrow to share it tho, so I hope to see you then!

Thank you to my friend Marit Barentsen, for hosting this annual blog party!  To find out more about Top 2000 Countdown party, to see what others have made for today's songs, and/or to join in; click here to go to Marit's blog.

Merry Christmas to those of you who celebrate!  And peace and love to you all!  See you tomorrow!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Project Life Layout and Planner for 2014...

Hi there friends!  How's it going?  I hope you are doing well, and able to still carve out a little creative time during this busy time of year.  I have another week of Project Life to share, plus a new Project Life planner for 2014...

Here's my layout for December 9 - 15, 2013...

Left side detail...
 I had to include my newest celebrity crush - Teddy Bear The Talking Porcupine.  :)  If you haven't seen Teddy Bear, you are in for a treat.  Click here to see him.  The card that says "Life is a Blank Canvas" is actually a piece cut from a plastic teacup from Caribou Coffee.

 Right side detail...
I got a pretty good shot of my horse neighbors - wish I knew their names.  The Documented Life Project (bottom right corner) is a facebook group that will be a nice complement to my No Excuses Planner, I think.  It's free and it's all about decorating your planner.  They are going to have weekly challenges starting January 1st.  If you want to know more, click here.

Now, on to my new planner!  I'm really excited about it!  It's a printable designed by Traci Reed; that you can customize to work with any of the Project Life page layouts!   I printed out enough sheets to last me through 2014, and bound it with my bind-it-all.

I kept the cover simple...
 I used papers from my Gossamer Blue December kit throughout.

A pocket on the inside front cover to hold the PDF that shows all the different page protector designs (for reference); and then monthly pages...

 Here's the main worksheet.  I customized it to include the page protector designs I plan on using the most, and I put enough so that I could do up to two full spreads per week...

Another pocket in the back for who knows what...

and the back cover...

I used the worksheet for this week's layout and was WOWed by how much time it saved!

If you want to check out the printable, click here.

Tomorrow is the start of the Top 2000 Blog party, so I will be back then!

Thanks so much for visiting today, and Happy Holidays!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Winter Solstice Introspection Page...

Happy Winter Solstice everyone! 

 Before I get going on today's post, I want to answer a question that came in on this post.

Leslie Gardner asked:  Would you consider making a post, showing your readers how you created this beauty?

This is the page Leslie was talking about:
Thanks for asking Leslie! The texture you see on the page is created by scraping modeling paste through a stencil.  I used regular modeling paste, but I've heard that light modeling paste works even better.  The stencil I used is one of my favorites - it's a hamsa stencil, designed by Jessica Sporn.  The page was inspired by a weekly post in Effy Wild's Book of Days program, which you can find more info about here.

I hope that helps Leslie!

Okay, On to Today's post!

I've been working on an older Life Book lesson that I haven't had time to do  until now.  It's about the things we keep inside, and we learned how to make hands that fold open on to reveal hidden journaling.  It seemed like a great page to do on this special day.  For me, Winter Solstice is all about looking inward, so I decided to include an "I Am" poem.

Here's the page I created...

 The poem continues inside the hands...


Here's the entire poem in what's probably an easier-to-read format:

I Am
I am wide-eyed and curious.
I wonder what it would be like to float on a cloud
I hear music in white noise.
I see faces in inanimate objects.
I want to turn our house into a wildly colorful bohemian sanctuary.
I am wide-eyed and curious.

I pretend that my cats speak english.
I feel like I could fly if I lifted up my feet at just the right moment
I touch the stars in the night sky
I worry about getting all my paperwork done
I cry when people pass on from this life
I am wide-eyed and curious

I understand that we are all wonderfully unique
I believe that there are many paths to god
I dream that my dog china is still alive
I try to express love and gratitude daily
I hope for peace in everyone's hearts
I am wide-eyed and curious.

This is my second "I Am" poem.  You can see the first one in this post.  I think it's interesting to do these more than once over time, and see the changes in your perspective.

I used this handy-dandy template.  It was super fun!  Check it out here if you want to try making your own "I Am" poem!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Project Life Update - Using images that aren't photos...

I spent the weekend working on Project Life with my December kits from Gossamer Blue and Studio Calico.  Even though I'm way behind, I decided to do the current week, and leave the catch up stuff for later.

The week of December 1 - 8 took up two full spreads.  Here's the first one...

 I am still using the Willowing Printable calendar as a monthly divider.  This month's image is especially beautiful, I think!  I love the blues and purples in Tam's painting, and tried to incorporate the colors into my spread, which was a lot of fun.

 Detail of left side...
 I wanted to document that we saw our first deer in the new neighborhood, but I didn't have a photo.  I was thrilled to realize that my Gossamer Blue kit had a deer sticker in it - yeayyyy!!! Perfection!!!  I also documented Michael's computer lab, my new studio and the No Excuses artist of the month that I am learning about - Frida Kahlo.  I love that photo of Michael in our new kitchen.  He looks so cute.  The You are my everything card is from the Studio Calico December kit.  I embellished it with the feather and doily.

Detail of right side...
The adorable Wizard of Oz tag was handmade by my friend Lynn and I just love it!  It was a little too big to fit in the pocket, so I sliced a little hole in the top of the pocket so it could stick out.  I just love how the glittery ribbon hangs down over my page now, rather than being cooped up inside the pocket!  I've been posting Throwback Thursday photos on facebook, so I stuck a favorite in this week's spread too.

Second spread of the week...

Left side detail...
 The top left pocket is an image from my Papaya desk planner.  The bottom right image was cut from a magazine.  It's kinda fun looking for creative ways to illustrate a story, when there's no photo to go with it.

Here's a clearer view of the Peace on Earth image from Papaya. 

Right side detail...
 I took the photo of Michael's sister Annie and her husband John right off of facebook.  It was too cute not to keep!  The bottom right is a beautiful Christmas card handmade by my friend Julie Tucker-Wolek!  Thanks again Julie!

I absolutely adore my sister Renee's ongoing instagram saga of her two cats - Henry and Daisy.   The captions always crack me up!  I had to include this one in my week's layout...

 I used a sketch to plan my layout this time, and it really helped! 

For next year, I found a great Project Life Planner printable to use for 2014.  It's by Traci Reed, who also designs for Gossamer Blue.  I really love that it's customizable!  Check it out here!

Oh, and p.s. - The 2014 Printable Owl Barn calendar is out!  These are awesome for Project Life and they are free!  Check it out here!

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

Sunday, December 15, 2013

OLW: Word up for December is.....MAGIC

Hi everyone!  It's the 15th, and that means its time for a new challenge over at One Little Word!  This month's word is Magic!

Here's what I came up with...
(modeling paste, jessica sporn's stencil, acrylic paint, gesso, oil pastel, photo, computer printed journaling, photo)
What does the word "Magic" make you think of?  The possibilities are endless!  Come on over to the One Little Word challenge blog, and see what the other design team members created!  There are layouts, home decor items and journal pages!  Maybe you will be inspired to play along!!!!  Click here to go to the challenge!

Also, thanks so much for your comments about my Finishing Things Project for 2014!  A number of you have mentioned that you are needing to do some finishing up too, and Marsha had a great idea of keeping each other accountable (thanks Marsha!).  I'm thinking about a way to make that happen, and I will keep you posted!!!

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

Saturday, December 14, 2013

2014 - Year of FINISHING Things!

I love starting things - especially when it comes to workshops and art journals!  I get sooooo excited, and always start off with a bang!  But I'm not so good at finishing what I've started.  It's not that I lose interest in the things I start.  It's more that I find yet another new thing to start.  So the last thing I started gets pushed aside to be finished "later."  HA. 

I am declaring 2014 the year that I FINISH THINGS!  

Here are 20 of my art journals that I LOVE, but have not finished yet.  They are in various stages of completion...

Here is my list of workshop lessons.  The ones I've highlighted in yellow I've completed.  The ones highlighted in blue I've downloaded so I can complete later...

I think I've got enough to do, right?

The only new workshops I've signed up for are Book of Days 2014 and No Excuses 2014.  That's it.  As much as I want to I am not signing up for Life Book 2014 or any other workshops, no matter how fun they look!  Instead I will be revisiting all of the super fun workshops I've already paid for and partially completed, and I will finish them up - one by one.

How about you?  Do you have workshops and/or projects that are unfinished?  Now's a great time to recommit!  Think of how much fun it could be!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Art Journal Every Day Update...

Hey there everyone, how's your week going?  It's still incredibly cold here - below zero every day.  Ack!  But we are Minnesotans so we carry on as usual.  We are tough!

Anyhoo, I've got an art journal update for you today. 

Here's my No Excuses journal page for last week...
 This week I decided that I would track the weather and do my doodles on one side of the page, and on the other side I glued down leftover bits and pieces from my week's art projects, mail, and magazine reading.  I added in a Frida Kahlo self-portrait and quote (since she is the artist of the month I am learning about). 

 Here's a page in my Book of Days...
 The prompt was to play with gelli prints, which is what all the little overlapping pieces in the background are.  The huge heart is also a gelli print.  The photo was taken in October on Honeymoon 7, when we were in Arizona. The coffee table was cut off in the photo, so I made my own with scrapbook paper.

 Here's another page in this week's Book of Days...
This is another page done with gelli prints.  I did some printing right onto the journal page, and added some layering pieces too. 
I'm working on my creative plan for 2014 and I think I've got it all figured out.  I will share it with you in my next post!  Have you been thinking about a plan for  next year yet?  What will it be?

Thanks so much for visiting today my friends!  I really appreciate seeing you here!  Have a great day!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Looking forward to the Top 2000, and an Art Journal Update...

Wowzers, this week flew by!  I've got an art journal update for you today, but first I want to mention that one of my favorite things of the year is getting close.  Can you guess what it is???

It's my friend Marit's Top 2000 Blog Party!!!  If you aren't familiar with the Top 2000 Blog Party, it goes something like this:

Every year in early December, a major radio station in the Netherlands (where Marit lives), invites the world to vote for what they think are the Top 2000 songs of all time.  Then, they tabulate the votes, and from Christmas to New Years, they play all the songs in order, as a countdown.  Marit invites us all to take part by creating art inspired by the top 2000 songs.  I have participated every year since it started, and this is the fifth year!  Anyways, it's a lot of fun, and I wanted to mention it in case any of you are interested in joining in this year!  The voting is up now, and you can find the instructions over at Marit's blog here.  I have already voted, and I'm looking forward to seeing who is on the list!

Okay, now - on to the Art Journal Update...

This page is a combination page.  It's inspired by a Book of Days  challenge to use fabric on a page, and also a No Excuses assignment to make a page about your dreams...
 (acrylic paint, fabric, rubber stamps, magazine word, acrylic ink, permapaque marker, and uniball signo white pen)

The writing isn't very legible (on purpose), but it's basically about a dream I had where I was with my cat Willie and I saw a wolf running towards us.  I was afraid because I didn't want the wolf to attack Willie.  When the wolf got close it turned into a small fox, who I was able to keep away by just holding out my foot.  To me the dream was saying that the things you worry about quite often aren't as big of a deal as you make them out to be in your head.  Relax, Michelle, relax.  Ha.

 This one is a straight-up Book of Days page.  The challenge was to use hidden text on a page...
(neocolor II crayons, permanent ink pen, spray ink, white stabilo all pencil, wrapping paper, handmade stencil, balzer designs clouds stencil, permapaque marker and white molotow marker)

Tomorrow is my monthly cropping day with the girls, and it's supposed to be below zero out - eek!  But we are going anyway because we are hardcore scrappers!  I will let you know how it goes.

I wish you a wonderful Friday my friends!  Thanks so much for visiting and I will see you again soon!

Monday, December 2, 2013

No Excuses Update...

Hi friends!  How was your weekend?  Mine was awesome!  Michael and I were home all weekend; working on our respective projects.  I was doing Project Life, and taking breaks to work on the house - (unpacking and such).  Michael - among other things, got the bird feeders up - yeayyy!  I'm so excited to see if we can attract some birds!  I haven't seen many in our new neighborhood yet, so I'm hoping!  I will let you know how it goes!

Anyhoo, I have a No Excuses update for you today.  I'm still working in a Papaya Art Spiral Notebook.  Here's my page from last week...
(Copic markers, Pitt Fine Point Pen, Spin Art Squares, and a random guy cut from a National Geographic Magazine)

For more info about the No Excuses Journaling Workshops, click here. 

I wish you a wonderful week!  Thanks so much for visiting and I will see you again soon!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Project Life Update...

I've got another Project Life Update for you - this one is from the week of May 11 - 18, 2013

Here's the full spread...
I included the beautiful Mother's Day card I got from Becca in it's own 5 x 8" page protector, as an insert.

 Left side detail...
 This week covered Mother's Day, and the end of the Book of Days Session.  The middle three panels is a journal spread that has tiny pictures of all the Book of Days participants!  It was so fun making that one!

 Right side detail...
 This shows the back of the 5x8 insert.  It holds the program from an awesome play we saw at a local theater.  The middle left square is the packaging for some gum, that had an awesome painting on it.

 Here's a closer view of the right side...
The two paintings in the top row are from  my Life Book journal.  I also included the packaging from my printer ink (bottom right), just because I figure that will look completely different in the future, and it might be fun to look back on.

I'm still thinking about my plan for Project Life 2014.  I bought the Sunshine Edition, and a matching album to start things out.  I thought I had my plan all figured out, and then I saw this blogpost from Noell Hyman and was SO INSPIRED!!!  She takes a monthly approach, but within the month she basically puts stuff wherever it fits, without worrying about keeping everything chronological.  Brilliant!  I'm definitely going to try this approach, and I'm going to start now to see if I like it.  I will let you know how it goes!

I hope you are having a wonderful weekend!  Thanks for visiting and I will be back soon with another update!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Using Newspaper on an Art Journal Page...

Hi friends!  I'm so excited to be a guest blogger today over at Julie Fei-Fan Balzer's blog!  Julie invited Katie, Marina and me to each make a journal page that somehow uses newspaper. 

Here's what I made...

It's a super simple process, and I share a tutorial over at Julie's blog.  I would LOVE it if you would stop by and say hello!  Here's a link to the post: 

I hope to see you there!  Have an awesome Friday, my friends!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Life Book Update...

Hi friends and Happy Thanksgiving!

I haven't done a Life Book update in awhile, so I thought I would share my latest page with you.  I'm wayyyy behind, but I skipped over the ones I missed, and did this week's lesson.

It's called "The Chemistry of Words," and is taught by Melody Ross.  Here's how mine turned out...
(acrylic, gesso, neocolor II crayons, ampersand stamp, pencil and doodling markers)

The cool thing about Life Book is that you can download all the lessons, so you have them forever.  I love that.  There is so much to learn in this class - it's amazing.

I wish you a wonderful day my friends!  Whether you celebrate Thanksgiving, or Hanukah, or are just having a regular Thursday - I wish for it to be amazing!

Thanks so much for visiting!  I will see you again soon!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Update on Three Different Journals...

Hey friends and happy Friday!  I've got an update for you on three different journals I've been working in - My No Excuses journal, Book of Days, and Watercolor journal.

This is what I've been doing in my No Excuses journal...

I'm using a Papaya spiral notebook (love those!) right now for this.  November's theme is "dreams,"  so I've been putting a short synopsis of my dreams next to my weather, color and doodle for the day.  These doodles were all inspired by the book Creative Doodling and Beyond, which is a fantastic source for expanding your doodling repertoire! 

This is what's been going on in my watercolor journal...

I've done three more lessons for the Draw YourAwesome Life workshop. These are all done in an 8 x 10 Global Watercolor Handbook...
 Albrecht Durer Watercolor pencils


 (Blick liquid watercolor & Koi Watercolor)

and last but not least, these two were done in my Book of Days...
 (Seth Apter Storytime stencil, Acrylic paint, gesso, dylusions spray ink, white liquid acrylic ink, and images from a thrifted coffee table book)

(gesso on black stonehenge paper, crafters workshop birch trees stencil, acrylic paint, neocolor II crayons, white liquid acrylic ink)

I think that gets me up to date for Art Every Day Month.  I'm also linking up to Julie Balzer's Art Journal Every Day post.

I'd love to know what your journaling style is.  Do you work in more than one journal at a time, or does everything go in one?  Do tell!

Thanks so much for visiting today!  I really appreciate you taking the time to stop by!  See you again very soon!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Draw Your Awesome Life - I'm getting there!

Hey friends!  Happy Monday!  I've been working on my Draw Your Awesome Life lessons, and I have to tell you - I am SO GLAD I took this class!  I've been wanting to get into illustrated journaling, and this is just what I was looking for. 

These are all done in my 8 x 10 Watercolor journal...

Lesson Eight:  The view from my window...

Lesson Nine: Make a scene...

Lesson Ten: Draw Your Food...

I'm really starting to have fun with it now, and I can see working these kind of drawings into my ongoing journaling practice.

I'm still participating in Art Every Day Month, although I've missed a few days.

Thanks so much for visiting!  I really appreciate you!