Monthly Archives: June 2013

Day 30: The Cover

The Cover

Day 30: The Cover.

Whew.  I made it. Day 30.  None too soon. I’m ready to wrap this project up!

I had several sources of inspiration for the cover.  I wanted to try using a new medium and honor the local Italian Street Painting festival in San Rafael that ran this weekend.  For two days artists create beautiful works of art on the pavement using chalk.  At the end of the event, the streets are washed and reopened for traffic.  The works of art remain only in photos and memories.

So I used chalk (and no, I’m not going to wash the book off tomorrow) and decided on sunflowers for my main image.  I had a picture from the Farmer’s Market that I looked at as well as other images I found online

Farmer's Market Sunflowers

Sunflowers Online

I also wanted to include a variation of this image I found on Pinterest.

Some Inspiration

My “canvas” was the boring cover of the Art Journal that I just completed filling all the pages of yesterday.


ho hum

I used a strip of paper to cover the binding because the title was embossed  and I didn’t want it to show in the finished product.

Now the trouble started.  I’ve never used colored chalk and I really can’t draw worth a damn.  I don’t know how to do shading and highlighting except in theory.

Box O' Pastels

A nice collection.

Of course, not quite like these, at the Italian Street Painting:

Lots o' Pastels

But kids did it at the festival.  It couldn’t be that difficult, right?

Kid ArtistGreen HIlls Orange SunRed Sun, Blue Eyes

Green Islands, Blue WaterGo Pride!Older Kid Artist

I wasn’t trying to do anything as grand in beauty and scale as any of these:

Picture Girl with Wine The inspiration.

The Street Painting

The Street Painting.

Painting for 2013

This beautiful painting was the poster art for the event this year and it too was turned into a street painting.

Luna Mural

I really didn’t know what I was doing and I got chalk dust all over my hands and arms.  It really made me appreciate the efforts of all the artists even more.

This was a really hot weekend for San Rafael and they were sitting or kneeling on the asphalt in the sun.  It is hot in our apartment, but I was sitting at a desk with a fan blowing on me.



I layered colors, I smudged, I made a bit of a mess.  In the end, I came up with something that I thought was fine.  Kind of murky, but still recognizable as some sunflowers.  I also used some permanent marker and pencil on the swirled circles and water-soluble oil crayons.  A coat of Mod Podge and the whole thing was set.

Front Cover

Back Cover

I covered all of June in this Art Journal and since I started the book in May, it seemed right to include both months.

May June

Best of all, I’m going to finish before midnight! Rah.

For my final day of 30 Days of Creativity last year, I made a Macrame Bracelet.

For Day 30 the previous year I made delicious Honey Vanilla Ice Cream with Caramel Sauce.

Thank you, thank you for all the support, comments and encouragement.  It really helps to have that kind of feedback.  I appreciate everyone who has come to check out even one post.


Filed under 30DOC, Crafts

Day 29: Time for Creativity

Time for Creativity

Day 29: Time for Creativity.

I’ve been saving time for these projects every day along with the photos and blog posts.  But the pendulum has, for me, swung a bit too far into the time spent creating.  I need a little more time spent on taking care of the apartment, taking care of my self (long hours at the craft desk isn’t the greatest for my back and neck) and taking care of my sweetheart.  He completely supports my creativity and shows that in how he takes care of me when I’m busy crafting and ignoring everything else.  I look forward to some free time together over the Fourth of July weekend without this creative challenge hanging over me.

Day 29

Our weather has turned quite warm so the last two nights I’ve crafted late with a fan or two blowing cool air on me.  Today in San Anselmo and in Terra Linda I saw my car thermometer at 101 degrees.  Ugh.  I can’t think straight when I’m too hot.

Kathleen and I took Molly and Ruby for a morning hike around Lake Lagunitas, which has a fairly shady trail.  Even so, it was pretty warm.

Steps leading up to the lake and trail going around it.


We started on the trail going to the right.

Lake Lagunitas

I was looking up at the peak of Mt. Tam and almost missed the turtle on the log.  We could hear some very noisy bullfrogs.

with Tam

Ruby is 14 years old and slows down on the walk, so she rode in her pup pack about 1/3 of the way.

Ruby in the pack

A pretty view with the peak of Tam just visible.

Glimpse of Tam

Another pretty view of Miss Molly.


We need to start earlier to beat the heat.

I’m glad to have reached the second to last day of this Month Long Project.  I look forward to my last project tomorrow (well, later today really) and to more entries in a new Art Journal as I’ve completed this one!  I just won’t be doing them every day.

29 Seconds

But I will still find (or save or make or plan) time for creativity and hope you will too!

Last year on Day 29, I found time for this: Plastic Spoon Rose.

The previous year, I spent time on this: Vegetable Printed Wrapping Paper.

Thanks for stopping on by.


Filed under 30DOC, Crafts, Life

Day 28: collage sand gild stamp

Collage Sand Gild Stamp

Day 28: Collage Sand Gild Stamp.

I’m really pleased with this spread.  It’s late and I’m tired, but I love how it turned out.

We went to the Exploratorium today, Rem, my mom and I.  It is a huge, hands-on museum that we could not possibly absorb in one visit.

The obligatory photo opportunity at the clever Toilet Fountain:

Toilet Fountain

Black light.  Mom and I both wore black and white striped t’s.

Black Light

Tidal tubing – shows the level of the tide for every hour.

Tidal Tubes

When I saw THIS piece, I knew it would inspire my entry for today.  It is SO wonderful.  I am so sorry not to have the name of the artist.

Grid Sign

It was in the Tinkering Studio which has supplies and project you can do on the spot.  I didn’t want to spend 30 minutes there on a project, but I brought home instructions on doing paper circuits with copper tape, tiny surface mount LEDs and coin cell batteries.  Very interesting!

So, all I needed to do was make my small Art Journal version of the sign. But we still had a lot more to see at the museum.


Plastic hanger chandelier.

Hanger Chandelier


Colored Lights

Multiple Shadows.

Rem & Shadows

The Fog Bridge was lovely and cool on this hot, sunny day.

Fog Bridge

After lunch at the Ferry Building Marketplace and the ferry back to Larkspur, I ended up succumbing to a nap.

Finally, I started my journal pages. First I had to figure out the size and number of squares, then what words I would use, then I started cutting,






and painting.


And now it is done and way past time for bed.

collage knot tear

stamp paint embellish

Here is what I came up with a year ago on Day 28: Rem and I collaborated on a Video showing Marbleized Paper.

The year before that it was: Bottle Cap Necklace, another collaboration because Rem snagged the caps for me.

As always, thanks for checking out my blog!


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Day 27: Do Something Creative

Inside Front Cover

Day 27: Do Something Creative. This is my inside front cover which, in this book, is pretty much like my title page.

I was thinking about what I wanted and knew I wanted to have my name on it – in essence, this is where I’m signing my work.


I looked at my desk and saw several sheets of grid paper, paper I use under my projects.  In part to cover up my work surface but also to scribble on, test a pen, try out a font, stamp ink off a rubber stamp, test a color, or put a wash of pigment down with a water soluble oil crayon and water that I can pick up with a brush and use on a page.

So these sheets of paper are both desk protector and palette.   They had all sorts of interesting swaths of color, bits of washi tape, smears and scribbles and random words.

My Art Journal

I decided that pieces of the grid paper, with their bright colors and detritus from many of the projects in the book, would be the perfect paper to use for my “title” page.

Borrowing the slogan from The Paper Source, I wrote out the quote on a scrap of paper and colored in some of the letters.

“Do Something Creative Every Day!”


The exclamation mark is mine.  I also added an asterisk and the word “often” below the quote because I know that sometimes life gets in the way and it can be a real challenge to do anything EVERY day.

Inside cover, right side

I added my blog address on the right side.  The word “love” and the word “homemade” were already on the grid paper.


Mod Podge was my collage medium – I just brushed it on the back of each piece of paper and some down on the surface of the page, placed the paper where I wanted it and brushed some more over it.


I really enjoyed creating this page from paper that I normally throw away when it is either too sticky with glue or coated with paint to be effective.

For Day 27 last year, I did a spread on creativity in my Image Journal, the precursor to my current Art Journaling.

The year before I made these Photo Cards.

Thank you for your visit.


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Some Art Journal Basics

I’ve really been enjoying the time I’ve been spending creating entries in my Art Journal.  I’ve had a few people ask a question or two about the process, so I thought I would share some of my thoughts and my process for creating one.

The Rule of Four

This is my current Art Journal.  It is my second one and I got it when I went to a workshop at Kentucky Girl Designs studio.  The instructor, Virginia Simpson-Magruder, told us she picks up old hardbound books at garage sales, flea markets and thrift shops.  I’m filling this one up this month because I’m doing 30 Days of Creativity and most days I’m doing a two-page spread in here. 

The book is a little more than 6 inches wide and 9.5 inches tall.  It is about 1.50 inches thick (and growing) but I’m not certain of the starting measurement because I’ve already ripped out some pages and added other materials into it.

My first Art Journal was this beautiful old book I found in a vintage shop.  It has a great cover but in retrospect, it hasn’t been the best book to use as a base for an Art Journal. The binding is weak and the paper is very fragile, old and crumbly.

Wild Life

But how could I resist this cover?

Before I say anything else about what makes a good Art Journal, I think the most important thing to remember is it is YOUR project and you can do it any way you want.  Here is a great site, The All-New Adventures of Corey Marie, where Corey Marie writes about the Do’s and Don’t’s of Art Journals.

I want to point out that the two I mentioned above are Art Journals created in Altered Books: a book that has been repurposed from its original purpose and altered in some way.  It may still be used in some kind of book form but the original text and/or pictures have been enhanced or most often covered up so it is no longer readable. 

You can create an Art Journal using an altered book (the act of creating your Art Journal will make it an altered book), or craft one in a blank sketchbook or notebook. The following stack of books includes, from the bottom, my Image Journal – made mostly from images torn from magazines and pasted into a large, blank sketch book. 

Journals & Altered Books

The next three are hardbound books I found on sale at a used book store in Half Moon Bay.  Since I started this post, I’ve added to my collection.  I found several at my local library book sale.  The prices ranged from $4 down to $1.

My Art Journal is in an altered book, so I’ll be writing about that.  You want a sturdy, hardcover book. Look for one that has a stitched binding instead of glued binding.  Not that you can’t create one with a glued binding but with the various wet mediums used in the books creation and evolution, the stitched binding is a better bet for keeping the book in one piece.

In the photo you can see a spiral bound book that was created by an unknown artist using a vintage cookbook.  I got it as a gift from my friend, Lisa, and I use it to practise writing out different fonts.  Because I like to do two pages at a time in 2-page spreads, I prefer something without that coil in the middle, so I probably won’t use a spiral bound book for my own Art Journaling, but it might be perfect for you.

Different books lend themselves to different projects.  Some people like to keep a journal on hand all the time.  In that case, they might prefer something on the small side that will be easy to bring along.  I saw a friend’s project where she had taken a childs board book in a clever folded style, and made the whole book into a beautiful card for her daughter’s 21st birthday.

For most altered books, you will need to slim it down by tearing about  about a third of the pages.  You will be adding things to the book and taking pages out means you’ll have room for the stuff you put back in.  In the case of a short kids book, especially a board book, you probably would not need to do this step. 

When you start on a spread, you should glue three pages together to provide a sturdy canvas for your creation.  I use a Uhu glue stick and I like the one that starts out purple and dries clear.  It’s just easier to see where you’ve put glue.   However, I don’t glue all the page spreads together ahead of time because you might want to make a pocket or a niche or something that will need a different arrangment of pages.

Open Book

The next thing is gathering material to fill your pages.  There are countless sheets of beautiful printed papers sold for scrapbooking and other crafts sold in art stores, paper stores, scrapbooking stores, and craft shops, both online and in brick and mortar stores.  But there are also other places to find paper to use for your project.

Here are some I gathered in my apartment: Calendar pages, pages from old books, the lining of envelopes, maps, sheet music, paint chips, stamps, flyers, labels from packages, tags, greetings cards and postcards. 


Magazines are loaded with images.  Once you (and your family) are finished reading a magazine, go back through it and pull out pages with images that catch your eye.  I ask friends and family for magazines they’re discarding and I pull out images I find interesting or striking.  For me this is relaxing and easy to do – some people tell me they thumb through magazines while watching TV (maybe only during ads?). I do it sitting up in bed.

I especially look for pictures in these areas: People, Places (both interior and exterior), Words – text that catches my eye, and Things.

Magazines and Pages

Next I sort the images into categories.  Once you’ve grabbed a bunch of pages out that YOU find interesting, you’ll probably start to see some similarities.  Put like things together and name the category. 

I find it much easier to have my images sorted so when I’m looking for just the right picture, I can go to one type of picture instead of looking through all of them.


Sometimes I make a category and then subdivide it later. And the reverse is also true; sometimes I come up with a title and then stick other things in there because I don’t know where else to put them.

Saturated Color

My organizational method is to stack these images by catagory between labeled pieces of cardstock and then I keep the whole stack in a plastic case.

Plastic Image Case

My sister has her collection divided into old manila file folders with the sides taped shut.

File Folders

These steps should get you started on creating your own Art Journal.  There is more about other supplies and tools I use but I’ll save them for another post.

If you do have or start one, I would love to share pictures in my Readers’ Gallery.  Take a look at the tab at the top of the page – I’ve just added pictures of my sister Kathleen’s Art Journal.  More to come!

Thanks for the visit.


Filed under 30DOC, Crafts

Day 26: Birds in Flight: Blackout Poem & Collage

Day 25: Birds in Flight: Blackout Poem & Collage.

Birds in Flight

I thought I was in really good shape.  I started work on my collage during my lunch break.

Crafting at Lunch

But I didn’t get it all done.  When I work late on a project, it’s difficult to get good pictures.  So, tired and a bit frustrated, I went to bed without posting.

The pictures this morning are much better.

Blackout Poem

In both previous 30 Days of Creativity I attempted a Blackout Poem and failed.  I first saw Austin Kleon’s work a few years ago and it is deceptively simple (isn’t that true of good, classic stuff?) Just take a page of newspaper or a magazine article or whatever and cross out the stuff that you don’t need.

Pretty much how Michelangelo worked too:

“I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.”

I know it is a little tricky reading some of the photo above, so here is my very first blackout poem:

Birds in the air

fly with a burst of energy

we have gone quiet


I move closer to them

they leave, one by one,


Birds in Flight instructions

The collage, with a bird theme (again, I know), came first.  This little piece about sketching birds in flight, some paper printed with feathers and a bird postage stamp are part of the background.  But the collage only took up one side of the page.  So I tried again at creating a blackout poem and finally managed to complete one!  Give it a try.

Another Bird

This was also an attempt to follow guidelines of A Collage A Day blogger, artist and author, Randel Plowman.  I took a quick thumb-through look at his book The Collage Workbook: How to Get Started and Stay Inspired.  More on this later!

Recycling themes for the last two years: Day 26 last year: Recycled Page Gift Bow.

And the previous year – the very cool: Fused-Plastic-Bag Pouches and Tote.

Thanks for the visit!

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Day 25: Bird Collage

Bird Collage

Day 25: Bird Collage.

There are so many wonderful pins on Pinterest that have caught my eye.  I pinned this one, by Donna Downey, about 5 weeks ago.  Last night, looking through my pins (and thinking about what to do for today), I decided to do my version of her collage.

I loved the white space around the collage, something I don’t usually do, but now that I’ve seen it, will try to include more often.  It looks as if her page was white to start.  I used gesso on mine to lay a wash of white over the print, but still allow some to show through.

Bird collage detail/left

I was also really drawn in by her use of colors and I tried for a very similar look.

Bird Collage detail/right

Last year for Day 25, my project was these DIY Blue Glass Jars.

The year before that I adapted a Smitten Kitchen recipe and made Pickled Carrot Sticks.

Thank you for stopping by.


Filed under 30DOC, Crafts

Day 24: Eye Mask

Eye Mask

Day 24: Eye Mask.  I started putting together a single face made up of parts from separate faces.


But I kept finding more unique eyes to use, so shifted my plan to create several sets of eyes.

As I paired up eyes, I saw how they looked  like Mardi Gras, Carnival or harlequin masks, and started embellishing them.  This is the results.

Shooting Star

The eyes are all different shapes, colors and sizes.

Tear Drop

Rem pointed out that on the dark background it looked as if women with elaborate makeup and jewelry were looking out from behind veils and chadors.

Bindi Jewels

That wasn’t my original concept, but I can see that in the finished spread.

Three Dots

This is what I came up with last year on Day 24: Buttermilk Lace Pancakes.  Try some – it’s a delicious recipe even if you don’t make them lacy.

In 2011 on Day 24 I had the day off: Gnome Makes File Folders from Calendar Pages. Check it out!

Thank you for stopping on by.


Filed under 30DOC, Crafts

Day 23: Skyclad


Day 23: Skyclad.  “Andrew was happy he wasn’t the only one skyclad.”

I’d never seen the term “skyclad” until I read “May run skyclad through the neighborhood” in a friend’s Facebook update in honor of the Solstice.  It stuck in my head and this spread came to be. (Thank you, John Eastman).

Andrew skyclad

I have since learned that Skyclad is the name of a British heavy metal band and also refers to ritual nudity in paganism.

Though I created these pages with a sense of humor, I think the term itself is very poetic. Clothed in the sky.

David skyclad

As for you, John, I just say “sunscreen”.

For Day 23 last year I crafted this pretty Crepe Paper Flower.

The previous year, my Day 23 project was Sunprint-Paper & Packing Tape Transfers on Decoupage Boxes.  It was featured on Freshly Pressed and garnered my greatest number of readers ever.

Thank you to all of you who’ve stuck around reading, commenting and supporting my blog and to those who started prior to that and of course every single one of you, whenever you discovered my posts.  You are all very much appreciated!

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Day 22: Shine On

Shine On!

Day 22: Shine On. This happy salute to summer is my take on this poster I saw on Pinterest.

When I started, I decided the blue “sky” background was brighter than I wanted.  I wish I’d had light blue and aqua tissue paper.  But it looked kind of cool with the empty circle in the middle.

Background Sky

I added white tissue paper to tone soften the blues.  Than I added the sun in the middle.

Then I forgot to take any more pictures of the process.  So this is the finished project.

Shine on Sun

Searching for words I wanted to use took some time.  Other words I put together with a great sticker set that I received from my friend, Lisa (thanks, Lis!)  It’s perfect for this.

Closer Sun

Yes, chocolate IS like a ray of sunshine in my life.


Last year my Day 22 project was Water Marbled Nails.

I did Fabric Covered Notebooks the year before that.

Thank you for stopping by.


Filed under 30DOC, Crafts