Tag Archives: challenge

30 Day Journal Project for July

30 Day Journal Project badge - 500px

I’m doing this! Do you want to join me? It is 30 days of journaling, starting July 1, with artist Lisa Sonora posting daily prompts and inspiration. You can learn more about it here.  It’s also free – how cool is that?

A few years ago I signed up for a different month-long project: 30 Days of Creativity, and I did it for three years, with some variation in my participation. Here are some of my favorite creations:


Day 6: June 6, 2013, Mosaic Poppies Art Journal Page


Day 28: June 28, 2013, Collage Sand Gild Stamp Art Journal Page


Day 3, June 3, 2012, Icebox Cupcakes


Day 21: June 21, 2012, Bleach Pen T-Shirt


Day 2: June 2, 2011, Embossed Tins


Day 26: June 26, 2011, Fused Plastic Bags

You can look under the 30DOC tab up at the top of the blog to see all the projects I did over three years.

Last May when I couldn’t find 30DOC online, I just skipped it. I don’t know if it happened or not but I wasn’t part of it.  Of course I could have done it on my own, but there is something about doing it with lots of other people that I find compelling.

I’m excited and a little nervous to be starting this 30 Day Project, #30DayJournal, because I know it is a commitment. But I also know that when I push myself, I come up with some of my most creative work.  I purchased a new journal for the project and I cleaned off my craft desk.

Here is the before…


And after.





Ready to go! Care to join me? #30DayJournal

Thanks for stopping by.




Filed under Crafts

Day 19: Skateboard Challenge

Skateboard Challenge

Day 19: Skateboard Challenge.  I decided to challenge myself to use a subject that was not one I’m drawn to along with a color (yellow) that isn’t my favorite.  I wanted to do a spread using an image cut into strips and nothing I already had seemed to lend itself to that treatment.

A friend suggested a black and white picture.  I remembered this magazine that I’d picked up at the gym (and was passing along to a friend who does collage projects where she works). It is called The Skateboard Mag and you can check out their website here.

The Skateboard Mag

This is the cover shot of a skateboarder doing…well, I have no idea what he’s doing.  But it looks dangerous.

Boarder Close Up

I painted the pages with gesso first, than scribbled on some yellow water-soluble crayon and brushed that around with water.

Cutting the picture into strips was simple but I decided to number them on the back because I was doing the layout at work on my lunch break.  When I got home I added yellow Sharpie scribbles, white and black ink circles and other doodles and splatters of white, black and yellow with watercolor paint.

Skateboard Challenge

Some yellow-grid washi tape and ink pad smears were the finishing touches.  I admit, it isn’t my favorite page but I’m pleased with the results.

Last year, this was my project for Day 19: Wrap Bracelet.

The year before that, I made this: Vegetables and Dip (includes a recipe!)

I’ll be back tomorrow for Day 20.  Thanks for coming over to my blog!


Filed under 30DOC, Crafts

30 Days of Creativity 2013: Art Journaling

30 Days of Creativity (30DOC) is a global social initiative encouraging people to create stuff (anything) every day for 30 days in June.  I’ve done it for two years (see Year 1 and Year 2) and though I have loved many aspects of it, it has also made me kind of crazy.

Sometimes it was both fun and chaotic, like when I tried making chocolate bowls by painting melted chocolate on balloons. They popped. Fail.

Chocolate Splattered

Last year, when the month had ended, I made a decision I would not do it again this year. But I’ve revised that decision: I’m going to do it, but I’m going to do my own version of the project.  The first two years I created many different crafts and recipes.  I did something new for each day and I photographed the results and posted them here.  Some of my time was spent crafting and some was spent finding things to try, shopping for supplies and scrambling to get the project completed, photographed and a post up and published each day.

I enjoyed the creative challenge, building and stretching my creative muscles, trying new things, and the camaraderie with other participants doing 30DOC.   But working full time and getting something made every day and photographed and posted made for some high-stress days and low-sleep nights.  Not really the goal or the idea of the project.

As it is, I often feel like I don’t have as much time to craft as I’d like.  So to spend time and money on craft projects that I wasn’t really loving didn’t seem like the best decision.  This year, Year Three of 30DOC, I’m going to do 30 Creative Projects in 30 Days.  I won’t try and post every single day (though I will when I can) and if I don’t get to the craft table for a day or two, I’ll catch up on the weekend.  I’m going to focus on one craft, Art Journaling, and explore it in more depth.

Artist's Journal

My decision to participate in 30DOC but to bend it to suit my own needs and desires comes in part from my recent visit to Virginia Simpson-Magruder’s studio, Kentucky Girl Designs in Novato.


Her studio is packed full of art supplies and a stunning collection of Art Journals.  The picture below shows just a few of the journals she filled when she was doing daily spreads in art journals.

Journal A Day Collection

DAILY!  For over two years!  She told me that after she’d been doing the daily practice for awhile  (like over a year and a half), she would sometimes let a day or two or even three go by without journaling and then would catch up with a batch of pages. That really struck a chord with me and made me think I might be able to do the 30 DOC on my own terms.

When I learned she had a workshop coming up, I reserved a space immediately.  The “Express Yourself! Introduction to Altered Books and Collage Workshop” was such a pleasure!  Virginia has LOADS of wonderful supplies, so many that I couldn’t even begin to try everything out.  Stacks and stacks of magazines, ink pads in a huge variety of colors, water-soluble oil crayons, baskets of lovely rubber stamps that I didn’t even get started on, scissors, glue, paint, markers, glitter and way more.

Paint, Brushes and More

There were just four of us in the workshop and I was like a kid in a candy store.  We were surrounded by creative projects on every side in the sunny space. It was all so colorful and inviting.

This is a book that has been recreated into a shrine.  A niche has been carved into the pages of the book and special items are displayed in the space.

Altered Book Shrine

This is the cover of Virginia’s beautiful journal about doors for her “Altered Books as a Way of Seeing Workshop Portals: Doors, Windows and Gates“.

Portal Work Book

Here is the work table where we dug into the creative process, getting our fingers smudged with ink and sticky with glue as we crafted.

Work Table

One of the students, Susan, is intent on her design.


Her first spread that started with picking a color and writing about it, with Virginia’s guidance.  Layers of color and then collaged images fill the pages. I like the giant watch faces, rising above the animals and girl on the page like a full moon.

Susan's 1st page

For the second two-page-spread we learned how to make pockets (on the right, below) in which to tuck small items, such as business cards or post cards.  This is also Susan’s work.

Susan's Pocket page

Detail from the pocket page: “wonder more”.  I love the woman, almost hidden, and how she is turned away from the viewer.  The flower seller on the other page looks away as well.  The tag, tucked into a pocket says “The picture is half the story”. So true!

Wonder More

Jane (one of two Janes in the workshop), shared a spread she created.  She left early and I didn’t get a picture of her second spread.

Jane and Her Book

The other Jane, attending her second class at the studio, shows what she has been working on.

The Other Jane

“Seeking Peace” has a dreamy quality with soft blue, green, yellow and red.  Golden fish swim across the pages.

Jane's First Page

Her pocket pages have deeper colors with rich reds, and lots of interesting images, layered with flowers and swirls.

Jane's Page on Color

My first spread, the color page, started with “Periwinkle Blue” and words I associate with that color.  I rubbed the pages with stamp pads in vibrant shades of blue, purple and turquoise ink.  Then Virginia gave us 20 minutes to look through magazines and find some images to use.  I could have quite happily worked on that task alone  for about 2 hours.

My original composition didn’t include the music on the upper left.  Virginia suggested it would balance the music on the lower right and it worked perfectly as birdsong..  This is how the pages looked at the workshop.  I’ll share the changes and additions I made at home.

Big Ampersand

My pocket page has artwork from a Marin calendar and the pockets work perfectly with the images of rolling Marin hills, fog and the Golden Gate Bridge tower showing through the grey.

Fog in Marin HIlls

I created a few tags during the workshop and finished the others at home.  Since the bridge is almost obscured by the fog, I made tags with images of the well-known bridge and then added a cow tag and a California poppy.   I inked the cord to go with the famous International Orange color of the bridge


Virginia also showed us how to make a pocket in the back of the book.  I’m not sure this spread is done yet.

Back Pocket

Another technique she taught us was a way to add a postcard or envelope or some element that you don’t just want to glue down on a page, but be able to see both sides.  This is called a tip in.

In this example, we cut or tear two pages down to about an inch and half wide.  Insert your tip in, in my case some pieces cut from greeting cards, photos and magazine pages.  This is my garden spread.   I did this at home on Monday.

Garden Page

Here is a look at my desk – I was having so much fun with the journal that I didn’t stop to put supplies away.  Hmm, does this sound familiar?

Covered Craft Desk

I was so glad to have time on Monday for crafting.  It was wonderful to take all the ideas and techniques from the workshop.

The blue page was my first project.  I made some changes, adding new elements and embellishments.  More bling with a fancy cuff bracelet, a silver ring and some sparkle to the dangling gems. I even added nail polish to the thumbnail and the words “Unique” and “Delightful”

Blue &

I removed the image of a laughing woman and I’m very pleased with the final result.

This is my first window page – the image of the Native American woman smoking a sacred pipe on the left is from an article about people who are some of the last speakers of dying languages.  On the right, a shuttered window with leaves floating on water below.

Window Page

The shutters open and you can look through the window and see a path through trees.

View through the Window

When you turn to the next spread of pages, you can peek back through the window to see the wise woman outside.

Back through the window

Or close the shutters to see the branches on the other side.


The last page I completed in my new Art Journal was a kind of happy accident, which, by the way, I think happens quite often in art if we are open to it.

I had pulled a page from a magazine because I liked the image on it.  But when I was looking through my collected pages, I saw the image on the reverse and was drawn to the expressive face of Jane Goodall.  A few minutes of online research for a quote from Ms. Goodall and the pages were practically done.

Jane Goodall

Make a Difference

A big thank you to Virginia and her  Kentucky Girl Designs studio and to the other students taking the workshop with me.  In the words of Jane Goodall: “What you do does make a difference…”  I feel inspired and ready for the upcoming 30 DOC challenge.

Thank you for the visit.


Filed under 30DOC, Crafts

Day 28: Collaborate! Marbleized Paper Covered Notebook (with Video!)

I was going to take it easy today and just coast.  I’m working longer days at work in the summer and I’m staying up too late every night creating things.  I have Jazzercise class tonight.  I’m tired.  Whine, whine whine.  But then the #30DoC folks created a challenge!  I just couldn’t pass it up without giving it a shot.

The rules:

Pair up with any other Twitter user to make a collaborative piece for Day 28’s notebook day. We’ll pin your creation to our board, where all creators will be able to vote for their favorites. At 3:00 on Day 29, the top 25 creations’ teams with the most Pinterest likes will receive a gift from Moleskine.

~from the folks at 30 Days of Creativity

Well, I happen to have a Twitter user right in the apartment with me and he was amenable to collaborating on a creation for Day 28 (and the chance to win swag from Moleskine).  Thanks, Rem.

I did a post about this method of marbleizing paper before here.  It’s a great project and lots of fun.  I suggested making marbleized paper to cover our notebook and Rem agreed.  He worked hard and made this  awesome video to show how to create the marbleized paper and one of his photos is the one at the top of the post.

The supplies for the whole project include shaving cream (I prefer a citrus one but can’t always find it), ink refills to drip on the shaving cream…

Card stock (not shown), cookie sheets to use as a work surface (I show a glass casserole in the picture but found it wasn’t large enough to fit my sheet of paper), a squeegee, a plastic spoon a chopstick, and paper towels.

Once the paper is done: a composition book to cover, Mod Podge and a brush, Washi tape, a bone folder, scissors, an Exacto knife and an elastic hairband as a finishing touch on your new notebook.

First you make the marbleized paper according to the post here or the video here.

Once it is done, you cover the composition book with the paper.  Draw around the notebook with a pencil and cut your paper almost to size, allowing a little extra.  When you try to glue the paper and book together it’s easier to work with if you have  a margin of paper. I’ve found that the paper doesn’t always stick well once it has been marbleized because the shaving cream is coating the paper.

You may have to try several things until you get one that works for you – it really depends on both the paper and the shaving cream.  For this project I used Mod Podge.  A bone folder helps to smooth and press the paper onto the notebook.  A glue stick usually works too.

Use scissors or an Exacto knife to trim off the excess paper. Do the back cover the same way.

Some binder clips along the binding will help really hold the paper in place until the Mod Podge holds it.

Cover the binding with Washi tape and trim the ends with small scissors or the Exacto knife. I used two strips.

For a finishing touch, an elastic hairband makes a great belly band for the notebook.

Last year on Day 28, I made these cool Bottle Cap Necklaces.

That is it, our best effort for Day 28. By the way, I never made it to Jazzercise.

All the best to other teams.  Moleskine Notebooks for everyone!  Thanks for stopping by.


Filed under 30DOC, Crafts