Tag Archives: creative

Day 26: 30 Day Journal Project

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” You could not step twice into the same river; for other waters are ever flowing on to you.” ~ Hericlitus

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This is what I wrote in response to the question, above:

I feel like I’ve just started a crash course and so far we’ve gotten an overview of the topic: Art Journaling.

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Now I can continue learning, copying, trying things out and when I’m lucky – flowing.

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My images have been very literal. I’d like to be more metaphorical sometimes too!

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I’m trying to find and maintain balance with my art, my health & my life.

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To curate, to keep a space ready for creativity, and to keep journaling (but NOT daily).

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Thank you to my friend Margaret for the beautiful and unique old stamps that I used as embellishment on this page. We crafted together on Friday when I was working on Day 24.

Cheers and hugs for everyone who is still hanging in with the #30DayJournal project! I’m now caught up with both the journaling and blogging.

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Day 25: 30 Day Journal Project

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“When I am…..completely myself, entirely alone… or during the night when I cannot sleep, it is on such occasions that my ideas flow best and most abundantly. Whence and how these ideas come I know not nor can I force them.”

~ Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

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This picture is from the back cover of a magazine. I love the graphic black and white and extended it onto my page.

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The quote and prompts for today, Day 25 of #30DayJournal, are about tracking creative patterns. My journaling (in white ink) mostly got lost when I did the grey ink wash over the sides of the page, but I wrote about this: my ideas flow best when it’s quiet, when I don’t feel rushed and generally when I’m alone.

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Sometimes I appreciate the feedback from others, bouncing ideas around and having some company, but most of the time, and for the most productivity, my ideas flow best when I’m solo.

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When do your ideas flow best?  Thanks for stopping by.

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Day 1: 30 Day Journal Project

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“Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.” ~ Louis L’Amour

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More about this project here. Thank you for the visit.

#30DayJournal Day 1

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Art Journal: Rarely Tidy

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Creative minds are rarely tidy.

No doubt there are plenty of creative people out there who are very tidy.  I’m not one of them.  When I saw this quote I knew I would use it someday in my art journal and over the weekend I finally did.

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I haven’t been crafting as much as I’d like.  I’ve been busier than usual at work recently and I’m trying to keep up with my daily fitness goals day (hello, Fitbit).  Crafting has been neglected.  As usual my craft desk has gotten piled up with supplies and tools because when I do have a few minutes to make a card or decorate an Easter egg, I always choose creativity over cleaning.

Did I ever share these?  I think I made them last year after Easter than put them away for this year. Sigh.

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My friend Margaret and I got together to spend an afternoon playing with paper, glue and ink.  I didn’t have anything in mind so decided on making a few backgrounds.  With low mental energy I was looking forward to several long, luxurious hours crafting.  After a delicious lunch, we both spread out our supplies.  As usual I had brought more than I could possibly need or use, but I wanted to have plenty of options.

Do you do this?  You buy some interesting tool or supply but you aren’t sure how to use it so it just sits in the corner.  I felt I needed to pull out my small collection of stencils and start using them.  I watched a few crafting videos with tutorials on stencils  so I planned on doing some experimenting with some of the techniques I saw on YouTube.

I apologize for not getting more pictures of the process.  I used gesso to wash the page with a thin layer white so the type on the page still shows through in places.  Than I took two colors of pigment ink from a ColorBox rainbow stamp pad. Each separate color can be lifted out and used individually.

Taking out several shades of blue, I daubed the ink on the pages and used a wet brush to smear it around a bit, than dragged a plastic card (credit card size) through it.  You can see the results here, around the edges.  So far so good though if you are paying attention, you might note I didn’t even touch the stencils.  But I liked how it looked.  Yes, I used them later but not while I was creating this background.

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I went on to work on two more backgrounds.

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Again, I used gesso over the pages then on this one I painted on some watercolor and stamped on ink  in a rich magenta pink shade, than wet it and closed the book.  Pulling it open I got a kind of inkblot effect, which is now somewhat covered by the orange and white stenciling.  I’ll show you more of that one in a later post.

The last page I worked on that afternoon was made with strips torn from magazine pages.  The thin magazine pages are laid over a plastic stencil than gently sanded with a fine sanding block  (used sometimes for manicures).  This takes away some of the ink from the picture and allows the design of the stencil to come through.

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The stencil shows white where you sand the magazine page – I liked it with fairly dark photos or rich colors.

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I tore the sanded pages in strips and layered them into my journal.

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Again, I’ll write another post with more about that technique and page.  It looks great as is, kind of like a landscape with water and hills.  I started trying to make the quote work with this page but I realized it wanted something messier to go with it.  I think I still want to do more with this page but I’m not sure what.

That evening after dinner I pulled my journal out and opened it to the first background.  After playing with the stencils with the sanding block technique, I wanted to used them with paint, ink and sponges.  I started added some layers to the pages.

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I just started playing.  My favorite blues and purples came out as well as some bits of paper for layering onto the page. I put a stencil on the background I’d made earlier and sponged ink over it.  I then flipped the inky stencil over oto another place on the page and used a brayer to roll across it, transferring more ink.  This gave me two variations for each stencil: the negative and positive shapes.

For the word CREATIVE I had tried the sanding technique over some alphabet thickers (dimensional stickers usually made from chipboard or foam), but the resulting word was too soft and subtle.

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So I used another technique, using the thickers as masks and painting over them, drying the paint, than removing them. I saw it here at Pine & Plum, my friend Carson’s wonderful blog (yes, you should check it out!) Follow the link to where she has a guest post on another blog.  I also used it on another page here.  I picked up the letters at Dollar Tree.

Carson also inspired the bit of thread I twisted under the scrap of paper that has the rest of the quote.  I like how it adds a new element to the page.

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I added some splatters of ink and paint, loading up the watercolor brush and flicking it at my open journal. I was clever enough to remember to cover the area around the book with some paper towel first.

White pigment ink daubed rather messily through one of the stencils was my final detail on the page.  I took some photos and headed to bed.

The next morning when I opened the journal I was surprised to find the last ink I’d added to the page was still sticky! I don’t know if it was the gesso coating on the paper or what but even when I used the heat tool it didn’t dry.  I also decided both pieces with the quote on them were too neat and tidy looking

A piece of paper towel that I’d used to wipe painty brushes on had dried. I ripped pieces from that and covered some of the sticky white pigment ink. This added a new texture as well as a little deep orange which looked great with the blue.

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I added more pieces of the painty paper towel.

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Rusty-orange watercolor paint got streaked and splattered on the page to go with the other orange.

Gold embossing powder covered more of the still-sticky white pigment ink.

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I’d already used a little washi tape, and added a few bits with orange patterns.

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Orange Dianne dots, gold embossing powder, and a sequin embellished the Creative title.

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Now I was really finished. It felt very satisfying to be creating in my art journal again.

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And, from the earlier pictures I took before, you can see how rare tidiness is in my creative world.

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Yes, it’s a mess. But at least it is my mess.

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Thanks for stopping by.  I really do appreciate every visit.

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Crafting on the Road

No, I don’t paint while driving but I did bring craft supplies on our Yosemite/Gold Country vacation.  We didn’t have the whole trip planned out and I find crafting very relaxing, so I wanted to be prepared to get creative if the opportunity came up.

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One afternoon we strolled through Jamestown and I found a few interesting bits of paper ephemera for sale, items that were originally meant to be discarded, like tickets or menus, but have become collectibles.

I picked up a small Farmer Memo Book from 1958 with charts on seeds and planting, and helpful information on things like tractor work calculation and gestation periods for farm animals.Rusty Rooster

I bought an April, 1938 local bus schedule for Iowa and Illinois, an order book from Rosa Baking Company circa 1937 and a one-inch map of South East London published in 1946 that has “Jim’s” written on it. I also purchased a few postcards and picked up brochures of places we were visiting.

One afternoon I asked Rem if he’d mind a break from sightseeing and he was very accommodating to my desire for craft time.  He watched a movie while I spread my supplies out in the dining room of the Sonora Inn and put together these two Art Journal pages.

Yosemite Art Journal Page

A shuttle map, a postcard and a photo from a local travel magazine filled the pages for this Yosemite spread.  I covered a little tag and added a bird sticker and some color.

For this Sonora spread, I used a Little Red Church picture from a brochure, and other bits and pieces to pick up the red color including craft paper and washi tape that I brought along.

Sonora Art Journal Page

Business cards, labels and brochures bring back memories from our relaxing and scenic trip.

After we returned home, my mom requested a card and I used some of the ephemera I’d picked up in Jamestown for this tag card.

Ephemera Tag Card

The low-key afternoon of crafting was a chance to sort through my old and new supplies and create something that included pieces picked up along the way.  It was also a nice change-of-pace from walking around and exploring Sonora and the area and some time alone.  This combination of being on vacation, a relaxed schedule and a few creative hours with paper and glue made me feel a peaceful happiness.  What more could I ask for?

Thanks for your visit.

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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.

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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!”

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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.

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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.

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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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Art from the Heart 2013

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Rem and I exchanged our annual Art from the Heart Valentine projects.

Read more about this tradition that we started about 11 or 12 years ago here with pictures of many previous creations.  See the 2012 heart-art here.

I had my idea but didn’t start on it until the Sunday before Valentine’s Day.  Luckily it came together fairly well.  My original idea was simply a dartboard with a heart in the center or maybe I should call it a heart-board.

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Rem listens to some British radio shows and I heard a chat about darts one day and that got the seed of an idea planted. I picked up some cork tiles and wire and looked up images of dartboards.

This isn’t meant for real games of darts but I wanted to capture the look of a genuine dartboard.  It is a little less than 12 inches across (the size of our dinner plates, one of which proved handy for tracing a large circle).

I hadn’t planned on making a dart but when the board was done I realized it needed one to hit the bullseye.

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Half of a bamboo chopstick, wire for the point with washi tape and some gold embossing powder for decoration and red paper hearts for the flight – or what I thought of as the feathers at the back end and I had a dart.

Wire numbers and letters spell out the date and my simple message.

Love letters in wire

I asked Rem about his creation, which he calls the Love Shack.

Love Shack

He was inspired by some aluminum loaf pans we have in the cupboard and he thought of making a little house.

Looking Down on Love Shack

Rem wanted a larger surface to work with than the loaf pans and found disposable aluminum cookie sheets at the grocery store.  He liked the textured surface.

A small heart punch (he knows his way around my craft desk) worked well for windows with red and pink paper glued on the inside of the shack.

Open Door, Heart Windows

He devised a series of tabs and slots to hold the folded foil house together.

Folded Foil House

Both of us spent hours on these creations which will be added to the walls on either side of the bed.  Some of the projects over the years didn’t lend themselves to being on a wall, but many are there.

Creations I’ve made for Rem are on his side.

Rem's Side

And the ones he’s made for me are on my side.

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Rem also made dinner for Valentine’s Day using a recipe from the cookbook I gave him for Christmas, Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything, The Basics.  We had Pasta with Sausage and Broccoli (delicious.)

He surprised me with deep, dark chocolate brownies for dessert, also from the cookbook, and homemade vanilla ice cream.

Heart Shaped Pan of Brownies

Warm, gooey and really chocolatey.

Warm Brownie & Ice Cream

Which is directly related to my decision to trot trudge up and down these stairs Saturday morning.

Larkspur Stairs

Oh, we also made cards for each other.

Big Red Heart

Photobooth Valentine

I used a strip of pictures from a photo booth we visited at the Groundspeak offices in Seattle while we were on vacation last fall.

Thanks for the visit.

 

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