Tag Archives: ink

Hearts in a Tree

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I made these hearts for Valentine’s Day and hung them up in the tree in front our apartment to surprise Rem.

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The tree already looked pretty even before I added the hearts, covered in blossoms. It snows down white petals if you give a branch a little shake.

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People driving by smiled and some waved or gave me a thumbs-up.

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Rem thought I was out taking a walk in the neighborhood.

He was amazed when he saw all the hearts.

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Here’s some of my favorite hearts:

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Next January I’ll put up a post on how to make these hearts.

Thanks for stopping by.

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Day 10: 30 Day Journal Project

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“The cure for anything is salt water. Tears, sweat, or the ocean.” ~ Isak Dinesen

This quote strikes such a chord for me. Being near the ocean and smelling the salt air is a wonderful remedy, and certainly tears and working up a sweat have both worked for me.

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It was late when I started this and I had a mental image of what I wanted for the page. I didn’t actually write my love letter to the Pacific Ocean, or rather, I wrote it in my heart but didn’t get it on the page.

The paper in this particular journal that I found on sale isn’t very good, so I’ve been using a glue stick to adhere two pages together, than priming the page with gesso.

I used water-based dye ink dripped on a very wet page then moved the ink around with a brush.

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Then I added salt.

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Flaky Maldon salt, to be specific, sprinkled on the wet inky page.

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The salt pulls in the water which causes patterns to form in the nk.

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I used my heat tool to dry the page, then scraped off the salt with a plastic credit-card type card.

In the quote, at the top of the page, I embossed actual salt in the word salt.

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Unfortunately, I was dismayed when I discovered that though I’d prepped the page with gesso, the wetness of ink and water together had seeped through a number of pages at the center. Wah wah wah wah. I did some clean up on earlier pages (with white paint and some matte medium).

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It was the second mishap of the evening. The first occurred when I was rushing to prep this page with gesso before taking an evening walk.  The scrap paper I grabbed to protect the other pages was fine one the first side, but it had some gesso on it that I missed when I stuck it between pages on the other side.

Ack! White gesso on the blackout page. I took a wet brush and started cleaning the gesso off and in doing so, took off some of the black paint. I will probably go back and do some repairs. I’m glad I’d finished that page and had photos!

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Back to the soothing ocean and tang of salt air.

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Thanks for the visit.

#30DayJournal

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Day 5: 30 Day Journal Project

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Be wild; that is how to clear the river. The river does not flow in polluted, we manage that. The river does not dry up, we block it. If we want to allow it its freedom, we have to allow our ideational lives to be let loose, to stream, letting anything come, initially censoring nothing.

That is creative life. It is made up of divine paradox. To create one must be willing to be stone stupid, to sit upon a throne on top of a jackass and spill rubies from one’s mouth. Then the river will flow, then we can stand in the stream of it raining down.” ―  Clarissa Pinkola Estés

I read this quote and the prompts for today and I was struggling with it.

In the morning I prepped a page. The paper in my journal isn’t very good, so I’m gluing two pages together and priming the paper with gesso. It was all dry and ready for my journaling.

I read the prompts again.

Today’s Journal Prompts:

  • If I invited my wildness out to play, she would take me…
  • If I were willing to be stone stupid, I would make…
  • If I weren’t afraid of being called stone stupid, I would…
  • I could stop censoring myself here:

Setting a timer for 5 minutes, I started writing on a piece of copy paper, without an idea of where it would go. I chose the first prompt and started writing. …and kept writing even after the timer went off. Inspired, I grabbed my open journal and bright yellow ink from a rainbow ink pad on my craft desk.

After swooping bright ink and splattering watercolor on the page…

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I realized I was way in the middle of the book not on the right page (which I’d prepped earlier)! That’s what happens when I invite my wildness out to play!

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I left that page in the journal, turned back to the right place and did another page of swoops of colored ink and splatters of watercolor.

The envelope with the invitation to my wildness also has the journaling I wrote as part of this process.

After I put the envelope in the book, I realized I’d highlighted the wrong month!  I decided to leave it, even though it is really July, not June.

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Most of the things I create are fairly small in scale. This page made me think about larger, messier work that I can’t do easily at home at my craft desk.

Scratch paper that I used to cover supplies on my desk.

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Thank you for checking out my latest post!

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Art Journaling: Vacation Roadtrip

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I thought I was the only one who made a visual packing list until one day I saw this on Pinterest.

It just works for me to have a visual reference.  Now I can update the list: I crossed off a pair of  yoga pants I decided not to pack and I accidentally left the sports bra at home. Do you make a packing list? Have you ever sketched your packing list?

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I put this page together in our motel room in Ukiah.  I added color later. Even though I walked on other days, this was the last day I made note of my steps.

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I have a date stamp that has about a dozen phrases that I can stamp with the date.

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After the first two spreads, I didn’t manage to do daily journaling. I carried my (big) bag of art supplies into what ever motel we were staying in, but these were actually done during the second half of the trip when we were at Sea Ranch.

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I got the idea for this spread from an old issue of Cloth Paper Scissors.  Awas an article by Jacqueline Newbold described preparing a watercolor art journal before a trip. Lay artists tape out to divide your page, paint a background across all the resulting squares and rectangles and then when you are on your trip, you have a grid ready for both artwork and space for text.

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In my case, I’m journaling in a re-purposed book and I’ve used gesso to cover over the text and prep my pages. I used washi tape to make a grid and painted a watercolor background. But the washi tape pulled up the gesso in some pages.  I also need to do more research on what black pen will write on the gesso.

As we drove along the Avenue of the Giants, I was humming and even singing “This Land is Your Land.” So of course I wanted to include that in my page from that day!

In spite of the challenges, I was very pleased with how these pages turned out.  I collected free maps and newsprint guidebooks that are given away because they’re loaded with ads. But they’ve also got some photos that I was happy to use in my journal.

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This spread has some paper from my stash as well as washi tape.  I also used a new circular date stamp I picked up at Scrappers Edge in Eureka.

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I used some of these new materials from my shopping haul at Scrappers Edge on my next spread.

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These are my favorite pages from our trip.

I used ink sprays, embossing powder and gold Mica Gilded Fragments from the Stampendous Frantage Encrusted Jewel Kit, and some of the stencils.

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Heart Bead in Arcata has a beautiful business card that I used on this spread.  I didn’t find any new treasures but I enjoyed looking through the store.

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My last two-page spread represents an overhead view of a flight of beer, and the names of the different breweries we visited.

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There’s the new circular date stamp again.

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I stenciled the background and wrote in the names of the brew pubs.

Inexpensive number thickers from Dollar Tree and letters cut out from a travel brochure combine in the page title.

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Thanks for coming along.

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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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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.

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

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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.

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Day 16: Feather

Feather

Day 16: Feather.

It is Father’s Day, the second Father’s Day since my dad died.  A year ago I went to the cemetery where we’d buried my father’s ashes.  We’d had the memorial service just a short time before Father’s Day and there wasn’t a marker on his grave.  It is a Green Cemetery (or that section is, anyway) and so it isn’t a manicured lawn, but a natural hillside of eucalyptus trees and dried grass.

That Father’s Day was my first visit to the site alone.  Well, not alone, as I has my parent’s dog, Molly, with me.

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Like today, it was windy, though today was much warmer.  There were flowers from the memorial service that day.  Today I brought flowers and found others that my sister had left.  I was so touched when I saw that she’d left her graduation tassel.

Last year, after I’d had a visit, sang a little and cried some, I was walking back across the hill to the path and I found a beautiful feather with wide brown and white stripes.  I hadn’t seen it on the walk to the grave and exclaimed when I saw it.  I picked it up and took it back to tuck into the flowers on my dad’s grave.

Walking back once more toward the path, I looked down and found a second feather!  This one was a deep, rich blue, probably from a blue jay.  It was beautiful.  Once again, I picked up the feather, turned around and took it back and put it with the flowers and the other feather.  Finding these two different feathers felt like some kind of positive sign to me and I left with my heart somewhat lifted.

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After that, I kept seeing feathers.  Maybe they’ve been around me all along and I wasn’t paying attention, but for awhile it seemed like I would see a feather every few days!  At first I noticed them and thought it was kind of coincidental, but when I mentioned it to a friend, she suggested I collect them.  I started to pick them up.

I opened my car door and looked out as I put my foot out and there was a feather.  Walking across the parking lot at work, I would find a feather directly in my path.  I picked up feathers while hiking with Kathleen, I found them in the patio of my apartment and at the Farmer’s Market.

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I didn’t really feel like they were a message from my dad, though maybe they are. They just felt like a positive thing.  At first I wasn’t really looking for them and they just seem to appear in my path but after awhile I was paying more attention and keeping an eye out.  In fact, on our recent getaway weekend, I found several feathers on the beach.  It made me think of my father.

When I would visit Fernwood,   I kept an eye out for feathers.  Especially like either one of those special feathers I found a year ago – the wide stripes of brown and white, and the deep blue.  I haven’t ever found another feather there until today.  Today I found a wide scattering of black feathers.  Eventually, while gathering this offering of feathers, I came across part of their former owner.

I thanked the bird for its feathers and said I was sorry it had died.  I hope that it gave some nourishment to a creature or creatures up (or down) the food chain.  But I was pleased to find this swath of feathers on the hillside on and around my dad’s grave.

I have not found a blue feather or a feather with wide brown and white stripes.  Yet.

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I created this spread at the Collage Cafe with Virginia Simpson Magruder of Kentucky Girl Designs.  I was able to use many of her supplies as well as her guidance.  I told her about finding feathers and showed her some of my bird images.  She brought out some rubber stamp fonts and I picked out a great background stamp and the page happened layer by layer.

After I took these pictures earlier today, I added one thing: the words “father’s day” over the date.  So it doesn’t show in the larger pictures of the page.

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The intense, blue-eyed bird just worked with this spread.  I don’t know what kind it is and it doesn’t remind me of my dad, although he DID have blue eyes.  But birds and feathers are on my radar these days and so, that is what I crafted for today.

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For Day 16 last year I Handcarved a Rubber Stamp.

For Day 16 the year before that I crafted a Shrinky Dink Key Ring.  Check it out!

Thanks for making it with me so far in the 30 Days of Creativity project.  I’m glad you’re here.

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