Thursday, December 27, 2012

Holiday Break Arting

Hello everyone and Happy Holidays/Merry Christmas! I hope you are able to take some down time during this time of year and refresh and regroup for the upcoming new year. I've had time to create something almost every day so far. Some were for Christmas presents, some were for our home. Have a look:

 I've been looking for a reasonably priced vintage journal to use as an art journal -- once again, Etsy to the rescue! 

 Really cool tabs in the front of the journal. 

Lots of pages that have the original entries. How cool is that?

This is the first journal page I did in it. I love poppies and the poppy pods. Any my favorite Golden's Fluid Cobalt Teal seemed like the way to go for my first page! I adhered some of the Tim Holtz tissue roll, then some Golden's Airbrush Paint in white over that. Some oil pastels to finish off the shading, and my water brushes with Dylusions Ink for the stems and the spikey parts. 

 Another spread I did with a map of Maryland glued down first. My hometown of Dundalk and my current home in Severn are highlighted with the hearts. Other favorite spots highlighted in the other circles. I used my new Shiva PaintStiks to highlight the circles. 

 So I have this new little 'signature' thing I've been doing, the gesso'd circle with the black rectangle off to one side. So simple, but for some reason this really appeals to my eye. You will start seeing this in a lot of my work! 

 I almost always lean towards turquoise and the cool colors, so I decided to challenge myself with an all warm page. The first layers was using all my red NeoColor II's. Then I adhered a floral napkin with a poppy pattern to parts of both pages, added my Donna Downey large poppy stamp, and used my water pens filled with Dylusions inks to add some highlights. Some gesso and some dabs with my Montana Acrylic Marker. 

 These next shots are of another page I did using my favorite new product -- Viva Decor 3D Crystal Gel in Hologram. Really fun, awesome stuff. 

 This page was in my Dylusions journal experimenting with Dyan's bleach out technique. 

 Then I moved into some canvases. This one was made for a friend who asked me to do one in black, gray, and fuchsia. I really like the way this one turned out! Its going to be hard for me to part with this one. 

 Then I decided to do a canvas for my nephew Zach and my niece Chelsea. This is Zach's. He's really into music and recently painted his bedroom in blues and yellows, hence the color choices. I was so thrilled last night when I popped over to the Dyan Revealey FB private page and this canvas was being used at their banner on the website! WOW! That was such an honor for me! 

 This is the one I made for Chelsea. It holds a lot of significance for us. We lost Chelsea's Mom and my beloved Sister-in-Law two years ago. We think of her as a yellow butterfly, and Chels always says Mom was my anchor. The hearts are self explanatory. Chelsea was very touched by this one which made me feel really good about making this for her. 

 My husband keeps telling me I should do a set of canvases that could be hung together. I wanted a set of two longer canvases, but when I ran out to Michael's on Christmas Eve, this is the only split one they had. Its 4 panels each 6 x 6. I made it for our bedroom which is also decorated in turquoise and chocolate. I really like how it turned out. The drippage as a combination of Dr. Ph. Martin's Teal India Ink, and another brand of teal iridescent ink I blended together. I splattered the canvases with this as well. 

 So guess what I'm getting ready to do??? Head back downstairs to play some more! I have another canvas I want to do in dark reds, and some shades of brown and gold for our living room. I also want to modify the Perpetual Journal Calendar for myself. I got a really cool sewing machine drawer from Etsy to use instead of my basket, and an aqua Ball jar to use with it. I saw a really cool idea on Pinterest. I'll share that one when its finished. 

Saturday I'll be playing with some of my art besties - Ellen Smith Vargo, Donna Walsh, and Terry Quinn at The Queen's Ink! Man, I could so get used to being off work and doing art every day, but I'll need to acquire a taste for cat food if I think I'm going to retired any time soon! LOL! Luckily, I love my job. 

I wish everyone a very healthy, happy, and creative new year! Happy 2013!!!

Monday, December 17, 2012

My Take on a Perpetual Journal Calendar

Thank you Pinterest!!! Whatever did we do for random, ingenious, crafty ideas pre-Pinterest??? God forbid I have an original thought of my own! I happened across a pic of a perpetual journal the other day on Pinterest, which led me to Nicole Maki's blog, which in turn led me to Design Sponge, which led me to my studio! I had to give this a try. I made a prototype of sorts this weekend. I wanted to personalize it and make it even more useful for how I would use such a journal. I decided to incorporate a few extra bits. Here's what I came up with: 

I just used materials I had in my stash for the prototype, and why not my (current) favorite color combination of turquoise and orange?

I added some embellies because...well, I can! 

I decided I wanted more fun and color instead of just plain index cards for the daily pages. I sprayed some with Dylusions Inks thru Crafters Workshop Stencils, I made random marks with watercolors, I used some striped cards, some colored cards, and some paint splatters...

Then the monthly dividers...hmmm...if I were a monthly divider, what qualities would I like to see in myself to be the most efficient and loved divider ever? So I said, -- self -- you'd need to be colorful and pleasing to the eye, you'd definitely need to have a title, then maybe a pocket on the back for a little surprise note or tickets for that month, then a journaling spot for all those recurring reminders like birthdays and anniversaries that we need to remember each year. So here's what I came up with: 

 The little 'JAN' tab is actually a trimmed down 4 x 6 index card that I tucked into the back pocket. I wanted the month tab to be taller than the tags and didn't want the lettering to take away from the tag design. 

I used the manila scraps from the tab trimmings to make a pocket I adhered to the back of the tag. I made a little tag with a sentiment and stuck it in the pocket. I also added a Dylusions stamp of the ruled tag to make a journaling spot to jot down all those birthdays and anniversaries that happen every year. Here are the tags for the rest of the year -- you may recognize some of the collaged papers from my gelli plate stash:

I also wanted a bookmark, something that could serve as a placeholder for where you are in the year so that you didn't have to rifle thru weeks of tags to get to the right day. I found these at Home Goods in a pack of 6, all different colors and designs -- turquoise, please: 

I added some cotton lace to a cheap basket I had, some wooden legs I painted and glued to the bottom, and some other goodies from my stash. The end product:

Prototype, lessons learned -- the pockets I taped to the back of the tags are really tight. This works out well for holding the trimmed index tab in place, but its really tight to get the little tag with sentiments in and out, and would be even tighter with anything else added to it, ie tickets, notes, etc. Next time I'm going to use library card pockets and glue the index tab into place on the back of the card. Library card pockets already on order! Another lesson is that if you are going to make more than one of these, arrange the index cards so that you only have to change the date stamp one time for each date. You already have to change it 365 (plus 1 for Feb 29th - don't forget Leap Year!). So for my next 4 sets, I'll have all the cards cut and designs of cards mixed and counted out by the number of days per month, then I'll stamp all four Jan 01's at the same time, then roll the date to Jan 02 on the stamp, and continue to stamp all the 02 pages. Capeesh? (I have a sneaking suspicion that I did not spell that correctly!).

I'm going to try to pump a few more of these puppies out for last minute Christmas gifts. Why can't I come up with these ideas in say, July? I've also got a few sewing machine drawers on order from Etsy that I will use to make the calendar one long row of tags and cards, rather than the divided compartments I used in the basket I had on hand. I'm envisioning some Ranger Crackle Paint to begin the altering process, and I'm trying to come up with a cute way to add a pen holder as well. I'll be sure to post when I get this all figured out! 


I also made another altered cigar box this weekend. This one is for my friend Gail's Mom, Trudy. I'm calling it a Memory Box. Trudy is well into her 80's and always talks about Gail's Dad and how much she misses him. I had made one of these for my Mom that I blogged about in a previous post and thought it would be nice to make one for Trudy too. Here's how it turned out: 

 The frogs may seem out of place for the rest of the design, but Trudy LOVES frogs! I couldn't make something for her that didn't have a few of them included. I put one on the bottom and a few around the edges sort of in the back. I hope she enjoys it as much as my Mom loves hers. 


Thanks so much for stopping by! Until the next time...