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Thursday, May 26, 2011

BIG Postcards....

We survived the power outage and the weather cooperated and stayed cool. Actually it was nice not to have the computer, TV, or any other "noise making" devices to distract me but I didn't get a lot of art done as I planned.

Instead HB and I worked in the yard doing some trimming and basic yard stuff. By evening I was not interested in starting the computer and spending a lot of time with it. And then yesterday was our monster shopping day so I was gone most of the day. We always do our grocery shopping on Wednesday or Thursday and we go to several stores. We just make a day of it.

The only thing I've made art-wise is a couple of over-sized postcards. I started with big advertising postcards that come in the mail. The ones I used were about 10.5" x 6". I just collaged a bunch of stuff on them and then doodled a bit. Here's the first one I did....

This is the front

and this is the back....
The upper right corner is blank
because that's where the postage will go.

I like using lots of different postage stamps
rather than a metered stamp. That way it
just adds to the art.

This is the second one.
It isn't finished yet....
it needs some doodles and stamping.

and this is the back with the same
upper corner for postage.
These large postcards cost more to send
but I think it's worth it....at least here in the States.

I like doing these big postcards. I always save the ones that come in the mail so I can alter them. Free art materials is a good thing! And I'm sure you've guessed by now that my work table is no longer neat and tidy! It looks almost as bad as when I started the clean up. I guess that's just the way it will always be as long as I'm creating anything.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Success and Some Maintenance....

When I left you last, my studio was in a mess. I worked for the past three days and finally have it looking good again. I got rid of quite a lot of stuff and plan to sort through even more now that I can find everything!

My "clean" work area looks like this now....

and my painting area looks like this....

I still have lots to do but at least I can do some art now without spending half the day just clearing a spot to work.

I thought I'd better get this posted today because I won't be able to use the computer tomorrow. The local power company is doing "maintenance" in our area all day tomorrow so they've told us the electricity may be off between the hours of 8 AM and 5 PM....maybe for the entire day or just intermittently throughout the day. So that means I won't be turning on the computer....or anything else for that matter. Maybe I'll just spend the day making art. That sounds good to me.

So you won't hear from me tomorrow unless it's in the evening but I'll try to be back on Wednesday with something artsy to show you.No more boring studio posts!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Black Hole of Stuff....

Help! I've been swallowed up by the black hole of stuff! I've moved on to the biggest challenge so far in my de-cluttering of the house....my studio. It's terrible right now. I've been piling things everywhere.

While going through the rest of the house I discovered tons of things that belonged in the studio so I would just open the door and put them down someplace. Now the studio is a huge mess! If you don't believe me take a look....

This is the table just to the right as you enter the room.
It's "supposed" to be my clean work table....
where I work on projects that don't use paint
or other messy things.

This is what you see straight ahead as you enter 
the room! I have my desktop computer off to the 
right, just past the stacked drawers. It's a challenge
to get to it each morning!

And this is my everyday worktable. Doesn't this
just inspire you to do some art?!!

Buried under that pile on the worktable is a journal spread I started recently. It's only in the preliminary stage but here's where I am so far....

I have an idea I want to experiment with....
This is just the first layer of random bits of paper.
I'll show you what I do with this when I can actually
find my worktable again!

This weekend is going to be clean-up, clear out time in the studio. Not a very exciting way to spend my time but something that has to be done. I hope your plans for the weekend are much more fun than mine!

Monday, May 16, 2011

An Unfinished Journal Spread....

Okay, now that we've established that blogging isn't dead (!!) I'll show you what I've done recently. It isn't much but at least I did a little something in the studio over the weekend.

I actually felt like sitting in front of the fireplace! It's been very chilly and windy here, only getting into the low 60's during the daytime. I curled up in bed one afternoon and spent a couple of hours reading.

Remember I showed you that journal spread with all the magazine strips on it? Well, I brayed over it with some white paint....

I love the texture that it produced. 
You can click on all the photos to see them larger.

Then I added some scrolly stuff in a couple of corners....

And some diamond shaped borders along two sides....

Next I used a stencil and drew a skyline with pencil
and then outlined it with my paint pen....

I filled it in with a brush and black paint and then 
sandpapered over everything to give it a grungy look.

That's as far as I've gone with this spread. I'm not sure what I want to do next or what I want the page to be about so I'm not going to rush it. I like it the way it is but I know it needs more....I'm just not sure what that will be. It may sit like this for days or even months before I decide what to do next. I love making backgrounds but sometimes they sit for a long time before I put anything on them.

Now I'm off to enjoy a hot cup of "fake" coffee and warm up!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Clarification and Other Things....

Okay, I guess I'm not much good at expressing my thoughts and ideas because everyone seemed to think I was concerned about comments when I wrote yesterday's post. That was not my intent. I only mentioned comments because they're another way we all communicate.

Mostly what I was trying to find out was if blogging was getting to be too time-consuming for people. Everyone seems to want to communicate in quick snips like on Facebook and Twitter.

I am more than happy with the comments I receive here on my blog and I appreciate that you take the time to do that but if you just come by and read my blog that's okay, too. I don't feel the need for lots of comments....I don't have a blog just to get comments. I have a blog because I like sharing what I create and also getting to know other artists and seeing what they're doing. I have learned so much from the blogging community.

I'm not always the best at writing....I "know" what I want to say and I "think" that's what I've said but then when you read it, it comes out all differently.

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On that note, I have a new blogger to tell you about....my youngest granddaughter has started a blog! She is interested in writing and has always lived a very natural life style so that's what her blog is about. I would love it if you'd pop over and welcome her to Blogland. You can find her here. Tell her Grandma Janet sent you!

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I'm sure you're all wondering where the art is around here. Truth be told, I haven't done a lot of art over the past few days. Mostly just working on some backgrounds....


This one is strips I cut from magazines and catalogs. The right side isn't finished yet. When I have both pages covered I'll start adding paint and gesso and see where it takes me.


This one has book pages glued down and a preliminary wash of paint over it. I'm not sure where it's going either but it will be fun to see what appears.

Now I'm off to schedule this as HB and I have an appointment today that will keep me away from the studio. Have a great week-end....and remember to play!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Is Blogging Dead??

image from Google images

Five years ago I began this blog. In the beginning I barely knew how to find other blogs but I soon learned. There were just too many blogs to keep up with. I spent a lot of time blog-hopping and meeting people.

Over the years I've had about the same amount of comments with the exception of certain blog posts that went way over the top. Readers come and go on a regular basis. Some of my readers have been with me since the beginning and I count them as friends along with many others who have been with me for a shorter time.

But lately I've seen a trend away from blogging. Everyone wants to communicate in shorter and shorter bits of time. Facebook and Twitter seem to be taking over much to my dismay. I'm probably the only person on the planet who doesn't like Facebook but I just don't trust it! Any time one site has information on millions (or billions) of people it can't be good. I tried Facebook for a short time and was just not comfortable. I've completely deleted myself from the site....which, by the way, took a lot of digging to find out how to do it. That made me uneasy, too.

Anyway, this whole post is to find out your opinions on blogging and do you think it's dying out? Is it just too time-consuming to read a blog? Does it take too much time to leave comments? Do you find yourself spending most of your time on Facebook and Twitter rather than blogging?

I'm curious because I love having a blog but if it's all dying out I may just close my blog and fade into the sunset. I love sharing art and learning from other bloggers but it all seems to be slowing down recently. Is it just spring fever or is this a trend? What do you think?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Dreaming....

I had a chance to play a little bit yesterday with the new Faber-Castell gel sticks. They're great! So creamy and smooth, and they smoosh just right when you add water.

Believe it or not, I didn't use the brighter colors first! I had a spread in my journal where I had "stamped" the excess ink from a couple of stencils I used on an earlier spread. I liked the randomness of the design that was left on the pages so I decided to work with that.


I wish I had taken a photo of the pages before I began adding more color but I think you'll be able to see what was underneath.


I have been saving this castle for just the right time. It's from a paper pack that I bought a couple of years ago. It seemed just the right colors for what I was doing.


The circles were done with the top from a new hair product I just bought. The edge was so smooth and a perfect size for circles. Instead of painting the edge of the top I used my stamp pad to add just a hint of color to outline the circles.

Then I wrote about things I dream of....I thought the colors had a dreamy look to them.

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If anyone is interested in a new workshop for art journaling, Kelly Kilmer has one. If you sign up before the 23rd of this month it's only $20!

I credit Kelly with really getting me started on my art journaling. There have been a lot of people who have helped me over time but it was her monthly journaling workshops that she used to do that really got me going. I think I did three months with her and I still have my notes from those workshops and refer to them often.

Have some fun today....make some art!

Monday, May 09, 2011

Goodies in the Mail....and a Journal Spread

I hope you all had a Happy Mother's Day! Mine was perfect....phone calls from both my kids and brunch out with HB.

Believe it or not, we're still working on the garage and probably will be doing so for several more weeks. If any of you have been around for a long time you've seen the pictures of all the boxes of books that were stacked in our garage. Since they were leftovers from my online book store, many of them aren't worth all that much so I've been donating them to the local library. A year ago they asked me not to bring any more as they had too many books! Recently they have started accepting books again so we're slowly taking them for donation. This process will take awhile so until it's finished the garage will be an ongoing project.

Not much art got done around here over the past few days but I did manage a journal spread even though it took me several days to finish. The date on it is May 6 but I didn't actually finish it until this morning.


I did the spread about time....or rather, no time.

The colors I used on the background were purely random. 
I spun my paint carousel around and blindly grabbed a color each time.
I'm not sure they actually work together but it was an experiment.

I love the stamp in the upper right corner.
It looks like chicken wire!
It came from Scarlet Lime.

I'm embarrassed to say this beautiful postcard came to me several days ago from Mary and I didn't post it until now. I love the bright colors....she paints phone book pages and then tears them up for collages like this.
Thank you, Mary....it's on my pin-up board for inspiration.

And another great mailbox surprise came to me from Kate....she sent me these fantastic gel sticks that she found at Barnes & Noble. I searched our local store but they didn't have any so Kate surprised me with these!
Thank you, Kate. I only got a few minutes to play with them last evening but today they're going to get a workout! They're dreamy smooth and the colors are great. I love them!!

Okay, I'm off to do some art, freeze some strawberries (hit a great sale on them!) and get around to visit some blogs this afternoon. Have a fun day....

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

A Journal Page!....

Whew! I'm crawling out from under piles of stuff today in order to show you one little bit of art I've managed to do over the past couple of days. HB and I are still working towards simplicity and boy, am I tired!

He took a big load to the thrift store yesterday and I have another load almost ready for today. I'm telling you, this stuff must get together at night and multiply! I don't know how we got this much stuff!

Yesterday afternoon I took a break and did a little work in my art journal. I had one page that had a little paint smeared on it so I tackled that. I figured I could do one page!

Nothing spectacular but it felt good to do some art.


I outlined the flowers with white
and they look good in person 
but here they look different. I may add
some more to this page 
but I was just happy to get this much done.

And I got a nice surprise in the mailbox....

This is from Kate. She sent me a little bit of postcard love! She used Gelatos on the background....I have to get me some of them! Thanks, Kate....I love it!

That's about all the exciting news I have from here at Chez Stuff! I should get to the end of all this de-cluttering soon and then it will be back to lots more art. Thanks for hanging in there with me while I do all this boring clearing out.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

A Wedding, a Swap and a Lot of Work....

May 1st....how can it be? I can't seem to keep up anymore! Could be because I spent almost one entire day watching the Royal Wedding! I tried to stay up for it but I couldn't do it so I just recorded it and watched it the nest day. I thought Catherine looked beautiful and William (and Harry) looked handsome in their uniforms. I hope they will be happy and the paparazzi will leave them alone.

Other than that HB and I are continuing our quest of clearing out all the junk and unnecessary stuff from all over the house. So far we've tackled the attic, the guest room closet, our master bedroom closet and now we're working in the garage. So not much art has been done.

I received the ATCs from Tam's Umbrella Swap for April. Raewyn was my partner and she sent these....


Aren't they cute? It's "Waiting at the Bus Stop"

And this one is "On the Terrace"

I think they're both great. Thanks, Raewyn!! A few days ago I posted the two ATCs I sent to her. I think I got the better of the deal. I don't think I'll do the swap for this month because I'm so behind with everything. I'll probably have to have art lessons to remember how to do anything!  Hang in there! I promise to have some art soon.

PS - I know I owe several of you a visit and an email and I will get all that done as soon as I can.