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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

It's Gonna Get Crazy....

Things might get a little crazy around here for the next week or so. Not only am I getting a new computer (probably by Friday)- we're switching ISPs, and I have Flora's class starting on Monday plus a few other class/workshop things going on. I might be offline with the ISP thing for a day or so.

To keep you up-to-date on some of what I've been doing, here's another of my little blank books that I altered.


You may already know that I hate to cook so when I saw this image online I knew it was perfect for the little book where I jot down recipes. I covered up the author's name with my own name and I think it looks just right.

This morning I watched some videos about a technique I wanted to try. I learned about the videos here. So far I've done the sketch, painted over it with acrylics and added the layer of tissue paper...


This is a sketch from a picture I saw in a magazine. I liked the different angle of her face and wanted to try it. I'll let you see the next step when I finish it.

And lastly I haven't been working too much in my bigger art journal so I decided to do a spread. I had part of the background already done and just added the images, some stamping, tape, doodling, etc...


and here are the individual pages...



When I saw the image of the older ladies looking at the naked man I knew I wanted to use it sometime. Today was the day! I added the heart on his bum...afterwards I thought a big kiss image would have been better but I had the little heart sticker.

The red line going across the pages came to me after we watched Touch with Keifer Sutherland (loved it) the other night. It told about an old Chinese legend of a red string tied around your ankle and it connects to all the other people that you're connected with.

Okay, that's all I have for now. See you in a few days. Wish me luck with all this computer stuff!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

A Quickie Face-lift for a Notebook...

While cleaning up the "office" part of my studio in preparation for the new computer - the office is just a little niche that's supposed to be a closet - I noticed that I have a huge stack of those blank books that I can never resist. I usually use them to jot down ideas or recipes or quotes or books I want to read or any number of things that pop into my mind. I'm sure you do something similar.

Some of them have been gifts over the years, some were ones I acquired in book buys when I had my online book business, and I'm sure some of them came from the thrift stores. At any rate, they usually have something pretty on the cover and I've just left them as they are...until today.

I altered the cover on one of them and now I think I'll do the rest of them. Here's what I did...


Nothing fancy. Just some scraps of paper and an image from a postcard I made last year. I used some leopard print duct tape on the spine (LOVE it!) and here's the back...


I'm happy with how it turned out and I think it might have taken me the whole of 10 minutes to do! Just a fun little project to get the juices flowing. One down and many more to go!

Happy weekend!!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Blue Haired Ladies and Computers...

This will be a quickie post today. I'm just sharing another spread in my BOD journal. I'm not actually doing the same things that Effy is doing but I'm working in the altered book that I made for this class. As always, doing my own thing!


This is a spread that began with a magazine picture. I made it my own by painting over it and adding the blue hair. I'm not a little blue-haired lady even though I might be old enough...but I wouldn't mind having blue hair if it was bright like this!

I might not be around too much over the next few days. HB and I are having new computers built for us...one for him and one for me. I'll be getting a much larger monitor so I have to re-arrange my desk area to accommodate it. I'm really excited about this because the new computer will be very fast and have a lot of memory. This guy builds computers for gamers. He's going to add in all the things I want plus transfer things from my old computer to the new one. The computer I'm using now (my desktop computer) is one I got for Christmas in 2004!!! I also have a laptop that I got a couple of years ago. I mostly use my desktop computer because I hate the keyboards on the laptops. Lately my old computer has been freezing a lot and I had a blue screen a few days ago so it's on its last leg. I'll have the new one in about a week.

Have a fun week-end!!!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Playing in the Studio...

Yesterday we had some rain and it was the perfect day to just do nothing...which is pretty much what I did! But I did find a journal spread that I hadn't shared with you. I did this in my Book of  Days journal...


It began with a picture from a magazine, then I painted over it and added some UPC labels which I think are great graphic accents.

I also recently painted this face...


I did her on one of my hardback book covers. I layered on some old book pages and then painted her. She's given me a lot of trouble with her face shading. I just can't seem to get it right so I just gave up and called her done!


I also doodled around with these flowers. I wish I had added some brighter colors but for now this is what it is. They sort of remind me of octopus arms!! Maybe they're octopus flowers!

And that's what I've been up to recently. I hope you're all creating lots of fun art, too. Keep playing...

Saturday, January 21, 2012

A Little Painting, A Little Stamping...

Hi everyone! Did you think I'd forgotten about my blog? Almost! I've been enjoying the freedom of just doing what I want, when I want, and posting something on my blog hasn't entered my mind! Don't get me wrong. I love blogging and I've been visiting lots of blogs over the past week but I haven't really had anything to share with you on mine.

I've been working on some things that I'm doing for a small swap with two blog friends. And I'm also working on something for a mail swap with a new blog friend...so there isn't much I can show you even though I've been making art.

I did start a 12" x 12" canvas recently. Here's the background...


LOVE it!! I used some spray paints, stencils, Adirondack spray washes, and a light wash of cream paint to tone it down a bit.

Then I began adding some shapes and decided to make a vase of flowers...which is not something I usually paint. Here's where I'm at with it...


Very, very preliminary. I think I want to keep the color scheme with just that pop of red and maybe just a couple more small spots of it.

I also did some more painted papers...



And carved a couple of small stamps...


Other than that I can't show you anything else I've been doing. Oh, wait...I can share one thing I've been doing. I've been looking for an exercise program that I'd like and I found one here. I've never been one for a lot of jumping around like in aerobics but this program is perfect because it's more fluid movements. So far I'm enjoying it and I seem to have more energy. There's one video on the website and then I ordered one of the DVDs from ebay where I got a better price.

Okay, that's it from here...I hope you're all having a fun weekend. I'm going to work on my swap projects and my new painting. See you soon...

Saturday, January 14, 2012

I Am....

No art today....at least nothing I want to share yet. But I do want to tell you about an amazing film we just watched last night and one that I think everyone should see.

photo from Google images

I first heard about this movie on Oprah's show and I knew I wanted to see it. We live in an area that has somewhat limited access to films other than the big blockbusters and anything that involves mayhem and madness. So we had to wait for Netflix. It was well worth the wait.

I Am is thought provoking, inspiring, uplifting and gives us hope for the human race. I hope more people see this film and take its message to heart. Here is a link to their website with more information.

Now back to the studio. I'm playing with watercolors today. Stay tuned!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Playin' and Gettin' Dirty!

Today has been a fun day so far. No expectations....no schedule....no "have to" projects....it was just me and some paint and a few sheets of junk paper. I was running low on painted papers and with a project I have in mind I knew I'd need some new ones. So out came the paints and....


this was one of the end results!
Dirty, messy hands....just the way I like them.


and these are a few of the other results.


These green pages are fairly subtle 
but I needed some with all over pattern.

Some of you asked about the book that inspired me the other day and I didn't mention it because it's just a little date/calendar book....in Spanish! It has some interesting artwork in it and the minute I opened it I was hooked. More to come soon....


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In other news, I recently received this cute little birdie clip from April Cole ....


It's such a great idea....the little paper birdies are attached to a patterned paper clip. Wouldn't these be fun to use in a journal? Thanks, April!!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Happy Doing Nothing....

Wow! I must have struck a nerve with my last post because so many of you commented and I also had a lot of private emails from you explaining how you feel the same way I do. That makes me feel better, to know I'm not alone with these thoughts.

After I posted that last entry, I felt a huge relief. I felt like the day was mine to do whatever I wanted. I played, I read, I watched some shows on Netflix and I enjoyed myself....and I worked on some things in the studio. No big project, nothing to really show, but I was having fun doing "nothing"....that is, nothing structured, nothing for a class, nothing that I finished.

One thing I did work on was one of the pages I shared last time. I wasn't happy with it and knew I wanted to change it. This is what I did....


I like this page much better now. I'm also working on the other one with the "floating" head. I'm giving her a body and something to anchor her to the page.

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Yesterday we were out and we stopped at B&N. I found a small book that completely inspired me and it isn't even an art book. Today I began painting some pages that I'll use in a project I want to do inspired by the book. I hope to have something to show you in a day or two. Until then, keep making art and don't let yourself get sucked in to all the things you "should" be doing. Keep it simple....make yourself happy and the rest will fall into place.

Monday, January 09, 2012

Some Deep Thoughts About Commitments....

The new year is a week old and I'm already questioning my commitments! One of the things I've always said about myself is that I have great intentions but my follow-through is the pits. I know this is a long post but I hope you read through it to understand where I'm at right now.

Each new year I get caught up in all the things going on around Blogland, everyone seems to be starting some new project that looks like it would be fun. I join this and then I join that and in the wink of an eye I feel overwhelmed. I've watched so many videos in the past week and they all seem to run together after awhile.

Everyone has a different take on what we should be doing to start the new year. Make a journal, make a calendar, make art every day, etc. etc. etc. But then if we commit to all of these things when do we have time to enjoy this new year....to enjoy life....to enjoy art....to stop and smell the roses?

I woke up in the middle of the night last night, struggling with whether or not to continue blogging. It just felt like a huge weight on my shoulders (put there by me) and it isn't always fun anymore because I've let myself get caught up in all the "New Year" stuff. This morning I woke up and while reading through some blogs I came across two other people with much the same thoughts. Julie has some interesting thoughts on this subject, as does Dion Dior. After reading these two blogs I knew what I was going to do!

Each day I'm going to do whatever feels right! If that means I don't get around to visit everyone, I'm sorry. If that means I don't do whatever everyone else is doing, I'm sorry. But all at once making art has become something less fun and more obligation and I don't like that. I enjoy coming into my studio each day and playing. When left on my own I usually make something every day but when I make a "commitment" to do that, then it becomes a chore and my art reflects that. When it becomes something I "have" to do because I've made a commitment or when it's so I have something to share on my blog then it's no fun anymore.

Don't get me wrong....I love sharing what I've done with all of you. And if there's any expectations about having something new each day, it's been put there by me. I've done it to myself. So with all this said, I hope you still come visit me, and I'll continue to post my art when I make it but I'm not going to hold myself to any crazy bunch of commitments that I've put on myself. With that said, here are two more pages that I finished over the weekend....


I started with a magazine picture and painted over it. I've never done a face from this angle before and don't know that I'd try it on my own but working over the magazine helped a lot. I wish I had filled the page with writing but that's always my biggest problem when I journal.


This is an old face painting I did. I think she needs some kind of body added to her but for now this is what I have. I love the background but she seems disconnected from it. And the color is all wrong because in real life these are all greens. Maybe a body and later some journaling will help pull it together....or maybe not. But this is what I did, right now.

I hope I haven't lost all of you, and I hope you don't think I'm a complete idiot! Actually I'm just trying to stay sane! Happy Monday!!

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Two More Art Journal Pages

I'm somewhat caught up on my journal pages. I'm sure that many days I won't be able to complete a page but as long as I begin a page each day I'll be happy. Here are two more finished pages....


This one was simple and easy.
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And here's the page for January 5, 2012....


This page looks so much better in person. The browns are very rich and the red of her skirt is more like the red of the sunburst stencil in the corner. I'm not sure why it looks so faded in the photo. I tried adjusting it in my editing program but couldn't make it any better. I love that picture of the woman with the guitar!!


I have journaled in this corner 
and also a bit in the side blank area.

I may doodle around the edges of this page with a white pen over the dark brown paper. Not sure yet. I've also worked some in my BOD but nothing that I want to show yet. It's very preliminary.

Have a fun weekend!!

Friday, January 06, 2012

Two Down....Only 364 to Go!

For 2012 I decided to TRY to do a journal page for each day. So far, I'm already behind! But at least I have two finished and three others in progress.

Here is the finished page for 01/01/2012....


I like this page because it seems fresh and light and the words are almost secondary and blend into the background. Here's a close-up of the center area....


Mostly I used colored inks (really old ones I had) and also some Adirondack Color Wash but I applied them with a small brush. I got the idea of doing that from Milliande's latest art journal projects.

Last night I finished the page for 01/02/2012....


Now on to the next pages! I hope to have some of them finished by tomorrow. See you then....

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Ramblin' Around the Page....

Whew! I have so many things going right now that I'm not sure whether I'm actually getting anywhere or not! The problem is I have a couple of things I've done in the past few days that I can't show you yet. They're for small swaps I'm doing and I don't want to spoil it for the recipients.

I do have several journal pages in varying stages of completion but none of them are totally finished. I have one that is probably 90% finished so I'll share that one with you....


I'm working on loose pages of Bristol 
that I will bind together at a later time.


The scanner cut off part of the left side but I think you can still see what I'm doing. I have a template of different sized circles and I used it as a stencil a few days ago. There was quite a bit of ink left on it so I just plopped it down on a sheet of Bristol. I loved the colors and the design it made so I decided to use it as my January 1st page.

To begin, I drew around all the circles. Then I mostly doodled all around. I plan to darken some areas and maybe even add a bit more color. This is probably partly influenced by Traci Bautista's free class at Strathmore. But I always like to doodle and just ramble around the page.

This is another partially finished page. 
I'm doing this one for Jan. 2nd and The Rose Parade....


It's about halfway done. I'll share both of these pages again when I finish them. Now it's back to the studio....so many pages to complete!

Monday, January 02, 2012

So Many Classes!

So many classes, so little time! I think that's my motto for now. I've spent most of the day watching videos from different classes online. I love all the free classes and things that are going on right now. I just wish they would spread them out over the year a little more. Usually during the end of summer I need a little boost and a free class would be great then.

I worked on my Book of Days for this class. I'll show you the cover even though it isn't finished yet....

I'm not sure why I thought it would be such a good idea to put my picture on it! And I bet you thought I'd make it purple but I find I don't like working with purple in art.

Tinker sent me an angel snowflake in my Christmas card so I used that on the back cover....


That snowflake is so cute. I have no idea how she did it. I plan to do more on this cover and I may end up covering over my face. But for now this is where I'm at with it.

Another free class I'm doing is part of the Strathmore workshops. It's a doodle art class with Traci Bautista. I started my page but then messed it up so I have to start over.

And every year I see people making calendar pages so I started one this year. I only have it roughly laid out but here is the start....


I'll fill in the rest of the letters, add some images around the edges and fill in each day as I go along. I hope I can do one for each month this year but I know me....I usually fizzle out about half way through so we'll see!

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I want to share with you a beautiful piece of art I received from Dot. I've always loved her art. She sent me one of her birds!


Isn't it beautiful?!! 
And it's purple! I love it, Dot. 
Thank you so so much.

Okay, I think that's about all I have for you today. I'm going to continue working on all these projects and will share them with you again when I get finished. So far 2012 is off to a great start!

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Old Books and New Art....

While I had my long break over the holidays I did a lot of cleaning and clearing out in the studio and I dabbled with art every day but I don't have much to show for all that time. I managed to do one new winter girl....

She looks much better in person and not so washed out. I also did a sketch....I might try to turn her into a painting later.


I spent a lot of time going through some hardcover books left over from my old online book business.


There were a lot of them! And after all this I still have tons more. I think I'll have enough to keep me busy for awhile!


Most of them were nothing special so I removed the text blocks and saved the covers to use either as canvases for paintings or for covers for all the new books I'll be making with my new Christmas present....


HB gave me The Cinch binding machine! Now I can make spiral-bound notebooks and journals....when I get the hang of it. There's a bit of a learning curve when you put the spirals in but I'll learn all the tricks as I go along. I set up an area in my garage space to do book binding. I have a big table out there and plenty of space to lay out all the pages. That way I can keep my regular studio for mixed media art. Hopefully I'll have some journals to show you soon. Until then I'll keep doing other art. Let's all make 2012 beautiful!