"Art is my vehicle through life; may we share the ride together." Ron Wickersham

Monday, March 30, 2015

Documented Life Project - Weeks 11 and 12

I've done it! With these two pages, I'm caught up to the current week! Prompts are posted on Saturday, so we're just a few days into this week and I'm ready to work on the current page!

Week 11
March Theme: Making your Mark (Doodles and Mark Making)
Art Challenge: Borders
Journal Prompt: "Borderline feels like I'm going to lose my mind"

For this week's spread, I cut painted papers into scallops, strips and circles to form the borders, doodling and making marks along the edges. I also used the bottom border for my calendar days. 

There are many painted, stamped and stenciled layers for the background.  I didn't quite get the quote, so just used "Losing my mind? No, it's just LIFE as usual" as my title. 

Week 12
same March theme
Art Challenge: As a Focal Point
Journal Prompt: Coming into Focus

For this spread I was inspired by a similar "mandala" I'd seen online a few years ago.  I first drew the focal point in pencil and then used a permanent black pen over it. Then I filled in each section with different doodles, using Portfolio watercolor crayons for all the color. I repeated the same colors on the right side for my days of the week and used the single word, Focus, as the title.

I am so happy to be caught up with all the challenges and can now focus on one spread a week!

Friday, March 27, 2015

More Documented Life Planner pages

Still catching up, but I'm getting there...!

Week 9
(Theme still Layers)
Art Challenge: Using at least 5 layers
Journal Prompt: "Give me a High Five"

For this week I used some new paints I wanted to try out. They are neon colors and are children's paints from Michael's. They are thin and fairly translucent, which is great for art journaling purposes, but I don't think they would give very good coverage for other purposes.

The art challenge was easy - there are way more than 5 layers on this spread! I started with book pages Mod Podged to the background and then I removed some of them while it was still wet, kind of like an image transfer. I covered that with pink and orange neon paints using a plastic gift card, then white paint through a burlap-design stencil and Dylusions orange spray ink through a number stencil. I also stamped, added washi tape, collaged the hand and added doodling, writing and more stenciling with molding paste.

I wasn't sure where to go with the journal prompt, but decided to trace my hand on some patterned paper and collaged it to the background. I added tiny photos of my five kids to the fingertips and added journaling to the effect that they are my biggest blessings and greatest accomplishment (thus a high five to me!). The number five is also a nod to the ""high five" in the prompt. Cheesy, but done!

Week 10
March Theme: Making Your Mark (Doodles and Mark-making)
Art Challenge: As a Layer Element
Journal Prompt: Surviving the Elements

This week we moved into March with the theme of Doodles and Mark-Making.  The art challenge was to use marks as a layer element and that was easy enough. I used Dina Wakley's acrylic paints for most of this spread and lots of stamps. I stenciled with paint through a plastic doily that was recently gifted to me by a friend (thank you Joan!) and added lots of dots and lines with paint pens.

Surviving the elements had me stumped until I decided to use the idea of "I'm in my element when creating and making art," which is what I scribbled on the right page as added marks.

I'm currently working on Week 11 and that will bring me up to this week!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

"Happy, Happy Day" Layout Tutorial

"Happy, Happy Day"

I recently created this single-page layout documenting the day my newest grandson, Grant, came home from the hospital and his older brother, Drew, finally got to meet him and hold him for the first time.  I used the new "Craft Market" paper collection from Crate Paper and I have a full tutorial on my process on The Little Blue House Blog today!  Click on over to see how I created the fun watercolor background using the new Cracked Pistachio Distress Ink.

This beautiful paper line is now available at The Little Blue House and also online here. Check it out - you will love it!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Spring Card Tutorial

It's Day 2 of the LBH Bunny Hop! Have you been having fun hopping to everyone's blogs and seeing the fabulous creations?

Today I have another fun tutorial for you - a spring easel card using the bright papers of Echo Park's "Happy Easter" collection.

Let's get started!

1.  Cut solid (green/blue) paper 6" x 8" for the card base and 6" x 4" for the card front.

2.  Score larger piece on long side at 4" and 6."  Fold as shown below. (Green will be outside of card; blue will be the inside.)

3.  Add Scor Tape on the top section; set aside.

4.  Diecut the birdhouse journal card (Doodlebug Darling Daisies) with the Sizzix Tim Holtz Ornamental die. Ink edges with brown ink. (I used Mocha Mama Quick Quotes ink.)

6. Layer diecut on floral paper and cut out, leaving approximately 1/4" border. Ink with green ink (Limeade Quick Quotes ink).

7. Border punch the bottom edge of the 4" x 6" card front. Ink edges with green ink. Cut a strip of green vellum 1/2" x 6" and glue to card front. Below this glue 1/4" strip of brown floral paper (reverse of scrap leftover from cutting journal card above).

8.  Close card and remove Scor Tape from the top piece. Adhere the card front, matching the top edges.

This is what it looks like from the side.

8. Border punch a floral strip 1" x 6" and cut a strip of green patterned paper 1/4" x 6". Glue in place at bottom inside of card as shown. Leave scalloped edge unglued so the card will stand later. Stack two heart stickers and pop up in the center. Ink around "hello spring" sticker and place inside card. Ink bird tag sticker and pop dot at corner of spring sticker. Tie 2" of yellow twine in a knot through hole of tag.

9. Close card and center layered birdhouse card on card front with dimensional foam adhesive. The top overhangs the top fold of the card.

12. Add Stickles to decorate if desired.

(available at the LBH or clink link for LBH online)

Quick Quotes Chalk Ink - Mocha Mama and Limeade
Sizzix "Ornamental" Bigz Die
Dimensional foam adhesive
1/4" Scor Tape
Diamond Stickles
scalloped border punch

I hope you have enjoyed our Bunny Hop and have been inspired by our projects to CREATE!


Monday, March 23, 2015

Welcome to our first ever Little Blue House "Bunny Hop" Blog Hop! If you have arrived from Vicki's blog, yay! If you are just starting, you can follow the hop from here as well - just follow the links in each post. In case you get lost, here's a complete list of the media team and links to their blogs.

-Susan Tidwell http://susan-artfulmusings.blogspot.com/  (you are here!)

And here's some fun news- everyone who leaves a comment on each team member's posts (you have to visit all the blogs and leave a comment on each one) will be entered into a drawing for the BUNNY HOP Grand Prize Easter Basket! So let's get started!

I have a fun frame project for you created with a 5"x7" canvas and the darling papers from the Echo Park "Happy Easter" paper collection. The supply list is listed at the end of the step out tutorial.


1.  For this project I used what is usually considered the back of the canvas as the front. The wood strips form a perfect frame.

2.  Paint the entire canvas except for the center with color of your choice. (I used turquoise.)

3.  Cut three 1/2" x 12" strips of green patterned paper for the inside edge. Cut to fit and glue in place.

4.  Cut four 1 3/16" x 12" strips of multicolor plaid paper for the outside frame. First glue down the vertical strips and cut flush with top and bottom of canvas.

5.  To miter the corners, lay a strip over one horizontal frame piece overlapping the vertical strips. Cut ends flush with edges of canvas. Use a ruler to mark a line from inner corner to outer corner and  cut on the line. Repeat for the other corner, then glue in place. This ensures a perfect miter every time! Repeat for other corners.

6.  To cover the inside of the canvas, measure opening and cut floral paper to just slightly larger.(Mine was 5 3/4" x 7 3/4".) When glueing down, pick canvas up and press slightly on canvas backing to allow for slightly larger paper to slip under the wood pieces. Ink edges if desired (I used Tahiti Quick Quotes turquoise ink.)

7.  Cut a 4 1/2" x 6 1/2" photo mat from the solid paper (I used the light blue side) and adhere photo and mat to inside of frame over floral paper.  

8.  Cut two strips of green "Sprinkles" vellum approximately 1 1/4" x 5 3/4" and 3/4" x 5 3/4".  Use fringing scissors (or regular scissors) to cut the long edges. Curl fringed sides around a skewer or end of a paintbrush.

9.  Add 1/4" Scor tape along front and back edges of tallest piece.  Then layer shorter piece over the tape on the front.  Remove the backing from the tape on the back and glue in place inside the frame at the bottom to represent grass. "Fluff" as desired.

10.  Using a small alphabet stamp set, stamp on the green pennant ribbon with Versamark ink. Sprinkle on white embossing powder and heat with heat tool. (Note: the ribbon is synthetic and will burn or shrivel with too much heat, so keep the tool farther away and moving constantly!)  Remove the backing from the first and last pennant and secure to the frame.

11.  I used the "Sunshine" sticker in the upper right corner, popping it up and overlapping my photo. I added "my" with a permanent black pen.  (Here's a tip for popping stickers. Add the pop dots to the back of the sticker and then sprinkle remaining area with powder or cornstarch, rubbing it into the stickiness and tapping off any excess. This removes the stickiness and allows you to pop it!)

12.  To further embellish, add a heart sticker to the "Best Day" sticker and adhere to lower right corner of frame. Add two flower stickers in the grass area and any other stickers that are relevant to your photo.  I also added a wood veneer arrow to bottom of frame.

13.  Cut two 6" pieces of yellow paper twine, tie into bows and glue to ends of banner.

Now display your favorite Easter or spring photo!

(available at The Little Blue House or click links for LBH online)

Crate Paper "Craft Market" wood veneer arrow
yellow paper twine
green pennant ribbon
Dimensional foam adhesive
alphabet stamp set: Reverse Confetti "Lighthearted Lettering"
Martha Stewart fringe scissors
Versamark ink
Ranger white embossing powder
heat tool
craft paint
permanent black pen

Now don't forget to comment here and then hop on over to Valerie's blog to see what she has in store for you!

And be sure to come back tomorrow - I will have another tutorial for you!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Faith Journaling

 I'm loving the time I spend with my bible and interpreting His word in creative and artistic ways. Here are a few pages I have created recently.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Graphic 45 Shadowbox Specialty Workshop

Join me on Tuesday, March 24, for a specialty workshop creating a custom shadowbox using Graphic 45's new "window shadowbox" and their beautiful "Artisan Style" paper collection.  You will pick and choose from among these gorgeous papers to create your own unique display piece.

Where: The Little Blue House
Keller, TX
When: March 24, 2015
10:00 am - 2:00 pm
Cost: $45.00
Bring: Usual supplies, including tape runner, tacky glue and pop dots

Click here for more information.

Call now (817-431-7930) or stop by to reserve your spot in class!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Two More DLP pages

Finished two more weeks' pages - but I'm still behind! February's theme is "Layers".

Week 8
Art Challenge: Repeating Elements
Journal Prompt: It's Worth Repeating

For this page I used the pointy oval stencil as a repeating element, using it to add turquoise color and also removing some of the pink paint. A similar shape is in the leaf stamp I used. I also repeated diamonds which is also a stamp. It's impossible to see in the photo but I wrote "it's worth repeating" in white pen along the right stem.

Week 7
Art Prompt: Cover Up Good Stuff
Journaling Prompt: Going Undercover

Yes, this is out of order. I had a hard time with this page. It started out totally different but no matter what I added, it just wasn't going anywhere. I finally painted dark blues and turquoise over the entire spread to start over, layering stencils and painted paper circles horizontally. Not sure if I really covered up good stuff, but there's certainly a lot undercover!  For the weekly dates, I tipped in a postcard I had received from Robin Marie Smith. You can see the underside below. It was so pretty I didn't change a thing. I might go back and add a thin layer of paint over the back, though, as it looks very stark in this photo.

One more spread and I will be into March. Catching up takes time!

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Catching up on Documented Life Project pages

I am trying to catch up on the Documented Life Project weeks that I was gone. I didn't take many art supplies with me and it's so much easier to create at home. Helping with a newborn and a 2 1/2 year old doesn't leave much time for art making!

January 25
Theme: Blank Page and How to Face it

Art Challenge: Writing

Journal Prompt: Words with Friends

For this page I started by scribbling thoughts about friendship loosely all over the background. Then I added paints, washi tape, spray ink and stamping. The silhouettes are a photograph from the Internet that I copied and then cut out and used as a stencil. I also wrote words of friendship in the painted circles.

March 1
Theme for month: Layers You Will Love

Art Challenge: Under Paper

Journal Prompt: "What lies beneath?"

The under paper is what covers your work surface when creating and catches all the mess. I collaged several torn pieces to the pages and added paints and inks.  Then I laid down the bird masks and painted black around them. The birds really pop! I didn't paint the right side so I could use that for my planner page.

March 8
Theme for month: Layers You will Love

Art Challenge: When Not to Stop

Journal Prompt: Don't Stop Til you get Enough

I started this page by gluing down Tim Holtz tissue paper (with the butterflies) and then added paints, stamping, and texture paste through the Feather stencil. I colored the butterflies with watered down Distress Paint and outlined with black and white pens. The raised feathers are highlighted with gold paint and Inka Gold paste. You can see this better in the photo below.

Only a few more weeks and I'll be on track!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Art Journaling Workshop

I'm back from a month in Albuquerque with my daughter and newest grandson. Time to get back in the swing of things here! I have lots to catch up on.

Next week I will be teaching an Art Journaling Workshop about Lettering and Journaling.  I will be showing different ways to include words in your journals and what to do if you don't like your handwriting. I will also share techniques for lettering.

This workshop is also useful for those who are joining in the new movement of Bible Journaling.  Learn some techniques for adding creative journaling in your bible.

Come join me at the Little Blue House for Art Journaling!
March 10, 2015
10:00 am - 1:00 pm
6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Call 817-793-3592 to reserve your seat!

(More information including this month's supply list can be found here.)