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

Sunday, April 23, 2017

I'm back - for a few days!

April has been a crazy month - I've been home a day and a half since April 6th! I returned yesterday from Austin - my daughter got cleared by her doctor to now drive and lift so she won't need me. It's strange to be home but I'm ready to get back to my normal routine. Love those grand boys but, boy, do they tire you out!

I spent today working on my "30-Day Art Marks Challenge". I'm still not caught up but I got several days' done. They are all pretty simple and self-explanatory. (For the transparent prompt I used alcohol inks,)

Days 10 and 11 - Horizontal and Just One

Days 12 and 13 - Erased and Sketched

Days 14 and 15 - Vertical and Transparent

Days 16 and 17 - Half and Pinpoint

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Life Documented 2017 - Planner pages update

Even though I've been gone much of April, I've tried to keep up with my planner pages.

The is April's monthly calendar.

April - Week One

Background is watercolored. I used my "altered address labels" for the days and my Art to the 5th date stamps.

April - Week Two

I used Distress Ink Oxide on the background, page flags for the days/dates and washi tape to separate the days. Since I was in both Austin and Albuquerque this week with all my grand boys, I had lots of photos to document with, so I dedicated the right page to that.

We ate dinner at the Japanese Steak Kitchen on Saturday night - a first for little Grant. The boys really enjoyed the experience but Grant was a bit afraid of the fire and noise! I used the restaurant's business card as a tip in to add the picture of him.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Art Marks pages - Days 7-9

It's been a crazy few weeks. I left on Thursday, April 8, for Austin to be with my daughter's children while she had surgery. I stayed a week and then flew on Friday, April 14, to Albuquerque to spend Easter with my other grand boys. We flew home early this morning and I will be returning to Austin tomorrow night for the remainder of the week.

I am trying to keep up with some of my projects.  Here are three more days of the 30-day Art Marks Challenge.

Day 7 - Arrow-like

Painted scrap as background

Day 8 - Filled

Deli-printed background enhanced with circles, scallops and dots

Day 9 - X'd


Thursday, April 6, 2017

One more Art Marks page

Day 6 - Black and White

Black and white was an easy prompt - I had so many ideas but settled on white and black doodled flowers and some washi tape. Love how this came out - so very graphic.

I had just enough time to complete this before getting ready to go out of town. I was supposed to fly to Austin to help out when my daughter has surgery tomorrow and during her recovery as she won't be able to lift for several weeks (kinda hard when you have one that it under 2!). As it turns out, the flights all filled up overnight (I fly non-rev) so I am going to have to drive! I'd better hustle...

I'll be gone at least a week and then may go to Albuquerque for Easter. See you later!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

30-Day Art Marks Challenge - Days 3-5

 Day 3 - Layered

This page started as a dictionary page. I did a wash of pink acrylic paint and then swiped some white paint horizontally with my finger. I "layered" circles painted with paint daubers, then doodled with white and black pens.

Day 4 - Stacked

This background is a gel-plate printed deli paper which I glued on to the index card page. I cut triangles from another painty deli paper, glued them on in a stack and then doodled with white and turquoise paint pens.

Day 5 - Round

This was a thin book page. I used blue and green watercolors for the background and "stamped" with bubble wrap. I  then painted yellow circles with acrylic paint and my fingers. I added a touch of turquoise and then doodled with a black marker.

I am having so much fun with this challenge. I love my tiny junk-papers book and working for less than ten minutes to "make my marks." Of course, these aren't art masterpieces, but rather little exercises to get creating every day.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Art Marks #2

In January, Rae Missigman initiated a month-long "Art Marks Challenge" which involved taking a small journal and daily creating pages/marks according to given prompts.  I played along in February and posted my daily progress here on the blog.  

Now she is doing Art Marks #2 with a new 30-day set of prompts. This is the link if you would like to check it out and follow along.

I had so much fun the last time that I am going to participate in April. I made a tiny booklet of scraps - book pages, painted scraps, gel-printed scraps, product packaging, tags etc. - to use for the challenge. This time I am going to incorporate the time limit as well - 10 minutes a day to create the page. Wish me luck!

This is my tiny journal before starting. The size is 4" wide and 4.5" tall.


Closed showing front cover (using Prima flowers packaging(

This is my first page (April 1).  The  prompt was "Clustered." The light blue and pink paints were already on the page. I added the dark pink pieces of paper towel. My clustered marks are the small tick marks in turquoise and pink paint pens. This took me much less than 10 minutes to do!

Day 2 - "Repeating"

The background color was already on this page. I just added the scallops cut from some of my altered address labels. The repeating marks are the little black "v's" and the raindrops (because it rained most of the day!).

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Life Documented 2017 - last of March

I'm playing catch-up for the past few weeks' planner spreads.

Week of March 19-25

I knew I would have lots of photos and memories for Saturday (Carl's birthday) so I delegated the entire right spread for that day. The background in watercolor and I used washi tape for the dividers between days. The days of the week and numbers are on a painted scrap deli paper. Most of the "stickers" on the right page are actually cut from the wrapping paper I used for his gifts.

Week of March 26-31

Since Saturday of this week was the first day of April, I did not include it in this spread and, instead, added it to next week's spread.  The background is blocks of blue and pink acrylic paint. I used very old white rub ons for the day dividers and days of the week. I added a flower stamp used with white acrylic paint on the right page along with some alpha stamps and a few stickers. I like being able to add photos to these pages to document important memories.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Im Back and Catching Up

I've been gone for a week visiting the grands and babysitting a few days. It was Carl's fifth birthday (how is that possible??) last Saturday and he had a Pokemon-themed party. Since my other daughter's family couldn't get away, I had promised Drew that he could come to Carl's birthday. So on Friday I flew into Albuquerque on an early flight and Drew and his dad met me at the curb at the airport. Then Drew and I caught a flight to Dallas and my husband met us and we drove to Austin. Whew, what a long day!

Drew's first trip without parental!

The boys always have such a good time together and Drew didn't have time to miss his parents all week! On Monday Kelly and Josh went to Seattle for three days to attend a concert so we babysat all three boys. We took them to The Thinkery (children's interactive museum) in Austin and The Jumpy Place in Kyle. They all had a blast!

Happy 5th Birthday Carl

The Thinkery

Meeting Aunt Kim for lunch

Just hanging out - drawing
Storytime and bedtime

On Thursday I flew back to Albuquerque with Drew and then home that night. I must say, I'm exhausted - those boys keep you going! But I do miss them when I'm not there!

Anyway, back to my normal reality...

I received a finished "divided postcard" from the swap I mentioned in the last post. Three other artists worked on it and I love how it came together!

I also received the last postcard that I needed to create on. The other two artists used cats as their themes so I decided to stick with that. My section is the far right. With all the stamps I own, I couldn't believe I didn't have one cat stamp that wasn't a Halloween one. So I found this cute "mer-cat" online and printed it out. The recipient of this postcard loves mermaids, so I thought that was appropriate. I colored the cat with colored pencils and a metallic pen and used Distress Oxide Broken China ink on the background and a few word stickers. 

On another note, I also received a RAK from a friend in Missouri who didn't participate in the saving cream background card swap but made one and sent it to me anyway! I love the stark contrast of the colorful background with the black layer and the black die cut (which is actually glossy but doesn't show in the photo). She also added some rounded corner offcuts to add some texture - I never would have thought of that!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Recent Swaps

I recently hosted an "Old Techniques are New Again" swap. We revisited a marbling technique using shaving cream which has been around for years.  Basically the technique uses shaving cream sprayed into a pan and leveled out like frosting. Then drops of a few colors of acrylic ink, paint, alcohol ink, or even food coloring are dropped onto the shaving cream and "combed" through with various tools. A sheet of paper is placed on top and rubbed gently. After removing the paper and scraping off excess shaving cream, it is left to dry and you end up with some amazing background papers!

For this swap we had to make a card using one of our marbled backgrounds.

This was the one I sent off. I used a second marbled piece to die cut the bird.

And I received this one.  I think we were all thinking "spring" as the cards were all bright and colorful.

If you haven't tried this technique before, give it a whirl. It's expensive and fun and the papers smell amazing. I've even seen this on Pinterest used for coloring Easter eggs, which would be fun to do with kiddos!

I am also participating in a "Divided Postcard" swap where we each divide a postcard into thirds and decorated one section. We then send it to two more people and, when completed, gets sent on to a fourth person. This is truly cooperative art!

Here is the postcard I started with. I decorated the address side with stamps and watercolors.

For my section on the reverse side, I used modeling paste through a floral stencil and then added Color Burst powder watercolors. I finished with a stamp and some spritzes of gold paint.

This is the first postcard I've received. The left section was already completed. I used Distress Ink on my background and stamped a Ken Oliver daisy stamp in Archival ink.  I colored with regular colored pencils, white paint for the flower and used gold Stickles for the flower center.

It will be fun to see how these postcards progress and what they look like finished!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Life Documented 2017 - March 12-18

 I was out of town all weekend with girlfriends for a mini-art-retreat. It's always fun getting together and creating with friends!

So I had to play catch-up to get last week's spread done.

I used mainly watercolors, washi tape, stickers and a stencil with acrylic paint on these pages.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Life Documented 2017 - March 5-11

This is last week's spread in my planner.  I added two "tip-ins" - one for an order that arrived on Wed. and a ticket stub from the Ft. Worth Symphony on Sat. They flip to reveal the remainder of those days' postings.

For the right page I did a "zetti-type" collage - it's kinda funky but it's something different 
and I like it.

I'm getting ready to go out of town for a girls' art weekend. Three of us are meeting at another friend's house near Waco and spending the days eating, crafting, talking and just enjoying each other's company. 

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Altered Address Labels - Tutorial

Do you get so many address labels in the mail that you don't ever use them all? Or, in my case, I keep receiving ones for my daughter who hasn't lived with us or in Texas for ten years! I was about to throw them away but then had an "aha" moment and decided to alter them! I used a few in one of my recent weekly spreads and promised to share a tutorial. So here goes:

1. Cover the label sheet with one or two coats of gesso. You can see that they aren't totally covered but the following steps will take care of that.

2. Paint with two colors of acrylic paint with a paintbrush or old key card or your fingers. (I used a hot pink and light blue which combined to make a violet.)

3. I added more pink.

4. Then more blue.

5. "Stamp" with white paint and bubble wrap.

6. Stamp with black permanent ink (I used a chevron roller stamp).

7. The black stood out too much so I applied more white paint with bubble wrap to soften it. (Can you tell that this is a back-and-forth process? Put something on, add something to cover that, add more, etc...)

8. Add small dots with pink paint and a piece of shelf liner.

9. Add more white with corrugated cardboard (a coffee cup wrapper).

10. Stamp script randomly with black permanent ink. Finished - or just keep going until you like it!

 Here are a few of the labels from the finished sheet. Each one looks different, but they coordinate.

And here are a few more I have done.

Sometimes the labels are bigger and you could even punch shapes from them.

The possibilities are endless and you can recycle and use something that would have been thrown in the trash! I hope you will give it a try!