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

Monday, June 19, 2017

Another week (Life Documented) and a tag

Another week finished in my planner. 

This was a quiet week - after several busy ones - and I used a few odds and ends for the right page. The flower "tip-in" is a scrap leftover from my play with  alcohol inks for the recent tag swap. On the back I added a vintage photo of my hometown, Stowe, which I'd picked up on my trip. The colorful tag at the top is a Dyan Reaveley sample from a stamp catalog. I just loved the colors and quote but don't have the stamps.

 For the calendar page on the left, I used Jane Davenport Mermaid Markers and the days are written on my handmade label stickers.

This weekend I received my tag from the swap. It's very large - 3.5" x 7.5" - and the "polished stone" alcohol ink strips are woven together. The Day of the Dead skull is die cut from silver paper and will be perfect to add to my book for my annual retreat in July which has a Mexican theme. Thanks Jan!

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Life Documented 2017 - June Week 1

Here is the first ten days of June in my Traveler's Notebook planner. I used both pages to include the last 3 days of the preceding week.  The dividers and scallops are cut from some very old shaving cream marbled paper that I was about to throw away. The remainder is mostly stamps and images cut from brochures or magazines.

I am hosting a June tag swap using alcohol ink techniques.  We make one tag and swap with our partner. This is the one I sent off. 

I used glossy paper and dripped the alcohol inks all over instead of the usual punching with a felt blending tool. I also dripped alcohol in the middle of the puddles which made them fan out more and created some great texture. I doodled with black and white pen and then stamped the three words. The tag is mounted on a large black tag and machine-stitched. I'm looking forward to receiving mine.

Friday, June 16, 2017

I'm Back - and Catching Up

I think that's my current life theme song - "leaving on a jet plane and I'm back and catching up"!
I accompanied my daughter and her two little boys to Vermont last week to visit my mom and help celebrate her 89th birthday. We arrived on Wednesday and our hubbies arrived on Friday. We all came home Monday. We had beautifully cool, sunny weather, but it got hot and humid the last day and there is nothing worse than being in Vermont with no AC with weather in the 90's!

It was a fun week but it was good to get home. I've been recuperating since!

Sunday, June 4, 2017

"True Colors" Round Robin

I am participating in an altered book round robin where we exchange our books and everyone in the group works on all the books. We have color themes, but no other rules.
I posted previously on this here.

The latest book I received is a large, shaped, masonite book. The owner chose whites, creams and denim as her colors.

This is the spread I created.

I used crackle paint on the backgrounds and then layered old pattern instruction sheets, denim, ticking fabric and several laces.  

Left page

On this page I added several vintage images, a piece of vintage measuring tape, lots of creamy and white buttons, a few black snaps and a flower made with circles of denim.

Right page

The focal point of this page is a vintage photo of two Victorian women in white "tea dresses."  I made the ruffle with sewing pattern tissue, added more buttons, a silver scissors charm and another denim flower.

This has been sent off to the next person in line and I anticipate my next book after the
middle of the month.

My blog will be quiet for the next ten days. I am off to Vermont with my daughter, Kelly and her two little boys, to visit my mother. See you later!

Friday, June 2, 2017

Life Documented 2017 - Last week of May

Here is my spread for the last week of May. I can't believe the year is almost half over! 

Only four days of this week are in May, so I used large blocks of white space over the two pages for the days. It was a sad week with the death of a friend and I knew I would need larger areas for journaling.

I used pink and yellow "Mermaid Markers" for the background, leaving the white of the paper for the blocks. Then I doodled frames around each block, used numbers punched from an old calendar and stamped the days of the week. I stamped the little hearts on tissue paper and decoupaged that to the pages, along with various stickers and cutouts.

My Traveler's Notebook that I am working in is more than full and it's time to start a new one! Look at all that lovely chunkiness!  I think I will limit the next one to three months so pages won't be falling out like in this one. (I do love a stuffed, FAT journal though!)

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Rest in Peace Dear Clare

Clare Davis

Today we said good-bye to a beautiful woman, inside and out. She was my neighbor, three doors down, when we first moved to Texas. Even after we moved ten years ago, we still kept in touch through scrapbooking as she would come into The Little Blue House for supplies or classes and ask me for advice.

In 2011 she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Despite surgery and chemo, it recurred in 2015, just under her 5-year survivor milestone. She valiantly battled it for another two years.  She leaves her devoted husband and 15-year-old adopted daughter and many loving friends.

She was a light to everyone who met her and a sweet, kind, gracious and loving person. I am blessed to have known her and will miss her, especially her beautiful smile.

It is never easy to bury a loved one, but so devastating when she's only fifty years old.

We know you are in a better place now. Rest in peace, dear friend!

Monday, May 29, 2017

Happy Memorial Day!

I hope everyone is enjoying the Memorial Day weekend while also remembering our brave soldiers and their families (past and present) who sacrifice so that we can enjoy our freedoms.

On Saturday we made a quick, one-day turnaround trip to Houston to spend the day with Bill's almost 92-year-old aunt. She broke her pelvis and is recuperating in a rehab facility. It was a relief to see her doing well. We were picked up at the airport by her granddaughter who we haven't seen in ten years, so that was a nice "extra."

This is last week's planner spread. I painted the background with acrylic paint and then used a baby wipe through a stencil to remove some of the paint, but it's hard to see and mostly covered up!

Sunday was the last day we were in Albuquerque with all the kids and we went to an art/interactive installation in Santa Fe called Meow Wolf. It's almost impossible to describe but is a combination of art, "haunted house," jungle gym etc. I cut up the brochure to make a tip-in at the top of the right page and then journaled about the experience in the remaining space. The flower in the lower left corner was stenciled onto the inside of a security envelope and then cut out and embellished with black doodles.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Life Documented 2017 - May, Week 3

We left on Wednesday night for Albuquerque in order to babysit the grand boys on Thursday. We were going in for the weekend anyway, as our son (who has moved to Hong Kong) was in country and wanted to see the boys and the rest of the family. Albuquerque was the easiest meeting point. It was a whirlwind weekend and we just returned late last night.

This is my planner spread for last week. I collaged a napkin on the left page and then lightly gessoed over it, as there was bleed-through from the previous page. On the right page I used watercolor for the background and then practiced sketching a face in Mindy Lacefield's style. She has a sketchy, cute, quirky style that I wanted to try.

This Traveler's Notebook insert is starting to fall apart as it contains almost five months' worth of pages. The right page was tearing away, so I added paper tape on the back and washi tape on the front to help reinforce it. At the end of May I will be transitioning into a new notebook.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Life Documented 2017 - May, Week 2

This is last week's spread. It was a quiet week - puttering around the house, going to doctors and trying to get well again!

I follow a talented Australian art journaler on YouTube (LittleRavenInk) and she posted a spread a few weeks ago using blocks of color and doodled borders. So that's what I tried for this week. I quite like it for a change! The background is left white with watercolored blocks (using my Jane Davenport "Mermaid Markers").  I also used several planning stickers from Reset Girl from my stash.

This notebook is getting quite chunky! I will be able to get through May but will have to make another for the next several months. 

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Interesting Week - "Fat Book" Swap

So, after ten days of this awful "cold," I finally got in to see the doctor. It turns out I had severe allergies and also a sinus infection! I'd never had one before so had no idea these symptoms might mean that. Anyway, feeling better each day now that I'm on some meds!

My husband has also been sick but with slightly different symptoms, including a fever. Took him to the VA ER on Thursday and, after 8 hours, an IV and lung x-ray, we found out he has pneumonia! This is the second year in a row even though he's had the shots! 

Despite all the doctoring, I've managed to get a few things done this week. I finished 17 little 4" x 4" pages for a "Gypsy Fat Book" Swap. Mine are all slightly different since I used a variety of papers, fibers and buttons on them. I'm even a bit early getting them off to the swap hostess since they are due on May 28. I can't wait to see the 16 pages I receive in return. They will be bound into a fun, chunky little book.

Here they are all laid out before mailing.

And a few to show the similarities and variety.

The backgrounds were covered with paper from a Boho collection from Michael's and pieces of napkins. Then I used a dimensional lavender paint through a stencil which came from the same collection. The gold feathers are stamped on vellum and then fussy-cut (what was I thinking since I had 17 to do!). The gold German "scrap" border is something I bought at one of my first conventions probably over fifteen years ago and the images I purchased on Etsy.

In addition, I managed to finish 6 Easter scrapbook layouts for my grandsons as well as a layout for Mitchell's second birthday. I'm happy to be caught up with those once again!

Monday, May 8, 2017

Life Documented 2017 - May, Week 1

This is one of the first week spreads I've actually completed during the same week! Feels good to be in town for awhile, even though I've been sick with a horrible cold since I returned.

This is last week's spread. I used pink acrylic paint for the background, floral fabric washi tape for the dividers between days and the Art to the 5th date stamps.  It was a pretty quiet week, especially since I was sick and didn't feel like doing much.

For the right "artsy" spread, I used an old technique of making a colorful background and then drawing (I used a floral stencil) an image and filling in the background around the image with a solid, darker paint. I blended it out toward the bottom of the page and then stenciled with an irregular dot stencil to make the transition more fluid.  I love how this came out! You never know until you do it what will actually be revealed. And I like the final touch of white pen against the dark background.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Life Documented 2017 - Week 4, April

The last week of April I was back in town for a few days before heading out once again for Austin for birthday celebrations.  This is my weekly planner spread.  

I used acrylic paint for the background and old silver "stitching" border stickers for dividers. I added lots of ephemera from the week along with a photo of Mitchell on his birthday.

His photo is added with a washi tape hinge so that it opens out to reveal the information underneath.

Add caption

It feels good to now be working on the current week!

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

I'm Back and Catching Up once again

My life seems to be all about catching-up! Returned from Austin late Sunday night. We celebrated Mitchell's second birthday on Saturday with a big party with friends, then again on Sunday with family.  His actual birthday is May 1. I think he enjoyed himself!

I finished my 30-Day Art Marks Challenge as soon as I returned.

Day 27 - Connected

The background for this page was a gelli-printed scrap and I added yellow watercolor crayon to it. Then I just doodled random connecting triangles with white pen and filled in with black pen.

Day 28 & 29 - Dotted and Inside

For the dotted prompt, I painted the background, added a strip of artist paper and then filled in the page to mimic the paper.  The white pen dots fill the background as well as the red circles.

For "inside" I used a scrap painty paper, drew a feather in the center, than painted the background with gesso. Some of the color from the background shows through. I outlined the feather in black and added details inside with colored pens.

Day 30 - Numbered

This background was a messy paper towel that I glued to the page. Then I used up a very old set of white number rub-ons.

Last page! Finished 30 prompts in 30 days. I loved working in this tiny booklet handmade from lots of scraps. I just wish I hadn't been traveling so much this month because it's more fun to actually create the art each day rather than having to play catch-up.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

"Round Robin" Altered Book Swap

A few artsy friends and I are participating in a "round robin" altered book swap. We each created our own book with a specific color scheme, a sign-in page for everyone to sign, and a two-page spread. Then we are sending each book around for everyone to create a spread.

I don't think I posted photos of my book yet. My theme is "Hot Pink and Orange." Should make for an interesting book!

This is my cover. I made "fabric paper" - covered a piece of muslin with gel medium and layered paper scraps, tissue paper, paints, stamping etc. - then glued Tim Holtz tissue wrap on the reverse side for the inside covers. I folded it in half and stitched around the edges, adding two rows of pom pom trim. I stitched in watercolor paper pages and added beads to the threads.

On the left is my sign-in page - glassine envelopes with dyed tags and trims.
The right page has my instructions.

And this is my spread. I used lots of spray inks and stencils for the background, then texture paste for the feather stencil. I added dyed lace trim on the top edge. Frida is a computer printout. I added part of a napkin for her dress with Liquid Pearls for the neckline trim. The flowers are all cut from magazines and added to her hair. The earrings are two long silver beads I found in my stash that were perfect for this!

Here is the first book's cover I have worked in. This person's colors are "olive and red." This was hard to do without it looking like Christmas!

This is the spread I created. I was working on another project about gypsies so had this image on my desk. Since it had some green and red in it, I decided to use it as my focal point and go with the gypsy theme.  

The background reinvented itself several times. First I transferred some book text with gel medium but it looked muddy when I added paint, so I covered that up. The paint is a combination of Distress Paint and Lumiere. I mixed gold paint, gold Perfect Pearls and texture paste for the brocade stencil and added some script stamping in red Archival ink.  I collaged on scraps of paper, upholstery fabric, a tea-dyed fabric doily and a heat-stamped piece of red velvet.  Finally, I added some text and the upholstery trims.

For the sign-in page, she wanted us to do art on 1/2 of a watercolor page. I used my new Distress Oxide Ink in Peeled Paint with a touch of Fossilized Amber. It took many layers of going back and forth with adding ink, drying and spritzing with water until I liked the texture. (The color is more olive than this photo shows.) I stamped the leaves with paint, stamped my name with an awesome calligraphy alpha stamp set from Concord & Ninth, and then added some tiny sequins and the doodled border.

This one is off in the mail to the next recipient and I am anxiously awaiting the next book to work in!

I'm off to Austin again for the weekend. Our littlest grandson, Mitchell, turns two and we will be celebrating his birthday with a party on Saturday. See you next week!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

More 30-Day Art Marks Challenge pages

Yippee!!! I am now caught up with my art marks challenge journal! (Traveling sure puts a crimp in daily-art-exercise plans!)

Days 18 - 19 - Striped and Encircled

 Stripes: strips of paper glued diagonally over painted background. Outlined and doodled.
Encircled: painty scrap paper glued on and then areas of interest circled with pink marker and blue colored pencil and tiny white circles drawn with white pen.

Days 20 - 21 - Covered and Parallel

Covered: the background was "covered" with brush strokes of paint, then "covered" with cross marks.
Parallel: watercolored background stamped with roller stamp and white ink; fuchsia liquid ink dripped in parallel lines and then more lines doodled with black and white pens.

Days 22 - 23 - Spiral and Numerous

Spiral: watered down acrylic paint background; painty scrap circles glued on and then doodled in black for spiral and white for radiating lines.
Numerous: painted background covered with "numerous" different marks - black circles and lines, white circles, pink small lines, turquoise stencil, turquoise drawn triangles.

Days 24 - 25 - Squared and Odd

Squared: three squares of book text glued to watercolored background; turquoise boxes drawn with pen; yellow and blue Pitt pens on book text.

Odd: belli-printed paper glued on for background. Enhanced the 7 elongated ovals with white and black pen marks and added a scalloped border cut from book text and painted with gesso.

Day 26 - Even

This is torn on the left side. It was a piece of scrap painty paper. I painted two (for even) flowers with orange paint and then doodled inside with white pen marks. Then I added the drawn scallop border.

Only four more days!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Life Documented - April Week 3

April 16 - 22

This was the week starting with Easter Sunday. We had gone to Albuquerque to be with our grand boys, Drew and Grant, for the weekend. I got sick with a stomach bug on Sunday which put me in bed for the day. We were supposed to fly home that night, but waited until Monday morning. Luckily, it was just a 24-hr bug!

On Tuesday I flew back to Austin to be with Kelly and her two boys. She had a follow-up appointment on Thursday with her doctor and got a good report. She can now drive and lift her 2-year old. 

The background for this spread is scraped yellow and orange acrylic paints. I added punched circles from scrapbook paper for the days of the week and strips of gelli-printed paper for the dividers.  On the right page I added pictures of all four boys from Easter along with a few journal cards and 
a die cut.

I am now caught up to the current week in my planner!

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.