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

Monday, August 21, 2017

30-Day Art Marks Challenge - I'm Finished!

I finished the third 30-day Art Marks Challenge! It feels so good to have a tiny little journal filled with colorful pages! Due to all our traveling this month, I didn't actually do a page a day, but I did catch up on the pages whenever I returned home. So, it's not technically 30 daily art pages, but rather 30 days of art pages!

Day 19 - Scattered

Days 20 and 21 - Scratched and Collaged

Day 20 is one of my least favorites. I used texture paste, drawing into it with a skewer white wet. Once it was dry I painted with fluid acrylics so the paint would settle into the designs. I also scratched the surface, but the paste, though dry, was very soft. Oh well...

The collaged page all black and white papers - mostly the inside patterns of security envelopes.

Days 22 and 23 - Torn and Lettered

The base of the lettered page was a patterned paper with letters all over. Then I stenciled and stamped various alphabets and scripts in different colors.

Day 24 and 25 -Remnants and Found

These two pages were fun to do and could have even been reversed.  The remnants were pieces of a birthday card envelope along with a piece ofg-printed deli paper. The bird is salvaged from a notecard.

The found page is the remains of a very old package of white rub ons I found while rummaging through my stash. I wanted to use them up so I added them here to a gel-printed background.

Day 26 - Tattered

I'm not delighted with this page either, but I soldiered through it. I tore pieces of magazine pages and distressed the edges and faces. Done.

Day 27 - Collected

I had used a stenciled paper for this page when I bound the booklet and it had these three "tulips." I decided to "collect" them into a bouquet, then made marks over the entire background to make these pop.

Day 28 - Metallic

Again, the background was already done on this page. I encircled the purple dots with gold pen, added gold paint dots with the end of a paintbrush, doodled hearts with a silver pen and then used gold and silver foils over a "vintage" (maybe 15 years old?) adhesive shape.

Day 29 - Stitched

This page has some of my altered address labels for the background, along with a strip and circles of painted paper. I drew running stitches for the border and cross stitches where the papers met. I also did random messy machine stitching over the circles.

Day 30 - Closed

The background for this last page is a scrap of deli paper I had used as a palette for paints. I drew a "closed" flower and added white and black marks in the background.

And this is my finished journal! It's so cute and colorful and chunky!

Friday, August 18, 2017

Drew goes to kindergarten!

This isn't art-related, but it's a big moment for our family! We now have a grand in kindergarten! Even though Drew is three months younger than Carl, his school started earlier. I went to Albuquerque Tuesday night and returned Wed. night so I could be there for the big day.

He was so excited, and a bit nervous too, but had a fun time. Said he couldn't remember much about the day, but then, bits and pieces came out... He was the "lunch counter," counting how many brought their lunches and how many bought from the cafeteria. He is a very conscientious little guy so I'm sure he took the job very seriously and was accurate!

Carl's first day is August 28th so I will also be visiting Austin for that special day. How in the world did they grow up so fast??

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Life Documented 2017 - First two weeks of August

A quick blog post before I leave this afternoon for Albuquerque. Tomorrow is the first day of kindergarten for Drew - how can that be? I will be there tonight and tomorrow to document this special moment!

Here are the planner spreads for the first two weeks of August.

Watercolor background, stamps, stickers and washi tape. On right page layered scrapbook papers
 and sentiments cut from papers. I also was able to use a wire word I've been hoarding
forever, along with two photos from our babysitting weekend.

Scraped acrylic paint background, stickers and photos and boarding stubs as tip-ins. 

Tip-ins "opened"

Note that the large flower on the bottom of the right page is actually a design from a paint ad (Sherwin Williams maybe?) made entirely from paint samples. Watch for these ads in magazines - they have some gorgeous artwork made with paint chips!

Saturday, August 12, 2017

I'm Back ... And More Art Marks Summer Challenge

We returned late Thursday night from our Albuquerque 3-day babysitting adventure followed by 4 days in Los Algodones, Mexico, for my continuing dental work. Now I have lots to catch up on!

For starters, I've finished six more pages of the daily Art Marks Challenge.

Day 13 - Stippled

Days 14 and 15 - Fluid and Varied

Days 16 and 17 - Mirrored and Dripped

Day 18 - Many

I'm more than halfway through this 30-day challenge and enjoying working in my tiny little journal.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Art Marks Summer Challenge

More mini pages for the Art Marks Summer Challenge, days 7-12.

Day 7 - Interrupted

Days 8 and 9 - Blurred and Freeform

Days 10 and 11 - Open and Blended

Day 12 - Blotted

We are leaving today for Albuquerque (babysitting the little ones for the weekend while parents run a race in Taos) and then on to Mexico the next week.  I'll be back later next week so will catch up on posts then.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Life Documented 2017 - Last week of July

This is my spread for the last week and a half of July. Since July ended this Monday, I added Sunday and Monday to this spread rather than doing an entire page for the two days.

The background is watercolored with green and yellow. For some of the days I added small journal spots and doodled frames for the spaces between.  I added a few tip-ins for Stitch Fix box that I received this week. They are attached with washi tape.

I'm looking forward to a new month's pages! August will be busy so I will have lots of memories to include.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Art Marks 30-Day Challenge #3 - Summer 2017

Rae Missigman started a phenomenon with her first 30-day Art Marks Challenge back in January.  The idea is to make marks in a small journal daily, using the given prompts. I participated in both previous challenges and when she announced a third one this summer, I jumped on the bandwagon once again. 

This time I made a tiny "junk" journal, literally made from small pieces of scraps, junk mail, tags etc. The largest page is 3.5" x 5" and the smallest is 2" x 3." The cover is a canvas-type 4" x 6" sample I received for printing photos. I simply folded the pages in half, stacked them and used a simple pamphlet stitch to bind them together.  I added scraps of gelli-printed pages to many of the pages for a starting point.

I started a few days later than the actual project, but this is a do-your-own-thing anyway so the start date didn't matter. The challenge is to continue it for 30 days. If you are interested in playing along, click here to find out the details of this summer challenge. Rae also has an online class for making your own "pocket journals" if you would like some help and inspiration in making one yourself.

Art Marks Summer Challenge - Days 1-6


Inside front cover and Day 1 - Dense

Days 2 and 3 - Scrawled and Curved

Days 4 and 5 - Geometric and Ruled

Day 6 - Wide
Closed journal

I'm looking forward to doing a bit of daily art in this tiny journal.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

"True Colors" Round Robin - White/creams, Aqua and Green

I've finished the third book in my small group's "True Colors" round robin. Each of us chose a color scheme and we are mailing the books around so everyone gets to work in each book.

The color scheme for this book is whites, creams, aqua and green. The book was handmade with 7" x 9" watercolor paper signatures. Each participant is to do a double spread, plus the front of the signature as a sign-in and the back of the signature. That equals four pages!  The good thing is that this was designed so each signature could be removed from the book to work on.

These are my pages. I will be mailing them out to the next on the 
list by the deadline, Aug. 1.

My double-page spread

"Front" page sign-in

"Back" page

There are many layers on these pages: collaged papers; TH tissue tape; stamping; texture paste,  crackle paste and Distress ink through stencils; Distress stains and spray ink; layered papers, doily and images; lace and cheesecloth; buttons, crocheted flowers and butterflies; clear sequins.  The photo is me when I was three years old.

I hope she likes it! I'm looking forward to my next book!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Life Documented 2017 - Third Week of July

I finished this week's spread a few days ago. For the right page, I used many of my left over pieces from the retreat rather than throw them away.

I love Frida Kahlo and had this one image left, as well as the little papel picado banner. The green rick rack was the final piece of a spool and I thought it worked perfectly on the edge.

I kept track of the steps I used in making the background.

1. Yellow and pink acrylic paints spread with gift card (like left page)
2. Loose, scribbly writing in pencil (almost totally obscured by end)
3. White paint applied with finger
4. Stamped circles and flowers with red Archival ink
5. Numbers stamped with black Archival ink
6. Texture paste through punchinella
7. Watercolor crayons (red and orange) scribbled here and there
8. Yellow and black paint splatters
9. Black paint marks with paintbrush
10. Collaged paper pieces
11. Adhered rick rack, banner and letter stickers

I really enjoyed doing this page. I love that I was able to use up some scraps.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

The Retreat (Part 2) - The Book

Every year since the retreat started 12 years ago, we have created a book according to that retreat's theme. At first Jeri (the organizer and leader) designed and created the book and made kits for everyone to recreate it. After several years, due to her health issues, she started assigning pages to a few members for a collaborative book. The past three years, we are now creating our own book, still keeping to the retreat theme. Everyone brings way more supplies than they need and there's a whole lot of sharing going on!

As soon as the "Viva Mexico" theme was announced I knew I wanted to make a book within a box, using one side for a Day of the Dead shrine/altar.  I found the perfect box at the Target $ Spot - it's about 6" square and was painted pink on top and white on the bottom. I repainted the bottom turquoise and covered the inside with floral paper. I painted the lips of the box with black and white squares and pink, orange and white paint dots. For the outer sides I embossed Ten Seconds black metal in a Cuttlebug border folder and glued on multi-colored flower jewels.   (Sorry, didn't get a photo of this.)

The front of the box has a metal heart which I bought in Mexico when we were there last Christmas, layered over a saffron-colored doily. The rolled rose is a metal diecut. The border is a gold Dresden trim from probably 15 years ago and I glued on red sequins. (After uploading the photo I noticed that one is missing so will need to fix that!)  I painted 4 wooden balls white with black polka dots for feet.

 Here is the box opened without the book which goes in the right side.  

And here's the book in place. Originally I was going to use a ring binder mechanism attached inside the box for the book but it was much easier to work on by making it completely separate. It just lifts in and out.

Here is a closeup of the shrine. I painted the inside of the box black and used a heavy turquoise glitter paper and Tim Holtz edge die for the top of the shrine. Turquoise corrugated paper is on the sides.  I had made my friend and I Day of the Dead aprons for the retreat and cut out some of the images from the fabric for the center of the shrine. They are layered on chipboard and popped up.  The large flowers also came from Mexico as well as some of the little trinkets in front of the shrine.  The"rug" at the base is actually a woven belt I'd saved from when we lived in Albuquerque (over 20 years ago!).  This was fun to decorate as I used lots of old rick rack and mismatched jewels.

Now on to the book.  I used watercolor paper for the pages, 6" x 12" folded over a "hidden spine." Once these were decorated, they are very sturdy pages.  On the cover I stitched a square of colorful striped fabric and a heart-shaped printout. I added Stickles over the sticker letters and glued on three fabric flowers.  The spine is sticky-back canvas painted orange and then painted hot pink through a diamond stencil. I made the "bead" string with a cut-up straw and plastic beads between.

 First spread is a generic Mexico page. I used a map for the background on the right page and a napkin for the left page. The rick rack is very old! Most of the items added to the page are from the "share" table at retreat - the flag, fiber, candy wrapper, little rug, flowers cut from soda can metal, doily, stamped cactus.

Second spread showcases the arts of Mexico. The background pages are painted. Most of the images were printed from the Internet. The yellow cut-paper banner and library card were shared by others and the red striped "rug" in lower left of left page is actually a piece from yet another belt of mine from Albuquerque! I cut it up and shared with everyone so now it's gone...

The third spread might be my favorite. It's theme is "fiesta." I hand-cut all the strips of tissue paper to make the "piƱata-like" background.  The circular patterns were cut from the packaging of some of the decorations we used.  The paper banner (papel picado) is stamped and diecut from a Stamping Up set which I borrowed from one of the gals. 

This spread is dedicated to Our Lady of Guadalupe.  The left page has a colorful floral paper for a background with a doily and image layered over it. I added tons of micro beads around the image. I made the flowers by punching the Tim Holtz floral punch through several layers of tissue paper and securing the layers with a tiny brad. When fluffed up they look like the giant tissue paper flowers all over Mexico.

The right page is in honor of Mexican milagros. I used just cross charms.  The fabric ruffle is from the next page.

I love this spread too. This is dedicated to Frida Kahlo. On the left page is a postcard on a tip-in which opens to reveal another postcard on the back. I also made the tip-in into a pocket to hold more photos and a tag with information about Frida. The bottle caps were given to each of us by one of our members.

The background of the right page is a photocopy of a bright textile. The tin frame is a sample I made for an art lesson I taught my youngest daughter's 3rd grade class (1995). I saved it all these years and it is perfect for this page!

Here is the tip-in opened to reveal the page underneath. I added many photos of Frida and made a pocket from an orange doily to hold a larger black and white photo printed on a book page.  The ruffle is added to the bottom.

Here are the tags which go in the tip-in pocket. The image on the right is a photo of a painting that was on display in the Austin airport one time I was there. I love it!

This is the back of the tags.

Last but not least is the Day of the Dead spread.  The background on the left page is a piece of fabric and lace cut from a child's dress that was shared.  The skulls are from cupcake picks. The black diecut  skeletons, playing card and skull bauble were all shared items too.  

The right page is another tip-in. It's a printout from the Internet layered with a skull diecut and orange pompom trim on edge.

The back of the tip-in has information about Day of the Dead.

The right page has a strip of fabric under the miniature papel picado (which I also brought back from Mexico).  I stamped the shrine on painted watercolor paper and cut out the center to reveal Catrina.  It's decorated with a flower, skull, Stickles and jewels. The pocket was a glassine envelope filled with shared goodies and I added several playing cards with DOD images. 

For the back cover, I added dark purple card stock, purple rick rack and a large jeweled sticker which I got at the Mercado.

I've spent the last week sorting through all the goodies I came home with and trying to use them in my book before putting everything away.  I managed to use almost everything!  

I love how my box and book came out and it will be a great souvenir of another fun retreat!