Sunday, July 31, 2011

Stamping your own washi tape

stamping evidence page

I enjoy visiting youtube to learn how to create different arts and crafts.  That‘s where I learned to sew my journals together using the coptic stitch!  What’s so great about this Do-It-Yourself mentality?  It's that you don’t have to follow exactly the method used by the “instructor”.  On Mission 9 of my Craft Cleanse Moira linked us to her video, DIY washi tape.  Great idea!  That led me to another video and a third (love those suggestions!)  I put all three videos to work and made my own brand of “washi” tape with rubber stamps. Then I made a new evidence page (a mixture of art and inventory) for my stamps.

Which stamps did I inventory? 
An alphabet set (the first stamps I ever bought - which I haven't even used!) and  a "barrel" of spring stamps, with flowers and such (that I use all the time)

Here’s a close-up of my evidence page.  I used light blue ink for my alphabet and multi-colored stamp pads (which I love) for Spring.

I also have a few sheets of clear stamps, which I forgot were hanging on the wall next to my desk! And some large misc. stamps gathered over the years.  Good thing I started my inventory...

If you enjoy DIY projects, watch Moira's silent video and see what you come up with! 

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Etsybloggers Carnival - looking forward to Fall

Hate to say it, but I can't wait till the summer is over and a cooler Fall begins. 
I'm not trying to rush life or anything, it's just so unbearably hot!

As I sit inside, trying to cool down on the weekend, I wonder about the earth and the harm we bring it.  In southwest Oklahoma, we have suffered through more than 30 days of 100+ degree weather.  And we've had more than 60 days of record breaking heat this year.  Hopefully the Fall will be pleasant and we can trim and plant new trees - something I've been looking forward to. 

"The invoices and
Statements in triplicate makes
For bright, fun colors."

I also want to share my new love of art journaling with others.  I came upon the idea of making my own pages for the journals I sell, and placing them on Etsy.  I just finished a journal today with business themed papers, for all those handmade artists who are thinking about keeping records, sketching out new ideas for their products, and just relaxing with a used piece of paper.  Its size:  5½ x 7, with 48 pages.

Come visit the Etsybloggers team blog after Monday, August 1st, and see what other team members are planning for this coming Fall.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

AlphabeThursday - Opus, a creative work

"Opus, a creative work, esp. a musical composition."
Yesterday I was sitting, watching tv with DH, and was so disgusted with all the news in Washington (DC that is) that I had to get away.  So I came to my work table and started to drawn this new tangle, called Opus.  This is just one variation I chose from the zentangle archives.

The hour or so I spent drawing was a little different than usual
1) it's my "Week Without" over at the 30 Day Craft Cleanse, so I couldn't use any of my favorite five supplies - hence the pencils. 
2) another thing was I listened to music, which I don't usually do while crafting.  Now, this is very strange, since I love music. 
3) and then, something stuck in my mind from the latest Art Journaling magazine.  They asked many of their featured writers, "What is one of your favorite journaling prompts?"  More than one said song lyrics; that's where the nightingale came from (Norah Jones.)  Here's the song - enjoy!

What's your favorite word, beginning with an O ?
Find out how other "students" answered that question at Ms. Jenny's AlphabeThursday class.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

almost wordless wednesday - inventory

I sharpened all my colored pencils last Saturday, when I inventoried them.  And decided to draw!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Happy Dance!

I've finally reached 300 members!
Thank you one and all  {:-Deb

Monday, July 25, 2011

material evidence: watercolor crayons

This weekend, I got out my watercolor crayons.  When I started, they didn't seem to work right with the water.  Stupid me!  I pulled the wrong container off the shelf, and started drawing with regular crayons. 

So I went back to my shelves and picked out the right box.  I took these to mom's house for the weekend, along with a paintbrush.  Lots of people have spoken about watercolor crayons, and I just had to try them out.  They sat on my shelf for months; I think I tried them once - a good example of me using the same supplies over and over... 

Away from home, I sat staring at my journal, wondering where to start (BTW, our current mission is to go the week without our five "must haves!")   

There are 8 colors in my box of crayons:  purple, orange, red, blue, black, green, yellow and brown.  Here are all the colors on the page, my material evidence.  I like the light shading underneath my note-taking ink.   I need to do a little more research and see how experienced artists use them.  If anyone has any good tips, feel free to chime in.  How do YOU use watercolor crayons? 

Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Isle of Deborah

If I was trapped on a desert island, what five "absolutely essential art supply materials" would I bring? 

This was a question posed to us, over at the 30 Day Craft Cleanse
Here's a page I created in my journal using my five items:

On the page it says,
"On the Isle of Deborah, I sail and swim with the fish all day, play with my never-ending supply of micron pens, Modge Podge, acrylic paints, gel pens and recycled paper.  Once a month, people come and visit me w/ all their old magazines and unused mail and I sort through it, putting my paper away for another day of artworking."

Thursday, July 21, 2011

AlphabeThursday - nipa palms

"Nipa palms yield a woody nut.  When the nuts are ripe, they separate from the
flower ball and float away on the tide, occasionally germinating while still water-borne." 
Now I understand why they named this zentangle NIPA.  I can see the little nuts, floating away on the water.  This design was created by Zentangle originators Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas (for more official Zentangle patterns, check out

The nipa palm lives in the Philippines and has a horizontal trunk that grows beneath the ground.  Only the leaves, that can extend up to 30 feet, and the flower stalks, grow above the surface.  They are commonly found on coasts and rivers that flow into the Indian and Pacific Oceans, from Bangladesh to the Pacific Islands.

The leaves are used in many types of basketry and also as roof material for thatched houses or dwellings.  The Nipah sap is used to feed pigs on islands in the Timor Sea during the dry season.  And young leaves are used to wrap tobacco for smoking.

Here's a hand-printed picture, by Etsy artist pabili, from Sydney, Australia, called Bahay Kubo, or Nipa Hut.

Bahay Kubo, by pabili.

What's your favorite word, beginning with an N ? 
Find out how other "students" answered that question at Ms. Jenny's AlphabeThursday class

Sunday, July 17, 2011

craft cleanse - journal pages and material evidence

Folding in pages to a journal, for whatever reason, is something I've seen but never tried.  Until today.  It all started (here I go again) last night when I was decorating paper for a journal.  And then I wasn't happy with what I did.  Instead of getting mad and throwing a fit, I decided to use the paper in my junque journal.  I just taped a few sheets in with my washi tape, and cut the paper to fit my book.  They are much heavier than the composition book paper, which was another problem solved (more solutions at a later date.) 

Mission Two from my 30 day craft cleanse is Material Evidence, and I'm adding "materials pages" to the junque journal.  These particular pages are samples of materials and products I have at the house.  It works like an inventory but it's been much more fun using my supplies than just writing a list of products... like I was going to do!  I'm also thinking of scanning and printing all my material pages from my journal, so I came write notes to myself later.

This has become a great exercise and Moira knew exactly what would happen, "If the muse is whispering in your ear to make some art while you are working on your inventory this week (or month or however long), but all means listen!"  I'm not surprised that my mind wanted to get two things done at the same time, and when the opportunity presented itself, I jumped at it!  Thanks for whispering into my muse's ear, Moira!

Here's my washi tape inventory
So far, I've completed material pages for my glitter pens and crayons, and now I have a page for my washi tape.  Not a whole bunch of tape, but when I saw them in a Etsy search last year, I knew I had to get some.  Today, when I was surfing around, trying to keep up with my Craft Cleanse, I came upon Julie K. who wrote about making your own faux Japanese masking tape. Since I don't have any fabric adhesive tape (one of the materials needed) I'll be saving this tutorial for another day.  I just printed the blog post off and taped it in with my washi tape!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

CRAFTY DEMON - experimenting with old supplies

I'm involved with facing my demons, not buying any more supplies for a month and experimenting. 

Yes, there's Deb's Craft Demon, on the left page up there.  She thinks I can do 24/7 crafting and get everything done... today.  Probably because she has four hands!  She whispered to me, "go out and buy more paper for the new journal you want to make."  But I told her NO - I have loads of paper at home!

Where did she come from?  It all started with the "30 Day Craft Cleanse," brought to us by Moira on the Art Journaling Ning.  Moira asked us to face our Craft Demons.  What monsters we've seen!  Here's her blog, if you like to visit her and see what else she's up to.

At the beginning of the week, I started my inventory of materials - that's one of my Missions in the "30 Day Craft Cleanse."  Great idea!  I had purchased these glitter pens, thinking I would use them but just put them up.  Never touched them.  "Glitter is for little girls" my Demon said, "you need to buy some grown up pens."  So I did.  But this week I took them out and it changed my mind.  WOW, so bright and bold!  I've been getting into bright colors lately, not my usual "earth" tones.  With all the traveling I've done in the last month, I've seen a lot of bright colors on the walls of museums.  I guess it just made something click...

Friday, July 15, 2011

Etsybloggers Carnival - National Ice Cream Day

This week I'm hosting the Etsybloggers Carnival (online Monday)
Here are the topics to choose from:
Topic 1:  The third Sunday in July is National Ice Cream Day? Are you celebrating it?
Topic 2:  What's your favorite summer recipe?

I will definitely be celebrating National Ice Cream Day on July 17th. 

I just love ice cream!  And Haagen-Dazs Coffee is the best ever.  It's made from Brazilian coffee beans, roasted and brewed, then blended with pure, creamy ice cream  My sister and I went crazy for coffee ice cream in our teens.  I haven't outgrown it yet.

In Austria, they have ice cream stamps, "infused [with] flavors like Cookies & Cream, Macadamia Nut Brittle and Strawberry Cheesecake into the adhesive on the back. As you lick the stamp, you actually taste the flavor!"  WOW!

The sad thing is, I can't keep ice cream in the house.  I end up eating the whole carton in one sitting.  Luckily, Haagen-Dazs containers aren't large.  When I treat myself to some, I'll buy a teeny tiny container, called single serving cups. 

The other way I control myself is just not going down the ice cream isle at the grocery store.  If you're like me and have a hard time managing the quantity of ice cream you eat, I suggest buying cones... there's only so much ice cream you can fit on one cone!   

This weekend, I plan on celebrating National Ice Cream Day by buying a carton of Haagen-Dazs ice cream. 
Are you celebrating too?  What's your favorite flavor and brand?

Check over at the Etsybloggers Team Blog, and see which topic your favorite etsyblogger posted about.  And for my fellow etsybloggers, to make your links clickable in the comments, use this formula:
PLACE URL HERE">name of blog
For example:">stroll through storyland

Thursday, July 14, 2011

AlphabeThursday: MSST Tangle Design

M is for MSST, an official tangle pattern!

I drew my MSST tangle in my little moleskine notebook.  The design looks more like mist to me, with clouds and raindrops.  No matter what you call it, it's my favorite Letter M tangle.  I didn't notice at the time, but this drawing also represents MONSTER (although this monster is actually an ancient dragon...) 

You can learn how to draw MSST - and other tangles - by visiting Sandy Bartholomew's website (she's a Certified Zentangle Teacher).

What's your favorite word, beginning with an M ? 
Find out how other "students" answered that question at Ms. Jenny's AlphabeThursday class

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

almost wordless wednesday - junque journal

I'm so excited about starting my new junque journal.  I used a regular composition notebook and covered it with paper, lace and buttons; then wrapped ribbons around the spine to keep the pages together. 

The idea for the journal came from three videos I saw on Flickr by tangiebaxter about junque (or junk) journals.  If you're interested in learning a way to store all your paper junk, tangie's videos are fun and easy! 

So here I go - two journals at the same time: my "little black book" I carry around with me and a junque journal for everything else.

See what happens  {:-D

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Remember - get involved!

I'm involved with two workshops at the moment.  My Creative Vision Workshop, hosted by Erika at Artful Rising, is starting its last week. 

What I like best about my Creative Vision Workshop is finding different ways of looking at things.  One of my favorite activities has been taking photographs, or "Photo Days."  I've been forcing myself to look at the little things - seeing an individual tree and not the whole forest.  This is an eye opener.  And Erika seems to know exactly what I'm thinking!  I bought some lace last week (this was on my last shopping spree, see below) and I wanted to make a flower with it, but didn't know how.  Day 16 (that's today!) there's a lesson on how to make a fabric flower.

 At the same time of ending one workshop, I'm gearing up for a new one called "30 Day Craft Cleanse" with Crafty Moira.  If you're an art journaler, you'll enjoy visiting Moira's blog.  And come over and check out the workshop (at Art Journaling Ning)

The first Mission for my Craft Cleanse workshop is to inventory my crafts.  I'm thinking I will do this on the weekend, and spread it out over the entire 30 days.  I'll start with some small items, like my pens, and move on from there.  I also need to put my jewelry supplies in a box, out of the way, and start to de-stash my supplies on Etsy.  If anybody is interested in bulk beads, I have a lot and I use them for page markers only. 

I take care of the archives in a museum for a living, so I'm familiar with inventories.  We use a museum software database, but started off with tables on Microsoft Works.  It's always a good idea to leave a "comments" column, for something you've forgotten.  And a quantity column is handy too.  Feel free to copy this table if you wish.

If you feel overwhelmed with your supplies, maybe you should try this too.  Baby steps, like Moira says, is very important.  I'll keep everyone updated with what's going on.  

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Book Review - The Memory Keeper's Daughter

The Memory Keeper's Daughter, by Kim Edwards is not just about Phoebe.  It is a story tracing the lives of two families, starting in 1964.  Dr. David Henry gets his wife, Nora, to his clinic early one morning during a blizzard after she goes into labor quite suddenly.  She has a healthy baby boy, Paul.  When a second, unexpected daughter is born, David and his nurse Caroline see right away that she has Down syndrome.  David faces his past demons of a dead sister and distraught mother, and begin the baby's life with a lie. 

"He closed his eyes and when he could speak again, more words came, unplanned.  'Oh, my love,' he said [to his wife]  'I am so sorry.  Our little daughter died as she was born.' 

The first chapter of The Memory Keeper's Daughter sets the whole plot into motion.  Caroline (who's in love with Dr. Henry) is told to bring the unwanted baby to a nearby sanitarium.  But she decides to run away with her instead, after seeing the squalid living conditions there. 

As the story progresses, we travel with the characters through time, two families living their separate lives.  I don't want to spoil the ending for you.  All I'll say is that the character development and storyline is superb and very believable.  I think any person can relate to at least one of the characters.  The more the story develops, the more involved you'll become.  I could hardly put the book down in the end.

The Memory Keeper's Daughter spent 21 weeks on the New York Times Paperback Bestsellers list in 2006.  In April 2008, a made-for-television movie premiered on Lifetime Television.  A few of the extraneous characters were dispenses with in the movie and the film was released on DVD in October 2008.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Thursday, July 7, 2011

It all started with...

Isn't that the way you explain something complicated to your spouse or mother? 

Well, it all started with the Letter L.  I was looking through the different designs on TanglePatterns and didn't see anything I really liked.  But one was similar to the word lace.  And lace is similar to ribbon, and I needed some ribbon for a project.

Still with me?

So I went to Hobby Lobby at lunchtime (missing my lunch, I might add) and bought my ribbon (50% off), a spool of lace, some paper, and three ink pads.  I'm not sure what to call this lace/button combo, but I love buttons and know I can use it in my project. 

I'm making a Junque Journal for myself.  Remember a few days ago, I talked about always picking up flyers from places I visit?  Well, I have a whole bunch from last month.  And some business cards, tags, postcards, etc.  All those little things I can't seem to throw away.  So I'm going to put them all in my Junque Journal, and see how long it takes me to fill up the pages.  Oh, I got a composition notebook too, and it's 200  pages long! 

So, there's my plan.  With a little lace thrown in.

Read about what others are doing at AlphabeThursday with their Letter L, over at Miss Jenny's site, "off on my tangent."

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

almost wordless wednesday - Chihuly in Tacoma

In Tacoma, we went to the Washington State History Museum in the morning, then walked over to the Museum of Glass, later on that day.  You can get there by a highway overpass called the Chihuly Bridge of Glass.  Chihuly was born in Tacoma!  (some of his glassworks are in the Oklahoma Museum of Art and he is a visiting artist at the University of Oklahoma.)  If you look over your head, on the covered portion of the bridge, this is what you see!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

photo days - wooden bench

I'm really enjoying my Creative Vision Workshop's photo days.  Monday we took another natural and close-up photograph, this time of a bench.  I chose a wooden bench in the backyard (above - click for better view).  DL and I bought this when we first moved into our house, about 12 years ago.  I've always loved it, but it's ruined now  - just can't seem to throw it away.  The close-up pic reminds me of the bark of a tree (below). The bench has been through a lot of weather; it's returning to its origins.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Short Term Goals for July

In June, I was traveling so much, I really threw my schedule off.  This month I should be staying closer to home.  I want to use my time to get various projects off the ground.  Been visiting a bunch of new online sites and finding lots of new techniques for art journaling.  Thank you again Rose, for bringing Google Alerts to my attention.  Readers:  if you've never used this before, I suggest you try it out.  You'll be able to find pages that you'd never seen before.      

On to July Goals:

I sold one of my collage and painted art journals on Etsy last month.

*happy dance*

so I want to make at least one more for my shop
(this one's still there >>>)

These are so much fun to put together.  I don't need a journal for myself right now, since I'm using my molestine journal.   I do plan on creating a new "Junque Journal" for myself - I'll write about that later when I begin working on it.   

One thing I've been thinking about is exercise.  I came upon a great quote in Erika's Creative Vision Workshop (Week 1, Day 2) that bears repeating:

"It takes 21 days to form a habit (3-7 days to break it) so spend this time finding time to spend on you."

My second goal for the month is to go out walking sometime every day.  I might take my journal and sketch, or bring my camera and snap some photos.  Just wish it wasn't so HOT!  Maybe I should reward myself, if I lose a certain amount of weight!  Make a game out of it... a new Wii would be nice - have had my eye on that for a while now.  I could get exercise or dance software to keep me going during the winter. 

Do you reward yourself for jobs completed?

In the Creative Vision Workshop (Week 1, Day 3), one of my tasks is: 

"Take photos of a favorite space in your house."

<<< That has to be my computer desk.  Now this is somewhat neat, but the rest of my work space isn't.  I really need to do some cleaning.  Things accumulate with me, if I don't watch out, especially after coming home from traveling.  I've been on the road, two weeks in a row.  And I always pick up flyers from places I visit.  That's what a "Junque Journal" is for.  I have a purpose! 

Do you pick up flyers when you travel?

Sunday, July 3, 2011

A Month in Photographs - June

I have so many travel photos from this month, it's hard to pick just a few.  First of all, my traveling companions:  (2) John and Bart.  Here they are in Rice Park (St. Paul).  Jana joined us (3) on our trip to Tacoma/Seattle.  We thought (at first) these flowers were fake, in the restaurant's ladies' room, where we had our first dinner, but they were freshly cut.  I've never seen windows in a public bathroom before.  And what a view!  I decided to pick just one photo from each trip, that epitomized the journey.  Here's a cute tugboat (4) in Port Orchard, west of Seattle.  We wanted to visit a state park but ran out of time.  The image in (5) I took from the fifth floor of Mill City Museum, overlooking the Mississippi River.  There were a bunch of mills located on the river here in Minneapolis - MCM used to be the Gold Medal Flour Mill.  Not too much time this month for making journals.  Here's a page view of #2 art journal - Birdhouse Book (1) which I really like.  My first journal sold on Etsy to a woman in Great Britain.  Need to make more - a goal for July!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Let's Tangle: Keenees

Here’s my rendition of a Tangle pattern called Keenees, created by Donna Hornsby, Certified Zentangle Teacher (CZT).  I pretty much followed Donna’s instructions over a period of a few days, drawing the circles earlier this week and filling them in last night.  Just goes to show, you don’t have to complete one project, like a drawing, in just one sitting.  

You can find Donna’s instruction on her blog called pegasuspapers.  

She says her inspiration behind the pattern was a “itsy-bitsy teeny tiny polka-dot bikini.” Not sure what she means by this, except there are tiny dots inside the circles.  Funny how people name their artwork...

 See what others have written about for AlphabeThursday, when asked, "What do you think of, that starts with the Letter K?"  Come and visit "off on my tangent."

Gosh, I was on the west coast, and wrote this late/late Thursday night, but the time change didn't cooperate with my blog!  Not to worry...
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