Tuesday, November 29, 2011

More Mandalas

Mandala #3
Like I've said before: when I try something new, I usually like my first attempt (here's my first mandala).  But that will not stop me from drawing more mandalas!  You will see them scattered here and there throughout my blog.

For mandala #3, I took a small piece of watercolor paper, found the center and made my circle.  Then added more circles.  After drawing some straight lines, I colored the mandala with the two watercolor pencils I have (light blue and yellow), following my teacher's instruction.  When it dried, I painted on top with my Koi watercolors, which I like much better. To finish up, I drew some designs with some Pigma Micron pens.

I decided to tilt the watercolor paper into my art journal, so I can add to it in the future.  It's a little wild I'll agree, but I think with some more ink or markers, I can improve the look.  What I really want to do now is draw another circle and start again!  

Sunday, November 27, 2011

photographic views - my tip on completing your artwork

I noticed something very interesting with my art journaling that may help other artists too.  Whether I'm planning to sell my artwork or if I'm just experimenting for myself, I've gotten into the habit of taking a photograph of the piece before I'm completely finished.  I do this because it's easier for me to see if something isn't right.  

With a photograph, I'll notice if  things are off balance or if I've forgotten to add something.  Like this cat's scarf - she looked a little cold with that blue background, so I got some ribbon to put around her neck and added Season's Greetings, after looking at it.  It would be perfect for a holiday card!

I'm just suggesting that you try taking a photograph when you're close to completing a piece and view it on your computer screen before you finish it.  This might help you notice things that you don't see in person.

On Wednesday, I was in such a rush to put a Wordless Wednesday onto my blog that I uploaded my spread "Autumn Leaves" without sitting down to examine it.  Later on that night, I was looking at the image online and saw all the leaves falling in the same direction.

Before and 
But that's not how leaves fall off trees!  So I went back to my art journal and stamped some more leaves in different directions.  Even though it might not matter to blog visitors, it sure made me feel a lot better!

Do you have a special way of "tweeking" your artwork, or do you not look back on work finished?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Monday, November 21, 2011

Etsy Treasury Love

I decided I need to thank all the curators who have been picking my artwork on Etsy for their treasuries. Most of you know what I'm talking about.  But for those that don't: Etsy is a place where artisans can show and sell their handmade items online. And the treasuries are pages where one person (a curator) picks different items that are for sale, for people to see.

In the last 3 days I been in 3 treasuries! That's a lot for me.  Maybe I need to pick up the pace and tell you all about the curators and what they selected!  Enjoy!

Lucy from lucymoongrow  placed my Handmade Blank Journal (with purple cover) in a BNR (Buy 'N Replace) treasury.  It's closed now, maybe I'll get another chance.

Here's one of Lucy's "Designer Wearable Art" gifts, perfect for a wedding or party:
Party Favor Bag from Reusable Fabrics

Not sure how the weather is in Arizona, but Karen (MysticWynd) had her mind on seasonal diversity when creating this treasury.  On Thursday, she included my Fall Art Journal  in her Cuz It's Almost Summer Down Under!  

Karen's a jeweler and member of the BBArtisans.  Of course, her ocean jewelry is my favorite!
Tidal Pool Necklace

I've just been introduced to Sheryl (SherHastingsDesigns), another member of the BBArtisans.  Her digital designs are so fantastic!  In this fun treasury called "Dear Santa, Since I have been very, very good" , she included some of my paper beads:

She has PDF files for paper patterns and tutorials.  This pattern is a dog and cat mat or mini quilt - something I might look into when I get my sewing machine running!

Pet mat 
Come by and visit these treasuries.  Hopefully, there will be more in the future.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Star Mandala - first try

Do you remember I said I was taking a new class: how to draw mandalas?  This is my first attempt.

I wish I had started out with my markers  - I like the way they look.  But I began coloring with my pencils, like our instructor Guadalupe did.  Thing is, she had watercolor pencils!  When you paint your mandala, she suggests starting at the center and working your way out.

This flower template that Guadalupe gave us I changed into a star!  And I used regular printer paper instead of the 140 lb watercolor paper, that kept getting stuck in my printer.  Maybe my printer is too old, or it could be the paper's too thick... 

Week Two coming up!  

Thursday, November 17, 2011

AlphabeThursday - C is for Cat

When I knew I needed an image to express the letter C for my AlphabeThursday post, the word CAT came to mind.  Cats are used in many alphabet books, and they're recognized by everyone.  I found a picture of a cute cat on the internet a few days ago and decided to put my drawing skills to work and copy it.  Her proportions might be a bit off, but there's no mistaking who she is: an adorable kitty!

What words did others pick to express the letter C?  Come see over at Ms. Jenny's classroom!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Help in Secret Santa Shopping

One of the requirements of my new Etsy team, BBArtisans, is participation in the Treasuries. So instead of picking various photographs for the walls of the Museum of the Great Plains, where I work, I'm choosing various handmade artists from the BBArtisans team.

All these items are under $20, perfect for being a Secret Santa, an event that's coming up with the team.  Maybe I can help your with  your shopping too!

Come on by and view these handmade items more closely!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Get Organized with a gift from the Storybeader

 I'm an organizer... but most of you know that.  I've been working on something new, to help people sort out their busy life through the holidays.

My 6" x 8" ringed book can be used for someone who is crafting and creating, or for the person with just a lot of activities to keep straight.

I'm making the book with the holidays in mind, but it can be used after the New Year too.  You can keep your family activities straight with this organizer.  Or keep it on your desk instead of scraps of paper.

However it's used, I hope it saves you time.

*There are pockets to hold shopping list, fabric swatches, notes and more.
*There are plastic bags to hold smaller things you like to take to the store or for small coupons that get lost in your purse.
*There's a 2012 calendar to use for remembering appointments and important dates.

The handy book rings can hook on the wall by your desk or by the front door.  Open the rings to add more sheets of your own.  Or stuff the pockets full as it is.  The choice is yours.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

B is for Book - the storybeader

"Sit down with me and
Enjoy the lilting sound of
Haiku poetry."

Even though I enjoy my Blog and spend a lot of time writing and researching for it, I think my favorite B word has to be Book.  I grew up reading at night with my mother, and got a library card when I was a small girl.  My favorite genre of Books are historical fiction and biography.  I'd like to publish a Book someday, maybe call it the Storybeader’s Book of Haiku, my beloved form of poetry.

Check out other AlphabeThursday posts at Ms. Jenny's blog!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Sewing Machine Saga

One of the items on my Sunday to-do list was:
"look at sewing machine / get fixed".

So DH and I got the machine out of the attic, plugged it in, and... it worked!  I thought I had my mom's old Singer, but this is a hand-me-down from a friend.  Funny thing, the foot pedal and box of extra accessories are Singer products.  Maybe White is just a subsidiary of Singer...   If you know, please tell me.

Now all I need is to get the manual and see how to thread it correctly.  (I’ve tried before and it didn’t work).  So I went online and sure enough, a search for  "White sewing machine model 951" had a manual available.  For the cost of $10.00.  I could probably get a manual from ebay  but the site I found looks reputable enough.  They offer manuals by PDF Download, PDF on CD or Printed Hard Copy.  I decided I'd rather have a hard copy (same price as the PDF Download), so I ordered it and paid with PayPal.

Are you not doing something you’d like to do because you don’t have a manual?  If so, try the internet.

More of the sewing machine saga to come.

Friday, November 4, 2011

First Friday Art Walk - Thanksgiving family and food

Seems of late, after Halloween everyone is skipping November holidays and are onto Christmas time.  But what about Thanksgiving, family and food? Here's an Etsy  treasury brought to you by the First Friday Art Walk and AWE Team.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

A is for Artwork

 It must have been a year ago when I belonged to an online art group, who drew from different themes every week.  Here's my drawing of an apple, that I tilted into my Junque Journal.  I'm so proud of it.  This apple gave me the confidence to continue drawing, even though I don't do as much as I'd like to.

But that's all going to change, beginning today.  I'm going to start drawing for my AlphabeThursday!

A few nights ago, I copied a picture of an astronaut, that was really sweet looking.  I tried to put a face to it, and messed that all up.  So I gave him an opaque visor, so you couldn't see his face.  When I looked at the drawing yesterday, I decided it needed some stars to be floating out there in space with him.  Those little stars really made the picture!  And my white pen worked, which was a wonder.  It hasn't been working, at least as far as I could see!  It's a White Sakura Gelly Roll.

Come and visit other A blogs here

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

A Month in Photographs - October

I have been so busy with my art journaling and crafts this month, I don't know how I had any time to blog! Less sleep I guess...  I caught up with my art journaling class; #1 was Challenge #3 !  I also made an art journal for others to enjoy (# 2 +3); it's on Etsy.  The haiku really sums up what was happening in a lot of our lives this past month "You will never lose/ the ones you love if you stay/ honest and sincere."  I made elephant greeting cards for the Ronald McDonald House with the help of erika from artfulrising, our new BBArtisans team captain.  Thank you, erika, for doing so much.  Here's my junque journal (#5) - almost finished.  And MJ (#6), always close when I'm on the computer.  I put two sets of paper beads (#7 +8) in my Etsy shop, and sold a bookmark (#9) to a woman across the country.  #10 is my new Koi watercolors - I'm so happy with it!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Short Term Goals for November

I love washi tape!
I almost forgot it was the end of the month, and time to see what happened over the past few weeks!  The most important thing I did last month was to reevaluate my standing on Etsy.  I looked at teams and what the Etsy venue had to offer.  I left a longstanding team I belonged to because it became unorganized and stagnant.  Last month I also helped create a new team, the Blogging Business Artisans.  This was truly an act of synchronicity; unplanned and for the best.  In October, I rolled more beads and put two "lots" up for sale in my shop.  And I caught up in my art journaling course, Falling for You.

This month, my plans are:

Make holiday products
I have a few holiday ideas for cards and beads.  But I need to start working on these now if people are going to send the cards and make jewelry with the beads.  I've always been a little shy of making cards; see where this goes...
What to do:  Buy holiday paper for beads.

Start a new weekly journal
I've been wanting to start a new look to my personal journal.  As you see, I like to write.  But with what I'm planning, I don't have enough space.  I'm not completely through with my Junque Journal, but I'll let myself work in two journals at once.  Or not!  I'll let the future take it's own course.  
What to do:  Buy a pad of paper to journal in

Stay away from chocolate
A personal goal for myself.  I believe if I write this down, it will be easier to keep.  We do have chocolate in the house, like this Century Rich Mocha Espresso Melts!  (I got the box at work - someone's granddaughter was selling it for school).  The chocolate in the house is usually for DH.  And he likes to share!  So sweet...  Just Say No!  
What to do:  Think before I eat!  
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