Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Etsybloggers Carnival - School Days

This week's etsybloggers carnival is brought to you by Erika at Artful Rising.  Her two topics are all about the new school year.

1. It is Back to School! Show off your back to school fashions, jewelry, supplies, gift ideas from your shop.
2. Share a memory from your school days.

summer in the backyard in New Jersey; Deb on the right
I had a hard time thinking back so many years ago, but one thing I remember vividly was the first day of classes when I was going into the sixth grade.  Every year, all the students would sit on the floor in the gym.  Then one teacher at a time, starting with the first grade, would stand up in the front and everyone's names would be called for that class.  One by one.  There was always at least two, sometimes three classes per grade.  Each class would file out of the gym after all the names were called and go to their classroom (this was before the invention of the computer!)

So us “big” kids would have to wait until all the lower classes were picked, and then it was our turn.  I was sitting next to my best friend at the time, Joni.  One by one, all the students’ names were called and the classes (there was three) went to their rooms.  And I was left on the floor, all by myself! 

They had left my name off the roster!  The principal, or someone from the front office, came up to me and asked me what class I wanted to be in.  So I gave them the name of the teacher I thought Joni had gone with.  And it was the wrong one!  I was devastated.  I walked into a room full of students, and didn't see any of my close friends.  Needless to say, I made a new best friend.

They added someone else's name to my elementary school !

And now that I look back, that experience was a forewarning of  things to come.  It was the summer between my sixth and seventh grade that I got deathly ill and missed half of my next school year!      

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A Month in Photographs - August

photos from the studio
Most of you haven't seen my junque journal, where I do most of my art journaling (2,4,6,8).  It's my diary - I write about things that are happening, in words and with art.  This month I finished up my 30 Day Craft Cleanse.  Part of this entailed inventorying my supplies while using them up.  I laid out all the scraps of paper that I had and divided them into different colors (1).  The larger pieces went into large freezer bags, where I could see what I have.  I found my washi paper scraps (3) which I had misplaced - yah!  I also inventoried my pens and markers.  They all went into my top desk drawer (7).  And at the end of the month, I used some extra paper that was given to me and started wrapping more paper beads.  Here's the first of a large autumn collection (5).  

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The winner of the giveaway is...

The Giveaway is over and it's time to pick a number with True Random Number Generator.  Each person will count as one commenter, just in case you commented more than once.  And the winner of the Polymer Clay Beads is:

12 !     littleaangel_mw .

 Littleangel, I’ll be contacting you for your address. 

Next month, I’ll have another batch of beads to giveaway.  Stay tuned!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Tangle of the week - sugarcane

sugarcane zentangle

I love the look of sugarcane... it reminds me of bamboo.  Wonder if it's as prolific? 

When I saw there was a tangle called Sugarcane, I had to see what it was all about.   The Sugarcane zentangle is one of the original patterns created by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas.  They say, "Zentangle provides a fun and lighthearted way to relax and intentionally facilitate a shift in focus and perspective."  I like them because they are an easy and attractive way to practice my drawing skills.  You can read more about Rick and Maria at their website, Zentangle.

Want to learn how to draw the Sugarcane zentangle?  Hop over to the blog of CZT (Certified Zentangle Teacher)  Suzanne McNeill.  

And what did other students of the AlphabeThursday class think about when asked what begins with the letter S?  Check out Ms. Jenny's "off on my tangent" blog.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

art journal page: intermingle

Even though I was trying to be intuitive with my artwork (like Teesha Moore suggests), I worked hard on the left side of this journal spread before I was completely happy with it.  I followed Teesh'a advice and outlined the page with strips of paper - I've done that before with washi tape.  Underneath my tree-hugger is a man's body.  Yes there is!  I changed his/her sweater out several times by gluing images on top of each other.  Finally, I gave up on the torso and in went the tree.  And it felt right!

There's lots of things going on with this collage.  But I felt it was done, so out came the camera for a photo (I was thinking of using it for WW).  When I looked at the picture, the page seemed empty on the top left.

So I went back to my table and added falling squares.  The squares and circles are intermingling, like X and Y chromosomes.  Hence, my haiku:


Intermingle is
A delicious word to say
And feel in a crowd.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Discovering Art Journaling

birdhouse art journal

I was recently talking to a friend and telling her how much I enjoyed the book, The Artist's Way.  It is a path to higher creativity through twelve weeks of projects.  People say there’s a turning point while progressing through this book, whether you’re aware of it or not.  Looking back, I see my defining moment when I went to the bookstore and picked up a magazine called Art Journaling.  I don’t know why, but I was compelled to buy it.  And it changed my artistic direction. 

If you're an artist who likes to write, I would highly suggest this magazine.  One warning about Somerset magazines: they are pricey, but that’s because of their content and layout.  So beware.

Art journaling is different for every individual.  For me, it's a way to express myself with both words and art.  I've always kept a diary of my daily activities.  Now I add color and different mediums to my journal.  Sometimes the art deals directly with what I’m writing about; others times not.  The art journal can also be used strictly for drawing and collaging, while the writing manifests itself in quotes or small expressions from the artist.  Journals are a great way to capture your own “history” ; to record where your ideas come from or to test out new products and techniques.    

Art Journal on Etsy

I decided to begin selling art journals on Etsy.  How are they different from a regular journal?  Most journals that you buy are blank - a whole page with nothing on it.  A white sheet, staring you in the face.  Maybe there’s lines on the page to help you write straight.  My art journals already have color on the pages; some have the beginnings of collage.  I’m hoping this layout encourages the journalist to include artwork with their thoughts, or to start a collage of their own, without being intimidated by a blank page.

If you are interested in art journaling, let me suggest a Ning group online, and the Inspiration Blogs I have listed on the right side on this blog.  Get a journal, start writing and use it to test out new approaches to your artwork.  Above all, have fun!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Tangle of the Week - Riverstones

Here is the zentangle called Riverstones, created by Lori Howe about a year ago.  It was my favorite of all the tangles beginning with the letter R.  Her zentangle patterns and doodles can be found at lacefairy1 on flickr.

I've been trying to figure out which pens and markers I need to buy, once my 30 Day Craft Cleanse is over - the Micron Pigma Pens are my favorite, what I used on this page.  I started using these pens at work because they are acid-free, waterproof and fade resistant.  And they don't bleed through to the other side of the page, which is very important to me when I'm drawing in my art journal. What are your favorite pens to draw with?

And what's your favorite word, beginning with the letter R?
Find out how other "students" answered that question in Ms Jenny's AlphabeThursday Class.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

almost wordless wednesday - winery notebook

The butterfly flew
Among the sweet grapes, waiting
For the sun to rise.
 Haiku for one of my Etsy journals.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Giveaway - Polymer Clay Beads

Since I've stopped designing jewelry and am only making paper beads and handmade journals, I decided to start destashing my LARGE supply of beads.

What I've planned: one giveaway a month!

polymer clay disk beads

My first giveaway is a set of (42) brightly colored Polymer Clay Disk Beads.  Measures 10mm - 12 mm (approx. ½") in size.  Beads are drilled with holes for stringing.

Includes shipping in US only.

All you have to do is tell me what you plan to do with the beads.  Don't forget to include your e-mail address so I can contact you if you win.  One comment per e-mail address. 

Feel free to spread the word to all your beading friends.  I'll be using to pick the winner. 

The giveaway will last through Friday, August 26th.  I will contact you on Saturday, August 27th.  If you don't contact me by Wed, August 31st, I will draw a second number. 
Good luck!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

AlphabeThursday - Q is for Quilt

I'm not a quiltmaker, or even one who sews, but I've always been attracted to handmade quilts and embroidery pieces.  I like the history that becomes part of the quilt.  One of my favorite movies is called How to Make an American Quilt.  Here's a trailer I found which pretty much explains the story, with the beautiful score by Thomas Newman.

I made a little weaving with card stock earlier in the week - it reminded me of a quilt.  You can make something similar, if you like.  I found the directions on Daisy Yellow's  blog.

card stock quilt
What's your favorite word, beginning with the letter Q?
Find out how other "students" answered that question in Ms. Jenny's AlphabeThursday class.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

making your own stamps with paper

One of the tasks for my current Mission over at the 30 Day Craft Cleanse was to cut-out and make my own mask for spray paints.  I saw a pretty picture of an eagle, so I took my time and cut it out of the magazine. 

I tried using my eagle as a mask, but it didn’t work well.  So I decided to make it into a stamp instead.  Using two different colored stamp pads helps to bring color onto the page.  Of course, I wrote about my experience - I like to do this so I won’t forget, and for anyone else who happens upon my art journal.  Remember:  keep your cut-outs for a later date!  I put mine into an envelope and taped it into my journal.
journal page

Monday, August 8, 2011

TLC assistance in your studio

One of the Tasks for Mission 12 in my 30 Day Craft Cleanse is to "make a list of 3 areas that need a little TLC assistance in your studio space."  Moira recommends baby steps - an excellent idea! 

This weekend I tackled what I consider my most important area: paper storage. 
First of all, furniture had to be moved. 
living room tables
I decided to divide my flat file unit in half, and put the top portion in the living room.  Most of my bookmaking takes place here.  I also like to spread out on this large wooden table to paint and collage, so the shelves are handy for storing used butcher paper. 

zip-locs are great storage bags

I kept the bottom half of the unit in the studio (sharla - this room is attached to the house, as you can see).  My recycled paper now sits in a box on top of the unit, and is sorted by color in zip-loc bags.  This is a new idea that I picked up off the internet somewhere.  The larger bags (approx. 13" x 15½") were too big for the box, so they hang from the pegboard. 

My best papers (mostly Japanese) will stay in the drawer at the top of the flat file unit.  As planned, I created another flat surface to store things on!

large paper storage
Like most art journalists, I have loads of small pieces of paper that I can‘t seem to throw away. 

vegetable tray

So I’m very proud of the new storage container I came up with: I took a used vegetable tray and separated the paper by color.  I might just have to throw a party and get another tray, for more colors  (I reuse everything - my DH thinks I'm half nuts)!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Tangle of the Week: Partay

celebration at the sculpture garden, Minneapolis
This tangle aptly describes the fun time we had in Minneapolis-St. Paul. PARTAY is a pattern created by Certified Zentangle Teacher (CZT) Margaret Bremner, who lives in Canada. You can find her fun and easy instructions to PARTAY on her blog called enthusiasticartist.

homemade spray paint
My PARTAY pattern is drawn with glitter ink in my junque journal (appropriate pens for the occasion!)  But first I sprayed the background with my own mixture of water and acrylics.  Then I glued down a photo taken of the sculpture garden across from the Walker Art Museum.

Interested in making your own spray paints?  Check out this tutorial on YouTube by Moira Robertson; this was a task she set down before us, part of our 30 Day Craft Cleanse.  Talk about using materials you have at home!

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

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Short term Goals for August

I don't know about everybody else, but July went speeding by.  I had a lot going on at work, and when I get home, the nights just seemed to fly by too.  Where I wouldn't stay up after 10 PM in the past, I'm staying up after midnight.  Just can't seem to do all the things that I want to.  My new plan is to take Fridays off and extend my weekends.  I think a lot of people who earn vacation time but can't afford to go anywhere are taking this route.  OK, enough moaning... here's my short term goals:

1) Inventory and destash beads
I don't really want to do this, because I love my beads.  But they are taking up space and I'm not using them anymore.  Spending a bit of time with them again will let me see what I have and decide what to keep.  This is a big project but at least I can begin (remember to weigh them if they are going on Etsy).  Also, I'd like to start a monthly bead giveaway, using to pick the winner.  I need to see where I can advertise.  Any ideas?  I'd love to hear them.  Stay tuned!

2)  Keep my 30 Day Craft Cleanse Pledge
"I vow/promise/hold to not buy any crafting supplies throughout the duration of the 30 Day Craft Cleanse and to start my inventory for the workshop."  That's the pledge I took July 12th, and I suspect August 12th with be the end of the course.  I've been having a great time and art journaling every day.  I do need a few supplies, so: make a  priority list and look around for sales (at Hobby Lobby) and coupons (at Michael's) - for later!
Sunday, July 31st
3)  Lose Weight
I did a horrible job of keeping my goal of exercising last month.  I don't have ANY exercise equipment, and was hoping to at least walk outside.  But it's so freaking hot out, and working full-time doesn't allow me a lot of time.  So my plan is to diet as well as exercise this month, with a goal of losing 8 pounds.  Shouldn't be too hard if I stay on the computer and keep my fingers away from my mouth!  Also, bring the scale back into my bathroom!  Remember to eat smaller portions and veges like celery and carrots, which I just bought today.

Monday, August 1, 2011

A Month in Photographs - July

July 1st started with a crazy trip home from Washington State.  We missed our plane and thought we were going to spend the 4th in the airport.  Finally the six of us left on three different planes (8 -that's Salt Lake, Utah out the window).  What a mess.  I made and started my own Junque Journal (7), writing about the 33 computer viruses we picked up!  All was repaired.  The month was filled with creativity.  I took an online "creative vision workshop" with Artful Rising (4) and a "30 day craft cleanse" with Moira Richardson (3).  I relegated my beads to the bottom of my metal desk (5) and will soon take inventory of them, destash, and plan to begin some online giveaways.  Spent the rest of the month taking stock of my art journaling supplies (2), and using them on my evidence pages (6).  I stood up to my craft demon (1) and haven't bought any new supplies (just magazines) since beginning my craft cleanse.  Finally, at the end of the month, I listed a new "Collage and painted art journal" (9) on Etsy. 
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