Tagged: art

I’m Not Buying It!

I’m writing this post so that I will feel accountable for my next sentence. I am NOT going to BUY any new craft supplies in 2017 unless they fit the two specific criteria I have laid out here. First, I am ALLOWED to buy the NECESSITIES if I run out. By necessities, I mean things like paint, glue, artist pens and pencils, gesso, etc… Second, I CAN BUY art supplies if I find them ridiculously CHEAP at thrift shops, yard sales or flea markets. That’s it! I am not going to go to Tuesday Morning, Hobby Lobby, Michael’s or any other store just to browse and see what they have. Browsing usually ends up costing me a lot of money!

So why am I making this bold statement? When I was crafting for Christmas, I found I had so many Christmas items in my stash that I didn’t need to go out any buy anything. I made lots of December Dailies, cards, tags and embellishments without purchasing a thing. The amazing thing is, I still don’t need to buy anything for next year either. I have so many supplies I’m drowning in them. Ditto for Valentine’s Day, Easter, Summer, Fall and you get the idea.

Now here’s where it hurts. I’m going to expose my shame and show you all the stuff I have to craft and make mixed media with. Ready?

Shelf full of card stock, stencils, journals, and books and files of ephemera.

Shelf full of card stock, stencils, journals, and books and files of ephemera.

Storage cubby filled with everything imaginable under the sun!

Storage cubby filled with everything imaginable under the sun!

Rolling cart filled with punches, oil pastels and TWO drawers of stickers.

Rolling cart filled with punches, oil pastels and TWO drawers of stickers.

The surface of my desk. There is so much stuff on it I only have about two square feet to work on!

The surface of my desk. There is so much stuff on it I only have about two square feet to work on!

Under my desk are paper collections, paper pads and suitcases full of embellishments.

Under my desk are paper collections, paper pads and suitcases full of embellishments.

A Rascog cart from Ikea filled with paints, markers and more embellishments.

A Raskog cart from Ikea filled with paints, markers and more embellishments.

A metal shelf from Ikea filled with stamps, scrap paper, beads, lace and other "stuff".

A metal shelf from Ikea filled with stamps, scrap paper, beads, lace and other “stuff”.

A vintage cabinet stuffed to the gills with items for making Junk Journals and Christmas projects.

A vintage cabinet stuffed to the gills with items for making Junk Journals and Christmas projects.

More books for ephemera.

More books for ephemera.

Another Raskog cart filled with Junk Journal fodder and a plastic drawer unit filled with jewelry making supplies.

Another Raskog cart filled with Junk Journal fodder and a plastic drawer unit filled with jewelry making supplies.

Sadly, this is not all. There are some drawers in my studio and other places all over the house that have craft supplies in them. Now you can see why I don’t need to go shopping anytime soon. Everything I have I liked enough to purchase or save, so now it’s time to use it all up. I’m excited about the thought of actually having room to breathe in my studio.

Okay, so it’s confession time. I already did buy something this year. This is what I bought.

Two old reference books.

Two old reference books.

My justification is that they were cheap (only $1.00 each) and….

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They are filled with pages and pages of these beautiful nature graphics! I can use these for so many projects. 

So there you have it. I feel better after this photographic confession and goal for 2017. Hopefully you will be seeing a lot of posts showing the stuff I have been making.

If you feel like you’re suffocating in your supplies, or you want to save some money, craft from your stash and have fun with the supplies you already have on hand. Good Luck!

What’s On My Desk ATC

Every once in a while I get the urge to make a project just using the junk that is cluttering up on my desk. I decided to make an ATC sized magnet so I could reuse the magnet strip off  list pad I had just finished up. I always have varying sizes of cardboard on my desk so that was a no-brainer for the substrate. 

magnet

I opened a new bottle of gesso and an obscene amount poured out onto my little ATC. I was actually able to gesso 2 – 8 x 10 canvas boards, 2 – 5 x 5 stretched canvases, 1 – 6 x 8 canvas board and my ATC with that huge puddle!

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Next, I painted on some cream and brown acrylic paints to give it a vintage feel.

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This very blurry picture shows some eggs I cut from some scrapbook paper. I inked the edges with distress ink before decoupaging them onto the card.

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Here is the “finished ATC”. It’s really simple, but it gives me that old field guide feeling.

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I painted the back of the card the same color blue I spattered on the eggs and attached the magnet strip from the used up note pad.

I like how the ATC magnet came out, but I just needed to add one more touch to make me love it.

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Yep, you guessed it. I added glitter to the butterfly’s wings. NOW it’s done and I do love it! I hope you like it too and that it inspires you to make your own little work of art with things that are already on your desk!

Drawing Whimsical Animals

 

Recently I had the opportunity to take a two-session class on drawing whimsical animals. Seeing as I can’t even draw a good stick figure, I felt a “whimsical” class would suit me better than taking a “realistic” animal drawing class. Besides, I feel whimsical animals are better suited to my mixed media pieces than realistic animals.

We worked on the basics like eye placement and how changing the eyes and eye brows can totally affect the mood portrayed by the animal.

Testing out eye placement and eyebrows.

Testing out eye placement and eyebrows.

After copying different animals the instructor provided, we worked on our first mixed media piece. The teacher asked that we include at least two animals and there be some kind of story between them. This is what I came up with.

My first attempt at drawing whimsical animals.

My first attempt at drawing whimsical animals.

Putting clothes on animals is a sure way to add whimsy. I even gave my rabbit red boots to wear with her flowered dress.

We had a week between classes so I practiced drawing all kinds of whimsical animals. Here are some of my practice pieces.

This skyward looking bunny actually started out as and owl.

This skyward looking bunny actually started out as and owl.

Kitties

Kitties

Owls

Owls

More owls

More owls

And yet another owl.

And yet another owl.

Whimsical donkeys

Whimsical donkeys

The second session had us copying one of the instructors pictures. The funny thing was, I thought her animal was a deer and my other classmate thought it was a rabbit. The teacher said it was actually a peacock. Since only the head was showing, we all saw it a different way. So our instruction was to copy her picture, but make the animal into what we wanted it to be. Here is just the head shot of my funny deer.

My whimsical deer.

My whimsical deer.

I had a lot of fun in that class and I am quickly filling up a journal with funny animal doodles. My goal is to create several animals in a style that is completely my own.

If you are in the Fredericksburg, Virginia area. You can find the drawing whimsical animals class at Lord and Lilly’s, 611 Caroline Street, 540-371-1333.

Drawing whimsical animals or people is an ideal outlet for those of us who are stick-figure challenged!

Secret Happy Mail And A Little Project

This post is going to cover two recent events in my life. The first is the receipt of some Happy Mail! Who doesn’t love to receive goodies in the mail? My Happy Mail carries a little mystery with it though. The envelope it came in has a name and a return address, however, I’m not sure who it is. It could well be someone I spoke to at a show and I’m just having a senior moment. It could be someone who follows this blog. Or it could be someone who knows me through my Etsy store. Anyway, it’s kind of fun trying to figure it out. But while I’m figuring, let me show you what this sweet “mystery” Happy Mailer sent to me.

Happy mail received from a sweet mystery gift giver!

Happy mail received from a sweet mystery gift giver!

I got lots of sheets of deli paper which I have never had before. I can’t wait to “play” with these. I also received two fun shipping tags for altering. I’ve never seen a red tag before! How fun. I want to thank Marnold  for sending me these wonderful goodies. You really made my day!!!

Now onto the other event in my life. I entered another challenge on YouTube. This one is sponsored by a very talented lady named Shemi Dixon. Her challenge is in honor of her birthday and she requested that the entries be handmade postcards. If you remember my post titled “A Little Piece Of Myself” I made brightly colored Scripture cards. I loved the process of making these so much I made some more of the large sheets and decided to cut one into postcard size for Shemi’s challenge. Here is the postcard I sent her.

Front of postcard for Shemi's challenge.

Front of postcard for Shemi’s challenge.

And I stamped the back with an appropriate stamp.

Back of postcard.

Back of postcard.

If you would like to see the video where Shemi opens my package check out her channel Shemi Dixon on YouTube. She uploaded the video on September 17th and it’s titled, “Happy Mail and More Amazing Postcards From Maggie, Angela, Helen, Michele”. She is such a gracious host!

I had a lot more of this sheet left so I decided to try making greeting cards with some colorful blanks I had on hand. 

Greeting cards made with my flower artwork paper.

Greeting cards made with my flower artwork paper.

I think they turned out really well. I know I will be making more of these! 

It’s nice to get some Happy Mail and be able to paint and doodle in the middle of my big show season. It keeps me from getting too serious! Thank you Marnold and Shemi for giving me permission to play!!!

A Little Piece Of Myself

While watching endless a few YouTube videos about mixed media and crafting recently, one video really stood out. It addressed the issue of using up  gelli print papers, particularly ones you don’t care for. As it so happens, I had just made a batch of prints using a piece of glass instead of a gelli plate. 

The video that inspired me is by  YouTuber katetheskate22 and can be found here:

She cut the finished papers into ATC sized cards to give out as a type of business card. Because I have my brick and mortar shop, an Etsy shop and do shows there is no way I can make enough to use as business cards. I really wanted to make some so I came up with another use for them.

In a nutshell, here is katetheskate22’s process:

atc

I started with a “gelli” printed paper.

atc1

I punched two sizes of circles from various papers and glued them randomly on the paper. Then I painted the circles with a few colors of paint.

atc2

I painted petals, dots, swirls and a few outlines around the circles using a couple bright colors.

atc3

Next I used darker paints, Sharpie markers, Faber-Castell big brush pitt pens and a white gel pen to do some more outlining and adding smaller details.

atc4

Because my flowers were not really close to each other, I filled the gaps by using a script stamp and black Staz-On ink.

atc5

Lastly, I cut them into ATC sized cards (2 1/2″ x 3  1/2″), backed them with white card stock, signed them and then rounded the corners. Instead of putting my business information on the back I stamped them with special Scripture verses that I can give to people who may need a pick-me-up. They can even be used as book marks or tags. Like katetheskate22 did, I made sure I left room to write a personal message if I want. 

I love the way these came out and the process was pure art play. You do not have to be an artist to make some cute cards that are bound to add a special little touch to someone’s day. I can’t wait to hand these out and then make more!

Just Messing Around

I was lucky enough to purchase this big bunch of old hand written and typed letters recently.

Big bunch of old hand written letters.

Big bunch of old hand written and typed letters.

I really had no idea what I was going to do with them. I looked around my craft desk and my Twinkling H2o’s (shimmering watercolor paints) were still at hand so they were the medium of choice.

Twinkling H2o's ready to be used.

Twinkling H2o’s ready to be used.

So I just sat down and made a big mess with lots of paint and water. It was really quite fun.

Water color paints on an old letter.

Water color paints on an old letter.

I used every color of H2o’s I had in different combinations. After playing and letting the letters dry, this is what I had.

Yummy pile of shimmery water colored papers.

Yummy pile of shimmery water colored papers.

But now what? I knew I could tear some of the papers up to use in mixed media pieces or my art journal but I had another idea.

Little Stampin Up stamp sets I got for my birthday.

Little Stampin Up stamp sets I got for my birthday.

These fun little stamps were also still on my craft desk so I decided to use them on some of the paper and make a bunch of small embellishments.

Little embellishments to use in mixed media or my art journal.

Little embellishments to use in mixed media or my art journal.

I think they turned out really cute and they have an awesome crackling paper texture. Now I am ready to made an art journal page using some of these cute little embellishments that were made from just messing around!

Learning From Mistakes

Being a perfectionist and creating art just don’t go well together. I am a very particular person and like things neat and tidy. Mixed media art is anything but neat and tidy. Last night I was playing around with this piece. At some point I decided it needed some black stamping on it. Okay, so no it really didn’t. The stamped areas were uneven and looked terrible. I was so upset that I had ruined my pastel chalk background. Then the light bulb turned on and I decided to cover up the black stamped patterns with circles cut out of scrapbook paper. Wow! I love that the six scrapbook paper circles added a much-needed punch of color to this piece. Instead of adding a focal point graphic I just want to remind myself that mistakes are okay as long as I learn from them!

okay

So what lesson did  I learn? Don’t give up on your artwork after making a mistake, just figure out a way to redeem it!

Why Not?

The other day I got a new calendar type planner. I really like it because it’s small and has lots of pockets to carry important things in like stickers business cards. I had to order the page inserts and you may think that already being April the calendar inserts for 2015 would be on sale. You would be wrong! I found a shop on Amazon that had exactly what I was looking for and they only cost 10 cents. Of course shipping was $5.50, but that is still cheaper than I found them anywhere else. So while I was shopping at this particular store on Amazon I noticed they also carried some art supplies. So here is what I went online to shop for…

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And here is what else I purchased…

play1

I ordered the Sharpie markers because I saw a cool technique on Pinterest that I wanted to try. So the first things I decided to play with were…

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Sharpie markers and rubbing alcohol. Dollar Tree didn’t have clear alcohol so I figured I could get away using the green. The first thing I did was scribble with three colors on a piece of glossy card stock.

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Then I dropped alcohol from a dropper bottle on the page.

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It was supposed to blend all the colors together and look really cool. It didn’t do that much except make a few puddle marks. I was not going to quit here though so I took out the Twinkling H2Os I bought and used the orange and yellow colors to fill in the white gaps on the page.

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Then I just added some background paper and images.

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Added some more layers and text and then made it into a tag.

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Even though this technique didn’t work how I wanted it to, I noticed the back had a really cool design caused by the alcohol bleeding through the paper. I may explore this technique in the future and use it as the main background in a project. 

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So next time you are shopping for something you need and you are tempted to try some new art supplies it’s okay to say, “Why not?”.

Mixed Media Odds and Ends

Just a quickie post today as I don’t have too much to share.

I have been very busy lately with Mossy Cottage but I did manage to finish (I think) one page from my first attempt at Journaling by 5s by Shannon Green.

 

"Dance". First finished page from journaling by 5s.

“Dance”. First finished page from journaling by 5s.

And here is an ATC (Artist Trading Card)  I made for a challenge.

ATC card I made for a challenge. Inspired by Gina b. Ahrens first  UStream video.

ATC card I made for a challenge. Inspired by Gina b. Ahrens first UStream video.

Well that’s all for this post. Hopefully I’ll have some time now to work on some more of my art journal pages. I’ll post them as I finish them. And if you haven’t tried journaling by 5s yet, what are you waiting for???

Journaling by 5s, Part 5 (This Is Just The Beginning)

I am now on the last “mandated” part of Journaling by 5s by Shannon Green.  As you can recall the first 15  minute session was paint/ink for color, the second was collage/recycled stuff for texture, the third stamps/stencils for pattern, the fourth words/images for focal point and lastly pen/pencil for finishing details. 

Why is it that 15 minutes is so long when we are waiting at the Doctor’s office or for a table at our favorite restaurant and so short when we are on Pinterest trying to be creative? One would think it easy to doodle some words and scribbles on 20 pages in 15 minutes, right? Wrong! Once again the timer kicked my butt and although I worked on all 20 pages, I am nowhere near finished.  Mostly what I did during this time is to outline pictures and words with my Pitt Pens and then smudged the lines to give a blended effect. You have to look really hard to see it in these pictures, but trust me I did it.

Here are some pictures of pages I have been working on. I won’t bore you all to death with all twenty pages.

Shannon says in her video that after you finish the 5 sessions you have “free time” to work on the pages as you wish. These pages are really just in their beginning stages and will take a lot more work. I am looking forward to working on them and will post some pictures here and there as I get the pages done. The thing with mixed media is that I “have to be in the mood” in order to do it well. 

Now, drum roll please! Here is the status of the heinous page so far……

Beginning to look not so heinous after all!

Beginning to look not so heinous after all!