Tagged: art

Journaling By 5s, Part 4 (The Session I Feared The Most)

Alright so I am moving right along with my Journaling by 5s sessions which was created by Shannon Green. This is the fourth 15-minute session and I had to add my focal graphics and words. To me this was the step I really dreaded the most because this is the area I tend to over-think. 

I already have files of collage graphics and a box of words and sentences, however, I did cut some more out of some old magazines just in case.

So I got my glue stick, images, words, journal and timer ready.

Graphics on the left side, words and text on the right side all ready to go!

Graphics on the left side, words and text on the right side all ready to go!

I just had one preconceived idea which was to put light graphics on dark pages and dark graphics on light pages. The words and text would be whatever I grabbed. With only 15 minutes and twenty pages there really isn’t any time to think.

Nope! You're going to have to wait until the next step to see the pictures with text!

Nope! You’re going to have to wait until the next step to see the pictures with text!

This step was actually the easiest for me and I did finish in the time allowed. I’m okay with the results so far even if a lot of it doesn’t make sense yet. I still have a doodling session and some “free play” time to tie everything together. Stay tuned, I may even show you how the heinous page is coming along!

Journaling by 5s, Part 3 (How hard can it be to stamp and stencil?)

The tragedy project continues. Today I completed step three of Journaling by 5s by Shannon Green. This session focused on adding pattern to the journal pages using stamps and/or stencils. Pffffft. How hard could that be? Well, actually it’s wasn’t that easy.

First I had to decide which stamps and stencils to use which in itself was a 15 minute exercise. Next was choosing the colors. For some reason I thought it was a good idea to pull out almost every ink pad I had thinking I’d do some colorful stamping. Yeah, right. I did have a sane moment, though,  and limited my paints for stenciling to black and pearlized white. 

It wasn’t long after I started the timer that I realized there was a lot of cross-contamination of colors going on and letting my Staz-On Ink pad sit open for 15 minutes was almost making me hyperventilate. I couldn’t use a stencil with an ink pad once it was covered with paint and I didn’t have time to clean off the stamps in between every color. 

So, as sadly this stage turned into black stencils and patterns made by a piece of bubble wrap which is usually one of my favorites. So much for colorful stamping and stenciling. Here is the result of today’s “play time”.

Starting point when I still had high hopes for this session.

Starting point when I still had high hopes for this session.

I did like the use of the background script writing stamp and used it on several pages.

I did like the use of the background script writing stamp and used it on several pages. Too bad it’s upside down!

Black ink bubble stamp.

Black ink bubble stamp.

I tried to use an ink pad with a stencil which didn't work so well.

I tried to use an ink pad with a stencil which didn’t work so well.

Yup! Black paint on bubble wrap. You've got to love it!

Yup! Black paint on bubble wrap. You’ve got to love it!

Even though Jounaling by 5s can be a little stressful, it is a lot of fun and I have  been learning a lot, both about mixed media and about my own art style. Stayed tuned for tomorrow’s session when I add focal images and words!

Time's up and I'm left with a really big mess to clean up!

Time’s up and I’m left with a really big mess to clean up!

Junk Journal Swap Part 2

Okay, I’m finally getting around to showing you the awesome junk journal my friend Camilla gave me for our swap. To see the journal I gave her, read my  blog post titled “Junk Journal Part 1”. If you read my post about our junk journal swap you already know what the rules were. For those of you who don’t know the rules, they were fairly simple.

1. Nothing could be purchased for the journals from the day we agreed to do the swap. We wanted to use up some of the stuff we already had on hand and, of course, junk mail.

2. The finished journal had to be at least 1″ thick. I think we both met that criteria pretty well. The problem with junk journals is that they are so fun to make, it’s hard to stop!

Camilla  laid out my journal in specific sections such as my gym workouts, recipes and kitchen notes, fashion and style, family photographs, travel, art and vintage pictures. She did such an awesome job packing it with goodies. Enough with the talk, here are the pictures. Enjoy!

I’m so thrilled with this awesome journal and I’m glad we finally got to do the swap. I have a pile of stuff to go in it already. Guess what I’ll be doing tonight!


A Daily Dose of Art

I think everyone should make some form of art every day. There are many forms including drawing, collage, painting, coloring, stamping and even doodling. Making a little piece of art is very satisfactory as it provides a visual finished product. But who has time to finish a 9 x 12 canvas everyday? Not me, that’s for sure. So I needed to come up with a way to make daily art that doesn’t take a big time commitment. Hmmmm, what to do, what to do?

Pinterest to the rescue (again). Check out what I found on this website.


 It’s an altered rolodex! What a brilliant idea. I wanted to get one for myself and start making my own miniature masterpieces (or just doodles). On my first thrift shop outing after seeing this great idea, I was lucky enough to find this.

Lucky Find!

Lucky Find!


A couple of cards done and it looks like this.

Wow, really?

Wow, really?


As you can see I have a loooong way to go to even begin filling this baby up. And I also have the backs of the cards to do. I’m thinking this one rolodex will keep me busy for the rest of my life. I have no idea how many cards are in it, all I know is there are a lot. Here are some close-ups of the cards I have actually done.

First Card Done

Kindergarten Busy Work 





Going In Circles

Running In Circles





Little Things

Little Things


So maybe the next time you are at that yard-sale, thrift shop or flea market and you see an old rolodex, you will look at it as a new form of art instead of an out dated office supply. Now if you will excuse me, I have to start working on 1538 more pieces of miniature art!





The Art of Raisins

Catchy title, right? I couldn’t think of anything that was closer to the truth but just as enticing. So be prepared…this post is not about making art with raisins. So you may jump ship now if you really had your heart set on dried fruit art.

Usually I don’t buy the single serving size packages of food because they tend to be expensive. There is always and exception, though, and in this case it is these little boxes of raisins.


I bought these as a snack to eat on the way to or from the gym. When I had devoured all the raisins I remembered an idea I got from this blog post:


I decided to give this little box a second life. First I covered the whole thing with masking tape.


I wasn’t too careful here, I just made sure all the torn ends were on one side, which I made the back. Then I covered the whole thing with gesso.


Once the gesso was dry I went to town with paint, stamps, graphics, rub-ons and stickers. This is what I came up with.


I like the result. So I encourage you to splurge on the single serving size boxes every once in a while and enjoy some dried fruit while saving big on art supplies!

P.S. I don’t recommend using stamps or rub-ons in the middle of the box as there is too much “give” and your image won’t come out well.

Tiny Mixed Media and Great Big Fun

Today I had the luxury of going to my friend Camilla’s house to “play art”. She has a real studio (not a converted parlor). And you should see her toys! She’s got paints, stamps, stencils, papers and tools galore. We each “did our own thing” and kept each other company. We did actually take a break and have a delicious salad and scones for lunch, but then it was back to “play”. She worked on some pages of her art journal and they turned out fabulously. I worked on two of the tiny 3″ x 3″ canvases that I bought on my birthday. After many layers of gesso, paints, stamps, pens and graphics here are my finished pieces.

"Art" and "Joy"

“Art” and “Joy”


Unfortunately the flash makes them look a little washed out, but I am really happy with this tiny art!

An Art What????

As a mixed media artist I am always trying to learn about new techniques, new products, new trends, new diversions to avoid doing laundry, etc…Well, I found a new way to make art. It has actually been around for a long time, but it is new to me. It’s an art journal. I know, you’re thinking, “An art what?”

An art journal is exactly what it sounds like…a journal in which you make art. Now before I lose most of you because you are not “artists”, let me set you straight. ANYONE can make an art journal. If you don’t believe me, or if you don’t think your interested, hop on over to http://www.daisyyellowart.com.  This is an awesome website just filled with great pictures, inspiration and how-tos for art journaling. On the homepage of Tammy’s website, you will see a menu along the top. Click on the “Art Journaling 101” button.  She will give you all the tips you can handle. As a matter of fact, I’m not even finished reading that page!

But if you’d like to try making an art journal, just remember there is no right or wrong way to do it. And as Tammy says, “It is about the process, not the end result.” She also describes it as, “Playing with colors and words and images. Doesn’t that sound like fun. We all need more play (and less laundry) in our day!!!

Today I am going to show you how I made an art journal. Not the art part, as that will come later, but the actual journal book part. I made this last night out of stuff I literally had laying around. The funny part is that I went to a craft store today and I saw a pre-made journal from a famous maker for $12.99. It was made from basically the exact same things mine is.

Well, here we go….


Gather a bunch of different pieces of paper and cardboard. I suggest heavier papers (like water color paper) because you want it to be able to withstand paint, glue, pictures and a whole bunch of “whatever else moves you at the time”.


Cut the pieces to the same size. I chose 5″ x 7″.


I stitched this smaller folded piece down one side to make a pocket for tags.


Using a hole punch, make as many holes as you like. I made three.


I used these rings to hold the journal together, but you could use ribbon or sting (or a rubber band) just as well.


I wanted my pages to be different so I mixed up the order they went in.


I used a heavy cardboard for the cover and back so my journal will hold up.

And there you have it. I can easily add more pages if needed and I can take out pages to work on them without getting the rest of the book messed up. All at zero cost.

I urge you to try making an art journal AND making art in it! We take ourselves way too seriously and this is your little space to play “like a kid with a new box of crayons!”

P.S. I am going to TRY post a finished page from my art journal every day this week. I recommend you don’t hold your breath!!!!!

The Train Wreck

For the last couple of years, since I really started dabbling in mixed-media art, I have wanted my own studio. In my dreams it is a little cottage behind my house.  It is just for me. It has window boxes filled with pretty flowers on the side that faces the house. The back of my studio cottage is fenced in so I can watch my miniature donkeys, miniature horses and goats frolicking in the back yard. My cottage has a nice little powder room so I wouldn’t have to run back and forth to the real house after my 15 cups of morning coffee. There would also be a kitchenette so I wouldn’t have to run back and forth to the real house for my 15 morning snacks! Ahhhhh, but this is not to be. Not yet anyway. Right now I have to be content with this….

real1This horrible train wreck of a space is our parlor which serves as my studio/office. I am baring it all, the good, the bad and the ugly. Here is my art table. Let’s take a closer look….WARNING….graphic picture ahead!

real2As you can see from this explosion of who-knows-what, I have about 6″ of clear work space. Half of my collages have stuff that has just fallen on them or stuck to them from the work area. It kinda adds mystery to my art. I can hear people saying, “I wonder what the toothpick in the middle of this picture means. It’s probably something deep”. While I’m saying, “Where the heck is the toothpick I was just using to stir up my glue?”

real3These horrors are adjacent to my art table. There are books, buttons, a sewing box, boxes of feathers, trims, ribbons and my collection of cardboard. (Only other mixed-media freaks understand why I have a collection of cardboard) Behind the lace curtain is a cool old piece of furniture from and old hardware store. It has a zillion cubbies. Unfortunately they are so filled with odds-and- ends I get a migraine just looking at it!


My step-back cupboard dates from the 1920’s. There is so much junk on it, it looks like I’ve been collecting since the 1920’s. Let’s see, there’s jars of buttons, spools of thread, a giant jar of scrabble tiles, unfinished projects and a light-up statue of Mary that is also a music box and rosary holder. Don’t ask.

real5This disgrace is my desk. Is it any wonder I can never find the papers I’m looking for? There could actually be lost chocolates under there! That’s reason enough to clean up.

real6This built in bookshelf is next to my desk. Check out my sock monkey collection on the top shelf. Sweet, right? There are more on top of the step-back cupboard, you just can’t see them in the picture. I know what you’re thinking, sock monkeys, really? Yes, really! But alas, these shelves need work too.

So now that you’ve seen the ugly, I’ll show you the one good spot.

realThis is the mantle over my gas fireplace. It has lots of pretties on it and it’s all dressed up for Valentine’s Day. So basically one 6ft. shelf in an entire 15 x 16 foot room is not in a state-of-emergency.

I am therefore, right now, publicly letting you all know that in the next two weeks, (God willing and the creek don’t rise), I am going to make over this train wreck of a room. Not only will it be a pretty place for me to work, it will also be functional. So from then on anything stuck to a collage, like a toothpick or the cat, will be intentional and deep!!!!

Bag of Inspirations

Sometimes we all need a little inspiration. What am I going to wear today? What am I going to make for dinner? What am I going to blog about this week? What is my next collage going to be about? The list goes on…and on…and on. Well, I hit the jackpot yesterday with a paper bag. But wait, this is not any ordinary paper bag, it’s a Trader Joe’s paper bag!!!

ImageSad to say this bag did not come to me filled with Trader Joe goodies. Anyway, it was laying around the floor after I unpacked it and lo and behold, who took up residence in said bag?

ImageNone other than Miss Holly Golightly! Well, when she was finished playing house with it I was going to throw it away. It was too torn to put newspapers in for recycling which is what we do with paper bags. But no, I noticed it had some really cool graphics on it. Hmmmm, what to do, what to do?

ImageFirst I covered a piece of heavy cardboard with different pieces of text and then tore some of it away with masking tape to create this wonderful background. I just noticed the word “girdle” sticking right out in front. I can tell you, that was not planned!

ImageThen I got out some acrylic paints and got messy!!!

ImageAfter the initial background painting was done, I added some dimension by dabbing paint on bubble wrap, burlap and that rubbery stuff you put on shelves to keep your dishes from moving.

ImageNext came the graphics from the bags and some additional ephemera I had within reach carefully chosen. We’re getting there, but not done quite yet.

ImageSome stamping came next, followed by outlining certain objects to make them stand out more. So here are the finished projects.


ImageI think they turned out really well. Of course the only thing better to do with a Trader Joe’s bag than collage, is to actually carry some of their goodies home in one. I hope they consider my art a creative way to recycle!