Thursday, July 24, 2014


Just playing with photoshop ... keeping cool on this warm summer day


No, this wasn't a project selected for this week ... I was just in the mood to play.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Sorting, sorting, sorting

Recently, I've been struggling with something ... what kind of art do I really want to do? It all started a few weeks (months?) back when I began to sort my art room. I removed all the piles of things on top of surfaces and on the floor ... removed them to our guest room. That led to sorting drawers, paper and fabric. Okay ... progress. Empty art table, sorted drawers. Now what. 

Since that initial burst of energy, slowly projects have been brought back into the space. Projects that seem interesting for a day or two. Then something else catches my fancy ... and I'm off in search of stuff in the other room to bring back. Currently my art space has six projects in various stages. Once again, all the stuff mingles (paint, fabric, beads, unfinished books) ... mingles to create a visual chaos. Once again, I make an item on my "to do" list to clear it all off.

Last week I had an idea ... only have one (maximum two) project out at once. Pick something to do and do it for the week. Try not to be distracted (which means stay off the computer where I'm constantly inspired!). Try to make progress with this one (or two) projects. Try to keep in mind that I can always do something else next week.

So today, I'll be selected my projects. My 2nd half 2014 planner which I'm making and one other - not sure which of the remaining 5 I'll choose. The rest will be moved to the guest room. 

Yesterday, my inner mentor sent me a strong message. Seek art projects that bring me joy, make me happy. Do those. Only do those. Let the rest go (ya know, all those things that other people do that inspire me but don't fulfill me). My inner mentor suggests that if I only work on things that bring me joy, I will actually find that inner voice that I've sought for years (and have written about before).

So, in thinking about this, these are 10 art projects that bring me joy:

  1. Creative doodles
  2. Using these to create greeting cards
  3. Making scrappy journals; bookbinding
  4. Visual documenting my life (in my scrappy journals)
  5. Fabric collage - creating art quilts
  6. Hand stitching and beading
  7. Creating background pages; decorating with everyday stuff (sometimes used in #3)
  8. Playing with photos
  9. Creating postcards with these altered photos
  10. Funky fibers - knitting, weaving
That's still a large list ... but it's a place to start as I continue this journey (and as I sort through the piles that have gathered throughout the last few years.)

"Creativity is a pathway to personal and spiritual growth"
~ Janice Elsheimer

Monday, July 21, 2014

Scrappy Journal

This is a one-of-a-kind handmade artist book/journal. The cover is fabric that I have machine stitched. Decorative stitching is added for texture and interest. 

The inside pages are a variety of papers, including painted cardstock papers and scrapbook papers. I’ve left pages unembellished, allowing freedom to use it for journaling, photos, art, or junque journaling.

 There are four hand-sewn signatures, each with 2 or 3 pages creating 40 pages to use. There is a pocket sewn into both inside covers. A ribbon is included as a closure The size is roughly 6 by 9 inches.  This journal is meant to be filled with photos, journal writing, quotes, and whatever is desired. 
To see other scrappy journals,  “scrappy journal” under labels.

Friday, July 04, 2014

Travel Journal

I recently visited the East Coast and made this travel journal to hold memories. 

I used a Pennsylvania/New Jersey map to create an accordion style book, folding the bottom to create pockets.

The pockets contain photos and ephemera. Some photos have journaling on the back. Washi tape reinforces the borders of each spread. I wouldn't use a map again as it's too light weight.

I love how interactive the book is. However I watched my husband "read" it, holding it in his hands like a real book. It was not "natural" for him to pull things out of the pockets. My daughter, on the other hand, immediately laid it on her lap and knew how to "read" it. It's always interesting to observe others open and "read" books that are interactive.

The cover is a heavy piece of scrapbook paper. There is a sheen that you can't see here. I glued the front and back "pages" to the cover, so it doesn't really open as an accordion.

A bead from my stash and waxed linen creates the closure. I really like the way it turned out. It's a fun structure to capture memories. Thanks to Kiala Givehand and her BIAD series for the inspiration.

Saturday, June 21, 2014


Following along with Roben Marie Smith creating art using Kiala Givehand's Inspiration Deck, I created the following art journal page. This was really fun. I stopped at 20 items:

1. Add collage.  2. Add acrylic paint.  3. Create and use shapes from old book pages.  4. Add a tag, label or envelope.  5. Doodle.  6. Write with paint brush and india ink or paint.  7. Add a photo.  8. Doodle or draw random shapes. 9. Add acrylic paint.  10. Add washi, tissue or masking tape.  11. Use stickers.  12. Use your favorite rubber stamp.  13. Add ephemera. 14. Add acrylic paint. 15. Draw something. 16. Write something with your non-dominant hand. 17. Add paint using something other than a paint brush.  18. Add numbers.  19. Use black gesso or paint to cover something up. 20. Add doodles or text using a white pen or marker.

 This page was created on a background page with excess paint and tape and collage. It was inspired by Diana Trout. I'm thinking of taking her Wildflowers class (even though I promised myself I'd not take any more classes or buy any more books ... until I've worked my way through the classes and books I already have.)
Clearly I have flowers on my mind
Working my way into summer with lots of projects going on.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Another transformation

Here's the other painting ... quite a transformation.

 FROM ...


Really enjoying intuitive painting ... when there is no plan and many paths.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Anatomy of a Painting

On Friday, I had a desire to paint. Haven't had that urge in quite some time. Looking at videos of Connie Hozvicka of Dirty Footprints Studio painting the feminine, I was inspired to do some intuitive painting. Here is the transformation. You can click on each to see more clearly.


I find intuitive painting to be quite fascinating. I worked on another one at the same time but left it in the ugly creature stage until another time.

Sunday, May 04, 2014

Artist voice ... or what, exactly, do I want to say?

Connie Rose wrote in a recent blog post about why one creates. It was like reading my own creative journey. Connie, like me, has also taken numerous courses, tried many techniques, and has invested in a lot of art supplies. She still hasn't found "her place" or what I have continually referred to as my "artist voice." It's what I seek, and seek, and seek (with every new course, with every new book, with every new click on a blog).

Connie talks about nothing deep and meaningful appearing ... needing to be expressed. Wow ... that's me! That's why art journaling is so unsatisfying to me. I let my deep self express in my written morning pages. When there is something to ponder, I write about it. That satisfies my need to express and over the years has shown insights and surprises and confirmations. I can't imagine a morning without writing. Putting image or color to the words doesn't add to the expression. I don't have that 'aha' moment others talk about.

Recently I cleared out my 'studio' of all "miscellaneous stuff" on surfaces. Filled the guest room. I mean filled it. Stuff that has gotten put on top of carts or on the floor, or stuffed into bags. Stuff that represents ideas or new art supplies that came home and never found a use or storage place. Bags of stuff "I'll use someday."

That was quite freeing. To see my art table and sewing table and desk clear ... beautiful open space. I decided I'd eventually begin to organize the stuff. Started with my carts containing fabric. Then I decided to only bring back into the art space what I was working on. What a novel concept. I can actually find the fabric and embroidery floss ... it is no longer hidden under the pile of stuff.

So, what does this have to do with my "artist voice"? By clearing my space and thinking about what I'll bring back in, I've learned ...

  • I love color
  • I love fabric and fibers
  • I love making scrappy journals
  • I love documenting my life in scrappy journals
  • I love to doodle
  • I love to take photographs

These things bring me joy. I feel satisfied when I'm engaged in any of these things.

I think the best way to describe what I want to express is 'happiness'. I'd like my work to bring a smile. I'd like it to elicit "That's pretty!" Shallow? Yes, for sure. However, I don't believe the world suffers from too much prettiness or beauty or happiness. So, for now, my artist voice is clearly expressing itself through colorful and playful art. For now, that is enough.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Happy Flowers

This is what I've been up to ...
Happy Flowers I
These started as a black and white composition exercise ... several years ago. Just black lines on white background.
Happy Flowers II
 I decided they called for flower shapes. So I used the flowers you buy to make arrangements, took them apart and combined with fused fabric petal and round shapes.
Happy Flowers III
This one was a variety of black/white fabrics fused to black background. They all were stitched to craft felt which, after hand stitching, was backed by red craft felt. They both provided borders. They are approximately 8" x 10".

For all, I added buttons and beads and sequins. They were all heavily hand-stitched (I believe you can click on each to see details). I love the process of hand stitching ... quite meditative.

I'm thinking of listing them for sale. I'm also thinking of submitting them to a local exhibit. Both (pricing and exhibit opportunities) will take some research. In the meantime, I'm hanging them up so I can enjoy them. They make me happy! I hope they bring a smile to you.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Pay It Forward

I saw this on Jacki Long's blog and decided I wanted to play. I think it will be fun to see what we make and what we receive!

Pay It Forward Art-making Project for 2014 *

I promise to make a small work of art for the first five people who comment on this post and say "YES, I want in". A 'like' alone is not enough of a commitment, nor is a comment about thinking Pay It Forward is a great idea.
You must in turn post the rules and make something for the first five who comment on your post.

The rules are simple:– It has to be your work, made by you, and the recipient must receive it before 2014 ends.– It can be anything art-based: a drawing/illustration or a conceptual work of art, a photograph, a knitted item, cross-stitch, paper maché – or anything in between.
I'm paying this forward thanks to Jacki Long.  Yes, you can be on each other's pay it forward lists.
First five, GO!
PS. It doesn't matter if you aren't an artist, try something out, google/ YouTube how to make stuff, step out of those boundaries.
 Step 1  Copy & Paste this as your latest entry on your favorite social website (in my case, it’s this blog).
 Step 2   For the first five people who comment on this blog entry saying they want to participate, you will do an art trade with them that must be completed by December 31st 2014.  If you find your friends are keen you can do as many as you want. 
Step 3   All forms of art count including creative writing, photography, digital anything goes!
So ... are you in?