Friday, November 30, 2012

Last day of the month and the end of a good week......


Today is Friday, and the day I can participate in my two favorite Linky parties, Kate at The Kathryn Wheel Monthly Calendar and Julie Balzer's Art Journal Every Day.

So, here goes...............IMG_3513

This is my introduction to my December calendar and a much better picture than the one below, showing the facing pages.  You get the idea....the blank side will be filled in with my daily "comings and goings"!

IMG_3511 I kinda' stretch the monthly calendar rules by making my calendar much more journal like, but still my monthly calendar.....the last half of December 2012 will be recorded on these pages, below, I will journal in and around the circles!IMG_3514

Finally, last June I did a 6 month recap of classes I had taken, special family happenings and general good, in keeping with my new tradition, I am doing the same thing again by highlighting special memories from July thru December 2012.






These could be considered my "gratitude" pages!  It's fun to glance back and be reminded of all the good things that happen in our lives.

Join me by visiting Julie and Kate's blog and I know you will be inspired.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Lucy's book is done....finally!


You may remember, last spring, I shared with you some pages of a book I was making for my great granddaughter, Lucy's second birthday.  I missed her birthday but, it is finally done....just in time for Christmas.


I wanted this book to be educational for Lucy, turns out I learned a thing or two just by making it. 


One thing I learned is I like "instant gratification"......this was not instant!  It was a big project and took a lot of time.  I had to design the book as I went along plus figure out how to make sturdy enough for a child to actually play with it and interesting enough to hold a child's interest.

IMG_3497 It would have gone a lot faster, had I not kept thinking "oh, I could do this" or "oh, I could add that".  It has been a challenge.....a good one.  I'm, already, thinking of one more fun thing I could do to the book binding!  I need to call it "finished"!  

There is a total of twelve pages but I'll wait until after Christmas to show those....I want to save the surprise for Lucy's parents.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Stamp carving.....


I really enjoy stamp carving and these are my latest........


One stamp is more stained than the other because of the type of ink I've used.  I'm not sure if you can tell but the black one is a chair facing you and the other is the back side of the same chair.

Here's how I've used them in my journal....





Before lettering!









After lettering and a few other details.





IMG_3470 With the addition of a hanging bouquet of mistletoe and the word "waiting", this page has a rather ethereal, lonely look....with the chair facing the wall or is it looking out into open space.....just waiting.


Meanwhile, on this side everything is set to party!






While I had the ink and brayer out, I decided to print a few Christmas cards.  I'm going to make a some more in other colors and add a few embellishments.



Woo Hoo! Love those stamps.  I invite you to join me at Mary Walker's blog party "Show me what you've got" and Julie Balzer's Art Journal Every Day!

Friday, November 16, 2012

WIP - Work in Progress........


It's been a busy week, but I'm working on journal pages.....with no single theme!  It seems pretty random to me, we'll see where it takes me.  Right now, we are between fresh lettuce and please be seated with some of my thoughts on creativity thrown in, hum!  Sometimes it is better NOT to over analyze and this may be one of those times.

IMG_3462 A friend gifted me with some walnut ink that she made!  The background is wet gesso spread over the page and sprayed with walnut ink and blended with a credit card.  In real life, the color is closer to the brown on the left side than the gray on the right.



I had some fun gluing on cardboard and pieces of paper and tissue paper. 

I used India ink and correction pen on the lettering, with touches of Pitt pen and pencil. 

I think this side looks close to finished!









The fun is in the details!  I've, also, sprayed it several times with diluted walnut ink that created the speckles and splotches you can see here.





This page really has some blank spots....I like my chair drawing just not sure what to do next.  I started out by asking myself that question at the top of the page, above the tape measure.........."where do we go from here".






It's fun to look at these pages close up, the small details show up so much better.

I drew this chair for the purpose of carving a stamp with this design.  So, I'll be carving a stamp and finishing this page this weekend. 

Hope you have a good weekend and are able to include some time to create!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Latest class project.....


Finished making another longstitch book in the on-line class I am taking from Diana Trout......actually, the class is called Longstitch, 2 ways.  The "two ways" refers to the two techniques used to finish the spine, exposed spine and hidden spine.

This one is the hidden spine.....I like it!


IMG_3437  This is the front covered with the fabric/paper I made for this class with a yellow ribbon closure.





The fun, little stitches that give it it's name, Longstitch!  This is called hidden spine because the pages of the book do not show, only the spine of the book.








For the pages on the inside, I used a combination of watercolor paper and brown kraft wrapping paper.   Should make the book fun and interesting for sketching and/or journaling.





I used hand painted paper for the end pages of the book, or the inside cover pages.









So...when you open the book this is what you see.








This has been a fun class.  I hope to get a few more journal/books together for Christmas gifts.

Hope you are enjoying your Veteran's Day and a long weekend. 

Friday, November 9, 2012



It has been busy around here, so I thought I would just play a little catch up today!

IMG_3358 I spent several days cleaning, clearing and de-stashing my studio.  Actually, these shelves still look tidy......I've already messed up the rest of the room....that's a good thing, right!  I need to paint the walls in this room!  Let me think about that, a bit.

I mentioned the bookmaking class I'm taking from Diana Trout....well, here is my first finished book. 


The cover is called "woven" and the binding stitch is longstitch and made with paper/cloth that I made.


This photo was taken before I was finished with the cover but it shows the binding better.  I made a few mistakes but I, also, learned a lot.

Tuesday was the class I'm helping to teach based on Julia Cameron's book "Vein of Gold".  The class is a part of the local community colleges program called Continued Learning in Retirement, so all the students are retired and mostly female.  This young at heart group make up in enthusiasm whatever they might lack in skill.  For our art project we started making an accordion books today. 




This is class sample #1, where I used only magazine photos.







Class sample #2, this one I used stamps, dried flowers, collage and ink.  On the other side I included some family photos.



So here we go......spreading acrylic paint on to watercolor paper.




On the left, is the other "teacher Jan", she is illustrating one of Julia's theories  about "cups".  On the right, a group of students deeply engrossed in pre-class conversation.

One of our students, Jane, was born and raised in Holland, surviving World War II and has begun writing her life journal, shown below.

PicMonkey Collage

This is such a wonderful gift to her family.  This is Jane's life.....her joys and her her words and from her point of view. 

IMG_3405 I really like the way she has divided some of her pages leaving a column open for her hand drawn sketches and notes pertaining to the main story!

Now, I've started the second book for the class and getting ready to help the class decorate their accordion books. 

Have a good weekend. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

What a nice surprise!


This morning I received a nice surprise when Lynn Holland, the creator of Sketchbook Friends e-mailed me that my blog and photos were being feature on her new blog!

Just click on "Sketchbook Friends" above and check out this great new blog designed to encourage creativity and journaling!  Lynn is busy working on her Sketchbook Project book which I think needs to be completed and in the mail by the end of January.

Read more about The Sketchbook Project HERE!  And you can visit Lynn's inspiring blog at One I Made Earlier Today, you will love the photo on her header!

So, thanks Lynn and I hope a few fellow journal artists will join me in following one or all three of these blogs.....'cause they are COOL!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012