Saturday, August 30, 2014

nature and so forth

♥♥♥ more daily paper prompts, WAHEY! ♥♥♥

since 99% of my art journaling is done after 10pm, it wasn't really practical to go outside for this one, so i carried a pot with several different plants in it into the living room, and sketched and colored one leaf of each. i'll tell you what, if you really want to *SEE* something try to draw it... you focus and notice details that just kind of fly right past in "real life"!

for me, the hardest part of doing a daily journal exercise type of thing is trying to KEEP IT an exercise, rather than yielding to the impulse to create a finished piece. i think i might start calling mine a "workbook" instead of an art journal, just to remind me i'm supposed to be practicing! in the meantime, this page makes me happy because it's seriously UGLY but i didn't start over... i played with it until the assignment was done, noted the interesting things i learned (tombow markers can be blended with a paintbrush like watercolors!) and called it a night. go, me!!! :)

i always have a couple of art books or magazines in jeff's car and a couple next to the treadmill, just because i know those will be "dead" times i might want to flick through and soak up a little bit of someone else's creativity! at the moment i most often reach for dina wakley's art journal freedom, a sketchbook compilation called an illustrated life and joanne sharpe's whimsical lettering.

so what are ♥YOU♥ reading right now?

Friday, August 29, 2014

baby it's ♥GOLD♥ outside!

hello darlings, it's time for a new adventure at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥! this time we have our lovely friend and fellow belle lisa hausmann setting the prompt and she wants to see GOLD: embellies, paper, glitter, sequins, embossing, alphabets, you name a cool papercrafting supply and my guess is, it'll look even better in gold, on a christmas card, so go as crazy as you'd like! here's what i did:

patterned paper: mambi, dcwv, autumn leaves; glitter paper: doodlebug; glossy white cardstock: paper accents; doilies from my stash; tree die: sizzix; doily die: cheery lynn designs; velvet florals and leaf: petaloo; gold sentiment: best creation; adhesives: elmers brand gluetape runner, 3m foam tape, mini gluedots, sewing machine

i've used a few golden items: the diecut tree is composed of doily scraps interlayered with bits of doodlebug glitter-encrusted cardstock; the sentiment is one of those foil peel-off thingies; the little velvet flowers have a touch of gold glitter; and finally the background paper is a gold filigree print. i used a new-to-me challenge called sketchbook saturday, where the current offering is rather fab:

why not hop over to ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ and see the divinely gilded awesomeness which lisa and stephanie have made, then start making your own plans to go for the gold with us!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

0% APR!!!

...when you use your favorite credit card to PAINT WITH!!!

ok, no, that isn't technically a credit card, it's a defunct wholesale club membership card, but i really did use it... as per tammy's instructions... to make my latest daily paper prompt essperiment, see?

i'm sure you've seen various ways applying paint in this manner, and i have to say, it almost always results in something unexpected, colorful and cool! the one thing i did differently this time is to put the paint on the card, rather than on the page, before spreading it about. it allowed me to keep the colors more or less in spectrum order, to make swirly rainbows!

i am frankly horrible about making things anywhere except in my house, but i'd like to get better! admittedly, this time i only went as far as our back deck, but i did sit out there for an hour or so and paint the seven norway spruce we planted when we moved in, and it was REALLY fun.

at the moment, given anything vaguely freestyle, i've been choosing to doodle and practice lettering. so that's what i did here. and yes, in real life the green marker background is capable of causing retinal damage. (yikes!) :)

if you want to know what this technique is actually supposed to look like, you need to click the link and read about it, because this isn't it, lol. i tried a variation that didn't realllllllllly work, but art journaling is all about trying something NEW, right? i kind of like the lotus; and i really like the blue watercolor background. so there's that!

what new art experiments have ♥YOU♥ tried this week? it's not too late... thursday is an excellent time to do something totally new, don't you think, darlings?

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

SOS166: A-B-C

this week it's a bit of a change up at shopping our stash, you actually get to choose your own challenge! there's a bit of a catch, though... (you saw that coming, right?) need to incorporate something that starts with an A, a B and a C and you must make sure to tell us what they are! here are some ideas to get you started, but of course you can use ANYTHING you like. anything that starts with A, B and C, that is! :)

A: ant, anchor, arrow, apple, arithmetic 
B: bee, button, bow, bonnet, ball, brad 
C: candy, carrot, car, corn, curtain, cow, comet, chipboard, chalkboard

i've made an ANNIVERSARY card for my sister and her husband, it features two little loveBIRDS called amie and john, and together they are sitting up in the CLOUDS, as lovebirds tend to do!

patterned paper: dcwv, 7 gypsies, mme + scraps of girls paperie, prima, bo bunny, october afternoon and some inky ephemeral experiments of my own; ink: colorbox; misc buttons from my stash; font: LD soda shoppe (printed on an avery clear label); adhesives: elmers brand gluetape runner, 3m foam tape, gluedots, sewing machine

i was inspired by this gorgeous card i found online. i fell in loooooooooove with those funky paper-pieced birds and wanted to try making my own version. i think these came out pretty well, though i do still sort of like the "inspo birds" a bit more. i've a feeling you'll be seeing additional attempts later on, so there's that to look forward to, lol!

i was also inspired by the current (awesome!) deconstructed sketch: 

admittedly my finished card morphed quite a ways away from it. here's my first background, which is much more faithful. i had set the whole thing aside at bedtime with the birds and heart not yet attached (i wanted to use the sewing machine, located almost EXACTLY under my sleeping husband's head) and when i came back in the morning the grey and the red were just not doin' it for me, so i swapped out to a lighter brighter background. it's wider, too, so the clouds on the graph paper would not be entirely hidden behind the heart. i think i like the shape and layout of the original version best, but the colors and vibe of the finished card.

speaking of finished cards, there are a bunch more A-B-C examples made by my DT-mates over at SOS. why not stop by and check them out, darlings? ♥

Sunday, August 24, 2014

i've ruined this one...

...and i'm pretty proud of that, actually. because it's soooooooooo tempting to stop while an experiment is going well, isn't it? but then you never make the awesome NEXT DISCOVERY! of course, sometimes the next discovery is, "there's waaaaaaaaay too flippin' much stitching on this!" which doesn't make it any less awesome to have been discovered. because that's the whole point of art journaling, generally, and the daily paper prompt, in particular. so here are a few new ones:

ok, strictly speaking, the prompt was STAMP a mandala, but it was late and my stamps were in another room and my circle and butterfly punches were sitting right next to me; i plead self-defense. (and it really does give a similar effect!) the grouping of the punched shapes and the colors were cool. the first layer of stitching made it even better. the second layer of stitching... not so much... but process is more important than outcome, so i'm callin' this a BIG WIN! :)

i very nearly didn't do this one. or at least, i was planning to make a collage. because as much as i looooooooooooove hand-drawn maps, one thing i knew for sure when i sat down is that i couldn't draw one. until i did!!! ok, yeah, i'm never going to win any prizes for realism or steadiness of hand. but it turns out i really ♥LOVE♥ drawing, and i really love this, my officially unofficial snack map of manhattan!* (and yes, for the record, these are all real snacks available at the named venues which are more or less where i've placed them in lower manhattan!)

something hitherto unsuspected that i learned the summer before last, via ICAD: i can draw mandalas and i really enjoy it! who knew?

*coming next week: the sweets of san francisco!!! :) (just kidding!) (ok, i was kidding, but we did have some AWESOME food there, too. hmmmmmmmmm...)

Friday, August 22, 2014

it is a truth, universally acknowledged...

...that the cards we love most are always the hardest ones to photograph. a fact i shall be happy to prove in a moment; but first, allow me remind you that this fortnight's card prompt at ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ is called "the hanukkah song"* and the brief is to make cards for our friends and relatives who don't necessarily celebrate christmas. despite the title, you're not limited to hanukkah however; ANY of the "other" (aka non-christmas) winter holidays will work: kwanzaa, new year, hogmanay, solstice... OR... you can go completely non-denominational and make a general winter-themed card.

i went with hanukkah this time, and built my card around a grungy, layery, digital collage i made in photoshop and printed on an inkjet transparency. that's where the photo troubles began. because of course anything reflective is almost impossible to photograph in sufficient light. which essplains why the background of picture has such a grey cast. sigh. but the card's pretty cool anyway, i think:

(digital products: trimmed down grungy blue background paper from kathryn wilson's "inner artist" set; handwritten "happy" overlay from anna aspnes' "retro holiday" art play palette; see-through snowflakes brushes by rhonna farrer; grungy lace brushes #1 by katie pertiet, designer digitals; real-life products: white texty patterned paper: basic grey; chunky silver glitter thickers: american crafts; glossy black cardstock: paper accents; ink: stewart superior; adhesives: staples brand gluetape runner, sewing machine)

you may not have noticed right away-- at least i kind of hope you didn't-- but there were NO official hanukkah-themed products involved in the making of this card. i used hanukkah colors (blue, white and silver) and sparkly letters to spell out the sentiment, and that's all; but i think it gets the message across. the letters are glitter-encrusted chipboard and the "happy" has been machine stitched to add a little texture. because even though i love and appreciate CAS cards, rather to my chagrin, i am physically unable to make them. here's a shot that shows the detail a little better. the operative words here being "a little":

be sure to hop over to ♥JINGLE BELLES♥ to check out Stephanie's gorgeous (and wonderfully photographed!) card and upload your own masterpiece!

*in tribute to the awesomely eponymous ditty by the great bard adam sandler! :)

Thursday, August 21, 2014

lettering and other stuff

my doodling + watercolor obsession has morphed... in the way these things do tend to morph... into a doodling + watercoloring (or markering) (yes, that is too a word!) my own fonts. ok, well, technically a few of them are my own fonts, whilst the others i've seen online and tried to copy. my favorite letterers (ok, i'm not sure that one is a word, actually, but you know what i mean) so far are pam garrison, joanne sharpe, julie balzer and martha lever, not to mention daisy yellow's creator, miss tammy! but there are sooooooooo many awesome examples out in the world, i want to try them all and then make them into my own thing!!! meanwhile, here's the latest batch of daily paper prompts, some of which feature... wait for iiiiiiiiiiit... LETTERING! :)

i'm getting more confident with shapes, i've started to play with patterns and of course i've always loved color. my biggest issue is SPACING. see the two S's at the end of success? yeah. for that matter, all of the doodles and arrows were added at the end to fill/balance my spatial issues, but i think i did an ok job of it, actually. oh yeah, and everything leans just slightly to the left, but that's an easy fix, i think i just need to pencil in center lines to keep me on track.

this prompt was devised and hosted by gretchen miller, whose blog, creativity in motion is quite seriously awesome. i definitely feel like i strayed away from the dictionary page being the focus; but since this is an example of my favorite way to work whilst journaling... basically to just keep DOING STUFF and see where it ends up... i'm fine with that, in fact i'm happy about it. 

ok, i confess, after a couple of late-night tries i realized that i had NO IDEA at all how to draw a chandelier, so rather than give up, i totally cheated and found one online that i liked and copied it. the left half took me about 10 minutes to sketch out; the mirror-image right half took like 40 minutes! symmetry is HARD, people!!! (and yeah, even more than my lettering-- or even my politics-- my drawings all lean to the left!!!) 

i already had a stand-by set of supplies that i keep in a little plastic schoolbox type thing for doing travel journals, but for this i made a second version in hopes it will encourage me to go out and sketch. watercolor tablet, travel set of paints, and the brush-wrap i made myself from a remnant of oilcloth when i couldn't find one at the art supply store. (my friend lelia gave me the cool ganesh mini-tote a couple of years ago, and it's the PERFECT size for this!)

i love the lettering on this (she said modestly!) and it's even STRAIGHT! i'm not uber-keen on the rest. especially since those magazine lips are sooooooooooooo awesome and i feel like i didn't do them justice. ah well. i do love the lettering, though. :)

this prompt was devised and hosted by patricia dattoma, whose examples are astonishing, you really need to click that link; and it was sooooooooooo totally ♥FUN♥ to do!

meanwhile, the lettering craze means i'm deeply in need of some short quotes or catch phrases on which to practice, so if you have a favorite quote OR quote site, leave me a link in the comments, k?! thanks, quotable darlings! ♥