Journals, old and new

One of my New Year’s Eve traditions (besides drinking Asti Spumanti without apology) is to wrap up the current year’s daily journal and to pick out a new composition book for the upcoming year. On the left is my 2012 journal, all fat and full of memories and secrets and paint and glue. On the right, the book for 2013, full of promise and mystery.

No resolutions yet, no pretenses that there even will be. Just looking forward to another fresh start. Happy New Year, dear readers!

Journals: 2012 into 2013

pure tape-y genius from 3M

I’m back from Art Unraveled and have lots of cool artwork to share, but that has to wait because I found the coolest product  EVER. 3M makes these enclosed tape dispensers that look like donuts (which doesn’t lessen the appeal, in my mind) and come in fun, candy-like colors. They are filled with Scotch Magic Tape, but I took mine out and put in a roll of double stick tape.

This dispenser is perfect for your on-the-go journaling bag. I use glue stick a lot, but the tape comes in handy for quick add-ins and things that might be slightly heavier than the glue stick can handle. There’s a coupon that you can download and print, too. I bought the green one yesterday to try out, but I’m going to get more of these for my assorted supply bags. I never have to untangle my double stick tape from the other stuff in my bag ever again! This is brilliant!

Kelly Kilmer got me drunk on art this weekend…

…and today I have a wicked art hangover!

This past weekend, I took 5 mixed media workshops from Kelly Kilmer, who was the visiting artist at The Artists’ Nook this month. There are no words to describe how much I love Kelly’s classes and how much I get out of her workshops. Every time I take a Kelly class, I am able to play, experiment and I always get new ideas, either from her, or from expanding on something she or another student said.

This weekend’s highlights, not in any particular order:

  • Seeing Kelly and learning from her. She is so creative, free and amazingly supportive.
  • Getting to know Allyson better, and getting an awesome ego boost from her. *waves and paints Allyson’s hand*
  • Learning more about layering and color mixing and composition.
  • Realizing that some of the crazy stuff I do in my journals isn’t as crazy as I thought!
  • Seeing my old pals, like Susan and Marcy and Karen and Terry, who I haven’t seen in a long time. I really admire the talent of these ladies!
  • Meeting new people! Yes, I’m talking about you, you Ladies From Parker!
  • Three full days of making art and playing. Heaven.

Last night, I was so amped up, I made 14 of the little paper journals while we watched tv. I love them.

I think my favorite book was the Reclaimed book. I love the idea of taking old books, gutting them, and making new pages for them.


Clicking on any of the photos below should take you to my Flickr set of photos from this weekend. I should have taken more of the process, but I was too absorbed to even think of that.

Transcribed Altered Photos Revisited

Triptych Book Swatches: Little Paper Books

Reclaimed: An Altered Artist’s Book

recent mini quilts, journaling, collage and cards

I have been very very busy finishing Christmas gifts (yes, really) and, more recently, valentines. I’ve also been working on the Collage Challenge with Crowabout and assorted swaps. I have so much to show, so I put a few of each type of item here (click on photos to see larger version), but there are a lot more on my Flickr site.

Mini quilts. These are fun and I’m finally getting the hang of using my machine. I’m no expert, but I like the way these are all coming out. The base fabric is stuff I painted in workshops with Lisa Englebrecht (Maybe I’ll actually finish the projects I started in Lisa’s workshops someday!) last year. The two that say “hope” are for my youngest brothers and there’s a pocket made from a Hambly overlay that holds a prayer card from our dad’s funeral, which was last year on 2/14. The card is of St. Jude, who was my dad’s favorite saint (and is my second favorite). St. Jude is the patron saint of hopeless cases (and policemen) and I thought my brothers would like a little something to remind them to have hope for whatever their dreams may be. Recently I thought that gluing pony beads on the ends of the hanging stick would finish off the look nicely and I was right! Very happy with these.

Mini quilt for my brother Steve and his
wife. A belated Christmas 2008 gift!
Mini quilt for my brother Mike. A belated
Christmas 2008 gift!
This was Jennie’s Christmas gift and
it was less late than the ones for my family.

Collage stuff. I’ve been trying each week to find a little time to participate in the Collage Play With Crowabout challenge. Here are a few of the recent collages I’ve done using images from that challenge. If you are interested in playing along with us, email Nancy and ask for an invite. Let her know traypup sent you! I’m really enjoying art journaling lately and will be posting more pages from my journals in my next post.

Crowabout challenge week 20.
Crowabout challenge week 21.
Crowabout challenge week 22. The heads
are my mom and myself about 40 years ago.

Cards. Sometimes I have a hankering to make a ton of cards. I can’t bear to buy them in the store because I feel like making them from scratch means so much more. Plus, I have all of the stuff! So I collected all of my Valentine’s Day-related supplies and sat on the sofa watching movies with my husband and made a ton of cards. Here are a few:

Vday 2009 card for Devin
Assorted Vday cards
You make my heart whirl

So that’s what I’ve been up to lately! There is lots more that I’ll be writing about this week. I’m excited to get back into the swing of things.

AEDM: Days 7 – 8 – 9

I am mostly recovered from the weekend of workshops with Kelly Kilmer. Almost mostly recovered. That girl is such a generous, talented and creative instructor. She’s so clever, too! My brain has been whizzing with ideas since the weekend and when I try to sleep at night, I dream about pens and decorative packing tape. If you are at all interested in bookmaking, collage, journaling or simply expanding your horizons, look at taking one (or more!!) of Kelly’s classes. Here are a few of the things I did over the course of the weekend. There are more on my Flickr photo gallery.

None of these projects are complete. There is still a lot of journaling and collaging to be done (what a bummer…haha). I’ve spent the past two nights ripping collage images out of old magazines while we watch tv. Kelly really has inspired me. She also took a look at an ongoing project of mine and encouraged me to teach a class on it. I would never have thought it would be a good class idea, but once she turned on the light, I could see it! One of the other students said she would take a class like the one Kelly and I were talking about, so I’m going to work on outlining that over the next month or so.

The Storyteller book was fun. We made a book out half of a parent sheet of cardstock, folding and cutting following Kelly’s instructions. It’s a fun little book and I can see it being a great travel journal or journal for a specific event where you might not need a whole lot of pages like in a regular book or journal. Here is the cover and one of the spreads within the book.
The Storyteller

Little Book of Faux Monoprints started from sheets of cardstock that we painted and on which we used a bunch of monoprinting exercises. At some point, I just started painting pages and then smooshing them together with another page. It was so freeing. This little book is so cute, but I am not sure what I’m using it for yet.

Snippets was awesome. I love the shape and size of this book and Kelly’s methods of making split pages within the book are really cool. I never would have thought of them myself! This is just the cover. None of my collages inside are complete yet.

Little Book of Faux Monoprints Snippets- A Unique Artist Book
Goin’ Postal was a 2-hour class where we used 6×9 matboard to create mailable art. I am a big fan of mail art and appreciated Kelly’s input on my compositions. This little girl really haunts me. The other side of this card and the other postcard I started are on Flickr.

And I finally learned Japanese stab binding in the Fukoro Toji or Little Bound Book. It’s not as difficult as I thought it was, probably because Kelly is such a good instructor.

Goin’ Postal Fukoro Toji or Little Bound Book

AEDM: Days 1 & 2

I have to admit, despite my excitement to start Art Every Day Month, I wasn’t as motivated when I sat down to do art. But luckily, AEDM basically covers any form of creativity. So here are the creative things I did this weekend:

  • I made a big batch of pizza sausage tonight, managing to turn $10-12 worth of meat into the makins for a total of 6 easy meals for Tim and myself. Yay! And pizza dough was on sale, so that was an extra bonus.
  • Started writing a letter to my aunt.
  • I created our menus for the upcoming week.
  • I began planning the autumn and Christmas decorating (in my head).
  • I doodled in my daily journal, setting up my November calendar page spread.
  • I jotted down a couple of pages of ideas for canvases.
  • When I went to look for my canvases, I realized that stepping over everything and not being able to find what I’m looking for was hindering my creativity, so I did some filing, organizing, recycling and trashing. I filed a bunch of ATCs from swaps and figured out how I’m going to handle inchies (now that I am in love with them and am compelled to make many more).
  • I came up with my plan for revamping an area of my office that isn’t making me happy.
  • Informed myself and my husband that my “office” is now officially my STUDIO and we will never refer to it as an office again.

And, just so this post isn’t devoid of pretty pictures, I’ve added a photo of a recent journal spread I did in an RR. I am in love with this spread and luckily, the owner of the journal in which I did it loves it too! yay!

And after I post this and finish the letter to my aunt, I am going to doodle some more.

Squeezing in art

I’m finally starting to realize that I’m not the only woman on this earth who’s busy and has too much on her plate. I know a lot of it is my own doing. I can’t help having so many interests! And having a lot to do is the nature of running a sole proprietorship. This is just the way life is. The trick is in how I handle it. My lists go a long way towards keeping order. Now I’m working on not whining so much and getting a handle on the anxiety that a long to do list brings along with it. Mom also sent me some vitamin B-12 supplement drops that seems to be helping a little.

1st embroidery attemptWork has been super busy, so I haven’t had much time this week to make stuff, but I’ve been squeezing in some reading and calendar journaling (see photos below). I’ve finished the current issue of Somerset Studio and can’t wait to alter some cutlery. And the current issue of CRAFT has the most amazing (and hilarious) instructions on how to make little stuffed monster dolls and I cannot WAIT to start making some of those. I am, however, being true to my promise of finishing my unfinished projects before I take on new ones.

Well, mostly, anyway. I got a wild hair (or hare, whatever) about taking an online class for webby research purposes and signed up for Susan Sorrell’s Doodle Designs class. It’s a lot more embroidery than I expected and I am not really good at it, but I’m giving it a go! My first piece is shown here. It’s requiring me to have patience, which I really need practice with, so that’s good for me.

That’s all I have today. I do want to let those of you who are commenting here know that I finally did get your comments. I forgot to check my inbox for a few days and found I had a pile of comments to approve. It’s funny how I remember to tell my clients all of these things, but when it comes to my own sites, I tend to forget the simplest things!

Below is the work I did in my pal Karen’s calendar journal for January. This is part of a yearlong project via the Calendargirlz Yahoo Group. If you click the photos, you’ll be taken to Flickr, where you can see larger versions.