Monday, June 17, 2013

Painting With Friends

Had a great time recently at a friend's house - she got a"paint with friends" sort of kit from Michael's (I forget the maker now), which had a template and color guidance for painting - 
- mine is in an art journal, of course.  It's fun how different they all came out, isn't it?    We ranged from comfortable with paint, to terrified, but everyones turned out so well!    I highly recommend it for a cool gathering.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Bookmaking Arts

A local friend opened her art studio/garage for a wonderful class, taught by the patient and funny Jeannine Stein.   Even having made a few books, I learned great little tips and tricks - classes are so fun that way.    
 Here's Jeannine showing us how to bind...

 ....And here's all of us showing off our finished books. 

 Jeannine was a treat not only because of her easy-going style, but she pre-cut all the blank pages and cover paper - yay!  Check out her blog for other classes around L.A. she'll be teaching - very much worth taking!
The big job ahead though, is convincing my husband we don't need to park in the garage, when it could be so better utilized as my creative wonderland.    Look at that shelf above us!  The room was filled with gorgeous art our hostess, Mikki Soliday, had made (that's her in the front left).  Thanks for the fun afternoon, Mikki and Jeannine!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

An Enchanted, Artistic Affair

If you've never gone on an art retreat, GO!  I did my second recently, "An Enchanted Affair", put on by the lovely, sweet, Kim Caldwell.  Not only did I make some wonderful things, and learn some new techniques, but I met amazing, kindred women.  It's so fun to be in a whole room full of women who love old lace, and fabric and color, and creating things.  I'm stealing a few pics from Karla Nathan, (who is just as amazing and kind as I'd hoped she'd be) because I somehow failed to take any, again.

That's me on the right, making my "stay glued down dammit" face.  And look how lovely the whole venue was...

...the whole thing was just perfect, and I can't wait to go again next year!  The theme will be "Downton Abbey", so I'll be looking for luscious tea dresses all year.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Playing with Pan Pastels - Review

So basically, I try all the new art gizmos and fads, so you don't have to.  I consider it a little service to humanity, NOT that I am at all addicted to trying new things, nope.

Pan Pastels are all over the art blogosphere lately, and they looked like fun, so of course I had to get some to try them out.  They look like this...

They have a nice texture, creamier than regular chalk, and have a great, watercolor-y look when blended.  They go on quickly: this page took maybe a half-hour (using stencils)...

 (ignore the stitching from the other side of the page)
The biggest downside to them is that they are messy.   REALLY messy.  You are breathing it in and it's-all-over-the-table messy.   Personally, I don't like that.  I don't mind paint mess, but dusty mess just bugs me.

As you're working, it's hard not to bump into previous layers and muddy them (apparently you can spray workable fixative over each color as it goes down, but hello, I have a life).   Then when you're done, you have to get it to STAY on the damn page.  It took me three coats of matte fixative before the color stopped rubbing off.   That's a heckuva lot of spray. 

On the other hand, it's pretty;

In Summary--

Pros: Pretty, blendable, quick to apply, erasable, and if you love chalks or pastels they are awesome.

Cons: Dusty-messy, on the expensive side, requires a lot of spraying of fixative.

As for me, I can tell this will not be a go-to item for my art journaling, but I'm sure I'll play with them once in a while now that I've got them.   I won't be buying more though. 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Tissue paper journaling

I'm not done journaling on this, but I was in the mood to share; this is a page that I hated for a few layers, but now I love!   First was some watercolor dots, then tissue paper over with matte medium, then thinned gesso, then the embellishments.   I hated it right up to the last step.

(it's all weird on the left because I smooshed out my journaling in photoshop).  

Sometimes you keep messing around with something, and you eventually like how it turns out -- and since it's just my art journal, I don't mind mistakes anyways.  It's my place to play and learn.   Hope you have some time to play soon!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Zig "Wink of Stella" glitter brush review

When I saw Zig Markers "Wink of Stella" glitter brush pens, I thought "OMG best thing since sliced bread, take my money NOW".   Since playing with them, though, I'm a little more reserved.

 Pro side - the glitter is GLORIOUS - this scan does not begin to do it justice.  It's probably the sparkliest art supply I now own.

They are pretty hard to blend - you have to be very very quick, as they dry fast: but it's do-able.   The blue flower center is blended with clear, and it didn't dirty up the clear brush, so that's a big plus.

Con side - see the blobs of ink?   Yeah, these suckers leak.  Like a sieve.   If you are careful and don't shake them over your work, and store them upright, you could probably avoid the blobs.  Myself, I'm messy and will probably make unsightly mistakes with these.

Also, a bit hard to get a consistent ink flow.

Conclusion: First off, why did I have to buy EVERY COLOR (ok, not brown, who needs brown) when I hadn't tried them yet?  Because I'm a sucker, that's why, and I love new art supplies.  So my recommendation is to try a color or two and see if they are your cuppa.  I got mine from Jet Pens, who I love (and are a mom & pop).  I will probably get some use out of these, but they are sadly not better than sliced bread - not better than toast, anyways.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Working with Dylusions Spray Ink

I had an interesting comment from Kooky, that Dylusions can look muddy by the time you get enough ink on the page.  Totally true, because they are so wet.   For the last journal page I grabbed a regular sheet of printer paper to make a print right after misting the ink on...

...then blotted the extra ink off the page with a paper towel  (watercolor paper would have worked better, but at least it gave me some junk paper to mess around with some new stamps on).  Alternately, you could mist very lightly with the Dylusions, then use a wet brush to smoosh around to lose the "spray" look.

When it comes to writing on the Dylusions, a really thick black pen worked, and paint pens; but because it stays reactive to water, gel pens were hit-and-miss.  Many of them just sank into the paint and didn't show up well.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Finished page...

Thought I'd share what that Dylusions  Ink Spray page looked like when I was done.... was so fun to journal on!  The writing in the gears and foofie are some ideas Positive Psychology has on what makes us happy and pleased with our lives.

Hope you have a fun and creative week-end ahead!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Playing with Dylusions Spray

I've been playing around with Dylusions Spray ink lately, and they are fuuuuun - here's why.  You spray around a stencil and let it dry, then come in with a wet brush and smoosh it around, and it is so gorgeous.  

It wins the easy-fast-gorgeous contest hands down.   I later decided there was too much white and smooshed around with a wet brush some more....

 ... the parts left white really pop now.  Ready for writing, yay! 

Friday, February 15, 2013

Beauty is in the eye...

This is a recent art journal page - I had to use this amazing old photo I ran across...

I'm not going to blur out the journaling, because I know everyone feels this way now and says " All the ways that I feel NOT ENOUGH ~ not pretty enough, not thin enough, not young enough, not fit enough ~ I know it's COMPLETE BOLLOCKS but it still creeps up on me & whispers in my ear sometimes: just no."   Even as a fairly confident woman, I deal with those feelings once in a while.

There's a lot of pink shimmer on the page that doesn't scan well, and the "Beauty" title is done in sparkly black pen.  One of these days I'll figure out how to scan sparkle/reflections.
Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Journaling on the go

This is a page I did when I got back from the Spellbound event; while I was there I wrote on some plain paper that I could tote in my purse, and later I wrapped the pages in a piece of stationary from the hotel to make a little booklet...

Here's the finished page in my journal-

The wonderful vintage postcard of the Langham Hotel was given to everyone by a sweetheart who attended - the pink is the journaling booklet, and that's also the keycard to my room  in the pocket.

Sorry to be so late, and so random in posting; thanks for checking in here!  Hope you have some time to make a little something  =)

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Journal Stitching!

I wore this cuff I made yesterday, and it made me want to teach stitching in journals at the next Art Journal Circle meeting on January 20th.   I do a TON of stitching in all my work; it's so easy and adds so much texture and interest.   

I'll bring a machine and hand sewing tools so I can demonstrate and give everyone a chance to play.  Come join us!  Sign up ahead of time here if you can please, or just come on by.