Saturday, November 30, 2013

Supply Saturday–Liquitex Spray Paints

Well, Thanksgiving is behind us and so is Black Friday...that can only mean that Christmas is just around the corner. How did it get to be the end of the year already? I don’t know why I am amazed at the speed that life is passing these days but I am.

Lots going on around the Smith house today so I better get down to business, huh?

Since it is Saturday, you know what that means...yep, it’s Supply Saturday time again! YAY!!! A little something different on tap today...

  • Liquitex Professional Spray Paints – I love color. That comes as no liquitexsurprise to anyone that has seen this site, much less any of my art. I am always looking for new ways to incorporate color into my art journal and I have tried spray paints before...but the fumes. Besides, it’s not often that you find beautiful, vivid color in your average spray paint but not anymore.

I don’t know where I first heard of these beautiful spray paints but the price held me back from purchasing them for quite a while. At my local Michael’s store, they are $11.99 a can! But I love using stencils in my journal and they work so well with spray mediums so I broke down, using one of my 40% off coupons and bought a can of neutral gray 3 (not as harsh as black but the same idea.)

Still costing $7.20 a can with a 40% off coupon, that is still a bit steep for just one color but I wanted to try them so...

I am glad I did!

The color variety in these spray paints is phenomenal (100 shades), to say theliquitex colors least (see color chart), but the richness and depth of the colors is truly unique. They are a water-based spray paint so I find them easier to work with than Krylon or any other brand I’ve tried. They are very low odor, unlike your average spray paints and (don’t try this at home) I have used them in my studio with no ill effects or lasting odors (definitely not recommended, though.)

The colors match the Liquitex acrylic paint colors as well as the new line of Liquitex paint markers recently released, making these another great product from a trusted manufacturer.

nozzlesThe only pitfalls I have found (besides the astronomical price) are how quickly and easily the spray nozzles seem to clog. I have had to buy new nozzles for every can I have collected so far (only 7 but I’m buying one at a time with coupons) because they clog that fast and that badly. I do find if I turn the can upside down and spray until no more paint comes out, it clears the nozzle and no more clogging. But seriously, who has time to do that every single time you use the paint?

But I do like the colors so much that I am learning to make clearing the nozzle a habit. If you don’t think you can deal with that, these are probably not the spray paints for you.

Nozzles are available for separate purchase and they offer them in three different stream types: regular or standard line, large or thick line, and super skinny or fine line.

All in all, I give the Liquitex Professional Spray Paints a score of 7...the color and clean-up are fabulous, the constant nozzle clogging and high price are true downfalls to what could be a perfect product.

I hope that everyone is having a great weekend and your holiday has been wonderful and filled with love and family.

See you on Monday with more of the good stuff.

peace & love,
Barb
 

P.S. The winner of the Pilot PermaBall ink pen from last week’s Supply Saturday is: Michelle in Australia (A little bit of me time.) Michelle, drop me an email with your mailing address so I can get this pen out to you.

Thanks again, y’all.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

It’s officially turkey day here in the U.S.

HappyThanksgiving

I know that many of you will be spending your day with family and friends, cooking and eating and I bet some of you will be watching football, too.

I just wanted to take a minute to wish you a wonderful holiday. May the food you eat be delicious, the people at your table be full of love and thankfulness, and, if you’re traveling, may your trip be safe and easy.

peace, love & thankfulness,
Barb

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

AJ Wednesday - Facing the Blank Page

Just to let you all know, I have no end point in sight for our journaling adventure together, I don’t want to be in a rush but I also don’t want to drag my feet, either.
I trust that you guys will let me know if I’m going to slow or too fast, if I'm including too much or not enough. I just want your place here, and this is your place, to be somewhere you come to let go and really immerse yourself in a true learning and growing experience.

The real first steps have mainly been covered when you found your journal and gathered your basic supplies. You will find yourself wanting to expand your supply base as you continue to art journal but begin with some of the simple supplies we discussed earlier.
IMG_1270Now it’s time to find a  place to work.

(←This is where I do most of my art journaling (and yes, it gets even messier than this, lol) but I have been known to take my art journal and a few pens to bed to doodle while watching TV before sleep. I know of quite a few people that do a lot of their art journaling in coffee shops and cafés, too.)

What you need to find is a place where you can spread your supplies out, and, if you’re using paint/inks, you need somewhere you can get messy and not have to worry about staining the table or carpet. Don’t forget about little hands (if you have them around), we don’t want them getting into anything.

It can be the kitchen table, the coffee table, in your craft room or art studio, it can be on a TV tray with your journaling supplies in a box beside you. It just has to be somewhere you feel comfortable.

Once again, don’t get hung up on semantics...use what and where you have available. There is nothing wrong with the kitchen table or on the coffee table.
Okay, now that you’re all settled in, let’s do this…

Everyone has to start somewhere and the blank page is where it all begins. For every single one of us. I remember the feeling of terror that would wash over me in the beginning when I was faced with the blank page. I beg of you…don’t do that to yourself. It is just paper. Nothing but paper.

blank-open-book
The first step for most art journalists is page prep.
Think about these things:

  • are your pages thick enough?
  • Do you need/want to *gesso? (And what the heck is this gesso she keeps mentioning?)
  • Altering a book and need to glue pages together?
  • Using thin lined pages that need some extra umph?
Just be sure to take care of any of these issues before you move on.

Next step is the background and most of the time, the first step to that is adding color. So, let’s begin by putting some color down on that dreaded blank page…get it over with…you can add color in any way you want. If you have tons of scrapbook paper and want to use some of it as your color base, go for it. Glue it down. Collage different colors and make your page exactly what you want it to be. Don’t be afraid of making a mistake.

Image1Maybe you’re a marker person, by all means, use them to make your pages bright and colorful (or dark and mysterious...go with how you feel.) Or pick 1, 2 or even 3 colors of your craft paint, acrylic paint or break out your watercolors and spread beautiful, wonderful, fabulous color onto your page.
There are so many ways to get the paint onto the page. Of course you can use a brush or, if you’re using craft/acrylic paints, spread them around and cover the page using an old credit card or room key card to scrape the paint onto the page. You can use your fingers to spread it around or a sponge or wadded paper towel to dab and smoosh it all over the page.

Use some colorful inks and drip them onto the page so they splatter everywhere. Make your colors calm and evenly painted or grungy, scrubbed in and messy…it is your journal so it is your choice.

Here are two different pages of mine, one calm with a solid colored blue background and the other a little grungy with reds, yellows, and oranges together as the background. I love doing both...and more!




What other ways can you think of to add color or basically get your blank page from white (or tan) to a point that you’re not so afraid of it anymore? To a point that the colors excite you and make you want to experiment? Colorful in a way that speaks to you and makes you want to tell your story or reminds you of a quote or song lyric that means something to you. Maybe the colors make you think of that day at the beach or the mountains or in the rain.

A few words of caution…if you plan on writing in a particular place on the page, I would caution you not to use any wax based colors such as watercolor crayons, water soluble oil pastels and even most colored pencils. These can be hard to write over with most pens and will even clog up sharpie permanent markers and, my favorite, Sharpie or uni-Posca Paint Pens. Just be aware of that fact when adding color to your pages. (There are ways around this and we will get to that down the road a bit.)

I love art journaling and realize that when I found it back in 2008, I really found my passion. In the 6+ years since, I have learned not to take things so seriously between the pages of my journals. There really is no such thing as a mistake…just something else to work into that page.

Please don’t let your art journal be a burden or one more something to add additional stress to your life. Let it be the place that you can go to and unburden your soul, your mind, your emotions, your thoughts.

When choosing your colors notice that the colors you choose can speak as to your mood and your inner feelings. I have often noticed that I use reds when I am angry, blues and greens when I’m calm and peaceful, blacks and browns if I am down and depressed, yellows when I’m cheerful or happy, and I find that I do this subconsciously.

Last note, I hope that you won’t just do one background of color and stop, waiting on our next step…experiment, put a color layer of your choice on a few pages or more. Have fun playing with color combinations or different mediums…acrylic one page then watercolor on the next then go ahead and try gluing some great papers or magazine pages down on the next page.

For goodness sake, have fun playing. Remember what it was like to be a kid. Just relax and have a good time in YOUR journal.

Questions? Please ask…I’m here and I will answer.

Up next…the next layer (adding images and collage.)

For all my friends in the USA, tomorrow is Thanksgiving for us and I hope that each and every one of you have a wonderful day and that we each remember all that we have to be thankful for in our lives.

peace & love,
Barb

*ges·so [jes-oh] noun,
1. gypsum or plaster of Paris prepared with glue for use as a surface for painting.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Love is like paint…

That is my thought for the day.
It’s so true, too.
So go…go and give away some love today!
Make your world beautiful;
give extra love to those you already love,
show some love to those less fortunate,
show love through kindness to all you meet.
Whatever you do, wherever you go,
be sure to spread your love and don’t let it dry up.

Peace & LOVE,
Barb

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Supply Saturday– Lumocolors & PermaBalls

Happy Saturday, y’all. Saturday was my favorite day of the week as a kid...no school, cartoons on until noon, no early rising, just an entire day to enjoy and have fun. Those were the days.

Now that I’m an adult (in years, not so much in mind, LOL) and I think that Saturday is still my favorite day. That’s the day the Farmer’s Market is open here in Pensacola, and I do love the Farmer’s Market.

And since it is Saturday, you know what that means...yep, it’s Supply Saturday! YAY!!!

Today we have a couple of my newest finds so let’s get on with it...

  • Staedtler Lumocolor permanent marking pens- I came across these lumocolorspens/markers by accident while shopping at Staples office supply store. I certainly didn’t need any more markers, but something made me take a second look. There was a little claim in the corner of the front label that said Won’t Dry Out so I grabbed them. Am I ever glad I did! These are some great little markers. They cover well, give vibrant color, and they are permanent when dry.

There are many good things about these markers but guaranteed not to dry out? Could it be true? I wouldn’t be doing my duty reviewing if I let this little nugget pass me by without seeing if their claim is true. It is!! I took two of the markers and left them with their lids off, not just overnight but for a full 3 days (I was shooting for a week but I just had had to test them early) and the both worked perfectly! So I left them for another 4 days and yes, after a week they still worked. Wow! I am impressed.

Price-wise, these markers/penstip sizes are a great deal at $12.99 + tax (US) for an 8 pack which is very reasonable and you can find them even cheaper than what I paid, too. The Lumocolors come in various tip sizes (superfine, fine, medium and broad) as well as being available as singles and as a number of different size sets with a whole plethora of vivid, bright colors.

If you have kids, these are THE markers to buy...no more dried out markers so no more wasted money.

As an art marker/pen, I am using them for journaling over acrylic paints (they work marvelously) and for doodling and coloring in my doodles (such great color but they DO bleed through thinner papers), and adding detail to some of my art and art journaling pieces.

So, considering everything, I give the Staedtler Lumocolor markers a rating of 8...that is only because they do bleed through thinner papers and they don’t write over all surfaces or mediums.

I thought I would throw in another quick review today...

  • Pilot Perma Ball rollerball pens – I had seen these pens mentioned in a perma ballfew different places but when Julie Fei-Fan Balzer wrote that these are her absolute favorite pens, I had to try them. These pens are no longer produced or available in the US...EXCEPT through the Scarlet Lime shop. (If you’re in the UK where these are widely available and want to send me some, I will gladly buy them from you!) so I bought a couple and immediately fell in love. These are, dare I say, the perfect art journaling pen. There, I said it. LOL

The ink flows freely on most surfaces and I’ve even had luck writing over slick acrylics and some waxy mediums, too. With a 0.7mm rollerball point, the Perma Ball lays down a nice thick line of ink that is permanent when dry. Great for journaling and doodling, no doubt about it.

I have really fallen in love with these pens and wish that Pilot would bring them back to the US market. So Julie, you have another Perma Ball convert...I am convinced.

I give the Pilot Perma Ball rollerball pen a solid 9...the only drawback being that they aren’t readily available in the US.

I want to thank you for stopping by and, if you’ve made it this far and you’re still reading, I want to reward you for being so cool. (Tee hee) I will send one of my highly prized and coveted Perma Ball pens to a lucky reader. Just leave a comment on this post and I will draw a winner on Thanksgiving Day (US). Be sure to leave an email address where I can reach you if you win.

Don’t forget to let me know what supplies you would like to see reviewed and I will try hard to include them in a future Supply Saturday post.

Back soon with more of the good stuff.

Peace & Love,
Barb

**Disclaimer: Take my ratings as you will, these are my opinions only. None of the supplies I rate here have been provided by the manufacturer but have been bought and paid for with my own cold, hard cash.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Choosing Art Journaling Supplies

Now that you have picked out your journal, you have picked out your journal, right?.. it’s time to decide what supplies you’ll begin using in your art journaling. You don’t have to make a forever decision right now but, if you’re new and just getting started, you need to choose what supplies you would like to begin with.

Don’t let the idea of supplies shy you away from beginning to art journal. You don’t have to have a room full of expensive supplies in order to get started (or continue, for that matter.). I began with a Composition notebook and a cheap set of gel pens…and had a ball playing, doodling and journaling with just those for quite a while.

Some of my favorite art jounalists also use minimal supplies. Andrea Joseph uses a Moleskine journal and ballpoint pens. That’s it. But look what she does with those two little supplies:

6201176641_0e3e6da24a_z

Kelly Kilmer, who I adore, uses no paint at all…just papers, images, glue stick, tapes, and her chosen mark making tools which, I believe, are generally pens. Look how beautiful:

See what I mean? Two beautiful art journal spreads by two different art journalists using totally different sets of tools. You will find your style, too.

So the bare minimum that you will need is your journal of choice and some kind of mark making tool(s.) That is the absolute basic must-haves to begin.

Most art journalists like to add pictures or drawings of some sort to their pages. They can be clipped from magazines, the most popular place for images, or they can be printed on your printer (be careful about copyrights and remember that some inks run,) or you may want to sketch, doodle, paint or watercolor your images.

Just know that however you choose to go is absolutely PERFECT.

I want to let you know right now that there is not one correct way to art journal. There are thousands of right ways to do it. However YOU decide to make your journal your own is the right way for you at this point in time so don’t sweat the details. This is supposed to be fun. not something else in life to add stress in your life. I find it to be something that removes stress and relaxes me.

Back to supplies.

To make it easier, How about I make a list (with comments)…I love lists. Oh, and besides the first two, the others are ALL at your discretion…choose what you like and leave out what you don’t like.

  • Journal of your choice (see this post: Choosing a Journal)
  • Mark making tools. This can include any (or all) of these: pens, gel pens, ball point pens, fountain pens, any and all kinds of pens. Markers, sharpies, paint pens, calligraphy pens, charcoal, pencil, graphite,…anything that you can make your mark (journal) with is good. What are you comfortable with?
  • Images, magazine clippings, computer printouts, personal photos, copies of photos, your own art or copies of it, junk mail, fliers, take-out menus, weekly coupon inserts, and anywhere else you can think of to obtain images.
  • Ephemera-I had never heard this word until I started in mixed media art. Ephemera is basically scraps from your everyday life. The definition from dictionary.com is: items designed to be useful or important for only a short time, especially pamphlets, notices, tickets, etc. So just start saving and collecting things from your life that you find interesting.
  • Adhesive…you can take your pick of how you want to stick your images and/or ephemera to the page. There are glue sticks, tape, staples, glue (beware, some kinds can wrinkle your images and paper), gel medium. adhesive runners, glue dots.
  • Paint (if you decide to add paint), including craft paints, acrylics, watercolors, tempera paints, gouache, casein, spray paint, or pastels.
  • Color – There are other ways to add color besides paint. Such as beautiful papers, cardstock, colored pencils, watercolor pencils, inks, pastels, watercolor crayons, regular crayons, gesso, spray inks, gelatos, fabric, ribbon, colored masking or washi tapes. Use your imagination and see what other ways to add color you can think of?
  • Extras – This list could get long so I’m just going to name a few for now. Stencils, stamps, masks, paper scraps, rub-ons, chipboard letters or other elements, buttons, charms, stickers, yarn, embroidery floss, beads, words/letters cut from magazines, flowers, sequins, stick on jewels, ribbon, tapes (washi, masking, etc.), there really is no end to the things you can use in your journal. Use what speaks to your soul.

I hope that I haven’t overwhelmed anyone, Just keep in mind that you don’t have to use all of the things I have listed. This is an all encompassing list that you can refer back to over time. Print it out and stick it in your wallet so you'll have it if/when you find yourself wanting some new supplies.

My suggested supplies for a beginner would be:

  • your journal,
  • a few gel pens,
  • a little stash of images to use,
  • and a glue stick….
  • also, if you’re going to use paint, grab some 2/$1.00 craft paints to use in the beginning and
  • some cheap brushes. 

If you think of things I’ve forgotten to list, let me know so I can add it in (and I’ll give you credit for it, too.)

Next up, we will be getting started and taking on the blank page so be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss a thing.

Oh, and I do hope you’ll spread the word about Art Journaling Wednesdays (even if a few other days are thrown in here and there) so that others can learn along with us. Thanks!

Peace & Love,
Barb

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Art Journaling Inspiration

Quote of the Day:
”"The past is over: Forgiveness means giving up all hope of a better past."
~Jack Kornfield

I’ve really been trying to get back to doing those things that I love deeply but have let fall by the wayside in recent months...things like blogging (see, I’m here, right? lol), art journaling, listening to music instead of watching TV, I’m even trying to keep house a bit better. That is a big shocker! lol

The feeling of relief and achievement I felt after having finished this spread a while back was so great! I have never been one of those people that could sit down and 30 minutes later get up and have a finished art journal page. I think I’m just too OCD or something to be able to do that.

Maybe I just think too much. *shrug*

Regardless, this is a bit different than anything I’ve done before. I like that. It shows that I am growing and changing...in my style and as a person.

This next spread is one I just plopped down and did in an hour or two last Sunday. I think that when I am deeply feeling things, the pages seem to come so much easier that it’s like they just create themselves.

I have been reeling from finding out that a former friend (step-mother to ex-husband #2) had experienced the loss of her oldest daughter. This loss comes on the heels of losing her only son last year and her 1 year old grandson in March of this year. My heart aches so much for her...too much loss for any one person to bear.

It has really made me stop and think about life and just how good my life really is. 

When it comes to my art journaling, I do know I have to quit worrying and overthinking things; those very things are the thieves of joy and inspiration. I just have to relax and let it flow without all the struggle.

I’m learning. Slowly but surely, I’m learning.

What have you created in your art journal lately? Share your link below so we can all admire your work, won’t you?

Peace & Love,
Barb

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Choosing Your Journal

First things first...
 
In order to Art Journal, you must first have a journal or, at least, some type of paper on which you can journal. If you are new to art journaling and you have looked around the internet or your local bookstore, you may be quite overwhelmed with your choices. So lets cover some of the more popular choices...

    moleskine
  • Moleskine (or similar) bound journal- these come in different paper types...thin, writing type paper can be found in the ruled, squared, plain styles so if you plan to use wet media (paint, watercolors, inks, sprays, etc.), these wouldn't be your best bet. If one of them is what you already have, go with it (we'll cover how to thicken up those pages later on.) Moleskine also has the sketchbook and watercolor journals. Both are great choices for wet media with no real prep-work. (The Moleskine sketchbook is one of the first art journals I used.)
  • Handmade Journal- depending on the type of paper, these can be a great choice. (*See paper types under the Moleskine journals.) Also, the binding of your handmade journal is something to consider...copic bound and comb/spiral bound journals will lay flat while you work in them. Others bound in different ways may not be as easy to work in if they constantly pop-up or have to be held open.
  • Loose pages- Some of my favorite art journalists use loose pages and bind them later (check out Roben-Marie Smith.) This can be a great option, if you are sure you can keep them together. You can choose the paper type (watercolor paper, cardstock or even file folders which hold up great for journaling) which is a huge plus.  composition notebook
  • Composition notebooks- this is what my first art journal was. The paper in these is regular notebook paper so it's thin and won't hold any wet media on it's own. You can gesso/glue 3-5 pages together and then gesso the thicker ones in order to get them to stand up to wet applications. Not a horrible choice but definitely one that will take more time and work.
  • Altering an old Book- this is probably one of the cheapest ways to art journal. It will to make your art journal a really individual journal of your art and your life. Hard back books are really cheap at thrift stores and your library book store. As with Composition notebooks, you can gesso/glue 3-5 pages together and then gesso the thicker ones in order to get them to stand up to wet applications.
  • Etc.- Some of the less thought of art journal ideas are: index cards, rolodexes, calendars and datebooks. You may think of some place to journal that I haven't covered and that's awesome. Go with it. You are only limited by your own imagination(img from A Colorful Journey)
Choosing your art journaling canvas is a very personal thing. Look at what type of art journaling you plan on trying out in/on your journal choice. You'll need thicker paper if you want to use the wetter media but if you're planning to only use pencil, charcoal, colored pencil, pastels, thinner paper will be just fine for you.
 
If you don't know what you'll be using because you're just getting started, my suggestion is to use a thicker paper...that way you're prepared, no matter what.
If cost is a limitation (as it is for so many of us these days), use what you have already. You can make anything work, I promise. If you need help making what you have work, leave a comment and I will give you suggestions and ideas.
 
The size of your journal is also something to consider. Do you like the idea of large pages that you can fill with lots of stuff and lots of journaling?  Is a tiny place more your style? Do you not really have an idea of what you want? If you are a bit confused or unsure of what size journal you want, my suggestion is to go with a middle size, 5"x7" or so...not so big it's overwhelming and not so small that you feel constrained.
 
Questions? Comments? Suggestions? Be sure to leave a comment. Your comments are the best feedback there is...and it will let me know if I'm covering everything you want/need to know. 
 
Thanks!
 
Now, go find your journal.
 
Next up we're talking supplies!
 
Peace & Love,
Barb

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Art Journaling Wednesdays

Hi.
 
I'm so glad you found your way here...or back here, as the case may be.
 
If you’re here then you must already have an interest in Art Journaling…maybe it’s just that little itch that tells you how much you would like to be able to try your hand at doing your own art journaling. If only there was some place that would teach you how to get started art journaling, in easy language, with simple ideas and tutorials and without having to pay big bucks?
 
If that sounds like something you’ve thought before, then you are in the right place!

by Phizzychick on Flickr
 Maybe you have been art journaling in one form or another for years and would just like to add to your repertoire of techniques and ideas or maybe just see a fresh side of the same ol’ thing.
 
Sound familiar? Then you’re in the right place, too.
 
What I envision here is an ongoing learning place that every Wednesday (and a few other days here and there) will cover art journaling from complete beginner to old pro. A perpetual workshop, I guess…and I believe it might be the first of it’s kind, too.
 
Another thing that will make this weekly “class” (for lack of a better term) different from most is the cost…pay-what-you-can, when-you-can...simple as that.
 
Seriously.
 
(Check out the AJ Wednesday tab up right below the banner for more info.)
 
I also want to make sure that your questions are answered so don’t be shy, send them to me or leave them in a comment. Nothing is too elementary to ask…I want you to get as much as possible out of our weekly Art Journaling Wednesdays.
 
Whew.
 
I guess that kinda sums up where we’re heading with this little adventure…I do hope you’ll be coming along on this journey with me. Be sure to tell your friends, too…the more the merrier, right?
 
Time to get down to business…We will start with our first installment, Choosing Your Journal, tomorrow. 

Hope to see you then!
 
Peace & Love,
Barb

Monday, November 18, 2013

Gifts and Books, oh my!

Where does the time go? I feel like it should still be the early part of the year but here we are and it’s fall...almostcash-gift Thanksgiving, even. 

This year has really flown already and, if the past is any indicator, this next month will go by at warp speed. I guess that means I should really start my Christmas shopping now instead of waiting.
 
I can tell I’m getting old...gift cards and cash are starting to look like good presents this year. That is something I would never have even considered just a few years ago but now, well, time changes us and our views on what is important. At least, it has changed me and my ideas on what matters most...and I promise you, it’s not about worrying myself sick and going broke just to give tons of presents.
 
Wow, I got off a tangent there, didn’t I?
 
In other news, I looked around me this morning as I sat in my studio and realized that I really need to clear out some of the “stuff” I have accumulated. I have more paper stuffs, art supplies, blank journals, jewelry making supplies, books (OMG, at the books!,) magazines, and bits and bobs of every imaginable type.
 
I guess I need to put some of my goodies up on my etsy. Yeah, that’s what I should do....now to actually get around to doing it.
 
Kelly Kilmer has the right idea...for every book she brings in, she gets rid of one. Since I bought 3 new books and 2 new magazines this week, I should ship that many out, right? Sheesh, that’s gonna be very hard on a girl like me that has been a book hoarder my entire life! lol
 
My new books:




I have to say, I think these are all great books. That doesn’t always happen.
Too many times I’ve come home with an armload of books expecting to find lots of learning and joy between the covers and over half will usually disappoint. Not this time. I’m loving them all.

Back to reading and making stencils (my latest obsession), y’all.
 
Peace & Love,
Barb










Saturday, November 16, 2013

Supply Saturday – uni Posca Paint Pens

It’s that time again, boys and girls…time for Supply Saturday!!! YAY!!! (Does that remind anyone else of Bozo the clown or Saturday morning cartoons from a million years ago? It does me. lol)

Anyway, -this week’s supplies are awesome so let’s get this party started…

This week we have:

  • Uni-posca Paint Pens - Extra Fine Point -I was hearing rumors that Sanford, the makers of Sharpie brand, were discontinuing their water-based paint pens that I absolutely LOVE so I started a search for a decent replacement. That’s when I found these great paint markers on Amazon. Once I had tried them, I realized that there really are other good paint pens out there!

Like the Sharpie paint pens, these contain real acrylic paint in marker form and they are great for so many things but especially for art journaling. They come in all the basic colors and they can be applied over most every single base (even some waxy substrates) which makes them pretty dang awesome, in my opinion.

Like their Sharpie cousins, these are also easy to use, extremely portable and virtually mess free to work with, too. They add beautiful color (or just black or white) to your art and they work great for lettering, outlining or just doodling. I just can’t tout all of the great uses for these awesome pens enough.

The downfall to them would have to be price: I paid $28.00 for a set of 12. Although this price is comparable to the Sharpie Paint pens, these markers are smaller and contain less paint, making them not as good of a buy as the Sharpies, in my opinion.

They are similar in every way to the Sharpie Paint Pens that I love and might even be a bit better at being applied to tougher substrates (waxy or rough spots in your journal pages.)

So, considering everything, I give the uni-Posca Paint Pens a rating of 8...and that is only because of price and size in comparison to Sharpie’s paint pens.

There you have it, folks...this weeks Supply Saturday.  I am really enjoying sharing my supply knowledge with everyone so drop me a note and let me know what supplies you would like to see reviewed on a future Supply Saturday.

Back soon with more of the good stuff.

Peace & Love,
Barb

Friday, November 15, 2013

Art Journaling

I have an Art Journaling Tumblr that has really been gaining in popularity lately. Amazingly it has over 5,000 followers.
 
That number totally astounds me!
 
How did all these people find my little piece of heaven? I actually made the Tumblr back in 2008 as a place just for me to refer back to for inspiration...now over 5 years later and there are tons of folks following. That is just so cool.
 
One of the best parts is the seeking out art journal pages and spreads to feature over there. I come across some of the most awesome art work there is. Like this one, which is one of my favorites:

It is by Dahlia Co of Makita Studio and I think it is beyond fabulous! Her use of color is so perfect here...just the right amount of pinks and blues, greens and white. Just so perfect I could eat it up!


Then there is this beauty from earlier this month titled, aptly, “Dream.”

The artist’s name is Vibeke and even though her blog is written in Norwegian, with the Google translator it is easy for anyone. to read. I have fallen in love with so much of her work.

In this piece, her composition skills are fantastic. I love her use of white on white (the butterfly) is unique and makes such a lovely piece.

There are so many wonderful, beautiful, perfect art journal pages out there and I love finding them and sharing them with the world through my Tumblr.

One part of having that space that I didn’t count on were the special notes from followers. OMG at how some of these comments make me feel. Each good comment solidifies why I keep adding to the already large collection of visual beauty to my space there.
  • lol my art teacher is showing us your tumblr! It's really epic (: ~xxstilldreamingxx
  • I look at this blog every single day and have done ever since September. I'm doing an Art GCSE and this blog alone got me from a D to an A*!^_^ I love you so much for making this, it's so helpful and you're the best ever.
  • ¡¡Your Tumblr is amazing!!
  • hi just to say I'm in love with your blog! Beautiful pieces,I'm studying textiles at school for gcse and we have an exam coming up,for our coursework (in scrapbooks) I'm studying gardens (flowers,trees,twigs etc) any original ideas for some of my pages to achieve a high grade? Thanks for taking the time to read this:)
I just love knowing that others enjoy what I have put together and it’s even being used by students and teachers as inspiration. There are some amazing artists out there and it is a privilege to be able to present their work in this way.
 
If you have created pieces in your art journal or have a favorite from another artist that you would like to see shared on Art Journaling the Tumblr, drop me an email or head over there and use the submission link. Heck, leave a note or link in the comments. I’d love to see what you are creating!

And if you are interested in beginning to art journal or expanding your techniques in your art journals, I hope you'll come back each week for Art Journaling Wednesdays! It's going to be a BLAST so tell all your friends!
 
Have a wonderful day and I’ll be back tomorrow with Supply Saturday!
 
Peace Out,
Barb

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Thrift Score Thursday–Lamps

I came across this set of ugly but expensive crystal lamps at an estate sale a few weeks ago and for the low, low price of $10.00 for the pair, they became mine.

Ugly? Yes!

Salvageable? Oh yes!

I mean, look at those hideous shades. Way too ornate, or is foofy the word I’m looking for?, whatever it is, they are just way too much of it for me. I am definitely not a crystal lamp kind of girl.

At all.

Ever.

But I could see they were good quality lamps so why not make them into something beauty matches their quality? I could picture them looking so much better and more “me.” So I grabbed them and here we are...

And now it’s time for me to finally start to work on making the improvements I had in mind when I bought them.

Can’t wait to show you the finished pair next week.

So tell me, what have you scored in your thrifty shopping lately?

Peace & Love,
Barb

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Homemade Gel Printing Plate

I wrote about the Gelli plate in my last post but I failed to mention that I had found (and tweaked) a recipe for a homemade gel printing plate. I don’t suggest that this actually replaces the Gelli Arts Printing Plate because it doesn’t...but it will give you an idea of whether or not it is worth it for you to purchase one or not.

gelli printing plate

I made one of these and used it for a couple of weeks before deciding to buy one of the Gelli Arts plates. I’d searched at all the big box craft/art stores but I wasn’t able to find one locally. An 8”x10” runs about $30 plus tax plus shipping (since there were none locally) . 

Sheesh!!!

So, I did what any true crafty-girl would do...I researched how to make my own!

I searched far and wide...well, I searched Google, that’s the same as far and wide, right?...and found tons of results. I read many, many of them but they all said that I had to keep the Gelli plate in the fridge when it wasn’t in use. Uh, no! Too much trouble! I have a tendency to just stand up and wander off from my art desk. so it wouldn’t take but a day or two and I’d have a goopy mess. GAH!!!

But then....

WHAMMO!!!

I came across The Frugal Crafter’s Weblog and she shared exactly what I have been looking for...the recipe for a PERMANENT Gelatin Plate (aka Gelli Plate). WOOT!!!

So here’s the recipe for those of us that don’t have an art store nearby to purchase one or, like me, who don’t want to spend mucho dinero from the get-go but want one to experiment with before shelling out the big bucks...

Permanent Gel Plate Recipe

10 packets (each=1 tbsp.) of unflavored gelatin
1 1/2 cups Alcohol
3/4 cup Glycerin
1 3/4 cups boiling water

Combine room temperature alcohol and room temp glycerin in bowl. Add in gelatin and stir. Add in boiling water, stirring until gelatin is dissolved and all ingredients are well combined. Pour into a shallow pan with sides over 1” high. If there is any foam that rises to the top, skim it off with a paper towel...it will affect your finished Gel Plate. Also, be sure to leave it to set up in a cool, level spot.*

fbac966fd61a4215246221b*I have tweaked her recipe so I could make 0030395103196_500X500a larger gel plate than the 8”x10” her original recipe prepared. My recipe will make a nice thick gel plate a little larger than the standard 8”x10” size.

Your local Wal-Mart probably carries all the needed ingredients. Mine does. Mine even has the unflavored gelatin in a 32 pack box for $8.32. Check in the pharmacy area for the glycerin. This is the kind my Wal-Mart carries. It’s $3.88 for a 6 oz. bottle, which is exactly how much my recipe calls for, too.

A few tips...if your Gel Plate gets damaged (from too much pressure with a tool, etc.), tear the plate into pieces and put into a micro-safe bowl then nuke it in the microwave for about a minute and allow it to re-set up in a cool, level spot. As for clean up, easy peasy with a baby wipe or two and it’s good as new.

I hope you find this little idea something you can use. Let me know if you make one and how it turns out.

Lots more DIY ideas and tutorials coming up in the weeks to come so be sure to subscribe to my blog...you don’t want to miss a thing!

Peace & Love,
Barb

Monday, November 11, 2013

Fad or Must-Have?

Do you ever see those fads that burst onto the scene, whether it’s the art scene or the decorating scene or the fashion scene or even the craft scene. Those things that become the IT thing, the must have/must do thing? Yeah, I’ve been noticing more and more how many of those kinds of things we are inundated with on a daily basis, not to mention those that change like the scenery with each season and with each new year (like Pantone’s color of the year.)

I’m certainly not pointing fingers because I have bought into many of these fads in the past and I’d wager a bet that I will fall prey some in the future.

0136451442a60bb4917d96691d662c47948f5ab1beOne of the fads of late that comes to mind is, in the art world that I find myself most at home in, the whole Gelli Printing Plate craze (and yes, it is a craze.)

I held off a long time but eventually I did fall for this one. I have tons of Gelli prints and not a clue what to do with even 5% of them. I even bought Deli Paper since so many were touting how great it was for Gelli Prints.

Yeah, I’m a lemming.

Don’t get me wrong, I am using a few Gelli prints here and there, cutting some up to use in my art journal but not using near as many as I am producing. But I do admit, it’s fun making a mess with them...playing with color and stencils and mark making tools can never be a bad thing. But really, is it something we need?

*sigh*

01e0e385f7e8d0f5f6e959d3a26effb909ad87fa43
See, I do like playing with my Gelli Plate. This is one of my favorite prints...it’s on sheet music from the 1800’s

Another pet peeve I’ve developed lately is any product that manufacturers can churn out and call it an “art journal” or for “mixed media” or any of those key words. Magazines pop up all the time directed at a specific group in our DIY segment of the artsy world and, often, as much as I may love many of them, they often seem like they are really just a high priced book of advertising with a little art journaling (or quilting or jewelry making or whatever your scene might be) thrown in here and there.

Am I the only one that has noticed this kind of thing?

I remember when I very first started art journaling...in a plain Composition notebook...with cheapo gel pens from the Dollar Tree...with 2/$1.00 craft paints...and my favorite cheap, black felt-tipped pen. I had just as much fun then as I do now with my Moleskine journal, Prismacolor Pencils, Golden acrylic paints, Sukura gel pens, Micron black pens, etc.

I have more art supplies than I ever thought possible, buying bits and pieces over the past 8 years or so. I have amassed art supplies, jewelry supplies, journaling supplies, journals, supplies for bookbinding, drawing, stamping, stamp carving, sewing, and on and on. I love all of these creative outlets but do I really need more supplies just because they are now labeled as “for art journaling” or “for mixed media”?

This is just kind of where my head is at today.

How do you decide what supplies are must-have and which to pass on?

I hope you’ll share your thoughts with me.

Peace & Love,
Barb

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Supply Saturday–Dylusions Spray Inks

It’s that time again, boys and girls…time for Supply Saturday! This week’s supply that I’m rating is one of my favorite supplies of late so let’s get this party started…

Dylusions Spray Inks – These inks are made by Ranger under the Dyan Reaveley brand called Dylusions. (Other products from the Dylusions line are coming in future Supply Saturday posts.) Dylusions-Set

I first bought these because of my love of color! I often use bright, beautiful, rich color in my journals and art work and finding a product that has rich, jeweled tones doesn’t happen very often. So often you’ll buy a supply that looks great in the store, only to get it home and it looks dull and lifeless in your projects.

You will NOT find this happening to you with Dylusions Spray Inks! The color these water-based inks come in is nothing short of amazing...every color bright, clear and beautiful. They are easy to use, clean up easily with water (and a little soap if the ink has set too long,) they layer and blend well, and are just a joy to have in your supply arsenal.

Now for the low points (and there aren’t many of them)...

These are water-based inks so the color will lift from your journal or project anytime the surface is rewetted. I have used workable fixative to solve this problem (unless it’s what I’m shooting for) and that works to give the colors some staying power. They are a little pricey (I paid $4.99 + tax each) but comparable to any similar supply on the market, price-wise. I have also had a problem with the spray nozzles clogging on three different bottles out of my 18 colors so Ranger definitely needs to address that issue.

All in all, I believe Dylusions Spray Inks are a great little supply to have in your stockpile.  On a scale of 1 to 10, I give Dylusions Spray Inks a solid 8.

That does it for this weeks installment of Supply Saturday. If there are supplies you would like to see reviewed on a future Supply Saturday, drop me a comment or an email and I will do my best.

Peace & Love,
Barb

**Disclaimer: Take my ratings as you will, these are my opinions only and none of the supplies I rate here have been provided by the manufacturer but have been bought and paid for with my own hard-earned money.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Thrift Score Thursday...er, on Friday

I want to thank everyone for the kind comments on my last post. I feel fortunate to have had that amazing blast of clarity.

Thank you, again, Tammy.

The tremendous amount of excitement I was feeling that day was something I haven’t felt in a super long time and, surprisingly, I remain excited. In fact, I have spent the better part of this week planning and brainstorming and getting my ducks in a row. First on my list is that I am going be a better blogger.

That starts now.

Although it is Friday, I am introducing a segment on Thursdays called Thrift Score Thursdays, Just a little sharing of the goodies I have scored on my thrift store and garage sale shopping trips over the past week.

This weeks great finds are from an often overlooked section of many thrift stores... the books. I’ve had people tell me that they seldom check out the books when thrift store shopping. *wide eyed stare* Do what? You can actually walk past books? Really? lol

Seriously though, if you are a reader like I am, don’t overlook the book area. There are often treasures just waiting to be found, like these:TT Books1All three of these are titles I would probably have paid regular (Amazon) price for, but did I? Nope. Grabbed all three for just a dollar each. Talk about a steal!

But wait, that’s not all. I also managed to snag a couple of audiobooks on CD, too.
TT Books2
I am a huge Carole King fan so finding this gem was great and Room is a bestseller I have almost bought at Books-a-Million twice in the past. They were both brand new, still wrapped in cellophane. See the $19.98 sticker...not what I paid! Got these for a mere $2.00 each.

Woo Hoo!!!, I do love a bargain! *grin*

Total spent on these goodies: $7.00.
Total combined retail value of them: $100.00
My awesome savings? A cool $93.00.

Can you say KA-CHING?!?!

So see, if you are passing over the book section of your thrift store haunts, you might want to check out that area next time. Who knows what steals you might come across.

If you have found some awesome goodies on your thrifting, garage sale, estate sale outings, leave a link in the comments. I’d love to see what you’re finding.

I have so much more to share with you guys, such as:

  • some super cute ideas for gifts to make (most are on the cheap, too) that aren’t lame like so many DIY ideas can be;
  • a few southern dishes for your Thanksgiving table that will make you adored by your family and guests:
  • a great DIY for some Christmas/Hanukkah/Winter decorations for the mantle (or anywhere in the house, really) that everyone will love;
  • plenty of art journaling goodness will be thrown in regularly;
  • All of this and much more is coming in the days and weeks ahead.  

I hope you’ll come back soon and see what Craft Therapy has to offer...I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

See y’all tomorrow for that old favorite that I am bringing back, Supply Saturday! This week I will be reviewing Dylusions Spray Inks. Hope to see you then.

Peace &  Love,
Barb

Monday, November 4, 2013

Small Victories

Reader Beware...this is going to be a long one so grab your favorite drink, maybe some snacks, and kick back in your most comfy spot cause I gots things to share.

So---

I had a HUGE epiphany just now, thanks to Tammy Garcia over at Daisy Yellow (go see her, she is awesome!). She posted the following photo of an art journal page she had completed and you can read these words of wisdom that really blew me away on the left page toward the bottom...

“What if you paid more attention to the small daily victories?” Wait, let me say that again...“What if you paid more attention to the small daily victories?”

Wow.

I am absolutely taken aback!

This is seriously a huge WOW!

Let me explain:

It is no secret that I have been battling some pretty serious stuff (health, family, etc.) in the past couple of years and while dealing with all the junk, I have found myself overwhelmed, stressed, at a creative standstill for the most part, just absolutely unable to do or accomplish much of anything. I haven’t been able to keep at anything of consequence with regularity in all that time...not even my blog(s).

My mind is running at Mach-Jesus constantly...from the moment my eyes open in the morning until I am so exhausted at night that I just pass out from the tiredness. It’s more like a short coma than real, restorative sleep. Only to start all over again in 3 or 4 or maybe, if I’m lucky, 5 hours.

*SIGH*

I thought that I was just burned out on this blog so I started another and when that one didn’t get me excited and enthusiastic and keep my attention, I started yet another blog. Each time hoping that I would find my sanity, my calm, my space by creating new and shiny places online to call my own. I have started three, yes, three new blogs.

It didn’t work.

Scratch that...it didn’t just not work, each one of these has failed miserably which, in turn, made me even more miserable and just feeling like a complete failure.. Yes, there has been lots of self-pity around here for a while and it’s being served up with a large side of self-loathing.

But Tammy’s words...“What if you paid more attention to the small daily victories?”...they are giving me some insight and thought that I have been lacking in all my failed attempts and chronic creative constipation. I’ve been going about this all WRONG!!!

Totally and completely WRONG!!

I am overwhelmed because I see fifty thousand things that I want to do, share, try, make, paint, cook, refinish, blog about and I am just weighed down my the weight of it all. I keep seeing all I’m doing wrong and all I didn’t get to today (which turns into a week, month, year, etc) and it just makes me feel worse and it’s a vicious cycle.

What if I stopped focusing on all that and just paid more attention to the small daily victories? What would happen then? One or two tiny little things that I did right or accomplished or whatever...just a few little things every single day will turn into some decent sized accomplishments in a week...can you imagine what 30 days of celebrating my tiny victories could do for me? For my health? For my blog(s) and for my house and my family and my weight and my dreams and goals and future, and on and on?

Yes, THAT is my epiphany. This is life altering stuff, I tell ya.

My mind is blown!

Tiny steps...just little things every day...I can’t do it all at once but I can do everything I want to do in teeny, tiny increments. Just little victories here and there and *BAM* I will have accomplished something.

Whew!

This is a whole lot to absorb and think about...but I need a little help. I want to let go of some baggage and the first to go has to be all these damn blogs I have birthed over the last couple of years. How do I decide which ONE to keep? Which one should I make my one blog focus? Craft Therapy...even though I want to do so much more than crafts and I want to share it all? Even though I’ve been basically gone from there for over 2 years? (It does still have quite a few subscribers.) Or do I go another way and choose one of the other start-up blogs I made and make it my focus, blog wise? Or, ditch them all and give myself a brand new start?

I am asking for advice here and could really use some input.

By the way, my first tiny victory...I actually started my Project Life (more of a knock off of Project Life but it’s cheaper) and that is something I’ve had just sitting and staring at me for months. Just two little page layouts so far but that’s how all the good things get started---one little piece at a time.

Thank you, Tammy. I feel like your words have turned on a light for me that has been out for far too long. Wow! I am astonished.

Peace & Love,
Barb

 

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