Sunday, December 6, 2015

Ten Creative Resources for Art Journaling

I have noticed that people don’t seem to be art journaling the way they were even a year ago. I don’t know what has happened but so many folks are leaving their art journals behind. But not everyone. There are still those of us that remain committed to the practice of melding art with journaling.

If you are still interested or maybe just now becoming interested, I’d love to share some of my favorite creative resources to jumpstart your art journaling practice.

  1. Art Journaling Tumblr – Full disclosure here, this is my Tumblr. I have been collecting some of the best art journaling from across the web since August 2009. With almost 4,000 pages posted, there is an abundance of creative inspiration to be found there. I hope you’ll take a look.
  2. Daisy Yellow aka Tammy Garcia – Tammy has been a great creative force in the Art Journaling community for ages. Any time I’m looking for inspiration, checking in at Tammy’s place always helps to jostle the muse a bit and get my mojo working again.
  3. Teesha Moore – Many of us would proclaim Teesha to be the creative behind the beginnings of the entire Art Journal movement. However you look at it, her pages are unbelievably original and tremendously inspirational. She is definitely someone you must check out if you are the slightest bit interested in Art Journaling.
  4. Julie Fei-Fan Balzer – Julie runs a regular feature on her blog,6a00d8341c766153ef01538ee81d43970b-800wi Art Journal Every Day, as well as sharing many, many other imaginative endeavors...from stamp carving, mixed media projects, and on and on. Definitely worth checking out her blog on a regular basis.
  5. Kelly Kilmer – Kelly is such an original influence in the world of Art Journaling. The journals she makes in addition to her completely original method of creating Art Journal pages are phenomenal. She has tons of online classes you can take that will really get you going, too.
  6. Dina Wakely – Here’s another wonderful teacher and artist that has her own style and is happy to share more tips and techniques than you can shake a stick at. Dina also has a line of paints, brushes, and stamps/stencils that are awesome to use in your art journals. Dina is also the author of Art Journal Freedom and Art Journal Courage, two great books on the subject.
  7. Traci Bunkers – Traci is the author of one of my favorite books on Art Journaling, The Art Journal Workshop. If you don’t have it yet, you really need to pick up a copy...and quick. In addition, Traci’s blog is chock full of great ideas and inspiration.
  8. Eric & Dave, the Journal Fodder Junkies – These two guys have another unique perspective into Art Journaling. Their website/blog gives great ideas and their two great books, The Journal Junkies Workshop and Journal Fodder 365, are excellent looks into another viewpoint and different way of being creative between the pages. They really do rock.
  9. Mary Ann Moss – I have loved Mary Ann’s Art Journaling style for years. Not only is Mary Ann an awesome artist with great style and a unique perspective but her online classes are truly phenomenal. If you are looking for a great class to take, I suggest you grab her Remains of the Day class...it’s the best!
  10. Gina Rossi Armfield – Gina calls herself an Art Journaling Expert and she is definitely good. She is the author of  No Excuses Art Journaling: Making Time for Creativity, which has become practically a bible to many Art Journalists.

If it’s inspiration you’re looking for, you should be able to find tons through these links, blogs and people. Now, go grab some inspiration and put some time and energy into your Art Journal!

Peace & Love,
Barb

Thursday, December 3, 2015

The Absolute BEST...

I just had to share this picture with you guys.

I know that everyone believes their kids or grandkids are the absolute best, cutest, smartest, most adorable that was ever on earth. I’m no different...but you guys have to admit, this kid is so damn cute!!!

Everyone, meet my awesome grandson, Remy Thomas Dill...

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I mean, seriously...isn’t this the best “photo with Santa” ever?!?!

I just adore this kid.

Love you guys bunches,
~Barb~

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Copper Lotus Necklace

So many thoughts to share so here we go:

There seems to be a couple of running themes to my thoughts these days.

One of them is time and how fast it is passing in my life. The older I get, the faster it flies. That kinda freaks me out if I think too long and hard about it…so I try not to give it too much consideration.

Another theme running rampant around my brain is my art (and crafty goodness) and trying to learn and get better at all those things I love to do…art journaling, jewelry making, painting, writing and all those creative outlets. I love learning and growing…and improving. At least I hope I am improving.

Speaking of jewelry, I promised I would share some of the things I’m creating so, here’s a piece that I just created that I really like. IMG_0663

Details:

This rectangular Lotus pendant is hand drawn and etched from copper sheet using traditional etching techniques. Other inclusions in this original piece are hand hammered copper bits, handcrafted by me.

It is antiqued with a dark patina and finished with a brushed metal effect to highlight the gorgeous detail. The surface is then sealed with a long-lasting protective finish.

The etching process never produces the same piece twice so this truly is a one of a kind.

The lotus pendant measures 1 3/4" by 1 1/4" (38mm x 31mm) and the dangles add slightly over 1” (25mm) to the piece. The pendant hangs on a larger link chain that includes links of Lapis Lazuli Stones & Beads, copper bead caps, and copper jump rings. The closure is a standard lobster clasp and ring in copper, as well.

The chain length, including pendant, measures 24".

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I’ve been working on setting up a brand new Etsy shop, learning to take better photos of my creations,  and trying to be more professional about my craft. I decided that I wanted to offer my pieces here on the blog before I list them over on Etsy…with a 10% discount and free US Shipping for my wonderful (and patient) readers.

So, if you like the Copper Lotus piece and would like to purchase it, it can be yours. I will list it on Etsy on Friday, October 30 at 6pm CST so grab it before then to take advantage of the 10% discount…

Now available on my Etsy at: https://www.etsy.com/shop/BebeMacCreations

If you have questions, drop me a comment or an email. I’ll get better at showing y’all my pieces without being so dang long-winded but I’m just getting the feel of it right now.

Now, the hubby and grandboy are getting hungry so I best get busy working on dinner. I will be back soon cause I have GOT to show y’all pictures of my newest grandson, Remy. He is gorgeous.

Thanks always.

Peace & Love,
Barb

Friday, October 16, 2015

A finished Project

Hey y’all.

I hope this finds each of you doing wonderful and enjoying life.

Thanks so much for your kind comments and sweet notes recently. I feel like the gray cloud that has been my constant companion for months is finally starting to lift. Sometimes I feel like what others view as normal life is enough to completely overwhelm me. But then I wonder if maybe I really am carrying huge weight that would freak most anyone out.

*Shrug* Who knows...I can only feel how I feel, right?

Anyway, I’ve been a busy girl the past few days. Remember that dresser I posted back in May? The one I was going to refinish? Well, it has sat on our back porch/patio since then with nothing more than a little sanding having been done. in all those months.

Yeah, that ugly thing. Yikes!!!, right? lol

Look at it now...

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I wish I had taken a little clearer picture but I think you can tell that I did it in a distressed antique white. Quite the change, wouldn’t you say?

I will say that I spent the past three days working like a mad woman on this little project of mine. Now my joints are aching like mad but I sure am proud of the finished piece.

What do you guys think?

Back soon.

Peace,
Barb

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Life Goes On...

I have been in a funk that is beyond deep, unable to function like a normal person. You all know that I have been an Art Journaler for ages but for over 2 3 months I’ve been unable to find the mojo to even touch my journal. I just don’t seem to have it in me.

Being a creative, even when I’m unable to find solace and peace in my art journal, I have to find some type of creative outlet. Lately, I have found that outlet in making jewelry.

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I want to share my creations so maybe that’s the best I can manage to blog about right now.

I plan to not only share what I create but will be offering my creations for sale. Trust that I’m not going to bug the hell out of everyone, trying to shove my creations down your throats, I promise. (I hate it when others do that kind of thing.)

However, I do hope you’ll grab any of my goodies that strike your fancy and be sure to share my website/creations with your friends and family. I am trying to start making some sort of a living and through my creativity is about the only real way I know how at this point.

I have lots of earrings, bracelets, and necklaces made already and will start posting them here in the next few days. I hope you’ll come back and see where my head and heart have been lately.

Thanks so much.

Peace & Love,
Barb

Monday, July 20, 2015

Overwhelmed!

I can’t believe it has been 2 months (60+ days) since I last made an appearance here in Blogland. Sheesh! But I do seriously have real reasons for my absence this time…as opposed to excuses.

I haven’t been myself lately. I just feel really off, emotionally and physically. While this isn’t anything new in my world, the reasons for it are new to me. Let me explain…

For the past 3 years, almost to the day, my sister (who is also my birth-mother, her parents adopted and raised me, get it?) has lived with Richie and me. We brought her down to Pensacola to live with us in July of 2012 and have not regretted that decision…until the past couple of months. Well, regret is a strong word…I’ve just been massively overwhelmed since May.

She is 70 years old but her health took a nosedive in the past couple of months that made her more like a 95 year old. Her memory has been quickly disappearing, she’s become unable to walk normally as though her feet are magnetized to the floor, she’s weak to the point she can’t get herself up out of her chair, and she’s become incontinent both with her bladder and her bowels.

*sigh*

Needless to say, I have been 01adfdf9b6758bac83ef7eb242378bc0a4b338e764waiting on her hand and foot, 24 hours a day during this time. It just finally became too much for me to handle so, a week and a half ago, I took her to the Emergency Room and they admitted her. In fact, they wound up keeping her for 6 days!

They found no real concrete reason for her decline, especially as rapid as it has been, but they did find a few things that might be contributing factors. The greatest thing they did for us was to help me get her into a nursing home!

She and I had been talking about it and it’s what she wanted to do, feeling that she would receive more care than I am able to give her here at home. We both knew that I was absolutely at my max and she still needed more. As guilty as it makes me feel, I do know that we are both better off with her there.

The day I got her into the Nursing Home, I came home to find out that our house had been broken into!! (When it rains, it pours.) They took all of my husband’s pain medication, knowing right where he kept it. Hmmmm…

So yeah, we are 99.9% sure we know who did it. We spent a couple of hours with the Sheriff’s Department Deputy Thursday evening giving our statements and they dusted for fingerprints. Luckily, our next door neighbor happened to see the guy park out front and come around our house, down the driveway and into our back yard (so he could come in the back door.)

Well, guess what? This happened early Thursday morning…while I was still home…in the bed…naked!

Now I am uncomfortable being home alone. I can’t sleep if Richie’s not home with me, either. We are keeping a gun on the bedside table. Being uncomfortable in your own home is a horrible feeling.

On top of all that, I made the trip to Huntsville, Alabama with my oldest daughter to the baby shower for my youngest daughter on Saturday. Six hours there and six hours back. We left here before 7am and got home a little after 11pm. I am so glad we went and she loved the handmade baby quilt that I managed to make in the few free moments I’ve had over the past few weeks so the trip was well worth it…but I’m still exhausted!!!

So, I guess that gives y’all an idea of what my world has been like lately. Throw in the fact that I turn 50 in on Friday, the first birthday that has ever really freaked me out, and I’m just not doing too great right now. I wasn’t intending on coming here and having a pity party but I guess I kinda disintegrated into one, didn’t I? Sorry.

I have posted a few new things in the Craft Therapy Shop and hope you’ll take a minute to look. I could really use some sales so please, buy lots! Also, I am planning to add some more new items, including original T-shirt designs, so be sure come back in a few days, too.

I hope you’re all doing well. I’ll be trying to catch up with everyone but it might take a while so please, be patient with me.

Peace & Love,
Barb

Monday, May 18, 2015

Journaling Rays & Refinishing a Dresser

Art journaling is one of my favorite things in the world to do. I love everything about it…making the journals, painting and playing with every art supply known to man, spreading my thoughts and hopes and dreams across the pages, I love every single thing about it!

The wonderful Kelly Kilmer (if you don’t know her, she is an amazing art journalist/teacher/artist…click on her name to check out her blog) is so open with her journals. She shares all of her journal pages, nothing held back, journaling and all…just lays her heart and soul out there for the world to see.  And it’s not always just the pretty stuff, either…warts and all, I tell ya.

I am striving to be more like Kelly.

With that, here’s a new journal spread:
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Yeah, so there’s that.

In other news, am working on refinishing a dresser I caught for a bargain ($50 delivered!!) at a thrift shop. It looks like pure hell (right now) but it’s solid wood, sturdy and well made. Here’s the before photos:

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I know, butt ugly, isn’t it? And tell me, who in this world puts fake wood Contact Paper on a solid wood dresser top? The first order of business is scraping that crappy stuff off the top…immediately…then I can take off drawer handles and get busy sanding.

I’ll be sure to post some “after” pics when I’m done. It may take me a while so don’t go holding your breath. lol

Oh, be sweet and do me a favor, please…tell me which of these colors/finishes you like better:

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I am leaning toward white just because our bedroom is very dark and that would help to lighten it up some…but that black sure is gorgeous….and that red!?!?

Can you tell I’m just a little wishy-washy?

I have to find all new hardware, too. I can’t stand those ornate pulls that came on it so I need to scope out new ones. But that leads me back to paint since the color will affect the hardware choice, right?

OMG, I overwhelm myself just talking about it!

If you have any words of wisdom or great ideas, throw them at me. Please. I need all the help I can get!

Back soon. Promise.

Peace & Love,
Barb

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Just a Little Journaling

I’m trying to spend more time in my art journal these days and will be trying to share more of my pages, too.

I hope you find some inspiration or maybe just a little kick in the pants through my sharing.

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Just a little more of my working things out on the page in front of me.

Peace & Love,
Barb

Monday, April 20, 2015

Just a Quick Share

I hate posting from my phone (I don't type well on here), so this is short and sweet
 
I was just so happy to have worked in my art journal for the first time in ages, I had to share...
 
I hope your journals are seeing lots of action these days.
 
Back soon!
 
Peace & Love,
Barb

Friday, April 3, 2015

Looking for Trading Partner(s)

So, how is y’all’s April going so far? I am so behind on things, and I mean everything, and I find myself amazed that March flew by in such quickness. I looked and I only made one blog post the entire month, even though I had lots of things planned to talk to y’all about.

But no worries…we’re here now, right?

Exactly!

I think I’ll catch up with a bulleted list (I know, I’m taking the easy way out but a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do, right? lol)…

  • I spent far more time in March at the VA Clinic taking my sister/mother for doctor’s appointments than I care to remember. She’s not doing very well lately and we’re trying to figure out why.
  • We went on a little trip with the Grandboy and our friends, Antoyne and Donna, to one of our favorite drag races in Gainesville, Florida the weekend of March 14-15th. I won a contest to give the two of them their Baptism-by-Nitro…such an honor and a thoroughly awesome experience. (Can you tell what a blast we’re all having?)bbn platform
  • My little sister and her husband came down for a few days at the end of the month. I didn’t get to see as much of them as I’d like to have thanks to just that overall feeling like crap feeling I deal with so often. Ugh!
  • And the biggest news of late? Savannah (my oldest daughter) has her own place and she & Noah are in the process of moving out! YAY!!! It’s only about 10 minutes away but I am already starting to see light at the end of the tunnel. This weekend I’ll be able to start moving my art stuff back into the space I used to call my studio…you know, the space that she wound up using as her room. I’m not bitter, just ready to have my life and house back.
  • So she would have some furniture for her living room, we gave her our sofa and loveseat…that way we could get some new living room furniture. That doubles the goodness for me. lol

So that’s some of what happened to my March. How was yours?

While I’ve been away from blogging, my mind has been busy at work and one thing that I’ve been wanting to set up is a paper/ephemera trade. I have tons of various papers, gelli prints, clippings and bits of collage, etc. but I think we all get tired of our own stash, don’t we? I just thought that a trade would be a great way to freshen up our stashes.

If it’s something you would be interested in, please leave a comment. If there are enough that want to participate, I’ll be glad to head things up. If there are only a couple of us, we can still do it but just keep it small. I do hope you’ll join me. I think it could be fun.

If this works out then next on my list is to start an art journal exchange or round robin (depending on number of participants.) Be thinking if that is something that you might be interested in joining in on. I know that life is busy for everyone but we can keep things calm and interesting without it being one more thing to be pressured about, I’m sure of it.

There you have it…my thoughts du jour.

I hope you have a great weekend planned.

Peace & Love,
Barb

Saturday, March 7, 2015

An Art Journaling Video & Elton John

Hey there, y’all. How’s everybody doing? Great I hope.

Lots to share with ya so let’s get to it…

I hope the title didn’t give you guys the idea that I had actually gotten off my big old hiney and made a video myself or something. Goodness knows, I have really had my hands full lately so doing a video myself won’t be happening for a bit. But eventually, I swear.

I do want to share this awesome video by Katie Ness where she shares some of her art journaling. I find it amazing, inspiring, and just chock full of goodness so I had to share. Be sure to watch in full screen and don’t be afraid to pause and really take in her journal spreads. Now, please enjoy…

Fabulous, right? I can’t believe I’ve not come across Katie until now but am I ever glad I did. Be sure to check out her website for more of her fantastic works…http://sunflowerteeth.com/…you’ll be glad you did.

In other news…

I know I’ve been a bit (very?) absent lately, there has just been so much going on with my family, not to mention that I’m really battling SAD (seasonal affective disorder) this year. My mother/sister that lives with us is not doing well at all…I am afraid she has early onset Dementia or possibly the beginnings of Alzheimers, not to mention some health issues that are making it very hard to take care of her by myself. We’ll find out more at her doctor’s appointment on the 16th. Wish us luck and good news.

In the category of good news, my youngest daughter, Shelby, is pregnant!!! FullSizeRenderVery much a wished for baby by all! She will be 14 weeks along on Wednesday so we’re not far from finding out the sex of the little one and then I can start making lots and lots of things for her or him. Eeeek!!! Can you tell I’m one excited Nana? lol

<== A picture taken this week of me and my not-so-little girl who will soon be a Mommy herself. I love this kid and I’m so proud of the woman she has become. I know she will be an unbelievably great mother.

With all of the heavy, hard, and messy things going on in my life, Shelby decided to treat me to something awesome off my bucket list…tickets to see ELTON JOHN in concert! WOW!!! There are just no words to tell you guys how superb of a show Sir Elton put on. I love him even more now than I did before the concert…and I’ve always been a huge Elton fan for as long as I can remember.

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I’ve been to many concerts in my life (I love music!) but I can honestly say that seeing Elton was the highlight of my concert going life.

Amazing…just absolutely amazing!

Anyway, I have lots more to tell but I’ll save the rest for later. I hope you are all doing well, making lots of awesome art and crafts, and staying warm.

Much Peace & Love,
Barb

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Happy Valentines Day

Hi y'all. I hope everyone is doing great and staying warm. Even though we live in Florida, we've had some chilly (for us) temperatures lately and I am definitely not liking it.
 
 
Sorry I've been absent the past week+...Noah, my precious grandboy, came home with a horrid cough last Friday and since then we've all caught it and been battling it since. *ugh*
 
It being Valentines, the hubby and I decided that no matter how bad we feel (and we both still feel extremely icky) that we were going out to dinner! Now we're sitting outside our favorite steakhouse waiting to be seated. We've been waiting 45 minutes so far...they said our wait might be as long as 90 minutes.
 
*sigh*
 
I'm really wanting a steak but this is insane! Oh well, it'll be worth it once we've finally been seated.
 
I hope you're all having a good Valentines and staying warm. I'll be back with some new goodies to share in the next couple of days.
 
Also, don't forget to check out the goodies in the Craft Therapy Goods shop (the link is in the tabs up there at the top.) I've added a couple of new, original pieces (like the Love Endures piece in the pic up there) and will be adding more soon.
 
Back soon!
 
Peace & Love,
Barb

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Using Your Junk Mail

The internet is, all at once, my greatest love and my worst enemy.

What happens is this: I can get online at 9am to check email and read my favorite blogs, and then *BAM* it’s 6:30pm and everyone is hungry, asking me “where is dinner?” I am being totally serious here…Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, my own list of blogs that I read, YouTube, Artstronauts Club, even the occasional perusing of Facebook can be my downfall…each one is a total time-suck (that’s a new word I invented, in case you’re wondering.)

I know better than to let myself get pulled into that never ending vortex of just peeking at one of them for just a sec. HA! Inevitably I get lost down the internet rabbit hole and have to be pulled away by some familial duty that I am hounded to take care of. LOL…sorta.

I really have to stop doing that, ya know?

Okay, enough blabbing about my insane internet addiction.

Now it’s time for me to share my weekly planner page layout. I really should have posted this Monday but, well, you know…I was in the midst of a binge and just couldn’t pull myself away to even write a blog post. (I know, it’s sad.)

Anyway, it’s a little bit different today.01e83cacca86f8aa553a8f393ce6f60f409d536bd6 I know you all know exactly what these fabulous papers are, right? Yep, junk mail return envelopes. I am trying very hard not to hoard paper the way I’ve been known to do in the past but I love seeing all the different patterns that these come in so I saved a few and decided to use them in my planner this week.

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<--I mean, c’mon, just look at that…isn’t that the coolest pattern ever? I just couldn’t throw it away.

 

 

 

 

 

Cut them down to fit the days, glue them down with a differing pattern on each day, then throw in some various washi tapes (another addiction of mine *sigh*) as dividers and borders, and there you have it, this weeks planner spread, ready to go.

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Here it is with the days of the 01f57e630de3d40ed823ec58602f29ab0ab994dac1week and dates done, as well as the first 3 days of the week journaled with images added.

I do wish I had stuck with the Moleskine planner that I used last year. As much as I like having larger areas for each day, this planner is not holding up well to the little bit of wear I have put it through so far this year. Something tells me the whole thing will fall apart long before the new year.

Oh well, you work with what you got, right?

In other news, I am going to be listing some of the stamps that I handcarved for #CarveDecember in my shop over the next few days. If there is one of them that you had your eye on, let me know and I’ll make sure to list it for you.

Also, I have found an absolutely AWESOME new supply to share with y’all…next time.

Peace & Love,
Barb

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Art Journaling Frida

So glad to hear that y’all are receptive to my supply/product reviews. I’ve always enjoyed doing them so look forward to some more coming up in the future.

Nothing big to report today. Just stopping in to say Hi and thought I’d share today’s art journal page.

I have long had a love affair with Frida Khalo and this isn’t my first art journal page that features her. She is my art crush, for sure.

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Like I said, nothing big…just your average ordinary Tuesday.

I hope yours has been a good one.

Peace & Love,
Barb

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Review: Pilot Frixion Erasable Markers

I’ve been on a self-imposed hiatus from buying any art supplies for a while. Last week I decided I needed a little treat so I bought a set of the Pilot Frixion Erasable Markers.

Even though I haven’t done any Supply Saturday posts in forever, I thought I’d give y’all a rundown on them.

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First off, the colors in this set are beautiful. The set includes colors you don’t usually see in small sets like this, such as two shades of pink and a beautiful lime green.

On the downside of color, the black and brown both lay down color that is quite washed out, in my opinion. Streaky (is that a word) is another thing that isn’t so great but it only happens when using these markers to color in larger areas; if just using them to write or doodle, the color lays down fine.

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These are the colors included (although the light blue looks kinda turquoise here, it does look much better and is very much a light blue in person.) I put down a scribble of each color and wrote the color name in that color…duh. lol

Now let me tell you about the erasability (I made this word up, I’m sure of it!) of these markers.

Amazingly, they do erase. How well they erase depends on what type of paper you’re working on. The sampling I have here is on a piece of white cardstock that is somewhat absorbent and I ran the special eraser (each marker has an eraser tip on one end) down through the middle of the scribbled areas. As you can see, a good amount of the ink did disappear with just a few swipes of the eraser.

However, if you’re working on watercolor paper, it is almost impossible to get the colors to erase. But, alternatively, on a glossy or semi-gloss cardstock, it comes off extremely easy.

As for using them in my art journal, I can see using them when I’m on gesso, light acrylic paint, paper or collage, or in my planner/journal which I don’t layer the way I do in my regular art journals. I’ve tried using them over acrylic paint and, as long as it’s not super shiny, they go on fine. I do hate that they take a bit to dry but I guess that’s the price for having them be erasable.

All in all, I will use these until they run out, I’m sure, but there are markers out there that are the same price range that I would get a whole lot more use out of so I can see myself buying these again.

What do you think? Would these be a good addition to your art supply stash? I would love for you to let me hear what you think.

Now, back to my piddlings.

Peace & Love,
Barb

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Finding Your Passion

“The longer you wait for the future, the shorter it will be.”
~Loesje

The new planner I’m using to document 2015 had that quote as the weekly quote this week. Sometimes things boil down to such very simple ideals that I often overlook them. That is one of them.

I am horrible about saying or thinking things like “As soon as ______ happens, I’ll get ______ done.” Do you do that? I can’t be the only one. Geez, how much of my living have I put off until life becomes perfect? I mean, just yesterday I was in my 20’s with two small children and had so much life in front of me, it was easy to put things off until later.

But now? I will turn *gulp* 50 this year which means that 30 years of my life has flown by and I still find myself putting things off until my life situation improves.What is up with that? Anyone know how to break this crazy mindset?

Ugh!

Ok. Enough of that drivel…just what is on my mind.

Let’s talk art journaling/planner stuff for a minute. I think it was Trece who asked what planner I am using to document my year; it came from either Wal-Mart or Target (Wally World, I’m pretty sure) and it’s made by a company called MintGreen. Cheapo at less than $10 but I like it because it gives me bigger sections for each day.

I showed y’all the process of prepping a week and, after daily journaling/documenting, this picture shows just how last week finished out:01bcaa812f67f2e61da889097b331b9f9ef2ef709c

Here is where this week is starting from, fully prepped with paint, etc.: 012090b76f4d8209f7163cb57dc1f2e01f834833a7

I like documenting my days and have actually used my planner from last year to look up events or something and having that to turn back to has been cool. 01a989b92e4ce608d707eaa823276e8a86a60c5135But that doesn’t mean that I’m not playing in my regular art journal, oh no…that baby is still getting plenty of play on the pages.

I was playing around with color and layering on this page…and I’ve found, at least for me, if I can just get my brain out of the mix and just enjoy playing, I like how things turn out so much more.

When I wonder what my real passion in life is (and yes, I am still finding myself at almost 50), I realize that my passion is that which I do between the covers of my art journals.

Seriously.

Pushing paint around with my brush (or with my fingers,) doodling, stamping, journaling, lettering, gluing, etc. are where my heart feels full and my soul feels at home. I love my art journals and they are truly my passion. It’s taken me a few years to figure this out because, once again, sometimes I don’t see those simple answers right in front of me.

Have you found your passion?

Peace & Love,
Barb

Saturday, January 17, 2015

A Quick Smile for the Day

You all know how I fight depression every single day of my life, that's no secret. One weapon in my arsenal to try and lift the dark fog that depression causes is, don't laugh, watching YouTube videos. There are some funny videos out there and laughter is such a good thing. We all need more laughter, don't you think.

This may be the funniest I've come across in ages. Give it a watch and tell me if you found it as funny and cute as I do.



See? Hilarious, huh? I love it!

On another note, I want to send out a quick thanks to Patricia, my very first customer in my new shop! (And no, Patricia, shipping is not a typo...pens ship quite inexpensively.) Thank you so much. 

If you haven't checked it out, I hope you'll take a quick look and tell me what you think. The link is in my tabs up there...Craft Therapy Goods. 

Now, back to my Saturday chores.

Peace & Love,
Barb

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Planning & Setting Up Shop

Hi y’all! *waving*

Thought I dropped off the planet, didn’t ya? Nah, I’ve just been as busy as a one-armed paper hanger over here…no offense to any one-armed paper hangers intended. lol

Seriously, between our internet going haywire for a few days (and I just can’t blog from my phone…I’m not that coordinated) and doing lots of research on how to set up my own store, there just hasn’t been time to think. Finally I can see some light at the end of the tunnel.

I’ve been working on getting my new shop set up and it’s finally semi-live…see the link up there in my tabs? Yeah, there’s the portal.

I say semi-live because I only have a few items listed as of right now, just some overstock art supplies so far. Within the next couple of weeks, as I get better acquainted with how to list things, grasp the learning curve, and know better how the entire process works, I will be adding original artwork, hand-screened original t-shirts, and other handmade items and more of my favorite supplies. I’m also going to add an art journaling kit that I’m putting together that has everything you need to sit down and art journal your heart out, and more.

Whew!, this has been tiring but also fun. I like that it’s more of an extension of Craft Therapy instead of having to send customers to Etsy or somewhere else.

Quick favor and I’ll hush about it (for now)…please take a sec and check it out then tell me, honestly, what you think? What kind of items would you like to see me listing that you would purchase? Is there interest in hand carved stamps? Digital collage sheets?

Just some thoughts I’m throwing around and could really use y’all’s input.

*zipping my lips regarding the store, I swear* hee!

In other news…I’m sure y’all know that last year I did the Documented Life Project, right? Well, I decided to go my own way this year and just play it by ear. I wanted to share a little of the planner/journal I’m working with for 2015…

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This is what a weekly spread looks like untouched.

018d4a796ca4f4fca9442a744b5936a6c2d83ca3c4This is after I decided to gesso the thin pages.

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Then I changed my mind and decided to use some art papers to cover and thicken the pages.

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I decided to frame the pages with some washi.

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And here is the same week (this week) after adding the days of the week, date numbers and 3 days of journaling.

So that’s what my planner/journal looks like this year…at least for now. I may paint some pages and even leave some plain white and just doodle, journal, etc. on them. Like I said, I’m playing it by ear this year.

This is in addition to my regular art journaling. Just a way to keep up with my days.

Are you doing any kind of planner this year?

Don’t forget to leave me your thoughts and ideas about my little shop, please. Take care and I’ll be back soon!

Peace & Love,
Barb

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Art Journal Madness

I try to be creative every single day. Doesn’t mean it always works out but it does mean I try. My art journals are the one place I always, at the very least, make some marks in 99% of the time. Being creative doesn’t always mean hours of time spent on a project, although it’s great if you have that kind of time on your hands, but sometimes all you have is 5 minutes here and 10 minutes there.

I say, make the most of what you’ve got…in every way, time or supplies or creativity…just go with it.

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With this page, I started with a black gessoed background then traced my stencil (forgive me but I can’t remember the name of it but it’s by Crafter’s Workshop) with my white Uni Ball Signo um-153 pen.

That gave me all the boxes to doodle in and put my words here and there. I’d just play with it for a few minutes here and there and, over the course of a couple of days, it came together…a little bit at a time.

Don’t go thinking I’m all down and out and super depressed again, cause I’m not. It’s just what wanted (needed?) to come out as I worked on this page.

I do love the starkness of the black and white. It is fun to do something that is different from what I usually do.

Another page I 01d89ea5375d0cdcb06f8e5e7f07f7d4c435dcc1c5completed lately is another stray from my normal art journaling style. It’s really quite a mess but sometimes that’s what spills out so I’m trying to just learn to go with it and let it spill.

You can usually read everything I write in my art journals easily but this time I wanted some privacy to what I was journaling so I purposefully wrote overlapping each of the lines and throwing in some rather big flourishes. I’m sure it can be deciphered but these things make it much tougher to read.

I also did lots of just zen mark making…dashes, lines, dots…just doodling. This one is very NOT me but, like I said though, it’s good to step outside my comfort zone and do something new and different. It kinda shakes things up and expands how I work and play in my journals.

I think that the truth is that I’m still finding myself and my own personal style. This kind of experimentation is how we find ourselves creatively…how we can see what sticks.

We’ll see what parts of these experiments continue to show up in my art as time goes on.

So tell me, what kind of experimenting have you been doing lately? Do share, won’t you?

Peace & Love,
Barb

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Art Experiments

Life has been so full and crowded with things to do for the holidays and generally for everyone else that yesterday (Saturday) was the first time I’ve really had time to sit and just play in what feels like forever. I realized while cleaning up my HUGE mess that I haven’t even told you guys what I got for Christmas. *duh!*

As much as I love carving my own stamps,Stampmaker Kit there are some aspects of detail that my carving will never be able to capture. With that in mind, I have been lusting after the Teresa Collins Stampmaker Kit and, for Christmas, I got it.

Everything I read explained the process as being fairly simple and, in the end, providing lots of detail…just like the red rubber mounted stamps and clear acrylic stamps we all buy. I wanted that!

So, yesterday I finally got to play with my new machine. Definitely an experiment, that’s for sure.

When I opened the box, one of the photopolymer bags (the pinkish-red packets above) had busted and sent super sticky pink stuff all inside the little bag they were contained it. That meant that every one of the packets, the main thing used to make your stamps, is covered in this icky stuff. Talk about making this whole process a pain in the butt!

I finally got the packets semi-cleaned off (I don’t think there is any way to get them totally clean) and started the process. Of course I read the directions AND I watched the included DVD so I’d know what I was doing.

After following the instructions down to every minute detail, my first stamp was a total failure. GRRR!!! However, my 2nd try at making a stamp was a semi-success. I say semi-success because it was fully formed but some aspects of the stamp were raised more than others, meaning those lower parts don’t print when stamping.

*sigh*

This whole process to mess up one stamp (not my fault, I swear!) and to make a semi-successful stamp, plus clean up, took me over 2 hours! I admit it…this kit had me beat yesterday.

But I’m hard headed and I will NOT let it conquer me completely. Has anyone else tried the Teresa Collins Stampmaker? Did you ever find any success with it? If you have any tips or tricks, do share, please.I will try again later this week, when I have more patience, and I’ll let y’all know how it works out then.

By the way, I’d show you the semi-successful stamp but it got lost in the midst of my cleaning my mess up. I’m sure it’s around here somewhere but since it’s not really useful, I’m not killing myself to find it.

Otherwise, I think I’ll just play in my art journals with my paint and pens for now…I know how those things work.

Peace & Love,
Barb

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Getting Off on the Right Foot

happy-new-year-banner

It’s amazing how quickly taking a couple of days off from blogging snowballs into more than a week without my realizing it. Like practically everyone else, we had our Christmas holiday and had family come to town to celebrate with us. You know what that entails, cooking and cleaning and visiting and *BAM*, eight days have passed.

Sorry about that but hey, as I just said the other day, life is meant to be lived, right? I’ve just been busy living, that’s all. lol

Anyway, I didn’t manage to carve any stamps while all the holiday hoopla was going on so nothing to show on that front, either. What I did manage to do was to think…and plan.

I know that a lot of you have set New Year’s Resolutions and others may have chosen a word for this new year…some of you may do both. I have done both in the past.

Not this year.

Well, not exactly.

I have been thinking about this quite a bit lately. Every year that I’ve made resolutions, I feel lucky if I make it two weeks into January before those promises I made myself start slipping away. By week three or so, I am inwardly calling myself a failure and berating myself daily. By sometime in February, those resolutions are all but forgotten.

I just can’t do that to myself this year.

As for picking a word, I’m not sure I’d want to limit myself and my focus to just one word. There are so many things that are important to me that I can’t choose just one word to focus on…so I’m not.

What I’ve decided to do is this: I want to be a better person.

Seriously.

My focus for the coming year is to just become a better person, in every way. If I have a moments hesitation in making a choice or decision, I want to try to make the choice that would benefit myself and others best. For example, deciding to cook or order pizza? Cook, it’s more nutritious and less expensive…better for all of us. If I catch myself being in a bad mood and snipping at those around me, I want to CHOOSE to be kind (to myself as well as others) and check my attitude.See what I mean?

Maybe that sounds kind of silly but it’s ringing very true to my ears. I just want to make steps to be better. I don’t think I can go wrong with this better, kinder way of thinking and being.

My other goal is to begin earning some regular income. You all know how badly my husband’s job situation has hurt us and I just don’t want to ever be in this predicament again.

I have a couple of ideas on the income front:

  • I’m working on setting up a shop here on Craft Therapy to start shopping cartoffering some art journaling kits I am putting together, some of my favorite art supplies, a few of my own handmade art, as well as handmade journals. It’s what I love so I want to try and turn it into a means of support.

 

  • I am going to buckle down and start producing some online art journaling classes. I know the market is absolutely FLOODED with online classes right now but I do believe I have something unique to offer.

 

  • I am also starting the Florida real estatereal estate course so that I can see what that area has to offer me. I’ve always wanted to try real estate and it’s something I can work around my health and schedule. A friend has a brokerage and has already offered me a “job” when I get licensed…she knows my situation (health, etc.) and is willing to be my angel so we can both make some money with it. Who knows what will happen but it’s definitely worth a try.

In other news, I’ve finished up my Documented Life Project for 2014 and have decided NOT to play along with it this year. I did enjoy much of the project last year, I also felt like it became very competitive and commercial…plus, I just wasn’t excited about many of the weekly prompts. Just my feelings, of course. So, I’m just going to do my own thing in my planner/journal and see how that goes.

What about you? DLP or some other planner project? Doing your own thing? Whatever you do, let me know about it. I’d love to share ideas.

I hope that your New Year is a great one and that you’ve got lots to look forward to this year. I am going to be around here much more in 2015 than I was last year and I hope you will be, too.

Peace & Love,
Barb

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