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

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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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