Saturday, May 31, 2008

An ending and a beginning

Today is the last day for the 21 Day Art Journal Challenge. I find that I don't want to quit. and since I am not quite done with the poem I think I will continue for a few more days to finish it out. I love seeing the pages unfold in my art journal. My son asked me if I would sell it when I was done and I had to laugh. But then I got on a website where a person is actually selling her journal pages. I guess it wasn't such a crazy idea after all. But still, I won't be heading down that road. I got the book, "The Creative Call" in the mail yesterday and I am anxious to start. It will be an in depth look at developing as an artist. I will be challenged and I think that is why I challenged myself to the 21 day thing. It got me started in the habit of art journaling daily. I have read the Forward, Preface and Introduction. Here is what stood out to me. Being creative is not just something that God is giving to me but something He is using through me. Janice says, "Our gifts are not from God to us, but from God through us to the world." When we don't use them we feel a void and our life lacks fullness. There is something deep down inside needing to get out. But, instead of hoping that finding ourselves will result in practicing our art again, we need to realize that only through losing ourselves and becoming reliant on God can we discover how to use those gifts the way He wants us to use them. The book is set up to read a chapter a week with 5 daily exercises to do if you want to go through the process of discovering the artist within. I have not looked ahead. I want to be surprised and experience it as it comes. I am tempted to jump right into chapter one but I am waiting. I want to take my time and absorb it all. So I will sit and ponder and wait until next week to dive into chapter one. I once again am challenging anyone who may be tempted to join me. We can take this journey together. How sweet that would be to have fellow travel companions who are growing and developing along side me. Oh, the anticipation is almost unbearable. I must go finish my last day of the art journal challenge and distract myself with what I love.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

The pens are here!

Yeah, not only did the pens arrive but I am feeling better also. I did my whole journal page yesterday in my new poster paint pens and woodless colored pencils. I will post it later today. I was working on it late last night and was too tired to post when I finished. Now all I am waiting for is my Creative Call book to come in the mail. How long can it take to ship from California? I am not a patient person when it comes to waiting for things bought and shipped. They seem to take forever. I'm like a little kid waiting at the window for the postman to arrive. I remember the first time I ordered something in the mail. I must have been six years old. It was one of those promotional items where you save the labels on a certain product and send them in for a free item. That is when it truly was free. My mom had helped me save labels off the green bean cans and we had sent for a free Jolly Green Giant stuffed doll. I can still remember what it looked like but boy did it seem like it took forever to come. I think it was 6-8 weeks and in a kids life that is like a year. Come to think of it, in my adult life that seems like a year. Like I said, I'm not the most patient person with things being mailed to me.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

I Love Painting

I love painting. I have been thinking about this for awhile. What medium do I want to focus on. You can't get good if you do it all. All the great artists worked primarily in one medium. I think I like painting with acrylics the best. I'm not very good but when I am done I feel like I have accomplished the most. I like the feel of the page when it has acrylic paint on it. It bends and falls into your hand almost like fabric. Thick but flexible. My second choice would be using my watercolor crayons. The page doesn't feel as good but I like the look. There is just something about holding the paint brush, making brush strokes on the page, twirling the brush around in the water and wiping it on the rag. It is beautiful. Paint in pens, paint in daubers and any other way of putting paint on a page just appeals to me. When I sit in my art room and decide what I want to put on the page I look at the stacks of paper I own and yet it is the paint drawer that I pull out. I have to say that I am a very messy painter though. I seem to be wearing paint on my arms many days lately and I don't even mind much. A sure sign that I do indeed love painting.

I only have one week left on the 21 day art journal challenge. I'm not sure I will want to stop. There is a part of me that needs to create everyday. Only time will tell.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Life is messy

As I was doing my art journal page today I realized something. My life is really messy right now. The background on the page (day-14) is very messy looking and everything else on the page was put there to try and make it look less messy and to give some order to it but no matter how many things you put on the page the background just peeks through and shows that in the shadows mess is happening. I think it is very applicable that the page is about courage and most of it is red. Courage is going to the uncomfortable place to arrive at a place where we are stronger and wiser. Blood, sweat and tears are shed there. I love the flower growing out of a bed of nails. Sometimes we don't choose the circumstances we find ourselves in but we can still bloom there. Love is also red and is needed in the mess of life. Love for ourselves, love for others who may be bringing pain and love accepted from the Lord so that we are able to love ourselves and others. I'm learning how to embrace life, messiness and all, and keep moving ahead learning what I need to as I go and blooming inspite of it all. Something to rethink about anyway.

The Creative Call

I belong to a journaling group and they have decided to go through a book this summer called, The Creative Call by Janice Elsheimer. You can find the link below. It has eight chapters so we will be able to go through it this summer. I am throwing it out there to anyone who wants to get the book and go through it with me too. We could post once a week what the main thing was we got out of that chapter. I have never read the book before but lots of people have recommended it to me so I have high hopes. I won't start the first chapter until mid-late June so you have time to get the book. I have it ordered and am waiting for it to come in the mail. I want so much to start a journaling small group but I'm waiting for another gal who had the idea before me. If she doesn't do, it I think I will. I just think it would be amazing to meet once a week and share the art and what we have been learning through journaling. I feel like I have gotten my teeth into something and I can't let it go. We shall see where that leads. But for now I will be going through this book with my on-line group and hopefully a few of you.

Friday, May 23, 2008


I have been low on energy all week. I knew something was up but I pushed ahead ignoring the signs just hoping they would go away. Yesterday there was no more ignoring it. I woke tired and could never get going. Then by the afternoon I had a sore throat and stiff neck and was in bed. I had to cancel all appointments for today and will stay in bed. I have things I need to do but I just lay here thinking, in just a moment I will get up, in just another moment I will get up, maybe in an hour I will be able to get up. It is just not going to happen. Typing feels like work. How can this be happening to me. At least I don't have major stuff this weekend. We are taking the boys to see Indiana Jones and there is a picnic at church. I think I should be able to handle those two things. For now, I'm going back to bed or should I say, I'm laying back down because I'm already in bed typing on my laptop. Good night......

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Pen update

OK, Dick Blick has been very helpful and is sending the rest of my pens. I think they should charter a plane and send them post haste. Until they arrive I will get by with the six I have. I just have to say. I shop regularly at an absolutely adorable shop in Portland, Oregon called paperdoll. I buy all my art supplies there and they don't short change me on anything. I don't have to wait until the Fed Ex guy knocks on my door and they have the best of the best. It is not a big store but if you have a chance to go there you should check them out. I would have bought my pens there but they don't carry them yet. but they do have some other markers that are similar. Every time I go there I find some new thing I need. Just today I bought an angel wing stamp and the most beautiful Lumiere metallic acrylic paint. I think I will try and use it in today's journal page. I better get started so off I go.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Cure for the blues

The last couple of days I have been low on energy. Always happens when the weather changes. Sinus headaches appear out of nowhere and BAM, I have the hardest time functioning. I've also been dealing with watching a couple of my kids go through heartaches that I can't fix. I feel so bad for them and all I can say is that I'm sorry that they are going through this. Life is just hard but that makes the blessings so much sweeter too. I used to fight the hard times, now I know that they make me stronger and I learn so much from them. Don't get me wrong, I would just as soon skip this part but I seem to have a lot to learn because there always seems to be something brewing on the horizon. OK, enough of the doom and gloom. What makes my heart rejoice, that is much more fun to focus on.
1. Creating art
2. Listening to birds sing
3. Getting a compliment that is genuine
4. Completing a project
5. Getting a word from God
6. Laughing with friends
7. Helping someone learn something new
8. A clean house
9. Coming home to a joyous welcome
10. Experiencing the beauty of nature

I've already experienced 1,2, 7, 9 and 10 this week. WOW, that already makes me feel better. I should try this every time I feel low.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Where's my pens?

Well, I made it through seven days of the art journal challenge. YEAH! It was challenging when I worked all day Friday and Saturday and then had activities after that. One of my friends turned 60 and had a party with a DJ and dancing Friday night and it was a lot of fun. Even though I thought I wouldn't know many people I found out that I did. It is amazing how many people my path has crossed over the years. You just have to connect the dots to figure out where. My friends and I are getting to the age where you don't remember the dots as well. I asked a couple of them when this or that happened and they just look at me with blank stares and shrug their shoulders. And then we laugh really hard because it feels so ridiculous to not remember something significant. Hey, my pens came yesterday but to my alarm not all of them were in the package. No invoice and only half the pens. What does this mean? When I found the package open when I got home I was about to accuse the postal service who have stolen from me before but my boys were anxious to see what these pens looked like that they bought me so they opened the package. Oh, I hate it when these things happen. At least I can try out 6 pens until this is resolved. Oh bother :(

Thursday, May 15, 2008

In the Morning

First thing in the morning I let the dog out, make a cup of coffee and crawl back in bed to spend time in the Word. It is such a peaceful, glorious time for me. I love being in a comfy warm bed with my hot cup of coffee and reading scripture. Sometimes in the evening I can't wait to get to bed so that I can wake up and have this time. Kids have left for school, hubby is off to work and I have a quiet house with my dog snuggled up next to me and sometimes my cat and I let my day start slow with God's words speaking to me. When I worked, mornings were not like this and so I am thankful for this time. It makes my days so much better. The mornings I have to jump out of bed and rush around are just harsh. I find as I get older that I need the quiet and peace even more. It is a settling of my spirit that prepares me for the day. Today the sun is shining and the birds are singing, so cliquish I know. I have a nest of birds right outside my bedroom window and I hear them often in the mornings. They have built a nest in the eve and make a huge mess but they get away with it because I love the sounds they make. Yesterday I was thinking and journaling about words of encouragement in the morning and woke up thinking about it today. What a blessed life I have, if even for the moment.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Art Journal Challenge

Well, it is day three on the art journal challenge. I am loving this but we shall see what I say when we get to the last week. The only problem is that once I get out to my art room I loose all track of time. Hours fly by like it is only minutes. How is that possible? During one of my quiet times last week God gave me a poem. It is pretty long and so I am journaling a line of it each day and what it means to me. If you write down the lines each day, by the end you will have the poem. I never have a plan. I just start with color and go from there. This is really fun. You all should really try this. I can't wait until my paint pens come. I hear they will be here in a couple of days and I am waiting on pins and needles or should I say pens and needles. HA, HA!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day!
I have had a very nice Mother's day. My boys went together to buy me a dozen roses in my favorite color and I wish you could smell them because they are heavenly. They also got me a small pink teddy bear and ordered me those Sharpie poster paint pens that I have been going on and on about. They will be here in the mail hopefully this week. I am so excited to try them out. My daughter is going to take me out for lunch and a movie. It is very nostalgic for us both because we used to have alone time doing that together. My other daughter lives on the East coast and will call later. I know this because she emailed me to tell me she would. I am hoping for a nap and my husband and I are going to watch PS I Love You today. It doesn't get much better than that. The sun has even made an appearance. Motherhood is the hardest and yet the most rewarding job. Most of the time you wonder what you were thinking when you thought you could be a mother and then they do the nicest thing and you think it will be OK. Our pastor read a passage today about the struggle of birthing a child bring joy in the end. The struggles in life sure are hard but God uses it all to bring us joy if we are dependant on Him. Well, today I will focus on the joy and save the rest for another day. :) blessings to you all!
Art Journal Challenge
I am realizing that I need to post my first day of art challenge but I may wait until tomorrow to post today's page. Then if I have to do any of my pages at night I will always be a day behind so it won't matter. Any one going to join me?

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Confessions of a Daily Journaler

Traci Bunkers was the teacher in this class and she is also a published artist. Her journals are all very random with intense colors and topics. She kept yelling at us to just slap stuff down although she used another 's' word in place of stuff. I think the most valuable thing I learned in her class was to try something you wouldn't normally try and to color wash the whole page so it blends. This was my first page and it was all about coming to Virginia. I need to do another color wash on it so that each element does not stand out so much. The map is actually a flap I added and it says Hampton underneath the flap. She even wanted us to put stuff on the page and then cover it up so that you couldn't see it. This is hard for a scrapbooker to do. I did accomplish this though by accident. My receipts that I pasted on the page apparently are heat sensitive and so when I used the heat tool they turned brown and disappeared right before my eyes. This gave the page a mysterious look and I actually ended up liking it but it was not the intended look at all. You can see it a bit right above the map. I did do a second page in the class and it was more like what she was trying to get us to do. Lots of paint and the elements become part of the page. You would think that something this messy was easy to do but it is surprisingly hard to make messy look good.
Journals are usually private places that you communicate what is important to you and what is going on in your life with emotions and feelings about it. I think your pages should reflect your personality and be a place that you get stuff out of your head but also learn about yourself too. Some days they may look ugly and who cares because no one is going to see it anyway. Other days they may be beautiful and you will want to look at them over and over again. I tried Traci's style and my journals will never look like hers because I'm not her. My journals are going to look like me and you will see more of that style because I am starting my Art Journal Challenge tomorrow. I am excited and nervous because it definitely will be a challenge to do it everyday.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Monoprints & Drizzles class

Traci Bautista who has a book on monoprints taught this class. She was very nice and the class was jam packed with ideas. We made about 30 different printed papers using her ideas. I brought them home and collaged them on this page in my journal about what I learned in the class. It was messy but fun and some of the papers where so beautiful. After the paint was dry we went over it with an assortment of pens and glitter glue. You can use different kinds of paper such as paper towels, pages ripped out of old textbooks, printed paper and plain paper. We used tools such as, foam rubber, needlepoint canvas, metal, textured wallpaper and a very handy brayer. Paints included solid and liquid acrylics, watercolor paints, liquid inks and ink pads, ink dabbers and so many kids of pens I couldn't even list them. Of course her pages where much more interesting than mine but I learned a lot and the techniques will spill over into all my art projects. My two favorite tools that I got to try and want in every color is the watercolor poster paint pens by Sharpie and the liquid watercolor paint by Colorations. Soooooo cool! You have to buy them on-line and has the best price. OK, that's it for now.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Acrylic painting and glazes

I was working in my art journal today trying out some of the techniques I learned in my acrylics class. I was definitely the newest student to painting with acrylics and it was hard to set my paintings up next to paintings of some amazing artists. My teacher, Diane Trout, was very supportive and even others in the class made some very good comments. You can always learn and especially from your mistakes. What was really cool was that everyone in the class had the same three colors and we all came up with different pallets. I wish I could show the pictures from the class because it was amazing. I think the acrylics class and the Monoprints and Drizzles class taught me the most. I will post a picture tomorrow from that class. I am so loving this big huge journal I am working in. I don't think I will be able to go back to the smaller format after this. I can do a two page spread now. YEAH! I know I posted twice today but you have no idea how exciting this is for me to have taken classes with other artists who love the same style of art I love and to have them encourage me. It was a dream come true. That is the story!

Taylor's Timepiece

I am going to showcase each day some of the art projects that I made at Art & Soul. This was actually my last class and was project oriented. Some of the classes I took were technique focused and so I didn't walk out of the class with a finished project. The clock started out as a white piece of Stampboard. I had never used this product before and found that I loved it. I covered it with inks and paint and rubber stamped the images then went back and used a small tool to scratch the paint off to create the white background you see. If I didn't scratch too hard then the color is more yellow. I added glitter embellishment and drilled a hole for the clock pieces. Even the second hand has red glitter on it. The final touch was gluing ribbon to the sides of the clock. This is going to be in my art room so I can keep better track of my time while I am out there. If you take a close look, I stamped "Time flies" right under the crown to remind me of that fact. Chrissie Hines was the teacher and she was fantastic. I was so tired by this point I wasn't sure I could make anything but I ended up really liking it. I loved the Stampboard ( hope to use it again in the future.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

I'm back

I am so excited to be back from vacation. It was a great time but amazingly tiring. How can having fun be so hard. I hardly slept the whole time I was gone. But that was the only bad part. Now that that is out of the way, I can tell you all the good stuff. I will touch on the highlights and tell you more later. Time with my family was so sweet. I kissed my grand baby a thousand times and while I was there he popped out two new teeth and started saying Mama. I also got to see what my daughters life is like in Hampton, Virginia. She is such a good mom and so considerate of my needs. It is so weird to see you children grow up and have lives of their own and become nice people, not the teenagers you knew. It was fabulous! We went to Virginia Beach and the sand is gold, not like the gray sand we have on the west coast.

We got to celebrate my son-in-laws 21st birthday even though it won't actually be for another month. I took them out to Red Robin and he got the biggest burger I have ever seen. I think it was called the Monster Burger. I don't know how he got his mouth around it.

I was also able to meet some of my daughters friends. We went to a Sushi/Hibachi restaurant and they fixed our food right at the table. It was so fun but when the flames flashed as high as the ceiling my little grand baby was scared. He got over it quickly though and enjoyed the flying knives and funny tricks the cook was doing.

My daughter and grand baby are on the right.

I spent five days with them and then went to a hotel for the Art & Soul retreat. Oh, I almost forgot. A tornado hit while I was there. It devastated a town 5 minutes down the road from where we were. It was a bit scary and I was grabbing the baby and running to the bathroom when they said it was 2 minutes away from us. We only saw heavy winds and torrential rains but I felt sorry for the people who lost their homes. Complete homes where turned into kindling in seconds. We felt very fortunate. Please say a prayer for those whose lives have been touched by this horrible event.