Tool hoarder unleashed!

No, I will not tell you how long I’ve had these water brushes, but I will show you how fun they are to use, especially when you combine them with Distress Crayons.

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A little teaser of a painting I’m working on, maybe you’ll get to see that next week!

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The Old Man in the Mountain!

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I  mixed a lot of water around on this page to get the variation in color.  I think this could do with some more doodling.

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A face over a clean up page in my journal.  Very ’80s pop star.  Look at that blush!

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My favorite of the week.  The crayons and water really blended well here.  Love her ballerina hair and those lips!

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Little Miss Thora has had a project of her own this week, ruining her new harness.  See how proud she is?

Let me know if you are a watercolor artist.  What other paints/pens/crayons should I try out?

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Outdoor inspiration

Let’s relearn taking inspiration from our natural surroundings.  More often than I care to admit, I find myself scrolling on Pinterest for what seems like hours.  I have convinced myself I need to find projects, ideas, inspiration, just the right vintage refrigerator for my kitchen . . . .  Most of those things, if I’m left to my own devices, can be found literally in my back yard.  As a kid, playing outside was really all I needed (plus lots of books) to keep my imagination running on overdrive, why does it have to be different now?

Here’s what the yard looks like this week:

Pretty inspiring, right?

Not only is everything in bloom, but the birds are out and about singing, building nests, and laying eggs.  We’ve seen Thrush, Robin, Chickadee, Grouse, and Finch.

All this nature has inspired me to create some new cards to send and sell.  I hope you can find inspiration in your surroundings this week, wherever you may be.

Stamps by Stampin’ Up, Dylusions, and Tim Holtz.

 

 

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The sun is shining!

In celebration of the first hot, sunny day of Spring, I stayed inside and got crafty. Of course, that’s not all I did, and I do plan to get my butt back out there soon, but I wanted to show you what inspired me today.

Because my time was limited today, I started out knowing I wasn’t going to complete a project, but could get a jump on some things to finish up on the next crappy day.  In hopes of remembering this lovely weather, I pulled out some super bright gelli prints, and tried out my new Sunburst Thinlits Die from Stampin’ Up.

I ended up with a few book covers which will certainly get some stamping and more bits added to them.  I wonder if they will turn into art journals with blank pages, or notebooks with lined paper, hmmmm.  .  . possibilities.

I loved that the leftover part of the die cut looked just as cool as the actual piece, so I used one as a stencil in my art journal by spraying it with Dylusions ink spray in Postbox Red.

Just one face so far this week.  I’m digging her hair.

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Enjoy that spring energy folks, I know I am (that might be the iced latte talking, but I’ll take it)!

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Use it or lose it!

I’ve been in a using up mood.  The other day I pulled out the plant pot full o’ bits and dug in. . . I found some gelli prints, some solid card stock I had previously intended for another project, lots of strips of patterned paper, and many already stamped images and sayings.  I even found a set of stamps that I hadn’t played with yet (the pony-tail girl and the neat arrows).  Then I spent some time just layering and playing until I got things looking just the way I wanted them, and voila!

I just love mixing and matching patterns and colors; something that can be frowned upon when it comes to fashion.

I’m also still working on my faces project.  Here are a few I doodled when I was away last week at the New Hampshire Library Association Spring Conference.  As with lots of things, free flowing creativity seems to deliver better results.

Here’s the face I think I’ll start working on next.

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When you’re not very good at something . . .

. . . yet.

Another day, another art book from the library.  Dina Wakley’s Art Journal Courage: Fearless Mixed Media Techniques for Journaling Bravely.  passthrough

I happened across a Dina Wakley video on Youtube where she was teaching how to draw faces.  I’ve been wanting to branch out from using purchased stamps in my artwork into having complete control over my creative ideas, but I don’t have any real art training.  As a former band geek, I never had time for drawing classes in high school, so I don’t have any of those basic concepts of shading, shape, dimension, etc. under my belt.  Dina’s video made it look so easy, I thought, sure, I can totally do this and then I’ll be on to hanging portraits in no time. So, off to the library to check out the book.   Well, this tiny little exercise has opened my eyes.  Drawing is as difficult as I expected, but it is quite fun giving it a try.  And I’ve got Beginner’s Mind going for me.

Here are my first few; they’re not cute, but I am proud of myself for jumping in.  How do we improve if we don’t try?

 

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Permanent marker on a gelli print

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Doodle during phone call.

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Distress markers in my art journal.

 

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It’s a fine day!

I thought I would share a review of Elisabeth Dunker’s book, Fine Little Day: Ideas, Collections, and Interiors.30646238-origpic-678efa.jpg_0_0_100_100_450_631_85

Dunker’s book is made up of clips and excerpts from her blog of the same name.  It is filled with inspiring images of studios, homes, and Scandinavian woodlands.  I grabbed this book off the library shelves to get some crafty inspiration, and while it didn’t immediately draw me to my desk, it certainly was beautiful to look through, with lovely color schemes and nature photography.

The home interiors featured are so neat and bohemian, that they sent me directly to my vacuum and into a clutter ditching frenzy, so I’ll take that as inspiration.  There is also a recipe for fish soup that looks delicious.

This quote kind of sums up what this book offered me, a reminder to play and be myself:

“Like someone with itchy feet I’m always rushing around; it’s okay to be free, it’s okay to lose yourself as much as you want.  Look at me, I’m playing!  I refuse to feel ashamed and it makes me happy.  When people call me on the phone and ask me to buy things I say, ‘No thanks, I’ve got everything I need, I’m content, complete,’ and it’s almost always true.  Perhaps I’m romanticizing things a little: am I a true individualist?  Maybe.  I certainly want to show solidarity and generosity, I also want to indulge in the things I find most interesting and make use of what is around me, go crazy, try things — without limits. ” — Elisabeth Dunker, Fine Little Day

Here’s a little recent play in my Dylusions notebook with my Dina Wakely girls.

In other truly inspiring news, the pup is feeling much better!  Huzzah, hooray!  Thanks to all of you who asked about her.

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I’m feeling so much better!

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I’m serious, I’m better.

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If you look away, I’ll run around this house like a mad dog, just try and stop me.

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When your mind’s not in the game. . .

How do you stay productive when you can’t concentrate?  Good question.  For me, it involves flitting around from one small task to the next, because my focus is out the window.

Our poor pup, my art assistant is sick/injured.  We still don’t quite know what is going on with her, the best guess is slipped disc.  She is hopped up on meds, super uncomfortable, and today had several I-don’t-feel-good-so-I’m-gonna-eat-grass-and-I-puke moments — fun times.  Beagles are really bad patients, she refuses to tell us what’s wrong, and the minute she feels even the slightest bit better, she overdoes it and gets hurt again.

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Anyway . . . today, in between cleaning the rugs and taking the pup outside for some air,  I found a few note book covers squirreled away.  I yanked them out and finished them up.  I wasn’t motivated enough to cut page inserts and bind them, but I think I still have a few scattered days ahead of me.

 

I’m particularly proud of how this one turned out.  It has had three incarnations at this point.  First it was a hand-colored flower mess.  Then I tried to cover it up with a orangey-gold beeswax paint.

Today, I covered all that with white gesso and then stamped all over it with a mix of Tim Holtz and Dylusion stamps.  I am finally happy with it!

Hopefully, our pup will make some good progress this weekend so we can all get a little rest.  If anyone out there has Dr. Doolittle’s personal line, can you please let me know?

 

 

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