Sunday, March 26, 2017

I Haven't Abandoned my Blog

No I haven't abandoned my blog though it has been many months since I posted, I have had lots of medical stuff going on, a few challenges and let some things slip.

Like so many there comes a time where one has much soul searching to do to decide where their future lies and what is really important. But I also have learned many new crafty things and techniques so I have a backlog of articles to write.

Coloring is what I have done the most lately and making monthly cards for my grandchildren and I long to paint again. Not that I do it well but it is so much fun.

Since both my camera and phone stopped working I couldn't make any videos or post pictures of any art or coloring pages that I have done. Problem solved!

I'll be back real soon dear blog!

Saturday, August 6, 2016

The Reason I've Been Missing in Action

I know it's been nearly two months since I've posted I've been doing the ICAD Challenge for 2016 from Daisy Yellow. It runs from June 1st through July 31st and you do a piece of art on an ICAD which stands for Index Card a Day.  Here's a link to the finished ICADS so far. They are spectacular this was my first year and I have to say I feel so inadequate there are some beautiful art pieces, though I know if I keep practicing I will only get better. If you are new to art journaling you will get many inspiring ideas from the link.

It was started by Tammy Garcia 6 years ago to inspire creativity and encourage people to do a small piece of art daily. What a challenge it has been I got off to a late start I'm about 15 days behind however you can still add your cards until you are finished. I should have been posting them here as well and I'm going to now. I take medication and sometimes I sleep for 2-4 hours in the late afternoon so it is hard to get this done.

There are daily and thematic prompts you can follow if you choose or you can just do your own thing. In addition to the challenge I have learned so many new things that I have to show you. I apologize but I have been dealing with so many medical issues and the dreaded paperwork that goes with it. Since I have been on disability for two years now I was put on Medicare part A and B and that means that my medications were no longer being paid for so I had to scramble to find a way to get that paid.

I found a program that will pay for the Medicare part D (medications) but then they wouldn't pay for the Cancer medication which is covered by part B it is so very confusing and expensive. My 20% is 787.00 a month I only get 867.00 a month so I have to call the drug companies to see if they can help with the premiums what a mess. I was told it was all taken care of and the medicine was being paid for but that was not true.

So you can see how I have been distracted. But God is good and it will all work out. If I didn't take the Medicare B I would have been fined all those years until I turned 65. So for those of you who are getting ready to turn 65 or are on SSDI be prepared do a lot of studying. I have a friend whose husband is getting ready to retire and she is trying to sort through all that. It can be very confusing good luck.

So let's get back to something much more fun.

I was planning on finally starting to make YouTube videos of my experiments I've been doing but my camera broke and I can't upload videos. I have an iPad mini but it keeps saying I have no room to make videos even though I deleted my pictures so I'm going to the AT & T store to try to figure out why. Since I have 5GB of iCloud Storage.

I have many ICAD's to post- tips and tricks I've learned - experiments I've done - templates and stencils I've made - money saving ideas from the Dollar Store - DIY art tools - Art supplies gifted to me - and new products I have purchased and products I have received to review.

It's 4 AM so I will say goodnight and get started tomorrow!

Friday, June 17, 2016

What to do if You Don't Have the Money to Art Journal

This was an answer I wrote to a post in a Facebook Group. A young lady was having trouble she didn't come up with ideas very often and was having financial difficulty and couldn't afford supplies when she did. Well I could relate since I'm on disability now and have very little extra money at the moment.

Long post: I feel for you I'm on disability now lost everything in one day medical issues, when you only have 5 or 10 dollars a month to buy art supplies if you are lucky it is frustrating. It has forced me to learn to draw which is good and to be more creative. #1 Write all your ideas down in a notebook so you will have it when you are ready. #2 Don't try to do everything which is hard at first because everything is so cool. Figure out what you want to do most then figure out what supplies you need to do it.

I figured out I had to buy smart. Instead of buying stencils I bought a heat tool for 10 or 11 dollars. I cut up my water jugs (like milk cartons) and make stencils. However I like to do experiments too I have made stamps from foam, cardboard boxes, made templates from cereal boxes, I took some pictures last night of them. I'm working on documenting everything so I can add it to my blog. I save brown bags, tissue boxes, other boxes stuff comes in with cutouts for templates. Example if you have a rectangle tissue box and you peel the top off it looks like a balloon. I made a homemade gelli plate.

Get junk mail? Use the clear backs to draw on or to paint on if you can't afford paper. I'm going to make a journal out of envelopes from junk mail. I've watched a lot of videos that use cheap things to make art. I save pictures of peoples art that I really like to help me for inspiration. There are tons of tutorials on YT the one poster is right you can find all sorts of things in your house to use for art, before you throw it away ask is there some way to reuse this. If you can get paint or watercolors, there are cheap oil pastels on Amazon or chalk pastels for 5.00 - 10.00 and under. The crayola brand makes great stuff.

The Dollar Tree usually has 6 paints for a dollar in poster paint and watercolor. I just found out our Dollar store has adult coloring books for 1.00 a piece 32 pages. I'm going tomorrow I have to have help getting in and out of the bathtub so I have a helper. Her trailer just burnt down and she lost everything so we might buy all 6 kinds and split them. You can also type free adult coloring pages in Google and print them off. Color them with crayons or colored pencils from the dollar store then cut them up and add them to a journal.

No journal? Get magazines from friends/library and cut out pictures or use to make a journal. Go to a thrift store and get a big book to use as an art journal get a little paperback book or music book rip the paper out to use as background. Paint around something you like on the mag or book page then use your cut outs from other mags to make scenes. Type in free catalogs in Google and they send them right to your house. No surveys or anything like that. Of course some of them might send you an offer to buy something it's more junk mail to reuse.

Remember some of these people have been doing art for years so they have lots of supplies. I nearly cry watching some of the videos when they have 10-15 pads of pretty paper just laying around and you would love to just have one. Or markers, paint and especially stamps since you can make beautiful art with it if you cannot draw. But you can't let it get you down, the more you can do art the happier you will be. And post your stuff and we will love it!

Although I do not like the situation I'm in I refuse to let it get me down and I chose to look on the bright side that is using my brain to come up with creative ideas to overcome lack of funds.

I've been making so many things (stamps, stencils, etc) which to me is fun and I consider it art I finally just start making journal pages and they look like a 3rd grader did them I don't care I'll get better. Some stuff I thought on my own others I've seen on YouTube. I'm saving every penny so I can buy Inktense Blocks because they appear to give you the most for your money and they are expensive but they last a long time, it may take 4 months to get them but they will be worth it. Hopes this helps reach out any time the folks here are great!. I'm going to collect a few videos that show you how to make something out of nothing, I think we can post them in here. Something to write/draw/color with and something to but it on that's art!

End of post. Cringe I thought I got the few typos in the post I didn't.

I did go to the Dollar Tree it was actually a town over (13 miles) and got 3 color books two floral and a geometric one. On their website they had 6 listed but they did have a few more. I was very surprised the ones I bought were one sided, most are double sided. No worries about ruining your page on the backside because there isn't one. Tip: if you have double sided coloring books and you don't color in order put a piece of wax paper behind the page you are coloring if there is one you have previously colored so it doesn't rub off onto the colored page. That may sound confusing I might have to find a picture of that.

I also went to Goodwill and the big books were expensive, best to go to a smaller thrift store or get a book from the Dollar Store. I do want to go back because I ran out of time. I did find a music book for art journal backgrounds and a blank 1000 list book for a buck a piece. I will explain the list book it's a great idea for helping with inspiration.

So back to the post: I finally took pictures of the homemade stamps I have made. I was working so hard on my ex-husband present I finished it and gave it to him and forgot to take a picture. I cannot believe I did that, now I have to track it down take a picture and post. Now I can also get back to my cards for the grand babies and my art challenges. Plus I came up with a great way to make backgrounds with the Crayola Slick Stix.

I plan to expand on this post and upload my pictures give me a couple days. I reviewed a couple products and I have to finish writing my reviews.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Dear Blog: I Haven't Abandoned You

Hard to believe that over a month has gone by and I haven't written a thing so sorry. I have been busy learning my new things and finishing up making my first set of cards for my grand-babies who moved to England a couple weeks ago. :( 

I went ahead and posted them online (on Facebook) because I spoke to their mother the day before and she hadn't received them. Thankfully after posting I got a little ding and she said they did come and the kids loved them. Hooray!

I know they are going to have many wonderful adventures and make great memories over there. I'm hoping my granddaughter can go to the Louve to see all the beautiful paintings! She loves to do art and carries a picture her daddy painted for her all over the place. 

For those of you who are a bit confused my son has a beautiful daughter. However he and her wonderful mommy just weren't right for each other so she married a great guy in the Air Force. Sadly he got stationed in England for four years. He wasn't supposed to go anywhere.

My son was a Marine like his father I guess there is a lot to the saying hard to resist a man in uniform. Anyway she and her husband went on to have two more children my little half nanners. I am Nana not grandma eek. So my granddaughter has two daddies that love her very much, and we love her brother and sister very much. We are so blessed but that is another story, lets finish this one shall we.

They left from Georgia and had a straight 8 hour flight over whew. We got to talk to her that evening while in Georgia and apparently there is some sort of an aquarium there. She got to see a dolphin and her sister an electric eel. Her daddy (my son) asked her what she wanted to see first when she arrived in England she said a castle well she will have plenty of opportunity to see many of those.

Since I'm going to send cards over every month I thought it would be helpful to learn how to draw more kid friendly things since they are  6, 5 and 2. I also bought thanks to PawPaw a cute bunny stamp and an owl stamp. I'll post them. I also learned to draw a dolphin too, there are some wonderful drawing tutorials on YouTube. Plus my Simon Says Stamp card of the month kit has a rainy theme how fitting for England. I haven't planned out the cards yet I need to finish up my birthday present for my ex husband. There may be some dolphins in England with umbrellas!

I know giving your ex a present sounds weird but we get along great and he has been a huge help to me with all this medical stuff I'm going through. I found an awesome motorcycle stamp he has a Harley Davidson Fatboy and I put it on some brown paper I got from Amazon shipping I wanted to keep it rustic looking. Bought some Harley Davidson color paint I did 3 tests and I'm about to do the real one. It's scary when you make something for another you want it perfect, but you can't let that stop you. I'll post the pictures and the process.

I also entered a couple challenges which were a lot of fun. I'll try to keep up better with the blog sometimes my medicine makes me sleepy and I can sleep for 3-4 extra hours a day. Doesn't leave a lot of time for much of anything, but praise God I'm getting stronger and I HAVE whipped this!

Post again real soon little blog.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Craft Hack: DIY Homemade Confetti Mix

I recently signed up for the Simon Stamps Stamp Card Kit of the Month, wow that's a mouthful. I was browsing around looking at cards for inspiration, I really don't know anything about making cards. I do know my grand-babies are going to move to England at the end of April for four long years. So my ex husband paid for the subscription so we can stay in touch.

I found a card I might base a design around (here's the link) It uses acetate as a transparency. I believe they call them shaker style cards because you add in a confetti mix and then sew them up and the mix shakes inside the transparency.

I'm sure you have noticed many crafters link to the supplies they use underneath their cards instructions this lovely card was no exception. It used a confetti mix, well a tablespoon of iridescent heart confetti mix was $3.20 and that was one seller's price. I'm sure you can spend a lot more.

Wow, I know it won't break the bank for most people and I'm not saying it isn't worth it. The mix is very pretty but if you are on a tight budget having different kinds of confetti's can add up. Honestly a tablespoon isn't that much I imagine you could only make maybe one or two cards with it. Yikes!

I don't know what it's made of exactly but I have an idea and I found a way to make my own. I haven't checked YouTube this may not be something new or earth-shattering folks may be making their own already. I haven't seen any, but I haven't looked either but I do watch a lot of videos. Speaking of which I will be making a video in the next couple days about this hack. I just thought of it because it looks like it's made of something I had just bought for another project.

Go to your Dollar Tree store and get the colored plastic index dividers I bought 8 sheets for a buck. The pack had 1 each of yellow, orange, clear, green and 2 of red and blue. Some glitter (optional) or glitter glue and you'll need a hole/shape punch. I have 3 which I bought over 10 years ago and you can make your own DIY homemade confetti. You could make many, many tablespoons for sure. If you have different size punches well you have it made, it's a quick and cheap way to save money. You could always cut up a few little ones to toss in there.

You can use the clear divider for the transparency instead of an acetate sheet. I sure there is a way to get around the shiny, the Dollar Tree store also has glitter glue you might be able to make a few of them with that. If you have a Wink of Stella pen (which i don't lol) that might work too. Above are three samples so you can get an idea of what I'm talking about, they are a heart, a star and a sunburst I tried with the glitter glue to see if it worked.

Those are the only punches I have at the moment I getting ready to buy a bunch from eBay most of them are .76 and up. Although they take 3 - 4 weeks to arrive. But you can pick your own, if you can't wait Amazon has some too just check the dates. The glue seemed to do okay although after it dries tomorrow will be the real test. My star punch is a bit rough around the edges might be time for an update. Plus it's 4 AM.

So grab your punches or scissors some cheap index dividers and cut up all sorts of little confetti and save your money for something else. To make a tablespoon it couldn't take more than a minute or two with a punch and a little bit more if you had to cut it out by hand.

Another idea is if you have a stencil cutter which I just bought and was going to try out this weekend. (I went to the dollar store for the index dividers to use to make my own stencils) that's why the idea was on my mind. You could make the confetti mix with the stencil cutter if you didn't have any punches. Just print off a page full of assorted shapes and cut away. You could make shapes for any holiday, you could write out small words with them. And if all else fails and you don't have punches or a stencil cutter nearly everyone has a X-acto knife.

So there are three ways to make your own confetti. When I started the blog post I just had the one idea the other two came to me as I was typing this out. One thing you should know these little plastic pieces love to stick to you so be prepared. Have some sort of pointy device or tweezers to keep them off you. A dryer sheet might work I didn't think of that until after I cut them out.

Since I'm going to use the sheet for stencils first I'll cut up the confetti with the leftovers.

I hope this post has inspired you to give it a go, I would love to see what you made. I plan on making some cards using this method myself I'll keep on working on perfecting it. It's a quick fix for now but with some glitter and a little touch of this or that it could work. After that I will let you know how the stencil making went too. If you have an idea leave a comment!

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

SSS and First Mixed Media Project

This is my first challenge and my first (real) Mixed Media page for my Art Journal. I was going to enter it into the the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge which was Food and Drink this week but I didn't start soon enough. However their Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge was Rain or Shine so I adapted it to the new theme. When I looked at the challenge again I thought maybe I was mistaken it does say any paper craft or altered art but nearly 100% of them are cards and my heart sunk a little.

I found another person who entered her art journal page and it raised my spirits, thank you I just received my first Card Kit from Simon Says Stamp last week. When they talk about being green about a subject I as fresh as spring grass. Thankfully SSS doesn't require you to use the particular stamp makers products each week because I've never heard of them :)

Truthfully I was scared, it's one thing while you are learning to follow someone else's work as a tutorial but when you just think of something on your own well... I just started art journaling a little over a month ago. There are some truly talented people out there. I've practiced a few things I have learned and painted a picture but this was all me. I got over myself if cat's can make art by walking through paint I can make art too.

mixed media art journal

The initial inspiration came from the little tea bag thing on the string. I had bought some fruit tea last week and one flavor was blueberry which is my favorite. The challenge was food or drink, like I said I didn't start in time. Although I had sketched a rough idea of what I wanted I had no clue how indecision would play into it! The Wednesday Challenge was Rain or Shine so I added the words "Come Rain or Shine" which I just realized were their exact words, sorry didn't do that on purpose.

I started out on Carson watercolor paper and used my Gelli plate to make a background. I mixed white and dark green craft paint from Apple Barrel to make a light green and wanted to put a potato bag over it to make blue lines it flopped. So I moved on. I cut out a little teapot, cup and blueberries and put it on Resume paper. I put the I love Blueberry Tea on regular copy paper and rubbed it with purple chalk then wet it. I used my new stamp from the Simon Says Stamp April Card Kit and put it on white paper because it was brighter then on the ivory paper and placed it on both the cup and teapot.

I saw a combing technique on YouTube that I thought I would try. I had dark blue craft paint that I watered down and ran the comb down the paper it flopped too. So I kept trying and managed to get it to work sort of in a cross hatch style which turned out better. I used the rest of the watered down paint to color the blueberries. I also painted the letters which I cut from an old book. That takes forever why on earth would kidnappers ever do that? I think it's made up from TV. Although when I put it all together it looked sort of bland.

So I tried using an orange Sharpie on the letters and it looked really good on the one from the magazine. I went over the letters with the orange Sharpie but since I had used the blue on it first it looked so-so. I almost sent it in anyway but I wasn't happy even if no one saw it but me. I grabbed my orange paint and went over the letters, it made be feel better about the whole thing. And that is what a lady on YouTube said to do, stop when you are happy. 

I made a ton of mistakes but it was a great learning experience. My background didn't come out the way I wanted with my Gelli print so I tried something else. Combing it didn't work like it did in the videos but it turned out okay in the end. I had to redo my flowers cause I put the petals on the outside not underneath lol. I'm sure you have seen a ton of those in nature.

I plan on doing more challenges if you make cards or do art I would encourage you to give it a go. It's a great way to get journal prompts or fantastic ideas for cards. The artwork that is turned in is awesome you will be so inspired.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

I Tried it: Polka Dot Stars Background

I tried it (modified) and here are my results: This evening I was on YouTube looking for a video on art journaling backgrounds and ended up watching this video. The woman I believe her name is Terri from PringleHillStudio was so easy to follow and did a great job of explaining what she was doing. Although I didn't use acrylic paint I used crayons instead.

I did end up ordering the Crayola Twistables Slick Stiks she used in addition to her Gelatos. They are very much like Gelatos but cheaper they come in a 5 or 12 pack and I ordered 12 for 9.98 from Amazon they will be here Tuesday along with my new stencil cutter!

Here's my background you will notice it's not nearly as vibrant and doesn't do hers justice as it slightly resembles the one she made. I will go back and do it in acrylic because it is a terrific background to use. It was late and sometimes it's hard for me to get around. Plus I couldn't find my paint palette thing to hold my paint. It was very good practice and I feel after watching the video a couple times and doing it I can go back and do it over again in different colors. I also have to admit I was watching the new James Bond movie at the same time. I still prefer Peirce Brosnan to Daniel Craig but that is for another post.

I used regular crayons in green, yellow, orange and lavender (purple no lavender out of 64 colors) the colors she suggested. I used a green marker to go around the circles and black marker for the crosses and a orange Sharpie for the dots. My new white paint pen I bought from Pat Catan's is defective so I used white paint and filled in the circles with the lines and I hollowed out a pencil eraser to make the small circles. I couldn't find anything close by to make the bigger circles with so I painted them with the white paint too. I also used a blue pencil to outline the circles, she suggests a watercolor pencil if you have one, I didn't so I used the nearest item I had to it.

Of course hers is much more vibrant and blended since she used paint and gelatos but it shows you what can be done with other mediums. The reason there is two is she was recreating the one on the left. She shows the actual mixed media page she made the background for. It was very lovely. I could use mine as a background perhaps for an art journal page but I think I will just leave it alone and use it as a reference. Last night I had fun making backgrounds with my Gelli plate, I still need to get the hang of that.

Here is the link to her YouTube video. If you need ideas for backgrounds give it a try. It looks hard to do but it isn't at all. Her video was just under 26 minutes so in less than that you could make a gorgeous background that looks like you spent a lot of time on. It will be our little secret!

I hope this post helped. If you are on a limited budget and you see a background or technique you like on YouTube consider using your least expensive means of reproducing it first. One, it is great practice and two, you can see if you really like it or can follow the tutorial before you waste your time or more expensive materials. I knew after watching this video I wanted to try it, I just choose to do it in crayon and not acrylic.

Naturally as in this case the end result will not be the exactly the same but you will have a good idea if you want to pursue the technique further. Just a thought.