Sunday, April 26, 2015

Sand instead of Stamping and Printing this Sunday

Sundays is the day I've been posting my stamping and printing lately. Today I threw it all over and went to the beach. I certainly left my mark there, however. 

We made flower and sea drift mandalas on the beach. Inspired by photos I've seen of the mandalas others have made, I decided to give it a go. The process unfolded naturally, the tiny cherry blossoms were laying on the sidewalk just begging to be included. Each layer was lovely to behold, but more items beaconed. The final row of shells seemed just right.

It's funny how the creative process is like a road that leads itself. If only I could step out of my own way more often.

This week my creative focus has been on photography. It's natural to happen while taking a class. I'll leave you with one more double exposure from the beach. 

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Yes or No - Your Choice - Self Care Saturday

Sometimes I say "Yes…" when I want to say "NO!" I'm guessing I'm not alone in this. Today my self care included saying no to the alarm, yes to my pillows, no to moving fast and yes to taking things at my own pace. I said no to the car. Yes to the kitchen. Generally I did what felt right. I cleaned because I wanted more order rather than cleaning up because it is messy. 

Attitude is a game changer. 

So I choose to pay more attention to what I really want to say and practice saying it. Kindly. Creatively.  

I also plan to practice being more creative with the way I respond. Friday I told a friend that yes, I had time for lunch if it could be half an hour later. Today I tried something similar. The results so far have been really positive. 

As this art journal page evolved I noticed little buds emerging from the background. They reminded me so much of Tokyo in June. The big patches reminded me of the Ajisai (Hydrangea) that blooms so gorgeously in the rainy season. There was a stretch on the Inokashira line where the sides of the train tracks were bursting with the flowers - blue, purple, pink and white. I used to ride back and forth just to see them. Around the same time the azaleas come forth with such loveliness it takes away your breath. I saw both of these flowers in my background. 

Do you struggle with saying what is in your heart? Do you wish you could say no? Are you true to yourself? How do you balance the greater good with your own good? 

I'd love to hear from you. 

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Texture - Fashion Friday

Textures - I love them! I once had a boss who was a master at the use of texture and color, for that matter. It was a joy to see the way she engineered her outfits…dressy, but a bit funky. I'd love to dress like that. In the last few years I've gone for simple to wear and to choose. I'd like to reclaim my sense of style. While I am engineering a new set of items in my closet I want to remember to add texture. 

The images I chose this week are hardly the styles I would wear. I found them beautiful, however and full of texture. They were a good reminder of how I might like to go about adding texture - fabrics of various thicknesses, densities, and, for lack of another term, texture. Brocade, silk, lace, weave, embroidered, fluffy, rough, beaded, yet nothing furry that originated as someone's skin, thanks. And whether it is out of a love of beings that fly or based on my own allergy to feathers I prefer looking at them on the sky creatures rather than wearing them. 

What are your favorite textures? Do you think much about textures in your wardrobe? In your interior? At all? 

The images came from a Marie Claire magazine from 2012. I cut out the exact issue and page and then lost it in a pile of clippings. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Double the Fun with Double Exposure Photography

The Double Exposure Love course with Vivienne McMaster has been a blast this week. It was just the creative outlet I needed. 

When the class started and I realized that I could use my gelli prints as a background I was entranced. Many a combination of photos included some of my artwork. Experimenting with other elements was so enticing that I ended up exploring those as well. I'm sharing just a few of the photos here. 

After all this time that I withstood the temptation to start an Instagram account, it made sense to take the plunge. The course participants were sharing on Instagram and I notice many art journalers are abandoning their blogs for the immediacy of Instagram. Feel free to give me a shout over there at

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Double Exposure - Stamping and Printing Sunday

I'm doing something a little different this Sunday. On a whim I signed up for an online photography course with Vivienne McMaster. She is very inspirational in her writing and is an encouraging and cheerful guide. Having taken her classes, I can say my eye for photography has grown exponentially, my photos have improved, but more importantly Vivienne has helped me to see myself in a different way. I would highly recommend her courses. 

(Do you recognize the stamp I made out of a vegetable tray transposed over a picture of me at work?)

The course I signed up for starts tomorrow. It's called Double Exposure. You can guess what we are going to do. In preparing for the class I started trying out her recommended tools. I melded my gelli prints with other photos and the results blew me away. So today I am sharing my prints in a different way. I love the whole process. I'll be posting more this week as I take the course. 

(Can you see my daughter walking through the paint smudge portal she found in the park?)

(My daughter and our rabbit, Fern, running through a field of gelli print….This is getting a little Alice and Wonderland-ish….)

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Books, Books, Books - Self Care Saturday

Self Care Saturday is here and I don't have a page spread done to share. 

But hey, Self Care Saturday is about self care and I decided that pushing myself this late in the day to create a spread was going to end in a sad looking spread. 

So what do librarians do for fun? 

Here is a video for National Library Month that sums up why I love my job:

If this doesn't make you smile, I don't know what will.

Would it surprise you that today's self care included going to someone else's library, finding books to read over the vacation and then hitting up a Barnes and Noble? 

(I also slept in, had a great meal and took a nap!)

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Upcycled, Recycled, Altered and Improved - Fashion Friday

Of the many kinds of fashion that I find draws me in is re-imagined clothing. Articles of clothing that were once loved and now linger in the back of a closet. Fibers that have worn so well that some of them have worn straight through. Items that were never quite right. When these see the light of day, when they receive a little tender care and a heavy dose of embellishment, well, I swoon. I love the fussy, the complicated, the difficult to wash. (I have a pile of it ready to be hand rinsed to prove my point.)

So this week I rescued these images from the Winter 2014 issue of Altered Couture. I hoped to remind myself that this is a dream of mine. 

I'll be looking through my closet this weekend. The season is changing and the light weight clothing must take precedent over the heavy knits. To be sure my eye will be ready to find items to rework or to donate. 

How do you approach the season change? Do you regularly cull your closets and make way for something new? Are you a shopper? A refashioner? A stalwart fan of clothes you bought years ago and have no intention of letting go or letting out? 

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Shabby Chick - Stamping and Printing Sunday

Before I started Art Journaling and Gelli Printing my style would probably best be described as Shabby Chic or Boho Chic. I love pastels, lace and roses. White on white on white textiles make me swoon. 

So I have a sort of style dilemma - a sort of mid-style crisis. 

For my Stamping and Printing Sunday, I thought I'd see if I could make some shabby chic style prints. What followed was a lot of frustration, some wild vibrant prints (not pictured) and a few shabby chic worthy pieces.  

Here's what it looked like with my first pull. If you can't see anything or can barely see it, that's about right. 

The difficulty is the lack of contrast. Using white on white paper and adding pale pink didn't provide enough of it. So I went a bit more extreme. I did end up with a few pieces that I thought are quite usable. I also decided to be ok with my split design personality. I'm kind of a shabby chick. Soft and vibrant. That's a contrast right there. 

Do you have a cohesive style or do you like opposing styles? Have you gone through this questioning process? If you have, how did you resolve it?  

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Time to phone a friend - Self Care Saturday

I jumped the gun on Self Care Saturday this week and scheduled a call on Friday with dear friend and fiber artist, Cindi Huss. So when I sat down with my journal to do this week's page, I was amazed to see two faces and two phones staring out of the paper at me. The pages were prepped last week as excess paint from other projects and some torn gelli prints. The prep was done before the phone call. Yet there were those two faces. Neither is in a style I would usually create, but they demanded to be set free and so they were.

Cindi and I have been friends for many years. She is one of those rare people with whom I can be my whole wacky, outrageous self. I don't have to limit my love of language (other people do not delight in my favorite words - rancorous, recalcitrant, obstreperous….), I don't have to be serious. I don't have to reign in my dreaming. Our emails and phone calls of late tend toward planning an artist retreat for the two of us. This dreaming and scheming is filling my soul. 

Hope your Self Care Saturday filled you up. 

You can see some of Cindi's work at her blog Dancing Threads.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Fashion Friday

In an earlier post I mentioned that I thought I had found my medium. It is true. When I started trying art journaling I thought I might need more than one journal as you can only work so much before you need to let it dry. Sometimes that is as much an esthetic issue as it is one of moisture. 

I started thinking of the different journals I might have going simultaneously. At one point I easily counted 10 different journals, each with it's unique focus. One of them was a fashion journal. Anyone who know me might snicker a little reading that. I tend to dress very simply these days. That was not always the case. My recent lack of focus on my apparel has more to do with what I am focusing on rather than a distain for spending time to choose the right thing. 

For a while I have felt that a scrap book (now turned journal) with styles I like would help me to refine my own sensibilities and help me to be more focused when shopping. If nothing more, it would bring me joy to look at pieces that look lovely to me. 

And so the fashion journal is born. I don't know that I'll post every Friday, but here's my post for today. It was really fun to do this, so I may continue simply because it made me smile. 

Hope your weekend is a happy one. 

How do you select clothing? Do you have a clothing policy? A strategy? A particular style? 

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Jelly Beans and Gelli Prints - Stamping and Printing Sunday

Happy Easter from our Fern. As you can see he hid the eggs right where he could find them. 

Doesn't the color of the eggs look lovely? So I thought, why dye eggs this year when I can dye something else? 

While I had my share of jelly beans today, even more sweet was the results I got gelli printing. I am working on adding layers for depth of visual interest. Hope you agree that these prints look great with their added layers. 

And just this one from scratch. Love the color combination. 

Join me in stamping and printing next Sunday. 

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Hydrate & Moisturize - Self Care Saturday

On the second Self Care Saturday moisture was on the agenda! Winter really dried me out. Spring is a great time to rejuvenate and we are finally enjoying Springlike weather! 

So priorities today -- plenty of fluids and moisturize.

Care to join me? What did you do to pamper yourself today? 

Friday, April 3, 2015

Balancing Act

I feel as though I've found my medium! Art Journaling takes care of so many needs. This week I took a spread that was primed by the excess paint on my brayer from two weeks of gelli printing. Each side was one week's printing, so the colors and feeling was very disparate.  

How to make this harmonious? At first there was a lot of doubt about whether it would ever work. 

Before starting, I thought about how to bring it together. Bringing the colors from each side to the other was the first line of action. Once I made that first decision things happened. It wasn't planned down to the details. Whatever struck my eye was added. The pages changed little by little and it was so gradual that it was hard to notice the transformation. Comparing the before and after is shocking to me. I can't believe I was the creator of this piece, but I am really glad that I was. 

How do you bring about balance? What do you do to balance? How do you approach your art and making decisions? 

May your weekend be a perfect balance.