Saturday, December 30, 2006

It seems I am sketching again.

I saw a magazine article about an artist and I loved her quick sketchy style. She did etchings. I sat down immediately and sketched one of her prints on this page. The painting I glued to the next page.

I thought I was done for the night, but I sketched four women I found in the same magazine. The first one I put on the endpaper of a book I had by my worktable to take pages out of for collage. I wound up gluing it into Maya's collaborative journal. The next three are here. I've never really wanted to sketch people before, but lately that's mostly what I've drawn. I am determined to overcome my fear of drawing noses! This morning I did two more drawings, this time from someone elses drawings. I'm hoping that will help me learn how to do the hard parts. I'll post them when I finish the pages I glued them to.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Not burned beans again!

I don't cry over burned beans, but they still stink!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Merry Christmas

I've been doing these calendar-like dates lately. I like the way this one turned out. I love this old junior dictionary. It has awesome drawings on every page. The bit in the bottom was my attempt at journaling on scrap paper because the page wasn't prepped and I didn't feel like going up and doing it. Maybe I should start buying nice journals, so I don't have to worry about prepping page if I don't want to. I'd better decide soon. I'm about to the end of this one.

This photo has been moved from one stack to another for weeks. I finally got tired of seeing it everywhere and glued it into my journal. This is the first time since I started painting my pages that I've left a background raw.

Monday, December 25, 2006


I've been thinking about journaling and if I want to make some resolutions or changes with the new year. Of course there is always the resolution to both write and do more artsy stuff in my journal.

I came across Judy Wise's blog a few days ago and was totally inspired by her journal pages. One thing that I love about them is that she does blocks of journaling when she feels like it, often a spread will include two or three days or more worth of journaling. For some reason I have felt compelled to complete a spread in one setting. I have very few spreads that include more than one day's journaling. I'm hoping to try this new style this year.

I spotted another group of journal pagesthat appealed to me. I love the blend of words and pictures.

One thing I will probably do is to continue journaling on bits and pieces of paper. When I feel like recording and don't feel like prepping a page in my journal or even hunting it down, I can just pop down the thoughts on whatever is handy. It has been working for the past month or so. The bits just get glued in when I do feel like taking my journal out.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Deck the Halls

Our halls didn't get decked out much, but I did get busy last night and dressed my 10" Tonners for Christmas. Of course I had to hunt up their holiday attire first. It's been so long since they've donned seasonal dress that I had to hunt up some old photo cd's to even figure out what I had. There were a couple of things I didn't find, but I'm tickled with what I did locate. I made everything they are wearing except the shoes, the socks on Sophie and her crochet collar which my mom made.

I guess I never did make Ann Estelle a skirt to go with the Sophie Hope outfit I knitted. I had in mind to wrap a piece of fabric around her for a skirt, but while I was looking for the other things I spotted the perfect piece of plaid taffeta ribbon to make her a skirt. Since I was working on the red corduroy dress for Madelyn's doll to match the dress I made her I went ahead and made Ann Estelle a skirt. Isn't it adorable? The hat she's wearing is too big and not finished. I never did turn up the one that actually fits and has the embroidery. No matter, they look festive and I have done at least a little decorating. I also switched out the postcards and photos for Christmas cards and photos on the bulletin board behind them.

Now I just need to make some Strawberry Divinity and pumpkin bread and precook the rolls for tomorrow. Oh and sew the zipper in Madelyn's dress, and the snaps on her doll's dresss, and wrap the presents... guess I'd better get off this computer.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

The Christmas Spirit Arrives on Bay Creek

... at least on our part. I wanted to print out the photo I took yesterday and put it in my journal, but J. was already asleep, so I decided to draw the dress and tree instead. It looked so pale this evening with the wire tree that I had already glued in that I painted it. It may be the most ambitious I've gotten with water color, or at least in quite a while. The white edge of my craft shop looks kind of unbalanced. Maybe I should use artistic liscence again and make it a darker color.

After I posted the photo last night, I got to thinking that many of my hobbies, pasions are represented in this little corner of my house: the sewing of course, but also my doll's Christmas tree, my travel doll Sara, other dolls and teddy bears, the crazyquilt tea cozy that I made my mom, and even a photo of my grandpa to represent my on again, off again fascination with genealogy. I guess I need to prop the journal entry up and take another picture. Then I would have one more hobby represented. Or maybe I won't.

Monday, December 18, 2006

I sewed something!

I have had the sewing block of all sewing blocks for the past three years. Oh, I have made a few little things, a tutu, a doll dress, maybe something else I don't remember, but I used to sew - all the time, clothes, curtains, whatever. I love to sew. For some reason I haven't been able to make myself do it. Yesterday I made this dress for my sweet granddaughter. She is three and I haven't sewn her anything but a tutu. When my boys were little and I was making them corduroy pants and vests, I would dream of a little girl to sew for. When I finally got not just one, but now two, I didn't sew at all. I hope this is the start of new, unblocked, times. I do still have to sew in the zipper, but surely I'll get that done since I have a deadline. After all, I want her to be able to wear it for Christmas.

Speaking of Christmas, I have been surfing blogs looking at all the wonderful decorations. This is our total so far. I got out the doll tree from it's storage bag and sat it on the table. I haven't even adjusted the brances yet, so it's a bit wonky. Ok, it's a lot wonky. The ornaments that fell off are sitting on the table next to it. I would take credit for the decorations in the mini craft shop, but it's always decorated. The pile of dolls in the floor is from a year or so ago when I took a photo of my tiny dolls. Can't even think of a reason to have them all in the middle of the floor.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Silver Sofa

This has to do with one of my passwords. I had to send for a new one and liked the one I was sent. I've been looking for a silver sofa for a while now to put in my journal.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

December 9, 10, 11?

I prepped the background for this spread on the 9th, but dated it the 10th because I liked the number I found and figured I would journal on it the next day. Not so, I got a migraine and didn't touch it til the 11th when I did write some about the 10th. I did some more sketching at the doctor's office. It was kind of interesting seeing the guys come out and claim their hats and jacket. One guy was snoring away three seats from me. I thought about sketching him. He sure wouldn't have noticed.

Sketching Memoirs of a Geisha

I sketched these portraits from the DVD case while waiting in the truck at the farm store. It took a couple of weeks of them sitting on my craft table to get them in my journal finally. I hate to admit that I found the candy this wrapper is from in the car from our trip this summer. Yes I did eat it and enjoyed it too. It reminded me of our day in Seattle.

Passing time at the doctor's office

Small waiting room and lots of people. I was glad to have my journal with me to pass the time. I wound up using artist's liscense as there were actually four rows of magazines. I got tired of the detail. I would have liked to add color, but couldn't remember what colors things were after I got home. I don't see how people can sketch and then later on come home and add color. I have to be able to see it in front of me.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Journaling out of the book

I got my drawing glued into my journal. I love the way the background turned out. I first painted a couple of colors of green and tan and wasn't happy with that. I sponged some brown through a piece of drywall tape. Too dark. Then I used my new Stubby Stampers dot stamp with white acrylic. I really like the look.

I added the grocery list because it was all the writing I did that day. I think sometimes what we buy tells a lot about us. I also had written the measurements I needed for curtain rods on it in the store and didn't want to loose them. Sometimes the only way I get any journaling done is on scraps of paper. I figure these can always get glued into my journal. I love the photo of the gate in the center and would love a gate like this in my back yard going down to the creek. The one I have is a cattle panel gate. Not lovely.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

New chairs? Maybe

We've been searching unsuccessfully for a while for new recliners. One of the ones we have our son bought for $15 and used in his dorm room. I've had the seat covered with a towel and have really wanted to replace it. A few days ago I put the towel in the washer and put a fringed throw on the chair. Wow, what a difference. Suddenly, I'm not in such a hurry to replace it and even felt inclined to take a photo last night.

I used my new foam stamps on this spread. I got them with the gift certificate that my son and daughter-in-law gave me for my birthday. I'm going to be using these a lot.

Finally finished

All I had to do was give up on these pages and post them I guess. I finished them up last night. We're starting to use the stove again now that it's colder. I spend a lot of time looking at this view standing by the stove soaking up heat. I need to organize the bookshelves, but I don't see it happening soon.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

One more Stubby Stamper grabbag

I got another Stubby Stampers grabbag to take advantage of the sale that is going on through Dec. 2. This bag was even better than the first one. They have so many different images and there were only 7 repeats out of four grabbags. I had bought two other ones a couple of years ago. I got some really cool stamps this time. I put most of my favorites here. There were a couple that I really like that were too big to fit in the spaces. I like having them stamped in my journal for easy access to the images when I want to use one. I tend to forget what I have and use the same ones over and over. I ordered one more grabbag just now. They're like potato chips, I can't seem buy just one.

I kind of blew my challenge

We've been dealing with some health issues and I kind of blew my page-a-day challenge in a big way. Ten days between journal entries. I just plain didn't feel like recording anything. Things are looking up now, so I seem to be back at it. I'm pretty pleased with the challenge anyway. I've done a lot more pages this month than I have in a while.

Not done but...

I kept putting off posting this spread because it wasn't done. I finally decided tonight to just post it. It may not get anything on the green paper for a while. I like the paper, but it's kind of strange to glue to. It sort of stretches. I used my new stamps from Queen of Tarts on this spread. I love this one especially, but all of them are great. I like the way it looks with the acrylic paint. I tried it in black ink at first and wasn't happy with it, but I like having the black ink under the white paint. I'll be playing with these a lot.

This page is hard to read, but I didn't write anything earthshattering there anyway. The black and white image is another of my new stamps. I inked all of them and put the image on the envelopes that I store them in.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

My grabbag of rubber stamps arrived

I never utilize all my stamps because I forget what I have, so I decided to put some of my favorites from my new Stubby Stampers grab bag. I got 54 stamps and after three of these grabbags, I only had 7 that I already had. I was really surprised to pull out the Arkansas stamp! And a cow! and a knitting stamp! These are 30 of my favorites.

I also got my stamps from Queen of Tarts Stamps, but I haven't had a chance to play with them yet. Before I got them I was a bit irritated because I had ordered two butterfly stamps and when I went back to get the URL to blog about my order, there was a third butterfly which I would have ordered if I'd known about it. I was really pleased when I opened my order and there it was as a free stamp.

Oh and I missed a day on Thursday. It was bound to happen, but I'm back trying to complete my page-a-day challenge. We had a church council meeting that went late and there just wasn't time. I'm pretty satisfied with 15 days in a row. That may be a new record for me.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Heavy rains

I'm so glad it cleared off today. I was really getting tired of all the rain. We have separate buildings with awnings in between at school and I have to walk under two awnings 6 or more times a day. In a cold, blowing rain it's not fun.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

New eraser stamp

I was looking at the little photo on yesterday's pages with the squares design and decided that it sort of looked like my new eraser stamps, so I carved another one (stripes this time)to go with them. This is what I came up with. I like the look. I added some watersoluable crayon to some of the squares. I would have done more of them, but it was getting lae and I needed to get to sleep. I used Sharpies on this spread instead of my usual gel pens and I wasn't liking them at all as I was using them. The new colored ones don't seem to stink as bad as the older ones, but they were kind of hard to write with. They kept sort of fading out as I would write. Maybe the paint was still a bit wet. I like the way they look today, so I'll probably try them again.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Keeping up with the challenge

I hate that my photos are turning out so dark lately. It's either that or burning the pages with flash. I have daylight savings time and the cold wind to thank for that. I guess I'll have to try and rig up some lights.

At least I've been keeping up with my page-a-day challenge. I like the way yesterday's spread turned out. I sponged through some drywall tape around the edges. At first it splotched because the sponge was too full of paint and I was dabbing it on. When I started rubbing it on, it turned out great. I'll be trying this again.

The photo copy of the picture of my mom and my two boys turned out too dark to use in the photo display for her funeral, but it's perfect for this page. I really want to start using more of my photos.

I really had to force myself to go upstairs and prep a page on Sunday. I've been wanting to use these adorable drawings of my granddaughter's since she drew them last week. I kind of wish I'd saved them for when I was more motivated so the page would have turned out better. Aren't they adorable for a three-year-old? She traced the banana.

I ordered some rubber stamps on Saturday. Queen of Tarts has some on sale at Queen of Tarts Stamps: Collage Mania Sale . The one I'm looking forward to the most is her Tiles UM Stamp Stamp Sheet Just now when I went to find the URL I saw she has some new ones up. I may have to make a second order.

While I was in the mood, I ordered a grabbag from Stubby Stampers . They sent an email back saying that they were going to be reduced in price next week and gave me the sale price. How cool is that? I love doing business with people like that.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Eraser stamps

I was looking at an old (Sept 27, 2003) journal entry yesterday evening and decided to try and carve the stamps drawn in that entry. My journals have changed a lot since that entry, but the purpose hasn't ~ to record stuff. If I hadn't sketched these out, I would have never remembered them and made the stamps three years later.

One of my favorite techniques when stamping eraser stamps is to stamp in one color and then color over it with Caran D'ache Neocolor II watersoluable crayons and smudge with my finger. I love the look it gives.

I was looking for something to add to the border I stamped and came across this building by Antoni Gaudi. He is my favorite architect. I would love to go to Spain and see his buildings.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

When the power is out...

We lost our power yesterday afternoon and it stayed out til after 9:00 PM. At least that's when I gave up and went to bed. Thankfully we have lots of candles, a kerosene lamp and a gas stove. We faired fine and I got another spread done in my journal.

I went for a walk on Thursday and took some great sunset pictures. I really need to break down and buy a good camera.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Found a sketch from a couple of weeks ago

I was debating whether or not to just skip the pages last night, challenge or no challenge, when I picked up a wrinkled up piece of paper from the dryer and discovered this sketch. It's not great, but I decided that it would work as the basis of my page, so I went up and got started. The stamp on the bottom border is from a partial set of letters I carved when I first started carving erasers. I don't use them much for writing words, but I use them a lot in borders. The side and top are from one I carved after reading Dorothy Page's book.

Wonderful Weather

We had an 80 degree day today, so when I got home from school I had to go outside and take advantage of it. I took a walk down the driveway and on the last lap I ran inside and got the camera to try and capture the beautiful sunset. The picture doesn't do it justice of course, but
it does capture a bit of the look. I'm going to print one out to put in my journal tonight.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Prepainted page

I wasn't too sure about this page when I started and even considered going up and dry brushing white over the top of it. I had prepped it using up paint from my pallette from a couple of different painting sessions. I was too lazy to go upstairs to my craft table, so I decided to just write on it. Then it looked so pitiful that I got out a decorating magazine and started ripping out images. The first one I found was the black and white of Oaxaca, Mexico where we stayed over 30 years ago. The rest just followed from that one. I seem to be on a real orange flower on orange background kick lately. For some reason it really appeals to me. This spread makes me want to travel.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

November 6 spread

I was feeling rotten and had to force myself again to journal. It did make me feel better. I had already torn out some pages as my journal is getting fat, so wound up with this larger spread.

I found a dictionary that I forgot I had bought. It has these wonderful images down the sides of all the pages. I'll be using the pages from it a lot I'm sure.

Guess I should get off the computer and go up and do my pages. I prepainted the next spread from leftover paint and it's pretty ugly. Hopefully I can do something to improve its looks. I'm not feeling very creative tonight. In fact, I'm afraid I'm coming down with something. My granddaughter was getting over a virus on Sunday and my glands are hurting along with a headache tonight.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Two more pages

Most of these papers came in a swap envelope. I like them, but they wrinkled pretty badly. Hopefully they will straighten out when I sit the journal under weight.

I have a bunch of these small scraps waiting to be put into my journal. I sketched myself while waiting in the truck.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

On track for my November challenge

This is a bit minimalist for me, but it kept me on track for my page-a-day challenge in November, so that's all that counts. I spent enough time on Thursday's page to more than make up for it.

I drew the hands on this one on the first and as soon as I did I knew just how I wanted it to look. Most of the orange magazine bits came from one magazine. I tried a little depth on the left hand and love the way it looks. I'll be trying that again. This took over an hour to glue together after spending about 45 minutes looking for the pieces. I did it while listening to the radio. I have wanted to try something like this since I glued a small bit of orange flowers on the orange background of my Oct 28 page.

I was low on ideas and tired when I started this page, but determined to at least start my challenge out right. I picked up the scrap of magazine and painted the background to match. By the time I had that done the inspiration was flowing. It constantly amazes me how things start to flow if I just sit down and start working.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Finally journaling again

I started the background for this page on the 26th, exactly one month since I worked in my journal. I think this is the longest I have gone without doing a page since I started this type of journaling. It took me two more days to finish the page, but then I guess I broke the dam because I did three other spreads. I'm going to try the one page a day in November self-challenge. I've done it and been pretty successful for the past two years.

I wanted to go up to my art table which is in utter chaos and put all the bits and pieces I've saved over the past journal-less month to work, but it was so sunny and pretty I opted to go outside and sketch instead. I was glad I did. The sketch won't win any awards, but listening to the gurgle of the creek and focusing while sketching sure were relaxing.

We went to town and shopping after I did my sketching by the creek and I did some more sketching both on the way to town and sitting in front of the farm supply. They put up nice fall displays at each of their store's pillars. We also had a good Chinese dinner. I came home and put this page together and the one that follows. I had got a nice pair of shape scissors at a going-out-of business sale. I have a ton of cheap ones, but I really like this pair as they are longer and lots sharper.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Little Books

Inspired by some little books that I've seen on Flickr, I decided to commit at least in my journal to starting a series. I'm planning to start a baggie for each color and add to it until I get enough papers gathered to start that particular book. I want to find a container before I start the books, so that they will fit exactly in the box.

Thursday, September 28, 2006


I'm still learning that you don't have to cover every single bit of page with something. I like the blank bits.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Proud Mama

A couple of weeks ago in a comment someone asked me to do a step-by-step of one of my journal spreads. It probably would have been better to have taken pictures as I went along, but I didn't. Maybe this will be of interest to someone. I posted the page recipe to CompositionArtJournals a few days ago. I'll put it here in a separate post. You'll see that I didn't follow it very closely.

I sat down this morning intending to try out my latest page recipe, #3 borders. I picked my three items: first a newspaper ad that features my son. I've been meaning to put this in my journal for a couple of months and someone mentioning seeing it in the paper again on Thursday prompted me to dig for it in my box of "things to journal with". Next came a page from a notepad that I got in an ephemera swap. The paper color and feel made me consider it and the lines that went with the stripes on my son's shirt sealed the deal. My first two items being black and white,

I was ready for some color. I decided I was in the mood for black, brown, red and white. I just needed a color photo to go with the scheme. On the floor was a magazine page with a great picture of buttons in frames hanging on a paneled wall. I had my three photos (sort of).

I glued the clipping on the left page and the button photo on the right and decided that I wanted my note paper to sit on top of the paint, so I just picked a position for it overlapping the button photo. I used a small brush and brown fluid acrylic to paint a narrow border around the clipping. Then I did the same around the button pic with black. Then again around the clipping with some red paint mixed with brown to tone it down a bit.

By this time I decided I needed one more photo, so it was back to my magazine. I found a great shot of circles of different fabrics. One paisley was perfect. I cut it out and glued it down behind where the note paper would go. My recipe called for three photos, but recipes are meant to be guides, not rules.

I painted another border of the red/brown around where the notepaper would go and a brown border around the paisley fabric circle. Next was a third border, off white this time around the clipping. I decided to just finish off the bottom of the left page in white thinking I could add more paint over the white if I wanted to. I added a white border next to the black around the button photo and above the notepaper.

Then a black border around the paisley and another black one in the lower right corner which I painted brown and added a stamped date in red/brown. That just left the center portion of the right page which I painted brown at the bottom and red/brown at the top. I didn't like that so I smeared some red over the brown area.

My recipe calls for stamping in the borders, so I picked out one of my favorite stamps which is just slice of an eraser cut with a serated knife. I stamped in black on the two red/brown borders. That made the borders really pop. I finally glued down the notepaper after I wrote on it.

The big white space was really bugging me, so I glued a strip of paper from an old book of sheet music. Around it I painted two narrow borders, brown and black. It seemed to still need more color, so I painted five red dots. I thought these would work with the buttons. The page was starting to come together, but I still wasn't happy with all of the white. There was a piece of needlepoint canvas laying on my work table and I put it over part of the white border and stamped black ink through that. It looked great, so I stamped all of the white borders on the spread. Wow, much better!

The last things I added were the strip of text, favorite things because it was laying on the table and seemed to fit; the circle punched brown paper on the paisley; a little bit of black next to the paisley to extend the line of black from the bottom of the page and a stamped date.
I liked the way it looked, but then I got the idea to sew on a real button. I usually don't put many things like this in my journal because they tend to make it hard to work on the later pages. I'll probably be sorry, but I love the way it looks.

I didn't notice until much later that the circle of paisley mimics the circular photo. I love it when things work out like that.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Spanish fruit stickers!

I got these great stickers a couple of months ago and am just now getting around to journaling with them. Most of them arrived on clear plastic which meant that they were fairly easy to remove and stick in my journal. I'm enjoying them even more now that they are all spread out on my journal pages.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Art soothes me...

Looking through Pam Garrison's blog last night got me fired up for pink and blue. She has some wonderful pages and I love looking at all her photos. I really must get it together and get a new camera.