Sunday, July 27, 2014

Trying out my Watercolors

I realize that probably at this stage in my life, I will not become the next Picasso. However, I do enjoy drawing and painting. I sometimes regret not taking an art class in school when I was growing up. That doesn't mean I shouldn't try it, just for fun. It is O.K. to make mistakes. It is O.K. to try new things if you enjoy them. Sure, my drawings and paintings will not be seating at any gallery for millions of dollars, but the more I try them, the better I get.

I have always loved watercolors, but they are tricky. Every online class tells you "get familiar with your own watercolors". I know, it sounds silly. Shouldn't watercolors, just be watercolors? Here is the thing: different watercolors act differently to water, to different papers, to the brush. It's almost like the colors have a mind of their own. Painting with watercolors is learning to let go of some of your creative control and allow the paint and the water to create with you.

Here are some of the things I painted while trying my watercolors. I used student grade paints from Schmincke and Winsor Newton. The watercolor paper is Strathmore 140lbs cold press.

I traced the drawing on this one first with pencil. I really like the different tones of blue in the background. It adds a lot of movement to the painting. 

After the first few tries, I decided to cut the 9x12in paper up into smaller pieces. I made one layer 4x6 postcards out of them. That way I could practice painting and if I liked the results, I could even mail them out to some friends. 

This one is from a free hand drawing I made. It is 4x6 inches. I did not tape down the paper when I painted it. That's why the paper warped, but that was easily resolved by ironing in the cotton setting. 

Since this one was the first one, I stamped the back of it with a postcard stamp and sent it to my mom just to make her smile. 

I covered her address with a small butterfly. She was very happy to receive it. 

The next one I made was my favorite. 

It is also from a free hand drawing I made. I spent a lot of time creating different tones petal to petal, by wetting each one independently until each one stood out on its own.

I didn't like the white space in the background, so I added the blue. It gives it a more finished look in my opinion. 

I did tape down the paper this time and it made a big difference. There was no warping at all, even though I watered it down a LOT. 

Anyway, I hope this encourage others to try things they love. It's the only way to get better. 

Thank you for visiting!

Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy Independence Day!

I have never been very good at making greeting cards. It is ironic, because when I started crafting, everybody asked me if I made them. I tried, but I always feel like I want to add too many things to it. 

I have been watching +thefrugalcrafter . channel in YouTube and I love watching her card making videos, not to mention her watercolor ones. She show cases a lot of really fun techniques that I can later on use in my journal and other mixed media projects. She is right though, making cards is a good way to try out new techniques without using up all your materials. 

This is my favorite of the cards I made. I finished them too late for Independence Day this year, but I can always save them for the next. 

The background of both cards were made using chalk. I used a versamark ink pad to create the resist that makes up the pattern. 

This one is the second one. I might add more stuff to it next year, because I still feel like it's missing something. 

I love stamps. I don't feel like I use the ones I have enough. I wanted to try out a different stamping technique. Stamping with ink pads is the norm, but I am not always happy with the results. There are other things that can be used to stamping and I wanted to try them.

My first try was with my Gelatos. The stamped image from the right came out smudged because I added too much water. The other ones worked out beautifully though. 

My next try was with water soluble markers. These were markers +Tori Langellier had given me when I started crafting about 2 years ago. I don't use them that often, but I just love the way I can mix them when stamping. 

Next, I tried the same technique with my FaberCastell big brush pens. They were my favorite. The colors were very bright. 

I was very pleased with the results from all the stamping tries. The cards came out O.K., but they are not my favorite. I guess I will have to keep trying. 

Well, I hope you are all having a very Happy Independence Day! 

Thank you for visiting.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Enjoy the Journey Tag

My husband has been incredibly supportive of my crafting since day one. He encourages me to learn and practice new techniques. I think it surprised him when I started crafting, but he was very happy that I found something that makes me happy and keeps me creative. He is just wonderful and so supportive.

Today we are celebrating our First Wedding Anniversary. I wanted to make him something to show him how much I appreciate all he does for me. I could not ask for a better husband and friend.

He loves reading, so I made him a tag to use as a bookmark.

I keep a Graphic 45 tag and use it as one of my templates for tags because I just love the form. I didn't make it as long as the original tag, because I didn't want to over do it.

He knows I love how creative he is when he writes so I used a Sizzix Die that has an ink well and a feather. "Enjoy the Journey" is also a Sizzix Die and I thought it was fitting for our first anniversary. I added a few gears to the background, because we both love Steampunk. 

I stamped the inkwell with "Love Forever", because I felt it needed something. 

I let him pick the colors of the sprays I used. He picked Adirondack Sailboat Blue, Dylusions Postbox Red Ink Spray and I chose a couple of shades of gold from Lindy's Stamp Gang. 

The back I stamped a little paragraph that says: "A gentle word like a spark of light. Illuminates my soul and as each sound goes deeper, It's you that makes me whole". I added some more gears and another feather. This time I put in a little typewriter from another Sizzix Die. On the gear I added a little journaling to commemorate that it was our first anniversary.

I know it's not very fancy, but it was from the heart. He liked it, I think. I suspect he liked the fact that I did not add flowers or glitter the most. It is very vintage and boyish and just for him. 

Anyway, for my wonderful husband, +Justin, my biggest fan: 

Happy Anniversary!

Thank you all for visiting!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Faux Cloisonné Technique Try out

The first question everybody asked when I started crafting is, "Where did you learn to do that?" My answer is usually, "I learned it watching videos on YouTube." There is a LOT of very talented people out there that make just gorgeous things. It has become a habit for me to watch a couple of crafting videos every day before bed. 

There are a lot of videos on the same techniques, usually with a twist. I love to find new people to follow that post a lot of different project and tutorials. I just recently found such a gem, +thefrugalcrafter . channel. She posts a lot of new videos and techniques. What I like the most is she seems to try to work with what she already has, rather than buying more stuff without a valid reason. She has even inspired me to try out my watercolors.   

She recently posted a video about a Faux Cloisonné Technique. Ok, so I did not know what cloisonné is, so I had to look it up. All I knew is I wanted to try it. 

Here is what I did:

I had a few playing cards and I thought they would be the perfect size. I embossed it with gold glitter embossing powder. I wish the purple had more contrast. 

This one came out a little better, I think. I used Yasutomo metallic watercolors. 

I wanted to use it on my journal as well. However, it did not come out as good, because the colors did not have much contrast. I added the lyrics to "I am gonna give all my secrets away" from One Republic just because I like the song. I still like the page, so I kept it.  

Anyway, I just hope this inspires others as well to try something new and fun. 

Thank you for visiting, until next time!

Friday, June 6, 2014

"Real Love, Life's Simplest Joys" - Mixed Media Journal Page

A lot of people ask me what inspires my journal pages. Often, I do have a reason for a page, usually a loved one or a treasured moment in time. However, a lot of my journal pages are really just because I want to express myself. I got inspired for this one from a perfume my mom got me for my birthday. I just saw the cherry blossom branch on the box and decided to add it to my journal. 

Here is the finished page:

I used acrylics for the whole drawing. The background has a bit of metallic gold color. It gives the whole page a little shimmer. I added a few glittery butterflies, because they matched. At the end, I spattered white paint on the page, to make it look like snow. 

This is the perfume box where the inspiration came from. I just love cherry blossoms. They are so delicate and the colors are just so lovely. 

The words came from greeting cards that I save for occasions such as this. The fact is that we often spend too much money for words and yet, throw away wonderful greeting cards that could be used for card stock or just for the messages inside. I think of it as recycling, instead of just throwing them away. 

I love the font from these letters. I ripped the paper all around, and distressed them with vintage rose ink. 

I hope you found it inspiring. 

Thank you for visiting!

"It's Love that Holds You" Mixed Media Journal Page

Some Journal Pages mean more than others. Not all of them are about inspirational quotes or weddings. They are, however, about what means the most to the artist. This one means a lot to me. 

At the end of last month, we lost one of our closest friend, our cat Claire. She was a wonderful companion to both my husband and I. We miss her. The last few weeks have been very tough. 

I decided to do something for her in my journal to show her how important she was to me. 

I wanted to make sure I got her eyes right. I colored over a printed black and white picture of her. I used gray soft pastels for her fur, but it got a little too dark once I used the fixer. I should had tested it before. 

This is the picture I used. She had the most incredible eyes. I wanted to make sure that I captured how expressive her eyes were for my journal. 

I wrote a personal message to her on the background. The title of the page is a paraphrase from Elizabeth Browning's poem, I didn't want to use the original line, because it was just too dark. I really just wanted a page that would help me honor her memory. 

We were very blessed to have her in our lives and we miss her greatly. She will always be in our hearts. 

Thank you for allowing me to share my journal page with you.  

Sunday, June 1, 2014

My Journal Thus Far...

Last year, I saw a wonderful video from Luvleescrappin and I just fell in love with art journaling. I have always liked journals, and the idea that I could keep one where I express my creativity, really appealed to me. 

I started my own art journal back in 2013. It has evolved little by little (and gotten kind of thick). I had previously made a video for YouTube with my first journal pages. I just added a second video with some of the later pages. I still have a LONG way to go to finish the whole book, because it has a LOT of pages. I have noticed that I do feel better whenever I get to work on it. It has to be my favorite kind of crafting. It could be because I do not have to prepare much or even think about it too hard. It is kind of therapeutic on itself. I have actually been recommending it to my coworkers who are artistically oriented. 

Here is the new video with the newer pages:

Here is the first video with the previous pages: 

I get a lot of inspiration and information from my subscriptions from YouTube. There are a lot of very talented artists out there who enjoy journaling. I highly recommend the following YouTube channels: Luvleescrappin ChannelLimor WebberGabrielle Pollacco and RachO113 Channel. These ladies are just amazing and do some incredible mixed media projects. 

I hope this inspires you to start your own art journal. 

Thank you for coming and see you next time!