Thanksgiving to Christmas Transition

It's that awkward time when I am itching
to decorate for Christmas, but I don't want
to overlook Thanksgiving...

The result is that a few fall decorations 
still linger, but some Christmas
 things begin to appear.

Below, some old sheet music that has
seen better days. I intended to frame it
some day, but it never happened. Into
the Art Journal it went.  

Such a beautiful vintage illustration!

If you read the credits at the
bottom left of the page, you will see
that this sheet music was compliments
of a corset company!

Couldn't resist trying my hand at the
rose illustrations from the music...

Drinking my mocha from the Santa 
mug this morning...some red and white
Christmas decorations are beginning to
make their appearance.

Linking up with the T Tuesday group,
to see what's up with my Tea friends,
and to enjoy another cup...

Wishing you a Thankful week,
and much happiness!

◘  ♦  ◘

Painting on a Dryer Sheet

copyright Dianne Bishop Carey 2015

Painting on an unlikely surface
can be an interesting challenge...
how about a dryer sheet?

Watercolor and gouache, with
touches of white gel pen on a 
generic-brand, used dryer sheet.

copyright Dianne Bishop Carey 2015

It's a bit like trying to paint on 
Swiss cheese, as the surface is full
of holes. At first I had the dryer sheet
 on waxed paper as I painted.
When I realized how much paint (a lot!)
was ending up on the paper below it, I
just decided to glue it into my journal
and continue painting. It needed the
background surface to 'fill-in' the little
holes in the texture of the fabric.

copyright Dianne Bishop Carey 2015

This was a challenge from The
Documented Life Project~ The Journal, 2015.
Another suggestion was painting on dried
tea bags.  (Now I realize that it would have 
been perfect for tea day!) Tea bags or
dryer sheets are both free, recycled,
 translucent surfaces that can be
used for art. The texture of the finished
piece is very interesting...soft and blurry,
because the bumpy surface prevents
sharp details. The woman in this little
painting is modeled after a lovely black
and white vintage photo that I bought in
an antique shop. The hair-style was a
challenge, since I couldn't discern a lot of
detail in the old photo.  I decided to cut 
the dryer sheet into an oval shape and
make it resemble a piece of jewelry.

Dianne Bishop Carey 2015

Linking up with the T Tuesday group
over at Bleubeard and Elizabeth's blog...
sharing a beverage, and whatever
else we are experiencing
at the moment. 
Stop by for a cup!

Here is a tea cup that I bought at a local
 thrift store this week. It's quite pretty, 
  and it was inexpensive! There was no
 matching saucer, as you might be able to
 see in the photo. I just picked out a saucer 
 a little similar to the cup and went with it. 
Think, mismatched "Mad Tea Party."

Wishing you warm cups of
whatever beverage you enjoy on a 
Fall harvest pumpkin kind of day...

Translucent Coverage: Torn Fabric

The Documented Life Project 2015~
The Journal.  One challenge this month
was to use vellum, which I didn't have.
But fabric I do have!  I think the very
sparkly translucent fabric I used on this 
page is organza, but I'm not sure. It's very
difficult to see in the scan above. A
loose stitched 'flap' covers two layers
of fabric, adding sparkle and mystery.
There are rows of vertical hand-stitching,
but I don't think they're visible in the scan.
Click on the photo for a better look...

Above, the organza has been lifted to
reveal the cotton fabric that has been
painted with a simple floral design in
watercolor. It echoes the designs in the
printed fabric beneath it. I drew around
the flowers in permanent Sharpie marker
for more definition, since the watercolor
naturally faded and bled into the fabric.
I also quilted around the flowers a bit 
to connect it with the floral fabric beneath.

When lifting all three layers of fabric,
journaling is revealed beneath...I 
like the initial splattered and swirled
watercolor background, but it is 
difficult for me to leave it alone and
not overwork it...

The facing page:  I drew this little
flower from a bouquet my husband 
brought home to me. It is 'pen direct to
paper,' (no pencil sketch first) and I rather
like the pink background showing through
the leaves of the painting. The bouquet
survived a night in the car, as my husband
forgot to bring them in to me when he
got home from work! Since it was in the 40'sF
that night, they were a bit wilted, but 
perked up when I put them in water!
A very nice surprise...

Here's the coffee mug I am having
my morning mocha in today...
linking up with Bleubeard and Elizabeth
for T Tuesday.  Enjoying my flowers,
both real and stitched. What are you
enjoying these days?

Autumn Journal Pages

I am influenced by the color
around me, including the
colors of the seasons.  This week
in Ohio, the light seemed golden, 
the autumn colors of the trees were
silhouetted against gorgeous blue
skies.  I spent quite a bit of time
walking at various parks this
week, enjoying the sunshine.

Above, a collage in my 
Documented Life Project journal.
The month of October challenge
was Translucent Papers.  The strip
of paper on the left of the spread is
Deli paper, painted with gouache.
 You may be able to see the 
yellow lined paper that is visible
beneath it.  The Jack-o-lantern and
moon are copies of watercolors
that I did, inspired by vintage images.

Next, I used painted tissue paper
on the pages above and below. The
 tissue was painted with watercolor,
let dry, and torn into leaf shapes.
Wet tissue paper is very delicate and
tears easily! Let dry after gluing, and 
draw outlines and details. (I used purple
gel pen) The oval leaves are from
 a vintage child's 'Shape Book.'

I think the above page is actually
my favorite.  The torn tissue paper shapes
were glued down for the leaves and the
shapes of the trees at the bottom. I also
used some highlighter, and fluorescent
gel pen, but not sure that detail is 
visible on the scan. (click to enlarge)

A 'Happy Halloween'
Artist Trading Card...
washi tape, markers, pen
and scrapbook paper.

Linking up with 
Bleubeard and Elizabeth for
T Tuesday, when I generally
have coffee instead of tea...
but no one seems to hold it
against me as we are all very
individual in our tastes!
Stop by Elizabeth's blog for
 a cup of something...

◘  ♦  ◘

Cross Stitch Halloween

Halloween cross-stitch designs from
The Prairie Schooler, Book No. 181.
I painted the grapevine wreath
 black and dusted it with black glitter.
I may never get all of the black glitter
swept up in the spare bedroom...
I swept, I used masking tape to collect
the bits that wouldn't sweep up. Now I
remember why I don't usually use glitter.
The kids will probably wonder if 
there are bed bugs next time they visit!
How's that for scary?!!
I did use paper underneath when I 
sprinkled the glitter, honest. It still 
went everywhere...

I heard that Prairie Schooler designs is
 closing up shop, and so I ordered
several of their patterns. They are easy
because they don't have half-stitches,
and are often in a square format.  I think
the 'angel-skull headstone' is my 
favorite on this wreath.

"Of course I can drive a (broom) stick"
was finished into a pincushion. Pretty
happy with the results...

The 'ghosty' version of
Pumpkin Jack is hangin' around nearby.

I stitched the wreath designs on 11 count cream
Aida fabric, so they were easy to see to stitch.
They are mounted on cardboard, with some
frayed black fabric as backing. The pattern
called for black felt for backing, but I used
what I had on hand.

Linking up with 
Bleubeard and Elizabeth's
T Tuesday party,
where you never know what
we will chat about...but there
is always a beverage involved.
Mine is mocha, because 
chocolate for breakfast is
cool.  Right?!

I Can Drive a Stick

Continuing to share Halloween
themed items this month...

"From ghoulies and ghosties and
long-leggity beasties and other things
that go bump in the night,
Good Lord deliver us."
I stitched this sampler from a printed
kit when I was a newlywed, so it's 
about 40 years old! It has been removed
from its frame with the intention of making 
a pillow from it, but somehow it hasn't
happened yet...

A few of my favorite things...
old books, paper crafts, doilies,
Halloween characters and fall color.

A card received from a past Halloween,
 thank-you dear Elizabeth!

Here is Pumpkin Jack...he doesn't sit
very gracefully...and there is a
'ghost version' lurking somewhere about.

One of this year's projects, above.
I designed this myself. It was fun to stitch,
 and just makes me smile.
Will post photos when I get the
project finished. It's going to be
a pin-keep, or small pillow.

Joining Bleubeard and Elizabeth
for tea or coffee, or whatever
shenanigans I can get into

Do you decorate for Fall
or Halloween?

Halloween Sketches and Tutorial

Sketches for Halloween
from vintage images.  These
are in my art journal from 2008,
pencil, pen, and colored pencil.
I plan to celebrate Halloween on
this blog for the whole month, so
stay tuned for Halloween fun,
both old and new!

Sketches for Art Dolls, also 2008.
The paper doll on the right
is the one I ended up making
from cardboard. You will get to
see 'Pumpkin Jack' later on in
the month of October...

Above, a sketch for an ATC
that I was planning. I don't remember
if the final card ended up looking exactly
like this, but I really liked the way this
sketch turned out. Look out Blues Brothers...

Above, is the art journal page
that I made for a TUTORIAL
this week. It's over on my 
weight-loss blog, Healthy Momentum.
You can also find it on the Tutorials Page
of this blog in the side bar. (look for the tea cup)
 The Tutorial was designed to be easy,
 for people who are just getting started in
journaling, or aren't confident in
their drawing skills. Try it!

Linking up with 
Bleubeard and Elizabeth for the
T Tuesday blog hop.  Above, a 
cute Rooster Tea Pot and matching
cups that I saw at Sauder Village.
Join us for a beverage and
creative pursuits.

Creativity Is...

"Creativity is Risk-Taking" ~  Sting

Many things can prompt a page
in your Art Journal.  If I see an interesting
 image or hear a snatch of phrase that 
gets my attention, I grab a bit of 
paper and write it down. The 'notes to
 self' get slipped between the pages of 
my art journal until I decide how to 
use them in my art. 

In this case, I was listening
 to a National Public Radio
broadcast about creativity. I hadn't
really thought about what creativity
actually IS, but these quotes
rang true for me.

To roughly paraphrase 
Elizabeth Gilbert, author:
We've often heard the phrase,
"follow your passion," but that puts
a pretty strong sense of intensity 
(and perhaps stress) on the individual. 
Curiosity is much more doable.
It gives us 'permission' to work our
 day job and follow our curiosity where
 it leads us without the pressure 
of having to become
a tragic figure or 'starving artist.'

Another place I've found art journal
fodder is on blogs.  Julie Fei-Fan Balzer
does pod casts with her mom and
 a guest artist. They are full of gems of
wisdom and laughter. 
"Creativity is about exploring possibilities"
is a remark from Julie.  When I listen
to a pod cast, I take notes!
  It's fun and informative, plus I can doodle!
Where have you found inspiration lately?

Linking up with Julie's
Stop by for some inspiration!

  •  ♦  •