Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Counterfeit on T Tuesday

Tuesday is the day that Elizabeth and Bluebeard
(Elizabeth's dignified cat) have a Link Party
over at Altered Book Lover blog.
We share what we have in our cups
(mine is coffee, not tea) and what project
we are working on, so visit the gang for T Tuesday!

I purchased a new mug on vacation...it was
on sale -- I love a good sale! --- and it
has a retro-style Mini Mouse on one side,
and Mickey on the other. Fun and delightful!

My messy table with piles of paper, art journals,
decorative tape, watercolors, and my
Documented Life Journal.  It is addicting...
one calendar page per week to keep track of
my schedule, and three surfaces on the right to
make art or journal. (In this photo, the flap on
the right is covered by the loose back cover
 that folds over/into the book.

I bought some cheap fluorescent craft paint
a while back, and have enjoyed using it for 
postcards and journal pages.  It is more
transparent than other craft paint, so it requires
a bit of practice to get used to...Love the intensity
of the colors.  This photo was taken on our new camera
and I think I was using a 'pop art' filter...so the 
color may be even more intense...

I've created another blog, called
for my Fake Journal projects.
Every April, Roz Stendahl of
Roz Wound Up conducts a challenge
to create a Fake Journal.
  What is a Fake Journal?
You can choose who you want to be,
what you do for a living, and how you
make your journal....
make up a fantastic story, or just
draw from a different perspective.
Visit Roz on the challenge blog at
So far, I've journaled from the perspective
of a Native American shaman, and a 
student of Asian art and philosophy.
My fake journal posts in April this year
will be posted on my blog
to see what adventures I will have
beginning in April!

Happy Spring to all...

 •   ♦  •

Friday, March 21, 2014

Collage Tutorial: magazine scraps

Documented Life Project 2014-
Planner, Week 12 challenge:
The prompt is to
"Cut up a magazine, add to page,"

Above, I used bits of floral patterns cut from
photos of clothing.  I extended the
patterns onto the book text background
by drawing additional 
bits of the motif in Sharpie pen.

Here is a tutorial on my process...

I found an advertisement with a promising looking 
flower and some oval shapes.  I also decided to
use a page of book text for background.

I cut out some of the oval shapes with scissors.
Then drew a black outline around the flower
with a black Sharpie pen.  Be sure to let it 
dry completely before cutting out.  The glossy 
paper tends to make the ink smear easily.
I saved the text for later use...

I chose to put my collage on the
watercolor paper tip-in on the right of
the spread, and applied a gray watercolor
wash to the paper. I chose gray because of the
decorative gray tape (you can see on the left)
that had been used when preparing 
my planner.  The use of a variety of tapes
was pretty random, and has been a fun
and interesting additional challenge each week.
Sometimes it affects my pages, and sometimes
I just kind of ignore it.  I used yellow watercolor
with a bit of orange and brown on the 
book text page because of the yellow 
 and golden magazine cut outs.

A strip of yellow fabric on my work surface
caught my eye, so I decided to use that also.
The brownish-golden shapes seem too dark
for my taste...

so I decided to try using a bit of scrapbook paper,
and drawing a wonky circle on it.  I tried applying
yellow watercolor, but the surface was a bit too glossy
for it to work well, so I dabbed it with a napkin and
used an orange marker to add some color.

Some more scrapbook paper with 
polka dots and stripes brightened things up
a bit, and after moving things around on the
page, I decided to glue them down in a 
staggered configuration on the page.
The darker magazine ovals went behind
the other shapes for an 'outline' effect.

I added magazine letters to spell out
'Color Therapy.'  Almost done!
Next, I want to add drawing, to 
help blend the collage elements
with the background.

I drew leaves, branches of berries,
and added more 'wonky' outlines around
the scrapbook circles.  I drew an outline
and shadows beneath the letters. I always
put the shadow on the right and below...
I formed that habit in high school when we
had a unit on lettering and calligraphy!

Finally, I added a bit more black watercolor,
very lightly so it would be gray, where I had
drawn the diagonal lines for shadows, 
and along the strip of fabric on the right.
I painted leaves along the left margin to 
echo the pattern of the tape, and added
yellow highlighter to the berries.

I usually try to have repetition of shapes
and color in my collages, and have an
odd number of shapes as well. (but not always!)
I think asymmetrical is more interesting.

I am thoroughly enjoying my
Documented Life planner...
not that I live that interesting a life,
but it reminds me to enjoy and
take note of day-to-day things,
and be grateful for them.

Visit Art to the 5th blog
for more inspiration!

♥  ♥  ♥

I built my own planner from various types 
of paper, punching holes into the pages
as you would for a ring binder, and
binding them together with book rings.
Each week of the year had a page for 
the dates of the week on the left side of 
the spread, on which you could
journal about your daily life and activities.
In addition, a second page on the right side
of the spread had a 'tip-in' created by
taping on an additional page that would
flip open for additional art work or journaling.
As the weeks went by, the journal become
fatter and fatter, so that I ended up
having to purchase bigger book rings.
But I was delighted with the results!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Counted Cross Stitch Greetings

The Luck of the Irish 
to you!

♣   ♣   ♣

Friday, March 14, 2014

Documented Life Project-Cottonwood Style

The Documented Life Project is a
Planner/Calendar/Art Journal project
created & moderated by 5 artists.
You can read more about it on

We are now in Week 11, and
the challenge this week was to
draw, photograph or collage a bird
onto your page. I already had this 
bird stamped onto a scrap of paper
so I collaged it onto a watercolor
background and added drawings
of leaves around it. The top border is
a strip of scrapbook paper.

To see my page from week 1 go here,

Above, the week 2 challenge:
Add a self-portrait to your page.

Week 3 challenge:
Put an envelope from your mail 
on your page. This was an ad for 
parents to buy life insurance for their kids.
Fun illustration on the envelope, so in it went.
I added another pocket made from
an envelope liner, and created
 tags for the pockets.

Week 4 challenge: Write a note to 
yourself and paint over all but one word.

Week 5 challenge: Draw a doodle border.
My border was Kandinsky inspired!

Week 6 challenge: Use a Pinterest board
to inspire your art on the page. The blogger
of Idemakeriet gave me permission to create
art from her lovely photo on the blog.

Week 7 challenge: Draw a shape.
Repeat. Add color.

Week 8 challenge: Add a flap to your flap.
Most pages of the Planner/Journal I made have
a flap 'tipped in' on the non-calendar page, 
on the right of the spread--
by using decorative tape to adhere the additional page.
It folds in when the book is closed. (I am
not sure that description even makes sense!)
For this challenge I added a small flap that 
opened vertically, which gives more space to add
art on the back side of the flap, and underneath it!

Week 9 challenge: Collage something
recycled onto your page.  I used security envelope
liners, copy of a map, video arcade ticket, old 
postage stamp, banana label, hole reinforcements,
book text, 'watercolor' torn from cover of a 
small watercolor pad.

Week 10 challenge: Make a list of the
things that make you YOU.  
List made in Sharpie pen, with 
ledger paper and scrapbook paper.
Had to add ETC. at the end
'cause well, there just isn't enough
room. But maybe you get the idea...

This little collage is on the back side of the 
Week 10 challenge. Really like the way it
turned out. Having painted papers 
made up and ready to use makes the 
collage come together much more 
quickly, and I always seem to have plenty
of scrapbook paper scraps to use!

Visit Art to the 5th if you are interested in
joining the challenge. There is a Facebook group
which is very supportive, and also a Flickr group.
Of course you don't have to 'catch up' unless 
you want to, and it's your journal so you can
make it your own in all ways.
  I wonder
 if I will be able to stick with it for a year...I 
figure one page a week is easy enough to do,
we will see.  What art are you making these days?

♥  ♥  ♥

Here's hoping that Spring is almost here,
and that you have a green St. Patrick's Day!

♣  ♣  ♣

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Travel on T Tuesday

Sharing some vacation photos

from Panama City Beach, Florida

We were there just before the madness
of Spring break. Headed back to Ohio through
freezing rain,
sleet, and

Guess I just need a cup of tea to warm up again...
Please visit Altered Book Lover
and have tea (or coffee) with
the group!

♥  ♥  ♥

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Art Journal Pages: Road Trip

Palm trees in Florida~
don't know the exact type but they
are lovely... just came back from
a vacation in Panama City Beach.  
A beautiful beach,
and certainly a lot warmer 
than Ohio!

Above, a freeway barrier that we passed in the beginning
of our trip. I've seen it many times, but suddenly
realized it might make a good journal page...

Playing music on the CD player makes
the hours driving more enjoyable...and
prevents having to surf the radio stations
for something we like.
This page gave me opportunity
to doodle and try out lettering styles.

I don't recommend the 'yetti' voice for the
Garmen GPS...completely unable to understand
what is being said. Good for a laugh I suppose, if
you think grunts are funny and
you already have a good idea where you're going,
but then what's the point?  We stuck with
'Dr. Nightmare.'  

Still life of my finds on the
first walk on the beach of 2014.
The shells are tiny, or broken pieces
but I still always end up picking up a few...
A small feather from a seagull too,
that I couldn't resist.

The sun is shining and the snow
is melting. Maybe there really is
hope for Spring...

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Trees on Tuesday

Trees are a recurring theme

 repeated in various forms

in my art journals.

I am not quite sure why they
fascinate me...

maybe it's their sculptural forms

 or the wide variety of styles of portrayal
over the centuries.

Longing for green buds to appear...

♣   ♣   ♣

Visit Elizabeth over at
to see 'what's up' on T Tuesday!

♣  ♣  ♣