Friday, January 21, 2011

Doodling up a Storm

Remember when you were in junior high and high school, and you filled the front of your notebook with crazy doodles while you listened to the teacher?  Well, I have been playing around with those lately. I've used them in some journal pages and as borders for projects. This doodle making process has actually been marketed by Maria Thomas and Rick Roberts and they call their products "Zentangle."  

If you want to try it, it's easy. Find a nice black permanent pen (Faber-Castell Pitt Pens or Sakura Micron are my favorites) and some smooth white paper. Draw a circle (I use a plate or something to trace around) or a free hand square. This one is almost 5 inches arcross. Then just put a few swooping lines to start yourself off. Make them overlap, because you are creating spaces to fill in with patterns.

Then just start filling in the spaces with pattern...circles, checkerboards, flowers, stripes, whatever comes to mind. Turn your paper as needed...there's no right side up until you say so. As you go along you will probably find that you want to keep subdividing the bigger spaces and that's cool. Don't get in a hurry, make your marks deliberately, and will find that it's relaxing, and even meditative. You can easily do this while watching a movie, listening to music, or listening to a speaker (if you don't have to take notes). In fact, I did this often when in school and found that I was more attentive and remembered more if my hands were busy with something like this (probably a little ADD).

Keep going until you have filled it all...or your movie is over. If you want inspiration for more patterns to use look here...there are tons of great ideas.

Here I've used some on  the beginning of a journal page. They are pretty addicting, but they won't hurt you or drive your friends away, so it's all good!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Very interesting and fragile little animals. And what an interesting reproductive system! I'd love to see some in nature someday.
 Here's one while I was working on it...I always like to see these when I'm looking at others' blogs, so I thought I'd include it here.

Some Poodles are Boys

We've always had poodles, they have all been boys, and people always assume they are girls. I guess it's the hair and the pretty face. But come on now, some poodles have to be boys!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Treasure Hunters

This is inspired by my son Mike who was a pirate for about half of the Halloweens while growing up. When he was in about 1st grade he and his friend Billy used to take turns being the keeper of a treasure map they had created. When I found it in his backpack, he took it from me, handling it carefully, and solemnly told me that when he and Billy turned 13 they were going to go find this treasure. Mike and Billy are still friends (Bill recently stood up for Mike at his wedding) and they have, I know, done plenty of adventuring together.....and I think I'm kind of glad that, as his mother, I don't know all the details :D

If you'd like to see some really great paper mache sailing ships visit Ann Wood's site and click on ships over in the catagories section....they are beautiful!

Cardinal Couple

I saw this handsome couple on Judy's blog this morning and decided to sketch them on the back cover of the "Boys and Girls" sketchbook.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

He and She at the Mall

Now don't get all crazy on me if you are a woman and this does not apply to you...I'm not much of a mall shopper either. I have to be in just the right mood and probably have a girlfriend with  me. But I know plenty of couples like this one. The woman shops for sport and entertainment, and sometimes it just takes a lot of time to track down the bargains when you are on a budget. Most men I know are more like this guy...get in, get your item and get out.

The purple around the edge is cut from a shopping bag :D

This is the inside back cover of the "Boys and Girls" sketchbook.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Oh Baby...

Dressing the little boys and girls is fun...such sweet little clothes! I was glad I had both boys and a girl so I could have the fun of each one. I loved dressing Colleen in little dresses like this one...smocked and embroidered....and many of them were gorgeous little Polly Flinders dresses I found at the resale shop. It's amazing what you can find in those places! Mike lived in overalls and sneaks. Here's a little pic of them...David, Michael and Colleen:

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Adam and Eve

How could I do the theme "Boys and Girls" with out getting the first boy and girl in there? As anyone who comes here often knows, I avoid drawing the human figure...I have trouble with proportions and all, but I decided to give it a go. So here you have Adam and Eve, as best as I could make them for today. If I had it to do over, I'd give him a little muscle...maybe they have not started working the land yet?

Friday, January 07, 2011

Play Time...Toys!

Nature or nurture? I don't know, but I know my son had dolls, but didn't play with them. He was into trucks and toy guns. My  daughter was crazy about dolls and dress-up. Of course, they were watching Joe and I, and I was taking care of babies and he was going off to work at construction sites everyday, so nurture might have had something to do with it!

This is another one for the Sketchbook Project.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Vive La Difference!

another from the Sketchbook Project book...Boys and Girls is my theme. I see things I would like to change in this little sketch, but that happens a lot in my sketchbooks and this one is no exception. It was a fun one to do!

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Vintage Stamp Set

I found this vintage stamp set at an auction, and I'm soooo hoping that it will clean up well and I can use it!

You can see how dirty they are. I have a lot of stamps to scrub up!

I cleaned up those two, and as long as I stamp them on paper with some more paper beneath (to kind of cushion it) I get a decent image.  Re-inking my ink pad might help too. I definitely think I can make use of these in my journals and such! Oh, and I got this for a one else wanted it, but I'm pretty thrilled!

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Boys and Girls

When I signed up, I chose the theme "Boys and Girls." It sounded great at the time, but when it came right down to it, I was having trouble thinking of something to draw. Especially since I have trouble drawing people. I ended up with pages that sometimes have to do with little boys and girls, and sometimes grown boys and girls. I first painted the cover but didn't like how it turned out, so I collaged some dictionary pages on and tried again. I didn't purposely choose the words in the background, but the junior higher in me finds it amusing that a bolt and nut, and the word "booby" still ended up showing.
In some of the pages I've attempted sketching people, and some I have used other boys and the snowman and woman above. This is the inside cover and first page. The inside of the cover will have a pocket glued in for the artist's bio and such.

I like how this one turned out. I had white stars in the sky, but I must not have waited long enough for the paint pen to cure, because when I applied the wax to seal the page, they came right off. This is why I work with watercolors and acrylics...I would not have the patience for oils to dry. Apparently, I don't even have the patience for acrylics! So, I found these little star shaped brads and put the stars back in my sky.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

The Sketchbook Project

I signed up for The Sketchbook Project a while back. When I received the little sketchbook, things were kind of crazy around here, so I tucked it away for later. Last month I pulled it back out and got started. 

The paper in this little Moleskine book they sent is very thin and will not stand up to all the paint and glue I'll be putting on them. The rules say you can rebind your book with any paper you like. I've never done any book making, so I'm totally flying by the seat of my pants here! I picked out the stitches, and used the pages as a template to cut new pages from bristol board.

I stitched them in using some waxed linen thread.

On the trip back down the spine I added some beads.

I like the look, and it still fits in the dimensions specified in the project rules.
The paper is so thick, that this is going to be more like a little board book when it's done, but it's the thicker paper I had on hand. If I'd been thinking, I would have probably snatched some pages from one of my Moleskine sketchbooks. It would have been the perfect size and shape and it also would have been the weight I prefer.