Friday, February 28, 2014 to post some "mail art."

More "mail art" going out today in return for the goodies I received this week. I even got some original art work in the mail this week!
I am using this as a planner and I carry it in my purse. There has been discussion in the Documented Life Project group about this. Many of the members have other planners on their phones and such, and for them this is mostly an art journal, but mine is full of notes and lists. I'm putting in little pictures from the week too. If something happens during the day that I want to remember, I jot it down.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Livingston County Courthouse

I'm trying to include little sketches of Pontiac in my planner. I figure it might be interesting to look a back on, for me, or my grandkids, if this journal is still around then. This is the courthouse. I snapped a picture on an extremely cold morning, and since it's also just as cold today, I decided I'd better draw from the photo. As you can see it gets a little wonky, but I like the exercise of starting straight in with pen. This is the kind of thing I used to crumple up and throw away and start over until I'd get a more precise drawing...these days I just enjoy them for what they are. And...they are more fun to draw.
We have a beautiful downtown, situated around this courthouse in a square.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Documented Life Project...collage with recycled items

 For this page I used some Hawaii postcards my neighbor gave me, and some of the paper I printed.

This next page started out the way it looks above. I used a colorful envelope from some "happy mail" and also a scrap of newspaper, and some sheet music. I like it and think it's very pretty, but the challenge was to use recycled items, so I kept adding things and ended up with the collage below.

I tend to mostly have a background and draw on it...since I hardly ever do things that are very layered, I wanted to give that a try. For this one I started with an envelope that I received in "happy mail" from another artist (that's the pink/purple you see). I also used old sheet music that was the original thing I "tipped-in." Next came some money and game pieces from games I picked up on the curb after someone's garage sale. There is also some paper toweling I used to mop up paint as I was printing the other night.
Of course the page was inspired by thoughts of how rich and blessed I am in things that money can't buy.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Layering ...monoprinting

I added another layer to some of the papers and envelopes I printed the other day. I used spay inks and a few pretty stencils. I like the crisper images on top of the prints. These papers will be used in collages and as backgrounds in some pages in journals and parts of mixed media paintings. Next time I'm going to use some of  the stamps I carved, including a couple Route 66 ones, that will make good paper for Route 66 drawings and paintings.

I got four of the envelopes ready to go out in the mail. They are stuffed full of vintage papers, maps, music, and game pieces, and some of the paper I printed.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Monoprinting with a Gelli Plate

I'd been resisting this whole monoprinting trend with mixed media artists, but after watching Roben-Marie Smith's video about gelli printing, I had to try it. I don't used many preprinted papers in my journals or other artwork, because I want the work to be all my own. Same with stamps. I've started carving my own rather crude stamps.

I ordered the gelli plate and stencils from Alleystamp Shop on Etsy. They came in good shape and very quickly.
 I experimented with the two techniques that Roben demonstrates in her video, and I think the papers will be even cooler with a little spray ink or doodling. It's pretty quick, and I played around with printing for about 3 hours! I made lots of pretty papers, and a few duds. I can't wait to try different kinds of paints like the fluid acrylics too. For now, I just stuck to the cheap craft paints.
While I was at it, I printed on some envelopes for happy mail too. They are so cheerful, and didn't warp like they do when I watercolor them.
This is part of my new stash! There are probably at least twice this many, plus the envelopes. I think with a little practice, I'll be able to make all my own printed papers, except for the kinds of things I clip out of magazines and books. And did I mention it's fun??! Yep, it's fun!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Art Journaling.....evolution of an idea.

This week's challenge from The Documented Life Project was to incorporate a flap on to your tipped in page. It seemed my mind was a blank (rather unusual), and I couldn't think of what I wanted to make my page about. Then I looked around my office and saw some tags I made a long time ago. They depict certain wishes I had for my home and life...some of them silly, some way out, and some very longed for. They came from a set of tags I made for another project. The project is interesting and you might like to try it someday. It was inspired by the book Twenty Wishes by Debbie McComber, and you can find out more about it in this post. Here is the whole set, minus one that somebody decided to swipe out of my studio when it was up at the shop:

I started thinking about how many of these things have come true since I made the tags, but sometimes not at all in the way I thought and wished and hoped they would. I thought I knew how things were supposed to go, but I guess God had other things in mind, and the way was not an easy one. It's hard to change your thinking when you've been trying hard to do what you think God wants you to do. That reminded me of this verse:
I made this page late at night and was too lazy to wash out brushes, so I made the flowers and bug with a Q-Tip and acrylics, and used markers and an ink pen for the rest.

Then I glued the tags to some really cool green stitched "paper" that is more like interfacing. I got it at Papyrus, which is a very hard place to leave empty handed if you are a paper lover! Since I wasn't sure the glue would stick well to the interfacing-ish paper, I zig-zagged around them with the sewing machine. Then I zig-zagged it to the journal page. I'm trying to embrace that the stitching is not perfect...I've made a lot of headway in loosening up, but sometimes I struggle. Hey, it's in my planner, not on the wall...relax.

Here are the fronts of those cards. I didn't change them a bit. Finished, warm, happy, and relaxed were words I wanted to describe our home all those years ago.  Now I have that, but not in the way I thought it would happen. As they always say, God can see the big picture, but we can only see a small part. I'm learning that sometimes I have to go with the flow, making decisions that I feel are right, and trust God with the outcome.

Pulling out the tags....
Pulled alll the way out. That's a long page!
Here is the other side of the tags, with a picture of my new home glued in place.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Mail..Mail Art

 It's Friday, so some happy mail is going out. I am not doing heavily doodled envelopes now, because they take a lot of time. I realized I'd have to quit "happy mail" if it took that long to make an envelope. So, this week I painted the envelopes and did a quick stencil. I like them, and I think they'd make good collage bits.
The back side was messy after the painting. So when I cleaned off the stencils, I rubbed the ink right into the stencil again...lighter image, and looks kind of cool. Waste not,  want not.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Sochi journal page

This page sits opposite my week and you flip it open to see the pages in the previous post. I wanted to do a page in my planner for the Olympics, and when Nicole Maki sent me the hand printed paper with the rings on it, I knew it would be part of the page! It was printed on tissue paper and so beautiful. The page I started with was already watercolored blue, so I just went from there.

Here it is as you open the planner to the week. I always enjoy seeing other's planners as they would look if you were holding them, so you get to see mine that way too.
Glamour shot. Look how thick...remember this is just a little 3.5x5.5 calendar book.

The Beatles...50 year anniversary of appearing on Ed Sullivan Show

 You know that great mail I showed you in this post? I made a journal page from some of it. I figured this week we have the Olympics, Valentine's Day, and the anniversary of the Beatles appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, so I think I 'll make a page about each. Since this is my planner I still had to have my "to do" list and it's on the top tag.
 When you flip it up, you have "love is all you need." Classic.
If you flip up that tag (ready made by "Reflections"), and you find part of the envelope from my happy mail...with 3 of the Beatles on it. I also used some of the gelli printed paper she sent me to collage over my address and put the band's name, and the 50th anniversary info.

I have one page left for this week and I think I'll draw something that has to do with the Olympics.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Happy Mail

Another mixed media artist was so sweet to send me some clip art from the 1950s, so I'm sending her some treats in the mail. I hope she likes them. This is the back of the envelope. What I send is mostly vintage papers like pages from old ledgers, old game pieces, and such.

If anyone wonders what is in "happy mail," here is one I received from Nicole Maki (click on her name to visit her blog). There are many hand printed papers in this collection...yea! I am happy about that. I've been admiring papers people print themselves using a gelli plate, but I haven't tried it, so I'm very glad to have some to use. She also made her own envelope from a Beatles poster. I'll be using parts of that in a page this week. She has an altered playing card in there, and some paper printed in another language. Good stuff I can work into collages!

Sunday, February 09, 2014

Documented Life...Challenge 7..Bicycles and Hearts (smile)

This week's challenge in the Documented Life Project was to take a shape and repeat it, then add color. Of course with Valentine's Day creeping up on us, I thought I'd make Valentine's themed pages this week. I used a heart made of bike chain links that I drew in the past. I just printed it out smaller and cut it out. Then I got to work drawing a sweet little red bicycle. Then I added a few more hearts for a border and as balloons. 

Here is how I made the wheels. I overlapped some washi tape on a nonstick paper until I had a wide enough piece for a wheel (bottle cap). Then I traced and cut them out, peeled them off and put them on the page. I drew my bike from the wheels up.

Friday, February 07, 2014

It's Friday. Time for Happy Mail

It's Friday and that means it's time to mail out some "happy mail." I'm in a  swap with some other mixed media artists/journalers. Every Friday we mail out some collage/art supplies to another swap member. Mine are usually vintage things like sheet music, book pages, maps,  and old postcards and photos. That's because as an antiques dealer I have lots of those! I'm also mailing out a tiny charm that looks like a journal in each one. I sell them at the shop along with several other transportation themed charms.

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Inspired by Jennifer Judd McGee...Documented Life Challenge

This week's challenge was to pick an artist who inspires you and make a page with that in mind. I picked Jennifer Judd McGee. She is Swallowfield on flickr, and has an Etsy shop as well. Jennifer does amazing things with cut paper and doodling. Click on her flickr photostream for treat for your eyes! The piece I was inspired by was this one:

As you can see by my page below, I found that cutting those little shapes was a trick...I ended up with some jagged edges and even a couple of torn spots. Ick...the perfectionist in me wanted to do it all over, but the other me (the one who knows I don't have time to do that!) said, "No, it's just a planner page, post it as is." So here it is:

Then I worked on the other pages, and they got a little bit of that paper cutting too:

This one is an old photo of me when I went hang gliding, way back when I was 18 years old.  It's a reminder that I'm still that brave girl....and to grab the opportunities for adventure and fun and learning. I'm afraid of heights, but I like to challenge that once in a while!

Monday, February 03, 2014

"Happy Mail"

I've not done "happy mail" or art swaps before, but I thought I'd give it a try. I doodled on the envelope, front and back.

 This swap is with mixed media artists, so I included lots of things that could be used for collage and art journaling. I hope she likes it. I have lots of vintage paper items, since I have access to lots of those as an antique dealer.

Sunday, February 02, 2014

Warhol, Price, and Gregory...all in one little post.

This is a little drawing I made on a note ordering Moonlight Chronicles from Dan Price. I just blurred out my address and such. Dan Price and Danny Gregory are two artists whose writing encouraged me to start drawing again. 

And here is a cool quote that I want to be able to find again, so I'm posting it here:
"Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art."  ~Andy Warhol