Sunday, October 11, 2015

Making Buttons and Magnets

Finally using the button maker I bought 2 years ago. It is heavy duty and works like a charm. I got it from American Button Machines. If you need to produce many buttons, this is a great way to do it.
I started by using a photo of some of the cards I made:
I also ended up using the "Build-a-Button" software. That makes it much easier to add lettering and print out multiples on a sheet (wasting less paper).
These buttons are really 2.25 inches across. They probably show up bigger on a computer screen. There are things I will differently next time. I'm still learning how to use the Build-a-Button program, but I think this was a decent start, and now I have buttons for this weekend's giveaway at the shop.

Monday, October 05, 2015

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Documented Life...Self Portrait

Here is my self portrait for The Documented Life Project. I like how it turned out, though it doesn't look just like me, and looked less like me before a little surgery to the drawing. But hey, it's more practice!

Here is the picture I worked with, and my sketch. Now when I step back I can see that my eyes in the photo are rounder and my face fuller...and the mouth is way off. Little things can change the whole expression on a face.

After I painted it I covered the mouth and thought I liked the top half of the picture. So I ripped off the bottom part, and collaged the part I like with some underpaper (the paper that catches my drips and all when I'm working) and tape and bits of the border.

I'll have another go at this someday. I'm pinched for time these days, so this works for me for now. Another day, another drawing! Today I'll be working on a drawing of Lou Mitchell's Restaurant in Chicago.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Beautiful Faces

I got some new books this week! I'm always excited about that. The "Drawing and Painting Beautiful Faces" by Jane Davenport, is about drawing faces from your imagination. I've been having fun learning to draw faces, and I usually look at a picture of someone to draw from, but sometimes, when I'm making a journal page or including a figure in a drawing, I don't need it to look like anyone particular, and I like the idea of creating someone from my imagination.
 The first exercise is to draw a lot of little faces quickly, and I found that to be quite fun! Sometimes this is all I need in a quick sketch where I want to include a person in a scene.
Here are my little girls. They really are little too, because they are drawn in a pocket Moleskine.

Bible Journaling

The Bible pages are still fairly thin, so sometimes I get a little bleed through, or just a little ghosting. I'm not worried about it because:
I can always collage in another drawing or scripture on the back side. for this one, I used some washi tape, then pasted a scrap of an old map on that. Used a highlighter to write out "Faith" and outlined with a Pitt pen. The white dots are Sharpie waterbased pen.

This is another page I did last week while praying for some friends and their twins who were born early:
I didn't know how to draw a baby, so I found an embroidery pattern and drew my baby following it as an example. The embroidery pattern didn't have both arms showing and was a bit different, but I wanted him in this position, reaching up. I was inspired by this verse, and then when I showed it to his parents his mom told me that she memorized that very verse the day she went into labor! I still get chills when I think about that.

Sunday, August 16, 2015


Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.   ~Joshua 1:9

A few years ago, I got divorced after almost 30 years of marriage. I sometimes went on trips by myself or with the kids when I was married, but found that I felt leery of traveling by myself after the I was truly out there on my own, without a safety net. But of course my net is God, and also the good sense and skills he gave me. So, I'm continuing to travel when I can....trying to be brave like the verse says.
That is me, and my dog, and the little camper I hope to have one day. Part of what makes this fun and meaningful for me is to personalize it....with sketches of things from my home and life and dreams.

Now I have traveled many miles in my car to the lake, to see Jeff in Arkansas, to my cousin's house in Florida. I've even traveled by plane a few times. Many times I'm by myself, and other times I'm with a friend or one of my sisters, or my mother.  I'm making progress!

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Lady Sunflower

This is face #14/100. I drew her from memory of a photo in a magazine. The sunflowers popped up behind her because they are blooming all over my yard. I bought some Prismacolor pencils and I'm experimenting with them. In the past I've mostly used watercolor pencils and usually added water, so using these is a bit different. Fun though..they are quite smooth.
These are some of the sunflowers in my yard. The birds planted these by dropping seeds!

Friday, August 14, 2015

Stickers...simple page..and a source

Not every page has to be complicated. I got these great stickers in the mail today. They are from Kelly's Art Journaling, and you can get them at her Etsy shop. So I had to make a page...I just used the sticker, some washi tape, and my highlighter and 3 colored pencils.

Bible Journaling

Hebrews 12:1. This verse applies to much more than actual running, but right now, I'm training to try and run a 5k sometime this fall. I've never been a runner, and we will see if I can. I'm following the Couch to 5K program. If you are interested in doing this someday, their app makes it much easier to keep track of how long you run/walk. Right now, I'm just in the second week, so it's not too hard so far!

Frida Kahlo...another face to draw...

Last night I tried the famous face of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. Frida had polio as a child and also suffered pain from a terrible injury in a bus crash at the age of 18, and also much emotional pain in her life. Many of her self portraits deal with this pain. You can read more about her by googling her or by following this link.

She has a very strong facial structure that I didn't catch here, but I like her eyes and eyebrows and her hair. Maybe I will try her a little down the road towards my goal of 100 faces. Frida is my 13th face.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Shake -n- Shine!

Another sketch in my Bible. I'm also going to try and incorporate things around me such as the salt shaker, which is like one my grandmother had. It reminds me of her every day. This is Matthew 5:13-16.

This is also the middle of the Route 66 tourist season. I'm working on some buttons and magnets that I will hopefully be able to show you tomorrow. I've got a little button factory going on!

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Ecclesiastes 3:11

Today I tried out some new pens. They are Pilot gel pens, and I love the colors. I probably won't use them over text again....I can read it still, but not as easily. Guess I'll get a new batch of highlighters for when I want to venture into the text. I fully intend to use this Bible for a long while, so I don't want to make the text unreadable.

For those who are concerned about my drawing in the Bible, please know that I have several Bibles that I use. I highlight in all of them, but this is the only one i draw in. I bought this Bible specifically for this purpose because it is designed with larger margins for notes or drawings. Drawing helps me process what I read, and I'm finding that people who see these are reminded of the source of the word because it's actually drawn on the page. This is something I do with prayer, and as worship.

I'm also working on a new Route 66 sketch. Seems like I have a never ending list of those to do, but I'm making progress!

Saturday, August 01, 2015

Bible Journaling....along Route 66!

 Yep, I'm at the shop, which is on Route 66, and working on reading/journaling in my Bible, and some Route 66 sketches. These pages are done with mostly highlighters and things I have at the shop.
 The ink from the journaling on the other side showed through a bit, so I used some washi tape to kind of wallpaper the margin...then a bag from the shop to journal on.
I've also been drawing some sketches for a little project that I have coming up. It's all about Route 66, and here you have the Cozy Dogs from Springfield, as well as Funks Grove Maple Sirup.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Isaiah 40:31 and 2 Timothy 1:7

Doodling! It's good to doodle anything you want to remember, and for me that includes Bible verses. I've never been great at committing them to memory.
2 Timothy 1:7 is one of my favorite verses. I love verses about the strength we get from God. In my church we hear lots about kindness, forgiveness and loving...which are great, great things...but we don't hear as much about the love, power, strength and self-control we are gifted with, and we should exercise and grow stronger. That's my opinion....thus the "Woot woot!" at the top...because that's how I feel about this!

I will sometimes take the time to draw, and other times I think I'll do something simple like these outlined letters.

Bible Journaling

 I've been loving the Bible journaling I've been seeing online, and since I learn visually and by doing, I thought this might be a good idea for me. The bible I've been using is HUGE, and also has those ultra thin pages. I think most things, even pencil marks show through those pages, so I followed some links for "journaling bibles" and found one that I liked.
The overall size is nicer for carrying, the pages are slightly thicker, and there is space on each page to write or draw notes and thoughts about what I'm reading.

This is my first attempt. I used watercolor pencils because you can still read the text beneath. The page crinkled a bit when I added water, but not too badly, and it doesn't bother me. Let's just say it adds character!

If you'd like to see more examples from lots of folks, just follow this link to a google search.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Chicago..where Route 66 begins!

Almost every day I work on some kind of Route 66 drawing, featuring some place in Illinois. They are going to be used in a future project and I'm excited about getting them all done. I'm working down the list of great 66 spots in Illinois.

Painting BIG

Normally, I paint larger than about 12x12, but several years ago I bought this great old easel at an auction, and promptly bought a couple of huge canvases. Then it sat....for years. Suddenly the other evening I decided I just had to paint one!
I decided to go for it and do something kind of like the background I make for journal pages. It helped me get over the fear of that pristine canvas, to just think of it that way, and not worry about how it turns out...after all, if I hated it, I could gesso over it, and start anew.
I used Golden fluid acrylics and some acrylics in tubes. I layered on the colors using brushes and my fingers.
Added some water, and letting gravity paint.
  I painted with my fingers quite a bit. I also used foam brushes, and regular paint brushes.

I've not painted anything this large since high school. It was fun! I will definitely be trying this again in the near future.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Uh-oh. Draw what you see.

Here's what happens when you start listening to your brain instead of your eyes. I had a rough outline of the building down, but I quit looking so much and started to draw what I thought was there, and messed up the roof line of the Rich and Creamy ice cream shop in Joliet. Soooo I'll have to fix that, which means pretty much starting over, and paying attention this time!

Decided to try and fix it with my sharpie white paint pen, which I can draw over. I think it worked pretty well...the test will be when I go get it copied to see if it shows. I've left this fairly simple as far as lines and shading because it's going to get reduced quite a bit.  After I get the copies made I want to try and add some color to this.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Faces from the shop

 This is a young man I met at my shop. He was very upbeat and fun....and he was looking at a country music CD when he told me the story on the page. Then he wanted to know about the singer on the CD. Right at that moment the singer walked in, and they had their picture made together and talked about music for a while. It's a small world!

 This is another customer at the shop. She is from Germany, and you can read the story on the page in the picture below. I'm not happy with this drawing, but it's another one of the 100 done. I cannot figure out shading on faces yet...especially on women. If you leave it crosshatching it looks like whiskers, but I'm not fond of the blended look that I get with a paper stump either. I'll have to hit youtube and see what I can learn.

This is a beautiful redhead I saw on pinterest. I erased quite a bit and it got kind of smudgy, but I like her anyway. Her right eye is rather small.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015


Well here is another face. I love this girl, but I didn't am not up to drawing her yet. I tried to draw her back in 2007, and this is a little better, I think, but still...I need a LOT of practice. Also..I can tell you I think teeth showing makes things harder! Anyway, I committed to showing them all to see what kind of progress I make as I draw 100 faces, so here she is!

Pencil sketches..faces

I finally did a couple more faces. I only have a #2 pencil with me, which I haven't drawn with in a long time...I forgot how easily it smudges! This girl is #7 and she is lady I found when I googled "faces."
This lady is an artist I met on Facebook. She is much prettier in person, but I still think that this is a pretty good try for me.

Monday, April 06, 2015

Ikea Lamp Hack....hand drawn Route 66 Muffler Men

 I've been drawing those muffler men again. This time I put them on an Ikea lamp. It takes a night light bulb and is a nice little mood lamp.
These lamps are made of frosted glass, and after a little experimenting I found Sharpie markers worked the best and take a little gentle wiping to clean the lamp.  I used my rubber stamp again too. I'm so glad I made that thing!