Friday, September 6, 2013

The Second Secret

Today I decide to enjoy the workshops in alphabetical order, just in case I get confused.  In the beginning, this class seems way too weird for me—burning candles and rope with the beating of drums.  Well, okay.  I do try the music, but then I can’t hear the instructions.

So we need to find our spirit guide.  An animal that appears in our dreams and calls to us, sometimes giving us messages.  I’m too old to be New Age.  But water has always called out to me and I consider myself a water child.   I’m ready to go find any message it may have to give me.  If I have an “original medicine” it’s water for sure!

This class does have something I need very much—a looseness that allows me freedom to explore.  My work is always so tightly controlled.  I tell myself “Just get over it!”  This 21 Secret workshop is presented by Carrisa Paige and is called Following the Wild Winds.

We paint straight onto the paper with a credit card, and I find I love this look!  But everything is so fast and furious that there is no before shots or stopping along the way.

Carrisa introduces me to just letting mistakes go…it all hangs out!  I do the right hand page first and as soon as the paint is dry I add the photocopy of me in Bermuda standing on the beach.  She says to paint over the picture!  This is quirky fun!  I decide to take a few pounds off with paint.  Now we’re really cruising’!

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  Then Carrisa has us stamp with foam shapes covered with paint.  Mine are the pink flowers and little pink dots shaded with a darker pink pastel.  We also use a stamp, making sure that some of the images are only partially there.  She introduces glitter tape which I cut in a wavy look and use for water foam under my picture.   Today is the first time I use alcohol ink—that’s the roundish blue-green smears at the top of the page.

I try to use a gorgeous magenta alcohol ink like Carrisa, letting it run across the page.  It’s a disaster!  So I cover it up with more paint and the large arrow marking “I am here.”  You can see how I outline it with glitter tape.  I write and adhere my 4 lines of text as she suggests.  I like it!  And I like the way the paint looks like water, too.  I end up having so much fun!  Who knew?

Two down and 19 to go.  Put a little art in your life today!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The First Secret

Earlier this year I registered for an online workshop called 21 Secrets, presented by  When I registered, I had no idea how intense my mother’s care would be and how many hours I would spend with her or how little time I’d have to work on art journaling.

This is the first section I joined:  Doodling Our Way, taught by Cathy Bluteau.  I knew I could take supplies and work on it when Mama was sleeping. 

I started with a Strathmore Mixed Media Visual Journal that is 9x12.  You can see that I put down scrapbook paper that was cut up into pieces of various size.  I should mention that I probably used too much paper and not enough empty space for doodling.

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In the photo below, you can see the added doodles, some stenciling, text I wrote, and background color.  The empty spaces were divided with rulers and design so each space would be smaller.  This is another thing I forgot to do while working at my mother’s without Cathy’s informative video, so I don’t have many spaces.  For filling in the background spaces, Cathy introduces the Copic marker which I love!   You may also notice that I used a white  uni-ball pen for highlighting.

I’ve doodled ribbons, bows, flowers and girls’ faces since I was in the early grades of elementary school so this part was really fun for me.

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Here is the final part and where I learned the most!   Cathy teaches some cool techniques that I haven’t tried before, like drawing  “ghost images” (see the flower I added on the right hand page up where I wrote “Say it with flowers” with the copy-cat drawing I did?) and cutting up a copy of Madame Butterfly from my first art journal, then using the strips on new work along side of washi tape.

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I still had some large areas of little interest, so I doodled a bow and ribbons and then stenciled a piece of lace—yes, that is what that white blobby thing is above the words RIBBONS & LACE.   Disappointed over how it turned out, I added more white cross-hatching with my white pen, shading with the brown wax pastel and doing a bit of outlining with my Micron  pen.

The most exciting thing for me was learning about and using the  water soluble wax pastels.  Mine are by Reeves and I purchased them at Michaels.  It ages the paper and makes images “pop”!  When I scrapbook, I always brush on brown chalk for an antique look, but the wax pastels are so much better.  I have to remember, though, that it’s just about impossible to sketch or write anything over the wax.

I’ve been a little sad knowing I won’t complete all 21 workshops before time runs out next month, but right now I’m embracing the classes I will be able to complete!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Another Sunday Summary

After blogging last week, I realize that I am accomplishing some things, but my huge problem is that I am now finally trying to adjust to being retired!  I know it’s been over a year, but it was a year of caring for my mother and then a lot of traveling time.

I realize that I need to learn to add structure to my life if I want to be truly happy.  This is what I concentrated on this past week.

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My lovely daughter gave me this planter for my birthday.  Once again I neglected to take a before photo, but all I did was add the crystal like I’ve seen on Pinterest.  Then I filled it with pink impatiens and white phlox.  I love the way it freshens our entry!  Hmmm….I’m thinking that cedar wood will look lovely painted white.

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I’ve been dreaming about going to the UK since I was a teen!  I love reading about the Tudors and King Henry VIII, and my favorite writers of classical books, poetry and historical novels are from England.

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I would hate to try to negotiate the London underground, or tube, by myself, but it’s so exciting to travel mass transit at those high speeds while you read, do crossword puzzles, or tinker with an ipad or smart phone.  Some commuters work on lap tops and eat breakfast!

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Still a work-in-progress, I’m doing these pages in an online workshop, 21 Secrets from Dirty Footprints Studio.  I still want to paint a girl and some lace.  My work is way too structured and I’m trying to be more loose and free like the talented artists in the workshop.

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I love my bookclub friends!   This month we read The Light between the Oceans.  My daughter and I both love the book—the others are not so sure. 

The absolute best thing is that I came home with an armful of books!  My friend, Peggy, asked me to read The Age of Miracles so we can talk about if it’s a good pick for bookclub.  I read the entire book yesterday!  AND started another, Glow this morning.

My MUST HAVES:  Add beauty, scrapbook, journal, read