Archive | June 2012

Take Inspiration Where You Find It!

I started my teen summer programs this week — and I’ve been looking forward to them! I love working with kids, and I especially love introducing them to art journaling! I love all the programs I offer, but I must confess I have a special place in my heart for art journals! 🙂

For my teen programs, I show the kids a bunch of my finished journals; encouraging them to pick them up, flip through them and to ask me questions about them. Then I start them off at the wet table: lots of wonderful paints, watercolor pencils, crayons, etc, everything wet. I tell them they have 20 minutes and their goal is to get a splash of color on every page before the time is up. It’s my way of encouraging them not to overthink it and to just go with the flow.

We then move to the dry table (after blasting our pages with heat guns) and work on collage and adding in anything that catches their fancy — this year I have a list of 28 prompts related to our night-time theme and I have them choose a number and give them their “assignment” — then I tell them that there are no rules to art journaling so they can choose another option or even make up their own. (They love the no rules part!)

During one of my classes, I noticed that one of the girls had torn an image out of a magazine and was copying the image onto her page — just the same way that I practice drawing, as I told her. I loved the way the pencil looked on top of the bright watercolor background, so I decided to try a similar thing in my own journal today. Instead of regular pencil, I used Derivan Liquid Pencil, which I bought last month and have been meaning to try ever since.

Since I had also issued a challenge to myself to use my own images — I used my favorite family photograph to make this page.

(Weekly Art Date class members will see the video for this page on Sunday along with all my tips and tricks for making it!)


The Halfway Point

Weekly Art Date started running at the beginning of January — the class was started as an experiment: could I really commit to making an art journal video every week that wouldn’t bore the heck out the students in my class? Could I really keep this up for a whole year? I’m happy to say that we’ve made it halfway! There have been a few issues here and there (let’s see: I broke my foot, my sister had her baby 3 weeks early, my beloved cat died, I was sick a few times, and I had some major issues with carpal tunnel [which I am now starting to think might be arthritis instead! Yikes!] Some weeks I’ve gone above and beyond… some weeks the bare minimum has had to suffice. I’ve done my best to do new-to-me techniques and to mix it up in the hopes that all the videos had something new to offer — you’ll have to ask my students if I’m doing a good job with that (Anyone want to chime in?)

So summer session starts tomorrow! I’m feeling renewed and ready to go for another ten weeks — are you?

Sign up for the rest of the year here. ($25 gets you access to Summer & Fall of Weekly Art Date.)

Or sign up for full year access here.( $45 gets access for Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall — plus the bonus class in December!)

What you can expect this session:

First of all, it’s summer! Which means we’re going to take it easy, man. Don’t worry, we’ll still have weekly videos and weekly lessons! I’ll do my best to get the videos up on Sunday mornings, as per usual, but if I’m away from the weekend, don’t be upset if the videos are a day or two late. (You’ve probably already noticed that happens every once in a while as it is?) The class is work-at-your-own pace in order to account for the fact that, well, sometimes I work at my own pace, too! I just want to be upfront with you all that this class might be a little more laidback this session. (I say this, believing it to be true, but I know me, and I know you’ll still end up with loads more than 10 videos! But, hey, I can *try* to relax, right?)

Secondly, I’m going to issue a few challenges for myself today and hopefully you’ll see videos on these during the class:

1) I want to do a page where I limit myself, in advance, to 5 materials or less used on that page. Something like: 1 color of paint, 1 roll of tape, 1 image, 1 pen, &  a colored pencil. (I reserve the right to change these 5 based on my mood.. haha!)

2) I want to do a page using only the scraps from my scrap box on my desk (all the bits and pieces leftover from other pages or projects). The box contents plus gel medium & that’s it.

3) I want to make a journal out of fabric! I don’t exactly know how this will work but I have lots of beautiful fabric, laces, and buttons that I need to use up!

4) I want to make a video tutorial for using book cloth tape — this is for my supply shop, Key Lime Supplies, as well as for Weekly Art Date students — I’m selling book cloth tape, but I feel like a lot of people aren’t sure what to do with it so I wanna show them cool stuff!

5) I want to create at least one page with a travel theme (the armchair traveler sort, most likely!)

6) I want to use some of the vintage buttons / lace that I’ve been collecting at yard sales on a page.

7) I want to make a page that uses some of the vintage poetry books that I bought at an estate sale two weeks ago.

8) Ditto to the vintage yearbooks.

9) I want to try at least one technique that’s completely brand-new-to-me — perhaps liquid pencils?

If you aren’t already a class member, you can still sign up!

Sign up for the rest of the year here. ($25 gets you access to Summer & Fall of Weekly Art Date.)

Or sign up for full year access here.( $45 gets access for Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall — plus the bonus class in December!)

Any other goals I should add to this list?

A Much Needed Vacation

I’m on vacation from all of my jobs at the moment, so why does it feel like I’m working harder than ever???

I just finished up a 6-week session of Bling Bling, mixed media arts programming for middle school youth, including working with a 9th grade intern (my only 4-year graduate!). This session we did shrinky dinks, buttons, lip gloss, duct tape purses, bracelets, potion bottle necklaces, and nail manicures. I even organized an event for one of the classes to give free manicures to adults in the community — we had 13 clients which was amazing considering the “salon” ran from 3 – 3:45 on a Tuesday afternoon.

Plus, we’ve reached the halfway point for Weekly Art Date — 6 months down, 6 months to go! Have I lost my enthusiasm? Heck no! Am I tired? Oh yes! I feel like I did a bad job with the class the last two weeks because I was too exhausted to do all the videos I’d been doing — but I know myself enough to know when it’s time to take a break. For Part Two, a ten-week session, I did 24 videos that are exclusive to the class!  I feel super inspired about art making again after a few days off and am inspired to create a page (I’m going to follow the step-by-step in this week’s Art Journal Every Day post.)

I’ve also been making a lot of sales online — I feel like I’m mailing packages every day — considering that I’ve made 59 sales since April 30, that’s not actually far off from the truth! Despite all these sales, my studio space feels more cluttered than ever — what gives?!?

Not that I’m complaining! My etsy shop is doing well, I’m blessed with an awesome job both online and off, and I’m in better health than I’ve been in two years! Things are good — just hectic! Truth is, art has taken a backseat the last two weeks and that seriously bums me out — and my JOB is mostly art making. I can’t even imagine how tough it must be for those of you working full-time and raising a family — any time you manage for art-making is a serious miracle! Bless you for that!

Some positive points I want to mention, just to remind myself that things are good, and then I have a video to share:

  • I was recently honored with the AfterZone Champions Award for my work with middle school youth.
  • I’d lost 13 lbs since my last doctor’s appointment.
  • My A1C (blood sugar measure) is at 5.9 — which is AWESOME!
  • My blood pressure has dropped — just by altering my diet. (Low carb, high fat, yeehaw!)
  • I made over 50 sales in my new supply shop, Key Lime Supplies!
  • I have discovered a shared love of yard sales with a friend of mine and we’ve been indulging that love every weekend for a month!
  • We have a furry new family member: Sam the kitty. He and Smudge the kitty are now friends.
  • I successfully taught my first in-person adult art journaling class without throwing up!
  • The Providence Arts Festival was rained out (boo!) but they issued everyone a $50 refund anyway (yay!)

So, tell me, what’s going on with you???

Weekly Art Date is currently on break for two weeks — I just posted a bonus “week eleven” video for the class and thought I’d share it here for anyone not currently enrolled:

Are We Home?

Sign up for the rest of the year: