Wednesday, November 30, 2011


On Monday night I finished Nanowrimo for this year.  A whopping 50,021 words. The story is not finished but a I have a good start on this and that is what Nanowrimo is all about.  Getting your story,your ideas and some sort of plot on the page.  I am taking a break in December and then I plan to get back to working on this story in January.

The latest 2 page spread in my altered book journal.

The background was made with stamping ink pads and oil pastels and charcoal,

This background was made with ink pads and water. Images were added and embellished with charcoal  and oil pastels.  The bird is from a collage sheet by Zorana

Monday, November 28, 2011

Crystaline Paper

I got a notice for this new class in my email today. You can look at the promo for to see how to make Crystaline Paper. This technique makes the paper transparent by adding gel medium to tissue paper on both sides and then painting it. It's easy and makes a fantastic collage paper. I can't wait to have the time to try this.

This is a sketch I did on Thanksgiving, It felt great to be sketching again.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Happy Black Friday 

If you are out shopping I hope you are enjoying yourself.  I had to make my early run for socks but that is all for me this year.  I am not even thinking about the holiday until December gets here. If you stayed home and are just enjoying some much needed rest.  That is just super, enjoy yourself.

I had to take a break and do some art journaling.  I really miss it. These collaged pages in my altered book journal were made with gesso and then watercolor crayons.  I added some stamping and both black and white charcoal.

This one was made with the same material with the addition of oil pastel and some doodling. I hadn't use white charcoal before and its a pretty interesting material. I often use a white china marker to add white highlights but it seems to be a more opaque look, plus the charcoal will blend and the china marker doesn't.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A Rare Find

It was a simple trip to the thrift store.  My friend Amy called saying they had plastic doilies and I went down to look. They turned out to be paper and not what I was looking for.  Then she said they had some old books.  I was drawn to this one.  The paper in it was amazing. Thought I could tear it up for collage work. I bought it for $1.00

Here is the front of the book, as you can see it looks old.

Then we looked inside to see the date published. Amy and I were trying to figure out its age, it was in Roman Numerals and i am not so good at that. Some guy came up he turned out to be a history professor from Idaho State University and when I mentioned I was going to cut it up I think he about died.  He offered me double what I paid for the book but I declined. Then I thought I would probably keep it on my bookshelf for awhile anyways.  The paper in the book was amazing.  It looked old and felt very different, it was written in French.  When we got home we looked it up.

It was written in 1768 by Voltaire, looks like its a first edition as far as I can tell. Looks like it might be worth some money.  So I will not be cutting this one up.  After a closer look the paper might be parchment. After Nano is over I think I will be spending quite a bit of time on the internet doing research on the book itself and book collectors sites.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Raven Circle Journal

My friend Palma posted this video on Facebook and oh I love the art in it. Eight journals, eight artists and the theme Ravens.  Enjoy.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Art Journaling Resources

I found this nice resource for beginning art journalers. Its all text, no video's but if your are itching to start its a great resource. Even if you are a seasoned journaler you might find something new. It's called Aisling's Art Journals and you can find it here

Here is another fun source on creating texture for mixed media. Link

Here I was playing around with some fall colors in my altered book journal, I painted the background last week, added this tag I painted last year and some miscellaneous papers. I haven't decided if I am going to add something to the window or not. Then I added my trusty charcoal and oil pastel on the edges.

In this one I played with the same color scheme.  There were images on this page which I painted over, one of them remains and I like the fact that you can't really see what is going on in the picture. Sometimes its fun to just play with color and paper.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Writing a Novel

Here is a snap of one of my Grandparents letters. I have been re-reading them for ideas for the story I am writing.  If you look close you'll see how they will write over lettering, they were always running out of space and had more to say.  I am up to 1909 now and there are 100 letters left to read. I know there are a lot of missing letters and many holes in the story so I get to make the rest up. It sounds easy but really it isn't.  I have been writing scenes I want to include but haven't really come up with the tone or voice of the story.  That may come in the second draft or third. I find doing Nanowrimo is just the beginning, it becomes more like an extended outline rather than the final story. There is a lot of telling which I will turn into showing in subsequent drafts.  The one thing that most people do not realize is that a novel just doesn't come out of you perfectly done.  There is a lot of rewriting and revising over and over before its really ready to be read by someone.

My daughter Sarah is working on one of her novels she wrote in 2008.  It took one month to do it initially, she rewrote it in six months and now is editing and revising and she has been working several months on it already.  Its all a process you get it to a point and then you have critique partners to help you see the flaws and then go work on it some more and repeat till you have gotten it as perfect as it can be.  Then you set out and start on the road to publishing which can even be longer.  Sounds like a lot of work doesn't it.  I think it is so worth it if you have a story you want to tell. I know someone who is on the 19th revision of their novel. Can you imagine the celebration she will have when its finally published.

So now that you know all that I am sure you will really appreciate the next book you read. Your realize it really was years in the making.

No art to share today, not even a journal page but perhaps I'll feel the need later in the week.

Friday, November 11, 2011

An Art Video or Two

First a shoutout to all the Veterans out there. Thank you so much for your service. We are so grateful.


 A friend posted this and it was so fun to watch I had to show you.

Then I watched this one because it was in the sidebar and its very good.

Todays collage which of course was made several days ago but anyways you get the idea. I am finding doing some art is an avoidance tactic on one hand and a release on another. So whatever it is I am finding it helpful. This background was made with pan pastels at first but I don't have a lot of colors so I wanted a deeper blue so I switched to Portfolio water soluble oil pastels.  I love how you can blend and smear them. I loved the stormy look of the image and it seemed to fit in with the background. A few additional papers and tape finish the piece off.

It's funny that here I am doing Nano and I am managing to blog too. You know when you give up TV and cleaning the house you have so much more time.  Just for fun I decided to post this at 11-11-11 at 11:00.  Have a weekend everyone.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Nice Surprises

I really love how this page evolved. The background had a scrap of paper and then watercolor crayons and gesso. Then I added the image which is a clipping from a dick blick catalog.  I added the skirt and toned down the colors a little with a china marker.  Outlined in pen and charcoal and then I added the  ships and the words.  I must have been thinking of my grandmother and all the trips across the atlantic that she took.  She might not have been dancing but this lady sure can.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Taking a Break With Collage

I find even when I am deep into a creative project if I step away and do something else creative it breaks the pressure. I have been a little tired from writing so I did a little collage on Sunday. It really felt great to be playing with paper and glue again.

This is a page I did with a note that was left on my windshield by some friends. really easy. The cupcake is a tag from a local bakery. Pink paper is embellished with oil pastels.

These 2 pages had a green background from some excess paint from another project.

  I worked on them together but kept the pages separate. There is not much of the original green showing but the combination of colors seemed to please me.


I like using found things sometimes, I kept this tea bag package to use in a collage. Its fun doing that since when you look at the page in the future you will remember what you were doing when you had that cup of tea.

I bought myself this bracelet to use as a talisman for writing.  Its made out of old typewriter keys and has 3 charms that hang from it.  A typewriter, bottle of ink and a quill pen. Oh and the words spell manuscript. I was planning on making something but this fit the bill perfectly.  I was so glad I found it.

I hope you are having a good week.

Oh ps. I have had virtually no time to comment on blogs or even look at them.  I promise to start coming around again December.  I am missing all your wonderful posts,  but this month its just impossible to look and comment on blogs. I barely get around to making my own posts. I know you all understand but still wanted to let you know I am not ignoring you.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

This is so fun, you are going to love it. When you get to the woman in Idaho that is Anne my laughter yoga teacher. She is awesome.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

I still will be a doing a little art stuff in November, mostly simple pages that will not take too much time. This page was made with an oil pastel background and a picture I took in Sedona a few years ago.  We stopped in this place where there were vortexes and these rock cairns were everywhere.  It was such an amazing thing to see.

Nanowrimo started yesterday, so we are off an running now.  I put a word widget in my sidebar that you can view to see my progress.