Saturday, August 20, 2011

How I did It: Art Journaling


You might have noticed that I have a "Big Idea Festival" badge on the left side of my blog. The Big Idea Festival, Words to Live By, is a free, 12-day workshop where each day, a different instructor gives a word of the day, and the participants use that as inspiration for their pages. Most participants are scrapbookers, but some, like me, are treating it as an art journalling class.

I've been getting some VERY sweet compliments on my pages in the gallery section of the workshop, and one person asked if I could elaborate on how I create my pages, the layers etc. So I took some still photos of the page and also shot a very amateurish video on Dwight's iPod, to walk through the steps. I seemed easier than typing it all out here.

Before I get into it, though, I do have to give a shout-out to Christy Tomlinson, a crazy-talented mixed media artist and creator of the She Art Workshop (and other workshops) where I learned a lot of the techniques I use. If you have any desire to do mixed media work, I highly suggest Christy's classes. She's incredibly generous with her talent and is just darling.

Now on to the show.

Here's a still of the complete page along with a shot of the supplies (most of them, anyway). I've labeled each supply and the place it's used on the page.
journal pg-numbered

1. Acrylic paint
2. Roller stamp with more or less illegible script, perfect for texture
3. Watercolors
4. Book Paper from Chronicles of Narnia, Voyage of the Dawn Treader (my favorite in the series)
5. Scrapbook paper, used on bottom right
6. Stylized flower stamp
7. Starbucks brochure
8. Flower border stamp
9. Gear stamp
10. Punchinella (sequin waste)
11. Plastic thingy I found at a craft store. You weave on it or something.
12. Permaball pen for doodling
13. More scrapbook paper, used at top of page.
14. More book paper, from an old anthology of Shakespeare works. Page is from Much Ado About Nothing.
15. Bubble wrap
16. Martha Stewart butterfly stamps (found on sale at Michaels - score!)

Here are some detail shots of the page.
gear stamp
heart flints
doodle top
doodle bottom detail
me doodle2
sbucks detail

I hope you enjoyed this. Now that the cat's out of the bag, I'll probably be sharing more art pieces here. It's something I've been meaning to do for a little while now.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Tree Frog...not in a tree


Isn't it cool? I love these guys. This one was hanging on to the side of the house between the garage door and wall. We're pretty sure he was hanging out catching bugs.

Last year I found this guy (gal?) snoozing in a lily.

They're all over the trees (and flowers and house) around here. All different kinds of tree frogs, in various sizes and colors. They make the biggest racket at night...and I LOVE it. 

frog back

The best part about summer cooling down is having the windows open so I can hear them as I drift off to sleep. I'm sure it would drive some people batty, but for me, it's like a lullaby. A raucous, nothing-sounds-quite-like-it symphony of nature, right outside my windows. 

It makes me smile every night.

frog top back
Check out the markings. He's (she's?) green on the back, like leaves (don't the darker markings look a little like butterflies?) yet tan and brown on the underside - like a tree. Ain't nature grand?

frog detail
I love this spot on the side of his (her?) head. It looks like bark. Awesome.

Monday, August 8, 2011

What a Difference Four Years Can Make

front walk

Like so many things in life, time has a way of sneaking up on you and making changes right under your nose. Your kids (or nieces) go from little babies to young ladies in the blink of an eye. And in my case, the plants that at first looked swallowed up by the size of the bed now spill over into the yard, overfill the once seemingly large empty space, and transform it into a lush sanctuary.

At the beginning, four years might have sounded like a long way off, but it happened in the blink of an eye, or so it would seem. Plants were added, moved, divided. Furniture was stolen (really) and a pergola was added. A wall was removed and a hot tub added. So many little changes, bit by bit, all adding up to big changes.

Take a look.

front garage corner
First of all, not every change has been for the better. This bed has been overrun by a particularly virulent ground cover. It needs to die.

Front NE side
But most of it has been really good.

birdbath comp
The tulips in this bed always get eaten by something. We're pretty sure it's deer. They chew off the young leaves and SOMEtimes they miss the flower head so that we get a few flowers. They leave the daffodils alone, though. It the current pic, they're long done for the season. By the way, the hostas around this bed all came from splitting up just two larger hostas. We can't grow what we'd like in our yard because of the shade, but we can grow the HECK out of hostas!

drive edge
Isn't this something? The tulips still bloom like the before pic, but now the day lilies are huge. They started out as TINY single bulbs and have multiplied steadily each year. It's quite a sight!


deck corner

deck corner comp
This is the furniture that was stolen. We're guessing they took it to sell as scrap. But now this corner of the house and yard is incredible. All of the plants have grown up to create a really beautiful space. You know those goofy self-portraits I took? I was on the deck. Oh, and my About Me pic is set there, too.

behind garage SE
behind garage SW

full bk corner-dwight

back-dwight mowing

We're pretty darn thrilled with how the yard has grown over the years.

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