Monday, August 30, 2010

inspiration monday

not too long ago, i confessed my love affair with letterfoms ......and i've since learned through your comments that many of you are enamored with these 26 little alpha-sweeties, too!  so, here are some great links to help create your own letter lovelies......

*my sweet friend martha lever has a fabulous online class that teaches you how to have some calligrafun with brush markers!  and if you want to learn something a bit more formal, check out her italic calligraphy class!!

* julie balzer has created a video featuring some of her favorite "lettering for your art journal" tips.

*and the fabulous teesha moore shares some great ideas for making some fun letters in your and here!

*want to learn how to draw bubble letters?  click here!

*and if you've ever wanted to write like an architect, here's a crash course!

happy lettering!!

Friday, August 27, 2010

friday follow-up

here's an "after" shot of the mess i had going last friday......all of those dust bunnies are now officially homeless (or have probably moved to another area of the studio) and i have my work area back again!!!  

and that pile of original artwork that was laying on my table is now organized in plastic sleeves and playing happily together in this polka-dot three-ring binder!

 as long as i was on an organization kick (this happens so rarely that i have to take advantage), i ordered this clip-it-up system from (unfortunately, i can't find the item link, so maybe they're sold out.....)

there's a bit of assembly required.....

but in a very short amount of time, i had this beauty put together!
and just like joyful little kids on a merry-go-round,  
all of my rubber stamps are spinning freely where i can see them!  

and now that everything is in its place.....
time to get it all back out and do some work!
i hope your weekend is filled with lots of creative fun!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

let go

"we must let go of the life we have planned
to accept the one we have waiting for us."  joseph conrad

i always used to think that the life i had planned for myself was better than anything i could ever imagine.  then i learned to let go of things along the way (out of necessity, not necessarily because i wanted to), and now i realize that i have a life i would have never dreamed of......and it's SO much better than anything i could have ever thought of myself!  oh sure, i'm still learning how to let go.  and every time i do, i feel like i've been given a drink from that chocolate river where the oompa-loompas hang out in that willy wonka movie.......
pure choco-paradise-sweetness......just the way life should be!

journal page finished using acrylic paints, micron pens, pan pastel, 
graphite and uniball signo white pen

Monday, August 23, 2010

inspiration monday

several weeks ago, alisa burke offered her "color your world" online class, and since my total knowledge of color will fit on the tip of a pin, i couldn't resist signing up.  this class focused more on the simple aspects of color theory (there's nothing heavy here), and alisa gave us lots of  ideas of how to look at color in our every day lives.....and then apply it to our creative world.   
our first exercise was to make our own color wheel based on something that inspires us.....

and since these little thumbuds are my main source of inspiration these days, this is what i came up with. after i was finished, though, i wondered exactly where all the color was......there seems to be a lot more black and white on this color wheel than anything else!  and then i remembered that i already have two store-bought color wheels that are saturated with color,  but they don't have nearly this much personality, whimsy, or cuteness factor.
 so, this is the one that inspires me.  
this is the one that makes me smile.  
and this is the one that truly colors my world!!

color wheel created using hand-carved thumbprint stamp, micron pen, 
stamp pads, watercolor pencils, 2B graphite pencil

Friday, August 20, 2010

weekend projects

allow me to introduce you to my weekend project.
scary, isn't it?  
even the dust bunnies won't venture into the depths of those piles without laying down some hansel-and-gretel bread crumbs to ensure safe escape.

but what's even worse is that not only is this original artwork
(just laying out in the open for said dust bunnies to drop crumbs on), 
but it's actually my filing system for it.....yikes!!
what started out as horrifying is now terrifying....

my only redemption is that i've at least made an attempt to 
keep my scrap papers throwing them into this shoebox.

i'm thinking about using this same innovative idea to "organize" all of these security envelopes that i've been saving for months now.....with the hopes that i'll have an aha moment as to how to use them in a clever way.  

there's no more's time to roll up my sleeves, play some zippy music really loud, and get started with a new filing system.  in my mind, this will probably take at least three months to organize (which has been my favorite excuse in not organizing it thus far!), but the reality of it is that it will most likely only take the better part of an afternoon.  which leaves me plenty of time to start re-organizing my new chocolate stash in the kitchen pantry.....

happy projects to you this weekend!!
p.s.  thank you SO much for your blog love regarding my interview with carmen yesterday.  you make my heart so happy with your sweetness.....many bear hugs to you!!  xox

Thursday, August 19, 2010


have you met carmen torbus.......blogland's 
she specializes in pep rallies for creative people......
and she's graciously invited me (and my thumbud) for a little chat today!
thank you SO much, carmen!!!

click here to join us!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

mail happiness

like many of you, i have admired the artwork of roben-marie smith for a long you can imagine my excitement when i received a piece of her fabulous mail-art yesterday! it's one thing to see her artwork on her website, or watch her wonderfully informative videos, but it is an absolute treat to be able to actually hold one of these pieces in your hands!

there are handpainted newspapers, snippets of collage goodness, and on the back, beautifully painted hearts....three of them......lovingly stitched together to create a happy piece of postal pleasure!

and if that weren't enough.....roben-marie tucked two of her magnificent art cards inside!
thank you SO much, roben-marie.....i will cherish this mail-art masterpiece, and will always be thankful for your sweet generosity!!

treat yourself and visit roben-marie here!
click on images for larger view

Monday, August 16, 2010

inspiration monday

i've discovered that most days inspiration comes from my favorite art supplies. to me, there's nothing more exciting than to learn that a new line of paper products has just been released (and making a bee-line to the crafts store to purchase it), or to find some watercolor pencils in colors that i don't already have (hard to believe, but true.). and what's even nicer is when it comes to inspiration, we can still use those same supplies, but just in different ways!
for example.....

*if you're a painter, instead of putting your brush to canvas, why not
jazz up an old pair of keds......or give a tote bag a face-lift?

*if you're a journaler, how about creating some collaged cards
or ATC's with your leftover magazine and decorative papers ?

*if you're a quilter, why not try creating a fabric journal?

*if you're a paper artist, how about making something fun for your house.....
like new placemats, a cute banner for your kids' room,
or a sweet paper wreath for your door?

*if you love working with fabric, why not create an art doll?

*if you love scrapbooking, how about using some of those same techniques
to personalize a pretty apron?

*if you love to draw, why not abandon your pad of paper and
create a masterpiece right on the wall?

and if you love creating happy-choco-art like me, as long as you keep your fingers wrapped around a pencil, you'll always find a way to doodle!

Friday, August 13, 2010

creative comfort

sometimes i walk into my studio, and even with all of this "stuff" that i've accumulated over the years, i have no idea which direction to go in. so i do what i always end up doing.....grab my glasses, a mechanical pencil, and a pad of graph paper......and i start scribbling some letters. i've been fascinated with letterforms ever since i was a child when my mom taught me how to write my name. to me, they are the ultimate doodle, and i could sit for hours caught up in all of their shapes and sizes. these little alpha-happies are total chocolate-comfort......but in a no-fat version. :))

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

in the journaling bin

i have a small plastic bin filled with journaling's a great way to keep things organized for when inspiration strikes! here's a few of the goodies inside:

*office-supply-style date and signature stamps
*handmade blank journal
*assorted rubber stamps in favorite font styles
*decorative tapes
*stickers, blank labels, and my favorite glasses
*scissors, ruler, pencil, uniball signo pen, and my beloved microns

you can also tuck in your favorite scrap papers, watercolor pencils, paintbrushes, acrylic paints, glue sticks, tape runners, paint pens, paper punches......and on and on!!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

creative fun

i hope you're having some creative fun today.....!

doodle supplies: watercolor pencils, micron pens, 2B graphite pencil,
hand-carved thumbprint stamp

Monday, August 9, 2010

inspiration monday

i've discovered that one of the many "things i love about inspiration" is that it's patient. it was inspiration that gave me the notion to carry on with a "season series".....and it was also inspiration that suggested i keep this doodle out on my work table in plain view. because every time i would glance over at it, inspiration was whispering "hey doodle artist, remember me?!". but i think that even inspiration's patience has its limits, so yesterday i finally took out my supplies and had some doodle fun.....and now all of these "things i love about summer" have become a rainbow-doodle-reality!! woo hoo!

thanks, inspiration, for all of your gentle nudges.....
and please hang in there with me until i can get
the doodles for winter and spring finished.... :))

doodle supplies: micron pens, watercolor pencils, waterbrush,
arches 90 lb. hot press paper
you can watch me work on the autumn doodle here.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

distressed again

here's a quick follow-up to my tag post yesterday......
for this tag, i used two of my favorite distress ink colors:
spiced marmalade and fired brick.....
and i was super happy to see that the
micron pen and high-tec ink works great on the gesso!

Friday, August 6, 2010

distressed tags

i stumbled upon this fabulous you tube, and had to try it!
it's a really quick way to add some dimension to a shipping tag.....
and then you can use it in your journals or on cards!

i used a thin coat of gesso, let it dry (i'm impatient, so i sped things up with my heat gun), and then i applied tim holtz distress inks using a foam applicator (make-up sponges work, too). here i've used the colors broken china and peeled paint, while leaving some of the natural color of the tag peeking through.

and this is what it looks like after i used a gentle touch with a baby wipe over the gessoed areas! this entire tag took me about ten minutes at the most, and definitely fits into the "instant art gratification" category!!!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

like what you do

you may do as you like,
but you also have to like what you do.
winston churchill

this quote has become one of my new favorites.....
and i thought my favorite orange and yellow journal
would be the perfect place for it!
(click on image for larger view)

journal page finished using acrylic paint, pan pastel,
uniball signo white pen, micron pens, 2B pencil

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

thinking outside the box....of eggs

i was here a few days ago and this ceramic tray caught my eye.....

it's intended purpose is to hold a dozen of these.....

but i quite like seeing all of those little ceramic cubbies filled with

and my little dutch sweetie thought it would be a great
tray for my paints!
(have i ever mentioned before that he's an absolute genius?!)

{which works out well, because those m&m's weren't gonna last long
after their photo shoot anyway....heeheehee}

Sunday, August 1, 2010

inspiration monday

you are a beautiful artist.

there's no one else like you.
you have been blessed with a unique talent...
and no one else can create art the way you create.
not the other artists in magazines,
or the other artists on blogs,
or the other artists in museums.

it's you.....
beautiful, blessed, unique, talented you....
creating art exactly the way you were meant to create.....

straight from your heart.

journal page created from my heart using ledger paper, scrap papers, decorative tapes, handcarved thumbprint stamp, micron pens, watercolor pencils, 2B graphite pencil

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