Monday, May 30, 2011

inspiration monday......{elvie-encore-post #1}

"some days there won't be a song in your heart. sing anyway."
emory austin

sometimes the inspiration just isn't there......and for those days when you really want to get humming, here are some ideas to tuck into your creativity songbook:

*grab a coloring book and box of crayons. it seems simple, but everyone finds comfort in coloring....and it's great fun to be a kid again!

*create some color washes onto blank paper using two or three colors of paint. just moving some color around with a paintbrush is inspiring, and you'll be happy to have these wash papers in your stash for a later project!

*spend some time curled up in your favorite chair with a good book, or even your stack of catalogs! my pottery barn and anthropologie catalogs never disappoint when it comes to inspiration!

*call one of your art buddies! having our own work space is fabulous, but it can also be lonely sometimes. good friends always have extra inspiration that they're willing to share!

*what's old is new again! look back at some of the artwork you created a year ago.....can you embellish upon the same idea? how would it look in a different color.....what happens if you use watercolor instead of acrylic?

*and my personal favorite that really gets me singing..... eat a piece of chocolate!! and yes, it's okay if it's on top of ice cream! (this one's a little tricky, and may need to be repeated once or twice before inspiration truly kicks in.... )

i'm currently on a little bloggy break......
this is an encore presentation of an inspiration monday post 
from november 1, 2009.

Friday, May 27, 2011

permission slip

of all the things i love to do, resting is not one of them.  
not only do i not like to rest, i'm really not very good at it either.
to me, resting is on that life-list of stuff that we've got to do every once in a while
whether we want to or going to the dentist.......or exercising......

but the thing about rest is that it's in kahoots with that persistent little voice inside of nags at you in a gentle little whisper, and you ignore it of course, but before you know it, it's bellowing at you.  and eventually you have to listen....and be somewhat obedient to the calling.  
so today i'm giving myself permission to take a bit of a creative break......and do some resting for the next few weeks.  {although i've already thought of some ways to cheat, so i'll be sneaking in some "elvie re-posts" here and there......}

in the meantime, i wish all of you bloggy sweeties a fabulously creative weekend ahead.....
mixed in with a bit of rest for yourself, too!!

see you soon......xoxo

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

sweet simplicity

the little cherry tomatoes i've been nursing for the 
past several weeks are starting to show their colors......

and red never tasted so fabulously sweet!
celebrate the simple things today!

Monday, May 23, 2011

inspiration monday

several years ago i challenged myself to create a little heart every day using watercolor pencils.  each sketch was done on a scrap piece of watercolor paper, and then bound into an accordion spine journal structure.  i didn't keep up with the challenge for very long, but it was a fun experiment and now i have a little collection of watercolor hearts to look back on!

here's a little sneak peek into my journal!
{you can watch here in larger format}

watercolor hearts created using watercolor pencils on strathmore 400 series w/c paper

Friday, May 20, 2011

more to adore

i absolutely adore hydrangeas.  
and this year, they're thriving on our back porch......
giving us more pinky-purply-blue-balls-of-floral-happiness
to look forward to this summer!

have a fabulously colorful weekend!!

supplies:  watercolor, micron pens, 4B pencil, white paint pen

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

all play and no work

practice makes perfect.  :)
  and while i'd love to be more perfect in painting flowers and leaves (i've never had a knack for it), i'm having more of a problem with the "practice" part.  because when i start practicing, and painting leaves, for example, it doesn't take too long for my mind to start wandering.....

and before i know it, i start to think of other things i could be doing with those leaves.  
like doodling little fishies.....

or little birdies flying in for a landing.....

or writing secret little messages.....

or other strange things that pop into my head
(i'm taking suggestions as to what to call this little guy....)

so i really shouldn't be too surprised when i sometimes feel like i don't get too much accomplished......
or why i still can't paint leaves too well......heeheehee.


Monday, May 16, 2011

inspiration monday

i just love how one thing always leads to another, don't you?  i've been seeing a lot in blogland about "recycling" your artwork to create new artwork, and since i've been inspired lately by color drop flowers, i decided to see if i could somehow create these cuties in a different way.....and kind of put my own stamp on it.....literally!   first, i traced the flower outline onto tracing paper......

and transferred the image to a piece of mastercarve, and then carved the flower out.
(you can watch my stamp carving video here!)

i stamped the image onto watercolor paper using a distress ink pad by tim holtz.  then i used my waterbrush to give the petals a more uniform watercolor look (since the ink is waterbased, the water from the brush activates the pigment and enables me to use it like watercolor!).

next, i used one of my waterbased markers and my waterbrush to add a little extra color.

i carved a leaf stamp to go with the flower......

and then i added some outlining and details using my micron pens 
(i'm always amazed at what a difference a little micron makes!) 

add some lettering, a little graphite shading and extra color with my pan pastels....

 and now i have brand new artwork using a recycled flower image to add to my journal!  
goin' green was never so much fun!!

supplies used:  staedtler mastercarve, staedtler carving tools, tracing paper, utility blade, 
tim holtz distress inks, tombow markers, micron pens, 4B pencil, pan pastel, waterbrush

Friday, May 13, 2011

seashells on the sand

"the tide recedes, but leaves behind bright seashells on the sand.
the sun goes down, but gentle warmth still lingers on the land.
the music stops, yet echoes on in sweet, soulful refrains.
for every joy that passes, something beautiful remains."
author unknown

i hope you have a joyfully creative weekend!!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

color drop happiness

i am totally convinced that there's no better play than art-day-with-your-girlfriends play.   and play is exactly what my sweet girlfriends martha, rynda, denice and terrye did a color-drop flower kind of way!  martha showed us how to paint her adorable little color-drop flowers.....

then, after our lunch break (which was really just an excuse to eat some chocolate), we painted up some poppies!! 

  and the really great news is that you can learn how to paint her color-drop flowers, too!   martha is an absolutely fabulous teacher......i really think you'll fall in love with her easy southern style just like i have!!

thank you martha for a spectacular've made me feel like a painter!!  xo

you can read more information about the color-drop flower class here!
p.s.  a little birdie told me there might be a poppy class in the future.....stay tuned!!

Monday, May 9, 2011

inspiration monday

here's an easy way to add some watercolor flair to your projects......and you don't even have to draw or use watercolor!  all it takes is a few supplies:  your favorite rubber stamp, a watersoluble marker,  a waterbrush or paint brush,  and some watercolor paper.

first, run the tip of your marker across the rubber stamp.  make sure you cover all the areas of the image well.

then stamp it onto your paper.  don't worry if it doesn't come out even.....we're going to change it up a bit anyway!

using your waterbrush or damp paintbrush, touch the lines made by the marker and start to "paint" the color around the image.  the water on your brush activates the pigment of the watersoluble marker, giving it a watercolor look!  {one thing i noticed, though......i used a very damp brush here.  if you add too much water, your image will start to disappear!}

you can go back with your marker and add some of the details and lines that may have been lost during your painting.

and if you want to add more color without putting more marker directly onto your image, you can also swipe your marker across your acrylic stamp block,  or piece of plastic......

then pick up the color off the block with your brush and add it to your image.

once you have your image all painted and detailed, add a title if you want, and presto....
you've got a little faux watercolor masterpiece
(and you didn't even have to draw a thing!!)!

for my faux watercolor, i used these supplies:
framed girl rubber stamp, tombow watersoluble marker #493, niji waterbrush, 
strathmore 400 series w/c paper, pilot hi-tech pen for lettering

Friday, May 6, 2011

love from mom

here's to mom's around the world, 
who speak that "universal-mom-language"......

even though we don't always understand it at the time.

but one thing's for sure, in that universal-mom-language
they always know the perfect way to say "i love you".

happy mother's day!!
p.s.  i love you, too, mom!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


"you cannot discover new oceans
unless you have the courage 
to lose sight of the shore."

{wishing you a wednesday full of creative discoveries!}

Monday, May 2, 2011

inspiration monday

i love to letter quotes in my art journal, but this past weekend i was inspired to do something a little different.....instead of writing the quote in my book, i decided to create a little book just for the quote!
i started with two 3" x 6" pieces of torn watercolor paper and randomly painted a few splotches on both sides using watercolors.  

then i folded each piece of paper in half and started lettering and drawing on the pages.

once i had everything the way i wanted......

i sewed the pages together using linen thread......
and voila.....a dreamy little book.....

"you've got to have a dream, if you want to have a dream come true"
dennis waitley

supplies:  koi watercolors, micron pens, pilot G-tech pens, 6B pencil, linen thread

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