Wednesday, August 31, 2011

some green and a little chocolate

when you're eating gluten-free and you find someone like elana over at elana's pantry who is also eating gluten-free, has done lots of experimenting with gluten-free ingredients, and is willing to share them with the world, you're absolutely thrilled over the thought of being able to bake goodies and eat like "real people" again.  however.....when it comes to baked goods, the color green isn't exactly what i want to see in my muffin.  but that's what i love about elana......she's smart.....she adds chocolate chips.  and when it comes to chocolate chips, i'll eat them with cardboard if that's part of the deal.
so i thought i'd give her zucchini chocolate chip muffins a try.......

and they're absolutely delicious!
actually, they're so good,  i figure i could really use the whole green-in-baked-goods-thing to my advantage.......with all that zucchini in there, don't you think i could probably eat the entire batch and get one of my required daily servings of veggies?!  (not to mention my chocolate fix......heehee)

{you can find the recipe for these gluten-free zucchini chocolate chip muffins here! }

Monday, August 29, 2011

inspiration monday

here's a quick and easy way to create a journal page.....using leftovers!

if you've been carving your own stamps, grab some of those little leftover pieces......or you can also use leftover snippets from your last session with fun-foam sheets or chip board, and then mount it to a piece of wood, or acrylic block, or even the lid of your stamp pad.  
(i used these little pieces of speedy-carve that were leftover from my alpha-carving session the other day.)  

now open your journal, grab your stamp pads (i used colorbox chalk inks) and start to stamp.....

and stamp some more......until you've stamped all of your strange shapes onto the paper.

this is where i like to squint my eyes a little and try to see those shapes as the beginning of something maybe an animal, a pan of brownies, or a group of flowers.  to make your shapes look a little more like actual objects,  add some doodle lines with a micron pen, along with some watercolor here and there to give a little dimension (wait for your stamp ink to dry completely, and then go back with a waterbrush and some watercolor.....this is also how i doodled my letters here).  

now add all of your extra-special doodle touches......
and say hello to a sweet little journal page that started with nothing but leftovers!

{here's what i used to create this journal page:  leftover speedy-carve pieces, colorbox chalk ink, koi watercolor, waterbrush, micron pens, 2B graphite pencil, pan pastel}

*to all of our friends who's lives have been affected by hurricane irene,
you are in our thoughts and prayers.*

Friday, August 26, 2011

jumped (s)

once all my alpha-stamps were carved, i couldn't wait to use them!  so i thought the best way to give each one of them equal time was to stamp out one of those alphabet sentences.  but once i had finished stamping the last word, i noticed that i had a letter "s" leftover.......

......because i had stamped the word wrong!  oops.
oh well, i went back and stamped the "s" on there anyway......
it's not an alpha-sentence unless you have all the alphas!
(besides, sometimes the letter "s" can be a little temperamental if he starts to feel left out.  heehee)

{journal page supplies:  hand-carved alphabet stamps, pigment stamp pad, 
koi watercolor, micron pen, 2B graphite pencil, pan pastel}

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


i was rummaging through my little drawer of carved stamps the other day and i realized that i didn't have any alphabet stamps.  how in the world did that happen?!!  so i got out a big piece of speedy-carve, and because i'm such a rule follower, i started with the A.  but once i got to the G i started to lose steam.

part of me wondered how long i could survive using only the first seven letters of the alphabet.....but after trying to find words using only those letters, i decided i don't normally use phrases like "bad-fed-cage-face" in my art journals.  egad!  so i continued carving......

and after a timely choco-break (or two), i had carved all 26 of those sweet little 

and this is all that remains!
conclusion:  there's nothing better at the end of an art day than a big pile of pink!

{alpha-stamps carved from speedy-carve using speedball and staedtler carving tools}

Monday, August 22, 2011

inspiration monday

i can't think of anything more inspiring than to have my sweet little niece alyssa sitting by my side up in my studio.   everything looks great to her, and instead of wishing she'd done something differently, she welcomes "happy accidents".  alyssa is a pro with polymer clay, so this time we thought we'd switch it up a bit and open a package of paperclay that i've had in my stash for a while.  you don't need many supplies to have fun with paperclay......the only thing that's really required is water, because the clay dries out fairly quickly (mini mister spray bottles are very helpful!), along with some clay tools, and craft wire (this is optional, we used a little for finishing touches).

the first thing to do is look through your journals for some inspiration......

and then grab a piece of paperclay and start molding it into the shape you want.  it helps to give a little spritz of water now and then to keep your fingers clean, and the clay from drying out too much.  the water also helps smooth out the clay, and serves as "glue" when you add other small pieces like ears, legs, and who knows......maybe a hat!

alyssa made a bunny (with nails for the legs), and a piggie.....

and i made the birdie (wire for legs and tail)
 and the mousie  (nails for legs, and wire for the tail).

then let them dry completely.  drying time depends on the thickness of your piece......we let ours dry for about two days.  then it's time to paint your masterpiece.......

with some acrylic paint or watercolor.

once everything is dry,  introduce all your new paperclay
 cuties to each other during their photo shoot (as you can see, alyssa was quite busy).

and giggle a little over how much fun it is to be inspired by
all of that creative goodness right there inside of your journals!

{supplies:  paperclay, wood clay tools, mini mister bottles, acrylic paint, paint brushes,  20 and 24 gauge craft wire, wire cutters, small nails, scrapbook paper for birdie wings, embroidery floss for mousie hat trim}

Friday, August 19, 2011

busy hands

my 12-year-old niece alyssa has been visiting me this week.  she loves to swim, go to the book store, and read new books (she also loves the smell of new books.....).  but what she really loves when she comes to stay with me is to play in my studio.......

and i really love it when she's in my studio, too.  
it absolutely melts my heart to see those precious little artist hands busy at work.

we're finishing up some projects today......i'll show you what we've been up to on monday!
have a great weekend, bloggy sweeties!!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

simple things

"To find the universal elements enough; to find the air and the water exhilarating; to be refreshed by a morning walk or an evening saunter... to be thrilled by the stars at night; to be elated over a bird's nest or a wildflower in spring - 
these are some of the rewards of the simple life. "
John Burroughs

Monday, August 15, 2011

inspiration monday

i have a bit of a problem when it comes to just being still.  i start to go a little crazy if i don't have something to do with my hands, and if i can multi-task, i'm even happier.  so when i sit in front of the t.v. at night, instead of stuffing my mouth with chocolate chips, potato chips, or anything else related to chips,  i've been "collecting" little snippets from magazines and catalogs.   then when i'm looking for inspiration, i can turn to this growing pile of printed goodness!

these snippets would be fabulous collage fodder, but i'm going to use them as starters for journal pages.  first, i'm going to create a new journal:  to take away that "fear of the blank page" i like to take pieces of 140 lb. watercolor paper and slosh some watercolor across the page.....on both sides (diluted acrylics work great, too!).

then i lay them out to dry.....and hope my dog doesn't walk all over them.

once the pages are dry, i fold them in half, 
and now i have the beginnings of a new journal that i can bind later.  
{note:  i cut my pieces of watercolor paper out of a spiral bound notebook like this one.  it's also perfectly okay to paint your paper while still in the notebook,  and then you don't have the extra steps of folding and binding later!}

now,  it's just a matter of rummaging through your snippets (i consider that half the fun!) and creating a journal page.  since your snippets come from all different sources, you'll have a great variety of subjects to choose from.  for example, you can create a page based on a quote you like.....this snippet says 
"don't go through life, grow through life" by eric butterworth

or maybe you find something that reminds you of someone special.

you might come across something that brings back a favorite childhood memory.

and sometimes you read something that really speaks to your heart.

when i was in school, i used to keep a journal very similar to this one.  i think the nice thing about this style of journaling is when you're inspired to sit down and be creative, you already have a starting point......your pages already have color (and you can always add more.....or not......depending on your design), and you have an illustration from your snippet stash to help you get started!

 go through those piles of magazines and stock up on inspiration......
you'll have lots of fun, and save tons of calories by not eating all those chips!! :))

the wizard speaks.....

***giveaway results***

 the response to my giveaway was overwhelming......THANK YOU!!
so instead of choosing one name as i had originally planned, i asked the wizard to pick three bloggy sweeties for me......and this is what he said:

so means that
twyla, #14
leslie, #16
and jeanette, #24
have a new art print coming their way!

thank you, thank you, thank you to each and every one of you for 
the sweet, precious comments you have left here on my blog!!  
i am truly overwhelmed and overcome with sheer delight in knowing you!!
i've said it before, and i'm sayin' it again:
you are the bloggy best!!!


{inspiration monday coming up shortly!}

Friday, August 12, 2011

friday giveaway hug!

i have received so many wonderful blessings since i began this blog......but without a doubt, my absolute sweetest blessing has been meeting so many wonderful bloggy friends!  it would be really difficult to try to put into words just how much i adore much i'm inspired by you.......and how much i truly appreciate all of your support and sweet comments every time you visit here.

there are many days where i have lots of doubts about what i'm doing (well, actually,  i usually have no idea what i'm doing!!), but i think that's where being able to turn to your blog-buddies for feedback helps so incredibly much!  and it's only because of your encouragement that i've felt brave enough to put my artwork "out there".
and for that......please consider yourself bear-hugged.....and i mean bear-hugged BIG!!

in celebration of YOU, my bloggy sweeties, i'm having a little giveaway.  i'd like to offer one of the prints in my etsy shop (your choice) say thank you for taking the time to stop by here and say hello......and for cheering your fellow bloggy sweeties on......and for leaving a smile.....and well, for all of those other things that are on my heart that there really are no words for.


{giveaway details:  just leave a comment (one per person, please) on this post by 10:00 EST sunday, the 14th of august,  and i'll choose a name via and announce it on monday!} 

{other:  please make sure you leave a link or an e-mail address where i can contact you.....
and if you're under 18 years of age, make sure you have permission to enter this giveaway!}

edited:  comments are now closed for the giveaway......thanks SO much for your support!!!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

the mousie and the mushroom

for the past several weeks, my bloggy friend ludid has been reflecting on several pieces of artwork that she created as a child.   her art has helped her remember good times, and challenging times, and it's also helped her to put some perspective on why she creates the way she does as an adult today.
ludid asked me if i had any childhood memories of a favorite piece of art......and my mind wandered back to a little mousie sitting under a red-polka-dotted mushroom.  i hadn't thought about this little guy in a long time.....and as it turns out, i've been carving for a lot longer than i had remembered!

ludid invited me to share some of my thoughts about this little mousie......
you can read them here!
{thank you, ludid, for a wonderful walk down memory's always fun to reconnect with our inner-child-artist!!}

Monday, August 8, 2011

inspiration monday

i'm a true believer that when you're looking for inspiration, look no further than your very own artwork!  there are lots and lots of ideas hibernating in your art journals, and they're just waiting to be turned into something brand new!   for example, you might find a little sketch that you did a long time ago and wonder, "how can i use this?".

one idea is to take your design and carve a stamp!
(i carved this stamp from a piece of speedy carve.....)

 then stamp it all over a blank page in your journal. 

 add some journaling and other doodles using your favorite pen, 
and finish it off with pan pastels or watercolors.
now you've gone from old  new inspiration!

but don't stop there!  change up the colors on your stamp......

and you never know...... a fun little rainbow garden might sprout up!  
(when an opportunity to draw cute little flowers with smiley faces comes your way, you've gotta take it!)

and after all that gardening,  treat yourself to some frozen happiness.....
all you need to do is change the direction of your stamp!

when you're looking for some new ideas, think of your art journals as little treasure chests......there's lots of inspiration bounty in there, i promise!

{all journal pages were completed using a hand-carved stamp, colorbox stamp pads,
micron pens, pan pastel, and a 4B pencil}

Friday, August 5, 2011

where the heart is

i've been in kind of a weird art mood all week.
 i want to be creative, but have no idea what i want to create,
so sometimes i don't create at all!
but i figure instead of doing nothing, i may as well do what i love......
 pass some time carving a few stamps.
goodbye, weird art mood.

i hope your heart helps you discover playful art this weekend!  enjoy!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

from yellow to rose

i wanted to create something really fun and different in my journal yesterday.
and as murphy's law would have it, no really fun and different ideas came into my head.
so, after staring at a blank page for about ten minutes (and taking a little chocolate break),  i ended up just swiping some bands of watercolor across the page, thinking that maybe if i made some sort of mark......any sort of idea might appear.
but after going from yellow to rose, i still didn't quite know what to do with it.
so when all else fails, it's time to get out the microns and just write in the names of the colors.
 i don't know if it's really that different......but it's colorful, in a fun sort of way.
mission (somewhat) it's time to get back to that chocolate.  :))

Monday, August 1, 2011

inspiration monday

i recently found a super fun video by joanne fink where she shows how to create her gorgeous  decorated letters in her own "zenspiration" style!  i really love the way she adds doodles and doodads in all those wonderful little blank spaces........and then i started wondering how could i go about putting my own spin on it?  so instead of drawing my letter on paper like joanne does, i drew an "L" on a piece of heavyweight muslin fabric using a micron.

 then i took it to my sewing maching and filled in some of those empty spaces using 
different colors of thread.

when i was done making a mess with the sewing machine (i'm a total newbie when it comes to free-motion stitching!),  i realized i had covered up most of my black lines.....

so i touched it up with some more micron.  

and, well, it's not exactly "zenspiration"......but it's definitely "elvie"!  :))

you can watch joanne's video here......
have fun inventing new ways to decorate your initials!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...