Monday, October 31, 2011

inspiration monday - halloween giveaway!

today is's a day to be inspired by some goofy fun!
it's a day of candy corn!  those little yellow and orange sugar triangles with white tips have been a favorite of mine since i was a kid (and i have all the fillings in my teeth to prove it!)

it's a day of mini pumpkins, extra large pumpkins, and every pumpkin in between.
and once the perfect pumpkin is picked, then the master-carving begins.

 it's a day of chocolate, nougat, peanuts, caramel and everything else that tastes great and has lots of calories........all wrapped up in a perfect little package of oooey-goooey mini candy bars.  this is another traditional favorite of mine.....not only on halloween,  but every day of the year! (my hips tell the story so much better than i ever could.)

and it's especially a day of trick-or-treating!  but i must admit, 
i've never been a big fan of the tricks....i'm all about the treats!  
and today i'd like to treat one of you with a giveaway for a seat in 
my online letterLAB class that begins on november 7th! 

all you have to do is leave a comment (just one, please!) on this post by 
wednesday, november 2nd at 8:00 p.m. (EST)!  
once the comments are closed on wednesday, i'll randomly choose a name 
and announce it on thursday, november 3rd!
please make sure that your comment either links back to 
your blog, or you leave your e-mail so i can contact you if your name is chosen!
(this giveaway is open to all those who are 18 years of age or older.)

and.....if you've already registered for the class, please join in the giveaway!
if your name is chosen, your registration fee will be refunded to you!

happy halloween!!  xox

{letterLAB is my new online class that is being offered over at creative workshops and focuses on cursive handwriting and different variations!  you can read more about it here!}

edited:  thanks SO much for your support of my giveaway!!!  comments are now closed!

Friday, October 28, 2011


i'm a real scaredy cat when it comes to halloween, and i've always enjoyed the more playful side of the holiday.  so as i was cutting out this martha stewart bat template, i started wondering if bats are scaredy cats like me.......and just how do bats go about having some fun?!

do they all meet in the belfry at twilight on saturday nights for a super fang-tastic boo-bash?

or maybe they get into the spirit of things by playing several rounds of batty-cake, batty-cake.

of course, it would be positively de-fright-ful to then head out to their favorite java house for a quick coffin-break......although too much caffeine could have them all going batty.
well, whatever they decide to do, i'm sure they all have a hair-raising, howling good time!


sending you bugs and hisses, and many good witches
for a spook-tacular weekend!!
(okay, since i'm so bats about you, i'll stop with the bad puns now!  heeheehee)

{i had a frightfully good time creating these batty-bats using
martha stewart's bat template, scissors, black card stock, scrapbook papers,
micron pens, metallic pens, charcoal chalk ink pad, uni posca paint marker,
uniball signo white gel pen}

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

the great plaid pumpkin


source via pinterest

"each year, the great-pumpkin rises out of the pumpkin patch that he thinks is the most sincere.   he's gotta pick this one.   he's got to.   i don't see how a pumpkin patch can be more sincere than this one.   you can look around and there's not a sign of hypocrisy.    nothing but sincerity as far as the eye can see." 

 {as spoken by linus in "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown"}


Monday, October 24, 2011

inspiration monday

here's an easy way to create a "hand-drawn look" without actually drawing anything!  you'll need your favorite rubber stamp, a fine-mist spray bottle, a watersoluble graphite pencil (i'm using an 8B), a paint brush or waterbrush, and a piece of paper that's suitable for water media (i'm using my strathmore visual journal for mixed media).

first, spray a very light mist of water onto your stamp.

while your stamp is still damp, rub the side of your watersoluble graphite pencil over the entire stamp.  the water will activate the graphite and transfer it to the stamp.

now stamp your image onto your paper.  it's no problem at all if your image isn't perfect.....just take your pencil and go over any lines or areas that need more graphite (adding these extra lines also makes it look more hand-drawn!).

now using your waterbrush (or paintbrush and water), go over your lines to activate the graphite......

you can spread the graphite out to give your artwork shadows and dimension!

and if you want to take it a step further, you can add your own touches with some boo-tiful letters, a fun border, and a little watercolor!  now you have a whimsical little piece of art that was created with graphite,  and looks like it was completely hand-drawn! 

{this project was created using a derwent watersoluble 8B graphitone pencil,
mini mister bottle, waterbrush, haunted house rubber stamp by imaginisce (i found mine at michael's), derwent inktense pencils,  strathmore visual journal for mixed media}

Friday, October 21, 2011

embroidered pillows

i took some time to do a little window shopping in my favorite PB catalogs, and when i spied these pillows, i immediately knew they would be the next entry in my pottery barn journal.  i've always had a real soft spot for satin-stitching and french knots......and i don't think a girl could ever have too many embroidered pillows!  they're the perfect thing to surround yourself with as you're lounging on the couch......with your feet up on the coffee table......while you're watching your favorite movie......and eating a chocolate bar.....or two...... :)))

i hope you have a relaxing surrounded-by-embroidered-pillows kind of weekend!!

{journal page created using koi watercolor, derwent watercolor pencils,
waterbrush, micron pens, pencil}

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

stencil hop 2011!

i've been a huge fan of julie fei-fan balzer since for-ev-er!   not only is she extremely talented, but she's also an awesome teacher, and she has a very generous heart when it comes to sharing her art know-how with us!   so when she invited me to participate in stencil hop 2011, i was absolutely thrilled!!

julie has designed a fabulous line of stencils that are featured over at the crafter's workshop......i think these little cloud and raindrop stencils are really sweet, and i just love the whimsical feel of them!
so how about we use that playfulness to change things up a bit......let's use these clouds and raindrops in our journal to create something a little different.......something a little more "frosty".  

starting with your pencil,  follow the inside edge of one of the small cloud shapes in the middle of your journal page (i'm using a strathmore visual journal for mixed media).

now, stack some more cloud shapes on top of each other by outlining with your pencil, except this time,  only draw the top of the cloud.

now using the large elongated raindrop stencil, place it under your bottom cloud at a slant, and run your pencil along the left side of the raindrop.

move your same elongated raindrop stencil over to the other side of the cloud, and slant it a bit to the right while matching up the point at the bottom with your first line.  trace only the right side of the raindrop.

now using the small raindrop stencil, place it at the very top of your stacked clouds and trace around only the top part of the raindrop......draw a little stem, and you have a cherry!

using your favorite waterproof marker (i'm using a micron), trace all of your pencil lines......
and you've gone from clouds and raindrops to a frosty treat!!

fill in all of the scoops of ice cream however you like......draw sprinkles, polka dots, lines, zentangles, fill them with stamped images, or write words inside!

then, have some fun using your favorite medium to add some color, along with all your favorite finishing touches!  and when you're done, you've got a super-happy version of frost-bite.....and this kind won't turn your fingers blue!  :))

{you can find these stencils and julie's other fabulous designs here at the crafter's workshop!!}

*now let's hop on over and see what these other artists are doing!*

{this journal page was created using a strathmore visual journal for mixed media,
cloud and raindrop stencils by julie fei-fan balzer, micron pens, pencil, koi watercolor, and a waterbrush}

Monday, October 17, 2011

inspiration monday

  when i first came to blogland, i saw lots of photos of beautiful journal pages that had been created by other artists.  but, i never really understood why keeping an art journal was so important.   and then i started keeping one.  and, i'm going to be first, i still didn't quite get it.  mainly because i thought there was a "certain way" you were supposed to do it.  i thought that if i wasn't using specific materials, or didn't have time to work in my journal every day, then i wasn't doing it "right".  but, then i realized that's the whole point.  there is no right and there is no wrong when it comes to keeping a journal.  it's simply a place for experimentation, for play, and for growth.  and the important thing is that you try to keep one.....according to your rules.

 keeping a journal gets really easy when you let your journal become your friend......that special friend that you're willing to be your true-self with.  that friend that won't judge you, or your artwork, or the fact that you might be in a crummy mood that day.  that friend that encourages you to grow, and maybe even suggests that you try a little something new every once in a while.
because whether you're a mixed-media artist, a poet, a watercolorist, a writer, a collage artist, a note-taker,  or you love to sketch.......keeping a journal is a wonderful snapshot of who you are on that particular day, and what your passion is at that particular moment.

no matter what type of journal you keep,
i think Mr. Skousen sums it up perfectly: 
"keep a'll be so glad that you did".

{please join me tomorrow.......
i'll be participating in julie fei-fan balzer's stencil hop!!}

Friday, October 14, 2011

retail safari

i absolutely LOVE spending time in my studio.   but there are some days that call for a little retail therapy.....and when that happens, i head out the door and go straight to hobby lobby!  it's my number one place for happiness, in the form of every craft supply you can imagine......and when there's a sale going on, the happiness just gets happier!

plus, i've got a 40% off coupon just burning a big hole in my pocket.....
my only problem is trying to decide what to use it for!  
should i grab a super-size jar of mod podge.......

or maybe give in to excitement-overload with all these 12x12" paper lovelies?!

 my heart starts to beat faster just looking at all these red-rubber beauties.....
how in the world could i ever choose just one?!

or maybe i should just pick a pretty paper punch.
(say that fast three times!!)

  of course,  i really don't need any more of these to add to my growing collection......
so i'll just back away very slowly now...... :))

and i suppose i probably don't need any more of these, either.....
but i sure do love looking at them!

and with all those goodies to tempt me,  would you believe all i ended up with was an empty cart and a big hole burnt in my pocket from that coupon?!  for me,  most of the fun is definitely in the craft hunt!  and while i might be leaving hobby lobby empty-handed this time, this retail safari isn't over!  
i have lots of other coupons for lots of other craft stores.....
and i also have the entire weekend to let them burn another hole in my pocket!!  woo hoo!

i hope you have some fun-time to go on a retail-safari this weekend, too!!  :))

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

hands and hearts

ever since i made this fabric tape, i've been wanting to use it on a page in my journal.  
so i decided to snip a piece of each tape (i cut the floral tape into a triangle shape).......

and glued the pieces into my journal in the shape of a house. 
then, using my microns,  i wrote out a little quote to go with it.
but, when i finished, it definitely didn't look "done" to me.

so i added some watercolor to the page, along with some doodle marks on the house to
give it more definition and jazz it up a bit.  
i think it still looks like something's missing, though......

because sometimes when you work on something, it's not complete until
you add that final element......that perfect "finishing touch".......

and then you know without a doubt that, it's done!

{thank you from the top, middle, and bottom of my heart 
to all of you who signed up for my letterLAB cursive class!!  xoxox}

{journal page created using fabric tape, micron pens, pencil,
koi watercolor, waterbrush, glue stick, elvie heart-in-hand}

Monday, October 10, 2011

inspiration monday


over the past several months, i've received lots wonderful notes, e-mails, and blog comments asking me about the letterforms that i use in many of my art projects and journal pages.  and because you've inspired me so much with your requests, i'm over-the-moon-excited to announce letterLAB,  my very first online class, scheduled to begin on november 7th!!
woo hoo!

many of you have told me that you really aren't too crazy about your handwriting,
so, in this lab session we're going to go back-to-basics and focus on our cursive writing.
(don't worry,  it's just a review and it goes by quickly!)

and once we have a good foundation in place, then we move on to the fun stuff!

and work on a journal page together.....

along with three more art projects,  using everything we've learned!!

so, meet me in the lab......the letterLAB, that is, 
(don't forget to tuck a chocolate bar in the pocket of your lab coat!)
and let the fun begin!!

*letterLAB is my first online class, and
it's packed with video instruction and PDF worksheets to get you started!
it's hosted by Creative Workshops and you can read more
about the class format here.

{edited:  this class is hosted by creative workshops. once the class opens on november 7th, all those who are registered will receive an invitation to the class and all of the videos and PDFs will be available right away.    the class is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so you can work at your own pace and you'll have access to the class whenever you want.  this class will be offered for at least one year (and most likely longer), so you'll have plenty of time to finish viewing all of the videos.  for more information, please click here!}

Friday, October 7, 2011

mover of mountains

"that's been one of my mantras - focus and simplicity.
simple can be harder than complex:  you have to work hard to get your thinking
clean to make it simple.  but it's worth it in the end because once you get there,
you can move mountains."

words of wisdom......

from technology's mover of mountains.

{created using koi watercolor,  derwent inkense pencils,
waterbrush, micron pens, graphite pencil, hand-carved leaf stamp, pigment ink}

{p.s.  please join me on monday for some exciting news!! 
have a great weekend!  :))}

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

silly ostrich

this journal page has been cheerfully brought to you by
an ostrich, an onion omelette.....
and a really big dose of pure silliness!

{this journal page was created in my strathmore visual journal 
using pitt pens, derwent inktense pencils, waterbrush, and graphite pencils.}

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