Sunday, November 25, 2018

Making Gifts from ART!

The last month or so,  I've been working on creating cards and bookmarks to use as gifts. I originally started creating them to use for holiday gifts, but have already sent some in letters to friends. :) I got a little carried away and that is the only project that I've been working on for awhile now.

The most recent creation is the little bunny below. I painted her on watercolor paper using NeoColor II watercolor crayons and acrylics, along with using washi tape, collage pieces, stamping and a few texture tools.

Bunny card-original

Below is the front and back of the card after color copies were made. In my experience, the copies are always a bit darker than the original. I still like the way they look, but will continue to play around and experiment with printing options. 

Besides printing cards, I printed additional color copies of my favorite painted pages to create bookmarks and magnets. I backed the bookmark designs with black paper and will laminate them prior to gifting them. The last batch (not shown), I added a pretty ribbon with beads along the top. I think I will add some pizzazz to these by doing the same. The round pieces along the top of this photo are magnets. I love how they turned out and they were super easy to make! Simply trace the glass dome on desired paper, cut out, then adhere to the dome with matte gel. Add a magnet to the back using matte gel and you're done! Super easy, but so cute and usable. 

Magnets and Bookmarks

Here's a close up of the magnets. I may have to keep this set and make another for gifts. ;P 

Super fun and easy magnets. 
Like I said earlier, I kinda became obsessed with making these. Here are more bookmarks...this time with different paper. For these, I also added butterfly stickers and washi tape.

Finally, since my sister's birthday is just a few weeks away, I decided to make her a card and a few magnets. We purchased this cute dog print paper together last year and I know she loves it, so it became part of her card and the magnets.

A few fun things to add to my sister's birthday gift. 
I've enjoyed creating all of these as well as giving them away. Currently, I'm finishing a second "cute animal" card. I'm hoping to create a total of three, including the bunny card above, and print a set to gift as a boxed set. I can't wait to share these soon!

In the meantime, I hope everyone had a blessed Thanksgiving and will have a great upcoming week! Happy Paint Party Friday...just a few days late. lol. 

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Life Book Creativity and Wellbeing Summit

A few weeks ago, Willowing Arts hosted two fun filled weeks of The Life Book Creativity and Wellness Summit. The summit featured artist interviews, daily art tutorials and some cool art gifts. The content of the summit was incredible. I was able to participate in a few projects and listen to a couple of the artist interviews.

In the past, I've enjoyed participating and learning from Life Book artists. I feel like I've grown over the years and definitely gained more knowledge and skills through each lesson. I'm seriously thinking of gifting myself Life Book 2019 next year.

I loved the summit and wanted to share two of the projects that I was able to complete. The first project was the opening lesson of the summit and was taught by Tamara Laporte. We used Neocolor II watercolors, along with other elements such as acrylic paint, torn papers and washi tape.

Butterfly Mixed Media: Neocolor II Watercolors

A closer these butterfly stickers!

The second lesson I was able to complete was taught by Melanie Rivers. She created a beautiful woman using purples, grays, blues and white; the colors of a moonstone. I loved the color scheme and decided to do the same. It took me several hours to work on this lesson. Faces are just so hard! I love all the texture elements. Melanie had us using a palette knife for the hair and also for writing in the wet paint of her shirt and around the edges. Lots of great texture in this lesson.

Portrait of a Girl: Mixed Media using Golden acrylic paints

I noticed that my torn music papers were from 1940! I thought this was really cool and made
sure not to cover it completely while painting over her shirt. It is in the lower left corner.

It was wonderful just spending some time in the art space the last couple Sunday afternoons. It's become the part of the week that I look forward to the most. :)

I am currently finishing mixed media cards and bookmarks and look forward to sharing them next time.  Until then, I will leave you with a few photos of the beautiful flowers in my backyard.

These are some of my bargain flowers that I purchased earlier in the season. I think they
were $2.00! Just a little TLC and they are gorgeous. 

This is my memory garden. I created it almost two years ago when we
lost our precious little beagle to cancer. Even though we had her 13.5 years, it was so hard. 
These beautiful mums were on clearance at Lowes! They were all of $4.00 and one even came with
a plastic pot. I couldn't resist when I was there yesterday. I love looking out my art space and seeing so much color in the

I hope everyone has a blessed week that is filled with kindness, friendship, love and creativity! 

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Watercolor Play!

Wow! I can't believe it's been over a month since my last post. Time flies! As teachers, my husband and I have been busy with the start of a new school year. We've also been spending time learning whatever we can about autoimmune disorders, the best methods for treatments, trying anti-inflammatory diets, researching functional doctors versus traditional doctors, looking into allergy testing and so much more. My husband was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder, possibly RA, earlier this summer and it has been a struggle these past months to try and determine the best treatments. The RA has caused heart and lung problems, as well as fatigue and pain throughout the body. It's been tough as a couple that's been active all our lives and eaten fairly well to wrap our brains around this diagnosis. We are still in the beginning stages of learning things, but have lately tried hard to get enough sleep each night, eat more whole foods and make time for relaxation. As I type this he is currently watching football and I am getting ready to relax and read a book. :) I think many of us rush around all the time and forget that we need moments for complete relaxation. Anyways, we are hopeful that as we continue to work on things, we can put this disorder into remission and help him feel better soon.

Last weekend, while relaxing and enjoying a quiet hour, I put the finishing touches on a few watercolor practice pieces.  As you know from the last post, I've been reading some amazing art books. The last several weeks, I've been playing with watercolors and completing practice pages from Danielle Donaldson's book, The Art of Creative Watercolor.  Not only is Danielle's work absolutely beautiful, her book is full of excellent tips and practice opportunities. I've been using a library copy, but think I'm going to be treating myself to my own copy very soon!

I'm sharing a few photos below, but have realized as my phone is getting older, the photo quality isn't as good as it used to be. I tried various times to retake photos and even work on them in photo apps and they still seem lackluster in color and clarity. Hopefully, there will be an update soon! In the meantime, I'm happy to be able to share something on the blog! Hope each of you are doing well and wish you all an excellent weekend.

Watercolor practice pieces from Danielle's book.

Quirky Green Bear

Flowers practice with salt

Butterflies practice with Posca Pen doodles

Friday, July 13, 2018

Painting Notes, Cool Art Books and Daisy Journal Page

While I've been away from the blog awhile, I've tried to keep art as a little part of my days. Recently, I checked out three amazing books from our local library. These titles include: The Joy of Acrylic Painting by Annie O'Brien Gonzales, The Art of Creative Watercolor by Danielle Donaldson and Fabulous Figures by Jane Davenport. The library did not even have in their collection the last two, but after I submitted a request, they purchased them! Now, there may have been other requests too, but I was amazed at how quickly the books arrived. 

Awesome Art Books...

The Joy of Acrylic Painting is the title I started reading while waiting for the other two to arrive at the library. There is great information in this title! I've read the first several chapters, and absolutely love the idea of using Painting Notes to record my journey. Inside I brainstorm ideas, make notes from my art reading and sketch. Of course, there is so much more you can do within the pages of your notes. The goal is to write something every day, which so far has been a challenge for me. If I can do several days a week, it is a win! I also really liked the idea of looking at our art ancestors and their works. I've always thought about this, but not actually gone and looked up various artists and several of their works. It's interesting how some remind me of even current day artists. For example, when I was looking at Paul Klee's Landscape with Yellow Birds, it reminded me of Flora Bowley's artwork using birds and flowers. Both artists are very inspiring!

I feel like this book has been helpful at just kickstarting some ideas and getting back into the groove of creation. Below are a few of the pages that I created in my Painting Notes book. It's a bit hard to see the work/notes created using pencil, but you can get the idea of what Painting Notes looks like. It's not really a journal to create artwork inside, but rather something to use to note things you would like to remember or things to try. I tried adding some color, just because I love color!

Introductory page with ideas from the book. 

More ideas and a few sketches.

A page of sketches inspired by various artists: Jennifer Seely, Paul Klee and Flora Bowley. 

I have also started two mini paintings that I hope to share soon! 

I've thumbed through the other two books, which also look amazing, but haven't started any projects or done any work from them. Hopefully that will be coming soon! I highly recommend checking out these titles. :)

Finally, because this post is lacking in color, I've adding a quick journal page of a daisy. 

Thursday, June 14, 2018

A Little of This and That

Life has been busy these past couple months! When is it not, right?  I've been working a bit here and there in the art space, but have been pulled many directions and am just now getting back to the blog. I have several project ideas I hope to share soon, but for now, a  little of this and that.

Journal page:

The butterfly below was started in March and I finally finished it! You can see how it looked before on my "Works in Progress" post. I created a similar butterfly in my "Mixed Media Madness" project. I love the stencil from Donna Downey studios!

Butterly Journal page: Molding paste + stencil, acrylic paints, inks, embossing powder....lots of supplies
to provide much texture.
Card front/booklet:

I haven't quite decided what to do with this...use it as a card or a small booklet. My cousin and I share snail mail often, so it could make a nice booklet to write a letter inside.

Created using stamps, acrylic paint and washi tape. I love the black paper with white stamping!
That's it for now, but I hope to be back soon sharing more! I hope everyone has an amazing week of creating!

Happy Paint Party Friday!!

Monday, April 30, 2018

Summer Cottage with Nature Quotes

This month's theme over at Mixed Media Monthly Challenge is colors! The goal was to create a piece of art using complimentary or split complimentary colors. Sounds fun, right?! 

This project began with a sheet of watercolor paper that had been used for leftover paints and testing Neocolor II crayon colors. I liked the color scheme and thought it would be a good place to start something new. 

The beginnings of a project...

Several of my latest projects have involved little houses, so I kept with the flow and designed a little Summer Cottage filled with nature quotes.   

Sketching an outline of a house and adding torn papers to the background.

Somewhere along the way, I was absorbed in the creation and didn't take additional photos until the house was completed.

A close up photo of the front doors on the Summer Cottage. Burlap string is used to tie
the doors closed with lock and key charms. 

Upon opening the Summer Cottage there are multiple nature quotes. The quote cards are printed in color
with washi tape strips along the top.

A mini pocket stores the quote cards neatly inside. 

The Summer Cottage and nature quotes are hanging in my art space to provide inspiration for future projects. A few of the quotes include:

Nature always wears the colors of the spirit.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,

There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
I love not man the less, but Nature more.
George Gordon Byron

Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
In all things of nature, there is something of the marvelous.

I hope you enjoy the quotes and are able to get out and enjoy something in nature this week! 

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Using My Memories Suite

Last week, I was playing in the program, My Memories Suite. It's been awhile since I've made the time to go and explore/design anything in the program. Exploring their social media options for design I created a Facebook header (shown above), Pinterest profile pic and Instagram photo (both shown below) using a painting I created last year. 

The social media option is a very nice added feature to MMS! It was very user friendly and only took a few minutes to upload, edit and complete the final products. 

Pinterest Profile Pic

Instagram photo with scrapbook page design. The papers and embellishments were part of a freebie pack for this week!

I'm also finishing up a project that I've been working on the last couple weeks. Hopefully it will be ready this weekend. Hope everyone has a wonderful Friday!