Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Monthly Mixed Media Challenge: December

December came and went in the blink of an eye! I started the Monthly Mixed Media Challenge and had plenty of time to complete it, but was side tracked so many days that I just put the finishing touches on this morning. While I know the challenge for last month is over, I still wanted to share it! The theme for the month was "Merry and Bright." I decided to depict that with a mixed media Christmas tree. There are quite a few similar ideas of this online, but the one I really liked was at Christy Tomlinson's site. She completed her tree as part of a kit and used a canvas. There's even a video showing the various steps on making your own. I loved the idea and used some of the techniques to create my own. Originally, I had planned on adding the phrase for this month's theme, but decided to leave wording off. Even though it is past the holidays, I plan on storing this and using it for decor next Christmas!

It looks so much better in person than via picture. I've played around with various settings, but still can't get it quite right.
I'll keep practicing though! (Notice the Stampotique flower stamp?)

It looks like January's theme is STENCILS! I"m excited to start working on that today. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Stampotique Stamps

The  Stampotique stamps have arrived! (Okay... actually they've been here a little while.) I keep looking at them and thinking about what I'd like to create next, but have lacked the time so far. School activities, birthdays, and holiday get togethers have filled the majority of my evenings and weekends. Secretly, I'm dreaming of a blizzard and days trapped at home! It is quite unlikely that will happen as our area rarely gets snow, but I can always dream, right?

Stamps from L-R are AngelKassa's Bloom,  and Tree
The Angel stamp was used in an earlier project for the Mixed Media Monthly Challenge, In a Dark, Dark Forest. 

Totally random and not related to this post at all....

I made the BEST no bake cookies last night. Not only are they super easy, but they are delicious. The recipe is for No Bake Chocolate Chip Cookies from Angela Gliddon's blog, Oh She Glows. I would have shared some pictures, but the cookies weren't around long enough to photograph!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Holiday Hustle 5K/10K Run

The last week in November and first week in December have proven to be quite busy! While I was hoping to do a little art each day, that hasn't been a reality...even though I will still keep making the effort!

In the meantime, I've been working hard to add running mileage. Over the past couple months, I've been working on stretching, strengthening, balance, and all kinds of other things to overcome plantar fasciitis. In addition, I've run less and been biking and aqua jogging instead. It's taken a little time, but I've slowly added in mileage and feel like I'm more solidly on the road to recovery. (If you've had issues with PF, I've added some resources at the bottom of the page that might be helpful to you.)

This past Saturday was The Holiday Hustle 5K/10K run. It's a fantastic event that has something for the entire family. There's a 5K, 10K, and kids' dash, cool tech shirts, gift cards for age group winners, prize money for the super fast folks, and a pancake breakfast afterwards with awesome Christmas music! It's a well run event and definitely one of my favorites.

Saturday morning we woke up to a misty, cloudy day with very cool temperatures. It sounds miserable, but it was actually perfect running weather! Roger ran very well and set a new personal record, 17:54! This put him first in his age group. Way to go, Rog! Surprisingly, I also earned first in my age group, and we both went home with $20 gift cards from a local running store! (Time to go shopping!)

Running a new PR....17:54!

It was great seeing friends that were running the 10K!  
It feels amazing to be back to running more each week. I've really missed it. I'm looking forward to future races and upcoming half marathons! Let the training begin!

If you are struggling with plantar fasciitis, I've linked a few things that might be helpful. I've used a little of everything over the last several months. One thing that also was extremely beneficial was seeing a doctor that did soft tissue work on my foot. 

*******Stampotique Stamps have arrived and I will be making something with them soon!*******

Friday, November 25, 2016

My Creative Portfolio

Over the last couple days, I've been playing with Adobe Creative Cloud. I created an account on Behance, edited photos using Light Room, and published my own creative portfolio. It was SO MUCH FUN! I learned many things just by clicking around here and there. The platform is definitely user friendly.

I ended up purchasing an early Christmas present for myself (or as my husband says a birthday present for him) and subscribing to an annual membership for the Creative Cloud. The membership was $9.99 a month and includes the online portfolio website, Light Room, and Photoshop (which I've been wanting to learn for the last two years). There are many other packages and pricing options, as well as a trial membership. All the details can be found on the Creative Cloud site. 

I'm so excited about sharing my portfolio, which currently has three pieces of artwork (pictured below). I'm still playing around with various formats, so it might end of changing, but for now you can view it by clicking the link, "my portfolio." I'd love to hear your comments and feedback!

This piece was one of three that I made into a set of cards. 

This one was created and gifted to my mom. 

This is a close up of a larger piece that was framed and given to my sister for her birthday.

The final work was mounted in a beautiful aqua frame (not pictured). 
While I've had fun playing with all of this tonight, it's getting late! Tomorrow I'm meeting my sister to have some fun at Paint Your Art Out. I'm looking forward to sharing that soon.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Mixed Media Monthly Challenge: November

I love this month's challenge! It's all about COLOR, specifically the colors below:

As always, I didn't really know where I would go with this challenge, but I finally decided upon an abstract piece of work. 

(xoxoxoxoxox....love these!)

Using a sheet of 140lb (cold press) watercolor paper and a brayer, I created my first layer with a wash of Payne's Gray Golden acrylic.  I was so excited to start this project that I didn't get a photo of this step! While it was drying, I cut out several pieces of paper to use for collage.

Laying out the collage papers...they aren't glued down just yet. 
I rearranged the pieces to determine my favorite layout. Then I used Liquitex Gel Medium to adhere each piece to the background.

After everything was dry, I added color with Neocolor II watercolor crayons, acrylic paints, and Silks acrylic glaze. As you can see, I got quite carried away with color! I started with the original colors from the inspiration board, but then kept adding and changing each layer. It's true, I confess, I am a color addict. 
Are you wondering what happened between the original and the current photo?
Did I mention that I got a little carried away with color?

At first, I was thinking, "DISASTER!" Then I remembered that art is a journey and a learning experience. There are no mistakes, right?! (play, play, play!)  I continued to add and and take away colors.  In the end, when I was happy with where it had gone, I added details with Sharpie and Posca pens. 

The final project will be displayed in a cute case I found at a local store.

I've been using my iPhone to take all the photos I post on the blog, but recently have been thinking about using my Cannon Rebel for higher quality photos. I'm learning some new settings and hope to start using it soon!

A better view of the case...it has a glass cover that folds over the top.
I hope each of you have a blessed week and time each day for something creative in your life.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Art Everyday Challenge

Art everyday? YES, PLEASE! While recently reading Kristin Dudish's blog, I discovered an awesome daily challenge. It's called the Art Every Day Month Challenge. There are a couple of things I really love about this challenge: you can start any time and art can be anything creative!

Most days, no matter how much I would like to create, I come home from work completely worn out. (Sound familiar?!) It's tough to squeeze in something for ourselves each day. While I started this challenge earlier this week, I managed to add a touch of creativity into a few days. It hasn't been every day, but it's a start!

While out enjoying a walk, I saw a beautiful vine of the brightest purple flowers on a neighbor's porch. I captured their beauty with my cell phone and continued the walk. The following day, I used that picture and played around with the Aviary app. This time I was biking on our stationary bike. Both days were a little like a creativity/exercise mash up! Normally, I would have walked/biked and not incorporated photos or simple editing into the mix, but it worked and I enjoyed it. These are very small additions of creativity into my days, but baby steps are the way to go. No stress, just fun. 

Aren't these flowers beautiful? 
I encourage you check out the Art Every Day Month Challenge. Find ways to sneak art/creativity into your life. 

In addition, I've been working on the Mixed Media Monthly Challenge. I hope you will stop back by in a day or so to check out the finished project! 

Monday, November 7, 2016

Flow: Mindfulness Workbook

While looking through books and magazines at the store yesterday, I came across one I hadn't seen before, Flow: Mindfulness Workbook. After flipping through the pages, I noticed it's a cross between a magazine and an activity book. I was interested in the articles, but also liked the activities and fun things (bookmarks, sticky notes, stickers, journal) that came along with the book. So, on a whim, I bought it!

After a crazy Monday, I'd like to feel as Zen as the lady on the cover looks!

The opening page of the book includes a book mark and sticky notes. 

As shown above, the book is divided into six sections. Each section includes articles and accompanying activities to complete.

Part One:
Thoughts: Why Do We Take Ourselves So Seriously?

Part Two:
Time: Why Do We Always Feel Hurried? (Personally, I can't wait to get to this section!)

Part Three:
Being Kinder: Why Can't We Be a Little Kinder to Ourselves?
(This section includes an interview with Brene Brown.)

Part Four:
New Things: Why Do We Find New Things So Scary?

Part Five:
Happiness: Why Must We Always Be Happy?

Part Six:
Being: Why Are We Always Busy 'Doing'? Can't We Just BE? (Yes, Yes, and YES! Time to slow down some, right?)

Inside part five: Happiness, there are just over fifty keepsake cards for recording memorable moments.
There are just over fifty of these cute keepsake cards. 

Sunday afternoon I spent a few minutes reading through the introduction and part one. As a result, I did try to practice a bit from the "Meditating for Beginners" section. I went outside and sat for a few minutes, just being there, breathing in the autumn air and enjoying the blooming mums. It was wonderful!

I'm looking forward to exploring the remainder of the book and the activities within its pages. I have enjoyed it thus far and recommend it to anyone looking for something on this topic that also includes activities.

The workbook includes a small journal and poster in the back pocket.