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!

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

A Day of Doodles

We've all experienced those days that it seems like a challenge to get in the groove. This past weekend, while trying to get started, I just couldn't. I was stuck.  I spent time looking at half finished projects and had no inspiration to do anything to them. ;P Looking for direction and inspiration, I pulled out several of my art books and looked through them, as well as looking at projects online.

I finally decided that maybe I just needed a doodling day. I had been reading If You Can Doodle, You Can Paint: Transforming Simple Drawings into Works of Art by Diane Culhane, so I grabbed my pencil and just started doodling. I tried not to think about what to draw next or where to place things, but just sketched whatever came to me in the moment. I definitely need to do this more often! It was relaxing and so enjoyable! I love adding quotes, especially nature quotes, to my doodles.

This is the doodle that I worked on most recently. 

Below are a couple of my favorite doodles from the past. One day I'd like to give each one of them a bit of color. 
A past in progress. 

Another sketch...practicing faces.

All this doodling led the way to actually getting started on another project! I'm looking forward to sharing it soon.

What do you do to kick start your creativity? I'd love to hear what inspires you to get back into the creativity groove. 

Have a great week!

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Mixed Media Madness....March!

I've been busy working on a project for the last several weeks...squeezing in time here and there when I had a moment to create. I'm excited to be participating in the Mixed Media Monthly Challenge for March. I'm getting really good about making submissions on the very last day of the month...LOL.

This month's challenge required the use of a stencil and three mediums. It was perfect as I have a new butterfly stencil that I've been wanting to use from the Donna Downey store!

Butterfly stencil from Downa Downey, acrylic paints, molding paste, gesso,
matte gel, Neocolor II crayons, embossing powders...YES, I got carried away!

Version One of Layout...see below post for version two...which one do you prefer??

Close up view...

I actually remembered to take pictures along the way!

Using watercolor paper, I adhered various collage elements with matte gel. When it was dry, I covered the collage with a light layer of white gesso. Next, using Faber Castill pens, I wrote nature quotes to cover the page. There were so many wonderful quotes to choose from online!

The beginnings of my background for the project.
On a separate sheet of paper, I used molding paste and the butterfly stencil. Working alternately on both sheets, I added color using Golden acrylics and Neocolor II watercolor crayons. I learned something new in this process that I hadn't known before. Matte gel can be diluted with water and painted over watercolor to prevent it from bleeding/smudging/mixing with other colors. I may be late in learning this, but I thought that was awesome!

Adding color to each page...I love this color scheme!
I kept looking at the butterfly with color and thinking it needed something else. I looked around to see what I had in my stash of art supplies and wondered what I could do with embossing powder. This was one happy experiment because it added a lot of shimmer and vibrancy to the butterfly. I used red, blue and silver powder to bring liven up the original colors. The butterfly also had a bit of stamping, details with Posca Pens and a few gems added here and there.

Completed butterfly.
It's a bit hard to see the details and texture, so I took a close up photo of the butterfly. I'm very happy with how it turned out and look forward to making more to use on cards or other projects. 

Close up of the details and molding paste texture. 

The background was created using a flower stencil, flower cutouts, stamping, acrylic paints, Neocolor II watercolor crayons, a Ranger distress ink pad and a bit of Bombay ink and Ranger Distress Spray Stain. Eventually I'd like to make some color copies of this background and use it for cards and/or bookmarks.

Completed background page.
Once I had both pieces finished, I didn't really know what I wanted to do with them together. I hesitated to cover up all the flowers by placing the butterfly in the middle of the page. The butterfly was also so similar in colors, that it just didn't stand out on top of the page with nothing behind it. To be honest, I'm still not really sure that I like them in the final arrangement together.  Above the post, I've included the first layout and below the second layout. They are similar except for the backing of the butterfly. Anyway, I'll probably play around with the layout more this week and post the final version later! In the meantime...enjoy!

Layout option two....larger background for butterfly with mini clips.
Hope everyone has a wonderful Easter weekend and a fantastic week ahead!

Also playing along at:


Sunday, March 11, 2018

Works in Progress

Spring is right around the corner and things here are already starting to bloom. The grass is becoming slightly green (mostly weeds, ha!) and the air temperature a bit warmer.  I'm excited to soon be growing some herbs outdoors. It's nice to have lavender, mint, and rosemary on hand!

Instead of cleaning today, I've escaped to work on a few art projects. Our home looks like a small tornado went through it! ha! It will all still be there later, right??

I have started several projects that I hope to use for upcoming online challenges, but haven't determined their directions just yet. I've been rotating between these and a few other projects while molding pastes and paints dry. It's nice to have a few going at a time, as sometimes I will get stuck on one and don't know what else to do. The butterfly on canvas below has already changed several times since it was started. I think that is my favorite thing about creating anything...watching the morphing of the project from start to finish.

All of the above are at various stages, but none are completed except the St. Patrick's Day cards. I'm
sending those, along with some cute buttons I bought, to family members this week.

In addition to the Mixed Media Monthly Challenge, I have discovered other mixed media online challenges and my goal is to participate in two challenges this month.  In the meantime, thanks for stopping by to see my WIPs.  I'd love to see what you've been creating...please share a link to one of your projects!

Have a fantastic week!

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

MMMC for February and Paint Party Friday

The Mixed Media Monthly Challenge for February is Photo Inspiration. When I think of home, I think of family, friends and love. This inspired me to create a smaller version of my large houses project.  I'm planning on either making this a mini book cover or mounting the page and displaying it in my living room. I haven't quite decided yet. For now, I'll display it in this small wood frame. 

Mini houses on water color paper.

There's a lot of great texture that's tough to see. The glass beads provide some beautiful shimmer
effects in the light. 

Hope everyone has an amazing weekend! 

Monday, February 19, 2018

Journal Pages in Progress

It's been a rough start to 2018, so anytime in the art space is truly therapeutic! Yesterday afternoon I took a bit of down time to enjoy covering a few journal pages in paint. I haven't decided if these are finished or if I'd like to add more (maybe embossing) to the butterflies on the second page.'s what they currently look like:

Journal pages in progress...

The coloring is much the same as the cover I created a couple weeks back. I'm very much in love with blues, greens, and bright contrast colors like hot pinks! The more I create I'm starting to see a bit of my own style emerge. It's fun to look at journal pages and art that I've created over the last five years and see a change and growth that I hadn't noticed before. I'll have to share a post soon of the progression of art over the years. :P

What are some of your favorite color schemes? Have you changed your art style over the years? I'd love to hear your about your art journey!

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Mixed Media Monthly: January and Paint Party Friday

I'm excited to have completed a project for MMMC this month! The theme this month is Ring in the New Year. I recently received some awesome chipboard items from Boozy Bear via last month's drawing, so I decided to create something with a few of those pieces! It's my first time using chipboard and it was a lot of fun. This project went through so many changes and I loved the design at each stage. This made it difficult to determine the direction of the project.

With much consulting with my sister, who looked at about ten different designs this evening (via texts), a layout was finally selected and put into motion.

My photo is a bit on the blurry side, so when time allows, I will retake it....again. ;P

Front cover only

The below photos are a few I took along the way. I used my Strathmore Visual Journal. The cover is brown with a slight bit of texture already. Additional texture was created using molding paste, stencils, and crackle paint (also new to me). 

After several layers of white gesso, I added additional texture with molding paste. 

Layers of paint, stenciling and handwritten phrases with a gel pen. 
 After the initial layers of paint (shown above) I wanted to have a contrasting color. This is where I added the coral stencil flowers. I didn't get a photo of that stage, but loved how it turned out! I used a Posca pen to outline the flowers.

The final step was deciding what chipboard pieces I wanted to utilize for this project and how/if I was going to paint them. I started with completely different pieces than what I actually used for the finished project. It was quite the journey trying to select a favorite layout.

Below are just a few of the wonderful chipboard pieces I received in the mail last week. I can't wait to use more of them!!

A sample of the wonderful chipboard pieces I received from BoozyBear.

I enjoyed this project and now I have a nice cover for my art journal!

Happy creating this week! :)