Saturday, January 24, 2015

Daily Twinchies, Week Three

Week three was completed on time,
I just didn't get it posted till now.
I'm getting this down to a bit of a routine.
Late at night I draw a twinchie,
drink my Sobe Life Water,
and watch either Merlin or Once Upon a Time.

For me the hardest part is figuring out what
to draw on something so small.
Hopefully this will become second nature
before long.
My studio assistant had to give up her cart.
Previously I had all these different types of
paints and inks stored in boxes.
I've noticed I'm doing more color recently -
I know that's hard to believe, hehehe -
so this cart will make it easier to grab what
I'm looking for.
And it's on wheels so I can hide relocate it
when the Frankles comes over.
I'm such a mean Grammy.

(For anyone interested - the cart came from IKEA. The brand is Raskog, it's called a utility cart.
$49.99, unless you catch it on sale.)

The Creator's Leaf

Friday, January 23, 2015

Stepping Outside My Comfort Zone

Here we are at week 4 of our 
art journaling journey for 2015.
I never thought I would make it to week four
and still be interested and involved.
So many other times I am have participated in
online classes, online projects - just to find
a couple weeks in that I was bored to death.
That isn't happening here.
Thank you, Cherryl Moote, for putting this together!

With that being said, week four's prompt was to
step outside our comfort zone and try something
we had been wanting to try
might have been too unsure - AKA scared - to give it a go.
I had several ideas running rampant through my brain.
Hahahaha! You know how I am!
I figure I may get a good 4-5 pages done this week.
And they may all look awful, 
but that's okay, cause I have been given
to step outside the zone.

So for today, I pulled out my little box of awesomeness
that is called
Brusho Crystal Colors.
The Brusho® website describes them as:

brilliantly intense paint powder that comes in little pots of magic!

Hahaha! So true!
They are little jars filled with crystals of beautiful, lush color.
My started kit came with 12 pots of color.
I started by making a color chart.
Literally all I did was make a drop of water from a mop brush, and shaked (shook???) a little color into the wet drop and waited.
The brusho is a fine powder.
Those little spots you see here and there on the paper are fine little bits of color that didn't make it to the water.
And I think I was a little stingy on the color,
these could have been much brighter and intense.
I played with the color on a couple zentangle® tiles
to start with.
Those are going to mail out in an ATC swap fairly soon.
For this week's journal project,
I used this paper for the first time.
I wanted to keep the paper a little lighter weight,
because I already knew I wasn't doing this project 
directly in my journal, but building it elsewhere
and glueing it in place.
I'm willing to step outside my comfort zone -
to a degree. Haha!
(On the other hand, I wouldn't recommend this paper for a project with a lot of water. Warping was an issue, but nothing a bunch of heavy books couldn't handle.)
And this is what I did.
I found a YouTube video that walked me through it.
I loosely sketched out a tree trunk with a pencil.
With a wet brush I picked up some brown crystals and filled in a trunk.
Then I sprayed water around the top of the tree,
and sprinkled three different colors of
Brusho crystals into the water
and let it sit and mix.
I had one spot where there was too much water -
who knew, right? -
so I blotted that with a paper towel,
lifting what I didn't need.
Then I let the whole thing dry.
The last 'rule' for this week was this -
after we stepped out of our comfort zone and tried something new,
then we were supposed to go back and use some of
our favorite tangles,
our mac and cheese tangles,
to complete our project.
Well, I love how my first little tree turned out.
I didn't want to mess it up.
So, being the rebel I am, my thoughts went straight to
The Pirates of the Caribbean.
where Captain Hector Barbossa said
the Code (of the Pirate Brethren) is
more what you call guidelines, than actual rules.
So. I added that quote and called it done.

And because I had this blank page next to my week two page -
which also sported some trees - I thought it to be a perfect fit.
Last, I adhered the new page in place with some score tape.

Week Four √

The Creator's Leaf

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Working on Snow

 No, it isn't snowing here in Florida.
At least, not that I know of. Hahaha!
That could be a little but of wishful thinking
on my part!

So, I've been playing with snowflake making
for an art journal prompt,
part of a group project I'm involved in for 2015.
I really love how this one turned out,
but then you know I'm all about that color, that color!
Such a fun process and I tried some new technique - 
for me, anyway.
The beautiful background color was done with
Prima's Color Bloom Spray Mists.
Yummy color with plenty of oomph and sparkle.
The sparkle was a surprise, 
I had no idea the sprays were going to do that.
I love it!
Then I tangled my snowflake over the top of 
that yumminess with a Sharpie fine point.
I've seen some discussion on Facebook today
about using microns over inks and paints.
(I used to use a micron all the time - with no problem.
I just found I was too heavy handed and wore the nibs out
before I ran out of ink.
Sandy Bartholomew mentioned the Sharpie fine point
somewhere and I've been using them ever since.) 
Then I took two Derwent Inktense Watercolor pencils 
to add all the shading, with the assistance of an
aquash waterbrush. 
Love how it turned out! The overall snowflake is
about 4" x 5".
Time to go order a few more of those wonderful
Color Bloom Spray Mists.
I see a new favorite product on my countertop!
This post brought to you courtesy of Studio Assistant Aurora.

Have a great weekend!

The Creator's Leaf

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Must Be Snowing Somewhere

I had this nice little blog post almost finished,
I had even saved it a couple times,
then my computer went Boop! 
and the whole post went swoop! 
and try as I might I cannot find it anywhere.

The third week of our art journal journey is coming
to a close. Actually it should have closed late last night,
but don't tell anyone. I am almost on time :).
Cherryl's prompt this week was to fold a snowflake.
Much like I used to do as a child,
and then with my children,
and to trace your initials on it
being mindful of the fold.
(My initials are A, D, and H.)
Being mindful of the fold so that when you cut
your snowflake out, it doesn't fold up
and fall apart on you. 
That fold is mega important.
I call the above photo my
spaceship taking a bath photo.
Here is my snowflake cut out.
Nothing fancy. My initials are mostly straight-leggers.
Doesn't lend to very much roundness,
but that's ok. Just gotta work with it.
Then I started prepping my pages.
Since I am working in a journal and I didn't want my blues to spread onto other pages,
I placed a scrapsheet of computer paper under each side.
(Actually, I consider myself a bit of a rebel. 
So, I used new, unused sheets of computer paper.

Background color comes from Prima's 
Color Bloom Spray Mists - I used two colors.
I also spritzed them with water when they didn't move like I wanted them to.
I am so impatient when it comes to artting.
I sprayed a darker blue onto some bubble wrap
and placed it face down into the lighter shades of blue.
Totally must have deleted the photo I took of the salt,
so you are going to have to imagine it.
I sprinkled bits of sea salt across both pages of the spread
while it was wet and left the whole thing to dry.
Once the pages were completely dry, I used an old Disney Room hotel key -
resembles a credit card -
and scraped it gently across the top of the pages
to remove the salt residue.
You can rub your fingers across the surface 
to feel where you need to work a bit more.
I am sorry I didn't take more photos.
I have a date stamp that has letters on it, 
in addition to numbers, leftover from the old scrapbook days.
Everything old becomes new. Yep!
I used that to stamp the wording.
Noticed I misjudged my distance and got one too many B's on that first page.

Then I took the snowflake and traced parts of it onto
the adjoining pages. 
Color added to the flakes are from Derwent Inktense Watercolor Pencils.
I love them! They were the first big expense I made
in my art journey and I've never regretted the cost.
(Your art is precious. Get the best product you can afford. You are worth it.)

Then I added a few tangles,
and a sweet little crocheted snowflake that my mom
made for me back around 1980. 
Thirty-five years ago.
I had just build an old farmhouse style dollhouse
and mom made me some rugs for the floors.
I had this one in the living room.
She will be so surprised to see I still have it.
Stuck this beautiful little treasure down with
some glue dots.
My pages still needed something more to tie them together.
I took the two Derwent pencils I used inside the snowflakes,
and used a waterbrush to flick/spatter
specks of juicy color across both surfaces.
Still it needed some little pop.
And I still have that extra letter B to contend with.
Wal-Mart to the rescue.

Actually I got the jewels from Wal-Mart awhile back on sale -
even better.
See how I totally covered up that bad B
with a stone? And to balance I added
one to the right-hand side by the don't,
even though I didn't mess that part up.
I feel like the jewels were the right touch.

All done.
Two page spread of snowflakes.
Did I mention I live in Florida where it's been in the 70's here in early January?
Thanks to Cherryl for another great journal prompt!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Tibetan Teal Starburst

This was a fun tile.
Primarily I made this one to see how the ink spray would turn out.
I used Lindy's Stamp Gang Starburst spray.
The color is Tibetan Poppy Teal.
These starburst sprays are so much fun - 
you get the main color, and you also get a hint of another.
Here you have the teal, with a hint of blush.
Tangles are rock n' roll, a partial TootsieMoon, 
and cheesecloth. I really love cheesecloth.

It's been a busy day here - 
organizing, re-arranging.
Pretty soon I won't be able to find anything.
Except Aurora. She will be hiding right here:
I told Mark we could turn this into a kitty condo.
Lower level - litter box.
Middle level - bed.
Upper level - food and water. 
I love my kitty,
but this is so going to be full of paint come tomorrow!

The Creator's Leaf

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Chameleon Alcohol Markers and SpectraFix

I recently saw someone ask on Facebook if anyone had any knowledge of these alcohol markers.
Of course that meant I had to go to Amazon and check them out.
Here is what Amazon had to say about them:

Chameleon Color Tones are much more than a normal marker they give you the power to change color! Chameleon Color Tones brings color control and simplicity to your art. Create stunning effects such as 3D, smooth transitions, highlighting, shading, graduations and blending, all with one pen. Each pen goes from as light as hint of a tint to rich tones, eliminating tonal gaps in your collection. One pen multiple tones!
And then I found an awesome video on the website to show them in use. 
They purported to be able to color and shade -
all with the same pen.
That left me wondering if they really did.
So. I ordered them.
Yes, I am a sucker for new product.
I can't help myself.
While I waited I drew this tile.
Simple, but it had the detail I needed to try the
Chameleon Alcohol Color Tone Markers.
I had also been wanting to try out this new fixative.

Supposedly it is:

non-toxic, fully archival, all natural, and odor-free.

That 'odor-free' is what drew me in.
No more having to take artwork outside to fix/seal
so you can breathe at the same time.
That was enough to sell me on the product right there.
The fact that it is quick-drying to an invisible, non-yellow, matte finish and can handle multiple layers of media was a plus. 
So of course I bought one of these from
Dick Blick, the maker of all things good. 

I sprayed the above tile right here in my studio.
A bunch. Several layers of spritzy spray fun and . . .
I couldn't smell a thing!
No fumes, no breathing issues, no head-ache.
Fast forward to the arrival of my Chameleon alcohol markers. 
The directions were a bit lacking, but I was able to soon figure out what to do.
The pen is a double nibbed wonder.
Bullet point on one end, brush on the other. 
 Each pen has a section that pops off one end.
Inside it is a blender stump with fluid.
You simply touch either the bullet point or the brush to the blender stump.
It picks up some blender fluid which allows you to
start coloring with very light color and as you
continue on, the color darkens until you are
using straight color.
Pretty awesome.

I'm not very good at it yet, but you can see my very first results in the tile above.
All the coloring, shading, and highlighting was done with just one marker. 
Whole tile was colored and done in less than two minutes.
I think I'm really going to love these markers.
Now. Time to go play some more!
I hope this little product review post was helpful to you. 

The Creator's Leaf

Saturday, January 17, 2015

The Diva's Bi-Zen-Tennial Celebration!

Laura Harms hosts the Diva Challenge each week.
This is her 200th offering.
Each week Laura posts a prompt, 
a tangle, an idea, an event - 
something specific for us to tangle and share.
Wow! Getting brave here!
This was my drawing the very first time I participated.
I'd been tangling for a couple weeks
and this was the first drawing I ever posted online.
It was April 18, 2012, her 66th challenge.
(I've learned a bit since then.)
The challenge was to use auras.
Jump forward to almost three years later . . .
. . . and this week's challenge is to use our
bread and butter tangle, the one we turn to most often,
and draw a monotangle using it.
All the way to the edges. No frame.
And to have the number '200' on the tile somewhere.

Basically what that means is to use only one pattern
and make it go all the way out to the sides.
I chose to use TootsieMoon, which is one of my own patterns.
I showed it in both the positive and negative formats.

Thanks, Laura, for 200 awesome challenges!
Happy Bi-Zen-Tennial, y'all!
The Creator's Leaf

Friday, January 16, 2015

Twinchie Time

Twinchies are tiny little works of art.
Drawn on a 2" square tile of paper,
twinchies are shared and traded between artists.

I have a really hard time deciding what to do
with a 2" piece of paper,
so for this new year I decided to try to
draw one twinchie a day. 
Above are my twinchies for January 1-7, 2015.
I'm starting to get the hang of this a little more each day. 
Here is week two, January 8-14, 2015.

So far, so good. I'm not falling behind
although some days I do have to do more than
one twinchie because I missed the day before.
Minor technical difficulty.
It's all good.

The Creator's Leaf

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The One Less Traveled By

Week two of the art journaling process. Cherryl's prompt for this project was to use a quote that describes us, or describes our journey. I have always loved this poem by Robert Frost. It reminds me of the scripture found in Matthew 7:13-14,
Enter through the narrow gate;
for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction,
and there are many who enter through it.
For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life,
and there are few that find it. 

I believe the two go hand-in-hand. The journey I travel is the one through the narrow gate, the one less traveled, the one that makes all the difference - both now and eternally. Pretty heavy concept for week two. Cherryl is pulling no punches. Gotta love it!

My journal is a Strathmore Mixed Media journal, I used a black copic multiliner to draw the design, and colored it with Pitt Artists Pens.
The Creator's Leaf

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

I Am Featured in a New Book

This new book was just released and I am a spotlight artist! So exciting! That little blue swirl of ferns and all the little insects are mine. I have art on the back cover as well.
The book is chock full of artistic inspiration. Yes, they use the word "doodle" in the title and description. And yes, there are a bunch of zentangle® folks shaking their heads, but I figured this was a good opportunity for me to introduce some people to zentangle that might not get around to it otherwise. 
In fact, I kick off the featured artist section with some fun, brightly colored ZIAs. And no, I did not write the questions. If I had, my tools wouldn't be called Zen Doodle materials. Not that I have a problem with 'doodling' in and of itself, because I do not. But, I did want to bring some interest in zentangle to the project and I believe they wonderfully afforded me that opportunity.
I totally want to sing big thanks to Meredith Yuhas, one of our CZTs. The garden scene in this picture - as well as the underwater scene in the one before it - are based on techniques I learned in a couple of Meredith's classes. 
Here is a little bit more of the questions and answers.
I was pleased that they didn't greatly change my answers, or wording on these two pages.
Originally I had three pieces of art accepted for the book. 
Then they asked me to submit four additional art pieces for the spotlight artist section.
This is one of my favorite pieces that I've ever drawn. So simple, but fun. For the book I called it Eye Spy. The challenge is given to see what critters and people the reader can find in the drawing. I see at least two people and three critters. Hahaha! I was so glad they chose this piece for the book - and a bit surprised because of how simple it is.
I was so excited and pleased to see the editors closed out the book with another one of my tiles and an explanation of Zentangle®. So many times this gets left out.

Happy, happy, happy with my copy that came in the mail yesterday! It is so rewarding to share my work with others and be able to introduce them to zentangle in a setting other than a class. 

If you are interested in getting a copy of the book, you can see it here in the Interweave Store, or on Amazon.
The Creator's Leaf