Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving!

So much to be thankful for,
so many blessings in my life.
So many ways to thank God,
so many things I take for granted.

May God richly bless you and yours
in this next year,
as we all take time to just say

The Creator's Leaf

Monday, November 24, 2014

Christmas Shopping? How About an Art Journal?

Looking for a special gift for that artist in your life?
Looking for something special for yourself?
Something to jumpstart your creative spark?

OK, that was 'hook' enough for me.
When coaching speech and debate students, 
we suggested they start with a hook,
something that will grab your audience and 
pull them in.

Well, Rachel's Bookshelf doesn't need a hook.
Rachel sells these beautiful hand-made
art journals and I was lucky/blessed
enough to be able to talk her into
making two of them for me!
And I got to pick the fabric for the colors.
Brights! But, of course!

Rachel has a bunch of beautiful
art/zentangle journals available on her facebook page
Rachel's Bookshelf.
She is super nice and easy to work with.
Just tell her what you want and she will make it happen.
I promise.

The pages in my books are 6" wide x 9" tall.
(I never know which of those numbers to list first.)
The paper is 140# coldpressed watercolor paper.
There are 30 pages - or 60 work surfaces.

Now, I am going to be selfish and keep
these journals for myself.
you could order a couple just in time for
Christmas presents.
Someone is going to love you for it!
I promise!

Check it out - 
Rachel's Bookshelf.

The Creator's Leaf

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Quilted Challenge #35 - Thanks, Joey!

Joey's challenge this week was to tangle something quilt-like. With tangling that is a really easy thing to do. Pick any pattern in a grid format . . .
(photo borrowed from google)
. . . and tangle away! For my quilt I used a basic florz pattern and worked from there. The quilting lines remind me of barbed wire, I may draw a step-out for that. Nothing to it really, very simple. Shading rounded out the sewn lines and gave a little puff appearance of quilt batting underneath. The color comes from Dylusions Ink Sprays. The quilt border itself is a piece of digital scrapbook paper. It really pulled my easy little quilted tile together and made it complete. 
You can check out all the quilted tangles on Joey's page here. (Any time you see pink lettering on this blog - just click on it and you will be directed to a link with more information.) And please feel free to add your own quilted tangle on Joey's page. She (and the rest of us) would love to see your work!
The Creator's Leaf

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Eyes Have It - Joey's #33 Tangle a Mandala

There's a cool blog that posts a weekly tangle challenge. Made By Joey has something for every level of tangler. I don't always get my artwork posted on Joey's blog but I always try to complete the challenge. This eye mandala was drawn for her 33rd weekly challenge. I got it finished after the next week was already posted and am just now getting around to linking it in.

This is a free-hand mandala that I worked on while I watched Merlin on Netflix. I don't know if that is where the 'eyes' came from or not. Morgana was being her usual creepy-deepy self, so it is entirely possible. Haha!

Also, I haven't shaded the mandala yet because I am hoping to add some spiffy color to it. But of course!

If you would like to check out Joey's weekly challenge just click on the pink link with her name at the start of this post. This week's challenge is to tangle something quilted. I am going to be all over this one!

The Creator's Leaf

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Swimming with Mermaids

You may recall that I am taking an online class called Mermaid Circus. It's been awhile since I worked on it. I had some great ideas, now I just need to get back to it. Trying to work up some excitement again by drawing mermaid tails. I'm thinking some small jewels on a couple of those scales. Hmmmm.
This is part of the first project I posted - collage a mermaid. I was going for a theme to carry throughout the book - what do you think? Can you tell what the theme is from these photos? Let me know in the comment section. :)
Time to get back to work. Time to make more mermaid art! 

You can see the original post about my collage mermaid here
The Creator's Leaf

Friday, November 14, 2014

Knights of the Round Table

Each week Joey hosts a tangle challenge. Some weeks I participate, some weeks I run behind schedule. This week I just happened to make it in time. Joey's prompt was to create a monotangle using the pattern knightsbridge

Typical knightsbridge is drawn in a checkerboard fashion. I altered that a bit in the path sweeping through the background in the artwork above. Then I took that same checkerboard idea and put it into circles. All those little circles divided into quarters and darkened ala knightsbridge are popping up in a lot of my drawings lately. I am referring to them as knights of the round table. My very own variation of knightsbridge. It doesn't hurt that I've been watching the British fantasy-adventure Merlin on netflix. I am finally in season 5 and Athur has just convened the Knights of the Round Table to discuss strategy. 

OK, Joey, I'm ready for week #35.

The Creator's Leaf

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Arukas Take One

So. Kali and Mark are still driving - 
their third day in the U-Haul truck.
Currently they are are somewhere in Oklahoma,
and yes, I do want to start singing the stage song
O-K-L-A-H-O-M-A every time I say that.

I have been trying to draw,
not always easy for me to do when I'm sad.
I got to spend most of yesterday with
Jason, Bobbie, and the Frankles
and that was a huge help to me.

Last night I gave my first try to this tangle
called Arukas. What fun!
I'm happy with the end results for my initial try.
Yesterday, Kali texted me this shot of Sable -
being all cute and stuff. 
This is the longest car ride she's ever been on!
Looks like Sable travels well!
The plan is to arrive late afternoon.
We have truck unloaders scheduled at 5:00.
And Kali starts her new wonderful job
at 5:00 AM tomorrow.
Hopefully she will be able to wake up and 
get there on time. 

(I am seeing now that the video doesn't open,
and you don't get to see how cute Sable is.
Sorry. I am going to leave it here anyway.
Cause it's my blog and I can. :) )

The Creator's Leaf

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Colorado Bound and Tears

 Posts have been irregular lately.
We moved Kali back home after she completed
culinary/pastry arts education in Maryland.
Last week she accepted a job in Colorado - 
as a Pastry Chef!
An excellent opportunity for her - 
just far away from home.
Last night we emptied out her storage unit
and loaded up the U-Haul.
Finished up this morning with a few last minute things
from the house. 
 I did mention she was moving to Colorado,
didn't I?
The day she gets there - the high is supposed to be in the 20's.
So, cute little fluffy hats are in order.
And here is my Kali-girl and her
pom-pom Sable sitting in the U-Haul,
patiently waiting for food.

Seriously, I am so proud of Kali for
reaching out and grabbing her dreams!
So many of us never do that
because of fear, or finances, or any of a host
of other reasons.
I am so thankful that we were able to help her
reach her goal, 
and that she was able to excel and be successful.

Now. Back to drawing. Probably lots of blurred lines
today. It's hard to get the tears to stop.

The Creator's Leaf

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Work in Progress

I've been dragging my feet a bit lately.
Kali is preparing to move out west,
she leaves in four days.
She has a great job and a 
beautiful apartment lined up.
I am so proud of her!
And I am going to miss her like crazy!
Jason and Bobbie and Frankles and Nicole
and her family are going to be seeing
a lot more of me as I try to keep occupied!
Perhaps I will even get around to finishing
this piece I started a couple weeks ago.
Perhaps. Who knows.
Kind of hard to stay focused right now. 

The Creator's Leaf

Monday, November 3, 2014

A Lot of Toads

If you have followed my art for awhile you will already know that my hands-down, go-to art supply is Dylusions Ink Sprays. I love the bright, vibrant colors they give and they are so much fun to play work with. You just can't go wrong as they never fail to deliver. 

There is a group on facebook called The Dylusions Facebook Challenge. It is a group for those of us who love Dylusions and each month (this was the second) they issue a challenge. I am only 3 days late. This is my response to October's challenge . . .
. . . to use colors lime and orange, and mushrooms. I went to my Strathmore mixed media journal and set up a couple sheets of scrap paper to catch overspray. I used a flat brush and spread water onto both pages, then spritzed spots of fresh lime and squeezed orange onto the two pages. If you haven't used dylusions before - you will find by wetting the pages first, then spraying the color onto the wet areas, the colors will bleed and blend and mix and wow! In the photo above it looks like I used a yellow ink but I did not. I only used the one shade of lime and the one shade of orange.
Don't worry about those puddles in the seam of the pages. Those are easily blotted up with some paper towels and they provide texture to your finished product. I also roll the towels across the pages to pick up excess color and water. It softens and smooths out the colors. (Wow! I can see a couple fingernail indentions on the roll. I was using Viva towels - I will never get this brand again. It is so hard to pull the towels apart and rip off the one you want to use.)
Voila! Completed color!
OK, maybe not. How about some drips? I spritzed a little more color, then I held the pages at an angle to let the drips run towards the center of the book. 
I wanted even more drips, so I dipped my paintbrush into a bowl of water and dropped splotches of water onto the outer edge of the page and held the page up so the drips would run. You can see a puddle of color building in that center seam. Just blot it with a towel. I dried both pages with a heat gun.
Let's talk ghosting. This is an easy-peasy way to add texture to a page. Take a stencil - this was a new one from Hero Arts - and hold it down where you want some texture. Spritz water over the top of the stencil and wait about 10 seconds.
Lift the stencil away, wait about 10-15 seconds longer, then blot with a paper towel. You can finish drying with a heat gun. Because dylusions ink sprays are not water-fast, when you add water through the stencil the colors starts lifting away. When you are finished with this process and the page is dry - you get the ghosted images you see above and in the next photo.
Pretty spiffy. (And I have no idea why this page looks so dark. Sorry.)
I did this on both pages.
Layering is a really fun thing to do with your art journal pages. Here I used a Dylusions stamp and stamped some leaves along one edge. 
By off-setting the stamp, I was able to get the illusion of varying heights of leaves.
There are some of those mushrooms and a cute little arrow - more Dylusions stamps. (Part of the challenge is to use as many Dylusions products as you can. Yes, it is a money-making venture but since I already have a ton of Dylusions stuff it works for me :). ) 

Also, you may notice where I didn't do a very good job stamping and missed some of the lines in those mushrooms on the left. 1) I knew I was going to be placing another element over that area so I didn't worry about it. 2) it is a simple fix to draw those few lines back in with a micron.
A lot of people ask me what kind of pens/ink I use to prevent smearing when I add wet product over black ink. For these pages I used black staz-on in an ink pad, but that is not the only way. I print a lot of pieces out on my ink-jet printer that I copic over, and I am stamping more and more. Anytime you use black ink - set it with a heat gun. I have never had any problem with smearing once I heat set the black lines. You should always try this on scrap first before you - heaven help us - ruin that one piece you don't want to remake.
OK, my two-page spread is complete in its first couple of layers. I stamped other images onto cardstock to be used as additional elements. You can see a little of those at the top of the photo.
I colored all the pieces using Pitt Artist Pens, then cut them out. I figured my placement on the pages before I started attaching. (I originally wanted to make her face blue but didn't have a good face blue - hehehehe - so I went with green. Channeling a little Elphaba here maybe.)
There are some little glimpses into the elements I used.
Left page.
Right page.
Hahahaha! So much fun! Next month's challenge is to use red, black, and your favorite Dylusions stamp. Hmmm. I'm thinking the Red Queen. Such a Once Upon a Time fan! Hahahaha!

Linking up to the Artist's Play Room.

The Creator's Leaf