Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Art Journal Before and After

In my last blog post I left you anxiously awaiting what I was going to do to this art journal.  My apologies for leaving you wanting, on the edge of your seats and thirsty for more (our landscaper has been busy all day flinging mulch, so I figure why not fling a little of my own).

 I have to say I am not in a good creating place.  I am currently wasting time, procrastinating in a way.  Why?  I am not sure.  What am I avoiding?  Not sure about that either.  I need to start working on the May's retreat supplies.  I promised my LSS I would get to work on possibly working on some classes in both gelli printing (be still my heart) and Pan Pastels (the devil I tell you).  My daughter's big 13th birthday party is coming in July (an Instagram theme...where do I even begin) and I haven't even started to design the invitations.  There are teacher appreciation gifts to get to work on and Mother's Day cards.

And all I can say is BLAAAAAHHHHH!  I just want to color.  And watch You Tube videos on how to make pretty things.  And sleep.  And play golf.  And tennis.  And lay in my hammock and read books about how to make pretty things.  And ride Henrietta (that is the name of my vintage bike so get your minds out of the gutter).  And drink fruity cocktails and eat seafood. The dungeon is a mess.  The house is clean.  BLAHHHHH!  What the hell is wrong with me?

Part of me blames it on the pollen. Oh the pollen.  If North Carolina's color wasn't already blue, it really should be yellow. And since they are thinking of changing our slogan from "First in Flight" to something else, they might as well include pollen in there somewhere.  We have had to stop opening our windows because it literally forms drifts on the hardwood floors.  We have very tall windows that I love opening to the breeze and the sunlight.  NO CAN DO for fear of the pollen apocalypse.

It might be that I have a birthday coming up in less than a month.  I will be 41.  40 sucked.  Just saying.  I lost my sweet dog  I was very sick for most of it.  I lost my uterus. My ex-husband has made life hell.

It might also be You Tube.  I watch a lot of YT in the hopes of learning.  However, I really watch so that I can feed my people watching desires without ever having to leave home.  And a lot of times I watch these people wishing I could do what they do.  All with the understanding that I should be out there doing (because that is what these women are doing) not wishing.

All of that to tell you (in the worst incomplete sentence-laden blog EVER) that I finished my art journal entry.  Remember the one about all of the crafty things that are constantly running through my head?  It looked like this:

And so, after adding all the crafty bits of things that run through my head on an hourly basis, this is what it now looks like:
I may like it better in the before than the after, but I really am not sure.  I do know that I enjoy looking at this when I open my art journal.  That is something that can't be said about all of my art journal entries. If it didn't teach me anything else, I did learn that I love the layered look and process of this kind of art journaling.  Flat art journaling isn't for me (but for some reason, I continue to try and master the doodle).  I also learned that I still have a lot to learn about listening to my inner artist (and not the critic....kind of like the angel and the devil on each shoulder except I have a little artist and a critic that resembles the big guy with glasses named Gene somebody that used to review movies long long ago).  No matter what the outcome, you know I would rather be doing this INSTEAD OF THE LAUNDRY.  In my long rant of all I wanted to do above, I never, not once, mentioned household chores.  I will figure out this creative slump I hope.  Any words of advice would be appreciated.  I have thought maybe I needed to read "The Artist's Way" INSTEAD OF THE LAUNDRY because it seems to offers some insight into getting back your creative mojo.  If you have read it, I would love to hear what you thought.  And if not, maybe you could tackle it with me (totally INSTEAD OF THE LAUNDRY...cheap shots I know but a girl has got to do what a girl has to do for her little blog).  Thanks ya'll!

Monday, April 14, 2014

How Crafting ADD Translates to My Art Journal

Crafting ADD, or as it is known in the DSM-IV, Craftophrenia, was the topic of my last blog post (and if you haven't yet read that stunning piece of informational and inspirational non-fiction, I strongly urge you to run not walk to that blog post).  Did I find a cure?  HA!  What makes you think I want to??  No cure and no calming in the way my mind constantly drifts from one lovely art idea to another has yet evolved.  However, I was inspired to SHOW you how I feel as opposed to telling you.

As we have discussed in so many of my blog posts (such a stretch I know, but it makes me sound really quite professional if you are just finding my blog right??), this is a JUDGEMENT FREE ZONE.  So feel free to read this while eating a dozen Krispy Kremes (Dunkin' Doughnuts however are not acceptable and you will be judged for your lack of doughnut picking prowess) or  while dressed in your favorite pair of ugly pink pig pajamas because you haven't yet showered; I won't judge and am hoping you won't either.  Below you will see one of the pages from my art journal. I don't really share my art journal because I find it somewhat personal.  It is where I go to play NOT perfect (and by perfect, I hope you totally know that I know that you know that I am no perfectionist) and where I tend to display my "quote whore" tendencies.  It is also where I try out new techniques and supplies before finally putting them to use on a canvas or card or scrapbook page.  It is also a place of no fear (huge topic of conversation over at a new to me Google + community called The Kraaft Shaak as pf late) because I am usually the only person who sees my journal.

DANG TANGENT (the proverbial squirrel rears its ugly nuts once again)!

As I was flipping through one of my beloved Somerset Studio magazines, I saw an article about Junelle Jacobsen that featured some of her art.  I love her whimsical ways and recently took an idea of hers for a canvas and put my spin on it too.  But when I saw her girl with the explosion of hair and wishes she had for herself all tangled in it, it translated into something else for me.  Why not turn those wishes into all of the artsy and craftsy desires that are constantly running through my head (Craftophrenia members UNITE!)  and put them where I can see them and maybe, just maybe, cross some things off my list and concentrate more on some of the ideas that really make my heart sing.  So while you might be saying to yourself, "What the hell is she talking about?  All I see is some chic with a blonde afro puff and lots of circles!" hold on because it is not done yet.  It is a work in progress.  Isn't it always a work in progress?  Well, it is until it isn't.  For now, this little self-portrait of my Crafty ADD self is what I am doing INSTEAD OF THE LAUNDRY.  I have also been taking some golf clinics INSTEAD OF THE LAUNDRY but that is a whole other blog post (hell, that is a whole other blog titled THE THINGS I DO IN ORDER TO KICK MY HUSBAND"S BUTT At JUST ONE SPORT, ANY SPORT FOR PETE"S SAKE!).  I will be back to show you how she ends up whether I (or you) like it or not.  Can you figure out a way to translate your artsy fears into your art INSTEAD OF THE LAUNDRY?  If so, tell me how.  Or better yet, show me!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Crafting ADD means Pretty Mermaid Art

Without a doubt I suffer from Crafting ADD.  Some might call me Craftophrenic (kind of like Schizophrenic but instead of voices and personalities running through my head, I have tons and tons of crafting ideas).  When people ask me what kind of crafter I am, I have a hard time answering that question.  Depending on my mood, I love to try it all.  Scrapbooking? Yes!  Cardmaking? Yes (though I am not great at it!) Altered Art?  Yes and Yes! Art Journaling?  Yes!  Painting? Yes! If I could, I would absolutely do it all!!
However, it is the Craftophrenia that allows me to use up (and buy up) a lot of the sometimes neglected supplies in my studio.  For the last few weeks, my scrapbook supplies have remained untouched, only to be replaced in my heart by my mixed media goodies.  This area of crafting is somewhat dangerous because a lot of the supplies are pricier than your average scrapbook papers.  There are just so many different areas of mixed media to explore and if you suffer from Craftophrenia, that's a dangerous thing.
I recently visited my local scrapook store, Betty's Creative Studio, and bought the mermaid stamp from Prima.  I love mermaids.  I mean seriously love mermaids.  If I ever got another tattoo, I think I would want it to be a mermaid. I love mermaids so much that I think I used to be one (or at least I thought that when I was a kid...because no way would I ever still really believe that I might have once been a mermaid).  WOW, see how easily I get off track??  Ugggg, anyways, I wanted to do something different with this mermaid stamp.  Almost all Prima doll stamps are paper pieced and I wanted to veer away from that for my beautiful mermaid.  Since my Crafting ADD had already kicked in and I was steering away from paper anyways, it immediately struck me that I should use my Pans!  Awwww Pan Pastels are one of the priciest but most prized crafty possessions.  I have taken only 2 online classes from Donna Downey herself and don't exactly consider myself an expert.  However, I do have enough knowledge to play with them with some success.  They are freaking amazing and in some Wayne's World "I'm not worthy" way, I am always blown away with the results I get working with them.  Once I have a general idea, my ball generally starts rolling....until it doesn't and then is so stuck I have to walk away for a day or two while it plagues me until I get unstuck again.
So here is where my ball began so to speak:
Oh yeah, that is totally vintage book paper and I WENT THERE!!  What more could you want in life??  Vintage paper, Pan Pastels, and a Prima mermaid!!  Every bit of the shading (which I am not great at so please be nice) is done with Pans.  Most of the crafty peeps I know do the same with Copics (totally have those too and they are also amazing).  I think I could have left her there and been satisfied.  
But I didn't (and that is also a problem I have...not knowing where and when to stop in my art). 

 Somewhere in there I skipped a photography step.  I did add an underwater background with Pans and a TCW stencil, as well as some glitter to her body, modeling paste bubbles, and glass bead gel bubbles.  I knew she needed a quote because I LOVE quotes!!  LOVE LOVE LOVE Quotes.  Pinterest is my go to for quotes and I found a few I loved (and had to make a new board dedicated to Mermaids). This one was short enough to fit on the canvas I had chosen so I went for it.  What you see is just an example of the spacing because I knew I wasn't going to leave it white (I typed it and printed it from my computer).  So she is coming along right??
I think this photo is one that has an Instagram filter on it so it may look a bit lighter than the rest.  At any rate, this is my lovely mermaid after I finished with a few white highlights, shading in the quote with Pan Pastels, and inking the edges with coordinating Distress Inks.  At this point I was stuck.  My proverbial ball quit rolling and there was no moving it.  I am quite happy with her but I do see things I wouldn't have added (like some of the white highlights) but there is only rolling forward; there is no rolling back.  At this point, I did turn to the owner of the scrapbook store for help.  She was having a customer yard sale that I volunteered to work (fabulous by the way!) and I bent her ear when we had a break.  She is a genius and has taken classes from every big name in the business. If I ever needed a mentor, she would be it, but for now I just consider her kind of like my Jewish mother.
 And this is what we came up with.  The burlap canvas mimicked the natural color of the ocean so I used a TCW stencil that had an organic shape to it to run embossing paste (brilliant stuff...like the lightest frosting ever) mixed with Distress ink through in various spots.  I also inked the sides with Prima ink (you know the little ones that are light blue and shaped to run along edges beautifully?).  The mermaid needed grounding, so she got matted with a fuschia patterned paper and a thicker black frame.  In an effort to also give her some depth, I popped the entire matting/framed print up on the canvas.  Someone recently gave me some good advice: Let the art tell you when it is done.  I think my mermaid is saying BE DONE!!! Take me to your scrapbook store as your latest design team project and leave me there.  Start something new (as if she actually had to say that because my brain was already figuring out how to use a gelli plate to make something else with my mermaid).  I love her and am very proud of this.  It was one of the creating episodes where everything just seemed to go right (RARE!!).  This is what I worked on for several days INSTEAD OF THE LAUNDRY!  This is what came of my Craftophrenia.  And now I am ready for my Pans to go bye bye for awhile.  I want to play with the Gelli Plate (but first I have to save up to get one...I make my own but they end up molding and never seem to be as smooth as the read ones) INSTEAD OF THE LAUNDRY.  
How about you?  Do you stay in your creative box or do you suffer from Crafty ADD as well?  Do you stay in your crafty box because you want to or because you have that fear we talked about last week (and if you didn't read my blog post from last week, shame on you!  But I forgive you because I know you are headed there now)?  And if you are one of those rare crafters that manages to stick with the one thing, what else would you do if you could?  Come on!  Sky is the limit and money doesn't matter!!  What other crafty goodness would you get your hands dirty with INSTEAD OF THE LAUNDRY??