Sunday, March 27, 2016

A.D.D.? Nah, not me!

Oh, don't worry.  I'm still doing mixed media.  I'm also doing acrylics and watercolors and ...

ANYWAY, one day while I was trying to figure out exactly how to use all these acrylic paints I keep buying, I stumbled across an artist on YouTube.  She is an amazing artist and knows things about art, which is why I started watching her videos ... but she is also wacky and irreverent and has an absolute BLAST while she's creating, which is why I keep watching her.  Who is she?  Her name is Cinnamon Cooney and she calls herself The Art Sherpa.

I found a series that she is doing over on YouTube called the Big Art Quest (#bigartquest), where every week she provides another tutorial on something arty.  It's not a class, it's a "quest to become an artist."  As a very very beginner, I'm fascinated at all the things I'm learning about techniques, media, and tools.  I especially enjoy watching Cinnamon because she explains things in a way that I can understand - since I'm not familiar with a lot of the terminology.

The series started in January, so (as usual) I'm playing catch-up.  The first week's assignment was to paint a pair of pears from a photo posted at Paint My Photo by Ruth Archer called "A Nice Pair." (you won't be able to see it unless you create an account, and I don't want to violate her copyright or the TOS of the PMP site by pasting an image of it here).

In any case, we were to paint the image on a canvas board with absolutely no instruction.  After the Quest is complete at the end of the year, we will paint it again and see how far we've come (hopefully).

Here's my first attempt (I wasn't going for abstract, in case you were wondering):

I'm not altogether disappointed in them, considering it's my first attempt at painting anything that is supposed to actually resemble something real.  At least they kind of look like pears!

I'm going to go play catch-up and try to get the week 2 video done.  I'll post the results soon!  In the meantime, head on over to The Art Sherpa on YouTube and check her out.  I think you'll like her too!

Saturday, February 13, 2016

New obsession: Mixed Media

So in the three years since I last posted, I've moved beyond scrapbooking and made my way through cardmaking (still doing that) and on to mixed media and art journaling.  I'm not gonna lie, Tim Holtz and his amazing Distress products have been the catalyst for my new obsession ... but I've found tremendous inspiration from Carolyn Dube.

I'm 47 years old, work in a law office, and research my family history in my spare time.  With such rigid activities taking up all my time, it's not surprising that I forgot how to "play."  Fortunately, Carolyn rescued me from my rut.

I'm still working on shushing that voice in my head telling me that I'm breaking rules or that something is "wrong."  Turns out, there are no rules!

Carolyn has a monthly "Let's Play" challenge over on her blog, and this month's challenge is to use some of your neglected art supplies.  Well, since I haven't really been doing "art" for that long, pretty much all of my supplies are neglected.  But I have this drawer labeled "texture" where I collect random things - bubble wrap, tissue paper, drywall tape, and other texture-y stuff that would probably otherwise be thrown away - and I thought it would be fun to use some of those things to create a page.

Here's the end result:

I used some old foam pieces with blue and pearl acrylic paint to create the background, stamped some orange tissue paper and adhered it with some multi medium, some of that drywall tape painted in green, and stenciled with some acrylic paint and some texture paste.  I just love all the color - but especially all the texture!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

2012 Spring Cleaning Get Organized Challenge - Challenge #5

Still playing catch-up.  This one should have posted on April 23.

Memorabilia, Journaling Notes, and Creating a Holding Album

Our first objective in this challenge was to gather all of our memorabilia in one spot.  I pretty much had that done already ... in a big box in my closet.  So I dragged that box out and started sorting.  Turns out, I had some stuff in there that I couldn't even identify.  Hope it wasn't important.

For my storage system, I decided to use some plastic string-closure folders that I have had forever that weren't being used.  Instead of using labels, I opted for sticky notes so I could reuse the folders after I completed my layouts.  My sticky notes contain the event, date, and location.  I also went ahead and put any related photos (that had already been printed) in the plastic folders with the memorabilia and notes.

The plastic folders fit nicely into a magazine holder, and this became my "holding album."
This challenge was a LOT easier than I thought it would be (thank goodness!)

Now, when I get ready to create the layouts (or head to a crop), I can grab one of these folders, add some paper, some embellishments, stick it all into one of my CropperHopper folders and skedaddle!  Easy peasy!

Next week ... Stamps, Punches, and Cutting Systems.  Uh oh.

Monday, May 14, 2012

2012 Spring Cleaning Get Organized Challenge - Challenge #4

Okay, so I'm playing a bit of catch-up here with my blog posts.  I got a little sidetracked by life, so I actually should have posted this one on April 16.  Oopsie.

A Plethora of Pictures

That was this week's challenge.  I have a lot of pictures.  Fortunately, the genealogist side of my personality has been working on scanning them all into the computer.  Unfortunately, there  are still quite a few that need to be done.

I finally went through the box o' crap stuff that I inherited from my mom and found my baby book (I'm the first-born, so mine is actually filled out!), and a bunch of photos of me.  There were also photos of my siblings and other family members as well.

I worked and worked on sorting them all out, deciding which ones I wanted to keep and which ones I wanted to toss keep in a separate bin until the end of time. (You never know when someone else might want one of those photos!)

My photos serve two purposes.  First (and foremost) is my genealogy.  I attach them to each individual in my family tree program.  Second, I use them for scrapbooking.  I usually don't use them in their original size, so scanning and editing works best for me.  Plus, I don't damage the original photo in the process.

Once I had them all sorted, I started scanning like a crazy person.  I got them all done, too.  The renaming and organizing of the scanned photos?  That's another story.  What a challenge!

Using the photos for scrapping necessitates a completely different organizational structure than my genealogy.  So I decided to just name and organize the photos like I usually do, and then I tagged them with a specific event or other scrapbook page idea.  That way, I can just search for all the photos of my daughter at the zoo and voila! all the photos I need will pop up and then I just have to print them in their appropriate sizes.

I made a list of the pages I want to create (thereby also making a list of my tags) and then I proceeded to narrow down the number of photos I wanted to use for each layout by untagging my least favorite.  The hard part there is remembering if I have any other memorabilia that needs to go on the page as well (that's next week's challenge).  Hopefully, I won't have to revisit the tagging/untagging process once I get ready to actually create the layouts.

Unfortunately, I forgot to take any photos while I was doing my photo organizing.  It was quite the yawn-fest anyway.  I can't promise that next week will be any more exciting ... sorting memorabilia and journaling notes!  Wheeee!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

2012 Spring Cleaning Get Organized Challenge - Challenge #3

I bit the bullet and bought a ScrapRack.  I got online and ordered it last Thursday.  I've been on pins and needles ever since!

I attended the webinar for Challenge #3 on Monday, April 2.  The only part of this challenge that applied to me this week was to sort and store one container of embellishments (including diecuts) per day for 4 out of the next 7 days.  The other item on the challenge checklist was to sort more paper, but mine is all sorted already.

Here is my table with everything sorted:
Fortunately, I don't have a lot of embellishments, so this week wasn't too terribly burdensome for me.  This is as far as I can go with putting my stuff away until I get the ScrapRack.  No sense in doing it twice, right?

I have also added some fun stuff to my scrap area, I put up some small shelves and my clip wire (this actually comes in handy when something needs to dry).  You can see my Benefit Board hanging up there too as a nice reminder.  Now I just need to find someplace else to hang those maps so I can put up some big shelves.
Three weeks down, five to go.  Next week ... photo sorting!

Saturday, March 31, 2012

2012 Spring Cleaning Get Organized Challenge - Challenge #2

When we left off last week, I was trying to decide whether to move my work area from the loft to the dining room.  Well, between the heat and bonking my head one too many times, the dining room finally won out.  

This week, the challenge included:

  1. Create an "organized only" space in your craft or storage area.
  2. Choose a storage tool for your paper.
  3. Create templates or dividers for sorting.
  4. Sort at least 8" of paper.
  5. Sort your scraps - throw away any scraps that don't meet your minimum requirement.
  6. Put your newly organized paper into the "organized only" area.
For item #1, I decided to make the new space in the dining room my "organized only" space, and left everything upstairs that wasn't organized.

For item #2, I kept the same paper organization system I had before, but I turned the boxes so the dividers were vertical.  It makes it a little easier to thumb through the papers this way.

Items #3 and #4 go together, but since I didn't have 8" of paper to start with, I just sorted it all, including my scraps for item #5.  Here's the finished product (item #6):
In each slot is a single color (ROYGBP - I skipped the BIV and just went with blue and purple) and I have extra slots for brown, black/gray, and neutrals.  I also have a slot for specialty type papers (cardboard, grungeboard, burlap, etc.), and a "rainbow" slot for all the papers that have lots of colors in them.

When I sorted the scraps, I put a file folder in the front of each color and just put the scraps in the folders.  I also make cards, so my scrap minimum was 2" x 3".  There were very few pieces that I actually purged.

The drawers will eventually hold my ink pads and stamp bases in one drawer, stickles and other fun glues in another.  I haven't really figured out what to put in the other two.  I'm sure I'll think of something.

Of course, since I relocated my work area, my maps of Ireland are going to need a new home so I can put up some shelving.  I like the fact that my area is next to a nice big window to allow some natural light.  I also have curtains that are supposed to be up there, but I mis-measured mis-eyeballed the window and the curtain rod I bought was about 8" too short, so I have to get a different one.

It's not shown in the picture, but behind me is another area where I will do all of my cutting and scoring, and a little bit of storage.  There's nothing there because it's not organized yet ... that's the rule, right?

One thing I have realized is that this would be much easier if I had purchased the ScrapRack before I started rather than waiting until the end, especially for my themed paper.  Right now I have it sorted-in-waiting in some page protectors upstairs.

So now I have finished Challenge 1 and 2, which means I get to reap my benefits!  Hooray!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

File Folder Mini-Album

About a month ago, I was trolling around YouTube for ideas and ran across a video for a mini-album using re-purposed manila file folders (tutorial part starts around 2:45).  I was intrigued.  You see, I had two full boxes of file folders that I knew I would never use (but have probably packed and moved them twice in the last 6 years) because they weren't third-cut.

I followed along with the video and made my own mini-album.  It's not bad for a first try ... I like the way it turned out:
Front cover

You can use any configuration of pockets, flaps, etc.

Bling always makes it interesting!

Back cover
This would make an excellent gift for graduation, summer camp, class trip, cruise, or pretty much any occasion.  It's also a great way to use up your scraps!

When all was said and done, I probably spent about 6 hours putting this together - from start to finish - but it would probably go much faster if it was planned and organized (which this totally wasn't) and by someone who has more experience.