Friday, September 12, 2014

Finishing my yellow accordian journal

Last post I shared two small accordian journals made from file folders, a creation inspired by the website (fun stuff there for art journals). Since then, I have modified three of the five creations on my yellow jouran, and added a few more on the back side of it. The yellow art journal is now finished, and I even found a way to incorporate it into my larger art journal.

Here's what I did.

I added a citron wash to the citron forest. I added a lemon wash to the yellow flip-flops, but then I cut some flip-flops from yellow pattern paper and glued them on my poorly drawn ones. I added vermillion wash to the red and orange record album logo. I added the washes with water color pencils and a water brush. I also added a little peach-colored paint to the peach-colored pattern paper with the Willy Wonka theme.'s Fun Color Prompt Challenge for week two was colors sepia, lavender, tangerine charcoal and sky, and things house, wave or surf, torn paper, tulip and color wheel. I took more liberties with the challenge this week. I hope they will forgive me.

I started with a photo of surf, and a hint of sky. I added a little more sky blue into the water, which was initially an attempt to write "somewhere" on the page like I did on  a photo of this same beach in my regular art journal. I also doodled blue waves around the photo, similar to what I had done in the art journal.

Next, since the technique produces the desired color, I turned to the technique of tinting a photo sepia on a computer. The photo is of me, standing behind my house. Mine is the one with the bushes. When a photo of tulips showed up on Facebook, I knew it had to be in there too. I also knew I was going to use one of my many quotes, and I was going to "burn" the edges of it by adding black and brown ink. (Charcoal the edges by adding mostly black?)

But how was I going to incorporate the lavender and tangerine color prompts, and the torn paper and color wheel thing prompts? Then it dawned on me. Use the color wheel tool to help develop the color scheme, and use the decades-old technique of tearing pieces of paper on the page to add texture.

That really only worked on the sepia photo, and perhaps to a lesser extent, the tulips. See, if I had to do the color wheel to pick colors to match the beach photo, I would have had to have picked red. And that just didn't work.

But in between sepia and lemon yellow (the journal's color on the color scale, you have orange (tangerine) and yellow orange. A few scraps of cardstock to accent the sepia photo, and one striped scrap to accent the charcoaled quote fit the bill.

That left lavender to accent the tulips photo. Fine. It had four of the next five colors on the color wheel, with red and pink representing two shades of the same color.

That left me with only four prompts. Once I had the message explaining the liberties I had taken (instead of Tammy's Fun Color Prompt Challenge, mine was the Color, Technique and Tool Prompt Challenge) I still had  one leftover spaces. But that worked well for me.

I used the blank space to glue the small yellow art journal to the main art journal.

Since there are only four prompts on the back side, nothing is covered up. I still have room to do more to the page if I so choose.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Some artwork from the Art Journal Tangents and the Fun Color Challenge

As I said in my previous blog post, one of my largest inspirations in my art journal is Daisy Yellow. 

In August, Tammy had another month of inspirations, by posting weekly her Art Journal Tangents some creative things we could do with art and paper. One of the weeks, she cut up file folders and folded them to make accordian books. She then had 12 small surfaces on which to put something artistic. In no time at all, she and many of her creative followers did exactly that.

I struggled though. What, in my mountain of supplies would look good on this? And since one of my possessions is the remnants of a package of multi-colored file folders, which color should I even get started with?

Then I saw a picture on Facebook. This was of another long-ago Olympic torch bearer. Not quite as long ago as the one I'd seen in the magazine, only from 1960. But that's still a long time ago, longer ago than my lifetime, and I'm a Grandma. The other neat thing about the torchbearer from 1960 is he was from my hometown, and probably went to high school with my mother as he was only a year behind her in school.

So, I had to do something with that picture. I printed it out and put it in my art journal, hoping to figure out what. I also already had found some scraps of inked paper with windows punched in them, and thought I should put them in the art journal too.

The inked paper with the windows reminded me of Prompt 2, and the Olympic torchbearer reminded me of Prompt 9 on Daisy Yellow. What's more, they both also reminded me of the color red because my high school has that not too politically correct mascot shared with Washington DC's football team,, the Redskins. And that, along with Tammy's Art Journal Tangent, inspired this art creation. I am still trying to figure out what to put on the very last page, but I've found a few more red things to put on there recently.

September, Daisy Yellow has a new weekly challenge. It's called the Fun Color Prompt Challenge, and requires that we use one color and one word to create small pieces of art that would fit in the accordian books she taught us how to make last month.  So I came up with this.

The color choices we had to work with were in the first week were grapefruit, peach, vermillion, citron and lemon. The prompts, from which we were to choose five, were forest, mysterious, flip -flops, album cover, doodle and Willy Wonka.

I chose to discard the mysterious prompt, because nothing came to mind. But here's my take on the rest.

1. I stamped a citrus forest with the first tree stamp I could find.

2. I attempted to draw lemon yellow flip flops on a pink background as I had seen in the Sandals logo my church was using all summer. (They went to a new logo this week in preparation for a new sermon series this weekend). In the logo, you can clearly see two yellow flip-flops resting heel to heel to form an S. My second artwork is my best attempt of four at recreating this.

3. I drew a textual element from one of Don's album covers. Vermillion is red-orange, but I didn't have anything that color, so I used red and orange. The text reads "Incense and Peppermints, Strawberry Alarm Clock."

4. A pink (same pink as in Prompt 2) doodle. This one is significant because when I was recently meeting with some other women business owners, most of whom are still in the startup stage ( at least 16 months behind me), I used a similar doodle to explain to them that you do not start a business and become successful on a straight path, but rather you have some success, make a few wrong turns, fall back and then rise above that, over and over again. 

5. A lollipop on a peach-pattern paper background. I knew I was going to cut out pieces of candy from a collection of paper called "Sweet" for the Willy Wonka prompt. I ended up cutting a lollipop right off the cover. I thought I was going to paint the background with my only paint color, which is paint. But working on this last piece of artwork last night, it was late. I did not want to break out the paints and wait for them to dry. I remembered another collection, I don't think it even has a name, had the peach-colored paper in it. I think the design looks kind of like Oompa Loompas too. 

Some artwork from Daily Paper Prompts

My favorite place to find prompts for my art journal is The owner of this site, Tammy Garcia, is a talented and inspiring artist. She's had plenty of inspiration on her site lately.

The Daily Paper Prompts

Technically, these ran July 1 through Aug. 31, but you can start and finish these anytime. I'm still working on mine,

Technically, you are supposed to use one prompt for each page. I've got a few of those. I will post at least one of those another day. But, not all of mine are one prompt per page.

On these two pages, I incorporated prompts 2 through 12. For the most part, I used my watercolor pencils, which can create very interesting subtle effects when you apply water to them. Some of these prompts I took rather loosely, but the prompts were:

2. Windows: Cut holes into paper and let other paper show through the window. I cut a logo out of some scratch paper, and then used it to color the yellow square shown here on the top page.

3. Drips: Very subtle here, but at the bottom of the top page you can see that my watercolor pencils were applied with enough water to make them drip.

4. Flowers. I drew them in the top right side of this page for the prompt, and leaves on the bottom of the right side. I later drew more flowers on the second page.

5. Linear: I drew four very straight lines on the top page. I used the same scratch paper from Prompt 2.

6, Certificate - That left a great box to certify something, especially with the "gold medal" from Prompt 2 already on it. I certified the page was already a complete mess, but I wasn't done yet.

7. Leftovers -  It's hard to see on the blog, but a portion of the now very colorfully-edged scratch paper is glued to the bottom of the top page.

8. Faded -  Cut paper into four pieces. Put some color on each piee and do something to make it look faded. I drew more flowers with the watercolor pencils and applied the water brush to these. Since I was running out of room on the top page, I glued these to the facing (bottom) page.

9. Game - This prompt is key to another project I'll post after this one, which then inspired yet another project. But for this page, I found a picture of 1936 Olympic torchbearers in a magazine, and decided the Olympics were the perfect game to represent this prompt.

10. Stitch paper - This is perhaps the most loosely interpreted prompt, because I don't have thread for stitching on hand. So I perforated the torn edges of my photo with a needle anyhow, then glued some fiber to the other page.

11. Ogee Pattern - This is my second year going through this same list of prompts with Daisy Yellow, and the first set of creations from them are in the same journal. I went all out with a few ogee patterned pages in 2013, but this prompt never has been my favorite. So, I drew one row of ogee pattern at the top of this multi-prompt spread. Later, I added a border sticker that I thought looked a little like a small scale version of it.

12. Use a circle sticker - The blue one with the crown

 And that was enough, I think. I moved on to new pages for each prompt I've done since then. But I didn't completely leave these prompts alone.

Sunday, April 27, 2014


I am probably one of the worst bloggers out there, and of my three blogs, this one is probably the least focused of them. Today, I'm posting for the first time in almost six months, I'm going to say something at least six of my seven followers won't particularly expect or necessarily care about here, but I'm hopefully going to get some visitors who do, and I may be wrong about the followers.

Anyway, today I am going back to something I had a bit of when I started this blog, which is to try and be the kind of grandmother my grandmother was for me. (She was still alive then, and I myself had just become a grandmother. Now I'll soon be a grandmother of four!)

This particular post is only loosely connected to that. I am studying a book called Nurture at church. The chapter of Nurture I finished reading today encourages us to leave a strong spiritual legacy to our own children, which will of course be difficult for me, since I did not raise children. I am thankful though that Don has done that for Holly and Josh, and I am going to publicly thank Holly right here for sending him a letter a few weeks ago acknowledging her gratitude for many of the things Don did as a Dad. It wasn't easy for Don, being the non-custodial parent and living so far away from them, so it's good to know what he did was appreciated by Holly. And I think, deep down, it is also appreciated by Josh.

I HOPE, even though we are still far away from both kids, I can impart some kind of legacy, both spiritual and otherwise, on my grandchildren. (Holly and Josh's children.)

But the rest of Nurture talks about connecting with younger women who aren't necessarily our biological or even otherwise daughters. I don't have a deep connection with any such woman, but I hope I have been an encouragement to some, like Holly and my cousins Jodi and Wendy and a few young women at church. I also hope that my writing has been a blessing to women I haven't met. And that's what I'm hoping for the rest of this blog post. You see, in last week's homework for Nurture, we were asked to compare lights in our home to the spiritual aspects of light. The three women (out of seven normally there) who attended last week felt I should share my answer with others. So here it is.

Lights in our home allow us to see when it's dark --- Jesus is the light that enables us to see through the darkness to the truth. 

LED lights (among other things) tell us what time it is --- the Holy Spirit is the light that tells me it's time to serve God. 

Some lights, like the ones on my curling irons, waffle irons and regular irons, tell me when those appliances are ready to be used ---- the Holy Spirit is like a light telling me I'm ready to be in service to God. 

My cell phone lights up when I have a phone call - through God's word and prayer, I am in communication with God. 

My cameras have flashes (a kind of light) on them, which illuminates the photographic images I take with them. Jesus, "The Light" is the image of God, and also we are also made in His image, so we must be light to the world. 

My Cultivate group came up with two more: 

Ultraviolet light cleanses, just as Jesus' death and resurrection (this was the week after Easter we studies this) purifies us, and lasers can cut things, just as Jesus can take the things out of our life that are not good for us. 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Stepping out in faith

One Year Art Journal isn't a spiritually focused blog, but quite often its prompts put me in touch with my spirituality. The Nov. 15 prompt is "What Do You Want Right Now?" and the second "booker" prompt is to use rubons. Well, it just so happens my most recent rubon purchase is some spiritually focused ones I bought about a year ago, to illustrate my grandson's baptism on a scrapbook page. I also had a few much older rubons that are like fake stitches.

The older rubons came off fairly decently for their age, although since they are white, I am not sure how well they show up in this photo. They are on the left side of the page, which I had already created a striped watercolor background on.

The newer rubons were more of a challenge. Big chunks of all three stayed on the backing, no matter how much I rubbed. So, I decided to fill in the gaps with some gold Stickles.  Not perfect, but better. The top rubon is a dove, the bottom one, which largely stuck to the backing, is a cross. In between is a quote "Let The Faith In Your Heart Be Your Guide."

It is this quote that inspired the rest of my journaling. As One Year Art Journal and several other inspiration sites prompted, I picked a One Little Word for the year, which was "Content." At the beginning of 2013, I thought I'd have plenty of good reasons to focus on the portion of that word that means "being content with what you have." (I also was focusing on some of the other meanings of the word, but that's not part of the point of this entry.) I ran out of unemployment in April, so I was bracing myself for what I thought (correctly) would be a rough year.

But things started looking up in May. I started my business, Pen Porter, that month. Seeing as I invested nothing but the cost of registering my business, it's been profitable. Not quite as much as I'd hoped, but then in August, I got hired to manage the Jurupa Valley Chamber of Commerce part-time. So there's another little bit of income, and it's more than I thought it was going to be. So that's good.

On the somewhat bad side, I've decided I had to split my income off from Don's. I won't go into all the reasons why, but if you know me, you might know why. But the up side of that means I now have some freedom to spend some of my income as I see fit. There's a million things I want, far fewer things I can get.

And then there is a challenge to reach beyond myself. My co-worker, Bob Hernandez, inspires me to this in many ways. He is working at the Chamber strictly as a full-time volunteer, but invests a lot in me both timewise, and financially. He would like to see me "pay it forward," although I can only do so on a limited basis now.

But Sandals has always challenged people to reach beyond themselves. For the past six weeks it specifically has done so through its "Reach" building campaign. This campaign asked us to look beyond ourselves and let God move in our church. Sandals also has a holiday gift giving ministry.

It gave me a lot of pleasure to invest in two gifts for a 13-year-old girl, and to commit a small amount of money over the next two years to the building campaign. I feel like I am a part of something significant, that will reach far beyond myself. I've blessed a young girl, and I've helped my church bless many others through the building campaign.

The journaling at the bottom of this page explains "In the past few months, I have moved from being simply content to feeling blessed and looking beyond myself."

I know this is exactly how God wants me to feel. And therefore, it's what I want for myself right now.

Journaling some of the fall holidays

I know only post sporadically on this blog, mostly my art journal pages. Some of the pages I share on certain Facebook groups instead. But for A Year In the Life of An Art Journal, it often works better to post them on my blog. This day's story also references a page I did inspired only by some Daisy Yellow prompts and the proximity at that time of Veterans' Day.

I more recently finished pages inspired by both the Oct. 30 and Nov. 15 prompts at A Year in the Life of an Art Journal. Here's my story about the Oct. 30-inspired page.

Oct. 30 was in honor of Halloween. The first prompt was "Scary," and the second was to create stripes, like the Wicked Witch of the East's striped socks. Remember her from the Wizard of Oz? She was the one crushed by the house at the beginning of the movie. All you saw were the striped socks peeking out from under the house.

I'd already painted one of my art journal pages orange because of a Daisy Yellow Daily Paper Prompt gone wrong. Then I saw some Zentanglish stripes on Pinterest, and copied them to the best of my ability. But then the page sat there for about two weeks, not anywhere near finished in my mind. I knew that my "scary" orange and black page would somehow focus on Halloween. But Halloween is not my favorite holiday, so I wasn't sure how to finish it. So, I moved on, working on some of my favorite inspiration sites via other pages in my art journal. Quite recently, I came across prompts in Daisy Yellow DPP "Ransom Note," and another prompt in Emily Falconbridge's 52 Questions, which is a series of prompts she published in 2009, but I only discovered at the end of 2012. The prompt in 52 Questions was "What Is Your Favorite Holiday?" My favorite is Easter, which is not a holiday I'm thinking a whole lot about right now. Instead, as I thought about how I might incorporate ANY holiday into an art journal page, my mind roamed from Halloween (this at the time unfinished page) to Veterans' Day (a holiday I had already recently incorporated into another page, below) to Thanksgiving (a holiday I like almost as much as Easter, and will no doubt feature in the journal soon, but not yet.)
Halloween won out when I remembered that I had purchased some really cute Halloween stickers last year to scrapbook my grandson's first Halloween. And Daisy Yellow's DPP "Ransom Note," (create a ransom note with mismatched stickers brought it all together. I decided I'd use the "scary" stickers, the skeletons and the ghosts, on the page. I also wanted to use some of the gazillion "candy" stickers I had left. So, with a little bit of imagination, I came up with the idea to "kidnap" my least favorite holiday, and warn the world that if they want it back, they must give me candy.  I can be pretty diabolical, can't I?

Saturday, August 17, 2013

I have no regrets, but I do make mistakes

One of the art journal challenge blogs I read regularly is A Year In the Life of An Art Journal. It's getting a little neglect these days, because unlike the challenges I work on daily at Daisy Yellow Art, this blog is only updated with a new challenge twice a month. Most recently, it was updated with a challenge to journal about regrets, and to use thick paint (it actually recommended texture paste, but I don't have that) on the page. There is a photography challenge you can do with or instead of the art journal challenge. This time, it was to photograph your least favorite beverage mug.

If I still had it, my least favorite mug would have been my once treasured Daily Press 50th anniversary mug. But I smashed that thing into the Daily Press's trash can just before we moved to Riverside. And that made me think of the "cracked" page I had created, just waiting for some prompts that would actually involve journaling. You can learn about the process and other prompts that led to the creation of the background here.

My orange paint is definitely the thickest of the two containers of paper paint that I own. It was created by mixing water with a powdered pigment. Because I had left it open overnight not too long ago, the paint is now thicker than it used to be, which simply means I'll have to add more water before using it for "normal" purposes. No problem. I hqve had to do that with just about all my acrylic paints as well, even though all but one of them eventually got to the point where water or no water, no more paint was coming out. But the orange paint is in a large enough jar it doesn't have to be squeezed out. You can dip a paintbrush right in. I did, and added a liberal dose of the thick orange paint. Since the first coat of the paint on this page 1) Was applied before the jar of paint thickened and 2) Was dabbed onto this page with an index card that was already wet from a freshly applied tea stain, the new coat is quite a contrast to the first coat.

Once my new paint was dry, I tackled the journaling. As a Christian, I've learned not to spend too much time thinking about my regrets. Repentance of sins means to acknowledge you did something wrong, then move on and trust Jesus to help you do the right thing next time. That even has been the focus of a series of sermons I've heard at church recently from First Peter. I merged the thoughts of several verses in Peter and elsewhere to create this reminder to myself of how I should live.