Monday, February 29, 2016

Birthday at Swan Lake

Hi everyone and happy Leap Year!

My new update for The Nontoxic Project isn't ready yet since today Toot will be taking her very first Royal Academy of Dance exams (wish her luck!), so instead I'm going to share what we did for her birthday party last year. The conversation went something like this:

Me: What do you want to do for your birthday this year?
Toot: I want a ballet party!
Me: Great! Any particular theme?
Toot: I want a Swan Lake party!
Me: Mmmmkay.

Hey guys, guess how much Swan Lake themed birthday party stuff you find at the party store? That's right! NONE. Luckily, the wedding section had some black and white things (for Odette and Odile of course) and I fudged the rest of it as well. lol I found this cool tutorial on altering ballerina cupcake toppers so I started there and worked outwards. lol

I made dark chocolate cupcakes for Odile and white almond cupcakes for Odette:

And because I'm a crafty mom that can't leave well enough alone...I also altered two pointe shoes in honor of our birthday girl and rival princesses:

I was coughing up feathers for a week after making these. lol! But everyone had a blast and Toot was able to turn all worked out! :D

Wednesday, February 24, 2016


Hi everyone! Andddddddddd with this post I have officially blogged more in 2016 so far than I did in the whole of 2015. LOL

Anyhoo, I have a new art journal spread to share today, inspired by Marlene Dietrich and "Illusions"...

Of course, she offers multiple illusions and I'm only selling one. LOL ;)

And here she is, in all her layered glory...the journal spread that is, not Ms. Dietrich of course:

I really wish I had a picture of these pages before I did anything to them. The background was one of my Dylusions inks inked-up pages, I like to spray on a ton of ink, smoosh the pages together and just do that for a while in my journal before really creating anything. lol But these pages were junk, like the edges were turquoise but there was this black blotch right through the middle and it was gross. lol So I started layering and just did a lot of random stuff. lol

More sprays, stenciling, gesso, random bits of book pages, paper towel rings, flickin' know...Chaos as usual. lol I made Ms. Dietrich's resting shelf out of Japanese fabric tape (thanks Chrissy!) and then added some weird collection of washi tape. I really love combining washi patterns that probably shouldn't go together. Just love it! lol

So from an initial background that sucked to hosting a Hollywood legend...Movin' on up! lol

Monday, February 22, 2016

The Nontoxic Project: Take a Journey, Make a Mess

Hi everyone!

Time for an update, here's some progress on my first altered something or other for The Nontoxic Project.

Last week I mentioned that I found two two-page spreads that had no writing on them in my toxic journal. I left those bare so that I could alter them along with the shadowbox portion I had already glued up. The first spread is finished, let's check it out!

I started, of course, with some Dylusions ink sprays and the pages soaked.them.up. (Sidenote: I added gesso to the other two page spread to see if that will keep that from happening next time.) I also did some chalk ink punchinella stenciling and ink spray through a Dylusions stencil. I had an envelope that was dated 1936 that I've been holding onto so I used that as a pocket for the tag I made:

The tag is pretty simple: more Dylusions inks, stamping, stenciling, a Cosmo Cricket phrase sticker, and the witch was from a napkin. I don't make a lot of tags so this was fun to try out! The opposite page was pretty simple as well, I used vintage books pages on the background along with a playing card and picture of a lady along with my usual bizarre selection of washi tape. lol

I'll be sharing more of this work in progress as it comes along! In fact, would you like to join me? Do you have toxic things on your shelves or in your drawers (dresser drawers not the, you know, underwear kind) that needs a detox? Let's do this together!

Whatever you do, please do share with me!!! Leave a link in the comments, send me an email, @ me on Twitter or Instagram, let's clean out and reclaim together! :D

Time to detox...mixed media style! :D

Friday, February 19, 2016

Shadowbox Ballet

Hi everyone!

I'll be running around like a crazy person today so there won't be a Friday Night Fab Five this week. Instead, I wanted to share a couple of shadowboxes I made to commemorate Toot's current years of ballet. I don't even want to tell you how long it took me to finally get around to making these...or how long it took for me to finally blog about them. LOL Ballet seasons run like school years so I used the end of season year for each one, since the pictures were taken then.

For as long as I waited, these were incredibly quick and easy to make! I used inexpensive shadowbox frames and fancied up the background with some punchinella stenciling.

For both, I had saved her ballet shoes and flowers she received after her recitals and for the one above, I saved the ribbon she wore in her hair and used it for more background decor.

I saved her "crown" comb for this one. Luckily, I still have a stock pile of Thickers so I used those for the years. lol I suppose I'll keep adding them as long as she'll keep dancing! (Or her feet get too big to fit in a frame. HA!)

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Punch It Twice

Hi everyone!

I wanted to participate with the "New Beginnings" challenge over at Mixed Media Place so I decided to remake one of my older art journal pages and give it a new beginning of its own. lol

You might remember this page, omg punch it. It's very simple and although simple is awesome and I liked it just fine, now that some time has past, I thought it could be a bit..."more". But still, it wasn't bad:

And this is the new and improved page:

Side by Side:

Well? What do you think??? Different, right? LOL I love it. It's all full of stuff and things. Yes!

I started by spraying some Dylusions spray ink through an UmWowStudio star confetti stencil and added an arrow between omg and punch it.

I piled on the washi tape and UmWowStudio star confetti chipboard with I painted with Distress Paint. I also flung White Linen Dylusions ink all over the place. lol

The original page was nice and clean...I've figured out that I'm more of a mess. At least for now. LOL

Monday, February 15, 2016

The Nontoxic Project: Where I Rip This a New One

Hi everyone!

You may remember last week I introduced The Nontoxic Project. This will be an ongoing series of artistic detox, as I uncover things I've been saving under the guise of "memories and sentiment" when really some of it is just plain toxic i.e. not sweet and "Awww, I wrote some funny stuff!" but more like sour and "Freaking holy crap, I really hated myself!" lol

Now obviously, I could throw away these things or I could hold on to them with the idea of "learning" about myself but for me personally, these things on my shelf and in boxes were sitting there, just being stagnant and moldy...metaphorically speaking of course. lol This project isn't about getting rid of diaries, pictures or things that necessarily trigger sad memories, it's more about reclaiming and repurposing a time in your life that might have been "toxic". (As always, check out the "Nontoxic Project" tag at the bottom of the post for more of the journey.)

So with that in mind, let's get started! Last week I shared the journal I found from 2003 that was full of ugly, toxic things I thought about myself:

My initial idea was to make a sort of shadowbox frame where you open the cover and there's a cool looking something or other on the inside. (Obviously, everything is completely planned out already. :P lol) The first thing I did was Mod Podge the pages together. This worked pretty well, the pages were thick and glued together with little problem so that I could just run glue along the edges and be done.

I did have to rip some pages out and try closing the cover as I went to make sure it would shut. lol So here's where we're at now:

All that toxic muck and gunk is now smooshed together for eternity! lol After I got the pages glued together, I started whacking at them with an exacto knife. As you can see, I did not try to be straight and/or neat in the least. LOL For me it wasn't so much about neatness or perfection as it was slamming these ugly words in the face and destroying them. lol I added a little gesso on the "frame" but didn't completely block out my handwriting, I figure it'll add to the background. :)

Oh and can I just say, the tip of my finger STILL hurts from wielding that knife for who knows how long getting those pages out. LOL In fact, I didn't cut as deep as my original plan because I discovered 2 sets of pages that had nothing written on them! Soooooo I not only have the shadowbox section but I also have two double page spreads where I can create something new. This project keeps expanding and I love it. lol

I'll be sharing more of this work in progress as it comes along! In fact, would you like to join me? Do you have toxic things on your shelves or in your drawers (dresser drawers not the, you know, underwear kind) that needs a detox? Let's do this together! If you're inspired, pick it up and run with it!

Whatever you do, please do share with me!!! Leave a link in the comments, send me an email, @ me on Twitter or Instagram, let's clean out and reclaim together! :D

Time to detox...mixed media style! :D

Friday, February 12, 2016

Friday Night Fab Five: Mixed Media for N00bs

Hi everyone!

This week's Friday Night Fab Five is off the cuff and completely rushed but I was really excited to answer this question! lol I got this wonderful comment from yaya snaps on my light bulb art journal post:

"Love what you're doing...and want to try it...but I don't have all the stuff you use. Is there a beginner book or info. somewhere that tells what basic equipment is needed to create this kind of art?"

Whoa whoa want me to talk about mixed media?!?! Um, please and thank you!

Okay, no way is this post exhaustive on the topic and if you like, I'm more than happy to delve further so keep leaving comments or email me! So keeping in mind that I'm barely scraping the surface here, I'm going to share 5 tools for N00bs, newbies, and mixed media know-nots that are super easy to get a hold of and, for the most part, are either cheap already or can be cheap with craft store coupons. lol

**I'm going to assume that everyone knows what mixed media is, long story short, if you take two or more things that aren't the same thing and create something with it, you're making mixed media thingies. (Thingies is a techincal artist term...patent pending.)**

So first, let me say...ANYONE, yes ANYONE can create with mixed media. There are NO RULES. You do not have to use expensive supplies, you do not need the "latest thing" and you don't have to go into a craft store if you don't want to. Granted, there are some super awesome happy fun toys in craft stores but if what you're wanting to do is give this a try without too much investment up front, let's just cover the basics.

**Disclaimer: I know there is a TON of stuff out there but these are just the simple essentials that I hope will be easy for anyone to find!**

1. Things!

So first you need something to use as your base for turning into something else. Anything is fair game for you to alter with mixed media: envelopes, playing cards, old books, notebooks, boxes (regular boxes, gift boxes, cereal boxes), cardboard, $1 kids paper canvases (my personal favorite), candy tins...ANYTHING you want to alter, nab it and grab it!

2. Stuff!

Now we need stuff to add to the things. This is where you'll save money in SPADES. Bubble wrap, newspaper, more cardboard, pictures, magazines, junk mail, catalogs, menus. All of these things can be used to add layers, texture and/or interest to your project. Stuff you would normally throw away or recycle, upcycle it instead, rip it up and glue it down on something! Speaking of which....

3. Sticky Stuff!

We need something to keep all the stuff on the thing so get some glue! Regular old white glue is fine, tacky glue is great, glue sticks are perfect for tacking something down before committing. Hot glue guns are good too for some projects, the glue itself can even add dimension to your projects! My personal favorite is matte Mod Podge, you can use it as a glue as well as a sealant. You can get fancier with gel mediums, beeswax and a tons of other fun things but for those starting out, just grab some Mod Podge. Target recently had little bottles of it in their dollar bins for yep, $1.

4. Brushes!

You can get fancy paint brushes but for those on a budget, go get some sponge brushes. You can find them just about anywhere and they are C-H-E-A-P.

5. Color!

I'm currently in love with spray inks and you can find these for less if you use a craft store coupon. But barring that, and to make this as easy as possible for first timers, get some acrylic paints. You can mix with water to make them thinner, you can use them in conjunction with white glue for different effects. Crayons, watercolor pencils and paints, chalks, colored pencils, pens, markers, the list goes on and on and a lot on the list is cheap.

BONUS: More Stuff!

A lot of the fun of mixed media is using things to add texture, dimension, and fun stuff to other things. Paint on a toilet paper tube makes circles. Wine corks make smaller circles. Bubble wrap makes a lot of circles. Glue down lace trim or dab it with paint and use it as a stencil. Use masking tape as part of your design or to cover up something so you can add color somewhere else. Busted up jewelry can be glued down. Wipes can wipe off boo-boos as well as color something without covering it up. Cut out words and lines from magazines or torn up books and ta da, instant quote/statement maker. Scissors...well, they just cut stuff but still important!

The point is, everything is fair game, anything can be glued down to something else and it's ALL fun. In fact, if it's not fun, don't do it. Seriously, creating things should, at the end of the day, be fun for you. The more you do it, the better you'll get. This post just covers basic tools but search for tutorials, techniques and just start doing stuff! I find mixed media to be A BLAST and I hope you'll give it a try!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Then a Light Bulb Went Off

Hi everyone! New art journal page to share with you today:

I started with my usual Dylusions ink sprays on the background and then just started layering here and there. Added some stamping with bubble wrap, lots of splatters and messy things. lol I also used a tiny script handwriting stamp lightly all over the page.

I glued down some random pieces of paper in the corner. The pinup is an image transfer I did with packing tape. I'm still not a pro at doing transfers. lol But she came out pretty cool and I used an UmWowStudio stencil of a light bulb to give her an "idea". lol

Finished off with some washi tape, done and done! :D

I'm really into backgrounds lately. I've always felt like my backgrounds could be "more". I've finally ventured out and just continued to add. I can really tell a difference as I flip through this journal, some of the older pages are a little less..."messy". But it's neat seeing what things looked like versus now. And I hope to keep going, still think I could always use "more". lol

Monday, February 8, 2016

The Nontoxic Project: An Introduction

Hi everyone!

As promised, here is my newest project which will be ongoing for a while (hopefully, lol). But first, some background:

Before I discovered "art" journaling, I did old school journaling. lol I used to write a lot and when I was younger, I would keep a diary of sorts. I can't say I did it regularly and would rarely write off an entire book before starting a new one. (I loved shopping for journals and ended up with more journals than thoughts. lol) I still have a stack of these things. But there was one journal in particular that I wrote in until the end. It was back in 2003 and spanned almost the entire year.

I used to think that my journals would be fun for my kids to read through once I was gone. After all, I lived in the age of no cell phones, no internet, smoking was cool, and there was only one kid in my entire elementary school who was allergic to peanuts and we felt horrible that anyone should be deprived of peanut butter cups. lol

Until I started to read through my journal from 2003 (the future is here!) and decided that I would never let my kids or anyone else read it. It wasn't embarrassing...but it was...well...


It was full of the most hateful, ugly, mean and disgusting things I had read about anyone. And the worst part was, this was me talking to me. This was me telling me everything wrong with me, real or imagined. It was the most toxic thing I've ever read and there was no way I was leaving this behind when I was gone.

So what do I do with it? I caught the spark to flip through these old things in the first place by this exchange with Mandy Steward on her Instagram. But I didn't want to just throw it away, not only would it be out there in the universe somewhere but now I wouldn't know where it was. lol I could have ripped it up and shredded it I suppose...but instead, I decided to remake it. To make it make something toxic into something nontoxic. It was time to detox. Which led to this:

I decided it was time to clean out and reclaim by getting rid of the toxic things I've been clinging to for so long. Whether it's pictures, letters, journals, whatever, if it's toxic, it's time for it to hit the road. Or hit my creative space in this case. lol I wanted to completely alter this toxic book into something beautiful and creative. Maybe not "uplifting" per se, but definitely NONTOXIC. And here is the toxic journal in question:

Of course, altering things with mixed media is loads of fun so I'm looking forward to this a LOT. And this journal was really cool too, it had this neat burlap cover and the pages were those handmade style pressed heavy papers, loved it! Too bad the crap I wrote on it stunk. LOL

I've already started making this Book of Yuck new again and I'll be sharing everything I do to it right here on the blog. :D I hope you will share this journey with me and even better, would you like to join me? Do you have toxic things on your shelves or in your drawers (dresser drawers not the, you know, underwear kind) that needs a detox? Let's do this together!

Whatever you do, please do share with me!!! Leave a link in the comments, send me an email, @ me on Twitter or Instagram, let's clean out and reclaim together! :D

Time to detox...mixed media style! :D

Friday, February 5, 2016

Friday Night Fab Five: How To Do Art Stuff

So this post went up on Thursday for some reason. LOL Oh well!

Hi everyone! Wow, it's been a while on this, right? lol No matter, I'm back now with another Friday Night Fab Five where I list 5 things I like, love or like just not in that way for the week. This week I'm going to share some cool artsy tutorial/walkthrough videos I found on You Tube. I've been looking around to find new things to try and although I haven't done every thing in all of these videos (yet), I thought I'd share ones I enjoyed watching recently. :D

1. 10 Basic Background Techniques for Art Journaling from Jodi Thompson

Link to video

I really loved this video and cannot WAIT to try some of this stuff. With every step I kept saying, "Wait, but that was awesome don't cover it up!!!" Then after she was done I kept saying, "Of course!" Lots of good techniques here and they look like fun all layered like this.

2. Art Journal - Layering Technique from Iris Fritschi-Cussens

Link to video

This is the same video I referenced in my Mixed Media Space Oddity but it bears repeating, this one was a lot of fun to do! I would love to try it again after I get a gelli plate. I will definitely be using masking tape more often in my journals!

3. River Song Tardis Journal | DIY from ellawelly

Link to video

Being a big Doctor Who fan and a big book/journal fan, I really really really want to give this one a try soon! If nothing else, I'd love to start making my own art journals...or at least make one once. lol

4. Dylusions Art Journaling Creating a Page - Part 1 from Ranger Ink

Link to video

An oldie but goodie, this is what sparked a lot of my art journal backgrounds. I basically had a bunch of ink sprays and had no clue how to use them. lol I love this video and still use the ink/smoosh technique for most of my backgrounds. lol

5. Scrap Time - Ep. 657 - Art Journaling Techniques with Dyan Reaveley from ScrapTimeVideos

Link to video

Another video with Dyan, I just LOVE watching things come together. In the past I've wondered how in the world people can create these beautiful layers that build up into beautiful projects. This video is a great walkthrough and I really like the gesso stenciling.

And there you have it, an all new Friday Night Fab Five! What were your favorites this week?

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Mixed Media Space Oddity

Hi everyone!

I have an art journal page for you today! It's full of layers and spacey goodness. lol In fact, let's get in the mood:

Okay, good. So I've been roaming around You Tube looking for new things to learn/try in my art journal. When I go AJ, I tend to be more "art" and less "journal". lol I call it art journaling because I'm journaling art, not necessarily my life or anything. lol Anyway, where was I? Oh right, to You Tube!

I found this neato layering video, I followed a lot of what she demonstrated except for using a gelli plate., I don't have one of those. lol (Soon, my pretty, SOON.)

(Here's a direct link to the video on You Tube.)

I really like how she started with tape and I'm always down to use paint on a paper tube. lol So off I went!

Then I sprayed over the tape with some Dylusions ink spray. I also smooshed the pages together to start another background for later. lol

I added some turquoise circles with the paper roll, then added Distress Stain around the edge of the page and splattered with more Dylusions ink spray.

I did some chalk ink stenciling with punchinella and once everything was dry, added more ink splatters.

Since I didn't have the gelli plate to finish off the background like in the video, I just kept picking at it until I made myself finish it up. lol I Mod Podged on a piece of sheet music with the words, "Oh I will take you back" with some burlap and punchinella and a fireworks labels. The sparkly thingie in the corner was a brad I attached to the burlap/punchinella.

I also went back over the sheet music, burlap and punchinella with the paper roll, to make it look like it's a part of the whole thing. lol

Sometimes it's hard for me to leave a lot of space and/or call something finished. A lot of times I think, well, it's good but I feel like there should be MORE. lol Do I add more or do I stop? This time I decided to stop. lol

Monday, February 1, 2016

Happy 2016! Late! lol

Hello everyone!

Well, obviously I'm wishing you a happy new year very late but I hope you're having a good 2016 so far anyway! lol One of my goals for this year is to blog more often. I left it for a while and am finally starting to feel the urge again *urge to blog...rising...* lol

Blogging for as long as I have (and taking a break for as long as I have) has been interesting. Some of the people I used to "blog with" i.e. visit have moved on to other things while some are still writing and creating and doing all sorts of fun things. Ah, the good old days of bloggy tribes, blog parties and daily promenading around the blog-o-sphere. lol I started this blog (under its original name) when Toot was 8 months old I believe. She turns 8 YEARS old this year while Zippy will turn 5 and I live in continuous disbelief and denial. lol

So I've been around for while. >.> Still using Blogger, still gluing stuff to other stuff and hookin' with yarn as much as possible. I stopped all that for a while...once my little brother died, everything felt...I don't even know, just off I guess. But I miss the old days of blogging, my "tribe", my daily haunts and sanctuaries. A lot has happened since this and I hope to revitalize this blog, if for no other reason that to document me talking to myself. LOL

Fortunately, I love talking to myself so what better time than now? So I have some projects up my sleeve, lots more crochet, art journaling and covering things with other things. This is one of the projects I'm working on that I am excited about:

I can't wait to share this with you!

But more about that later...

Until then, I hope to get my virtual and creative act together, start visiting blogs again and sharing my own creative journey...and I sincerely hope you join me!