Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Collage Unleashed Project. Week 1.

Hello all! Welcome back to yet another day of my blog. I hope you guys aren't getting tired of me yet! Cause I've still got a bunch more tricks up my sleeve... :) Okay, so today, I'm giving a type of update post on my Collage Unleashed project. A few weeks ago, I started working my way through the book "Collage Unleashed, by Traci Bautista". I haven't done that much yet, but what I have, I would like to share with you guys. I find that even though Traci's style is gorgeous, it just doesn't fit with my style in the very first try. If you look at the picture above, you'll see my very first color scraped piece.

I don't like it. I think the colors are just a little too muddy. Plus, they're just not as bright as my normal colors. I feel like it just doesn't represent my style. I don't really do too well with my art that doesn't represent ME. That's the purpose of my art. To express myself.

I tried it again. I did pretty much the same thing, just used different colors, and sort of interpreted it in my own way. I really like this one though. The colors aren't really my kind, but I like them anyways. I'm going to try this same technique (scraping and stamping) with some brighter colors. This just feels a little bit dull. But I'm still going to use this in my art. What I'm going to do with it is probably cut it up and then use it just as collage paper. That seems like a good enough idea to me. :)

The last thing I'd like to share with you guys is a piece of scraped fabric I did. Normally you do the scraping on paper or cardstock, but Traci recommends also doing it on a plain white muslin. It adds amazing texture, plus it's just really cool looking. I used yellow, orange, and red. That always reminds me of fire for some reason. And I love fire. It's just so cool. Of course, I don't like it when buildings get burned down. But campfires are just so neat!!

Anyways, just one last thing before I leave you guys today; I was thinking about maybe doing an art journaling course. An online workshop. With videos and PDF forms and everything. Maybe about different techniques and prompts. I just think it would be cool. But really, I don't want to go to all the trouble of putting something together, and then nobody buys it. I don't know how much it would cost or anything - just throwing the idea out there. Maybe if I did a short, 1-2 week course or something for free, then you could get more familiar with my teaching style? Tell me what you think!!

Oh, and just a bit of a side note... this morning my blog hit 1,000 hits!! I'm so happy! And excited! I'm just kind of wondering where the blog will go next. Who knows, really? So anyways, see you all next time! Bye!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Link Collection #3

So I'm back with all you guys once again. Sorry about the pic repeat; I did post this picture a month or so ago. But It's early in the morning, and I don't feel like finding another one. So today is going to be my third link sharing post. I really enjoy posting these things, and they're easy enough to put together. Plus it's a Monday. I was thinking about having a linky Monday, I just think it would work well. Tomorrow though, I'm planning on putting together a post on my progress working through the book "Collage Unleashed". I'm having a lot of fun playing around with a different style, and am learning to appreciate how hard it is to imitate/grab inspiration from someone else's style. :) Well, anyways. Before we get started, I would like to say that there ARE more links today than there have been in the past. :) Well, without further ado, forward march! Linky Monday.

A pretty blue and copper page that was created during a power outage! It's beautiful.
This is pretty! A weird/attractive merge of scrapbooking and art journaling. :)
Somebody just got a new craft room! Check it out.
Changing a scrapbook layout to card, and vice versa. So cool!
An amazingly EPIC erosion bundle. If you haven't seen these, defiantly check it out!
Even though it's not really journaling, just paper made to look it, I was instantly attracted to this page! I think it's because of the colors!
This is a bit of an older post. But I couldn't help it. Steampunk dominos!!
Some really sweet looking ATC's. Sooo inspiring!
This is a bit of an older post too, but it's too beautiful to pass up. A wonderful woven picture!
Success is personal. That's all I need to say.
This is a glorious piece of artwork that was actually made out of erosion bundle pieces!
A tutorial on the beading "herringbone stitch". Beadweaving. Awesome.
Cult of stuff. A post that pretty much hits my feelings right on the nose.
Creating handmade books. From fabric and paper.
Scrap Vomit quilt block. I'm sorry. I couldn't help myself.
This is soo cool. A portrait made entirely out of.... dice!
Index-Card-A-Day Summer over on daisyyellow! Doodling on an index card. Genius!

So that's all I have for you wonderful folks today, but look for tomorrow's post hopefully showcasing my collage work from the past couple of weeks. At least what I did through the book! See you guys later!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Creative Experiments #1

Okay, I'm finally back, and this time with pictures!! My camera cord is still lost, but I managed to upload some pictures using my phone. I'm sorry it doesn't really take the best of photos, but I guess some photos are better than none. I know I like to see at least one when I'm looking at a blog. Especially when I really want to see what they mean. But now that I have new pictures, I can start to write about them and not ramble about random stuff. :)

This is going to be the first creative experiments post. I touched on this as a possible topic in the last post, and even though I didn't get any response, I'm just going to go on ahead with it. Basically, I'm just going to be experimenting with my supplies; seeing all the different things that each of my things can do, and pushing them to their absolute limit. And then I share my progress and the things I've been doing on here with you guys. So today's post is about one of the many things you can do with white acrylic paint. I decided to go with how well you blend with it. The background above was a failed attempt at trying to get a watercolor effect with NON water soluble colored pencils. Hehe. I thought that I might as well give it a shot. Well, I hated the effect. So I decided to try and blend with the paint.

Basically, I just took a bunch of white paint and then blended/massaged it into the colored pencil with my paintbrush. That helps the color to show through the paint, basically just making the whole thing just a couple shades lighter. In my honest opinion, I think that makes the entire page just that much easier to work on, even if my finished pages end up dark. Just a thought. My opinion.

The finished thing, after white paint, is shown above. I liked it a lot. In order to get that aged effect, though, I had to take a baby wipe and wipe away a few layers in certain areas. I love the aged look, and when it was finished it totally reflected my style, which automatically made it an excellent starting point for one of my pages. For my style (bright, layered, stamped, and distressed), this was perfect, and even though my finished pages ALWAYS end up dark, I started on the light page and it worked perfectly.

After the page was done, this is what it looked like. I LOVE this page, and you can't even tell that it started out as something that I hated. I love the way the colors just go together perfectly, and look like I made a lot of complicated decisions. I totally didn't. I would just look over and see something and think "hey, I bet that could work on my page". Then I would put it on. I used acrylic paint, white and colored, stamps of all types (carved, acrylic, rubber, and found), stamped with both paint and ink. I also used masking tape, water soluble pastels, stencils, and foam letters for the title.

That's the end of this creative experiment; though it doesn't really reflect it on the finished page, adding that one layer of white acrylic paint actually helped me a lot in the long run. I think that if I would have just worked directly onto the color pencil, I don't think it would have turned out quite as well. Maybe that's something to experiment with. Anyways, tomorrow I think I'll do a link post, with a TON of links I've found this week... I've been bookmarking them all. :) Then tuesday, expect a nice post with an update on my Collage Unleashed project! See you guys tomorrow!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Projects Update

Yeah. That post every day thing. Not happening. I lost my camera. The picture above was taken a while ago, since my phone was also dead and not wanting to charge. I don't know what it is about all of my electronics going down all at once. I do know that the warrantee for my phone is up, thus no posts for the last couple of days. It's okay though, since I'm popping up here again to talk to you guys. I really wish I could talk about the progress on my Collage Unleashed project, since I actually have some good progress on it. I've made two color scraped pieces; I like the second one I did better than the first one; the first just didn't seem like it was my style.

I also did some scraped and dyed fabric ideas that I experimented with. The next thing I'm going to be messing around with is crayon art. I wish I had a personal iron that I could use to play around with... I'm going to be looking for one at Goodwill and E-bay and stuff; a good price and I might have to snatch it up. If I just use Mom's iron, it'll ruin it, and I'd rather not do that. I still need that to make some garbage bag fabric for my project runway project. I've also started something that I'd like to share here on my blog once I can get pictures and stuff. You see, something that I've been messing around with the idea for lately is getting the most out of my supplies. Though I buy my supplies cheaply enough, I still like to stretch them out as far as I can.

I'm going to be having frequent posts on here showing you guys ways that I use my different supplies. Since there are so many different ways to use just one product, that means, I won't ever run short of things to write about like I have in the past. I was just experimenting earlier today with a way to use white acrylic paint. I know that is one of the very basic supplies that I use in my art journaling. I like experimenting a lot, and I love to find new and improved ways to use my supplies. What do you think of that?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Link Collection. Number Two.

Okay. So it's that time again. I'm going to do another link post. I seemed to have a good response on the previous one, and it was a lot of fun to put together. I think that people seemed to enjoy it too. And you know, sometimes it just feels good to put together a short post that's still good and solid, with lots of juicy material. And a good photo. :) The picture above is of my favorite bookshelf in the house; one single shelf just for my craft books. Some other books worked their way into there, and a couple are missing, but for the most part, those are the ones I've got. And I like the ones I have. That's the point. They're inspiring to me, and I enjoy flipping through one or two of them when I'm bored. But without further ado, here's the links!!

An art prompt about your life. Amazing. And inspiring.
A tutorial on making colorful fabric ATCs from leftovers. They're lovely.
A list of several journaling prompts. Whether you're a journaler or an art journaler, these are sure to inspire you.
A cool post on some ladies that were working on quilts that look braided. Love.
Another amazing post by Balzer Designs... I couldn't resist. Her site is so inspiring.
A free motion quilting pattern that immediately caught my eye when I saw it. The whole blog is worth exploring, especially if you're a quilter!
Some beautiful english paper pieced hexagons just for the heck of it...
And to top it all off, a lovely post with only pictures of roses.

So I hope that you guys enjoyed this little collection of posts that I found inspiring to me. Just a side note here, I post stuff here that actually inspires me. While some things may inspire me in one way, yours might be a little more subtle. But that's okay! That's what inspiration is really all about.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Update Post

Sorry I've been MIA for so long, but with us moving sometime within a couple months, things have been pretty hectic around here. My parents were gone for a while looking at houses, and a whole bunch of stuff kept coming up that was actually keeping me from being on the computer much at all. However, I still would like to manage to keep up with the blog. Even though the posts may not be quite as long as they normally are, I'd still like to post every day, even if it's only a short post. Also, I've been working on putting together a bunch of mixed media kits and working on making my jewelry. I've only listed one thing so far, and that's located here.

I've also been working like crazy on writing articles. I'm trying to become a Platinum Member of Ezine articles, and to do that you have to write 10 articles that fit all of their article guidelines. So far I have five published, and there's one that's still in the review cycle. And one that I'm currently writing. So almost seven in all. I've been using some of their article suggestions to give me ideas, and I'm so grateful for those.

Another thing that I was considering was maybe doing more than one post a day here on the blog. If they're short quickie posts anyways, then it shouldn't be hard to do a couple a day throughout the day. As long as they don't take me a half hour to write. I just don't have that kind of time. Not if I still want to craft. :) So yeah. That's all I've got for now; if I do another post today, I'll probably do a link post. I had fun doing that last time. So I'll talk to you all later! Bye for now!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Link Sharing!

Okay. Today I'm going to try something a little different than I normally do. I'm a normal, almost article writing type blogger. But today I'm going to try something that I've seen a couple other bloggers do, and I always appreciate it. I'm going to post a bunch of links that have caught my eye. A few of them are older, but for the most part they just came out of my Google Reader. They all inspire me, and I hope to inspire some of you! Whenever I see one of these on somebody else's blog I always find it fun to browse other sites that the author found inspiring. So here it goes!

I found this post very inspiring, and I LOVE the story behind it (though I'm sorry she lost her painting.
Here's a nice interview post. I always love these.
I love the quilt featured here, and a stash pic is always welcomed!
This is a post of a really cute quilt; freeform pieced birds!
This one is AMAZING... a bound book made from a coke can!
I've been working on a squidoo lens about inspiration, so this was spot on!
This is on a challenge site; using monochrome on an art journal page!
I love the journals this lady makes. They're so unique.

So I hope you enjoyed today's post, and I'll talk to you guys later! See you!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Trash Bag Fashion

Okay, so I know that this episode of Project Runway is an old one, but when I came across this picture from the show, my jaw literally hit the floor. And really, i don't think that I've found it since. If you haven't seen the show, or you don't want a spoiler, then you should probably leave now (I hope you don't though). But this look was made COMPLETELY from black trash bags and blue masking tape. I was amazed when I saw this. Like I've said before. This was absolute genius on the designer's part. And let's just say I was a little more than inspired. Seeing this made me want to make clothes even more; I've only done four or so pieces, but I'm already feeling like I should be better. (That's just my personality I guess. Hopping right into things without thinking. Ha.)

But anyways; any of you that have been with me for any extended period of time know what I'm about to suggest. I'm going to start a new personal challenge. I love this idea though. I'm going to work my way through ALL the project runway challenges. It will encourage me to mess around with different techniques and possibilities as well as challenging my creative side to think up fresh, new ideas. The first ever challenge on Project Runway was to make an outfit using only things you could find at a grocery store. So I'm going to steal the idea from above (of course. That's typical and CERTAINLY not expected) and use trash bags to create a faux leather effect. But mine's going to be much different. Stay tuned for more updates to come!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Finding Your Personal Style

Your style is something that should be very important to you as an artist. And don't even try to tell me you're not an artist. You are. And even though I can't really "instruct" you in how to find your style, I do have a few guidelines that may (or may not) help you. Basically, your style is YOU. Your style is what you like, how you work, and what a finished project represents and looks like. Sometimes (and for certain people) it is harder to describe, while with others, it's very simple and straightforward. Either is correct, as long as it's what you are.

My style is the former; it's actually very tough to explain, but I'll try my best for lack of a better example. At first glance, my work may seem strange, because it's different. But that's good. If you start to notice a change and uniqueness in your work, then that means that you have broken out of a specific "stage" in your artistic journey. You have stopped copying other styles and have begun to develop your own.

Anyways, back to my own style. I like to classify my general "look" as eclectic. I like anything and everything. Plus more, all in one big bundle. That shows in my work. I used to think of myself as modern, bright, and colorful. But now, it's quite different. Sure, those elements are still there, but they are mixed with vintage, distress, urban, and even more styles. This gives an overall elaborate theme. I also have hints of steampunk mixed into it. That's just the way I roll.

So now that I've sort o described my style, maybe I'll give you a couple hints how to find your own. First off, try to determine what you like. What shapes you like, the colors you like, and the general things that attract you. Squares and neutrals are most likely modern and streamlined. Circles and bright colors are commonly youthful and playful. A mix of all this stuff probably has a more eclectic flair. There are more ways to find your style, but this was just through words. Let's do a little experiment, shall we? This one is for art journaling, but maybe I'll do some on other crafts a little later on.

Here's the deal. Get yourself something to work on. Whatever you feel comfortable using. Paper, cardstock, a journal, cardboard, or any other thing that makes you feel happy. You could even use shaped pages if that's what excites you. Having a single circular page is exciting every now and then. Now just go crazy! Do whatever you feel like doing. Lay down a first scraped layer, or use a paintbrush. Perhaps us a wash. Or splatter paint or maybe some india inks. Work with chalk or glitter, photographs or baby wipes. Just play with the materials and mix the supplies; try things that may not be first thought of and show your style. Only stop when you feel like it represents you. But here's the hard part. If you haven't gotten out of the first stage in your art yet, and you are still copying other styles, you have it a bit harder.

You can't look at any reference materials while you work. You're trying to work out your own style here, and you can't really do that when you're looking at somebody else's work. I know it's hard, but it has to happen sometime, right? Why not now? After you take the first leap into developing your artistic style, it will feel really good. You'll feel more independent as you create and you'll feel better about yourself as an artist. That's right. An artist.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Arting on a Budget - The Importance of a Good Stock

As many of you probably know, I am on a very strict budget. I get a $7.00 allowance a week; a dollar goes to my tithes and offerings, $3.50 goes to my Ford Fiesta savings (I'm very specific about what car I want... that one in lime :D), and the last $3.50 goes to any spending I want to do. That includes arting and investing in my business. Unless I sell something on Etsy, which is kind of rare. $3.50 a week! Crazy huh?

Contrary to popular belief, when you're on a tight budget having a stash of supplies is actually very important People think that building up a stash costs tons of money, and you have to do it all at once, thus making it impossible for somebody on a budget. These are both false. Actually, the reverse is true. When you don't have much money to spend, having a stockpile or stash is quite handy.

So how exactly do you start building a stash? Why is having a stash better than not having one at all? I'll start by answering the latter. Why is having a stock good for people on a budget? Well, for example; think if you've already spent all of your money you have allotted for the week. You would normally have to just wait it out until you could get the stuff the next week. That would be trouble just waiting to happen, since when you (at least when I) take time off for a time, even so little as a week... well let's just say that I get major crafting block (actually, I think it's more like a cramp...) However, if you have a stock, then you can normally just work out of what you have.

Even when you have a strict budget that you have to follow, it is possible to build up a rather large stash. It's actually quite easy. The hard part is that it takes a while, so you have to use patience. People with more money to spend may be able to build their stash quickly, while people like me will take a while. It will be easier however, if you will wait a couple of weeks (at least) before using anything out of your "stash", that way you will see your things accumulate.

When you are on your weekly (or perhaps monthly) shopping trip, buy what you need for the next week (we'll talk more about planning what you need another time), and then you should be left over with a bit of spare cash. Say that the only thing that I really NEEDED for the week was a black ink pad. I found a good one on sale for a dollar. With the leftover $2.50, I could buy some other things to add to my stash. Sales are always good, and I'll talk a bit more about finding supplies in unexpected places in a minute. My point is, always buy more than you actually need. This goes against ALL the budget books, I know, but I'm just telling you what works for me. Let's say I get some pattern paper. Say... 4 sheets for a dollar. That's four sheets I can use some other time.

Also, get used to buying your supplies in unexpected places. I'll often buy stuff in the dollar section of target. Also, the dollar store. Goodwill is my VERY favorite place to search for supplies, and hardware and office supply stores are goldmines if you know where to look. I'm not going to go into a lot of detail right now, since I'm planning to make a sort of series around budget buying. So a lot of these things will be mentioned later on. But anyways. Just keep a sharp eye out everywhere you go to find supplies. For a very brief example; when I'm at goodwill, I look for all types of things; clothing to take apart for the fabric, books to tear the pages out of to use as text paper, sweaters to rip apart for their yarn (I'll do a tutorial on this too), and other things to be repurposed. Also, I'll look for things MEANT as craft supplies. I've found things such as oil paint, gouache, beads, yarn, fabric, glitter glue, and vintage or older sewing patterns.

So, as you can see, it's easy to find supplies in places not very well known for their craft supplies, even though it takes a tad bit of looking. Also, one other question I had for you guys; what do you think about a weekly post... a "what's in your pockets today" type of post? I'm just that type of person; you should see some of the weird stuff I have jammed in there (I'm seriously considering getting some boys pants just for the pockets)... that's what gave me the idea. Tell me what you think!!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Quick Update

So I know that I haven't really been posting very consistently, but I've just been really busy lately. I've been working really hard on school to be able to be finished by the normal time that people will get out rather than the estimated end of June. Plus... we're moving. Yeah. It's come up really quick and I've got the feeling that it's just going to feel quicker. So please forgive me for all of the no post days. I don't have any pictures today (I spent more than an hour looking for cords and other cameras I could POSSIBLY use to take some, but it just didn't work. Plus, my phone is dead and doesn't want to charge.) so we'll just have to see what we've got to work with.

Starting off with my progress on working through the Collage Unleashed book... I did a couple of things. I wish I could show you the pictures that I took, but I just can't get to them today. I did the first color scraping project in the book, and did some stamping. It didn't turn out nearly as well as hers, and I don't really like it, but oh well. You see, I found that even though I didn't like the finished product, I enjoyed the process. That's what matters. Also, I did another page in my personal style just as a type of comparison. Then I did some color scraping in red, orange, and yellow on some white cotton fabric. So that's all I've got for today, and I'm glad that I was able to get at least a short post on here. See you all next time.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Collage Unleashed by Traci Bautista

As I was sitting down yesterday, brainstorming ideas for the blog, I had an idea. To me, at the time, it seemed genius. It's probably not as cool as I thought it was, but I'm gonna work with it anyways. I own a book called Collage Unleashed by Traci Bautista. It was given to me in a RAK by Dede (Thanks Dede!!), and I've loved looking through it and simply using it for inspiration in my art. But here's the deal. I haven't really done that many of the projects done in it. I just thought that it might be cool to mess around with the many different projects in the book.

I know that there are a bunch of people out there that are considering buying the book, but aren't sure about it. Maybe this will also help them figure out if it's their style of something to invest it. I actually highly recommend this book though, because I think that it's very well written and also very inspirational to all creative types. Even if you're a quilter, I'm pretty sure the colors and combinations that she does in the book would give you inspiration. I think that she has a style that just feels so playful and fearless - a lot like I try to have in my artwork. I love the book. It's amazing.

Anyways, if you're looking for an update on some of my artwork, I don't really have any pictures today either, but I do have a few words to share with you. I've been working dutifully on my trench coat muslin; I don't know if I mentioned that on here before or not. I've mostly just been playing around with shapes and cutting out all of my pieces that are necessary to the coat itself. So yeah. That's what I've got for you and I'll see you all next time!!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

I'm Here! Finally...

Hey all! I'm back! It's about time, huh? I guess it ended up being a bit longer than a week. About two and a half weeks to tell the truth. But anyways, what's done is done, and there's nothing I can do about it. So I've had a lot of good stuff going on recently in the crafting department, but I've only got one picture for today's post. I had to use my cell phone to take it, so sorry if the quality is crappy. I'll talk more about the photo above a bit later. First off, I think I'll talk about all of the chaos that's been going down in my room lately. It's a mess.

You see, I've been trying to organize my craft stuff recently and it's been complete insanity. I decided to sort everything by color, no matter what it is. That's sort of becoming a hinderance to the organization process, since I have to find somewhere to STORE all of this stuff. Haha. Well, anyways, that's that.

Now we'll go to the picture above. You can see that it's a couple of fashion sketches. If you know me personally, you can see that I'm not girly at all. For the most part I hate dressing up, and the fanciest I'll ever be is a summer type dress for a wedding. That's about it. So it's weird for me to be messing around with fashion. But so far I've done 6 fashion sketches that coordinate into a fashion line. You see, I've been working a lot lately on sewing clothing. I want to sell it. Do you like the sketches above?

There are several ways that I've been planning on doing this. A portion of all of my sales in my etsy shops will go towards this project. Also, in case I haven't posted it before, a portion of all my sales go to a nonprofit organization that is based in my city. So yeah. Well anyways, that is one way you can support me in this project. Also, if you like one of the pieces in the sketches above, just let me know in the comments, and include your measurements. I'll do some research, then get ahold of you to quote a price. Thanks so much for supporting me!!
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