Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Jack and Jill Went up a Hill

to fetch a pail of water.  Jack fell down and broke his crown and Jill came tumbling after.

Sums up what my life has been like for the past few months. Ups and downs and tumblings after.  I’ll check in after the first of the year for an update.  🙂


“Where Did the Posts Go?”

I have been out of commission for the last month due to personal health issues.  I hope to begin blogging in the next few weeks and I am collecting ideas as I recuperate.  Thanks.

Hardware Finds Part 2

Here is a continuation from the previous post.  Keep looking. There’s more to find.  Remember small independent hardware stores often have treasures that you don’t see in the big-box stores.  Think global, buy local.

Ball chain, with or without connectors, for attachments.

New paint cans – hardware stores stock plenty, waiting to be filled with custom paint orders.

Multiple edged ( adhesive) plastic scrapers to add texture to wet paint or texture paste.

Wallpaper samples.

Contact paper (both for transfers, and for color and design).

Adhesive numerals and letters or house numbers in a variety of materials (metals, wood, laminates).

Signs for larger projects – no trespassing, do not enter, private, etc. I’ve been seeing danger signs with the ‘D’ removed for the word anger.

Mailing envelopes that can be gessoed and used as ‘canvas’. Tyvek is a strong treated paper (often Fed-Ex or UPS envelopes are made from this.)

Paper or plastic label tags or metal-rimmed circles.

Plastic or wooden plant markers in garden department.

Tassels found in window shade department.

Sheets or rolls of adhesive cork.

Now look around a little longer. What other ideas can you come up with?

Marbled Background

Marbled Background

Consider using a large piece of paper and cutting into cards when background is complete. Chalk with Versamark chalks if available, not dry chalks. Choose several colors that set off your center. Generously rub a cotton ball in each color and lay aside. Hold Versamark pad upside down and rub over surface of card. With one color, dab chalk sparsely on surface. Repeat with other colors until area is quite covered. For a more blended look, rub a clean cotton ball over the entire square, rubbing in circles with light pressure.

Quotations III

Art is the only way to run away without leaving home. Twyla Tharp

A single fantasy can transform a million realities.
Maya Angelou

Christopher Robin spent the morning indoors going to Africa and back.
AA Milne

You cannot create experience. You must undergo it.
Albert Camus

When one door of happiness closes, another opens,
but often we look so long at the closed door
that we do not see the one that has opened before us.
Helen Keller

I dream about the roots of trees
and where they travel underneath us,
and how they sustain us from above.
I marvel at tree canopies and spectacular branches.

When you walk to the edge of all the light you have
and take that first step into the darkness of the unknown,
you must believe that one of two things will happen:

There will be something solid for you to stand upon,
or, you will be taught how to fly
poem by Patrick Overton from his book, Rebuilding the Front Porch of America, 1997

Visual Journal and Journaling

Once the background on the journal page is completed and your artwork in interspersed on the page, perhaps it is time to do some journaling. Whether it’s only a few words or a full entry, there are many techniques to use besides the “write it down in the blank space.” Here are a few I’ve used in my current visual journal.

1. Attach a small envelope on the page. Paint, collage, draw, write, whatever, on the front of the envelope. Write your journaling on lined notebook paper or an unusual bit of paper (perhaps handmade?) and slip it into the envelope. Don’t seal unless the message is a private one.

2. Affix a pocket (from old shirts, jeans, specialty paper, or new fabric) to the page. Slip a paragraph of journaling inside.

3. Journal using a bullet list. Make it an elaborate to-do list for the future (week, month, year?) if you wish.

4. Journal a dialogue, using opposite points of view.

5. Journal on vellum that is placed on printed paper, vintage papers, or photographs.

6. Write a letter, extolling the virtues of a friend or family member.

7. Attach an image from a photo to the page by the top edge only. If you have sewing skills, you can stitch the top with bright embroidery thread. Hide journaling under the flap.

8. Journal on a piece of vellum. Then place bits of colored paper on its backside to highlight important words.

9. You can always add the familiar quote or poem, perhaps using different colors or unusual mark makers, (perhaps crayon or conte pencils.

10. Use your computer to journal on a separate piece of paper using an old ‘typewriter’ font. (Or if you have access to an old typewriter, type it.) Print the journaling on an ink-jet transparency, vellum or a light shade of paper and use eyelets to fasten to page.

11. Choose a word that most describes the page you’re working on. Copy or cut-out a definition from an old dictionary or a list of synonyms from an old thesaurus and adhere to a chalked tag.

12. Draw lines (can be wiggly, at an angle, or freestyle) horizontally covering the page. Use a single color (or more) depending on your mood. Print journaling on some or all of the lines in black pen or other complementary color. Add doodles in between some of the words or on the edges.

ABCs for Altered Books

Altered books provide lots of creativity, spawning the use of all sorts of media and it’s fun.

Braid or macrame, heavy string or yarn; affix it in rows to the outside spine of book, letting threads hang from the bottom edge for a fringe effect.

Crumpled plastic wrap to apply ink onto page for background. Use 2 or 3 colors of ink if you’re adventurous.
Color block technique provides a colorful geometric background.

Duct tape, masking tape or black electrical tape can be used to mask part of a page or to use as a funky adhesive.

Embellishments such as buttons, fibers, flowers, beads and buckles add interest to a page.

Fabric painting on muslin or other material make a interesting decorative piece, especially if embroidered or machine sewn to paper.
Found objects make a flat collage, especially using a variety of collected papers, tickets, to-do notes, etc.

Graph papers that have patterns or figures drawn and colored on them make fun backgrounds. If you don’t have real graph paper, make your own. Let your lines look natural. No rulers allowed.

Hardware from a typical hardware store can be arranged in patterns — use washers, very thin nails, rubber gaskets, nuts, etc.

Ink jet prints for transfers make unusual copies of photographs to display as focal point.

Junk, found in thrift stores, dollar stores or antique shops, can be used as all types of embellishments or project starters.

Knots, the tiny embroidered ones, can be sewn as an outline of a special image or around the edge of a page.

Labels from products, glued to a page randomly, make an interesting background or layer.

Mylar balloons, deflated and cut in pieces, are fun to glue onto pages.
Metallic paint or pens add glittery accents.

Nail polish, in moderate amounts, can be used to draw or write on the page. If page is very thin, draw with polish onto a thick piece of paper and glue it on as part of a collage.

Openings cut through some attached pages make windows to hold tiny treasures.

Pockets, especially from jeans, are great to glue onto a page and use to hold secret messages, photos or manila tags with attached strings. This makes a nice textured page.

pieces, hand embroidered or machine sewn together, add lots of color. Can add a secret panel; one to lift for a surprise or make a pocket over an embroidered piece to hold a secret.

Ransom note cut out of magazine or newspaper letters can fill an entire sheet of paper, and can deliver all sorts of messages.
Ribbons, braided or singly, one or many colors, can be cut to hang from a page. Use as a multi-colored fringe from the bottom of the page.

Stencils can be used for positive or negative images; paint through a screen, plastic doily, a net bag that once held potatoes…

Thread a shoelace through holes punched on the edge of some papers to bind the pages together, or tie pages together with the lace.
Time lines personalize an altered book and at the same time add a new variety of marking.

Unryu papers or other hand-made papers add diversity.

Vellum paper to layer, scratch, stencil, or use in rubbings.

Weave thin strips of paper together to add to an altered book page, using paper that has been stamped, or has been handwritten on, or on paper that’s been covered with modeling paste and paint.
Wax relief — mark with wax crayon, then paint over with a variety of marking media.

X-acto knife to cut a window or door in an altered book and then use as a little altar or shrine.

Yarn, embroidery thread or fibers to wrap around a page, a card or to hold the entire book together.

Zebra paper or fabric and other wild animal prints add a slice of animal life to the book.