Saturday, January 31, 2015


The month of love. The wearing of the Red to honor the American Heart Association.  Hearts and flowers.  The first signs of spring approaching in many areas of the United States.  February brings forth many emotions, hopes and dreams.  We have closed the chapter on the previous year, cleaned up all the holiday messes and are getting our lives "back on track" for the months ahead.  What better way to stay on track than with a calendar?

This week's art journal prompt is to create a monthly calendar for February, using red, pink and white (and any other colors you might choose).

The team had fun with this prompt.  Some of us love calendars, others do not.  Can you tell who doesn't like calendars?  Check out all our responses to this prompt, then get busy and create something fun in your journal.  Then show us on the group feed over at Artful Journeys.  We love seeing all of your ideas and creativity!


Supplies used are:  Cricut machine, Me and My Big Ideas stickers; flower punch; Glimmer heart sticker and glue Glue stick.

I usually paint my pages but our colors this week were red/pinks and white so I was able to leave the background unpainted.  (ed note:  why did you do this we wonder???  hehe)

I cut the February and the 2015 with my Cricut machine and then punched out pink flowers and put Tim Holtz number stickers on. Had a few stickers from Me and My Big Ideas and I thought they went well with the page. This is the first time I did a 2 page spread..usually I just do just one or a half page, but I must say this was a lot of fun to complete. I hope you girls join us in this week's prompt.

MELODY ELZY -   Melody loves pink--- don'tcha know it is her signature color? But she definitely does not like red. She says it makes her gripey (not exactly the word she used, but close enough).  Is she seeing "red" after completing this prompt?  See her finished spread and how she did it here on her blog.

TAMIE WILSON- I used gesso, acrylics, stickers, buttons , beads, black pen, foil hearts, tissue paper hearts, washi-tape, homemade heart stamps, tattered angel ink spray, feathers, and alpha stickers.  I told the other ladies on the team when we decided to use monthly prompts for calendars that I hate them.  But I can go with the flow on just about anything.  I "hid" the calendar from immediate view, at least making it a little more palatable for me behind that cute piggy card I received from Lynn Jackson!

My internet is still down, so no blog this week! Sorry guys!

BETTY RICHARDSON - I had a lot of fun this week with this prompt. Love me some February.  I used red, lots of pink shades and white, along with many other art supplies and techniques to create this fun calendar page on an upcycled frozen pizza box.  Check out my blog here for full details and to see the finished page!

POP-UP ART CHALLENGE #9 - Writing Prompt

January has just flown by for me -- how about you?  While infusing my coffee this morning in the recliner trying to get the fog out of my brain, I picked up my pocket journal (which lives beside my chair when not in my purse) and I began to think about this month.  It is the last day of the month. Wow.   A lot has gone on in my world this month and probably the same at your house.  Christmas decorations have been taken down, for most of you, your house is probably back in order (not me, yet) and we're plugging away at a whole new year.

Today, I want you to spend no more than 1 hour creating a journal page (full page, half page, pocket journal, etc) writing about your month.
Hit the highlights.  Tell a funny story that happened. Document what went on in your world this month.  Was there a new baby in the family? A sad passing of a family member?  Joyful news on the work front?  Something you were especially grateful for that happened?  Hopes and expectations that were or were not met?  Use bullet points if you want, or write in flowy words and and sentences, but WRITE!

This prompt is more about the writing experience as opposed to the art created.

WRITING (and more specifically PRINTING) in your journal helps you explore you and your world. It also will help serve to improve your overall penmanship and writing and lettering skills.

I often keep my pocket journal on the side table next to my chair in the living room with a Micron Pen, a fat and fine line Sharpie marker and my little zippered pouch of Prismacolor pencils.  My pocket calendar can hold up to watercolor fairly well, but a heavy Sharpie will bleed through without a little gesso, which is never right there, and so I resort to those pencils more times than not because they are handy, they don't bleed through, and I just like playing with them!  This page was no exception.  Once I started writing, events of the month just kept coming, so that part was easy.  It took me longer to tart up the page than it did to write about the month.

So journal your month with your own hand.  Then tart it up if you want to.  As you can see, I didn't do too much artwork, but I did do a little fancy lettering and added some interest on the page.  It turned out just fine for what it was meant to be.  I added a little quote to remind me how to keep my stress levels under control........ "love is patient, love is kind" ...

Have fun with it, and show us what you come up with on the group feed over at Artful Journeys. I promise we won't be sneaking any peeks at your personal words.

~~Betty aka Arty Auntie

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Tactic Tuesday - Let's play with the Brayer!!!!

Hey, y''s Melody, and I'm here to bring you our first Tactic Tuesday post!!!!  (this post is very photo intensive, so consider yourself

I have to tell y'all...I LOVE my brayer!!!  When I bought my first one, I used it to smooth down stuff I'd glued into my journal...that was never occurred to me to use it for something else, until I saw somebody use it in a tutorial video, and I almost died!!!!  Well, with MUCH trial and error, and I'm pretty sure an entire 50 count package of cardstock, I got the hang of it and actually created some pretty damn amazing backgrounds for my journals!  Let me show you!!!!!

This one was created mainly with a brayer, but I used a makeup sponge to do a  little blending 

"Oh, Mel, those are pretty cool!  Can you show me how to do that?"
"Why yes, my dear friend, I can and will!!"

So, let's start by gathering our supplies....

  • Brayer - it doesn't matter what size it is, but if you're going to be working IN a journal, I highly recommend getting a smaller one...2"...but you can do it with a 4"...soft is better, but hard will work.
  • Craft mat (if you're going to do the 2nd way I show you) or any slick, easy to clean surface
  • Paper/journal - if you use the first way, you'll want a thicker, sturdier paper to handle the wet, the 2nd way will let you use any kind of paper you'd like, including deli, printer, or even heavier weights of paper!
  • Paint!!!!  Now, I'll tell you this straight up, IT DOESN'T MATTER WHAT KIND!!!!  Craft acrylic in the bottle, tube acrylics (I love Liquitex Basics), fluid acrylics, too!
  • Baby wipes (for cleaning your mat and brayer).

Ok....let's start with the first way you can do this!  Now I'm sure the 2 I'm showing you today aren't the ONLY ways, but they ARE my faves!  So let's do this!

First we start by squeezing out SMALL dots of paint onto our paper...if you go bigger, you're gonna have a hard time spreading it out the way you need to for a quick drying background, not to mention you will lose your individual colors in the mix....

Here are some of the spots of paint...always be sure to use colors that work together and are touching on your color wheel...we don't want mud.

Added a few more spots here, and got really excited about the whole
So, now you grab that brayer and start spreading out your paint...yes, the colors will meld, spill and blend...and you never know what you're gonna get...probably why I like it so much, lol...

DO NOT PRESS TOO HARD...on this way of using the brayer, a little pressure is good, to help move the paint around, but you don't want to press too hard, yet!

Be sure to always start at an outside edge of the paper, and again, don't use too much pressure yet.

and be sure to take your brayer to the opposite edge of the paper as well.

The paint that you push off onto your underpaper can be pulled back onto your paper, or spread out (with your brayer) after you're done...Remember, that underpaper is GOLD, y'all!!!

When you're done, it should look  a little like this...

Don't get discouraged if it's a's fodder for later pages...just keep going...getting enough paint to cover the page, without turning it into a sodden pool of wet paint takes time and practice...if you come up with something like THIS...

That's just need more paint!  Just a little at a time when adding, tho...

NOW...for the 2nd way you can go to town with your brayer, and this one is my personal fave....

Here is where you're going to use the craft mat/sheet/slick surface ...and not to catch paint!  Get your paper and your brayer ready, then put some (NOT A LOT) paint onto the craft mat....

Now use your brayer to spread the paint into a very thin layer on your mat NOT apply pressure while spreading the apint around....let the weight of the brayer do the work for you, or you won't spread, you'll slide and smear.....

Now move your paper over, and using the brayer start at the edge of the page and move up in a straight line

Turn your paper, and run your brayer back thru the paint on your mat, and do the same thing again

Keep going like this until you run out of paint on your mat...

And your paper should look a little like this....

But wait!  We're not done yet!...Let's do another color!

Now, if you want, add another's the can layer colors on top of each other with this and without a lengthy drying time!  Because if you feel your page, after that first layer, you'll find it dry...if you didn't use too much paint....less really is more here, because you can layer and add, and layer some more, and even put together colors you normally couldn't blend together....

There are just so many options available with both of these techniques...and the possibilities are truly endless!  

Here is a page I made from one of the backgrounds I did for this tute...

This was actually created using some dolls from Deviant Scrap and PicMonkey (<my new bestest buddy)

So, I hope I helped you more than I confused y'all...and if you have any questions, y'all can find me over at Artful Journeys on Facebook!!!!!  Thanks for stopping by and happy arting!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Week #4 - Super Bowl/Sports Teams + An Alternate

Week 4.  Already.  The month is flying by and we are having a blast with everyone at Artful Journeys!  Many of you are in the throes of winter and looking forward to an early spring this year, especially after the horrid winter some of you experienced last year.  We will say a prayer that your weather wishes come true!

This week we are giving you a primary prompt and an alternate.  Our line of thinking started out with "Super Bowl,"  NFL Teams, the Pro Bowl and the fun that generates during the dead of winter. That's all well and good, but maybe you don't do sports, don't like sports and can't get any mojo for arting about sports of any kind.  So we came up with an alternate for you -- "Under the Sea" that might present a little more creative impetus for you.

Some of the team had trouble with this prompt this week.  Others did not.  But here are our contributions for you to see and hopefully be inspired to create some magic of your own, be it about your favorite sports team or a dreamy under-the-sea journal page.

Show us your finished creations on the group feed at Artful Journeys.  We are anxious to see what you come up with this week!

BETTY RICHARDSON -- see for yourself the fun and difficulties she had with this prompt this week here. She used acrylic paint, watercolor, copic markers, black and white pens, punches and half her supply closet.

LYNN JACKSON  - "Under the sea".  I wimped out doing the sports oriented prompt!

The base color is Apple Barrel turquoise and I added circles using a homemade stencil using Martha Stewart high gloss acrylic paint in Indigo. The under the sea quote I used Tim Holzt mini stickers and outlined them in my Uniball Signo white pen and also used it to just dot the page for water like effects. Then I brought in the fish stickers and added them here and there and there you have it!

MELODY ELZY -- find out why Melody loves this sport and see her full page spread and process here

TAMIE LEE RODRIGUEZ -- Tamie doesn't have a blog post this week due to some internet issues.  She used wallpaper, acrylics, gelatos, wax pencils, black and white pens, and children's book word art to make this "Under the Sea" magic. Can't you just see the "madness" in Tamie's head peeking out at you?

Tamie created another beautiful spread this week, or "madness" as she jokingly says to hopefully inspire you to continue to explore your inner self and think about your life in a positive way, even when the chips are down.  This should give us all some mojo!

We are anxious to see what loveliness you create for yourself this week, so be sure and show us on the group feed at Artful Journeys.  Are you inspired by the Sports/Super Bowl prompt, or "Under the Sea?"  Show us the "madness" that lives inside your head!

Make it a great and artful week!
~~Artful Chicks

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Week 3 - Paint It Blue

The month of January is moving right along and so are we!  We've arrived at Week #3, and our prompt and challenge this week is to "Paint it Blue" AND to use a palette knife, spatula or credit card to create your background.

Does the color blue soothe you?  Maybe it is a hue of the primary color that really gets your art mojo flowing and inspired.  Blue is all around us, all the time.  It is in the sky, in the ocean, in public and private buildings, in our art, in our beverages.  Blue is an earth color. The color of water as seen from afar.  Colors inspired by the earth can't ever let you down or keep you from being inspired in some way.

Let's see what you can do this week with this little challenge and prompt.  Make it your own, interpret it any way you wish, and be sure and share your creations with us over at Artful Journeys, telling us a little about your mediums used and your technique or process.  We can't wait to see!

 TAMIE RODRIGUEZ WILSON -- see her full spread and learn more about her art here.  She used acrylics, ink sprays, washi tapes, stamps, lace, old book pages, packing tape, and bubble wrap.

BETTY RICHARDSON - She used acrylic paints and a triangular palette knife.  See her full spread and learn about the thoughts and processes behind her work here

LYNN JACKSON-  I used Apple Barrel Bonnet Blue as my base and added a stencil by Americana mixed media called brick wall.

The 1-2-3 are also stencils from the same company and took a few stamps and just stamped them into the bricks. Honestly I didn't know where this spread was going and really not even sure it did but I liked it in the end. It was fun not to think to much about it and just have fun. I hope you girls enjoy it.

MELODY ELZY - Melody went wild with book pages, fluid, heavy body and craft acrylics, a plastic card and more to make magic on the page this week.  Read all about her processes and see the finished work here

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Week 2 - Selfie + 10 Positive Things About You

Do you really look positively at and within yourself?  Sometimes we can be extremely hard on ourselves, and usually unecessarily.  It has been said many times over and in many ways that we are our own worst critics.

For the art challenge this week, we want you to definitely look at yourself in a positive light and highlight at least ten things that you find good within yourself.  Use a real image of yourself if you like or an artistic representation, but create a journal page all about you and how wonderful a person you really are and show yourself all those positive things.

I know that two of us did more than one page for this week.  Not sure why we find this self-assessment so difficult sometimes, but we do.  Reinforce a path of positivity, and don't give credence to that nasty and negative inner critic.  Then reflect on why you chose the words you did to describe yourself.  Know that you ARE all those great things and that you matter.

See how we all interpreted this week's prompt and let us know what you think.  We can't wait to see your creations over at Artful Journeys.

Melody Elzy -  see her full spread and process here

Lynn Jackson -  On this page I decided to use scrapbook paper this time instead of painting. On my words I used a Brother label maker then then glued them down on a mixed media paper I had painted and cut them out. The words came easy because this is just how I see myself. I am very loyal and pretty funny and really a Good G. That is short for Grandma. And I work around kids 5 days a week so yes I am very hard working.

Tamie Rodriguez Wilson - see her full spread and process here

Terri Turner - Supplies I used: Gesso, Acrylic paints, Stamps by Stampabilities & Unity Stamp Co., Tie-dye stencil by Americana, Spare-Parts flowers by The Paper Studio, China marker, Black Uni-ball Signo, and White Uni-ball Signo

Betty Richardson - see her full spread and process here