Saturday, March 28, 2015

Artful Journeys Week 13 - Northern Lights or Stars

Hi, it's Melody this week taking the reins here on the blog. Surprise!

There was grumbling among the natives this week over the prompt....and why wouldn't there be...Northern Lights...Beautiful to look at...Easy to admire...NOT so easy to recreate on paper!  And only one of our team members was able to pull it off!

Betty took the bull by the horns and with an amazing jolt of inspiration created something spectacular!  Jump over and see HOW she did it here

Next is our dear Tamie's spread, created with some digital images and sweet silver star stickers, Tamie really captured the beauty of a night sky and the idea of making her spread an adventure!

Lynn jumped into this week's challenge with both feet and came up with a winner!!!  On this piece I painted with 3 colors. First I used the color Navy and then added Apricot to make it look like evening. The top I did Brick Red. The glimmer at the top is  the glow of the Northern lights, while the man and woman are a postcard I cut down to fit the page trying to make it look like they are watching the lights from inside their house. Trees came from a swap with a friend, and the glimmer at the top are tiny star lights.

Melody tried to do the Northern Lights, but apparently her sanity was starting to suffer, so she took a different route for her spread this week and hit NASA up for a little inspiration.  See her interesting take on this week here

Saturday, March 21, 2015


Happy Spring everyone!

Our prompt this week:  Represent "Spring" -- but you *cannot* use any flowers.

Now this is going to be fun and interesting to see just how creative you can be.  We always think of beautiful emerging flowers at springtime, and many are already trekking to the nurseries buying those bedding plants, flowers and getting antsy to dig in the dirt and make more beauty in the world around them.

Let's all herald spring, and represent it in your own unique way.  Have a look and see what kind of craziness we all came up with this week.  We're trying to think outside the box, and you can too!  Go for it, and show us in a new way what spring means to you!

BETTY RICHARDSON - Betty is definitely thinking outside the box this week.  See her full spread and let her entertain you a little bit over on her blog here

TAMIE RODRIGUEZ WILSON - Lots of fun and creativity from Tamie this week. Check it out all on her blog here!

LYNN JACKSON - The prompt this week was spring using no flowers which was really hard to do because that is what I think of in spring and my yard has buds coming up everywhere.

Anyway, I used two colors of green on this page..glossy sublime lime by Apple barrel and a little neon green by craft smart. Had some stickers I used for the spring part and then just added some butterfly Washi tape top and bottom and then cut some for random placing.
Another fun page to do and I am so happy it is springtime and the snow is all gone! Thanks for looking.

MELODY ELZY - Melody has created another stunning and colorful page to inspire you!  Check it out on her blog here

So there you have it.  Four different takes on our prompt designed to make you think outside the box. We're so happy you stopped in, and if you'd care to leave us some blog love in comments, we would appreciate it.

Now get busy, and show us your representation of Spring -- and remember *NO FLOWERS* !

~Betty, Melody, Tamie & Lynn

Sunday, March 15, 2015


This week, St. Patrick's Day arrives, so everyone (nearly) is thinking about green.  Green everything. Clothes, food, beverages.  Some of these celebrations are legendary in some parts of the country and we hope that you will be celebrating the wearing of the green, whether you are Irish or not. It is all about the fun!

Our prompt this week:  Paint it Green with alternates:  Use a brown paper bag or Saran Wrap (c)

Your admin team likes to use that very wide "interpretation" thing quite frequently. And I think we have done just that this week.  Have a look at what we have created in response to this week's prompt.  I think you'll have a laugh or two and hopefully be inspired.

MELODY ELZY - Gosh Melody is digging way down into her stash of goodies this week and made a wonderful spread, full of surprises, lots of interest and texture.  Check it out on her blog here

BETTY RICHARDSON - Going way out of her comfort zone, Betty has created a three-dimensional spread this week. Check it all out on her blog here

TAMIE RODRIGUEZ WILSON - Tamie is telling us just how it really is in her world this week, and made a beautiful spread, as always. Check it out on her blog here

LYNN JACKSON - I used two color of greens for this. Neon green and Island Green. Added some stars with a stencil in white paint. Not sure why I used the dress on the page I just liked it and hope you do too.

Well there you have it.  Four different interpretations this week, and everyone taking a totally different approach.  We hope you can take something positive away with you this week from what we have created, and we look forward to seeing what you come up with!

We're keeping it artful!

~~Betty, Melody, Tamie & Lynn

Sunday, March 8, 2015


Time is the most undefinable yet paradoxical of things; the past is gone, the future is not come, and the present becomes the past even while we attempt to define it, and, like the flash of lightning, at once exists and expires. ~Charles Caleb Colton

This week, we're thinking about clocks and time.  Time is a commodity that seems to be fleeting in many of our lives. We over-commit and run from dawn to dusk and well past that daily.  Electronics eat up our time these days it seems -- hours online chatting, trolling the feeds, dreaming the dreams of the perfect art studio we found on Pinterest, lusting after the newest, latest & greatest art supplies.  We're inundated with texts, phone calls, television.  We cannot escape it......but we can do our best to manage it.  And once we use up that precious commodity of time, we cannot get it back.  So we have to learn to use our time wisely.  Set strict family time, art time, computer time, and of course, rest and ME time -- whether you use it to take a long, luxurious bath with the door locked, or a quiet solitary walk where you can center and collect your thoughts.

Since Daylight Savings Time returns to most of the northern hemisphere today (2:00 am), let's focus on CLOCKS & TIME in our journals.  And remember to "SPRING FORWARD"!  Express the theme any way you want.  I think this week your Artful Chicks went in all sorts of directions, given the "time" we had to create! (ha).  Have a look at our interpretations of this week's prompt, and see where you go from here.  Have fun with it and let those creative juices shine this week!

LYNN JACKSON -- Clocks! For this weeks prompt I used two colors for the background..lime green with diva pink made by Apple Barrel. The clocks are a stencil I have and the fingers pointing towards the clocks are washi tape. I look forward to the time change with more light in the evening.  This was a fun page to create. I think I'm getting my mixed media mojo going! Thanks for looking!

MELODY ELZY - Melody is wowing us again this week with another of her bright and colorful spreads.   Melody is just teasing you with this pic! Go check it out on her blog here,  to see the finished spread in all its luscious glory and be sure and leave her some blog love!  She will appreciate it!  We always like to know you are actually visiting us and seeing what we're up to!

BETTY RICHARDSONI'm still a little into grunge mode with this week's prompt, hot off our "grunge" pop-up challenge.  And besides all that, all this paint was still sitting on my dining room table!

I created this as a tip-in for my journal as a 'trifold."  I upcycled a K-cups coffee box and made use of all the box folds.  Base was coated with a thin layer of gesso, applied with  a ratty acrylic flat brush I use just for this purpose. Then I began slapping on different shades of red acrylic:  Liquitex Heavy Body in Alizarin Crimson, Liquitex Basics in Napthol Crimson, Aquatec in Cadmium Red Light, and Daler Rowney in Brilliant Red. Some of the paint was scraped on, others brushed, and in some places smoothed and thinned with a baby wipe and my fingers.  I wanted to let some of the wording off the box peek through.

Once  that was all dry, I made some random marks with some generic black acrylic, and a splash or two of some permanent drawing ink.  I had gathered up several different clock faces and images, and the ones I had previously printed out on white cardstock, I covered in Cadmium red.  I wasn't very happy with that decision, but I had no TIME to do it all over.  I am embracing the Tim Holtz philosophy of embracing imperfection!  The silhouette was in my stash of happy mail goodies and she is holding a cup of coffee.... my favorite.  Really, that silhouette was the decision maker for the lettering. Had to do it.  And in my world, any time is truly coffee time.  I finished off the lettering, edging and marks and called it good.  It was TIME for me to move on to the next thing on my never-ending to-do list.

So here's what I learned:  Recycling is always good; coffee is always good, any time day or night;  I still love red and black together; I'm liking grunge more and more; and time is something I never have enough of.  I'm fixin' a fresh cup.  Care to join me?

TAMIE RODRIGUEZ WILSON - Another beautiful and very creative spread from Tamie with glorious use of color, texture and a little of her "madness" thrown in. See the full details on her blog, here

We hope that we have inspired you in some way this week.  Be sure and show us what you create and how you're thinking about TIME and CLOCKS this week over at Artful Journeys.  We'll get Tamie's interpretation posted sometime later today.  There was a little glitch over there in the big Detroit. But fear not, we know there is something masterful coming!  We'll get the blog updated for you as soon as we get the finished images.

We appreciate you stopping in, and if you'd care to leave us some blog love, that would be fantastic. We read all your comments and love knowing that you're here, reading, watching and playing.

Keep it artful!

Betty, Melody, Tamie & Lynn

Tuesday, March 3, 2015


We've got a pop-up art challenge for you this week.  ADD GRUNGE OR MAKE SOME GRUNGE IN YOUR JOURNAL!

Many of you know my life is all about "order" and the sensibility of order. So I have trouble with the concept just adding more when it comes to adding more papers and bits to my journal pages for fear of trashing them, but oddly enough, I have no trouble with it when it comes to adding paint!  I have no fear collecting the paper bits, saving them, and knowing I am going to use them, but collective bits added in a random fashion -- I definitely have trouble with that.  It's my mean Inner Critic, I know. She is ruthless. She shouts at me "You're messing it up.....stop"  and sadly, I listen to her.  But the times I have ignored her and kept adding more are the pages I truly love the very best.  Letting go and letting the art just come organically is really quite rewarding.  Making something look grungy, well, it was invigorating for me. It was quite freeing.  Really.  Try it.  Grunge it up.  You'll love it!

I love using red and black together. Something about those two colors together I find very powerful when combined.  Of course there still seems to be a big sense of "order" to my completed page, but honestly, I just had a blast with it.  You gotta start somewhere being messy and "grungy", right?

I brayered on several different layers and colors of red artists quality acrylic paints, including Golden, Liquitex and Dayler-Rowney, both regular and heavy body.  I grabbed up my giant bottle of generic black acrylic and brushed on strokes here and there, dry brushing in some places, thinning with a paper towel in others.

I made a flap or a "tip-in" using a recycled K-cups coffee box that I covered with the same colors of paint, in the same haphazard, slapping-away method.  I splattered black india ink.  Wheeee! Such fun!  The flap will serve to hide some journaling I plan to add to the spread later, but generally just gives the page a little more interest. Finally, using titanium white, I added some slashes and dots randomly over the page, and a pretty piece of red glittery yarn to the flap.

Seeing that brown cardboard underneath the flap now, I better add some more paint to that. Another journaling and painting opportunity!

Thanks for stopping by and looking.  If you have a moment, leave me some blog love in comments. I am interested to hear what you have to say about my grunge look and creating with wild abandon!

We're keeping it artful!


Monday, March 2, 2015

Artful TACTICS with Tamie

TECHNIQUE  -  Using Masking Tape and Washi Tape for deep fun texture.

I am always asked how to get more texture on the page when doing mixed media. There are so many different techniques, and this is certainly just one of them!

I did this page in an altered book I just started, so I applied a thin layer of gesso down on my pages and added some masking tape while making it crinkle on the paper. (think texture).

Next, I used some Apple Barrel craft acrylic and applied with my fingers and a baby wipe to the page.  Leaving some areas with no paint for the next layer.  This Bimini Blue is one of my favorite colors! You can pick up these craft paints at the big blue box store for .50 cents a bottle!  Great price if you are going through tons of paint!  Craft paint is a lot thinner than artists quality acrylic, but it certainly gets the job done!

At the next stage, I applied Golden High Flow acrylic in Quinacridone Magenta followed by Hansa Yellow Medium with my fingers and again a baby wipe.  These paints have a wonderful, loose feel to them, but with body, if that makes any sense.  The color saturation is great and they are really intense.  A little bit goes a long way. I applied with my fingers and with a baby wipe, thinning and blending as I went along.

I want to give a shout out to Scott over at Golden Paints.  I emailed the company asking if they had any free samples and Scott kindly wrote me back saying they did. (WOOOHOO!) He asked me what I was into and I told him I was a mixed media artist. Felt strange saying that cause I don't feel like an artist at all. I think more as myself as a recycler who slaps lots of paint and markers on a gesso page. Just crazy madness from my head.

This turning out to be lots of wonderful yumminess!

Using black craft paint, I added the hexagon stencils that I was generously sent in a happy mail package. It was the "excess" from die cutting. Always good to not throw anything away. In mixed media, we can use anything at least once, right?

I could not resist adding some washi tape, so I crinkled it up as well. (more texture)

I used my new Christmas World bulb stamp but I used some tape to cover the top portion so I didn't ink up the top hook, more of just a circle.

Creating "my" pages is all about the layering. One on top of the other.  It isn't difficult. "Just add more".  You can always paint on it, cover it with gesso, and create another dimension to your work, plus the added benefit of more interest for the eye.

Took the white Signo Uniball pen and outlined a few of the hexies.

 Love love love chipboard alphas!  These Chalkboard ones are awesome.

At then, I spritzed a few areas with this Heidi Swapp color shine spray in in Citron and dryed with a heat gun.

I printed out the words from Days of Sarcasm and Roses Art Journal Word Strips Pack  by 2CurlyHeadedMonsters Designs, fussy cut them out and enhanced with a black pen to make them pop on the page and applied with double stick tape.

The dolly is from Spirited Journey Art Dolls Vol.3 by Crafty Button Design.  Printed and fussy cut out and applied with adhesive dots.  Glue was not working on this page due to the heavy texture.

I  so hope you like my finished journal page and how I translate the madness in my head to the page, and I can't wait to see YOU use some heavy texture in your journals!  Show me what you're doing over at our journaling group, Artful Journeys, and if you'd care to leave me some blog love in comments below, it would be much appreciated!

Happy arting!