Monday, October 26, 2015


Howdy y'all...Betty here again to bring you our prompt for the week.  I have been extremely busy preparing for our art retreat, and quite frankly, working on prompts was not on any of the myriad of lists I have going at the moment.  But I managed...barely.

Since Halloween is just around the corner, our prompt this week is "Ghosts, Goblins & Other Spookies"
As most of you know, Halloween is not my favorite holiday, and it is hard to get in the spirit of it, when we never have trick or treaters way out here in the sticks where we live.   Of course, my neighbors are all decked out decorated and told me they were anticipating some children this year.  I told them not to hold their breath since in over 20 years we have lived out here, we had one trick or treater and that "child" is in her 20's will be getting married next weekend!  Now, of course they use that excuse to buy candy and feel good about it "just in case".  But since NO children live down here at the far end of a very dark rural road, the likelihood of seeing little ghosts and goblins is quite marginal for us. When we lived in the suburbs of Dallas, I loved all the little kids and had fun handing out candy to them, taking pictures and trying to get into the spirit of it all.  My fur babies weren't quite as receptive, but at least I did love those cute kids coming up on the porch!

So I had some trouble with this. I have very little ephemera for Halloween, save for some cute things I got in happy mail this past week.  But none of that spoke to me.  So I did manage to draw this first thing, get it colored, and then hated the entire thing.  This was a dismal fail...but I'm going to show it to you anyway.....  it WILL get some gesso all over it very soon, I promise.  I find it to be hideous and like nothing about it whatsoever.  I used Copic and Aqua markers.There was bleeding from the adjacent page and streaks I could not obliterate without dragging out the paint too.

While talking with Melody on the phone, an idea hit me, so I whipped out my trusty pencil and grabbed black, red and white acrylic and managed to complete this new mess for you.  I'm so over Halloween. Thank goodness it will all be over next week. 
The following one says it all...about my mood and inability to deal with Halloween right now.  Sorry folks. Hopefully next week my Muse will be re-enthused after spending four glorious days with the gals making art and having great fellowship with them.

LYNN made this super cute page and says: "I used scrapbook orange paper and the bats and ghosts are glimmer stickers. Washi tape at the bottom of the page. Hope you enjoy and see what the others came up with."

SHANA and her Muse were working overtime this week and came up with this really fabulous spread.  She says:  "Playing in my hot press watercolor handmade journal with aqua markers and watercolor pencils. I knew I wanted to make a goblin but I wanted him/her to be cute, and "pretty much everything is cute in a pink tutu!"  And how right she is.  This is super cute!

MELODY has a double entry for us tonight.  We saw her background earlier in the week and were stoked to see what she did with it.  But she says that her Muse must has flown off into the night with a vampire bat or Count Dracula, because this is how she feels......

And here's her spread.  She thinks that is her own blood on there after her Muse cut her throat. 

I think the general consensus is we're all happy Halloween is about over.  We have no more dark pages in us and the spooky ghosts and goblins have departed from our repertoires.  We are hopeful, though, that some fun and magic remain in YOUR imaginations, so be sure and show us your successes...and your failures.  We did.

Be safe, and have an artful week!


~~Betty, Melody, Lynn and Shana

Friday, October 23, 2015


Hi everyone!  Betty here to bring you our pop up art challenge this week.  I have been pretty much MIA preparing for our upcoming art retreat next week, and at this point, my lists have lists.  We're excited about the retreat and I'll be happy when it finally gets here and I can slow down and spend some time with some great folks and actually make art!

"WE TOAD-LY GET IT" is the theme of this pop up.  Obviously we are thinking frogs, warty or otherwise, but you can interpret it any way you see fit.   I'm already tired of Halloween (not my favorite holiday anyway), so this is a welcome reprieve for me!

Here's what we came up with --

SHANA made this stunner and shows off her amazing drawing skills for us once again.  She said this about her page:

"Frog Prince Kiss --Prismacolor pencils in a small Strathmore mixed media journal. White highlights done with sharpie paint pen. I originally was going to do a halloween type drawing, I was thinking witches with warty toads and frogs but when I did a search for pictures of frogs I of course came across frog prince pictures and my page completely changed. I actually wish I would have scanned my original pencil drawing so I could have tried to color it with different mediums, I like this little page!"

MELODY did this adorable background page for journaling in her new notebook with acrylic paints, washi and super cute embellishments.  It doesn't have to be fancy to be great, does it?  What fun it will be to journal all over this cute page!

And close up views of the corners and her embellishments --

And finally, my contribution this week.  Yes, I actually drew this frog!  I did the background one night earlier in the week in the wee hours when as usual I wasn't sleeping.  I wanted to do something sort of sarcastic since that's where my mood has been... Sarcasm is my super-power, you know.  Anyway, I did tone it down compared to where my head was, and this was the result.  Background has about 5 different color layers of acrylic paints scraped and brayered on; stenciling and some found letters.  Frog was hand drawn and fussy cut. Colored him in with Spectrum Aqua pens and a Signo Uniball pen.

We hope you like what we created for this prompt and that perhaps we have inspired you in some way.  Whatever you choose to put in your journal, where Halloween oriented or not, we TOAD-LY get it!

Hope you are having an artful week!

~~Betty, Melody, Lynn and Shana

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Artful Journeys - Week #42

Hi everyone!  Betty here this week bringing you our weekly art challenge.  Week 42 is here... only 10 more weeks until the year comes to an end.  Can you believe it?  Why, when we were kids did we wish so hard for time to go by faster.? Now, father Time seems to fly by and we blink twice and the holidays are upon us.  Whoosh!  And "they" told us to be careful what we wished for ... ha! But I digress...

This week at Artful Journeys we want you to STAMP A MANDALA in your journal.

A "mandala" is described on Wikipedia as " Mandala (Sanskrit Maṇḍala, 'circle') is a spiritual and ritual symbol in Indian religions, representing the universe.[1] The basic form of most mandalas is a square with four gates containing a circle with a center point. Each gate is in the general shape of a T.[2][3] Mandalas often exhibit radial balance.[4]

There are many kinds of mandalas in the world of mixed media, and most would generally agree that a mandala forms a circle, in general.  A mandala can have radiating arms, be circular in nature within a square, but generally will conform to the overall shape of a circle.  There are 100's if not 1000's of examples of mandalas on the internet, in adult coloring books, etc.

But for our purposes, we want  you to make use of all those rubber stamps we know you have been collecting and have hiding out in your stash of beloved art supplies. Drag them out. Be creative. Use some you never use, but love. 

Here's what we came up with this week for you. 

First up is LYNN and she created this lovely example of some complicated mandalas for you.  Here's what she had to say: "Hi girls. I used lime green paint as the background and had this circle stencil that I just used a black ink pad to stamp around it and added circles here and there for more of a design. So only 3 items was used this week. Stencil, Ink pad, and Lime green paint.  Don't forget to check out what the other 3 girls did and thanks for looking."

Next up is MELODY has created another bright and eye-catching spread in her journal. She says, " For this week's prompt, I just started grabbing stamps! They're all by Heidi Swapp. I started with the butterfly, then tried going in a square around it, but that failed, and I just kept going until I ran out of room. The background was prepared with my favorite Quin Magenta & white acrylic, with some stenciling and the page edge finished out with some coordinating washi tape."

My spread (BETTY) began with my favorite color combination of yellows and orange acrylic, brushed on and then smoothed out a bit with a baby wipe.  Quite some time ago, I got this really great, but small stamps from Close to My Heart and used them to form the basis of my mandala.  I used a compass to make some guidelines, which were later erased with a Hi-Polymer white eraser by Pentel.  Seems like every time I rough in a mandala I want really circular without my trusty compass, it is a little wonky or I run out of room on one side, so using the compass and starting in the center of your page will help keep it even on the page.  I always look upon a mandala as more "the circle of life" as opposed to the more traditional "universe".  I love all kinds of mandalas, but one of my favorites are the really ancient ones drawn based on iconic religious symbols for various cultures and countries. Some of the most beautiful ones I have ever seen were from victorian age Russia and ancient Tibet.

SHANA got super creative with her spread this week, and here's what she had to say: "
I made my stamped mandala in my Dylusions journal using black StazOn ink pad. Creating the mandala was so zen-like. I made no real conscience decisions when I created it, I chose the stamps based on size and just repeated on the opposite side. I loved how the pattern turned out but felt it needed some color, that is where the Dylusions spray came in! I used multiple colors and 4 or 5 different stencils blotting the excess until I got the color burst and texture I was looking for! I can't wait to use this background in the future! big hugs and mushy stuff! "

So there you go.  Four different interpretations of a stamped mandala.  We are anxious to see your beautiful creation, so be sure and share with us at Artful Journeys.

Have a fantastic week, enjoy the fall weather, and as always, remember to keep it artful!

~~Betty, Melody, Lynn & Shana

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Week #41 - Black Cats and Bats

Hey, y'all, Melody here, bringing you our prompt for this week!  We thought that since October is now in full gear, we should have a little fun with Halloween stuff, and so we thought we'd start off with black cats and bats.

Most people despise bats, mostly due to a fear of the creatures, but in all actuality, they're quite the helpful creature, not to mention that superstitions say if a bat hits you or lands on you, it's supposed to be good luck!

Black cats have long been considered to be witch's familiars, often thought to have such a personal connection with their "witch", that they would do the witch's bidding or even serve as a guardian for her.

Just a little useless trivia info for y'all before we dive into the art of the week!

Let's start with Betty, this week...she pulled off a super cute spread for this week, unleashing her wicked sense of humor.  Here's what she said..."I really don't like Halloween that much, although I love the candy (who doesn't, right?)  We never have trick or treaters way out here in the sticks where I live, but I always buy at least one bag of great chocolate candy...just in case.  Mind you, in the 20 years we have had ONE trick or treater, and that was a neighbor child who was 2 and she is getting married on Halloween!!  So lucky us...we get all the Reese's Peanut Butter Cups!  I already helped scarf down the candy corn.  So there!

I couldn't get too motivated for our prompt this week and with Melody's urging to throw on a snarky attitude, at 3:00 am this morning I produced this bat-s**t-crazy bat for you.  I quickly sketched the bat on the cover paper of a Bristol pad I salvaged, painted with all acrylic paint, with a neon paint pen for the highlights and letter, along with some glow in the dark green on his ears (and it really does glow, I promise).  He is lusting after a particular beauty's neck, with his friends not far behind.  So watch out my pretttttyyyyyyy.....

Enjoy what the other girls have created for you this week, with the hopes of providing some kind of inspiration from deep within your dark side...or your snarky side, like me.  Make it a great week, everyone!

Next up we have a spread created by the amazing Miss Lynn, and OMGeeeeeezy!  Here's what SHE had to say about her spread for this week:

"I'm happiest when I get to cut out my prompt.

For this I glued down orange paper and cut out some Ms. Hello Kitty bats and faces. Did a shadow first then cut the stencil. Cut out Happy Hallow and it was done.

What I really think of this spread is that it is CUTE!  Thanks for looking and make sure you go see what the other girls came up with this week. One word..CUTE!!"

Next up is the super talented SHANA who has hit another one right out of the ballpark!!!  Take a peek at her blog HERE and see this fantabulousness!

Finally there's my offering for this week...anyone that knows me knows I love all animals...although I am NOT a huge cat fan.  Now before you call for my head, please understand, I love cats...but I don't want to own one...I just want to pet them and walk away.  But while I was bouncing around on Pinterest looking for a good image of a black cat, I found something that just grabbed my attention and wouldn't let go.  Once I had the image, and had it fussy cut and glued down, the words came to me almost immediately, and I ran with here you go...

And there you go!  Our collective creative talents on one page, just for you!  Let us see what you create, and let us know what you think!

Later, y'all!!!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Artful Journeys - Week #40 "Put a Hat on It"

We're all about hats this week in our journals.  Ladies or men just don't wear hats anymore, and I find that a shame.  Hats are awesome.  I used to wear hats a lot.  Somehow they make you feel special!

So this week, interpret our prompt "Put a Hat on It" any way you want.  Perhaps you want to concoct something in the Teesha Moore style with a hat.  If you have some nifty image of a man, woman, child or animal wearing a hat, work with that.  Make up a hat.  Go crazy with hats if you want, but you should represent a hat or hats somewhere on your page.

First up this week is SHANAShe says:  "My entry started with a page that I had been using to use excess paint on, cleaning my brush and my pallet. I have been listening to a lot of 80's music on an oldies (how can 80's be oldies!) and the colors struck me as "Like Totally Rad" so I went with it and did a fun bright colored face with a hat like the ads in the 80's so very Valley girl! I used acrylic paints for the background and the texture you see is from cleaning stencils, for the black and white line work I used my trusty Sharpie Paint pens. I had so much fun with this one! big hugs and mushy stuff! Shana "

LYNN fixed up this very pretty spread in her journal, and says: "Supplies used were Dina Wakley magenta paint with Tim Holtz distress stain in broken China.  I cut the hat out with my Cricut machine and flowers by Making Memories.

To begin, I put the broken China color down then got a new stencil from my sister and stenciled the page in the magenta. The blue paint got a little dark and even using a baby wipe it wouldn't wipe off very well but probably because it was stain.

I glued the hat down and added the flowers with some glimmer stones and glimmer washi tape on the bottom of the paper. Thanks for looking and please see what the others came up with this week."

MELODY has made another beautiful spread using her favorite color, and says:  " It's just been one of those weeks where the longer it went the harder it got to get things done. I was ready to just throw in the towel on this week's prompt, when inspiration struck! I started digging thru my digital images to create this prompt using PicMonkey.

I started with the pink background by The CoffeeShop Blog, then laid down a "gel transfer" by Tangie Baxter. Using a freebie from Mischief Circus and my own "words", and some help on sizing from Miss Betty, this was my creation for this week. I absolutely love how it turned out and hope you like it 

BETTY created her page using a Vera Lane Studios Le Petit Artiste doll image, with a background page that was mostly a mop up page of brush cleaning and then some scraping of the paint.  She used a Stampin' Up crackle background stamp, and colored in her Artiste doll with Caran D'Ache Neocolor II's.  The image was printed out on glossy photo paper and the Neocolors blended very well.  She was well pleased with the flesh tones and how they blended.  Hand lettering done with a #6 round brush and Dina Wakely heavy body acrylic in black, then splattered with Bombay White India ink (at Melody's insistence) and a stiff stencil brush.

We hope you all like what we've created this week, and wish you a happy and healthy week ahead. Those of you being impacted by all the rains on the east and southeast coasts, stay safe!

~~Betty, Melody, Lynn and Shana

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Artful Journeys - POP-UP CHALLENGE # 23

Time for a Pop-Up art challenge, and being near the end of September -- you know what that means!  Calendar time!

For your Pop-Up challenge, create your October calendar with a Halloween theme. Interpret any way you wish.  If you just can't get into Halloween, use the colors of the season.

Here are our calendars for the coming month.  We hope you like what we've created, and that in some small way you are inspired.

LYNN created this beauty and what a fantastic job she did!  Love that nifty pocket, too!  Here's what she had to say:  "Used scrap paper for this prompt. The pumpkins on top are a stamp and had a project life card that had trees on it. Cut out the calendar from one I had and put a rhinestone on the number 8! A very simple prompt but had fun making it."

SHANA really got with the dark and dreary night program with this stunner!  Can't you just visualize walking in the woods here?  Here's what she had to say about her spread:  "I created this months calendar using Dylusions spray inks and a black and a white Sharpie. I sprayed the entire page yellow then used a lid to mask the moon area and sprayed the remaining with orange and red spray. I then took a tree stencil and sprayed purple red and white through it. I used the Sharpie paint pens to put the calendar on the page. I put a heart on Halloween because it is also my anniversary!"

MELODY brings a powerful background of Halloween colors to her calendar this week in her large Dylusions journal and created quite the whimsical and fun calendar!  She used orange and black Dylusions paints applied with baby wipes, then did some stenciling using Dylusions and Tim Holtz stencils, along with some sequin waste, various stickers and die cuts sent to her in happy mail last year, and some green scrapbook paper punched for her days.  She said it was really a lot of fun to create, and it eliminated a previous background in her journal that she wasn't so fond of.

BETTY admits that Halloween isn't her favorite holiday, but she loves the color orange. This spread created entirely with Derwent Inktense blocks.  Background applied and smoothed with multiple colors with a babywipe. Lettering and drawings with a Faber Castell Pitt pen. The collage pumpkin is from Family Circle.



We hope you have enjoyed our interpretations of this Pop-Up challenge, and we can't wait to see what you create to start out the month of October.  As always, we're showing you ours in the hopes of inspiring you. What you do with the prompt is entirely up to you!

Wishing you and your family a safe and happy Halloween!

Have an artful month!


~~Betty, Melody, Lynn & Shana