Saturday, November 28, 2015

ARTFUL JOURNEYS - WEEK #48 "Hang a Wreath"

Hi y'all!  Betty here this week with a message of good cheer and glad tidings, and your weekly prompt!

The holiday crush is upon us!  Thanksgiving is behind us, only one more "big cook" left until the new year,  with shopping and decorating in full swing across most of the country.

We want you to also "decorate" your journal this week by "HANGING A WREATH" (by creating one) in your journal. You can draw it, paint it, collage it.  Do you have a holly leaf punch and some green construction paper? There you go! You can festoon it any way you want. Use the gorgeous autumnal colors of fall, or think about cold, wintery cool blues or icy white, or start your holiday decorations with a full-on red and green wreath.  Perhaps you have some awesome greenery in your area and want to construct a "real" wreath using actual greenery  (be sure and preserve with medium or mod podge so it doesn't come apart all over everywhere a month from now!) And of course there are a bazillion options out of silk!  Add a nifty or appropriate quote or some journaling about your  holiday season and make it your own! However flat, bumpy or lumpy you get it done, hang a wreath in that journal for us this week!

Our spreads for this week are as varied as the four of us are, each taking a unique approach to the prompt.

MELODY made this beautiful spread and here's what she had to say: "I started by hunting up this background....I knew I had made it during the retreat and thought it would be perfect for a fall wreath of pretty leaves. The leaves are Recollections from Michaels, and I started by using a large candle to "draw" my circle, then began by laying down the leaves. Once I knew it would work, I pulled them off to glue them all down, then added some smaller leaves over the top, just to give it a little more depth and texture. Thanks for looking!!" 

LYNN put her thinking cap on and crafted up this pretty page ... "The "wreath" that almost wasn't. I spent over a hour trying to paint something pretty and oh boy the more I tried the worst it got so finally trashed it and said oh where is the cutting machine. Cut out leaves until I had enough to make a circle glued them all down and added the Christmas flowers. Punched out a few snowmen and the ribbon is fabric. The Christmas tag I cut and below that is a Christmas sticker.Thanks for looking and make Sure you see what the other girls came up with."

My spread was a lot of fun. My initial idea was a kaleidoscope of color, but it didn't quite turn out that way..... check it out on my blog HERE

We hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving, thought about the many blessings in your life and got to spend some quality time with friends and family!  We are truly blessed to have you all be a part of our lives, and wish each of you a  stress-free upcoming holiday season!


~~Betty, Melody, Lynn & Shana

Are you missing some prompts from earlier in the year?  You can find a permanent link at the top of the blog "2015 Weekly Prompt Archives" or click to go directly to the archives.

Interested in what we are doing?  Join us by clicking for direct access!

ARTFUL MAIL GROUPIES (mail art swaps)
ARTFUL JOURNEYS (art journaling group)
ARTFUL EXCESS (buy/sell/trade art supplies & handmade items)

Sunday, November 22, 2015


Five weeks left until the end of the year, Thanksgiving is being celebrated this week.  Where has the time gone?

We are getting our first light freeze Saturday night (tonight) here in north Texas, forecast to be just below freezing,  and it is coming early this year.  I know many of our friends up north are already battling winter head-on with lots of snow and bad weather.  All the more reason to live in the south and southwest!!  You Yanks have 9 months of winter, we have 9 months of summer.  I much prefer short pants and flip flops to heavy jeans, closed toe shoes and sweaters, although I like to laugh and say in the winter you can put on enough clothes to get warm, but you can't take off enough when it is 105 degrees in the shade down here in July.  We usually  have quite mild holiday weather and don't get much of the real wintry stuff until late January and February, when suddenly it will start to act like spring again. 

As we are all starting "the big cook" and preparing all our families' favorite dishes for Thanksgiving, being thankful for all we have, we want you to stop for a few minutes and be creative in your journal, and just have some old time fun!

YOUR PROMPT THIS WEEK - Make a turkey the old fashioned way -- USE YOUR HAND!

Yes, you heard right.  We're drawing on our childhood this week, but we know YOUR turkeys will be far from child-like, and you will put your own imaginative spins on this challenge.  Remember to add some special memories of Thanksgivings past to your journal.  Get some writing on those pages!

Here's what we offer up to you for inspiration!

I had a lot of fun with my spread for this prompt, enjoying the childhood memories of making turkeys this way in school.  I started with a gelli print background that I had previously made, then played with one of my new "mini" gelli plates by adding the additional features.  I traced my hand onto yet 2 other gelli prints and fussy cut them out. One tracing was wider, on purpose, and I cut apart the other and tucked them in behind, adding some colorful feathers for additional effect.  I added the stamped "Gobble Gobble" with Stampin' Up's Tidy Alphabet blocks, added some doodles, outlined the "finger feathers" with NeoColor II in black, drew in the eye, the beard, the google and beak, added smudged NeoColor II around a few of the blocks and called it good.  The whole thing came together quickly, and it was great fun trying to think outside the box but still in keeping with the prompt!   I like the non-traditional color palette as well!  Thanks for looking!

 SHANA made another artful spread in her journal and here's what she had to say about it: 
"For my Thankful Turkey, using a pencil, I 1st traced my hand with my thumb tucked in then moved my hand 2 more times just tracing the finger tips to add more feathers. I the traced around my thumb for the Turkeys head and neck, but I did end up slimming his neck down but it was a good reference nonetheless. I then sprayed my turkey using orange and red dylusions ink. I went in with gesso over the ink to make the turkey the focal point and creating some nice muted color from the ink. I outlined the turkey using my Faber-Castell Pitt pen then added detail using assorted  Acrylic paints. "

LYNN put together this colorful and happy spread, making good use of her Cricut.  Here's what she had to say:  "I totally forgot we were supposed to use our hand so here is my Tom.  On the background I used the Viva paper soft color in Sunny Yellow. I highly recommend this brand of paint by the way. It goes on smooth and dries quickly. Since I forgot this was a turkey using my hand I wondered all day what I was going to use for my turkey and finally found a cartridge that had Mr. Tom that I could cut. The turkey, the gobble, and the eat ham were cut using the machine.Even though I didn't follow the prompt exactly, and I don't suppose it really matters, I hope you enjoy it just the same. Make sure you check out what the other ladies did this week. 

MELODY is traveling with her family out of state and was unable to participate in this week's prompt.  She will be back next week in full form, I'm sure!

I hope you enjoyed looking at our takes on this week's prompt, and perhaps can draw some inspiration for your own.  Don't forget to add some words, writing or memories to your spread!

As always, have an artful week and a very happy Thanksgiving!


~~Betty, Melody, Lynn & Shana

Interested in what we are doing? 
--Join us at ARTFUL JOURNEYS, our art journaling group! 
--How about swapping mail art?  You'll love ARTFUL MAIL GROUPIES!
--Need art supplies or have some excess to sell?  Check out ARTFUL EXCESS!

Saturday, November 21, 2015


We have a quick little pop-up for you tonight ... GRUMPY CATS

While I am definitely a "dog" person, I have had several cats as pets in my lifetime.  Cats are so expressive, demanding, grumpy, playful, lazy, self-absorbed and oh, so loveable.  My very first cat was a yellow tabby named Buttercup (I was in pre-school).  And my last cat was a rescue in the late 1970's named "Nubbin".  Nubbin was a huge black and gray tabby, with just a 3" long tail. Someone had chopped off his tail and the name just fit him. He came to me in a time of my life that having a pet that was rather self-sufficient was important, and was perfect for apartment living.  He was a great cat, but knew I was "his person" rather than him being "my cat."

So to honor all the cats we have known and loved, show us a grumpy cat. Draw one, collage one, create a Teesha-style cat.  However you want to express it, we are happy to see it!

My spread was prepared using a Victorian Trading Company catalog cover.  Background was done with craft and artist acrylics in yellow ochre, black, khaki, moss green, and citrus green applied with a brush and with a cosmetic sponge to blend into the collaged image.  I typed up the saying on my manual Royal typewriter.  He looks miserable, doesn't he? 

 MELODY is out of state with her family doing an early Thanksgiving get-together, but left this digital collage for your enjoyment!

Lynn and Shana were unable to participate in this pop-up challenge, but they will return with more of their beautiful art soon!

Have fun with this, and as always, keep it artful!

~~Betty, Melody, Lynn and Shana

Interested in what we are doing? 
--Join us at ARTFUL JOURNEYS, our art journaling group! 
--How about swapping mail art?  You'll love ARTFUL MAIL GROUPIES!
--Need art supplies or have some excess to sell?  Check out ARTFUL EXCESS!

Monday, November 16, 2015


Hi y'all! 

Betty here.  This is definitely late and not on our routine schedule.  The art retreat we had at the end of October had all of us (and me especially) busier than a one legged man in a butt-kickin' contest!  Maybe some of you did yours, and if you did -- good on you!  I just finished mine up, so this was an excellent time to remind those of you who might have forgotten...

Create your November "month at a glance" calendar with a fall or Thanksgiving theme.

My background had a lot of bleed-through Dylusions inks from the previous page, so I gessoed it rather heavily, and used a Calyx tool and made random marks in the gesso while it was wet.  Khaki and Citrus Green craft acrylic was applied with a brayer, then zapped with the heat gun (you know how impatient I can be!).  I then used two different Sugar Loaf stamps on each side of the page, and because of the textural nature of the gesso, they didn't stamp very well, so I had to draw in the details on both stamps. I colored them with Sakura Gelly Pens and Prismacolor pencils.  I sketched out the calendar blocks the exact width of my rule, went over the lines with a black Posca marker and added the dates.  Some random fall leaf stamps added and also colored with Prismacolor pencils and I called it done.

LYNN made this beautifully composed spread in her journal, and the colors just evoke a full-on fall feel, don't they?

Melody and Shana were unable to participate in this challenge.  I know we're behind, so join us in "catching up" before the holidays get us!  Share your calendar with us over at Artful Journeys!  As always, keep your world artful!

~~Betty, Melody, Lynn & Shana

#Pop-Up#25 #November Calender

Sunday, November 15, 2015


Betty here this week bringing you our prompt for this week.  We want to push you a little bit this week, to think outside the box a little bit.  And there's a little play on words in motion here.

OUR PROMPT:  "EMPTY THE PANTRY."  Use a bag, box or label in a creative way in your journal.This week I really tried to push myself outside my own comfort zone and do something outside my "normal."  I think I managed to do that, but I'm still a little stressed over it.  Come see how and why HERE

made this bright and cheerful page, and here's what she had to say about it:

I started by punching out hearts from a Cheerios box and the tag is cut from a apple cider box-- something I have been drinking lately--after coffee, of course. I covered my page with sunshine yellow paper and added black lace washi tape to the sides. Stamped my Tim Holtz bird and fussy  cut him out. Stamped the quote and topped it on the cider tag.Thanks for looking at this week's prompt and make sure you check out what the other  girls came up with. I got a sneak peek at Betty's and it is fabulous!!!"

MELODY created this lovely background  for her journal.  She says: " This week I made a background using an old cereal box and acrylic paints in varying shades of pink with stamps and stencils."  What a transformation!

has been under the weather all week, but will be back with us next week with more of her beautiful artwork.

We hope that we have inspired you in some way or given you some ideas of reusing what might otherwise become trash.  Save the earth -- turn trash to treasure!

Have a fantastic week, and as always, get out there and keep it artful!

~~Betty, Melody, Lynn and Shana

Thursday, November 12, 2015

What Will the New Year Bring?

Oh my goodness, the year has just flown by and we are 7 weeks away from the end of the year. And what a fun ride this has been for all of us!   But it is time to look forward to a new year with fresh, new ideas, new challenges and lots of excitement as we bring 2015 to a close.

The admin team is furiously working on your visual art prompts for the coming year and we want to challenge you to get outside the box this coming year; get out of your rut and try new things, experiment more and learn new techniques.  The art world is always changing, sometimes faster than some of us can keep up with.  Some of us like the comfort that our own personal ruts get us into, but where is the fun in that?  Those ruts can quickly become boring and routine, and unless we push ourselves and you, we cannot grow as people, as artists, or as expressive people. 

We are going to add in a whole new feature at Artful Journeys this coming year -- maybe more than one, but for sure, we are going to be adding in daily journaling prompts!  Our thought process is to give you a week's worth of real, writing / journaling prompts each Sunday for you to think about and write about during the week as an adjunct to your journaling.  Writing is healing for all sorts of things and reasons. Getting your thoughts, desires, wishes, demons, anger, frustrations and every emotion in between out on paper helps release stress, tension, anxiety from within your soul and spirit, freeing up more room for you to actually put your creative juices and positive influences into motion in your lives.  We all have stuff buried way deep inside. We wouldn't be human if we didn't.  We're going to work on some of that, but we are going to start out getting you into the practice of routine journaling, to face that blank page and WHAT to write, how to write and how to move forward.  Maybe just 15 minutes. Maybe you have several pages to get out of you to free up some positive space inside.  Whatever is there, we want you to get it out.  And no sharing is required.

Journaling is intrinsically a very private activity, generally not to be shared with a single soul.  It is a special "just-for-me" activity.  Some of our journaling (writing) prompts are going to be designed just to get you to start writing, to put pen to paper and get you in the habit.  Find a writing journal that you love.  One where you love the feel and weight of the paper. You love the exterior, the weight of it, the lightness of it, the portability of it.  Use a journal that speaks to you, and most especially a pen or pens that you LOVE writing with.  I use a real, old-timey fountain pen and occasionally dip pens in my writing journal, so the paper is especially important to me.  I love the nib on the paper, the flow of the ink, the whole process of actually writing on paper.  I rarely "tart up" my writing journals, (except for the covers--I love tarting them up), but will occasionally add washi tape to the outer edges or some small paper "something" just to break up the pages a little.  But rarely more than that.  It is a space for me to be free and honest with myself.  My journal is a place to really explore the true inner "me", a place to be honest with myself about my personal problems and issues, my anxieties, my frustrations, questions I seek answers to and a place to heal from years and years of nasty 'ole stuff that has been buried wayyyy deep.  And I am healing from many of these things and am proud of myself for actually addressing some of these things and my ability to relive some heartache and pain, but find solutions to them. To find forgiveness. To find that real emotion and honesty that can only bring healing.  A problem unspoken is still a problem, but a problem addressed is the first step to a solution.  Don't we all need solutions rather than problems?  I'm telling ya -- writing is a great step to some profound solutions in your lives.  So we're going there this coming year. Come along. You won't regret it, I promise.

As we progress into the year through our journaling, you may feel the need and desire to then express some of that real emotion onto a visual page, with cues only you know what they mean.  Those pages, we would love for you to share with us at Artful Journeys.  Put those into your creative art journal. Leave the real, hard-core journaling in your writing journal.  But express your day or your week's journaling visually. Share it.  Own it.  Be real with it!  This creative artwork isn't supposed to be a masterpiece.  Use the supplies you have on hand.  Be the master of cut and paste, scissors and glue. Sketch if you can, paint if you are so inclined.  Your journaling will show you the way. This type of art will happen organically, and ultimately will become some of your most loved art ... because it expresses real emotion and the real you.  This whole process is going to be separate and apart from our regular, weekly visual art prompts.  You will want to take the cues from your writing and express it visually because you will be making personal progress, not only through the cathartic writings, but wholly as a person. You will feel freer, more complete, and just more "alive." 

So get out there, find you a new writing journal. Tart up the cover if you want to.  Gather up your favorite writing instruments and get ready for a fresh start, a new year...and a new you!  And stay turned for more details as the new year approaches!

As always, keep it artful!


#2016  #Getting Ready  #NewYou

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Week 45 - Pick a decade, any decade

You know how sometimes, you have a time period that speaks to you?  Usually it's one that we've grown up in, lived our fomative years in the bulk of.

For me, it was the 80's...sitcoms, MTv, great candies, great music, and so many advances in technology!  For my spread this week, I took a background of pink and black, and began collaging different things from the 80's onto the page...nothing fancy here this week:

Then there's Shana's amazing post which you can read HERE and take a look at her amazing take on this weeks prompt.  And be sure to leave her some love when you go.

Betty and Lynn were unable to play with us this week, but will be back next week for our next prompt.

Thanks for stopping by and having a look!!!!!

Melody, Betty, Lynn and Shana
The Artful Chicks