Friday, August 18, 2017

Get up. Get Dressed. Paint.: Where did THIS come from?

During my morning reading ritual I came across this: “What am I needing right now for my heart and soul?  What am I neglecting?”  Perfect questions for my Listen to Your Heart journal.

Sometimes the best way to get started is to simply lay down some paint.

I was enjoying the process of grabbing various colors of paint and intuitively putting them down, adding layers of painted deli paper, adding more paint then I paused long enough to see this:

Wow!  Where did THIS come from?

Looking at the spread with new eyes the next morning I admitted it was too busy, there was nowhere for the eyes to land. I gessoed over the parts where certain colors met and looked muddy.

Looking through my scrapbook papers I spied this quote which reminded me of my weekly challenge, smiling more.

After adding some foil transfers, purple flower, and gold pen markings and I pronounced it complete.

What are you needing right now for your heart and soul?  What am you neglecting?  Need to make some simple (and not overwhelming) changes to boost your happiness?  Join me and we can embark on THIS challenge* together.  Week 4 begins Sunday.

Rejoining Paint Party Friday, what color paint is on your fingers?

* I am not associated with Amazon nor the author of this book.  I do not earn advertising fees from either.  I am taking on this challenge as I need to find a better way of dealing with the stressors from my daily teaching job.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Creating Process for Shaped HMPC’s

I am hosting a monthly Shaped Handmade Postcard swap and thought I would share how I create them.  These would also be fun to send as a RAK to brighten someone's day.


u   Cut out several book pages or scrap papers 5x7 (or larger).

Draw shape onto one of the sheets, keeping it as true to the dimensions as possible. I am working with 5x7.

Cut out the shape.

You can proceed one of two ways:

  • Glue the cut out shape to watercolor paper/cardboard.  I used a glue stick and a brayer to adhere the cutout.
  • OR: Trace the cutout onto the watercolor paper and cut out the shape.
Get creative and use whatever means you want to color and embellish.
Note: I stipulated that for this swap that the shape doesn’t have to reflect the theme/design of the PC. i.e.: you do not have to portray a house on the house shape.

The Heart 

 Drew heart on 5x7 watercolor paper

 Adding paint.
 Mixing silver metallic paint with glass gel medium

 Haphazardly covering the heart with the glass bead gel, allowing the paint to peek through.  Allow to dry.

Note: I use Beacon's 3-IN-1 or Mixed Media glue then roll over with a brayer to ensure embellishments are tightly glued down for mailing.

If you have any suggestions please leave a comment below.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Get up. Get Dressed. Paint.: Faltering with a new technique

Starting with a leftover paint painted & inked splotched page

I stumbled upon THIS art journal tutorial via Roben-Maria Smith's blog.  My interest was peaked as I watched artist Karen Gaunt use a palette knife to create the background.  I really wanted to try it!

Right away there was a problem as I couldn’t get an even layer of gesso on the page with the palette knife. Switching to a catalyst blade, what I’m used to, got the job done.

I went back to using the palette knife to spread the paint.  I simply did not like how it felt in my hand, gave up and went back to the catalyst blade.

I ran into a snag when she pulled out the Art Pops stickers as I don't have these.  A bit of a panic set in but then the idea of cutting up some painted deli paper would work (a technique I learned from watching Rae Missigman's videos).
I traced around a cardboard cylinder for the circles

Adding some of the same paint used in the journal background then making marks using
POSCA paint pens, these circles blend in nicely

I did not have the same Distressed Alphabet Rubber Stamps so I used these (know idea of the brand)

Beautiful messy aftermath!  In the right corner you can see the postcard I was creating at the same time.

Finished Journal Page

I altered the word from chance to change as I continue with the 52 Small Changes Challenge
HMPC for August.  As I pondered the word my partner needed , Spirit whispered, "DREAM".

What I learned

  • While I prefer to use the artist's products (it helps support them)  I simply can't buy everything nor do I have the room for it.  There is nothing wrong with using what you have to recreate the page.
  • On the postcard I did not paint enough black and the M was left hanging there.  I bugged me so I used a tiny brush to fill in around the M with black paint


  • In the lower right hand corner I had gessoed this black spot and hated it.  Using the same background paints I covered it up.


While using the palette knife did not work out for me, I learned a new background technique.   I encourage you to watch the video and give it a try then let me know how it works out for you.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

52 Small Changes Challenge: The Beginning

52 Small Changes for the Mind: Improve Memory * Minimize Stress * Increase Productivity * Boost Happiness by [Blumenthal, Brett]

I find myself hesitating, worried about sharing this post.  Why?  Accountability.  By posting it here I now must follow through.  With the beginning of the school year looming, now is not the best time to start something as I tend to throw out all good practices in lieu of stress habits. 
But I want this habit to stick so I am pushing forward knowing that accountability is one of the requirements for making successful changes.
Why am I doing this and why now?
I feel stuck and have felt stuck for several years now.  The stressors of teaching in an inner city dysfunctional school system has taken its toll and changes have to be made.  I want to approach this up coming school year differently.  This book found it's way into my life in a round about way which I believe is Spirit's way of saying, "Here, do this."

I completed week 1 and have begun week 2.  Here are my notes:

Week 1 Put Pen To Paper

Maintaining a Journal.  While I have been writing in a journal off and on for several years I have not been fully committed. Putting my thoughts and feelings to paper scares me yet this is exactly what I need to keep the stress in perspective.

How it went: Enrolling in Susannah Conway's Journal Your Life online course was the conduit to getting started.  Having enrolled in her course gave me structure to help carve out a routine I can stick to.  I still feel myself holding back, not allowing the thoughts and feelings to flow freely.  I remind myself that this is normal and as this practice progresses my comfort level will settle in.
Difficulties:  Since the end of the school year I have been in the habit of going to my craft room and painting every morning.  Making the change back to my morning reading ritual and journaling has been easier because I had this practice in place before.
Concerns: once school begins I worry I will fall into my default mode of working on lesson plans and grading papers.  I need to create an alternative means of getting these done to keep my mornings devoted to journaling.

Week 2 Let the Music Play

I have the right equipment: an iPad, portable bluetooth speaker, and a Pandora account with pre selected stations.  I already listen to music while I am painting, gardening, driving, and housecleaning. 
Concerns: I do not make my own music nor do I see myself indulging in this.

What changes do you need/want to make?  What are some practices that help you maintain the changes you have successfully made?
Joining in with Microblog Mondays.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Get up. Get Dressed. Paint.: Layers of Anxiety

The messy aftermath
Anxiety, such a joy robber.  As July turned to August this week my thoughts dawned on the dreaded realization that school begins at the end of the month.  With no idea as to what I am teaching or even where, anxiety started to sneak back in just as I was finally shaking it from the last school year.

 A softer side of me, veering away from my usual bright colors, allowing my heart to speak.

The layers revealing the complexity of my thoughts and a reminder from my heart that keeping it simple creates beautiful results.

Take a quiet moment and listen to your heart.  What is it telling you?