Manila folders come in stacks of ten or more, but what to do when you have some old folders that can’t be used any longer? Make an art journal! I had an old folder that had been used many times. I tried to remove the written labels, but the folder had served its purpose by then.
I made a short video on how to turn the folder into an art journal. You can use whatever papers you have. I have a huge stack so it seems I used every conceivable style I could dig up. It turned out very busy but who is judging?
As you can see, I made some mistakes, but what I learned will benefit my next journal! The first one is always trial and error, right?
Seeing as the CV virus still has a hold, I spend a lot of time in my studio. There’s nothing else I’d rather do during this time. Here’s a gallery of items I’ve made in July.
I made more items, but these are enough for now. 🙂 I also got back to doing more art journaling. If you missed my last blog post with the tutorial on how to make a manila envelope journal cover, HERE it is.
One of my favorite mixed media artist is Lyn Belisle. She is currently offering a FREE book tutorial, how to make a Lotus book. It is really cool. Check it out HERE. You can’t go wrong with free, and she’s an excellent instructor.
This is it for this blog post. I hope you try the manila folder journal. Send me pictures if you do: firstname.lastname@example.org
Lots of love,
P.S. Most of my art ends up in my etsy shop, Earth and Faery. Before we know it, Christmas will be here.
Simple journal cover you ask? Yes, it’s possible. Check out the YouTube video I made creating an easy and fun cover for a new art journal. All you need is a manila envelope, I used a 12×9″ size, but any size is ok. You need some paints, elastic, and stencils or rubber stamps. Use what you have and save yourself a trip to the craft store.
I really like how it turned out, and there are so many variations that you can create. The sky’s the limit. You can also put something in the envelope, use it as a secret pocket.
Simple is great! The more complex the design, the more room for error, though you can’t really go wrong when art journaling.
At a whole other spectrum of creativity, I sewed a cat figure from scrap fabrics.
A friend saw it on Instagram and promptly purchased it. I was happy to part with it. I painted the eyes and appliqued them to the face. A lot of embroidery was involved, and I sewed the body without turning the seams inside. I thought it added a primitive touch to the figure.
Sometimes just winging it makes the best art. 🙂
What are you making today?
If you’re looking for some more inspiration, try this spirit doll assemblage made with an old Altoid tin. HERE
Lots of love,
P.S. I’m stocking some Christmas items (gifts) in my etsy shop. Check them out HERE.
My word for 2020 is faith. It takes a lot of faith to blaze new trails in the wilderness of creativity. I feel inspired to move on, create things I’ve never done before. First, I have a little inspiration for you, the process of my latest art journal spread:
I started by applying a paper napkin to the bottom half of the pages, using Mod Podge. I separated the two layers of the napkin first, and the top layer was very thin, making awesome crinkles in the paper when I attached it to the page. I then painted the top part an unbleached white and used an old gift card to scrape some green over the dried paper napkin.
You can see the ridges in the napkin well, and where there is a paler area in the white paint where the Mod Podge acted as a resist, adding more interest to the page. I like how the flowers on the napkin shone through, making me think of spring.
I added stems from my stash of paper. Friendship sayings were printed on the paper, and I thought they would add more interest to the art. I cut out flowers from other stashed junk and glued them all down.
I enhanced the stems and flowers with black lines from a ballpoint pen and wrote down my word for the year. Simple but fun!
I have dipped my toes into other media as in sewing. I’m obsessed with textile birds at the moment. Using two Ann Wood patterns that you can find at Annwoodhandmade.com, I made a songbird and an owl. Lots of fun, but also some frustration when things didn’t go so well.
This debonair gentleman is called Sir Percival. He has lots of wisdom and goes his own way, but is always willing to offer a word of encouragement. He has lived a long life, and he likes to read books.
He’s fashioned from soft materials, but he’s not a toy. He’s an art doll enjoying lording it over other dolls, but he’s kind.
These two birds are for sale in my Etsy shop. You can find the owl HERE. The songbird is available HERE.
Apoxie Sculpt is of the most difficult materials I’ve worked with. I like the incredible hardness when dry, but it tends to be too soft, and if you wait, it gets too hard to work with. You only have a couple of hours of work time with the clay. I haven’t found the sweet spot yet.
I finished the bird I made a couple of weeks ago, painted two layers of paint and fixed the wobbly leg. It came out ok, but the turtle I made with the amethyst crystal did not end up as planned, but I’m learning. The clay is so different from polymer clay or paper clay. Since the end product is so much stronger, it’s worth learning how to handle it correctly.
The main thing is to have fun!
I hope you’re having fun this week. Make sure to add some creative practice to your day. Every day is a gift. Make it juicy!
If you missed my last post, here it is: Person or bird? I made some molded faces with Apoxie Sculpt and sewed them to fabric bodies. What do you think?
Gold dust comes in many forms, but in this case, I’m referring to the stuff that comes in a plastic tube purchased at Michael’s. I don’t use it often, but I wanted something special for this latest “book” box I made this weekend.
I spread some gloss medium over the surface and sprinkled the dust while chanting “abracadabra.” (Kidding)
Too bad you can barely see the twinkles in the pictures. I tried from many angles.
There are many layers as you can see, and lots of texture.
Lately, I have been stretching my imagination to make different things, using some of my mosaic tiles, but trying other types of layers. I have a pretty extensive collection of ephemera that I gathered over the years.
It has not been easy
I struggle with new ideas all the time, and often I feel stymied, either for lack of tools, but more often fighting myself and doubting that the piece will turn out well. It’s a constant challenge to try to picture what the finished product will look like, and I have to trust the process and just do it.
I’m used to the struggle, and in that, there is a blessing. By showing up in the studio regularly, I have learned to ignore my doubts. In other words, the trust muscle keeps growing the more I show up to create.
I don’t always like what I make, but I’m kinder to myself than I used to be.
A tip for you: When you see pictures you like, cut them out and save them for later.
I’m always on the lookout for new fodder, and I keep them in storage bins from the craft store. I sometimes (always) forget what I have, so I have to rummage through every time.
Last month I made a bunch of shrines out of old Altoids tins. I have made more mosaics this month. Here are some examples:
Talk about being out of my comfort zone
The seascape plaque above was wholly out of my comfort zone, but I decided to do something with waves and stay with the blue/green range of color when I made it. All I had was a wooden plaque and a cutout of a dolphin.
It was a bear to cut out the polymer clay and make sure the pieces fit the heart and butted up correctly to the other waves. It came out okay, maybe a bit lame. I like to make some kind of statement with my art, but this will remain pretty and nothing else. 🙂
What are you working on now? I hope you got some creativity buzz this weekend, but if you didn’t, there is always TODAY.
The struggle is real, but so is commitment. Art making is a happy addiction. It sure beats most other things, including chocolate.
Busy time in my studio. This time of year it’s always good to stay busy so that I have lots of inventory for the Christmas season.
It’s not all about selling and producing though.
I’m still doing my art journaling almost every day because I can’t stop! Part of me is critical of the process–always, but another part is really addicted to the evolution of my art.
Whereas my crafts give me great satisfaction, they don’t always delve deeply into the process of creation like art journaling does. I try to keep a balance. They all move me forward on my creative journey.
All of it makes for a happy day. 🙂 No matter how challenging art can be, it makes me happy to create. What more can I ask for?
Busy is good too. The juices are flowing; inspiration is like an overflowing river, and ideas pop up constantly. It’s been a long while since I felt this inspired.
I finished the spirit doll that I started a couple of months ago. (Check out my previous post.) Here are some pictures of recent creations.
I painted the wooden box in various colors, attached paper to the interior back of the box, and then added my doll. She inspires Courage, something we need every day.
Here are some other samples of new things. They are all available in my etsy shop.
I had fun with this watch casing. The portrait is a miniature painting, and I tell you, it was fiddly and tricky to paint.
I started making these four-inch plaques with stamped affirmations at the bottom. So much fun! I like the idea of reminding folks that we are all perfect just the way we are.
You are worthy!
I also made some more clay faces for doll making or to use as an ornament. I wasn’t sure if there would be any interest but I sold some. Now I’m working on creating a cat face mold.
Sculpting in clay is not easy…
New ideas keep me fresh and eager to move forward. I may have to sculpt many cat faces before I’m satisfied, but the main point is to plunge into action. The rest takes care of itself.
If you’re feeling blocked or full of resistance, plunge in anyway. It’s the only way forward. 🙂
Receiving is a good thing though they say giving is more important. Receiving is not what we think it is as in birthday presents and people doing you a favor. Those are all part of it, but to me, receiving is a state.
A state is a condition that we experience, FEEL. Most of us don’t have a clue about how to receive. Guilt plays a big role. We have to live by the convention of “I scratch your back so you scratch mine.”
It is an exchange of energy between people and I don’t disregard that, but receiving is so much more. It’s a state of “grace”, of being fulfilled, of gratitude for life as a whole, not just the perks we get.
When you’re in a state of receiving you are not chasing anything, no gains, no positions, no desires, no wants. You are open to receive whatever comes, but if you are filled with gratitude for life, mostly good things come to you.
It’s not easy to gain that state of receiving in a consistent manner, but by examining life and all those beliefs and habits that hold us back, we can learn to accept it ALL, and from there gain appreciation about the mystery of life.
We basically don’t know any more than newborn babies. They know more that we do in a greater sense. They are still pure and innocent, as we once were. They are in a state of receiving.
As are pets if you think about it. They lie around all day and don’t worry where their next meal is coming from. It never enters their mind, and they are always provided for.
In a sense they take for granted that life will support them. And it does.
Meanwhile, humans run around, or rush down the closest highway to get to nowhere. We worry and curse and plan. We are always chasing money. The whole day is revolving around making money.
We lost that innocent trust a long time ago, traded it for a man-made world that offers a lot of pain and suffering.
When we claim life and stop struggling, something shifts. Life becomes more beautiful and filled with situations we can be grateful for. The more accepting and grateful, the more abundant the gifts from the universe.
It’s not easy to change, but by becoming aware of what we do, and why, and what we say, and our prejudices, we can slowly shift the energy to be more supporting and loving of ourselves. The more you love yourself, the more the universe will support you!
What does this have to do with art, you ask? Really everything.
We tend to criticize and judge our art efforts harshly.
We compare ourselves to others.
We have an idea of what the art should look like, and it never does, so back condemning the effort. It can be a vicious cycle. Many stop making art because of it.
What if the art you make turns out ugly (in your opinion.) What then? Do you continue or just drop the whole adventure?
If we don’t stick with it, we miss out of the mystery. The adventure becomes a hurried rush down the highway, like with so many things we do.
We are addicted to doing and seeing results.
When you can shift and be in a receiving mode as you begin your art session, you are in a non-judgmental state and can receive the art as it manifests through you. That is such a gift!
It might not look like much, but your energy is in it. The receiving as a state of grace shows up in your art. Even if you only painted a blue line across the canvas, people will feel something.
We might admire technique but it’s the energy that draws us.
Stop chasing, become a receiver of life. Make open stillness be part of your daily process.
I did some art journaling lately. I can’t say I reached that magical state of wonder, but I had fun.
Be who you want to be.
A cat person…
Strange lady… Summer solstice
I guess I was into yellow and blue this week.
To be open to receive is to allow, to accept, and live in gratitude for what is, and what appears on the page.
Follow me in Instagram. I post most photos there, @greeneearth
I have some ideas if you’re looking for a gift. My etsy shop has lots of cool gifts. Earth and Faery.