Friday, June 3, 2016

morning pages.... the evolution... afternoon art journaling

Struggling with morning pages again, that's really a common challenge around here. If there is little to no sleep to be had, the morning pages simply don't happen, ever. It's more important that the kids are fed and the husband is off to work.

I recently started reviewing different methods of making Art Journals. Just google it or check Pinterest. There are tons of tutorials, so I won't bog you down with those here. However I will say, morning pages doesn't always need to be specifically hand written pages. Sometimes, the time to do morning pages can be spent in the studio- well, I can dream- or it can be in the afternoon, during kid art time. I can paste some pretty \left over bits to journal and take on a bit of craft, just for art's sake. It is not designed to be sold. There is no end customer in mind., It's just a chance to express myself, differently then the written, set time frame, disciplined way that I tend to think of Morning Pages.

I DO recommend the traditional Artist Way morning pages, if you are able to organize your life and child care to do them. It's really transformative and can inspire massive changes in behavior that gets in the way of creation. Moves barriers in the creative, and it makes a discipline to get actual work done. Just one of the BEST ways you can feed your creative self, morning pages.... 3 pages every day. even if they say the same things, even if they are the worst writing of your life, even if it's awful and embarrassing.... come back to morning pages.

In the mean time- Afternoon Art pages will have to suffice. I'm making books, and I'm recycling old artwork into the books. SO- sometimes the art is made, BEFORE it lands in the book, and Sometimes the Art is made AFTER it lands in the book.
 Pages made before they land in the book:

Pages made after:

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Bubble Painting with Kids

After dinner and before bath time, I struggle to keep my kids busy in a genial manner. (I.e. they are cranky and fighting) SO, I started messy art time. The theory behind it, the toys must be picked up and put away, and the next stop is the tub anyway, why not get really messy?

In New York I saw a LOT of art.... and not all of it was masterpieces. At the Armory show, I saw a painting, where the artist had a Neon Green canvas, and they blew bubbles at it, and they left these delicate "jellyfish" impressions behind. My next thought- "My kids could do this"

So, I made bubble potion (it needs to "set") loaded the kids up, bought some tempora paint and more emergency bubble potion, and wands.

We used 18x24 canvas board, but I'm sure watercolor paper will work just as well.

I set up the kid easel in the yard, but it didn't get used. they sat in the grass and blew bubbles, ALL kinds of bubbles, sort of at the canvas, and a lot at each other. Laughter was had by all.

Here are some of our results~

The Great news- the kids had fun.
Word to the WISE- The Tempora paint we got did not actually wash out of their clothes, or off my sidewalk, even though it was advertised as "washable".
I think the kids got lots of special effects. I went in with a bottle of gesso, and used the lids from the gesso to add a few white circle "bubble shapes" to round out the composition a little bit.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Critism it's going to Happen- Response is ok

Anytime that you put yourself out into the world, and try to sell off your wares.... you are open to criticism. That is the scary part. "what if people don't like my stuff? Then they must not like me."

Well, we live in a very critical society. It's definitely going to happen. In art school- you go through these things called "art crits", where the other students give their honest opinion of the work that you just spent 6 weeks making. These are small versions of the "real world" experiences with criticism that come out of the woodwork when you put your name out there. "My 12 year old/sister/ friend can make this for me, where did you get the materials?"  Is a very common comment I receive when I do a public craft fair.

Take time to respond in a way that meaningful to you- well, what on earth does that mean? You can get defensive and reactionary, but it won't teach you anything new. And, usually, this sarcastic quickie comeback, doesn't make any friends. For growth, and bettering your art honing your skills, sometimes, listening to what a client has to say can start a dialog.

So, before you go to your next craft fair, prepare yourself. It's not you- it's them. We are so blessed to receive cheap goods and services. There is no comparing a handmade object to a mass produced item. It is up to you to educate your buyers on what they are actually paying for. How long have you practiced your skills? How long did that thing take you to make it, how do you carefully choose and source your materials, all of these things start a narrative. That's right, they tell your story!

Have your elevator pitch prepared. As soon as you are putting your work out for sale- that might be online, or in a brick in mortar store. Once you have made your product available, be prepared with a positive explanation for what your thing is. Sometimes go into detail on how you made it {barring a few trade secrets, of course ;)}

Creating value, that takes a trick!

Remember, as you are a consumer and evaluating others work... You can choose to treat other artists the way that you would like to be treated. There is power there, and there are choices. You can choose to be an encourager! So Do It!

I feel that there is enough room for everyone in the market. There is room in the market, for as many jewelry artists as there are people that wear jewelry. I'm sure there is room to reach out to those who are new to their craft. If there is a thing that you can offer, do it!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Dip Dyed Tote Bags

I love giving handmade gifts. Every year at Christmas, I try to make a big batch of, well, thingys. and give them away . This Year it was Chex mix for the boys and tote bags for the girls. Everyone seemed happy!

This project is probably 10 and up. I kept my kids out of it.

I used 4 shades of Procion dyes, however you can use as little as one. I was warned to try to keep it down, because the colors will start to get muddy as you go along.

I used the plastic container that the veggie platter comes in, from the grocery store. I love it when something is recyclable and I can use it one more time before I bin it. Like I got my money's worth.

I used Soda ash on the stove- it smells to high heaven! Keep a lid on it and crack a window.... even if it is December! This helps prepare your fabric for dying. I ordered several tote bags off of the internet. Amazon, Dick Blick, Micheals' and Joann's. It was fun to feel the different textures, they were all different sizes, some had pockets, other's didn't. I kept in mind the women in my life that I was making them for, so 2 went more emerald green, and one went way more purple and blue. The rest were rainbow, purple, blue, turquoise, and green.

grab a wet bag out of your Soda ash, wring it out, leave it scrunched up and dip it right in the dye, about 3 inches deep. Fold the skinny wet bag in half and dip the middle in another color.
Lay it flat in a tub. after they have been wet about an hour- throw it in the washing machine.

after they have been wet about an hour- throw it in the washing machine.

HANG Dry- not in the dryer.

Then I used, Sharpies, and Dacique Dyes painted on to make a few modificatons, You know, make it personal!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Paper Journals

I've learned a lot about journal making, since I started this fun journey. over 300 Journals made.... just a few!!

Electrical tape is actually a form of binding- way stronger than washi tape. Makes the whole notebook more durable, and last longer going in and out of bags.

 More Neutral colors, and some colored Duct tape bindings, the Metallic gold  binding is really fun, makes it more of a design choice, less about demanding function.

I've been making more secure journals by using a contact paper seal- I can use delicate handmade papers, that are like tissue paper in consistency. The Modge Podge seal was making them wrinkle, and sometimes changing the colors. But, when I use contact paper-they are protected from water damage, and I feel secure about that!

There are so many awesome metal details that I now use. The name plates and the corner protectors are old school, and still useful. Age Before Beauty? even if it false age?? Distress inks help me give the illusion of age, but maintain the sturdy reliability of new materials.

Some of my journals for sale: Journals for sale!!!!!

Some of my older posts about making your own journals: composition notebooks tutorial.