Friday, December 31, 2010

Make another journal, of course!

I've been trying to decide what I want to do about the Pam Carriker class I'm taking that starts this week. Since it's given by Strathmore, you'd think I should use one of their journals. BUT I don't have the one Pam is going to use, I only have Britsol ones (4 of them in various sizes...) and when Ajae sent me the one I'm now using for Manga, my first thought was "Yay, I'll use this for Pam's class!" but that was very quickly followed by "Heck no, I wanna draw in it TODAY, and it's my favorite paper, and I'm going to use it for Manga." Case closed. So (you needed those babbling thoughts, trust me) I've been trying to find them online because the only place around here where you can get them is in St. Paul which is about 20 minutes away and you have to park on the street which I'm not comfortable with so I always park at a grocery store and walk several blocks but it's 37 degrees and raining (this is not good because of the huge piles of snow that are going to melt and then freeze later, making the roads into an ice skating rink for your car) and I have Mini Me - who would not appreciate a sprint in the rain. And I realized the journals are kind of expensive for a class. I mean $14 is not so much for a journal, less than I pay for my beloved Moley, but what if I start playing the Pam Way and I hate it? Then the journal sits on a shelf for the next fifty years and Liam throws it away after I'm dead. I decided instead to make journals for me and for Kelly so we have something already done that we didn't spend any money on and that way if we hate it, we can just chuck it in the trash. (Yes, I often toss my art in the trash if I hate it. It's just how I roll.)

So, this is just file folders sewn together:I used patterned cardstock for the covers, just glued it onto the first and last folders.
Added some decorative tape to the bound edge.
And this is the backs! (Or fronts. No right or wrong here.)
I don't know why I took this picture of it open, but apparently I needed it, so I might as well show you. The pages are 10x7 inches. I'm thinking this is my "perfect" journal size. We'll see.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Oh, paper...

Paper has, once again, let me down. OK, maybe not the paper...something let me down, damn it. I was SO excited about the matte medium discovery, but alas, it's not going to work.

This is apparently what happens when you stamp over matte medium:
My poor smeared mermaid makes me sad. And let the record show: I heat set it before I left Kelly's, it dried for several hours, and I heat set it AGAIN when I got home. AND it's a permanent ink.

So, I also wanted to make some more mermaid bookmarks. Did the same process as before: stamps at Kelly's, copics when I got home. But they smeared, too!! So then I covered the ones that hadn't smeared with matte medium (still trying to determine if matte medium would be good for under my copics in my new journal) and discovered that it's a no-go. Not just no but HELL no. The colors are HORRIBLE. Really, really awful. I don't know how well you can tell from this picture, but those two mermaids were colored with the exact same colors but the one on the right had matte medium on the paper (over the stamp, under the copics).

Poop on it!! Oh, well. You win some you lose some, I guess. Or as Suzi Blu would say "Some days we are masters, some days fools."

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Saturday is the day - January 1, 2011. I'm going to start keeping a manga journal. I posted some pictures of my new journal (Strathmore smooth Bristol!) that I've been making comic book panels with. But it bothers me that I can't use both sides of the page because the copic markers that I plan to use will leak through the back. How do I know? Tried it of course.



I haven't found a paper yet that the copics don't bleed through. So yesterday Ajae is telling me about a paper she used in some kind of class (clearly I pay close attention to people) that had a coating on one side that didn't let markers bleed through. It sounds interesting except the problem remains the same - can't use both sides.

So I wondered what kind of coating would be OK for copics to draw on and still be blendable? (That's not a word, in case you're wondering.) My first thought was matte medium, so I asked my copic expert (Kelly) and she said I should be able to color over matte medium. (You can't used them over acrylics, it's bad for them even though Teesha does!) So, I tried it.


In other words - it WORKED!!! I tried three different papers but NOT the bristol - what was I thinking? I have another journal with Bristol paper that I can try it with and if it works, I'll be able to get two months of manga into my Bristol journals! Yay!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Being Empty

I guess mostly what I talk about here is silly stuff. Markers and bees and Mini Me. But today Suzi's blog post made me cry and so I'm going to talk about it. This is me: My name is Ariana, but my friends call me Goog. Except for one, who calls me Ana (pronounced anne-uh, not on-uh) which is what I would really like to be called. I like Star Wars and Star Trek, Harry Potter and Twilight. I read a lot, but not magazines. I have no interest in pop culture or television shows. I don't watch whatever TV show you think is amazing and I don't care how amazing you think it is. I have no idea what the temperature is here today. I love lime green and I don't wear matching socks. I have paint spattered on most of my clothes. I don't brush my hair and I don't own a blow dryer. I am a mom to a three-year-old who only eats crackers and chicken nuggets. I don't sleep well. I like sparkly pens and I hate staying at home.

But here is the thing I need you to know: I don't know how to judge you. THIS is why I never fit in in school. This is why I don't fit in now. I don't GET it. I don't LOOK at someone and think "Oh, they're hot." because I don't KNOW you. I'm not attracted to someone that I know nothing about. Not even physically. I just don't get it. I don't look at someone and see "ugly" or "pretty". I don't think you look different with your makeup off. I can't tell if you spent an hour or five minutes on your hair. It hurts me to admit this because I know you don't believe me. I DON'T understand HOW to judge people that way. I don't get it. I have blue eyes and dark blond hair (it's brownish-black right now). I have big teeth and even though I'm 30 I still have acne. I don't wear makeup. Ever. I don't even know how to put it on. WHY DO YOU CARE? My clothes probably don't match, I can't tell. I don't look in a mirror except while I'm brushing my teeth. Not because I don't like my reflection, just because it doesn't occur to me that I should care what I look like. Don't I always look the same? I don't iron any clothes, I wear jeans and t-shirts everyday. Right now I'm wearing a pair of black workout pants and a Thing 2 hoodie. My feet are bare and my hair is wet. But what does that have to DO with anything? I buy all my clothes at Target - Old Navy if the sale is REALLY good. All my sneakers have holes in them where my feet bend because I walk for miles and miles. I like country music. I bite my nails and want a tattoo. I'm not afraid of getting old. I love my son, and I don't think cupcakes are a "special occasion" food.

I hate when people say "I wish I could be more like you". I didn't have to learn to NOT judge people. I didn't have to learn to NOT care how I look, to NOT wear makeup, to NOT need designer clothes. It's all part of what makes me a freak. "Different" or "special". I have NEVER tried to "stand out" - I just STICK out. I don't WANT to. I've always been the person in class whose name the teacher knew first. If I walk into my apartment complex office, they know my name, hubby's, Mini's, my building AND apartment number. They know I'm an artist and hubby's a chef, and they've known all of this pretty much since we moved in. I don't know what makes me look people in the eye and make sure to hand the cashier my money instead of tossing it on the counter.

I'm so tired right now. Physically, mentally, just tired. I wish I understood. I wish I had the "judgement" gene, too. That way I could understand what's wrong with me. Today Indigo is winning the fight. Why do I let him? Sometimes it's just easier to just pull the Indigo cloak around me and huddle under it. Glare at people at the grocery store from under the cover of my iPod. They take one look at my earphones and grungy clothes and write me off as no-good. Maybe they're right.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Manga Prep!

I know, I know, I promised better pictures were going to start being posted here and they will, I swear. My new stupid camera didn't come with a cord to connect it to the computer and it really didn't occur to me that I wouldn't have any way to get the pics off the camera. My printer has four card readers and I have a million different cords, but none of them are what I need so I had to order a cord and it will be here by January 3rd. Bummer, huh?

Anyway, this is what I've been working on for the past couple of days! This is my new journal from Ajae - I LOVE the smooth Bristol paper!!
It's comic panels. Theoretically. I'm thinking that having all these prepared pages is going to help with the execution of actually making my daily life into a comic book.
It's one less step to do ON that day, you know? I'm going to prep the entire journal this way so the whole thing is good to go.
The one thing I don't like about the paper is that the copic markers that I plan to use bleeds through. I haven't found a paper yet that stands up to these markers, so for now I'm just using one side of the page which seems like a bit of a waste.
Since I'm anal and obsessive, I've been working on this for two days and I've only got about twelve pages done but I'm really enjoying looking through the pages like they are. I can't wait to really use this book!! :)

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Manga Practice

I'm really good at buying a bunch of books on a subject and studying it to death and not quite so good at actually putting things into practice. I keep saying that I want to draw my days as manga-style comics but I haven't really done anything about it. Haven't started, haven't done much except buy a few books on manga drawing. So the other day I did a couple of sketches following the directions in Manga For Dummies.

I liked these eyes best of the ones in the book because I want the lines around my eyes to CLOSE. I hate when they just have a short line at the top and bottom but the corners don't meet. But the eyelashes are so stupid! I'm going to try different eye styles because those lashes are just ridiculous, but at least they came out like they were supposed to!
Here are some faces. I like the first and third on each, but the middle ones look f-ing stupid! Lots more work to do.
I think the first step is to figure out who the characters in my pages are going to be, right? That's what I'm thinking, I need to draw my characters individually so I have something to look at when I'm working.This is me and Kelly drawing and making tomato sauce. :)

Friday, December 24, 2010

Santa's name is really Ajae!

My friend Ajae sent me the sweetest Christmas presents! She always makes the packages pretty that she sends me :) She thought I was going to wait until Christmas to open it, but a package from Ajae is TOO EXCITING! I couldn't wait. So, while the hubby and son still slept, I opened it up!
Here's the whole lot! It's new PanPastels, a new Bristol journal (my favorite paper!!!), and a gift card, along with a super funny card and some soft tolls for my pastels!

This didn't come from Ajae, but I'm kind of excited about it. It's a "new" camera. It's actually an older cyber-shot, and it's pink (which I hate), but it was cheap and it's going to have to do. Tim thinks that now that I've got a NEW one, we'll find the OLD one any day. (I used to do that with my license all the time!)
So hopefully the photos here on my blog will be a lot better quality from now on! Yay!! :) Sorry I've been so boring lately, maybe the new year will bring a more interesting Goog?

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Components of a grown-up play date:

Pooping cake balls
Honestly, I don't know what happened to them. Tim said that if the middles were warm, the chocolate might bust open and goo would leak out, but they were fresh out of the freezer. (OK, we set one tray outside. It was 22 degrees!) They were nice and chilly before I dunked them and this has never happened before. Every single one either leaked out a little hole like this or got a huge crack. Very odd.

White wine

Banishing Indigo

Today, Indigo (our archenemy) was smashed in the face by a cake ball. Delicious and effective.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

"Gingerbread" house!

Candy and graham crackers!
Just add a three-year-old, and you get this!That teeny little blue thing is the door knob!That's Rudolph.
And that's a snowman. Sort of.
I'm surprised how much I like it! :)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Layouts for Ahhh Scrap

This is Ian, my best friend's boyfriend. He has no idea that I even have these pics of him! :) He's not angry, he just takes angry-looking pictures for some reason. Silly.
Made with Just the Way You Are by Shmooangel Designs

This is Miles, my cousin once removed, on his first birthday. How freaking cute is he?!?
Made with Birthday Boy by Scrappy Towne

These are actually pictures from last winter. Christmas Eve, I think.
This kit is Winter Fern by Hornbuckle Designs

To scrap our first Christmas tree, I used Ahhh Scrap's December 2010 Collaboration,
A Christmas Whim.

All the kits are available at Ahhh Scrap.

Monday, December 20, 2010


So, the plan was mermaid ATCs. I tried really hard to draw them, I swear. But I can't. I can draw bigger mermaids, but not tiny ones. Now that I've tried a few times and they've come out so horrible, I'm SURE I can't because I block myself that way. I'm terrible about deciding that since I did something a few times and it came out crappy that I'll never be able to (like my attempts at image transfers). So I decided I want to make bookmarks instead!!I stamped them at Kelly's house because she has MILLIONS of stamps (OK, maybe thousands)And then I colored them with copic markers! I'm getting a little better with those stupid things. I'll probably add some sparkles to them, I'm thinking about coloring their tops with my clear glaze marker to they're shiny, and using a green glittery pen on their tails, but I'm pretty dang happy with them at the moment!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Indigo Project

Flat Stanley gave me this idea. I blogged a few days ago about Indigo, my archenemy and the archenemy of several of my friends. So here he is. Indigo. It's not my exact vision of him, but I was having trouble drawing him, so I'm using this image from a Manga disc I have.
I colored him shades of blue.

Laminated him.
Now, the idea with the Indigo Project is that we're going to take Indigo and take pictures with him, just like I did with Stanley. Only for Indigo, he's not going on an adventure. The pics are going to be about beating him. We're going to squash him under things and throw things at him and drown him in margaritas. Whatever we have to do to get rid of Indigo.

Oh, the image is royalty-free, just in case you were wondering. :)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Smoking Paper

Here is Kelly, attempting to make snow in her journal. It led to smoke and very nearly fire. Never a dull moment in the world of art journaling, people.
It's hard to take a picture of smoke, but it was pretty funny. I told her if her Moleskine burst into flames I wanted to be ready to take a picture but, alas, I had to settle for this.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Art mess!

Jessica Doyle says that keeping my art supplies out where I can see them (and will feel inclined to use them) is not a mess. Would she feel differently if this was her dining room table?I mean, it's not like we eat there or anything (that's right, Nickelodeon, we ARE those people who are contributing to the downfall of the American family by not having dinner at The Family Table) but still. That's coffee in my mason jar glass, by the way. Coffee cups are so SMALL.

And here is a cookie that I made. Plain old chocolate chip, but it came out the size of a biscuit. The stupid pictures I took don't do it justice, it's freaking huge. They all are. That's what happens when you have to substitute a bit of cake flour in your recipe that calls for all-purpose.

The cake flour box said you can use it in place of all-purpose, but don't believe it! Unless you want monster-sized cookies, that it. Then, go crazy!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Teesha Project continues...

I'm REALLY in love with this page! I don't know what it is that I like, and I'm not even sure if it's finished. It looks a MILLION times better in person. I really wish I had a scanner so the colors looked better!
I was still feeling pretty Indigo this morning, but journaling it made me feel a lot better. And cookies. Cookies always help.

OK, after much internal (and external - I talk to myself a lot) debate, as well as asking Kelly about it all day long (yes, I'm the annoying friend), I decided to outline the letters and I'm glad! I like it. I feel like there should be MORE in the blank spaces. More what? I dunno. But if I figure it out I'll post another picture!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Indigo is a code word among my friends. We use it to describe those days where it takes all of your effort just to get out of bed and go sit on the couch (forget changing out of your pj's, that's just not happening). Instead of "blue" or "depressed" we say "indigo". Ever since I did the Flat Stanley project for my cousin I've been picturing Indigo as an archenemy. In a cape and a mask and boots, just waiting to ruin my day. I'm feeling Indigo at the moment...too Indigo to even tell you how amazing Fabriano paper is and how much fun I had with my copic markers today. So I leave you with a picture of me eating an ENORMOUS grape.
It's hard to tell how big it is in my mouth, but that's it in my hand - how crazy is that thing?!?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


I figured out the reason that you can take a picture of your iPhone screen WITH your iPhone. So when you're stranded on the side of the road, you can text a picture of your GPS location to people and they can save you.How cool is that?? Because I have the WORST sense of direction and when someone says "Are you east or west of 169?" I have NO idea what the answer is. A friend was driving by and picked me up on the side of the highway - it was my lucky day!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Oo, la, la...

"What's that he's pouring alcohol over?" you say?
Why it's COTTON CANDY, of course.
And yes, it is the best thing I've ever tasted.