Thursday, June 30, 2011

In The Sun

Kelly and I, it sounds silly to say "taking a course"...we're participating in a free art journaling group, how's that? OK, Kelly and I are participating in a group called In the Sun. And even though we're a few weeks late, I made us journals for the process. (What? Goog made another journal? Shocking!)

I started with this:

And finished with these:

Today, we made our "introduction" pages. Since I don't need to introduce me to myself, I wrote a little note to summer. (Please remember that it was still snowing at the end of April here in the #1 place to live in the US.)

Oh! And the cover:

Yes, the cover should be first BUT - 1. We didn't do them first, we did the inside page. 2. Blogger is a pain in the ass when you try to position pictures.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Six Months...

Made with This Is Me by Kat's Creations. This is one of my favorite pictures of me pregnant - I was finally showing!!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

You Suck Monday - Mail Art!

OK, I'm usually WAY better at taking "in progress" pics but today all you get is the finished ones! These are the ones I did tonight:

It's a 4x6 piece of PopTarts box, paint, book text, tissue paper, an owl stamp, a lil chunk of scrapbook paper, and the girl stamp I carved. The photo is crystal clear on my phone and looks like ass here - I have no idea why!

This one I messed up a little. The stamp wasn't clear, so I tried to RE-stamp. Never a good idea. It came out decent, but not good enough to send anyone, so I put it in a journal. 

Believe it or not, we Suckers are a little camera shy and so before YSM we always have a "meeting" on skype. Since we were doing an art-a-long, Kelly being the teacher, she wanted to practice first, so here are the practice ones:

Same process, but this was a brownie box:

(The goal was to have one portrait and one landscape, that's why there's two.)

And since I'm not a paint-waster (user yes, I have no problem using my supplies, but I don't like to waste them) I started on my July/August journal cover and sort of did what I was doing for the Mail Art.
I really love the journal cover and Mini Me calls it "your journal with the pretty cover".

For more about Mail Art (including how to get matched up with a partner to mail art TO, visit our You Suck Monday blog!)

Monday, June 27, 2011

Coloring "in the lines"

Some of you already know this because I've talked about it before - Mini Me has his own journal. He's four, and has had his own journal since he was almost two. Here's why: he doesn't like coloring books. He would flip and flip and flip and not find a page he wanted to color and I didn't understand what the problem was - didn't little kids like to color? So I got him some paints - and he LOVED painting. But what do you DO with all those loose pieces of paper they paint on? No way I'm throwing them out (even though I am the kind of person who throws away cards) but what the F am I supposed to do with them? So I thought a BOOK would be a good way to keep them all together and not all over the house.

 (Yes, that is my coffee table, and yes, it does have a lot of paint on it. Don't care!)

And this is how I discovered the problem - he likes to paint, sure. But he also LOVES to "draw". I got him those fat markers that smell like fruits and he likes to take every color and scribble on the same page and say that he's making a "utopian city". That's his favorite. But he'll also draw race cars, rocket ships, squares, circles, and he taught HIMSELF how to write his name. So the coloring book "problem" was that he doesn't like LINES. He doesn't want that restriction on his art! 

He wants the freedom of creating what he wants. Whatever is in that little head comes spilling out into his journal, EXACTLY like adults want to do and struggle with! If I give him one of those watercolor paint things you can get for a dollar he will use every single color right down to the plastic and make a big, soupy, brown puddle then stand back and declare "I'm a really good artist!"

Believe it or not, there is a point to this story. The other day we were at Old Chicago having dinner (hubby is a manager there) and he wanted my mom to color in the menu with him. "Pinkie, will you please color crazy with me?" He asked, and started scribbling. She replied "I can't. My mommy taught me to color inside the lines." For those of you not fluent in Passive-Aggression, this suggests that his mommy hasn't taught him that and should. I "should" restrict his freedom with his crayons. I "should" make him use the "correct" color when he's coloring a flower or a tiger, instead of letting him color everything blue. He's overused blue since before he could say the word "blue". He likes blue. He's his favorite color. He'll tell anyone who will listen that he loves ALL the colors in the rainbow but blue is his favorite, especially dark blue. He colored this for me at Story Time. Can four-year-olds color "better" than this? Yes. Liam can. He CAN color in the lines, and he KNOWS what a giraffe looks like. But he wanted it to look like this. I watched the other moms coach their kids through picking the "right" colors while Liam happily made his giraffe blue, and handed it to me with a HUGE smile and said "For you, Mommy!"

Here is what he did in school when his teacher made him color inside the lines. He can also cut along the lines, hold his pencil correctly, recognizes all the letters of the alphabet and their sounds, is obsessed with how to spell words and read, and will often shout out a Spanish word for something that I didn't know.

So maybe I'm the parent who's growing a serial killer or drug addict because I feed him PopTarts and let him color outside the lines and play video games. But right now he wants to go to medical school and learn science to become a doctor. 

PS I didn't call it his journal, just his "book", until one day my husband came home and Liam was scribbling furiously with a colored pencil and Daddy said "What are you doing, Buddy?" and he said "Working in my journal."

Sunday, June 26, 2011

More Captivating

A week or so ago a blogger that I like posted about how she was going to turn off the comments on her blog because it took too much time and effort to respond to everyone...

Just for the record, I blog for the same reason that I make art. Me. I enjoy blogging. I don't know why I enjoy it. It's like getting my voice out there a tiny bit. I don't have the "too much time and effort" problem but if I DID think it was too much time and effort, I wouldn't shout it out there for you guys to read. I think that's a LOT more insulting than not getting a reply, because now I know it's because I'm not worth the time or effort. I read every single comment someone leaves me - but I know there's a 99% chance you're NOT going to come back and check if I replied, because I NEVER go back and check if people reply when I leave a comment!! So comment or don't, I read them all and occasionally (rarely) respond. Here are some more of my wedding pictures, which I know all 41 of you are just DYING to see!

Made with Captivating by One of a Kind Design Studio. Love it!

Saturday, June 25, 2011


My mom (Mini calls her Pinkie) is in town! So far all we've done is eat and check out her hotel, but we have plans for baseball, MOA, Cars 2, and much more! Mini is going to stay at the hotel with her for a couple of nights (if the first night goes well, of course) and it's the first time hubby and I will been alone together in over two years! How crazy is that?

I'm glad she's here, but it's going to seriously curb my arting. It's hard to art while someone is talking to you who actually needs your attention. When I art with Kelly, Ajae, and Suzi on skype, they do their thing and I do mine and we hold up things to show each other, but it's very relaxed and mostly we just hang out. Mom expects to be entertained a little. Not a lot, she doesn't think the world revolves around her or anything, but a little. Enough that it's hard to art with her around.

Now that I'm talking about it, I feel like it's a challenge - I can make myself art while she's here...

This is Mini showing her something on her iPad. Good thing she brought it, so her four-year-old grandson could show her how to use it.

Friday, June 24, 2011


I'm totally, absolutely, completely IN LOVE with this kit! It's called Captivating and it's by One of a Kind Design Studio available at Ahhh Scrap - and it's absolutely PERFECT for my wedding photos!! RIGHT?!?

This is me and Darlene, my Maid of Honor:

Some of my favorite men:
(Over on the left is my brother and they're both cracking up because he's grabbing Tim's ass)

Grant, the Best Man 
This is what happens when you leave the bouquet unattended to go to the bathroom.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Holy crap this is FUN!!

OK, so the stamp carving was fun and I really wanted to carve more, but I just wasn't sure what to carve...what to carve...what to carve...I toyed with the idea of using a picture, but HOW? Like THIS!!

Start with a picture of Mini Me saying "I quit!" (He's totally posing, not cranky!)

Pen tool...



SO FREAKING FUN!!! I know I just posted about this, but I couldn't help it - this is SO MUCH FUN!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Travel Watercolors

I'm not usually someone who wants something just to have it. I have a lot of video game systems - I play them all. I buy DVDs of shows I like - and then I watch them (over and over and over). If I buy expensive paints or paper I use them. I don't save things for special occasions and I don't buy things just because everyone else has them and I need one, too. BUT I really like those little travel watercolor things. I don't even use watercolors!! I don't like things that are water soluble! Why would I want one of those? I don't know. But I do and I have for a long time. I won't buy it because I won't use it (probably). Then I saw this idea and I had to do it.

Kelly gave me this when we were drunk arting:

We used paper clay for this part, and the tops of Glimmer Mist bottles:

Then you just squirt and let them dry!!

Don't lie, you know that's awesome.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Kelly is NOT amused

She didn't like that I said stamp carving was easy, so we got stuff and carved some more today - this is SERIOUS Kelly.

I got a different substrate to carve with at Blick's, that gray stuff she's using. I thought it was the same as the pink stuff and it kind of is, but it's a teeny bit softer. We also got a couple of new blade for our carving tools!!

Monday, June 20, 2011

YSM 6/20/11 - STAMPS!

OK, I told all of our listeners this the other night - I had ZERO desire to do this. I'm not a stamper. I don't make cards, probably because I don't SAVE cards (that's right, people, if you send me a card it ends up in the trash) and the only stamping I do is underlayers for paintings. OK, I will confess that Kelly has an amazingly impressive stamp collection and I have been known to stamp a whole bunch of mermaids and make them into bookmarks and stuff like that. Anyway, I didn't wanna do this. I stressed about it ALL week, which defeats the purpose of YSM in the first place. But you should hear some of the things I've talked Kelly and Ajae into doing. So, they both really wanted to carve stamps and it was my turn to go along with what they wanted to do for once!

When I was pretty sure I couldn't carve stamps, I thought "Aha! I'll just do what me & Suzi learned at CHA with the marshmallows!" So I took a bunch of them and got started. All you do is heat it up with your heat tool (don't hold the marshmallow, the heat tool is TOO HOT and you'll burn yourself) until you can see the surface start to change. It gets a little shiny, but DON'T let it get to the "toasted marshmallow" point - that's too toasty. When the surface changes, mash something into it.

Heart brad:

Wedding cake brad:

This is a stamp of a stamp, I mashed it onto my text stamp:

The bat symbol (I mashed it on Batman's chest):

Then I was SO chicken to do this that Ajae, Kelly, and I had to be on skype together. This is the speedball rubber I started with, it's 3 inches by 4 inches.
This is a girl I drew in my journal in PEN - there was no erasing, no lining up of the features, just an imperfect girl. I printed her picture on plain old #20 paper, then traced over the lines with a regular #2 mechanical pencil.

To transfer her onto the rubber, I just put the paper face down and burnished it with my iPhone 3G. No special tools, nothing difficult.

Then I carved:


Carved some more:

And now I LOVE her!!

Here is a link to the tool and to the rubber. I got my tools and blocks and marshmallows at Michael's, and I had to ask where all of them were! If you've ever wanted to make your own stamps, now is the time!!

Saturday, June 18, 2011


Liam: Mommy, is that sugar on your pancakes?
Me: Yes
Liam: Fascinating

Friday, June 17, 2011


Picture it: you're showing someone a piece you've worked on (in my case it was a fucking GORGEOUS quilt) and someone else walks by, snorts mockingly, and declares authoritatively "Well, somebody obviously has too much time on their hands." OK, that semester in college I got seven As and one B in my classes. I was there on a full music scholarship. I worked. I made the quilt 100% by hand. I am a fidgety, caffeine-fueled, hyperactive, tail-chasing, finger-tapping, leg-shaking person. I'm not good at sitting still. I've been up for almost five hours and it's only 9:49am. Already today I've walked miles, made breakfast, done laundry and dishes, checked my email and my boss's, taken care of the work that was waiting for me, showered, and gotten my four-year-old up, fed, dressed, and teeth brushed. But if you were to ask me at the end of my day "What did you do today?" I would reply "Nothing." Because you don't want to hear about my art/sewing/child-feeding. They don't count. Only things you LEAVE the house for count.

As a stay-at-home-mom, I know there's a stigma. Right now, if you walked into my house, you'd think "When is the last time this chick vacuumed?" I can tell you it's only been two or three times this year. Does the floor need it? You bet. Do I have time to do it? Of course. But it scares Mini Me. Now, lots of moms would ignore that and vacuum anyway, while their child screamed and cried in terror because god forbid there be a stray Cheerio on the floor. Me, I'll leave the monsters to giving him nightmares and vacuum when he's out of the house - which isn't often. Despite the load in the dishwasher, there's a pile of dirties in the sink, Mini's hamper is still half-full of smelly little boy clothes, and I really should scrub the toilet with that thingy with the little disposable clip-on sponge things. And I will. All these things get done just in time for them to need to be done again. But I'm a STAY-AT-HOME-MOM! Shouldn't things be CLEANER? What the hell do I do with all my TIME?

Anything I want. I play video games. I surf the 'Net. I scrapbook. I draw. I paint. I play video games and draw and paint with my son. We walk to the park, to the mall, to the movies, to McDonald's with the PlayPlace, to Starbucks for tea and a cookie. We leave the dirty dishes and the dirty laundry and the clutter. There's no mold or mildew or insects or pests. We live in an apartment that's "clean enough". Do I have a point? Not really, I guess. Donna Downey did an inspiration Wednesday post and the quote she put in her journal was this: Time that you enjoy wasting is not wasted time. It's attributed to about seven different people if you look it up, so I'm not going to guess who was the originator. I just wish people did less of what they were "supposed" to and just learned to live.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Restaurant Idea

TGIF is done to death, so here's a new idea: HSIOW. Holy Shit It's Only Wednesday. You KNOW you have those days, too, where you're like "Tomorrow's Friday, right? What? Holy shit, it's only Wednesday?" Well, much like YSM, this is a chance to embrace that horrible feeling of HSIOW.

Here's how:

Step 1: Pack the kid in the car.
Step 2: Find a friend to join you
Step 3: Alcohol

Step 4: Drunken art projects:

Step 5: Tattoos

Step 6: Journal