Now I venture into making ATCs (Artist Trading Cards)

As you may know, I have been learning about art journaling for a while now and joined a group online that has a daily word prompt.  I am sort of keeping up with these prompts, but I have also branched out into learning about making ATCs (Artist Trading Cards).  I have known about these for some time but never thought about making them myself.

Now that I have tried making them, I find that I am hopelessly hooked.  Making these little cards is so much fun.  Although I really enjoy the daily art journal page, and will keep doing that too, I find that making ATCs is addictive.  Whenever you make one, you immediately think of how to make another and another and another!  In just three days I have managed to make around 20 of these little cards.  I have plans to make many more!

If you have always wanted to be creative, if you have always wanted to paint and make messes with paint, then this activity is definitely for you.  To start out, each card is 2.5 inches wide by 3.5 inches long.  That is really the only rule.  Once you have your cards cut out and ready, there is nothing that is off limits.  You can paint, draw, ink, glue, collage, sew,etc. whatever you want on these little cards and then find other ATC addicts to trade with.

Here are some of art journal pages I have made:

art journal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are some ATCs I have made this week:

ATCs

ATCs

ATCs

ATCs

 

 

 

 

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So, what exactly is an Art Journal?

What is an art journal?

I googled the term “What is an ART JOURNAL” and received 45 million possibilities.  That is mind numbing.  I checked out the first 10 or so and finally gave up.  So what did I learn you might ask?  Well, not a lot but I did learn that an art journal is whatever you want it to be.  Helps, huh?  Okay, let’s get a bit more focused and see if I can define it better.

First, art journals are nothing new.  They aren’t a fad.  Artists from all history have kept journals filled with ideas, thoughts, plans, recipes for colors, etc.  DaVinci may have been the most prolific journal keeper, but he is by no means the only artist who ever kept an art journal.  Look up your favorite artist and I will bet that person also kept an art journal.

Maybe it is easier to define by stating what it isn’t.  Art journals aren’t scrapbooks.  They serve the same purpose as a written journal does.  Scrapbooks capture memories in pictures and words.  Each page of a scrapbook is a moment in time that the scrapbooker wants to remember.  Art journals are used by artists in various ways, and yes, sometimes to capture a moment in time, but always as a means of creative expression.

Here is a YouTube video that attempts to define what an art journal is and what it is for:

I found this on Kristal Norton’s blog and I recommend you check it out.

Why do artists journal?

There are so many answers to this question.  Artists and non-artists alike may turn to an art journal for an of the following reasons:

Each artist has her own reason for keeping an art journal. Some, like me, have two or three journals going at any given time, each with its own use. Some examples:

An art journal might be used to try new techniques, or new materials. The book might contain written descriptions on each page of what was used to create them, and any thoughts that might help recreate or improve on what was done.
A book might be used to practice working larger, or smaller, in preparation for a new series of works outside the journal. If an artist is used to working very large, and is asked to do pieces that are small, it’s often easier to make the transition by practicing in an art journal, rather than diving in to more expensive surfaces.
Some artists use their art journals as diaries, to record what happened to them that day, week, or month. They also might use a journal to work through any emotional, medical, or family issues they’re having.
Your reasons for keeping an art journal may cover some, all, or none of these examples. Some people art journal simply because they enjoy the process, and want a place to create. (http://mixedmedia.club/what-is-an-art-journal/)

It seems that the reasons to journal are many and all of them are correct.

So how do you art journal?

Here is an excerpt from a blog that discusses techniques for art journaling that you might try:

ART JOURNALING TECHNIQUES YOU MIGHT ENJOY:
Making collages from pictures in magazines, or your own art pieces cut up
Painting with watercolors or acrylic paints
Doodling
Creating lists – i.e. wish lists, coping strategies, self-care ideas
Quotes – making art out of your favorite quote
Mandalas
Sketching what you see everyday – trees, people, food, etc.
Sewing fabric, paper, or beads onto journal pages
Printing and stamping – you can even make your own!
Bookbinding and making your own journals by hand
Cutting windows and doors into your journal pages
Writing out your feelings (and then covering it with paint if you wish!)
Focusing on a theme: such as gratitude, mindful drawing, or the things you love
(http://mindfulartstudio.com/what-is-an-art-journal/)

Has any of this helped you to understand what an art journal is?  The term “art journal” covers so many variations and techniques that it is mind-boggling!  No wonder I have been struggling with my attempts to learn how to do this type of journaling.

My plan, from here on out, is to do exactly what I want in my art journal without listening to my inner critic, or without seeking approval from anyone.  I will paint, collage, color, write, doodle, or any other thing I feel is appropriate for that moment.

Here’s what I have been up to this week:

I told you before that I did join a FB group and am really enjoying everyone’s art journaling.  Seeing all the different takes on a single word just reinforces my commitment to do whatever feels right for me at the time.

 

art journal

This one is about the word of the week which is RED:

art journal

Another thing that happened this week is that I received a lovely card from one of the people in my group.  It contained an ATC that I watched her make on YouTube.  I am so pleased to have received this little card and it inspired me to return the favor and send cards and art to several other members of the group.  I mailed them all out this morning.

 

 

 

 

art journal

 

 

 

art journal

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Art Journaling is really fun!

Since I joined the online group, I have increased my time spent on art and creativity.  I am really having fun.  The art journaling daily prompts are challenging and I don’t always make one because I have no idea what to do for that word.  However, I keep trying and hopefully I will soon get creative enough to easily journal on each word.

My oldest daughter just got a new job and it is really a great one for her, so our card making has dwindled quite a bit.  I think I may just make cards myself tomorrow.  I have a few more to make for Valentines.  I have all the supplies here, so there really is not any reason for me to wait on her to make any cards.

The other thing I have been trying to do more of is sketching and drawing.  I really want to try to draw some dogs but for some reason I am avoiding getting started.  I don’t know what that is about.  I love dogs.  I have had dogs my whole life.  I have never met a dog that I didn’t like and that didn’t like me.  Strange, huh?

Anyway, I will keep trying to bring creativity into my life daily.  What about you.  What are you doing every day to be creative?  I’d love to hear about your crafts and your art.  Oh, I found another artist online whose work I really admire.  Her name is Juliette Crane and I absolutely love her style.  What about you?  Do you have a favorite artist online that you enjoy?

So here is what I have been up to this past week:

 

Art journaling

This one is about the word: NOTE

This is about the word: FLOWER

This is about a combination of words: from my group-BURST, LINE; from my word of the day dictionary-TRANSMIGRATE

This one is from the word:  RUSH

 

And finally, here is my new February door wreath.  As you can see, I have been having fun and keeping busy!

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Art and Art Journaling–more to come

Art and art journaling have been my number one focus for the past week.  Since I am trying to learn art journaling, I have joined a Facebook group and I have really been enjoying the prompts and words.  Making journal pages is still pretty hard for me, but at least in this group I am learning together with others and we all support and help each other.

My oldest daughter, who moved here from Missouri in the summer, spends quite a bit of time over here with me and we have been making cards.  It really is a BIG production and when we get started the table becomes buried in craft supplies. We have stacks of scrapbook paper, craft stamps, scrapbook punches, glue and glue sticks, ribbons for embellishment, pens and colored pencils, and a tape runner.

She was here until 9PM this Saturday making Easter cards with me!  We have such a great time!  She wants to start selling handmade greeting cards online and will set up an Etsy store as soon as she can.  She has a large stack of handmade Valentine’s cards to sell and she had a commission card to make for a lady at her workplace.

Here are the last three pages in my journal:

art journal

Here is an example of some cards we made this weekend.  While my daughter made cards, I was busy making Valentine’s Day Tags to send to my friends in Austin.  They were fun and fast.  Here they are, too:

art journal

I haven’t done much drawing this week, but I am planning to start a drawing of a yellow lab.  I love dogs, so I hope I can do this dog justice.  If it turns out that I am good at drawing dogs, I will start drawing my dogs and my daughters’ dogs.  Maybe then I will start drawing dogs at the shelter.

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Art Journal–my 2018 goal

This year I intend to figure out how to art journal.  It looks deceptively simple, but I am finding out that it entails much more than I ever thought.  I am struggling with the concept and the actual doing.  However, with as many groups on FB and all the videos on YouTube, I am sure that I will figure this out.  In the meantime, I am just having fun drawing and painting in my journal with no specific plan or endgame.

Here are some of the spreads so far:

Art Journal

Maybe I will finally get this figured out and actually feel like I am making an art journal.  Maybe not.  Who knows.

I have also been doing a drawing a day (almost) to get myself back into practice and to build my creativity.  I used to love to draw, but then I stopped and never picked it up again.  I decided to draw something daily (maybe) and not to worry about if it turns out perfect, or if I like it.  I just want to be drawing.  Here are a few of my latest pages:

Art Journal

I am having quite a lot of fun with this drawing practice, though.  The only other creative thing I have been doing is making cards with my oldest daughter.  So you can see that I am keeping busy.

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It’s 2018 and I am just now posting!

The holidays are all over (Thank God) and 2018 is firmly on track with the first month of twelve half over already.  The weather here in Oklahoma has been horrible, but we are still thankful not to be on the east coast or the west coast because their weather has been worse.  I have not posted here for some time because one of my New Year’s goals was to sit down and re-evaluate my blogs–define what I want them to be and what I don’t want them to be.  I also am trying to learn how to monetize my blogs so maybe I can make enough to pay for keeping them running.  Anyway, I am here now and I will tell you that I have been busy making things.

My oldest daughter has moved here from Missouri and we have been spending quite a bit of time together after almost 3 years of not seeing each other.  It has really been nice to be able to have her and her husband over for dinner and have her come over to craft with me.  I missed spending time with her.

If you have been reading my blog in the past, you know that I spent every day for the last two and a half years with my youngest daughter while she battled a dying liver and dead kidneys and waited to get a transplant.  So, we have had quite a bit of togetherness time in the recent past.  I still miss seeing her every day, even if we talk on the phone daily.

So all that said, my life is trying to level out and become normal.  At first I felt bored because there was no crisis to deal with daily.  Now that I have had some time to adjust, I am beginning to find myself again.  I am doing a daily drawing just for myself to increase my creative side and build my skill back up.  I am also learning how to Art Journal, which is not as easy as I thought it would be–in fact I find it incredibly difficult to do.  Nevertheless, I am trying to art journal daily; however it is more like every couple of days that I actually get it done.  I still don’t quite understand what I am supposed to be doing in this journal, but I am having some fun with pretty paints and papers.

My eldest has been here with me and we have been making Valentine’s Day cards.  We have made quite a few and she is posting them somewhere for sale.  We will begin making St. Patrick’s Day cards and Easter cards next, but we have to figure out when she will have any time as she is beginning a new job here in Tulsa tomorrow.  I will try to post pictures of the cards we are making as soon as I can.  Here are just the first three we made.

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Christmas is done for me!

Here is the Christmas tree with only the snowflakes for decorations.  I had some from years past as well as those new ones I just made.

Christmas

Today, I finally got my Christmas cards finished and off in the mail along with all my gifts for friends in Austin!

Christmas

I always forget how much work there is in Christmas.  Hopefully I have not forgotten anything or anyone.  Just in case, I have a couple of gift cards up my sleeve.

Have a wonderful and happy holiday season this year.  Merry Christmas!!!

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Been busy making wreaths again!

I love December.  It is the perfect time to make wreaths.  I needed to be working on my Christmas cards today, but as you will see, I made wreaths instead!

I finally finished the wreath I was making for my sister’s granddaughter.  It turned out really pretty.  I hope she likes it.

wreaths wreaths

 

 

The first pic is blurry, but the second one shows how it looks hanging on the door.  She loves purple so I hope this makes her happy!

Once finished with her wreath, I decided to make a Christmas wreath from and idea I found on pinterest.  I really liked the wreath shown and the tutorial was really simple so when I was last at Michaels, I got the ribbon and then got the rest at The Dollar Tree.

wreaths

This one is really quite nice and I plan to give it to my niece who lives next door.  She likes to decorate her door since we moved in because I give her seasonal wreaths to hang.  I hope she likes this one.  It took about 15 minutes and $4.00 worth of stuff to make!

wreaths

This wreath is also from that same pinterest photo, but this time I used sequined ribbon to give it some GLITZ!  This one I gave to my oldest daughter since she loves bling!  Same cost here and same places shopped.

I still have one more  wreath to finish and will post it as soon as I am done.  It shouldn’t take very long, so I hope to get to it tomorrow or at least this weekend.  I may keep this one and put it on my own door!

So, what do you think of my handy work?  Seems like a lot, but not really.  Oh, I also burnt my thumb really badly on the star wreath, but luckily I have an aloe plant handy and put that on the burn.  Works like a champ.  I’ll have a blister, but no pain or redness.

 

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Finishing up projects and starting another Project

I had two unfinished projects sitting in the art room and I wanted to start another, so I decided I had to finish the two projects first before starting another.  I decided that I was done with the polymer clay ornaments for now, so I finished up these by coating each one with a gloss gel finish to seal them.  Now they are ready to find homes on peoples Christmas trees.  Anyone interested in buying one for $2.00 each?  If not, they will look pretty on my tree.

project

Then I moved on to the toilet paper roll snowflakes that my sister and I started.  I had to go to the store and buy more white spray paint.  Did you know that you have to show your drivers license to buy spray paint?  I thought that was kinda funny, but did it.  I got them all painted white finally.  Then I dipped each snowflake into a paper plate filled with Elmer’s Glue and quickly dipped that into a plate of glitter.  Oh what a mess I made!

I did this for both sides of each snowflake and attached a string to each one so I could hang them up to dry.  When they finally dried (it took soooooo long) I decided to attach plastic snowflakes that I got at Dollar Tree to the center of each one to add pizzazz.  I had to wait overnight for those to dry, but boy do they look great.  I used silver on my sister’s four and white on mine.

project

 

project

I can’t wait to hang these on the tree with my old ones.  They look spectacular on the tree with the lights.  They glisten and turn and really come alive on the tree.

 

 

So once I was done with those two projects that I started last week, I decided to start another star wreath to give to my grand-niece for Christmas.  She really liked the one I made for her nana, so I think she will like having one of her own.  Her favorite color is purple, so I decided to make it dark purple with light pink polka-dots and of course, glitter!

I gathered the cardboard and cut out 24 stars.  Then I gessoed each one on front and back to eliminate the clutter.  Next, I had to score and fold each of the 24 stars.  Boring!!!!

project

I did 6 at a time and took a break between each group.  It took me all day, but finally they all were scored.  Then I hand folded each star to give it 3D.  I painted each one dark purple, twice.   Then I sealed each star with gloss medium.

When they dried, I added light pink dots using the eraser on a pencil.  While wet, I covered each star with white glitter.  I cut out a base from a piece of cardboard and painted it dark purple, too.  I used a hole puncher to put holes in the base on each side so I can attach the ribbon for hanging.

I went through all my ribbon and don’t have the color or kind I want to use, so this week I will have to go get ribbon to finish this project up.

project

I think this wreath will be really pretty once I get it done.  We will see.  I just hope she likes it and hangs it on her bedroom door like her nana did.   What do you think?  Think she will like it? Or not?

project

Posted in Acrylic paint, being creative, Christmas, Christmas ornament, crafting, homemade gifts, Polymer Clay, Ribbon, Wreath | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Tim Ferriss Just Listed 5 Books Every Entrepreneur Should Read

Sunday is talk about business day and since the best advice anyone can get about making money online and offline is to educate yourself.  Professional improvement is the key to being able to survive in business and constant professional improvement will catapult you into success in business!  Reading good books, books about every aspect of business, life, management, goal setting, etc. is truly the way to making that breakthrough you desire.

It is true that reading will not produce immediately, but over time you will build such an arsenal in your brain that will allow you to see connections and pitfalls you never would have seen before.

Tim Ferriss is a major name in online business and his recommendations carry great weight with many entrepreneurs.  So reading the same books as he has may give you the inside track on how he thinks and acts.  If not, it will give you the mental stamina to not only continue in your efforts to create your business, but also to make your business shine!

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Tim Ferriss Just Listed 5 Books Every Entrepreneur Should Read

I’ve read four of the five books Tim Ferriss recommends…and the fifth is now on my reading list.
CREDIT: Getty Images

Ferriss was just appointed to the Scribd Author Advisory Council and put together a reading list designed to help inspire entrepreneurs to build their brands from the ground up. (By the way: New users get a free 30-day trial when they join Scribd.)

Here are Tim’s five choices for books every entrepreneur should read:

Anything You Want by Derek Sivers

Short, hilarious, and profoundly practical. I’ve reread these 40 lessons dozens of times. Derek is a philosopher-king among startup contrarians, and he knows how to get what he wants, however odd. I love this guy.

Radical Acceptance by Tara Brach

This book was recommended to me by a PhD neuroscientist and is what finally helped me tame anger, one of my most destructive (and persistent) emotions. It’s easy to aim for “successful” and be miserable. This book is the antidote.

Find out the other three books recommended by Tim Ferriss here.

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