Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Inspiration Deck

I was doing a little blog hopping 2 days ago and came across an art project called an Inspiration Deck.  I had to make one.

I started with a full deck of cards and covered the number side with white gesso.  Then I let that dry.  I didn't worry about being neat but purposely made sure there were brush marks and non-gessoed spots.  The different textures added to the finished effects.
 Then I dabbed and brushed acrylic paint on the dry gesso.  I didn't worry to much about coverage or cleaning my brush but just let things happen.  That is the kind of project this is, don't worry about these steps to much, don't over think it, just let the brush and the color go where it wants to go.
I spread the cards out and splashed some water color sprays on them. Again, anything goes.

Next I sat down with a couple old magazines and started cutting out the pictures that interested me.  I tried to cut them a little smaller than the cards.  I also went through some old scraps of paper, tissue paper and some pieces of my art that I would not be sad to see cut up and reused in this project.  When I had 52 or more things I got busy and started gluing them to the front sides of the cards.  

The edges of the cards were too perfect so  I decided to mix up a little gesso with some paint and quickly brushed it down some of the edges.
I always find that some black makes everything else really pop so smooshed some black acrylic paint on some of the cards in just a few places.  

The next step was to head over to the internet and do some searching.  I wanted quotes, sayings and little messages of encouragement or helpful tips.  There is no shortage of those on-line.  I wrote the best ones down, making sure that I didn't go wider or longer than the cards with my writing.  Then I started gluing these on the cards.  This is when I discovered that some of the cards had "art" on them that I just didn't want to cover up so I picked the side that I liked the best and glued the quotes on to the other side.  The white paper looked out of place so I made some very thin watercolor washes and brushed that white away.  I also dabbed my finger into some Distress Ink and rubbed that over the edges.  

 I added some stickers, cut off the tab of some buttons and glues those on some cards, took my correction pen and did a little doodling, added some stamped images, you get the idea.  Anything goes.

I still have some cards without quotes glued on them and I think I'm  going to write directly on those with my markers or white pens.  That way more color will show and I can experiment with different pens.

So now I have 52 Inspiration cards, one for every week.  

I can toss them into a bowl and pull one out every Monday to give myself
something to think about during that week. 
I can punch a hole in the top corner and slide them onto a ring to flip through 
when I need a little inspiration or 
I can give them away.  

Want one?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Workin on getting my groove back.

I have mentioned it before, when I take a break from drawing or painting I have to practice to get back into the creative groove.  Then when I am being creative I need to play at it every day.  Does that happen to you too?

Drawing zentangles is a great way to practice.  Control of your pen is so important, lots of tiny little lines, balance, composition, repeat, repeat, repeat.  All good for getting back into Creative Shape.

Another thing I do to get back in shape is Pinterest!  Who hasn't found it yet?  It's been called the biggest time suck on the computer but I still love it, especially for ideas.

Find a few like minded people on Pinterest that love to share their pinterest posts and repost them to your page.  When you need inspiration all you need to do is look over your boards.  Just be sure not to copy, that isn't nice.  Oh, I know that they say there are no original ideas but at least try to make it your own and give the artist who inspired you credit for the style.

Another thing I like to do to get inspired is to go through my favorite blogs.  There are so many great ideas, wonderful artists and many of them are so generous.  And a bonus, many have posted  tutorials on how they make their art so I can see all their newest ideas.

Check out for a great tutorial about drawing mandalas. is another blog that I go to for inspiration.  She posts a drawing challenge every monday and zentangle artists from all over the world post links to their drawings.  Her challenge this Monday was to use 2 zentangle patterns, Mooka and Assunta and make a drawing with them.  I took her challenge and created my fish at the top of the blog.  Mooka are the fins and Assunta are the scales.

I sat down on the couch last night with my old Zentangle pattern book, a piece of 9 x 12 bristol paper and a fine point Sharpie.  The fish happened and it felt great to get my groove back.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

It' ain't pretty but it's home.

It's been a great summer and I kept very busy though not so much with my Art supplies.  Instead I got creative with a hammer.  We put an addition on our old, old cabin. Then we finished off the inside and added some charm. I think it will work just great as our little home while we build our new house next summer.  It isn't pretty but we are going to call it home.

We started with a 12 x 20 foot bedroom/storage addition and that turned our one-room cabin into a 3 room cabin!  
 That is me putting the sheeting on the roof of the addition.  It was a very hot day but at least the mosquitoes couldn't find me up there.

My farmer is taking some measurements to fill in the top of the addition walls.  It's an odd way to do the roof but that is how the original cabin was done and we decided to keep it the same.  Near as we can tell the old cabin may have built back in 1940's.

I'm such a fashion statement when I'm working!  But baggy pants are comfy when you are up and down a ladder and the boots, well they help my old feet from getting sore with all the climbing.  I'm putting the last board up on the wall in the bedroom.

We made the boards for the walls with the trees that had to be cut down in order to make our road.  One of the first things we did when we bought the land was set up a little saw mill.  What we don't use for lumber we will use for heating our home.

When we bought it, the walls in the cabin were an assortment of old, used wall panel.  It was so ugly, put up in any and every direction, nothing cut to fit but laid one on top of the other to cover any holes.  Once we covered it with our pine it all looked great!

                                                         We love to Reuse and Recycle.

The wood stove was thrown out by it's last owner because the glass door had broken. Bernie fixed it with a piece of metal.  The old microwave cupboard got new pine boards in the back to hold it together.  We salvaged the carpet from an office building.  Bernie thinks the chrome kitchen table may have belonged to his Grandmother and I added some color with a blanket we bought in Mexico. I dyed some lime green curtains I found at Value Village blue, now they match my old denim quilt so we used them in the bedroom to close off the closet and cover the door and window.  Actually there is very little that was bought to furnish this place.  It's amazing how much stuff you have once you start looking.

Konrad and Elizabeth, My farmer's Great, Great Grandparents.

We found these old pictures while cleaning out one of the old building on the farm.  It seemed a shame to see them all covered with dust and neglected so after a little cleaning we hung them in the dining room.  We want to do some investigating and find out as much as we can about them. It will be a mystery, history quest for us.

This is a pretty small space compared to what I'm used to in a kitchen.  No stove/oven so I will have to make do with a bbq, hot plate, crock pot and electric fry pan while we are building.  

Anyone have recipes they want to share? I need to get pretty creative or we are going to be eating a lot of bbq hamburgers for the next year or more! 

I didn't take a picture but I did set up an area in the back storage room as my Stu Dee O.  If I get any time next summer I will at least have a place to be creative.  I have a feeling though, that my creative energy will be directed at making our new home unique and interesting.  Ideas are already running through my brain!