Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Year of the Doodle Update

I'm still loving this book.   Each day has a prompt or some starting artwork.  I usually follow the prompts, but sometimes go off on my own.  I added in some receipts to the day's trip to Boston to my whimsical flowers.

I cheated here - these faces were in a recent Somerset magazine.  I added some color and details  and this quote that worked with borrowed art.

I'm also following the DLP 2016 Unplanner group, but using this book as my planner.  Feb 1st DLP challenge was to let someone make a mark in your planner.   Since I am not really good at following directions, I used this page from an old French language text, so technically someone else did make these marks.  Don't you just love that handwriting?  A swipe of Gelato added some color.  I like using Gellatos in my journals because they don't add much moisture, so no buckling.  I just swipe on the color and spread it with a baby wipe.

The idea of the book is to practice doodling.   I've expanded that to include  lettering practice.  I do try to do some doodling, too.

Sometimes I use stamps, like this Tim Holtz coffee mug.

I spend lots of time in this book - I often go back in and add some doodling or color, and to be honest, sometimes have to cover up a disaster and start all over.   This is easily the best art book I've bought in a long time!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Year of the Doodle Planner

{Doodled flowers on text page with dots - January 8th}

Yikes -  three weeks into January and I was still waffling about what planner to use.   I had high hopes for the 2016 Documented Life Project.   This year the planner to use is a 3-ring binder and downloads with prompts.  Since I had already made pages for a binder, I thought I was good to go, but a couple of weeks in I realized I was in trouble.   First, I'm not much of a rule-follower and decided not to use the downloads, the prompts, or really much of anything.   Second, the binder is too big to carry in my bag.  And then I realized I was really making an art journal - taking way too long with my pages to realistically expect to use the binder as a planner.

Here are the first two weeks' pages - I 'm happy with how they turned out , but they really aren't planner material.  Somehow adding , "call plumber" or " clean garage" didn't enhance the designs!  I painted over the day numbers and declared this an art journal instead.   I'll be following the DLP Unplanner Project to pick up tips, but the format isn't working, so on to Plan B.

 I love this lady, inspired by Shirlee McGuire's art pieces featured in the November/December issue of Cloth Paper Scissors.   She adds embroidery, buttons and bits of fabric to her pieces - check out her lovely work on her blog.  I cheated and stamped my lady's bouquet.                        .

This one was fun.  I made this page of sewn paper strips for another project

 and couldn't bear to throw away the excess cut off the edges.   When I laid the strips on the pages I saw houses!

Fun pages, but no way could I keep up if I continued to make pages that took days to complete.  I present Plan B,

I bought this book by Dawn DeVries Sokol as a Christmas present to myself.   It's a year-long exercise in doodling, with prompts, some doodling or art work already started for every day.   The size is perfect for take-along, about six by seven inches.  The day sections are small, so working out a doodle or small art work is quick and easy.  Voila, my new planner.   Pretty sure Ms deVries Sokol  would approve.

 I started by covering the book with some handmade wrapping paper from World Market.  I had an Erin Condren journal elastic that works well with the paper .  I like a closure on my planner so it stays closed in my bag.

Then I altered the title page and table of contents to work as a planner.  

 and folded a page to make a pocket inside the front cover for phone numbers, extra washi tape, stamps or whatever.

Here are a few completed pages:

One of my goals for this year's planner is to go outside my comfort zone and put pen to paper more often - documenting what's going on and making some sketches or doodles to go with the text.   I've blabbed about my non-existent drawing skills, but finally realizing that while I'll never make a living sketching, it apparently is possible for me to occasionally make something recognizable.  Who knew?

I also need to work on lettering - so many skills to improve!

Coffee mug, whimsical flowers and cupcakes - this is fun!

And some yet to be fiddled with:

Aren't they fun!

I am loving this format - small spaces already jump-started and the challenge to make some marks.  This is so much less stressful than the big two-page spread.   Thank you, Ms de Vries Sokul!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Catalog Overload

This is the stack of catalogs that cluttered our mail box in December.

Nearly a foot and a half of wasted paper !   A quick Google search says that there were 12.5 billion - with a B - mailed in the US last year.   I looked at very few of the catalogs in this stack, but the research says consumers spend at least 30 minutes with each catalog they receive.  It costs $47 + catalog dollars to get one order , so clearly they lost some serious money on me.  Since many of us - up to 50%- shop online, seems that paper catalogs are a bit of a marketing dinosaur, and yet they must work because they keep coming!

Sometimes I wonder what marketing research went into the catalogs I receive.  Pretty sure it has more to do with mailing lists being sold and that some of the companies send yet another catalog with every order.  Another reason to love Amazon - no catalogs included with purchases.

Most of the catalogs go to the recycling bin, better than the landfill, but a serious waste.  I save some to use as under- paper for gluing projects.   A few are interesting enough for a flip - through.

These  cute mice may make it into an art project.

Tea is an interesting company - global fashion for little kiddos.  I've bookmarked their site, but don't need a catalog.

I do save a few catalogs because of the artwork or quality of the paper.  Olive and Cocoa has great illustrations, and the covers are heavy weight matte card stock.

I  love to go into Dean and Deluca whenever I get the chance, but never have ordered from their catalog, yet get one regularly.

Who doesn't love Garnet Hill, but the catalog is useful only for artwork.

The Scrabble tile letters found a way onto a quick journal page.

Last year I went though the stack of catalogs and spent an afternoon unsubscribing.  It's not an easy process - sometimes you can fill out on on-line opt-out form, other companies require a phone call.   Apparently all that effort was wasted since I didn't see any decrease in the number of catalogs in my mail.

This year  I'm trying  Direct Mail's opt-out program.  You complete a short form, identifying what types of mail you don't want to receive and theoretically the mailings stop.  Of course I wonder if providing my address and email just means I'll get MORE, but we'll see.

But if I didn't get all these catalogs, I would have missed this one from Kaufman Mercantile:

with its carefully curated,  items made from "abundantly available resources" .  Think Restoration hardware for small, everyday items like this dustpan, made in Austria from natural materials.  A steal at $69.00 and currently SOLD OUT.  To be fair, they do have some lovely things, but I never considered a dustpan a splurge purchase.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Dyed Ikea Towels

I've been making Christmas gifts for The Captain's great office staff - herb salt,  altered clipboards,  stamped coasters, notebooks and tags and couldn't think of what to do this year until I saw some dyed tea towels.

Martha always comes up with the best ideas, like dyeing Tekla tea towels from Ikea.   My friend Jeanne and I took a road trip to Ikea recently so she could be introduced to the whole Ikea experience.   We had a great day, finding all kinds of things we didn't know how to pronounce or what they were, but suddenly we knew we needed all things umlaut!  I snagged a few dozen cotton  Tekla towels.

These towels have a great loop for hanging.

This is a pretty simple project - wash towels, add wet towels to dye bath in washer following the instructions on the bottle - nothing complicated !   I  washed and dried the towels  to remove any fabric sizing and to make sure they did any shrinking funny- business before going any further - no shrinking.

I used Rit liquid dye in Emerald, Golden Yellow, Flame and Teal.   I only dye in the washing machine, not on the stove,  because I don't trust myself not to spill dye on my new butcher block counter!  I fill the washer with hot water, add the dye and let it agitate a bit before carefully dropping in the still-wet, newly washed towels.  I tried to be sure the towels were fully opened as they went into the dye-water to make sure there wouldn't be any folds preventing the dye from penetrating the fabric.  I let the towels agitate a few minutes, then stopped the machine to let the towels soak up the color, then finished the wash cycle and one additional rinse.   Dried the towels on high heat to further set the color.  (I run a washing cycle with bleach when I'm done dyeing to make sure I don't end up with any residual dye on our clothes!).

Then I folded two different colors together and tied them with twine.

 I love how well the towels soaked up the color and that the red stripe didn't.

It's a towel bouquet!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

More Simple Journal Pages

Here are a couple more of my simple journals.

I think I picked up the one on the left at Tarjay and love that it has kraft paper pages in the center.  I am in a kraft paper phase - love it with white and black accents.

I  used an Erin Condren journal elastic closure

I picked up the Hungarian postal forms on the right at a thrift store - love the handwriting on them.

The black flowered  Kraft paper tape is perfect!

Another journal from my stash with an Erin Condren elastic closure.

What did we do before washi tape?

Love, love these cloth stickers.

It was so much fun making these plain pages - all done just by raiding my supplies.  Kinda frightening!


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