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July 2013
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September 2013

Perchance to Dream...

Last night while I was waiting for laundry so I could pack for vacation, I decided to do just one more page in my art / visual journal. I was really feeling bright colors and heavy contrast on this one!

To Sleep, To Dream - Art Journal Page - Gwen LafleurI'm taking some drawing and watercolor supplies with me, as well as the stuff to do a scrapbook on the road. So we'll see if I actually do any of it! I'm just looking forward to seeing my family and relaxing for a bit.


July Project Life

I think I'm getting slower each month, but it's still done, and that's what counts, right? I finished up July this last weekend and am just getting around to posting it. It was a busy month! Lots of pages... lots of great memories :)

Again, 6x8 Studio Calico Handbook. Lots of Studio Calico kit products and PL cards, also some of the Project Life cards I've made recently. I'll be making more for sure!

Project Life 2013 - July p1
Project Life 2013 - July p1

Project Life 2013 - July p1

(The pictures of the 4th aren't as dark in real life - you can see them pretty clearly.)

Project Life 2013 - July p1
Project Life 2013 - July p1
Project Life 2013 - July p1
Project Life 2013 - July p1
Project Life 2013 - July p1
Project Life 2013 - July p1
Project Life 2013 - July p1
Project Life 2013 - July p1
Project Life 2013 - July p1
This month is probably going to be just as busy... I'm trying to mentally prepare for the photo editing ahead in hopes that I'll tackle it sooner next month. lol.

Today's project: peacock!

via Instagram
Painted Peacock Art Journal Page - Gwen Lafleur
Did a little experiment in my art journal... I used Tim Holtz Distress Stains and Viva Silks for the background. Molding paste with the Balzer Designs 6x6 peacock feathers stencil to do the feathers - those are covered with Pan Pastels, distress Stickles and Liquid Pearls. I really liked this for a first attempt! I think I'll have to try doing something similar on a canvas.

Art Journaling Fun

I've been giving my art journal a workout. I guess more accurately I'd call it an art play notebook... not much journaling going on! (But! I just signed up for a whole weekend of journaling workshops with Dyan Reavely at Absolutely Everything in October, so that part will be coming for sure!)

This first one I did before the Donna Downey workshops. It was mostly just an exercise to loosen up my creative muscles and let go of perfectionism. Hence, "let go."

Let Go Art Journal Page - Gwen Lafleur
The next one was done shortly after my Donna Downey workshops, and was actually inspired by one of her Inspiration Wednesdays. I took a bunch of dried paint scraps out of my palettes and put them down with gel medium as a base for the page. I went a bit wild with the color, but it was a lot of fun! The fish are totally random... I felt like it needed something and glanced over at my stamp display and saw the fish. So on he went!

Go Fish Art Journal Page - Gwen Lafleur
Next up, I ordered some Montana Paint pens for a class I was thinking about taking, knowing that I'd want the pens whether I took the class or not. And I love them. I did this just to play with the pens, copying the blue bird that I'd sketched in colored pencil the day before. Lots of modeling paste in the background, old KI Memories Love, Elsie alphabet rubons for the title. I used gel medium to adhere the kraft paper onto the page, so it's reflecting a bit... need to find a better place to take photos. (Kraft is actually a paper bag.)

Spread Your Wings Art Journal Page - Gwen Lafleur
Then, I was feeling ready for vacation, so I did this next page. I had an old sheet of vacation words from the Making Memories Getaway collection, and I was kind of feeling hibiscus - thinking back to our vacation in Costa Rica a few years ago. If you look, you can see that I used the entire page of word stickers in the background, then painted over top.

Pura Vida Art Journal Page - Gwen Lafleur
This last journal page is probably my absolute favorite so far. I wanted to play around with doing bright color on a dark background, and this one just kind of evolved. I had the dark background with the clouds and rain drops at the top and then the bright flowers on the side... it ended up being a funky dichotemy and for some reason, the old Rob Bass and E-Z Rock song, "Joy and Pain" popped into my head. So the lyrics became my title... and I love it! Very old Cactus Pink rubons for the title. Wish I had more of those...

Joy and Pain Art Journal Page - Gwen Lafleur
After that, I decided I wanted to try out some of what I've been playing with to make some mixed media Project Life cards. I used four of these in my July project life (will photograph and post soon.) I'm definitely going to make more! I also photographed these (way better than below) thinking I might eventually make them into prints. We'll see.

Mixed Media Project Life Cards - Gwen Lafleur
So that's what I've been doing lately... more projects on the way :)

Decorative Doodling with Joanne Sharpe

On Saturday afternoon two weeks ago, I got a text from my friend Patty letting me know she'd found out that Joanne Sharpe was going to be teaching at a store in Massachusetts (Absolutely Everything.) There were two spots left in one of the classes and she wanted to know if I was interested in making a day of it. Of course! I've followed Joanne online for a few years now (I'm signed up for one of her online classes, but typical me, I haven't made it past the 2nd lesson yet) so I was excited to get to take a class with her.

So, last Saturday, Patty and I met up and drove up to the store. It was a bit short of a 3 hour drive - it's a little south of the New Hampshire border.

Doodling with Joanne Sharpe - Almost there
Neither of us had ever been there before, but wow. What a store! The owner showed us around and let us know what everyone was buying from the previous classes so we would know what to look for and of course, so we could see if we wanted anything before-hand. I could seriously get lost in that place... they had so much! It was like a piece of nirvana for my artsy, mixed-media loving heart. Next time I'm there, I'll have to take pictures. Sigh.

But on to the class...

Doodling with Joanne Sharpe - Supplies at the ready
Patty and I weren't sure what to expect... I'd found a class description and supply list online, so we came with bags of markers and pens and watercolors. We got the Strathmore Visual Journal watercolor notebook with the class. As it turns out, we barely touched our pens and markers! (That freaked me out a lot at first. lol.)

Doodling with Joanne Sharpe - Initial demo
Joanne started out with some general doodling concepts and rules of thumb... you can tell she's a teacher by trade. She did a lot of demonstration. I was super impressed by the fact that she had a handout numbered with the 12 concepts for the class, and then samples for each of them that were also numbered so we could take pictures and then match them up to the handout when we got home. On top of that, she demonstrated each of them for us.

Doodling with Joanne Sharpe - Paint Doodling Demo
We were doodling with watercolors and acrylic paints and Viva Silks... the pens and markers were more for accents! This class was WAY outside of my comfort zone, but in a good way. I started almost all of the assignments in the class, took notes, took LOTS of photos, and decided to withhold judgment on what looked like a bunch of blobby crap until I'd finished them all at home.

Doodling with Joanne Sharpe - Patty and I with Joanne
Joanne was super nice, and flattered that we'd driven all that way just for a single class. We just wished we'd known about it sooner so we could have made a weekend of it! (We're on the newsletter list now!) Granted, we were there for less time than we were driving... lol, but between the class and the store itself, it was more than worth it.

We got back late, but even though it was well after midnight, I unpacked all my stuff and set it up to be ready to play after church on Sunday. Then Sunday, I proceeded to work through the assignments.

It Those blobby pieces of crap turned out really nicely! I was totally shocked to realize that I could do something that looked even similar to her samples. Here are two of the pages from my book showing some of the 12 techniques:

Doodling with Joanne Sharpe - Finishing Assignments
I can't claim credit for the designs - I was working based off of her samples to see if I could do the techniques. But now that I've done these, I can definitely apply them to my own drawings! The left is using Twinkling H2Os as an accent to watercolored doodling, and the right is pen, marker, and watercolor.

And here's a doodle I did that was inspired by one of hers - I wanted to try something Zentangle but in a looser style than usual. I love this one!

Doodling with Joanne Sharpe - After Class Feather Doodle

The class was only a week ago, but I've been in a creative frenzy ever since. This class, combined with what I learned in Donna Downey's workshops, and other videos, browsing, classes, etc... have all started to gel in my mind and I've got so much adrenaline pumping lately!

Next post... some of the fun stuff I've been doing in my art journal as I play with all these techniques.

Cardboard Art Journal

I was looking through blogs a few weeks ago and went back through some old stuff on Michelle Ward's blog... she has some fabulous cardboard art journals, and she recently taught one at an event and I saw a sample from it online. I have no idea how she made it, but it got me thinking that I could make one. After all... the worst that would happen was that I'd throw away cardboard that probably would have been trashed anyway!

So, I got a box, chopped it up, and pulled out a roll of masking tape and went to work. It took literally less than 30 minutes to make the book, and within an hour, I had a book with a finished cover. And I loved it.

Cardboard Art Journal Outside 1
It's all cardboard except the butterfly, which is an old chipboard piece. Paint, stain, stamps, liquid pearls (naturally), and some washi tape to cover the spine. Then I started the inside pages, which I finished over the next week or so.

I actually started on the 3rd spread, and the entire theme came from a phrase rubon that was in an old Fancy Pants set I was going to try and use up on this book. So it's kind of a motivational theme, but that's never a bad idea, right?

But let's go in order... 1st spread first (which I actually did last! :)

Cardboard Art Journal Inside 1
The background of all of the right-hand pages is a gelli print. On this one I added rubons and modeling paste with Pan Pastels, and then the other side is paint, rubons, gelatos, and Liquid Pearls.

Cardboard Art Journal Inside 2
Lots of stencils, some old book pages, more of those old rubons... some drippy India ink, washi tape...

Cardboard Art Journal Inside 3
"Find your Path" is actually the rubon that started the theme, and I filled in some more quotes as I went. The right side is a favorite quote from a book we read in my Business Judgment class. Stencils, paint, Gelatos, rubons, washi, Liquid pearls and pieces cut from other gelli prints.

Last up...

Cardboard Art Journal Inside 4
I decided to do this quote (Courage doesn't always roar like a lion...) and then remembered that I had this lion stamp... I almost sold it during the Great Purge of 2012, but now I'm glad I ended up holding on to it. I stamped him with Staz-On and then went over in pen to stylize it a bit. Lots more stencils, paints, rubons, Liquid pearls, India Ink.

And that's it - just 4 spreads. With cardboard it gets thick fast, and since I was just playing around I didn't add too many pages. Here you can see the finished product better:

Cardboard Art Journal Outside 3
I'll definitely be trying this again, I love it!