Some People Don’t Like Rust…

Some people don’t like rust…

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I’m not one of those people. I love rust!  Just look at all the different colors. *swoon*

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So I thought I’d do a little tutorial on how to rust your own goodies.

First you’ll need three ingredients. Are you ready? They are quite sophisticated and hard to find. Sidenote: That may have been sarcasm.

You’ll need Vinegar, Hydrogen Peroxide and Salt. And any items you’d like to rust. I’ve rusted just about everything. Today I tried chipboard butterflies, some random keys, buttons and clips, tags, book paper, and of course, fabric.

I also add a few plates of steel to speed up the process. I don’t think you have to have any steel, I just think it helps stain the fabric. I also like to add chicken wire and other various shaped wires to add designs on the object’s I’m dying. Bonus, I can later use the wire in another project.

You can also add cheap washers, nuts, bolts etc from the home improvement store.

I layer it all in a tub and pour 2 pints Hydrogen Peroxide, 1/2 cup White Vinegar and 4 TBS salt. You can cut this recipe in half too. But I like to do a lot at a time and store it for a later project.

Then the magic happens! It starts to bubble and will eventually foam up. Protect all surfaces unless you want to rust it.

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It doesn’t take long for the paper items to rust (and deteriorate if you leave them in the liquid too long) so I remove them after about 30 – 45 minutes.

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See the chicken wire imprint?!

I moved the rest into a smaller bucket and let them soak for a few hours.

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When I remove it, this is what it looks like right out of the liquid – all foamy. I leave the foam on top of it to dry.

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And look at all the rusty goodness you have when finished! I let it completely dry and store it. Warning, it does keep its vinegar smell for quite some time.

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As you can see, the rust didn’t stain some of the buttons or the butterflies. But the buttons and clips that did rust?  **love**

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I made this accordion art journal using Strathmore 400 Series paper that I rust dyed along with other rusted papers. For more of this, see my Instagram.

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Super easy and fun and kind of mad-scientist ish. I hope you give it a try!


And for your listening pleasure, I’ve pretty much had this on repeat.

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Not Everything Needs to be Fantastic

Ugh, y’all. I’ve hit a bit of a slump. A metaphorical wall. A point where I just want to sleep and read and watch reruns of Law & Order. I totally ship Amanda and Carisi, by the way. Needless to say I haven’t felt like doing any painting/art journaling.

When I get like this I sometimes wish I didn’t feel anything. I think, to be numb, that’d be great. Of course that wouldn’t be good either. But sometimes…

I become really down on my life and my work and I get pretty fed up with myself. I wonder why am I like this? I have no reason to feel this way. So why do I?

It’s here that I need to remind myself that it’s okay to feel this way sometimes. It’s okay to take a time out. It’s okay to just read on a Sunday afternoon. It’s okay to not create anything for a few days. It’s okay to watch video after video of Bunny Meyer when you can’t sleep at night.

It’s important that we be gentle with ourselves, to give ourselves as much breathing room as we would someone else.  After all, we are sometimes hardest on ourselves.

But today, I began cleaning off my work table because in my “absence” it had become a catchall for other stuff. Like a bottle of concentrated liquid cleaner and my son’s allergy meds (don’t get those two mixed up!).

By taking that little step to clean off my desk, it made me want to get my hands painty. I ended up with lots of scraps that I didn’t want to toss. I might be a hoarder. I didn’t have any expectations on what it’d turn out like. And it’s a good thing, because it is kinda’ a hot mess. And that’s okay, not everything needs to be fantastic – in life and in art journaling.

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As you can see, my desk doesn’t stay clean for long.

I haphazardly glued down the scraps, covering them with Titanium White and different inks as I went along.

The point is not perfection, the point is to do something. To get the juices flowing again. Because having a hodge podge mess is better than nothing at all.

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And I think Spring is letting up, so Yay! Summer is a-comin’.

Now for the winner of the giveaway! Didi congrats! I sent you an email!! 🙂 Thanks for entering everyone. I still have some stamps and other fun stuff in my Etsy shop if you missed it.

And always, a little music to get you through.

Stamps Are Live!

The stamps are now live in Etsy shop! Go check it out if you’d like.  EEEEEKKKKKKK Sorry, I’m freaking out a bit here.

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CLICK HERE

Because technology still is hating on me, here are some still’s of my latest art journaling pages using the stamps and not a video.

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I really can’t express how much I appreciate everyone’s support and kind words with this whole ordeal! Thank you all so much!

Day Four! And The Post Where Technology Hates Me

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WELLLL yesterday I made an art journal page out of the mini rusty/tea dyed journal. Did I record it for today’s video? Nope. Totally forgot. So I tired again today and now the video editing program won’t work. I’m giving up for today. *sigh*

Anywho, these are the pages I made trying to make up for not videoing today’s video yesterday. (Yeah, its okay if you don’t understand what I just said.)

That is if I can get them to upload to flickr.  The universe is against me today.

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With these pages, alongside my scallop and scribbles and cloud stamps as well as the “inhale exhale” stamp, I did a little art journal gluebooking.

What is art journal gluebooking? Here is a video I did on it a while ago, but in short it’s just gluebooking and art journaling.  Using found images and words and “traditional” art journaling techniques.

I love using found images and words and combining them with paint and stencils and layers or whatever else I happen to find.

This is why art journaling is such a great outlet. There are no rules. You can do what you want, how you want to. Some people will try to instill rules (this is not the same as suggesting useful tips or tricks, I’m talking about hard and fast rules that they think you must abide by) to art journaling, but it’s really not necessary.

You do what you want in your journal! Life is full of rules. Have you noticed that? I’m sure you have. When I’m in my art journal though, anything goes. I’ve never been good at following rules anyway.

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Click here to watch my Art Journal Gluebooking video

But, I digress.

Tomorrow is the big day! The day the stamps go on sale! I’m so terrified excited! They will be available in my Etsy shop sometime after noon (EST).

 

 

 

So please come back tomorrow and check in. I’ll announce here and on my Instagram and various other social media outlets when they are listed and ready to go.  Also don’t forget to enter yesterday’s giveaway. And thank you all so much for all your kind words and thoughts about losing my dog. I miss her so much, but I know time will help lessen the pain. Until then…

See you all tomorrow!

 

*Insert Clever Title Here* Plus a Giveaway

Hi everyone! Welcome to Day 3 of Stamp Release Week. Yesterday was not a great day as we had to have our 10 year old Great Dane mix put down. Our heart’s are heavy, but the art-ing must go on. 😉

Today I made a video using one of my favorite (who am I kidding? I love them all!) stamps from the Scribble Scribble Dot Dot Stamp set.

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Click below or here to see today’s video. 🙂

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Click here to see Day 3’s video!

And now…for the giveaway. Nothing too fancy, just a thank you for visiting my blog/video. (Sorry, this is only open to US residents since I’m paying out of pocket for shipping. lol )

Today I’ll be giving away a mini-journal featuring one of Roben-Marie Smith’s ArtPops cards for the cover. The little booklet is full of assorted pages just waiting to be art-ed up.

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But wait, there’s more! (Sorry I can’t help my corniness sometimes.) I’ll also add a set of my favorite Faber Castell stencils. Oh yes, it’s the one with the hexagon’s! They are made of heavy cardstock and I have used them over and over and over again. I should have purchased two. One for the giveaway and one for myself.

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I’ll also throw in a Stabilo pencil, as I buy these in bulk and have a few to share. 😉

SO to be entered, go watch and like my video (obviously I have no way of knowing if you did this, but I trust y’all) and come back here and let me know which single (not the whole set) stamp is your favorite. Giveaway ends Friday!

And here’s my girl. I miss her so, so, so much.

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Thanks everyone! See you tomorrow!

Day Two – Perfectly Imperfect

(Link to video here and below.)

Day Two of the mini countdown until the stamps go on sale! So that means another video using the stamps of course. The main stamp that takes center stage is Perfectly Imperfect. Because, y’all, ain’t nobody perfect! Perfection is in the eye of the beholder. What’s perfect to one person, isn’t to another. A LOT of people would look at my art journals and gasp because they think they are so ugly. lol So you just keep on doing your thing. You are perfect!

If you follow me on Instagram, this was the one I posted saying it could be a mess or it could be beautiful. I decided it’s a beautiful mess.

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To view the video click here! 

Psst….there just might be a giveaway tomorrow. 🙂

On Being a Big Ol’ Ball of Anxiety – and a Huge Announcement

I always loved art, but never felt I was any good at it. The household I grew up in used any vulnerability I had against me, against anyone, really. IF it was noticed, I’d be teased mercilessly. So what little art making I did do, I kept it mostly to myself. Afterall, my ninth grade art teacher said I wasn’t good at art, because I couldn’t draw. She must know. She’s the educated one. *rolls eyes* Needless to say I didn’t do much art because of those external factors.

When I was a young mom, (ugh, I feel old saying things like ‘when I was a young mom’) I began scrapbooking. It was a fun and easy creative outlet. I couched it. Kept it simple and without much emotion or feelings displayed. I definitely didn’t do a whole lot of journaling alongside my pictures. Because, oh.my.gosh. what if someone saw it and made fun of it.

Art is very personal. Not that scrapbooking isn’t. I personally just kept my scrapbooking more generic I guess.  Art is a different monster all together.  Something everyone seems to have an opinion on.

The old me, the me from even a few years ago, would have never in a million years think she could create art. I mean, just who did I think I was? Someone special? Nooooo way, Mister.

In the few years since I began making art, even though I’ve worked hard, I still encounter this negative self talk. It’s buried so deeply in my psyche, it’s ingrained into my thought pattern. A side effect of growing up in a negative and abusive environment.

It’s no secret that a traumatic childhood can lead to mental health and emotional problems later in life.  Problems ranging anywhere from depression to drug use. It’s really quite sad how we carry all that baggage into adulthood, whether we realize it or not.

Anxiety seems to be my “emotional problem” of choice. Except it’s not a choice. 

Yes, I know. Everyone gets anxious. It’s normal – whatever “normal” means. Trust me when I say this is different kind of anxiety.

Anxiety is as unique as the prints on your fingertips. It’s different for everyone. For me, my anxiety feels… suffocating. Like there is a brick on my chest weighing me down, interfering with my ability to breath correctly. It’s living in a constant state of unease. Irrational, intrusive thoughts interrupt my day/hour/minute.  It’s feeling so wrong and so bad and not being able to explain exactly why.  It feels like I’m drowning. Some days it’s all consuming. On the worst days, it takes all my energy just to function because I’m sinking under the weight of it.

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This. It feels like this.

It’s so easy to remain stagnant. To get stuck in this pattern. But it was no longer serving me (not that it ever did) and over time, I realized I had to get past this if I ever wanted to be released from its grasp.

SO, how did I “fix” myself, you ask? Or maybe you’re not asking, but I’ll tell you anyway.

Are you ready? Its pretty earth-shattering. Basically this is what I did:

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That’s it. I stayed away from people that made me feel like shit, cutting most, if not all, contact.

Okay, it’s not that simple. And it sure wasn’t easy. It also didn’t fix things wholly. (Wow, that word looks wrong, but it’s the correct usage. Promise. I looked it up.)  It was a start. I also found a therapist.

Another major thing I did was to begin working on art again. Painting. Creating. Making a general mess. I hid it away at first. Again, who did I think I was?

As time passed, I became more confident in my art and felt compelled to share it on Instagram.

I began to shed the abusive baggage in my life and began talking a little bit more openly about my anxiety as well as my art. People were kind and understanding and, to my surprise, interested.

I’m not so great at saying what I’m feeling, but I can express myself with art in way I cannot convey into words.  Even if I don’t understand exactly why I’m anxious, which is most of the time, I can sit down at my desk and create something and feel tremendously better. And if I don’t feel better at least I’ve done something that day other than fixate on my anxiety.

Simply put, Art Heals!

I stumble. I have bad days. But now I have the tools to help me cope. One day I hope to not have to consciously fight off anxiety. Hey, a girl can dream can’t she? Until then, I have my art.


The girl I used to be would never had shared her art with anyone, forget about doing so on multiple social media outlets. And never would I have thought I could open an Etsy shop and actually sell my art and the things I make. It’s amazing how situations can can change when you work on them.

When you keep moving forward.

So, it’s with great excitement (and a tad bit of anxiety) that I am trying another thing I never thought I could do (thank you Sherry and Michele for convincing me I should do this)…

And that’s release my own stamps!

I know, I’m shocked too.

The designs are simple and versatile, easily added to your own journals. Not sure where to start or want to add a little somethin’ somethin’ to your journal page? These are perfect for that.

If you’ve followed me for any significant amount of time, you know I’m a huge fan of scribbling. Hate your writing? Scribble. Don’t want anyone to read what you’ve written? Scribble. Want to add something else to your art that’s not obvious? Scribble. With the stamp set Scribble Scribble Dot Dot, it makes it super easy.

And the stamps of the Art Heals set, in my own scribbley handwritten font, are a positive reminder to add to your journal to keep you going in the right direction.

These stamps aren’t overly complex. I kept them simple for a reason. Life is hard, art journaling doesn’t have to be. 😉

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Art Heals Stamp Set

Here is a couple pages I’ve done with the stamps.

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For more information see this video.

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To see the stamps in action, check out this video.

 

To a lot of people releasing my own stamps probably  seems so insignificant. So unimportant. And it probably is in the grand scheme of things. To them. To me, though,  it’s a step in the right direction, a step away from my anxiety.

Please check back throughout the week for more sample pages using the stamps and maybe a giveaway or two. 😉