Perfect Time

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Well, this started out as an Instagram post but as I blabbered on, I realized it was way too long for Instagram. Sometimes I can write and write and other times its like getting blood from a turnip. Anywho…onward with today’s post.

I think the two main things that keep us from creating on a regular basis is perfectionism and time.

Perfectionism:

As we create sometimes we think “Oh my gosh. This is trash. It looks nothing like so and so’s art journal”. Or “I’m just making a huge mess”. Why am I doing this? No one seems to care.” And so on. *Insert your own narrative here*

Self doubt and our idea of what we think something should be is a killer. This applies to everyday life and art/creating as well.

It’s so important to let go of what we think things are supposed to look like. Art is a major escape for me and if I sit at my desk and worry about what the outcome will be or what others might think of it, then it’s no longer fun. This hampers the creative spirit in a major way.

Other opinions is also a killer of creativity.

Perfection is in the eye of the beholder. What one finds beautiful another will find ugly. If someone doesn’t like what you create then that’s fine. Art journaling or abstract mixed media is not everyone’s cup of tea. And contrary to the average comments sections on any given Facebook post, you can disagree with someone and not hate each other.

Yes, controversial, I know.

If someone goes as far as to make a negative comment (in real life or online) about what you’re creating keep in mind they are probably going through something bad or has had a sucky life. Their actions have nothing to do with you. They want to spread their negativity and by not reacting (though it’s hard), you’ve stopped the circle of nastiness.

Congratulations. 😉

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The next time you start to feel that nagging self doubt ask yourself where it might be coming from and then tell yourself that you are worthy of taking the time to create without perfection being the outcome.


 

On to problem two: Time.

These days busyness seems to be a badge of honor. The crazy thing is we do this to ourselves. And why? Why do we run ourselves so ragged that we have hardly anything left for ourselves? I’m not sure the answer to that question, but I do know it needs to stop. Step one would be learning that it is important to know how to say no. And if the person you said no to gets mad? You just learned where their respect for you ends and their boundarylessness (yes, thats a word – haha) begins.

I can’t reiterate how important boundaries are. Obviously there are things we have to do. I’m not saying to quit your job because it takes away from your time to be creative,  (though wouldn’t it be nice?) but do yourself a favor and learn to say no to the unnecessary things. And if they get mad, then so be it. That has more to do with them and their manipulation of you than it has to do with your saying no.

I grew up in a very manipulative, boundaryless environment and carried those relationships and that dysfunction well into adulthood. Whatever they wanted I tried to provide. And here’s the kicker… they never saw it. They only wanted more of me until there was hardly anything left of me.

The truth is (and I love this quote!) you can lay on the floor to allow someone to walk all over you and they’ll still complain you aren’t flat enough.

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So ask yourself are you saying yes because you actually want to, or are you saying yes out of fear of what someone might think if you say no?

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All this is so much easier said than done of course. It’s okay though. You are worth it. If you give and give and give then there is nothing left of you to give. Take time. Make room for creativity in your life.

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What I’ve been up to…

Recently I was on the Life Documented blog sharing my technique on using old photos and ephemera in my art journals.

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I also made TWO videos. I know, I’m shocked too.

A Walk-Through of my latest journals. 

And a video on transforming an old magazine into a journal.

And as always, for your listening pleasure.

 

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Dry Spells Along The Lakeshore and 6 Steps To Get Through It

Wow, could I come up with a longer title? Probably.

Anywho…

It’s hard to believe we have droughts along the lakeshore. But it happens. The grass was beginning to brown and get crunchy. Farmers were running their irrigations. It was hot and dry. But finally the other day it rained all day long, so things perked up a bit. My point is droughts usually end at some point. As do creative dry spells. Though it may not feel like it.

All us creative types hit a dry spell every once once in a while. It can be quite a hard time. You’re truckin’ along, making art left and right and then, out of nowhere, zilch! Nothing. Drought City!

Wanting to create so badly, but feeling like you can not. Its maddening. For me, anyway. Suffice it to say my Mojo went on vacay and doesn’t seem to be returning.

So, what can I/we do when this happens? Behold! A list of 6 things to do to keep yourself sane during a dry spell.

1.Cry. That’s it. Just get it all out. A lot of our dry spells have to do with other things going on in our lives. That can lead to getting really frustrated because we can’t create anything worth while. Acknowledging what we’er feeling can really help.

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2. Get outside! Go for a walk in the woods. Go to the beach if you have one near you. Fresh air will do you a world of good. Mentally as well as physically. Just walk and be open to the sounds and sights and smells. If it doesn’t help you creatively, you’ll probably feel better emotionally.  Luckily I live in Michigan and there is no shortage of forests.


3. Peruse Pinterest. Yes, I know Pinterest can be a black hole in which a person could get sucked into very easily. I personally don’t mind this. hahaha

Instagram works for this too. Just follow the hashtag #artjournaling or something similar. These two platforms can help to spark my creativity.


4. Take a break from your normal form of  art. Do something completely different. Sew. Try indigo dying, eco printing, or my personal favorite – rust dying.


5. Number four leads me directly to number 5. Take a break completely from art. Read a book or two maybe. Here is my GoodReads list, if you’re interested. Listen to new music. I highly recommend Carolina Story Whatever you do, ignore that stack of laundry that needs to be folded, okay? Just set your art supplies aside for a while.

6. Number six, is the opposite of four and five. Create ugly art. I mean it. Just make a huge mess. Because sometimes the biggest messes have the most beautiful outcome.

 

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Not that my messes are anything near Jackson Pollock, but you get the idea. 😉

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As I am in the middle of a dry spell, I’m really hoping blogging about it well help me push though. I do feel it lifting ever-so-slightly. I see light at the end of the tunnel. A very, very long tunnel.

I hope this helps, or at least makes you chuckle a little. What are some of your go to methods for busting through a dry spell?

Maybe, to spark our creativity, this video I did for Roben-Marie Smith’s Design Team a while ago and just reposted it to my channel will help.

 


And to fnish out this post, here is some Carolina Story right here.

Summer Blog Hop with a Twist

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WELCOME TO THE SUMMER BLOG HOP WITH A TWIST!

Today kicks off the Summer Blog Hop with a Twist. We have the usual art inspiration and giveaways, but the twist is that there is also a SALE!

AND, there is another twist; Roben-Marie will be closing Paperbag Studios and her Art Shop at the end of July. Read more about it in this article here.

PRIZES
Grand Prize: One winner will receive a spot in Roben-Marie’s latest workshop: SALVAGED: a Layered Pieces Journal and a signed and dated original abstract collage by her.
Three Secondary Prizes: gift certificates for an additional 30% off in your choice of the Paperbag Studios or Art Shop.

Be sure to visit the other blogs in the hop and leave a comment to increase your chances of winning the discount!

HOW DO I ENTER?
All you have to do to enter is comment on this blog post and then keep on hopping across to all of the Design Team member’s posts, leave a comment on them and be entered with more chances to win. Giveaway closes on Sunday, July 15 @ 9:00PMEST. Prizes will be announced on Monday, July 16.

WHERE DO I GO?
Here are the links to all of the amazing Design Team Projects so be sure to visit all of them, leave a comment and increase your chances of winning!

 

Ashli Oliver 

Anna Friesen

Kristi Nazzaro

Torrie Gass

Cindy Gilstrap

Kristin Petersen

Sue Kemnitz

Laurie Haley


And to celebrate blog hop, I made this little rusted out card using Roben-Marie’s Art Pops cards. Incase you haven’t noticed or don’t follow me on Instagram, I’m on a bit of a rust kick. I just love rust.

So, in today’s episode of Senseless Acts of Rustification here we go…

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Step one: Rust some Art Pops Cards. This is how I rust, though there are many different ways to do this. I just find this way the easiest and quickest.

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Step two: Add some text. I almost always add book text or imagery of some kind. I either use Collage Pauge or Liquitex Gel Medium to glue everything down. I’ve also seen people use glue sticks, but I haven’t had much luck with glue sticks. They just don’t stick well enough. Maybe it has to do with the humidity we have in Michigan. Or maybe it’s just me. Who knows.

Anyway, I just start glueing ephemera down. Most of its rusted as well.

Step…I’m not sure. You can basically do this in whatever order you want. 😉

I like to add touches of color amongst the rust. I used Mini Sticker Shapes and Sticker Tape and cut them in half or into smaller strips. Adding them wherever I think could use a little pop of color.

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To add a little whimsy, because what’s life without a little whimsy, I stamped an image along the side. This stamp is from the INKed Rubber Stamp Sheet.

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Cute, huh?

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Adding some found words from a magazine. Can’t forget the found words.

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I then glued down a few more rusty bits with a glue gun and burn the crap out of my fingers and swear like a trucker and this cute little pic I had in my stash (NOT Tim Holtz).

And there you have it. Sweet and simple and rusty!

Thanks for stopping in and don’t forget to visit the other blogs listed above.

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I’m sorry, but I couldn’t help myself. If this song is stuck in my head, it’s going to be stuck in your head too!

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.

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.

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!