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Monthly Archives: May 2014

Paper Month?

I seem to do better with actually getting projects done when I have a challenge going on.

Last year I designated June as “Paper Project Month” and challenged myself to work on a paper project every day.

I wasn’t as successful as I would have liked, but I DID make progress. So I was thinking about doing it again this year. Then lo and behold, a paper class I signed up to take in April got postponed until June. Well, how’s that for validation!?

So, my “Paperlove” class starts on Monday. We’ve been told to plan on 30 minutes a day to work on our projects. I think I can handle that!

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Additionally, I’m working on my DLP planner (which is, duh…paper) I’ve got a bunch of cards I still need to do the detail work on, and I’m really ready to get going on my scrapbooks again. That gives me a LOT of options for working on a paper project every day without EVER getting bored!

I’m excited! AND, I’m hoping by doing this challenge at the same time I’m doing a related class, I might just actually TAKE the class.

 

On a Roll…

Now that I’ve decided the direction I’m going in my Documented Life Project planner, I’m on a roll.

I used the uni ball pen my friend Naomi sent me to finish off my calendar pages, and got them attached to the planner using washi tape up through the month of June. (That reminds me, I still haven’t ordered a ton of pens for back up – need to get on that!) I can’t attach the rest of the calendar pages until after I have the base paint done on the planner pages for the remaining months.

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And I played with a design for a weekly page. Not sure I actually LOVE it, but it’s a good start. When I get things transferred from my “normal” calendar and get some fun decorating done, I think I’m going to be pleased.

 

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Now there is no doubt in my mind that the brightly colored planners I’ve seen on the Facebook page are more fun to look at. But they are just not me. At least not today. Maybe next year. But now, this is me. Or at least it will be me when I’m done.

Now, I’m only 22 weeks behind with the weekly challenges. Piece a cake! Hahahahaha!

Inspiration Deck Tutorial

One of the gals from my art group thought it was time to do an Inspiration Deck again, so we’re doing it!

But, rather than keeping it within our small group, she’s opening it up to anyone who wants to participate.  SO, if you’re interested, join us! Ask to join the Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/668648633208837/ then once you are in, go up and click on files, add your name (for as many decks as you want to make) along with the saying you want to reserve. There is no particular theme, just pick something that is meaningful to you, and make sure no one else has already signed up for it. You can do as many decks as you’d like, then you will receive that many completed decks in the end. They are great for gifts!

Several of the people doing it have not done one before, so I thought I’d do a little tutorial based on what I’ve learned in doing them myself.

Inspiration Decks are like ATCs (artist trading cards) except instead of being done on art paper, they are done by altering playing cards, the ones that measure 2 1/2″ x 3 1/2″. And yes, playing cards come in different sizes, and size DOES matter. Make sure you’re starting with the right size. Also, please use new ones, not ones that are old and frayed. Where I LOVE things that are “Tattered and Worn” (heeheehee!) not everyone does, and new ones work best for this.

For the purpose of our deck, we want to do 52 cards, so we have one card for each week of the year. So that means we need 52 people to do one deck each, or for some to make more than one deck, or the suggestion was made that we do 2 sayings per deck, then we’d only need 26 people. We’ll decide when we see how many people are interested.

So, you’re signed up and you have your deck of cards.

The next step is to decide what medium you want to use. You can use any medium that can be used on a card – fabric, paint, paper. You just want it pretty flat, not too much dimension, as they will rub a little, and things like buttons would be apt to come off.

Paint is the most commonly used medium, and if that is what you’re going to use, you need to start by putting down a layer of gesso on the side that have the numbers on them. The paint will flake off of the card without it. Some people leave the other side as is, others decorate it, but w/o a saying, and some put their contact info (mostly for those who want to advertise their business) on it. Whichever works for you is fine.

 

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One thing you want to keep in mind, no matter what medium you use is that you need to do your design vertically, NOT horizontally, and leave the area in the upper left hand corner free of writing so a hole can be punched for putting a ring through. DO NOT punch the hole yourself. The hostess will determine what size she needs to make, and do them herself.

You don’t NEED to go crazy with them. This is supposed to be fun, so intricate, time-consuming designs, no matter how fun they are to do, will become tedious after the first 30 or so. Make it easy on yourself and keep it fairly simple. You want them to be attractive, but it is the sentiment that is the most important part.

They are easier to do if you do them “production style.” Clear off a table so you can line up all 52 cards at once, then do each step to all the cards at once. For example, gesso all of one side, let them dry, then flip them and gesso the other (if you’re going to paint both sides.) Then do the base coat on each, then do each layer or color to each card before going to the next step. It makes it go oh so much more quickly than doing the cards from start to finish one at a time. Trust me on this. I’ve done LOADS of production work. With the last deck I was involved in, I did 4 decks, and it looked like this!

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Some of us are “over-achievers”  and I’m one of them. No matter how hard I try to “keep it simple” I just keep adding little details. BUT. I enjoy the process. I do not find it to be a chore to work on them for many hours. You do NOT need to make this an overwhelming project. It is not a competition. The idea is to share inspiration that uplifts you with others. So only put the amount of effort into it that you are ENJOYING! It should not be “work!” It should not be stressful!

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The major issue I had with the cards when I was the hostess was that some came badly stuck together. If you are going to use a coating on them, it is best to NOT use mod-podge. It seemed to be the main culprit. I did NOT put a coating on mine. But if you chose to do so, make sure whatever you use will not get sticky, and give them plenty of time to dry before mailing.

If you are looking for ideas/inspiration, try googling ATC images, because these, are, for all intents and purposes, ATCs. And there are TONS of samples on the internet.

As you will see when you sign up, Kim Hyer is our hostess. The cards will be be mailed to her. She will punch the holes, collate the decks and mail them back to you. There is a small charge ($7.00) for participating to help defer the cost of the rings and mailing them. The $7.00 will cover up to two decks. If you are doing 3-4, the charge would be $14.00, as the small priority mail box will fit 2 decks. Most of you will fit into that 1-2 deck charge of $7.00. Please send the money with your deck.

We are looking at having all of the cards to Kim by September 1st. This is not a HARD deadline, but please do your best to have them to her by then. Being the hostess can be a little like herding cats, so let’s try to make it as easy on her as we can.

I think that’s it. If you have any questions, please ask on the Facebook page so everyone will see the question, and we’ll answer there!

 

 

 

Progress On My Planner!

We’re at week 22 or so of the Documented Life Planner. And mine is barely started. Can you believe that? Well of course you can. It’s my MO, totally. I start out so excited, then something happens and I lose interest. Or, as in this case, something DOESN’T happen. It took me awhile to figure out why I was dragging my feet so badly.

I wasn’t happy with the weight of the paper in the planner, and I couldn’t figure out how I was going to write in it w/o the ink bleeding through the pages. I knew if it did, I would hate it and not use it, so why put all that effort into it?

Well, I FINALLY figured out that I could get a small layer of paint on the pages by using the gelli plate, and the irregular backgrounds were JUST the look I wanted.

I had time to play at my art group yesterday, so I loaded up my gelli plate, and paints, and stencils, and blow dryer, AND my planner, and tore into that puppy. I had SOOOOOOO much fun, laying down page after page after page of luscious base.

 

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I even know where I want to go next, so this is going to get done! I’m excited again! Woohoo!

 

 

I Admit It, I Get a Litttle Full of Myself Sometimes

Tonight was supposed to be a post about my art group today…I had such a good time, and accomplished a lot.

But, I’m going to wait until tomorrow to write about it.

Tonight I had a choice to make. Do my blog or watch 24. And as much as I love y’all…well, Jack Bauer won out, and now I’m tired and can hardly wait to get out and soak in the hot tub for a few minutes before getting myself to bed.

But I did want to laugh at myself a little first.

I was late for my art group today.

I got up in plenty of time to be on time, and I really do HATE to be late. But I got so wrapped up in reading something that I didn’t want to stop. I kept saying “just one more page” and before I knew it, it was time to BE THERE, not just barely leaving the house.

And what was it I was reading that kept me glued to it for so long?

I almost can’t even tell you.

It was my own blog! Hahahahahaha! I was so engrossed in my own writing, I couldn’t stop!

I had gone back to check something (another funny story, but I’ll save it for later!) which led me to read another post, and another…I crack myself up.

I am not good at tooting my own horn. It makes me feel silly. But I’ve gotta tell you (feeling silly and all!) I like my own writing. I’m laughing myself silly just typing it! But there. I said it. I enjoy reading my own writing. I wonder if real live authors like reading what they’ve written?

So. On that note, I’m heading outside to soak. Close your eyes…

 

 

It’s Almost Flat Fanny Time!

No, I’m not losing my bottom (don’t I wish!)

Flat Fanny is the brainchild of Lindsay Ostrom, one of my art buddies. She designed this precious paper doll, makes it available in a PDF, then you can download her, cut her out, paint her, chalk her or otherwise doll her up. Then you take her with you when you’re out and about this summer, and photograph her adventures, which you can share on the “Flat Fanny and Friends” Facebook Page.

It’s lots of fun, especially if you have a young-in’ or two to share it with!

This year Lindsay has updated the original Flat Fanny, and added a friend, Flat Frieda. She has a bun bun for a pal and lots of accessories.

flatfriedaFanny and Freida have a guy friend, too, Felix, and his puppy and kitty.

Last year all 3 of my kiddles made them…

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And, of course, I did mine, too!

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I’m  interested to see which the kids want to do this year. I think I’ll probably go with the updated Fanny. Or maybe Freida. I don’t know. I sorta like my old Fanny. Hahahaha! As you can see, I’m having a hard time making up my mind!

Check it out for yourself, and come play with us!

Saying Goodbye – FINALLY!

Well, technically, National Letter Writing Month ended nearly a month ago, but I had lots of unfinished business, so in my world, it’s just closing down. Or at least it will soon. And I’ll finally be saying goodbye for the year. Although I did end up with some new friends this year that I’ll be staying in touch with. Lindsay hooked me up with a great pen pal!

Today I got back into the studio (yeah, the one I’m cleaning!) I could see the work table for the first time in I hate to say how long, so I almost hated to get it messy again. But, I promised myself I’d clean up when I was done for the day. And I kept my word.

I started some cards at my art group a week ago, so I got them out and finished up about half of them, adding a little more paint, and some pen work.  I think I have enough now to send thank yous to all the ladies who sent me mail during the month. Sending thank yous for the thank yous they sent me in response to my notes and postcards would be kinda silly, doncha think? So that makes it a little simpler.

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Goal: Have them all written out and mailed on Tuesday.

I had a particularly fruitful day over and above the progress on the cards.

I spent several hours in sort mode, working my way through more piles from the studio.

Once I’d had enough of that, I made a batch of pinto beans (yum, yum!) and they are cooking away making the house smell incredible. Tomorrow I’ll make green chile enchiladas to go with them and bwa-la – dinner!

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I also made an easy peasy caprice salad of fresh mozzarella, organic heirloom tomatoes, fresh basil and Italian dressing for a little snacky for Mr. Tattered.

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I don’t know what got into me! Creative on SEVERAL fronts!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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