Hidden Journaling

I recently changed jobs. I had been working for there for over three years and really felt at home in many ways. I truly had mixed emotions about leaving. It's funny how you can be so excited about new opportunities and still be a bit sad about it all. I think all new beginnings are like that to some degree.

I find it so helpful to write about all the conflicting and confusing thoughts running through my head. Even though I don’t keep a journal just for my written thoughts, I infuse a lot of that into my art journal pages. I find I can work through my thoughts and emotions more fully with words and color and shapes. Sometimes when I do a lot of writing, I don’t like for it to visible in the end. One of my favorite ways to do this is to use a water soluble pen. I write everything I want to say. Then I go over it with a wet brush and it becomes part of the background. It’s a really cool effect! On this page I also added lots of paint splatters so it could blend in with writing.

 
 

Here are some other fun ways to cover your text:
-Use a water-soluble medium to write your thoughts like I did here. There are many options to chose from- crayons, colored pencils, paint pens, etc.
-Paint over it with opaque or semi-opaque acrylic paint.
-Collage over it.
-Write on a separate sheet. Then tear it up and use that for collaging.
-Make a pocket to hide your thoughts in.

Do you use your art journal to work through stuff?

The mantra I can't stop repeating

Everything is as it should be.

I find it so easy to blame myself for not doing enough, for saying too much, and for playing it too safe. This is the case in my life and my business/artistic goals. A few weeks ago, I came across this mantra while doing this yoga video. Once the video was over, I wrote it on a post-it and stuck it to my bathroom mirror. Whenever I find myself in the mind loop of berating myself for everything I think I’ve done wrong, I stop, take a deep breath, and repeat this mantra. It’s helped me to take things at face value. I’ve started to see my path, my struggles, and my successes in a better light.

Recently, I started a new art journal. It seemed fitting to make this mantra the first spread. Here are a few details about it. The background is layers of teal tissue paper adhered with matte medium. The letters were stamped and white embossed. I added payne’s gray paint to the edges and splatters in white paint and dark purple acrylic ink.

It was an easy spread that allows the words to be the focus.

Painted Succulent Pots

Have I ever mentioned I have a black thumb? I think it explains why I’m so drawn to floral patterns and prints. You can’t kill a painting of a flower. In the past several months, I’ve been able to keep an African Violet alive and she is beautiful by the way. But I can’t seem to keep succulents alive. I thought they were supposed to be hardly and strong in the face of the not-so-savy-gardener. I guess not so much. As I was setting up my art studio, I knew I wanted some type of plant life. I decided it didn’t have to be living plant life, so I went on a search for real-looking-fake plants. I found the cutest selection of succulents at Michaels. And because most succulents look a little fake, these actually look real. I purchased three little pots, which on sale cost me a whomping 99 cents each. I knew they would need a little sprucing up to fit into my space. That didn’t worry me one bit. I’m always up for a project.

 
 

Here’s how I decorated the pots:
First, I paint them all with two coats of bronze metallic paint. This paint happens to be the Blick Matte Acrylic paint. The metallic colors have a bit of a satin finish which I really like. You could also chose to paint the base whatever color you want. I just liked how the bronze added simmer while being close to the original color of the pots.
Once the base layers were dry, I used a small paintbrush to add some details. I kept these simple since the pots were so small. There are several ways you can add details here- stencils, stamps, rub-ons, collage papers. I chose to paint them because it was quicker and easier for me in the moment. Once the details were painted and dried, I was ready to display them on my little shelves! (By the way, these shelves are actually a Heidi Swapp marquee letter “I” turned on it’s side. I found them on clearance and couldn’t pass them up!)

Since I’m a better painter than a gardener, I thought I would share a few tips for painting on these pots.
1- Practice on paper first. This can help you determine exactly how you want your design to look, how big or small, and you will get used to the brush.
2- Use a fine tip brush for the details. Most details will come out a little thicker than the brush tip because of the pressure you use. If possible go a little smaller than you think you’ll need. You can always make the lines a little thicker, but it’s more difficult to make them smaller.
3- Don’t be afraid to use your paint. Keep your brush fully loaded so you have enough paint to make marks. You don’t want to have a glob of paint on your brush, but you want to make sure it’s covered. This will take some trial and error to figure out how much works for you. However, keep adding paint to the brush so you don’t run out and get half painted lines. Those can be hard to fix.

Do you have any other tips for painting details? I would love to hear them.

And if you’re in the Savannah area (or willing to travel), don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter to be the first to hear about my upcoming workshops! All classes will take place in my new studio! It’s going to be awesome!

Is in person learning better for you?

In the world of online classes and Youtube, it’s easy to get distracted by all the opportunities to learn something new. More than once (or twice), I’ve fallen down the rabbit hole of Youtube videos. I really only wanted to watch one video to see how to use my new Distress Crayons. But then hours later, I resurface feeling a little dazed from all the information and even a little unmotivated. I hope I’m not alone in that (but I’m guessing I’m not). So what’s the solution? Well you could set a timer and practice self-control….

Or you could change your approach to learning the techniques you really want to learn. I still think Youtube and online classes are a valid place to learn, but it’s not right for every person and every skill. That’s way I suggest in person workshops for learning the techniques you are really excited to learn.

Here are five benefits to taking an in person art class:

 
 

You can learn and practice skills in real time.

When you learn something during an in person class, you will try it on the spot. Instead of what typically happens: You buy an online art class. Binge watch all the videos and ooh and ahh at your creative ideas. Then say you’re tired from watching hours of videos and you’ll pull out the supplies tomorrow to give it a try. Only tomorrow comes and you don’t really remember all those amazing ideas and you feel too intimidated to try at all. In a class in real life, you learn something and immediately try it. You also get ideas from watching how others do the same techniques.

You’ll get instant feedback.

Not only can you get instant feedback from an instructor during an in person class, you can also get feedback from the other students. I’ve never taught a class where the only constructive feedback came from me. Every student comes with varying levels of education and expertise. Therefore, they are able to offer suggestions and thoughts on how to get you through your struggles.

You’ll take the guesswork out of buying supplies

My workshops provide all the supplies you’ll need to create the project (and a take home goodie bag with extras!). I do this so you don’t have to worry about getting the right supplies or buying something you may not use again. When you come to class, you’ll have access to the tools you need to make the project and plenty of materials to make it your own. You’ll also have the opportunity to ask questions about supplies you may want or need. Then, you’ll know exactly what you want to use your Michael's coupon to buy. And get to creating with it even quicker!

You can try your hand at something new.

Maybe you’re not sure if you’re really an art journaler. But taking a three hour workshop about art journaling techniques can give you a pretty good idea if you are. I think this is one of my favorite things about in person workshops. It can be so scary to try something new, especially if all you have is a few thousand Youtube videos to go on. In person workshops give you the chance to try your hand at it without a huge time or money investment. Then you can decide if it’s for you from there.

Make new friends and meet like minded people

When you go to an art class, you’re surrounded by people that are interested in the same thing as you. And not just art in general, but that type of art done in a certain way. Chances are you have other things in common too.  Did I mention these are friends in real life and not just a small thumbnail picture in a chat room?

Ready to take an in person art workshop? Check out the websites of your favorites artists and local art stores. If you’re around Savannah, GA or fancy a trip, be sure to check out my lineup of classes!

What’s your main reason for wanting to take an online class?

 

DIY Pocket Tee and Fashion Tips

I've always loved fashion! There was even a time in college when I considered changing my major to Fashion Merchandising. I think my love for fashion comes from the delight of mixing colors and patterns and textures and being able to show it off. Of all the creative avenues, fashion is one that we can easily communicate to others without even opening our mouths. We can explore different styles from one day to the next. We can even convey a mood or emotion through our clothing choices. Who doesn't love wearing all black when in a bad mood?

Over the years, I've developed my own guidelines for dressing creatively. I thought it would be fun to share them with you here. I’m also sharing a fun project to help you add an extra punch to a basic t-shirt.

1) Embrace color.

I lived in NYC for about a year. While there, my wardrobe quickly turned black and grey. I'm really not sure how it happened. When I left, I realized what happened and immediately started infusing color. Now, I live by the motto, "the more color the better". I typically wear 2-3 colors and love mixing bright colors with more subdue colors.

2) Embrace pattern.

Colors are great, but pattern is usually more exciting. I love pairing solid pieces with bold, high contrast patterns (think black and white). I'm not usually seen wearing more than one pattern at a time, unless one is simple and the other is just a small dose. Patterns add a level of detail that is hard to achieve with just solid colored pieces.

3) Embrace accessories.

A bold necklace or multi-colored earrings can really punch up a simple outfit. And simple accessories, like a skinny belt, can streamline bolder outfits. It’s all about finding the balance between the bold and simple.

4) Embrace a neutral piece.

I bet you didn’t expect something like this on the list. But it really is a guideline I follow. Just like in artwork, your eye needs some resting space. That’s what a neutral piece does. Anything from jeans, to a white top, to a black cardigan can do this. It makes it so your brain can process all the other interesting things in your outfit.

5) Embrace your style.

When it’s all said and done, you need to ask if you are comfortable in your clothing. Your style is an extension of you and what you put out into the world. If what you are wearing doesn’t send the message you want to send, then consider changing things up. You may only like to wear solid colors, so go for it! Find what you like and embrace it. Your style will probably change many times throughout your life, so I encourage you to be open to that as well.

Now on to the project!

I’m adding extra pizzaz to a simple tee by adding a pocket in bright print. There are so many ways you can do this project to fit your style.

To download the pocket pattern, click here and get access to the downloads library. You’ll be emailed a password and link.

Be creative with how you use the pocket pattern! Instead of a t-shirt, you could add pockets to a cardigan, skirt, or even a handbag. I can’t wait to see what you create!


But I’m dying to know- What fashion guideline to do you always follow?