Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Out of the Box Art Journal Page

Over on Craft Test Dummies on Monday, I am posting a review of this adhesive tape runner, Glue Tape by Plus.  It was new to me - I had never heard of it - and Jenny had sent it to me after Summer CHA to give it a try.  Make sure you go check out my review - I was pleasantly surprised by how it performed, especially since it is lower priced than many of the tape runners on the market.

Anyway, while doing my review, one of the "happy accidents" I discovered (I almost ALWAYS have accidents while arting - some are happy, some not so much...) was that this stuff makes craft foam stick really well to itself!  Why, you might ask, would I care about this?  Well, I had just seen, a couple days prior to playing with the Glue Tape, THIS tutorial, and had picked up a pack of thin, cheap (as in Dollar Tree) craft foam in the hopes of doing the same thing. The foam was super thin, and one layer wasn't going to work for the stamps - so I needed to double it up - so I was happy to find that the Glue Tape would make it easy for me to do this.

So, anyway...on my shopping trip...which was a LOOONG one...picture this: me, all four kids (my 6-year old, my twin 3-year olds, and my 10-month old).  We've already been to the bank and the post office (where I had to drag all of them inside, to stand in line, to mail 2 packages - all because I only had cash to pay for the postage...normally I print Priority Mail labels online and do Carrier Pick-up).  I was in search of miniature rolling pins, or else cheap regular-sized ones.  I called Jo-Ann's - they said they had none.  I called Michaels', and they said yes, they had them in the dollar aisle AND that they were on sale 40% off!  Score!  So off we went to Michaels.  We searched the store up and down and found ONE miniature rolling pin.  One.  And it wasn't on sale.  So we got it and headed for the Dollar Tree, in hopes of finding some regular-sized ones for a buck each.  Do you know that they carry every kitchen utensil you could possibly need at that store EXCEPT  rolling pins?!  Sigh.  

At that point, the kids were tired and hungry and getting cranky.  Or maybe it was me who was getting cranky.  It takes a lot of work to get 4 kids in and out of car seats at every single stop.  Anyway, I stopped to think for a minute.  Or five.  I wondered if perhaps I should think outside the box.  Why did it have to be rolling pins?  Wouldn't pretty much ANY long, slender cylindrical hard object work?  

So off to Home Depot we went.  I grabbed a 1" diameter, 10-foot long piece of PVC pipe off the rack, and asked a worker if he could cut it down.  He said sure, and asked how many pieces and how long.  I hadn't really thought about it, so I quickly said, "Uh, how about ten 1-foot pieces?"  He agreed, and I asked how much it would cost for the cutting.  "Nothing, just whatever the pipe itself cost."  The pipe?  Cost me a whopping $1.49 plus tax.  Now THAT'S what I'm talking about!  I was so excited about my score that I completely forgot I'd been wanting to pick up some washers and a few other trinkets to use for stamping as well...ah, well...I guess we'll need to get out of the house some other day.

For this one, I went ahead and used the ONE miniature rolling pin we did pick up.  (However, I have already made a stamp from one of the PVC pipes, and it works great!  And I'm SO glad I have 10 of them - because this is totally addicting!)  After I cut a bunch of squares and rectangles, I used my hot glue gun to glue them to the rolling pin.  I used a brayer to lay down some paint on my journal page, and then used a paint brush to put paint on the rolling pin before rolling it across my journal page.  This is how it started out:

And after many, many layers (don't you just LOVE layers?!  I can't get enough layering!) - this is what I ended up with.  I had no idea where I was going with the page until almost all of the layers were on the page and I had worked on it over the course of almost a week.  

And then suddenly, I was inspired by the squares and rectangles to journal about how much art has changed the way I look at life and approach life.  I used to be such a "color inside the lines" kind of person, such a rule-follower.  I lived such a constrained life.  But I feel like art has freed me in so many ways - is freeing me in so many ways.  So that's what the page is about.  And I love the way the circular journaling looks in comparison to the boxed-in title.  I wasn't sure I was really loving the page until I finished the journaling, and then I loved it!

What have you been up to lately?  Leave me a link - I'd love to see.  And don't forget to come visit at Craft Test Dummies on Monday for the Glue Tape review...I'd love to have you visit over there!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Keeping it real

I've been thinking about writing this post for quite some time now...but life just keeps getting in the way.  But that's sort of the thing.  I used to write about my life on this blog.  I mean, I've always posted about my art too, but I used to include, I guess, too.  But then I got this thing in my head that I just *had* to be on a design team, and in my quest to do so, I read a blog post somewhere about "how to get accepted on a design team."  And in that post, I read that basically, your blog should only contain posts about your art.  Not family, not kids...basically, not real life - just your art projects.  So I quit blogging about those things.  I started a separate blog, with the idea that I could blog about family and life there...except I didn't.  

A year has gone by now.  I was accepted to a design team.  I did my time.  I quit the design team.  I no longer have the "design team bug."  I really just want to do my own art, to learn as much as I possibly can as an artist, to grow, to take classes, to develop my own style.  I do still write product reviews on a GREAT blog - Craft Test Dummies - and love what I do there.  But here?  I miss being real.  I miss being authentic.  Because while I *am* an artist, I am also a mom, and a wife, and a friend, and a child of God.  And I don't care what anyone else says...this is MY blog, and I'm done editing myself for the sake of being accepted by some "unknown" out in the blogosphere!  

I've started art journaling.  It's helping me a lot, because reality is that I'm going through some tough stuff right now.  Some of that "makes your stomach hurt just thinking about it" stuff.  The kind of stuff that demands a LOT of praying, a LOT of reflection, a LOT of trust in God's almighty plan.  

And I'm dealing with a LOT of physical pain.  Everyday, severe, debilitating pain.  The kind that sometimes makes me want to just crawl into a hole and hide.  Rheumatoid arthritis is no joke, and I've spent the last several months working my way through a lot of anger and grief and frustration in trying to accept this new life.

Art has been my outlet, my source of expression for the angst inside.  Besides my bible, it's the one place I feel at home, the place I am soothed and comforted.  Art stretches me in new ways all the time, and I see God's beauty all the time.  I find myself thanking God daily for this gift of art, and I worry sometimes when my pain is too great to allow me to do any art.  I wonder when the day will come that I won't be able to make art anymore, and what I will do then.

And through everything, I am constantly striving to find the blessings.  Because I know, without a doubt, that I am SO blessed.  I want to live a life filled with gratitude, no matter what.  I want to drown out the "noise" and just be quiet when things become that I can hear the Truth.  

So I'm still here.  I'm still making art.  And I'll try to post a little more often.  But I'll most definitely be more authentic from here on out.  


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...