First 3 pages of The Sketchbook

I F-I-N-A-L-L-Y started on my Sketchbook!
That little blurred out bit is my blog address, 
which is for my family.
I don't want everyone in my family seeing this blog.
This is the first page.
I debated long and hard on how I wanted to use the theme In Flight.
I eventually came up with the idea
of how a tiny (not so pretty) caterpillar
transforms itself into a beautiful and colorful butterfly.
I feel as if I'm that little caterpillar
and hope to one day become a butterfly;
through my art.
Oh, how I worked ALL DAY on this!
There is still a lot wrong with it,
but you know what?
I think I've come quite a ways 
from just a month or two ago in my drawing abilities.
I'm proud of what I did!
I hope you all enjoy this journey I'm on.


Practice, Practice, Practice!!

I'm still hooked on trying to learn how to draw.
I am learning to overcome my fear of not being able to draw,
of letting my little brother's talents 
overpower any thought of mine.
There is SO much wrong with these.
Drawing circles is hard...
drawing circles in proportion and scale and perspective...
so difficult.
I am determined to keep trying,
I also re-bound my Sketchbook for The Sketchbook Project
This is my 4th book to stitch together...
and it does get easier and better
These stitches are almost straight!
and somewhat tight!


Projects Galore

I have multiple projects going on right now,
and glad for all the distraction.
Project #1: Rebinding The Sketchbook for the sketchbook project.
 The papers are so thin! Worse than composition paper.
There is no way I could work like that.
I have been struggling trying to come up with ideas
for my theme, "In Flight."
The website says that it is just a jumping off point,
but Eden's posts on her sketchbook has made me think hard.
I have thought about "In Flight" and it eventually 
brought me to a journey.
That is what I feel like I'm on.
I constantly want to try new things, experiment,
so I think I'm going to document it in the sketchbook
and then send it off for the world to see!
I am cutting down papers to put in the Moleskine.
It says you can do 5.5x8.5, but 8.5" was too long,
so I kept it at 8". A little short, but not too bad.

Project #2: Color Journal
I've seen on a few blogs of people keeping
a color journal. 
I've thought about it, but always put it off.
I decided to do one, because there are so many color combinations
and inspiration. I found much of it in the Art Journaling magazines,
but also in other magazines,nature, tv shows. Its everywhere!
This way, if I am ever stumped on color,
I can be inspired!

Project #3: Blurb.com photo book
This has been really hard for me to get going on
InDesign is harder than I thought to use,
and I just want it to look GOOD, NOW!
Is that so hard to ask?
On top of that, I keep on painting in my art journal.


What do YOU want?

Okay, my dear readers.
All five of you :)
I've been trying to think of ways
to liven this blog up!
What would YOU like to see?
Is there something that piques your interest
that you would like me to explore further?
Colors? Layers? Techniques?
Am I too depressing?
If so...tell me :) 
So if you are a faithful reader (haha!)
or just happened to pop on by,
please comment and let me know what you think.
Every comment makes me smile,
and that connectedness is what life is all about.
(I figure a picture of a cute kitty can't hurt)


Who's saving you?

Last night, lying in bed I was thinking about life.
How, in those moments where you feel like
you are sinking...
Who saves you?


Finished Journal Page and some Link Love

Finally I am back to my normal routine!
I was away for vacation, and then came back
to go house/dog-sit until Saturday evening. 
My hands have been itching to be back in my "studio."
I did cheat, and came home one evening to paint
a journal page because I had THAT bad of a day.
My lovely, wonderful, supportive Aunt sent me
a Rumi poem, and I just knew it needed to be made
into a journal page.
This is the beginning layers...
finished product
My new favorite thing is to add a layer of paint,
spritz water on top...let it sit for a few seconds,
and then wipe.
Repeat until you want to stop!
This particular piece has about 7 different layers of colors
painted on, wiped off...and so on.
I recently have come across some really awesome 
and inspiring blogs that I thought I'd share.
I try to keep my blogroll updated...but sometimes its hard.
Tortagiella: This is just a fun blog to read. She is bursting at the seams with creativity,
and shows many tutorials on book binding.
Art Journaling Ning: A great website with tons of workshops,
journalers, discussions and photos. I always
find inspiring work and artists through this site.
If anyone knows of an easy way to make my pictures
the correct size (less than 100kb), PLEASE let me know!
I edit my pictures in photoshop, and they are way too large.
Art Journaling Tumblr: This person posts photos and links
to what journal artists she enjoys. ALWAYS inspiring
The Creative Entrepreneur: I love her work! She is working
on a really awesome project right now, and gives lots
of advice for any fellow introverts.
My Peacetree: Ingrid does amazing work,
and it is so authentic, beautiful and comes from the soul.
Flora Bowley: I just found her website, and her artwork
and vision is just incredible. She's a new blogger,
but I promise you'll be hooked!


Making your own stencils

I haven't made a stencil of my own in quite some time.
Its a super easy way to add your own design
and style into your art journaling.
All you need is some thin plastic,
(Walmart and Michael's also sell stencil blanks)
a piece of glass, an exacto knife (I use a stencil cutting tool)
some tracing paper and a black marker.
I decided to go for a diamond pattern,
and traced one from a piece of scrapbook paper I had left over.
Tip: Use a ruler for geometric objects!
After going through a couple of rows 
and realizing that my lines were uneven,
I busted out a ruler and it made it MUCH easier.
Once you've transferred the pattern onto tracing paper,
color it in/outline it with black marker.
This step is VERY important, because
otherwise you will be squinting to see the design through
the piece of glass and the plastic.
Once I colored in my pattern, it was time to cut!
Tip: Always leave space between the designs
I've made the mistake a few times 
when cutting stencils of just going to town
cutting out the outline, and forgetting that
when you make a stencil you need a little bit of plastic
to stay in between the different shapes, otherwise
it will all come out and you will be left with a big hole!
Next you put the piece of glass over the tracing paper
and the stencil film on top and cut away!
I made lots of mistakes, and my pattern
isn't perfect. This probably would have been
a better task for just a ruler and an exacto knife.
This is drafting film and really thin.
Oh well, live and learn :)
And because its on my desk, a journal page from 
The Big Journal in progress


Stress Relief

I had an even worse day at work yesterday,
and even though I'm house/dog-sitting
I made it a point to go home and paint.
Oh, glorious stress relief.
Lots of layers
Lots of emotional purging
It is weird being emotional.
I have spent my entire life avoiding feelings,
and now that they are joining the party
I can't say I like it very much!
I have two aunts who are just amazing people.
I've started opening up to them more
the past few months, and I couldn't
ask for my supportive people in my life.
My one aunt might actually get mad at me
if I don't ever try to sell my artwork! 
Their support right now is what puts
a smile on my face,
and for that I will be forever grateful.
 My aunt sent me this quote today, and it is so perfect
You think you are alive
Because you breathe air?
Shame on you, that you are alive
In such a limited way.
Don't be without Love,
So you won't feel dead.
Die in Love and stay alive forever


The Sketchbook is Here!

This was the highlight of my day.
You ever have those days/weeks/months(in my case)
where you can't possibly imagine how you will be
able to stand somehow living for the next X amount of years?
The last few months at work have been so very stressful.
I've not cried so much in meetings as I have been.
Not cool.
I feel like maybe I am not management material.
I don't seem to be training my people well,
am ALWAYS struggling with scheduling
(god i hate it)
and hiring. Ugh.
How can I be expected to move upwards in
the company if I can't manage my pithy little 4 person staff?
I don't know.
Most of the time I want to just give up.
Not get out of bed the next day and go to work.
Not stress all the time.
Not feel like I am not doing the job well.
I like my job, but there is new management
and changing how we operate greatly.
I like the management too,
but I feel like I can't handle it all.
I don't know what to do
and I don't want it to send me spiraling down
and down again. 
I have projects on the horizon,
like The Sketchbook Project
and I am supposed to be working on making a book
from blurb.com for my family.
Yet it all seems like so much work.


Back from a lovely vacation!

I vacationed up in the Adirondack Mountains (Long Lake)
with my family.
So lovely.
Laughter (LOTS of it!)
I am back with a few more days off
until the work week begins.
The view from our dock
Not so bad, eh?
View from the front porch.

It was a much needed break,
and now my batteries are recharged
and hopefully some creative flow.
Pushed by some of my favorite bloggers,
Hanna and Gennine are joining in to the
Click here to find out more.
Basically you pay $25 to receive a Moleskine Cahier (?)
in the mail, with your own barcode attached to it.
You have until January 15th, 2011 to fill your book
and mail it back. They have many themes to choose from
(though some are already filled up),
and I chose In Flight.
It seemed appropriate,
I am on a journey, a flight to reach a destination.
Destination: Unknown
I just know I need to keep following this path.
Plus my wonderfully supportive Aunts and Nonni
tell me that I need to get my art out to the world.
I love them, but find it hard to really believe.
My sketchbook (which I haven't received yet)
will be filled with doodles, paint, words, drawings
that describe this flight I'm on.
I don't know where it will take me,
just like I have no idea where I am going.
I am excited!