Seth Apter Stamps!!!

When my friend Seth Apter asked if he could send me a couple of stamps from his new stamp line with Impression Obsession  to try out I of course said YES!!!

They do not disappoint! The thing that I love about Seth’s stamps and stencils are that they can be used ‘in’ work. They don’t have to be the final image but can be incorporated mixed media style right into your journal page or artwork. They add structure, line and shape, building blocks for creating.

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Here is a journal spread I did using two of his new stamps, “Net Work’ and “Inter Net”. Love those names too!!

 

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Be sure to visit Seth’s BLOG for even more details and to see the whole line of stamps! And check out the links below to see more creations using his new stamps!!
Mary Beth Shaw
Marjie Kemper
Linda Cain 
Brian Kasstle
Kim Henkel 

This Is It!

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A little sneak peek at some of what I’ll be teaching August 1-2 at Donna Downey’s Studio in Charlotte, NC. Because I have reduced my 2015 teaching schedule, this is the ONLY workshop I’m teaching this summer and the ONLY portrait workshop I’m teaching this year! My only other upcoming 2015 workshop is now full so if you are interested I hope you’ll consider joining me for a all inclusive, fun and inspiring weekend!

 

DVD’s are Now Available!!!

I’m thrilled to announce that my new North Light DVD’s are available!!! So much fun to finally see them ‘out there’. It’s been several months since I was shooting them in cold Cincinnati last February. The whole experience has been a joyful ride and I hope you’ll take a moment to check out the sneak peeks for the videos on the North Light shop (just click the video images below)

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And there’s also a value pack available with the stencils I used in the Color Wheel Journal!!

You Have to Show Up

You Have to Show Up

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I’ve said before in my books and articles that to be successful and fulfilled as a creative person, you need to ‘show up’ and do the work! Success (whatever defines that) can really only happen if you are doing the work and putting the time in. Sometimes you hear someone use the term ‘overnight success’ and I always kind of laugh because I bet money that those ‘overnight successes’ would beg to differ with that!

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It takes YOU to make You successful at whatever goal you are trying to achieve! Our artwork often reflects bits of ourselves in it, that’s what makes it personal and meaningful.

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I’ve learned some new things about myself in this 50th milestone year of my life. I did not enter it the way I set out to. I had goals and I kind of lost them for a bit. I didn’t feel in control of my life, my body, my emotions for a variety of reasons. This manifested itself in gaining weight, feeling physically and mentally exhausted and STRESSED.

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I will admit I mostly complained about it, internally and externally making some half hearted attempts to change things. It didn’t work.

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So I gave myself a long pep talk. I needed to make changes for myself and only I could do this. So a couple of months ago I did. I got out my Fitbit. I began with walking a couple of miles a day. Then I added in working out at the gym 2 times a week. Making each step attainable so I could feel successful. Then I added in dieting ( I know, sigh, not fun but really I needed to get control over eating as well). When I feel I have reached one goal and attained it for a bit, I step up the next goal. Now I’m walking at a faster pace and doing 3 1/2 miles a day and working out 2-3 times and I’ve cut my calorie intake. I’ve been losing the weight I gained last year, finally. I feel so much better. And the work on my body has helped with the stressful aspects of life that have plagued me this past year.

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Once I set my mind to it and began ‘showing up’ to take care of myself, I felt the tides turning. Is life perfect? No. Will it ever be? Probably not. Am I OK with that? Yes. I will try my best to make the most of what life has to offer each day. I can’t fix other peoples problems. I will be there for them but that’s all I can do. If they choose not to ‘show up’ and do the work they need to do, well, I can’t fix that.

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If you don’t like some aspect of your life, I encourage you to take steps to change it. They don’t have to be big steps. Set reasonable goals. Take care of yourself. Encourage those around you to do the same but don’t take it on yourself if they choose not to.

 

Pillows

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Well a couple of weeks back I made some pillows on Zazzle using my artwork. They came yesterday and I have to say I’m extremely happy with them!!

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So you know how it goes, you post it on Facebook because that’s where all the fun is happening lol.

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Several people messaged me and asked on my post if they were going to be available to purchase and to be honest I’d not even thought about doing that,

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I just wanted some new pillows for home and thought it would be fun to have some arty ones,

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but I listened and went ahead and opened up a shop and listed my pillows there. I hope you’ll check my  SHOP out:-)

Making the Journal…BIGGER

So as I said in my post yesterday, one way I want to make this journal different is by making it bigger. This is the standard journal size that I like to make. It’s big enough to have lots of room to play, but not overwhelmingly large.

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Original Journal from my book Creating Art at the speed of Life

 

 

 

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The journal size I usually make

I used 90lb Fabriano Hot Press Watercolor paper. This is still my favorite for journal making because it’s not too heavy but the pages hold up very well to all sorts of media. It’s also easy to fold, tear and punch through. I get asked about this choice often and I’d like to insert that any paper that you like to use for mixed media art can be substituted. Your journal is a personal place for you to make art and the substrate you choose to work on is a personal choice. I just share what my favorite is:-)

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To make the 7 1/2″ x 11″ journal that I made, tear four 22″ x 30″ sheets of paper into fourths, you’ll use 15 of these torn down pieces of paper. I used a tear bar but you can fold and score with a bone folder tool, wet the fold with a sponge and tear. Remember that this journal can be made in any size you want so if you already have a pad of paper you like you may just want to tear out pages and fold them in half.

 

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Fold each piece of torn paper in half and score fold with the bone folder tool to create 15 folios. Nest three folios inside of each other to create 5 signatures of three sheets each.

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Punch a center hole and one hole from each end for three holes total in the spine. (You can find complete instructions on stitching this in my book. Use waxed linen thread to bind each signature with a pamphlet stitch, tying the not on the inside of the signatures.

I like to store my awl and binding needle in a cork to keep them together and myself safe from being poked.

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I get my waxed linen thread from the jewelry section of Michael’s or Hobby Lobby.

 

Because this is a larger journal and the stitches on the outside are a bit larger than my 2″ cloth tape, I’m going to use two pieces of tape in each stitch for a total of 4 pieces.

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I find it helpful to use a piece of 2″ by 8″ piece of chipboard to act as a threader for the tape. Simply stick the edge of the tape to the chipboard and thread it through the stitches on the outside of the stack of signatures. Remove the tape from the chipboard and stick one side to the outside of the signature on one side of the stack. Then compress the stack of signatures and stick the rest of the tape to the other side of the stack. If needed use a second piece of tape beside the first one. Repeat for second outside stitch.

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For the covers I like to use mat board or the heavy boards from the back of drawing pads. Just cut to the size of your journal. For the larger journals like this I like to have a nice sturdy cover so I wouldn’t recommend using just canvas as in the smaller journal in my book.

 

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Use Yes glue or other good strong paper glue to attach the cardboard covers to the front and back of the signature stack.

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To cover the spine I like to use Gaffers tape but any cloth tape including the one you used for the binding will work. Duct tape will even work. Just cut two pieces the length of your journal. Place one piece sticky side up on your worktable and then tear about a 1″ strip from the second piece of tape. Place this sticky side down, down the center of the piece on your worktable.

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Set your journal, bound side down on top of the tape, it should be resting on the non sticky middle strip. Carefully stick the tape to the front and back of the journal.

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Sometimes there’s a bit of a gap between the signatures when you ope your book.

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To fix this I just add a strip of the cloth tape I used for the binding.

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Let the glue set up overnight if possible, I like to weigh the journal down with a book or two on top of it. Then you’re good to go!

You can decorate your cover or leave it plain. For complete journal making instructions remember to check out my book Creating Art at the Speed of Life 

 

AWOL-Time To Get Back In the Habit of Art Journaling!!!

What a crazy busy summer! We moved, into an apartment waiting for our house to be finished, then moved my mom in Washington and then moved ourselves again into our new home! And in the midst of all of that I did the photo shoot for my next book, finished my manuscript, edited my manuscript, taught several workshops around the US and very nearly went crazy lol!

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Now school is finally back in session, and we are feeling pretty settled in our new home and I am looking forward to actually making some art of my own. I have 3 more teaching gigs before the end of this season (you can find them listed on my ‘Teaching’ page) and I’m really looking forward to spending time at home with my family for the holidays. 

I must admit that I feel in a bit of an art slump. I love teaching and writing books but I really am feeling the need to explore where my own art is going to go from here. I have a beautiful new studio space in our home that is as yet untouched where making art is concerned. 

I’ve been thinking long and hard about how to get back in the swing of things so to speak and while unpacking my journals I looked at the journal that I made for my book Creating Art at the Speed of Life. I’m thinking that it would be fun to make a new journal and create pages inspired by the techniques and exercises from my own book. It’s been a couple of years since I actually made that journal and it’s always great to revisit things and see how much your work has evolved. 

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To set myself up for success so to speak, I’m going to keep my book out on my work table with my new journal. I want it right there so each day I can try to work in it but I’m going to allow that some days will just be too busy to do so but I want to see it every day.

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I also thought I’d change the size up and make a larger journal to work in. If you want to join in I’d love it if you’d share a link to pages you’re making in the comment section so we can all go and see your progress too! It’ll be a sort of a blog hop where we can all share with no fear of commitment!

I always get in the mood to do something new at the beginning of the school year so I think it’s a perfect time to revisit the lessons in my book and expand on them! I hope you’ll decide to join in and please feel free to join the Creating Art at the Speed of Life Facebook group where you can always share your work and ask questions.