Make it your own. I think that all artists truly long to do this. It is a process though. We see someones work and think ‘Oh, I love that, I want to know how they did it’! Sometimes through workshops or classes we are afforded a glimpse of the ‘how’ part. We then take that new found knowledge and add it to what we already know and slowly but surely our own ‘style’ evolves. This is the process. Michelle said the difference between art and crafts is the ability to ‘make it your own’. Are you wanting to make the product or learn the process?
I am trying to squeeze in all of the fun art challenges that I love to take part in, during this slightly hectic time of year. This months GPP STREET TEAM challenge is to add the sense of ‘smell’ to your journal pages. How yummy is that? While pondering this challenge in the back of my mind, in the midst of baking cookies like a mad woman, and wishing I could capture the smell of the roasting, candied pecans, I opened my personal journal and realized that I had already added a scent to the pages that marks some exciting happenings in this holiday season. These pages were done while on the way to visit my son during his Basic Training. Only having limited supplies on hand, and being stuck in the airport, waiting for a flight, forced me to get creative. Isn’t that a GREAT thing?! I decided I would only use things found in the airport. As you can see, there are ticket stubs, some old Jeps (pilot talk for maps, as DH was doing revisions to his charts while we waited)I sketched DH’s aviator glasses, ripped off old tags on our luggage, and wondered how to add some background color to the page. I took a sip of my Starbucks and the light bulb went off! So much to my families dismay (they never know what I might use in my journal and always ask before throwing anything out-lol) I started dripping my coffee right onto the page and smooshing it around with my fingers.
This months GPP Street Team Challenge (Green Pepper Press, Michelle Ward) is to experiment with GESSO. This is one of the pieces that I played around with. I use gesso all the time for surface preparation, but it was fun to use it for a bit more. I started with a bit of leftover blue paint on the background of a watercolor journal page. I didn’t have enough to cover the whole page, but that didn’t matter. I then dry brushed some black gesso in both directions, here and there. For the next step, I took a palette knife and applied gesso to a foam stamp and stamped this on the page, giving it a nice texture. When this was thoroughly dried I painted a wash of Golden’s Titan Buff over the whole page and ragged it off. The gesso acted as a resist and let the stamped elements show through nicely. To this background I added collage elements, stamped images, stenciling, and text. The end result is a Pamified Steampunkish look. Yes, I am making up words as I go-lol!
Time for another challenge from Michelle Ward! As soon as I read this challenge, I knew that I was on the same page as Michelle, and then when I signed on and saw all of the other comments, I realized we have a whole Street Team Army, already cleaning our plates! I know people feel the need to purge and clean in the spring, but I also feel it in the fall. And now I know I am not alone!
One BIG thing I am letting go of is scrap booking. When I look at the piles of pictures waiting to be cropped and arranged on decorated pages, it exhausts me. I have given myself permission to put the bulk of my pictures into pocket sleeves and do an occasional scrapbook page here and there. What a weight off my back!
I have long been an admirer from afar of Michelle Wards Green Pepper Press Street Team. I don’t always get over to her blog to check out the challenges, but when I do I end up staying half of forever reading back posts. She has so many creative ways to stretch your artistic muscles that I always leave feeling renewed and wanting to try something new. But, until now, I have not ever ‘officially’ joined in a monthly challenge. While drinking my coffee this morning, I visited her blog to learn of her sisters passing. My heart goes out to Michelle and her family for their considerable loss. Michelle’s response to her grief is this Pay It Forward challenge. She is one amazing gal! Now I have done several PIF’s and RAK’s this past year, on a small scale. It feels so good to see a package go off, knowing it will make someone smile, and hearing back that it made a difference to that person is the best possible feeling! Today though, I would like to share a few RAK’s I have received from none other than my best friend, whom I happen to be married to. This is not to be all sappy and sweet. It is to share how the smallest of things can turn someones day around. We often overlook the people that are closest to us, taking them for granted, and if we just took that extra minute to do something unexpected for them, how much it would uplift them.