Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Diva Challenge#355, Joey #207/It's a String Thing #234 Duet


A challenge so nice, I did it twice;-) I love "Verve"! It's been a while since I've used any of my tiles because I've been so focused on my many journals and eco-print papers. I pulled out an experimental piece where I tried a bubble technique I saw somewhere. It was so long ago that I don't even remember how to do it. I had a small stash of these blue bubble tiles that I've never used. I have a vague recollection that I made them for a Travelling Tangles swap I never followed through on.
I wanted to keep it light so I used the Staedtler Triplus Fineliners in two shades of grey and one lavender. I used a Tombow brush marker to shade.

The starter

Verve II
I was wiling away a rainy morning at the cafe, watching a YouTube video when a new one from one of my fave channels popped up on my feed. I was reminded of a new brush pen I got at Daiso last week and fortunately had it with me as well as this colored tile I've been toting around.

Joey 207 & IAST 234 Duo-Challenge

my Monday morning set up
Joey #207 & IAST #234 Duo-Challenge

When I saw Joey's ribbon flourish, I immediately thought of the black shiny ribbons that Jem (aka The Ragged Ray) does frequently on her that started me off and I was happy to see Pokeroot (one of my Mac 'n Cheese patterns) featured too. Late Tuesday evening when I got home from work, I got the IAST challenge and did this:

Late Tuesday night
which way to place the string?
This was almost too easy

Most of you who comment here have mentioned that these Duo-challenges are your favorites. Thank you so much for all of your encouraging feedback because if not for your lovely comments, I probably would have given up on these a while ago.
I have a Love/Hate process with these. It is literally a roller coaster of doubt and triumph as I work my way through one and I have to stop and start a lot. This one took me all day.
A couple of you have requested a video of my process. Unfortunately, I just don't have the bandwidth to produce and edit videos, but I'll do my best to photograph some steps when I can remember.

My Multi-Media Art Journal
Last weeks Diva Challenge deconstructed


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Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Diva Challenge#354, Joey #206 & IAST #233 duo challenge

Use My Tangle Monday
Siri by Simone Menzel

It was great to see Simone's pattern "Siri" featured this week! Simone and I have shared some Travelling Tangles swaps so I'm fortunate to have some of her original art of  my very own and I find her work so inspiring. I don't think I've ever used this pattern beyond playing around with it a little when she first published it on her blog. It's pretty high focus. My approach to something like this is to go big and go slow.

My background options

I find myself  falling down the rabbit hole of multi media art journaling. I bought a Dylusions ink starter set last week and played around with the sprays and stencils. "Siri" felt like it would be a good fit on one of these and after a lengthy stare-down, I decided to scatter fragments of Siri using my Platinum Preppy blue fountain pen and Staedtler Triplus Fineliners.

Duo Challenge

Joey started us off with an untitled wave pattern  (bottom left corner) she found on Pinterest.  I laid in the corner line work on Monday, then once I saw the IAST challenge I drew the Pi string on a separate piece of paper and then turned it around and around to decide which direction felt right, then carried a string line over to Joey's side.

I've been doing these in a multi media sketchbook using only my fountain pens and graphite (sometimes a Tombow grey marker). The only thing that keeps me going with this is how much I love using the fountain pens and the sense of accomplishment I feel when I finish. This is an exercise in problem solving! Composing these pages are mostly Zen, but there are several moments throughout the long process where I get frustrated because I don't like the way it's going. It has ALWAYS worked out in the end and that always surprises me, but it doesn't come easy by any means.

I added "Mosi", a new to me pattern featured this week on Square One: Purely Zentangle (as if  this wasn't hard enough;-) I felt like the Joey side needed something organic to balance out Frunky and though "Mosi" wasn't really gelling with me, I loved how the challenge artist, Tomas Padros added sort of an  "Icanthis" component to it and because I'm into botanicals lately, I went for it. I hated it! I took a break and later went in with a black brush pen to add some weight and little leaf tips. Better.

The required patterns in place:
Mystery Waves (untitled)

More drippy watercolor circles
Botanical studies
in my DIY sketchbook/journal

One of my creative goals is to draw botanicals. I like the whimsical styles of a few of my YouTube faves at Authentic by Frani and Shayda Campbell and have been following their tutorials.

I want to work on more intricate, detailed studies and alternatively do some fun abstractions. I'm also still having fun with the drippy watercolor circles. I had a palette with some remnants of dried up, cheap, Daiso watercolors that I was about to rinse off when it occurred to me to set up a few more pages of miscellaneous watercolor splashes to inspire future drawings. The flowers above came about a few days later.
I have always preferred a muted color palette and am only now breaking out of my comfort zone into brighter, more vibrant colors. I mentioned in an earlier post that I bought a Daniel Smith starter set plus a few bright tubes and have been having fun playing with the florals. But, you know what?, I prefer these silly Daiso watercolors. Everything is still practice at this point.

She is so camera ready!

Thanks for stopping by! Your thoughtful and generous comments delight and inspire me.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Weekly Challenges & more Artsy Meanderings

Heart String Zendala

Well...I went completely rogue on this challenge. I don't have zendalas and knowing that we were in for the last of Laura's heart string challenges I had already headed down to my cafe with a couple of eco-printed papers to find out what the challenge would be, hoping that I could make it work if I translated hearts into leaves.
Of course, I could have gotten the challenge at home and found something I could cut into a zendala but where's the fun in that? It's sort of my thing to wait until I have my coffee before opening up the Monday challenges and get going. I used water soluble Staedtler Triplus fineliners and gave the whole thing a spritz of water after I got all the line work done.

Duo Challenge

Halfway through this I realized I'd forgotten one of my purposes of these pages is to introduce new patterns to my repertoire once I get the required patterns in place. I find I rely too much on the Fescu thing as well as my habit of using Sandswirl and Crescent Moon all the time. Fortunately I stopped myself, did a quick scan over some Square One postings, found Meshmerize and carried forth. This page did not come together for me at all...until I shaded. 

Here's one of the pages in my multi-media journal using stuff from my travel memento box and a couple of zentangle tiles from my "Dud" pile. There are postcards, Paris metro tickets, train schedules and museum entry tickets embedded on the page before gessoing and painting over them. It was so much fun creating this page and reliving my days wandering around one of my favorite cities.

DIY journal


Thanks so much for stopping by. Your thoughtful and generous comments delight and inspire me;-)

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Weekly Challenges and other artsy meanderings...

Nestled Heart String

I was really hoping to be done with hearts, though I knew The Diva had hearts planned for the month. Fortunately, I was able to make use of this watercolor page in my current DIY art journal. I'd set this up quite awhile ago. It's funny because I could see a heart at the heart of it when I was looking for inspiration for this challenge, and now I see a flower.
Anyhoo, I started this off boldly with a brush pen. I left the center for last.

Watercolor start


This was a tough one and it took forever! I loved the Joey string idea. I tweaked it a little because it reminded of the stacked string tiles that I was fixated on for awhile. It's a new series of "Finish my Tile" starts. I've turned everything on an angle  and started with a couple of wavy horizontal lines and placing Hibred on the bottom and top, before leaving it to await the next part of the challenge.
I was happy to see Golven among Adele's choices. I love that pattern and it was a perfect fit into Joey's string. Sandswirl is a fave and Barney was new to me. I did a deconstructed version of it and then added a few other faves for fun.

Other artsy meanderings:

exploring my new set of Daniel Smith watercolors
inspired by this video

Leaf practice

More fun in the DIY art journal ...

Drippy circles
inspired by this video

Multi Media Art Journal
inspired by Maremi Small Art


Thanks so much for stopping by. Your thoughtful and generous comments delight and inspire me!

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Weekly Challenges and other artsy meanderings...

"Heart of a Champion"
Hearts and the Olympics

Happy Valentines Day my friends! Those of you who've been visiting my blog for a while know that I'm not a hearts and flowers kind of gal and I tend to take a lot of artistic license when it comes to any sort of holiday themes the challenges might invoke...hence my holiday default into the Cosmic Garden. 
It took me a while to let this one percolate but when I looked through my eco-printed papers, I saw a cat's paw holding a bouquet of flowers in the imprint of this one and though I backed off from anything too literal, I thought PERFECT! a Valentine from me and Aimee;-)

I've been doing a lot of watercolor this week and was inspired by a Maremi Small Art video about breaking blank pages:

Heart of a Champion
take two
dripping heart garden in my
"Fearless & Fun" DIY art journal

Joey's Weekly Challenge #203
 It's a String Thing Challenge #230

This one almost did me in with all the hearts. I started with the 3 corners of "Eddyper" for Joey's challenge on Tuesday morning before I went to work. Getting to the String Thing challenge can be tricky for me because it's published so late on Tuesday, I can't get to it until Wednesday morning and I like to get my blog post up Wednesday there's that. It's one of the reasons I've let IAST slip from my practice in the past. I can be a little weird with challenges sometimes, because if it doesn't gel with me right away and I've got other projects going on, I won't force it and I'll move on.

Other artsy stuff:
A short while back, I took the plunge and bought the starter set of Daniel Smith watercolors with a Blick coupon. I added a couple more tubes this week and did a "survey" of all of my watercolor sets whilst practicing my leaves and flowers following along with several YouTube videos:

Daniel Smith blues
inspired by Studio Jess

Roses and Ranunculas
inspired by Authentic Frannie

this one's my favorite

"Put that sticky thing away and give me my lubbins"

Thanks so much for stopping by! Your thoughtful and generous comments delight and inspire me;-)

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Weekly Challenges and other stuff...

Heartstring & "Rimana"

Well, it's that time of year for all of the hearts and flowers and reds and pinks...all that stuff that I avoid like the plague. I was gonna go rogue and ignore the string part of the challenge. "Rimana" is this weeks Use My Tangle part of the challenge and I knew right away that it would grow quite nicely in my cosmic garden. I just had to adapt it a little. I've been inspired again by Margaret Bremner's latest series of eco-printed ZIA's and found a suitable starter:

It seems quite obvious now but didn't even see the heart string until I started penciling in the leaf outlines, so it all worked out just fine;-) Instead of starting with the stem of Rimana, I placed  the bulbs first. I love how this turned out!


It's my 3rd week of combining these two challenges and I'm really liking the challenge on top of the two challenges so far. It goes off-the-rails many times throughout but I manage to rein it back in and finish with something cool. 
I started Joey's challenge to use Knightsbridge (a fave) within Tangle Patterns string #91. Without thinking too much, I've been trying to lay in the Joey string with an idea of how it might be able to transition into the IAST piece. I do this blindly since I don't know what the IAST challenge will be when I start this, hence the triple challenge;-) 
I stopped after drawing Knightsbridge and the top portion of Mookas and Fescus. Once IAST appeared I married the two strings and then moved back and forth to balance the piece. 

As for other stuff I've been up to...week's back I determined that my art goal would be to "Spend less time watching and more time doing". I've only partially succeeded. In my search for inspiration on ways to fill my current DIY art journal, I stumbled across a YouTube channel called Maremi's Small Art. Marta, the artist, creates mixed media journal pages amongst other things. Well, I've spent the last two weeks binge watching her assemble what at first appears to be hot mess after hot mess of collaging, stamping, stenciling, painting, gluing, gessoing and painting some more...into finished pieces of quite stunning art. This video on using coffee and tea is what sucked me in. Click it at your own risk. Marta is delightful, she's a Polish Bob Ross;-)
This happened in conjunction with my starting a Feng Shui cleaning purge. I'd come across a box of travel mementos...

 and well...this happened:



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Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Weekly Challenges and other stuff...


I love Rumpus!


This was a fun duo-challenge. I set up the page on Monday with Joey's challenge to use Lily Moon's "Drogon", happy to re-visit it. A lesson learned from previous attempts at it is to go big. "Dublin" is a new pattern I've been wanting to try since seeing it on Facebook's Square One page. I love ogee grid patterns with leafy motifs.

This is where I stopped on Monday

When Adele's challenge appeared on Tuesday night I was apprehensive at first because Paradox and I have not been keen friends. Bumpadox didn't seem to fare much better, but as I laid in Adele's string a friendly cohesion started formulating in my head as I saw some parallel's between Drogon and the 'Dox's. Good Times!
The last page in my Trainwreck Journal

The purpose of this journal was to experiment and play and avoid being precious about anything. I wish I'd taken a picture of the watercolor background. It made me think of butterflies, so I started with some Pinterest pics of butterflies. I did the right side first and I really was not that crazy about all the white. On the left side I added more color using Crayola markers. There's a strip of washi tape down the center that I embellished as well.
I love how this book turned out!


Thanks so much for stopping by. Your thoughtful and generous comments delight and inspire me 😍