Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Dead Men Tell No Tales and some Zombie Fish!

Wow, it's been a while since I've done a post. I've actually started a couple but they seemed dark and sad with my thoughts on all that is going on in our world and that's not normally me. I like to keep it light and happy, because in all truth, this is my happy place.

When I start writing about things I'm excited or happy about it keeps me in a good mood. So I'm going to put all thoughts aside for a few moments on all that is going on in our world and just share some of my artwork.

I've said before, I'm late to this "art thing" and I wish I had realized earlier how much I would grow to love it because I would have started sooner. But, I'm making the best of it now. This coming Monday I start up with my art classes again and I can't wait! The instructor Alex is awesome at encouraging us to do what we feel in our heart. Last year I was a total newbie, but this year I have a little bit more experience under my belt and with his guidance I hope to grow even further.

Because the weather has been just one degree cooler than the surface of the sun, I have not been painting as much with acrylics. It's just too hot! So I've continued doing my mixed media art journal paintings. I've joined a Facebook group that gives a weekly prompt. The Admin for the group posts the prompt, along with a photo of her page and a YouTube video of her process in creating the page. It's a great way to learn new techniques and she's amazing.

This week the prompt was "The Sea". She did a great page with a Seahorse. She used modeling paste to make the ocean bed and some additional paste in the part that would become the ocean. I followed her direction as far as that and then went off on my own interpretation of the sea, which turned into a pirate with a treasure chest and a pint of ale, some zombie fish and a steam punk seahorse.

This was completed in 3 days as I took my time and you have to when you have that much modeling paste layered on. I really love it. It's hard to see all the shading and details, but the treasure chest coins have been painted gold and then I added glitter, which is not noticeable at all in this photo.

What you can see is the texture the modeling paste created at the bottom of the page. It made all those bumps and waves that make it look like the bottom of a sandy ocean. In the sea part you can see how using texture there made the paint go on in layers of white, light blue, turquoise blue and dark blue. I used those colors in acrylic paints and added them with a simple foam makeup pad that I purchased in a pack from The Dollar Store.

So that's what I've been up to. It's been keeping me sane with all the craziness in the world. What do you do to de-stress? What's your happy place?


Friday, August 18, 2017

Being Chaotically Creative with a Credit Card and Still Staying On Budget!!!

Want to know my secret for using a credit card and not getting into debt? How to use a credit card and still stay within budget? How to use a credit card and not have it affect your credit score? Well stick around because I am about to share my secret with you! The secret to my financial success. Here it is, are you ready for it?

Do you see it? Do you see the secret to my success in staying debt free by using a credit card? That's right! Don't use the credit card to make purchases, use it to paint! 

Righto...that Mixed Media Journal Page above was painted using only a credit card. No brushes, sprays, sponges or salad spinners!!! Just a credit card.

I know, I tricked you! And even now I am tricking you because I didn't use an actual credit card, I used a gift card that no longer had any cash on it. 

Started with a blank multi media page and dotted some paint on it in purple, pink and white and used the credit card like a palette knife and spread the paint around. Not evenly, let some white show, blended the colors, just had fun with it!

Let it dry and then used the credit card to make lines, slashes, rectangles and squares. The only time I did not use a credit card was when I used scissors to cut out the shape of the feathers and I used a small bamboo skewer to glue the feather shapes together. I then painted the feathers, again using the credit card and used scissors to cut the fringed feathery parts. A bit of glue to attach them to the page and then added my page title: CREATIVE

The purpose in doing this? Just to show that you don't need a bunch of fancy art supplies to create beautiful art. This was just simple craft paints which you can purchase at Walmart for 59 cents a bottle and imagination...oh and scissors!

These are great exercises in learning to let go of fear of messing up, or being too precise or too (as I am) obsessive about things having to be perfect. I do plan to get back into my acrylic painting, as soon as the weather cooperates and it gets below 90 degrees, currently as I type this it is 99 degrees. I can't wait for fall already!!!

There are so many other ways to be creative and artistic without spending a lot of money on supplies. One of my favorites that I've seen online is an artist that uses fruits and vegetables to create dresses on the models that he first hand sketches. He also uses other household items. Here's a YouTube video of his art that I hope you will watch and enjoy.

So that's it for now, hope you enjoyed my credit card art and remember the best way to stay out of credit card debt is to use it for art!


Friday, August 11, 2017

Bossypants Book Review

BossypantsBossypants by Tina Fey
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I enjoyed the book but sometimes the build up of a book brings your expectations to unrealistic levels.

The beginning was great. I was sitting at the car dealership while they serviced my car and I was laughing out loud while everyone else was sitting there like mindless drones on their phones. They asked "What is that rectangular shaped cardboard and paper thing you are holding?" Haha, just kidding, but they did look at me weird, no one reads actual paper books anymore, especially not in public!

But anyway, the book went downhill from there. Not that it wasn't still very entertaining, but it wasn't the laugh out loud funny anymore.

I would recommend it as I love Tina Fey!

View all my reviews

Monday, July 24, 2017

Arizona Plant - My Art Journal Inspiration

My latest Art Journal Page...

There are several different medias and techniques on this page, let me share some of them with you.

First of all I'm using a Canson Mixed Media ring-bound notebook. I love this because you can use almost any media on it, pencil, pen, markers, acrylic paints, watercolor, ink sprays, glues, almost anything!

My inspiration was the plant in my front yard that I call the Arizona Plant. I've blogged about it before and you can find that post here. But here's the picture I had in front of me while I create the page. I would love to say that I'm a great photographer but it's the flower itself that makes the picture.

I was also inspired by a YouTube video by Nina Ribena where she uses a Salad Spinner to create art! Yep, you heard it here...a salad spinner, one of these! In fact this is the exact one I have that I bought several years ago and use all the time.

Here's the video in case you want to see how it's done. I wish I had thought to take pictures of the samples that I made, but I can at least show you what I made out of them and how.

So I made two discs like the ones above, one using the colors of orange, red, yellow, white and clear glitter acrylic paint and the other with orange, red, brown, yellow and gold glitter acrylic paint. I also made another one using green, blue, yellow and white acrylic paints. 

I then used water colors to paint a blueish-purplish sky and a green bottom for the grass. While that was drying I cut out the petals of the flowers from the discs made with the salad spinner. I know the way I put the flowers together is not exactly the way the real flowers are, but it's just representational. 

I glued the flowers, trying to choose the prettiest petals for the top. I also used the disc with the blue, yellow, green colors for leaves.

I just adore the way the red flower petals came out with the streaks of white! And the different shades of green and yellow in the leaves is lovely as well. The Salad Spinner technique made it so easy. I never could have individually painted them like that, and you can see the glitter in the orange flowers. In real life they are even more amazing!

Once I had the flowers down I painted the stems, first using water color but they weren't noticeable so used a brown marker and then glued down the leaves. 

Then it was time to work on the title of the page which I titled Summer Fun. I used some cute little rubber stamps that my mom bought me for my birthday and an ink stamp with white ink. It was still hard to read so I used a white marker to fill in the letters. 

It was really hard to get the letters all in a row, so go with the flow right? I made them whimsical and not straight at all and then cut out the strip. These were stamped on another piece of the salad spinner paper that was mostly all orange, which is why I didn't use it on the petals.

I felt something was missing on the bottom right so I went through my stash of embellishments and found some hummingbird stickers and loved them because this plant does draw hummingbirds, probably because of the red in the plant. 

I used markers to make the dots in red, yellow and orange and then made a little border around the whole thing in blue and red. I just love putting a border on my pages because it makes it look so finished.

Slowly I am building up my "stash" of things to use in building these journal pages, and I'm finding such peace in doing them, it's so relaxing!

I made a few more discs of salad spinning art that I am saving to use for future projects, so you will probably see a lot more of this type of art...stay tuned!

Sunday, July 23, 2017

My Inner Dominatrix is on Vacation

I’ve mentioned before in several posts that I have an inner dominatrix. NO! Not that kind of inner dominatrix, not even that kind of outer dominatrix! Get your mind out of the gutter!

I mean the kind of inner dominatrix that keeps me on the straight and narrow when I make up my mind to do something. 

Mostly I would have to say that she’s my Weight Control Dominatrix. When I make up my mind to stick to my low-carb diet, she’s the one that cracks the whip in my mind when I look at a bag of Cheetos. Trust me…nothing hurts more that having a whip cracking up against the side of your brain!

(This post is going to be image free because it wasn't a good idea to search dominatrix and whipping!)

Last year around April, my inner dominatrix, whom I’m going to call Trixie took an extended vacation and I’d get a mental postcard from her now and again but for the most part she was MIA, which made it so much easier for me to get my hands on Cheetos and MM’s and Chips and Salsa. So it’s Trixie’s fault that I have gained back quite a bit of the weight that I had taken off.

July 20th was my birthday and I celebrated in grand style and by that I mean with lots of food filled with lots of carbs. Egg McMuffins; Breve Latte’s from my co-workers. Lemon Meringue Pie again from my co-workers and lunch at Mexicali where I share Nachos with lots of sour cream, again with my co-workers…hmmm, maybe I don’t need Trixie, I just need different co-workers? (Just kidding Angelica and both are the best!)

Wait...I found an image I can share. Cheesy smile and all this is me at the office with the gifts from my co-workers/friends.

That wasn’t even the beginning of the end of it because I went out to dinner with my family and they took me to my favorite Mexican food place where I indulged in a delicious frosty Margarita and baskets of chips to dip into their fabulous bean dip and salsa! Then I ordered my traditional Chicken Taquitos served with rice, beans and guacamole alongside.

Once I had waddled myself on home, my son decided to buy toffee bars. But even without Trixie being there, I had the strength to limit myself to just one, but I know the box is in the freezer waiting for me...calling to me! Where is Trixie?

Well I'm putting the Kibosh on Trixie. Vacation over Trixie! I've decided that by my next birthday I'm going to lose 20 pounds. Shouldn't be too hard right? 20 pounds is not a lot. I'm hoping Trixie will jump on board and do her job and whip my brain into shape!

So here's to another year on this Earth and that I make it to next July 20th!

Monday, July 10, 2017

Art Journal - Tougher than you may think

I mentioned in a previous post that I was looking into Art Journaling. I've been trying it out and I have to say that it is definitely harder than I thought it would be. 

When I sit down to blog the words just flow. I just sit and type. I don't worry about spelling or punctuation, I just get the words down. Then I go and search for images that I want to use in the post. I then read and re-read and make corrections. But the words, they do just flow! I often have to delete a bunch of stuff I wrote because I can be a tad wordy.

When I paint with Acrylics, I usually find an image or a tutorial that I want to paint and paint it. I find that predictable and easy to do.

But with mixed media art journals, you are supposed to let your creative juices flow and just do what comes naturally. Experiment, using different tools, think outside the box. Yeah...I'm not really an "outside the box" kinda girl. In grade school I always colored within the lines and then boldly outlined the lines!

But I'm I wanted to share some pages I've done. This is the first page I did. I've been dating them and this one was done on 6/18/2017.

The background was done using Oil Pastels which I rubbed on with my fingers. I loved blending these. The paint brushes I sketched myself and then painted them using Acrylic Paints. The Believe is a chipboard that I rubbed with purple oil pastels, the flowers and dots on the left are Gemstone stickers that self-glue to the page. then I added splashes of white again using acrylic paint. I used 4 different mediums. I was pretty happy with this one.

Now that I look at it, I see things I want to add or change, but my inner dominatrix that makes rules for me has already told me that once I date something, it's changes. Poo!

This next one I was also pretty happy with and thought to myself, " are one heck of an Art Journalist!" On this one I did the background using Dylusions Ink Sprays in Turquoise and Crushed Grape. I loved using this product and plan to start purchasing several other colors. 

I know that because I do the Iwanna Wednesday posts now and again, ya'll think I just run around willy-nilly buying myself whatever I want. But actually I'm pretty frugal and what I have I buy one at a time using the 40% off coupon from Michaels which means that I stop by  Michaels on my way home almost every day and buy only one thing, but you would be surprised how quickly things add up. (I also buy tons of things at the dollar stores!)

I also used Liquitex Modeling Paste and a Folkart Dot Stencil to create some dot textures. The dots reminded me of flowers so I added petals to them and the butterfly looks like he's flying through a field of flowers.

I was pretty proud of the butterfly too. I printed a butterfly on regular printer paper and then I took Washi tape and taped strips on the butterfly in a random design overlapping the edge of the butterfly and then just cut around the edges and Voila! Added a coat of Modge Podge to seal the top and it gave it a bit of a sheen. I did this one on 6/24/17. The little "Just Be" wording is actually the packaging on a pair of earrings that my mom purchased somewhere and the "Believe in Your Dreams" is a stamp from Michaels from their dollar bins when you are standing in line to pay.

So there's several mediums going on here, ink spray, modeling paste, stencils, stamps, marker pens, washi tape, Modge Podge. I can't even begin to count.

This next one was actually just me practicing along with a video tutorial on how to paint roses using water colors. First I prepared the page as I always do using white acrylic gesso. Then using modge podge I randomly glued some recycled cardboard packaging and gessoed over that to make it the same color as the background. 

then I tried to do a watercolor drip technique which didn't work well for me so I just water-colored the whole thing and then used this background to practice the water color roses, which came out more red than I wanted them to be so I tried to lighten them up with white acrylic paint and then finally just painted on some gold acrylic glitter paint. 

I added stems and leaves and then outlined the recycled cardboard with a graphite pencil and used my fingers to blur it to look like shading and added the black stamp on the side. I love the black stamp!

This next one I really don't like...yet... so I haven't put the date on it because I want to fix it, but don't know quite how.

I used a beautiful paper napkin from several that I bought at the Dollar Store. I modge podged it on to the paper in strips of what I liked. Strips of the musical notes, the butterflies and the roses, and I left the right side of the page white, intending to do a quote or something. I don't know why I didn't do the quote because now that I look at it I can see the quote there. 

Instead I took some Paper Mate Ink Joy pens and doodled circles, which I had hoped looked like roses...I don't like them. I think I will just gesso over them and then I'll add a coat of unbleached titanium acrylic paint to cover the ink over and then I'll add a quote. I think that will make me happier. I'll also remove the stickers that say Blossoms and Bloomin'. I didn't like those either, too small. I'll probably have to add some more butterflies as I outlined the stickers in a black markers.

I have a couple more I want to share, but as usual this is getting wordy, so I'll stop for now and try to do another post over the weekend. I just want to say that trying to think outside the box is kicking my butt, but I think in a good way.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Reign of Terror

Last night I spent a most miserable night during the annual Reign of Terror. I liken it to the terror all the children from the age of 12 to 18 and their parents faced in the book and movie The Hunger Games.

My little girl just looked at me with sheer terror in her beautiful little eyes and my heart broke and there was nothing I could do because it was out of my hands, the terror that was taking place. I could hold her as close as possible but I still could not save her.  I felt like those parents in The Hunger Game.

I’m talking about Chorizo. My daughter’s Shih-Poo dog that I’m taking care of for the time being. 

Fireworks are what were terrifying her. It’s been ongoing since July 1st when they open up the “Safe and Sane” fireworks stands. Sane? I almost lost my sanity myself; I can’t even imagine Chorizo’s mental state!

Every single night from about 5pm to midnight you hear the popping and crackling of legal and illegal fireworks. 
Our small town celebrates with a fireworks display on July 3rd at the football field about 2 miles from my house. That night was bad but nothing compared to last night!

Last night was a true Reign of Terror. She wouldn’t eat or sleep, I would take her outside to do her business and she would just claw at my leg to try to climb up into my arms. I would have loved it if she had calmed down once she was in my arms but instead she trembled and shook uncontrollably with her tongue hanging out and her eyes almost bugging out of her head. Nothing would pacify or soothe her…nothing!

I hate this holiday, I truly do.

Update*** While listening to the news this morning I heard that Kern County Animal Shelter took in 119 lost animals that are not only traumatized from the noise and chaos of the past 5 days but now are homeless and missing their families. Last year they took in 179. It's just madness!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Iwanna Wednesday - Art Journals

Welcome to another Iwanna Wednesday post! 

Now that I've started my Art Journey I am realizing how many amazing forms of art there are out in the world and artists that can turn almost anything into Art!

So far I've done some sketching and painting using Acrylic paints on canvas board and canvas and a mixed media art book. My favorite so far is the Canson Mix Media notebook. It's very inexpensive, bought this one at Walmart for under $8! The pages are thick enough that they don't curl and the paint doesn't soak in and damage the other pages below.

Recently I've started learning about Art Journals and really didn't understand the purpose of them. Why do a beautiful piece of art in a journal that you can't frame or give away.

So I started reading blog posts from artists that love to Art Journal. One of them is Marta Lapkowska from the blog Artistycrafty and she also has a YouTube Channel under the name of Maremi Small Art. She's in a word Amazing!

Here's some pages out of her art journals. This one she made into a tutorial on YouTube, Toilet Paper Roll Abstract. Yes...she used toilet paper rolls and I love her message. Be Kind. In this tutorial she was trying to show us also that you can be creative without spending a ton of money. She used inexpensive paints and toilet paper rolls!

Photo Credit - Marta Lapkowska

Here's another one that seems very romantic and almost Victorian to me. Plus she used a Butterfly which I love! I couldn't find a tutorial for this one, but I'm sure it's on there somewhere.

Photo Credit - Marta Lapkowska

But that's what I love best about her is that she is so creative. She has tutorials on creating art with baby wipes, q-tips, watercolors, hot glue, teas, tea bags, coffee, coffee grounds, Styrofoam, straws...the list is endless.

This next one for instance...just wow!

Photo Credit - Marta Lapkowska

The green part you see underneath that she added all these items to is actually a piece of an old television. The two hearts represent herself and her daughter. Two hearts connected, here on her artwork by wire. I just love it!

The reason I'm not just finishing this post and beginning my art journal journey is that I'm not quite sure yet what the purpose is and if it's a journal, how do you keep a piece of artwork like the last one in a journal? Obviously it's big and bulky right?

And here comes the Iwanna part of me. When I watch her create I see her using so many cool tools, markers, watercolor pens, stencils, art mediums, stickers, flowers. I'm really worried that the Iwanna in me would go crazy just collecting items for creating these beautiful pieces. 

I want the Mica Powders and the Jane Davenport watercolors. Colored Markers, Glitter Glue, Modeling Paste. I want Gels and Gelato markers....I just wanna everything and where will I store them??? Hmmm, seems like I really need that art studio right?

For now I will continue to watch her videos and learn and we'll see where that takes us. The funny thing is yesterday I was walking the dog in the park and I saw some beautiful leaves that would make great imprints on a page for I don't know, maybe the beginning of my journey is closer than I think.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Iwanna Wednesday -'s back!!!

Those of you that know what an Iwanna Wednesday is are jumping for joy right? Those of you that don't, well hang on to your hats cause I'm about to rock your world! Ha! Well, maybe not exactly, but hopefully you will enjoy this post.

First...what is Iwanna Wednesday? Glad you asked! Iwanna Wednesday began back on December 3, 2008 and there have been 123 Iwanna Wednesday posts since. I bet most of you don't even own 123 items let alone lust after 123 random items...but I do.

My mom and sister started calling me Iwanna back in 2008 because it seems that I want everything I see! I can walk into any store and see an item and say, "Oh, I've always wanted one of these!" I can even drive by a random house on the street and say, "Oh, I always wanted a fish pond like that" or "I always wanted big rocks like that in the middle of the yard." What can I say, obviously something is lacking in my life!

My cousin Stella especially enjoys my Iwanna Wednesday posts. So much so that she found a pair of earrings attached to a sticker that said Iwanna and I told her I would make that my Iwanna Wednesday logo, which is why it's above, thanks Stella!

Recently I've found a new hobby...Art! I especially love painting in Acrylics. Love it! I feel like I've found my home! My calling, my special purpose in life. Not saying you're going to be seeing any of my artwork in the Louvre or the Met, but it soothes my soul and helps me to relieve stress.

I've always thrown myself fully into all projects and interests that I've found in my life. I always want to have all the gadgets and doohickeys that go along with said project and interest. So of course, when I started painting I had to have all the doohickeys. One doohickey that I don't have but Iwanna so bad is an art studio. A little spot in the world with lots of natural light so I can just paint to my little hearts content.

So for my first Iwanna Wednesday in a long, long time...Iwanna show you some of the Art Studios I have been lusting after! C'mon...walk with me, talk with me...

In my heart I am imagining a backyard art studio built just for me. With lots of space and light and flowers surrounding it. 

Photo Credit - The Owner Builder Network

But even an Iwanna has to be realistic. That beauty above is way beyond my price range, but it's so beautiful! *sigh*

My first art set up was like this. Just an art desk in one corner of my bedroom, but by the time I get home and have time to paint it's nighttime and there is hardly any light at all, even if I turn on every lamp in the room. I tried buying a nice desk lap but the light still didn't work for me. I'm not saying my eyes are getting worse as I get older...but you know how it goes!

So I ended up lugging everything into the kitchen where there was much better lighting and I used one end of the kitchen table. It was so much work getting up to go get a different tube of paint that I made this funky little set up in the kitchen. It's not pretty, but it works...for now. See all my tubes of paint hanging off of S-hooks?

But as an Iwanna I am never satisfied and while I know I will never have that beautiful art studio in the first picture, Iwanna something better than my funky little kitchen set up. Probably something that I can set up in a spare bedroom. Something like these two.

Photo Credit - My Home Decor

Photo Credit - My Home Decor

Just look at all that amazing natural light! And I love the simplicity of plain white walls. I've never been a lover of color on my walls. In my home right now every single wall is a bright, beautiful, cheerful white!

I absolutely love this next Art Space. This is a brand new space for Artist Kristie Moore who is one of the members of my art group on Facebook. It's a great group of artists from beginners to experts and I am learning so much and feeling so inspired from such a great group. Thanks Kristie for sharing this beautiful space and I wish you happiness and love on your art journey!

She also shared this beautiful picture of her blooming Magnolia tree. Who wouldn't be inspired by this view. I have to admit I am green with envy!

I would also love a space where I can hang artwork, whether it be mine or someone else's, just to find inspiration. A space with lots of wall space like this!

Photo Credit - Bella Daze Blog

So for now I will continue working at my little corner of the kitchen table, but someday...someday....

Because Iwanna it!

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Karma Karma Karma Karma Karma Chameleon

Meme Credit -
Short and sweet today...well as short as I can make it as I tend to be wordy.

So yesterday an itsy bitsy spider came down from the ceiling right onto the keyboard on my computer at work. He was the size of a gnat, just a little guy.

I took a piece of paper and scooped him up and carried him into the big area outside my office where there is no furniture nothing, just a big empty room and I blew him into the rest of his life to safety. No need to kill him, he did me no wrong, he wasn't a Brown Recluse Spider or a Black Widow, so why not let him live right?

My co-worker saw and said "Oh, you're one of those people"! 

I told him, "Hey, I need all the good Karma I can get and he did me no harm so why would I hurt him"? A big conversation ensued between him an another co-worker about how they always kill spiders and blah, blah, blah.

Today I had to deal with one of my VIP clients. A client that has no time for dilly-dallying, this is what he wants and he wants it yesterday. You know the type, the world is his oyster and I'm simply a little grain of sand in his oyster that turns it into a perfect pearl for him!

Anyway, he wanted something backdated to 2 months ago and he had his attorney on conference call with me to explain it all to me. I was pretty sure it could not be done, but told him I would do my best.

I was in the process of talking to a supervisor trying to "do my best" when a co-worker told me the attorney was on the other line and saying "never mind". So I put the supervisor on hold, took the call from the attorney who told me she got it taken care of with the bank and thank you so much. 

I came back to the supervisor I had on hold and explained the situation and how now we didn't have to worry about it and she said "See, you must have done something nice cause Karma smiled upon you"! Wow! So I told her my spider story and we had a good laugh and then we both hung up and went on to live the rest of our lives.

But yeah, saving little creatures who do us no harm saved me from a big creature today! Gotta love Karma (and itsy bitsy spiders)!

Do some good in the world today!