Daily Art Challenge: July 14

Our challenge for today is to use our finished adult coloring pages.  If you enjoy coloring but don’t know what to do with your finished pages, here are a few ideas:

  1.  I’ve mentioned several times I use my pages in my art journals.  I cut out individual images to use as a focal point on a page.
  2. I collage my colored pages to chipboard or card stock and cut out images for embellishments.
  3. I collage them onto deli paper, cut into strips and use as washi tape.  I add double sided tape to the backside before attaching to a project.
  4. Once you’ve collaged the page onto card stock or chipboard, you can use a paper punch or your scissors and cut into larger circles.  Glaze with diamond glaze, triple thick gloss glaze, glossy accents, or any other hard drying varnish.  Then poke a hole in the top part of the circle to make really unique holiday ornaments.
  5. Cut into small teardrop, diamond or round shapes.  Add your favorite varnish-I like the triple thick stuff from Hobby Lobby.  Poke small hole at top and now you have earrings or pendants.  Make the shapes small squares and you have charms.
  6. Use child friendly images, and using the same collage to card stock technique, combine and hang from a plastic coat hanger above a crib for a quick and easy mobile.

Obviously there are many ways you can use finished coloring pages in your art.  Use your imagination and have fun!


Daily Art Challenge: July 10

Our project for today is to make fabric embellishments for art journals.  Here’s how:

  1.  I begin with my scrap fabric container.  I grab two pieces, similar in size.
  2. Cut a piece of chipboard into the size tag you want.
  3. Sandwhich the chipboard between the two pieces of fabric.
  4. Stitch around the chipboard.
  5. You’ll have excess fabric all around your chipboard.  I use a pinking shears to cut the fabric into a decorative edge, but that’s not necessary.  You can just trim the excess neatly with regular shears too.
  6. Now you have an embellishment you can stamp with images or words, add flatbacked gems, add 3-D things like flowers, metal, beads, broken jewelry…

You can use the fabric tags as a mat for photos or journaling.  Combine several for a mini-journal, use as ATC’s or inspiration tiles.  Use as seating cards for parties.

You can make these in holiday fabrics or colors and make ornaments or a garland.  I made two sets of these, one says Merry Christmas the other Thanksgiving.  Each tag is one letter of the word.  I decorated each with vintage images from that holiday.  I used two eyelets at the end of each tag, threaded them onto twine, and they hang from my shelf in my dining room.  Charming!  This would work for your Christmas tree garland too.

You can make these in different shapes and sizes.  They lay flat, can be stored easily in ziplock bags in a small plastic tote.  This project uses up all sorts of tiny fabric scraps, if you’re feeling overrun with them.  You can make them in larger sizes and use as a pennant with the letters of your kids name on each one.

This is a very cost-effective project that uses up lots of scraps and cereal box chipboard.  The end result is fun, fast and frugal!  How much better can it get?

Daily Art Challenge: June 30

Spray inks is our challenge for today.  Here’s a post explaining how to make your own DIY spray inks if you don’t have any on hand.

Spray inks are great for all over color, through a stencil, as a background, to unify your page or canvas, as an antiquing technique-there are so many ways you can use these sprays!

Have fun!

Daily Art Challenge: June 17

Our challenge for today is to use magenta in our art.  Magenta is a bold color, but can be knocked back with white, black, or turquoise.  I’m currently wearing magenta nail polish.  It is a delightful, attention getting color and one which isn’t getting the respect it deserves.  Be bold, be brave and “magenta up”!

Daily Art Challenge: June 10

We are creating a Tim Holtz inspired art piece today.

As you know, if you’ve been with me for any length of time, I love Tim Holtz.  I love his products, his creativity, he’s an inspiration to me and so many others out there.  My only concern with Tim and his creations is the cost of the products he uses.  I am on a very tight budget and have no extra money to spend on the latest and greatest of everything.  Which is why I try to duplicate the look for less.  Please follow my links and choose one of the many Tim Holtz inspired projects.  Once you’ve decided which project you want to make, include it in your daily art.

DIY Tim Holtz Quote/Words

DIY Tim Holtz Inspired Flowers

DIY Tim Holtz Faux Die Cuts

DIY Printed Tissue Paper

DIY Tim Holtz Inspired Resist Spray

DIY Fasteners

DIY Fragments

DIY Ephemera

DIY Hanger embellishments

DIY Mixed Media Tags

Remember, don’t let cost keep you from creating.  There are many, many fun and frugal projects which will give you all the creative satisfaction you desire at little or no cost.  My site is filled with them.  Take a look around and you’ll see.

Weekly Techniques Challenge: Week 17

We’ve had some really interesting techniques challenges so far this year.  We’ve made lots of things that are beneficial in our daily art practice, we’ve learned how to mix paint and make our own unique color mix recipe book, how to make color charts of our media, how to make value scales and we’ve found our artistic voice.  These are all skills that will add to your “artist tool box”.  The more we know, the more we learn, the more we master techniques and theories-the more tools we have at our disposal for use in our art practice.

This weeks challenge is a bit different.  This weeks challenge is to get you creating in rapid abandon.  Here’s what we’re doing:  We’re making a Journaling By 5’s art journal this week.  I would like you to pick a theme for your journal-one that is meaningful and important to you. Here are the 15 minute segments (for a 20 page journal.  Add 5 minutes per segment if you’re making a 25 page journal):

  1. Backgrounds.  Apply paints, inks, sprays, whatever you want for your background on each of your 20 pages.
  2. Texture.  You can add collaged items, texture paste, whatever you want-just remember, you’re flipping pages and they will be pressed together.  I lay a piece of waxed paper between mine as I go if there is a particularly messy thing that’s going to transfer.  Usually I try to keep my stuff pretty dry when doing a journal by 5 project.
  3. Pattern.  You can use stamps, stencils, whatever you want to create a pattern.  You can paint a pattern, use markers or paint pens and draw a pattern, add patterned paper-whatever you want.
  4. Focal Point.  This could be an image, stickers, 3-D elements like flowers or beads, a title, a border, a metal piece, a quote, something that is important and noticed on your page.
  5. Details.  Doodling, paint spattering, edges, paint pens, markers, inks, aging the page by swiping ink pads over it, adding highlights and shadows-whatever you need to do to finish the page happens in this segment.
  6. Extra 15, if needed.  Finish up any segment you didn’t have time to complete, add finishing touches, trim pages and papers, whatever you need to do to complete the journal happens in this segment.

Now gather the items you need to complete this project.  You will need:

  1. An art journal to work in. 
    1. I have always used Dollar Tree composition books for my Journaling by 5’s projects. Here’s how:
    2. I glue 5 pages together, which gives me 20 pages per book or 4 pages together which gives me 25 pages per book-whichever suits my needs for that particular journal.
    3. The reason I glue the pages together is to make them thicker so they can withstand any wet media.
  2. I gesso all the pages in the journal before I begin.  Again, to make sure my pages can stand up to the stuff I’m doing to them.
  3. I pick my theme.  
    1. I’ve enjoyed making several journals using themes.  I made a Women of Strength journal, an Inspirational Quotes journal, a favorite book journal, favorite bible verses journal-the options are limitless.
    2. I have a list of themes I want to make journals for.  Here are some theme examples to get you thinking:  favorite flowers, Christmas, the changing seasons, architecture, favorite artists, music, biblical history and politics of the time, vacation memories, famous art work, museums, favorite plays and musicals, costumes, my Dutch heritage, jewelry and tiaras, castles, history of my family and family tree, recipes, honestly the list goes on and on
    3. You might sit down and think about the things that are important to you and how to incorporate those into a theme.
  4. I gather all the necessary supplies and materials for each segment prior to beginning.
    1. When I’m working on backgrounds, I gather what I want to use for them.  Because I don’t have time during my 15 minute segments to go get stuff, I have it all sitting out before I begin.
    2. Remember, you have less than a minute a page when your making a Journaling by 5’s art journal.  You need to be moving to get the pages finished.
  5. I clear my work area so I have plenty of room to create in a hurry.
    1. This is actually very important and I didn’t realize it when I started my first journal.
    2. I knocked over my glass of soda, spilled my paint water, knocked over my stacks of papers I had neatly sitting on the edge of my work table…I had no idea I would be moving so quickly as to be slamming into stuff.  It took a considerable amount of time to clean up the mess I made in the first five minutes making the journal.  Do yourself a favor-clear your work area!
  6. Once I am all set for the first segment, I set my timer and I’m off and running.
    1. I try to do as much dry media as possible.  I don’t have time to dry the pages as I go, since I only have 15 minutes.
    2. I find using acrylic paint with a gift card scraper leaves color on the page but not much moisture so they don’t stick as much.
    3. I’ve also used ink pads and just smeared them over top of the pages.  When I do this, I generally use one or two colors per journal.  This keeps things cohesive.
  7. When the timer goes off, I stop.  That is the end of my segment.
    1. If I don’t get all the pages finished in the allotted time, well, that’s just to bad.  Moving on to the next one.
    2. I clear my work area, gather the supplies needed for the next segment then begin again.
  8. Once I have completed all 5 segments, I will give myself an additional 15 minute segment to finish up those pages I wasn’t able to complete during the segments.

Obviously you can use anything to create this journal-an old book, a purchased journal, a homemade journal, a loose-leaf journal-just make individual pages then add them together into binder or ring journal…There are countless options for this.  Use what you have and use the supplies you have available.  You don’t need to purchase anything for this project.

So why are we making a Journaling by 5’s journal this week?  Because we’re going to create instinctively.  We’re going to be working so quickly we cannot get bogged down in details.  We’re going to let go of perfectionism and embrace creative abandon!  We’re going to have lots of fun in a short amount of time.

You don’t need to do the segments all in one sitting.  Begin with the first one on day one.  Then the following day do segment two.  Maybe do segment three and four on day 3.  Then segment 5 and the final 15 minute catch-all segment on day 6.  Do this in whatever way you choose, but please do this.  The difference in your outlook will be profound.

If you’re one of those people who gets wound up about doing everything perfectly-this is for you!  If you find you’re indecisive about your art-this is for you!  If you’re bogged down by the volume of supplies you have-this is for you!

By creating art in a hurry-and it is art no matter how long it took to make-you have given yourself a great gift.  The gift of utter and complete artistic abandon.  With a set-in-stone time limit, you simply have to create what you can create in the time allowed.  There is no pressure to be perfect, you don’t have time for that.  It’s very freeing and cathartic to just slam it out.  And if you’ve picked a theme which is important to you, you’ll have a completed journal that will be meaningful and special-all in an hour and 15 minutes.

That’s a pretty spectacular thing, don’t you think?

Edited to add:  I just rediscovered a tote filled with journals.  At one point I did actually write in a diary and apparently I purchased enough of them -on clearance-to fill a very large plastic tote.  I’d guess there are at least 70 to 80 stacked in there.  All unused and ready to be made into a Journaling by 5’s art journal.

These will be perfect for what I have in mind, but regular books work too.  Grab some from a garage sale, second hand stores, or ask your family if they have any books they want to get rid of.  Glue pages together, gesso and-bam!- inexpensive art journal.

Daily Art Challenge: April 27

Today’s daily art challenge prompt is to use homemade paper in your art work.  What is homemade paper anyway?

Well, for the purposes of this challenge, it’s paper that is has been altered by you.  This could mean you take a piece of cardstock and smear acrylic paint over it.  Or you coffee or tea stain papers, or you use scraps of paper from your stash and collage it all together on a paper grocery bag and use that.  The drop paper you have on your work table that catches all your drips, spatters, testings of markers or paint pens, smears of extra goop and glue-that’s homemade paper.  We’re not talking about making paper from pulp-unless that’s what you want to do.

One of my favorite get-me-doing-something-when-I-really-don’t-feel-like-doing-anything projects is making paper.  This uses up scraps of papers when I collage them onto something like manila file folders, cereal chipboard for journal covers, and over the left over packing paper from my parents move into town.  I find making paper in this way to be extremely relaxing and the results are always fantastic.  Add paper doilies, napkins, wrapping paper, confetti from a paper punch, whatever you can think of can be added to make unique paper.

Another idea is to stamp images over tissue paper.  You can also use a stencil, but I find stamps work better on the very thin tissue.  Use waterproof ink for this if you’re going to be using wet media over top.  Finished coloring pages count as home made papers for this challenge.  Your kids art work can also be used-after you take pictures of it and have their permission, of course.

Making, or altering already made papers, is one of my go-to projects.  It always makes me smile, is a great way to use up my scraps and gives me a huge selection of gorgeous papers to work with at a later date.