Monday, June 23, 2014


Everyone seems to be progressing along nicely over at Daisy Yellow's ICAD Challenge.  The work I am seeing by other members of the group is outstanding, thoughtful, provocative, experimental and always exciting to see.  We are all playing and having great fun!  Are you playing too?

This week our primary "theme" was MAPS.  You could use them or not.  And as always, we had 7 prompts for each day of the week.

Here are my creations for this past week.

PROMPT 15-STICKERS -- Scraped black craft acrylic background, with feathers, some painted pellon, Sakura Gelly pens in metallic hues, and the owl and saying stickers.

PROMPT 16- ROLL THE DICE.  Yes, I could have gone with the obvious.  Been there, done that. Something different this time.  I printed out a copy of my grandparents' wedding photograph and tore around the edges to be able to give it a little more of an aged/distressed feel.   I did utilize the theme this week on this card since I had a map of Iowa from a vintage 1960's World Atlas I snagged at a junk store.  I colorized the image a bit with Copic Markers with Cherry White, Lipstick Red, Light Camel, Clay, Africano and Willow.  "Poetry" created with my trusty Dymo label maker and then I "aged" with Copic Markers.  The whole thing was given a little more age with Tim Holtz Distress Ink in Tea Dye.  I hope my cousins don't try to take it away from me at our family reunion this coming weekend!

PROMPT 17- POLKA DOTS.  I love dots. Circles. Polka Dots. Always have.  Have never looked good wearing them, but that doesn't keep me from liking them!  Background done with Derwent Inktense Blocks in Yellow and Green and babywipes.  The magazine image came from Style Magazine.  Embellished with Green Sharpie, Metallic Green Sakura pen, Scarlet Lime pen and "found" poetry.


PROMPT 18 - ORANGE.   Orange is definitely my favorite secret color.  Seems like I do lots of things with orange. I have a lot of orange in my closet.  And I definitely love it with Lime colors.  Again, I utilized a vintage map page, this time adding some scrap painted paper strips, a paint chip color chart and a couple of die cuts in orange that I received in happy mail, and some deli paper with a stamped image that quite frankly didn't show up very well.  Just gives it all character, they say!  Quote in Scarlet Lime pen.

PROMPT 19 - HARRY POTTER.    I'm not much on fantasy books or movies. I don't have kids to subject me to them either.  So, a little internet research.  Could I draw something? Probably. Did I want to?  No.  The most iconic thing to me about Harry Potter are those round glasses, so I went with that.  Background in scraped craft acrylic in Caterpillar. (Love that color!)  I had this cool saying on Vellum that I was sent, also in Happy Mail.  I used a circle stencil to draw the "lenses" and went round and round with my broad tip Sharpie and highlighted them with Signo Uniball in White and drew out the logo by trying to emulate what I found on the internet.  Logo is in Bronze Sakura Gelly pen, highlighted in Black.  Border in black Sharpie.

PROMPT 20 - CANDY BAR WRAPPER.   Who doesn't like candy?  I love, love, love Butterfingers.  In anticipation of making Butterfinger Icecream (you can find my recipe for it over at Aunt Betty's Kitchen) I had purchased a couple of big flat Butterfinger bars and they were 'hiding' in the fridge.  No other candy in the house.  So, naturally, I cut the wrapper off, ate some of it (and no, I didn't share) and put the rest back in the fridge for the homemade icecream.  Derwent Inktense background in Orange and Yellow (that secret favorite color again!) with more use of scrap die cuts and an Orange Sharpie Marker.  Additional embellishment with Scarlet Lime pen.

PROMPT 21 - REPEATING PATTERN.   Tammy Garcia I think is in love with repeating patterns. She does them a LOT.  We do them a LOT.  But they are fun, and I know this is why she does them.  Something about drawing or painting a repeating pattern is very relaxing. Doesn't really matter what it is.  I've done circles, swirls, ogee patterns, triangles, square, plaids.... you name it.  So again, this time something a little different.  Scraped craft acrylic background in Admiral Blue and Cherry Blossom Pink, although you really don't see much of the pink now.  The blue ended up looking like distressed denim. I scraped one direction, let it dry, then swirled the paint around and around.  I like the overall effect of it and will try to replicate this again on something else. Stenciled arrows with Caterpillar.  We know which direction to go now!

So that is the end of my week 3.  I got behind during the week last week, but managed to get caught up and now we're off onto week 4 and more fun.  Stay tuned & happy creating!


Saturday, June 14, 2014

ICAD Week 2 - The Fun Continues

Week two of ICAD 2014 has now come and gone and everyone at Daisy Yellow is creating with a fury and a vengeance. We're digging out our art supplies, getting our fingers and hands dirty and enjoying the process of Tammy's prompts.

My creations this past week are as varied as the prompts we were given.  The overall "theme" of the week was "Collage" -- some of which I included collage elements, others I did not.

Prompt 8 "MANDALA" -- I freehand sketched my mandala first with a 2B pencil, then went over that with a Black Sakura Gelly pen, colored it with Prismacolor pencils in Lavender, Violet, Lilac and Sand, then over the whole thing again with my Scarlet Lime pen

Prompt #9 - ALPHABET  The question is always, how do I use this prompt in a less than conventional way?  Of course I have already just drawn out an alphabet in fancy lettering.  B.O.R.I.N.G.   This time, I dug into my box of happy mail goodies and pulled out this terrific "brick" stenciled background that was done in a bronze acylic on a CD cover.  I also unearthed the darling little girl stamped image and the chipboard letters.  More digging was required -- now through my container of words & phrases and clipped letters.  As I discovered the elements I wanted to use, it all sort of came together.   The girl is colorized with Copic markers, enhanced with Scarlet Lime pen and around some of the lettering and finally a bit of china marker, smudged with a pencil dedicated solely for this purpose.  

Prompt #10 - THE BEATLES -- The Beatles were of my generation. We were wild about those boys with all that long hair, tight pants and the hot new sound!  I remember seeing them on the Ed Sullivan Show on television.  (Yes, I'm o.l.d.).  Again with the digging into clipped and saved ephemera and my happy mail box.  The song, "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" had started running through my brain and this is the end result.  Background is done with Inktense blocks and a baby wipe. Elements collaged onto the card and I embellished with "slow journaling" of a portion of the song lyrics and the border with Scarlet Lime pen.  The "Love" element was a stamped image I colorized with Copic Marker in Hollyhock.

Prompt #11 - "TOY CAMERA"  -- There are no children at my house.  Not one die cut of a camera. My printer is out of ink.  So, off to the internet I went in search of a camera.  As soon as I saw the Brownie Hawkeye, I knew that was it.  I played for hours with my Mother's Brownie (and yes, I was scolded many times for doing so).  So I sketched, as best I could with a 2B pencil something similar to this camera on Bristol.  I cut it out, then highlighted with Copic marker in cool and warm grey.  I had already smudged pencil lines but felt it needed further definition.  I couldn't really improve on the sketch with my very limited drawing skills.  But hey!  We're not making museum art.  We are playing and having fun!  I collaged the camera and the stamped image on vintage paper on my index card, then affixed the "photos" brad thingy that I got from Peachy  Then I "grunged-up" the whole thing with Memento Stamp Pad ink in Rich Cocoa and Sprout.

Prompt #12 - PAISLEY -- last year, I cut out paisleys from assorted pattered paper and glued them on an index card.  I am not a huge paisley fan because I was made to wear a Paisley pattered dress I hated in the 60's.  This could be why. ha.  Anyway, I drew these paisleys with Sakura Gelly pen in black, then added the designs within each paisley, filling in the blank spaces with some random triangles.  The overall background and colorizing is with Copic markers in Lipstick Red, Special Black, Teal Blue, Maize, Apricot, Cobalt Blue, Frost Blue, Pale Sepia, Africano, Pale Blackberry and  Mallow.

Prompt #13 BOOK REVIEW -- My first thought was what on this earth am I going to do with THIS prompt?  A quick scan of some magazines found no delicious images of stacks of books. Toss out that idea. I didn't really want to "draw" books.  Then it hit me.  My all-time-favorite historical novels by Lonnie Coleman!  Do something with THAT!  There is a series of 3 and I have read each many times over and love each of them each time. They always leave me wanting more. I get so engrossed in the stories and the people and the time periods.  For me, it brings the history alive.  Anyway, I hand cut a piece of 140 lb. press watercolor to size,  thinking I would paint something.  After making a rough sketch, it surely was not any great masterpiece to be sure, so I grabbed up the trusty Copic markers & my black Sakura gelly pen and got busy adding all the details. I certainly held to the "challenge," even if in a small way.  I'm not sure why I connect so with stories of the old South, but I do.  Maybe in another life ....... ??

Prompt #14 - MAGENTA   Who doesn't love magenta?  It is such a happy color, so vibrant, soooo "artsy."  Certainly every artist has something in their arsenal that is magenta, don't they?  I had this nifty stamp of this guy holding a cocktail and a party favor that I had been dying to use.  I hear him in my head, talking in a somewhat 'Texany-British' accent.... "say, old chap... you know MAGENTA does matter"    And it does. Background is Bright Magenta fluid craft acrylic, with corrugated cardboard pressed into the paint while wet, with Neon Acrylic, pink Sakura Gelly pen and Scarlet Lime pen accents and embellishment.  Sadly, magenta and neon pink don't photograph well at night with incandescent light, and scanning is worse.  So dream of magenta, all bright and powerful.   Can't you just hear him??

So another week of ICAD 2014 comes to a close, and we move along to week #3.  Time to clear off the desk and start again. <3

Happy creating!


I am behind on posting pictures from the fun we are having over at the Daisy Yellow ICAD Challenge, and am running behind on completing week #2.  We are only in week 2 and yes, I'm already behind.

Week 1's "theme" was "Text" and purely optional on our cards.  I used it some, depending on the daily prompt.  I like to follow along with the prompts for the most part. Sometimes I go off on a tangent, but so far, not yet.  

Our prompts for week one were:
1.  Prism
2.  Circus Tent
3. Hello my name is
4. Puzzle
5. Galaxy
6. Nail Polish
7. Yellow

If you look at them collectively, you think you could never do it. But that isn't the challenge. The challenge is to create something on an index card EVERYDAY.  You know, life happens and some days you maybe do 2 or more.  Some people fly through all 7 prompts so quickly it makes my head spin.  I like to think about what I'm going to do and occasionally I do skip over one until some kind of inspiration hits me.  But I always finish the week and do all 7 cards.

Here are my cards, in order, for week 1.

1. PRISM -- Copic markers

2. CIRCUS TENT - Copic markers, Sakura Gelly pen, Sharpie, Uniball Signo

3. HELLO MY NAME IS -- I found a neat drawing on Pinterest that was my inspiration for this and tried to emulate the shape and perspective. Drawn first in pencil and then with Sakura Gelly Pen in Black.  I then scanned it and digitally added what I believed to be more positive attributes (my goal this year has been to focus more on the positive things in my life) and realized that without some of my less-than-stellar qualities, it wouldn't be an honest assessment in this snapshot of who I am.

4.  PUZZLE.  Just deciding what to do for this one was challenging for me. My first idea was to do a crossword using art buzz words.  That was a fiasco.  So, for this piece, I glued a piece of graph paper to a 4x6 index card and colored in random boxes with Copic markers, added the puzzle piece and the quote with Sakura Gelly pen.

5.  GALAXY.  The first problem I found with this prompt was how on earth (pun intended!) would I interpret this??  The wallpapers on my desktop are some rotating NASA images from the Hubble telescope, so I drew inspiration from one of these images which is a Nebula, in the process of "exploding" for lack of a better term.   This is also on a 4x6 index card, done in Acrylic craft paint in Admiralty Blue, Kings Gold, Pale Daffodil & White.  I added some gold acrylic glitter paint to the enter of the nebula in my galaxy.  Sadly, after scanning it doesn't show up that well, but the effect in person is, well....... shiny.

6.  NAIL POLISH.  Last year I purchased a bunch of wild nail polish colors so that I could color code a bunch of keys, including a bright neon yellow, neon pink, neon orange, and electric blue.  Traditionally when I was getting my nails done, I almost always wore red or raspberry colors.  I drew the outlines in pencil first, then with Sakura Gelly pen, then painted each section with these various colors of polish.  In my stash, I also found a glittery gold top coat which I painted onto the yellow colors and a heavy metal flake in silver that I painted on top of the electric blue.

7.  YELLOW.  My love of sunflowers runs long and constant. They make me happy.  I draw them a lot. I send them to people, both real and artisically.  This piece is also 4x6 to which I mounted a piece of a vintage agricultural book page, then hand drew the sunflower with Sakura Gelly Pen.  I colored it in with Copic markers in Yellow Ochre,  Africano, Light Camel, Atoli, Maize, Cadmium Yellow & Lemon Yellow.  Additional highlights added with a black china marker, smudged with a pencil eraser dedicated solely for this purpose (keeps from getting the fingers so dirty!).  The found poetry  and edges were embellished with my trusty Scarlet Lime pen.

So, week one has come and gone, and week 2 is almost over.  I'm still finishing up this week's prompts and will share all my little creations for you in a few days.


Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Kick Out "Would've, Should've, Could've"

Many of us have regrets in life, the "Would've, Should've, Could've" mindsets that doom us to misery if we wallow in them. I am guilty of saying these things myself and am making a concentrated effort NOT to do this. Yes, I have many regrets in my own life, but I have been fortunate enough to have had many wonderful life experiences and blessings that have enriched me as a person, and enriched my life.  Focusing on these blessings is a great attitude adjustment. Remembering to do this every single day, amid life's daily challenges is difficult some days for sure.  I try to start my day remembering those blessings, life's gifts and to be grateful for them.  They are surely our life enrichments.

Last year, I was inspired by a lady I never met, MaryAnn McKeating, who bravely fought her battle with cancer. Sadly, she passed away from this horrible disease early this year.  She participated in ICAD 2013 and kept us all motivated and truly inspired by her courage and with her "She" series of art, including all the positive affirmations, colorful art and insight into her world.  In her memory, and as a way to focus myself on all the truly remarkable goodness in my own life, a start to a new journal has begun and this is the first page.  I am going to call it my "Positive Living" journal and am undecided how I shall manage these pages for the moment, but think I am going to use one of the many small 3-ring binders I have for this project.  I prefer to create my journal pages individually and then tip them in to a bound journal so I have the liberty to make as big a mess as I want while creating, not worrying about messing up something already in the journal on an adjacent page.

I snagged this beautiful image off  the cover a shopping catalog I receive in the mail from Victorian Trading Company.  She is serene, confident and beautiful. Qualities I choose to emulate in the best way possible.  The page is done on one of the gazillion pieces of cardstock I acquired years ago during my cardmaking phase and they are already cut to half-page size, perfect for my binders and most of my journals.

I applied some heavy gesso to the page, used this really nifty wavy heart I received in happy mail from my internet friend, Tamiko McCurry to create the texture in the gesso.  A thin coat of Steel Gray craft acrylic paint was applied with a wet brush, then I added a medium gray and some cranberry accents.  I smooshed around the cranberry with my fingers, thinning it out quite a bit.  Don't you love painting with your fingers?   I added some lace, also received in happy mail from Tamiko, with a bit of acrylic medium.  Finished off with a "Queenism" quote using my trusty Dymo label maker and embellishments with Sakura Gelly pen and a black Sharpie marker.

She really doesn't need anything else in my estimation, and I am pleased with how she turned out.  A great reminder for me.

Take the "Would've, Should've, Could've's" out of your life and accentuate the postive.  I am.


Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Cool Stuff, Organizing & A Little Blog Hop

Visiting a few of my favorite blogs and found this cool Card Generator while visiting at iHanna's blog.  She found it at Michelle Geller's Blog, Hold Dear from her post in 2007.  It does pay to troll through great blogs to find great things!  Well, of course I had to play with it and make a little card for myself for this week..... I'm already behind and it is only Tuesday.

The garden seems to eat up my day so this is a great way not to forget all the things I must accomplish this week.  My life is fairly routine with gardening, cooking, canning, and the most important art and art journaling!

Using this card generator is simple.  You type in what you want, but you might want to fiddle with the scribbles.  You can also number them (2014-001).  Scribble #1 places it cross-ways on the card (see Sandra's Journal WIP);  Scribble #2 is placed right across the top of the card (Don't Forget); and Scribble #3 appears in the lower right corner (Dr's Appointment).  I maxxed out the typing space and it wrapped everything. Had to go back in and re-add some carriage returns (line breaks--"enter").  But overall, this is fabulous.  Just print out and voila! Instant journaling card.

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ICAD 2014 is well underway at Daisy Yellow!  This fabulous fun project for the summer is the brainchild of Tammy Garcia at Daisy Yellow and the ICAD Facebook group can be found here.  Opening day was officially June 1st here in the States, and will continue for 61 days through the end of July.  Tammy gives us themes and prompts every week and we make our art on the simple index card and then share in the FB group!  All skill levels are welcome and there's still time for you to come play with us!  Also check out Tammy's new Zine #11 that is chukker full of ideas, beautiful art and graphics and the wisdom of a great mentor and teacher. This is my second year to participate in ICAD and it is a much anticipated event by all of Tammy's friends and followers, myself included. I was ready months ahead (stocking up on index cards when all the school supplies were on sale).  Come join the fun.  Maybe you will learn something new and for sure Tammy will have us thinking outside the box all summer long!

I thought you might like to see my first two cards created for ICAD. Our first prompt was "prism" with the theme for the week of "text".  I tried, in vain, to draw a prism.  I can certainly draw a square one without any difficulty, but I was not happy with the end result and the triangular shaped one--well, it was a disaster.  I sketched this first with my trusty metal ruler, my 2B pencil, and completed with Copic Markers and my favorite Sakura Gelly Pen.

Our second prompt for the week was "circus tent".  When I was a kid, Dr. Seuss was just coming into vogue and I remembered the story of "If I Ran the Circus" and went in search of some graphics and images from the story.  The 'Circus McGurkus' was a natural fit for this challenge and I rather liked the idea of a tent that was not red and white.  This poor elephant is hiding from the dark rain cloud that approaches the tent (an accident turned into an element--ha).  Drawing the McGurkus elephant was a challenge, but I never claimed to be an "artist" or cartoonist.  And we're not creating art for any reason other than to please ourselves and it certainly isn't a contest.  I am fairly happy with this.  Sure it could be better, but I have to move on to the next challenge.

Challenge #3 is "Hello My Name Is".  Gosh.  I am called many things, actually including my name, but I wanted to take a different approach on this challenge.  My idea was first to list positive attributes I believe I have (or have been told I have) but then I knew that would not be the complete me, so some of my more ascerbic qualities were also included.  I could create pages of those attributes for sure, but since space was limited by the size of my card, a few would do.  And accenting the positive makes for a much happier day, right?  I found a coolio template by Googling "hello my name is" and tried to emulate it with my 2B pencil and again, my trusty Sakura Gelly pen.  I scanned it, then digitally added all the attributes since I am out of printer ink.  LOL.  I may do another for this challenge in my journal.  I kind of like where this took me emotionally, addressing really who I am and making me really think about what makes me, me.

So, I'm caught up until today's challenge, which is "Puzzle" and  on it goes for another 58 more days! 

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I've been following Carolyn Dube at A Colorful Journey for quite a while. I love her style, her tutes and how she approaches the world of mixed media and art journaling.  She made a wonderful post yesterday about using Encaustics and her results.  I haven't tried using encaustics yet, but this is definitely on my to-do art list. Have you tried this technique?  Tell us about it!

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ORGANIZE & BE ORDERLY.  And last, but certainly not least, I have been hanging onto this link from Mad In Crafts for quite a while as a way to better organize all my craft paints. 

I love this idea, and we all have more vertical space than horizontal.  Using every square inch of my crafting space to its maximum potential is the key to staying organized and efficient while having fun and making art.  I have one of those spinning wire holders that is overfull and still lots of bottles still in boxes and bins and not easily retrievable.  These will solve those issues for me.  How about you?   Now where is my "step-and-fetch" to put it all back up when I'm finished.

That's all my fun and news for today.  See you at the art table! ~~ Betty