Sunday, March 15, 2015

Motley Art Loft: A Studio Tour

This is a test. It is only a test. If this were an actual blog post.....

I shared this video over on Kreative Notions back in early November. Some changes have occurred since then, but I thought I'd go ahead and share it here. You know, just for fun and because I know it didn't appear in the email subscribers receive. I'm using a new RSS server now for blog updates via email. Let's see how this plays out.

P.S. My studio hasn't been this clean since I shot the video. (4 minutes)

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Friday, March 13, 2015

52 Motley Journal Pages #8: Painting Without a Brush (mostly)

The last Motley Journal Page I shared barely scratched the surface of muck I was feeling.  It was enough, however, to get me going and inspired to really make a mess of things.

I decided to to smear paint with my hand. I squeezed paint right onto the page; starting with a nice helping of blue. I moved on to smearing some black and white paint. Again, just squeezing it on to the page and moving it around with my hand. 

Now this is art therapy!

I wanted a little more color pop so I used an old credit card to scrape a little fuchsia around before squeezing face paint onto the page.  Still using my fingers I created a circle for the face, rectangle for the neck and a larger one for the body. The hair and facial features were done with a marks-all pencil/black acrylic and brush.

I thought she looked a little sulky and sad. Which is okay. It was how I had been feeling. Too often we beat ourselves up for feeling sad and sulky. We beat ourselves up for not feeling motivated, inspired, happy-happy-happy. We too often feel guilty for taking a bit of self-care time because there is "so much to do." And then what happens? We start to feel overwhelmed and under appreciated and perhaps a little resentful for "never getting any time to myself."

I declare that some days it's okay to {want to} sulk. If that's how we're feeling we should give ourselves permission to feel it. The longer we fight it, the more we deny it, the longer it will hang around and mess with our joy. Let it roll. Let it ride. Let it flow. Take a day and veg in front of the tv, lay on the sofa with a book and blanky or sleep the day away in bed. Go ahead. Let yourself sulk if you want to. Then do whatever it is you need to do to reenergize yourself.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015


Purchased from FoxyDori on Etsy

Have you been bitten by the Midori Traveling Notebook bug? I have. Curious? Go ahead. Hop on over to Etsy or Youtube and give it a looksie. Oh, you prefer Pinterest? I'd offer to wait while you do, but as a friend of mine recently noted, it's a rabbit hole.  LOL.

If you've been keeping up with me, you know that I have been using my own handmade, spiral bound planner.  It measures approximately 7" x 9".  After a friend shared her Faux-Dori I jumped in and purchased one a short time later. You know what that means?  I had to design new planner pages!

Basically a Midori is a notebook system.  Inside the cover are one or more elastic bands you slip notebooks into.  You can find a variety of notebooks on Etsy.

Externally, there is little difference in the size of my spiral bound planner and my new faux-dori planner. The inner pages are where the real difference is. I'm trying it out. I sometimes struggle to fill in the larger pages of my spiral bound, but if I end up missing them too much I can always use this faux-dork as an art journal.

I added the charm and tan leather piece myself. (this is the third charm I've added)

Embellishment included with purchase. I chose the feather.

I made a dashboard big enough to wrap around all four of my planner notebooks, but it became too cumbersome to work with. The lamination really makes it pop up and prevent the planner pages from easily lying flat for writing, etc. So I have set this aside.

I then made laminated dashboard covers for each planner notebook, but again, the lamination gets in my way. There might be a trick to it, but I haven't found it yet.

I took one of the laminated dashboards I made and placed it in front of my faux-dori with a Midori Ziplock pocket I purchased on Amazon to hold small stacks of post-it notes.....

And small strips of washi tape.  I love this idea! It lets you carry a little bit of almost everything with you for easy use!

more washi (and there's a whole other side not shown)

Since it is currently March and the official start of spring will be here soon, I decided to organize my planning pages by season. Each notebook contains the monthly and weekly pages for each season (three months worth). Binding with thread seemed a little time consuming, so I purchased a Long Reach stapler and all my notebooks are stapled.

I added my own pen holder.  I purchase these from Staples. They are self stick, but on the leather cover it needed a little more something and I happened to have just the right thing.  :) Some faux-dori makers allow you to purchase an add-on pen holder. Also, please note that I purchased an Extra-Wide. I am using what I believe are called "standard size" notebooks, but I wanted the extra room for tabs and my pen holder. I may have given myself a little too much room.  Time will tell and if I have....I can buy another size.  Right?  

At the beginning of each month I have a "dates to Celebrate" page for noting birthdays, anniversaries and the like.

Fall--Not sure I like this doodle, so may change in the future.
Winter (Dec 2015-Feb 2016)

My planner pages are undated.  I will eventually date the monthly pages, but for my own experiment, I used some calendar stamps I purchased from Stampin' Up! a few years ago.  Each square of the month is approximately 1" in diameter.  Enough for what I use it for...word of the day, mood, IG stickers or small doodles.

My weekly pages (as do my monthly pages) all begin on Monday.  I love Monday's! Monday's are Magic and I doodle that word on my Monday's quite often.  I don't generally date the weekly pages because I like to use stickers or doodles to number my days.  In the future I will share some of my completed pages.

And, of course, there are note pages sprinkled throughout for whatever your heart desires...doodling, phone numbers, websites, notes, etc. 

I love tabs and thought about making permanent ones for the calendar months, but decided to use these nifty paper clips I never use.  :)  This way I can remove them, once they've passed, or move them to the side if I decide. The pink, metal clip reads YES! and is from the Smash collection. I use it to mark my weekly page for easy access.

There you have it!  My dive into the rabbit hole called Midori-Fidori-FauxDori.  :)

Thanks for stopping by!  

Monday, March 9, 2015

52 Motley Journal Pages #7: Lost & Found

I can always tell when it's been far too long since I cracked open the art journal or pulled up some watercolor paper to throw down some paint. I get lost. I get irritated, crabby, grumpy and what my husband and daughter might describe as down right bitchy.

Last week did not go as I had hoped or planned. There were just too many things going on and too many things to do. I was really looking forward to Friday when I had intended on finishing up a new project and spending some time in my art journal.

Things didn't go that way though. Friday turned into a revolving door of interruptions. I did manage to get the bulk of my project done, but it took me into the wee hours of the night.

The weekend offered little relief, but Saturday night I knew I had to do something or I was going to lose it. I had little recall of the week before and the wave of overwhelm from things undone was beginning to take its toll.

I started by dripping and squirting alcohol ink on wet gesso'd pages. 

I rarely have any idea what I'm going to do with a page and often, when I'm feeling overwhelmed and stuck, I just paint circles. These pages, my art journal in general, are so not about pretty and perfection is left at the door. It's all about the process, letting go and getting the garbage out. As I often do, I started a few painty-circles and even though the grey went with my mood, I didn't like the color combination I had chosen. I moved on to painting some random spots by simply picking up paint and smashing the brush on the page. Finally, I grabbed an old lid and stamped circles all over until I was out of paint.

That's where I left it. 

Sunday I brushed gesso over the painty-circle mess. It will make for some nice texture.

I'd seen a work titled "Windows" created by my Facebook friend, Joss Rossiter, that inspired what I was about to do next.

I am an introverted watcher and often feel like I am watching the world, my life, from a window located in the upper floors of a high rise building. All the goings and doings of others speeding along below. Hundreds of two legged ants rushing here and there, in and out, back and forth knowing that if I went down and joined them I would feel overwhelmed and alone. It's odd how painful that feels when I put so much energy into trying to be invisible and anonymous.

I grew up in a small town with a population of 3,000-4,000. Some think of my current home as a "town." I remember a former L.A. Lakers' coach referring to our city as a cowtown (so we started taking cow bells to the games and clanging them to no end) LOL. There are probably close to a million people who live and work within my stomping grounds and there are almost 2.5 million in the entire metro area which spans all the way to South Lake Tahoe. True, we aren't the likes of Chicago, New York City or Los Angeles but when you grow up in a town with little more than the basic necessities and everyone knows who your mother is and who your grandparents were....well, I might as well be in one of those other cities.

Come to think of it, I didn't much like it when everyone knew my name.  :)

Just getting this down has started to make a crack in the stuckiness that is my brain right now. I'm starting to feel a little lighter, less overwhelmed, hopeful and inspired. I'm a little closer to finding myself.