A little Wabi-Sabi trial

wabi sabi I recently purchased the book Wabi-Sabi Art Workshop by Serena Barton http://www.serenabarton.com/info.php?page=4, which I discovered on Pam Carriker’s blog http://pamcarriker.com/2013/06/10/serena-barton-wabi-sabi-book-blog-hop/ and I am definitely intrigued by her techniques.

This is my first attempt at trying some of the techniques on a 8 x 8 canvas. I didn’t have any of the re-inkers that Serena uses and they are not available in Canada where I live, so instead I used acrylics with acrylic glaze and some cold wax. I am pleased with how it turned out.

I am registered for Serena’s Wabi-Sabi Workshop at the Portland, Oregon Art & Soul Retreat http://artandsoulretreat.com in October and I can hardly wait to take the workshop.

til next time

Creating with Photoshop Elements

“Open your mind and create freely”

I switch back and forth from getting messy with paints and gesso and little bits of paper creating collage to taking my scanned art journal pages and repurposing them in a digital collage.  I am starting to experiment more with filters and special effects and found some great sites to download free adobe brushes to use, one site that had a good selection is http://www.brusheezy.com/brushes.  the nice thing about digital collage there is no mess to clean up afterwards…..

I have been going through a book on digital collage that I purchased a while back, ‘Digital Expressions – creating Digital Art with Adobe Photoshop Elements’ by Susan Tuttle and trying the different techniques.  Over the past few days I have been working on three different digital collages, this one I really like the colours

Fond memories of Paris

and it was a bit reminiscent of our trip to Paris a few years ago since I used  bits and pieces from scanned postcards from the trip in the layers along with one of my recently drawn faces.  I enjoyed trying the different filters to see what effects I could create, and I am pleased with the results.

Until next time


Delicious new art supplies!

My Christmas wish list this year was mainly art supplies and I received the majority of them under the tree.  I was so excited to get the Pan Pastel Starter kit, which included a few sponges, Shades of Grey pitt pens, pit artists pens, mini canvases, a How to Draw for the Mixed Media Artist and art magazines.  I have been playing around with my new supplies the last couple of days now that things have settled down from Christmas celebrations and have been having fun experimenting.

Practice makes perfect have patience

Still have lots to learn about pan pastels, so think I will try Donna Downey’s Pan Pastel 101 on-line workshop http://www.donnadowney.com/shop/product.php?productid=2587&cat=16&page=1 so that I can hone some techniques and make the most out of my pan pastels.


These picture to the left is my first attempts trying out my new Shades of Grey Pitt Pens, and following a Pam Carriker Tutorial http://pamcarriker.com/tutorials/….still need lots of practice learning how to shade.  The one to the right is done with pan pastels and watercolours and some charcoal pencil to add more depth.

I am so grateful for these mixed media artists sharing their talents and providing such great tutorials so that others can become better artists too.


Shades of Grey with a touch of Pan Pastel




Photo Collage – Experimenting with Adobe Photoshop

Since I have been living a left-handed life for the past 5 weeks, I have  continued to play and learn more about doing digital collage.  It is a very interesting medium since there are unlimited things that you can do with Photoshop and its many tools and filters.  This past week I have been trying different things using my own handmade art that I scanned, the various filters, the masking tool, and practicing selecting objects from photos.  One of the projects I have been working on is a picture of my girlfriend and I that we took while on the ferry coming back from Vancouver Island in the summer of 2010.  We had such a wonderful time on our road  trip up and down the island so I thought it would be nice to take the photo and create something that I could frame and hang on the wall to remind me of our adventure.

I changed the colour of the photo to sepia because

Road Trip Summer of 2010

I wanted a bit of an old fashion look to the layout.  Some of the background layers are scanned corrugated cardboard, water-coloured canvas and I selected the raffia ribbon from another painting and added it as a border.  I also used some custom brushes that are black writing over top of the corrugated cardboard layer.  

I want to increase my skills with Photoshop so I ordered a book bySusan Tuttle ‘Digital Expressions’ Creating Digital Art with Adobe Photoshop Elements – it has arrived, so I plan to do the different projects to increase my knowledge of the various tool, brushes and filters.  Apparently the methods she uses can be created in both Photoshop  Elements and Photoshop CS3.   I figure this is a great way to keep my mind active learning new things and the creative juices flowing.

So til next time enjoy creating an artful life. 


Paper mache and collage come together

‘Being creativemeans trusting your own purpose and having an attitude of unbending intent in your daily thoughts and activities.’

I have been busy the last little while trying some new techniques to incorporate into my collage art.  One of the techniques that really intrigued me was making little fun foam forms covering them paper mache toilet paper using diluted soft medium gel with water.  I learned this technique from Pam Carriker’s book ‘Art at the Speed of Life’.  It was really fun to do, I designed my little dresses and cut them out in sticky back fun foam and then attached some detail to the top of the forms attaching  them to another larger piece of foam to keep them from moving around.  I then took sheets of toilet paper and separated them so they were single-ply placing each sheet individually on  the forms spraying them with the diluted gel medium to adhere together.  Approximately 8 – 10 layers – as I added each layer I gently pushed out bubbles forming the paper around the details and shapes of the dresses.  You have to let them dry for at least 24 hours and then it easily lifts of the form – gently and carefully tear off any excess along the edges. 

Paper mache and collage come together

I had painted and collaged a 8 x 10 flat canvas that I had purchased at the Dollar Store and when I finally got it to the point where I liked how it looked I added a little clothes line to attach the dresses to.  Before attaching the dresses I used some distress inks to add a little more detail and depth to the paper mache dresses and attached with these little clothes pegs I found at the Dollar Store.  The Dollar Store is a great place to find items to use in your collages!   I also glued the dresses to the canvas with some gel medium and I am going to attach a saying of some sort to it to finish it off – there is a temporary one in place in the pic in the post.  I am very happy with how it all turned out.  The border outline I did with black paint and tar gel to just give it a bit more pop. 

So this was an experiment that turned out the way I hoped it would and I am excited to try it again very soon. 

Stay tuned for more on my collage adventures shortly. 

Til next time happy creating!


Nourishing Your Creative Spirit

“What in your life is calling you? When all the noise is silenced, the meetings adjourned, the lists laid aside…what still pulls on your soul?”  Terma collective, “The Box”

This quote really got me thinking – after having so many months of planning and preparing for my daughter’s wedding everything has become quite calm again which made me realize that I had put my creative spirit on the back burner.  Yes, I was creating decorations for the wedding and being creative in other aspects but I really hadn’t picked up a paint brush, or glued pieces to a collage in a while.  So this past week I have been trying to get the creative juices flowing and trying to find ways to nourish my creative spirit.  I realize that what still calls me after all the to do lists have been completed and I have free time it is multi-media, painting and collage.   I enjoy brushing paint onto canvas, blending colours and adding collage pieces and watch as it transforms – although I may have a long way to go before I discover my own style I must remind myself it is all about the journey and the joy that you get while being creative.  

To nourish my creative spirit I love to browse through my Somerset Magazines and now I have the latest issue of  Cloth, Paper and Scissors that I am thoroughly enjoying and I always return to my favorite book “Taking Flight – Inspirations & Techniques to give your Creative Spirit Wings” by Kelly Rae Roberts – it is a very inspirational source  for me.  I have now made a list of the projects that I want to try from this book during summer. 

Til next time  – try taking some time out to remind yourself what nourishes your creative spirit.


Recycled Baby Board Book into Birthday Book

My daughter celebrated a special Birthday yesterday and I wanted to do a little walk down memory lane in the way of a Birthday Book.  So I decided to take a bunch of pictures of her growing  up and incorporate them into a recycled baby board book. 

Recycled Birthday Board Book

I got the board book at Value Village, they sell little bags of kids books for $0.99.  I painted gesso on all of the pages to cover up the original pages and then added acrylics to the pages.  I printed copies of the photos in colour then cut them out to fit on the page and attached with soft medium gel and added some text and stamping to the pages. I also added some of my art journal pages that I copied and some other ephemera on the back pages with some beautiful quotes to follow your heart.  

Where ever you go - go with all your heart!

To finish it off I covered each page with modge podge to seal them.  It didn’t turn out exactly how I envisioned it – but I do like it and my daughter thought it was beautiful and I learned a lot about the different mediums I was using and what doesn’t work and that you need a lot of patience especially when it comes to drying time. 

Birthday Board Book

What did I learn from the process – I probably should have roughed up the pages with some fine sandpaper to get the paint to adhere better to the pages so that the paint does not chip off; that chalk ink pads smear when you try to cover with gel mediums so does the black gel pen I used to do some of the text, spray varnish is hard to control and takes a long time to dry so that the pages don’t stick together. 

I have a few more board books to use in the future and will try adjusting my techniques to see if I get better results.  It is all a learning process…..

Until next time happy creating!



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