Posted on

Creative Planner Review

Hi ho my lovlies!

As promised, today’s post is a review of Christy Tomlinson and Cori Streiker’s on-line workshop: The Creative Planner. It’s billed as a 2 week class, but you could stretch this class out several weeks. I binge watched it. It’s packed with everything you could want to know about the planners that are available (as of May 2015), planner sizes, inspiration of Christy & Cori’s setups, freebie insert pages, links to their fave planner resources and if that weren’t enough, how to make your own dividers, dashboards, tabs, decorating.

In short, OMG, you get so much for the cost of the workshop, which is $34.95.  You’ll spend WAY more on all the planners you’ll be inspired to buy and make. You can’t download the videos, but you do have 3 years to access the class.

I loved this class. Aside from the fact that Christy and Cori totally enabled my planner obsession, they showed me 2 very different styles of planner decorations and how to craft my own personalized planners. Creating the components don’t take much time at all so it would be easy-peasy to create themed planners, seasonal planners, well, you could go completely nuts on this.  And, if you invest in the more expensive leather planners, you could sell them on ebay when you get tired of them.  According to Christy, most have good resale value, except the Franklin A5 planners – largely because they use their own proprietary punch system.  I think, too, they appeal less to females, as they come in subdued, manly colors. Blacks, browns…understated stuff.

Thanks to this class, I’ve crafted 3 planners so far. Here are teaser photos of each.

Kikki K pocket size Aqua planner, with a mermaid theme. I carry this in my Tom Bihn Imagio bag, which is my daily work bag.  I made my own inserts because I wanted to try it and I didn’t really like the ones I found on-line.


Personal/portable DayTimer black vinyl planner, which is the planner I leave in the living room so I can jot down ideas and lists.


Levenger Circa disc bound planner with the Kyoto discs for my tenukihandcrafts business.


As the time I drafted this post (August 27), I ordered Cori’s Carpe Diem planner, A5 in Persimmon and I purchased Stick with Sam’s A5 Boho Dreamcatcher insert pack. It wasn’t until I talked with my mom about the Name Day for my sister and I that I decided I would use this planner for my Name Day.

Let me know if you’re interested to see inside these planners and I’ll make flip through videos. Let me know, too, what you’re working on.

Happy planning & creating!


Posted on

Ever After WIP

Hi ho lovlies.

I had mixed feelings to take Tamara Laporte’s latest live class: Ever After Module 2. I’ve never been particularly interested in fairy tales, at least the Disney version – where women are weak and need rescuing by a man. But I couldn’t resist between the teachers and the deep dive into style development.

It’s a 3 month class, with guest artists and using fairy tales as the inspiration, as you might guess from the class title. Tam offered 2 options: Module 1 is the lessons. Module 2 is more in-depth with artist interviews and explorations of how to take what you learn and develop your own style.

After finishing the 2nd lesson, Beauty & the Beast, my work load increased and resulted in exacerbating an injury to my right thumb.  A co-worker quit and her work was added to mine, followed by an announcement a couple weeks ago, that the company I work for has put a hold on hiring while they examine all the open positions. The injury has put quite a damper on my art-making, as I’m predominantly right-handed.  I can do some art-making left-handed, but not detailed work.

It’s disappointing, to say the least, but I have managed to, slowly for me, work through the first 3 lessons: The Little Mermaid with Tam, Beauty and the Beast with Andrea Gomoll, and Snow White with Anna Hamman. Three very different art styles.  All three pieces follow the composition and much of the art style of the teachers.  My own style is in flux right now, but I feel comfortable enough with mixed media art-making to stray somewhat from the instructor when I feel compelled to do so. For these three lessons, I don’t follow the teacher’s techniques to the letter but I do try some new things.

All of the class work is done in my Red Monkey art class journal. It’s 9×12 Leuchterm journal.  Using this journal is a reminder to me that I need to be careful about scanning and selling prints because many of the pages are based on the teacher compositions. When I get ideas from the class, I make a new painting on different paper or on canvas.  Just to keep things kosher, you know.

First up, The Little Mermaid with Tam.  I think by now you know how much I love Tam and her lessons.  In this painting, Tam wanted to empower the Little Mermaid by surrounding her with her friend, the octopus. The seahorse represents love, cuz you know, the male seahorses carry the baby seahorses and the stars represent her sisters. One of Tam’s techniques that I still play with is using graphite for shading – I used it in this piece and have to admit that it’s growing on me.


Beauty and the Beast, with Andrea Gomoll. I was surprised to learn that her piece was done with layers and layers of watercolors. The colors are so vibrant in her piece.  I don’t own a set of proper watercolors, so I used Neocolors for my version. I strayed a little, but not much. I like Andrea’s style, but it is too stylized for me, so I replicated her composition with the supplies I had on hand.


Snow White with Anna Hamman.  I was not familiar with Anna’s work when I watched this lesson. I have to admit that I was quite intimidated by this one. She worked almost exclusively in acrylics, with a pencil drawing to start.  She mixed her own black from the primary colors. I didn’t like my first version very much. I used Neocolor 2s with my Montana marker in Shock White to set the Neocolor.  The Montana paint dries to a gloss finish that I didn’t like.  I felt it made my girl look very plastic.

I made a second that I do like, even though I didn’t “finish” it with the trees.  I felt like I got what I wanted out of the lesson. While working on the first version, this time using black Neocolor 2 with gesso (I use Liquitex). I like the result much more.  I may finish the page someday, but I kind of like her the way she is.  A clue that my style is changing – as you know, I’ve been a card-carrying page filler. There’s just something striking about her against the mostly empty background.


Part of the reason I stopped working on the 2nd version was I had an idea for a larger painting. Anna’s Snow White was painted on a large (probably 15″x22″) watercolor paper.  I took out a piece of 15×22 Canson 140 lb watercolor paper. I flipped through the latest copy of Porter, my current fave fashion magazine and found a photo of a gal with her hands on her head, looking directly into the camera. I sketched her in my own style and replaced the fooferah complicated boho-style outfit the model is wearing with a tee shirt, mixed my own black using Blick Studio acrylics – a sample of their primary colors that I won the last time I was there and started working. As I was working along, the song “Know Your Rights” by The Clash popped into my head, so I wrote that on her tee shirt.

Up to now, my art has been decidedly escapist.  Mermaids, unicorns, doodly flowers, young girly girls and women.  I’ve had a craving lately to work toward art that provokes a response, makes a statement, creates discussion. I think Miss Right continues along the path I headed down with Zeus’ Women.


Bubbling under the surface is the upcoming Presidential election.  To be honest, I dislike both candidates. Third party candidates get next to no press in favor of sensationalist sound bites of candidate name-calling.  I feel held hostage by the US political machine. One comes across as a 1930s facist tyrant and the other shrilly shouts at the media. It’s a choice between the lesser of two evils, when, in fact, the people don’t elect the President. The Electoral College may or may not take the popular vote into consideration. I’d like to see the US adopt the campaign strategy of Canada: you get 36 days prior to the election to make your point. That’s unlikely to happen because politics is big business, corporations are people, blah, blah, blah.  And that’s why my art leans escapist. The Real World is just so….icky.

Yet, Miss Rights appeared.  She is still a work in progress.  I haven’t done a lot of strictly acrylic paining, so I didn’t know how much of my black I need to mix. I mixed a small batch and had to mix additional batches, each one different.  Then I tried using black out of the tube, on her face. which is when I stopped.  I could see the how interesting it was to mix my own color – it creates an interesting depth you don’t get with black and white out of the tube. Also, my hand was getting sore from the painting.

Perhaps I have something to say about the world other than unicorns, mermaids and Mori Girls.

No one is more surprised than I.

Go forth, stretch your wings and speak your truth, my lovelies.  I’m cheering for you.

Posted on

Lil Art Doll Angel

Hi ho, lovely readers!

You’ve probably seen some of the pics of my lil art doll project this weekend, cross-posted from my Instagram account. I thought I’d give a bit more detail about the materials I used to make this little gal. One of the things on my bucket list has been to make art dolls.  Since sewing hasn’t been so good on my hands due to all the gripping involved, I thought I’d see if sculpting would be easier.  There are a lot of breaks in the action to clean up and wait for things to dry, so it is easier on my hands. Hurray!


I followed the basic instructions from Tamara Laporte’s Art Doll Angel. One of her examples was a bust, which inspired this one. Here are the supplies I used:

Sargent Sculpt-It! air dry clay, sculpting tools, an old fashion magazine, graphite pencil, gel pens, E6000 glue, masking tape, Deco Art flesh acyrlic paint, pink and white with glitter dots tissue paper, rubber stamp, Stayzon ink in black, an old non-glossy magazine, Pitt pens, Molotow white acrylic marker, lace, ribbon, ribbon roses, Golden interference red,  a small amount of natural light tan colored alpaca rover, Modge Podge, Gloss varnish, and tiny chain with tiny turquoise beads, 2 plyers and a jump ring.

I made the head and bust by wadding up pages from on old Vogue magazine and then taping the heck out of it in order to shape it into the head and bust. I put on layers of Sculpt-it and worked on smoothing it. I kept it pretty wet, so it didn’t crack as much as one of the other dolls I made that is still drying…

Sculpt-it takes 24 hours to fully dry. For this one, I decided not to build up a chin and brow and just see how well I could do the highlights and shadows by hand.

I adhered the torn pieces of non-glossy magazine page to the bust. While it dried, I took one of my favorite stamps and black Stayzon ink and stamped onto pink tissue paper. I painted the head and neck with flesh tone paint. Then layered the tissue paper over the magazine layer. While I was doing this, I didn’t like the little cracks in the head and neck, so I took the white tissue paper with little glittery dots and glued it all over the head and neck.

While I was working, I examined the head to figure out where I would put the face and she seemed to be looking up and to the side, so that’s how I drew on her face. I used Pitt Brush pens to shade the face and color her eyes and lips and used my white Molotow marker to do the highlights.  It look three layers of Pitt pen shading to get a look I liked. You do have to wait for each Pitt layer to dry before continuing – otherwise, you just pull off the color or get an unattractive blob.

I pulled sections of the alpaca and glued sections down with matte gel medium. That was kinda tedious but it worked out. As I was waiting for the first layer of hair to dry, I braided a little section to go around the front of her head (bangs just weren’t going to work). Once I got all the hair on, I twisted and formed a bun at the back. Added a ribbon to the bun and glued 5 ribbon roses to the top of her head.

Glued on the lace for a neck line and used the interfance red above the lace.I made the necklace from the tiny gold chain with beads and a jump ring. Wrote the words on her chest with a Pitt pen and highlighted it with a white gel pen. Made wings from a paper doll template I have, embellished the wings with gel pens and used E6000 to glue them on.

I’m pretty happy with her – I think she’s just adorable and think I’ll take her to work on put her on my desk.

I’ve got a few more dolls on the window sill drying.  I trying to use up the 2 lb bucket of Sculpt-it before I break open the Paperclay.  I want to reuse the bucket for the lefter over clay. I’m hoping the Paperclay dries faster and is easier to use than the Sculpt-it, which seems a might fussy and has a plastic-y feel while you’re working with it.  It doesn’t feel plastic when it’s dry.  Weird.

I really enjoyed making this gal and realized part way through the process that many of my girl portraits are the same style: head and shoulders with no arms.  There’s no real mystery to the lack of arms – I’m not very happy with how these usually turn out, so I tend to make heads on shoulders.

Expect to see more art dolls – I had a lot of fun making and embellishing this gal.

If you’re interested in Tam’s class, you can purchase it from her Etsy shop.

How did you spend your weekend? What projects are you working on?

Happy crafting!