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LB2018 Lesson 1 Digital

Hi ho friends.

I skipped Tamara Laporte’s Life Book class for a couple of years.  It’s a great class, but I really needed a break in order to incorporate what I was learning.  However, I am ready for the class and joined in 2018.

As always, Week 1 has multiple lessons and LB 2018 is no exception. I am working my class lessons in my 2018 bullet journal, so my pages are quite small.  This morning it dawned on me that when I have time, in addition to the bujo version of the lesson, I will create a digital version.

You see, I found the open source paint program, Krita recently.  It’s created and maintained by artists and it more intuitive than the Gimp. I thought this would be a good excuse to get to know Krita and get a little extra arting in every week.

Today’s post is the first of the LB2018 digital pieces. It is the 2nd time I’ve used Krita but I like that I was able to keep working on the layers until I liked it. Just as one does on paper. The first lesson is Tam’s Gentle Warm-up and I thought it was ideal because it is a free-form mixed media collage/word for the year and no face.


My word for 2018 is healing – I’m 7 months post knee surgery and a few months to go until the other knee is done, so healing is pretty much job 1 around here.

As for using Krita, it is more intuitive than Gimp and when I got stumped, it was easy to find very short, helpful tutorials. I managed to do something cool (the purple circles at the bottom) but I couldn’t replicate it so I have plenty to learn.  I also picked up an additional brush set – the default set is a bit limited, but not to worry, there are a lot of artists out there who share their brush sets.

If you’re interested in checking out Krita, there are versions for all operating systems and it’s free, so you don’t really have an excuse, huh? I picked up the additional brush set from David Revoy, also for free. David includes good instructions for downloading and importing his brush set into Krita.

What’s new for you in 2018?  Leave me a comment and a link – I’ll stop by and see what you’re up to.

Happy arting!


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Art Journal Page: Feel it

Hi ho, lovely readers.

It occurred to me recently that I’ve kept myself so busy with art class lessons, I haven’t taken the time to integrate the lessons into my work.  My primary art goal for 2017 is Integration.  Today’s post is the start of an art journal page I’ve been working on.

I used 2 Dyan Reaveley masks, one large and one medium sized stencil/mask set (the name I can’t remember or find) and my own profile face stencil. The color is Distress Spray. The journal is my 9×12 Leuchturm 1917, which I love, but the pages soak up the Distress sprays and takes a long time to dry.


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Post Apocalyptic Wild Horses

Hi ho my lovelies,

I have been stuck on what to do with the 10th and final piece for my show next month.  I tried to mix techniques up with my portraits, but the last one stumped me.

I distracted myself with my Happy Planner, which led me on a visual chase that included a lot of youtube videos, my stack of Somerset publications, and at some point, I remembered Effy Wild’s lesson from the 2014 Life Book on negative space.  That string led me to the idea that is helping me finish the portrait.  I decided I wanted a profile for this portrait and to use a stencil.  I’ve had some trouble with facial profiles, so I spent a little time fiddling and came up with a stencil I really like that is based on one of the Radiant Faces Lesson, the Dreamer. Oddly appropriate for the final portrait:  Maya, the goddess who lived in a cave, mother of Hermes, and surrogate mother to Calisto’s son, Arcas. So she ties nicely into the series.

This style of making an elaborate background and then painting out shapes takes me a long time.  Lots of layers.  Lots of waiting for layers to dry.

Rather than jump right into my portrait, I made a few stencil tests.

Which is the point of this post (finally, the point!).

This 2 page spread started with the horse and unicorn sketches, done with a Derwent Medium Wash Pencil. I wanted to see how far I could push the wash.  I added a couple of birds and then used a couple of Gelatos, activated, for the background.

For the profile test, I used Distress Sprays in Mermaid Lagoon (delish!) and Wild Honey.  These two colors blend together nicely into a pine-ish green. Very pretty. Once it dries, I am going to take some gesso and grunge the background, which will bring the figures forward and set the Distress Sprays.

The journal is my very large (16″x22″) I forget the brand.  Probably Canson.

More on my show in future posts.

In the meantime…fly, be free!


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My Hiro

I’ve been brewing a mixed media project that tells a story using my dolls. I’m still working through the details, how do I want it to look, how to incorporate photos and hand drawn art…do I want to do extensive digital photo manipulation, how much of the words need to be visible, etc.

I’m starting with the characters. This is Hiro. I wouldn’t call this page finished, just done for today.


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Preview of My Minimalist Mixed Media Planner

Hi ho, my lovelies.

One of my art goals is to get my work published in my favorite mixed media art magazines – Cloth Paper Scissors or one of the Stampington publications. I admit that I haven’t pursued this goal rigorously. Last year, I submitted an entry in CPS sugar skull reader challenge. This year, I submitted an entry to CPS’s Mixed Media Planner challenge.  My entry wasn’t selected, so today’s post is about my version of a planner. Future posts will present techniques and video tutorials so you can make your own, along with future pages.

Why a planner? I have a planner obsession, complete with Pinterest board.  For many years now, I purchase a new planner at the beginning of the year, make lists, plans, and lots of goals, only to give up after 3 or 4 months – once the New Year’s enthusiasm wears off. I persisted with the paper planner obsession even though we are well into the 21st Century and I use my smart phone keeps track of scheduling, lists, and contacts. I’ve purchased various planner systems, all with the same result: blank pages partway into the year.

I won’t even go into my shame spiral about the Documented Life plan I started 2015 with…

Why Minimalist? I’ve made a start on a minimalist kick lately with my wardrobe and my studio. I won’t digress into further detail but the minimalist wardrobe class on Project 333 coincided with taking Kelly Rae Robert’s Hello Soul, Hello Mixed Media class – which is not minimalist but I really enjoyed the way Kelly Rae distilled some dig deep journaling into a mantra. Besides, her style of mixed media art is a lot of intuitive fun. When the CPS planner challenge was announced, I decided to distill everything into creating my own planner.

I spent some time examining the planners I like, ditched the duplicated tasks my phone handles, fiddling with layouts. In looking through my planners, I found a statement in my 2014 planner/art journal to work on one goal at a time. I work a full-time job at a major local hospital and, like everyone else, my non-work life is full of stuff: chores, family and friends, movies, hobbies, and, in my case, making art.

After honing my planner contents down, I started making the pages for the CPS challenge. The key to my planner is to explore my goal through journaling, use the words as the first layer and create a beautiful page with a mantra or quote that represents my goal.  When I achieve my goal, I’ll make a page to celebrate my accomplishment, pick another item on the Master list and repeat the process. While I work on the goal, my planner is my art journal.

Most goal-setting people advocated setting a date for one’s goals, but frankly, I dislike setting dates. In my job as an Administrative Assistant, I spend every work day working with calendars, meetings, and deadlines. I don’t like to plan my non-work time. Much to the dismay of my dear hubby.

The contradiction of the planner obsession and the complete resistance to planning outside of work is not lost on me. We’ll see how the Minimalist Planner works out but my gut feeling is that focusing on one task is the key to reaching it.

Here are 2 of my pages and the cover. The CPS challenge rules were for a planner no larger than 6″ x 8″. More planner details to come.

MMP-MasterList-page MMP-Mantra-page MMP-Cover

I’d like to know your thoughts on my Minimalist Planner.  Do you want to see more? Do you have any requests for techniques you’d like to see?

Fly, be free.

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Pebble Girl




The Gimp-speriments continue. I have a pebbly obsession. I like them. Fortunately, I can now virtually pick them up with my camera. And merge them with one of my journal pages. I like the pebble texture. It almost looks like it’s the paper.

What are your experiments? Leave me a comment and tell me what you’re working on.

Fly, be free, my lovelies.


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Life Book 2015 Weeks 10-13

Here are the next batch of pages. Theoretically, March.

Week 10 Layers of Your Heart with Tam, featuring the lyrics to Big Audio Dynamite “Push Those Blues Away.”


Week 11 Your Inner & Outer World with Jane Davenport. One of my favorite pages.


Week 12 was an artist interview, which was good because I spent that time working on the side facing bodies.


Week 13 is Happy Painting with Juliette Crane. I’ve enjoyed Juliette’s art for a while so I figured I would sign up for Life Book 2015 when I saw she was one of the teachers. The page happens to be next to Week 12 and uses similar colors so they look good together.  I’ve been making these whimsical stump figures since my first class with Jane Davenport. I’m enjoying learning new tricks for them.

The critters remind me of my late Great Aunt Mary, who loved stuffed animals, a trait I inherited from her.

On to the April lessons!

Happy arting.

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Life Book Weeks 5-9

Hi there, beautiful ones. I mentioned in the last post that I started with Lesson 1 of Life Book 2015 and am “catching up.” I know from last year’s experience that I can skip lessons (I skipped 2), some weeks are an artist interview (no art lesson), and there are plenty of what Tam calls “bonus lessons,” which are less work-intense. I feel no pressure with this matter of ‘catching up.’

Without further ado, here are my pages, and 1 canvas, for February’s Life Book 2015 lessons. For this particular group, I think I used every art supply in my stash.

Week 5 Dream Catcher with Rachel Rice.  I didn’t have the doily that Rachel used on her page and instead, used a circlular thing that I crocheted using my own hand spun yarn. Truthfully, I don’t remember when I made this little thing or why I kept it.  But it came in handy for this page, as it represents my dream to someday go back to knitting, crocheting and spinning my own yarns.


Week 6 Seeds of Love with Tam.  This was another lesson that I saw a lot of posts for and really loved the art that people were making. I enjoyed this lesson so much that I created two additional paintings.


Week 7 Heart Community with Jill K. Berry



Week 7 Magical Mystery Tour with Violette Clark, close-up of my page


Week 8 Treasure Seeking with Mati Rose McDonough. This lesson was on wrapped canvas and I was compelled to re-imagine one of Tam’s Life Book 2014 pages in this lesson.

Week8TreasureSeeking Week 9 Favorite Favorites with Lynn Whipple


What do you do to manage the feeling that you are behind?


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Life Book Weeks 1-4

As I mentioned in the last post, I signed up for Life Book 2015 after completing Tam’s mini workshop, Summer Girls, near the end of March.  Although it means that I need to do some catching up, I chose to work through the lessons from the beginning.  At the writing of this post, I am just beginning to work on Week 12, Your Inner and Outer World with Jane Davenport. In real time, the class is on Week 17. So I have to catch both myself and you up so in order to do this, I’m posting a month’s worth of lessons at a time.

Rather than bind my 2015 Life Book, I am using a 9″x12″ Leuchtturm 1917 journal, which I plan to use for all the art classes I take this year. I’m writing the name of the class and date I finish each page in order to keep track. In addition to LB 2015, I am enrolled in 3 self-study classes, “Primitive Portraits” with Mindy Lacefield, which influenced Week 4’s page; Mika Diaz’ “Face2Face” class (lessons on hair!); and Tam’s mini class, A Christmas Whimsy, to help me make holiday cards this year.

Sometimes I copy the lesson as presented and other times I go in my own direction, based on the arty urge at the moment I sit down to work. I continue to use Effy’s Ultimate Class Notebook,which helps me retain more information from each lesson.

On to Life Book 2015 pages!

Week 1 Warm-up exercise byTam

LifeBookWeek1Week 1 Beacon of Light, also by Tam. One of the reasons I gave in and signed up for Life Book. I loved all the Beacons that people were posting to the Facebook group.


Week 2 Playing Tag with Roben-Marie Smith


Week 3 The Artful Wordsmith with Joanne Sharpe


Week 4 Courage Dear Heart with Patti Ballard



Drop me a line and let me know how you make your life more creative, whether it’s arty art, cooking, crafting, etc.



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Mermaid Circus Week 6

The two lessons for Week 6 of Mermaid Circus is Working Dark and Sea Nymphs! Both of these lessons were done in my large, hard bound journal. Working Dark uses Jane’s Tissue Transfer technique, collage, acrylics, pencils, pens and draws, as you can see, from deep sea creatures, which I love. Many are very odd looking creatures, indeed.

Week 6 Working Dark

Sea Nymphs


Sea Nymphs is another collage page. The bodies were squiddy creatures from the Dover book, “Dragons and Other Incredible Sea Creatures.” Done the same list of materials above.

Week 7 was a gloriously inspirational week of videos from Jane and Teesha.

All that leaves for this class is week 8 of Mermaid Circus. Have I mentioned how much I loved this class?

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Radiant Faces Part 2 Lesson 7

Part 2 Lesson 7 is Effy’s take on Jaime Doughterty’s Dreamer.  I really liked the idea of transferring my Part 1 Dreamer onto one of my art journals, so I did. I added some collage that included the 3 places my on-line art teachers reside: Canada for Effy, England for Tamara and Australia for Jane.

For Part 1, I drew my Dreamer then traced her onto tracing page so I used that to transfer my gal onto one of my Canson journals.


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Radiant Faces Part 2 Lesson 6

Lesson 6 is Effy’s take on The Watcher.  Both Effy and Kylie did these as paint over collage using a self-portrait. I’m not a fan of painting over my own face.  As I watched the lesson videos, I liked Effy’s descriptions of what she was trying to convey with her page.  I was in an exploring space kind of mood, as in interstellar.  As I watched, I thought about my relationship to the ‘Verse. There have been many times in my life when I have closed my eyes and jumped, knowing that the Universe would point me home.

My plan for these pages was to represent my Watcher as the Universe, always looking out for me. I wanted my Watcher to be part of the ‘verse and tried to get Miss Universe to emerge from the black.

Or blue, in this case. Yeah, I know space is black, but I like blue. These pages were acrylics and Prisma pencils.