Sunday, May 31, 2009

Outlets and Big Bucks

Went to Wrentham Outlets here in Massachusetts. Phew! Lots of money even for outlets. I did find a couple pairs of knee length jean shorts for $7.50 a piece at Rue 21 and found a bright purple scarf at Hot Topic for $2.95. I think scarves maybe going out of style because I am starting to find them in stores on sale and yet I see alot more brought in into Marshalls. They are the most beautiful colors. Most stores put them into color category and it is like a rainbow. I feel like I could never get tired of a scarf even though it is getting a bit warm for the summer but many light cotton fabric scarves are being made. I bought one that has four to vibrant colors on it. The fabric texture is like a gauze and there are three huge beads on each end.

Juicy Couture, a store for younger women and girls had colors that were mouth watering. Many of their clothes are a terry cloth along with terry cloth pocketbooks. Again, all of the colors of sweat/work out pants are color categorized: sherbert colors. Keep an eye out for color and incorporate it into your work.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Children Just Have It In Them

I just found out that SuziBlu is possibly going to put my writing on a zine. The title of my writing was "Children Just Have It In Them". I love writing first of all, and especially about art and children. Through the years I have taught children many techniques in my home. Two years ago, back in the early 90's, I had a class for children and a class for teens in my home. What joy I had when a child would bring in their assignment to class. Can you imagine that one of those children is now an adult artist doing shows in New York. You see, we adults have a great input into children's lives. In the future, I would love to share some of the assignments I did with the children. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Sour Dough Starter

This recipe was found in a small magazine I get called "Above Rubies". In a plastic bowl, pour boiling water over it to sterilize it first. Add one cup of rye flour and one cup of water. Keep it on your counter and cover it with a breathable cloth. I am using a linen towel. Every day for seven days, add the dough to a clean sterilized bowl and add one cup of rye flour and one cup of water. What this does is keep the dough bacteria free. After seven days, your starter should bubble and be somewhat spongy looking. Smell it and if it smells sour that is o.k. Now you will need a three quart container to put the starter in. Feed it one cup of flour and one cup of water everyday. Suggestion: only use a plastic or wooden spoon, metal spoons are not good for the starter. Keep one cup of starter when you use it so that you can keep it growing.

Directions for bread making will come soon!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Having an Artist Date

Today was my planned artist date: IDEA from the "The Artist Way". A book I had read about from many art sites, I decided to look up and read. The book and I have different ideologies but I figure why not learn from it what I can.

Take a day out of the week, just a couple of hours, and go off by yourself and do something creative. I actually enjoyed thinking about ideas. One idea in the book was to go to the dollar store and buy five dollars worth of fun little stuff and use it.

I had different ideas that I logged down on my computer. I thought that one day I could go to the art store and purchase 2-3 sheets of scrap booking paper and come home and integrate it into a new collage. Another idea I had was going and buying an unusual color of lipstick, a different color that I usually don't wear, buy it and wear it all day. The dollar store and CVS has inexpensive lipsticks. Plein Air is something I want to get more comfortable with and I thought I should pack a back with plenty of water for my watercolors and go paint somewhere where there is no one looking over my shoulder and I can have a quiet time.

Think of some ideas and write to me. It would be fun to share them.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Somerset Magazines and color

Wow, what great ideas from Somerset Magazines! Just to see the color ideas and textures other artists use is amazing!
New Idea: after you cut out words from paper or vintage papers, antique the edges with inks, charcoal or burn the edges. Apply bees wax to your main project. Lay your words down that you have aged with the above mediums, lay them in the order you would like on the surface of the bees wax and heat with your heat gun or blow dryer. The wax will melt around the paper. Your wax and aged paper will become a definite color: a sepia and aged look for color. You can add color with your soft water oil pastels and blend with your fingers.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Supplies for Using Color

After working on collage for months now, I have purchased some various supplies using coupons from AC Moore and Michaels. You can download their coupons. Why not save 40-50% on an item instead of paying the whole amount especially when colored watercolor pencils can cost from $18.00 and up. Michaels and JoeAnne's takes AC Moore's coupons also so copy away and go to each store. All of these stores are on the same route for me so I go to all of them. Do be aware that the prices are a bit different between Michaelsw and AC Moore's.

Now, back to the supplies that I completely love to use for color. I have bought a couple of different brands of watercolor crayons and watercolor oil pastels. I highly suggest buying the "Portfolio" series oil pastels. They are soft and when applied on paper, they go on so smoothly. the watercolor crayons are harder and do not. They almost make an indent in the paper if you press to hard. I bought the Staedtler watercolor crayons and the Loew cornell type. Do experiment though to learn.

The portfolio oil pastels can be applied to all surfaces or can be applied by wetting your paint brush, rubbing the side of the pastel, and applying to your paper. Applying the brush to the crayon then to the paper helps you limit the amount of color you want to apply especially if you are working on a small detail otherwise go to town with coloring on your paper. Apply one color on different spots of the paper, then add another color. Be generous with color or colors. If you are in the mood to do only one or two colors, then do that. The colors blend nicely together and come out looking like a watercolor painting. You can reapply the color after wetting down with a brush and keep painting or rubbing with your fingers the color. When dry, it is a bit more hard to apply color to make the surface darker. Writing on the oils after they have been wet and dried is almost impossible. Still looking for markers that work great on top of oil. Bic Mark-It has come out with a beautiful color selection of markers that I bought at Staples. The names are fun too like "Horsey Brown", "Sunset Orange", "Hot Aqua", "Plumtastic Purple"....These markers are made to write on wet and oily surfaces.

Acrylic paint is a wonder tool to use for color on your surface. I suggest purchasing acrylic paints that are in the craft section of the store and not the fine arts section. You will pay $.50-$1.00 for a bottle and can have many different colors that way and blend and mix. They dry quickly and if you want your work dryer quicker, use a hair dryer. Do not blow the hot air too close to the surface. Once dry, you are able to work on your surface again. the oil pastels, watercolors and acrylics look similar when diluted and dried. Do a sample sheet with each medium next to each other and see what you prefer. You may chose one medium over another depending on the project you are doing.

Gesso is mainly white. Yes, you can buy black and grey in certain stores. I use the gesso to prime or "prepare" my canvas, cardboard, old book page or illustration board. Remember, you can use what ever surface you want. I was talking to my son yesterday in Michigan. He goes to school there and is taking a course that incorporates music, literature and art. Boy do I wish I was there with him taking it. We were discussing various mediums and how they can be used to do a project. He was preparing to work on a three dimensional project. What he did not realize was the time it will take to have his project dry and be prepared for a showing. (He is a pre-seminary student but loves art :) you never know)! Gesso when applied to make your surface nice and smooth, can also be dried with a hair dryer. This is great for when you are drying a piece of antique paper or regular watercolor paper. These are less porous and will dry quicker than a board. You can layer your gesso by putting down one coat, let it dry, then put another coat down. You can put your gesso down with a putty knife or painters knife and have it be textured and bumpy or smooth. Gesso also can be used to fix a mistake. If you applied color that you do not like or painted a mistake, cover it with gesso, let it dry and fix. The black gesso as you can imagine gives a very different appearance and is used differently than white. Brighter colors of paints or crayon are to be applied to black gesso. Grey gesso is to make a surface somewhat bland, less eye attention than a plain white bare canvas.

You would probably never imagine that for color I suggest papers: new, old vintage, magazines, mail, newspapers, childrens books and ephemera. Ephemera is fun stuff. It can be lace, doilies, keys, stamps, anything little that can be attached to a collage or canvas. These have color, and texture and size.

Tomorrow, I will talk more about gathering visuals for color and other mediums used for color.

Don't forget to check out the notebooking site if you are a homeschooler or a mom who is thinking of homeschooling. "Notebooking brings in a child's creative juices with collecting, drawing, painting, collaging and design.

Notebooking with my children

Apologia is now producing notebooking journals that accompany each of the elementary science books. Both Botany and Astronomy are now available. You can see samples on the Apologia website here:

These journals are beautiful spiral bound notebooks that will save you time and money. You won't have to print and keep up with your child's notebook pages, buy and maintain page protectors, or purchase and compile binders...everything that makes notebooking time-consuming and labor intensive for mom. Also, your child will adore having their own notebooking journal.

Each of the notebooking journals include:
  • A daily schedule for those who like to have a plan or would like their children to complete the book on their own
  • Templates for written narrations, the notebooking activities and experiments
  • Review Questions
  • Scripture Copywork, with both print and cursive practice
  • Reading lists and additional activities, projects, experiments for each lesson
  • An appendix with beautiful, full-color, lapbook-style Miniature Books
  • Field Trip Sheets to keep a record field trips
  • A Final Review with fifty questions the students can answer either orally or in writing to show off all they remember and know at the end of the course.
See the sample pages here:




Jeannie is giving away four Astronomy Notebooking Journals and four Botany Notebooking Journals to bloggers who post about this on their site. Visit her blog to learn more about this contest:

The contest ends on in one week on May 29th! That way I'll have the weekend to send them before I go to the Illinois conference.

So blog away!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

SuziBlu mixed media artist

An art site worth checking out is SuziBlu. You can watch her on YouTube and get many tips to use in your artwork. Then if you are satisfied, you can take her classes. That is what I am saving up for. I have been working on my own pieces as I watch her free youtubes. I believe you can move on without taking monetary classes, but, it is always nice to work under someone, who then you can send pictures of your work on her site to show off.
Mixed Media is what you will learn with her site. What is Mixed Media? You are working on a piece of art work with many layers of paints, papers, photos, stencils, rub-ons, ribbons and ephemera. You can work on a canvas, canvas board, watercolor paper, illustration board, cardboard. Ephemera is stuff like antique keys, stamps, metals, dried flowers, ribbons etc.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Salvation Army to buy a Rolodex

I went to the Salvation Army yesterday to buy a Rolodex. Figuring they always have everything and I have seen rolodex there before (no not a watch). My idea, which I did see something like this in a magazine, was to jot down all of my new ideas or ideas of other artists, write them on the rolodex cards and now I have a nice system to flip when I want a new idea or want to check off one that I have done. I love watching YouTube videos on HOW TO's for art techniques. It furthers my education.
I did not find a rolodex but did find a photo book that flips and love it. Started putting all of my index cards in it already. It holds approximately 90 which is not as much as a rolodex but I figure, when I finish all of the ideas that are on the cards, I can file them and start a new group of ideas.

Thursday, May 14, 2009


I love to write down the various creative ideas other artists have that I have never thought of.
Start a collection of index cards. Write down the ideas and put in a box, or just have on a bulletin board. When you feel like doing something different on a collage or mixed media idea, there you have it.
Today, I wrote down: Gesso your board, let dry. Use watercolors over it.
I have never used watercolors over gesso. I have used watercolor crayons, watercolor pastels, and acrylics.
I saw an idea that if you get an old rolodex, you can put your ideas on those cards. So off to Jennies in Haverhill (antique shop) to see if I can find a good deal. If not, I will wait for yard sales, or Brimfield out in the Worcester area for their huge flea market.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Monday, May 11, 2009


Check out the right side of my sight and type SuziBlu on YouTube. She teaches many cute art techniques for mixed media, art journals or life journals, the use of many various tools and paints, and many many other techniques along with learning to draw vintage little girl drawings. They remind me of these particular dolls that we had in the late 1960's and 1970's that we would have as a decoration on our bureau or the bed. You will be kept busy checking out her social site. You can join her social site also.

Good Morning

Well, it is wonderful to have a new blog up and running. I have a few others in cyberspace that I either can not get my password retrieved or it just does not suit my needs and people can not find me. So here I am on a new day, learning new things.

Bear with me, I am not a new artist, but I am a newer blogger compared to many of you reading this!

After having my back thrown out for a couple of days, I am going to make an attempt to go to Panera's with my husband this morn for a coffee and bagel. They certainly have the best bagels ever especially the cinammon crunch toasted with cream cheese. My husband is a pastor and Mondays are supposedly :) his day off so we try to do things together with the children or alone. I homeschool my three home kids so our schedule works great with work and their education.

So, I am a new grandmom, a mom, a christian, a pastor's wife, a gardener (if my back gets back to strength) and an artist!
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