Hits and misses

My Altered Book: Layout in Progress: HAPPINESS Multi page layout

This is the current layout I’m working on and as you can see, it is far from finished.  There are some mishaps that need correcting (like my “H” seems a little wobbly and will need some “beefing up”), and I might have made a mistake painting the panel across “S” in red in the same color.  Of course I can always cut out that portion that is not agreeing with the final look I have in mind so I can have the last “S” in bright yellow green over a different final background.  (I know I am making sense only to myself.)

I wanted to take a photo of the layouts uncut but I got too excited and cut it up over lunch today.  =(  I haven’t been good with the updates, but the other layouts have come out rather nicely.  I have the photos, I just haven’t had the time to write a blog post. 

The boy, for one, has sequestered my laptop over the weekend (since it was a long weekend because of Columbus Day today), and while I like typing on the iPad with my Zagfolio keyboard, it isn’t quite the same.  I have gotten used to editing pictures straight from my memory card, uploading to my Flickr account, then posting it as a graphic here, and no matter how others rave over the tablets, I still think they work best in helping us enjoy what’s online, but creating and pulling things together require more than they can offer.

I have proudly finished five ATCs (Artist Trading Cards) but I failed to take into account that today is a holiday — hence, no post office.  I dropped them off at the mailbox anyway, hoping to send them off on their merry way.  And I picked up some beautiful Yuzen Origami sheets for some Oriental ATCs due on Wednesday, and try as I might to find a suitable origami geisha or kimono doll tutorial, I am leaning towards doing a simple collage.  Sometimes I wonder if I’m in over my head with the swaps I’ve signed up for over at Swap-bot, but save for one major mistake in my pea-brained misunderstanding of instructions for one swap, I’ve been having a blast.

In fact, I got a surprise message today from a swap-partner-to-be for one of the ones I signed up for who appears to be reader number 8 of my blog.  It was one of those simple messages that made me smile and almost want to jump up and down for joy and do a happy dance.  Small world.. I did warn her, though, that she might have the wrong blog. (I thought I only had 7 readers.)  But the truth of the matter is, I am so amazed at what a small world this is for us to have actually bumped into each other on Swap-bot.  See, my blog is identified in my profile, and swap etiquette dictates that one should check out the profiles of the people you are sending out to to make it an extra special swap by taking into consideration what they want and don’t want.  And she found me.. or rather, we got assigned to be swap partners. =)

Ten-minute blog post on "Happy"

It’s 11:30PM and I’m tired, but I thought I’d blog before hitting the sack because it has been a day full of “happy”.

Happy that I’ve arranged my jewelry making supplies organizers into a neat stack in one of the closets — and keeping my fingers crossed that I can get creating again.. soon!

Happy to have had lunch with my cousin, Mia, who has moved to New York.  It always feels good to be with family — even if among her three sisters, Mia, being the youngest, must have the foggiest memories of me.  That’s the advantage of being older, though — I remember more.  Lunch at Bryant Park Grill — and a date in the works.

Happy to have finished my first ever artist trading card.  I’m still pretty nervous about sending this off for my first ever ATC swap, but I figured waiting and not doing anything is not going to make me better at it.  (More on this at a later time..)   Creating I go.

Happy to continue to be creating new layouts in my happiness journal.  How much happier can you get than a pink rose bouquet on a two-page spread?  (Now trying to think of a graphic to use in the next spread which is an almost teal or teal blue.)

Ten minutes are up.. More tomorrow.

My Altered Book: HAPPY - Multi-leaf layout

Art Journal Every Day: Today, The Journey Begins…

It was not easy to start again but here is my first finished layout (finally photographed!) as I begin my Art Journal Every Day journey in an ACTUAL journal.  I know I had long resisted the idea to do it, but here it is.  I am excitedly working on three layouts right now — and while it would be great to finish one and move on to the next, I’ve come to discover that it isn’t quite that easy when you cannot be art journaling full time.  Besides, it helps to have the journal to whip out in a busy hotel lobby as I wait for Alan to get off work.  Or when the inspiration hits me during my lunch break, I can just open it and close it discreetly when it’s time to work again.  So it can be done indeed!

I feel as though I’m doing more mistakes than I’m doing things right, but I think that that is all part of the process.  The frustration and the creativity required to work around mistakes is good therapy for artist-wannabes like me, and I am already excitedly thinking about future layouts.

I am also learning about the surface/texture I work with, and want to experiment with other methods or ways besides collage or just plain and simple scrapbooking.  I’ve put gesso on one layout but find that raw paper might be better for me since I work a lot with pens and markers.

It is so inspiring, though, to work on paper that’s been laid out with a watercolor background like the layout I am trying to finish below.  While there were some mistakes like when I made watercolor circles and then I tried to dilute them by brushing over them — resulting instead in almost totally blotting them out.  Still, I can live with the finished product and have pasted snippets of actual photos I took, a jorunaling entry, and of course, zentangled borders.  (I just can’t help it!)

Work in Progrss

However, between gesso-prepped paper and plain paper that’s been pasted onto my composition notebook, I’m finding that the plain paper that’s been watercolored on is easier for me to work with.  I guess it might also be part of my learning process.

I am excitedly trying to figure out how best to use watercolor pencils, my pastel (craypass) pens and a very elementary set of acrylics — and I am enjoying myself immensely in the process.  For now I think I’ll be doing more watercolor backgrounds.  Indeed, the journey has begun…

Digital Scrapbooking Alert: New Freebie from Shabby Princess

One of my favorite ever digital scrapbooking sites is ShabbyPrincess.com, which also makes TheShabbyShoppe.com one of my favorite digital scrapbooking Online stores.

For the uninitiated, digital scrapbooking is the use of digital media (graphics, papers, etc.) to create scrapbook layouts.  Hybrid scrapbooking, on the otherhand, is the use of digital scrapbooking elements for hard copy or printed scrapbook layouts which I am into.  (There’s just something different about the way memories come back when you actually turn the pages of an album, and having bits and pieces of mementos clipped to the pages like tickets, brochures, articles or magazine write ups.)

I usually go and visit the Shabby Princess to find new ideas and inspiration for my scrapbook layouts.  Her shop produces very good quality digital scrapbooking kits which are unique and professionally rendered.  When I first got into digital scrapbooking some 6 years ago, her site provided me with a treasure trove of digital freebies which are available on the website.

Today I just discovered they had released the Plentiful Collection which you can get by clicking here.  (The link will take you the page where the download links are available. )

The kit is a good sized download but it has been broken up into 8 batches for those who might have difficulty downloading huge files.

Free Digital Scrapbook Kit available from Shabby Princess

Give me a few days to come up with a layout using this kit!