Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Who Wants a Postcard?

Today I'm taking a break. In fact, this break might last a few days. I spent 6 hours compiling addresses and sending out emails last night for the International Mixed Media Postcard Swap. I'm exhausted, I still have cramping in my left little finger from doing the Copy and Paste commands,  and my house and family need attention.

Don't get me wrong! I quite love hosting the swap, and I love the fact that I get to bring together artists from all over the world.

What I don't love, however, is the fact that I forgot to include my OWN address in the swap. <le sigh>

I am half-finished my postcards and have no one to send them to!

I have to finish them, of course! They are already super colourful and great, and I was planning to stitch on them this evening. I LOVE the process of art, so I'm still committed to making these cards SUPERB!

If you'd like one of my cards, please email me and let me know. Remember, my email address is in the top left corner of the blog. EDIT: I have received ten emails = ten recipients! Thanks! :)

Just to be clear, you don't have to be a part of the swap to receive one of my postcards since all of the participants will be receiving ten postcards from other artists already.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Grammar Junkie!

I am a stickler for correct grammar and am absolutely horrified when something doesn't come out right - for myself or anyone close to me!

I came across this little guide - cute and very informative, and free to share!

15 Grammar Goofs That Make You Look Silly
Like this infographic? Get more copywriting tips from Copyblogger.

Monday, 28 May 2012

Les Fleurs

I've been working on a couple of journal pages for my dear friend MaryAnn. Here is one of them.

I love the colour combination of the lime yellowy green and the pinks and reds. I don't know if there is more vibrancy than such a combination!

"The Earth laughs in flowers" - Ralph Waldo Emerson
Here is a close-up of some of the penwork detail. This was probably the funnest part of building this piece.
Materials used:
- watercolour paints
- magazine cutouts
- acrylic paint (for the flower)
- white Sakura gel pen
- Papermate Liquid Flair - black
- Ink and various caps to create the circles

Now THAT is mixed media!

Friday, 25 May 2012

A Peek Into My Great-Grandmother's Sewing Room

A visit to Mom and Dad's this past weekend resulted in an overwhelming glimpse into my great-grandmother''s sewing room.

My mother had a score of unfinished quilting materials and squares that were given to her after her grandmother (my great-grandmother) passed away.

I am definitely going to finish these quilts. Some are smaller so I will make them into cushion covers; others are full blanket sized. All of them are beautiful!

To think that these were done on an old treadle machine makes them even more precious as I run my fingers over the fine seams.

Feast your eyes on these fabrics and patterns!

I'm going to make these squares into a large square pillow.

I love the patterns and colours that she chose for this star... Not sure what I will do yet with this.
There are two stars in total.

The fabric is rough and porous...and lovely.

There are 3-4 large pieces of already-quilted sections that need to be finished.
Here is one of them. Look at the stitching!
Another image of the larger quilts that need to be finished. The fabrics are just perfect!!

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Rag Rug Chair Pad - In Crochet!

Did you know that those playful, kitschy, shaggy rag rugs are done using crochet? I just about jumped for joy when I discovered that, and went right to work researching how to make one.

I've become quite well-acquainted with crochet. In fact, I now prefer it to knitting. After tossing my knitting needles messily aside, I picked up a huge-mongous crochet hook and went to work on creating some chair pads for our garden furniture.

The great thing about these chair pads is that they are made of old t-shirts. In other words, they're washable, won't shrink, bleed or fray, and come in a wealth of fabulous colours!

It just so happens that I had a fairly healthy stash of discarded t-shirts in my fabric stash, so I quickly went to work cutting strips. The method that I used required no sewing at all, and the whole project from cutting strips to tucking in loose edges took me roughly 5 hours.

We have two chairs that need pads, so I'm really only half finished this project, but the halfway point is oh-so-rewarding. What do you think?

Here is the finished product!

I used about a dozen t-shirts for this. One red, two brown, and the rest in differing shades of blue.

Here are the rags that I cut. I didn't cut too carefully, just wanted to get the job done.
Any uneven edges don't show in the end product.

After tying all of the strips together, I wound them into balls.

Then I began to crochet. I chained 4, looped around, and then did 8 in the middle ring.
I doubled the second ring and did the gradual increase for the rest.
I decided to add a brown border to finish it off. In the end, I did two full rounds of brown as the edging.


And here is the end result! Lovely! (It was raining or I would have taken it right into the garden!)

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

WIWO Wednesday: Doodles With A New Pen

WIWO Wednesday - It's What I'm Working On

Playing around with my new Papermate Liquid Flair (med) today. It was one of the pens that I read about when I posted about my on-order Copic markers. Wishkeepers Creativity Collective did a great post about different types of pens and I physically had to pull myself away from the Order Now button on amazon. I DID, though, get this Papermate plus a set of Copics...

Today: Fun with the Papermate Liquid Flair.

Here it is in all its glory. And I don't use the word glory lightly. this pen really does write like a dream!
Smooth and solid and lovely.
Today I used it on a watercolour background and it didn't stumble once. THAT is a good pen!

Ultra-fun doodling.
Playing around with fun lettering and embellishments.

The whole page: just a little doodle, based on a constant struggle of mine.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012


Fun in the journal. Manifest destiny. You'll see the significance of this in a while.

Monday, 21 May 2012

Are You In?

The International Mixed Media Postcard Swap Version 2.0 was launched last Wednesday. Have you signed up yet? It's going to be SO MUCH FUN!!

Have a read here at the rules and details!

Friday, 18 May 2012

Playing In My Journal

I'm in love with trees. I've always been a nature girl, walking barefoot all summer - grass, gravel or sand - just to feel the connection with the earth. I love sitting at the beach or in a forest and letting nature sink into me.

I've also always loved the tree motif. I have loads of tree art around my house - mostly stuff that I've created myself.

Today in my journal I'm making trees and leaves with watercolours.

I love how the dark and light spots show so well with watercolour paints.

I decided to carry this branch across two pages and then to cut the right-hand page. Neat effect, right?
Just me playing in my journal. No biggie.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Playing Around With Colour

Just a little page that I made yesterday - playing with watercolours.

As the pigment lessened, the swatches became more translucent...

This could be a really great start to a background!

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

WIWO Wednesday - It's What I'm Working On

Today I'm trying to figure out what to do to finish off this page in my art journal.

I'd LOVE to have some input from you if you have any ideas! It just doesn't seem complete to me...

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

A New Little Art Journal

I subscribe to a Canadian magazine called Canadian Living. To be honest, it's nothing special. It contains a huge variety of topics including recipes, some fashion/beauty, national heroes, and health information.

But it's cheap, and sometimes the pictures in it are great for my journalling.

A little perk that came with it this month is a little recipe book for slow cooking - cute size, full of great recipes, and EXCELLENT for making into a little art journal!

I took it DIRECTLY into my studio and gesso'd it.

ahhh the wonders it will hold...!

It was pretty flimsy so I pasted a few pages together.

Now it only contains about 10 pages in total, but I think it will be perfect for a themed journal!

Monday, 14 May 2012

Look Carefully

Have you ever really looked at your pets' eyes? The world in there is amazing. It's art. It's layer upon layer of inspiration.

Look. Really closely. Look at their eyes...

Friday, 11 May 2012

The Thing About Pens...

One thing that I totally struggle with in my art journalling is working with the layers and then writing on top of them. I LOVE to create depth in my backgrounds, and the last step of my journal pages is penwork. I have ruined so many pens with this final step of my process, and it's been getting to the point where I can't afford to buy more pens!

Enter the Wishkeepers Creativity Collective. My good friend Lisa Poast turned me on to this blog and in particular this post. They go through a list of TEN pens (different brands, nibs, etc.) and explain each of them in great detail including what kinds of surfaces they write on.

Here is the one that caught my eye (taken directly from the Wishkeepers Creativity Collective Blog):

1. Copic Markers/Pens

For a lot of art journaling techniques that use gel medium or oil pastels (even the water-soluble kind), other pens just won’t work over the top of the medium. Oil pastels, in particular, have a tendency to gum up even the most hardy of writing implements — we’ve even managed to kill a Sharpie or two in trying to write over it. (Shannon: I SO know what they mean! I've killed so many pens the past few years!)

Not so, with Copic pens and markers. Made for japanese manga, they’re a solvent-based ink that will literally write on anything — oil pastel and acetate, glossy surfaces or porous. (Shannon: Ok, I'll bite...)

Back in 2003, these were much rarer, and only came in the marker sets with one broad nib and one chisel nib. Now, though, Copic has both fine-line and thin brush tips (as shown) that are much more like “regular” pens vs. markers, with the same kind of rugged ink that’ll write on anything. (Shannon: no way! That's AWESOME!)

One note: in our tests, these pens bleed like CRAZY through untreated paper, and they smell kind of…odd. Not Sharpie-bad, but odd. Use in a well-ventilated area, and only over other media.

I went IMMEDIATELY to Amazon and ordered this set - hopefully one of my last pen purchases for a while!!

What pens to you love? Please share your thoughts and help educate us!

Thursday, 10 May 2012

New Watercolour Techniques

I think I've stumbled across something wonderful. Who knows - this technique could be being used by artists all over the world! Today, though, I' going to keep it for myself and say that I came up with it. (If you've seen this done before, just nod and smile and read on ;)

Here is a glimpse of a page that I painted with watercolours, then began to outline the darker and lighter portions of the watercolours with a black Pigma pen.
You can see here the yellow portion before I outlined it. See how there are lighter and darker yellows as a natural result of the watercolour paints?

And here is the same portion after I outlined it. It gives it a whole new cartoon-like dimension that I love!!

Here is the whole page with all of the lighter and darker portions outlined. I wish that I had taken a photo of the before - these outlines really make an amazing impact on the page!!
Neat, right? And I discovered it all by myself! :) I feel like a journal queen! Like I said, I'm sure that it has been done before since it is such a simple technique, but to be playing around with watercolours and then stumbling upon this idea, I feel pretty outstanding!!

Maybe I'll work this into my postcards...

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

International Mixed Media Postcard Swap Version 2.0

The International Mixed Media Postcard Swap Version 2.0 is ON!

(Need a crash course on Mixed Media or some inspiration to get started? Read on!)

The basic idea:

- You will make 10 postcards in a mixed media format (don't be afraid - mixed media is a cinch! Keep reading...)

- You will receive 10 mailing address from me for other creative people just like you from around the world!

- You will send each of those ten people one of your handmade postcards.

- Then you will receive a handmade postcard from 10 other people from around the world!

Sound like fun? Then join us!

The rules:

The rules are easy, but make sure that you read through them and follow them! Remember, you have to follow through if you sign up! A real live person will be waiting for each of your 10 postcards!!

1. Join the swap by sending me your information: full name, home address (including country!), email, and blog or website address (if you have one). My email address is on the top left of this blog. Please note: if you are missing ANY of this information or if I cannot contact you using the email address that you provided, I will consider you as not participating.

2. Last day to sign up day is May 27th, 2012!

3. Make 10 handmade postcards in a mixed-media style. Remember, "Mixed media, in visual art, refers to an artwork in the making of which more than one medium has been employed." That means that you can combine ANY types of art into your postcards! (Oh what fun!!!!!)

* There are some examples of Mixed Media styles and techniques further down in this post:

4. After May 27th, I will email you 10 mailing addresses to send your cards to. They might be from across the city, across the country, or on the other side of the world because this swap is open for everyone!

5. Make sure that you fix the appropriate amount of postage, write a nice message, and then send your postcards "plain" or "hidden" in an envelope for protection depending on what you've made. (It’s up to you!) The deadline for sending your postcards is June 25th, 2012.

6. Tell your friends or grab this badge to put onto your blog, linking to this post! The more people we have participating, the more fun it will be! Spread the word; share a link to this page on Facebook or Twitter, write about the swap in your next blog post. Thanks for helping make this swap AWESOME!

7. Wait patiently for the snail mail to do its thing! You will be getting postcards from 10 different people around the world! How exciting!


Mixed Media is an art form that encompasses every other art medium – truly every single one! Mixed Media combines two or more different art mediums (media) into each art piece. Here are some examples of some of the combinations that I love:

- Photography and Ink
- Fabric and Watercolours
- Paint and Crayons (I *love* crayons!)
- Pencil Crayons and Ink
- Fabric and Photography
- Collage and Paint
- Scrapbook Style and Paint
- Embroidery and Ink
- Sewing and Origami
- Zentangle and Painting
- Collage and Stencils

Use any or ALL of these combinations, and then add your own! The possibilities truly are endless!!!

Here are some examples of some combinations that I love.

Maybe they will inspire you to make some mixed media postcards and participate in the Swap!

Here is a piece that I did using a heart-shaped paper doily, napkins for the background, and ink (pen) highlights. Then I used a stamp to put the word dream into the middle. See the whole piece here.

Here is another piece that I did using magazine images and chalk pastel. I combined a whole bunch of magazine images to create my own kooky character.

Here is a portion of a collage that I did using fabrics, ribbon and different types of threads - so fun!

Are you inspired yet?

Don’t forget! Send me your full name, mailing address, and email address to participate in the swap! My email address is on the top left of this blog!

"Like" Musings on Realities on Facebook for progress and Swap updates.!/pages/Musings-On-Realities/144749542303202

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Tomorrow!!! The New Swap Begins!!!

The International Mixed Media Postcard Swap Version 2.0 starts tomorrow! Tune in Wednesday for all of the details!

Send and receive art postcards from all over the world - how great is that?!

Monday, 7 May 2012

It's Coming...

The International Mixed Media Swap Version 2.0 is just around the corner...

Stay tuned for the launch this week!

Friday, 4 May 2012

I Might Be A Social Media Junkie

I love Facebook. I'm sorry. I really do.

I love seeing what friends are up to - which ones are getting married, which ones have started small businesses that I can help by supporting, which restaurants some are trying, what kinds of travel they do.

I like learning about people and discovering different preferences, tastes, hobbies, habits...

I don't think that my love for Facebook makes me shallow; I think that it makes me a supportive friend. I am happy to give engcouragement when a friend admits they're under the weather. I love looking at baby pictures and wondering how a new mother chose the name for her child. I love seeing friends embark upon new endeavours.

That being said, I've encorporated my own blog and hobby into a Facebook Page.

If you click here, you can see it.

I didn't do it for fame or fortune; I did it so that people with similar interests (things that I discuss on my blog) can enjoy my musings when they're on Facebook instead of having to click through to 43 different sites every day.

Is that so wrong?

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Our Yard Reno

We're making an oasis for ourselves - away from the hustle and bustle of life.

A place of calm, serenity, and comfort.

I talked last week about how I want to build an outdoor lounging space (read bed) in our yard...

Here are some pics of the work that we've been doing:

A new garden that I've put in - the plants went in on the weekend: Sedum, rhododendron, Japanese maple, hydrangea, rose, and some redhot pokers :)
The concrete lantern on the left side was a garage sale score! only $6!

Our new retaining wall. We took down an old rotten one and put this up in an afternoon. It sure helps having a partner with big jobs like this one!
Shrubs are getting delivered on Friday for complete privacy from the main road!!

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

WIWO Wednesday - It's What I'm Working On

I think I told you that I'm learning to crochet...

I was inspired by this blanket that my friend Sue made a few years ago:

Colours, Patterns, Stripes - what's not to love??
I've decided that, since I can never find my slippers when I need them, that I need to have a pair for every room in my house. What better way to achieve this than to make them myself, right?

Today I'm trying to wrap my head around making some mary jane slippers for myself. And maybe for some friends and family if all goes well!

I've been on YouTube looking for the easiest-to-follow tutorials on this project.

Here is the one that I think is the best and easiest to follow.
(There are loads of them, but some are not as good as others.)

Click HERE for the video and you will be directed to YouTube.

Any chance you've made some slippers?

Post photos and send me the links!

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Wildflowers - A Themed Art Journal Page

I'm working on a series of wildflower-themed pages in my friend Pam Holladay's altered book.

A group of us local artists are going an altered book swap - 12 people, 12 journals, 12 themes, 12 months = CRAZY awesome fun!

"The Thing About Wildflowers" features various facts and inspirations about wildflowers.

Same page, but a close-up. I used spray ink over a doily to get the mandala-style effect.