art journals.

tried my hand at some abstract journaling.

tried my hand at some abstract journaling.

Ever since I had the ability to write (non-sensical scribbles of a four year old count) I have kept a “diary.” I don’t know where the compulsion to keep a list of the daily mundane activities as a child: “Today I had rice crispies for breakfast…” The older i got, the more they developed into a living memory box of my life at that moment in time; and perhaps it started as my first paltry attempt at creating a sense of order from my distracted thoughts and messy brain. I have over 30 completed journals, which is roughly one per year.  The style and format of my journals adapts to the seasons of my life. During college and Graduate school, my journal functioned as my day planner and the keeper of my sanity. During periods in my life where I have been happy, I notice that I do more art and very little journaling. During tough times however, my journals are filled with sad song lyrics, to-do lists and life questions.

Do you like to look back at your journals? If so, do you do it often? Is creating a written record of your life to reflect back on a reason for your journaling? I am very interested to know. I can honestly say that, that is not the case with me, as writing for reflection at a later period of time would require to much forethought and planning for me. My journal has become one of my few necessities which I carry with me at all times in my bag. It is given the impossible responsibility of keeping me sane (emotionally balanced and organized enough to survive) ..so when I complete one journal, I see it as a memento of the craziness which is my life- maybe one day, when I am normal, I will want to look back at my journals to feel sorry for my crazy self.

Here are a few of my own art journal pages:

my art journal page

my art journal page

my colorful cacti

my colorful cacti

one of my favorite quotes

one of my favorite quotes

Frida and Virginia from my journal.

Frida and Virginia from my journal.

Anyways, I love nothing more than seeing pages from other peoples’ journals. I feel like I am getting a naked glimpse at their soul. I am always so amazed and inspired by the creative, beautiful things that people put down onto pages. One of my favorite artists,  Geninne Zlatkis, has the most beautiful and awe inspiring journal pages. I love all of her work and I also LOVE how she adapts her art journal entries into a day planner. Genius!!

Geninne’s Journal Page

from her flickr account

from her flickr account (October Days) 

more of Geninne's beauty

more of Geninne’s beauty

Here is the link to her flickr account for you to check her out more!: https://www.flickr.com/photos/geninne/sets/72157594514015991/

Another one of my favorites is Guilherme Dietrich. I fell in love with the bright, bold colors and vivid pieces. I had to pick my jaw up off the floor after I saw these. Unfortunately, his flickr account is no longer active and the website I found him on, isn’t either. But here are some of his beautiful pages to feast your eyes at (pangs me to know I will never create something this beautiful)

879094f849e6a1dba2595504a41cbf7e

What inspires you? Why do you journal? I would love to see!

crystal crazed (and pretty darn obsessed with rocks, stones, minerals…)

Before there was Pinterest to feed my obsessive online habits, I quenched my creative thirst by endlessly browsing Etsy for whatever project or subject I was enraptured with at the moment. Whether it was:  amethyst geode bookends, Mexican tooled leather bags, antique blue teacups, vintage French children’s’ books, fresh succulent cuttings or watercolor paintings of feathers, I’d favorite dozens of each and salivate over them until I finally bought something or I got distracted. Sigh…brings back some good memories (and many, many hours!!!). 
Raw minerals and crystals are always one of those things I always come back to. I am drawn to the bright, beautiful array of colors and the amazing and intricate shapes. I am continually in awe of the earth’s ability to create the most astounding works of art. After looking at these rocks and minerals dug out from under the ground, I always come to the conclusion that nothing I, or any human, ever creates will be as beautiful as they are. 
Above are some of my favorites I have put together, most of which can be found on etsy. In the top left image, I love how EarthSkyWarrior (a “Neo-Nostalgic boutique specializing in peculiar One-of-a-Kind home decor misfits & oddities based in Brooklyn, NY”) designed these Blue Agate geode bookends with the plant growing out of one side ($221.00). The top right image is a print by  Vancouver-based artist Jeff Hamada, the creator and founder of http:www.booooooom.com. The middle image of the agate geode slice necklaces are by Linsey, a jewelry designer out of Dallas, Texas and can be found for $48.00 a piece at her Esty shop, MesaBlue. The bottom left is by FAR one of the most beautiful Australian Opal Rings that I have ever seen. I have lusted after it for awhile now and will have to be satisfied with oogling it it via pictures. It is from the brilliant jewelry designer of Sasa Jewelry, Sasa Blackoff. Finally, the bottom right are set of four XL Agate Geode slab coasters by SaraReynoldsJewelry also on Etsy and a steal at $45.00. 

Here are some of the drawings I did in my sketchbook.I definitely need a lot of practice, drawing gems, crystals and minerals takes a lot more patience and focus than I am used to!



Here are a few more of my favorites, just because I couldn’t stop!


drusy diamond ring

r

drusy ring

Gem and Mineral Grid Collage

geometric print

Boulder Opal

2014 minerals calendar

diy recycled wall decor

This is my take on a recycled magazine pages wall decor project that I saw the other day when passing by the window display at J. Crew. These are my favorite projects to do because they are CHEAP (well, basically free!) colorful AND green! A big BANG for a little bitty price. 
Here is J. Crew’s current window display that inspired me: 

Of course, they have done about a MILLION, so I have a LOOONG way to go until mine looks like that…and let’s just be honest…I probably will get bored of doing these, or find something else I want to do before I get enough to make a wall decoration!

All you need are some old magazines, rip out the colorful pages and accordian fold them. I used a glue gun to insure they would stay glued and to give it some rigidness.

I would love to see any pics of any diy art projects you have done lately around your house!

Felt-tastic Necklaces


Happy New Years!!!! I hope everyone had a fantastically memorable New Years Eve. Mine was definitely memorable but not so much fantastic.  We listened to a really horrible 70’s cover band (in TIGHT COSTUMES!) and watched a bunch of surprisingly limber, but incredibly inappropriate drunk old women dance.  Next year, I’m not even going to try. I will be at my house, with my husband and my dog; which is always what I wish I was doing when I am out on New Years Eve.

Anyways. Back to felt. fantastic felt! felt-tastic.

Felt. I love this stuff! I’ve been hearing a lot about felting crafts in the past few years- it seems to be what all the cool kids are crafting these days- but,  as usual, I am running a little bit behind with the “trends” and have only just fallen in love with felt! And fell hard! 
So I thought I would share this felt flower necklace craft that I’ve adapted from a couple of different crafters….I love Martha Stewart’s fabric flower necklace and have unsucsessfully attempted it several times but my flowers don’t look anything like Martha’s. And I KNOW for a fact that I picked up the felt flowers from some creative and inspiring crafter on the internet but I cannot find the website for the life of me! I’ll add the links in when I find them.  
Making the felt flowers are super easy. All you need are felt squares, which come in so many different bright and fun colors (Michael’s has them for $.29 per 8 x 11″ sheet), permanant marker, craft scissors, tacky glue (the clear kind works the best) and random circular objects of various sizes!  They come in so many bright and fun colors too.  Just trace various sized circular objects and cut them out. 

 The next step is cutting the felt circle by cutting in a circular spiralliing motion. Then, starting from the inside, with the smallest circle, overlap the layers to create wider and wider circles. Dab some clear tacky glue every once in a while on sections of the felt and then a dab of clue and the ending tip to keep it together.

Once you have a good amount of completed felt flowers, (as you can tell from the above pictures of my felt flowers, I got a little OCD and made way more felt flowers than is needed), then you need to make the base of the necklace. I’ve used a kidney bean shape to create a curve around the neck, but you can do anything really. 

 Using needle and thread, arrange the flowers and sew them onto the backing. I also threw in some

colorful beads. 
Thanks to my beautiful friend Mary who was nice enough to be my felt-tastic model!

It’s (almost) the Most Wonderful Tiiiiiiiime of the Year!

oh yay. my husband and I have this debate every year at this time….when is it okay to put up Christmas decorations? We figure we have to at least get through Halloween.

 So…..November 1st?

I know, I know, it is getting ridiculous, but I love the Holiday Season. I think besides the standard reasons to like Christmas (building a snowman, lighting the fire, drinking hot chocolate, spending time with loved ones) I love it because there is so much fun stuff for me to DO! Making gifts, wrapping them, DECORATIONS!

 And I have a REALLY good excuse to make a mess b.c. if anyone loves Christmas more than me it’s my husband: “But babe, it’s a Christmas decoration!”

 I’ve already got a list going of Christmas DIY ideas and if I can’t put them up on November 1st, I can at least start making them, right? RIGHT??

I love anything that incorporates branches! I found this on pinterest but unfortunately it didn’t have a credit. I think I’ve seen it in a decorating magazine (like that narrows it down)

 This is from the amazing website craftaholicsanonymous.com, you can go there for decorations. I was thinking of doing the pom poms out of tissue paper, but then it couldn’t go outside…hmmmm decisions, decisions! 
 This lovely craft comes from Craftynest.com. I love how simple it looks but it makes a big statement, and I think I could do something like this with the kids in my art class! 
 This beautiful Christmas mantle and garland comes from Dottie Angel’s Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dottieangel/5212171753/ if this is her home….I am AMAZED and jealous. 
another easy ornament idea from greatgreengoods.com.  

I LOVE this DIY idea! It is just the the project I could get obsessed with…time consuming but so cute! Hmm….maybe I’ll start on this one first. from hiphiphoorayblog.com
any diy projects you can’t wait to get started on? 

new blog!

hello!

I just wanted to share that I have started a new blog for DIY Decorating Projects….If you are at all interested come on over and share your ideas, tips and projects. http://ohappydiy.blogspot.com/

Here’s a taste of what you will find….

how to make this beautiful wall art project 
AND 

This one too!! Just click here: http://ohappydiy.blogspot.com/

Just click here….

salt paintings art project.

I just finished another fun and easy art project with the program members at work. Like alot of the other art projects that have been wildly successful with my students, I found this one by scavenging through the internet. This one had all of the things I look for when trying to find a good art project: fun, easy and cheap. Here is where I found the project if you want to check it out:http://jojoebi.blogspot.com/2010/02/salt-painting.html
I’ve included my own set of directions and some hints and tips I found after doing the project several times. Have fun!
All you need is:
-kosher salt (the bigger the granules the better)
– glue sticks
– water colors & paint brushes
– craft paper
1) The first step is to create a design using the glue stick (I found that the purple colored glue sticks work well b.c. you can see your design better)
2) As soon as you have created the design with the glue stick, quickly pour the salt over the design …and be generous with the salt (If you are helping younger students or your children I usually stand by as they are creating the design and as soon as they are done, I pour the salt…this way more salt sticks to the glue before it has a chance to dry)
3) After letting the salt dry into the glue for a couple of moments (it dries pretty quickly and doesn’t have to be completely dry to start)…the fun can begin!
Dip your paintbrush into your chosen watercolor and a nice dip into a cup of water, then gently tap the top of the paint brush onto the salt design and watch the color absorb into the salt crystals!
tips and hints: Just a couple of things I found that help you make the best out of the project..
-the more colors you use, the more beautiful I think the salt art turns out.
– Also, it is important to tell your students, or those youa re working with, to just gently tap the edge of the brush onto the salt for the best outcome. Some of my students pushed their brushes down onto the salt with a lot of pressure and pushed the salt around with their brushes.
-Finally, it takes a little practice to find the right balance of color and water. If you put too much water onto the salt design it will just become soppy salt soup and if you use too little the color wont spread into the salt crystals.