Saturday, August 30, 2014

On the road again............

Have been cruising through some Youtube videos on art journaling.. I will be going on vacation soon, and have been thinking about what sort of journal supplies to take. What will I really use? I tend to over pack every time I go somewhere, but space is an issue this time, so wanted to be careful about what I carry with me.  I came across this video from  Jennibellie and really liked how she took one small binder and created something that held everything she would need "on-the-go". This would be the perfect kind of thing for me to carry on vacation - compact, yet full of goodies.

So......what did I have around the house to make something like this for myself?

I remembered an old Franklin Covey Day Planner that I had recently put into the box to go to Goodwill. I hadn't used it in years, so I was ready for it to go out the door.....but I quickly rescued it from the "give-away pile". This would work perfectly!

It already had pockets, and  zippered pouches - plenty of space to store goodies. 
And the plastic ruler that originally came with it was still in it - extra bonus :)

Then I took an old Sucrets tin out of my recycle stash, to make a portable watercolor set. (Also an idea from Youtube). Covered the tin with metal tape to hide the Sucrets label, and added just a touch of paint. I took some watercolor paint squares out of an old set I had, and found that the tin will hold 16! Probably more than I'll need on the road, but chose the 16 I wanted to take with me.After placing the first 8 colors in the bottom of the tin, I attached the remaining 8 colors to a metal tape covered gift card to keep them separate.(and covered each tray with a small piece of wax paper to keep them separate). Also made color swatches of each tray that fit inside the lid for easy reference. The lid of the tin can be used as a mixing palette if needed. Add a water brush and ready to go!

I made a couple of extra envelopes to carry assorted papers, using old manila envelopes, decapouged paper napkins, drywall tape, and painted papers, and punched holes in them to attach them.

So.......looks like I'll have room to take watercolor paper, journaling paper, cardstock, a water brush, my mini watercolor set, my mini-folding scissors, and several pens and sharpies........

Pretty happy with being able to carry so many supplies in one small book.

So......come on vacation.......
let's see how this thing will work out ..............

So what do you travel with? What are your best tips on carrying art supplies with you while on the road?

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Pictures would be nice . . . . .

Pictures would be nice……
except that I was living in the moment and 
forgot to take any.

A couple of months ago I had an idea, and contacted my cousin Lauren Hanyock to help me with this project. I had a bag of “pearl” beads that belonged to my grandmother. One of Lauren’s many many talents is designing and creating jewelry. I wanted to have Lauren make jewelry for the ladies in my family for Christmas gifts that would incorporate these beads in the design. Each person would receive a piece designed especially for her and it would include one of grandma’s “pearl” beads.

Lauren was excited to work on this fun family project with me. I sent her the beads, a list of names, and what kind of piece I wanted for each person (earrings, charms, bookmark) as well as a short description for each person, for instance:

“girlie, girlie, loves pink & purple”
“conservative, feminine”
“funky earthtones”

Lauren took my descriptions, designed the pieces, and sent me drawings of each piece. They were wonderful! She then got to work creating the jewelry, and sent photos for me to approve. I loved what she had created, and was excited to give the gifts.

We had our family Christmas gathering Saturday. Twenty-two gathered to celebrate Christmas. 
(We missed the ones that could not make it due to illness & distance). After we had eaten way too much yummy food, I handed out the girl’s gifts, so that they could all open them at once. Ooohs and Aaaahs were heard as the cards that explained that this gift contained a little bit of grandma were read, and the packages were opened. 

Here is where pictures would have been nice….. except that I was living in the moment and forgot to take any.

My grandma was a wonderful woman, and we all miss her dearly. She lived to be over a hundred years old. I love that I was able to give this tiny token of her to my daughter-in-law, sisters,sisters-in-law, nieces, mother, and aunt. Our memories of her are so very precious.

Be sure to check out Lauren’s jewelry on her blog 

She would be happy to talk to you about creating some special pieces for you.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas!

I friend of mine posted on Facebook earlier this week that her family “did Christmas”, and let’s just say there was an air of melancholy throughout her description of her family evening together. Now, this is one amazingly awesome family, but like so many of us, they are juggling jobs, kids, travel plans, and a hundred other things before you add in Christmas.

As I read her post, all I could think was, “Yup…….sounds like Christmas at my house”.

That perfect picture of Christmas with smiling children dressed in their holiday best, a fire in the fireplace, a perfectly cooked feast, and gifts with beautifully tied bows doesn’t exist anywhere except the Hallmark Channel…….and even there you usually have to survive some tragedy before you get to the part where everyone is singing carols in perfect harmony.

I have wonderful memories of Christmas as a child though. My parents did a great job of creating family traditions for a family of five kids, and I only remember good things. It is probably a Christmas miracle that I don’t remember arguing over who got the last sugar cookie, or fussing with my brothers and sisters.

I remember decorating the tree and dad sitting back exclaiming that it was “The prettiest tree we’ve ever had”. Every year it was the prettiest we’ve ever had.

I remember lining up at the top of the stairs on Christmas morning – in age order – so excited to go downstairs and see what was under the tree.

I remember matchbox cars in stockings (everyone got one).

I remember……so many little things…..that make me smile.

This year I get to spend Christmas Eve with my sweetie and his family, Christmas day with my very grown up “baby”, and dinner with the whole bunch later in the week…..24 family members…..including the most adorable grandson in the whole world! It is going to be GREAT! Wonderful food, people I love, laughing and silliness. I’m sure someone will spill something (probably me), something will be forgotten, someone will be cranky (it’s not always the toddlers), a casserole may show up a little on the “well done’ side, and there is absolutely no hope of singing in perfect harmony with that crowd.

Celebrating Christmas isn’t perfect. But let’s face it…..if it was, it would probably be pretty boring.
There is only one thing perfect about Christmas, and that is the one we are celebrating…and that is pretty exciting.

This Christmas may you rest in the joy of knowing He came for you.

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. (Luke 2:11)

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Hope Peace Love Joy

My friend Dee shared a post on Facebook this morning about creative advent wreaths….what fun!

We always had an advent wreath as a kid. It was the traditional greenery wreath with four candles around, and one in the center. Each of the four Sundays before Christmas we would gather around the table as a family and have our advent time. Mom always had one of us read a scripture, sometimes my sister Amanda would play the flute, and one of us would have a turn to light the candles for that week. Whatever “talent” was being shared that week may or may not have been extraordinary, but it is the family time I remember. It is one of the sweet Christmas memories of my childhood.

When I saw Dee’s post about creative advent wreaths, I announced to my son that I was going to make an advent wreath for us. “What’s an advent wreath?” Obviously my holding up family traditions has been a little shaky.

So, I explained it to him.

Advent is about preparing for the birth of Christ. Preparing your heart. One candle is lit each week as you contemplate the hope, peace, love, and joy surrounding the birth of our savior, and all He came to be for us.
So, with a quick trip to the store to pick up candles, and twine, I came home and made our advent wreath. All the other supplies I used were things I had on hand:
An old metal tray, rocks, blank gift tags, and a bronze colored sharpie.

Dee’s post that she shared had such a variety of ideas…….terra cotta pots, mason jars, ribbon, ornaments, pine cones…….just using whatever fits your style…..or whatever is in your creative supply stash. For the point of an advent wreath is simply to stop in the middle of this hectic season, and reflect on the one true gift.

Hope. Peace. Love. Joy.


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Let the fun begin!

It's playtime!

My sister Amanda (check out a sampling of her poetry here) sent me a fun surprise for my birthday last month. She has a pretty creative spirit and we sometimes share ideas, things we’ve tried/learned….and sometimes have “show and tell” when she visits.

She sent me – the Gel Printing Plate by GelliArts.

Let the fun begin!

It is pretty addicting once you get started.

What you need:
  • Gel Printing Plate
  • Brayer
  • Various acrylic paints
  • Various papers
  • And “stuff”……….. Use all kinds of “stuff’”……..go to your junk drawer…..or your bag of recyclables……..pretty soon you will be looking around trying to see what else you could use. I used dots from the holepunch, rubber bands, the netting off of the box of clementines, cardboard tubes, soda bottle lids, thread/yarn…..

Roll the paint onto the printing plate, put some “stuff” on top, then lay a piece of paper on top to print. Several prints can be made from the same layer of paint……or mix and match colors……..

Try letting the prints dry, and then doing another color/pattern on top…….the possibilities are endless.
Upper left: dots from the hole punch
Upper right: soda bottle lids
Lower Left: rubber bands
Lower right: netting from the clementine box

Top: thread
Bottom: Lines drawn with plastic hanger that came when I bought socks

The Gel Print Plate cleans up really easy with a little soap and water – and you are ready to go again and again.

Thanks Amanda! Now my stack of prints are use in collage, or making cards, or many options!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Memories of Dancing.....

My friend Wayne contacted me last week and asked about a sketch I did a while back, of another dance friend of ours, Frank.

I used to dance….alot….for about 8 years – usually twice a week. It was so much fun. Contra dancing and waltzing. The music….the dancers….the musicians….such wonderful memories.

"Frank"   ©Mintylou
I would occasionally try to capture the joy of dancing through sketching or painting. I never did really feel like I was able to portray the joy of twirling, or the feeling you have when a strong dance partner leads you around the floor and you feel like you are gliding…..but there were a couple of quick sketches that I liked.

Back to Wayne…..he contacted me saying he was redoing his den, and wanted to add some dance related artwork –  he remembered this sketch I did of Frank, and asked if he could get a print. I was honored that he had remembered it, and wanted a copy for his home. Frank was a wonderful dance partner, served on the board of the Harvest Moon Folk Society, gave generously to the dance community, and all round good guy. Frank passed away unexpectedly a couple of years ago – much too soon.

As I went digging through sketchbooks to look for the sketch for Wayne I found a couple of other dance sketches I had done.

"Terry & Warren"  ©Mintylou
This one is of Terry and Warren. I did not know them – other than to see them at the dances, but to watch them dance together was pretty amazing – both wonderful dancers.

"Dancers" ©Mintylou
This was just an imaginary couple.

I haven’t been dancing in years. Life just got busy with other good and wonderful things. Maybe someday I’ll make it back on the dance floor, but for now, I treasure sweet memories of fun dance partners and wonderful music.

If you live in the Asheville, NC area, give contra a try…….you will be welcomed by wonderful people and have a great time.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

What A Week!

I’m still reeling from the thrill of being chosen "Best Emerging Artist" last Saturday at the 12th Annual Juried Art Exhibition at Grace Centre. Feeling so very awed to be chosen. The reception was lovely. You can see all the amazing entries online.

And I bought a new drawing desk! Woo hoo! And of course a new desk means reorganizing the studio, aka corner of the kitchen. My son had his wisdom teeth out this morning, and is resting on the couch, so in between fixing ice packs, making milk shakes, and giving meds, I am tinkering in the "studio" and trying to reorganize my workspace. I actually like’s the keeping it organized that is a little challenging.

The desk is the Vision Craft Station #10053. I just love it! Pretty easy to put together (translates into I had no "leftover" pieces and nothing is put on backwards - yes, that has been known to happen at my house), it is on wheels so I can easily move it, the glass top can also double as a light table, and the top is adjustable up to a 70* angle.

So much fun getting new toys!

Continuing to work on that painting of my grandson you see in the corner of the’s coming along.......slowly but surely......