Saturday, December 31, 2011

Video Tutorial on how to make the bag book


Here are the instructions on how to make the Trader Joe's bag book I last blogged about.
The video may not be perfect, but it was my first try.
I hope this tutorial is clear and helpful, feel free to comment and ask questions.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Trader Joes paper bag books

 Hello everyone, hope your holiday season was a good one. Today I'm sharing with you the books I made the week before Christmas. All of them are made from Trader Joe's grocery bags.
The two above turned out to be my favorites. 

This project started from bunches of Trader Joe's holiday themed bags, all which I saved for the interesting tags and garland strips printed on them; but when I finished taking apart the bags, I had some leftover bag ends, so I got the interesting idea to try making another junk book, or in this case several junk books.

On the one book (left side in the above picture) I used some brown card stock from my scrapbook pile and used a roller stamp to make the pretty red flowers; then I cut the main label from one of the bags, and added some green garland at the top with marker pens. The inside has a total of two signatures made from the one side of the bags.

On the right is the mini album I made of bag ends, that's the second one I made after my first try on the grocery bag book (see below)
 In my opinion, this book came out cute. It was my first try in making a book out of paper bag ends, and it worked.  Adding the handles was a last minute idea, and I was very pleased with the cute results of a shopping bag/book. It's a one signature booklet with inner cover pockets.  

(I plan to give instructions on how to make your very own bag/book at a later time, so stick around.)

From side view on my two holiday books, I used the garland strips that came on the bags as a decorative spine. These two were a little more complicated than the first book I made. 
In case you're wondering, I used the wiggly lined garland strip for the book on the right, because to me it looked like bacon. 
 For my holiday booklet, I used one of the tags to add interest to the inner cover. And as you can see, I used the back part of the bags that had instructions on how to use the garland strips and tags; which if folded into signatures makes very interesting pages to work on (See below).
 This is the middle of the book where the two signatures meet.
Last on the Trader Joe's book list is the inner cover of the (bacon book) as I call it. I just used handle parts to strengthen the edge, then wrapped the garland strip around around the cover. And to fill in the blank spot where the ends meet, I added a star that also came on the bag.

Hope you guys enjoy, stick around for upcoming instructions in the future. :)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Illustration Friday "Separated"

 Two best friends, once were together, now are separated by a screen. Their connection is only kept through the computer world, never getting to touch each other, barely getting to see each other.

This picture was an idea I've had for a long time, but I didn't push myself to make one till now.
What drove me to make this picture? Well, it's connected to a true story, my story to be precise. The girl on the right is me, and the girl on the left is my best friend, Olivia.

I've been in an art rut lately; I haven't been in the mood to do anything too complex, which is why the the drawings are quick and squiggly. To speed things up, I colored the image digitally, and added a background from my collection of digital background images.
 Here's the process, above is the colored image before I added the background, and below is the very imperfect pencil sketch.

This is the first pencil sketch I did; I tried taking a little more time on it, but soon became frustrated and went for something faster.  I was very displeased with how the left side turned out, so I tossed the picture aside and made a different one. 
I'll probably find some use for this one in the future, maybe use it in one of my books.

 I'll leave you to view, and hope you like my complete work at the top.

A specialty Christmas card

A very recent project I finished, is a special Christmas card for my voice teacher. It has a little inside joke behind it, but before I get into that, here are a few details on the making:

All of this was done digitally, all I had to do was get the perfect picture taken of my head. I added the sails and poles to the ships, and gave the picture a cloud background; then added my head and drew in the wind swirls. After all was complete I added the phrase, "I saw three ships come sailing in on Christmas day."  And inside the finished card added my catch phrase, "But my heavy breathing blew them away."  That's the inside joke, because I have very powerful lungs according to my teacher, and can keep going and going.

In case you're curious, here is what I though about using for wind, but after looking at it for awhile, I realized it just didn't work as well, so I went with the other image. I can say I had fun making this card, and digital art has become a very strong part of my style these days.

Happy viewing, hope you enjoy yourself.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Vintage Style Scrapbook Goodies

Yes, more art goodies to add on to the pile of other art goodies. You could say this is an extremely early Christmas gift, recently ordered from amazon. Above (from left to right), is a pad of double sided paper, a package of decorative adhesive strips, and a package of double sided die-cuts which I poured into an old cigar box for easy management.

  My main reason for wanting this pad of paper is because I've been working on a journal page from over a year ago, and strongly craved the dinner sheet that came in the pack. My hopes were for the papers to be metallic or glittery like the specialty sheet I purchased so long ago, unfortunately they weren't, but I still love them. 
 In the above image you can see the dinner paper I so badly wanted for my specific project. On top is the metallic sheet purchased separately long ago, and beneath it is the flat, double sided sheet. I worked around it's plainness by using clear embossing powder; I may show you how that turned out in a later post. 

 Something I eagerly rummaged through, and was delighted with, are the die-cut images. Putting them in an old cigar box found from a yard sale made rummaging for the right image quick, and enjoyable. I absolutely love the pastel shades of the Cut N' Paste paper collection; it's like color therapy to me.

Last on the goody list are the perfect decorative adhesive strips. Some of them are glittery, and for some reason I received three in the mail, but they all cost the price of one. I'm not sure what happened there, but all I can say is, "BONUS" and leave it at that. I've already used one of these on my recent project, and they're really fun, I recommend them. 

 Hope you guys have a good week. :)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A few New Goodies

I've been meaning to talk about my new,exciting, and very strange art supplies I  recently received. Starting off with the above picture, some metal roof flashing; great for transfers, props, jewelry, and journals all the things I plan to try it with, and to be honest never have, so this is a first. Also a 16 gauge wire for several different projects that happen to be among the unfinished thirty piled up.

 Now then, have you ever had the idea of trying eye shadows and other girly cosmetics for adding charm to your art? No....well neither have I, but I've been desperately wanting to experiment with that idea in mind,  and finally got the perfect set of eye shadows to do it.
 Aren't the colors stunning, whimsical and perfect for my style, now finding a project to test them on as I would with regular art chalk, hmmmmm..... I'm positive I'll find something. 
Last on our list of beauty-art products are the three items above: Black crackle nail polish, clear nail polish, and a strange glass jar of body glitter with smaller letters labeled "Fairy Dust".
         The black and clear nail polish I commonly use for ending off fine fabrics, threads, and patching up holes in my leggings, hehe.  As for the body glitter, I loved it's super sparkly look, so I'm going to give it a try as regular glitter on certain projects.

Well, wish me luck with my experimenting....I'll share the results sometime in the future.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Drained- ATC Card

Sorry I haven't been posting, my camera ran out of juice not too long ago so I haven't been able to take photos of my recent projects. But have no fear, I have a new set of rechargeable batteries in, and may be posting more projects soon.  

To be honest I've been wiped out myself, in fact this blog seems to have little views so I figured I'd go dormant for awhile, and keep my mind purely on finishing the some thirty projects that haven't been done over the years. I figured, do the projects, challenge myself to take one step at a time, and blog later. So as a warning, don't expect a post each day.

The above image is an ATC card, I just used a small card because I needed something small and quick for my picture. With a little marker and jell pen I successfully expressed my drained camera.

Well, hope to see you around; I'll try to post now and then, but don't be too hopeful. 

See you guys. -_~ 

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Pumpkin Scribbler

Guess what tomorrow is? That's right, Halloween; and that's why I'm posting a very old, but very cute pumpkin patch drawing I did back in, I believe 2005 or 6I've mentioned about scribblers before in my beginning posts of this blog, and still do them to this day.

You can tell it's kids art, but that's ok, it's still funny. 

Hope you have a good week, see you around. :)

Recycled Dragonfly Journal

Hello everyone, this is the very first recycled journal I've ever made; using several pizza boxes, metallic acrylic paint, embossing, ribbon, plastic beads, and some recycled paper.

It annoys me that I manage to make beautiful stuff on flimsy materials, and yet don't seem to do as well on expensive, better quality materials. I guess because I relax when working on Garb....recycled materials.

Since I had way too much ribbon left I just went with it,and added some matching plastic doughnut beads on the end for weight. Because the ribbon is so long, I fold it upward and use it as a bookmark. I don't really mind the length anyway, it adds a nice whimsical touch.

Here's a front and back view; I loved adding the copper embossing, and the stamps I used gave the book a beautiful touch. For extra texture I went in and stamped gold paint dots to give the background a pollen affect.
Here's the inside, yes it's empty......Don't worry, I'll fill it someday.

I painted the inner cover dark metallic blue with a hint of gold that ended up looking silver.

Making the book
I only have a few pictures of the process, maybe someday when I get better at bookmaking I'll make a video on how it was done. For now here are a few pictures.

 I started off with a pizza box spread out flat, then drew my cover and marked my signature holes.
I made a second outer cover of another pizza box, but didn't give it holes since I wasn't sewing through the spine.
 Here is one of the recycled pages. I took two pages with text on them and faced the text sides together, then glued the edges. This resulted in text that can still be slightly seen through the page, but isn't blatantly noticeable.
I left the bottom and top open, takes less glue. You can see how I used text pages and made them usable for drawing, if you don't like text directly in your work.

I went on to paint the covers, emboss, and add ribbons. And also sewing together the book, an enjoyable process.
Enjoy viewing, see you around. :)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Evil Cinderella

 Evil Cinderella, planned to steal a fella, that poor man being the prince. But bewitching looks aren't good enough, so she forced her animal servants to sew a gown of black and purple. 

I guess you can see why she lives in the attic...and she likes it.

I've been strongly debating on whether to post this on or not, but since it's close to Halloween I mind as well. 

This picture was done a long time ago ,and at the time, I had help from my brother and sister, which is why it came out so well.

I love the way it turned out, and snicker at it every time. Hope you enjoy viewing as much as I do. :D

Please click here for an improved version of this image

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Recycled Journal element

I finally got to making my very first recycled envelope pocket; and discovered that I love the results. The yellow went perfectly with my chosen background, so I used it.  Just a little bit of decorative scrap paper and some stamping gave my new add-in a perfect touch. I also cut the top edge with decorative scissors so it didn't look so junk-ish.

I felt like trying to use some scrap papers that sit around in the drawer, so I went digging and found perfect materials to make a little book that slips inside the pocket. 

One thing that always irritates me is that when I go and make something and approach it with a carefree spirit, it ends up turning out better than I expected, making me almost fearful to use it for my original intentions.

Here's a quick look at the inside; the pages were sorta tricky since I couldn't fold the paper without them being too small. So I took the cut ends and used those to glue the pages together. That approach also gave me a place to sew.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Illustration Friday "Contraption"

Elfin Mixer (Elf Harness Included)

 How to Use
  1. Place bowl beneath mixing frame
  2. Find yourself an elf
  3.  Strap elf into harness
  4. Place elf on mixing bike
  5. Strap harness to mixing frame
  6. Tell elf how fast to pedal
  7. Remove elf and enjoy 
Cooking tip-  For an extra magical taste, leave off elf headband

WARNING: Watch out for elf hair 
Hope you enjoyed the instructions on how to use this fairytale mixer of the past. I think it's a perfect contraption, and can see it being used by many people; not just for making whip cream, but also for punishing naughty elves.

Monday, October 10, 2011



A little picture for Halloween
In the attic Gretel goes
Skipping on her little toes
Suddenly she snags some web
A little spider lands on her head.
Gretel doesn't make a sound
Listen as her heart does pound
Her little hands begin to shake
Swat that spider for goodness sake.


     Making of:

At first this was just a little sketch I did in my purse notebook, but then I decided to make it bigger and print it out on brown paper.  

I used watercolor, pastels, and colored pencil. I love the eyes in this picture, watercolor really seems to give them a life-like feel.

I'd also like to share the inked sketch version (left), and also one that I made grayer to give it a creepier feel (right). Why I decided to use the one that was more accurate to color... just liked it better. Although, I think that the grayer image would make a pretty good October greeting card.  Maybe someday I'll try that. If you want to use the black and white sketch as a coloring sheet, please ask for my permission first. Thank you.

The poem was a last minute idea, and I'm very happy with it. Hope you enjoy this piece as much as I do. :)

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Cute Geisha

It's the strangest thing, I've been wanting to draw all sorts of cute Asian-like pictures. Even though it's not a common style for me, I really like the results.

All it took was some simple shapes, a little marker, some stamping with a touch of jell pen, and the results were adorable. 

I noticed that if I don't think about my art so much while working on it, the results are far more rewarding feeling than if I were to moan over a tiny mistake.

I'll be posting again very soon, so feel free to drop by.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Illustration Friday "Hibernate"

It's time for the Summer fairies to hibernate and rest in their warm cocoons and chrysalis', while their Autumn sisters roam free. 

I loved making this piece and couldn't believe how rich watercolor can be on brown craft paper. The only thing I wasn't able to do with paint was her hair and skin; those were done in colored pencil.

 The inked drawing

 In the process of making this picture, I applied sacred geometry to my layout, which resulted in beautiful symmetry.  In fact ,the harvest moon was a last minute idea; I used my compass to do geometry, and then noticed the circle made a perfect background. 

This sweet little girl sleeping with her teddy was a simple, cute picture I did as a backup in case I couldn't get the main picture done for IF. It fits the part too, so I figured I'd share it along with the other one.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Welcoming Autumn

Here's a nice image to welcome Autumn and the first of October. 
I believe I made this picture sometime around age 14, maybe a little younger, but it's still eye popping to me.
At least it's finally getting a little chilly out, but knowing Virginia, this chilliness will likely be an on- off thing till the end of October. 

Anyway, since it's the first of October you know what that means; it's time to bring out the jewel tones and darker colors of the month and make some interesting, maybe slightly goth looking art. Now I'm not sure if I can manage, but I have a few projects in mind that will be fitting for the season. So don't be shy, drop by now and then to see what I'm doing. :)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Illustration Friday "Mesmerizing"

This weeks word mesmerizing caused my brain to stir, and I ended up with a silly idea.   What better image than a man playing music, causing the snake to be stuck in a trance while the notes float around his head.

It might be sorta hard to notice the swirlys in his eyes, but trust me, they're there, the image is just small.  

 A few extra details:  
 This is predominately a digital collage, but I hand drew the snake and man playing ; then scanned the page and digitally colored them in. I guess I was just feeling lazy, and also didn't have a whole lot of time to hand draw and color all the textiles and stuff.

Ok, I sorta cheated, no big deal. Besides, I'm really starting to love this art form for so many reasons. No worries though, I will always love real media and art styles for many projects to come.

 Also (above) is what the picture looked like before I added necessary shading, musical notes, level tweaks, and cropping. I felt cropping the image helped you focus more on the man, not so much shyly watching him from a distance.

Hope you drop by and have fun viewing. :)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Big Idea Festival Video


This video is late, I know. But at least I finally made one. This is the first personal video I've ever posted to my blog.  The video is for the 12 pages I did for the Big Idea Festival on BPC. I'm not sure if it's very good, but happy viewing.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Illustration Friday "Mysterious"

 Originally I started working on this picture for the word "Disguise" for last weeks word; unfortunately I wasn't able to finish it in time due to our power going out for three days during hurricane Irene. I was so happy to find the new word of the week fitting for my project, since ladies in red and masquerades are mysterious.

Can you guess who the lady might be.....having trouble, why who else other than Madam Valentine. If you've seen the picture titled, "Madam Valentine's Holiday" you might ask yourself where my mysterious opera singer character was going on her holiday. Well I'll tell you, she was going to a masquerade ball to hide herself from the public for awhile. 

I didn't actually intend  for this picture to connect with that story, but it did. As I looked at the woman's face and how similar it was to the one at the train station, and how I couldn't stop seeing this lady in red, I realized it's because her similarity to the lady I used in my older work. Thus leading to the connection of where Madam Valentine was going for her holiday. 

My original intention was to purely do this entire picture with actual media, but time getting thin and the painted background taking so long, I decided to do most the work digitally, all except the background itself which I made by hand. Not to mention I didn't want to spoil such a pretty background, but rather save it as a prop for stop motion.

I also wanted to include the other framed version I didn't like as much (left) , and the unframed version just to show what the image was like alone (right). To me, the main image is the best because it fully frames the picture, and draws your attention to the middle.


Making the Background

 As you can see here I'm showing you the step-by-step process of making the background. First I took a very long piece of watercolor paper and drew out my design.

          I had fun doing the window, which was both enjoyable and a pain all at once to draw.
   After all that was over I went in and inked it.  

 In painting steps, I painted the wall with acrylics first, then worked on the stairs with watercolor, and saved painting the window for last.
 There you have it, the complete background I darkened and worked with digitally for the final piece.

        Here are some sketches done in crayon that I did to figure out color combination. The one above is the window and below is what I would have originally done for Madam Valentines dress if I would have made her by hand. The digital version came out close enough though.


Here are the two compared to each other, see the similarities in facial structure. The only difference is that the one is more realistic and the other more stylized. But both are practically the same looking person. I guess you could say the more realistic one is what Madam Valentine looks like up close.

Quick details on the digital work, her dress and sleeve are made of curtain images that I chopped here and there to get the right shape. Her head and hand are from separate postcard images, and the flowered border is from a Nouveau book, which I then went in and added color then a little cloud effect to give the appearance of marbled stain glass roses.