Soundtrack of My Life

So, I have an ongoing interest thing obsession with paint chip cards.  You know, those sample cards that you can grab at any paint store.  I love all of the different colors, all of the different shapes of cards for different brands of paint, and the weight of the paper.  I love searching google looking for cool things people do with these little gems.

It just so happens, Christopher is always taking me to Home Depot and Lowe’s 🙂 I am a lucky gal ~ I love the hardware store, it’s brillo for Art Fodder™!!!  Poor hubby, he has to deal with me smuggling out paint chips.  I feel a need to be super-nonchalant since I’m always there.

Maybe the paint section workers don’t think anything of it as we’re always actually buying paint…at least that’s what I hope…

Sometimes I just sit and flip through my collection of cards.  It is extensive and worthy of pondering.  Other times, I use the cards for making teaching aids for the kidlets.  We’ve made sight word flash cards, multiplication fact cards, vocabulary cards, Bingo cards (I’ll have to come back with some pics later, those turned out way cool!).  And I’ve made party invitations, Valentine cards, RAAK cards for art mail, Mother’s Day cards, and mini-books.  And I have a whole computer file of great ideas for the little boogers!

As I was reminiscing just now, I kind of forgot my whole point.  Those little cards do that to me, lol.

This particular journal page is not terribly ornate or anything, but I was experimenting with using the paint chips and silhouettes.  I think they’re pretty neat, and I thought you might like the idea:

Dancers

Clearly I was also pondering some of my favorite Pandora lists at the same time 🙂

PROMPT:  How do you use paint chips or paint sample cards?

*On a side note, if you’d like to check out what we’re listening to on a regular basis (cuz wordpress doesn’t have a super-duper Pandora widget), you can check out our Pandora station: http://www.pandora.com/profile/stations/motherdana.  I’m not completely convinced that leaving this link here for you will work, but let me know.  My profile is Dana Saint John.  The harder rock stations belong to my teenager, so don’t think that’s my music, lol.  But DO check out the others, lots of good art music contained therein!!  Some of the stations I have actively spent tons of time cultivating, others are still needing my input…

I am currently, right at this very moment of typing these very words, listening to my Greenskeepers Radio station.  Enjoy 🙂

 

 

Ephemera Give-Away, And Getting Back to It

This past week was full of playing with Brave Girls’ Club and managing that excitement…so we sort of dropped off working on the Activity Blitz and awesome ephemera give-away.

Crazy to get started and then change momentum, huh.  But here we are, back to it.  Seems like so many people ran over to the Facebook page and found us there, but no one remembered to come back and leave a comment here about it.

Maybe the whole thing was too complicated?  I don’t know as I’ve never run a give-away like this before…so I’ll give everyone a BRAND NEW OPPORTUNITY!!

We’ll keep it simple.  And we’ll spice up the enticement a bit and share a sneak peek picture here with you 🙂

Ephemera Collection Give-Away

Buried in this pile: sheet music, French book pages, an Alka-Seltzer ad book, old letters, old snapshots, poems, dictionary pages, and more!

Leave a comment here.  Tell me what you like to make with ephemera, bits of stuff, saved little doo-dads that you keep or find.  Collage?  Canvases?  Cards?  Art journal spreads? ATC’s?  All of the above???

And if you run over to the Facebook page (you can find a link at the right now), leave a comment there too.  Just say Hi, and give us some love.

I’ll make sure that you’re entered for going there and leaving some love here on the blog.

Is that simple enough? 

I know that I’m not the most social of creatures, so I understand if you are not typically all about leaving comments and participating in small talk…but you’ll have to leave a comment somewhere to enter the drawing 🙂

This will not knock out anyone who has already entered or who stops by the first post and gives us love there.  I know how the whole random number generator thing works now, so I’ll get you all entered.

All of this is towards a great end.  With the official launch of SWAAK Paks™ just around the corner, the more activity we have here and on Facebook, the more our RocketHub page will get seen.  You can be a part of something greater by just helping our activity and interaction levels grow.

We are asking for your help to share the activity and buzz by participating a bit, and we’re willing to bribe you to do it!!

And to those of you who joined in the give-away for the new Brave Girls’ Class…this is pile of awesome Art Fodder™ to use in your projects!!

 

Transitions, Cheers to New Beginnings All Over Again!

If nothing ever changed, there’d be no butterflies.

~ Author Unknown

Here we are again…I fell out of the blog-o-sphere for a week and a half.  How does that even happen??

I certainly don’t aim to bore, to fill you in with too many details of crap going on in our daily lives.  That’s not why we read blogs, is it now?  We want to be entertained, find something inspirational, or a bit of enlightenment.  I have just been a bit buried under the things that come along with daily life…

I have been arting like crazy, it seems that inspiration is striking from every turn.  Amen to that, right??

And I have also decided to jump into an online class, although I sort of was thinking that I wouldn’t have time for one any time soon.  And I sort of haven’t had class monies in the budget.  But this one called me, told me to bite the bullet, so to speak.  I couldn’t get past it, couldn’t find a way to talk myself out of it.

I probably won’t share too much of my work from the class, but I will send you over to check out what’s going on in…Life Restoration, aka Soul Restoration 2, with Melody Ross at Brave Girls Club.  It’s not your typical art class.  I didn’t know exactly what I was getting myself into, other than it’s a class about figuring out how to purposefully live your life.  Right.  Totally looking for that.

Of course, I have spent many-an-hour and much energy in my life working through self-help courses, books, art work, sales career seminars (which are all about building things on purpose) and a myriad of groups and videos and clubs…oh, pretty much anything that helps build and grow and that kind of stuff.

So why on Earth was I being called to yet another class just like all of the others??

I know now.

I have been working through the assignments, and while Melody has lots of great art technique videos (I have actually learned a few things, woo-hoo!), what’s truly amazing is the stuff I wasn’t expecting.  Plowing through garbage that I have been trying to figure how to clean out of my closet, finding the freedom to let go of the things that I didn’t realize I was holding onto so tightly.  Bringing into consciousness those things that I was longing for and hadn’t quite breathed into focus.

This comes right after I finished a class and self-examination with my church Pastor.  Finding Your Spiritual Gifts.

I feel a bit weird at the moment, a bit cloudy.  You know how when you’re cleaning the swimming pool, everything you stir up as you’re cleaning kind of makes it all look cloudy, and you’re wondering why you stirred it up to begin with?  But then when it all settles back down once again, you see how much cleaner it all is than before.  I’m right in the cloudy stirring at the moment.

As artists, I think we are continuously re-assessing.  Not just ourselves, but our art, our surroundings, our relationships.  We like to see things in new light.  It’s just what we do.

Right I was getting started on this class, I was finishing up this canvas.  Eventually I think I will add some text, but for now, it is what it is.

What the caterpillar calls the end of the world,

the Master calls a butterfly.  ~ Richard Bach

ButterflyButterfly closeup 1Butterfly closeup 2

Butterfly closeup 3

Valentine Card with Caulk and Paint Chips, a Technique Video

Prompt: Have you tried using caulk for texture?  Try caulk in your art journal…These techniques work well on paper, as well as canvas.  And anything can be used as stencils and texturing tools in the caulk.  Try something new!

Always Be Courting, a Caulk Canvas and Technique Video

Oh, my gosh!  I missed a Valentine post yesterday!  The shame…but I may have an okay excuse, I was helping the teenager with finishing up his science fair project.  Which of course was due today.

I don’t think I ever got a science fair project completed earlier than the night before, either.  And I’m pretty sure my parents would say they were always up late the night before with me, griping that I waited till the last minute to get it done.  Ha!  I did turn into my parents!

I must say, though, that I had no idea that you could measure the speed of light at home using a microwave and a bag of chocolate chips.

So here we are on Friday, the Friday before Valentine’s Day.  You still have the weekend to ponder prepping your love notes and making lovey-dovey projects for your heart-throb.

I am using the heart-theme to its full advantage 🙂

Always Be Courting

This canvas and video is one of my very favorite techniques.  It started a while back when Christopher saw that I was fighting the whole texture problem.  I would spend so much time adding layers, 2-D layers, of visual interest…which resulted in the look of texture, but not so much in actual tactile texture.  While a lot of art journaling techniques are all about adding the visual kind of texture, I was looking for tactile texture.  Something you can reach out and touch.  Something different, something that added serious dimension to my works.

Along came Christopher with a pile of tubes of caulk.  Ahhh, my texturing life got really exciting from there!  You can see one of my very first works using the caulk here (which is still one of my favorites, probably because of the emotional tie I have to it as my first caulk canvas, lol).

This video does NOT go into detail on painting the caulk texture.  It is a look into working the caulk, both on the background and on the foreground.  Color will come later.

And…this is my first appearance on video, for the intro.  You will see, I was extremely nervous, feeling super bashful, and clearly aware of the camera.  I am hoping with practice and time it will feel more natural.  So be nice.

Without further ado, here ya go.

Kiss Me, a Canvas for My Valentine

Oh, kiss me beneath the milky twilight

Lead me out on the moonlit floor

Lift your open hand

Strike up the band and make the fireflies dance

Silver moon’s sparkling

So kiss me

~ Sixpence None the Richer, Kiss Me

Kiss Me closeupI sometimes get so caught up in thinkin’ about the subjects for my canvases.  Like so many of us, I fret over the empty canvas.  I look at it and worry that I’m going to “ruin” a canvas.  My art journals give me way less grief, because the paper seems so much less permanent and less expensive and less important somehow.

I can spend tons of time and loving arting energy on the paper, and then when I get to a canvas, I get all choked up, thinking that I have to make something perfect just because it’s a canvas.

I have been working on breaking through that barrier (always, always, keep on swimming, keep breaking the next barrier, keep Stretching the Boundaries).  One thing that has helped is to look at my canvas as a great big art journal page.  If I make something that ultimately I don’t like, I can always gesso and paint and glue stuff over it!  I forget that too often.

So I’m learning to work faster than my fear.  Just get the canvas out, and get started.  Make something.  And stop thinking so much (which is super difficult for me!).

Kiss Me heart closeupThe other thing that has been helping is to think less about the actual subject.  I’m going with what’s in my heart, using the images and ideas and subjects that I use on a daily basis in my art journals…that is, expressing the same ideas that I express in my journals, just in a bigger way on the canvas.  Those subjects for me are love, friendship, flowers, the beauty in the world around me, my joy in my kidlets, and my relationship with God.

Silly, I know.  Why are those subjects good enough for the journal pages and not so much for the canvas?  Why would I fight that??

Well, I’ll fight it no longer.  While I have used my journaling often as a place to work out what will later go on a canvas, as a practice spot so to speak, I realized that I need to take to the canvas the same joy that I have while working in my journals.

And I do have Happy I Love You Day on the brain (really, you ask??).  Yep, I do.

That brings us to the first in a small series of heart canvases.

Kiss Me 3

Prompt: Make something larger, something more out there, get out of the journal and onto a canvas, or a piece of wood, or a wall even…but get brave, treat the canvas like you treat your art journal.  Make something fabulous and playful, just like you’ll do in your journal.

Home, Sweet Love Song

Home is wherever I’m with you.

~ Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, “Home”

Music, ahhhhh, how it sets the ambiance.

Do you and your honey have a song?  One of those little ditties that always makes you smile and think of each of other?

How ’bout one of those songs that gets you both to looking all dopey at each other across the room, making your kidlets all groan and roll their eyes at you both?  Oh, wait, that’s my house and my kidlets, lol.

We have a bunch of faves around here, you can see a list of some of the greatest love songs of all time, or at least the ones I love over here.

And here’s one that still always gets us all goofy.  On a side note, it’s such an upbeat song, with such a great beat, that the kids love to play this one on AudioSurf…even the teen-aged boy!!

Enjoy.  And pretty please, let me know any super-cool love songs I should check out and add to my list 🙂

NeoColor Background Technique Video

Okay, so I know the two posts are a wee little bit separated, but here’s a video follow-up to my earlier post on using NeoColor Water Soluble Wax Pastels (I call them water crayons, lol).  This is a simple and quick way to put together a background in your art journal, and it helps you get past the whole fighting-the-white-page-in-front-of-me thing…

Enjoy, and please let me know what you think.  I’m hoping the videos get better and better as we plod along!

 

How-to Make a Faux Wood Grain, Our First Technique Video!

Drum roll, please…

Here it is…Our very first technique video (crowd goes wild)!!

I know, I know, took a long time in coming, and the video was way more intensive the technique itself, so no worries for you 🙂

Let me know what you think, we kept it simple this first time around, and as Christopher is the techie nerd in the house, he gets to hold the magic spot of the first one…so be sure to leave him some props here in the comments section, so that he’ll keep editing the videos for me!

They Own This!

A true master does one of two things:

1. Creates that which cannot be improved, or

2. Improves that which can be.

~ Christopher St John

In the St John household, music is a huge part of everything we do.  We listen to music when we’re arting, when we’re cooking, when we’re having our dinner parties, when we’re studying.  We listen to music, we sing, we dance, we study music.

We usually choose our music specifically, depending on what’s going on at the moment. A great for instance is for our family dinner parties…when we’re having taco or fajita nite, we listen to Tito Puentex or Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass.  When we’re having Italian nite, we listen to old world Italian music, and so forth.

(Another category is our love song list, not your typical mushy, ballad-type love songs.  You can check out that list here, from our Valentine’s posting).

We all have ways of categorizing our music, by the mood we want to set when we art, or when we need some quiet, meditative time, or when we’re getting ready for bed.  We have CDs, Pandora stations, iPod lists, mix tapes (haha, remember mix tapes?!)…

So I bring to you the list of one of our own outstanding categories (in no particular order), that we call “They Own This S***”.

  • Proud Mary, Tina Turner
  • Gin & Juice, Dynamite Hack
  • Killer Queen, Wave Mechanics Union
  • Tainted Love, Marilyn Manson
  • Hong Kong Phooey, Sublime
  • Black Hole Sun, Johnny Cash
  • Word Up, Korn
  • Paxilback, Grey Kid (not a plain ole cover, more of a cover-spoof)
  • Ain’t No Sunshine When She’s Gone, Bob Marley
  • Wonderwall, Paul Anka
  • Viva Las Vegas, Dead Kennedys
  • Head Like a Hole, Devo
  • Ring of Fire, Wall of VooDoo
  • Can’t Get No Satisfaction, Devo
  • Personal Jesus, Marilyn Manson
  • Walk This Way, Run DMC
  • Closer, Richard Cheese
  • American Woman, Lenny Kravitz
  • Cornflake Girl, Tori Amos
  • Cry Me a River, Julie London
  • Zorba the Greek, Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass
  • Warm Leatherette, Zombie Zombie
  • Lucifer Sam, Love n Rockets
  • Gone Daddy Gone, Gnarls Barkley
  • I Will Survive, Cake
  • In Your Room, Portishead
  • Video Killed the Radio Star, Presidents of the United States of America
  • Common People, William Shatner

This is by no means all the great covers ever made, I’m sure.  But it is a pretty extensive list of the covers that we love.  And these guys totally own these songs!!

Prompt: Check ’em out, let me know what you like, and drop me a note via the comments section to let me know any that YOU LOVE…I love collecting the most awesome-est covers!!!

Have an awesome weekend, more coming tomorrow (I know I’ve been a bit behind, with school starting again!)!!

xoxo