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 🙂

 

 

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Happy I Love You Day! Get in the Swing of Things!

Baby, I’m amazed at the way you help me sing my song,

You right me when I’m wrong,

Maybe I’m amazed at the way I really need you.

~ Paul McCartney

Cuppie Cakes 5

 

Happy I Love You Day is here!  My little kidlets made it all the way till after breakfast before swapping their sweet little Valentine cards with us and each other…and we already had to get into the cupcakes, as soon as breakfast was over 🙂

Cuppie Cakes 2

 

 

And before the giant, teen-aged boy left for school this morning, I slipped a little booklet of Valentine jokes in his lunch.  Oh, and marshmallows (we’re not sure who’s kid he really is, he doesn’t like chocolate!).

 

And I made cute Happy I Love You Day cards, stuffed into an envelope with some Valentine joke bookmarks and mazes and coloring pages, and actually mailed them out ahead of time for the kids!  We’re gonna sneak out to the mailbox and put ’em in there so the kids get mail today.  How fun is that!  I almost never get things done ahead of time like that, lol.

If you haven’t gotten in the spirit of things before now, it’s not too late.  Plenty of Valentine lovey-dovey fodder around.  These cuppie cakes were super easy, just used the FunFetti cake mix and baked them in the flat, cake cones.  Don’t over-fill them, though, or they will overflow all over the place (yes, I did get one whole tray of them like that).

Or make a Valentine card…plenty of cute things around on the interwebs.  We’ve posted ideas the past two weeks, and you can still check out some of the lovies we posted last year.  Write a love letter to your loved one, to yourself, to the world…make a journal page with hearts…write a love poem or haiku…recite some Shakespeare…watch a romance…listen to a love song or two…Just feel the love!

I hope you feel the love today.  That’s what it’s all about.  And know that here, someone is thinking of you, as I think of you to whom I am writing, all of the time!

Valentine Logo

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!

Another Mash Note Journal Page, and Playing with Old Jeans

I’ve been digging around in the bags of old clothes and jeans that I save for projects.  Kids outgrow them, a knee gets torn up, a tee shirt gets worn out.  It all ends up in my bags of Art Fodder™, thrown out in the stacks in my garage…

So I found some cute sparkly jeans, and a denim drawstring from some unknown pair of jeans, long ago separated from its counterpart.

denimin hearts right closeupAs I played in my art journal today, thinking about Valentine’s Day and all that my hubby means to me, I ended up writing more than I intended to write before I photographed the pages, lol.  So I’m sharing with you one side of the spread, and just a closeup of the drawstring on the other side of the spread.

The cute tiny marriage certificate from an antique bridal book and the love letters are scanned, re-sized, and printed from my stacks of ephemera.

I needed some play time in my journal today.  And writing another mash note keeps my hubby walking around smiling.

Denim Hearts Journal Page

Prompt:  Focus on what your significant other means to you.  Paint or color your journal page while you’re thinking.  Let the colors and/or words come to you as you’re pondering.  And how could you use some old jeans to make something fun in your art journal??

Hallmark Card, or Mixed Media Canvas for Valentine’s Day?

This is the third mixed media work in my Valentine canvas series.

I built up the texture-y background with tissue paper as the very first step.  All the other paint, marker, NeoColor, stamp ink and paper all went on top of the tissue paper layer.  I did not gesso in between the tissue and the other stuff.

I welcome any questions, this was a time-consuming and tedious work, as I painted the stripes and all of the shading.

But for now, I am off to play on this beautiful Saturday with the hubs…he’s fixin’ to start cookin’, and we’re keeping our Another Perfect Saturday roll going 🙂

Have a great rest of your weekend…and go make something for your honey for Happy I Love You Day!!

True Love

True Love Canvas Closeup 3True Love Canvas Closeup 2

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.

Valentine Party Favors, Perfect for Little Valentines

Here in the St John household, we love to party, er, celebrate.  We have themed dinner parties (which are a total blast), we have Saturday night cookouts (no matter the actual day of the week), and we totally we make our own cakes for all of the birthdays.

Valentine’s Day is no different.  We decorate and make cookies or cuppie cakes or some such thing.  Sometimes I even make them from scratch…and we have some kind of wonderful dinner together, with red and white tablecloths and the works.

Valentine treats 3This year I made some cute treat holders for yummy little chocolates for the kidlets (I am one of those mommies that saves everything) using toilet paper tubes and paper towel tubes.

You just decorate ’em up, use tissue paper to wrap the goodies and pull through the tubes, and tie off the paper, just like a candy.  Voila!

Valentine treats 2

On a side note, I did make a bunch of these for the elder daughter’s birthday in the fall…they were a HUGE success!  I filled them with candies, little plastic Pokemon figurines (the theme of the party), and plastic rings and bracelets.  For those I used paper towel tubes…the kids loved them, and they were not just plain ole plastic bags from the party store.

Mash Note Art Journal Page, a Valentine Love Note

My hubby and I have a happy, joyful marriage. I attribute that in large part to the fact that we are still courting each other…even after years of marriage.

We are both still trying to be on our best behavior. We still treat each other as if we’re not a sure thing, lol.

I think of Christopher as my boyfriend. I walk around with little heart bubbles popping around outside my head, like in the cartoons!

And I make lots of love notes and lovey journal pages and what we call mash notes. Much of my writings and artworks are all about how I feel about Christopher.

What better time than our Valentine’s celebration to do some more??

This journal page uses some techniques I saw in Creative Jump Start 2013 as well, which was an inspirational blast, by the way.

I have done lots and lots of lists (I am quite the list-maker) of my favorite things about Christopher…my 10 favorite things, my top 100 favorite things, the reasons I think he’s a good Dad or hubby or best friend,etc.

The left-side of the page is the second photo. The right-side of the page, the side with all of the love notes, is somewhat obscured by the stencil I made…so that hopefully some of my dorky musings are not so in-your face! And so you can see what I made to use in the left-hand page 🙂

PROPMT: Make a list of all of the things you love most about your significant other. Make a journal page highlighting the list, or make a love note.

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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 🙂