Saturday, October 22, 2016

The tie that binds

When I over plan projects I not only lose spontaneity but I lose the joy of the process.  On the other hand, the slap dash, hodge podge and mish mash of 'just get 'er done' leaves me cold.   I am determined to find a way that doesn't tie me up in knots.

Last week's penciled entries had a common thread.    My dearie!   My few prepositioned ephemera are more a hindrance than a help so I won't do that anymore.  But I found some photos that complimented the theme.  Note to self - pay attention to orientation for these narrow spaces.

I pulled some materials that complimented the theme.   Everything is somewhat tied together.   I do like the constraints that kinda hem my choices in.   I think less will be more as I consider design options.  I can always go rooting in the stash for the perfect bow!

 This is tied awfully tight but I feel like this way of working gives purpose to my pages.  It is heading me in the direction I want to go as I explore my design style and the direction I want my blogging to take.   I just need to have one focal point and some quieter support. 

I do have previous pages to practice on.  I am also sorting my embellishments and supplies for greater usefulness.   I need to speed up the process.  This can be a learning tool but not something I want to devote too much time doing.

Now I just need to KISS everything a bit or limit all the stuff that happens in my week!  lol

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Teaching KISS

Lets not get Complicated!!!
Keeping Things simple and smart is a bit of a learning experience.  Hopefully I have the basics figured now.

In the morning we do art.  I want them to begin to like and explore journaling.  So after we sing a few choruses of "If you're happy and you know it   ... (clap, stamp or shout) ...   then your art is gonna show it!" to get the wiggles out, we journal the past week in word or pictures.  30 minutes of do your own thing.  I help with some spelling but proper grammar is not the goal.  ;^)

Next we follow the Art Stories book and I supplement with the Usborne Book of Art Ideas.  (Such great books from this company)  One, messy, learn by doing project that isn't necessarily a 'keeper'. This is the bulk of our time.  And we all, and I mean ALL, come away having learned something. 

After clean up,  I pass out a limited number of tools that relate to the class lesson and we make a journal page.  We are still struggling with focal point.  I tell them their page must tell a story.  I think we are on to something!  :)

  This was our art lesson.   Josh shows his first attempt.  Eliana is showing both hers and mine.  Jolina  did remarkably well with only a little help from me. 

Josh did his exercise;  evaluated the results and asked to do a second which even he could see was done with more finesse!  His are on the left.  Eliana tried a different example and can't resist personalizing whatever she does.  :)

 I had found an old black and white picture of Joshua and Eliana.  :)  Josh's story takes place in a forest!  I am still trying to emphasize pre planning but...

Eliana is about framing pictures in tape or glittery ribbon and flowers. Lots of flowers!   She is my messy girl and has a flower stamp imprint on her left cheek which she has no idea of doing!  Her quote says never ending affection for her brother.  Might be worth remembering.  lol

Jolina's page improved after a bit of instruction on which side of the stamp to press down!   :/

After lunch their mother and I tell them how to 'do' recess.  I remember swings, teeter totters, double dutch skipping but mostly just endlessly walking around the building with my chums!  GO!!!!

An easy afternoon during which I read and they colour a picture I have photocopied and enlarged. 

Three kisses for three, simply, sweet students!!! 

Friday, October 14, 2016

It might not be pretty

I did start with getting my planner up to date.   I got a good start.

The thumbnail or tiny wallet sized prints on my computer work well to give the reminder and a feeling of what was happening.  I have too many per page but we were making memories and that couldn't be helped.  But I figure three shots per week in the future.  They fill and add something nice. Adding photos, bits and bobs, etc.  to the penciled activities jotted down as the week progresses makes this an effective diary.  When I forget to pencil I just add more art!  Works for me.

The little school/blog planner isn't terribly detailed but is great for cleaning stamps, brushes, and trying new things!

Obviously it wasn't too hard because my mind began to wander.  I got to thinking about my blog and the changes I'd like to make as I head into the future.  A future I see as a time of transition. (says she as she tries to make sense of photos in realty ads)   I want seasonal blog headers.  I have always intended to do that but...

If I do them all at once they will be ready at the click of a finger depending on my memory of how to make the changes.  lol
In the middle of the repetition of print and glue I let my mind wander.  ;^)   And before I knew it I was experimenting.
Here's a hint but it didn't feel right.  Darn, I don't have a bare wall even after simplifying!  This was my third seasonal try and I guess you try with what ya got until the AHA! moment comes. 

So I shoved some more furniture around.  Then I started all over again to gather accessories.  Loads of fun but gosh, what a mess.  Then I double, tripled and I am on my way to quadrupling the mess.  

But revealing that bright idea will have to wait for another day because I gotta get back to TNTF

Tuesday, October 11, 2016


Surely there is nothing new under the sun!  But we all want to make something that has our own stamp on it.  I think the first step is identifying what in particular resonates with our own creative soul.  The 'what if...' is likely a combining of some of those designs ideas.

 A little surfing of the net.  When one link leads to another.

Inside the world's largest pattern library!  The Design Library

LUV this one!
Hmm, I wonder how expanding my library fits in with downsizing???   :)

Friday, October 7, 2016

Back again to KISS

So easy to get side tracked!  So easy to forget where I was and what I was doing!

artists with differences
the youngest usually surprises
the keenest is fearless and messy
the oldest careful and precise
Keep it simple students.  KISS.  
I was reminded of this simple principle as we had Art 101.  I gave the grand kiddies a little demo on mixing watercolours and then turned them loose on the colour wheel. I let go the outcome and and the time clock.  I let go and I think we can call the day successful! 

I will continue to let them have an half hour for their planners first as it settles them in. I will try to remember that these are 'their' planners and their 'art'!  Keep it simply stressless!

And speaking of planners...

The unplanner did not work for me so I have dispersed it to the grand kiddies.  There is tons of tutorials and suggestions on the site.  The focus is on prep and I am no front runner.  I am more likely the tag end trying valiantly to cross the finish line.  They have lots of examples and suggestions.  I mostly play catch up.  Although they are helpful and have tons of ideas this particular way is just not practical for my life and style.  The emphasis on the unplanner is art so there are lots of modifications, improvisations and general messing around before one actually plans.  I am not organized enough to do the before stuff in advance of the due date.  lol   I tend to jot down events.  Some before but a lot after.  Then I fill in the blanks with all the ephemera that I collect to help me remember.  lol   

Therefore the Happy Planner has turned out to be the one for me.  I put in important reminders but it functions mostly as a diary.   I also had gotten the smaller size with a Michael's coupon thinking I could adapt it for something like a note book.  But it has the printed calendars for 20016/17 just like my big one.  :/  It makes economic sense to use it for a project planner for my blog and the kids art/literature day.  phew!  I jot down general checks of where I need to be in the year's class plans. I write down blog theme ideas. They both let me pencil in stuff and then fancy it up at a more opportune time.  

 Still- so easy to get side tracked!
The Next Thing First is to get them up to date.   Because I have quite a few to do I will have to do that but with a KISS in mind.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Can one have too many containers???

Of course this is only a sample of the small, clear, plastic containers.  I like to have my clutter contained so therefore I have containers. 

I have discovered that cute boxes don't work.  I need to see what is inside. 

So the plastic storage towers are my preferred method.  My sewing room is full of them.  They under gird my cutting table where all my sewing supplies lurk. (It also means I can lean on the corners of my table top!)  They will also categorize my new passion, fusing collage shapes. 

They hold all my threads, my embroideries and its paraphernalia as well as my needle felting supplies.

The odd shapes that began my collection are now hiding out in my sewing closet where my big boy storage containers rest.

Now if I can just contain my enthusiasm for collecting containers of any kind!  lol

Thursday, September 29, 2016

50 to 100%

 Next up on my The Next Thing First list is my wardrobe.  I have been buying art supplies rather than clothes and I am practically nek ked, not to mention out of style.  :O

So I looked for my notes from Marie Kondo's book.  I have no idea where they might be so I turned on you tube.   Ha, I won't have that much!  But when you put E v e r y t h i n g on the pile it is shocking!

My goal was 50%.  Because I rate shopping for clothes very low on my must do list I tend to have less rather than more. I knew some would be quite worn and some may even be too old to be labeled 'classic!   It went real quick.

Not sure if I actually made 50% but it was close.  I put the plastic shelving unit in where a shoe rack was.  I pulled it ahead for the photo.  I put  my small stuff and jammies I had in the dresser way on the other side of the room which was inconvenient.   That dresser now has some seasonal stuff and my sheets.  The shoes are up where the sheets were.  Quilts and pillows are above.  Much handier as I can dress quickly and all in one spot!

I  don't need lots more.  I have been wearing old worn stuff and ''saving' the good.  :(  I am short on dresses and was shocked by all the sweaters and sweatshirt jackets.  Obviously I like tees!  I did need unmentionables, a pair of closed toes shoes for summer/fall, a winter coat and a few good tops.  Skirts I had to buy last year.  I do have my new garment sewing book and I will be making things.  So..

I had hoped to have a lovely photo of new clothes but I blew the budget on the unmentionables.  sheesh.  It has been a while since I have been to the mall and it has really changed.  I took a break and decided I had spent enough.  But I will be back!

My first stop was not for clothes though.  I have long been looking for a typewriter and good ol' Michael's now carries one.  I have been waiting for a 50% coupon and there was a 50% coupon as a one day special.  :)  Unfortunately the fine print said NOT including the typewriter.  But it and some paper stuff for it was on sale and really, I have been looking for a few years.  I have fond memories of banging away on my Dad's old one while I played office and then graduated to school papers!   I am doubly thrilled it came in something besides pink and it makes me smile just looking at it.  This is definitely an 100 percenter!!! 

Moving the old plastic shelving to the bedroom closet was a brilliant idea.  Unfortunately when I was emptying the drawers  I saw I'd created a problem because the new tower I got for my fibre art threads turned out to be narrower. Only 50% of the stuff fit. :{    That means that the needle felting supplies need a new place.  What to do????

I shuffled things around in the sewing room closet and I got another 50% of storage space.  Gee, whiz!  I may have to go back shopping!  :/

Oh!!!  I can type up the next shopping list!  Feeling 100% better already!  lol

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Back to school

I enjoy teaching my grand children.  Truth be known; I probably learn more than they do!

They are keeners!  Joshua is in grade 3.   Eliana is in grade 1.  Jolina is a tag along and hasn't officially started.  lol

I am 'the art department'!  And this year I am the Literature Appreciation department as well.  Not exactly sure how I went from pre reading their books to teaching them to appreciate them but...

Last year's Smash books are done except for extra embellishments and space has been cleared on the bookshelf.

The planners are in the old binders and now I need to figure out how to save/store the old ones.  There is only so much room on the bookshelf their mom/teacher tells me.  :O

We only had time for a short story about Nancy and the artist before lunch and recess.  But the Smash books are done so next week is colour mixing which pleases them.

In the afternoon we switch to reading.  The photocopied drawings from our book study are going to work well.  We got 3 chapters read before it was time for swimming lessons.

I made lots of notes for things I forgot to do/bring.  A few modifications and  I have the next month up on my work space.   I think we have made a good beginning.