Friday, January 20, 2017

That kind of day

My Memory Keeper is keeping up.    Not quite finished the week but I was on a roll.  It has been an eventful week so I'll just hope for an uneventful weekend.  ;^)  

Was a week behind waiting for white printer paper but I'm printing away.  Ink is now low though.  lol 

The planner is such fun.  No stress and no planning.  I also got a download for art room planning and it confirms many of my own thoughts so I feel validated.

I am ready to tackle the archetypes journal and have a bit of a start planned.   I see the mask is upside down but I 'like' it!   All the news stories have been rather gloomy so I was happy to make art as light bulbs turned on as I worked!  Letting my light shine!

PS:  I read that making art releases endorphins; those happy feelings.  I'm a believer!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

FYI Purple/Violet

Purple or violet is a secondary colour that is mixed with two primary colours.  It is difficult to get consistent results so I just buy a big basic purple. This tube is Basics Dioxazine Purple.  It saves time and frustration.  Likely one can buy red violet and blue violet as well but then the art budget and the storage limitations are strained.    Mixing more or less red or blue gives the derivatives. Sort of...

It depends on whether one uses a warm or cool red and a warm or cool blue.  And then there are all the variations and combinations.  We won't do the math on the percentage of blue verses red!  eek!  I like and use purple but I'm kinda glad that purple/violet isn't my most favourite and used colour.  ;^)

And to add to the diversity there are various colour wheels.  Joen Wolfrom includes violet and purple in her colour wheel and 3-in-1 colour tool.  I can see that this makes sense.  But still...

One can see that 'it is complicated'!  lol   So sticking to the KIS students principle, I will stick with the simpler 12 colour colour wheel and buy a big tube of purple to which I'll add warm or cool reds depending on the temperature of my story!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

A Royal Story

Once a week I head off to see my grand kiddies,  a royal prince and his princess sisters.  We do Art 101 and then Literature Appreciation.

Having observed my rather normal (typical) grandchildren I would say it is never too young to introduce art.
Jolina, the youngest (4), was just kinda encouraged to do her own thing off to one side.  She has amazed me with her interest, ability, and fine motor skills.   Eliana, just turned seven, is messy, independent, and fearless. I might add tearless but it would be untrue as she gets quite dismayed when abilities don't match her aspirations!  Can anyone else relate?  Joshua is almost nine.  He is tidy, focused and likes the details.

I want to foster a luv for journaling.  We begin with a binder that is their planner/journal. At this point it is very visual. I also realized I need to use my motto-  KIS Students!  They don't have a limitless attention span so I must keep an eye on the clock.   Since we are always coming back to the colour wheel which has 12 segments I decided we would begin in January and do a colour a month.  A little forethought and we should hit the warm colours in time for summer.  ;^)  Sometimes I amaze myself!  LOL

Looking through the designated drawer for their supplies I realized I needed to fine tune things.  By season???   Again, not a full room sort but just a better dividing of categories.  As I search,  I reassign the stickers and scraps.  I can also see what I have in abundance (summer) and what I lack (blue violet).  :/

She has leaves figured.  House orientation not so much.

Final revision.  Lesson learned- markers are permanent!

hmm, what's between sky and ground?
The format for the actual class is an old art book.The publishing date page is missing but Art Stories * Book Three* looks to me like it predates Dick and Jane!    "Through varied pictures and interesting reading the child is made increasingly conscious of beauty of colour, form, and line as seen in nature, pictures, in all his surroundings.  Elementary ideas of drawing, painting, sculpture, design, architecture, interior decoration, costume, and civic art are thus introduced in a setting of natural child interests and activities."  Not only does it simplify my planning but it is fun!

Winter is devoted to that royal colour purple, or more correctly violet.  January is red violet.  February, the secondary colour violet, and March will be blue violet.

We finish our time together with a chapter or two.   Sometimes the children draw and colour as I read and sometimes we just snuggle and imagine the lives of royal children.  A grand story indeed!

Saturday, January 14, 2017

no surprise ending

The only shorthand symbol I remember and actually use is the three dots for therefore.

 I had laid out the materials and general plan for the last of my who, what, when, where, why and how pages.  And of course the final page sorta followed the plan.

I do believe I am beginning to get a glimpse of how I like to do and layout my pages.

I did have to fix one oops because I was impatient and I shoulda left the butterfly lost under some papers. The surprise is that in spite of everything I am happy to call it done and move on to the next section of 'who am I?'.

Friday, January 13, 2017

an ARTifact

Seth said, " I have always wanted to create some sort of physical artist book to hold these memories.".

And I agree and I am happy to report that I have been working in my Memory Keeper for the last six months.  I liked The Happy Planner so much I got a smaller one and lots of accessories.  I can now make my own and get real creative with my memories.

The first and biggest is an 18 month planner.  I have had lots of practice as I continue into 2017.  I am not much of a planner but it is a great diary/journal.  It is also fun which is highly motivational.  I print photos and the phone gives a nice size and shape to fit.  It is a learning tool as I try to make them visual pleasing  and cohesive.

The smaller size is really a planner as I track and plan the art classes for my grand kiddies, my ideas for blog posts and art room activities.  I can try out stamps, paint/spray combos, lettering and doodles.

I can also make my own journals with the punch and discs.  This one has cereal box covers and watercolour pages.

These are my quick- life is happening as I create- journals.  They help me focus and keep the squirrel tendencies at bay.  ;^)

Then I do have a special journal for 2017.  I discovered archetypes through Seth actually,  and I have made a journal to explore who I am.

I am excited to be journaling this year!

It is a fact.  Art in fact!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017


Ready Setty Go

I shall have supplies all prepped and ready; easily at hand.  Here is the plan.


First I am not joining anything!  Almost anything!  I really enjoyed the Wanderlust 2016.  I viewed all the classes, took notes and want more.  So I signed up again for 2017.  I don't do all the extras but I find it inspiring  and extremely informative.  So I consider this a continuation rather than a new project.

Then Seth at the altered page asked for participants for ARTifacts and I felt I could/should do this.  I don't really have to start a new thing but just continue with my own plan.

And that is it!  I have enough trouble making my own deadlines without adding those of others.

In an attempt to get ready I did not do the usual 'tear apart and put back together' studio take down.  vbsigh

I did treat my 12" by 48" work surface to a new sheet of brown freezer paper and stacked the stuff I actually use all around it which leaves the usual 12' by 18" of actual free space!   Less space, less mess, faster clean up and therefore more productivity.

 I really like the idea of having prepped images that I can see to move  around for placement!  I have stamped images with black permanent ink on deli paper and on blank pages.

 I am using double sided fusible to prep fabric, and fibre for collage elements.

I am setting handwork by my chair in the evenings.  I am happy to have rediscovered crocheting.  I also have some supplies to experiment with hand lettering.  And if I'm at all restless I have some inspirational books stacked up in lieu of library books.  :/

I dropped my camera and it has a dark spot in one corner so I'll be getting even more creative with my phone!  :[  This may have been the last one before the ooops!

Part of embracing my creative self involves my personal appearance.  I'd like to lose the old lady look.  I bought leggings and I am 'practicing' wearing them around home.  They are comfy!  I have a few short, soft, straight skirts to layer over and I have a tunic cut out to sew and to try for effect.   The Rooster isn't sure but perhaps the grey leggings that look like his long johns were not the right colour to start with.  LOL    My two grand daughters, 4 and 7 think its wonderful as they have some!  I am not comfortable enough to tackle a selfie so just let your imagination wander to a chick with long underwear on with two wee chickies in tow!  Ha!

Therefore- we shall move ahead in spite of any more oopses and begin to document my story!

Saturday, January 7, 2017

The question of how!

Mark It Down

I am an unashamed optimist-  Hello, Pollyanna , we can do it,   ...and they all lived happily ever after!

I am going to fill my canvases, my altered books, my fibre art with stories.

I have learned I do best when the materials I chose from have been prepped to some degree.

I have gathered my  favourite supplies so they are easily accessible and ready to go.

I need a loose plan.

I need to be open to try something unplanned.

I need to just do it!

Now let the story unfold.

Friday, January 6, 2017


Heart of the matter
I'm not sure if all the world needs love.  It depends on ones definition of love..

I believe what the world needs is Light.  If each of us just let our little light shine...

Interestingly, my name, Ellen, means shining light!  So I am more than compelled to do what I can to dispel darkness. 

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Where is the happening place?

Home is my Canvas
I have discovered I am a homebody.  Once a week away from home is okay but twice a week TOO often makes me cranky.

My very first creative endeavour was choosing the paint for my bedroom.  I was about 12 years old and it turned out well!   I've been hooked on decorating creatively ever since and it has spread  to the landscape around my house.   Discovering quilting was the doorway to landscape quilts, fibre art and mixed media.  Who would have guessed???    I want to try it all!  But being a technique junky doesn't make for many finished projects.   I need a focus.

Voila!  my home

Home inspires me.  If I limit my creating to projects for my home and from my home as in gifts for family and friends;  I can push those that don't immediately have a 'home' further down on my bucket list.    Then I'll likely find my creativity has a better focus and I can develop my style more effectively.  I am certainly not a practical individual but it seems I need some kind of reason to do things.  Or at least have some kind of understanding as to the why.  There will always likely be 'just because' times but I will I use my creativity more wisely?  profitably?

Home is where the heart of creativity resides.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

When shall I begin?

The Time is Now
Life happens.  Schedules need rearranging.  But starting and soon is the better scenario.

Working styles vary and possibly even change over time.  Identifying what works and then committing is the first step.  Setting up for success is the next.  And hopefully follow through and a finish is the reward.  But starting asap is the ideal.

I'm finding routines are becoming more comfortable especially if there is some built in flexibility.  I have found a method of journaling/ planning and memory keeping that works for me.   Mixed media seems to be a constant and I'm setting up a plan /storage set up that makes the doing easy and the clean up a reality.  I am confining my various interests to appropriate seasons.  So winter sees me wondering what what I can physically do to look and act creative.  My stack of reading material is handy.  The sewing machine is ready, the patterns at hand, and the body measurements reconciled.  Jewelry making is a possible. Scarves?  Crocheting is the preferred evening busy work.  I know spring will awaken my decorating tendencies. I can set aside wool and bring out my embroiderie threads and beads.   Summer would be a good time to get messy with dyes and pursue sketching.  Fall somehow makes me restless and I need to figure out how to channel that.  Making journals may play into that and I'd be more apt to experiment with funky fibre and embellishments.

But most of all I need to NOW and Always focus on one or two things and finish them. That is an impetuous in itself.   And there is no time like the present to begin!  :)

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

What can I do?

The sky is the limit right?  hmm, I might be aiming too low.  Lets shoot for the stars! :0

As a believer, I can do all things...  takes faith!

As a woman, I can be that feminine influence.

As a wife I can be a helpmeet.

As a mother I can nurture and as a grand mother I can exemplify the nurishment.  ;^)

Being a daughter/sister keeps me humble.  And wearing different hats keeps me versatile.

I can try.  I can learn.  I can experiment.  I can engage in the process and enjoy the journey.

And keeping in mind 2016's motto, I can keep things simple and do the next thing first!

Gee, it does take faith!

Monday, January 2, 2017

Who Am I?

I am a child of God.

I am a woman.

I am a wife.

I am a mother, a grand mother.

I am a daughter.

I am a sister.

I am, well, I am many things;  homemaker, friend, introvert, encourager, idea dreamer...
We won't give too much press to procrastinator!
Who I am is complicated because  while I am not necessarily defined by what I do neither do I remain the same.  Old lady may be somewhere on the horizon!  ;^)
The 'who I am' statement constantly needs revisions and updates.

Indeed, I am a work in progress

Sunday, January 1, 2017

I have something to say!

Winter's Inspiration
I have written on one of my invariable scraps of paper a quote that says- You are what you are because you do what you do".  I don't feel that I did a lot last year and I am determined to 'DO' in 2017.

I have a plethora of supplies, books, videos, tutorials, notes, ideas and incomplete projects.  So much that I get lost in this art forest and can't seem to find a single tree that appeals.   I have no excuse.

I have time.  I have the usual household jobs, appointments and errands.  But my time is my own.

I have money.  Well, lets amend that to some wiggle room in the household budget.  ;^)

I have my health.  While the quirks of old age trip me up occasionally, I manage to maintain my motto of 'staying on my feet'!

I have not one, but two rooms to create in.  One for my fabric and sewing projects.  One for making mixed media messes.  I have organized and reorganized them to suit my personal quirks.   I may have learned something but I haven't made much.

If I haven't accomplished much over the past 12 months I have gotten a better understanding of myself.  It is perhaps called, 'facing the music'!

I am ready to roll up the sleeves on my creative smock and actually accomplish art.   I am NOT going to over think this.  I am NOT going to procrastinate. Neither am I going to join a dozen 'join me' projects.   I am going to do it.

That is my story and I'm sticking to it!

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

The calm before the storm!

Well, we started out nice and calm.   We try to follow Frances's good idea.  Family time for us revolves around the three grand kiddies, a sleep over and lots of food!

Old friends are not forgotten but incorporated into the festivities.

We slip into more comfortable clothes as the evening progresses.  I hope he always gets excited over new shirts!  I expect Legos may go by the wayside though we have several more years to add to his collection.

Their parent's presents tend to focus on learning.  Last year's doctor's coat makes a fine lab coat! The blue hand is covering the blue nose! 

After a good night's sleep mayhem ensues as we give out our presents.

Eliana is ALL about making music this year.  She chose musical instruments with her gift card and we obliged her with a small keyboard.  Who knew the Rooster knew anything about music!  LOL

 Jolina has always played.  I am delighted that she is as enamoured with doll houses as I was.  Hmm, looks like a tenant inquiring about any extra rooms!

 My dearie looks for Joshua's present throughout the year because both seem to like the techy aspect of building machines.  He is telling Josh that he started with big plastic nuts and bolts and yes, they do get smaller and smaller!

With one eye on the approaching blizzard we finished up our time relaxing and nibbling!  ah, I see a deal has been struck between the homeowner and the new roomer!  ;^)

The snow arrived as scheduled but we had arrived home before it and now we have no schedule.  Well, except for the eventual shoveling out.  The new road access was done before Christmas eve and all that is left is some spring landscaping.

While the Rooster messes about with his pots and pans I checked out my presents.  He gets homemade baking!

Our practical DD#2 gives books to be used for the grand kiddies home schooling,  The Fairy book is mine and I do luv fairie stories.   The curriculum requires one story a week.  I shall share the best ones.  The science course is a year long study of botany for ages six to twelve and is really cool.  Their mum will teach it but they need nature journals which fits in with our art studies.  :)

Eliana is more of a maker than someone who plays with toys.  I got a very well decorated gift box and card.  I have been printing photos for their planner/journals and forgot to resize Eliana's.  But she is a girl who delights in more is more so she won't mind!  lol

My memory keeper is up to date and is not quite so busy when I remember I can add photo pages.  :/

I am trying to cultivate the habit of handwork in the evenings.  I am self taught and this is my first, well, my third time to try working in the round.  The first hat was way too big and had numerous mistakes.  I enjoy crocheting and didn't mind unraveling it and beginning again.  The yarn breaks so now I have two rugs for the new doll house! ha!  Anymore mistakes and it'll be a one of those ear muff thingies!  But third time is a charm and I have instructed the Rooster (loudly) that he is not to read me important bits while I am counting!  ;{

A long post.  It'll be my last for this year.  I am determined not to let the grand kiddies take over the blog and I have set ambitious plans and changes in motion so The story, indeed My Story, shall unfold in a new way as the new calendar takes centre stage. 

Happy Holidays!