Ain't No Ninny

Where Creativity and Everyday Life Collide


2 for 1 Fun ….

Today I did two pages in my holiday art journal.  That’s not exactly true.  I finished a page that I began a few days ago; I did a quickie collage page; and I started (but did not finish) another page that contains a lot of drawing.  Here are the two pages I finished today.

A few days ago, I posted this painted background with just a sketch of the uppermost cat. At the time I had no idea where the page was going.  Last night I had an idea for the words on the page: “We wish you a merry Catmas” . . . except when I said it out loud in my head it came out “We wish you a Merry Catmouse.”  Perfect!  I couldn’t pass that up so I went with it.  The cats and mice were sketched with a pencil and outlined with a black china marker.  The lettering and all of the details were done with a Posca paint pen in white and a black Fude ball pen.  This page makes me smile.

Kid Toys

Yesterday I added the red & white washi tape to the inside of one of the cereal boxes I used in creating my holiday journal.  Today while thinking of whether or not to paint this page, I saw a piece of Tim Holtz scrapbook paper that had old-fashioned alphabet blocks on it.  I thought they would look perfect directly on the cardboard itself.  Since there were only one of each letter of the alphabet, I decided on the phrase ‘kid toys’.  Once that was decided on, I looked for something in my stash that was related.  I found a roll of vintage bingo cards and cut one to use as the center background.  I also cut out the letter blocks and collaged all onto the page.  I then used Crayola crayons to outline the letter blocks and, finally, I drew the baseball and jack.  I like how the page came out.  It takes me back to my childhood in the 50’s when all of those items were popular.

These pages were fun but now I have housework to do.  I’ll be back, maybe tomorrow, with more creative play in my holiday art journal.  I hope you make time today, too, for some creative fun!

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Art Every Day Month – Day 18

I decided that for the next seven days I wanted to do an art journal challenge that was started by the artist Jenniebellie on her blog . She has accompanying videos to show you how she completed the challenge each day for herself.  It is a 7-day challenge where you work on any number of art journal pages you choose each day for 7 days (I chose 7 pages each day). You decide in advance of starting the pages which six products/techniques you want to use on your pages.  I selected the following, which I often use:


You fold the six pieces of paper up, put them in a bag or a box and pull one out each day.  You work on that technique/product for that day on all of your journal pages.  The next day, you pull a different paper out and work on that technique only for all of your pages.  You continue until all six techniques have been completed on all of your pages.  The seventh day is used to do whatever you have to do to complete your journal pages.

I put all six of my folded papers into a small box on my desk top and shook it to rearrange them.  This is the technique that I pulled out of the box to use today.


Aaargh!  I would normally do the focal image last (or next to last) after the background has been completed and I have an idea for the overall page.  The focal image usually completes a page, creates a place for the eye to rest, and conveys the message you intended for the page. This is a real challenge for me since I have no idea what I want for these seven pages! A focal image can be drawn or painted or collaged or stenciled or stamped . . . whatever works . . .  so I felt free to use different techniques to create my focal image.

Here are the seven pages I did today with a focal image on each. They are all on white 7″x10″ 90 lb. mixed media paper.  Since the pages are white, it will be hard to see where one page ends and another begins.  But, believe me, there are photos of seven pages of the same dimensions.

CCI18112014_7 CCI18112014_6CCI18112014 CCI18112014_5CCI18112014_3 CCI18112014_4
On two of them I used collaged images, four were drawn free-hand with a Micron 05 pen, and one (the seated lady) was outlined using a Donna Downey stencil and embellished with the Micron pen.

Today’s technique took over an hour to complete but the others should take less than that since they will be embellishing the focal images and created a background for them. I am looking forward to the next six days and finding out where this challenge takes my journal pages.

I hope you found some time today to be creative also!


Art Every Day Month – Day 16

It’s Sunday…a day of rest for many of us.  And that’s what I wanted for my art today.  Something I could doodle while relaxing and watching a movie.  I decided to go whimsical today and draw crazy colorful cats.  And I wanted to use my alcohol markers which have been ignored in my craft stash for too long. So that’s what I did.

Day 16 - Kitties

I hope you had a relaxing, creative sort of day also!


Face to Face

I don’t like drawing faces in my art.  Not even whimsical faces.  I’m not good at it even though I’ve taken a couple of online workshops showing how to do it.  Somehow the eyes I draw are wonky or the features are not proportional to the head or each other. My inner critic looks at the faces I create and tells me they are no good. However, when I create scribble art (where I  scribble a line on paper and try to draw something from that) I feel better about the faces I draw because they are cartoonish.  That’s how they are suppose to look.  Nothing like real life.

I decided to take that doodling attitude and practice it more, with no expectations except having fun.  Just as I decided to do that, Tammy Garcia at provided another “Art Journal Tangents and Tactics” video workshop showing us how to paint an abstract girl with high flow acrylics and water.  To prepare for that she told us to draw 20 or 30 faces on a small piece of paper or an index card just to loosen us up for the painting exercise.

Okey dokey, then.  Last night I attended a poetry even in Phoenix.  I wasn’t reading at this event (although I usually do)  so I was sat on a low sofa along the back wall of the venue.  Unfortunately I had a hard time seeing the performers over the people sitting in the chairs in front of me.  So while I listened, I doodled faces in my small Moleskine journal using only an 05 Micron pen.

AJTT wk6 Faces

Faces!  And, no, I did not draw the people who were at the event although there is one face in this group that looks remarkably like someone who frequently attends.

How do you get over your fear or your feeling that you cannot do something creative?  I usually just try it.  I might not post all of my efforts, but I do try it.

I hope you have a creative weekend!