Ain't No Ninny

Where Creativity and Everyday Life Collide


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Art Every Day Month – Day 22

Okay, it’s Day 5 of Jenniebellie’s  (7 art journal pages in 7 days)  challenge.  I’m officially getting tired of working on the same seven pages every day.  But the end is in sight.

Today I selected one of the two remaining techniques/methods from my box:

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Ephemera, it is!  That’s usually a fun technique and is very intuitive.  My partner just gave me some ephemera from his trip to Phoenix this week (light rail passes, movie tickets, etc.) and I have plastic shoe boxes full of other small items so off I went to affix ephemera to my pages.  Here’s what I ended up with.

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I added a coupon, a small map of Russia and some ‘holey’ ephemera across the top.

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I added part of a menu from a retirement complex, a movie theater stub, and some ribbon across the top of both.

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I added words from Tim Holtz cardstock; printed words; and the tops of two note pads from the dollar store.

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I added cacti from Phoenix light rail ticket stubs; a piece of scrapbook paper with circles on it; the Holiday Inn logo from their notepaper; a punched watercolor circle for the sun/moon; and printed text.

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I added the words ‘Stay Organized’ from some Holiday Inn hotel stationery; a small heart cut out from a gelli print scrap, a piece from some hand painted & stamped paper (near her left hand).

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On this one I added square-punched scrap from spiral-bound mixed media paper and circles punched from gelli printed tissue paper.

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All I added here was a label from my Sakura souffle pens and small scrapbook journaling square.

Well, that was fun.  Tomorrow I will be using a pen to shade and doodle on the pages (the last technique) and Monday I will do whatever I need to finish up them up.  That might include more paint or collage or journaling or shading or fixing up boo-boos.  Can’t wait.

I hope you find something creative to do today too!


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Art Every Day Month – Day 21

Wow!  This month is flying by!  It will be New Years before we know it.  Yikes!!

Today I got back to the Jennibellie challenge (7 art journal pages in 7 days, each day a different technique or product).  I am on day 4 and this is the technique I blindly drew from the box on my desk:

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Finally!  I’m glad I got paint/ink sprays this time because the remaining two techniques (ephemera and pens/doodling) don’t make sense before the pages are painted.  That’s the good news.  That bad news is that at least one page really didn’t lend it self to either painting or ink sprays but I did my best.  Here are my seven pages after I applied paint or ink:

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Oops!  I guess I forgot to crop this one.  I water-colored this using Ranger Distress stains instead of watercolor paint.  I really loved this after Day 2 when it was all black and white but now I’m not so sure.   We’ll see where this ends up after Day 7.

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This page really didn’t call for paint and I think I screwed it up trying to add gesso and some blue paint around the face/braids.  I may have to fix this in the final step.  I did change her lip color to be consistent with the colors on the page and painted the whites of her eyes to stand out more.  I liked this page the best after Day 2 and now I like it the least.

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I’m really liking this one right now.  I water-colored the dog and some of the stencil pieces with autumn-toned Ranger Distress stains.  I have no idea where I will go from here on this but I love it as it is.

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I used water color paint on this for the towel, her hair and a yellow wash around the body.  I wanted the body to remain untouched because I might doodle on it or add words later.  I love the soothing but bright colors on this page.

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On this page I started with the sky and decided to use a complementary color to the art-deco blue washi tape that was on the page.  Watered down orange/yellow acrylics seemed to make it stand out and is consistent with a fiery sunset skyline.  I do wish, however, that I had not highlighted the swirls in orange. The buildings I did using cheap watercolors in pastel colors, much like what you would see on the art-deco buildings in Miami along South Beach.  I still have to meld that bright sky and those pastel buildings.

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I love how this turned out with her bright hair and pale eyes & skin.  I used soft body acrylics and gesso for her face/hair/lips/eyes.  I gessoed the rest of the page, over the collage/stamps, then sprayed Prima Color Bloom spray in Summer Sky over that.  It was a coincidence that it matched her eyes.

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I couldn’t figure out what to paint on this page so I used a guache watercolor the same color as the ball to outline the feathers, the stamped words and all of the circles.  I also touched up the areas on the girl’s body that had torn when I glued them with a glue stick and tried to make the tears less noticeable.  I painted the sky blue with an acrylic wash and then went over it with gesso to tone it down some.  I think I will end up liking this page after I finish it up on Day 7.  Right now I’m a little ho-hum about it.

I spent a lot more time on these pages today than for any other step and I’m rather ambivalent about them right now.  Most are in that in-between ugly stage.  I’m hoping the next three days will fix them up and I’ll like them all in the end.

I am glad I created and I hope you got to be creative today too!


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Art Every Day Month – Day 19

Today is Day 2 of Jennibellie’s challenge (7 art journal pages in 7 days).  If you are interested in this challenge go here to see more:
http://jennibelliestudio.blogspot.com/2014/11/ready-set-go.html .

Yesterday, as directed by my selection of techniques, I created focal images on seven art journal pages.  Today I blindly picked this technique:

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Okay!  I stamped and/or stenciled each page from yesterday.  I chose to use different stamps or stencils on each page and I restricted myself (because it was easiest) to red or black archival ink pads for both…no paint this time.  Some of the stamp/stencil images will likely be covered by collage elements or paint in future iterations.  Here are my seven pages in all their stamp or stenciled glory:

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This technique took me a good half hour to finish for all seven pages.  Quick and easy.  I may have over-stamped or stenciled some of the pages because I still have four techniques to go before the pages are complete…but that’s how she blows.  I can’t wait to see what tomorrow has in store for these pages.

I hope you make time in your day for something creative also!


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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 http://jennibelliestudio.blogspot.com/2014/11/ready-set-go.html . 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:

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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.

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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.

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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!


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Art Every Day Month – Day 17

I looked at the NaNoJouMo song-title prompt today (“Lightning Bolt” by Jake Bugg) and decided I could do a small art journal page in less than 30 minutes.  And I did.

Day 17 Lightning Bolt - Jake Bugg

I used spray inks and Distress stains to create this.  The most difficult part was cutting the card stock masks to keep the spray inks where I wanted them.  I finished up by writing and drawing the stick figure and the bare tree with a black Fude pen.  The words along the slope are from a line in the song: “In the path of a lightning bolt”.

This took 20 minutes which is all I wanted to spend on art this morning since I have other, more pressing creative and non-creative things to do today.  I hope you can spend at least 20 minutes being creative today too!


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Art Every Day Month – Day 14

Some days what you see in your mind does not translate to the page.  Today is one of those days.  The NaNoJouMo song-title prompt for the day was “Suit and Tie” by Justin Timberlake.  I wanted a dapper man in suit and tie and the words “I be on my suit and tie” as well as another line from the lyrics “Let me show you a few things”.

Well, I did find a magazine photo of a man in a suit which was the correct size for the page but the black inks of the image were more charcoal gray than the glossy black I had envisioned.  I wanted to create a background that had Payne’s gray (almost a charcoal navy color) and a turquoise green to offset the black of the image.  I created the background using acrylic paints and a stencil. It looked fine on its own but I wasn’t sure at first how to write over the top of the stenciled parts.  I used Posca paint pens in black and green and simply wrote over the top of the stenciled parts . . . but, unfortunately, the writing didn’t show up very well.  And the image of the man didn’t show up well against the background so I used a green oil pastel and a black paint pen to outline the image, which did help a little.  I also did some doodling on the page to help integrate the background colors a bit.  Here’s what I ended up with.

Day 14 Suit and Tie - Justin Timberlake

I’m not wild about the finished journal page but every time I do something that doesn’t work, I learn something from it:  either what not to do in the future or what I can do to fix it.

Also, I realized that I really don’t like following the NaNoJouMo prompts much.  I’d rather come up with my own inspiration and create that.  So, although I may use the prompts now and again, I think I’ll just follow my own heART for the rest of the month and do what calls to me.

May your own muse call to you to do something creative today also!


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Art Every Day Month – Day 13

Today I went back to the NaNoJouMo song-title prompts.  Today’s was “How Soon Is Now” by The Smiths and was featured in the 1998 film, The Wedding Singer.  The song title reminded me of a clock; also two lines of the chorus are used over and over and gave me the idea for both the character and the text in my art journal page.

Day 13 - How Soon is Now - The Smiths

I used an acrylic painted background that I had scanned and printed out for this page (so that it formed a smooth base for the collage).  I cut out several disparate elements from magazines and collaged them to create a human-like character.  I created a clock out of the round piece behind the head.  I  hand-lettered two lines from the song’s chorus and the title/group name on the page.  I finished by doodling the blue playing card and other areas on the page.

I love the bright colors and how quickly the journal page came together.  I’m now more than 40% through this challenge and I may have made it past that ‘block’ that inevitably comes part way through any daily challenge like this.

I hope you have met your creative goals today too.


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Art Every Day Month – Day 11

Yes, I’m a day late on this one.  Life happens and sleep (or lack thereof) happens too.
Once again I used the NaNoJouMo song title prompt for November 11 which was “Riptide” by Vance Joy.  This time I decide just to go with a visual for the song title, something like an album cover.

Day 11 - Riptide - Vance Joy

I created this digitally using a very primitive online drawing tool.  The result looks like someone floating in or being pulled down into deep water (a riptide).  I collaged a printout of the digital art into my 7×10 mixed media journal then printed and collaged the song title to the top left of the page.  I finished by handlettering the singer’s name to the bottom.  Easy peasy.

I hope you did something creative today too!


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Art Every Day Month – Day 10

Today I let my inner child out and I colored (with colored pencils, not crayons).  I used the NaNoJouMo song-title prompt for today which was “Daydreaming” by Paramore.  I decided to take a cue from the first stanza of the song and build homes on a street in a (day)dream.  I sat on the sofa and created this (much like I did as a child) while watching a movie on television.

Day 10 Daydreaming - Paramore

The graphite smudged a bit and my scanner cut the 9×12 page down to 8.5×11 but the gist of my intentions are there.  It’s whimsical, it meets the challenge, and I got great satisfaction from doing something simple for myself.

I hope you satisfied your own creative Muse today.


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Art Every Day Month – Day 9

Once again, I used the NaNoJouMo song-title prompt for the day.  This time it was “Palisades Park” by Counting Crows.  Boy, is it a far cry from the original song with that name by Neil Diamond!  I listened and listened to the song and then read the lyrics.  I realized the important parts of the song to me (for an art journal page) were the park itself (an amusement park in New Jersey across the Hudson River from New York City that closed in 1971) and the narrator in the song asking where his friend Andy went.

Immediately, I recalled a gelli-plate monoprint that I had created a few months ago, one of my first as a matter of fact.  I created it using acrylics in primary colors on deli paper, a type of waxed paper that disappears when you collage it onto a page or canvas.  I had used 2 or 3 different mandala-type stencils whose shapes are reminiscent of ferris wheels and other carnival rides.  I grabbed that and glued it into my 7×10 mixed media journal using matte gel medium.  Then I printed out a silhouette of an ambiguous figure because the narrator refers to Andy as ‘he’ sometimes and ‘she’ sometimes as if he/she were possibly transexual.  I collaged the silhouette and two different lines from the song onto the ‘amusement park’ background. Finally, I highlighted areas on the page with a black Stabilo All pencil (which I smudged for a grunge look) or a Sharpie white paint pen.

Day 9 Palisades Park - Counting Crows

I am very pleased with how this turned out.  It was an easy journal page to create since I had previously created the background monoprint.   But I think it accomplishes what I had hoped for.

Now off to write a poem for the day!  I hope you’ve had time to create today too.