Ain't No Ninny

Where Creativity and Everyday Life Collide


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Book of Days – Ordinary Beauty Week 1: Intentions

Yup.  I’m already 3 weeks behind in Effy Wild’s art journaling class Book of Days 2015 – Ordinary Beauty.  I signed up for this class, which is 12 weeks long, on January 1st.  I loved her description of what the focus of the course was to be:  looking for beauty in the world around us and journaling about it. I really, really wanted to hit the road running with this class.  The first week’s prompt was provided on January 5th but first I wanted to make a canvas-bound journal in which to do my art journaling for the class.  And I couldn’t do that until I received the materials that I had ordered the day after Christmas (thanks to Gary who gifted me some dollars to spend at Jerry’s Artarama).

I finally got the materials I needed on January 9th and finished making the journal on January 11th, just in time for the 2nd week’s video/prompt.  Here’s my pristine, canvas-bound journal with four five-page signatures.
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And do you think I did week 1 or week 2?  No.  I did other things.  Arty things.  Non-arty things.  I procrastinated.  I took naps.  I did watch the videos . . . I just didn’t journal for either week.  And on Monday (four days ago), the week 3 videos/prompt were released.  Nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing.

Today (finally!) I decided to work on the week 1 prompt.  The prompt was to create a 2-page mixed media spread identifying our intentions (goals, hopes, resolutions) and a significant word to strive for during 2015.   As part of that, we were encouraged to do an image transfer (using gesso) onto one of the pages.  I decided to use a silhouette of a woman doing a sun salutation with open arms (as the image transfer), signifying the words I wanted to focus on this year:  ‘release’ and ‘renew’.  I also decided I wanted the spread to have the look of a beautiful sunset or sunrise since sunsets are about letting go of the day (release) and sunrises are about new possibilities (renew).

I got so caught up in the process that I did not take photos of the steps I took.  After transfering the image onto the right hand page, I decided to paint over the image to lighten it, leaving black only in the figure’s hair.  I finished the spread by stamping words on both pages and then journaling my intentions for the year.  I also scribbled the words ‘sing yourself alive every day’ around the figure.  This is what my pages looked like when I finished.

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I’m pretty happy with how it turned out.  The colors are vibrant like the sunsets we get here in Arizona.  The figure is recognizable and the image transfer was successful, even though I decided to paint over it.  I’m hoping now to finish up weeks 2 and 3 over the next few days in time for week 4 to be released.

I found beauty in my art journal pages today.  I hope you found beauty in your life too!


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Easy Peasy Collage, Stamps & and Lettering

I’m still playing in my holiday art journal.  There are so many pages in it that I will have to do more than one page per day to fill it up.  And that’s fine with me.  While I have time, I’ll play . . . and when it gets busy with the holidays, I’ll focus on family.

I finished 3 more pages today (no prompts). All were done using simple collage, stamping, and lettering techniques.

I added a small cracker box into the journal simply by taping it into a section with designer duct tape.  I stamped all over the inside cardboard of that box with red snowflake stamps to use as backgrounds for two different pages.  The color of the snowflakes reminded me of a reindeer that I had sketched and painted for an art journal page a couple of weeks ago.  I made a copy of that page and cut out the reindeer (and the words “Deer Santa,”), collaging them onto the stamped background.  I hand-lettered the rest of the words on the page using a Posca paint pen in white, a Signo Broad pen in white, and a Fude ball pen in black.  Easy-peasy!

Deer Santa

The next page I did over a scrapbook paper page in the journal.  I had cut Christmas ornaments out of a Pottery Barn catalog and I simply collaged them, overlapping a little, onto the middle of the page. I outlined each in a different color of Pitt big brush pens to make them pop. I added ornament stamps using black archival ink at the top and bottom of the page and colored bits of them in with Pitt big brush pens.  Since both stamps had the word “Joy” in them, I hand-lettered various versions of the word all over the page using a black Sakura Identi-pen and highlighted certain letters with the Pitt big brush pens.  Another page, easy-peasy!

Joy to the World

For the next page, I used a gelatin plate monoprint that I had created several months ago and was saving because it had such a Christmas look to it with its colors of gold, yellow, green, and burgundy.  I collaged it onto the back of a cereal box in the journal using Tombow permanent adhesive then, picking up the gold in the print, I taped all four edges of the page with a goldish-copper glitter fabric tape.  I’m not sure that the glitter of the gold paint or the glitter tape shows up but they really add some sparkle!  I had a page of 7 Gypsies old-fashioned letter rub-ons that I thought would look good on the page.  There was only one of each letter available and I had a difficult time deciding on what song lyrics or saying I wanted for this beautiful print.  I settled on “O, Holy Night” which is my favorite of all Christmas carols.  The only problem was there was only one H in the sheet of rub-ons and two H’s in the title of the song.  I laid out and rubbed on the letter, leaving a space for the 2nd H which I hand-lettered using a black Fude ball pen.  It is not as ornate as the other H but I think it works.  I added the next line in the song in smaller plain letters using the black Fude ball pen.  I think the whole page is gorgeous and I wish the glitter of the golds showed up better in the photo.  Another page, easy-peasy!

O Holy Night

I did all of this in about one hour … or maybe a little more.  This blog post probably took as long.  I found time in my schedule to be creative and I hope you see that you can be creative with very little time in your own day!


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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 7

Today there were two prompts that caught my eye.  On journal52.com, the weekly prompt was “Thinking of You”.  And for NaNoJouMo, the daily song title prompt was “Through the Dark” by Alexi Murdoch.  Both of these made me think of my daughter who is going through a difficult time right now.  I wanted to combine the prompts and then send a scan of the page to her to show that she is loved.

I started with a page in my 7×10 mixed media art journal that already had some purple, ivory and teal paint on it from cleaning off brushes from a prior project. It may be a coincidence, one I wasn’t thinking of when I chose that page, but my daughter’s favorite colors are purple and teal.  It was meant to be!   I then painted a woman, half on — half off the page over the purple paint giving her black hair (like my daughter’s) and with tears falling from the visible eye.

Week 45 Thinking of You

On the rest, I stamped & doodled & scribbled over the existing paint to give the page some dimension. I added hearts (since I am sending this to her from my heart).  Then I collaged two lines onto the center heart from the song “Through the Dark”.  I also used a stamp at the bottom right of the page that shows that there is a way through the darkness as long as there is love.  And I have tons of love for her.

Today I am thinking of my daughter.  And I created something to show her my love.