Monday, October 31, 2016


I think it is the glues fault!   I bought two glue sticks after carefully ascertaining they were the better deal than the 4 sticks on sale.  gee, who knew my hobbies would actually make me thrifty!  lol  But then I lost one so opened the second.  The first would turn up.  Not happening and when I almost lost the second I realized I needed to clean up.  Which in true elle fashion became practically an whole room makeover. 

My diary/journal/planner is really helping me learn my style.  I am actually excited about the progress I'm making on my pages.  Usually I have the urge to store the whole thing and start all over again.  :{

I am determined to keep art projects in this small room but it was kinda crowded.  I should put my rolling cart which seems to get covered by stuff, out in the hallway. UH,oh!  That is a slippery slope!

So as I move through the room mess, I am sorting and simplifying.    KIS!
I could switch the smaller mixed media cart for the bigger metal cart that holders supplies and the cutter.  Ah, an easy fix.  :O

Then I changed the order of some of the drawers.  The cart blocks the lower drawers so I put the hardly used items in the bottoms and the more popular drawers up higher.  Again, an easy fix. 

I'm finding shallow drawers are the best.  I have two old Ikea cupboards, four drawers each. One Ikea unit has been great for the bigger sheets of paper, sorted generally in warm colours, cool colours, multi coloured and neutrals.  I need to give the bits and bobs the same consideration as they are the cause of piles and avalanches!
It just needs to be a bit more easier to use so I don't keep dumping extras into piles and then piles into boxes and then...

 I can't believe how easy that was!   It practically sorted itself.  lol

It seems that the family members albums I have on the go are Snap- two hole page systems.  They get one drawer for small jogs to my memeory, card stock, plastic photo sleeves,  and anything with a vintage look that would work.

The grand kiddies work in three hole binders.  They will get one drawer and all things cute and colourful.  :P

My happy planners are an whole other system and I bought the punch and ring system to make buying planners obsolete.  I hope!  It gets one drawer and is my personal drawer where I am putting away what I particularly like.  ;^)

That leaves the top drawer for all the bits and bobs!  The good news is that as I find more stuff I now know where to actually put it.  woo hoo!

 Full confession.  I have a few containers for larger categories like my six inch paper packs, die cuts from my sizzex machine, all things foliage and flowers, metallics, as well as blank tags, folders, and small fancy envelopes.  But it was this small sticker stuff that was creating angst because it has a way of getting lost in the bigger stuff.

All this sorting and organizing seems a waste of time but I actually learn more of what I like and how I work.  So once again I am learning things and that is always beneficial.

The boundaries have been drawn.  Now to contain everything within them!  :/  

I am very optimistic as this worked when I needed to get a grip on my fabric stash buying.  Having a decorating plan for the rooms of the house and understanding my style has helped me say no to lots of fabric I only liked but would never use.  And if I absolutely have to have it, I buy a small Fat Quarter!

So if it is nostalgic and is three hole compatible, I'll get some.  If it is cute and two hole compatible I'll save it for the grand kiddies.  If it fits my new diary/journal/planner mode I will consider how much space I have.  And anything I have no use for right now I will send home with the grand kiddies who are coming for Art 101 later this afternoon and staying overnight.  shhh!  Don't tell their mum!  lol

I am working on a blog makeover and I am determined to stop the sporadic playing and settle down to purposeful playing.  I have a little bit of everything and that makes it hard to focus.  Knowing that we will be selling the farm and buying a new place has been the impetuous to re evaluate, re organize and release what is redundant. The farm chick may not be moving uptown but it'll be different!  It makes sense to have a more focused content for the new look.  This is taking a bit longer but I am determined to be ready before I press the launch button.  New Year's resolutions are already happening.  LOL

So again I am exploring my possibilities and injecting  some common sense into the dream.  It is all good and all part of this wonderful creative journey that crept up on me so unawares but has been so welcome!  Never mind 'again'.  The best is yet to be!

And BTW,  I found the glue!  :)

Saturday, October 29, 2016

I see!!!

The best investment in on line classes for 2016 has been Wanderlust 2016 from Everything Art.  I quickly realized I am not interested in the all the extras but I await with bated breath the weekly post and Friday morning I was hardly into the first 10 minutes of the video when I realized I needed to look at the orientation of my journal/planner pages differently.  And that wasn't even what the focus of week 28!  lol

I did know to limit my 'stuff' but somehow when things are as messy as they are at this moment...

While I am naturally inclined to asymmetrical and diagonal orientations, I have been fixated on the double page grid and its left to right linear orientation and grid.  I see that a bit of fixing is necessary.

Cute flower gone
Break up all that stenciling

Get the theme paper on all pages- somehow
The photo sleeve page breaks up things
Much better.  July is done.  Still too busy but my teeth are no longer clenched!

August is next
First page is setting the forward motion.  Here's hoping we don't have another run away cart!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Here a little. There a lot!

Less is definitely better!  I am looking for the happy medium for my planner pages.  :O  This is last week's journal page.  The paper isn't too suited for the really wet mediums.

 Then I am also working on the previous months.  I need to keep the two pages on my work table at the same time but the back of one was drying.  :P

 Not there yet!  I need to think small and subtle!  sheesh!  Good thing there are 52 weeks in the year.  I am gonna need them!

oh, boy.  Now we have 'spotty'!!!  And I am mixing cute and vintage.  :/

Perhaps I should keep my mind on one job only.  Kiss???  It just seemed a good idea to sort ephemera at the same time since I am looking through stuff. lol  I 'edited out' the overflowing baskets!  This post has enough uglies in it!

The last few nights and even during today's lunch and coffee break, I have been going through magazine stacks to see what I should keep.  Isn't this timely!  Now to apply this to my planner pages.

Perfect may be an exaggeration but it is only loosely stuck down.  August was a busy month so we'll see how this goes.  A little more thought and a lot less enthusiasm to use up my stuff!  At least that is the plan for the planner!!!  :^)

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.