Project Life

Lots more Project Life pages!  What is the best way to take photographs of the pages once they are in the sleeves?  I keep getting the glares.  Any thoughts?


The theme this month for my artist's group Artists in Blogland is EXPECTATIONS.. What are you expecting?

My Collections, Part 4: Mail ART!

You can see the other parts of my collections series here:
Part One: Autographs
Part Two:  Zines
Part Three:  Trading Cards

Today I opened up my boxes of mail art from years ago.
Around 12 years ago I traded decos with people all over the world.  What are they?  They are decorative booklets in which each person collages and adds artwork to one page.  After the artist has decorated a page, they send it on to another friend, penpal or artist who swaps them.  I swapped these for years with a large number of people, mostly through the mail.  There were (are) communities online in which to find other people to swap them.  Whenever you send out a booklet in the mail you take the risk that it won't ever return to you.  I have received probably hundreds of these books back.  Thousands of other people's books passed through my hands.  I would receive big envelopes full of deco booklets and then make up big envelopes to send to other people (usually including one or two new ones that I made, but mostly those from other people.)  

Years later, I am still occasionally receiving full booklets home!  I'm sure many of them got lost in the shuffle, or were unable to return to me because I've moved several times since then, but I've connected with a few people from facebook who swapped them.  

It is amazing to look through them and see the variety of artistic styles, the countries they passed through and the little messages people wrote as they signed in.

I really loved to attach ribbons, yarn and little doodads as I bound the booklets together.

Drawings, rubberstamping, lettering, collages....  so much to see.  It is a joy to flip through the books.

I would spend probably at least $50 a month on postage to swap mail art.  Crazy, I know!  And that was 10 years ago.  That's one of the big reasons I stopped swapping.  Postage kept going up and up and my disposable income kept going down.  Now it just wouldn't work in my budget. 

There were some of us online who got to know each other well and enclosed personal letters each time we swapped.  Most have since stopped swapping.  One of my penpals from the Netherlands even managed to take a couple trips to the United States and we were able to meet up with her a couple time!  

While I was swapping decos, I also organized an online group to make and trade postcards.  These were really fun, because then you'd get an immediate result, rather than waiting years and years for deco booklets to possibly make their way home.   I have hundreds of these too.  Mostly people would send their handmade postcards (usually based on a theme) to the swap host and then that person would organize and distribute them so you would get one of each person's cards back.  I started punching holes in the corner of them and then attaching them to a metal ring, so that I would have them in little books I could flip through.

I have so much more I could show you.  Each of the deco booklets are filled with about 5-10 pages of mini collages and art.  So much fun!  Another day I will take more photos for you.

I have other collections too, besides the ones I blogged about.  I used to collect stamps and regular postcards too.  I'll save those for another day as well.

Texture and Lettering

Inspiration Avenue's challenge this week is texture.  A lot of my art journal pages have layers and texture.

WOYWW: What's on my workdesk Wednesday!

starting layer for a painting

What's on YOUR workdesk?  Visit these other artists for more inspiration.
Project Life Scrapbook pages

Mixed media paintings in progress

Daria has been coloring up a storm lately! (she's 2 1/2 years old)

Daria gets to use my special colored pencils!

Detail shot of a mixed media painting in progress.

Peace Love and Art

The preview for Featuring Magazine is up.  We've been hard at work on it.   Check it out!

using watersoluble crayons/pencils

This is a bird painting.  I used watercolor pencils for the bird and then smudged it with a damp Q-tip.  The color splotches were made with watercolor pencils and water soluble crayons.  There are other collage elements and marker designs added.

Just Journals!

You are invited to submit your link to a recent art journal or scrapbook page!  Share what you have been working on.  Try to visit at least 3 other artists :)

Grab a button for your page:

New journaling/lettering pages

Above:  Lettering practice for the Lettering Love online workshop with Joanne Sharpe.  Writing in a circular shape was a fun new way for me to practice lettering.  It was a nice starting point for a composition.

Below:  These were notes I made about writing out Bible verses and prayer concerns.  I led devotions for our council meeting at church and I shared a couple pages from my journal where I write out prayers, phrases and verses as a form of meditation and devotion. 

Below:  Here is a detail shot of the lettering page from above.

Painting with 3rd and 4th graders

Hello blogging friends!  If you don't already know this about me, I will tell you now.  When I am not painting, making collages or playing with my daughter, I teach elementary school art.  I wanted to share with you this awesome project that my third and fourth graders worked together on this week.

I was so excited to see this idea of Circle Painting!!   I first learned about it at Barbara's Thought of the Day and then at We Heart Art.  Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. for this wonderful idea.  We are making several collaborative canvases with this technique and they are going to be raffled off at our end of the year school FUNdraiser.  The kids had a blast creating these paintings.  This is the first video I have edited using Imovie!  See the video below to watch the kids painting these canvases.  I'm planning on making two more canvases with an older class to keep at school for display.

More Letter Practice!

Project Life Page

Letter Love Class

Here is another quote I wrote using techniques from Joanne Sharpe's class. 

Lettering Class

I'm taking Joanne Sharpe's lettering class online and it just started this week.  It's not too late to join in. So I've been playing around a lot with letters this week.

Project Life

Well, I jumped on the Project Life bandwagon.  Some people are using the system to document every day of their year, doing one week per spread.  I don't have the time for that.  Well, I could, but then I would have to cut out other things to make time for it, and I definitely don't want to stop playing Words with Friends or watching tv.  I thought it would be a faster, easier way to scrapbook.  And it is easier.  But I'm finding that it takes just as much time, because I am cutting every picture and adding all kinds of doo-dads.  I'm having fun digging in to use up all my leftover scraps.  Maybe I will finally make a dent in all the paper I have stashed.

This is all about the protests at the capitol in Madison, WI.  My hubby is a news reporter and our lives were consumed by this for several months!  On the bottom right you can see a picture of him interviewing the governor.

And here's a too-cute picture I just had to share.  Daria loves her blanket and carries it all over the house. She wears it like a hooded cape quite often.

Then she likes to cover herself up and hide on the floor.

Here are some detail shots from my Project Life pages....  I think I'm now going to refer to it as Project Beckett (my last name)