Quite the Pretty Mess

I am by no means a Picasso, a Monet, or a Degas but I do love playing with paint. I love how it never exactly does what you want it to do. I love how the splatters fall randomly on a page, how paint looks different as it dries on your page, and that you never get the same results twice. It’s like taking a leap of faith and trusting the results to be beautiful. I think I’m beginning to understand how painters can be so inspired and beguiled by it. Most of all, I love the vibrancy of the colors. The bright hues make me smile and feel happy inside. I guess that’s why art can be therapeutic.

I had a little therapy of my own using the Sunday Sketch this week from Studio Calico and using the Technique Challenge from Scrapbook Circle. I used Gelatos and some acrylic paint to provide some layer of color and detail on my background paper.


The yellow frame around the matted photos is acrylic paint on wet brush. The red splatters are from Gelatos I diluted with water and dropped onto the page with a water brush.


I’m using some sort of formula to build myself a kit every few pages or so to help me use up my supplies. I will be featuring it on the next post. It’s been helping me so far in keeping my area organized and free from clutter (close to it, anyway). Since as you can see from the page I do have a lot of hobbies. When you work nights and you’re awake in the middle of the night on your off days, there’s only so many things you can do outside the house, especially at 3AM. I’m lucky my local grocery store is open 24 hours so I get to do the groceries at ungodly hours. I’m actually getting very acquainted with the night stockers in my grocery store. Plus I enjoy not having to weave around fellow shoppers when trying to get to an item on a shelf, or having to stand awkwardly behind people while I wait for them to finish browsing the aisle or shelf I’m trying to get through and not feel like I’m being rude and rushing them or something.

I’ve been subscribing to Scrapbook Circle’s and Studio Calico’s monthly kits and so far I’ve only gotten a couple from either one (I started in September). I love their kits and getting just controlled amounts of embellishments so I don’t end up hoarding too much supplies. Back in San Antonio I had the luxury of having all my supplies in our bedroom which doubles as my craft room on my nights off. Since we’ve moved to Seattle I have had to do with just my designated spot in the living/ dining area. It works but I still feel like it’s a bit cluttery and kind of an eyesore sometimes. I’m still hoping to buy a cabinet I can use as both storage and work area, kinda like a more streamlined Scrapbox. There’s a particular cabinet I have my eye on from Ikea. I’m thinking maybe I can let go of my craft table and change into that one by next year.

Anyone up for taking this EZ view desk and a matching hutch off my hands feel free to let me know and come over and pick it up. I’m practically giving it away (literally, really).

Rekindling the Romance

I haven’t made a full-on technique heavy page in a while, the kind that involves paint, gel medium, inks, wiping up the mess I made afterwards, and the feeling that I was Picasso for a day.

I was coming home from a meeting at work and I was waiting for our hospital shuttle that day, I realized I was an 8-minute walk from my local art supply store. I had about 40 minutes or so to spare so instead of people-watching, I went over to Blick and got myself some modeling paste and a tube of titanium white acrylic paint. I had some techniques I had been wanting to try from some back issues of Somerset Memories. The guy at the store was kind enough to offer me an extra large plastic bag for my purchases when he saw I was also carrying some three-ring binders I got as part of my committee responsibilities. If there is one thing I love about this city is that almost every business establishment is big on customer service.

When I got home, I whipped out my stencils, got my acrylic paints together, and got my hands dirty.


I used some white acrylic paint to wash over my patterned paper. It was a sheet of Bo Bunny that had an image of blue tinted bricks on one side and a rather bold pattern on the other that I was not so excited about. I mixed some red and white paint to get the pink and mixed it into the texturing paste and used a Studio Calico chevron stencil for the background. I then misted the page with some Heidi Swapp Color Shine mists in Gold and Chartreuse and some Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist in Banana Pudding (my husband again commenting on how the company names their colors based on food). Using this as a base, I layered a doily and a book page from my monthly kit as a mat for my photos. I Used some coordinating paper and sticker embellishments from Bo Bunny’s Ambrosia collection, and some flower embellishments and a couple of butterflies. I painted the chipboard title with acrylic paint to coordinate with the page as well.


I remember now why I loved doing these pages. I realized I miss wiping ink and paint off my hands after and the beautiful textures I end up with. Most of all, I enjoy how this lets me be spontaneous and keeps my hobby exciting. I think I just might start making these pages more often.

Sketch Challenge

It’s finally fall, weather’s getting cooler, and sweater weather is just around the corner. It’s also been quite misty lately.

Normally, you can see part of Seattle’s skyline.

This one was taken Christmas eve last year. The mist has been making the drive a bit interesting but I think it’s just another part of Seattle’s charm. I think I may want to stay here for good now. And now that my travel nurse days are over (for now), I can finally get back to my Scrapbook Kit subscriptions. I’ve also started to do sketch challenges again. I miss the challenges and how they stimulate my creativity.

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This one is for Scrapbook Circle’s Sunday Sketch Challenge. I haven’t worked with photo sizes other than 4×6 in a while so this grid layout proved a little challenging. I did enjoy making the layout, though.

Another challenge is with Color, Stories, Inspiration. This is challenge # 142


They have a really neat way of doing challenges. They give you prompts, and color palettes to work within and it’s great for stimulating you to think outside the box and outside of your comfort zone.

I still have a few more challenges to do. I’ve also been keeping up with keeping up my planner. It’s been really helpful in getting me to do stuff and prioritizing my activities.

Planner plans

I signed up recently for Marcy Penner’s Agenda Class at Studio Calico. I am hoping it would help me set up my planner to how I can use it effectively. I have recently taken on a little bit more at work so I needed a way to organize my responsibilities at work, at home, and with my crafts.

I started setting up my new planner. I had shown in a previous post a tutorial on how to upcycle a three-ring binder and turn it into an organizer of my own. It was then a search to find the perfect inserts for the organizer. I went to diferent websites looking up downloadable planner inserts that would work for me. I found a grid pattern template over at this site. I tried printing it out in my own and discovered my printer did not support borderless printing. Not to mention printing the sheets back to back and making sure they match was close to impossible. I tried to make my own version using the grid settings in MS Word but still the not being able to print borderless gave me issues.

Luckily, I found some A5 size grid paper from Konukuniya, a bookstore here in Seattle which sells stuff from Japan. I used markers to pen down my own weekly and monthly pages and made inserts from patterned papers “laminated” with scotch tape. I made a dashboard with sheets of frosted shrinky dinks (transparency sheets seemed too flimsy). I found an A5 sized binder on clearance at Staples.


Sample page:


The dividers:


Week on two pages:


When the class is finished, I hope I will be able to incorporate what I’ve learned. Will keep you guys updated.


Of Random Monuments by Random Roadsides

Last year, I went into travel nursing for a bit and somehow I ended up in a small town in the northern part of Nebraska. My husband and I drove there from San Antonio and he helped me get settled where I was going to be staying. Eventually he had to fly back to San Antonio. We were on our way to the Omaha airport and we drove by this monument by the river close to the airport. We really weren’t sure what the monument was for but there was a nice park around it so we decided to stop by and hang out while waiting for my husband’s flight (we arrived in Omaha about an hour too early). We took turns taking each other’s photo. It was about the early part of summer or late spring then but it still felt a bit chilly.


I used mostly patterned papers from my Bo Bunny pile. I’m still working on using up my older supplies. I haven’t been making OTT pages as often lately so it was an interesting and inspiring challenge. I broke out my sewing machine and did some stitches on the top and bottom doilies and on the patterned papers as well. I had some chipboard pieces I also wanted to use up.

I stopped by Blick and picked this up one day:


Love how these gelatos are so versatile. You can use it dry, or use a water brush and use it like watercolor (orange doilies), or you can even shave off a pile of it, pop it into a spritzer bottle, add water, and use as a mist (bigger green doily). I mixed these guys with some Pearlex powder to give it some sheen and painted the chipboard pieces with it.


Close up shots of the page:


I also used up some swirly bling from my old stash. I still have a long way to go to use up these papers, but with some mixed media ideas I might get into artsy pages again even if it’s just for a while. It was a refreshing break from my usual style and I enjoyed making the glittery mess.

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