Original Things

Original things for original people.

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Accordions Art Journal

After some delays,  I managed to post my second you tube video.  Delays being waiting for the glue to dry.  There should be a song and dance on that.

Accordian Art Journal

As expected that there were mistakes in the video.  Mainly the ones where I typed in the instructions on the screen, I didn’t make them last long.  How long are you suppose to keep the instructions up there?

Anyway, here is my supply list.

1 sheet of 38 by 25, 140 lb watercolor sheet

1 handpressed wrapping paper.  Now you can used wrapping paper, newspaper or anything that is larger than 12 by 12.  However I would stronger recommended that if you used newspaper, spray it with fixtive, clear gesso, or even gel medium because you don’t want the ink to spear onto the watercolor paper or your own fingers

Glue, I used Aleve Tacky Glue

Foam Brush


Weights, in my case I used candles.

I am planning to used this journal in future videos.

In other news, I am still working for the April sale, and starting to get nervous that I am not going to have enough.  I made some little booklets, only to have them fall apart the next day.  Terrific.  So that is back to the drawing board.

I hope everyone is doing ok.

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Cheap Art Supplies – My 2 Cents


I do not represent any company that I may mention in this post.  No company has asked or offered me money to give them my opinion.  The only company I do represent is Original Things.  I am doing this post based on my opinion and experiences in hope to help you all.

Now that part is done with.  I noticed that most of the people who are participating in this Cheap Art Supply Challenge had also voiced their opinion on them.  I thought I should do the same.

With cheap art supplies, it is a love/hate relationship for me.  I love the price, but sometimes the quality stinks.  So why do we use it?  Money is one reason.  When I was teaching, I used to show my students options of using less expensive supplies or doing it less expensively.  I would tell them;

We are not cheap.

We’re broke.

Almost everyone of us have bills to pay, rent, food, gas, and etc.  So sometimes, we can’t afford to buy Coptic markers or Prism pencil crayons. 

Second reason is experience.  The best way that I can describe this is by this example.  You had never driven a car in your entire life.  You never taken any lessons or even been behind the wheel.  And no, the video games that have driving are the worst example.  I know a 3 year old who plays those games and she gets a kick everytime when she crashes into the wall or run over someone.

There is no way on this entire planet I am going to hand you keys to Lamborghini or an Aston Martin to learn how to drive.  I will hand over keys to a less expensive car that may be considered a “clunker.”  Because you will hit the curb, you will hit the cement bars in parking lots and etc.  And don’t get me started on parallel parking.  In my parents’ home, there is a dent on the garage door railing from me in my first year of driving.  And our neighbour’s tree still has damage when I ran into it (that one, the brake pedal fell off).

It will be at least a year from the day you get your license before I even consider of handing you over the keys.  And you have to know of how to drive in extreme weather conditions like blizzards and tornados.

So that basically why you would use cheap art supplies, to practise your skill and get the experience.  I have been drawing and painting for over 30 years and I still use cheap art supplies.  Yes, money has been tight.  But I used them for my art journaling, sketching out ideas for cards and such.  Or practising shading and coloring.

However back to the example, some of the “clunkers”cars are actually good cars.  The rich and famous people may see my car is a clunker, and yes it does have a dent when I hit the sign last year.  I should stop talking about my driving.  Anyway, but my car is good, it is great on gas, looks nice (minus the dent), and it gets to me A, B, and C.   Would I love to drive a Lamborghini, heck yes.  But I do not have a couple of million dollars in my bank account.  Nevertheless, I am willingly to bet you driving that car will feel and act the same as my car.  Granted I never driven one, so I am just guessing.

In yarn world, there are good and inexpensive yarn like  Vanna’s Choice, Bernat Supersaver, and Michaels Impeccable yarn.  I have personally used all of those yarns and been very satisfied with them.  There are yarns that are cheaper than the ones that I name, but they are so scratchy, and uncomfortable to knit and crochet with.  In fact, I would love to use a flame torch on them and be rid of them once and for all.

In the art world, we have Artist’s Loft, Recollection, and even Crayola.  Again, I used all of them and I have almost nothing against them.  All good and less expensive brands.

But this is where the hate comes in for me.  As long you follow the care instruction of the yarn, things should be ok.  But with the art supplies, that is a different story.  I cannot speak for Artist’s Loft or Recollections, but I have been told this about Crayola.

Crayola is not light safe. What that means in time, the colors will fade, even under glass.  I am not sure if fixative will work.

So if I was doing a painting for my boyfriend, or for a family member as a gift.  (By the way, that would make one great present)  I would go with the expensive art supplies, the one that I know is light safe.   I want 20 or 30 years down the road, someone points out my painting to someone, they can say, “Your grandma Lesley did when she was your age.”  I want that painting to look the same as the day they received it.

I hope this helps you.  If you have any questions, feel free to ask.

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Blank Canvas VS Drawn Canvas

I had to take a break from the Cheap Art Challenge because I had an order for Koda’s Kountry.  This was probably the hardest order to fill.  Not hard as in to fill, hard as to staying awake.  I found myself falling asleep on the couch a couple of times during the day.  So the good news, my insomnia may be over, the bad news is it is during the day where I need natural light to work with.  So my internal clock is screwed.  Oh goody.

I didn’t have time to take many photos, but here of what is going to Koda’s Kountry.

20160803_003717[1] IMG_20160721_143333[1] IMG_20160721_143052[1] 20160803_114600[1]

Would someone please remind me to see if they have a blog or a website so I can link this blog to.

Back to the challenge. Some artists have difficulties or even fears of “The Blank Canvas”.  When I was in art college, we had a visiting artist who would splash some color on the canvas even before her classes began in order to get rid of her fear.

You are right when I first started this challenge, I had that fear.  I did not know of what to draw.  When I finally picked out my subject and sketch it out.  Which by the way, I did this at night and without wearing my glasses or contacts.  I am nearsighted.

In case, you are wondering, I used this pencil and eraser.


The eraser was a prize from a cereal box, many years ago.  And the pencil was just lying around the house.  I still have all of my pencils from collage and highschool.  I might be a hoarder when it comes to that.  Either way, they were free.


I am hoping that this link work.  Somehow this photo is not in my phone.

I now face a new challenge, how to color it.  Obviously melted crayons will not work.

So I could go with acrylic paint from the Dollar Tree.  But I do not have much of a selection.


Or the watercolor pencils.  Or I can use both.  Watercolor pencils for the background while the acrylic paint for the horses or reverse.  This is suppose to be fun, not causing stress.

Speaking of fun, I took 2 sheets from the art sketch pad.  Remember where the computer paper was better than that paper?  One sheet, I coated it with white paint while the second one, I didn’t nothing.  Actually I forgot.  I brought some rubbing alcohol spray at the Dollar Tree, and added a few drops of the paint.  I sprayed the paper, and sprayed it in several layers.  The green had the white paint undercoat.

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I am quite please with the result.  The green reminds me of the Northern lights.  But if you are asking of what I am going to do.  Simple, I haven’t got the foggiest idea.


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Cheap Art Challenge – Take 3

It was a good thing that I did some testing last night before going directly to the project.

I tried the melted wax crayons techniques on an old used canvas.  I tried the Sharpie marker with rubbing alcohol which didn’t go well as planned.  Maybe I used the canvas that was already gesso?  I don’t know.  So I tried it with crayons.  The black plastic knife was from one of the take out containers so that I was free.  The ruler, I brought from the Dollar Tree for this project.  I wasn’t going to ruin one of my good rulers.  The irony of that is that this ruler is starting to be one of my best rulers.

I had to use the heat gun for this project since I did not own a hair dryer.  Talk about irony.  A girl who does not own a hair dryer. 



TIP: Freeze your crayons before you use them because the labels will come off easier.  I also ended up storing them in the fridge because of this hot weather.


The color does blend better as if I was color directly on the canvas with the heating gun blowing.  Instead of holding it with the plastic knife and have the heating knife create a puddle.  I also learned that it is best to wear old clothes because wax drips on clothes, DOES NOT wash off.

I scrapped half of the canvas with the ruler like squeegee.  It did a give a smooth surface.  Once it was cool, I painted a white strip across and let it dry.



I wanted to see of how it react to the wax, which was ok.  Then I thought that this would be a great background for a mixed media project that I have been planning to do.  But that is when the trouble begins.


The yellow and red colors are from the watercolor pencils.  The yellow, I drew directly on the canvas and as you can see, it scrapped away the paint.  The red, I used a wet paintbrush and rubbed it against the pencil before painting on the canvas.  The blue is acrylic with I dipped my brush in the lid and painted on canvas.  I decided to try out modge podge with tissue and a piece of a cardstock.  The one on the left, I used white glue directly on it.  And this morning, everything peel off.

So the wax crayons are out for the challenge.  And yes, I know that I will be using cardstock as my base, not canvas so I may have different results.  So either I used all watercolor, all acrylic, or watercolor with acrylic.

I was leaning toward pumpkins, but last night while watching a video for research on another project, I was doodling and I ended up doodling a couple of horses.  And if you do not mind tooting my own horn, they turned out really good.

I then decided to do two pieces for the challenges.  I brought a storybook at the Dollar Tree and have been using it as an art journal.  Actually it is my Art Journal Prompt, so whenever I find a prompt, I used that journal.  So I prepped a page with white paint instead of gesso and now I am going to try something.  I am leaning towards horses except guess of what the first page of my journal is.  Yup, horses.  But since it is only an 8X8 size, I can do the pumpkins.  Do the horses on the bigger sheet where I can use the stencil.

Decisions, decisions, decisions.


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Breaking Surface

I know that it has been months since I last wrote.  I have been super busy and going through some personal stuff.  And unfortunately, I know that the next few months is going to be really insane for me.  So this is a quick post to let you know that I haven’t forgotten about you guys, just been busy.

One of the things that I have been doing is cleaning out my yarn collection.  I have 7 huge plastic bins of yarn, two storage ziplock bags, a trunk full of yarn, and not to mention the little boxes around the house, full of yarn.  Then my hairdresser gave me some yarn that one of her other customers gave her.  And when I said some yarn, I mean two huge boxes. My plan is to try to get the yarn down to 5 plastic bins and maybe a couple of small decorative boxes.  Those boxes are by the couch where I watch tv.


That is bag number 3 and 4 that I had sent to donation.  There is a church here that is looking for yarn donation so they can knit blankets and other items for the homeless.  I already been going through my patterns to see of what to take off my list of things that I want to knit and crochet.  So far, I had removed 65 items.  I am still wittering down the list.

I have been doing some art journaling lately in order to relax.  One of the journal prompts is to do 4 backgrounds, don’t think about it, just do it.

20160502_141304[1]  That is fingerpainting with modeling paste.  Actually I had fun doing that.  It reminding me when I was kid.  I am tempted to pick up some fingerpaint, but I easily use my acrylic paint.

20160502_141138[1]  I used Dylusion spray with my own alchol sprays.

20160502_141221[1]  This one, I did some thought into it because I had to pick out the paper from my scrap box and of course, cutting them into shapes.

20160502_141243[1]I used white glue resist technique and Tim Holtz Distress paint.  I am thinking this is going to be an underwater scene.

20160502_141341[1]  I had this pattern paper for years and I had no idea of what to do with it.  I finally put a coat of thin white paint just to tone it down.  I am thinking of using the one word prompt challenge.  But so far, I haven’t found a word that I like.  I have been using one word generators on the computer, but the words they come up are either ones that I have no idea of what it means, or hard to do.  For example, how I can art journal about flinching, bending, or northern.  I want art journal to relax me, not to stress me out.

I am hoping that I will be more vigil with my blog.


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Back to School Shopping.

I meant to post this earlier, but I had severe stomach pains last Friday and I’m still dealing with them tonight.


I think every person who does art journaling, cards, book binding, and even scrapbooking, should take advances in “Back To School Shopping” sales.  This is some of the things that I brought during the sale.



The white glue, I’m planning to made my own modge podge for my art journaling. The recipes calls for:

 1 part white glue

1 part water (just regular old tap water)

But lately, I find if I used 2/3 white glue and 1/3 water is better than the original recipe. It gives it a thick stew consistently.


The Composite Notebook, I can make into another art journal. Like 4 art journals are not enough and I’m planning to make another art journal, just with watercolor paper.


And I already explained the watercolor paper pad.

The foam puzzle mat is for my blocking. I have from several sources to use these foam mats because it is more firmer and studier than using a towel.  Not to mention, when I spritz the product like a scarf with water, the towel will soak up the moisture and drying it faster before having a chance to dry straighter.  I’m going to reblock a scarf again.

There were also glue sticks, pens with pink, purple, green, bright blue inks, pencils, erasers for art journaling that was on sale. I didn’t buy those, because I didn’t need them.  As well as ink for my printer.  I’m cutting back on my spending.  Granted none of these products I buy, won’t be use for scrapbooking, paper albums, and cards. Mainly because, I want none of my products to turn yellow in the distance future because of the acid it might contain.

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Two Birds With One Stone

I found several art journal prompts and quotes from famous people and not so famous people.  Basically I don’t recognized the person, but I liked their quote.  It was just something to give me an idea, inspiration in case, I find myself staring at a blank page.

Two of the prompts were “Stars” and “We are all of stars, we deserve to twinkle” by  Marylin Monroe.  I originally planned to use stars for a quote by Jim Morrison, but I liked her better.



This was a simple page made in a day.  The part that took up most of my time was waiting for the glitter glue to dry.

Sometimes I wondered if Marilyn Monroe would have been like if she didn’t died from a drug overdose.  Will she beable to become clean and sober, and be a mother like she wanted to.  She probably would have been a great spokewoman for clean living.

Today we have better mental health care compare back to the 50s.  I would like to believe if we had that knowledge back then, maybe she could have been saved.  I  honestly don’t know.


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Been Bitten By The Book Bug . . . Again

If any of you have some time, please check out SeaLemon’s channel on You Tube. http://www.youtube.com/user/SeaLemonDIY   This is where I learned of how to bind books which I made these.


If you do not mind me blowing my own horn, I think I have improved.  Besides the fact, two of the journals, the maps have been glued upside down and the top red one, the stitching is wrong.  It became undone after the stitching.

However I’m still thinking that the cover needs something.  More Va Va voom, thing.  To which, I have no idea.  I have been toying the idea of using polymir clay on the cover of the journals.  It is a great idea, except I need to buy the clay and other supplies which at the momenet, I do not know of what it is.  I’m going have to speak to Lady L about this.  And right now, money is tight due to car repairs, new glasses and a hearing aid.

What really blew me away that my “Journaling Bug” has been reblogged by Haven of Inspiration at http://havenofinspiration.wordpress.com/ .  I honestly didn’t know that it could be done.  This tells you of how much of a genius I am when it comes to computers.  I’m still trying to figure out of how to add links.

But the good news is that Koda’s Kountry shown me some interest in selling the books for me.  But I am still foggy of how much to charged them considering that they are made from left over supplies.

But it does give me happiness know that I have a buyer interested.  Now I need some ideas and of course, supplies.  However I am planning to use the delay to the look for some more ideas for junk jourals.  They need to be practical.

As well as I have huge Easter order for Koda’s Kountry.  I finished these Easter cards a few days ago.  Which I think they are absolutely adorable.

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I also have four bunnies complete, two baskets and one bunny in progress.  I’m hoping to get the little guy done and do another basket.  Except I have less a week to complete it.

But unfortunately, this delays the completion of the dragon adn the Facebook Page.

I hope everyone has a good Easter.

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What Have I Been Up To.

The moving date is still up in the air due to the cabinets in the kitchen being redone.  Even though, I could put a rush job on them, but the quality will not be good.  So I’m waiting and right now, I have patience of a yak. And no, I do not know of how patience yaks are, I just like the saying.

Because of the wait, I cannot do any mail art, which is frustrating.  However I cannot see any reason to make the mail art so it will be ready to mail.  Except I have no idea of what it is going to be.  I am leaning towards the books that I have been making.  And if so, what size?  I need to start looking for more ideas and more people to send this.  Hopefully one in Canada.

Meanwhile, I thought that I would show you of what I have been doing to pass the time.  I wish I can tell you that I am one kind of project kind of gal or even two.  Cardmaking during the day and knitting/ crochet at night.  Right? No, I’m not.

During the day, I have been going through a pile of papers that I somehow collected.  They are patterns, sketches, and leftover scrapbooking supplies. I have a feeling with all of the papers, I might have destroyed an acre of the rainforest.  But I do recycle them after I am done.  I have been thinking of investing in a tablet, but with the wireless internet, I know that I am going to be distract.  That is one of the reasons of why I prefer pen and paper.

And once again, I realized that I have more than enough scrapbook supplies. I should not be buying any more except for glue.  Which oddly enough, I am running low on them again.  But that may change because I received a card order from one of my long  time (not too long) customer.  Which is good.  But how low long is the big question.  It also goes the same with yarn.

I have been working on my art journal, the one with the backgrounds.  With the leftover paint, I have been using on the other journal.  Waste not, want not.

20140127_140134[1]  I have no idea of where this is going, but until I get the other journal done, I might as well keep going.

However it gave me an idea for one of the pages of the background pages.

20140127_135835[1]  After I gesso the page, I took some paint and smeared it with a palette knife.  But I think I screwed it up.  I should have gone darker to lighter colors instead of lighter to darker.  And I should have used 3 colors.  I am planning to add a thin layer of white gesso in hopes to dull down the color a bit.

I am still working on tags with handmade ink sprays.

20140127_133619[1] I hit the jackpot when I found rubbing alcohol ink in their own spray bottles at the dollar store.  Save me a few dollars of buying a couple of spray bottles.  However, I’m not liking the quality compare to my earlier sprays that I made.  Granted, I used Perfect Pearl in that mix.  The new sprays have no perfect pearl because I have a feeling that it will clog up.  I think I need to go back to the bulletin board.  And I still ALOT of more tags to cut.

As to knitting/crochet, I have been making miltered squares.  Mainly because I just wanted to used up that ball of yarn.  I kept tripping over it.


I do not if you noticed, but I have already cross off 4 things off the 2014 New Years Resolution.  Technically I have been making more things, but apparently it is not on the list.


I have been working on a dragon for the same customer. It is going slow, too slow.  I need to light a fire under my butt for that one.


I started on a big bear with Paton Metallic yarn.


I also started on a rabbit using my small balls of yarn that I cannot throw out.


I also been working on “Easy Big Red One”. And yes, I know it is not red and I had to tweak the pattern a big, but I am using nylon string.


I don’t know if it is the stress, I am dealing with or this move.  My mind feels like it is scatter.  Like the dragon should have been done by now.  I should be working on November sale and my etsy shop.

However I am getting excited and looking up ideas for my craft room.  Except the last time, I reorganized my craft space, it took me over 6 months of trial and errors before I got it working right.


Journaling Bug

It seems like I caught the bug and I do not mean the flu bug.

I am happy that  I can finally show you this.  I took book binding a step further and created this.


I used watercolor paper where I used Distress Ink as its background.  I have to admit that it was alot of fun to do.  I also painted the cardboard white and used duct tape on one side to reforced the holes before covering the whole thing in tissue paper which was also colored with Distress Inks as well. I also had to glue the book pages on its fold because in my earlier attempt, I torn the pages while sewing it together.


I gave this book to Lady L which was suppose to be over the holidays, but as you can guess, this was the one that I had a postage mishap.  Quite honestly, I am happy that it arrived safely.  I had a history of lost parcels or having them confisicated.  (I tried to send pasta shaped like maple leaves to Australia which customs confisicated it because it was against food regulation.)  And I have to admit that I am quite curious of what she is going to do with this.

I ended making two more of these books.

SAM_1467  They still need to have labels, but until I can think of what they can be, I am leaving them blank.

SAM_1436  The smaller book has cardstock as its pages.

SAM_1443 While this one has watercolor paper as its pages.

I might be using the smaller book as mail art.  I’m not sure yet.  However the irony of this mail art is that I received some today.  Unfortunately. I am going to have to wait until after the move until I can do anymore mail art and my ATCs.

Which by the way, the moving date is still up in the air due to paperwork.  So right now, I am working on projects and doing some onlie research on displays for the sale in November.  So yes, this whole move thing is driving me crazy.  I packed all of the stuff that I do not need at the moment and started cleaning.  However I worked better if I have a deadline.  Maybe it is the motivation or I am so used to having deadlines.

But I digress, with the 3 books I made, I have 7 art journal altogether. If you checked my earlier posts, I had already posted about two of the journals.


I’m trying an experiment of making an art journal where the background is already done.  It is a slow progress due the paint drying and coming up with ideas.

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However this had inspired me to do a junk journal.  Except when I found out that you need to use an old book, a part of me cringed at the thought of cutting up the first editions of “Alice in Wonderland” or “Tale of Two Cities.”  I brought this old Sherlock Holmes book at a thift store which was published in the 80s, I think.  So I felt alittle better.

Except I’m not happy of how the results.  I know you are supposed to use junk mail, except nowadays, with everything you can get online in cluding junkmail.  The only junk mail I recieved is made from newsprint.  Where I fear the ink will rub off onto other pages.

The reason that I am not happy is that these pages are narrower than the book.

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I’m sorely tempted to make another book with these pages.  But again, I am holding off until after the move.  Or that is the plan, but lately, it has been changing.