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

Ribbon

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

Disclaimer:

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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Outside the Box

A couple of weeks, I was hanging out with my friend W, where I told him about the “Cheap Art Challenge” and what I was planning.  Even though, he did like the sketch of the horses I showed him, he told me the idea of a challenge  is to think outside of the box.  Which is true, however to me, it means portraits.

Portraits are not outside of the box for me, they are more like I am standing in the middle in the dark, scary forest being chased down by monsters and my flashlight is going out.

Apparently, his words were stuck in my mind because the next day, I went to the Dollar Tree to pick up some more aluminum tape.  They were out, so I ended up picking small magnets for album closures.  While I was walking around, I found this.

20160817_222748[1]8 inch circle canvas.  That is definitely outside of the box because I never used a circle canvas before.  So that with these markers, I also ended up picking up poster board.  I need a cover for an upcoming album.  But that for another post.

Now I am facing the “White Background” syndrome again.  Even though, I am planning to use the markers as sprays, but then what.

The circle reminds me of one of those portholes, (I think that is what you call them).  Anyway, it remind me of either on a ship or in a submarine, where you are peeking out to see life underwater.

Except Vicky Papaioannou from http://www.clips-n-cuts.com/2016/08/art-journal-layout-vitamin-sea/  .  I don’t know of why I can’t insert that link.  She is a very good artist when it comes to art journaling and cards.  She is one of my favourite channels on You Tube.  Anyway, she recently did a journal piece of a the porthole.

You see of where I am getting at.  Even though, they say imitation is the best form of flattery.  But kids also say,

Lesley is a copycat.

Lesley is a copycat.

Good grief.

The other day, while working on my order and feeling like a cooked turkey.  The temperature was 29C and my AC was broken.  I could feel my brain frying.  Which could explain my next idea.  I thought of finger-painting for the canvas.  Then giving melted crayons another chance.  Explain the brain frying.

Finger-paint is out side of the box and free, but again, what do I paint?  I kept thinking pumpkins. Why am I obsessed with them all of the sudden is a good question.  I don’t have the answer to that.  Finger-paint, I can do flowers, but I can’t do small detail work.

I am going to let it sit for now.  I want to work on the horse one for a bit.  And do a couple of tests on the poster board.  Here are some cards that I recently complete for an order that was due today.

 


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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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Cheap Art Supply – Take 2

Once the pages were dried for the notebook, I still wasn’t happy with it.  And that journal page was basically turning into a blue page.  So basically crap.

Two days ago, I had to pick up some eyedrops and ended up going to Michaels where they were have “Dollar Deals”.  Which meant great sales.  I picked up two 12×12 white cardstock.  One of them I already used for cards while the second one, I already put a coat of white paint from Dollar Tree.  I wanted the paper to be more sturdy, even though, I have no idea of what I am going to be doing.  Normally I would be using gesso, but that is against the rules.

They also had craftsmart paint for two for $1.50 so I brought a couple of colors. Crayola was having a sale of buy one, get the second one 50% which I picked up crayons and watercolor pencils.  And of course, I ended up walking by a display of scrapbook supplies where they have everything 70% off.  Yeah, I was in trouble, besides buying some stuff for my cards, I found a Dyllusion stencil for $4.  Sweet Georgia Brown, what a deal.

Except when I tried the stencil out on the notebook and journal page, using a make up sponge (which I had those for years) and spray.  It did improved the book, but it was still not good enough.  As to the art journal page, it was worst where I just ended up painting white paint over it.  I’ll use the page for something else.

However an idea, actually 4 ideas finally came of what to paint or draw for this challenge.

  1. Pumpkins
  2. Underwater with killer whales and fish
  3. Dragons
  4. Gargoyles

I still have small canvases from the Dollar Tree.  I actually I have one canvas that I royalty screw up on so I am going to be using it as a test for the melted crayons.  However I know with wax, water repels from it so I can’t use my watercolor pencils.  I have no idea of how it will react with acrylic.

As to the 12×12 sheet, I am leaning toward the watercolor pencils and do a pumpkin scene.  I think the wax crayons might be a little too heavy.  And granted I can cut out the pumpkins from cardstock and modge podge them, but won’t that be consider cheating.

Or maybe make paint sprays like I have done with the old markers and spray the background.  Then draw the dragon or gargoyle, using a ballpoint pen?

Three days ago, I had no idea.  Today, I have too many.

 


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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.

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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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Five Months

I am very sorry for not posting.  But things have been crazy.  In June, I had my gall bladder removed.  Which understandable, I was very busy trying to get things done before the big day.  Things like getting a haircut, getting the order for Koda’s Kountry, paying all of my bills advance, and filling my car with gas.

At the time, I didn’t know of how much time I needed for healing.  My doctor told me that I cannot drive for a week because that was where the incisions was going to be.  But after that, I do not know.  I had spoken people who had it and all of their recovery time is different.  So I decided to take a week off, not worry about Original Things and anything else.  Just think of that week as a mini holiday, without the fruity cocktail.  Just rest and heal.  Do not push yourself or else, my healing was going to be extended.  Well that didn’t happen.

To start with, my surgery had a slight complication.   A couple of hours later after I was discharged, I started bleeding again where I was rushed into the ER.  It was one hell of a night.

As to the mini-holiday, I honestly wished that I had that fruity cocktail.  By Day 2, despite the pain, I was stir crazy.  I ended up finishing up a couple of pages in my art journal.  Like this one.

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I also made a couple of handbound journals which I need to stop because I have at least a dozen that needs to be decorated.

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I also did some practise on watercolor. Practising my watercolor pencils and new techniques.  I got a handle of using both Distress Markers and Stampin’ Up makers, but those pencils are harder to use.  Earlier this year, I made a coloring book for my bf’s daughter.  I had extra coloring pages so I thought what the heck, why not use them as practise.  It would be fun practising on Winnie the Pooh.  The only problem that I had was these pages were printed on an inkjet printer because that is all I had.  Even after heating setting it, the ink ran made the pages muddy.  And right now, I am not planning to buy a laser printer.


Unfortunately things didn’t stop there.  I had to deal some personal issues which I do not wish to talk about here.  And unfortunately, I am still dealing with them.

I am back in the craft sale business, my first sale is in Bentley on November 7th and another one on December 5th, I am completely panicking.  My big concern the things that I hopefully sell in the November sale will have to be replace within a month.  I can make a hat in two days, a scarf in 2 two weeks and a dishcloth in a day.  Right now, I am trying to finishing up my handbound books and albums which I am hoping they will sell.  I am trying to make enough to I don’t have to replace them during that month.

But my big concern is figuring out the prices.  How much do I charged for these things.

Here are a few things that I will be selling

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Totebags

I alpologized for not blogging. This flu had really knocked me out, causing me to go overtime in the dishcloth order. But at last, they are done and I will be doing the delievery tomorrow. Thank goodness, I was really tired of these dishclothes. I want to start working on those scarves. I will be posting a pictures of them later.

As well as I was amazed that I got these totebags done. Techinically they were done days earlier, but it takes three days to dry completely enough so I can wash them.

This month, I am planning to see my boyfriend who is still dealing with family business, but it has gotten better enough for me to spend some time for him. I may be meeting one of his children so of course, I went a tad overboard in gifts. I decorated these small totebags for them.

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The paper on the bags is covering up their names. I do not post pictures of children online without their parent’s permission. Some of the parents I know, do not wish for me to do which I respect. While other, they are ok, as long I don’t give out the location or their real names. I admitted that I am paranoid when it comes to this.

I originally thought of painting Winnie the Pooh, but time was not on my side. Not to mention, I am not sure if they like Winnie the Pooh, they might prefer Elmo or Barbie. It also been awhile since I painted and honestly, I do miss it. However I knew I needed to practise before acting painting on the bags. So I decided to try out One Stroke Painting in my art journal. Wrecking a page is better than wrecking a bag.

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Where I learned that fabric paint is different than regular acrylic paint. Different as in it is more glossy. Which is nice, but it gives off a sticky feeling on the pages where it will stick together. I had to rub my anti-static pad on the pages to get rid of the stickiness. But unfortunately, now the pages has this grayish film on it which if I wiped it off, I get the sticky feel again. Good grief.

Either way, I am quite pleased with the results and really hoping that his children will like them. I’m also hoping that they like the colors of the bags. I have no idea if they like yellow or hate yellow for example. I know, I worry too much. But good grief, I am dating their daddy so no pressure.

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I found a few more small totebags which I am thinking of painting them as well for the sale in November. It doesn’t take long in painting, just the drying.

So with less than 2 months before the sale and subtract the two weeks of me not working on the stuff, it doesn’t give me much time. I’m already starting to feel the crunch. The two weeks are a guess. Besides seeing my boyfriend, I am going to visit some family which I am not planning to bring any work for Original Things. For one thing, my boyfriend smokes and second, it is vacation. But I will probably bring something to work while watching tv for example. I honestly cannot sit still in front of the tv. I have to do something whether it is knitting or sketching.

I just have to finish the photo albums, make at least 5 ruffles scarves, a bunch of scrubbies, see if that potholder works and if so, make about 5, and some hats. As well as a few more cards. I think I am going to need a vacation after this sale.