Original Things

Original things for original people.

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Holy Cow!

I assumed that my last post was in May, not March.  Opps.  Once again, I can make flimsy excuses saying that my computer had a bug, then I had one.  Or I finally got down and dirty and cleaned up my work space.  I am still cleaning, but I got about half done.  I threw out and donate a great chunk of out.  Donate as I gave it to my friend J.  I mentioned it to my boyfriend and he wondered if she would be so grateful that she would kiss me on the lips.  Pervert.  And no, she didn’t, she hugged me.

I still have several more canvas boxes to sort out.  Which I am kind of dragging my feet.  When I go through them, I find things that I haven’t used in 5 years and have no intention of using.  So why I am keeping them?  Get rid of them and make stuff for the new toys.

Except that little voice in my head is telling me, “It’s so pretty.”

De-cluttering  is definitely a battle between the brain and the heart.

And of course, it doesn’t help with the weather being so hot with the temperatures reaching 32.  And of course, our air conditioner dies.  Good news is now working, which means I can’t be on my computer because as you know, it blows cold air at me, drying out my eyes and giving me an ear ache.

I am still working on the Cheap Art Challenge which is giving me a run for my money.  I honestly thought that this was going to be a simple, and relaxing challenge.  Oh hell no.

My first attempts got wreck because of the supplies.  And here am I rooting for cheap supplies, saying it is the skill, not the supplies that make you an artist.  Third one, I spilled paint water all over it.  I am not giving up on it, but at the same time, I feel like I am hitting my head against the brick wall.

I know the big reason is the subject that I am using a photo from someone I admired.  And he see the works which it is kind of adding more pressure to me.  I know, he has no intention to do that and he is ok if I don’t use his photo.

But I did finally finish this mini elephant photo album.

There is some good news, my boyfriend’s child is finally out of the hospital and doing good.  In fact, she is being a little devil, (in a good way).  When she was released, I was in the middle of 3 deadlines where I told him that I didn’t have time to spend with him.  She found out and asked if that means that he get to spend more time with her and her sisters.  That little sneak.

There is more.   I gave her a get well package which included this.  Thank goodness, my friend J was a former nurse which was a tremulous help in this, telling me of what was accept and not accept in hospitals.


Her sister saw it and asked my boyfriend if I can make her a monkey.  And of course, he said yes.  And the way he asked was strange.  We were talking and he said “(Name) like monkeys.”  And then I said, “Of course, they are a lot easier to take care than elephants.”  A few seconds later, I asked him, “Am I missing something?”  That is when he told me about that she wanted me to make her a monkey.  It is coming along slowly, except I ran into the nightmare that every crocheter and knitter fears.

I ran out of yarn.  I went to several stores trying to find that shade of brown.  I found it online, but I don’t have a credit card.   My boyfriend told me that he will take care of it, and until I get the yarn, there is nothing else I can do.

I guess that is all.  I hope everyone is well and at peace.

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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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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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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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Cheap Art Supply Challenge

During one of my insomnia nights last night, I was watching You Tube again.  Which by the way, I think I may be running out of programs to watch.  Anyway I stumbled across an art challenge that was issued last year amoungst artists that looked really interesting and hopefully relaxing.  Do a piece of art only using cheap art supplies like the ones you get from the Dollar Tree.

I can already hear all of my art teachers from art college telling me that in order to produce good quality of art, you must used good quality art supplies, which means expensive art supplies.  So I am respectably plugged my ears to my art teachers and give this a shot.  And already I ran into my first problem.

What to make?  Most of the artists did portraits work which I don’t.  In fact, they kind of stressed me out.

I have a couple of canvas, 4 bottles of paint (2 black, 1 brown, and 1 white), sketchpad which the paper really sucks from the Dollar Tree.


I do have paperbags that I got free from McDonalds and Tim Hortons, so I can make an album, but that is time consuming.  I already received another order from Koda’s Kountry, plus 5 albums to make.  So that is out.

A small notebook as in 4X6 size.  I still several empty cereal boxes or even use that sketchbook.  Except the paper from my printer is far better quality than that paper which is telling you a lot.

I already a couple of markers that I still have from college which I wasn’t even sure that they had dried out or not.  So I ended up making into ink sprays.  The colors I chose or had were black, blue and red (not shown in the picture).


After I pulled apart the markers and soak them for a few hours which I had to clean up my work space, work on my art journal and of course, still come up with an idea.

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I knew if I used a canvas, the colors would be so transparents, that I couldn’t even see it.  I ended up spraying about 14 sheets of paper, knowing the transparency would work.  I did go heavy on two pieces of paper for the book cover.


I had a watercolor paper stash, you know, leftover from cutting to a certain size for a specific project.  One of them fitted my moleskin journal so I threw that in the spraying area.


I don’t know of what I am going to do that and the book cover.  Since I have black paint, I might paint something silhouttle.

And it was a long progress, took all day.  I even ended up making more sprays, I found another black and blue markers from Michaels that they sold for $1.50 each.  But this time, the color was more intense where I ended up spraying it down with water just to diluted. I just finished spraying the last pages.  The one thing that really surprised me that I had paper underneath and this paper I had used in the past for spraying and such.  The moisture from the paint soak through and it bled on the paper so I have different colors.  I have to see of what it looks like in the morning.