Current Five Favorite Tools

So I’ve been working on my 365 project for about 2 months. I finally feel like I’m getting in the groove with it. When I sit down to create, I already have a small store of ideas to pull from so I can start creating immediately. Something I have noticed over this time, is I’m reaching for the same tools repeatedly. And sometimes they are tools I don’t use that often. I thought it would be fun to share those with you today! 

 

UHU Stic-

I’ll be honest- I have a love/hate relationship with this thing. It is so hard to open sometimes. At times it seems to stick really well and other times it doesn’t. However, I’m determined to use up my vast collection of supplies for this project before buying anything new. That means using this glue stick as well. What I have noticed, is the more heavily I apply it, the better it works. Who knew? ;) That has been my approach with it and now I’m loving it a bit more than I’m hating it.

FullSizeRender.jpg

 

Brayer-

This is another tool that I don’t use that often or at least not how I find myself using it lately. I love this tool for layering paint or with my Gelli Plate. But lately, I’ve been using it to smoosh layers together that have been glued, usually with the UHU stic. I think that is another reason I’m hating that glue stick a little less. To make each card feel hefty enough, I’m gluing a sheet of card stock to back of them. I’m using the glue stick then adhering everything together and giving it a few good rolls before calling it done. None of the cards have started to separate from the backer. 

FullSizeRender.jpg

 

Alpha Stamps-

I have a variety of alpha stamps that I love using. So far, my favorite are those little wooden ones you get for about $1 at big box craft stores. They are so easy to use and don’t take up too much space. I have about 6 of them but I find myself using the typewriter one the most. There is something nostalgic about it!

FullSizeRender.jpg

 

Golden Fluid and High Flow Acrylics-

I have always used a variety of paints from cheap craft paint to more expensive brands. With these cards, I’m finding myself reaching for the Golden fluid paints the most. They cover quickly and have great color pigmentation! I also love using them for fine detail and line work. The fluorescent pink color has made an appearance on more than one card already.

FullSizeRender.jpg

 

Corner Rounder-

This may seem like an odd thing to list as a favorite, but it truly is. The first few cards I made, when I was still feeling my way through the process, I left the corners square. It wasn’t a detail I was giving much thought. Then I decided to round one corner and it seemed to make all the difference! It makes the cards look more finished and polished. The corner rounder I’m using is by Becky Higgins but pretty much any of them will work.

FullSizeRender.jpg

There are my current favorites (in no particular order). I am positive these will change over the course of this project. As they do, I will be sure to share.

In the meantime, what are your favorite tools and supplies? Just for informational purposes not so I can add to my shopping list.

My new kind of crazy project!

I’ve been working on what feels like a really big and powerful project.

It feels big and powerful in the sheer number of elements involved. But it also feels big in a way that means it will change things. Probably just for me, but maybe for others too.

FullSizeRender.jpg

I’m starting what I’m calling 100 Mantra Cards. These little cards will hopefully pack a pretty powerful punch. They are part inspiring, part artistic, and part personal. They’re inspiring because I hope you’ll find something from the message or the artwork that encourages you to pick up your artistic tool or find a way to be brave in your life (or both). It’s artistic because I will paint, collage, doodle, or whatever on these cards. I’m not making any parameters about how they are completed other than sticking with a uniform size, but more on that later. Lastly, they’re personal because the messages on the cards will come from me or have been inspired by something I’ve read or heard. I have a pretty long list  of mantras that can be used on the cards. And I’m sure so many more will come to me as the project continues. That’s actually a large part of the project- listening and being open to what messages are coming at me. Sometimes we hear positive things and sometimes negative. My hope is to filter these through my own beliefs and values then put them on the cards.

FullSizeRender.jpg

So what are the logistics? I am a logical person that mostly needs to think in parameters in order to think beyond them. However, with this project, I’m keeping things pretty simple. I’m starting with a white card that measures 4.5 x 3.25 inches. Truthfully I came to that size because I have a pack of card stock precut that way. From there, I’m not limiting myself to certain techniques or mediums. I can create on that card however I feel lead. At some point, it will get a mantra. Lastly, it will get backed with another piece of card stock for stability and the corners will be rounded. That’s it. All the parameters in one small paragraph. I’m learning to work without so much structure, which is nice.

What am I not doing for this project? I’m not making this a daily project. I love the idea of daily projects, but I put so much pressure on myself that I ultimately fail (or at least in my eyes). I do want one card for every day of the year. But I have time to make that happen. And because it’s not daily, I can make as many or as few in a day as I want. 

FullSizeRender.jpg

What are my hopes for this project? Because what is a project without a good why behind it? I hope to improve my artistic skills and continue to shape my style. I hope to become a better listener to messages around me. I hope to inspire myself and others to create something. I hope to make people feel better with an positive message.

As you can see, this is no little project. But it feels like my project. It feels like the project I’ve been working towards for years. I’m excited. I’m nervous. I’m overwhelmed (in a good way). I’m hopeful.

FullSizeRender.jpg

Collage Word Pendant

A few weeks ago, I taught a couple of creative workshops with adult women. First of all, I love teaching. I always have -whether it’s to a classroom of stuffed animals or a group of adults. I especially loved this doing this project with women. So much that I had to share it with you!

To get started, I walked the women through a short exercise to identify a word or phrase to use on thier pendant. If you’re up for it, we can do it together now.  

First, take out a sheet of paper. Allow yourself to be unfiltered with this. :)  Then answer the following questions with as many words or phrases that come to mind. 

-What values would you like yo invite into your life? 

-What characteristics do you admire about yourself and others? 

-What characteristics would you like to cultivate in your life? 

Look over your list. Is there a word that really captures what you want? If not, look up your words in a dictionary, thesaurus, books and magazines. You may have some words listed more than once or words that are similar. This is a great place to start. The post from earlier this week is week is a good place for inspiration as well. And remember- you can always do more than one pendant. Once you have your word, you’re ready to get started on the project!

IMG_0120.PNG

Ultra Thick Embossing Powder

Heat Gun

Basic Jewelry supplies

book text or similar  

Thin wood slice

Collage papers

Scissors

Glue

IMG_0117.PNG

1) Using old books, find your word and cut it out. You can also use stamps, typewriter, or write out your word.

2) Add a layer of paper to the wood slice using liquid glue. You don’t have to worry about having perfect edges here. Also, mywood slice had a hole in the top. Add one if yours doesn’t.

3) Collage an image or elements related to your word on top of your paper. Since my word is blossom, I chose to create a flower. Thinner paper works better here than card stock. Add your word on top.

4) Cut any access paper from the sides. Seal with a layer of glue.

5) Apply a few layers of Ultra Thick Embossing Powder to give it a hard, shiny, water-resistant finish. If you don’t have the powder, you can seal with acrylic medium. Be sure to keep the hole open when using the powder. Add a jump ring and attach to a necklace or key ring. You can take this an extra step by creating a beaded necklace for your pendant.

IMG_0134.JPG

I guess now the only question left to ask: 

IMG_0119.PNG

Creative Intention Cards

Play.

Accept. 

Seek. 

These are just three words in my deck of creative intention cards. This deck serves as a way to center me and give me a focus for my creative time. Sometimes I don’t feel the need to pull a card. Sometimes I already have an idea or the motivation to start. But other times, I can feel myself getting in my own way. I can feel myself closing up at the thought of staring at a blank page or canvas. These are the times when this deck proves so helpful. The cards are there when I need a reminder or suggestion for how to approach my creative time.

Luckily, they are super easy to make! Cut a piece of card stock into cards 2.5 inches by 3 inches. Paint each card individually and write an intention on it. I chose to stick with one word mantras, but you could expand on them. Do these however it feels natural to you!

 

FullSizeRender.jpg

DIY Clipboard Hanger

Today, I have a project for you that is so versatile! You can use materials you probably already have on hand or can get easily. This idea is based on something I saw at Michael's that I knew I could recreate to better suit my needs. 
Are you ready to get started? 

 

I started with a spare 1x4 board. I cut it down to 28 inches long and sanded it smooth. If you don't have a board, you can get one cut at most home improvement stores. You can also find finished wood pieces at crafts stores that would work with this. I also used some clips that resemble clipboards. You can use regular binder clips for this as well.

 

Then I got started on the fun part- painting! I wanted the woodgrain to show through, so I painted a light coat of watered down acrylic paint. Then I used a cloth to rub it in. I spritzed the board with a bit of water first.

Next, I had to do a bit of math... So, my board measured 28 inches long and I wanted three clips evenly spaced. Therefore, I had the two on the ends in two inches and one in the middle that was about 12 inches from the two on the outside. Using three clips made it easy. Put the two the same distance in. Then the third one goes in the middle. I used a tape measure and pencil to mark where the clips would go.
Up until this point, I had planned to hang the board vertical.  

Now, it's time to pull out the power tools! You can absolutely use a hammer and nails if that is what you have. But who doesn't love a chance to use a drill? I drilled a hole where each of my marks were. I also made sure not to go all the way through the board. This really didn't seem to matter. However, at that point, for some reason, it mattered to me. Once your holes are drilled, use a screwdriver and small screws to attach the clips.

Lastly, I put two small nails on each side and tied a ribbon around them. This is how your cool new memo holder will hang on the wall. You could also attach a picture hanger to the back if you like it without the string. I also added a little gold paint to the heads of my screws so they matched the clips.

 

Now hang it on your wall and admire your handy work!