Upcoming Workshops!

I’m so excited to share with you two workshops I’m teaching in the next several weeks! The first one is called Collage Word Pendant and the second one is Art Journaling Basics. Both classes will take place at Sulfur Studios in Savannah. 
These classes focus on taking a more mindful approach to art. If you’ve been around here for a bit, then you’ve probably noticed that I love color and I love words. And combining the two in a mindful way brings me great joy. In these classes, I will walk you through an exercise of focusing on words to use in your art. Then we will work with various mediums to give them a visual representation. The process of creating art like this has been powerful in my life. It has helped me work through various emotions and situations. As well as providing a creative outlet just for the joy of it. 
I hope that you will consider taking one (or both of these) classes. If you come in with an open mind, I know you can grow and discover more about yourself through this process. 

Here are the nitty gritty details. Please don’t hesitate to ask any questions. Also, if you know anyone that would enjoy these classes, please feel free to share this information. 

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Collage Pendants 

Thursday, March 29, 2018
6:00 PM  8:00 PM
$45.00 per student
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/collage-pendant-with-casey-gainey-tickets-42999530754
This class will focus on choosing a “guiding word” and creating a pendant and necklace to showcase it. We will cover basic jewelry techniques with an added focus on mixed media methods. Most of the supplies will be provided. Students are encouraged to bring any beads they wish to incorporate in their piece. 

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Art Journaling Basics 

Saturday, April 21, 2018
1:00 PM  5:00 PM
$65.00 per student
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/art-journalling-basics-with-casey-gainey-tickets-42999019224
In this four hour class, we will explore art journaling techniques in an altered book journal. We will start by making our journals from used hardback books and various materials. Then, we will cover the basics of creating backgrounds using paints, inks, stencils, and other materials. We will explore various methods for adding layers and finishing touches. Most of the supplies will be provided, including the book for a journal. 

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.

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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. 

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

Hidden Journaling

I recently changed jobs. I had been working for there for over three years and really felt at home in many ways. I truly had mixed emotions about leaving. It's funny how you can be so excited about new opportunities and still be a bit sad about it all. I think all new beginnings are like that to some degree.

I find it so helpful to write about all the conflicting and confusing thoughts running through my head. Even though I don’t keep a journal just for my written thoughts, I infuse a lot of that into my art journal pages. I find I can work through my thoughts and emotions more fully with words and color and shapes. Sometimes when I do a lot of writing, I don’t like for it to visible in the end. One of my favorite ways to do this is to use a water soluble pen. I write everything I want to say. Then I go over it with a wet brush and it becomes part of the background. It’s a really cool effect! On this page I also added lots of paint splatters so it could blend in with writing.

 
 

Here are some other fun ways to cover your text:
-Use a water-soluble medium to write your thoughts like I did here. There are many options to chose from- crayons, colored pencils, paint pens, etc.
-Paint over it with opaque or semi-opaque acrylic paint.
-Collage over it.
-Write on a separate sheet. Then tear it up and use that for collaging.
-Make a pocket to hide your thoughts in.

Do you use your art journal to work through stuff?

The mantra I can't stop repeating

Everything is as it should be.

I find it so easy to blame myself for not doing enough, for saying too much, and for playing it too safe. This is the case in my life and my business/artistic goals. A few weeks ago, I came across this mantra while doing this yoga video. Once the video was over, I wrote it on a post-it and stuck it to my bathroom mirror. Whenever I find myself in the mind loop of berating myself for everything I think I’ve done wrong, I stop, take a deep breath, and repeat this mantra. It’s helped me to take things at face value. I’ve started to see my path, my struggles, and my successes in a better light.

Recently, I started a new art journal. It seemed fitting to make this mantra the first spread. Here are a few details about it. The background is layers of teal tissue paper adhered with matte medium. The letters were stamped and white embossed. I added payne’s gray paint to the edges and splatters in white paint and dark purple acrylic ink.

It was an easy spread that allows the words to be the focus.

Altered Book Journal with video

Aside from creating art, I would say reading is my favorite hobby. I've always loved books! So, a few years ago when I wanted to use old book pages in some art, I had some guilt. I felt bad about tearing up a book that could no longer be read by someone else. Even for a while, I told myself I had to read the book before I could tear it up. That got old fast because the books I picked out for art projects were not based on how good the book actually was. It took some time, but I eventually decided it was ok to sacrifice the book for art. There are plenty more copies available, right? And if someone really wants to read it, I'm sure they can find a digital version. Now, I have quite a few books in my art stash and no guilt to go along with it!

Today's video should be guilt free too! I'm using an old book to make an art journal. This one is a better version from the one I made for this season of Get Messy. I explain some of the differences in the video. So without further ado, here's the video!

I hope you enjoyed this project and video! I know parts of the video go a bit fast, so if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask! I would to see your journal if you make one.
Thanks for stopping by today!

Black and White- Art Journal Page

In case you haven't noticed, I really love color! And I have a hard time with white space. However, for this page idea, I really wanted the words to come across without being in competition with a colorful background. So I decided to just use a black paint pen on this page. That's it. One supply. A black paint pen. And I'm really happy with how it turned out. It feels dynamic but not cluttered. The proportions on the person are off, but that's the first time I've drawn that, so it's ok. This page gives me the courage to try more "clean and simple" styles while still embracing my style.

If you're thinking you would like to start art journaling, I suggest you give the Get Messy community a try. Not only do you get weekly journal prompts, but it comes with an amazing supportive community of artists!

Just one step at a time...

Just take it one day and one step at a time.
I'm pretty sure this is what God is telling me lately. I so easily get caught up in the distant future and how it's all supposed to work out. Then I forget the small steps along the way. I forget to focus on what I can do today and in this moment that can lead me to those bigger dreams. I forget to be present. I forget that I can't do it all right this second no matter how hard I push myself. 

 

Art Journaling to Remember

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, art journaling helps me work out things or emotions. But lately, I’ve noticed I’ve been adding an extra layer to this- including things I don’t want to forget. Specifically with these two pages, it’s scripture I want to make sure I remember. These two verses tugged at my heart when I read them. I wanted to process that feeling but also I wanted to document them so I could easily find them again.

Art Journaling hurts sometimes

Last week, I discussed how I love the freedom of art journaling. And I still do. But you know, art journaling can hurt sometimes. Or at least it can help us face things on paper that maybe we've been avoiding in our everyday lives. When given the push to look at our true selves through an avenue as safe as paper and paint, it's amazing what comes up. While working on this spread, I had to be honest with myself. Honestly with ourselves can be hardest to muster. But I pushed through and I'm glad I did.

The Freedom of Art Journaling

I recently joined the Get Messy Art Journal group. It's a monthly membership site that provides you with weekly art journal prompts. Every two months a new season begins. I somehow had the lucky timing to join just before a new season began! This season is called "introspection". I'm not going to share the specific prompts, but I wanted to share my first pages and some thoughts. 

I started first my altering a hard bound journal with watercolor and cardstock pages. (I'll be sharing a more detailed look at how I made my journal soon.) Then I decided I wanted a title page of sorts. This is what it looks like. It's pretty simple. 

After the prompts were realized, I created the spread you see on the bottom. The photo was collaged after I painted the basic rays of color. After adding my journaling, I added those dots. I know there are a lot of them, but I painted them while talking to my sister on the phone, so it went by quickly. When I finished that, I had a bit of paint left over so I added some dots to the cover of another journal. 

Here is a closer view of that. 
So, here's the thing I love about art journaling. Ever since painting those dots, I've had ideas for a larger painting developing in my mind. I'm sure something I saw at some point influenced those dots. However, without the freedom of my art journal, I may not have come to the idea of the painting. Or it may have taken a while longer. While I was working on that spread, I wasn't thinking about what it may become or how it would look in the end. I was just taking one step at a time and not over thinking it. It helped something unlock in my mind. 
Have you tired art journaling yet? 

Collage Circle Journals

Circles make their way into my projects a lot! I haven’t figured out why that is yet, but I’m embracing it. And I will see where it takes me. This time it took me to a journal cover. Two to be exact. I posted a photo on Instagram last week before I made these into journals. I still can’t decide which one I like better. 

 

They are both made with painted and stenciled papers, stamping, and a bit of doodling. I love how bright and colorful they turned out! 

Mandala Journals

I recently made a trip to Pittsburgh to visit my sister. (I'll share more about my trip in the coming weeks.) I'm sure I've mentioned before that my sister is a writer. Well that means she works through journals quickly. I do my best to keep her stocked. :) This trip she asked if I would make a journal for one of her friends who also happens to be a writer. 

These are the journals I came up with. I'm calling them Mandala Journals because of the circular pattern. I started with a piece of Gelli Printed photo paper. It has a really cool shiny and matte appearance that is hard to capture on camera. Then I used different paint brushes and tools to create marks in a circular pattern. I find it easy to start in the center and work out.

Then I attached a similar piece of cardstock to the other side and bound it in a simple journal. 

Quick and easy!

DIY Simple Journal with video!

I made my first DIY video! It's a journal of course. ;) If you saw the Monogram Journal post, it's the same technique only in video format. I'm hoping this will be easier to follow. 

If you have any questions or comments, please let me know. 

Also, if you are interested in purchasing a kit to make this journal, check out my shop! I have a few kits. Each one is unique!