Sunday, December 12, 2010

Break Extended

Never fear - the challenges will return! I decided, after talking to a lot of you, that things won't really calm down enough to play until after New Year's parties! So, our first challenge of shiny 2011 will be on Jan 2nd.

Mark your calendars! I will have some great prompts, and some great prizes in the next year. I hope you will play along - not for the prizes (which are wonderful) - but for the excuse to make art. You need it. You crave it. I want you to share it, and encourage your fellow artists.

See you soon!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Taking a Break

All of us are getting busier right now. Between NaNo this and NaNo that, and trips to NaNa's house for Thanksgiving - we're just dog-gone strapped for time. Don't despair! I'll be back after Thanksgiving where you can catch your breath for a challenge or two, then we'll break for the next busy season, Christmas and New Year's.

For those of you waiting for your prizes, I appreciate your patience. They will get out in the mail soon. Enjoy this break!


Monday, November 8, 2010


First off, congratulations to our winner from last week - Kerri! So many of us live by Michael's craft store sales and coupons that it was natural to see it appear in a journal page! Terrific work, Kerri!

This week's challenge is designed to help you look inside yourself. There are so many things that are negative in our world. We are our own worst enemy in so many respects.

As many of you know, I completed an 8-mile race. I will be examining what motivated me to enter this race with the crazy preparation of 1.5 weeks. Normally, we train for 8 weeks or more for such a race.

This is what I'm asking of you for this challenge - explore what motivates you! When you are absolutely at your lowest - energy-wise, emotion-wise - what picks you up to complete that next task? Use any method, techniques and supplies to help you tell this story. We are all busy - if you're doing NaNoJouMo, or following some other prompt - feel free to double-up your page purpose. You might just find a real nugget of wisdom for the future.

Enjoy your week!!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

All Hallow's Eve

Or Samhain in my native land. It's a celebration of the change of things. The end of the living year, and the start of the resting year. This old tradition has spawned many events held sacred by many cultures. To me, it's a time to reflect on the year past, and to have a brief glimpse toward the future.

This period causes a time of introspection for me. I find that I slow down now and look at the everyday bits of life. I see ephemera, the flotsam of daily living, in a new light. I realize that we sell the seconds, minutes and hours of our lives to the temporary, greedy, needy monster of progress. I stop to think what value I am getting in exchange for the breaths I take, the people I lift up, those that pull me down. It's stunning.

It's not negative, in essence - it's just the give and take of nature. I want to look for the enlightenment in little things through the day. I sift through the receipts, consider the packaging of services rendered, cheer in the small victories with friends.

How do I make those important details stick? I use a very particular net. A sieve actually - observe, collect, record. That is what I want you to focus on this week. As you plow through your day, what detritus is created? What is worth spending your time on and what should you let pass you by? This is your challenge this week. Document the detritus that lies in your wake at the end of the day.

{click to enlarge}

Just how do you spend your 86,400 seconds of each day? What progress can you report that is lasting in exchange of a day in your life? Pin it down. Write about it. Commit to what you learn and like or want to change. Come, walk with me. We will grow in the season of hibernation.

Create an art journal page about this challenge. Come back here and link it up. You have all week to consider a day in your life. What will you exchange it for?


Last week's winner is Leah! Congratulations Leah - I will get your prize in the mail to you soon. Keep playing!!

Monday, October 25, 2010


I remember as a child being confused about one object having 2 or more distinct names. Like doodlebugs and ant-lions, or Siamese fighting fish and beta etc. Now we have a new 2-name thing in the art world (yes, I know there are tons of doubles out there, but just roll with me!).


This week's challenge is two-fold to celebrate the multiplicity of word meanings. First, create an art journal page based on a dream you've had. In this example, the Moon is watching over my sleeping fairie. When I was little, and life wasn't what a child's life should be, I always knew the moon would be there. How did I know? I had a moon shadow of course! I still dream of cool nights and a comforting moon.

Secondly, use Zendoodles in your piece. Here, the moon is made from zendoodle components. Don't know how to zendoodle? Need some fresh patterns to excite you? Check out this site - Flickr Freehand Doodle patterns. There are lots of other sites, too. Like , Zentangles on flickr, even Italian artists have a site!

Did I mention the prize? Yes Prize!! Up for grabs this week is a Univenture 1/2 inch binder! Trust me. You really should play along!

Last week's winner was Kimber! Kimber's page must have impressed as much as it impressed me! I love her funky skeletons! Send me your address, Kimber!

Note to past winners - I apologize for the delay in getting prizes out. We did a major reorganization of the studio, so I finally have access to my prize goodies. They will all go out this week: Sheri, Darcy, Julie and Ketsia! Thank you for your patience. I will add a little extra something in the packages!

Now - get off the computer and go create!!


Monday, October 18, 2010


Yes, that has immediate mental images. We all have different definitions of what spooky is to each of us. I love spooky. I love autumn. I love the changes - temperatures, leaf colors, starting favorite sports seasons, even the shift in our home menus.

This week, I would love for you to challenge yourself to capture something about this season. You can make it Hallowe'en - y, autumnal, or anything else unique to this season. Consider a past season and use that memory, use an aggregate concept based on the colors or feelings of the season. Does this season remind you of how much you prefer a different season? That's fair game too!

Last week's winner is Ketsia! She has a beautiful page of what was lost, yet what the future held at the same time. Love it! Get me your address - scrapacat at yahoo dot com, or on Twitter, etc.

Ok - same thing this week peeps! Get busy, you have until Saturday, Oct 23rd at 11:59 p.m. Central to upload your project. Most of all, ENJOY the process!

Ta for now,

Temporarily Insane

Actually - we had a busy, long, arduous weekend.I will be sleeping most of today (Monday). I promise, I will have a new challenge for you tonight, and our new winner!

I'm still behind in mailing out prizes, and I appreciate your patience. I PROMISE those will go out in Tuesday's mail. I love that all of you are playing along. YOU make this fun for me!


Monday, October 11, 2010

Squish 'em!

Once again you all have created amazing and bold pieces of art! Loved all the creative ways you explored using chipboard, blue and copper. Blew me away!

Here we are again, with the beginning of a new week. And a new challenge!

It's October. A month ripe with aware of this, celebrate that, and Hallowe'en. So many things!

But there's one that's bigger. One thing that affects us all. It's international cancer awareness month. Most people recognize this as Breast Cancer Awareness month.

Are you old enough to need regular screenings? Have you taken care of it? Or are you like me, putting it off because it's uncomfortable or inconvenient? In "honor" of our reluctance, we will take a challenge. We will explore our feelings about these misgivings in avoiding what we know we should do. Here is my sample for this week:

Now, this is NOT finished. But it has the elements. Use pink or blue - pink for women's breast cancer, blue for men's. Use a shade of the color that has been hard for you to use. I find bright pink is hard for me to match up, so I pulled that shade out. The second element in the challenge - use something that represents what would be lost to cancer if early screenings weren't done to catch it early

For me, the loss would be that important home life that typically follows the woman's lead in the household. So, I used sewing icons - stitching, buttons, and feminine grace. I chose an image that is reminiscent of waiting for the mammogram, and the wonderful sentiment decorating the background (says, "Get 'em Squished").

If you were using blue, you might incorporate icons of fishing, a man's job, sporting ephemera, tools, vehicles.

Think of it as honoring more than one person - acknowledging how that loss would affect a family, a community, a nation as more and more people succumb.

We enjoyed the Chicago Marathon this weekend. There was a lot of pink. There wasn't much blue. I think men's cancer diagnoses are poorly represented, so I will do another page to face this one in blue.

Please tell, in your project description, what your focus was, what your symbols mean, anything you'd like to add. I encourage you to write about it on your page so you can look back on it. I will be writing about how I dread getting my mammogram. And about how I will "fight like a girl" even though I don't love pink.

This week's winner is Darcy!! Darcy - send me your mailing info at scrapacat at yahoo dot com so I can get your prize out to you.

Don't forget to link up your project here, using the inlinkz below!

Ta for now! ~ky

Monday, October 4, 2010

Feeling Chipper?

Congratulations to everyone playing these challenges! I am loving the work I'm seeing. I love hearing that these weekly prompts are enriching your art journaling experiences. That is fantastic!!

Congratulations also to Julie! Julie is our winner this week! Yes, it was a random draw, but she also did a terrific job with the transfer technique and her daily calendar! Julie - get your information to me so I can put your prize in the mail!

Just fantastic work! 

The other day, we were watching Paula create a beautiful art journal page. She used a lovely blue with that yummy copper glaze from Golden. I made the remark that we would be using that color combination this week. Yes! You may use any shade of blue, and any method that gets copper on your page.

The other requirement is the use of chipboard. I'm going to be very flexible with this requirement - you may use chipboard, heavy cardboard (like cereal box weight), book board, or corrugated cardboard. Here's my sample:

This is a close up of the text portion of the page. I've used a base of acrylic paints, and daubed copper glaze over the top. Then I layered mulberry paper, distressed tags and a stitched flap with a Tim Holtz sentiment. 

{click to enlarge any image!}

This close-up shows the texture on the chipboard. I achieved this texture by pouncing my gesso-filled brush over the cardstock. I let it dry, then used my Artista GlimGlam over the gesso. The key and word are rub-ons. Tip - if you use rub-ons over acrylic paint, seal it with a thin layer of white glue, modge-podge or similar product.

So there you have it. To sum it up, this week's challenge is to use chipboard or similar weight product, along with blue and copper as the predominant colors for your journal page. You may use other colors, but blue and copper should dominate the page.

There you have it. I hope you enjoy playing with chipboard. It's a wonderful dimensional element with your page that doesn't add a lot of bulk. Post your project by 11:59 on October 9th to be considered in the drawing for this week's prize!

Ta for now! ~ky

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Transfer it!

How many calendars do you live by? Not how many calendars do you own. But how many different yearly segments do you recognize?

There's our regular, standard, January 1 to December 31 calendar.

There's the Chinese calendar, the lunar calendar, the solar calendar, ancient Egyptian calendar, the Roman calendar, the Mayan calendar, the Federal budget calendar, the State budget calendar, the public school calendar, the college calendar...and on and on. You get the idea?

What do we do when the date rolls back around to the 1st of a new month? We pay bills, pay balance, transfer money, transfer birthdays, transfer holidays... Everything shifts over to the new set of days.

(Where the heck is she going with this mumbo-jumbo?)

It means...I want you to transfer an image from a magazine (glossy, quality mags work best) into your art journal. Here's a great tutorial from Darlene Olivia McElroy (The famous Collage Goddess!):

I want you to use one of many tutorials and methods out on the interwebs (ANY - just describe or share a link) to achieve an image transfer. It doesn't have to be the gel medium method shown here, but please don't cheat and just print on, or glue down an image. You want to grow as an artist, right? Then journal about the schedule, calendar type or other circadian rhythm that marks your days on earth. Is it a struggle? Is it comfortable? Does it excite you and get you out of bed each day?

Do you have enough spoons to match your calendar? LOL Who ever does! What - not read the spoon theory?? Here - check it out at But You Don't Look Sick...and a big thankful shout out to Christina Miserandino for writing this awesome message that so many of us have rallied around. We've started a Spoon-olution on Twitter, and would love to have you join us if it strikes a chord with you! Just tweet with the hashtag, #spoonie .

So go spend some time watching yourself and your calendar. Figure out where you are and compare it to where you want to be. Even be so bold as to chart a plan for the future! We're playing, this week, for a new Fiskar's bypass cutter, and some custom cut paper rosettes (Tim Holtz new die!). Oh...and a CUSTOM made skinny composition journal!! How fabby is that?

I'm excited to announce Rita Cobbs was our winner from last week's Inchies challenge! Woot! Rita, get me your address so I can send out your Copic markers!!

Big warm fuzzy bunny hugs to everyone out there in Cyber land! Have fun!


Sunday, September 19, 2010

Little Big Things

Congratulations to Sheri!! Her wonderful page about the movie "Across the Universe" was delightful, innovative and captured the time period of the movie perfectly. Way to go Sheri!!  Send me your mailing info, and I'll get a prize out to you! scrapacat at yahoo dot com.

I really appreciate all the noise each of you kicked up about this blog over the past week. You make me so happy with your positive thoughts about the challenges and your willingness to bring in new people! Thank you all!!

This weekend, I am struggling with wheat issues, so I'm going to go easy on you with the challenge. Are you familiar with inchies? No? Inchies are tiny little 'canvases' for miniature artwork. They are, appropriately, one inch (2.54 centimeters) on all sides - one square inch.

Your assignment this week is to make a page using a minimum of 3 inchies. The inchies can be exactly alike, or all different. Additionally, I want you to use this quote for inspiration: "Enjoy the little things, for one day, you may look back and realize they were BIG." ~Robert Brault. It doesn't have to be written on your page, but it should be apparent by your page design or subject (don't get scared - remember, this is FUN).

You'll have until Saturday, September 25th, 11:59 p.m. Central time (US) to post your entry. This week's prize will be 3 Copic Ciao markers!!

Enjoy! ~ky

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Bring a Friend!

Do you know about the Art Journaling Ning website? A lot of people mention that's the first place they met some of these fabulous artists and connect on a personal level with people walking a similar journey. Less Herger and crew work hard to make this Ning a great place to "grow" this form of art.

They have wonderful videos, paid and free tutorials and classes, positive encouragement, a great photo library of creations, and a listing of many Ustream artists' scheduled programs. It really is wonderful! The best thing? Membership is free!!

Recently, the people there created a big sekrit projikt (LOLspeak for those unfamiliar, it means secret project). It's a beautiful electronic magazine (an e-zine) with stories, art, tips, and links from your favorite artists all for only $5 USD. Are you kidding me?? WOW! Best of all? The profits from the e-zine (aptly named, It's All Good) are supporting a particular project each release. This release, the beneficiary is the Oasis Studio - a new studio being built in a small community that appreciates art!

I tell you that to tell you this - I just thought you needed to know that! Seriously - this week we have a two part challenge. First find a friend who's just starting, or whom you think would be interested, and invite them to play this challenge, join Art Journaling Ning, or otherwise get involved. Have them mention you when they visit/join/follow/tweet/stalk/etc. from wherever you encourage them to play.

Edited to add: please don't be afraid of this part. The point is to spread the word about art journaling, the Ning site, and my blog. Do your best to share the word, and if your friends respond or at least come check things out, just let it be known you sent them. I'm not gonna disqualify anyone, but I would love for you to spread the word about our Art. This is about fun, not a technicality so - Play on!

Second create your project using this challenge. Select your all-time favorite movie as your inspiration (use it's color, mood, image, anything). Use that as the theme for your page. PLUS, use a hidden element or pocket - something interactive where you can journal about why this movie is your favorite!

We're making art journals - I want you to put some effort into the journal part of the art, too, ok? Here's my sample page to give you an idea.

There's another page to this, but it's not finished. I didn't want to hold anyone up on getting started, so I'll finish it and post it here when I'm done.

Last week, you all really knocked my socks off with all the web mining goodness you shared. I learned some new tricks, and you may see these techniques coming in a future challenge! Please understand that the winner is selected at random, so it is in no way a reflection of the quality of your work. Everyone has produced amazing work!

I'm thrilled to tell you that our winner this week is Melissa - God's Mixed Media Girl! Congrats Melissa! Send me your mailing info and I'll get your prize out to you!

Happy creating!! ~ky

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Share the Love; Grow the Learning

Wow. The last set of entries blew me away (sorry, you knew I had to say it!). Fab-U-lous. As I read about your projects, I felt your concerns, memories, laughter, sorrow, past and future. You lifted me out of my world and brought me to the window of yours. I love that. Absolutely LOVE that. We connected. I helped you learn, you helped me see.

I want that to continue. I want connectivity that's more than an electron wide and a megapixel long. So, this is my challenge for you. Go forth, discover, create, return and share. That's it. That simple!

GO FORTH: Find a blog, a Ustream or YouTube broadcast, a social website (Nings, Flickr, Facebook, Twitter, just to name a few).

Blade - the Artistic Biker's Flickr Photo

DISCOVER: Find something there that makes your creative Muse sit up and take notice!

Bud and Miller, the Famous Beer Twins

CREATE: An art journal page about what your Muse saw, thought, felt!

RETURN: to this blog, and,

SHARE: Show us your journal page. Tell us where you found your inspiration so others might learn from you and your source!

A few shout outs for this week and are great social artist sites full of inspiration, techniques and ideas. Artjournaling also has a tab (at the upper right) called Ustream that lists what artists have shows, and when. Most of the past shows have been recorded so you can watch them at your leisure. Artjournaling also has an electronic magazine for a mere $5 with articles by several art journaling artists!

The Artistic Biker is working on opening Oasis Studio in Chickasha, OK as a learning center. He's aiming for October 1, and would love financial contributions and artwork to share in his gallery for the grand opening. Consider how you might participate if you would like. The Biker will open his studio to artists of all abilities and interests to come and teach or learn - more information as it becomes available.

YouTube has free subscriptions to many wonderful and diverse artists. Simply go to and type art journaling or other similar terms into the search box to get you started. Or, find some people like Diana Trout, ikerrilove, samanthakira, journalgirl, or journalartista and see who they subscribe to as a starting point. You can do the same thing at

Keep in mind that most sites you visit also provide links to blogs and other opportunities to find more resources. Enjoy your surfing!

What's that you're saying? I'm not done yet?? I need to...what?? I can't hear you...what?? OOOOH THAT! How silly of me... The winner of last week's challenge by random drawing is: Jamie Lynn! Woohoo!! Send me an email to scrapacat at yahoo dot com with your mailing info so I can get your prize in the mail!

Creatively yours, ~ky

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Like a Hurricane

Congratulations to JOYCE for winning last week's challenge! Send me you mailing address: scrapacat at yahoo dot com and I'll get your prize out to you!

This week, we're watching several storms in the Atlantic ocean as Hurricane season fires up. Fortunately, it looks like the current spate of storms is going to veer away from land. This weekend marked the 5 year anniversary of hurricane Katrina, too.

Therefore, our challenge this week will be to include the category measurement for Hurricanes - wind speed. How, you ask, will we include wind speed? Why...with WIND! I want you to play with straws, compressed air or any other method of blowing paint or ink around on your page.

Your page can incorporate any theme, story or other elements that you would like. I want to see runny, drippy and spreading paint/ink in your final piece, though. That's it! So, let your imagination run, and get creatively messy! You'll have until 11:59 p.m. Central time, Saturday Sept 4th to link your project back here.

This week's prize is a paper pad from Basic Grey and 2 foil, glitter, and flock packs!

Have a blast! ~ky

Monday, August 23, 2010


Hello peoples! I'm so sorry for the delay and I appreciate your patience. I had a bit of a wreck on my bicycle, and I'm a bit banged up. I went to the hospital just as a precaution, and have been on pain pills. I lost a day in there somewhere! I'm ok - just bumps and bruises, and a badly sprained ankle. I do look a sight tho, so no videos. I knew I couldn't be hurt that badly, because I landed on my face! Hahahahaha!!

I loved all the entries from this week. I'm seriously glad that I pick by drawing because there's no way I could choose based on the artwork. Each one is uniquely beautiful and you all had something of a story within a story based on your song. Touching!!

Without further ado, the random drawing goes to POE!! She wins a set of one Tim Holtz distress ink pad and a roll of paper tape from 7 Gypsies! Yeeehaw Poe!

Now for the challenge. In honor (or satire) of my accident, I want you all to make something based on a childhood memory. See, I was doing something very childlike on a bike with a very non-childlike body! We call them stupid human tricks when they happen. In combination with the memory, I would like for you to include a favorite quote to keep the memory company. That's it - childhood memory paired with a quote.

Use any materials you like, just make sure what you submit is art journal related (i.e. sized for your book). Deadline is 11:59, August 28, Central US/CA time. This week's prize will be three unmounted (foam backed) stamps and an acrylic block. Pictures soon as I can manage.

I make things lots of times on separate paper or substrate, then add it to my journal when I'm finished. You are welcome to do this too. Thanks for making me feel missed, and for sharing your wonderful artful self with me! I just realized, I've not been posting the items I've made with the prompts, so I will correct that soon.

Happy creating!! ~ky

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Sing, Sing a song

Sing out loud, Sign out strong! ~Perry Como

I love music. I love all kinds of music and most genres too. Chances are great that you too, my reader, have a passion or connectivity to music. Music paints a story in my head and it's better than anything a Hollywood producer could make for VH1 or MTV. I never have liked music videos for just that reason. Music is personal!

Is it personal to you too? Do certain songs take you back to a specific event or stretch of time? Is music theraputic for you? Inspiring? Let's take a look at music in our art journals this week.

Here are the details: Pick a song and journal about those feelings, or that event, or whatever it is that made you feel the need to select that song. Use whatever media you need to make us feel what you feel about that song. Include the title or something appropriate in your page so we know what song you chose. Have fun with it!

Last week you all amazed me with your gesso textures! A-Maze-ING! I know some of you struggled with your pages, but you pushed on through. Some of you didn't like the results, but you shared with us anyway. I love that - it shows strength, and that it's ok to not love your work. It probably taught you something, all the same!

So - the winner by random.CabanaBoy (he drew the name) - is KYM!! Woot woot! Way to go Kym!! Email me your mailing addy and I'll get the 7-Gypsies tape and Distress ink pad out to you right away! My email is scrapacat at yahoo dot com.

Alrighty  my lovelies - get your supplies out and turn that music up! You'll have until 11:59 p.m. August 21st to link your projects up here. Again, I cannot thank you enough for playing along with my challenges! They are so much fun!! Oh - we will have a prize, I just need to find and photograph it.

Ta for now, ~ky

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Embracing Your Gesso Dragon

Wow! What amazing work people! I am just so in awe of the response to my little challenge blog! Yippee!!

Mr. Linky wasn't very cooperative, so I will be checking out other options. I will be back to include the link language in a bit. You can always add your project in the comments to be included in the drawing.

This week, I've done a little tutorial video for you that explains and demonstrates your challenge. This video shows you the prize for this week's challenge, and also identifies the winner at the very end. It's my first video, so I promise I will get better!

Congrats to the winner!! Remember to post your link here when you're ready so you can be eligible for the prize drawing (deadline Saturday, August 14, 11:59 p.m. Central time). Enjoy and have a creative week!


Sunday, August 1, 2010

Big News!

Today's the day we start a new place in art journaling.

This is an Art Journal challenge blog!

What's an art journal? It's anything in a book form that you use to create art. It can be a ring-bound sketch book, a composition book you've altered, a book you've hand bound and used recycled cardboard for pages, a novel you've converted...just about anything that resembles a journal! I prefer to see a story told in the pages, and sometimes that requires writing, but that's just a personal preference. You can choose the materials and techniques that suit you!

Some of you know what a challenge blog is, but for those who don't, here's the skinny:

I post a challenge (can be a theme, a technique, a word prompt, you get the idea), and you have a week to make your journal according to the challenge requirements. You post a link to your project here, and we all go running over to see what you made, and leave you some love! You don't need to have a blog to play - you can use your Flickr website, a Ning site (so long as we can get to it), or even your Facebook photo section. At the end of that challenge's life (a week, remember?), I will draw from the entries for a prize!

Now, prizes at the beginning will be from my own stash, but I hope to get enough participants to eventually bring in sponsors. Wouldn't that be cool?? What should the first challenge be... hmmmm.

We just did the 30 Journals in 30 Days with Connie at Dirty Footprints Studio, so let us start there. Create a journal page based on someone's interview (yes, you can do a page about yourself!) to commemorate Connie's jubilant embrace of all things journally! When you have your page done, take a picture, upload it, blog (use the photo description area if you're on Flickr etc.) about this challenge and link your specific blogpost back here.

Please note: You did not have to participate in Connie's 30 Journals to play in my challenge. Just pick someone who inspired you to do a page, and let us know whom you selected! You may also do a page answering the 30 Journals in 30 Days interview questions (all or just one) about yourself! See? I'm easy!

Entries close at 7 p.m. Central time on Saturday, August 7th, 2010, and the winner will be posted in the next challenge on Sunday, August 8th. What are you playing for? This brand new, exclusive, luscious red rubber Ippity by Unity Stamp Set, a $21 value!:

So - get busy and get creative! I am so looking forward to your creations! Feel free to share the word - the more people who play, the better the prizes!

Ta for now, ~ky
(Sometimes, Mr. Linky is hiding. If that happens, leave your link in the comment section and I'll count it!)