Wednesday, December 28, 2011

It's not complicated, it's Tangled!

I have been restored to one of my favorite pastimes - zen doodling. You might call it zentangling but that is a copyrighted word, so I choose zen doodling. Here are some of my latest works.

Down the Drain - Copic multiliners,
and Derwent Watercolor pencils

Peep Eye - Copic multiliner on kraft cardstock

Spain Rain - Copic multiliner on kraft cardstock

Bunny Treats - Copic multiliner and
Derwent watercolor pencils

I will be turning a few of these designs into tangle patterns very soon. I hope you enjoyed visiting today - try your hand at it!

♥ ~ky

Friday, December 23, 2011

A little canvas

Hello again - it is so nice to be able to bring you some new bits and pieces more often. I hope my muse stays content with this for awhile longer. I have two things to share with you today - starting with a neutral base and creating a miniature collage suitable for accenting a journal page.

I began with a manila tag, the kind Tim Holtz uses for his 12 tags of Christmas each year.

My first step was to cover the tag with torn pages from an old novel. I used to have such a hard time ripping text from a perfectly good book, but then I realized I have 2 copies of a novel. I was not selective of what phrases or words showed on the surface, and I made sure to use multiple layers in some areas.

Next, I gave the trimmed, text-covered tag a watery wash of ivory and white paints. I am using a very inexpensive acrylic paint from Apple Barrel by Plaid. The goal is to tone down the text, provide some unification across the tag, and provide a base for inks.

I used my blending tool and almost all the seasonal colors of distress inks to 'paint' the tag over the acrylic. Be sure the paint is thoroughly dry before adding the distress ink.

I love the randomness and how the layers of text create wonderful texture. I sprinkled blots of water over the tag to give the ink more variety. Now, with the addition of the ink, we have moved from neutral background to the beginning of a miniature canvas.

I have a stash of catalogs, flyers, packaging and left over bits and pieces of other projects.

I arranged them on the tag, sewed part of it to the tag, the added some ribbon, a bit of fluid acrylic circles, and a few staples. I like how it came out. I hope it inspires you to get creative! See you again soon.

♥ ~ky

Thursday, December 22, 2011

A New Deal

Hey friends!

I was in the studio playing today, and it occurred to me that I really enjoy new techniques. I've also noticed journal work is slightly more appealing than cards at the moment. I think it was the big push to get Christmas cards and the like done. I'll be making cards again before long. Still - I want to capitalize on this journal fascination while I can.

I found an intriguing piece of art that I fell instantly, deeply in love with. I am a very geometric girl - absolutely love trigonometry and graphic design. Take a peek - now remember I DO NOT OWN AND DID NOT CREATE THIS PIECE. If you click on it, it should take you to the owner's blog, Journal Fodder Junkies.

Property of Eric at Journal Fodder Junkies blog
(used with permission)
The artist, Eric, used Derwent inktense and Prismacolor pencils to create this stunning piece. I pulled out my Canson Mixed Media journal and created the following using a slightly broader range of colors.

It is very much still a work in progress. I know I have a lot more to do and lots more practice to get anywhere close to Eric's ability, but it is quite satisfying to attempt. I used Derwent's graphitint, watercolor and inktense pencils and my water brush.

So, my new deal is this - I will do my best to post a new technique or something to get your muse working every week of the new year. If you have ideas or questions you'd like to see addressed, post them in the comments. I would be delighted to have you join me in this creative journey this year. If you try any of the things I suggest, please leave me a link to your work so I can enjoy your process too.

Now - go on and have yourself a Merry Holiday and a prosperous and healthy New Year!

♥ ~ky

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Little Art

I have been working in the art journal a little more lately. I spent all of November writing my novel, and most of December recovering. I wore myself completely out attending write ins and traveling to relatives' houses. Since I am spending a little more time in the recliner than in the studio, I thought I would share what art I've made.

I sketched Lady Green Eyes in pencil, then colored over that with a wash of neocolor II's water soluble wax pastels. I love her - I hope you do too!

This page is a collection of the flotsam of November - bits and pieces from my travels and accomplishments during National Novel Writing Month. I applied watermark ink through a stencil, and rubbed pan pastels over it (right page). The left page is acrylic paint over grey gesso, then layered with a receipt from Chipotle. We did our write ins largely at Caribou coffee shops, and shared a lunch at Chipotle's after we were done. I made a couple of tags with distress inks which will hold my journaling about the experience.

This spread is about a song that means so much to me. I sprayed diluted distress ink in a variety of colors all over these two pages, then covered that in salt and let it dry. I used some fluid acrylics in gold around the edges, and to trace some random shapes.

Close up of the salted background and a little of the lyrics. I used Sumi-e ink with my nib pen. I haven't written with my nib pen in so long. I really enjoyed it and need to remember to do more of that.

So - that's what I've been up to lately. Thanks for taking a moment to visit!

♥ ~ky

Monday, November 21, 2011

Works In Progress

Yep, it's been awhile. I've been busy, visiting folks, doing my NaNo things, helping a friend... I took a course quite awhile back from Christy Tomlinson, about the Chinese proverb "A woman has three hearts. One she shares with the world, one she shares with her family, and one she shares only with herself." Here is the lead page for my work in that course.

{click to enlarge}

Christy shares a lot of techniques, and some motivating, thoughtful insight from her own topsy-turvy life with 6 kids and fibromyalgia. You can find more info on her course by clicking here.

Another thing I've been doing is reviewing a brand-new class concept by a dear friend of mine, Samantha Kira Harding. Kira has been working diligently at developing this class with beta-testing her ideas with a small group. I was honored to be able to preview her concepts.

{click to enlarge}

This is a non-typical 'class' where all the content is in your inbox, and you get it weekly. You only pay $10 monthly for her guidance, prompts, techniques and experience. Let me tell you - it is a BARGAIN. Please respect the artist who developed this, and don't fall for cheap imitations.

Kira will show you how to review your work and evaluate it with an artist's eye. She is going to teach you how to learn from every stroke of your brush. You are going to be amazed. Check it out - Journaling Deep.

Ok - I have lots on my plate this month - NaNoWriMo and holiday travels, plus the usual medical issues. So, a short post, lots for you to consider (ask Santa!), and more ideas in my head. Hope you have a happy turkey day!


Monday, October 10, 2011

Just a little something

The Greeting Farm is hosting heART journal challenges. You had to start them from the beginning to be eligible for the prize, but it's still great fun to play along.

Recently, the challenge was to use a face from a magazine and dress her up. This is what I came up with.

{click to enlarge}

I think she still needs something, but my mind is drawing a blank. So, I'll just let her rest and get comfy in my journal.

I hope you got to play in your journal - you deserve fun time!


Friday, October 7, 2011


Hello my crafty friends - I took a little break! I've been on a little adventure, and in a few more weeks I'll be able to share some details with you.'s a little few somethings I've been working on.

{click to enlarge}

Every so often, I like to take a little step back, and look through my past journals. Sometimes I find little nuggets that didn't seem like much at the time. This little bit of journaling and doodling were done in 2008 when I was thinking about how much had changed since I became profoundly ill in 2007.

{click to enlarge}

I remember that day as I sketched our bearded dragon, Oscar, as he sat on his favorite high branch. I started out scrolling the word Life, then let it take a life of its own as life often does. It got creative, was occupied by a faerie, a snail, a frog and a butterfly. It sprouted new growth, flowers, leaves, even a faerie swing!

My life had been like that - topsy-turvy, carving its own path despite my best efforts to confine it. So, I figured I could either embrace it and go along for the ride, or watch it depart.

{click to enlarge}

When I discovered this little gem, I took another look at where this crazy, creative, nightmare of mine had taken me. I tore away the excess areas of the original work, and burned it (yes, like, put fire to it!) around the edges.

I created a base page using distress inks (to be taught later!), and positioned the original work over that. Then I journaled about the difference between the 2008 life (reflecting the 2007 version) and the 2011 condition. This is what I concluded:

{click to enlarge, please quote me if you use this - it's my own}

I hope you enjoyed this little bit of art. Now for something almost completely different.

And here are a few things I'm working toward!

By the way, November is almost upon us. It's a busy, busy, evil-busy month. I will be participating in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) and *hopefully* able to interact more with our local Naperville, IL group. I am so excited about my story this year! I've been sitting, waiting for that bolt of inspiration, and it finally came. It happened to come just as I was laying down for bed, of course - but it came! Now I can get busy on prep work.

I plan to participate in Dawn Sokol's NaNoJouMo (National Non-Stop Journaling Month) activities - you work in your art journal DAILY. I neeeeeed to do that. NEEEEEED!

Plus the requisite family travel, obligatory doctor visits, physical therapy and crafting obligations. It's gonna be busy! Which could be a good thing since we're projected to have another whopper of a winter. You know I like it!

Do you have plans? Does your journalistic creativity stagnate during the push to the holidays? If so, is there something I could help with to keep you inspired? Do we need challenges? I look forward to publishing this blog a little more frequently, and having a dialogue with you, my dear reader.

Thank you for spending a little time with me!

Creatively yours,
♥ ~ky

Monday, August 15, 2011

One of My Favorites!

I love Rhonna Farrer and her art. I love her spirit. She's been through that shadow valley, and keeps on running. She issued a call for a design team, and I just had to apply. I don't expect to be selected, but I couldn't pass up the chance to tell her I adore her!

{click to enlarge}

I created this 2-page spread to explore the things that inspire me, or lift me up. I used some of Rhonna Farrer's digital products. I don't do a lot of digital work, so this was a bit of a challenge for me. I really enjoyed it! These kits are so affordable, too.

There are so many things that inspire me. I love to listen to music while I'm running. It's a great opportunity to put the mind in neutral and let things just roll out. However, I also really enjoy romp times with my bunnies and kitties. I can see the hand of God in nature, natural patterns, phenomenal colors and designs. How can you not feel uplifted by spending time reflecting on all the goodness in the world?

And don't even get me started on flowers! It's been a slow start to summer here in Chicago. Today (yes, mid-August!) we finally saw our first marigold bloom! I love those flowers - they are simple to grow and pack a powerful punch!

What day is complete without laughter? I really enjoy a good laugh. Cabana Boy and I have a long list of movies we watch, and frequently quote. I love commemorating a good laugh with a quote or three!

That background piece behind "Laugh"? Yeah - that's two of Rhonna's paper making images - I used the base turquoise and overlaid it with the brown feathery swirls. I flipped the swirls on every quarter to create this shape which I cut out and adhered. I went around it with some pan pastels to tie the cutwork to the background.

I struggle with many issues, like so many of you. I find that I do best when I focus on uplifting thoughts and activities, and share whatever positive encouragement that I can along the way. I try to capture those feelings in my art whenever possible.

I'm showing you the laboratory slide, close up. I adhered a piece of Rhonna's clip art to the slide with glossy accents. When it dried, I rubbed all the paper away to leave the ink on the slide. If you look closely, you can see the background paper through the slide. I love transfers!

I love experimenting. My studio is more Lab than Art, so it's aptly named the Art Lab. I hope you'll come visit me on Ustream sometime. We'll have a ball and try out some new stuff! Thanks for stopping by!


Recipe: gesso, distress inks, Basic acrylic paint, pan pastels, Rhonna Farrer's Urban Junque 2 and patterned paper making kit, Tim Holtz Alterations by Sizzix dies, misc stamps (Gina K and others), glass laboratory slides, Tim Holtz Fragments and tissue tape, Basic Grey Olivia stencil.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

End and Beginning

I loved the Fake Journal Month - I learned a lot about myself, and became much more respectful of those who struggle with disabilities that differ from mine. Here is a page I did the other day.

{click to enlarge}

This is my "Friends" page - a celebration of my friendship with my Cabana Boy. I love the Gina K stamps and the melted pieces using Tim Holtz embossing folders and a stamp. I used some perfect pearls as a shadow from the hummingbird, and colored the flower with Copic markers. I hope this brings a smile to you.


Saturday, April 30, 2011

IFJM Post #6 - Me, Happier

Tessa is practicing lettering and uniformity in letter height and roundness. She sees improvement that makes her happy.

Thanks for dropping by!

*International Fake Journal Month information can be found via the upper left dog button.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

IFJM Post #5 - Improvement

So, Tessa is seeing some progress. It comes slowly, and she is very impatient. Her therapist, Lenny, encourages her, and her group of 6 using art journals as a therapy tool. Her drawing today is of Lissa, who is younger than most.

Lissa has a wicked sense of humor. She was injured in a car wreck. Tessa is noticing her drawing is coming back to her more easily than writing.


Thursday, April 21, 2011

IFJM Post #4 - Playing Around

Tessa finally went home from the rehab facility and was reunited with her own studio supplies. I think it made her happy!

{click to enlarge}
The text reads "Finally home with my supplies. I still get tired very easily. I have missed my things. Still going to therapy. They have a little van that picks me up. Next week, I will have a home-care specialist come over to show me some tools to help. 4-11-11"

This page was made using Tim Holtz letter masks, Distress Inks, spritzed it all with water & bleach.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

IFJM Post #3 - Reflection

Tessa is moving forward, but is still stuck in the past as the artist she will no longer be.

{click to enlarge}

Text: I used to love to doodle. Here's an example. I think doodling would be good therapy for my hand. I'm sure it will be awful to start. We walked about 200 yards today. I'm tired! April 9, 2011.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

IFJM Post #2 - Out of the Dark

Tessa worked on her sketching skills after preparing a background of watercolors and inks.

{click to enlarge}

The text is Out of the Dark, 4-7-11; {she is} waiting patiently for her therapy with pride. Pen and pencil over watercolor.

Thanks for visiting!

P.S. yes - I'm still doing this only with my left (non-dominant) hand.

Thursday, April 14, 2011


This page was created while pondering what courage means to me. Suffering 10 autoimmune diseases, and recently getting a new diagnosis, courage means daring to get up every day when your own body seems intent on a different course of action.

{gesso, Neocolor IIs, watercolor}

I hope this inspires you to contemplate your own internal strength, however small the aggressor might be. You embody courage. Find it, capture it in your journal. You will need the reminder one day.

Creatively yours,

P.S. Tessa will post some more work soon - just need to get some camera time.

Friday, April 8, 2011

IFJM Post #1 - Meet Tessa

Tessa is the artist I will be fake journaling for this month. A fake journal is a way to explore your own artist soul from a different perspective. Tessa was an accomplished artist before she had a stroke. Her very smart physical therapist enticed her to do her therapy using an art journal.

{click to enlarge}

I'm doing Tessa's journal completely left-handed (I'm a righty) and I find it generates even more empathy for folks who have to retrain their brains. Wow - just a short time working and my brain and hand cramp!

Thanks so much for stopping by. Tessa's work will continue to be posted here throughout the month. If you're interested in doing a fake journal, click the doggie button up on the left to find out more.


Thursday, March 31, 2011

International Fake Art Journal Month

It's time! I love this exercise, probably more than NaNoJoMo or NaNoWriMo, because it allows me to approach art from a completely unfettered place. Last year, I journaled from the perspective of an orphaned boy who was shifted from family to boy's home to yet another family. It was quite liberating, and self-searching at the same time.

Will you join me in creating a fake journal? There are prizes, but the biggest "thing" you receive by doing this is an awakening of new opportunities and challenges. The goal is to spend 30-60 minutes a day with your fake journal, but even if you do much less, you're still "in" the game.

What do you have to lose? What might you gain? I'm excited at the possibilities! Come join us!

Background information by Roz Stendahl on the Official International Fake Journal blog. 


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Been Awhile

Ok - so I'm not doing the challenge thing anymore. This is now my personal art journey blog - more of a complete 'by-Ky-creation' sort of place. I will be using some things created by others, but it's going to be more "me."

This is one of my favorite art journal pages so far. I made this late the other night when I was thinking about my cousin Susan's life, and how we all learned to cope with the less-than-ideal situations inevitable to all of us. Pat and Susan's Mom, Louise, was my favorite aunt, and my best example of the Christian ethic. I was a kid, so I was required to be reluctant about going to church when visiting, but secretly, I really found it interesting.

Susan was so special. She was such a giving and generous person, highly intelligent, and so willing to share what she knew. I remember her trying to help me with make-up (I had no clue, but I was a 'do it myself' kiddo), sitting fixing dinner and explaining how the hamburger would tell you when it needed to be stirred by the sound, all sorts of things were right there for her to share. She was wonderful. Beautiful, inside and out.

{lyrics of The Moon and St. Christopher, Mary Chapin Carpenter}

I made this to remind me that Susan, Pat and I all learned to trust in the moon and our faith. The universe (moon) was big enough that there was always room to find solutions, and our faith would always help us find the right path. I'm gonna miss her.


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Winter Doldrums

Is it the winter doldrums? I've looked at the calendar and there is little to be inspired by, there. Yikes! We have a holiday in the next two weeks - President's Day. It's when we celebrate our nation's first president's birthday, and honor all those who have served our nation since then.

Spring is a distant hope, yet. Thoughts of tulips and bunnies, bird songs and new dresses are still on the horizon. What can we find to be inspired by for this fortnight? Hmmm...

Let's use this art journal page as an inspiration piece. She's an Irish lass visiting her favorite pool, surrounded by spring flowers, budding trees, and soft spring colors. Take anything you like from this page, and use it to push you into a state of spring Zen.

Let me see your work by 11:59 p.m. Central US time, February 26th. Get your friends to play, and just link me to your work in the comments section. If we have 6 or more participants, I'll share a lovely prize with a randomly drawn winner. Stay warm and create!


Sunday, January 30, 2011

A New Snow Moon

For this challenge period, the moon will be going from new towards the Snow Moon. This bi-weekly challenge will be to use the moon in your project. You can use the moon as your inspiration, use it as your art, use it to inspire your journaling, use it to explore mooning your boss (!) - anything at all.

{click to enlarge}

This page was created to note my evening time of peace when I reflect on the day by the light of the moon. Your challenge project doesn't have to be literally based on the moon.

Update from last challenge - I will not be selecting a winner unless we have 6 or more entrants. So, please, invite your friends to join us! I wanted to get this posted, so I'll be back with my sample artwork and some links for you to help with the moon theme. Enjoy creating!!

You have until 11:59 p.m. Central time on February 12 to upload a link to your work. Just leave your link in a comment on this post.


Saturday, January 22, 2011


This blog is temporarily suspended due to the incredibly rude behavior of people claiming to be friends.

Please continue to create and love one another. It seems like more than I'm allotted.

I will return, so please enter your work as usual. for more info.


Monday, January 17, 2011

Holidays and such

Keep getting in the way! LOL Thanks for the participation in the last challenge ladies! Kym is our winner this week, but everyone did great work!

This week, we're going to stick with an easy theme. Easy, but still a challenge none-the-less. Find some fabric you really like, or some that inspires you. Use it to make your page. Don't just paste a little snip on there, but really incorporate it! Here's my sample:

The entire left side of the page is canvas. The right side is watercolor over Masque Pen, journaled with a black Sharpie. The girls blouse is Basic Grey paper stitched to the canvas. You can see the work on the left hand page on Ustream.

Alrighty then - you have your challenge! Go create! Post a link here (In-Linkz wants to charge now) in the comment section by Saturday, Jan 29th at 11:59 PM Central time. Can't wait to see what you come up with!


Saturday, January 1, 2011

Ink It Like You Mean It

Welcome back! The holidays are over. Everyone can take a sigh of relief, a deep breath and a new perspective on your art area. Maybe you have some new toys? Maybe you have a wreck? Maybe you don't even remember crafting? LOL

We're gonna take it easy getting back into our art rhythm. Do you know where your supplies are? Do you know where your muse is? Did you have any moments of creative clarity over the past few weeks?

There are a lot of things going on out on the web - challenges to clean up your space (Journal Artista, Paula is participating in one), challenges to focus on a topic in your sketchbook each month (the Sketchbook Challenge), the challenge to focus on one little word (by Ali Edwards, but Paula has a twist with a new word each month), and the list goes on and on!

Don't get lost out there! If you need inspiration, however, feel free to pile up the challenges to feed your muse.

Our challenges will go to two weeks so you will have more time to play and less pressure to hurry. The first challenge is to use ink in your artwork. Yep, ink  - it can be writing, drawing, outlining, doodling. It can be ballpoint, permanent, quill, inktense pencils - you get the idea? What's that? Watercolor pencils don't count, neither do Sharpie paint pens (see - no ink in them, you can use them, but you also must use ink). Got it? Good - now get busy!!!

Link your project back here by Jan 15, 2011, at 11:59 p.m. Central time to be entered in the drawing for a prize. Most of all - have fun!!