Thursday, August 23, 2012

I'm Back in Black (and white)

I've been busy. Really I have. I've been working on the studio, and working on projects with limited supplies. A pen, some paper, a couple of Copic markers:

Tangle Patterns has been providing starting strings for us to use to doodle. All the patterns I used have been credited to their designer on my Twitter feed. I love doing this because it frees my mind to dream up new ideas.

Yep, a busy bee. See you soon!


Sunday, June 10, 2012

Zen Living

I've been enjoying a lot of zen time with my doodles in my old mixed-media journal. The journal was last year's calendar and note space for doctors visits and other obligations. I've gone through and picked pages that didn't get much notation, erased the notes that were no longer necessary, and turned them into tangling space.

I'm really liking Linda's new string challenges over at Tangle Patterns. You should play along - you just start with her string, and fill it in with your favorite tangles. It's a blast!

I filled this one with the fantastic K-Ning pattern by Sandra Strait. She is a wonderful source of ideas so check her out on Flickr, and her Blog. As usual, this is a 3.5 inch square tile on mixed media paper with my Copic multiliner pens and Copic markers for shadowing.

Treasure Dragon pattern ©Kyra Sanders 
I have used this pattern many times, but I haven't documented it until now. I love the motion it gives to any project, and how varied you can make the 'fill' or treasure the dragon leaves contain. If you use it, let me see!

Daisy Chain pattern ©Kyra Sanders
Another tangle I created is the daisy chain. It reminds me of summers when I would sit and pick asters and daisies and patiently split each stem to weave together a chain. If you use this, link me up - I want to see how you adapt it for your work.

So this is what I've been up to lately. I have some other things I'm working on for you to see soon. I hope you have a beautiful day. Thanks for stopping by!


Wednesday, May 30, 2012

A Zen Frame of Mind

Since I'm living in a tiny bedroom, I've got a bit more time but fewer supplies. I'm really getting pleasantly reacquainted with my zen doodling. Here are a few items I've created since being fired as a wife.

Puffin Maze
©Kyra Sanders

I started this 8x5.5 inch journal page while at Copic Certification in Milwaukee. I just randomly scribbled Copic markers all over the page, then started following the doodle muse as it guided my Copic Multiliner. There are some credits for patterns and some patterns I've just created. You can see the details of the Puffin Maze here.

Modern Cube Zen doodle
©Kyra Sanders
I learned Linda at the Tangle Patterns blog has begun issuing starting string challenges. I think it's really cool how everyone starts from the same design, but no two even come close to being the same. You can play along too! There are 9 patterns in this one, and you can see the credits at this link.

If you're looking for a neat way to keep track of things in your life, check out what my friend Samie Kira Harding is doing. She's created a mini-tutorial with downloadable art journal starter pages and she's putting it out there for... get this... Whatever You Can Pay! It's a great chance to document your health concerns, your diet plan, or even a project you're working on. Check it out at the Journal Girl!

Thanks so much for stopping by - I am thrilled you came to visit!

Ta for now,
♥ ~ky

Friday, April 20, 2012

Down the Rabbit Hole

Yep, I fell down the rabbit hole again. It's hockey playoff time, the beginning of baseball season, and I'm in the process of MOVING! I've been in the Chicago area for 2 years, so naturally it's time to move. Watch out, Texas, I'm coming home!

I've been working on some new ideas for the ArtLab Studio, including teaching some new things. Right now, I'm sitting in Milwaukee enjoying the excellent instruction of Debbie Olson in the use of Copic markers. Yes - I will be certified. Yes - I will be teaching! It will take a little while to get all the components to start teaching, but I plan some video tutorials that you can do with markers you may already own.

Change is once again the active verb in my life. I just didn't realize how much change there would be! I am certainly getting a lot of mileage out of my one little word - Distance. This piece is a bit of book text, adhered to the sketchbook, then acrylic paint stenciled through diecut paper. I dripped Golden glazes from the top, splattered it over the page, then drew in some simple flower/leaves.

I love the quote: "Courage is tiny pieces of FEAR all glued together." Irisa Hail. I need a bit of courage in the next few weeks to gulp down the changes coming in the next month. So pull out your toys and get busy!

Ta for now,
♥ ~ky

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Tutorial, Custom Embossed Letters

I have been swamped lately with deadlines and due dates. In making those projects, I've created a little tutorial for you to enjoy. Here's the project I made using this tutorial.

Monthly Journal Page - click to enlarge

First, you will cut your letters out using dies and any die machine. You can even do this with precut letters - pretty much anything you can cut from cardstock. I cut mine out using my Vagabond and Tim Holtz (Sizzix) Vintage Market Sizzlit on Gina K Designs Pure Luxury cardstock. I ran the letters through my Sticker Maker by Xyron (yours might be the "X" design).

Sticker Maker applies adhesive to the letters

I really love my little Xyron for alphabets. Just be sure to burnish the letters once you get them in the adhesive. I rub my embossing tool around the edges of each letter so I get a clean adhesive application.

Next, find an embossing folder you like that has a fairly detailed pattern. Since you are working with small surfaces, your detail pattern will have more of a chance of hitting all the pieces.

When you are satisfied with the placement of your letters in the embossing folder, run it through your machine.

Close up of embossed texture

I usually emboss my letters with the shiny plastic sheet still on the letters. It just keeps residual adhesive from building up in the folder. Isn't this simply gorgeous? I love all that dimension!

Sparkle it up with a Gelly Roll Star pen!

Now, you can do all sorts of fun stuff with this dimension. If you use Core'dinations cardstock, you can lightly sand the surface to remove the color and expose the inner paper. I wanted a chilly feel to this, after all it is a January page, so I used my favorite Gelly Roll, the clear star! Delicious bits of shine without the mess of glitter. I outlined my letters with a black Copic multiliner to help them stand out from the background.

Play around with this technique and see how many other ways you can use it. I would love to see your work! Have fun!

Ta for now,
♥ ~ky

Friday, January 27, 2012

Classic Doodling

So I gave myself a little present for making it through the horrible stress of the holidays. I signed up for this class by Stephanie Ackerman. It's called Scrapbook Life, and it will be a year-long journey for me. We have weekly assignments, and a terrific Facebook group to share and encourage one another. In addition, I get to really focus on scripture, which is one of my goals for this year. 

This is the header I made for my January page. I used some Tim Holtz letter masks, acrylic paints, pens and Sizzix dies (by Tim Holtz). I am not giving away the class info - but I will tell you it's fantastic. Check it out - oh, and you get an ENTIRE YEAR of instruction for just $40.24!

I created this page from collaged bits left over from other projects. I also used some packaging, old newspaper and book text. The White Rabbit looking at his iconic pocket watch, the ship, the plane, even the neighborhood celebrate the truth of the saying. It was a bit of a mantra for me in the last few months. I did so many new things during that time. I will be adding some secret journaling to explain it all.

I created this page for the Sketchbook Challenge. January's prompt was doodling. I love to doodle! It frees my mind up and really helps me zone out and relax. There are so many Zen doodling groups on Flickr - check them out! There's a great group that shares freehand doodle patterns on Flickr too. I get so many wonderful ideas from that group.

That's what I've been up to lately. I hope your new year is rolling along nicely. If you decide you'd like to join Stephanie's Scrapbook Life class, it's open until January 31. Come play along!


Saturday, January 14, 2012

Painting with Snow!

We got snow, finally! I love winter, and snow is just like the icing on my frozen cupcake. I wanted to play in the snow, but I didn't want to make a snowman. I wanted something a little more, erm, permanent.

click any image to enlarge
 I pulled out my cheap watercolor paper, and my mini misters. I sprayed the papers liberally with my own concoction of Ranger distress inks and water. Water-based inks are the key in this technique.

I sprayed the papers liberally with plain water and tossed them out on the snow.

Then I buried them in snow! Caution, do not eat the ink-colored snow! LOL Yes, I know how corny I am...

The snow freezes the wet ink, and creates a unique pattern in the ink. Our temperature was around 18*F when I did this, and the snow was damp but not super wet. I dried the papers with my super quiet super hot heat gun - this took too long, so I switched to my trusty iron for the rest. There was no detectable difference between the ironed versus gunned papers.

You can see the texture the snow imparts in the ink in this close up. It acts a little bit like salting over wet ink, but yet it's different. I may try a different technique tomorrow with more ink and watercolor paper. If so, you can bet I'll let you know how it turned out.

I made 8 sheets of 9x12 inch watercolor paper using this method. I will use these as collage pieces or backgrounds for art journaling, cards and other paper crafts. You know, come summer, I will be petting this paper trying to reconnect with this cool day. Thanks for stopping by and sharing a bit of your time with me. See you soon!

Ta for now,

Home Sweet Home

Friday, January 6, 2012

A New Year, A New Calendar

I wanted something different. I needed a new calendar, but I want to use my calendar to keep me busy when I am working my calendar. I want to sketch and doodle and fidget and stash stuff when I'm waiting for the doctor, or getting the oil changed. There are these 'new' things called SMASH books, and they look cute, but they just don't fit my style. They are too cutesy, too kitschy, too... um... neat.

Click on any image to enlarge.
I don't want a lot of money tied up in the calendar, so I grabbed stuff I always have on hand. I pulled out a pad of Bristol paper, 9x12 inches, and cut 6 sheets in half. I marked my grids for the calendar, and drew them in with Copic multiliner in black, added the numbers and days across the top. I still have my pencil grid tics on the pages because I still have things to add.

I inserted some old (winter 2009 CHA) Teresa Collins papers, envelopes and folded cardstock between the months to hold ephemera, receipts, appointment cards and the like. I love being able to put a little piece of art to work on in my book, like this one from Terra Bidlespacher's Haven image, seen here.

I am working on doing an illuminated Celtic letter for each month name. As you can see, some of the inserts are folders, perfect for coloring while waiting, or doodling new things to color.

I always need little tabs to keep me focused and in touch with what I need to do. So there are little places for my post it notes and tabs - what fun! I love making my own calendar each year. It's never the same, and always a creative challenge for me.

I hope you enjoyed seeing this small work in progress. Let me know if you make your own calendars, or how you choose to stay organized!

Ta for now,
♥ ~ky