Thursday, June 30, 2011

Hand Carved Journal Tools

My alter ego, Hand & Soul Studios has quietly reopened for business.  Originally, my plan was to build up a huge inventory and have a grand, stuffed-to-the-brim reopening but I'm really more of a little-bit-at-a-time gal.  The latter approach fits my life much better.

Anyhoo, new in the shop is some hand-carved goodness, perfect for visual journaling.  In fact, I developed this little line of images a couple months back after much online searching for vintage stationery items to use in my journals.  I was frustrated by runaway auction prices and limited availability and finally declared "Vintage Smintage!  I'm going to make my own!"  And that's precisely what I did.

I love using these stamps in my journal.  I can print them in traditional Dennison red or coordinate the label color however my wee heart desires.  I typically stamp on sticky paper that's been aged with a little golden-colored ink.  And if I mess up while writing or printing on the label? Not a problem!  I just make another!  And I happen to think these "labels" feel a little bit more personal than pre-fab ephemera.

Once I did labels, I decided I needed hand-carved numbers and that led to experimenting with other label ideas.  And once I made myself a set, I began to wonder if other people might be interested in such a thing.  So I carved and carved and today, I published the listings at my Etsy shop to test the waters.  I invite you to pop in over there and check things out.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Changing How I Document My Days

Work inside my first Boogie journal continues:  Shown from top to bottom are three days' worth of spreads from June 27 through the 29th.  I've been having a lot of fun pushing the boundaries of what I typically do with my visual journals.

I've never really been the type for a "catch all" journal.  In fact, I suppose some would say I obsessively compartmentalize - one journal for daily diary stuff, another for character creation & storytelling, yet another for "affirmational" work and dozens of plain spiral-bound books for sketches, creative writing, and project planning.  As I work through this new style of journal, I realize that my illustration work has to stay separated in my faithful black sketchbooks.  For that, I need a simple, consistent format.

However, these Boogie journals are inspiring me to add a little bit of everything alongside my daily musings and observations: a little poetry, some illustrations, hand lettering, altering, collage...basically whatever tickles my fancy in the moment.  All that random stuff may seem disjointed and unconnected but I am working under some self-imposed supply limitations to keep that feeling to a minimum.

And most importantly, I'm just playing!  I'm also not known for my spontaneity but I am working hard at listening to my gut and just moving forward with my first impulse.  It is good for the soul and honestly, I have plenty of other journals and projects where I can plan things down to the last, itty bitty detail.  

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Quiet day here on the Lost Coast as a summer storm has settled in over the area, alternately drizzling and seriously raining.  After a few days of warm weather, the moisture is welcome.  The rhythmic rap-tap-tapping on the roof both comforts and energizes me so I spent the morning writing poetry and then progressed to painting.  From time to time, I stepped around the sleepy cats and slipped out onto my balcony to watch the emerald and copper tree frogs enjoy the summer showers.  Season 2 of True Blood just arrived in the mail courtesy of Netflix so I'll be finishing up my day with vampires and werewolves.  As they say, that's really all the news that's fit to print...

Monday, June 27, 2011

More Boogie Journal Tips

Photo is hinged...Shown closed...and next pic, shown open...
WhooHoo!  Can you tell I have been dancing the days away in my Full Tilt Boogie journal!?  Although it may seem like more as I bombard the blog with pictures, in reality, I'm doing just a single spread a day.  It is an intriguing experience as I play with a variety of surfaces and try out new things while trying to stay true to who I am as a journaler.  Here's some more things I've observed as I have progressed:
* Listen to your gut.  If you are digging through your scrap pile and something seems pleasing at first glance, use it!  Mary Ann calls it "listening to voices."  I find that the "voices" aren't always so specific with me as sometimes I pick something up and while it is cool, it doesn't always work for the page I'm currently constructing.  I've learned to shuffle through my pages and try out my scrap on other pages.  I almost always find a home for my treasure in that manner.

* Don't be afraid to change your mind midstream; that's what adhesives are for...

* Don't get locked in to the structure you set up during journal construction.  Just because you added in a short/tall/wide/narrow page at the outset, doesn't mean you can't alter it later.  Hack stuff off.  Add stuff on.  This seems like an obvious observation but I discovered that I had to fight the feeling that I had to commit to the pages as they occurred.
* If you get stuck on a page, move on and embellish the next spread.  A solution will occur to you when you're not thinking so hard.

* Don't get fatigued.  I am finding that working "process first" is actually more tiring than starting with a concrete idea and proceeding to an end product.  I think it is because I'm so much more excited; I burn through my energy reserves faster.  Force yourself to take (non-art) breaks so you can ration the adrenalin.
* Separate work and gathering time.  If you need to look for something or want to refresh your scrap pile, do it before you sit down to journal.

I hope these tips are helpful regardless of the type of journal you use.  If you have any specific questions about my Boogie journals (or my other journals for that matter,) please feel free to send me an email (address in the sidebar) or add a comment to this post.
Happy journaling!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Robots & I Rampage: ICAD 17 and 18

Admittedly, I am behind on the Index Card Challenge because I have been swept away by Full Tilt Boogie fever.  I have lots more little doodles haunting my brain however so I'll be continuing ICAD, catching up as I go along.

I am spending this lovely Lost Coast day in the studio, rampaging and reorganizing my files as I went looking for something I know I have and the frustration of not being able to locate said item is driving me wild.  It has been a long while since I've redone my filing system for ephemera and collage material so it's all good.  Beginning in July, I have about some major projects taking center stage in my artistic life and having my stuff easily sortable will be key.  And in the process, I am discovering more (forgotten) stuff that I want to include in my journal.

Speaking of journaling, I'll be back tomorrow with more tips for working in mixed paper journals.  I've been taking lots of notes as I journal and I'm happy to pass them along in case my little epiphanies are helpful to other visual journalers out there.

Happy Sunday everyone!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Lost Coast Studio Saturday: Organizing Part 1

A little while back, I solicited comments regarding topics you, dear readers, would like to see me address here at Lost Coast Post.  Jackie wrote in and asked about how I organize my studio.  So I wandered my studio space and took a few pictures.  For me, there are some basic rules:

First and foremost, 1) Arrange items from most used to least used in a spiral moving outward from my studio table.  I am right-handed so directly to my right is a bookcase that holds the things I use every day: adhesives, scissors, baby wipes, scratch paper, paints (in my dominate color palette) and so on.  I never have to leave my chair to grab the essentials.  The shelf above this holds all my spiral-bound sketchbooks which I use every day.

My focus in the studio does change from time to time so if I notice a trend towards not needing a particular supply close at hand for an extended period of time, I rotate in what I have been using and move that little used product out of my immediate space.

2) Out of sight means out of mind, so whenever possible, label everything & store in a visible manner such as clear boxes, open files, decorative yet useful displays.  Also immediately to my right, is an old wooden cassette tape holder (screwed into the wall) that now holds all the inks I use the most.  As you can see, I also label my ink pads on the outside so I can know in a glance what pad to grab.  Lesser used inks are on a display directly behind me.

Here's another example of storing stuff out in the open.  In this case, it's my Prismacolor pencils, organized by color in teapcups and mugs on a lazy susan.  I've also included commonly needed pencils & pens on this display.  I haven't been using colored pencils very often lately (I keep the most used colors in a cup right at hand) so this is a couple of steps away from my chair.  I can easily move it onto my table when doing pencil work.

Long ago, I let go of the notion of a magazine-ready pristine oak cabinets or vintage storage here.  And I also let go of worry that guests would see all my supplies.  If it works for me, I do it and although that means my home won't rate a Martha Stewart spread, it does mean my studio is as comfortable and functional as possible.  Case in point, hanging on the wall that transitions into my kitchen, this old shoe holder that now is home to all my most used hand carved and foam stamps.  Again, I can see instantly what I need and where it is.   

We'll explore my studio some more in Part Two of this topic so stay tuned!  Thank you Jackie for the great question! 

Friday, June 24, 2011

How to Boogie Journal

I am sooo happy with my latest journaling experiment!  Full Tilt Boogie journals feature mixed paper signatures so when I sit down to work, I have to constantly switch up my approach: sometimes I have old book pages to work on, sometimes scrapbook paper, watercolor paper, ledger paper, the backs of keeps things challenging.  Along the way, I'm learning some things:
  • Use a select pile of scraps, NOT everything you have.  The scraps left over from journal construction are especially important because with such varied surfaces it is essential to:
  • REPEAT, REPEAT, REPEAT!  By repeating materials throughout the journal, a consistent, unified look can be achieved.  This can mean you repeat a set of tapes, lettering styles, stamps, papers, colors and so on.
  • Sometimes you add space in a spread; sometimes you cover up.
  • Not every page needs journaling.  I am especially in love with some of the posters I've included in this journal so on those pages, I don't add a lot more.
  • Gather your pile of goodies before you sit down to work.  You get better results and enjoy the process a bunch more if you're not stopping every five minutes to get something.  And I know from long experience that those "brief" gathering breaks can lead to lots of wasted time as other stuff is rediscovered.
  • Keep the hand of the artist present.  You went through all this trouble to create a journal from scratch, why not do the same on the inside?  Use hand carved stamps, your own handwriting, random painting & doodles, tear rather than cut - these journals beg you to interact with them so do it!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Hanging Out & Hanging On

Marley T. Bear has draped himself over the back of my office chair while I nurse a sore head (migraine) and sore foot (remaining stitches came out today).  In case you're curious, the "T" stands for "Tiberius" (Trekkie geek alert!) or "Trouble," depending on the moment.  He is a sensitive kitty and gets very attentive when I'm not feeling good: meowing, nuzzling, pawing at me, and generally making a fuss.  He goes absolutely bonkers when my son has an asthma attack and will come running from anywhere in the house if he hears wheezing.  I think he takes his title of "rescue kitty" literally.  Anyway, I'll be back tomorrow with more Boogie journaling...

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Boogie Update: 2nd Journal Complete!

My second journal (featuring the first binding style we've learned in Full Tilt Boogie) is complete.  The covers are from a vintage ledger that I then stamped with a hand carved stamp and gold gesso.  Originally, I left the covers plain when I finished the binding last night but after tossing and turning, I awoke this morning knowing I needed to "glitz" it up a bit as there was too much contrast between the fancy, colorful binding and the plain Jane covers.  Here's a shot of the binding.
Let's zoom in for a detail shot of the binding which includes some uber fancy brads I've been hording for years.  (Stop collecting and start using, people!)

And finally, a shot of one of the interior spreads.  For the signatures. I used some scrapbook papers, advertisements and old book pages but mostly manila folders and watercolor paper so I have lots of space to doodle and paint.

 Some things I've learned while making these journals:
  • Tighten each line of binding stitches before moving on to the next row.
  • Double check each row of stitches for loops that didn't get pulled all the way through before moving on to the next row.
  • Try to do the stitching all in one sitting.  The building momentum as you progress through the signatures keeps you clear-headed.
  • Try and stitch with one length of thread, even if that means it feels awkward when you start.  My old bookbinding instructor, Shereen LaPlantz, recommended this formula for determining how much thread you need:  height of book times number of signatures plus a little extra for comfort room.  Works like a charm!
  • Try to pull/push the needle straight through the holes as pulling/tightening to the side increases the chances of tearing through the signatures.
  • When assembling pages for the signatures, thumb through them as if they were bound so you can see how they relate before you punch holes and stitch them up.  
  • Slow down!  Enjoy the process!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A Journaling Revolution

I've been in the zone all day, constructing another Full Tilt Boogie journal.  When I finally peeked over the sewing machine, I realized it was getting late and I didn't want to miss a day of blogging.  I'm still not sure if I'll actually make it through 90 days of continuous posting but I already feel much more comfortable with my blog and getting to the keyboard each day is becoming easier with each passing post.

I have to say that this new art journal class with Mary Ann Moss of Dispatch from L.A. has revolutionized how I journal.  Here's how I typically approach journaling:  Get an idea, like say "Today I'll write about going to the farmer's market" or "I'm going to use this particular collage image" or "I need to get some things about my health off my chest" and THEN I proceed to develop a page.

The amazing Ms. Moss works in the opposite manner.  She just starts working and discovers the content that needs to bubble to the surface.  The process, rather than the product, is the driving force of page creation.  This is not a new concept but its one I've never really grasped or embraced.  I am such a control freak that it is super hard for me to not have my plan all laid out in advance.  The problem is that my way of doing things squishes all spontaneity like a bug.  And the most profound and important stuff is often in the subconscious.  If I only give voice to whatever's on the tip of my tongue, the shy thoughts and observations never get to see the light of day.  So I am practicing working without a map or compass.  I just start wandering and after a while, I stop and look at how far I've gotten.  It is definitely scary but also rather wonderous.

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Gnomes Exit Stage Left: ICAD 15 and 16

Inktense, Microns
Whether it is due to health challenges or simply the way my brain functions, I tend to work in brief, frantic bursts and it seems I'm in the middle of one of those times.  I'm busy making journals (and then journaling in that new format), photographing, editing, scanning, uploading and writing for my Etsy shop relaunch (what a boatload of work!) AND I'm still cranking out the index card illustrations.

The gnome inspiration fizzled after these two characters and I unabashedly went back to robot construction 'cause I can!  Cards #17 and 18 are waiting to be inked so I'll post those when they're ready.  My new prompt (for June 22 through the 27th) is "Lost Coast Postage" but that, of course, is subject to overthrow by all the naughty and nice robots lurking in my imagination. 

Sunday, June 19, 2011

In Need of Blog Topics

Here we are, Day 19 of my 90 Days of Blogging here at Lost Coast Post.  Since my idea pool is feeling a little dried up, I thought it would be good to hear from readers (a small but loyal contingent!):  What do you want to read about?  Tutorials?  Techniques?  Those always seem popular but there's a lot of stuff out there so I need some direction:  Any technique in particular related to what I do?  (I know I'm all over the map but if you've read LCP for any length of time or looked at my galleries, you have a good general idea of what I do.)  A little feedback would be very helpful.  I'll leave today's post at that.  As always and ever, thanks for your readership and warm support!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Let the Real Boogie Woogie Begin

I was up before the sun this morning, full of enthusiasm for journaling for the first time in a long time.  My newly-completed Full Tilt Boogie journal was waiting patiently for me in my crazy messy studio.

I've spent a lot of time in recent weeks, trying to discern where to go next with my journaling practice.  This new journal feels comfortable and flexible enough to contain all my interests.  That's what I was looking for: the right container for all the bits and bobs floating around in my head and heart.  I needed a playground that was safe and yet challenging.  I think maybe, just maybe, I'm home.     

Friday, June 17, 2011

Boogie Update: 1st Journal Complete

Whew!  The whirlwind has finally died down and my first Full Tilt Boogie journal is complete!

The first picture shows the cover.  I'm not using a Victorian photo album simply because I don't have one and wanted to try and make do with what I have.  This fabric collage is sewn to paper and then mounted on the front cover of an old book.  I used the same technique for the back cover.  This makes the journal's covers soft and touchable but also rigid for strength and durability.  You can see a shot of the exposed binding in my previous post.

This is a shot of the interior of the journal.  I included pages from old books, scrapbook paper, and cool posters I have "appropriated" from bulletin boards around town.  I cannot wait to begin journaling in this!

Doing the Full Tilt Boogie!

I have been in journal binding bliss all day thanks to yet another fabulous online class from the incomparable Mary Ann Moss of Dispatch from L.A.  It is called "Full Tilt Boogie" and it has thrown me into a whirlwind of art-making.  This is the best time I've had in my studio in months!

I've had the privilege of taking every single one of Mary Ann's classes and I can't say enough good things about Ms. Moss as a teacher.  Her content, technical presentation, and student support are unmatched.

The first of four different journals debuted this morning and I was delighted to discover that it is a binding technique that I already know.  So I began immediately, turning my studio upside-down in the process.  As my son squeezed past the stacks of paper ringing the studio table, he remarked "Wow!  Your work space is pathetic!"  Oh yeah!  I must be doing something right!  (It is a well-known axiom of art that your actual work area shrinks in proportion to the level of your enthusiam for a project.)

In this particular class, Mary Ann is teaching us how to repurpose vintage photo albums, ledgers, old books and the like.  I didn't have any spare resources to acquire any special supplies (including the Victorian albums featured) so I am drinking in Ms. Moss's instruction and spinning off in my own direction.  Adaptation and innovation is highly encouraged as is using what you already own.  I love that!  I daresay I have enough stuff in my studio to make many, many journals.

Edit:  I've completed the sewn part of my first Full Tilt Boogie journal.  Here's a picture of the signatures, now bound together, waiting patiently to be attached to the covers.  I have a wild idea for the covers but it will have to wait until this evening as my son has this silly notion that he should eat dinner!  So I'm going to tear myself away from this project and manage some sort of meal... 

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Here Be Gnomes! ICAD 13 and 14

Pan Pastels, Inktense, Microns
I'm humming right along with the Index Card-a-Day Challenge and these two cards begin my exploration of the theme "The Fair Folk."  The colors got a bit washed out in the scanning process but I used Pan Pastels to create soft, unobtrusive backgrounds for my illustrations.  The muted environment contrasts nicely with the boldness of the Inktense pencils.

I've realized that these little drawings may work perfectly as studies for larger works (although I'm not sure if there's a market for gnome or robot paintings.)  I have a big show coming up in October and I am still themeless but doing these small pieces is creating all sorts of new connections in my brain.  I feel like I am exercising a muscle long neglected but, like the proverbial bike riding abilities, my cartooning skills are slowly reawakening.  I've never been super adept at illustration but I've also never pursued it seriously.  I do adore it and for now, the play is enough.

On a side note, I get my stitches out today and I am completely unhappy about that prospect.  It is probably the thing I hate the most about post-surgery care.  Ick!  I never fail to cry like a baby and it is embarrassing.  But I'll manage to get through and move on to physical therapy.  I'm lucky to have had the same PT group for seven of my surgeries and they play a big part in my recovery.  Whenever I begin PT following a surgery, I know I've turned the corner.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Come One, Come All!

Tammy over at Daisy Yellow has thrown down a little twist on the fabulous "Index Card-a-Day Challenge":  Mondays will feature an additional challenge to do something with a completed index card.  This Monday, ICAD participants were called upon to take a picture of an index card out in the world.  I couldn't help involving dear sweet Marley T. Bear so here's my ringmaster introducing the star attraction in the big cats' arena...

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Journaling Crossroads

As I try to rest and recover from surgery, I've been doing a lot of aimless sitting at my studio table.  I suppose this could be blamed on post-surgical fatigue or painkillers (although my intake of that is minimal by now.)  In truth, when it comes to art journaling, I was staring blankly at my journals long before my latest trip under the knife.  My journals, so long my best friends, have become strangers or in the very least, acquaintances I wish I knew better.

I've felt for a while now that I'm at a crossroads with journaling.  Don't get me wrong: I love it but I do feel like my journals aren't working for me.  Instead of collaging and painting, confessing, chronicling and/or affirming, I'm busy having an affair with my fancy pages or deep, dark thoughts...just musings in pencil or pen.  I have dozens of sketchbooks and for the past several weeks, I've worked in one or more of them every day.

I see my sketchbook work as separate and unrelated to my art journaling.  My journals feel like a collection of mini art projects while my sketchbooks are the foundation of my art life.  In my journals, I worry about the end product; in contrast, I pour my brain and heart into my sketchbooks without a care in the world.  My journals are work and my sketchbooks are play.  That division is frustrating to me and I am trying to develop some sort of format that combines the best of both worlds.

I don't want to give up my more "arty" journals but my time and energy are limited.  I don't feel like I can do both but I do feel like both ways of recording my life are important.  It is a conundrum and I've been stewing over this problem for a while.  In fact, I actually feel a little anxious now when working in some of my journals.  When I open them to the next blank page, I often hesitate, unsure of how to proceed.  Instead of letting go, I shut down. 

I don't want a bunch of unfinished journals lying around.  And some of my journals still feel relevant; ironically, those are the ones that I've neglected the longest.  I keep thinking the answer will suddenly become clear or that I'll realize it isn't really about journaling versus sketching but rather more about a sneaky and stubborn case of creative block.  I think the best thing to do is to stop worrying about it, stop overanalyzing, stop problem-solving and just get on with the art, no matter what form that takes.  Easier said than done but I'm going to give it a whirl.  Hang on tight...this ride may get a little wild....

Monday, June 13, 2011

The Circus Closes: ICAD 11 and 12

With these two circus characters, I have finished my second set of doodles for the Index Card-a-Day Challenge (ICAD.)  While I am admittedly only 12 days into this event (I typically tire of daily challenges around Day 30), I am loving working on these 3 by 5-inch "canvases."

My main trick for staying current?  I sketch out (and sometimes even outline) the next day's card once I finish the coloring and shading of the day's illustration.  That way, if I wake up feeling poorly, all the "thinking" work is already done and I can just relax.  People who are collaging their cards could gather up a few bits for the next day's card or color the background in advance.  I suppose it is cheating a bit but let's face it: we're not on the ball every day and life has a nasty habit of getting in the way.  If you already have a small jumpstart on the day's card, you're more likely to be able to finish it up once you tackle the suddenly sick family member, the self-replicating laundry pile or the "Oops! There It Is!" appointment that appears on your calendar.

Another important thing to remember is that if you fall behind...DON'T GIVE UP! Take a day off (in addition to the one(s) you missed) and then if you still feel drawn to the challenge after a breather, pick it back up again the following day.  Adjust the parameters of the challenge to make it work for you.  Maybe you can only manage 5 cards a week.  Maybe drawing every day is too draining if you are more comfortable with collage (or vice versa.)  Daily art doesn't have to equal a specific number of pieces at the end of the specified time frame.  

Anyhoo, here's the next prompt I'm using (beginning June 15 and running through the 20th): "The Fair Folk."  I think there's some gnome love on the horizon...

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Ritz Completed

This isn't the most fantastic picture but the deed is done: I completely revamped my cane with bits of the Sunday funnies.  Now if I could just get out and use it.  I'm dealing with an annoying catch 22 - going stir crazy in the house but going out and walking for any distance is exhausting and painful.  The stitches don't come out until next Thursday so I still have a bit of resting to do.  I've never been very good at this part of post-surgery days.  On the bright side, things look like they are healing slowly but step at a time.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Under the Big Top: ICAD 7 Through 10

Microns, Inktense pencils, Sakura Gelly Rolls
Despite a surgical intermission, I'm proceeding right along with the "Index Card-a-Day" Challenge while incorporating my own spin (a focus on illustration on watercolor paper.)  Before the beginning of June, I sat down and developed a series of prompts that will cover 90 days worth of doodling, giving me a new focus every seven days (six days of drawing, one day of rest.)

The first of those prompts was "Mr. Roboto" which you can see here and here.  I loved every minute of creating mechanized men but I wasn't sure how far I would get on a single topic so I continued to follow my pre-destined prompts.  That brings us to "Under the Big Top."

These aren't bad but I don't feel the same fondness for these characters as I did the robots.  I think I've decided to explore the robot/space theme a bit more in some other way.  However, I will also continue to follow the index card ideas I've already set up for myself.  I think a regular refreshing of topic will keep me engaged better over the long term.  In addition, I think discomfort can be a good sign as it probably means I'm pushing out of my comfort zone.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Putting on the Ritz

I expect that my cane is going to become my best friend over the next couple of months in the wake of Monday's left foot surgery and I know it will be necessary after surgery on my right foot (which is a much more complicated affair.)  However, its sterile, medical appliance look doesn't inspire me to hobble along with it so today's project is to revamp my cane with some decoupaged comic strips.  Once I get it completely covered, I'll top it off with a waterproof varnish.  The fact that this tedious project takes my mind off my throbbing foot is a bonus.

Thursday, June 9, 2011


Gold star for anyone who can identify what movie I'm watching here!
Well, following foot surgery on Monday morning, I've been trying to confine myself to the couch, foot elevated and old science fiction movies on TV.  It is a tougher gig than it looks.  I've discovered that I'm quite the wiggly worm when told to stay put. 

So I've been walking on it way more than I should but crutches are barely helpful (too many hand surgeries and too little upper body strength.)  The bottom of my foot is completely black & blue so I can only put weight on it if I turn it to the side.

I've been doing a little doodling here and there for the Index Card-a-Day challenge but other than that, it has been quiet in the studio.  I'm hoping my recovery will pick up steam over the next week.  Anyway, just wanted to pop in and let all my well wishers know that I'm doing OK and that I deeply appreciate your supportive comments!   

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Robot Fleet Advances: ICAD 3 through 6

Pitt pens, Microns, Crayola markers
Here's "cards" 3 through 6 for the Index Card-a-Day Challenge.  (For any and all questions about this summer challenge, head on over to Daisy Yellow.)

As a quick reminder, I have adapted this idea to fit my own needs.  I really wanted to focus on the "daily habit" aspect of this challenge; however, I just knew, given past experiences with "Do Something Every Day" experiments, that if the form is too limiting (i.e. inchies!), I tend to give up.  Index cards are ideal if you need to break through the notion of always having to make precious/perfect work and actually, index cards are sturdy enough to work for almost anything.  I do prefer to work on watercolor paper though so I cut up a bunch of large sheets, sticking with the standard index card size of 3 by 5 inches.

I also wanted to focus in on a few specific skills like illustration, shading work, and watercolor.  I loved creating all these little 'bots and if I thought I had 90 robots blueprints in me, I'd keep going but to avoid burnout, I'm going to switch topics every seven days.  In case you want to play along, next up for me (June 8-13): "Under the Big Top."

This post will go live about the same time I'm off to dreamland in the operating room so I've got to recover from surgery a bit.  I'm taking a brief blog break until June 9th if all goes as planned.  Hopefully after the first day or so, I'll feel well enough to sit and doodle.  See you all back here on the flip side...

Sunday, June 5, 2011

As Ready As I'll Ever Be

Well, I've cooked and cleaned...and cleaned some more.  Surgery is tomorrow morning and I'm more prepared for this procedure than any of the other eight.  I've been practicing with crutches (oy! my poor armpits!) and other than a flight of stairs to tackle when my mom brings me home, I think everything will go smoothly.  Once I'm upstairs, it is couch life for me for about a week.  I've got a bunch of old sci-fi movies to watch and art supplies, puzzles and good books to keep me busy.  I'm trying to think of it as a little "stay-cation" only with stitches and painkillers.  

Lost Coast Post will be back in full swing on June 9th if everything goes as planned...

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Lost Coast Studio Saturday: Artist Date at the Zoo


Note:  Digital Polaroid frame used here created by Andrea Rascaglia 

Friday, June 3, 2011

Welcome to the Neighborhood

I thought that I'd gotten my house obsession out of my system quite a while back with a collage series I called "Facades" but even close.  In recent weeks, I've been bit by the construction bug all over again but this time, the neighborhood is coming to life via hand-carved stamps.  So much fun!  In fact, I've fallen back in love with carving in general; I'm afraid to admit how many stamps I've carved in the last couple of weeks.  Let's just say that when my Etsy shop reopens, expect to find an entire corner of the store devoted to hand-carved stamps!
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