Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Mixed Media : Embracing the Mess

This weeks mixed media gal. It is actually a bit of a struggle for me to do many layers as some mixed media artist tend to do. I'm not quite used to the idea of being messy actually. Coming from my very Swiss graphic design training and my love for the monochromatic, the world of mixed media was so new and freeing to me.

That being said, I am still hesitant to add that extra bit of color or texture, simply because I have no idea if that one extra step will cause a gosh awful mess haha. Its strange... I still love doing simple pieces especially when it comes to doing watercolors or gouache, but my oil pastels have been such a blast to play with as of late.

I definitely do not feel as if I have to plan things out as I do with certain supplies. With these I just go with the flow and I'm liking my playtime results ^_^. Here is to embracing the mess!

Music of the Day:

Indila - Dernière Danse

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Happy Friday #38 : 2015 Journals

Hi everyone! My first Vlog of the year! A little happy Friday a little early ^_^. Decided to start with my journal line-up for 2015 and which will hopefully answer some of the questions about the pieces that I'm using. As I promised here are the product links, a few from my blog and where you can find them.

Hobonichi Techo

  1. Blog Posts : Post 1, Post 2, Post 3
  2. Where to Buy
Freegums MOD ipad mini case
Midori Traveler's Notebook
  1. Blog Posts : Post 1, Post 2, Post 3 , Post 4
  2. Where to Buy : Maido, Amazon, Baum Kuchen
Gillio Firenze
  1. Blog Post : Post 1, Post 2
  2. Where to Buy
Seven Seas Writer
  1. Blog Posts : Post 1, Post 2, Post 3
  2. Where to Buy
Common Place Book
  1. Blog Posts : Post 1, Post 2, Post 3, Post 4
  2. Where to Buy
Mon Carnet De Poche
  1. Blog Posts : Post 1, Post 2, Post 3
  2. Where to Buy : Jenni Bick , Maido Stationary Store.

Thanks for stopping by!

Music of the Day:
Sweet Harmony : A Little Party Never Killed Nobody

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Oil Pastel Love

Oil pastels... I know its nothing new. In fact a few years ago when I did my first mixed media painting I used some of the sticks to add depth to my painting, so why all the love now? I don't know haha... It funny when you are a supply addict like myself, sometimes you just end up rediscovering your own supplies.

Or... you're curiosity is sparked by something and then you go digging around your own stash to procure the said supply or something like it. For me it was a little historical tidbit on how the artist grade oil pastels came to be.

According to, the invention process began in 1921 by Kanae Yamamoto. His book, 'Theory of Self-Expression', promoted unrestrained learning without a teacher. Yamamoto, his brother-in-law Shuku Sasaki, and Rinzo Satake decided to improve on the design of the wax crayon and founded the Sakura Cray-Pas Company. In 1924 they created the oil pastel in 1924 and in 1927 added stabilizers that prevented melting.

In 1947 Pablo Picasso and Henri Goetz requested a higher pigmented version from Henri Sennelier. Sennelier then went on to produce roughly 50 oil sticks for Picasso in gradation of grays as well as what is now considered classic hues. You can still find the 50 oil pastel set for purchase today.

Which brings me to the question... to get some Sennelier or not... well as an aside. It interesting... as I am writing this blog, I realized the mixed media realm isn't my first experience with the medium. I forgot my amazement of my first set of cra pas from Korea when I was 8. That was also the first time I was aware of things such as sketchbooks... but I digress.

Cra pas is the children's version although I remember them being quite messy, I really enjoyed them back then. In fact I still have a couple of my original sets that I kept around and then gave to my daughter.

image from

Anyways... if you are thinking about playing around with them, this is a good time to get Sennelier items. It seems Sennelier is celebrating their 125th anniversary and in turn, many art supply websites are having interesting deals.

I had a lot of fun today playing around with my cheapy Crayola Portfolio version of the water soluble oil pastels, but I think I'm ready for the next step... how about you?

Music of the Day:
Stephane Wrembel & Roy Williams : Bistro Fada

Sunday, January 18, 2015

My Colorful Sunday

Today was a fun day exploring Santa Cruz downtown. Since moving to the Bay Area we have gone to this town only twice before, both of which were on the way home from Monterey Bay. So it was nice to actually make it our destination this time.

The weather was absolutely perfect. There was a slight breeze in the air, the sun was pouring its love down on the town and color was every where. We happened upon Palace Art & Office Supply store that had a lot of colorful love inside.

I'm not quite sure if I was influenced by my recent magazine on Color from UpperCase, but today it was all about color! We walked by several bohemian stores that had fantastic colorful displays. It was an all around great day as I came away with some art supplies and lovely Sandalwood incense.

Our snack... although not in Santa Cruz some how ended up being colorful as well. This was the mixed fruit crepe from the Sno-Crave in Cupertino. Supper fresh and delish!!!

Happy colorful Sunday to you!  

Music of the Day:
Oqm : Colors

Friday, January 16, 2015

Happy Friday #37 : Year of the SPARK!

Image from Carla Sonheim
Hi everyone! I just wanted to share the fun class I decided to treat myself to this year called, "Year of the SPARK!" held by two very talented and successful ladies, Carla Sonheim and Lynn Whipple.

Product DetailsProduct Details

Carla's books have been inspiring our family to play for years. With her little ink blob animals to her side walk crack creatures, her books were always there for us on quiet weekends. I would highly recommend any of her books if you are looking for some fun projects to do with your little ones, or to mix up things in your creative life.

A piece I did in my journal 4 years ago when I was first inspired by Carla's work.

Product DetailsProduct Details

Lynn is well known for her interesting collages and mixed media pieces. If you've ever picked up a book on mixed media, I am sure you have seen her work in some form or another. Always inspiring to see her wonderful eye candy.

One of my first journal entries after I stumbled upon the world of mixed media.

I am very excited to join this new year long class of theirs because of the out of the box creativity, techniques, the fresh energy, and the added focus... the business side of art. As this is what I would like to focus more on this year, this combination seemed like a perfect fit.

I have just signed on and so far, the amazing work I've seen in the room is very inspiring. Looking forward to what creative spark this class will impart upon me. Happy creating!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Inspiration : Uppercase Magazine

Finally decided to go for a subscription to this lovely eye candy. UpperCase Magazine has always been on my list for 'to get' magazines. Some how I never got around to it, but this year I decided it would be a nice treat to have. It is a Canadian based quarterly magazine. Their explanation, 'UPPERCASE publishes books and magazines for the creative and curious: products that spark the imagination and inspire creativity', says it all.

For my subscription I opted to start with last year's winter quarter magazine, a back issue on color, and a little notebook made of recycled issues and paper. I have to say I'm really loving it. It melds my love for graphic design with the art and crafting arts. So far as I've seen they have lovely articles to help you think about things such as your brand, so a bit more practical advice, showcase artists, and depending on that particular magazine's theme, articles and little historical tidbits that inspire.

I would definitely recommend adding this magazine to your creative inspiration list as well as flow magazine. Lovely insight inside both the commercial as well as the raw creative world. If you are curious and would like to take a gander before purchasing, peruse their website and they also have a view of the issues online if you would like to get a taste for what they are all about.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Happy Friday #36 : Catching Up

Hello everyone and happy Friday to you! How is project you going this first week in? Mine... has had a pretty bumpy start I have to say... The holidays while fun and full of family time is also a time when schedules become a bit askew. On the positive side of it, it does give us time to pop out of the 'automatic' drive we put ourselves in our daily lives well... I suppose in theory, but...

Uh... yeah that was my brief moment of zen talking haha. No, but to be honest  this week, I felt as though I was playing 'catch up' to a lot of things.  Ironically with all my planner choices, I was left sitting befuddled when I found out A. the Midori Traveler's Notebook free version my husband bought me was actually a vertical weeks with the 24 hr. clock  and B. the version of the weeks diary I loved was sold out. Bah... What was a gal to do, but scramble around to figure out her options:

First went through the trouble of playing around and printing Patrick Ng's Chronodex a free planner he puts out every six months. With an ink jet printer I had to go through the motions of figuring out which direction thing were being printed so I could print out the odd pages first, re-shuffle the pages, the print the even pages, cut down the few inches on each side (decided to leave it slightly taller in height than the MTN since I printed on a U.S. letter paper), and fold. Spent the better part of one day doing all of this all to find, I wished it were in smaller signatures. As you can imagine 17 sheets of paper folded is not only thick, but cause the shifted stacking problem. Le sigh... Decided not to use it on a full time bases, but as a time check. I think I may utilize one week every month to see how my time is being spent, so... hopefully the print outs won't be wasted.

Next, I decided to order another Seven Seas Writer from Nanami Paper and have them cut it down to 120 mm in width which is slightly wider than the MTN inserts (110mm) for my Giramondo. The height is fine as it is an A5 notebook, although in the future I might go a tiny bit smaller in width maybe... at a (115mm width as it does come a bit to the end of the Gillio when closed, but there is a bit more in the width of the Gillio so having that little width increase speak volumes when your writing.

Dave from Nanami is great to work with as I said before. Very accommodating to my request and sent it out right away ^_^. That being said, originally I had wanted the blank tomoe river paper journal, but some where along the way we had our communications crossed and I got the lined version. By the way, the little black peace you see on the right of the notebook is the bit he chopped off.

As I sat with my book neatly tucked inside my Giramondo or Gillio, I realized the lined version would work much better for my planner experiment.

Inside my make-shift planner :
  1. year at a glance
  2. month at a glance
  3. general projects I want to get accomplished throughout the year
  4. a weekly projects page / to do lists for that week
  5. a week at a glance. 
  6. then free space after each week

It is my plan to allow for unlimited amount of pages after the weeks view for writing, smash booking, etc. before I draw out my following weeks view. Not sure how this will work out as I continue on this personal journey to find planner peace, but we shall see. I mean I know that the Moleskine weeks diary would fit my needs, but I really wanted to take another stab at working with my Gillio as my planner so here it is.

Now what of the Hobo you ask? Well the hobo to me is more of a daily art journal. A way for me to commit to a little illustration time that holds me accountable to practice through the dates so to speak. The paper is divine to look at and work with, but the A6 Avec did not have my beloved week view that I love. No... the A6 Avec is definitely suited to my daily art journal endeavors.

In terms of the A5 Avec? Sure I took a long hard look at it... I still think I would have problems with the proximity of the planning/ calendar views  to the daily pages of the Hobo for real planning. I just like to have my weeks and days pertaining to that month to be close to those pages. Its an order thing... drives me batty for reason if they aren't aligned just so haha.

Speaking of those Hobos... I promise I will do flip throughs soon, as well as a few other things that my friends in my Hobo and MTN Eye Candy Groups, as well as Youtube land have asked me to cover. I haven't forgotten you I promise. Just needed some time to sort myself out.

Thanks so much for all your lovely comments here, Instagram, and Youtube. Its been such a great journey for me, crawling out of my shell and taking on the challenge to put myself out there. This challenge to myself was about a year ago and truly hearing from all of you makes my hear sing ^_^! I really appreciate it!

Music of the Day:
Delerium : Truly