29 August 2011

Art Journal Class: Falling For You

I'm really excited to announce that my follow-along online art journal course, Falling for You, will be starting on September 15. 

From September 15 - December 1, you'll find (almost) daily inspiration, technique tips, and creative prompts that will keep you art journaling through the fall. We'll have weekly giveaways and art challenges, too.  We'll take inspiration from the world around us to create truly personal works of art.

You'll get: 
  • 1-2 PDF worksheets per week that offer a story, art journal images, and techniques for you to try on your pages
  • 6 journaling videos* with tips and inspiration
  • 6 downloadable original collage sheets
  • 6 original digital stamps
  • 1 PDF tutorial loaded with images and all the info you need to make your own hard-back journal.
  • Surprise extras throughout the class
(* The videos will be downloadable for you to keep, but may be available for only a limited time after the course is over. If they are going to be unavailable later on, you'll receive at least one week's notice before they are gone.)

 No special supplies are needed, so feel free to work with what you already have. I will provide lists of the supplies used in each of the pages that I show you through out the course and introduce you to some of my favorite supplies, too. I'll also provide shopping info for supplies you might want to check out! 

Come join us to create a journal for your most memorable Autumn yet!


Special: Buy a spot in the class for yourself and get an additional gift membership for a friend for only $15!

The first day of class is September 15th, 2011. This class will be hosted in a private group at Art Journaling. You'll receive log-in information after you sign up. Please feel free to email me with any questions you might have!

Please note: due to the nature of this product, no refunds will be issued after the start date of the class.


Do you have a gallery of your work I can check out to see if I like your style?
Yes, please check out my flickr photostream to see some of my work. 

Do I have to sign up anywhere to be a part of this course?

Yes, this is a paid course hosted on Art Journaling. You'll need to sign up for a free membership there and then request membership in the Falling For You course. (I'll send an email to you after you pay with more details on this!)

Do I have to love art journals in order to participate in this class?

Nope! Though I hope the love will grow on ya! Although the prompts used in this class will be directed towards those of us making art journal pages, there's no reason at all why you couldn't make a piece of jewelry, a painting, an Artist Trading Card, or something else inspired by the class. That would be great! If you do, please feel free to post images to our flickr group! We'd love to see whatever you create.

What is a digital stamp?

A digital stamp is a black-and-white image (a drawing in this case) that you can print and use as desired. You can resize it up or down to suit your needs. It's basically digital ephemera. You could print it on a transparency, on computer paper and color it, or use it digitally in photoshop. Here's an example from my etsy shop.

Do I need a specific art journal in order to take this class?

Nope! Work with what you've got. If you only have a school notebook and a pencil, you'll be able to participate in this class. If you do want to work in a journal similar to mine, check out this great video series by artist Teesha Moore on making your own "one-page" journal -- the technique I use is a variation of this one.

Are there any specific materials or supplies I have to have to take this class?

Nope! But there will be a whole materials section within the class with some suggestions of what you might want to experiment with in your art journal. A very small selection of the supplies I used this past week are: twinkling h20s, all kinds of Sharpie markers, acrylic craft paints, graph paper, old book pages, gel medium, fabric, clear packing tape, washi tape, rick rack... whew that's a lot! Really: anything goes! Use what you like!

Will this class be available after the eleven weeks are up?
Yes! Once you have paid for this class it will be available to you indefinitely. If for some reason the course needed to change locations, you'd get a link & access for the new location. While you don't need to play along during the class, please note that many of the prompts will be seasonal. (Think: Halloween! etc.) Still, there's no reason you couldn't do this course in February!

What if I don't like a prompt that you posted?

If you don't like a prompt, feel free to skip it! You also always have the option of writing about why you don't like the prompt. That being said, if you don't like a prompt, you can either explore it anyway to challenge yourself or just skip it & make up your own prompt! There are no rules in art journaling, and you aren't going to get kicked out of the class for skipping a prompt. No worries!

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10 August 2011

Juice Fast: Day Three

After watching the movie Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead on Netflix a week or so ago, I decided that I wanted to do a juice fast. Today is my third day. The first day was easy, and it really helped that Nick and I went to the beach. Yesterday was terrible.

I did a four day juice fast a few years back when I still lived in Greensburg. At that time, I was pretty darn healthy. I was eating very well, mostly vegan, which was particularly easy because I worked in a fruit market during the summers. I used to walk with my friend Kevin (who I miss!) all the time, plus we were starting to ride bicycles pretty often, too. I had a gym membership at the local YMCA and would go there a lot.

I'd recently lost a decent amount of weight, and I decided a juice fast was a good way to kick it up a notch. I can't remember the exact program that I followed, in terms of what I was juicing, but I do remember drinking green tea and spending a lot of time in the bathroom. I also remember that I felt like hell for a few days but by the end of it, I felt awesome! I might have continued the fast longer, but I was getting a lot of flack from my friends who thought the fasting was unhealthy, (at the time, I agreed with them) so I broke fast with a fruit smoothie on the fifth day.

I've always meant to do another fast, but just haven't done it. This could contribute to why I've gained so much weight in the last few years. A lot of it came from changing my lifestyle: I just don't walk and bike as much in Rhode Island as I did when I lived in Greensburg. I have a car now, which makes me lazy, and I live in a bad neighborhood, so walking at night, like I did all the time in Greensburg, really isn't an option I like.

When my dad died a few years back, I definitely turned to food for comfort. Old habits die hard. I started smoking again, too, but I quickly nipped that nasty habit in the bud. (I haven't smoked a cigarette for at least three years now; I haven't smoked the other stuff for about two.) The eating, though, continued. So did the weight gain.

I went gluten-free for the first six months of 2011 because I'd been having health issues, all digestive related. The diet definitely helped a lot, but I "fell off the wagon" so to speak as we were moving into our new apartment and I haven't been hardcore about it since. I guess it really is a pain in the ass, though I enjoyed the foods that I was making. I guess it's because it's the summer and it's hot. I don't feel like cooking at all, so we end up with takeout more often than we should.

The point of all this? Things are really out of hand, with my diet, my eating, and my health overall. I feel like crap all the time, though I try not to complain about it as much as I feel it, because who wants to hear it all over and over again? I'm having digestive issues that are really scary (think blood where there should be none) and even though I did fight for a referral to get checked out, because I have no insurance, I'm on a long wait list.

I also got diagnosed with hypothryoid earlier this year,which means it's really difficult for me to lose weight and incredibly easy for me to gain it. I haven't gained any weight this year, thankfully, but I have also failed to keep any off. If I was at a healthy-ish weight, this wouldn't be such a problem, but I am quite decidedly obese. Things have got to change.

So I'm juice fasting. I'm on day three, and to be perfectly honest, I have no idea if I'll make it to the end of the day or not. My goal is to make it a week, but if today if anything like yesterday, ain't happening. Yesterday was awful. I don't remember feeling nearly as terrible the last time I juice fasted, but maybe I was just a lot healthier then. I felt ill and unwell all day. I felt nauseated and I had a terrible, splitting headache. I couldn't even stomach the juices I was making, which meant I was definitely not getting enough nutrients. The juice I did make tasted awful, even though everything had tasted good the day before.

If there's a toxic reaction from juice fasting, I definitely experienced that yesterday. I spent most of the day in bed. I did one drawing, and that was an effort. Usually I sketch a lot or work in my art journal, even if I'm not feeling great, but yesterday I had no interest in anything except getting through the day. By the end of the day I felt so completely awful that I decided I need to have soup. Not exactly juice, but still liquid (I went with a all-organic soup that had no chunks). I only had a small amount, but I felt way better after having it.

I'm hoping today goes better. I stocked up on unsweetened coconut milk, mineral water, and a green juice from Bolthouse Farms. I figure if the juice I make tastes awful, I'll drink the BF stuff. Sure, it's not fresh-squeezed, so it doesn't have as many nutrients, but whatever, at least it won't make me barf. One thing that makes me feel a little bit better is that when I weighed myself with the Wii Fit this morning, I was shocked to see I'd lost 5 lbs! Yes, I'm sure it will all come right back after I'm done fasting and is probably water weight... but I'm not positive since even though I couldn't stomach the juice, I did drink a lot of water to make up for it.

Have you ever fasted? How did it go for you?

(Note: In case there are any haters out there: I'm not juicing specifically to lose weight, though it's a nice side effect. I'm juicing to give my digestive system a break and a chance, I hope, to heal. It took me years to gain the weight and I'm expecting it will take equally as long to lose it. My plan for after the fast is to eat mostly fruits and vegetables, possibly some sort of paleo diet. While I'm not under a doctor's care, I certainly would be if I could get an appointment sooner than three months from now. Doh!)

05 August 2011

Art Journal: DIY Copic Airbrush System ABS

Okay, so I have been coveting a Copic Airbrush system ever since I saw some awesome pages made byJulie Fei-Fan Balzer using her Copic ABS system. I didn't think I was interested in airbrushing, but all of a sudden, I wanted one hard! I even got to the point of bidding on them on eBay, even though we all know I'm not supposed to buy any more supplies until September 7th!

Of course I know that I don't need the airbrush system to make awesome art and I should be perfectly happy with all the wonderful supplies I already have... but that didn't stop me from researching the system. The Copic ABS actually hasn't gotten a lot of positive reviews on the various review sites I checked. I figure, though, that a lot of it depends on what you are expecting: it's not a regular airbrush system and it won't work the same.

The problem I had with it though it that it wasn't the type of thing you could buy once and not have to spend anymore money! You'd either need an air compressor, which I don't have and retails from $100 - $300, or you'd need to buy replacement cans of air all the time, which are $9 - $15 each. Also, you can substitute another brand of air; only the Copic ones will work with the system.

So I started researching DIY methods, and didn't find much, just this video on using canned air, which I like, but it's awkward.  I wanted to have a free hand to hold my stencils or masks in place. (Also, since I can't really imagine buying air in a can, I was happy to find that my boyfriend had no such qualms!) 

I thought, "Hmm, what can I use?", thinking I'd have to build some kind of rig, then noticed a stretchy headband on my desk. Eureka!  I did a little experimentation, and here is the result:

 (I'm having camera issues.. will update this soon with the photo!)

I am so stoked with this method. Sure it means that when I run out of spray, I'll probably, gulp, buy another can of air, but I figure I can buy 5 cans of air before it equals the cost of the original set up... and even with that I'd be buying air. Perhaps I'll save for the air compressor set up... or maybe I'll be bored with it by then. Who knows!

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