Thursday, August 29, 2013

Artists I Love: August

Friday nights are usually quite times for me to settle down from the week and plan for the weekend. I usually have a few moments to go online to check out some of my favorite sites. I've been so inspired I wanted to share some of my favorites with you.
Here are the artists and designers I'm loving right now ...

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Weekly Journal: A Few Weeks In Review

I've been working on a weekly journal since April
and its been so fun and simple.
I'm particularly proud of myself for keeping up with it.
It's a really simple way for me to be creative on a regular basis.
So much of the creative process is about making time to be creative and
letting go to allow the creative ideas to unfold.

 This week I wanted to show you the pages in my weekly journal so far.
I love looking at people's art journals and I thought you might like to see mine.


Leave a comment if you have questions
about any of my pages, supplies, techniques. 

I'm happy to share.

Art Studio Storage Solutions: Cigar Boxes

I shared this week about how I organized my art supplies using cigar boxes. I wanted to say a little more about that for those of you who might want to try it. 

 I got my boxes from a local cigar store. I searched out a few shops for the best boxes. I found the older cigar shops (the ones that have been there for years, family owned, lots of locals hanging out to chat) were the best ones.  Maybe its because they  have a deep history with their customers offering the best cigars. The result has been really great cigar boxes.  

There were 2 types of boxes...the cardboard boxes ($2 ea.) and the wood boxes ($4 ea.). I'm not sure what the going rate is for cigar boxes but this shop has some of the most interesting boxes I've seen, so the price seemed right.  

I looked for ones with interesting art. 
I looked for ones that were big and rectangular.  
I got a few with a latch (to keep the box closed if it took a tumble). 
I looked the ones that were about the same height to make it easier to stack on a shelf.
I walked away with 6 lovely boxes and lots of ideas for storing my art supplies.

I created labels for my boxes with Martha Stewart Bookplates in copper. These bookplates are adhesive and have a really strong hold. (Careful putting them down, they are hard to remove). I used my lovely label maker and the cards provided with the book plates to create short descriptions for the contents of each box. 

I love my new storage.

Let me know if you try this or if you have any other creative art storage ideas.

~ Julie

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Art Journal Backgrounds

Here's how I create journal backgrounds my accident. 
I paint and use spray inks in a smaller journal on top of one of the pages in a bigger journal. The drips and ink over spray gets all over the page in the bigger journal and suddenly there is a new background page. That's what happened here. 

I can't wait to create something on top of this page.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Art Studio Snapshots

This weekend I rolled up my sleeves and tackled my studio space. My art projects started to migrate from my studio desk to the dining room table and that is a no no for me. Things had gotten so bad I had a hard time finding supplies I needed in the studio. I even noticed that when I had quiet time to myself, I would leave the house instead of using the time to do some creative work. I just felt overwhelmed in my studio, which drained me of the create spark that makes journaling so fun for me. 

I have an Art Studio Style Pinterest board to give me inspiration on how I want my studio to look.  I'm clearly drawn to studio spaces that are clear and organized. I love beautiful storage and simplicity. The visual noise of the clutter is distracting and leaves me feeling drained. 

This weekend I spent a few hours at night clearing my desk.  I listened to Alejandra's Home Organizing Tips on YouTube. She is so excited about organizing I get excited just listening to her.  I let go of a lot of scraps I was saving. I immediately glued any bits I loved directly into my journal. It was a great way to start a new background. I tossed, stacked and cleaned until well into the night. 

In the morning I got up to look at the desk in the morning light. There was a honey colored glow to the room and for the first time I realized all that clutter was blocking out natural light. I was so inspired to create right then and there. I took photos of my desk and made new pages for my weekly journal. I had so much fun.

By then end of the weekend I was inspired to create some beautiful storage. I saw a photo of artist Wendy Addison's Studio  on Pinterest and I was inspired by her cigar box storage solutions. I love the way the boxes look and how they hold a good number of items and can be labeled for easy identification.

So now I have a clear desk with lots of room to create. I have already created 3 new journal pages and I started this week's weekly journal. It was so nice to create pages again.

Magical Moon

Tonight I was working in my office when I turned to look out of my window to see the moon shining brightly. I opened the patio door to get a better look and there was a stillness in the air that was so wonderful. I sat looking at the moon and the clouds that surrounded it. It was really a special moment.

Several years ago I started making a special effort to create and document special moments in my life. I appreciate them in the moment and then I capture them in my journal or maybe a photo. I think I learned the practice from watching my dad take photos of everyday things. I am so grateful for the practice. It teaches me to notice and anticipate beauty. I also get to relive those moments through my journals and images.


Saturday, August 17, 2013

Happy Birthday to MEEEE!

It's my birthday weekend!

I know there are people out there that don't like celebrating their birthday. I've met them and I just don't get it because I LOVE my birthday.  It's like my own personal New Year's celebration. It's cheerful and magical. Today a red dragonfly few in to the nail spa where I was getting my manicure and pedicure. That has to be a sigh from the universe just for me. :)

 I often celebrate with both long time friends and complete strangers. Today I went to Sephora to get my annual FREE gift (it's different every year). I confirmed with the sales lady by asking her if they were still offering the program where I got a gift from Sephora for my birthday and she responded "heck, yeah!" then she did a little dance in the store and we laughed. I even met a little boy, on our walk to dinner, who over heard us talking about my birthday. He asked "Is it your birthday today?" I said "Yes" and he responded "Wow, It's my birthday too!" and he high fived me and posed with me for a photo. Cutest thing ever! The biggest surprise was hearing my entire team at work sing "Happy Birthday" at the beginning of our team meeting. 

  My birthday makes me feel like a rock star. 
Maybe that's why I love it so much

In the next few days, I will be spending my days and evenings celebrating with all the people I love, in as many ways as possible. Any opportunity to blow out the candles on a little cake and ice cream....well, I'm all over that. 

Count me in for 
happy birthday sing-a-longs 
high fives, and

 I embrace every moment of my birthday.


Monday, August 12, 2013

Taking in the scene...

I've enjoyed my walks with Dexter this week. It's a great chance to get out in some fresh air and see more of my neighborhood.  I make a point of visiting different locations for our walks. He likes the variety and I get to see more of my town. Today we walked in a little park that has great water features and big grassy areas for us to walk, sit and people watch.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Workshop Planning Retreat

We spent the weekend in Mill Valley, California for our Bi-Annual Planning Retreat at Acqua Hotel. Andrea and I started Planning Retreats several years ago to give us time away to focus on scheduling our workshops for the coming year.  Over the years is morphed into a weekend where we work through ways to balance the needs of our families with our own need to be creative. We also looked at the balance between what students may want to learn and what we feel inspired to share. 
The result ... workshops that inspire us and delight our students.

Over the weekend we take very good care of ourselves... 
  •  I took a nap in the afternoon,
  • I journaled for most of the day and into the night,
  • I use new supplies and old supplies in new ways in my journal
  • We laughed until we cried,
  • I spent time reading an art magazine from cover to cover
  • I forgot my cell phone, so I spent the day  free from distractions
  •  I took lots of photos with my camera.  
  • We visited dollar stores, art studios, thrift shops, and
    antique fairs in search of unique art supplies for our workshops.
  • We spent time wondering in nature and being inspired
    by the beauty of Tiburon, California.
  • We had lunch and dinner in beautiful restaurants
  • We enjoyed food that was really nourishing and delicious.

 Next year we will be continuing with the Juicy Soul Retreats, adding more social events to encourage creativity in community and we will try our hand at an on-line class or two for you folks that are outside of the bay area. 

Stay tuned!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

What Do You Think? Red Dragonfly Art Journaling Survey

I will be starting my 2014 Workshop planning in the next 2 weeks and I would love to get your input on how I can inspire your creative process. I've wanted to get your input for years but never could figure out how to do it until now. This is a big victory and a dream come true. 

Please take a few moments to let me know what motivates you to create and how
I could provide more inspiration for your Art Journaling practice on this blog.

Thanks so much for your assistance.
I'll be reporting back to you on the results and plans for 2014 in early September.