January always goes by too fast. I never really have the energy to invest in a New Year until February. Then, February drags on forever and ever with deep cold and the crappy Valentine's Day holiday. By March, I'm usually ready for fresh starts and new projects so I anticipate the next month or so to be slow around the blog and my craft space.
Come March things will be a bit different, hopefully.
But I still like to post things even when I have no photos or finished projects to share and this is one of THOSE posts; the wordy kind. More of a plan for me than entertainment or education for any readers. Sigh.
Year in Review
So let me take a quick look back at 2015 to see what I accomplished. I love lists!
1. I completed my Inspiration journal...sort of. I completed the Inspiration Wednesday portion of it. I'm still working on the last few pages. Since I wasn't working in a Donna Downey journal, I had more pages than needed for the year of Inspiration Wednesdays. But I feel good about having kept up with the journal and following along with Donna pretty consistently. I was never more than two weeks behind in class.
2. I completed my Artist Journal. I pulled out the last few pages in the wee early week of January but I did get it done. Whew!
3. I created a few more canvases with which I am quite happy. One of which is currently on display in my local art gallery. (See it HERE.)
4. I blogged very regularly. More regularly than I have in a while and have shared at least three posts a month for much of 2015.
5. I managed to organize a space just for card making and a space for mixed-media. Card making materials are upstairs with a new Ott light to provide true light to a "dark" space. Mixed media materials and more art journaling materials are in the basement where I can make a mess and not have to clean it up right away.
6. I organized my growing rubber stamp collection. I finally put all my stamps in a single place and cataloged the red rubber ones that had no picture of what they were. I feel very good about my stamp binder!
Here's a few things I learned this year:
1. I no longer like Distress Markers. I loved them at first and fresh ones work really well on watercolor paper. BUT they don't stay FRESH. They seem to have a short life compared to other markers I've used, even Crayola makers seem to last longer. I like a "wet" marker and these Distress Markers just aren't cutting it anymore. I will just use up what I've got and not invest in any more. I mainly use markers for coloring in stamped images and, let face it, it's hard to stamp onto watercolor paper. I REFUSE to buy the Ranger stuff in those little sheets...ugh!
This also means I'm in the market for new markers. I don't want alcohol markers so I'm currently torn between the Zig Clean Color Real Brush or the Spectrum Aqua. I'm leaning toward Spectrum Aqua as the Zig still seem to work best on watercolor paper.
2. I'm on the fence about the Dylusions paints. I haven't played with them a lot so I may learn to like them more but the few times I've used them it's a love-hate relationship. I LOVE the BLACK MARBLE...it is perfect for art journaling...I can't say enough about it. But the colors...um...well, they're not really what I was expecting. I knew they weren't opaque but they really do need two coats to cover anything. They were supposed to play well with the spray inks but the one time I did that, the ink stayed wet on top forever! I even heat it and it just never seemed to soak in. I'm thinking there must be a learning curve on that...I may have had too much paint down first? And the white is practically useless as a paint so far. Semi-opaque? Not even.
3. I love Golden products! I will be investing in Golden paints and mediums this year rather than comparable stuff in smaller jars. For example, I'll spend more money on a large bottle of glazing medium from Golden instead of the small tube from Ranger. Don't misunderstand: I think Ranger makes top quality products. But art mediums have been around a long time and it irks me that they present "new" mediums as if they've never been invented. But honestly, I think I may be addicted to fluid acrylic. Working in the Inspiration Wednesday class really revived my enthusiasm for that media.
4. I never have a problem with ModPodge. I have heard so much about Mod Podge not working for people or warping papers too much or getting too sticky even when dry that I felt the need to add this lesson to my list. I have been using it for most of my collage applications for paper and it works fine. It works best with scrapbook papers or those of similar weight. It doesn't work so well with magazine cut outs...but even when I use a different medium like gel medium, the results vary. It works great as a sealant for gelatos as well. Mod Podge is cheap and readily available and I will continue to use it without guilt or shame.
5. Do my own thing. I just need to do my own thing and not get caught up in getting stuff completed. If it takes a month, it takes a month. I need to just loosen up and have some fun. I need to get more of my personality into my work.
Goals for 2016
1. Complete Inspiration Wednesday 2016 in a timely manner. Yup, I'm signed up for this year and already working in my journal. This year I bought the REAL Inspiration Journal straight from Donna Downey Studios.
2. Start work in a Color Palette journal. My pinboard on Pinterest has WAY TOO MANY color palettes that caught my eye. I need to start using them for my journal inspiration. This is the year.
3. Start an Art Journaling adventure with the Joggles blog. This website is my go-to for mixed media supplies and paper crafting stuff. Barb has started a weekly prompt for art journaling and I want to try to play along. I'm already 4 weeks behind! Oops.
4. Design calendar images. I have an idea in my head to make a work that represents each month and then use these projects to make a calendar at the end of the year. The projects would have to be flat so they could be scanned into a computer to be reprinted. Just have to keep in mind any copyright issues with images and stamp images. I also have to remember that these would have to be in a "landscape" format, rather than "portrait"...which I always tend to do.
5. Create a Divination Card deck. With a similar idea as the calendar, I would create each card in the deck so it could be scanned into the computer to be reproduced as a "playing" card. I have made a few decks of this type by hand and it just isn't feasible to make them this way if I want to sell them. If I could create the artwork so it can be reprinted in the small size, I could sell many for less. I envision various versions of the deck with multiple possibilities for each card. So every couple years or so I can add a new deck with all new artwork.
Divination cards are not quite Tarot and not quite "wizards" cards. They are inspired by both and are used in a similar fashion to the Major Arcana of Tarot. I believe them to be quite unique and if I can get my ass in gear to make unique artwork to support the idea, I think I'd have a nice little item to offer for sale.
6. Make more altered books! I've put off too many of these and I've got to get going before I drown in all the ephemera I'm saving up for these suckers. A few themes: birds, Star Wars, Space/Aliens, Magic, Halloween 2, animals.
Well, that's a start. Let's see if I stay so focused up to March.
Thanks for hanging in with me and the blog!
"How many pickled peppers did Peter Piper pick?"