Friday, December 30, 2011

Flowers in the Mail-Art

So today I was in the mood to make some flowers...and what's better than sending some mail art flowers? I made these big bouquets today and will be sending them in the mail tomorrow to some fellow mail artist pals of mine. I hope they do not get destroyed in the post office. I am taking them in by hand tomorrow to have them hand cancelled, but you never know with those machines. Hopefully they will make it OK.

flowery mail art with a paper doll that's going in one of the envelopes as a little surprise treat that my mail art partner is getting. I hope she likes paper dolls! I like using them in my art projects.

close up of my hand made paper flower and handmade envelope

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Fairy Mail Art

I did a few envelopes of mail art today as I had a stressful morningat the Dr's office where I sat with my 8 month old baby for two hours...why do they do that? If they are going to have me sit there and wait then make my appointment for two hours later! Do I need to come in at 9:30 if I don't even get called back into a room until 11, then in the room I wait another 30+ minutes?

Anyway, being creative helps me de-stress and gets my mood up. So as soon as I came home, I started playing with my art stuffs and the frustration melted away.

So here is what I created today...modeled on my new Corona Typewriter that I got as a Christmas gift this year. It just came in two weeks ago and I love it. I can't help imagining what it was used for, what kind of secrets it was made in 1937... so long ago... I wonder what stories it has hidden in it's history...maybe a long distance love affair, or letters to a brother at war, or an aspiring writer...who knows.

My new Corona typewriter

fairy mail art

more fairy mail art

this one is my favorite
I'm not sure who they are going to just yet but I hope whoever does get them in their mailbox loves them.  In the meantime I need to get back to my art journal soon as I've been neglecting it since NaNoWriMo.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

More Mail Art

I must be honest and confess that I have been procrastinating... getting caught up in the web....reading art inspiration blogs...does that ever happen to starts with a art journal photo on flicker, then goes to art techniques on a blog, then you're watching you tube videos, then you realize you need to buy new supplies....ohh my... if you give a mouse a cookie....

Anyway, here is a little bitty bit of mail art I have been working on this week. I know it's a bit odd. I'm experimenting with my new stamps and having a lot of fun. 

Playing with my new stamps, a collage mail art envelope. It's embossed too but you can't see it in the photo.

A little envie I made for a christmas letter I am sending to one of my pen pals. 

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I did it!!

I am officially a NaNoWriMo winner!

Fifty thousand words!! And the best bart, I wrote it all freehand! In a composition notebook! I will post photos later.

I'm so excited. And now I have time to clean my house and do everything I put off doing last month while doing this amazing writing project.

I feel fantastic.

Monday, November 28, 2011

NaNoWriMo Update

4,000 words to the finish!

I'm so close! Two more days and I have just 4,000 more words to reach the 50k word count. I can do this. I can actually be one of this years NaNoWriMo winners. I'm so excited. This was one of my goals for this year and here I am making my dreams come true. You really can create the life of your dreams if you just commit and follow through.

4,000 words to go!

Next Goal :  To loose weight and get healthy by my birthday on Aug 14th 2012 I officially start this January 1st, 2012 but I will unofficially start December 1st, 2011 just to get a head start.

What are your dreams and goals?

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Mail Art and NaNoWriMo Update

So I have been fighting this NaNoWriMo beast with all my might. I almost lost it this weekend after missing two days and getting behind about 5,000 words. My fiance came to the rescue and gave me the whole day yesterday to write and get all caught up, which I did. I am almost done now! Only 7,000 more words to go and I've hit the 50k mark. Then I will be throwing myself in letter writing and swaps and my neglected pen pals.

Anyway today I worked on a mail art swap I was in with a theme of fairy tales - Red Riding Hood. I really love how this envelope came out. You can't see the glimmer mist sparkles on it in the photo but its so sparkly and shimmery. I used some graphics from an old book I had and cut and colored them a bit. Then I collaged them onto the envelope which was spritzed with glimmer mist and stamped with some distressed inks.
Fairytale Mail Art

Side of the envelope before I put in my swap partner's addy.

I will be so happy when my NaNoWriMo is over. But I am still going to try and keep writing every day, not 1200 words a day but maybe just for an hour or so, unless the muse demands a longer session. One thing for sure is that I am no longer creatively blocked. The writing is flowing free. Now if only I could come up with something fantastic to write about! But hey, you can't have it all. I'm grateful that my creative block is gone. Baby steps on the road to my steps.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Art Journal Pages & NanoWriMo Update

I'm fighting through my NanoWriMo Novel. Last night I had a breakdown and wrote a whole page yelling at my main character who I am so frustrated with. He is a lazy, self absorbed, unmotivated, male chauvinist! How on earth did I come up with such a character? And I've spend 25,000 words with him so far. So yesterday I went off on him. I told him he needs to get of his butt and do something, he needs to stop being so passive and make a few decisions on his own. After I got it off my chest he seemed to have listened as he decided to go explore the territory a bit.

The NaNoWriMo is taking up a lot of my writing time, but I'm still trying to get some penpal letters out and do some work in my art journal. Yesterday I finished my Wishes page from 11*11*11 and I really like how it came out.  I love the bright colors. It's so positive and uplifting. I hope my wises come true.  :)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Mail Art and Art Journal Pages

outgoing mail art
Here's some recent mail art I did for a pen-pal swap over on swap-bot.
The owl envelope is handmade paper I made myself out of some recycled junk mail and rose petals from the roses my father brought me after my surgery. I love how the rose petals tinted the envelope.

orange headed lady

The orange headed lady was my attempt at some of the funky teesha moore style collage with bright colors that I love. I've been using a lot of pinks and purples and oranges in my art lately and I am really enjoying it.

The last photo is my first attempt at "Fearless Painting" from Dirty Footprints Studio. The goal is to paint BIG, on large paper while standing up. I normally do a lot of my art standing up anyway but there really is something magical about letting go of your mind and painting 100% intuitively. I had no idea what this would even look like until I stepped away from the canvas. I love the colors and shapes. 
As soon as I'm done with NanoWrimo I plan to do some more fearless paintings!
fearless painting

Finally here are some art journal pages. I really need to post more of these as I work in my art journal daily. That will be one of my New Year Resolutions, to post my art journal pages weekly.

*note to self - New Year Resolution - Make a You Tube video of my art journal.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

NaNoWriMo Update

I'm in the dreaded second week and man they were not kidding when they said this week would be hard. My main character in my novel is procrastinating. He doesn't want to go anywhere and do anything, but today I let him know that he will be going outside and partaking in an it or not.

I am right under the target word count, about one day behind so today I am going to write a bit extra to get closer to the goal number. I want to be fully caught up and on target  by this weekend, so I told my main character he is going to have to but his big girl panties on and start doing something. I can't write a novel with a whiney spoiled brat procrastinating main character!

If you want to follow me on NaNoWriMo my name on the re is "ilona". And if anyone one of you is doing it too let me know so I can follow you.

Take care and off I go to try and write 3,000 words today! Gulp.

Monday, November 7, 2011

More Printable Stationary - Kawaii Pink

click to download
So today I was creating some of my own stationary for one of my pen pals who loves Kawaii. I was also procrastinating my NaNoWriMo which I am a bit behind on.... I wrote 900 extra words today in an attempt to catch up to the word count but I still have about 1500 words to go to properly catch up. Boo.  But I'm not throwing in the way! I really would like to finish this year so I am working very hard on this novel, or at least on creating the time in my busy day every day to write this novel. :)
click to download

Anyway, about the stationary... I came up with a few cute designs. I used themed photoshop brushes from like 5 years ago that I had downloaded but never even played with. So today I decided was a good day to play with them.

Feel free to download these and use them for personal use. I use them to write letters to my penpals and swap buddies. They are letter size but you can print them smaller if you want to use them for notes. Just click on the image to download the larger file, right click to save.
click to download

Please please please leave me a comment if you use them. And I'd love to see pics too!

click to download

click to download

Saturday, November 5, 2011

I Dream About the Mountains

Bluebells in England

I've been dreaming more and more about the mountains. It is where I long to be, and where my whole life I have wanted to live. I remember in 2005-2006 when I lived in England for a year and a half doing my Masters Degree, we lived in the mountains...well little mountains... in the green hills and beautiful lush valleys. I was in my element. I was so full of joy every day taking the train to school and looking out at the green rolling hills, each day thinking... this is beautiful...

I miss that terribly. I feel the ache from deep in my soul. I want to relocate to the mountains. Why don't I do it? Because my children are close the their father here, because my father is here, because my fiancee's family is here, beacuse we dont have the money right now to buy a home... because I am bound to Tampa, trapped like a caged bird waiting for her chance to fly free.

I took this photo of blooming bluebells when I was
living in England going to grad school. 
So I wait patiently. I hope and wait and pray that things will shift and my caged door will open and I will be able to fly up to the place my soul longs to be, to walk among the tall trees, to hear the crackle of pine needles under my feet, to smell the air, the crisp freshness of green mountain air, and maybe even dip my fingers into an icy stream, preferably one I am not sharing with a black bear!

For now I am planning next summer, a trip to the smoky mountains with the kids and my fiancee. Hopefully they will fall in love with it too, maybe it will be the first step to change. Maybe I will find a cute little cabin with my name on on... a cute home with a small barn where I can do art and write and be creative...

Oh what a dream... what a dream...

Monday, October 24, 2011

FREEBIES - More Free Journaling Spots

Here are some free journaling spots for your downloading pleasure. Just right click to save and print at any scale you like. You are free to use them in all personal projects and things that will not be sold to others. I'd love to see pics if you do use them in any of your own personal projects!  The arrow journaling spot is great if you plan to do some stamping in the header.

If you like the freebies please leave me a comment. Thanks!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Re-purposed Baby Formula Can & Art Journal Page

     My new baby boy goes through cans of baby formula like crazy. He is allergic to cow protein and has to use this special corn based vegan formula that is $25 a can! Yeah crazy. It's the bulk of our food budget right now. But it's worth every penny for him to be healthy and happy.
     So as a result I am left with empty bans, lots of empty cans. I am already using them to hold art supplies, but I ended up tossing most of them, which I don't like because I know there is a way I can recycle these.
     Yesterday I took a can and decided to decorate it with some nice scrapbooking paper. I used my Graphic 45 Once Upon a Springrime paper and made myself a pen holder for my bedroom. I loved how it came out. So now I think I will make one for my swap partner on Swap-Bot in colors she likes. I want to start making more of these and send them to my penpals and swap partners as extras. Thet are great for pen-holders, make up brushes, art supplies, etc. I want to find homes for these extra cans, and not throw them away anymore.
     It feels so good to re-purpose something. It feels right. :)

Here is a page in my art journal. I have been making time every day to work in it and it has been keeping me centered and not too freaked out about my operation in THREE DAYS!  *gasp* This entry is about love, about all the things I am grateful for in my current relationship with my fiancee. We forget all the little things people do sometimes, and I wanted to make a tribute to all those little things. I've been very into the pink/orange color combo lately, it's so bright and cheery.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

NanoWrimo & Surgery & Time!!

Holly cow! Where is the time going? Already this coming Wed I am having surgery, I have been a anxiety filled nervous wreck the last two days. This morning I cleaned and did some artwork to try and calm my nerves, but I hate surgery, needles, scalpels... ugh.. dread.

Then I realize Nanowrimo is starting in 9 days! So I am of course going to give it a try again this year. I've signed up every year for the past four years and never finished... so I am not expecting to finish again this year... but I have to try again. If anything it is a lesson in failure and getting back up and trying again. So I am going to try! And hopefully this year I wil have enough creative juice to finish.

Wish me luck this week. I'm so scared for my surgery and just trying to stay brave.  :)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Free Printable Journaling Spots

Good morning everyone! So I've posted some free printable journaling spots for you all to use in your personal projects. If you use the I'd love a comment letting me know how you liked them or better yet I'd love to see photos of how you've used them!

These journaling tags are 4x5 but you can scale them down if you need them smaller. For mini albums I scale them to print at 70% and then they are cute little tags that go great in pockets.

Let me know how they work for you.

I've made them in two colors... a set in grey and a set in black. I hope you like them!

Black Journaling Tags

Grey Journaling Tags


Friday, October 14, 2011

FREEBIES - Printable Stationary

So I was searching the web for some cute stationary to buy for my penpal swaps over on Swap-Bot and I realized that there is a significant shortage of cute stationary out there for those of us trying to keep snail mail alive. It's understandable as most people use email rather then sending of a letter through the post. But you know what was a total surprise?? I was talking to my boyfriend about "stationary" and "writing paper" and he looked at me blankly....he had no clue what stationary was!  Is letter writing the old fashioned way really such a dying art? I mean what can be better then sifting through a pile of junk mail and finding a hand written letter from someone across the world? It brings me such joy. It's the reason I do swaps and have penpals... because I want to look forward to something in my mailbox that I did not have to buy, or order, or pay for.

Anyway I will be making some printable stationary for those of you who want to embark on a snail mail exchange. It will be free...I just ask that you please leave me a comment saying hello, or better yet, if you are feeling ambitious.... I would love a snail mail postcard!!

Here are some printables I've created. One is a vintage style greek goddess, one a Breast Cancer Warrior, and the last is an edgy black and pink cupcake.  If you click on the image it will open the PNG format of the stationary where you right click to save, or you can click on the link which will take you to the Flicker version which is a JPEG file.  I personally think the PNG prints out sharper, but not everyone's computer is PNG compatible.

I hope you like them!



Tuesday, October 11, 2011

More Mail Art

moon & angels mail art

I've had a few mail art swaps this month and have had a lot of fun making the pieces.

This moon & angel piece kind of came from nowhere. I was just working with colors and shapes, then I found the image and when I got it down on the piece I knew the male had to be a guardian angel, not a love interest. I don't know why, I just had this strong urge to make him an angel. So I created his wings and did some shading and I love how it came out.
The quote says:

"If you're feeling lonely for the one you love, look to Heaven, in the sky above."

It made me a bit emotional when I was working on this peace. I have to admit, I cried a little.  *blushes*

The second envelope was for a ATC swap on Your Paper Pantry. I didn't have to decorate the envelope, but I felt inspired so I did. Again, all my favorite colors the pinks/blues/purples with black.  I used a quote from Christophere Reeve that I think is very fitting.

I hope my swap leader gets warm fuzzies when she opens her mailbox and sees all the colors.

Save the Ta-Tas ATC cards for swap
I made simple ATC's for the swap, even though they were not very simple to make. It was a breast cancer awareness theme so I made some blinged out bras with my favorite BCA sentiment: "Save the Ta-Tas." I really wanted to keep it upbeat and positive, with a little whimsey. So I like how they turned out. I can't wait to get all the ATC's from the trade. This will be my second "official" online ATC swap. I'm loving it.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Mail Art

I'm doing a swap on swapbot and I decided to do some mail art on the envelope. I was in an odd mood and the envelope reflects it.  :)

Anyone else do mail art? I love decorating my envelopes. It's like spreading color into a dull white and grey postal world!

 I used watercolor crayons for the base layer, then I applied some white and interference violet paint with a brayer and dripped some pink pearl liquid acrylics on the top layer.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Hot Pink Gesso Madness!!

So I went a little nuts with the gesso tonight...
Hot Pink Gesso Madness

I took some magenta paint and mixed it with some clear gesso to create the background color for this new journal I am prepping to use for my Soul Restoration 2 online workshop. I'm really excited about the workshop and it came out in hot pink madness tonight.

I had extra pink gesso so I painted my mini moleskin, and just about covered my art journal. I love looking at all the bright pink on my art table.
Toilet Paper Mini Album

The other thing I worked on today is this little mini album made from toilet paper rolls. When I saw the tutorials for these on You Tube I went nuts. We have four people living together and we go through toilet paper like crazy. Every time I pick up the empty rolls from the floor I would utter... "if only there was a way of recycling these..." and then I saw the tutorials on how to create mini albums from TP rolls. This album is for Mike (my fiance) and will be filled with photos of our new baby boy. It's the perfect size for him to carry and show his friends and family.

I still have some work to do on it. I will post photos when it is finally complete.

Halloween Party Invitations, Soul Restoration 2, & Art Journal Page

Soul Restoration Part 2 starts today!! I'm so excited!
I still need to take some photos of my SR1 projects for the blog.... but did I mention how excited I was for Soul Restoration 2??!!  Yay!!

I'm also getting ready for a few swaps I am participating in this October. It feel so good to be reaching out to people again. Sharing art. Being creative. Inspiring one another.  :)

This weekend my 13 year old daughter and I went through my paper stash and decided to make some invites for her upcoming Halloween party. Here is a photo. I think they came out great. It was fun to make our own invites instead of buying some at the store. It's more personal.

Remember this unfinished page?  Well I finally finished it. These are some of my favorite colors! To get them I used chalk pastels and clear Gesso. I love how vibrant it came out. That page is about the changes that I will be facing in my near future. Good changes. Life changing changes. Happy thoughts.

Purple Tulips Page

Friday, September 23, 2011

More "Soul Restoration" and other art stuffs

Soul Restoration Week 3
Soul Restoration Week 3

I'm behind on posting my photos of the book I am putting together for my Soul Restoration class over at the Brave Girls Club.

On this first page I created a little pocket to put some of the promise notes that I could not fit on the main page. It feels more intimate this way.

I am enjoying this online workshop. I have been feeling a lot of inner peace and outer calm.  I feel happy most of the time, where before I would worry about every little thing. Now I try to enjoy the moment and let the trivial things that used to bother me just roll off.

I will be starting Soul Restoration 2 next week, so I need to get the rest on my photos of the books and artwork from Soul Restoration 1 on here!

My life is about to undergo some major changes, good changes, life changing changes... and doing an online art workshop that help me listen to my inner voice and find peace has helped me with all this transition.  <3

Guess what I did today?!?  I made some handmade paper! Oh does it glitter! So much sparkle. You can't really see it in the photo, but it is dazzling!  I received my new paper making kit from PAPERALICE today (my old kit broke).  Its so fulfilling to pulverize junk mail and end up with lovely sparkle laden recycled  paper.

I made some light pink sparkly paper for an ATC swap. The theme is Breast Cancer Awareness. So the pink paper will be used for those. The blue paper is for mail art I will be sending off to a friend.

So today was a fun day with lots of creativity. I am so grateful for the opportunity to stay home  and care for my newborn baby boy, and for the snippets of time he gives me where I can be creative.

I hope you all took time for yourselves today. Time to be creative. Even if it is just five minutes to do a little doodle... the toilet is a good place if you need a couple minutes to doodle. Keep a little notepad and pen in the bathroom... or just a pen and write creative thoughts on your toilet paper.

Have a wonderful weekend. Have Fun. Laugh. Live your Amazing Life!