{into the unknown without a map}


Ever get an idea that grabs hold and doesn’t let go? This was one of those!

I’ve been carrying my nice big binder with me to coffee shops to work on workshops and goal-making and notes that pour from my head, and after some papers spilled from it the other day (scattering across the parking lot!), realized I might need a different bag as my purse was too small to fit much else.

(That, and my new journal doesn’t fit in my purse, either!)

I remembered this olive messenger bag I had and hoped it had made it in the move. I hopped on a chair and pulled down my box of bags - the eight that remain from a collection of at least seventy - cheering when I pulled it free.

My plan hinged on dying pieces of muslin with various inks and sprays, my studio resembling a mad scientist's workspace. A bowl of water and Liquitex Ink!, paper towels blotting Adirondack ink, the faint shimmer of glimmer mist. I laid down some stencils and sprayed directly onto the muslin with a light blue glimmer mist as I’d done before in class, then added in some darker blue Adirondack ink.

Spritz and spray and inky fingers. Laughter and true experimentation. Spreading out into a new world.

While those dried, I pulled out some little alphabet stamps and a pad of Staz On black ink and started writing, one letter at a time. Is it normal for ink to smell that bad? Or is it because the inkpad, brand new and pristine, lived for three years in my mother’s craft tote?


This was just after writing yesterday’s long post - and thank you for all your wonderful comments, emails, and chats; I am working through them! - so all that was on my mind, influencing the words I stamped.

While running errands, my eye was caught by a dark swirl of multi-colored thread that spun together primary colors and a bit of black. I re-thread my sewing machine and sewed together the two sides of my shapes - a heart and wings. I know it is often overdone and is everywhere, but I don’t care - I still love drawing it, playing around, changing the wing shapes. Perhaps that’s why it’s done all the time!

Apply to bag, add buttons, and...magic!

Now my journal and binder can stay safe inside my bag while I wander around town, writing and thinking and wishing and dreaming...



{First Journal Girl Newsletter!}

A special Saturday post to show you the brand-new Journal Girl Newsletter. How do you sign up? It's over there on the right!

There's all sorts of announcements and such in there, and if you're not on the list, why don't you go ahead and read it anyway?

Also, check it out! Remember those pendants I was soldering on Tuesday during the live vlog? Well, they're all finished and grown-up! Each has a pretty little charm hanging from it, and are on 18" silver chains.

Go on over to my Etsy shop to check them out!

Also, the newsletter has a preview of Monday's adventure. So read through it and either comment here or send me an email to let me know what you think!

I'm working on a TON of projects in the studio, so maybe Monday will ALSO be a nice virtual walk-through of the various things I'm working on. There's so much cool stuff I want to share!

{vlog tuesday: a beginning guide to soldering}


Heee heee! I'm back!

Thanks for all the comments about the studio. I'm going to lose it as soon as we move, so I'm trying to really appreciate it right now. Oh, all the space I'll be losing! It means I need to get organized and used to putting everything away NOW so it becomes habit for LATER.

This week, I was working on some soldered pendants for my shop, so I just turned on the camera! There's a little bit of a "be right back" at the beginning because we were in the middle of showing the house to the Buy Owner guy...other than that, I was really into what I was doing!

[ vlog tuesday 4/13/10: soldering for beginners ]

I did end up staying at the desk....and while I thought I was only there for an hour longer, it ended up being TWO hours! I keep "losing time," that is, getting so into projects, I don't notice it passing. And I did end up getting used to the new solder and actually LOVE it compared to what I'd been using. I can make things thicker, and do effects, and the jump rings are easier to attach.

Except my hands shake too much, and this solder takes longer to harden. *sigh* Usually things don't bother me -- I've learned to compensate for my shaking ever since collage and not being able to do hand-held camera work because of it -- but this really did! Sometimes, it sucks being stuck in a body that doesn't work right.



So I shined everything up and attached the darling charms to the bottoms!



These are the larger pendants, and the one in the middle, is, of course, for me! I just need to find a chain for it. *giggles*


All the pretty pendants, all in a row...

Questions? Comments? Have a topic for next week's vlog? Please leave me a comment or send a note!

This week's Points of Two: a list of me. Write about you in a list -- kind of like an about page!

{a clean clean studio}

After a truely difficult and emotionally trying weekend, I hit Monday with both feet. While much was accomplished in the beginning of the day, I began to feel air hit those raw emotional nerves and threw myself into cleaning up the studio.


My big canvas has a home, now, and a new one's up in the "Painting Spot" ready for a sketch to be transferred. This is my desk/packing area, formerly where the computer sat. That's my journal, there, and my copy of The Red Book on my book pile (along with Christine's 'Ordinary Sparkling Moments').


I even emptied out al the drawers and cleaned everything up! Really got into everything and got rid of all the stuff I haven't used in six months.


Working on restocking my Etsy shop, I cut out images and set them with charms to make some new art pendants. Which is fun, yes, but the fumes, for some reason, give me a headache and make me veryvery tired. *sigh* Of course, it didn't help that the glass cracked on three of the five pendants...! We think it's because I had the window open, so the air was cold in my studio, and so it would go from really hot from the soldering iron to chilly. Hrmm.

Which made me totally dejected, since now I have to re-make those three, and I like getting everything done at once, since my head and tummy hurts. And things have gotten really tight in KiraLand, so I need to make things and restock.


So, of course, I got a bit of journaling in before TV time!

And that's been my day. ;)

{soldering surprises}

Oh, I've been a tease! I keep talking about my soldering projects, and then never share pictures of any of them.


When I started soldering, it was for me. I find it relaxing and exciting, and usually have a new pendant to wear to work every day. And, being a Creative Girl, I'd show off the newest ones to the co-workers who'd care. But now it's become a Thing. I have a few regulars who ask to see my pendants, and even have a co-worker who wants me to make a set for her and her daughters!

Just proof that creative energy, when it comes from a place of love, can be very powerful!

I've had people telling me I should sell them, create more, even given me ideas! My mindset, however, has been that I'll make as many as I want for me and sell some only after I've made a bunch. My technique isn't perfect (though I'm a perfectionist, so that isn't saying much!), but I've limited myself to one a day so I can spend quality time on them without neglecting other aspects of my life.


Today's marks the beginning of something new. I have a few pieces of vintage costume jewelry, and have never been the kind to preserve things, so a few pieces from a vintage necklace made their way onto this new soldered square. It is also the first time I've used a copy of a piece of artwork of mine. I want to put my paintings and such in them, now!

This has become very addicting and enjoyable. I find myself wanting to shop for beads. Since I've learned how to do basic wire jewelry (I took a class awhile ago), I can combine the two to create some stunning pieces.

But I'm not neglecting my box! I've got half of a first draft of an article done and have been outlining The Book (as it will be called from here on in) in my journal. Which has become more of a sketchbook than finished, intended pages. Lots of playing and drawing and experimenting with colors going on here! And, of course, on the cover. Because sometimes, you don't have time to open it before the doodling urge overcomes you.


And! I'm teaching a workshop soon! Just have to email the details (tonight, Jami!). I've been planning and scheming and gathering supplies for this journal-making and backgrounds workshop! If only you all could be there....we'd have such fun!

Here are some photos from outside the jail yesterday. Brother is home and seems to be doing well. *G* I, unfortunatly, must be off to serve coffee. Hopefully, this burst of creative energy and getting things done will continue! Pokes to get me back on track are welcome!



Summertime Musings

Summer Table

I had some centering issues with the 'zine cover, so they'll be sent out Monday; I'm spending the weekend painting, stamping, and collaging the envelopes, as well as addressing them. ;) Hopefully, it won't be as sweltering tomorrow!

I'm slowly returning to the land of the two-armed. It doesn't hurt as much to type, paint, or write, so I've been taking small spaces of time to work on things...small little projects that can be completed in short amounts of time so I feel accomplished. My journal has a few new entries, and a few more pages in-progress, and my book for Michelle's just about finished.

My journal entries have become more personal lately, in that the imagery isn't just there to be pretty, but has meaning. I love how I've progressed as an artist to this point, where I can see an image and apply it to how I'm feeling. My mother asked me to explain my pages, and I actually could. That amazed and thrilled me. It's taken awhile, but I've finally found my voice -- and made it strong.


Lately, I've been itching to make altered art pendants. I'd buy Sally Jeans' "Pretty Little Things" if I weren't so poor right now (being off work for two weeks does that to you, or rather, your bank account!), so I'm kinda going it on my own. There were some in a cute shop I visited a few weeks ago that ended up being $25 each, to which I said, "I could make my own."

Well...I don't have much experience with jewelry. My mother beads, making fantastic belts and headbands with Navajo beads collected in her youth, but me? Not so much. Remember...I'm relatively new to this art thing.

mirror pendants

I THINK I got the right materials. And when I got home, I made these two beautiful mirror pendants. Yes, they're tiny mirrors with vintage roses in them. They're delicate, as they're prototypes, but they're so fun and pretty....I have MANY more images to throw in there. And wire and glitter and all sorts of things. I knew I'd gotten it right when I went to take a picture from above with flash and got a huge lens flare.

new project binder

*grins* I'm planning for my first class in my new mini-binder, going through all the techniques and such I use in order to journal and trying to work them out into teachable chunks.

Next up, the empty cigar boxes in the garage. I can't wait to get my hands on them and transform them into pretty purses or storage boxes. Being as I can't do much, I've spent waaay too much time online looking at photos...I found fantastic ones of interiors and now want to re-do my entire room with lace and afghans and wallpaper scraps. There are already pieces of art all over the place....now I need to do something pretty with the empty space! Or paint!

And last weekend, my sister-in-law commissioned a HUGE painting for her bedroom! She saw this piece of mine sitting in the foyer and loved it; she said she'd love to have something like it in her bedroom, then said she'd like it about 22"x32". I'm going to have to get some new paint; perhaps I can find the colors I need at Home Depot, in the oops! paint. They sell those for $1 a quart -- that'd be more than enough! I can just imagine standing outside, bare feet brushing a drop cloth as I swish paint across a canvas in the sunlight.

Hey -- a girl can dream, right? And if recent events have proven anything, it's that they can come true.