{experimenting with new materials!}

A BUNCH of new stuff I'm experimenting with!

1. Puffy Paint. I was wandering through Wal-Mart the other day, and saw the little bottles of puffy paint. I thought, "Why not play with these?" as they're only $1 each. Grabbed a black and white and have been doodling around things with 'em since. Near everything I've touched since then has gotten the puffy paint treatment.

2. Gems and Rhinestones. I finished reading the Crafty Chica's first book, Waking Up in the Land of Glitter last week, and had a sudden hankering to grab some gems and glue 'em down. What fun they are!

3. GLITTER. See above. Also, there's this invention called a Glue Pen; holy CRAP do I love this thing! I have the Martha Stewart ballpoint one, and daaaamnn. I'm gathering coupons to get the other tips at Michael's later this week!

4. Fiber Paste. I think I've posted about this before, but I decided to try it out on paper. It's SO COOL. Feels like (and acts like) rough watercolor paper.

What new things have you tried? Once you throw the "rules" out the window, there really are amazing new discoveries out there for your favorite craft products.

{points of two week #23: art bits & digital work}

Points of Two is an experiment in journaling with myself and Roben Marie! Check out our archives to see the previous weeks' pages.

A few weeks ago, Roben-Marie came to me with a proposition. She said that, over at the site where she sells her digital scrapbooking goods, they sometimes pair designers with artists to create some lovely things, and would I be interested? Now, if you've seen her creations, you know how amazingly talented she is, so I jumped at the opportunity.

And you should see the gorgeous things she came up with!

Of course, I just HAD to play with them. They're so fun and bright and COOL. So this week's pages were created with the digital bits Roben-Marie created. I love how different our pages came out even though we were using the same bits and pieces. It really is a great dichotomy. And if you'd like some of the bits for yourself, go on and grab 'em!

Click to make the images bigger!

And Roben-Marie's page. Be sure to check out her blog for her story!

And here's info and such for the bits ;)

First user save $1 on Art Bits!  Use code:  meandkira110  at checkout! :)

First user save $1 on Art Bits!  Use code:  meandkira210  at checkout! :)


{points of two week #16: label insanity!}

Points of Two is an experiment in journaling with myself and Roben Marie! Check out our archives to see the previous weeks' pages.

This week, Roben-Marie and I decided to focus on material rather than external prompts. So we went crazy with labels! I found a piece of scrapbooking paper in my collection that I bought to cut pieces out of, but found it was perfect for this assignment! I then covered the page with labels from all over -- Target stationary, Paper Source, Making Memories, and my own label creations.

As you can see, this page stands out as a bit different from what I usually do. I think that's the magic of going outside your comfort zone, of giving yourself a limitation of some kind -- in this case, labels -- you end up doing something completely different and new and surprise yourself. I really love what came out of this and kinda want to see what else is down this particular branch of the path.

It's also the first I've done outside of my journal in awhile -- just a loose page!

Be sure to check out Roben-Marie's blog for more about her page!

See ya all next week! :D

{ a bit more through my head, and a tour through the studio's projects! }

Happy Monday!

Things have gotten right back on track here in Kira Land. New projects are finally going from the planning state to actually becoming something tangible, and I'm going through my own new metamorphosis.

On Saturday, I gave you the link to a grouping of material from a few different places -- I couldn't rip them from their notebooks and journals, and so, I used the internet to collate them together and create something whole. Isn't it amazing what we can do with something as little as a few html pages?

If you missed it, here's where you start:

Wander through my thoughts as shown in visual and written form. See what kind of stuff goes through my head, gets written and remembered. I've really felt like a door's opened ever since I've started self-reflecting (though I hesitate to go through a lot because I'd sound new-agey or crazy).

When you've returned from that journey through my head, how about a little trip through the studio?

I grabbed this little frame a few weeks ago, and adapted my ink drawing to be the cover for it, then colored it in with Copic markers. I really need to pull them out more...they're tons of fun! Then some stamping and white pen work finished it off. I cropped a picture from this weekend's hiking trip at Glacial Park with Jun.

And here's the first piece of a banner that'll say DREAM. This has been on my mind for awhile, and there was totally a failed attempt before, magically, everything came together. I've really been changing the way I think. I'm also in love with dimension dots. The pom-pom trim is so awesome fun, and I've got it in a nice blue too (I'll be alternating colors for each banner). And clouds! Because don't dreams live in the light, fluffy places?

Of course, I had a few orders to send out, and I just ADORE wrapping everything up like a present before sending it on its way. I just got some baker's twine in a few different colors and want to use it with EVERYTHING! Eee. So much fun. And I got it for a really great price even though it came from Australia.

I have to screenprint some more cards, though, because I've gone through my stash already. I love stationary and creating my own. As soon as I finish with some projects and get labels printed, I'm going to design my own and print it on some creamy iridescent paper from Paper Source.

Finally, there's more progress on my newest painting. I gave myself a headache fine-tuning things on the sketch today that I had to just walk away. I'm really impressing myself with how my drawing abilities have improved in the last six years; before then, I could only do stick figures!

Any more ideas for tomorrow's live vlog? Let me know!

And I KNOW....I have so many back emails I need to get through. Rest assured, they're all organized and in a folder and I'll totally get to them by the end of the week. I've just found my creative juju flows better when I'm not on the computer all the time....I limit myself to a few hours if I have work, one if not, and I'm feeling less blocked. XD Not to mention more productive!

{Points of Two Week #7: What makes you a good friend?}


Points of Two is an experiment in journaling with myself and Roben Marie! Check out our archives to see the previous weeks' pages.

This week, we focused inward, exploring what qualities make us good friends to others.

I surprised myself with this one. I first took to a notebook and began writing about what I thought made me a good friend. There were specific events and generalizations, and some was even petty (as in, I did this for you, and you did this to me?!). I wrote two pages before I got to the main point: that if I'm your friend, I will be honest, supportive, and there for you.

This topic's been on my mind lately because of a very particular thing my friend Jun does (she's the blond in the photo in my blog's header). She has many little bits about her that I love, but she feels she needs to apologize for them all the time. I keep telling her it's okay, that I've accepted her as she is, all the bits included, and that she never has to apologize for anything. Anyway, that came out in the end of my two written pages, and I think it's helped me to understand not only my friendship with Jun, but with my other friends. The power of journaling, right?

I used my fluid acrylics, paper bits, and glue. Pretty basic, right? Most of the papers are either found or from this line of scrapbooking papers I've fallen in love with...what is the name!? Got it! Nook & Pantry by Basic Grey. Great, beautiful papers!

When finishing my page, I ran out of room! So I stapled in the rest for a nice folding paper. I love adding bits like that, and really should do it more often!

Points of Two Week #7: What qualities make you a good friend?

And here's Roben-Marie's page for this week!

I got a question via my Formspring.me page asking if they could use our Points of Two as journal prompts. YES YES! That is half the reason we share our prompt along with our pages. To show you how two people may start with the same idea, but create vastly different pages. Please feel free! The archives list all the prompts we've done thus far.

{for the love of die-cuts & other cool papercrafting things}

Last Friday, I got to attend a late night Scrap & Crop at the shop were I'm teaching. I've never done this before, mostly because scrapbooking used to make my skin crawl, with all those pre-cut items and packed sets and planning. I love being random, being messy, so planning things out, trying to get things just right usually doesn't jive.

I had an interesting conversation with Jill, my bridge to the scrapbooking world. While going through the first class I'll be teaching, she found it difficult to just let go and put things down without thinking it through. And I find it hard to think out every little piece I'm going to use, move it around until it's right. I think there's something for both of us to learn, there, from each other, and lately, I can see a bit of this papercrafting sensibility bleeding into my own work.

So I'm at this late night crop, doing a demonstration of my upcoming class, and I've decided to go around the room and show off what I've made – a Valentine's Day paper because I couldn't find one I liked and kinda took it as a challenge. I've never done something quite like this before, and was pretty damn proud of what I made, so off I went.

my awesome v-day paper. or pretty pink one with hearts.

 [download the full-size PNG to print and play with!]

This was all really intimidating because I was an outsider who didn't know anyone, and I was walking around with my art in my hands hoping they'd like it. Really. On the internet, I can't see you – so it's not as hard to put my art and such out there for you to look at. But in person? Yeah. You can totally see their faces and they can ignore you or be like, “Oh, I don't like that.” (And I had one person say that and I was all mature and smiled).

Anyway, I'm wandering, of course, nervous and all that – I had a table with my work up on it and was on display, which still gets me, even though I've done it a few times before. And I find the nice big wall displaying all the die-cut shapes they have. And it's a long wall. It caught my attention a few days before because they've got tabs and scallops and all I could think was how awesome it would be to put some papers like that in my next journal.

And I've grabbed some new papers because there is nothing more awesome than to be working on a page and have an entire store at your disposal for that moment when you can't quite find what you need in your own paper stash. Really. This is horribly dangerous because you end up running around and grabbing all sorts of things and go home with more papers than you started out with.

So I have these papers. And I pick out a few shapes from the wall. And I put it all together and POP – there are my shapes cut out, just for me!

OH MY. Instead of searching for labels or journaling bits or shapes, I could make my own.

Of course, I used them as stencils, too, shapes to work around. I've been loving my regular white acrylic paint, the stuff that comes out of a tube – it's so smooth and creamy and blends awesomely. It's the only hard-body or whatever acrylic I have in my collection, and I've been using the papers I die-cut as stenciled to work around.

totally fun, right? see use of past journal page as scrap. oh, yes, i was making collage papers last night.

It's interesting how, even though I've been using scrapping supplies for years, I am now incorporating the basic ideas of paper crafting into my work. Something I didn't like is now opening up a new way of thinking.

And I think that's important. I felt stagnant, like I was just doing the same thing over and over again, and needed something new. Maybe not inspiration, but an unlocking of my brain.

I think we get put in a corner when we think of ourselves as art journalers or mixed-media artists, working with materials and such others have discovered. It's like when royalty wanted to keep the blood pure, they only married within their families. Gross, yes, I know, but I can't think of a better analogy than that to explain what I'm thinking.

Even at the shop I'm teaching at – the jewelry section has their own classes and such, and the scrapbooking section has their own, and no one crosses between the two because they're each entrenched in their own methods and materials. Except there's so much to learn. Even if it's not your “thing,” I think you need to open yourself up to what's out there because, as creative beings, we can boil it down to technique and intention and port it over to our own stuff.

see? ribbon and a little shape and another used as a stencil in the top corner.

So, now, when I'm working, I'm like, “Oh, what if I used this shape?” and inside, there's a part that says, “You're doing art and it needs to be messy and imperfect and better.”

And another part says, “STFU, you elitist bitch, we need to grow and you're acting like a priss.”

I am nice to myself, I swear. Kind. But being direct works sometimes. I like being direct and honest. It's just the way I am.

Anyway, don't listen to those voices. I play music because they can't shout louder than iTunes blasting from the speakers. Really. They can't. Oh, they try, but I totally ignore them and sing along and just go with the flow.

That seems like the answer to a lot of things. Go with the flow & have faith.

Oh. And tell people to STFU. You're working and they all need to just let you be.