10.23.2014

Get Messy | October 23rd


Hi all! Sometimes I can't believe that I have stuck with this project for so long. It has opened me up creatively and provided a welcome respite from the craziness going on in my life right now. Some big changes are coming for casa Wisniewski and I have been doing my best to process them. It's always crazy how life can change in a single moment.


This week's Get Messy entry was based on Essay 10 by Ralph Waldo Emerson entitled "Circles." I know I could have somehow used circle based imagery, but the essay is about how things are always changing and this is a lesson especially evident in nature. The passage I used reads as follows:

Life is a series of surprises. We do not guess to–day the mood, the pleasure, the power of to–morrow, when we are building up our being. Of lower states, — of acts of routine and sense, — we can tell somewhat; but the masterpieces of God, the total growths and universal movements of the soul, he hideth; they are incalculable. I can know that truth is divine and helpful; but how it shall help me I can have no guess, for so to be is the sole inlet of so to know. The new position of the advancing man has all the powers of the old, yet has them all new. It carries in its bosom all the energies of the past, yet is itself an exhalation of the morning. I cast away in this new moment all my once hoarded knowledge, as vacant and vain. Now, for the first time, seem I to know any thing rightly. The simplest words, — we do not know what they mean, except when we love and aspire. 

I love the idea that as much as the universe reveals to us we are still inherently unknowing. Life is truly a surprise. All we can do is love and aspire. 



Details: I found an old book filled with botanical illustrations. Instead of just tearing the sheet out and adding it to my book I snapped a photo with my phone and played with it a bit in Photoshop. I then printed it on a piece of distressed bluish/greenish paper. I like layering printed images on top of other printed images.  On the the left I just wrote a short quote. and included a strip of old paper that may or may not be be a piece of Scenic Route I've hoarded for years.

Before I go, I just wanted to thank you. If you left me a comment here, or on Facebook or Instagram. If you liked my work or decided to follow me. I have been inspired by the work of so many people so thanks. I deeply appreciate your time and kind words:)


Get Messy is an art journal challenge where a gang of crafty vixens are sharing art journal pages we have created to practise our skills and push past our creative limits with hopes to inspire. We share our pages without restraint every week, and once a month we create around a prompt. Go check out these crazy talented ladies who are creating pages who each have a unique perspective and style. We will be sharing our work around social media so follow the hashtag #getmessyartjournal

10.17.2014

shop update



It was my intention to have the Fall Little Bit Kit™ ready to go by the 15th, but no such luck. I had trouble photographing it due to the fickle light in my kitchen. I am happy to say that I managed to overcome that issue and will release it tomorrow, October 18th, but give you a look at the whole thing first. It includes some pretty fun items...super cute paper clips, the most adorable puffy apple stickers, plus a lot of exclusively designed product. The wood veneers kill me...that squirrel...eek! I love it all.

These kits are in limited supply and when they're gone...sadly, they are gone. I hope you like them, I put a ton of love into each and every one:) You can purchase them here at 11am PST on October 18th:)

10.16.2014

Get Messy | October 16th


I was out of town until Monday night and feel like I lost a day. I guess I kinda did. It's crazy the difference one day makes. I am behind with everything...including my art journal pages. Although it would be smart to create a few pages in advance, I have not done this. I had an idea for what I wanted to do...but no real time in which to do it. A few months ago I would have blown it off...telling myself that making art journal pages was not high on the priority list, but that's the funny thing about committing to something. You get better and better with the follow-through and that sort of creeps into other parts of your life.


sorry for the weird looking pics. As a west coaster I have to get pages done a day in advance and usually that's fine, but losing time this week put a definite crimp in my plans, hence, dark ass pics. I tweaked these within an inch of their lives and they still look...off. But if you squint, they look kinda good, right? Ima try to take better ones tomorrow because I'm not sure I can live with these.
edited to add: pics have been fixed. hooray!


Details: I wanted to keep the focus on Fall and nature but create something a bit more abstract on the right. I used pieces of paper and basically created haphazard swatches. It was neat working with color using paper rather than paint. I love the way the little strips work together. I added the machine stitching for a texture. The left is a picture of pretty gold leaves but from a distance it just looks like a burst of yellow. 


Get Messy is an art journal challenge where a gang of crafty vixens are sharing art journal pages we have created to practise our skills and push past our creative limits with hopes to inspire. We share our pages without restraint every week, and once a month we create around a prompt. Go check out these crazy talented ladies who are creating pages who each have a unique perspective and style. We will be sharing our work around social media so follow the hashtag #getmessyartjournal

10.09.2014

Get Messy | October 9th



So far this October is shaping up to be one for the books. New projects, new opportunities mean little time for extracurriculars. It's times like this where my commitment to this Get Messy group has proved to be so important. I truly believe creativity breeds creativity. Whether it's big or small, making time to be crafty feeds my soul and makes me happy...this week was no exception.


I decided to take a page out of Maria's book (see what i did there:) and make a new journal each month. I chose to create a small volume of simple handmade books with an elastic band to keep them closed. I could have started in January, but starting now, right after my birthday feels right. I titled it "no.41" to represent my 41st year. The first entry is devoted to the Fall...my favorite season. I am a big big nature lover. Every Fall I pull out a ratty copy of Walden by Henry David Thoreau and revisit some of my favorite parts. Not being a particularly religious person, I feel most connected to the universe through nature. It is where I go to pray and express gratitude, to think and work through my problems...to cry to celebrate and just be. In the spirit of Thoreau's love of simplicity, I used few supplies.



Details: on the right side I printed a picture I recently took directly onto some book text scrapbook paper by Mustard Moon. It is several years old and I'm not certain the company even exists anymore. I adjusted the opacity a bit so the picture would not look too harsh. I used some old Cosmo Cricket alphabet stickers for the "Fall" at the bottom. On the left I kept everything to one corner. All the stamps are super old wood block stamps by Stampin' Up and the little bird is by Inkadinkado. I used a stamp for the paint splatter and a label die cut from an old Studio Calico kit. 


Sometimes digging through old supplies is like finding treasure. It's so easy to forget that much like in life...I already have everything I need to be happy right at this very moment.


Get Messy is an art journal challenge where a gang of crafty vixens are sharing art journal pages we have created to practise our skills and push past our creative limits with hopes to inspire. We share our pages without restraint every week, and once a month we create around a prompt. Go check out these crazy talented ladies who are creating pages who each have a unique perspective and style. We will be sharing our work around social media so follow the hashtag #getmessyartjournal

10.02.2014

Get Messy | October 2nd


So today is my birthday. A year ago I was traipsing around Paris and this year finds me home with nothing much planned. I know some people are freaked out by their 40's, but it really is pretty great. I'm thankful I was taught to truly treasure age and the aging process. I'm glad I lived with a grandfather who told stories and a grandmother who showed me that there is so much beauty in age (even if it includes hair dye and red lipstick). I'm also lucky to have pretty good genes. The only thing I really want for my life as I inch toward my golden years is adventure. I find that I am more fearless than I have ever been. I don't know how that happened but age has a funny way changing you in ways you never expected. Here's to another year of being 40 something.


Details: I am pretty much obsessed with gold splatters much like the rest of the world:) But I wanted a no fuss approach. My favorite go to craft hack is a splatter rubberstamp and some gold embossing powder. This way I manage to get that molten look I want without having to wait for anything to dry. The photo of myself is layered and topped with some polka dotted vellum. You can't really tell but i tucked a small coin envelope under the picture and put a tag in it with some private journaling. 


Get Messy is an art journal challenge where a gang of crafty vixens are sharing art journal pages we have created to practise our skills and push past our creative limits with hopes to inspire. We share our pages without restraint every week, and once a month we create around a prompt. Go check out these crazy talented ladies who are creating pages who each have a unique perspective and style. We will be sharing our work around social media so follow the hashtag #getmessyartjournal

9.29.2014

the little bit kit


I love this time of year. In addition to celebrating my birthday, Keith just brought home a bag of honeycrisp apples...our first bag of the season. I have enthusiastically switched from iced drinks to hot. I made a fabulous beef stew the other night and the crock pot will soon be making an appearance. I happily look forward to more time in the kitchen now that it no longer feels like a sweat lodge. The one thing I don't like is that time moves FAST and I feel an urgency to see and smell and taste everything the season has to offer.

This also tends to be my favorite time of year for stuff. I seriously have a weakness for Fall and Winter paper collections, and even though September is not even completely finished, it seems everyone's ready for December Daily and gathering bits for that oh so special project that we scrapbookers just adore.

Forgive me if I attempt to put it off for just a tad longer...

I have decided to release a new product which isn't so much new as it is slightly different. I have had great success pulling together my favorite items into "mini mixes," "studio samplers," and my beloved accessories kit. It's no surprise that I like a bit of this and that and I've tried to bring that to my shop. A few months ago I chose to end all of my kit club subscriptions because honestly...at the rate I create, one box can last me several months. But, seriously, I miss it. I still buy a bit of paper and the occasional embellishment, and that feels like enough for me. I really love getting a few extra bits to make my projects feel special. I was telling my husband about this...about just needing a little bit and he said.."you just need to find a little bit kit." Uhm, YES...but I don't need to find it when I can make it, right?

So that's it guys. The first Fall Little Bit Kit (TM) will be available in the shop October 15th. I am currently working on a winter one as well. There's no subscription...it won't be monthly...more like seasonally and it will include just a small mix of my favorite items. It will be similar to my Everyday Accessories Kit...but a little different too.

I plan to share the whole kit on the blog a few days before I release it.

Btw...i am not actually trademarking the name...that was just a joke:)


9.25.2014

Get Messy | September 25th



 This week's journal entry was inspired by the following prompt:

Journaling Challenge: Live your adventurous dreams on paper. What would you love to do, or at least try, if you had the courage to live more adventurously? I would, for example, like to live on a houseboat or a train wagon.
Art Challenge: Try a method or material you’ve never worked with before. Be adventurous!

I approached the challenge pretty literally.  Interestingly enough, I've explored this topic before in other journals, but I decided to create something new. My fantasy adventure is kinda funny but I would love to mine for gold. My husband and I watch all the Discovery shows, we've watched documentaries...we're both super fascinated by the whole thing. Lacking all experience and knowledge I don't intend to actually pursue this line of work, but I do like daydreaming about it.


On the left side I chose to just do a bit of abstract embroidery. This is something I've wanted to try for a while. I've sewn on layouts and such but never embroidered. For a while I hunted for a pattern, but eventually gave up and created a freestyle design of my own. I wanted to recreate the look of little gold nuggets below ground. I really loved it and can't wait to do it again.


The right side is just a line from one of my favorite songs by the amazing Jill Scott. This song came out about 10 years ago and I still listen to it all the time. It's all about freedom and whenever I listen to it I can't help but feel...golden.

Details: The background is by Crate Paper...I think it's a little bit on the older side. The right side was written by me, but I based my type style on the Emmascript font.  I used a fine tip gold Sharpie paint pen so it would show up on the dark paper. The bits and pieces at the bottom is a tiny strip of kraft/shiny gold paper for which I do not know the source, a tiny piece of gold polka dot washi and a small gold banner tab that I got in a Studio Calico kit a few months ago.


Get Messy is an art journal challenge where a gang of crafty vixens are sharing art journal pages we have created to practise our skills and push past our creative limits with hopes to inspire. We share our pages without restraint every week, and once a month we create around a prompt. Go check out these crazy talented ladies who are creating pages who each have a unique perspective and style. We will be sharing our work around social media so follow the hashtag #getmessyartjournal

9.19.2014

simple stamping II

Like I confessed in part I...I don't do complicated. I'm more inclined to craft if the process is fun and kinda quick. Even though I'm a long time stamper, for a while I had a big pile of stamps hiding in drawers and baskets gathering dust. I had been teaching all of these techniques, but rarely did I find the time or the desire to use those techniques on an everyday basis. I had to simplify how I used my stamps in way that felt comfortable and more importantly...doable.  I refer to this style of stamping as freestyle, because I feel pretty free to use my stamps however I want.

I'll admit right now...my collection is pretty vast. I have some stamps that are 30 years old. Yup, I take care of my sh*t:) But even if you have just a few you can do so so much.

Here are some of my most oft used freestyle techniques:

Favorite #1: diy embellishments

 all stamps by Bananafishstudio except for "Life in photos" by Studio Calico and the ampersand which came in a Kelly Purkey alphabet set



 "This one"is by Ali Edwards. "Hello" and "We are made of Stories" are by Studio Calico all others by Bananafishstudio

Making my own embellishments is super easy with stamps. I use tiny icons and expressions to pretty up all my little labels and tabs. I use them in conjunction with punches and die cuts. I make little flags and paper clip tabs. I stamp on washi, masking tape, cork and wood. You name it I do it. *simple tip...while using colored ink can create depth and visual interest, many of our projects have a ton of color already so sticking to simple black ink can really simplify the process. Also, be aware that you are using the right ink for the right surface. I use Staz-on for washi and vellum...but pigment/dye  for everything else.

Favorite #2:  journal cards

 "Love this" bubble by Studio Calico. "Tell me Something" and "Here's the Story" are 
both by Kelly Purkey 

 Stamps on bottom card by Kelly Purkey

This works on every type of card...filler card, journal card, grid card, even a blank piece of patterned paper. Stamps are a quick way to customize your cards when you can't be bothered having to make something on the computer or when you don't really have much to journal but still want to add a little something. *simple tip...invest in stamp sets that have a mix of simple icons and basic sentiments in a variety of sizes...that way you can use them over and over again without things feeling repetitive. I love a good quote, but it feels weird stamping that same quote on all of my layouts.

Favorite #3: dress up

 "You are amazing" by Ali Edwards | die cut part of the Market Street collection. "U" die cut by Dear Lizzy | stamps by Studio Calico. Note tab die cut by Amy Tangerine | "take note" stamp by 
Kelly Purkey. Diecut and "today" stamp by Studio Calico. Cannot remember source of chipboard butterfly. "let it go" stamp by Bananafishstudio.

I love words & icons...and I like to use them as a design element whenever I can. The fact is, a lot of product is geared toward kids or holidays or specific things that may not apply to my life. Don't like the sentiment on my wood veneer? That's okay, I flip it over and stamp something. This butterfly is adorbs on its own, but a small sentiment makes it feel customized. Super cute stickers and diecuts can sometimes feel a little bit awkward until you create some context. I also love breathing new life into old product with a well placed stamp. *simple tip...manufactured products come in an array of finishes so when in doubt use Staz-on. This is a great way to use those teeny tiny stamps that would get lost on a large background.


Favorite #4: accent

 source of "remember" stamp unknown. "Some kind of Wonderful by Bananafishstudio

Sometimes simple for one person can be complicated to another. Don't care to make your own embellishments, prefer to use your computer for journal cards. don't want to mess up perfectly nice products with a smudge of ink. I get it...when I really can't be bothered to do any of the above, I just use my stamps as an accent on a layout, an art journal page or a journal card. I place it along the side of my photo, right beneath my title, in the top corner or the bottom. It doesn't really matter, because if I jack it up it can easily be covered.  *simple tip...when stamping on layouts use a label, cut out a tiny banner or punch a circle. Sometimes stamping directly on the page can be super scary.

When it comes to simple stamping, "know thyself" is the key. Search for techniques that you know you can do and will do. Organize your supplies in a way that makes them available for use. Clean your stamps after you use them...I know a lot of people don't, but you will be a lot more inclined to use them if you know you don't have to spend a bunch of time cleaning them first. Limit yourself to a set or two, especially if you own a lot of stamps. Nobody wants to spend precious crafting time hunting for things. If you are using a lot of small stamps, cleaning and putting away each time can be a headache. I set all my little stamps down on a paper plate:) When I'm all done, I clean and put away. So simple and I love me some simple:)