Thursday, March 5, 2015

Book Review - "Born Standing Up"

I'm doing something new on the blog today. A BOOK REVIEW! I usually don't read. It's horrible to say because one day soon (hopefully next year) I want to be teaching Reading and Language Arts or English! I bought Steven Martin's book Born Standing Up for 50 cents at a garage sale. I've always been a fan of his and when I started reading it on Monday while on a substitute teaching assignment (the teacher's part of the day was empty because second graders were on a field trip), I had finished half of it by the time the students actually showed up. By Tuesday night, I was finished with it.

This book is clever, well written and gives you an insight into the stand up comedy world. The first part of his life, starting at age 10, was spent working at Disneyland when it first opened! He worked there until he was 18 and in the book, he goes over all of the experiences he had and people he met while working there that led him to get into the show business. He left Disneyland for Knott's Berry Farm to work at their Bird Cage Theater. Without giving away the whole book and making this a long post, he went through his life experiences, his rough personal life with his family, how his anxiety and depression (gives you a little eye opener that celebrities are human too) effected his life, how he started from the bottom, hit the top and then just stopped. But why would he work for over thirty years to try (and succeed) to achieve his dream and just stop? Well... you have to read the book to find out. This comedic genius is a wonderful writer and it is hard to put down this book and even though you see him in the movies and on screen, you get a deeper look into his life and a world you never really knew existed.

There's a quote from the book that gave me a "Wow... that could not be more true!" and it applies to creativity. He was talking about how the sixties were a time of flower power and how it brought out creativity in people in regards to music, art and way of thinking.
"But any new social philosophy is good for creativity."
How amazing is that?!  Such a small sentence with so much meaning behind it. With everything going on the United States right now, there is another social philosophy shift happening. It's nothing new honest but new, more meaningful music is coming out, art is shifting again and I love seeing it happen.

This review probably did nothing to convince you read it but I highly recommend it. As a non-reader and telling you that this book is worth it, it's worth it. Do yourself a funny favor and enjoy!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Collage One

As promised in my post about my Collage Journal earlier this week, I am going to share with you the first collage in the book and I'm going to make it a weekly post of doing the collages. They only take about 20-30 minutes to complete which is the perfect amount of time to use up some scraps and get out the creativity.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

"For the Love of Disney"

I was at my parent's house over the weekend and I had an idea in my head about a Disney watercolor piece. When I got back to my apartment I got to work. I took my idea and I sketched out two sketches in my regular sketchbook to see how I wanted everything to be laid out for the final piece on watercolor paper. 

As you can see, when I sketch, the drawings are just plain ugly little blurbs that just get the ideas on the page and the lay of the land for the drawing and what movies I wanted to incorporate into it. I chose Snow White, Frozen, Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, Pocahontas, Tangled, Peter Pan, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Little Mermaid, Mulan and Lilo and Stitch. Here's the final sketch on Canson watercolor paper (after about 2 hours of messing with positioning, making sure there weren't any holes and it all flowed really well. 

Then I added in the background colors which blend from one color to the next (this. took. forever!)

I love watercolors. I do. They're my all time favorite medium and I hate waiting for these buggers to dry. After 2 hours of drying, I went in with all the final details, colors and painting until 3:30 in the morning. So worth it. Here's the final piece and close ups of each part! 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The Perfect Palette Search

Do you know how hard it is to find a watercolor palette that seals that doesn't cost $20 or more? Let me give you a hint..SUPER HARD. I set out to find the perfect one and here's how the situation played out. 

I woke up on a Wednesday morning and drove over to my local Salvation Army because they have 50% off everything in the store. I was looking for another item in particular when I came across a stack of these Mary Kay (you know. The make-up people.) compact things that had mirrors (which I threw away) in them and they seal tightly, have plenty of room in the bottom for colors and my mixin' goes in the top of the lid. PROBLEM SOLVED!!!! I bought 5 of them. Yep. All 5 that were there. They were originally $2.99 each and for 50% off they each came out to be about $1.60 a piece. Yes. I now have a seal-able watercolor palette (or 5...) for under $2 a piece.

To prep it I used Krylon brand spray paint in white. I like to use the "satin" ones because it's not glossy and it's not a matte. This one is called Fusion and it's used as a primer for plastic, wood, wicker, etc. It's perfect because it sticks to plastic and I only needed one coat. First I sprayed in the inside white, let it dry and then decorated the outside.

The outside was easy after that. I laid down one of my decorative doilies and spray painted over it with a beautiful "Lagoon" color and then lifted off the doily.

After all of my designing and drying was done I took my tubes of Reeve's Watercolors and squeezed them out into their new home, let them dry for about 2 days and voila! Done! I could not be happier with the results and I finally have my palette the way I want it and for about a tenth of the price they are in stores.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Collage Craziness

One of the hardest things for me is collage. Nothing is harder to me then finding pieces of paper and gluing them down to make them look good as one picture. You would think as an artist it would come easily to me. Nope. It's like oil and water. I decided to set out on an adventure of learning to collage and make it look nice. 

So the other week when I was looking through some old stuff and I found this pad of Newsprint paper (I highly recommend NOT buying this type of paper...ever). It is a very lightweight paper with no love for any product but pen and pencil a.k.a. not my type of paper. I like to work in wet mediums like watercolor, acrylic, markers, ink, etc. This paper isn't good for any of that. I made a sketchbook out of it following a tutorial by the amazing YouTuber Sea Lemon! I used her Coptic Stitch Binding tutorial to make the book because it allows it to lay completely flat! I've made a few using this method and I adore it. 

Here is my final book!

In the coming weeks I will share what I've put inside. The collages only take about 20 minutes to do and are super quick and fun to do. Stay tuned!

Monday, August 18, 2014

I'm back!

I am so sorry I'm such a terrible blogger. My goal for this month is to post just about everything I make (which may or may not be a lot). I figured I'd give you all a little update of what has been going on the for the last year. I know! A whole year. Here's the long story...but short. Ready? GO!

  • I started my (what I thought would be) last semester of my Bachelor's Degree just after my last post. I did the classes and I was working and going to school full-time. I walked across stage for graduation in December and two days later found out I didn't pass a class by 2 points. Yep. Two points. So in January I had to retake said class and then I guess you could say graduated again (I didn't walk again though).
  • I was diagnosed with something that limited me my use of my dominant hand. I didn't make anything for about 6 months just due to pain (Now you see my horror).
  • Stopped working because of arm problem.
  • Took up substitute teaching to make ends meet and fell in love with teaching and decided to go back to school for another Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education. I start next week! :) 
My arm is still an issue unfortunately but I can now create in small intervals. I did a big project (Which I'm hoping to share tomorrow) two days ago which took forever because I kept having to stop from pain. I have a whole new plan for the blog and I hope you'll be here to join me! 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Christmas Mega Mini Part 3 - Embellishments and more!

This tutorial will be super easy. Not a long blog post like the others because I made a video solely for this section so you can physically see what I'm doing instead of reading it because obviously we're a visual group of people. :)

Here is the video of how to embellish your pages, add pockets, flip ups and some punch information! Enjoy!