Thursday, December 30, 2010

Journal Spilling pages and learning lessons

Sometimes you look back and have to acknowledge you knew full well what you were getting yourself into and it is no ones fault but you own. And that's what journals are made for.

This page is a series of acrylic and watercolor crayon layers which was then scratched into with an awl. "Mistakes"

Earlier this month I watched Jacqueline for a week while her mother was away on business. Jack's full schedule kept me busy and away from journaling so this page is a cumulation of days. I got the page layout idea from Journal Spilling- great book!

More Journal Spilling inspiration, worrying over my major and the paths ahead of me.

Worrying over money. Don't we all?

In two days my etsy shop will open, and none too soon! I was informed yesterday that my tuition is not due in March as I was originally told and thus budgeted for, but January 4th. My loan information will not be processed until January 3rd. Ah, the joys of higher education. So I'll keep hustling.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Drawing Lab prompts and making art with kids

Another prompt from Drawing Lab involves drawing insects and playing with line widths- I had a lot of fun with these.

This spread began at work; the kids are fascinated by the idea that journals aren't just for writing, though I think the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books with the added doodles helps alot. I was teaching the kids how to splatter their paint by tapping their paint brushes with pencils and then showed them how they could combine the technique with masks and stencils. When I got home I filled in the writing. I highly suggest making art with kids, they are so uninhibited and love to try out new things!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Drawing lab experiments

As I mentioned before, I've been working on my fine art skills with Drawing Lab. This assignment was to document your pet in motion; I wasn't planning on doing this one yet but she hopped up on the table in plain view. It was difficult to draw her as she kept moving her head to watch the leaves swirling about.

Cat sleeping on top of couch, turned away- charcoal.

This assignment requires random squiggles to be made on paper and then interpret them into a picture. Below is an elephant- watercolor

Sea turtle- watercolor with collage.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Drawing Lab and Autumn Journal

This has been one of the weirdest journaling seasons yet. I had made this journal a few months ago and began using it as my fall journal; shortly after I made a travel journal for my Tennessee trip, and then in November I joined a journal for a month swap. After a flubbed "Christmas Count Down" mini journal, this book is finally getting my attention again. (Vlog to come about journaling styles and the mini journal fiasco.)

The awesome book Journal Junkies gave me the idea to use plastic canvas (that weird plastic grid stuff for yarn crafts) as a stencil = great texture.

Cover art from the Harvest for Hope CD. Good punk/indie music. I added a couple of stalks from the scrapbooking section.

Over the past two months I've been playing with exercises from Drawing Lab, here are some blind contour drawings.

Tons of cats inspired by my pets. It was a lot of fun playing with different expressions/shapes. I've got a few new favorites I plan to use in future crafting adventures.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

2011 Announcements

Recently I've been juggling signing up for graduate classes, applying for an assistantship, nannying, and working. Among all of the craziness I have been zipping around getting ready for the January 1st opening of my etsy shop Rouge Raven Designs. The shop will feature a variety of crafts but the main focus will be journals, paper goods, and workshops that I am currently working on. I am very excited to open! I've had some of the items made for a while but I want to premiere the shop with a full, bursting inventory.

Other exciting stuff...

I have posted a new youtube video on how to complete a hat on the knifty knitter loom:

I have also signed up for Craftster's 50 Projects in 2011 Craftalong.

My list so far:

1. Teesha Moore fabric journal cover
2. Zine
3. Journals for etsy
4. Stamps
5. Plastic bag fabric into a tote
6. Complete a project from each of my craft books
7. Polymer clay doll/figure
8. "Care Free" quilt (don't stress wobbly binding or lopsided squares)
9. Handmade paper
10. Paint a vase for myself
11. Paperdoll Fridas with positional joints
12. Send out more Mail Art
13. Frida inchie book
14. Roll up field journal
15. Wooden peg gnomes and fairies for the kids
16. Foam animal targets for the kids' new bows and arrows
17. Make something with my Sublime Stitching patterns
18. Finish Kelly Kilmers A Prompt a Day Workshop from winter 09!
19. Finish Samantha Kira's Wish Journal Workshop
20. Make collage sheets for etsy
21. Doodle on photos with sharpie
22. Add grids to my art journal
23. Design a jewelry box
24. Make a white quilt with black embroidered birds on it
25. Sugar skull punchneedle pillow
26. Collaborate on a doll house with Jacqueline (the girl I nanny)

I'm constantly looking for more ideas so let me know if you have any suggestions!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Channeling my inner Frida

I'm behind on taking photos of my recent crafting adventures. This spread was made when I was designing my Halloween costume as my favorite artist, Frida Kahlo. Only a handful of people figured out who I was though.

I used an eyebrow pencil to make the trademark unibrow and I wore a white embroidered shirt with a black broomstick skirt and a large shawl/scarf draped over my shoulders. I carried a set of paint and a paint brush and I even made a Day of the Dead mask to wear.

I have a vlog I intend to finally get around doing this week- I've been busy making stuff for Christmas and working on this journal swap.

See ya!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Travel journal revelations and a new swap

I decided my vlog was more of a rambling 10 minutes that could be better summed up in a post. More vlogs to come soon!

By flipping through my travel journal, I have realized how different my style is when I'm on the road. This trip I packed every medium imaginable. I always work with acrylics at home, so I bought a travel set and I never opened them. Most of my pages were watercolor washes with some light collage from found papers or a bits I had packed.

This cool irregularly shaped postcard came from the mounds we visited.

I am getting photos printed tomorrow, which will help fill in the gaps.

Next time I am sticking with a very minimum amount of supplies: good pens, adhesive, some collage fodder, sketch pencils, travel watercolors and water pen. I could have saved myself tons of shoulder pain!

I joined a month long journal swap on craftster; you create and write in the journal for 30 days and then give it to your partner. It's a kind of "make-a-new-friend"/"see what it's like to be me" swap. I got paired with a really cool high school student who reminds me a lot of myself at 18. (God help her.)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Switching back to the normal art journal, I had to play catch up. I mixed this grungy green color, slapped it onto the page and then wiped some of it away with a baby wipe (love those things!). This was a letter I received from my Secret Pen Pal partner after she got the package I sent her, so I made an envelope to stick it in. The laptop sticker is from a pack I got on clearance from JoAnns that had a bunch of dork/tech related things on it. So cute!

I have the house to myself (on my birthday, of all days) so I'll be spending it making things and recording the travel journal update vlog.

Rub-ons from the Target dollar section, oh so seventies!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Ride to TN spreads and update

I'm back in Maryland after spending a crazy week in Tennessee. I wish I had been able to update the blog more while I was away but I didn't have reliable internet access and mom had a heart attack scare. (She's fine, it was an anxiety attack.)

So anywho, I plan to make a vlog within the next few days with my revelations on travel journaling and a flip through of the journal so far. Today I'm just trying to settle back in and I'm playing with my different supplies that I've been away from.

Here are some pages from the ride down:

Half an hour into the ride from MD to TN our train always switches its electrical engine out for a diesel one and it is about a 20 minute wait till we get on the move again, so I spent the time doing a word search and then journaled on top of it.

This is a nod back to my very first art journal on my first trip to Tennessee- I had created a grid with a block for each hour spent on the train. Sometime within each hour I would look out the window and doodle what I saw. I had never traveled to TN in mid autumn so I discovered there isn't much light to see by, hence the numerous black blocks. It also seems I never finish the last block since I'm so excited to see Dave and Mom.

The spreads from the ride down are fuller than the ride back up because I'm anxious and awake with excitement. The ride back is usually a bummer so I sleep more. This was a spot I had included in my hourly doodle on my first trip- the skyline has this distinct tower with a sort of halo on it so I did a quick doodle.

Monday, October 18, 2010


Here's what I've been up to lately...

Riding the train to TN:

Etowah Mounds in Northern Georgia- these burials mounds were made over a thousand years ago and the tallest (below) is 63ft tall.

Walking with the undead:

Being the undead:

Photos of the travel journal to come as I work in it some more!

Friday, October 15, 2010


I haven't forgotten you, but everything is packed up for my grand adventure to Tennessee. I will be updating you guys tomorrow to show you how my travel journal is progressing (14 hour train ride = not much sleep thus = lots of journaling). See you in Chattanooga!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Doll house for Ceilidh

I have been finishing all kinds of projects I had left on the way-side this week. I bought this doll house a year ago from Michaels (before they had the various different styles of house kits) with the intention of making it for Ceilidh's Christmas present. (Ceilidh is my would-be step daughter.) Now it will finally be given to her as a belated birthday gift when I see her this weekend! I can't wait to see her and Sage!

I had gotten overwhelmed with painting all the furniture and pieces (only a fraction of which are shown in these photos). If I could change anything about this project I would have paid more attention to the assembly before hand. There's no working door with the house but before I realized this I punched out the tab where it's supposed to stand propped open, but then your doll can't get out of the house!

I also would have chosen done more coats before putting the house together. I ended up using Folkart craft paints and I sealed it with a semi-gloss finish to protect it from scratches. Ceilidh and Sage aren't the typical kids who trash their toys with markers and stuff, but I am worried about the tiny pieces getting crushed under people's feet, so I made a little box to hold the stuff when not in use. (Not shown, I'm angry at the amount of dust that managed to get into the sealer but oh well.)

I haven't been able to get a good shot inside the bowls but my best friend, Chrissy painted an entire set of coordinating dishes and bowls with intricate designs inside and little rose buds on the outside of each dish. The adults don't fit into the chairs well but the older kids do.

The figures are called Calico Critters and I got them from Toys R Us. They have all kinds of animal families, sooo cute! I'm having fun planning extras like rugs, blankets, an outdoor scene and such for the future. I know Sage will play with this too so I'll probably buy another family of critters. So many options!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

New vlog and new journal pics!

Yes, that's right, another vlog! This time I'm discussing travel journaling and some awesome art journaling/craft books.

(Thanks again Kira for telling me how to embed these things!)

What's this, a vlog and photos? Madness!

This is one of the goodies I picked up at the Renn Fair- a handmade journal from India with handmade paper pages!


I love these colors so much! Whoever bound the journal was clever enough to keep the binding thread long and after knotting it, left the extra length to be used to wrap the book closed. Love it!

Whenever I get a new journal I dedicate a few pages to testing out different media and how I can make them work better on the paper. I had a lot of bleed through on the naked paper, but once I added gesso all my problems were solved!

Hooray! Let's see if I can keep posting at least twice a week!

Friday, October 8, 2010

The vlogs are coming, the vlogs are coming!

If someone can tell me why blogger won't let me paste the embed info into this post I'll send you a little gift! So as I battle technology, you can find my vlog here: Ok, Kira is a godsend and is going to get a little gift for pointing out my error with embedding videos into my blog.

Yay! Here's my vlog, (finally), on discovering personal imagery and symbols in our journals:

Youtube also selects the most flattering frames...

Have an awesome, creative day!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

My week

Vlogs are coming tomorrow! Until then, here's what my week has been like:

Full of adventurous art by children:

Dorky excursion to the Maryland Rennisance Fair:

Oh, and here's a cute cat named Gizmo for you:

Saturday, October 2, 2010


Sorry about the lack of photos- I'm just so excited to tell you I've been making some short vlogs that I'll be posting this coming week! See you soon!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Resolutions and Swap Pics

It's late September and I'm already making New Year's resolutions:

  • Take photos of swap items before sending out
  • Post twice a week on here

    So I was in craftster's "Head Start Journal Swap" and we made journals for our partners then prepped half of the pages for them. I used kettle and running stitches for the binding with canvas strips. The exposed spine allows the book to lay flat while you work in it. There are around 50 pages, the majority of which are Canson mixed media weight paper, other pages include watercolor paper and various scrapbook papers. The covers were cut from an old game board, then covered with 70% recycled scrapbook paper.

    Here is the back cover (upside down though)- maybe it's just me but I love mismatched covers that color coordinate.
    My partner's themes were "what inspires you," found poetry, and "random thoughts." Very open to interpretation to say the least, but it wasn't the situation where you put off crafting for weeks because you're stuck. Kartiana was awesome to craft for! This was one of my favorite pages and it was also my first time playing with alcohol inks.

    Friday, September 17, 2010

    Exciting News!

    For those of you who haven't heard, Connie from has organized an amazing art journaling class called "21 Secrets." Meaning 21 amazing teachers teaching you 21 different techniques and projects. And guess who that list includes! Don't bother, I'll tell you! Three of my favorite bloggers and artists, including Samantha Kira from, Hanna Anderson from, and Sarah Whitmire from

    Sam is showing us her latest obsession with canvas journal pages and the many things you just can't do with paper.

    Hanna will be teaching various techniques for using tissue paper in our journals.

    And Sarah is dedicating her class to travel journaling- what to take, how to incorporate materials you pick upon the way, and extra prompts.

    For a list of all of the lessons and the instructors you can go here:

    You may sign up as of September 20th- registration ends December 1st. The cost is $59, but considering the fact that you're buying 21 classes, it's truly a steal!
    Class begins October 1st