Friday, February 16, 2018

New from the Studio: Art Journaling Challenge

This past week I joined an Instagram challenge with artist Rae Missigman. This is my second time joining one of her fabulous mark making challenges, my first was last year... (you can find that post here)... These are month long projects where Rae will give a one word prompt to inspire your art journaling. You can use the word any way you want there is no wrong way to art journal. I think it is a good way to get your wheels spinning if you are stuck and looking for inspiration. Each day is a new word and a new journal page.

It has been a while since I have done any art journaling... probably since her last challenge, but I wanted to jump back in the swing of things. I keep a sketchbook with me most of the time to jot down quick inspirations and ideas, and for planning, but I don't use my day to day sketchbook for any painting or collage projects... this is where my art journal comes in handy.  I wanted to do a little experimenting with my collaged papers, layering of colors and paper sewing to work out some ideas for future paintings I have in mind. 

Although I consider these pages part of a journal you may notice the pages are not bound. Since I do a lot with my papers and the sewing machine I will bind my journal later on to make it easier to work with. 

The materials used in these pages include tissue and wrapping paper, burlap, an old seed catalog, newspaper, lace, threads, handmade stamps, primer, acrylics pencils and pens... I think that is all..

Follow me on Instagram to see more of my pages!

The prompt word for this journal page was "change".

The prompt here was "connect". 

This page was inspired by the word "unfold" but honestly I read it wrong and thought it was "untold".

This last page was inspired by the prompt "whittle".

This challenge will continue on Instagram for the remainder of February and it's not too late to join!

Thursday, January 25, 2018

FREE Stevie Nicks Printable and New Work in the Shop

Hello again! I just have a quick update to share the newest sign added to my Etsy Shop. My goal is to add many more hand written signs with the lyrics of my favorite songs written on them, but since I move at a snail's pace I only have one to add today. I chose to add a sign with the lyrics to "Landslide" by Stevie Nicks. I grew up listening to her with my girlfriends and I never stop loving her poetry. I chose "Landslide" because it was on of our favorites and because I think the song is so relatable to so many people. 

This sign was painted with acrylic on select pine board. I only hand letter my pieces I never use templates or stencils. This makes each sign unique and shows the art of my hand rather than the art of a computer. Not that there is anything wrong with using computers if that's your thing it is just my preference. 

Now since I love giving away my art almost as much as selling it for a LIMITED TIME I am offering this free download hand written by me with the same lyrics just for fun.

Feel free to download and print away, but please remember this and all of my other pintables are for personal use only. You can download this one for a limited time here.

Monday, January 8, 2018

A Free Color Your Own Calendar Download for You!

Last week I shared my homemade planner and how I keep organized while running my own business and homeschooling my kids. In keeping with the new year theme I created a Color Your Own Calendar to keep on my desk. Today I want to share this calendar with you. It is a fill in the blank style so you can use it year after year.

Please enjoy this free calendar just download, print, and color. 

Share with your kids...this one was colored by my 6 year old.

*For personal use only*

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Creative Planning for 2018

Hi guys! I always love to see how other moms and business creatives plan their work and home life, so for my post today I wanted to show my homemade creative business planner, as well as, my homeschool planner which I use daily with my kids. Seeing as how I run my own creative business and homeschool my kids I'm sure it comes as no surprise that I am a do it yourself type person, and this is my do it yourself planner. The cover artwork however is not my own it belongs to the artist Traci Bautista. I took a business planning class with her in 2012 and used her artwork, and many of her planning pages in my planner...I didn't have the time to make my own... if you ever need to take a class learning the business side of art I truly recommend taking on with her.

I like to start my planning year off with goals I set some for the year as well as goals each month. This helps to keep me focused and organized. I like to be flexible in this area, and go back to it often to make realistic adjustments.

One of my goals for the year is to blog more so I can record what I have been working on in the studio as well as what I have been up to with my kids. This page is another from Traci Bautista. I like how she has a place to write as well as draw ideas. I have these pages printed for every month.

I generate income and ring up expenses from a few different sources. To make things easier for myself at the end of the year I incorporate an income and expense page each month divided by specific categories. I made it simple and to the point It works for me.

I use another one of Traci's fill in calendar pages each month. These are nice because I can print them off and use them each new year. It's a place to record important art shows deadlines and markets. The artwork on the left is mine.

This is my daily planner I use for homeschool and day to day activities for our family. Apparently since I homeschool now I like to laminate everything, so this cover as well as the last have been laminated then spiral bound. I used my binding machine I use to make recycled books for art shows. This is a print of part of a painting I made years ago.

I keep my homeschool planner pretty simple as well with a place for each subject, and a place for daily to dos.  This sheet can be replicated easy and is a fill in the blank style. This is my first year using it and so far so good.

Each month I leave room for important dates and projects.

I fill it in pretty heavy, and not so neat, but the messy notes work for me.

This is my favorite part of my planner... there is room for me to add little notes and keepsakes. Over time this will be a record of my days together with the kiddos. I plan to keep these planners as sort of a scrapbook.

Well that is that.

I had my planner on my mind and wanted to share. It is my attempt to keep things organized around here, although it doesn't always work, and sometimes I totally for get to use it at least I try!

It you have a homemade planner you are proud to call your own please share a link in the comments section below!

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

2017 on the Homestead and in the Studio

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and Happy Holidays to all! It has been a while since I posted here on the studio blog. I decided to take most of the year off after we had our 4th baby this spring. I took a little break with my artwork and focused on settling in the new one to our family. Now that we are all adjusted I thought the New Year would be the perfect time to pick up blogging again and keep my friends, family and followers updated on what is happening around the homestead and in the studio. With that being said here is what you missed over the past year....

The beautiful bride of my cousin had me paint her this sign for their wedding. I had so much fun with the lettering that I added this sign, and more like it, to my Etsy shop. I never use stencils or decals of any kind when I letter my signs I always use the style of my own hand. I think God made us all unique for a reason and I don't want to hide that behind someone else's font in my artwork. The signs in my shop are all made to order so there are slight variations in each.

This happy little guy is baby number 4 for us! Isn't he a cutie! He has kept me busy most day and night along with his 2 brothers and his sister. This is him posing for his homeschool photo... not that he is homeschooled like the other kids but I didn't want to leave him out on picture day. What a treat to have him in our family. 

Speaking of school we have decided to homeschool our kids this year. While the hubby works this is mostly my responsibility, and is a full time job in itself. It is super challenging we have a 3rd, 1st and preschooler, but it is even more rewarding. I love it! I won't really be sharing much of our curriculum here, but I will try to share some of what we do for art class. This is one of our first projects, using a watercolor resist to paint the aurora borealis. We painted these on Strathmore smooth Bristol board paper, which is the paper I like to use for illustrating, and colored our star background with oil crayons followed by a water color wash. 

This was made by my 3 year old.

By my 6 year old.

This is from my 3rd grader. I wasn't quite sure what to expect when I planned this but I am happy with the outcome.

In the past we sold veggies and artwork at a few local markets, but we decided to take the year off from the farmer's markets due to all of the changes going on around here. I didn't want to be totally out of the garden so I grew small white pumpkins for my cousin's autumn wedding along with some under watered tomatoes and peppers that didn't amount to much. The pumpkins looked good though!
Once the school year started and the pumpkins were ready to be harvested things got crazy busy for me. I do some free lance illustrating for a local publishing company, Orange Hat Publishing, and I was chosen to illustrate a children's book called Nutty and the Treasure Map. If this character looks familiar it is because he debuted in a different book called Gary the Garbage Can written by the same author. This book hasn't been released yet we are still doing over the final steps but once it is out I will be sure to try and post about it.

While working on my book illustrations the holiday season came into full swing in my Etsy Shop. This was my first full year with this shop and I really didn't do much with it once the baby was born so I wasn't sure what to expect when the holidays rolled around. Once they did I was super busy selling signs. This one is my favorite and it must be the favorite of other people too be cause it sold like crazy. You can find the listing here. I also make custom signs and sold a few of those as well.

Through out the crazy year our chickens have still been clucking around out back. We haven't increased our flock like we have in previous years but we have just let them do their thing with the sheep in the pasture. We also raised and butchered two of our sheep. I prefer the raising part of that job. I did shear them and am hoping to do something with the wool. If I ever get around to that I will share here on the blog.

Well that's that. I hope to post more regularly in 2018 but if I can't get to it I will be back in December to tell you what I was up to. Have a great New Year and thanks for taking the time to read this!

Friday, February 3, 2017

Farmhouse Friday: Wool Time!

Aside from raising kids and chickens on our little homestead we also raise Icelandic Sheep. My husband, being a chef, wanted to raise them for meat because they have a very mild lamb flavor and they are very hardy for Wisconsin weather. Me on the other hand would prefer to never eat them and just keep them around for the artistic possibilities of their wool... I have lost the battle of keeping vs. butchering the animals.... Before we say goodbye to them every fall we do shear them by hand, and I have grown quite the collection if fleece from these guys and gals.  

When we take on new homesteading projects we always start the process by learning the hands on, old fashioned way of doing things before we move to a modernized version. Sometimes the reasons are economical, sometimes they are just for us to master the still before moving on,  but either way it is always a huge learning process for us. With sheep sheering we started by using a hand sheers rather than using an electric groomer. The reason we made this choice was when we began we only had 3 sheep, and spending $600+ for an electric sheers didn't seem economical. Now that we got the hang of things we haven't really felt the need to move away from a hand sheers, although, we also have never had to sheer more than 2 in a day. Once we grow our flock we may change our mind, it is not very difficult to sheer a sheep by hand but it can be time consuming if you want it done correctly.

We have sheered and saved the wool from our sheep for the past 2 years and I now have a collection that needs to be processed. I figured since I am pretty far along in my pregnancy 8 months now, it might be a good time to sit still and learn a new skill. Again with this process we want to learn how to do it the old fashioned way before we move on and have it processed for us. That means cleaning it by hand, combing (carding) the wool so it is all in one direction, and then spinning it into yarn.  I had washed the wool over the summer so it was ready to use whenever I was ready, and my mom gave me a set of wool carders and a drop spindle for my birthday, so I guess now is the time to try this out.

Like everything else we do around here we learn how to do things by watching videos on you tube and reading books. I found a video from Spin City Yarn that I feel is a great tool to beginning yarn spinning. I plan on using this one to start out.

This is my beautiful new drop spindle purchased at Spin City Yarn the woman from the video makes beautiful art yarn, drop spindles like this one and knitting kits. She has the most vibrant colorful work I suggest checking the link out!

 Once I figure out show to card and spin the wool the next step is figuring out how to use my knitting needles. So far I am a terrible knitter and have a long way to go....but you have to start somewhere!

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

A Look inside my Sketchbook: Art Journaling

Today I wanted to share a little snippet of a new project I have been working on... art journaling. I have always had a sketchbook but generally used it for pre planning of illustrations or larger projects, it was never something that I used on a daily basis, and only rarely used just for the sake of creating and experimenting. I wanted to challenge myself to try and create art daily just for the sake of  trying something new. This project was inspired by the Artist Rae Missigman who developed a 30 day art journal challenge where she created daily prompts to jumpstart your creative process on  her blog. All of those who are taking part in the challenge then share their work under #artmarks30daychallenge on  Instagram.  If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen this or be a part of it yourself.

It has been a really fun way to experiment and work more intuitively than I usually do. As I created these I never had an end result in mind I just started with mark making from her journal prompt word and saw what happened. Art journaling is nothing new but it is new to me and it is a challenge for me to work this way. So far I am loving it and see this as something I continue in the future. Here are a few examples of what I have created  (I have more posted on my Instagram profile). I used a wide variety of media  including hand made paper, ephemera, machine stitching, acrylic, watercolor, pencil, markers and feathers for my process. I see these art journal pages moving my art in a new direction.

All the pages shown were created in a hand made spiral bound journal I made using drawing paper and a mix of found scrap papers.

This is my hand made art journal, the cover is a plain brown chip board I am still debating on decorating it or not. I really like the contrast of neutral and vibrant color so I may end up leaving it alone.

 I would love to see more examples of how other people art journal. If you are an art journal artist please share with me a link to your work.