Monday, April 30, 2012

My Favorite on the Go Tape Cases

I'm a self proclaimed bag nut. My Mom often refers to me as a gypsy (which I take as a big compliment) with all of my different bags. I thought I'd share some of my favorite ways to carry my washi tape with me when I'm on the go:

Ginko Papers has these cute little see through pencil case type containers here, here and here. I love my little blue one at the top of the page.

The little black case at the top right actually held my mini computer speakers at one point. Now it holds my favorite washi tapes (the ones I use the most and buy repeatedly.)

What do you use to stash your on the go tapes in?


Also, if you're interested in signing up for the Book Arts week in L.A., you need to do so by Saturday.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

A Good Way to Spend a Sunday

I had a great afternoon teaching at Stampin from the Heart. Huge thanks to my students for an afternoon well spent. I can't wait to play with my new Crafters Workshop stencils (they have a ton of them in stock now at Stampin from the Heart.) Remember folks that you can use acrylic paints, watercolors, gouache, gesso, gel medium, acrylic mediums (texture mediums), sprays, ink pads, reinkers, watercolor crayons, colored pencils, gold leafing/foil AND a variety of pens with your stencils! Don't just stop with one medium, ask yourself, "what if" and go from there. (Just don't forget to clean your stencils if you use anything wet on them!)

Saturday, April 28, 2012

6 April 2012 Journal Page

Happy Weekend!
Looking forward to my class tomorrow afternoon. I love the Wanderlust book and can't wait to see what folks do with it tomorrow!
I hope that you're enjoying your weekend, too.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Kelly's Classes April-June 2012

 I can't believe that May is next week! I figured that I had better get these up and listed! I've added a complete in depth view for April-June, as well.

Here's my list of classes for April-June 2012. I may add to this list. I'm ALWAYS looking for new teaching venues so if you know of any that may be interested, I'd love to hear. You can email me at

Thank YOU for your interest!
6th Simi Valley Building up the Layers
12th Banana Rose Westlake Village Beautiful Life Journal (NEW venue!!)
I'll be packing my traveling bags this summer and have scheduled classes at:
(stay tuned, folks, there are more classes to come!)

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Work in Progress

David is working on both the laptop and the regular computer (computer problems *sigh*) so I'm blogging from my phone.

I'm just starting the above page. Can't wait to see where it takes me!

My bookshelves are bursting again. I am thinking of selling some of my personal library again here on my blog. I'll give you a heads up when if I do!

Hope that your day is a good one!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

5 April 2012 Journal Page

I'm trying to push myself some more with this book and use colors that I don't normally gravitate towards (see the purple above?) I'm having a lot of fun with it. I announced my new two day class yesterday that involves collage, paint and more. It's called A Compendium of Visual Delights. I'll be teaching it in Fremont and Los Angeles in June. I don't have it on the schedule anywhere else yet so catch it while you can. I am VERY excited about this new class. I haven't taught a PAINT class in a long time and my goal with this new book is NOT to paint like I used to so this is something new even if you've taken a gazillion painting classes with me. I'm also combining collage with the paint in a way that's different for me. I'm loving the process.

Did I mention that I'm on Instagram? You can search for me under KellyTMKilmer. I try to post different photos than what I post here.

Blog Love
This zine is on my wishlist especially since I loved her other zines.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Fremont, CA Workshops June 1st-3rd, 2012

I am very happy to announce that I will be teaching three NEW workshops at a private studio in Fremont, CA June 1-3rd (classes are open to the public.)

Interested in signing up? Questions? Please email Kelly for more info!

Payments for the Fremont, CA workshop must be made in advance. Due to the fact that the teacher is traveling from Los Angeles and must prep for the workshops in advance, there are no cancellations allowed. No refunds.

You may send someone else in your place if you are unable to attend the workshop, or you will receive a kit for the class. You can either pay via paypal (see button below) or send a check or money order. Once you've signed up for the workshop, you will be sent the address and directions to the workshop location. If you have ANY questions you can email me. I will also give you my cell phone number so you contact me.

The Schedule is:
Friday, June 1st

Listen to Your Heart
10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

followed by
Uncharted Territories
from 3 to 7 p.m.

Special Two Day Class 
Compendium of Visual Delights
Saturday, June 2nd
10 to 6 p.m.
Sunday, June 3rd
10 to 2 p.m.

Fremont Classes June 1-3rd, 2012

Listen to Your Heart-
Fri, June 1st 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
You will start by deconstructing an old hardcover book and creating an embellished, textured, luscious and visually stimulating artist’s book. Using a combination of vintage and new, you will create fresh, one of a kind, completely you artist’s journal pages while learning new techniques and ideas. Working large and somewhat fast (though not too fast that you won’t be able to keep up!), we’ll cover a lot of ground in this four hour workshop.
Supply list: Scissors, small selection of favorite collage ephemera, bone folder, cork back metal ruler, roll of waxed paper, roll of paper towels, permanent black inkpad, container to hold water, 1" brushes to glue (I like chip or bristle brushes), a few of your favorite glue sticks

Uncharted Territories-
Fri, June 1st 3 to 7 p.m.
Come and learn a fun and easy new stitch while creating a hand bound, hardcover journal made by your own hands in your own unique style! We’ll start the class by making the journal and then diving in to work on the pages. Learn how to transform found, magazine and old book pages using color, texture, pattern and more turning the pages into unique, new, visually delightful pages that sing of you!
Supply list: Scissors, small selection of favorite collage ephemera, bone folder, cork back metal ruler, roll of waxed paper, roll of paper towels, permanent black inkpad, container to hold water, 1" brushes to glue (I like chip or bristle brushes), a few of your favorite glue sticks

A Compendium of Visual Delights
Special Two Day Workshop!
Saturday, June 2nd 10 to 6 p.m.
Sunday, June 3rd 10 to 2 p.m.
In this special 2 day workshop, you will create your own uniquely made hand bound journal. Once the journal has been made, we will dive into the pages working together to explore a variety of mixed media techniques. You will work hands on with collage (learning composition and design skills as you combine a variety of collage ephemera (including papers, transparencies, tape, focal images and more). You will then learn to combine collage and mixed media as you create luscious pages using acrylics, gouache, watercolors, watercolor crayons, rubber stamps, stencils, a variety of pens and much, much more. You will walk out of class with a fully bound journal, several pages completed and your head full of new ideas and the desire to keep working in your journal! 

Supply list: Scissors, small selection of favorite collage ephemera, bone folder, cork back metal ruler, full roll of waxed paper, full roll of paper towels or a few old rags (to wipe paint, etc... I have a clean one and a paint one), permanent black inkpad, container to hold water, 1" brushes to glue and paint (I like chip or bristle brushes), a few of your favorite glue sticks, alcohol wipes (found at Target with the paper plates, etc...) IF you have a waterbrush pen (of any size or shape) please bring it, if you have paint brushes in a variety of sizes (from small tip to 1", please bring a couple of those. I will have a few extra paint brushes on hand as well.) You may also want to bring an apron.

 I hope to see YOU there!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Celebrating World Book Night: A Post on My Favorite Fiction Books of the Last Few Years

It's no surprise to anyone who knows me that I am a bibliophile. My husband, son and I live in a tiny apartment with 13 bookcases that line the walls. There are books next to those bookcases. There are books next to the bed. There are books in the kitchen. What can we say other than that we surround ourselves with things that we love? We trek to bookstores several nights a week (you can see a list of our favorites here.) I was the little girl who grew up eating her breakfast reading the cereal box if it was the only thing available. I still carry that love and passion of reading everything that I can get my hands on today.

You can say that I jumped at the chance to participate in World Book Night especially when I saw that The History of Love was one of the books being given out. I picked up my box of books at Skylight in Los Feliz last week. "Happy World Book Night!" I was told as I walked out grinning from ear to ear with a box of 20 paperbacks. I will be passing out copies of The History of Love (which I spent the weekend rereading. If you haven't read it, run, don't walk to your nearest library) in the West Hollywood and Hollywood areas all throughout the day. I'm excited but a bit nervous. Wish me luck!

In the meantime, here is a list of some of my most favorite (fairly new) fiction books of the last few years. I own them in hardcover (except for the Europa Editions which, alas, aren't available in English in hardcover) and they have their own special space on my shelves. 


What are some of your favorite works of fiction from the last few years?

Sunday, April 22, 2012

"And the Story is Happening" by Sabrina Ward Harrison

I was so happy to find that my local Dick Blick had copies of Sabrina Ward Harrison's new book, And the Story is Happening. I have almost all of her books (one of these days I would love to get her self published books but the cost has been out of my budget for awhile.) Her books are pure eye candy and very inspirational. Her latest offering, while not like Spilling Open, Brave on the Rocks or Messy Thrilling Life is also wonderful to look at but the buyer should be aware that it is a made to work in journal. It is along the lines of The True and The Questions. It has pages with layers of paint, pages of photographs, pages with handwritten prompts scrawled across them (I love Sabrina's writing.) It is an entirely made for you book ready for YOU to add YOUR personal touch. There is also an envelope full of collage ephemera at the beginning of the book (I photographed some of it above.) 

I won't be working in it. I have a very, very hard time working in a book that hasn't been made by my own hands. However, I will be adding it to her other books on my shelf ready for a moment of inspiration whenever I am in in need of it!

Some things that I have heard from my students and friends that Sabrina's work inspires them to:
Take more photographs
Play with their handwriting
Be more honest on their journal pages
Play with color
Play with collage
Open their eyes to color, shape, line and to actually SEE inspiration in the world around them

One thing that most folks should be aware of is that her work, while being offered as an art journal, her pages are actually tweaked. She went back in and reworked pages, etc... They are not journal pages as in the sense of, "here's my book, take any part you need as is" but rather, made for publication, tweaked pages (I met her at Vroman's in Pasadena when Spilling first came out. She discussed this and has also mentioned it in a few articles as well.) In a time where folks are worried about perfect pages, you need to realize this. YES, her pages are lovely, amazing and totally inspiring but they have been reworked for publication. 

This is something that I keep telling my students. Please, please, please stop comparing your work to what you see in books and magazines. Make it for YOU. Don't worry about what everyone else is doing. Don't compare. Push yourself and keep trying. Don't give up. Work your pages and with time, practice, trial and error they will sing of YOU. I am quite sure that is what Sabrina did. I know for sure that that's what I am still doing and hopefully you are, too! 

Hopefully Sabrina's latest offering will inspire you to pick up your scissors, glue stick, pens and collage materials and get working on your own messy, imperfect, brave, thrilling and uniquely yours life!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

A Saturday Afternoon...

What my work area (living room floor) looks like right now.
Spending the day in my journal, baking and rereading one of my favorite books, "The History of Love" by Nicole Krauss, which I will be handing out on Monday for World Book Night.

Friday, April 20, 2012

If anyone needs me...

I'll be working in my journal!
Have a great weekend!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

New Pens from JetPens!

Blogger has changed stuff so please pardon me if this post is a little funky! I need to get used to the new format.  JetPens sent me a $25 gift certificate to buy some new pens this month. I'm very excited with the choices that I made! I used all of the pens above on the page below:
I'll start with my favorite pens that I used on the page above. My readers know that I am a huge fan of the Sakura Glaze and Souffle pens. I used the following pens above:

Sakura Glaze (dries to a gloss finish. Take note some colors show up better than others depending upon your background. Black is always black but if you are using a red pen on a pink page, it is more subtle than other pens. Like most pens, it depends on your background color)

Gloss Pink (this is my favorite pink on the planet. I swear I go through it so fast that it seems like I'm drinking it. I'm not. On the page above, I colored in the circles and the middle of the flowers with it. I let it dry and then colored over it to brighten it up. That's one of my tricks. I'll let the pen dry and if it doesn't pop enough, I'll color over it. You really have to make sure it's dry to the touch before you do this or else it will just scratch into the marks you've made.)

I also used the black from Sakura Aqualip FINE pens. They are the Japanese version of the Glaze pens. The ones that are labeled FINE have a finer tip then our Glaze pens. I LOVE them. I wish that Jetpens would also sell them individually.

Sakura Souffle (dries to a matte finish. They also tend to pop on dark colors. I love both Glaze and Souffle as they are very different from each other. Folks often ask me to pick and I tell them that honestly, try them both as they are different colors and they will react differently depending upon what your background colors are on your page. Also, if you write really really really slow they dry to a slightly puffy finish (hence the name, souffle.) I tend to just write normal with them as I don't care about puffy writing and they come out just fine.)

I used the yellow to color in the flowers. I colored them in about three times, letting the layers dry between colors.

I used the green to outline the flowers as well as to draw the X type lines in the cirles to the left.

Uniball Signo Pens-these come in a variety of tip sizes, colors and thicknesses. I LOVE Uniball Signo pens. Unlike the Glaze and Souffle, they are not permanent so you can not paint on top of them. However, you can write on top of paint quite easily with these (ditto the Glaze and Souffle.)

Uni-ball Signo Broad UM-153 Gel Ink Pen - White Ink-is one of my favorites. I recommend buying the one that has Japanese writing on it (vs the English pen) as the Japanese pen seems to last far longer than it's American counterpart. It's the bright, intense white that you see on the page above. I also like how thick (broad) it is. It's a great pen! Make sure you store it FLAT like all pens so it will last longer.

 You may not be able to see the teeny tiny writing all over the page. I used a few pens for that:

Uni-ball Signo (DX) UM-151 Gel Ink Pen - 0.38 mm - Bordeaux Black -I love this pen. I used it in the bottom left of the page. It even worked on the washi paper tape. I made sure to give it a few minutes to dry and I ran my finger over it and nothing came off or smeared. Yay!

Uni-ball Signo (DX) UM-151 Gel Ink Pen - 0.28 mm - 6 Color Set- There is teeny tiny writing all over the page and I used some of these pens for it. The tip is TINY and I LOVE the colors so if you're looking for fun colors and a fine tipped gel pen, this is it! It also worked on the washi tape as well (just make sure you give it time to dry before you run your finger over it.) I would love it if they came out with broad tipped versions of these colors. I'd be first in line!

 For the journaling, I used the black Kuretake Zig Letter CocoIro Pen. I LOVE THESE PENS. I have every color. I use them a LOT. They write on paint and tape. I really am hoping that they come out with new colors! 

Another fun toy that JetPens sent me to test was the Uni-ball Kuru Toga Auto Lead Rotation Mechanical Pencil - 0.3 mm - Pink Body I don't generally use a lot of pencils in my work but this pencil is smooth and feels great in your hand! I have been doodling and writing with it. I may have to buy another one for my purse!

So, in the end, I spent more than $25 (I think that is JetPens secret plan with these gift certificates. JUST KIDDING!) but I am SO happy with my new pens! I can't wait until next month to see what other fun new toys I can find! Seriously, if you are in need of pens, look no farther than JetPens. They have an amazing selection and if you spend $25, shipping is free! They are my favorite place to buy pens.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Some Fun Stuff

The mailman brought me the package above! A small piece of happiness from Cute tape. They have lots of fun stuff in the shop (including new glitter tape! Ooh!) I can't wait to use these later on today.

I hope that my post yesterday encourages folks to play and experiment on their own. My whole point with sharing my work here is always to encourage you to play and experiment on your own using what you have and seeing what the outcome will be. The more you work hands on, the more it all will start to click! I promise!

Blog Love:
An Inventory Of Al-Mutanabbi Street
Sas Colby's World of Books (you can view a pdf of her book at her site. Sas' book will be a part of the Al-Mutanabbi Street exhibit.)
If you're in or near L.A., Fire Walk With Me opens this weekend in Santa Monica celebrating the 20th anniversary of the film
8 Creative Ways to Use Pinterest
Ooh! I can't wait for this book!
Speaking of books, I ordered this one and this one

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Step by Step (Almost) Journal Page

I took these photos via Instagram so the colors are a little off then what they should be.

I started this page by collageing it using a focal image (from a magazine), large chunk of background paper (Hambly), Washi tape and pink masking tape. I added journaling with a black Sakura Glaze pen. I also used an arrows stamp (along the top of the page) from Eclectic Omnibus.
I went in and added layers of paint using three colors:
a light color (yellow)
a medium color (magenta)
and a dark color (teal)
I added some white here and there.
More layers of the same colors. I also rubbed the paint dry with a rag as I worked. I also removed/wiped off paint as well.
I added some more color with my Stabilo Woody 3 in 1 pencils.
Using a bone folder, I went in and added old white rub on letraset letter transfers randomly.
I added some gold script tape along the top:
I took my Sakura black glaze pen and went back in over the previous journaling so it popped more. I also traced over the "authetic city" at the bottom (graffiti washi tape) and added an "n" to it):
I used a teal Sakura Souffle pen and Crafters Workshop template Gathered Flowers TCW176 along the right side of the page. Crafters Workshop makes the BEST stencils and I love using bits and pieces of them and coloring them in with pens:
After the pen work had dried, I went in with my .35 Koh-I-Noor Rapidosketch pen and traced over the stencil work:
I added journaling (writing on the pink tape) with my rapidosketch pen again:
I felt like the page still needed something else so I added the curly q's along the left side of the page with my rapidosketch and when it dried, I colored in the loops with a white uniball signo pen:
Finally, I colored in the area to the left of the curly q's with a teal Souffle pen:
Here's the finished page (the colors look more vibrant in real life):
I don't always work this way. I try to approach the page differently each time. I like playing with different layouts and ways to collage the page. I'll pull color from the page or add my own! It's all good.

Thanks for following along with me!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Where to Find Decorative Tape

I've posted several times before as to where to find tape, but since it's a frequently asked question, I thought I'd post again! Here's a revised, updated post with lots of NEW information added!(These are old photos)

TAPE explained
Why use tape? It's another fun element. For some folks (like me), it's a must have. It comes in all forms, colors, sizes and patterns.

I have a whole post here on my absolute favorite, most essential rolls.

What's the difference between all of the tapes?

Here's where some folks tend to get confused.
See the tape above in the little black case as well as those little rolls all tied together far to the right? Those are rolls of WASHI TAPE. Washi tape was developed by MT in Japan. Washi tape is made from RICE PAPER. It's thin, tearable (you don't need your teeth!) and can be layered to create all sorts of fun new colors (as the lighter colors are transparent so you can see what's underneath them!) I love layering washi tape on top of other tape to create my own colors (so, if you layer yellow and pink together, you'll get a fun orange! I also layer them on top of print to make my own unique colorful printed pieces!) In Japan, Washi tape is also called Japanese masking tape or just masking tape (but remember, it's made from what's commonly described as RICE PAPER and it's quite different than the U.S. masking tape.)

Another maker of washi tape is Mark's in Japan.

See that large roll of pink tape in the photo above? That's MASKING TAPE. It's quite different than WASHI TAPE. Masking tape is thicker and heavier than washi paper tape. It comes in a variety of colors, sizes and levels of stickiness (speaking of stickiness, watch where you buy some of the tape. If you buy from a big box store in the hardware section, the different colors represent the level of stickiness for different tapes.) If you tear washi paper tape and then tear masking tape, you can feel the difference in the weight of the two.

See the pink roll (on a dispenser) as well as the two large rolls next to it? Those rolls go by a variety of names (and are not limited to):
PLASTIC TAPE, DECO TAPE, PACKING TAPE, DECORATIVE PACKING TAPE, DECORATIVE PACKAGING TAPE, PACKAGING TAPE, KAWAII TAPE, ZAKKA TAPE, SHIPPING TAPE, DECORATIVE SHIPPING TAPE, STICKER, STICKERS, JAPANESE TAPE, CUTE TAPE, etc... I call it DECO TAPE. It's a decorative plastic tape that also comes in a wide variety of sizes, colors, designs, patterns and more. Some of it is transparent with print (like the 3 rolls in the photo above are all transparent tape with type on them in various colors and fonts.) Some of it is printed and opaque. All of it is fun to use!

(Not shown) PAPER TAPE -a lot of U.S. companies are having tape manufactured (mostly in China) that is a knock off of washi tape. It is NOT washi tape. There are a variety of companies that are selling it and it runs the gamut of different patterns, colors, thicknesses, stickability and price. Tape has become HUGE the last few years and I think it's going to get even bigger with all of the various scrpabooking companies jumping on the tape bandwagon. I'm not knocking it (I LOVE tape in all forms) but I am concerned with quality. Tape should STICK and unfortunately, not all paper tapes do. 

What are the Uses for Tape?

Collage. Decorating packages. Scrapbooks. Art Journals. Mail Art. Decorating things around the home. IF you can stick it down, go for it. The possibilities are endless!

You'll see me use a lot of tape in my work. I use it to attach things to the pages. I use it for flaps that open and close. I'll layer transparent printed tape onto my focal images. I'll add it to a page and journal on it. I'll shred it (with my fingernails) into different size pieces and layer it. I'll frame a page with it. I'll combine it with background paper to create fun collages. It is one of my essential "go to, don't leave home without" items.

My Favorite Tape Vendors:

Ginko Papers-decorative tape AND masking tape an online store in L.A.! Ginko is a great, reliable vendor who ships fast!
Washimatta-another favorite vendor/source for masking tape! Karen is one of my absolute most favorite vendors. If you want to order in bulk, even with shipping costs, her prices are the best around. When I want tape, she is my go to source! Her etsy shop is here. With her retail shop, she always refunds any overages on shipping charges. So shipping charges might be X but she only charges you actual shipping costs (by weight!)
Tapeswell is a company whom I LOVE!! They sell retail and wholesale. I LOVE their tape.
Their label tape is awesome too. I used their tape on my journal page here:
Tapeswell has extended a 15% off of your entire purchase (minimum $10) to readers of my blog if you use the coupon code KELLY when ordering.
Pretty Tape-another etsy vendor I love!
Cute Tape is her retail shop.

From Japan with Love is one of my most favorite vendors/sources

Rob Ryan tape-I LOVE Rob Ryan tape. It may seem expensive but you get a TON of tape on the roll and it lasts forever.

Colored Masking Tape via Pro Tapes

In Person Shopping:

Kinokuniya is one of my favorite shops to search for new washi tape. They have a handful of stores sprinkled across the U.S.
Frenzy Stamper in Scottsdale, AZ sells a variety of tape

The Ink Pad in NYC has tape!

Some other sites including wholesale sites-

Accoutrements tape (Devil duckie, cowboy, cat, Jesus, Bacon, and a few more) google accoutrements tape-lots of places sell them.

NPW in England is the manufacturer of the zipper, barbed wire, chain, bullet, daisy and some more tape.

Lace tape in b & w-takes a few weeks though
Redhorseshoe has the infamous "your call is important to us, please continue to hold tape" and "join the resistance, fall in love"

Some companies I've never ordered from but found on the web:
Omiyage-in Canada (though they ship internationally) They have a great blog!
Azumi and David-fun stuff! Body tape and garment tape!!
French co: Shut up, wood tape, python tape,tinsel tape

Dedece-various tapes including road, train, rivet and more. Type in tapes


The Tape Depot
-custom made tape and more! Not sure about the prices though!! Any site where you have to ask makes me leery!

Fancy That!
-rolls available single or double variety packs

I'm not a huge fan of duct tape but you can get it in a variety of colors, styles and even in sheets at stores such as Michaels, Staples, Office Max, etc...

Tips for Searching Online for Tape:

Go to ebay, google or etsy. Type in washi tape, paper tape, deco tape, kawaii tape, japanese tape, chugoku (paper tape made in China), decorative tape, packing tape, packaging tape, cute tape-everything you can possibly think of to describe tape. LOTS of stuff comes up. Seriously.

Another thing you NEED to know, is that it's not always called TAPE. Some people call tape STICKERS or STICKER. They also say you can cut out what you want. So, sometimes on etsy and other sites you need to search for STICKER as well.


A whole blog on tape!

Can I make my own washi tape?

There are a ton of folks out there offering tutorials for making their own "washi tapes". Sure, you can go to the trouble and hard work of making your own tapes but they're not washi tapes. Try using washi tapes and then making your own and you'll see the difference. Don't get me wrong, I think it's fun that people want to try to make their own tapes, just don't call them washi as they're not. Just my two cents on the subject.


If you have any other sources on tape, please email me at or post here in the comments!!!


Sunday, April 15, 2012

3 April 2012 Journal Page

I had a great time teaching this weekend. I'm pooped! Huge thanks and squishy hugs to the Simi Valley Gang today. It was quite fun!

I'm settled in at home now listening to old time radio, working in my journal and waiting for pizza from Hollywood Pies. I sense pjs and an evening of movie watching in my future...

I have some fun posts planned for the upcoming week. I hope to share something special tomorrow. I also have a post planned (eventually) on the people who inspired me. It's hard to narrow the list down AND not sound too gushy at the same time. If anyone ever has anything special that they'd like me to try to blog about, I'll do my best to answer honestly and make it interesting.

I'm having fun playing with new camera apps and my phone. There are things I love about Instagram and things I'm eh about it. I still think that I prefer pixlromatic more!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Thursday, April 12, 2012

2004-2008 Collaged and Painted Pages

Here I am sharing some older pages again. It's always interesting to look back and see how your work evolves and changes. I get irritated with folks who say they know everything when it comes to art making. No they don't. As an artist you're always changing and evolving. There's always something new to learn, make and see. That's how I try to approach my work with each page asking, "What can I try to do now that I haven't done before?" or "How can I make this different?"

Don't forget I'm having a contest to win a copy of Seth's new book, The Pulse of Mixed Media. You can enter here.

My posts will be short and sweet the next few days as it's going to be a very busy (but fun!) weekend.

Speaking of classes, I've added a NEW STORE in Westlake Village to my list of teaching venues! I'll be teaching my Beautiful Life journal on May 12th from 11:30-3:30 at Banana Rose. They have a facebook page here. I'm VERY excited about it as I've been looking for a new venue in that area for some time now! They'll have info up on their site soon.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

2004/2005 Painted Pages

Above is a collage that I made (using Picasa) of eight of my journal pages from 2004-2005. I used acrylic paints (my favorite paints are from Nova Color. I have a whole post on acrylics and mediums here.)

I'll flashback some more tomorrow with some older painted and collaged pages.

I'm teaching the entire weekend (yay!) Friday through Sunday. More info here and there's plenty of room so sign up while you can!

Something that's been inspiring me:

By Mary Oliver

My work is loving the world.
Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird—
equal seekers of sweetness.
Here the quickening yeast; there the blue plums.
Here the clam deep in the speckled sand.

Are my boots old? Is my coat torn?
Am I no longer young, and still half-perfect? Let me
keep my mind on what matters,
which is my work,

which is mostly standing still and learning to be
The phoebe, the delphinium.
The sheep in the pasture, and the pasture.
Which is mostly rejoicing, since all the ingredients are here,

which is gratitude, to be given a mind and a heart
and these body-clothes,
a mouth with which to give shouts of joy
to the moth and the wren, to the sleepy dug-up clam,
telling them all, over and over, how it is
that we live forever.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

1 April 2012 Journal Page

Jan asked, "Kelly, you say you are struggling with this journal. I'd love to know about your struggles. How are you pushing yourself with this one? You seem to set up challenges with each new journal. Perhaps you'll share that process with us?"

My mantra has always been to try to challenge myself with each and every page. I start that challenge by approaching each journal in a new way. I like to bind each book by hand varying the size, shape and binding. I take that same approach with my pages.

I don't like to make the same pages again and again. I am very selective about what I choose when I'm working. That said, I don't like to spend more than a few minutes looking for materials. I prefer to work fast, intuitively and to be challenged as I work. I make the materials that I choose work for me. I pick images and colors that mean something to me. I don't just glue crap down as some say. I take the time to move things around the page and figure out my placement all the while thinking about the various possible outcomes for the page. It takes me on average about 30 to 45 minutes to complete a page (and sometimes that is in stages and not in one big chunk of time.)

I worked and taught mixed media using acrylic paint in (and out) of journals for more than ten years. In 2009, I decided that I wanted to do something different. My students kept bugging me to teach collage. I said, "What's there to teach with collage? You just find something you like and glue it down." Well, I quickly discovered that like paint, there are thousands of different ways to approach a page! My students pushed me in that direction and my love of "painting with paper" began.

The last year or so, my students have been bugging me (this is said with love...those of you who have taken my classes know this!) about teaching paint. My heart wasn't in it. I've always stuck fast to the fact that if my heart isn't in it, the class will be crap. I learned that a long time ago when store owners would ask me to teach classes and I HATED doing it. So, I've been pushing back against a painting class for a long time now (3 years.) Why? Honestly because I felt that at the time I had done everything I had wanted to do with paint. I felt like my classes were getting stale and my heart just was not into it at all. I was tired of painting. All I wanted to do was to make books and to cut, paste and glue. I had fallen in love hard and fast with collage.

Several of my regular students have been asking me for months now to bring back the paint. I resisted. Hell, I didn't just resist. I fought tooth and nail. I wasn't ready. Then, when I sat down with this journal, I thought about it and the idea of painting in it started to creep back.

I started this journal in my texture class last month at Stampin' From the Heart. I bound the book the night before and brought the book with me to work in (I always work as I teach as it helps me to demonstrate the ideas.) We did about five or six pages that day.

Later that night, I picked up my paints and my brush and said screw it. I'm going to try it again. I fought like hell with the first few pages. I loved what I did on the inside cover yet it didn't feel like me:

I hated the first page. I pushed and pulled with it. I went in and layered and layered some more with it:
Then I pulled out my rubber stamps, tape and pens. Bingo! I even went in with a pencil and wrote some more. I don't love the page but I liked it and it really says what I wanted it to say and showcases how I was feeling as I started working with paint again. It's exactly what I wanted a journal page to be: not perfect. not pretty. REAL. HONEST. ME. Imperfections and all. I want emotion and layers of it. I can pick up this page and I know EXACTLY how I was feeling as I created it.

I struggled to rework the pages that I had started in class. Now those of you who have taken my classes know that I'm a big believer in working in a class and then taking the pages home and reworking them some more, making them into your own pages in your own voice. I also advocate making color copies of pages and reworking the copies. Yet, I struggled with this and I know exactly why.

For years I started with painted pages FIRST. I never stuck paper down (or if I did it was RARE) and painted on top of it. The first few pages were all built on layers of PAPER FIRST and then paint on top. This one, I was working ass backwards (to me at least!) So, you'll see (read) about me struggling with the first few pages. It wasn't until I picked up my pens, markers and tape and started making marks, drawing, doodling, coloring things in and then journaling on the pages that things started to click.

This was the first page where I started with a total blank page:

I painted the background first. Then I laid down the focal image and painted some more, pushing and pulling as I worked. I'm twelve pages in now and it's getting easier. I'm relaxed and allowing myself to get into the process. I'm playing with the wet stuff, making messes, pushing and pulling as I work. It's all good. I'm not beating myself up over the end results. I'm trying to stick to my path all the while reminding myself to focus on the journey and not the final result.

Am I done with working only in collage? No. I feel that my journey with exploring and experimenting in "painting with paper" isn't over in any way. Will this be the end of my painting and collageing? Probably not either! We'll see what happens. I have some other ideas that I want to experiment with and as always, I'll bring you guys along for the ride!

I'll share more of the pages here soon. I hope that this long winded response helps to answer your question, Jan! If anything else comes up as I work.