Throwback Thursday

This is one of my favorite photos ever. This is my Great Uncle Joe, Great Uncle George, and Grandad (Calvin). This photo is in front of a covered wagon, and the original has a weird ghost kid left over from old-school pre-Photoshop photo editing. My granddad's family was very poor, and real life Oakies (like in "The Grapes of Wrath"). They left the dust bowl of Oklahoma during the depression and worked as sharecroppers in northern Texas. Joe, George, and Calvin stories were always riotous tall tales of their misadventures and near death experiences. Back in the day, it was fine to let your kids run free across the countryside, play at logging sites, and nearly kill themselves by knocking over stacked logs.  Of course, there was also stealing moonshine during prohibition, which of course their dad said he was "giving right back" to the owner. I miss hearing the many stories my granddad told, he was a masterful storyteller, and lived so many misadventures.

Throwback Thursday

This throwback is from 2009, when the daycare lady grabbed me for a mommy and me photo at dropoff with my youngest. Of course, I am rocking the barely-dry hair and no makeup look. Budge is still in her bald phase, which ended early in her 4's. She looks about as awake as I do. Apparently, 6:30 am is not the best time for a photo shoot for either of us. I love the bulletin board in the back with the I can do photos. This particular year, all the infants were only a few weeks apart in age, so there weren't huge age gaps, and everyone was meeting milestones at about the same time.

SWAT Dril 26 LOVE!

SWAT is back with another Drill- This challenge-- LOVE! For this challenge, I chose to do a Mixed Media Canvas.

I wanted to stay away from the cliche representations of love, hearts, cupids, roses and the like. I decided to use a lotus instead of a rose. Lotuses bloom in muddy ponds, and rise from the mud at the bottom toward the light to bloom. The contrast of the pure flower against the muck in the pond is recognized as symbolism for purity and enlightenment in many cultures, especially Asian cultures.

Love is about growth. In some ways, the purity of love shines against the mundane and pain of everyday life. Love isn't a separation from hurt, is endures beyond, and is beauty within the mess.

Supplies for canvas:
Colored Pencil- a mix of brands
Acrylic- Daniel Smith and Golden
Paper- Authentique

Of course we want you to share with us at SWAT! Upload your creation to be entered for this month's prize.

Throwback Thursday

This throwback is of my oldest. The cool thing about being the oldest is that you get to knock your parents down a peg regularly. We had a wood stove, and were very careful to fence the area in order to keep her safe from the fire. This did not keep me safe from the fire, I managed to burn the heck out of my hand at least once a season. Seriously, I should have some sort of permanent scar or deformity from hitting the top of the inside door with alarming regularity. The gate also did not stop an inquisitive toddler from borrowing kindling regularly. She quickly figured out how to pull herself up upon the bin, and maneuver the sticks out of their cage. This was merely the beginning of her incredible problem solving skills. 

Throwback Thursday

This throwback is of the most perfect, lovely child to ever grace this planet, ME! My Grandma Mona is carrying me, obviously telling someone else how incredible I am. Look at those hands! I have got the gangsta style posing down. Clearly, a gifted infant. I have to give my Grandma props, her makeup is not dated, she looks gorgeous for any time. She still is as stylish today.

Monday's List: Getting Started with Art Journaling under $25

One of the questions that I see most often with art journaling is "What do I need to get started?" The lists of supplies can be extensive and pricey, which isn't resonable to just try something out. I decided to challenge myself and create a starter kit on a budget. He are my recommendations and justifications:

1.  Acrylic Paints
I'm choosing acrylic paints because they are the most versatile. You can create mists, washes, or build colors. Clean up is easy with acrylic.  This Golden Try Color set is a mixing set that is based on printer's colors. At $6, it is a great starter set. You could also pick up small tubes individually, just look for these types of colors so that they mix well.

To be cost-effective, you might start with a watercolor set. This Crayola set is under $3. To get the most out of watercolors, mist the pan with water and let it sit for 5 minutes. This allows the pigment to soften, and it allows you to get a richer color from inexpensive paints.

For free, you can ask someone who uses liquid watercolors to share a few dabs. Let the dabs dry in a tray, and you have created an custom dry watercolor set.

2. Paper
Spend your money here. In mixed media, light paper will warp and buckle. I abuse my art journals. I have run pages under the kitchen sink with the water on full blast. I love Bee Paper Super Journals.

3. Adhesive
A collage adhesive is helpful. Start with a small bottle to see if you like the brand. A 4oz bottle of Mod Podge is under $3. Personally, I prefer Collage Pauge. An 8 oz bottle lasts me months, and a sealant is not required.

4. Pens
These Uni-Balls write on everything. I have used them on many mixed media surfaces and they write beautifully. They also do not discolor when wet, which is important if you want to paint or mix over your ink. You can use any pen, but test it with the technique you are using first, to make sure the Pen won't bleed.

5. Brushes
I like synthetic brushes with acrylic and watercolor. I also use them for collage. Pick a set with a variety of brushes. A sponge brush is also helpful.

Paint Set: $5.99
Bee Paper: $6.65
Adhesive: $2.89
Pens: $2.25
Brush Set: $5.99

Total: $23.77

I hope this helps those of you looking to try Art Journaling.



SWAT! Drill 25 Black and White +1

It is time for another SWAT challenge. This time, use black and white and one other color. I chose kraft as my color. Is kraft a color? I'm not sure, but brown is, and I picked the soft brown of kraft and bags as my bonus color. Luckily, It is also the color of cork, which made for some fun on this layout.

 I created this little plaque as an embellishment piece. I loved the idea of compass as the title for this layout, since it is an awesome photo of us done by Michelle Buck Photography. She really caught some awesome moments, and this one reminds me of how our hearts are drawn together.
To create the embellishment, I used a Fancy Pants cork embellishment and sketched my design in pencil. I used a Papermate Flair pen to darken the lines once I liked the design. I used Authentique Paper, MME Kraft Funday, and found ephemera. To give the layout dimension, I fussy cut the flowers and added some pop foam layers.

Of course, we want to see your go at this challenge, so share with us at SWAT!