Documented Life Project- Week 29

Documented Life Project challenge for week 29 was to “Make a wish list – draw pictures or cut out images from magazines.”

There seems to be a lot of variations based off of the old nursery rhyme that starts out, “If wishes were horses, beggars would ride …” Fish don’t appear to be part of that original nursery rhyme, but I found many endings to the phrase “If wishes were fishes…” I decided to stick with the beginning of that phrase and let my picture tell the rest. I gelli printed the background to look like water. Using a stamp I made from craft foam, I stamped several fish in the water in various paint colors and then gelli printed some additional waves over the fish. I cut fish shapes out of magazine pages and glued them to card stock to make them more sturdy. On the back of each fish I wrote a wish. I attached a net bag (from fruit produce) to the background and glued my fish inside the bag.


I wanted to draw my wish. We have the van, but we are hoping for the travel trailer to take our family on our trips for our ministry. I sketched first with pencil, then drew with a black Micron pen and colored it in with colored pencil. I’m trying to get myself to be ok with drawing things even without taking too much time for realism or detail and just letting myself sketch.DLP-Week-29-M

Documented Life Project- Week 28

The Documented Life Project challenge for Week 28 was to “Add an Instagram or other tiny photo to your page.”

I love the picture a family member took of my four oldest grandkids walking together down the path after a fun evening of picnic and canoe rides last month. I let the picture be the inspiration for the challenge. I gelli printed my background on a map page from an old atlas. Using a stencil of sun rays, I sponged several colors for the rays, slightly moving the stencil with each color addition. Then I drew lines with a white pen to highlight the rays. The quote was handprinted with a fine point black marking pen, highlighted with white pen, on a piece of translucent vellum cut in a shape to continue the path in the picture.DLP-Week-28-J



I love this picture of Baby Boy at about 4 weeks old. He was being so sweet and calm while laying in my bed one night. I wanted to use this picture for this page to remember those sweet moments. The background is gelli printed with light blue and dark blue paint and bubble wrap. I used black paint and sponge painted lightly over the top of that. I painted the moon and stars with gray paint and brush. The stripes are a patterned scrapbook paper. The cloud is vellum with a white background.


Documented Life Project- Week 27

The challenge for Week 27 in the Documented Life Project was to “Add a crossword puzzle, suduko or word search.”

In pondering what to do for this challenge, I started thinking about my grandma. She loved doing crossword puzzles and any other word games. She was impossible to beat at Scrabble because she knew words that I thought she was making up. Since I recently started trying to draw faces I decided to sketch her face as part of my page. Here are my first three attempts (which are only the 4th, 5th and 6th faces I’ve drawn since learning that I can draw faces.)

Three FacesThey look like they could be three sisters, but they don’t look like my grandma. Here is the picture I was trying to sketch from:GrandmaBesides loving crossword puzzles, my grandma played the piano and organ at her church for over 60 years! My fourth attempt at drawing my grandma’s face looked more like my grandma and I decided to use it. My husband and I did a couple of crossword puzzles that I cut up for the background.DLP-Week-27-J


I’ve been trying to branch out with my art and be able to allow myself to make cutsie, unrealistic drawings. I came across this post from elvie studio on pinterest, which inspired me to do my page. I love my cute little animal blobs!


Documented Life Project- Week 26

The challenge for Week 26 in the Documented Life Project was to “Add a Bible verse that inspires you  – or a line from your favorite book.”

The verse I used is from Zephaniah 3:17, “The Lord your God is in your midst,
a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.” I wrote the verse on card stock with a marker and used metallic silver thread to machine stitch music staff lines. I cut treble clef and bass clef symbols as well as a few notes from card stock, filled them in with black marker and glued them in place.DLP-Week-26-JMelinda:

I had gelli printed my background a few weeks ago in preparation for the gratitude post, however, I didn’t want to use it for that page. I thought I should use it for my verse. I have had a hard time layering on my pages lately and wanted to work on that with this one. I used some zentangle as inspiration for my flowers. Then I used a cookie cutter as a stencil for the butterfly. I was happy with using more color this time too!DLP-Week-26-M


I Don’t Do Faces

I like to draw and want to increase my drawing skills.  Like anything else, getting better at something means you have to practice. So lately I have been trying to do more sketching of things– objects, landscapes, plants, etc. But I don’t do faces or any other human body parts. They are too hard, and I just wasn’t gifted in that area. Anyway, that’s what I told myself. At the beginning of this year I decided my word for the year was “stretch”. I wanted to stretch my creative self to try new things, learn new skills, and increase the skills I already had (as well as helping other people to stretch themselves creatively).

I recently borrowed a book from the library that has been on my future “someday I might want to buy this book” list for a long time. I think I even looked at it one time in a bookstore and noticed that a big section of it was devoted to drawing faces and hands and that is probably why it got put on the “someday” list. I have seen the book recommended from time to time in articles I’ve read, so I figured it would be a good thing to read…someday.

The book is Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards. The edition I read is the 1989 edition. I understand there are more current revisions of the book.  Her basic premise is that anyone can learn to draw once they’ve learned the five basic component skills, just like you can learn the basic skills of riding a bike or skiing. She considers them skills of “seeing” rather than skills of “drawing.” They are:

1. The perception of edges.
2. The perception of spaces.
3. The perception of relationships.
4. The perception of lights and shadows.
5. The perception of the whole.

She also explains the process of training your visual, perceptual right brain to take dominance over the verbal, analytic left brain in order to draw what you see rather then what you think something should be. “Drawing is not really very difficult. Seeing is the problem, or, to be more specific, shifting to a particular way of seeing.”

Her techniques have helped creative people in many fields besides art to “get their working skills under better control and learn to overcome blocks to creativity.”

So why does she include drawing faces in a book geared to beginners? Here is her answer:

Let me explain why I think portrait drawing is useful as a subject for beginners in art. Broadly speaking, all drawing is the same. One drawing task is no harder than any other. The same skills and ways of seeing are involved in drawing still-life setups, landscapes, the figure, random objects, even imaginary subjects, and portrait drawing. It’s all the same thing: you see what’s out there…and you draw what you see.

Why, then, have I selected portrait drawing for some of the exercises? For three reasons. First, beginning students of drawing often think that drawing human faces is the hardest of all kinds of drawing. Thus when students see that they can draw portraits, they feel confident and their confidence enhances progress. A second, more important, reason is that the right hemisphere of the human brain is specialized for recognition of faces. Since the right brain is the one we will be trying to gain access to, it makes sense to choose a subject that the right brain is used to working with. And third, faces are fascinating!

The first pre-instruction exercise is to do some drawings of specific things, one of which was to look at someone and draw their head. I was watching my granddaughter and drew her head. The results were no surprise to me because I can’t draw faces! It did not look like her.Pre-drawing Exercise of FaceI proceeded through the book enjoying doing most of the exercises and then came the chapter on faces. After reading through the lessons and doing the exercises, I am no longer saying, “I can’t do faces.” I actually enjoyed it and want to continue practicing and stretching myself.

The following images are my first three faces. I was looking at a couple of magazine pictures and one picture from the internet when I drew them. I started to include the photographs so you could see how close I got to the original, but since I don’t know who to give credit to, I decided to leave them off. Anyway, I am satisfied that my drawings look like they could be actual people!Face Drawings

If you want to learn to see differently as you learn to express your creativity, I recommend getting Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards.

Documented Life Project- Week 25

Cover your page with hearts was the challenge for Week 25 in the Documented Life Project.

I like hearts, but I wanted to do something different. My idea was to somehow layer “see through” hearts. It’s been a while since I used my alcohol inks (I am pretty new at using them and not sure what all I can do with them. So I pulled them out along with some scraps of laminating sheets I had saved to see how the ink would work on them. Alcohol inks work best on nonporus items. I “painted” the laminating sheet strips with the alcohol ink by dropping the ink in spots and letting them do their thing. I also added drops of rubbing alcohol for more creative design. After making the green strips, I sprinkled coarse salt on the wet ink for a little different look. (I knew you could do that with watercolor, so thought I’d give it a try.)Laminating Sheet Alcohol InksWhen the ink was completely dry, I cut out heart shapes and leaves and stems and started randomly layering the laminated pieces to make a flower picture. I am really excited about the way it turned out and will probably use some of the leftover pieces (I inked way more than I used) to make some pretty cards.DLP-Week-25-J-Hearts

Melinda:DLP-Week-25-MI had a gift card and a coupon to go shop at Michaels, so I decided to buy Micron pens because the ones I have are almost used up. I’ve been needing to catch up with my pages so I decided to doodle my hearts while I was in a meeting for our ministry.

Documented Life Project- Week 24

Week 24 challenge in the Documented Life Project was to use book text. In case you are just starting to follow our blog, Melinda and I are participating in the Documented Life Project by using the challenges as art projects. This year we have not been doing the journal/planner part of the project. We invite you to join us in doing the challenges to stretch your creativity in new ways. There is no right way or wrong way to do the challenges. You don’t even have to show anyone what you do if you are not comfortable with that yet. Melinda and I are showing you what we come up with for each challenge to help you see how each one can be interpreted in different ways. Sometimes we feel great about what we’ve made and sometimes not so much. But we are trying new things and learning and growing in our creative journeys. Come on the journey with us!

I really did not know what direction I was going to go with this challenge. I had no ideas even roaming around in my head. So I just started gelli printing on some pages from an old book of inspirational quotes and sayings (which I purchased at a yard sale for this purpose) and some card stock. When Melinda saw one of the gelli prints, she said it reminded her of a giraffe. That was all the encouragement I needed.DLP-Week-24-J


I found this quote that I liked in the book mom used for hers. At first I was trying to make flowers out of pages from that book. . .and failed miserably. So I cut the flowers up and mod podged the pieces to the page. After that was dry, I painted over it and finished my page off with the quote.


Documented Life Project- Week 23

The challenge for the Documented Life Project for week 23 was to: “Practice gratitude – write what you are grateful for each day this week.”

After the month of kids and grandkids (see post) we are behind a few weeks on the challenges and finally catching up. The week this challenge was issued was the week my 6th grandbaby was born, so gratitude for my family was the highlight of that week. I chose to make a paper banner saying “GRATITUDE” on my page. I cut some triangles for my banner from photos in a magazine ad of kitchen towels and glued them to triangle shaped card stock. On top of a gelli printed page, I wrote in pencil several verses that were on the topic of gratitude and thankfulness. I glued my banner on top of that and machine stitched across the top of the banner. To finish the page, I glued several word strips cut from magazines.DLP-Week-23-J

Melinda:DLP-Week-23-MBaby Boy was born the day after this challenge was posted on DLP on June 1.
I wanted to do my page to remind me of the birth. I was so grateful for so many things that week. I gelli printed a piece of paper with a tree to represent life and used colors to remind me of the placenta that sustained my baby for 9 months.

Summer Garden Recipes

CucumbersI love going to the garden and picking my own vegetables. Fresh from the garden produce tastes amazing. Last summer I shared with you my favorite refrigerator pickles recipe made healthy. Healthy refrigerator PicklesWhen I picked the first batch of cucumbers last week, I planned to make pickles again. After I got started, I realized I did not have much honey on hand, so I decided to try something new. I substituted coconut palm sugar for the honey. The coconut palm sugar gave the pickles (and onions) a darker, carmel coloring, and a slightly different flavor, but they are very tasty. I would not hesitate to substitute again. Refrigerator PicklesLast year my garden would not cooperate with producing zucchini. That is not the case this year.ZucchiniSo I am in the process of finding new ways to use zucchini. One recipe I found that has already become a hit with my family is Crusty Parmesan-Herb Zucchini Bites. Melinda substituted Mozzarella cheese the other night for parmesan and said that was yummy too.

I had bananas that were ready to be made into bread and looked for a recipe that also used zucchini and found this Zucchini Banana Bread recipe. It called for 3 bananas and I only had two, so I added more zucchini to make up for the third banana. I substituted coconut palm sugar for the brown sugar in the recipe. I also added about a tablespoon of cocoa powder (just because…) We just taste tested and the loaf probably won’t be around very long in my house!Zucchini Banana BreadWhat are your favorite recipes for summer garden produce?

From Metal Tub to Creative Adventure

This tub looks like it is ready for the 4th of July.Thrift store tubBut what to do with it the rest of the year? It doesn’t really fit my decor.

Actually, I picked it up at a thrift store with the intention of transforming it into something else. I decided to spray paint it with black chalkboard paint.Chalkboard painted tubThe next step was to hand it over to my grandkids’ creative imaginations.Kids creatingThey decided to turn it into a pirate ship. After giving them chalk, PVC pipes, masking tape, paper, plastic lids with magnets taped to them and a few other supplies…aaargh!Pirate Ship 1Pirate Ship 2Pirate Ship 3Magnetic accesories for chalkboard tubPirate Ship 4After playing pirates a while, they decided to turn the tub into a spaceship.Spaceship 1Space Ship I think they had as much fun staging their creations for picture taking as they did decorating the tub. I wonder what their imaginations will turn it into next time they come over?