Sunday, August 28, 2016

#ZombieZaturday: A Zombie Zorority Sneak Peek

It's #zombieZaturday on a Sunday. . . because I forgot about it yesterday and I still don't have a #zombieZunday graphic. Yup, I'm a mess. More on that later!

For now, how about a sneak peek on what you could be reading over on Channillo? That's right, here's a slice of Zombie Zorority!

Zoey's Diary: An Excerpt  from Zombie Zorority

Property of The Paranormal Agency: Research and Resource Area #1
File: Psychiatric Notes and Observations of Dr. Robin Galwinsky 
Subject: Para id #357609 Para Name: Adams, Zoey F.
Additional Document: Personal Diary

8 July 2013
Dear Diary (sarcasm) 
Dr. Robin is sitting across from me and refuses to leave until I’ve written something in this stupid notebook. Now that I’ve done that she can stop asking me how I feel and looking at me like a specimen.
Love Always (sarcasm)

15 July 2013
To Dr. Robin 
I want to thank you for being true to your word and leaving last week but I don’t appreciate still being forced to do these stupid entries. That’s how I feel - unappreciative. They will not help me - only you. And I get that I’m a wondrous experiment for you all but I’ve been here a month or so now and I’ve been poked and prodded and questioned and all I want is to go home and not be at the mercy of freaking doctors any more.
Yours Truly ( w/irony)
P.S. I think the letter format actually helped. It gave me, like, a target to shoot at.

22 July 2013
Dr. Robin 
Yet another obligatory entry/letter that I’m writing while you watch over me like a . . . . Tutting hen? . . . A nag? . . . Idk annoying thing. You don’t think I’m being clear enough with my emotions? That I’m not going in depth? Here’s this for depth — Fuck off. Fuck this. Fuck y’all. I fucking hate it here. I’m fucking angry and frustrated . . . And pissed. No one tells me anything. Everyone condesends to traet me like I’m normal while I’m obviously not. People come in and out and meanwhile I’m fucking—stuck—STUCK in this same stupid grey and hospital green room with even more doctors and government officials watching my every move from the otherside of the mirror or hidden cameras I can’t even see. Why am I being imprisoned? I’m the victim! I’m innocent. I hate, HATE, HATE it here, and this, and you!

25 July 2013
I’m only picking this up and writing in desperation because I want to cry but I can’t. I try but I just end up looking like a bad actor imitating heartbreak. I make all the right motions but no tears fall and I can’t get that release from the indulgence great big tear soaked wallowing. Instead I’m giving into Dr. Robin’s stupid journal. And I’m writing but all I mean to say is they told me today. Finally, after what feels like an eternity, they told me what everyone else must have known all along. Every time I asked a nurse or a doctor or an orderly or even Dr. Robin…THEY knew I was never going home again. They knew that this was my life now - a government lab rat. Everyone knew and no one - not one- until now had a grain of compassion and human decency enough to let me know. They just fed me false hope - egging me on to continue with their experiments and test. Only when their lab rat became uncooperative did they reveal the truth. The truth. From some suit I’d never seen before. He told me I will never go home and . . . And Dad thinks I’m dead.
There’s nothing to go home to. That’s what that guy in the navy suit had said. I’m dead, everyone thinks so, had a funeral and everything - nothing to go home to. I’m trapped in here for ever and poor Dad thinks he’s alone in the world, no other family left.
I wish . . . I wish I was dead. . . Really dead. . .
This is stupid. I want to cry and I can’t. This journal had only made me want to cry more and I still can’t. What’s the point?

5 August 2013
To Dr. Robin,
You know what? I know I refused to make an entry earlier and I still don’t want to now but . . . But . . You know what? What you said earlier really pissed me off again and I can’t stop thinking about it.
You just want to help me? No one here wants to help me. You all work for the government, for the Paranormal Agency. You’re part of their effort to cover their own asses. It’s their fault that I’m like this, that I’m a monster, that I’ve lost all my friends and family and any hope of any kind of life. It was their fuck up and everyone else…Everyone who’s said they want to make sure I’m taken care of, I’m adjusting well, I’m as healthy as I can be, I’m comfortable and whatever line of bullshit they feed me whenever they feel like it, they are all a part of it.
Dr. Robin, you are a part of it. There is no damn way you could want to help me for my own sake. What you really want to know is if the zombie virus is destroying my brain. If the virus is making me angry and violent and paranoid. You don’t care that I become well-adjusted, if I come to terms with my “condition”. How could you? You can’t work for them, keep me here, lie to me, lie to my dad, and be on my side at the same time. You told my dad that his only child by his dead wife is gone forever, also dead, a total lie. No decent person can do that and have some kind of altruistic desire to help other people, specifically the aforementioned not dead daughter.
And as for me being angry, violent and paranoid….who wouldn’t be? Make any other normal person and force them to switch places with me—hell, you switch places with me—you wouldn’t even have to make them a zombie or sick in anyway, just keep them locked up for days and days and days on end with nothing to do and no one to see but fucking doctors and g. i. suits and see who isn’t angry and paranoid at the end.
So, again, fuck your so-called help. No one can help me. No one could help me. What would they even do?

13 August 2013
Dr. Robin says I should try to write my dad a letter. I think she’s trying to give me something to do that’s not just being angry at her. Or maybe some kind of lame entertainment mixed with a homework assignment. And I’m getting annoyed that it’s kind of working. Not that it makes me feel any better but that this stupid notebook the government probably buys in bulk from the dollar store or something is the only thing I have to do. The only thing I’ve had to do since I got moved here. I tried to sing songs to myself, to see all the lyrics I could remember, but the only song I could remember was that “I Love It” song but you know, I only knew that one part: I don’t care, I love it. And I really, really don’t love it. I tried to think of other songs, like random words that might spark other lyrics but I couldn’t get the stupid music from that one out of my head and nothing new could get in. That song has been stuck in my head for over a month now, that’s got to be some kind of record. It’s just this annoying background sound to my thoughts now, like a buzzing fly stuck in my brain that I’ve learned to ignore, that might even be comforting now. Though if I ever meet those “I love it” bitches. . . I’d bite at least one of them.
I can’t write a letter to my dad, it hurts too much.

22 August 2013
Dr. Robin thinks I should try the letter anyway. I’ve been thinking about it. I wouldn’t know what to say. Well, I only know the one thing to say.
Dear Dad,
I miss you.
Love Zoey
Oh God, now what am I suppose to do with all this sadness. With all this sobbing that produces no tears. This heartache that makes my chest burn, that makes it so I can’t breathe. What am I suppose to do now?

If you want to read more about Zoey and her life as a zombie, be sure to check out Channillo and subscribe to Zombie Zorority!

Until next time,

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Quick + Easy Art: Morning Routine

Every once and a while, I make something really simple and I want to share it. It's usually quick and easy, and sometimes clever. There's nothing really to teach or show but I still hope it'll inspire because again I usually think it's clever and someone out there might benefit. Since I'm making videos now, I thought it'd be even easier to share and sort of make a series of it.

The first of the series uses a page torn out from a magazine and washi tape. The  page has some tips for having a good morning and it has a really cold hand drawn vibe to it. Normally, for something like this, I would just tape it on my wall and call it a day.

However, I'm living in a hotel and it's another month before I get to go home and in the meantime I don't want to lose or damage it. At the same time, I had some washi I haven't used yet and a sketch book that just happened to be bigger than the magazine page. Boom! An idea was born. I could just tape it into the sketch book, make it pretty, and hang it up when I get home.

This project is quick and easy, makes keeping magazine tips pretty and easy, and uses up washi tape, my collection of which is getting out of control. The video is short, but maybe it'll give you an idea for something you can do yourself.

You can make a similar page by visiting Delicious Living to print the same page and use your own washi tape. Or you could use any torn out magazine pages you already have, I know I have a few at home that I can't wait to use this quick trick on. Oh! Also, I used masking tape to cover up the Delicious Living logo before I laid down washi. You could also use a blank address label or glue down some computer paper first. Finally, while the washi tape does have enough tack on it's own, I used some double sided tape from a tape roller to adhere the magazine page onto the sketch paper.

Thanks for stopping by! If you enjoyed the video, please let me know by liking and subscribing to my channel or leave a comment below :D

Thursday, August 11, 2016

The Great Craft Catch-Up: Mission Inspiration: May "Wild & Free"

This challenge was hard. Mostly be cause I'm trying not to keep using the same images and colors but we like what we like and I only have so many options in this hotel room. Also, it was another small page/spread like the challenge I faced with April's prompts. But challenges make life and art interesting.

I really miss the awesome lighting at home. Sorry, it's so dim.
I will forever look at this playful, free-spirited page and remember the unusually difficult process of finding collage images that fit just right. I cut out so many bits of papers and images, I could probably make 2 or 3 collages just from the parts I didn't use. But I'm really glad I stuck with it and found the stickers and shapes that worked out beautifully.

Then, even though the page was finished, the challenges were not. I've spent the last two days fighting with my computer trying to get film footage and photos online to share with y'all. Again I prevailed, but let me tell you, there was a lot of carnage along the way. This all should have been shared Wednesday but here it is on Thursday instead.

Here, at last, is the process video and finished photos for you to enjoy.

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, August 8, 2016

The Great Craft Catch-Up: Mission Inspiration: April "Your Favorite Someplace"

I'll start by saying, the titles are gettin' ridiculous up in here.

Moving on.

The Mission Inspiration prompts from April lent themselves easily to a travel theme and I was all about that. I love to travel and going to new places, despite all my anxieties, motion sickness, and home sickness. I also love the vintage feel and look that Mike Deakin went for in his spread. In fact, I originally planned to do something pretty close to that. I even got as far as taking out all the right supplies: brown toned travel ephemera and maps, Vintage photo Distress ink, yellow ochre paint, etc. But when I sat down to get to work, I just wasn't feeling it. It's beautiful and romantic and makes me think of bygone days on trains and steam boats that I see in films but . . . my maps have always had brilliant colors. My tickets have always been thermal printed or bar codes. The siren song to do something completely different, despite not really having the supplies, was too strong to resist.

Voila something completely different

This spread is quite a bit smaller than my other Mission Inspiration spreads which presented it's own problems. Not only did I have to scale down mark, I also had to keep a delicate balance. There was no opportunity to repeat a hundred square shapes or butterfly cutouts. I even made that nifty little folder and couldn't use it when it was just one page. However, given my struggle with this scale, I abandoned the idea that I would completely MI: May on the even smaller following page. Instead, I added a little bonus page following the same steps and even using some of the scraps from the original page.

If you're interested in the bonus video where I make this folder, let me know. I can make it happen!
I'm most proud that the united ephemera and the cut out quotes are from things I happened to have with me: baggage claims and tickets I had left in my luggage from a recent trip and the travel advert in my hotel for Marriot's reward program.

Anyway, I'm very happy with this piece because I remained true to myself and still completed the challenge, even though it was a few month late. Now I have to restrain from using this bright blue and neon pink combo in every other page I make. I love it that much, lol!

Here's the video of the process:

Please let me know in the comments if y'all like these videos or prefer the step by step photos from before. Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, August 6, 2016

#ZombieZaturday: Real Zombie Art Journal

If you follow me on Facebook, you were expecting this video last Sunday. Sorry about that. If you don't follow, then it's all news to you. Either way, here's the start of my latest zombie project!

Overall, I'm thrilled with the start of this cover and this project in general. I'm not super happy with the lettering but until I know how to make it better, this is how it will stay. Also, I will add door handles and chains later, when I'm back home with all my hardware. For now, I'll be posting new pages in this art journal every other #zombiezaturday.

If you're keeping track, a zombie art page every 1st and 3rd Saturday of the month, and a new Zombie Zorority chapter every 2nd and 4th Saturday. Plenty of zombie awesome content for the zombie lover in you're life.

Happy #zombiezaturday you zombie freaks!

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

The Great Craft Catch Up: Mission Inspiration: March "The Darkest Hour"

As it turns out, I will be working on The Great Craft Catch-Up. Between starting Mixed Media Morsels, and taking a quick trip home to retrieve my Mission Inspiration journal, I now have 50% of what I need to catch up on the journal groups I wanted to participate with in 2016. The other two, Journal 52 and Dictionary Art Journalers, may have to wait until next year at this point.

Anyway, today's Great Craft Catch-Up project is the March spread for Mission Inspiration. You remember Mission Inspiration, right? Mike Deakin, or one of his coconspirators, gives us 10 prompts each month, then we share the results with the Facebook group.

Well, I started March's spread way back in March around the time when I learned I needed surgery and coming to terms with all that. Basically, one of my lowest points this year. I didn't feel much like making art, nor did I have the energy, but I also didn't want to fall behind. Somehow, both happened.

The Result . . . . and also my feet
Since my January and February Mission Inspiration posts were long photo heavy posts, I've decided to go with this slideshow/ video thing followed by a text explanation this time instead, just for a change of format. It's more like a transition between then and now, before I filmed and after, sort of like this spread.

I started March's mission a little disappointed because the first few steps leave you with a black and white canvas. I'd just finished a black and white piece for February and between being down about my health and a yearning for spring, I really, really wanted something colorful. At the same time, I couldn't find any colorful collage pieces I felt like using, and for once my only grocery receipt was from Wegman's which might be the only store that doesn't print a bunch of colorful adverts on the back. The only good thing I had going for me at the start was that the giant magazine cut-out girl looked exactly the way I felt.

It wasn't until I was applying the Mars black border in step two that I suddenly felt truly inspired. As I was applying the paint, I thought to myself This is the blackest black. It's as black as my soul. Well, the darkest hour is just before dawn, you'll feel better soon. From that, literally everything else was in this spread was born. I'd use butterflies for the metamorphosis association, I'll use an orangey pink highlight color for the morning dawn, and I'll use one of my favorite song lyrics for the quote (It's not my favorite song, only one of my favorite lines.... It's not even my favorite The Mamas and The Papas song). After that I only had two stumbling blocks, plus a bunch of life events, that delayed my completion until July.

First was step 3, adding scribbled illegible words. There is something about being a writer that makes it really difficult for me to add text to my mixed media pieces that are going to be obscured or don't necessarily have any meaning to me. When I use book text, I try to find at least one stand out line that relates to the piece. And I try to read all those background text stamps to see what it says. I'm trying to let go of this need/compulsion, but it's proving difficult. It was even more difficult when I had something I very much wanted to say but I didn't want anyone to know AND we were being asked to use our own handwriting. Then again, we were obscuring what we would write, it didn't need to be legible at all. The best way I knew how to do this was not only write over my own words over and over again, but also to use a white pen on a white background because I was terrified even after writing illegibly someone would be able to make out what I wrote. Of course, in the finished piece, you'd never even know there were words there. Plus, at this point, since I wrote all my fears about my surgery and everything went smoothly it's doubly irrelevant but back then I was putting on a much braver face than I felt and I didn't want anyone to know how scared I truly was about the whole ordeal. Anyway, I struggled with this step far more than I should have and for far too long.

The next hold up was that I knew I wanted do step 7, apply a highlight color through a stencil, to look like the rays of a rising sun and I knew Tim Holtz stencil that would be perfect but at the time, I didn't own it. That didn't change what I wanted so, in essence, I had to figure out how to make a stencil. Of course, I spent so long trying to figure out how to do this, it came time for my  surgery before I finished this mission.

After the surgery, there was a recovery that went on longer than I'd hoped and as a result I had far more to catch up than I'd expected. I was able to work on it a little bit when I unexpectedly added the blue background, very carefully painting between butterflies because I really hated the stark white background. Even if all the receipt words hadn't disappeared when I used gloss Mod Podge (I never use a heat gun the words just magically vanished), it's not like I would haven't wanted stuff like El Paso beans or bananas peaking out behind the flutterbyes anyway.

Then, in June, just when I thought I'd finally get to catch up on my journals, I got a totally awesome surprise in the form of an impromptu vacation. So then, in June I had to do more catching up all over again. Finally, finally, finally comes July and I take a last minute family related trip and my house loses it's goddamned mind. Now, that I'm living in a hotel from a month, I was finally able to conquer the whole stencil issue because in the meantime I acquired the original stencil I wanted plus one more that also fit in well and the rest of the steps went with down with ease.

In the end, I absolutely love this spread. It's one of the few very personal art journal pages I've done, not a spread just for fun or for the sake of making art. One of my favorite parts is the play with proportion and all the different sizes of pages in this junk journal working in synergy. I love that the girl goes off the page at the top and the bottom. Plus, one of the earlier pages peaks out behind her, and that pages space/sun/star theme works with color and theme of this page too.

Still, I would have like to have gotten a better result with the clockworks stencil, that was a matter of my execution and that I'm not skilled yet with stencils, I'm still I'm glad I added it at the last moment. I think it helps to work the collage image more into the piece, even if I sometimes think it looks like she's wearing a helmet now. I'm also not completely satisfied with the balance of the lettering across the page, I tried to help this by signing my name and date in the other ways but I'm not sure that was entirely successful. Also, I'm still going to add a little bling, in the form of tiny crystals added to the black butterfly on the collage girl's hand, but I don't have that particular item with me at the moment.

Anyway, I'm very glad this page is done and it came out pretty close to the way I wanted. I still have some catching up do with Mission Inspiration but I'm having tons of fun participating and learning along the way.

Thanks for stopping by! Come back soon for Mission Inspiration: April.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Hotel Motel Art Journal, Page 1

By now, you probably know I'm cloistered in a hotel for an indefinite amount of time. I brought a bunch of art supplies with the only thought in my head being "make something with paper".  And so, I am making things with paper.

Witness the Paper

So far, I've made this art journal but before that, I started a hotel specific art journal. It was a sales newsletter thing for some product line I've never heard but is basically the Avon of soaps and lotions. I shoved it last minute into one of my bags because it's an already made book with fairly sturdy pages, I could just gesso over and do whatever.

Perfectly Posh
I left the cover and the first page blank for now and opened to the first page spread. The left hand page has a gorgeous picture of spices and produce that are the ingredients of these soap products. I instantly knew I wanted to leave that as it was.

Initially, I thought I might do a food related spread since I have a whole paper pad of food related papers and that I would use the large quote on the page "It's what's inside that counts." But I couldn't get the food papers to work in my mind.

As I gessoed the page and chose coordinating papers from my supplies, I kept thinking about what to do and how this page might look in the end, or how I could get it to look with what I had on hand, and also a title for the journal.

I decided it should be called "Hotel Art" because it was literally art I'd be doing at a hotel and I'm not that creative. However, once the title was in my head, I couldn't help but think it would be even better if the pages inside were actually inspired by the art of the hotel I'm in.

Hotel Art morphed Hotel Motel when this song got stuck in my head.  

Let's backtrack a little bit. One of the first things I check out when staying in a hotel is the art on the walls. I don't know why, I'm just sort of fascinated by it. Most of the time it's unsigned and usually random as hell. But somebody made it and somebody else saw it, thought it looked like something they wanted, and bought it. In the case of my current hotel, they bought like a million copies because every suite here has the same prints, or I assume they do because our two suites have the exact same art. But in general, motel and hotel art gets a bad rap. I wanted to see if I could be inspired by it and, if so, what would that look like. Would it be more interesting? Could it even be done? That's the basic concept and exploration of this particular art journal.

So my one hotel suite has five paintings in it, plus there's tons of art in the hallways too, plenty of inspiration.

I started with the big piece in the living room.

The art itself is just sort of, I don't know, 'eh?' and makes me think of fall. I don't particularly like it but I went about trying to be inspired.

The final result
Here's the video of the process.

After painting the background and taking a few pictures, I realized that paint I'd used, Buff Titanium, was far more yellow than I imagine. I actually spent a lot of time thinking about how to correct this but I don't have any experience with color correcting anything outside of Photoshop. In the end, I applied the same technique, just add more blue.

I made a very thinned out wash with a mixture of purple, blue, and matte medium and applied several layers. Next I added a touch of white to the mix and a few more layers. While I was getting a cooler and more grayed out look, I was also getting a lot of purple in all the white spaces. I touched up the white again, then added a few washes of the purple mix on the opposite page. In the end, I was much happier with the background even though it took some doing to get there.

As for the foreground leaf image, I really would have liked to do something with transparent papers or tissue paper because the original image has a lot of transparency in it but I didn't have either of those at the time. Instead I went with layers and made a couple of small books instead. I chose papers in my color scheme and with blank spaces or lines, in case I wanted to add some writing or doodles or pictures. I also added a number of extra little journaling cards and whatnot for even more writing and photo space.

The book is bound simply, with masking tape, like a flipbook. Originally I was going to do a more fancy binding, with a hidden hinge sort of thing but after I spent a lot of time trying to get the folds right, without a score board, I abandoned that idea. I just slapped on some masking tape and did a bunch of weird cuts and folds to put the book together. Since I didn't really know what I was doing when I started doing it, I didn't try to capture it on film (this is the same reason you don't see the color correction process as well).

Even though this piece took a long time, compared to my other projects this past week, and took a lot of twist and turns, I am very, very happy with how it turned out. I might a few touched here and there. As soon as I have access to a printer again, I definitely will be adding pictures to that flip book. I'm considering listing the titles of any new movies or shows I watch on that library tag, or books, if I read any. There's also a little sale icon on the facing page, near the coconut, that I want to cover, and I have the perfect coconut like paper to use too. Unfortunately it's not at the hotel, so it will have to wait. In the meantime, I keep having to stop myself from flipping through that leaf book nonstop. Seriously, I love this.

Next I'm going to use the turquoise piece as inspiration, mostly because I want a lot of color and saturation and not more muted tones. Plus, I've just been craving to do something with teal or turquoise. Isn't that weird? Have you ever had an art craving?

Until next time,