Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Digital Downloads

There's this cat that just follows me around the house, I don't know why but he won't use his words to tell me what he wants.


Last night, I got my new laptop! It was not easy; we were shopping online for a bit but when we got to the store, they didn't have anything under $600 that wasn't lousy.

We went across the street and found more choices, so that was good. It isn't exactly what I wanted (there was a $350 option that looked fine and even had a number pad, but it was sold out), but it's still more exciting than our desktop which is more than I need, really.

No number pad :( Oh well, I'll have to finish learning how to type. I quit at numbers and symbols and told myself I'd never need to use them blindfolded. Oh well.

Awww man I can't believe how many pink laptops there are out there... at the risk of being a stereotype, I have to admit I wanted one. Just because it was different. And had a number pad. And cool texture. And a nice keyboard. And it was pink instead of gun metal grey. But you know I didn't want it badly enough to spend $800+ on it.

It's not ready for me yet (it's still a bit skeletal) but I'm so tickled over the concept that I decided to make a digital download, cutting out a few pieces from my paintings (not literally) and putting them together in a file you can use for scrapbooking, digital art journaling or whatever!


Here's a quick digital journal page using the photoshop file with transparent layers (probably easiest option):

I had fun with the downloads from Journaling Deep and thought I'd Pay It Forward. This is for personal use only.

Oh and I was a total jackass and didn't label any of the layers on the photoshop file. So you get to shuffle them around to find out which layer you want. Sorry about that. It's large, but easiest because then you don't have to cut them out from the background :)

Follow the link to a filesharing website! Click "Download" near the top! There is also a print option if you want to print it out directly from there.

Photoshop File With Transparent Layers (19MB)

PDF File on a White Background (159KB)

JPG File on a White Background


Monday, January 30, 2012

Step by Step - Cosmic Shower

From the Etsy Listing: "Sometimes, it feels like I am caught in a cosmic wave of fortune and that the entire universe is looking down at me and smiling. This painting is sort of a part two of "Gifts From the Universe", because that is what this feels like. I want to collect all of these gifts and hoard them for myself because I know that one day, they will vanish. Do you save up for a rainy day? Or do you spend every gift fast and feverishly, living in the moment?

I don't know. I want to save them and enjoy them, but I also wish to share them with others who aren't feeling quite so lucky. To spread it around."


I really wasn't sure if I wanted to make this. I expected it to be really lousy, actually. But you have to get the lousy ideas out before any good ones come in. I worked on a small piece of paper because I feel less pressure with them.

Oh, and I lost my kneaded eraser and had no idea how awful it is not to have one! haha.


Threw in colour really quickly here.


Darkened some lines and shadows.


Coloured in some flowers, still a bit skeptical about the whole thing.


Layered some more flowers under the other ones. This is where it gets kind of tedious and I have more memories of whatever was playing on tv than anything else! All I can think of is star trek looking at this now... yeesh.


Threw on some background colour and quit for the night.


Available here.

I added some more layers and cut out some extra flowers to "stick out" from the page because I kind of like it and it matches up with last year's "Gift" painting.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Journal post - 01/26/12


I'm having a heck of a time writing onto these pages because the ink keeps soaking in and turning "hazy". Oh well.


Stencils with lindy spray, the white sharpie paint pen I no longer love. I think I'm going back to the oil based ones because this water based paint pen just soaks in and disappears most of the time. It worked fine on this background though!


Another piece from Journaling Deep that I stuck on and used to write the date. Next to it is some kind of pastry from the page I'm working on (it's a magazine page), I just painted around it. The pastry has a cool texture because it's "spraypainted" with coloured chocolate! The more you know.


Painted over a note I found. Don't remember what it was. A map to someplace?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Art of Journaling


I wasn't expecting such a response to that last one and now I feel a little sheepish. *Ahem*. Thanks for coming in!

Speaking of giving up...

I know I mention all of these things somewhat frequently, but bear with me. The other day, I considered quitting art journaling. For reasons like:

- These books take up way too much space and there will only be more and more of them.
- I have been disappointed by the process lately and don't put much effort into it.
- I don't get to write as much, and if I have something to write about but no page ready, art journaling becomes a chore.

Love this rainbow journal! I covered it entirely with stamps.

But I still like them. They are more interesting to flip through than the written ones. Sometimes I can't even read the written ones.

Started pasting things in after a while. Yeah, I guess I wrote about a murder. Huh. Welcome to the neighbourhood!

The thing is, there is some pretty cool stuff out there! Like... journals are waaayy cooler now than they were in high school. I can't tell you how often I go into a store and see some sweet imported japanese whatever and think "If I wasn't art journaling, I could be journaling in this book!"

A discounted LOTR journal. It's covered with leaves and several coats of paint that kept chipping off.

Like this! The teenage me would be all over this.

I wanted books that had interesting papers. Gorgeous covers with harsh black lines inside just disappoint me.

Written journals have more story to them. I just flipped through two pages that described in detail a horrible thing that happened at work and feel like... maybe that was therapeutic. In my art journal I have limited space and an unpleasant surface to write on. But maybe it's also better to be vague and to the point?

Hello sixteen year old me!

I don't know, I'm just going to keep on keeping on. Maybe all those nice books I find could make decent sketchbooks?

If I don't find anything with nice papers, I bought plain notebooks and then recovered them.

So we have the idea that it might be cool if I had my own laptop instead of using the slow one John borrows from work. I'm finding it extremely difficult to justify such a baseless purchase when my camera is slowly dying and I might want to get a car someday... or something. Or maybe my cat will keel over soon. Who knows?


But I am also intrigued by the idea of having my own personal computer space for the first time in my life. With a built in cam/microphone which would be cool for skyping. Or anything. And the thought that I might just be paranoid about money. Yeah. Just a little.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Rain Cloud


I'm not sure about this one. But it's been so long since I've gotten my hands dirty that I have to accept this cloud with open arms. *Cartman voice* He's just a boy.

The truth is (and this could be useful information to the world), I forced myself to paint this for submission to UPPERCASE magazine... which is exactly why I am unsure of it as I doubt that they would appreciate this.

But I sent it anyway. Because I don't know what is going on behind the scenes. It's a fairly popular-sounding mag, so there are probably going to be plenty of submissions for them to choose from, but I don't know that for sure.

It is the same philosophy that artists use to apply for grants. Even if it's for a tiny amount of money, apply for it! Because everyone else is already looking at it thinking "oh it's so little, what's the point of all that work", that you could be the ONLY person applying and thus, win by default. I'm pretty sure I won a scholarship that way.

Same goes for job applications. Most of them have those heavy requirements up there to scare away fairweather applicants. Maybe no one has those requirements. Maybe you will be the only one to even try for it.


I'm writing this way because I hear negative sentiments even from my most favourite online art stars.

"...That's why I closed my etsy shop... I'm so scared of failing again in that respect, I won't even try."

Not trying is the only way to guarantee failure. I think it hurts me, not only to see my favourite people feel that way, but also the message it conveys. Especially if they are actually somewhat successful in their trials. What does that say for me? I don't have nearly as large a fan base or as many regular publications or my own stamp line. Does this mean I should be giving up?


Sometimes I feel like giving up. Sometimes I have to remind myself that I do this because I enjoy it. If I was blogging for the sake of comments I would have given up ten years ago. If I was on etsy for the sales alone, I wouldn't have even stuck around long enough for the first one. That certainly puts things in perspective for me. That there could be another version of me somewhere that does nothing creative and just washes dishes and watch tv all day.


Heck, I would rather be a spectacular failure than someone who never tried anything ever. I have rejection letters from times I sent out terrible manuscripts to agents and publishers back in the day.

I actually really love those rejection letters. Go figure.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Friday, January 20, 2012

End of Cookie week


It's over! Cookies all packed up in cute little boxes and cupcakes were finished this morning. What an emotional roller coaster! I dropped lots of things today.


j: So what colour wrappers do you-

*crash! plink! plink!*

j: ... did you just knock over your sprinkles?

me: YES. HELP.


I found this project at work to be super frustrating. It felt like swimming against the current a lot of the time. I was in a kitchen full of people all hoping I would fail, so that they could take the cookies and cakes for themselves. We had to keep sending for more eggs because the staff would eat them all. Two dozen eggs in two days. I brought my own eggs and they ate those too. A hundred or so extra cookies and cakes weren't enough - it seems like the cupcakes barely made it!


I think that's why I so welcomed the help I got in the end, even if it did mean delaying the cupcakes and coming in early AGAIN. It was refreshing to have someone on my side for once - a life preserver in a sea full of sharks.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Endless Cookies


No fun photos today! Omg I'm exhausted for reals. So many cookies happened today. No disasters though I ended up with a lot of extras left over.


There was no time to take any photos during the process. I had to skip my lunch break. But yay, it's done and now we have to find a way to cram six cookies into one tiny little box.


Tomorrow: cupcakes.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

What is with our fascination for all things nostalgic?


I've been floating around town. It's like some kind of hazy dream, or fog, or something. Complete lack of focus or ability to make a decision. I can only hope that I am prepared to make a thousand cookies tomorrow. Hmm.

Anyway, so when I saw the empty shelf where the Smashies used to be, I wandered around with my coupon curse. Everything was on "sale" so my coupon was even more worthless. I had to stop myself from buying $20 worth of scrapbook paper.

Instead I went on a search of gobstoppers. You know, to stop my gob. I ended up buying this cute little book from the dollar store to put my wee photos in (above).



(I miss having a new desk! Now it's a splotchy green one. Where'd the pretty one go?)

So I found out that you can't paste photos onto scrapbook papers. It just cracks and falls off. And the printing process is inconvenient. So I might switch to laser printing from now on, woop woop. And dating the photos so I don't have to remember.


A photo of a photo! Ohhhh man I could go for a mocha cupcake right about now.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Journal post - 01/15/16


While I'm not giggling over The Bloggess (btw I want the book), I've been testing out the printer and as it turns out, it prints colour images TERRIBLY! Above are some of the cute "clip art" from Kira and Roben-Marie.


The scrappy journal is a bit challenging, but in a different way. On one hand, it's nice to have a page started already so that I don't have to come up with a base layer from scratch. On the other hand, I have to work with what is already there, but don't really want to "waste" it by covering the whole thing in white paint.

And the pages are all warping because they are not watercolour paper and that kind of annoys me.


Actually, the whole world is kind of annoying me. My procrastination is completely out of control and it's been snowing out and I'm tired and blah. But it's finally Cookie Week so that's one thing about to be out of the way.


There has been talk of using Smash books for daily photography projects and that seems like a cool idea I guess. I have been flip-flopping over it all weekend! Yes? No? My printer is simply not good enough to print the photos in a way that... um... look like the photos (more like vague clusters of coloured dots?) so I will still need to actually GO OUT and print them.

But they are set up to print tiny already, and no other ideas on what I will do with them.

The Michael's coupon is singing to me... It says: uuussee mee! If you get half off, that's almost original retail price everywhere ellllssseee! But there IS no 'everywhere else', HA! BITCH

Do they have toffee mochas again at Starbucks yet? Because, I'm going there tonight to meet a childhood schoolmate and I might be too embarrassed to buy a frozen drink when it is snowing out.

Update: And after all that, the Smashies are sold out! LOL. It's the coupon curse, I tell you!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Journal Flip - Calmly Crashing

Here's that journal flip I was going to do with the Calmly Crashing journal. It's been bright out for the last few days.

Featuring Maggie! She wanted so badly to sit on my book.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Artist Highlight - Yellena James


Oh my goodness, it was a good mail day yesterday. Look at this print from Yellena James! I couldn't take advantage of her print sale, but it's still running so maybe others could grab them up.


I love her use of colour and her tiny, tiny details. These look like a lot of fun. I could definitely get lost in this. This painting is called "Silk".


A detail from her thank you card!


This is a little extra piece. I'm not sure what I will do with it. Don't you just want to colour it??


What also came in the mail yesterday was a little bundle of printer ink! Woot-woot. We haven't had a functioning printer for a couple of years and it's driven me nuts. Honestly, it will still drive me nuts because it's such a cheap, awful printer that it's no good for images. Like, at all.

But this means I can print out text, forms... maybe even try out paypal shipping?? I still won't be able to print photos on paper which is lame, but I guess I should use the colour ink for something.

I can't believe ink cartridges for this hunk of junk run over $50 each. I get that the cartridges do all of the work, but the work that these do kind of suck. Not worth it. Refurbished for the win! Amazon had some for ten bucks with free shipping! I should have looked ages ago.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Journal post 01/12/12






So yesterday we saw The Devil Inside and it was pretty fun. It wasn't scary by any stretch of the imagination; it's been so long since I've seen a movie with an audience so maybe I'm wrong in thinking how strange it is to hear so much laughter during a horror flick?

The shaky camera was unnecessary because according to the plot we were looking at footage meant for a "documentary". Yeah... I don't think any of that would have been included due to the terrible camera work. They definitely could have zoomed out a bit and not lost the "found footage" charm at all.

They were also going for a blair witch "reality" but totally goofed that. I mean... blair witch started marketing as a "real thing" way before the movie came out. That's why it worked. Adding an obvious disclaimer at the intro and a website link at the end doesn't actually add realism. Just more laughter.

Oh man, and we saw it in an AVX theater to boot. Cracking bones and high pitched screams don't really require enhanced sound, LOL. Nah, that's cool. I would rather have watched it on my tv at home I think.

I'm getting bored with religion-based horror, just because it really isn't creepy at all. Maybe it is scary for people who actually believe in exorcism, but to me it's kind of like my grampa trying to convince me that a rock is actually an egg. A movie is trying to convince me that we live in a world full of demons and devils that like to take over human bodies for no apparent reason (it's fun? They wanna be sedated?) and that shouting the name of a well-known philosopher will fix it.

But then why do I think ghost films are so great? I don't know. Maybe because they lack the human ego factor.

Scary, nope. Fun, absolutely.