Where creativity grows

Author: Jen (Page 1 of 6)

Karen Abend’s Sketchbook Revival 2021

When I signed up for Karen Abend’s Sketchbook Revival I was immediately blown away by the amount of content that is offered completely for free. There were two sessions every day for fourteen days. The sessions ranged from 25-60 minutes and they were incredibly inspirational. I knew that I would not be able to participate in all of the sessions, but the ones I did do were amazing and have left their mark on my creative practice. I am so excited to incorporate what I have learned into future projects. I have already purchased my first set of watercolors. I have used what I learned in the one-liner class to create whimsical birthday cards for our nephews and I have so many ideas for the creativity boot camp I hope to host one day!

Check out Karen Abend’s site here. She is the mastermind behind this amazing workshop. 

Here is a list of the artists who were a part of the workshops. Check them out for sure!

Links to all the sessions will be available for free until 4/18/21.

  • Alexandra Gabor
  • Amy Maricle
  • Carla Sonheim
  • Danny Gregory
  • David Drazil
  • Deborah Putnoi
  • Esté Macleod
  • Helen Hallows
  • Helen Wells
  • Jeanne Oliver
  • Jessica Swift
  • John Muir Laws
  • Karen Stamper
  • Kiala Givehand
  • Koosje Koene
  • Mati Mcdonough
  • Neesha Merani
  • Noopur Thakur
  • Robyn McClendon
  • Sarah Matthews
  • Sarah Simon
  • Shari Blaukopf
  • Shelley Klammer
  • Susan Chiang
  • Tamara Laporte
  • Tina Mundelsee
  • Traci Bautista
  • Trupti Karjinni
  • Karen Abend

My favorite sessions were:

  • A Vessel of Voices: Handmade Journals for Capturing Creative Conversations with Kiala Givehand I have been interested in bookbinding for a while and I was so excited to create my own sketchbook. I didn’t use it much for the Revival because it seemed too small, but I did use it to take notes and I will use it to doodle in.
  • You’re A Hoot! with Tamara Laporte. We sketched out an owl and then painted it with watercolors and added fun doodles to it. My first attempt was an abysmal failure. The drawing was fine, but using kindergarten watercolors was challenging. I have since gone out and purchased a nice starter set of Winston and Newton watercolors, so I will be trying that one out again.
  • Quick Character Design with Alexandra Gabor was awesome. We took five seconds to draw a random set of connected lines, colored them in and then turned them into little characters. This was so much fun! She also teaches a class on the app Procreate where she digitizes her doodles and then creates a whole scene. It looks amazing and something that would be the perfect compliment to my Oodle Doodles.
  • Meditative Paint: Holes with Amy Marcle was incredibly therapeutic. We literally drew circles with watercolors for twenty minutes or so. While we were painting she talked us through how to be mindful of what we were doing— how the brush felt against the paper, how we were breathing and so much more. Immediately after doing this session, I was so relaxed and took the most amazing and revitalizing nap. I will definitely incorporate this exercise into my regular practice.
  • Creating Interesting Clothing for Characters with Noopur Thakur was challenging. I definitely struggled with the practice because I was using my Tombow markers instead of the painting colored pencils she recommended. It was an interesting exercise though to think about creating fabrics for the clothes on my characters. Will play around with this more in the future.
  • The final session was One-liner Drawings with Carla Sonheim where we were given a prompt and had to draw whatever she said without lifting our pens from the paper. This was an awesome exercise and so freeing! I drew a cat, elephant, flowers and a toilet. After we did the one-liners we chose one of them to redraw and refine. I was very excited to try out my cat. I created two versions— one that was a watercolor (I love my simple little W&N set) and then one that was a collage (I finally found something to do with a whole mess of old photograph prints I had!) She has some extensive classes on her site that I am definitely interested in. 

I really cannot say enough wonderful things about this workshop. The amount of content is mind boggling. The fact that it is free is just insanely generous. The community that participates in this event is incredible. Everyday there was a ton of activity on the Facebook group where people shared ideas, their work and answered the unending questions by newbs like myself. I cannot wait to sign up again next year!

#sketchbookrevival2021

#karenabend

This Week in The Oodlearium Part #2

My goal was to spend my spring break getting my brain back in working order. That meant I was going to spend a TON of time in The Oodlearium and making art. Here I am on the last day of my vacation and the list of what I did this week was so long that I decided to split my update into two separate posts. That means my mission was accomplished! While I wish I could spend my days making this past week has given me a good glimpse into what our retirement plan will look like and I LOVE IT! More on that idea soon.

Check out part 1 here.

Graduation cards

I have a super special group of seniors in my German 4 class this year. I finally got a start on their graduation cards this week. No spoilers here, but these cards will be very memorable for them. Pictures to come after they receive them at the end of May!

Organized the Oodlearium

I was so excited to have the time to do some reorganization in The Oodlearium. My awesome shelves had turned into a gigantic pour painting display. While I love my paintings, I was starting to feel like I was drowning in them. I took EVERYTHING off of all the shelves and did some organization. It was nice to spread the pour painting love around the house. I need to make a stack of easels for the paintings so that I can easily display them around the house. Originally I thought I was going to ask Tom to build me some simple display shelves on my short window, but I think repurposing a shelf from the guest bedroom will solve the problem and provide me with a place to display my most current work.

Bowling ball #2

I am so grateful that my friend Mary set me up with two awesome bowling balls earlier this year. When I was telling her about my first project she asked what my plans were for ball #2. I told her that I was planning to cover it with these blue glass beads I had from a project that didn’t work out…and that I would love to make the ball for her as a thank you. I spent a bunch of time this week with my favorite E6000 and a bucket of beads. I am SO excited by how this project turned out. I cannot wait to give it to her when we return to school next week. Check it out on Instagram.  

More Glass Beads

When Tom got the ball out of the garage this morning so that I could fix it, we were both mesmerized by how beautiful the beads looked in the sunlight. I love my washer gazing ball, but this looks so awesome. It reflects everything while also highlighting the color of the ball. I had already asked around to see if anyone had another bowling ball they were looking to get rid of, but no dice. When I finished the second gazing ball, it gave me the idea that I would love to do something similar, but I wanted to incorporate lighting into it. Tom gave me the idea to check at the Restore for glass globes. I took a quick ride and I am SO glad that I did. I got four different globes (including one that is an actual light fixture) for ONE DOLLAR total! I started gluing the beads this afternoon and will likely finish it tomorrow. My fairy light strands are charged and ready to display this new piece! I’m so excited to see how it turns out. It will eventually get a nice wood base, but that will have to wait its turn in the project cue! 

Cricut- another wood failure

I know that the Cricut is not meant to be used for wood. It can be, but it’s not ideal. I tried one more time today to cut out some letters. It was not as epic a fail as my first attempt, but it was not great either. I’ll have to stick to paper ideas for the time being. It doesn’t look like a failure when I look at the picture, but trust me, this was a pain in the neck!

More 3D Pour Painting

When I went to the Restore to look for a glass bulb for my light bead light, I ended up coming home with four different options. When it was clear that the first one was going to work out just fine, I decided to try out another 3D pour painting. I have wanted to do a black, white and orange painting (our school’s colors), so I mixed up a tray of paint and gave it a whirl. What a fun 3D piece of art I ended up with. I suppose in the future, I could try and do this for an actual light, but for now this one will sit on a shelf and remind me of my Huskie family.

Oodle Doodle Stories

Yesterday I finally had some time to sit down and look through the Oodle Stories I had started in my journal. I was surprised there were quite a few stories started there. Time to get back to those because they bring me SO much happiness.

52Frames

I was sure that my picture for this week was going to have something to do with our new kitchen faucet, but that didn’t work out. That meant another opportunity to whip out the wine charm guys and do some splashing around! This was my alternate shot only because the one I submitted had a better splash. 

I am not in the least bit looking forward to returning to work this week after an amazing week of creativity and making. BUT I will be done with this most challenging school year in 65 days…approximately 45 school days! So many ideas for summer for sure!

Until next time, Oodle on!

This Week in The Oodlearium Part #1

I am grateful that I put together an extensive list of things I wanted to do over spring break so that I could make the most of my time off. My list was ambitious, but I have been plowing through items and I have spent more time than ever in The Oodlearium…and it has been AWESOME! So much happened this week that I am actually going to split this into two different posts. Enjoy!

Check out my separate post on Karen Abend’s Sketchbook Revival, which was in one word- AMAZING! 

Kick In the Creatives

One of the most amazing aspects of the Sketchbook Revival was the Facebook group where people were sharing so much information. Someone mentioned this website that is a treasure trove of challenges and exercises. They even have a podcast and a YouTube channel, so be sure to check them out.

#100dayproject

I was looking through the challenges for April and I am really intrigued by the #100dayproject idea. My husband always teases me that I like lists and challenges that are a certain length. I do and I think I am going to hop in on this one, but I have to come up with my idea. Right now, I am thinking that I might use it for my Index Card Art. I can easily build that into my daily routine—even at school. Stay tuned for more info as my idea takes shape.

MyModernMet

I am a huge fan of Gretchen Rubin’s happiness work. I love her podcast and weekly newsletter (5 Things Making Me Happy….). She talks a lot about her daily visits to the Met in NYC. Somewhere over the last few months I signed up for their newsletter and every single issue is chocked full of useful bits to supercharge your creativity. I found the article on watercolor sets particularly helpful. 

Mobile Oodlearium

This summer I plan to start some pop-up art classes. This week I had the opportunity to teach a friend how to do a pour painting. The weather was not ideal, but we made the most of the situation and we had SO much fun. Eva was an enthusiastic learner to say the least. She was absolutely mesmerized by the process of layering and moving the paint around her canvas. Once she did the main canvas we moved on to wooden easter bunnies. I was sure that she was not going to have enough paint left over from her main pour to be able to cover the bunny, but she totally proved me wrong! One of the most frustrating aspects of pouring is that there is quite a bit of waste. She literally had three or four drops! It was awesome!!!

Easter cards

Our Easter cards have hit the mail and there is really nothing I love more than the texts and emails I get from people saying how much the cards made them smile. Mission accomplished! I used a few of them for The World Needs More Love Letters notes, which will hopefully spread the smiles even further.

#sketchbookrevival
#KarenAbend
#kickinthecreative
#mymodernmet
#mobileoodlearium
#EasterCards
#pourpainting

This Week in The Oodlearium

I am so grateful to be on Spring Break this week and to have dedicated time to spend in The Oodlearium. 

The Gazing Ball

I got back from running on Saturday and my husband asked me if I wanted to finish up the gazing ball. A quick trip to Home Depot to find something to use as a stake and we were ready to assemble everything. A few years ago our neighbor’s huge pine tree was struck by lightning. When they finally had the tree cut down, they offered us the trunk to use in our fire pit. One night during a late night fire, we threw one of the chunks in the fire— which of course was not a good idea! However, the charring on the trunk is gorgeous. It was the perfect compliment for the metal of the washers. I am SO excited how it turned out!

A lot of people have asked me how I did this. I bought about $10 worth of washers from Blaine’s Farm & Fleet along with a tube of E6000 from Home Depot. It took me a few days, but it was super easy and very meditative. 

Pour Painting on Acrylic

A few days ago my husband mentioned that he was curious what it would look like if I did a pour painting on a piece of acrylic. He thought it might be cool to see what the back of the painting looked like under the acrylic. Over the weekend he cut me an 8×10 piece of acrylic and I had to give it a try. He had never seen me go through the process of pouring— layering the paints in a recycled yogurt container. For a few months I have only been doing pours with strainers. However, this coming week I am going to teach a friend how to pour, so I have been working on basic techniques like circles and flips. On this particular pour, I did circles and I 100% love how it turned out. In reality, I ended up with two different paintings— the front that looks much more vibrant than on a traditional canvas and then the underside, which shows more of how I actually poured. He has a bunch of acrylic scrap, so I know I will be doing much more of these pours in the future.

Front side

Underside

Teaching pour painting

I am so excited to have the opportunity to teach pour painting to a good friend this week. I mentioned the idea the last time we had a virtual chat and I was over the moon when they said they would love to learn. It will be an awesome opportunity to practice for my pop-up art classes that I want to host this summer. 

I’m intrigued by this class

A quick Google Search for pop-up art classes yielded this class. It sounds super interesting and gets amazing reviews. Check it out!

Index Card Art

A week or so I finally started with my index card art and I cannot overstate how much I love this project. I have a stack of notecards and a drawing pen in a ziplock bag. Each morning I sit down at my desk at school and I take ten minutes to fill a notecard. It is so incredibly calming and centering. On Friday we had a super stressful meeting and I was extremely anxious about the meeting. I sat down and created a card with the word calm on it. I incorporated everyone’s initials into it as well and then I kept it in front of me during the entire meeting. 

Cricut

Earlier this week I was ready to return the Cricut Maker we bought a few weeks ago. I was so frustrated and confused by what to do with this incredibly powerful and useful tool. I decided to dedicate some time over my spring break to learn some of the features. I found a super cute Easter SVG file on Pinterest and was so excited to create some bling bunnies for my Easter cards.

52 Frames

I had so many different ideas for this week’s slow shutter speed challenge, but I opted to revisit a technique I learned a few years ago. I wanted to play around with one of my blinky lights from my running shoes. I try really hard not to repeat subjects from previous challenges,  but I had a specific goal with this image. I wanted to create a unique pattern with the swinging of the light. One of the comments I received said the final product looks like a sci-fi slinky— mission accomplished! 

Breakfast sausage

One of the best purchases we made during the COVID19 Shelter in Place was the meat grinder attachment for our Kitchenaide. I initially started with just grinding beef to make patties for burgers. Then I started making bulk Italian sausage. I haven’t branched out from those two items since we started last summer…until this weekend! I was so excited to try out a recipe for breakfast sausage. I can’t wait to see what we try next. This pin from Pinterest has a great starter’s guide for making sausage. 

Save the concept

Use only handmade journals

Watch Jimmy’s book binding video

#acrylicpour

#fluidpainting

#abstract

#artist

#splash

#fluidartwork

#instagood

#acrylicpainting  

#abstractart  

#acrylicpouring  

#art  

#fluidpainting  

#fluidartwork  

#acrylicpour 

#pourart

#artistloft

#artistloftacrylic

#acrylic

 #pocketjournals

#sandikeene

#popupartclasses

#indexcardart

#mindfuldoodling

#52frames

#52frames_slowshutterspeed

#52frames_photographer

#meatgrinding

#gazingball

#yardart

#upcycle

#E6000

#bowlingballart

#washers

#farmandfleet

A self-care buffet

When the pandemic started, I entered survival mode. I did what I could to just allow myself to put one foot in front of the next. Sometimes that meant cooking elaborate dinners for us. Sometimes that meant baking delicious brownies and eating half the pan in one sitting. Sometimes it meant killing a 10-mile training run in ridiculous temperatures. Sometimes it meant breaking down into a blubbering mess. As the months have worn on the latter has been more frequent and it has been exhausting. Tom and I have talked and talked and talked about what I could do to help me find my center and until the last week or so nothing was helping. Being here in The Oodlearium is truly the only time I feel complete joy and peace, but even lately that has been hard.

Why does any of this even matter and why am I talking about this on a blog about creativity? Stress and depression/anxiety are some of the greatest blockers to creativity. I know that I am not the only one who has felt overwhelmed and this past year has amplified all of those feelings. I often describe my life as juggling 100 plates of fire and then every once in a while someone pours gasoline on it and everything comes crashing down around me. That is not the way I want to go through life. 

During our last post-breakdown chat, Tom was emphatic that I needed to practice daily self-care. That buzzword has always bothered me, because I associate it with yuppy soccer moms who want to justify getting their nails done in the middle of a pandemic. But, I understood his sentiment. I needed to take time for ME to make sure I am good every single day. 

We brainstormed a long list (have I mentioned how obsessed I am with lists?) of ways that I could take care of myself. I wanted to create a buffet of options so that I could pick and choose depending on my mood. I wrote each idea on a notecode and clipped them together with a binder clip. They sit next to my journal in the middle of The Oodle Surface where I see them every single day. Each day when I have practiced my self-care, I jot the date and anything noteworthy on the back of the appropriate card. It has been tremendously helpful and has kept me focused on taking care of myself.

Here are some of the activities on my cards:

  1. Yoga
    1. I LOVE Yoga with Adrienne. She has a video for every situation, but she is also incredibly loving and supportive. I just did her Yoga for Healing video (only 10 minutes) and I felt like a new person.
    2. This Yin Yoga Foundations video is excellent. It is 45 minutes, but it definitely calms my mind and my body.
  2. Meditation
    1. I try counting my breaths and staying focused on my breath. 
    2. I have also started using my hour glass to work on staying focused.
  3. Take an online art class.
    1. I recently purchased a five month subscription to CreativeBug for $5.
    2. There are TONS of classes on YouTube. Consider creating a library that you can go to when you want to watch something later.
  4. Write thank you cards.
    1. This book changed my life. 
    2. Have a stack of thank you cards ready (you can get them super cheap from the Dollar Store) and then you can just write it out quickly.
  5. Do a pour painting.
    1. If you are a regular reader of my This Week in The Oodlearium, you know that I am obsessed with pour painting.
    2. If you need a lesson in letting go, pour painting is a great way to do it.
  6. Take a nap.
    1. Most people go through their lives extremely sleep deprived.
    2. Don’t fight it. Your body is telling you that you need rest.
  7. Get out in nature.
    1. Fresh air ALWAYS helps.
    2. My husband set up a patio shelter last summer to block the harsh afternoon sun. It made such a difference and we spent so much more time outside than normal. 
  8. Index card art.
    1. This idea goes hand in hand with mindful doodling. 
    2. Grab a stack of notecards and a pen and fill the card with a pattern. Go back and color it, if you fancy. Base the doodle around an inspirational quote or even a power word such as strength.
  9. Read.
    1. My husband and I are reading Seth Godin’s newest book The Practice.
    2. We have both been profoundly moved and inspired by his message.
  10. Self-massage.
    1. This book has kept both of us out of the ER multiple times. Daily self-massage can help release the tension that builds up during our chaotic and stressful lives.
    2. Consider investing in a Theragun. We are not a gadget gadget family, but the $199 investment we made in our Theragun last summer has been life changing. As a runner, it has helped with recovery after long training runs, but it helps just loosen up sore muscles from life.

Download a printable copy of my cards here. (This link will force you to make a copy of the document and save to your Google Drive. From there, you can open it in Google Slides and print it out with six or nine slides / page onto card stock.)

Until next time, Oodle on and make sure you are taking care of YOU.

This Week in The Oodlearium

On Monday night, Tom and I got our first doses of the Moderna vaccine and we were both euphoric…feeling like the end of this Covid nightmare was finally drawing to a close. Then on Tuesday I found out that my mother was in the ICU in critical condition— likely with Covid. My world was turned upside down for a thousand different reasons and I was reeling with a thousand different emotions. I came home early on Tuesday and after a nine-hour Lucifer marathon with Tom, I finally got some rest. There was no way I was going to be able concentrate at school while sitting around waiting to hear any updates, so I opted to stay home and spend the day doing art therapy.

I headed to Michael’s and picked up a whole mess of supplies— retail therapy is not usually my thing, but I wanted to have a variety of projects to work on. The gal who rang me up asked what I was working on and I had to laugh because I had really no idea what I was going to do with all the stuff I had just bought. I had a styrofoam head and a bag of balloons that I thought work to recreate a photo I had seen (it didn’t). I had a ridiculously expensive clump of grass and a giant pink flower, a stack of 10 8×10 canvases, a set of mini canvases, supplies for the cricut, a metal sunflower, and another plastic mask. 

The Sunflower

I am obsessed with 3-D pour painting right now. After the success of my mask, I have been trying to figure out what else I could pour over. When I saw the sunflower, I knew I had to try it. I had no idea if it would work out or just be a mucky mess. While it did not turn out how I thought it might, I really do like how it turned out and I am thinking of going back to get a few more to make a set.

Upcycle

Early on when I started pour painting, I decided to make use of two old cookie sheets to catch all my spillage. It definitely bugged me that there is so much waste in this art. I follow Callen Schaub on instagram and I love how he uses all of his process pieces as art, too. From the trough he uses to swirl his paint to a canvas on the ground that catches all the spillage. So each time I do a pour, I just let the paint sit in the tray. Well, this week, I finally picked up some plastic triangles to use to prop up my canvases. After my pour dried, I realized the triangles had also dried into the paint. When I was yanking them out, it actually pulled up a solid sheet of paint…leaving me with two really cool pieces “fabric.” We did a bunch of brainstorming on what I could with them and finally decided I am going to try and make coasters with them. Tom gave me the idea of creating concrete coasters that have an inset for the pour. Then I will cover them with epoxy. I don’t know anything about any aspect of that project, which is exciting, but also means that it will have to wait until later for me to play around with…mainly when the weather is more reliable for me to work outside with concrete. For now, here are the sheets…pretty cool, eh?

Bowling Balls

Earlier this year we had an opportunity to do some self-care during a professional development at school. A fellow creative offered to show me how to cut glass that I would eventually be able to use to make a gazing ball out of a bowling ball. She also showed me how I could cover a bowling ball in washers. When I randomly asked on Facebook if anyone had any bowling balls they were trying to get rid of, I didn’t expect someone to say they had four that I could have for free! I gave two to my friend and kept two for myself. Yesterday was the first day since I got the balls where it was nice enough to sit outside and start work on the project. I LOVE how this is turning out. The process is incredibly therapeutic. It helps me with my “letting go” work because it is impossible to create a perfect pattern. And, it is looking really cool! While I was outside, I had an idea of what I wanted to do for the base. We have a bunch of chunks of our neighbor’s tree that was struck by lightning. I want to prep and finish one to be the base for the ball. Not sure where I’ll put it yet.

Try something new

Tom and I decided to spend this entire weekend on maker projects. It was just what I needed, but I wanted to challenge myself to not just fall back on my regular projects of canvas pour painting and making cards. A while back I was doing a virtual painting session with a fellow creative in Israel. We were talking about how she is always frustrated with how her pours turn out and that really likes how mine turn out. I told her what products I use and that everything is set up, I just have to decide on my color combos and pour. Ready to pour paint is not available in her area (huge bummer!). I told her that I would play around with mixing my own and let her know what I figured out. I finally had the chance to play around and it IS really challenging. I mixed acrylic base paint with Elmer’s glue and then added pour medium. When I do a regular pour with my pour ready paint, I know exactly how much paint I need. With this method, I had no idea what I was doing. I decided at the last minute to pour through my regular colander. I started pouring and the paint just sat there. I kept pouring hoping the weight would push it through. I finally lifted the colander and realized this was going to take a bit of effort. As I was tilting and sliding the paint, I could tell there was not going to be enough to cover the canvas. I grabbed the colander to see if I could get any more to slide out and was thrilled that it did. As the paint was drying, I noticed a few air bubbles, so I decided to try my heat gun out on it. That caused this crazy crackling pattern which I have never seen before. The moral of the story is that it was LOT more work to create this pour, but it was definitely something I will play around with. I thought it would be cheaper to use straight acrylic and mix my own, but after the amount of glue and pour medium I used, I honestly don’t know that that is true. 

52 Frames

I saw this photo a while ago on Pinterest. When I saw this week’s challenge was color relationship, I thought it would be perfect. Small problem— I didn’t know anyone who would let me paint them white…who does that? My sister-in-law suggested trying to use a styrofoam head…which made me wonder if I could stretch a balloon over it and get the painted effect. I knew it was a long shot, but I had to try. Yeah— it didn’t work. I tried a whole mess of other ideas with the head and the white mask I bought, but nothing was working. On Saturday, I decided to play around with another piece of glass I have— a pretty light purple dish of sorts and then a green background. I messed up while processing one of the images and this crazy blue resulted. I had my image! 

Image from Pinterest

#3Dpourpainting

#Michaels

#sunflowerart

#pourpainting

#acrylic

#mixmyownpaint

#52frames_colorrelationship

#52frames

#abstract

#fluidpainting

#fluidartwork

#pouringart

#acrylicpouring

#pourgallery

#upcycle

#concreteart

#bowlingballart

#upcycle

#gazingballart

#washerart

This Week in The Oodlearium

We survived February in Illinois— not without a few scars, but we survived! I am sure I am not the only one grateful to put the last month behind me. This was a low-key week in The Oodlearium in terms of making, but there were lots of ideas churning. Here’s a quick recap:

My good friend Julia told me about Karen Abend’s Sketchbook Revival and on a lark I decided to join in on the fun. One of the pre-sessions was to make your own sketchbook that would be used throughout the workshop. I have always wanted to learn about bookbinding, so I jumped in. I Kiala Giverhand did an awesome job of walking through how to create a simple journal with the supplies you have on hand. I was sure I didn’t have what I needed to make one, but as she went on, I realized I absolutely could make it work. I ended up trying out alcohol ink on watercolor paper for my covers and also adding a ribbon to keep it closed. Kiala had a ton of nuggets of wisdom that I needed to hear:

  • We force ourselves to try and be masters the first time around.
  • This is my first, but not my only.
  • Imperfect is perfect.
  • I transfer my energy into what I create.
  • Show compassion.

Collaboration

Tom and I LOVE when we get the chance to collaborate on a project. It’s not as often as we would like to though. On Friday night he proposed the idea that we come up with a project that utilizes both our skill sets rather than him just helping me with a project or him just teaching me something. Quite a few ideas came out of that conversation and I am super excited!

Patio Table

One of the ideas that we talked about that was a bit more me than him was to create a new custom top for the patio table we built together last summer. Originally I was going to pour paint the planks and then he would epoxy it and reattach. That was becoming a bit cost prohibitive. While walking around Home Depot, we had the idea of creating a custom pattern out of pieces of wood and painting each one and then sealing it. As I type ideas are flooding my brain. Hope you’ll be at the big bbq we want to throw this summer to see it!

Pop Up Art Classes

I am planning to throw a few pop up art classes this summer. Think things like Painting in the Park and Doodling among the Dandelions. If there is something you might like to learn that we can do out in nature, drop me a message.

Music Obsession

Tom and I are currently head over heels in LOVE with the Netflix show Lucifer. I am obsessed with the music in this show— really. Whoever the music director for this show is, s/he is a genius! It is absolutely the kind of music that I would love to have playing in The Oodlearium while I work. I finally found a listing of all the songs this morning, but I have only started going through the process of listening to each one to see which I want to try to add to a Spotify Play list.

CreativeBug

I took my first CreativeBug class this week. It was on creating 3D word art with my new Cricut Maker. I’m excited to try this out over my upcoming spring break. I need to order a few supplies first.

Textile Closeout

Our school ended the textile and clothing program last year and this past week the department held a huge closeout sale of all the goodies in the room. I scored tons of fabric for a whopping $5. I’m super excited to play around with making stuffed animals and a few other things. I already used one of the pieces as a backdrop for my 52F images.

Self-Care

I have not been shy about how much I have been struggling lately as part of our world. There is just too much going on and more often than not it is very overwhelming. On Saturday, Tom and I sat down and created a list (I am most comforted by lists…) of all the ways i could practice self-care. I will write more about ths another day, but one of the ideas I am most excited about is Index Card Art. It is exactly what it sounds like…create something on a 3×5 (or 4×6) notecard. 

52Frames

Last week’s theme was details and I was not feeling inspired. The image I submitted was a commitment shot— a shot to keep my 166-week streak going. That’s ok though. I showed up and I will show up again this week.

This week’s theme was negative space and I am super excited about my image. I did not realize it until after I was done how much it was inspired by the painter Callen Schaub, whom I follow on Instagram. 

#sketchbookrevival

#karenabend

#kialagiverhand

#pourpaintfurniture

#collaboration

#lucifernetflix

#music

#popupartclass

#selfcare

This week in The Oodlearium

Somehow last week slipped away from me and I never wrote my post…things happen!

The Mask

Tom and I were standing in line at Michael’s picking up our Cricut Maker when he hopped out of line and whispered he would be right back. He returned a few minutes later with a standard white plastic mask— the kind that people often decorate for Mardi Gras. He knew that I have been looking to do a 3D paint pour for a few weeks now. This was the perfect surface to experiment with this new surface. I cannot even fully express how excited I am about how my mask turned out. It’s sitting on the side table here in The Oodlearium and I just LOVE it. I am trying to figure out how to properly display it…rather than the way it is currently leaning against and empty kombucha bottle. As soon as it dried, I knew that I wanted to use it for the 52 Frames Theme for the week. 

Roll the Credits.

I really want to write a whole post about the process of creating my image for this week, so I will keep this relatively short for now. I had a simple idea in mind. I wanted to have the mask against a unique background and I wanted to make the eyes look like they were glowing. To say the final product was an incredible labor of love would be an understatement. I took hundreds of images to make the final one and I pushed myself to learn a whole smattering of new tools in Photoshop. I was extremely excited when I looked at my image this morning on the 52 Frames site and learned that I had been selected as one of the 52 picks for the week. There were close to 3500 images in this week’s album, so I was absolutely tickled to be chosen. 

Cricut

I finally took the Cricut out of the box and started playing around with it. I am spatially challenged and it is going to take me quite a bit of time to figure out how the thing works, but I’m excited to add this tool into my toolbox.

Rabbits

The same day we picked up the mask, I picked up some wooden rabbits to paint. I definitely need to work on a process for them, but the two I did turned out cute. I have eight more to play around with, so I am sure I will improve over the next few weeks.

Canvas Redo

I have a bunch of canvases from when I first started pour painting that did not turn out how I had hoped. I figured the canvases were toast and I would have to just dump them…what a shame. Before I did that, I decided to try out doing a repour on them. I was pleasantly surprised that it worked. The color scheme on the first one was not ideal, but I am sure I could do it over again. The second one turned out great. I really like how the colors created a sand and ocean look.

CreativeBug

I haven’t had a chance to work on any more CreativeBug classes, but hopefully soon.

Until next time, oodle on!

#52frames_rollcredits
#52frames
#cricutmaker
#pourpainting
#3Dpourpainting
#rabbits
#woodenrabbits

Creativity in the kitchen

My husband calls me fearless when I am in the kitchen. A few days ago we were talking about a recipe I made over the summer. Despite not having a good half the ingredients, I decided to make the recipe anyhow. I swapped out a lot of the ingredients.  And it turned out good…whatever it was. 

That story is not an intention to brag about my savvy in the kitchen. I love cooking and I love baking. I love trying new recipes— even more so when we are having friends over for a dinner party. Really early on when my husband and I started cooking together we had the agreement that if something didn’t turn out we would simply order a pizza. There was NO pressure for something to be amazing, but there WAS space to experiment and practice. Over the years that has developed into a true passion for cooking and baking. While I love cooking for Tom and me, I truly love sharing our kitchen with friends and family. 

I have always told people that I am just following the directions when I make something. Someone else did all the hard work of figuring out what to put together in what order and for how long. But lately I have started experimenting and it has been a whole new layer of fun for me in the kitchen. Does it always work out? Of course not, but we haven’t ordered pizza yet either! 

This past weekend I decided to do something I have never done before with baking— make up my own recipe. Chocolate cherry cookies are a family favorite during the holidays. I am pretty anti-cooked fruit, so I have never really been a fan of them (and until Tom started helping me with the ganache they were a pain to make, too!). In a moment of weakness, I decided to try one again and I was shocked that I really liked the flavor. My husband commented that they reminded him of his mom’s chocolate cherry cheesecake. YES! And with that I was inspired to to create a cookie that was truly a cookie version of her famous cheesecake.

I started with the chocolate cherry cookie recipe and combined it with the filling that my husband puts in his magic cupcakes (1 package of softened cream cheese, ¼ c sugar, 1 egg and ¼-½ c dark chocolate chips). I decided to use a mini-muffin pan with liners just in case the batter melted all over the place. I rolled the dough into a small ball and pressed it into the bottom of the liner and pressed my thumb into it to make an indent. Then I scooped a small bit of (maybe a tbsp) of the cream cheese filling. Top it with a cherry and then pipe the ganache over it. These were baked for 10-12 minutes at 350. When they came out, I was sure they were a failure. There was no structure to them. They were tasty, but they just fell apart. I left them on the counter and went about my day. Later in the day, I tried one again and was shocked that they had solidified into a delicious bit of joy that tasted just like mom’s cheesecake! 

I am not so naive to believe that all my experimentation will result in beautiful success stories like this one, but I am emboldened to continue with my experimenting. No idea what form that will take, but I am sure it will be fun and if it fails…well there is always pizza! 

In the meantime, oodle on! 

This week in The Oodlearium

What a week this has been! We are deeply entrenched in the coldest and snowiest winter we have had in quite some time. I won’t lie- it has been hard to stay focussed on the good. That means that The Oodlearium has been even more of a sanctuary than in a normal week.

A dear friend and fellow creative recently told me about a website called CreativeBug. I am pretty anti-subscription services primarily because they can quickly get out of control (Prime, Hulu, Netflix, Disney+, are just a few examples). However, when she forwarded me an email that said I could get 5 months of the membership for $5, I hopped on without giving it a second thought. Over the course of the week, I have been playing around with a few different classes. I did a bit of work with brush lettering, which is something I have wanted to learn for a long time. I started the creativity boot camp, but need to get some more supplies before I can continue work on that one. When I stopped I had created a relatively creepy self portrait that quickly got crumbled into a ball and recycled.  I ended with a bit of work on doodling that inspired me to start work on a different project. I’m looking forward to playing around a bit with learning something new each week without the pressure of feeling like I made a huge investment. Check it out!

I am absolutely not a materialistic person. In fact materialism is something that turns me away from people, but this week I received two packages in the mail that have been awesome additions to The Oodlearium. A few weeks ago I ordered an hourglass from Etsy. I am disappointed to learn that Etsy no longer is a site for artisans to sell their handmade work. Anyhow, the hourglass I purchased arrived and looks beautiful on the oodle surface. I use it when I am writing to make sure I stay focussed on what I am doing and not on going back and forth to check my social media. It has been awesome. And my second Pilot Metropolitan arrived and I am so excited to be able to have an everyday pen and a special pen for cards that will have my colored inks in it. 

Last week I think I mentioned that I was going to host my second creativity chat today. There were three of us and it was fabulous. I was in a pretty meh mood when we started, but by the end I was overjoyed. My friend Karen lives in Israel and she taught us about the Jewish holiday called Purim. She was dressed in costume today as part of a long standing tradition she and a good friend have for this holiday. Someday when my husband and I visit her in Israel we want to go during this time of the year to experience this holiday— the focus of which is doing kind things for friends and strangers to make them joyful. What a beautiful gesture! Another friend taught me all about the Cricut vinyl cutter and inspired me so much that we went out and bought one today. I am thrilled at the prospect of what we can do with this amazing tool. 

I have amassed quite a collection of pour painting canvases, so I am trying to avoid making new ones without some goal of moving a few of the ones I have out. I had a few canvases from when I first started painting that were not successful. This was the first time I ever tried painting over a canvas and trying a second pour. The colors I chose were not the best, but the pour definitely worked. I have a few more that I can rescue, so that was great news!

My husband spotted a few fun items at the craft store this morning— a plastic mask— perfect for Karneval. I’m going to pour that later this week. Then also some super cute wood cut out bunnies perfect for Easter ornaments. So many ideas…so little time.

Finally, this week’s 52Frames theme was one of the most challenging ever—golden hour! Remember what I said about the weather. I am proud of myself for coming up with a way to meet the challenge, but it was tough for sure. Check out my image on Tuesday when the album goes live.

One last thought before I go…I need to write a separate piece about creativity in the kitchen. I had a unique experience in the kitchen yesterday and I am excited to share it with you. I just can’t do it right now 🙂

Until next time, oodle on! 

« Older posts

© 2021 The Oodlearium

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑

Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)

Follow by Email
Twitter
Visit Us
Follow Me
Instagram