ICAD 2015–My first “a-day” challenge

I’ve never participated in a “do something every day” challenge before, but I had seen several YouTube videos by artists that had and have participated in Daisy Yellow’s Index Card a Day (or ICAD) challenge and I was intrigued.  So, I jumped in.  I’m finished with week 1 of the 2 month challenge (runs from June 1 – July 31) and thought I would share a step out of week 1, day 7’s card, as well as my first week’s results. 

There are prompts and themes, and I’ve followed some and not followed others. I skipped Friday night in favor of canning 5 more pints of pickles on top of the 8 pints I did last weekend, so I caught up yesterday evening.  It’s really an easy going and fun challenge that is low pressure.  I encourage you to check it out.

First, here are my cover card and first 6.



Theme for Day 1 was Chevrons and I used that here in Black and White and Red in Chevrons


Theme for Day 2 was Carnival and I used that here


Theme for Day 3 was Maps



and day 6


So, for Day 7, I again skipped the theme, but wanted to work in the same fashion I did on Day 5.  I started with a piece of brayer paper that I had finger painted circles on and collaged that to my index card.


It’s dark, not particularly appealing and has the white strip down the right side.


Next, I used one of my home made stencils and diarylide yellow to stencil the flower over the upper right circle.  I used a home made mask to block off some interesting bits on the left side and used teal to cover up the rest of the space, including the white strip on the right.


I used another stencil and sponged permanent violet inside the blobs (on the left).  I used black to outline the center of the flower from step 2.  I used the permanent violet to draw stripes on the eyllow part of the finger-painted circle on the lower left and then outlined the strip on both sides with it.  I decided I didn’t like the center of that flower, so I painted it white.  I used white and painted strips on the teal bar on the right.  I then outlined the violet pods with black and the striped bar on the right.


I added a black outline to the original pod shape in the background on the left.  Then I pulled out the white Signo Uniball and outlined my yellow petals, made petals on the background pod shape and added marks inside the pods on the foreground pod shape and the cetner of the big flower.  I used a black Pitt pen to add marks to the center of the lower right flower.


To finish off, I outlined my white petals with a S black Pitt pen and drew pod shapes around the flower on the lower right.  I used an M black Pitt pen to add the arrows on the left, and the dashes in the teal background. I used the white Signo pen to color in the center of the pods on the lower right and add dots to the yellow of the big flower.  I went back in with the S Pitt pen and outlined the petals of the large flower.  I then added the cross hatching in white to the center of the large flower.   I’m practicing isolating elements in a busy or ugly background using paint and marks.  I’m really happy with my progress here. 

Nourishing My Creative Spirit

I have had a very busy and stressful year at work.  My past habit has been to retreat to the escape of fiction in the form of books.  I established a goal for this year to spend at least one evening a week in my studio, and to document that.  I fell short of adding to my accomplishments jar some time in late February, but by then, I had firmly established my pattern of entering my studio and nourishing my creative self.

I’ve played a LOT with my various Gelli Plates.  I’ve collected a lot of paint in my quest to find opaque paints.  Who knew that almost everything I had in my stock of Golden fluid acrylics would turn out to be a transparent color?  I’ve spent a lot of time browsing YouTube for art journalling and mixed media videos.  And, I’ve spent a lot of quality time with my art journal.  I also joined Instagram, where you can find me as @AnLiNaDesigns.  I’m chronicling my art journaling, and my kittens’ adventures, there in pictures.

Here are a few months worth of journal pages, oldest to newest.  You can see that I am getting better the more I practice!  Starting from the week of March 9th and going through today.


Awake at 3am, March


A Girl and Her Bird, started in March, finished in mid-April.


Zen Sunset, April


3 Leaves and a Flower, April


A, Started in late April, Finished May 1


Art is Not What You See, started from a trash page a week ago, finished yesterday, May 3


Aimlessly Wandering in Circles Forever, started today, maybe finished, maybe not!

Last but not least, Art-Xscape 2015 classes are online and registration is open.  Check it out!  Kelly Kilmer is teaching art journalling in Austin Texas!  Probably partially why I’ve been so motivated to journal lately!

An Art Journal Weekend



A weekend with a friend is a great cure for stress.  An art journal weekend is even better!  I spent last weekend with my fabulously creative friend Annie, who can do amazing things with felt and beads, on my way to a San Diego for a work trip.  Because it is also Photo Friday, I’m sharing with you two of my favorite photos from Annie’s in the afternoon, high altitude sun.  No filters used here.


We played in our art journal with stencils, gelli printing, and acrylic paint.  It was a fabulously relaxing and energizing weekend.  Annie doesn’t art journal often, so she was looking for inspiration.  I provided plenty of that!  I screwed up and resurrected a page, and almost screwed up another one.  I started and mostly finished a page without huge mistakes that I knew where I wanted to go with it.  I started another that is in a very awkward stage as I do not know where I’m going and it’s in its ugly phase.  So, here are my pages from last weekend!

My warm up page:


My resurrected page, salvaged to be an abstract sunflower:


The next page, which is too busy right now, but simmering:


My third page, very minimalist for me!:


My happiest page!


And my last, awkward stage page


Art Journal and Gelli Play


Is so much better when done with friends.  I spent a pleasant weekend with my friend, Annie, in her fantastic house and studio.  This was a girls’ weekend where we had no goal other than to eat good food, spend time together and art journal.  We pulled out our Gelli Arts plates as well, because I seem to need to warm up on my Gelli plate before I can get in my journal and play.



Friday evening, I worked on a page in my journal, where, unfortunately, I didn’t get photos of the in-between stages.  I was working on something that was looking like a mountain at sunset with a storm blowing in.  But I screwed it up.  I stopped working on it because I knew it was bad and didn’t know where to take it.  Saturday morning, we were warming up with the Gelli Plate again.  Annie was working with an acid green, teal, and red. 


I looked up and BAM!  Lightbulb went off.  I pulled out some green gold and cobalt teal and started going over the white areas on the left page which totally dominated it.  Then I reworked my sky, fingerpainting white over the blues, turquoise and purples.  I collaged some of my print-outs from previous gelli-printing adventures and I was on my way to this page!


I started working on the facing page Saturday, which had been a wipe-off page from Friday.  I started off by collaging a gelli-print on deli paper from my last on-and-off session in my own studio from the previous weekend.  I added finger-painted circles, collages blocks and got stuck.  So, I went on to another page.


Friday night, late, snow started falling, but not much was on the ground by Saturday morning.  Canada geese put in an appearance just as the snow started coming down more heavily. 




From Winter to Spring in 3 Weeks


It is the time of year in Central Texas where we look to come out of burrows into the garden.  The days are noticeable longer and the last of the leaves have dropped from the trees.  In my yard, the harbinger of spring is the Bradford Pear tree.  It seems to be budding out before it loses all of its leaves, but I know spring is here when the blossoms start to open.  Next are my bulbs.  Winter may still take a swipe or two at us, but the plants and birds know.  Spring has arrived.

My tree on February 1st, looking west.


My tree on February 7th, same view.


My tree on February 14th, same view.


I have spent my creative free time working on several things, many of which involved printing with my #GelliPlate.  I’ve made a lot of cool backgrounds that I’ve scanned and am using in other pieces of art.  These were all made with TCW Stencils using Golden acrylics and Master’s Touch acrylics.




One of the things I’ve used them for is my paper doll that I designed for the All Dolls Are Art Winter Swap.  My paper doll is a circus performer – I can only post a sneak peek now though as I don’t want to unveil her before the swap deadline at the end of the month.  If you would like to play – you can check out the guidelines on the ADAA blog or Facebook page.


A second thing I used my prints for is my Valentine’s card for my mom.  I don’t generally celebrate Valentines, but I did send out a few cards this year and wanted to make my mom a card as she always makes me the nicest of cards.  This card has a gelli printed background, gelli printed scrapbook paper adhered to grungeboard for the heart (a Tim Holtz die) and Gelli printed deli paper for the intermediate layer.  The stamp is my hand-carved “Love” stamp.


Last – I made a gift for my friend Annie – which I will show later in the week, after she’s received it!

And of course, I have my #StudioCats er kittens keeping me company.  They are so big that they really don’t qualify as kittens anymore, but they still have all the energy and wonder of kittens.


Cookie – curled up in a basket below my printing table


Calla giving Cookie a bath in my studio chair.