Yes, acrylic inks are a great medium for making monoprints!
I learned this technique from Skillshare teacher, Linda Ormiston. Her class is called "Make a Monoprint Using Acetate, Pen, and Ink". Click here to access her class... it's simple to learn, yet gives such impressive results!
I'm so glad I found Lisa's class! It's a perfect blend of two of my favorite mediums, print-making and watercolors. I'll definitely be exploring this technique further in the coming weeks!
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Is it really May... already? According to the bright yellow crop of dandelions making their appearance in my yard, I guess it is! Somehow in the rush of daily living, I lost track of February, March, and April. It's been a busy few months filled with family activities, a little quiet time for reading and reflection, and plenty of creative busy-ness.
Back in January, I started my journey through 2018 with two goals: spiritual reading and daily creativity. I have to admit that the reading goal took a hit during March, but I've managed the creative journey a little bit better, thanks to a good friend's suggestion that I join her in taking a watercolor painting class through our local community college. Talk about a humbling experience! My watercolor skills have a way to go, but the class was fun, I learned a lot, and I've already signed up for the fall semester.
In late January, I learned about a website called Skillshare from some Facebook group friends who were teaching classes on the site. I checked it out, took their classes, and decided to take the February "Teach on Skillshare" challenge just to see if I could do it. Found out that I could ... and I did!
I recently published the first two classes in a series I am calling "Printmaking Basics". As a classroom art teacher, I know how much my students loved printmaking, so I'm creating the series to encourage parents to bring this creative activity into their family time at home. The classes are perfect for beginners of any age, five to ninety-five. Supplies are minimal, the mess is worth it, and the results are amazing!
Click here to view this class and create your own colorful floral prints!
This happy green fish is from Printmaking Basics: Print with Markers. Using water based markers eliminates the potentially messy inks and makes printmaking an easy and fun activity for children as young as five years in age. Click the link and check it out!
Now that springtime and warm weather have finally arrived here in Ohio, I'll be spending more time in my favorite outdoor creative spaces, my flower gardens, the local parks, and the outdoor "studio" on my back deck. I'm working on two more classes in the Printmaking Basics series, so take a moment to sign up for my email updates and be one of the first to check them out!
Do you agree? Some days I think I do, others not at all. Maybe it depends on the why I'm creating whatever is on my easel or table top. And very likely, it also depends on what I'm planning to do with that creation.
Call it insecurity...call it fear of rejection...it's all part of that feeling of not being good enough, whatever that means. That's why I've chosen CREATIVITY , along with FAITH, as the two paths I'm determined to follow on my 365 day JOURNEY around the sun this year.
I'm setting aside every Wednesday for CREATIVITY... trying new techniques, exploring new materials, and just taking the time for PLAY!
In the coming weeks, I'll share a few of my playful journeys in creativity, both the successes and the less successful endeavors.
I am a fallen away reader...
The little girl who once loved to spend long afternoons curled up with Nancy Drew and her best friend, Bess, solving mysteries and having amazing adventures, has morphed into a grown woman with too many distractions and too little time at the end of the day to curl up with a cup of tea and a good book. It's time for a new direction!
I have declared 2018 the year for a JOURNEY...
Wishing you love, hearts, and lots of chocolate!
Do you make resolutions to begin the new year? Put away the holiday clutter and give the house a thorough cleaning? Or just move on, business as usual?
Word of the Year...2015
I first heard about the Word of the Year as we were rounding the corner into 2015. At the time, I was just beginning to explore my options for life and work after my eventual retirement after 40 years of full-time teaching.
The idea of focusing on just one idea for an entire year seemed to make sense. At the time, I was struggling to maintain a balance between my personal life and my work life. And my personal life was suffering the most.
Sometimes you just know that you need to put more effort into making time to take care of yourself...exercise, healthy meals, time with family and friends, and a decent bedtime. This was one of those times for me.
Although I wasn't totally successful, and there were periods of time when I gave up on the idea completely, I did like the idea. So when 2016 rolled around, I was ready for a fresh start.
Word of the Year... 2016
Although my closets are a little less full, my kitchen has fewer unnecessary gadgets and utensils, and I have made cooking meals easier by having a rotation of family favorites, I cannot claim to having fully embraced the idea of minimalizing or simplicity, even after two rounds of
participating in Joshua's Uncluttered course!
Word of the Year...2017...Third time's charmed?
But ENOUGH just didn't resonate with me... a bland word...a word that implies standing still...not making changes...not doing things differently. I wanted...needed... more...
Since July, I've been a member of the Sunday Society, a group of amazingly creative women in business, led by April Bowles-Olin, author of the blog Blacksburg Belle. Our end of the year challenge was to reassess our lives and businesses as we lived them in 2016 and plan ahead for success in 2017.
One of the exercises in our planner was to go through a list of words and circle the ones that resonated with us most. As I did this, the one that jumped out at me was MINDFUL. At first, I didn't circle it, but I found myself drawn back to it after several days had passed, so I knew in my heart that this was it!
In a way, mindfulness (or the lack of it!) is most likely what kept me from achieving my goals of finding BALANCE and SIMPLICITY the previous two years...my a-ha moment!
So for the next 365 days, my challenge-to-self will be to practice mindfulness in my daily life. To remain in the present instead of constantly looking backward and regretting decisions made in the past. To remain in the present a little bit longer instead of moving full speed ahead into the future before the present has been savored and lived.
What about you? What works in your life?
Are you a resolutions maker?
Or a Word of the Year fan?
I'd love to hear from you, so leave a comment!
Meanwhile, Happy New Year to you!
Holiday Trail Mix
One 16-oz. jar of dry roasted peanuts with sea salt
One 14-oz. can of salted cashew halves and pieces
One 11-oz. bag EACH of M&Ms: regular, dark chocolate, holiday mint, white peppermint
One 6-oz. box or bag of toasted coconut strips (Kroger and Trader Joe carry these.)
Two cups of dried cranberries (I buy a huge bag because I use them for many things, so I just toss in a few cups.)
Holiday Homemade Mocha Mix (serves about 8)
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup cocoa powder (I used Hershey's Cocoa.)
1/4 cup instant coffee (I used Folger's decaf, but regular is fine, too!)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup chopped bittersweet chocolate (I used Ghiradelli dark chocolate bits.)
To serve: Put 1/3 cup Mocha Mix in a mug.
Add 1 cup boiling water. Stir until the chocolate bits melt completely.
Garnish with mini marshmallows or a soft peppermint stick, if you like that.
Blend the following ingredients in a large mixing bowl:
1 egg white (Whole eggs are best. If you are making several batches and don't want to have a lot of
leftover yolks, you can use liquid egg whites. However, cut the amount of water in half to keep the
consistency of the mixture less watery.)
2 tbsp. + 1 tsp. water
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. ground allspice
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
Add 3 heaping cups of walnut halves.
After 15 minutes, stir the mixture to redistribute the liquid. Return the pan to the oven for another 15 minutes.
Repeat one more time, for a total baking time of 45 minutes.
Stress-LESS Packaging Tips
When it comes to colors, think beyond the traditional red and green. Try deep blue, silver, gold, or white. This year checks and plaids are prominent in the craft stores as well.
For ties, instead of ribbon consider twine, yarn, raffia, or colored string.
I like to have a theme for my packaging, and this year I've chosen to use neutrals mainly because I fell in love with the glittered cotton ball twigs in the craft store! With those "almost Christmas" coupons, my teacher discount card, and sales, I was able to purchase the twigs, snowflake ribbon and tissue, tins, jars, and the cute polka dotted gift bags all at 60-70% off at my local JoAnn Fabric and Crafts store.
Not a bad way to put together my Stress-LESS Christmas packages!