Confessions of a Craftaholic

Tag: art

A Cheap Altered Notebook

So today, I finished up a journal. This one, is a cheap composition notebook that I painted and added embellishments and doodles to.

The words say, “Poesias Y Pensamientos” which in spanish means, “Poems and Thoughts”, since that is what I normally have in my journals. I had run out of space in my old one, and I do love a lined journal.

I used these pigment ink markers I bought a long time ago, to doodle on the front cover. It’s fun.

Anyway, I decided to go buckwild with the pages inside, and paint them, too.

That’s a poem, called “Happy Times”. It’s a story about a woman who wasted her life being bitter and now works in a shitty motel. I was thinking of a Paul Simon tune when I wrote this one.

Fun, right? I went today, to purchase some supplies. I’ve got a “product line” in mind for my new etsy shop. I’m excited about it. This time, I’m going to put my all into it, dammit! I get so scrambled sometimes. It’s hard being a sagitarius. I tend to have a scrambled up brain most of the time.

Also, I am thinking of moving my blog onto my website. It’ll still be my blog, but you’ll be reading it from my website, and I’ll be publishing it from there. Not sure yet, though.

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Inspiration Thursday

Today, for inspiration thursday, I remembered to work on a journal spread.

It reads, “I choose to be happy”.

What do you choose to feel today?

I created this spread because I needed to see it there, and think it, while I painted, cut out little bits of paper. I create art journal spreads as a sort of…therapy. It’s so soothing. I like to glue in pictures, post it notes, and stubs and things. I love that. I’m not trying to create a museum quality work of art.

My art journal is just a way for me to record the thoughts and things in my head, along with ideas of how to be a better person. I like to add pictures of myself, because I’m visual that way. This particular picture is VERY old. My husband and I were in our first year of dating in this one. I know because that jacket is old. We are in Sunset park, brooklyn I believe.

Today, I choose to be happy. Why?

Choosing to be happy, I’ve said before, is not something you do when you already are happy.

Sometimes, life gives us crap to deal with. Sometimes we have pain and grief to deal with. In choosing to be happy, I’m not saying that I all of the sudden do not feel pain. I’m saying that I choose to notice the positive things in my life, because there are good things everywhere.

I’ll tell you, I decided to do this, most recently through my poems.

Most of you know, I write poetry. I’ve been writing since I was a little kid. Now, I know a lot of poets say that. But I have a corny poem from when I was 8 years old to prove it.

Anyhow, my poems came from me needing to get out how I was feeling, since growing up, I wasn’t exactly raised by people who taught me how to express my emotions in a healthy way. So I started writing. And obviously, what came out of it, was poems written from the dark places in my life as a child.

I’m a b ig fan of Paul Simon. One thing, is that in some of his earlier stuff, you hear that darkness. You hear the sadness that he felt on occasion. But then….you listen to his other stuff, more recent, and you hear…stories. You hear him telling you a story. So I decided that I wanted to go in that direction with my poems. I can’t write stories for shit. But I can tell a story in my poems.

So I decided to move on, from the shadows of the past. I mean, the past is still the past. But it is just that.

Anyway, getting back to my point. I can choose to feel. I can choose to feel anger about my lost childhood, or I can choose to be happy to have two children to provide a HAPPY childhood to. I can choose to have a grudge, or I can move on.

Life is about choices. Today, I choose to be happy.

What do you choose today? Why not journal about it today?



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ATCs Inspired by a Friend

Yet another ATC swap. I have about 5 packages to mail out today, I swear.

Today, I made a set of ATCs, for a swap that was inspired by the artwork of my friend, Lisa Kettel. This is how I interpret her art, in MY style:

So that’s that, as far as all the ATCs go. Hubby and I have been working on something special for our new etsy shop.  I’m SO excited!

I no longer blog on sundays. It’s not a pentecostal thing, it’s a lazy thing. You know, growing up in New Jersey, everything, I mean EVERYTHING shuts down on sundays. Even supermarkets would close around 1pm.

Here in brooklyn, I live in a very predominantly jewish area, and everything shuts down on fridays and saturdays. Sundays in New York City, is when all the new yorkers go out to play. I’m serious. Saturdays in manhattan or brooklyn, you’ll see the tourists, and the folks from Connecticut, Long Island, or New Jersey, come to spend the day in the city. Sundays, is the day when you see the real new yorkers out to play with the kiddos and such.

Sundays my husband is off of work, so I like to spend time with him and the kid. Tomorow, a friend of mine is having a craft supply yard sale, and then there’s a food truck bizaare at the Hell’s Kitchen flea market.  That should be splendid! If not, maybe we’ll get some empanadas instead. OH MAN hell’s kitchen has THE BEST colombian empanadas. Vegetarian ones too! SO good. Trust me. And the hot sauce is real authentic colombian hot sauce. So good.

You know, back in the days, I used to sell at the Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market. I would sell my handmade vegan soaps. I did well, actually. If it’s one thing that people buy at fairs and festivals, it’s silk screened tee shirts, and soap.  I had decided not to sell anymore because it just wasn’t my thing. It’s A LOT of work, selling on the street or in a fair. You have to wake up super duper early (around 5 or 6 I’d wake up, normally), make sure everything is packed up (because you’d have packed up the night before), make sure you’ve got change (dollars, I mean) and leave to take the train, get there and set up, be there until closing, and normally I wouldn’t get home until 9pm, after packing up, chatting with the person next to you, etc.  Anyway, I did a lot of them, and in true Sagittarius form, I lost interest. And I got pregnant, so there is that.

I dont’ think that I will ever do them again, not here in New York City. A couple years back I did vend at a place in Jersey City, NJ and did well there. Very well, actually. But eh, New York. I have my opinions on that, which I think I’ll keep to myself.

At any rate, all of this was to say, that on monday, you’ll see a sneak peak, and if I get the chance, you’ll see the full fledged finished product. I’m so excited. This is going to move our etsy shop in a different direction-in a place where my husband and I are working together, creating together; this is something I wanted from the moment I married him. I hope you like it; and by like it, I mean that I hope you purchase our future products, which you’ll find out more about on monday.


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Hopeful ATCs

Recently I joined an ATC swap that had the title “Printmaking” in it, and so for some reason I thought it had to do with making your own lino blocks, which I do enjoy doing.

But it wasn’t, the object was to create a set of ATCs using something you normally wouldn’t, to create a print. So, I chose corrugated cardboard, from a starbucks sleeve that I was saving, just for this type of project.

I used acrylic paint, with the corrugated cardboard on top of a background I made by smudging different shades of re-inkers together on the paper. Then the rubber stamp, and the stars really bring this ATC to life, I think.

Yes, I am back to doing swaps, but not TOO many. I like ATC swaps because they keep my mind creative, while not giving up too much of myself. The problem I had in the past, is that I love swaps, and put a lot into them, and then there goes a person, sending something you obviously don’t like, or that took a lot less time to make. It can be annoying. At least with ATCs, it’s quick, and it’s not like making jewelry or an altered notebook or something.

Not much else to report, really. I woke up with morning sickness, if you want to know. I don’t know what to eat anymore. I mean, that with this pregnancy I have found that I have to eat what I crave, but my problem is sometimes I’m not craving a darned thing, I’m just hungry! I did find that I love the pizza hut bread sticks. Yum.

Well, hubby has the day off, so we are taking our little one to the Children’s Museum here in brooklyn. After that, in the afternoon, it’s the aquarium (if it’s not raining) and the Coney Island fireworks! Let’s hope the rain comes tomorrow.


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Potty Mouthed ATCs

Today I finished up some ATCs that I made for a swap that I’m in. I warn you though, the swap is a “Blunt” ATC swap, which means cursing is involved.

I had to recruit my husband who has neat handwriting, to write it for me, since my printer is out of commission.

Well, I don’t know how I feel about them. I rather like them. Anyway, the swaps on ATCSforALL are quite different, in that you send them all to one place-the hostess. You also send her a little extra something, which is fortunate for her, since I happened to clean out my closet.

Speaking of which, can you believe that I destashed about 7 bags of garbage and 5 bags of art supplies to my friend? Crazy, right?  I couldn’t believe I had that much stuff to get rid of.

Today is tuesday, which means it’s the day to go to the Botanic Gardens with my little one. I love it there.


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Frida Altered (Blank) Journal

Today I finished up a fun project. I found a blank journal, while cleaning up a corner of my apartment, and decided to paint it up, and dress it up.

Here’s what I came up with:

I’m not one to brag, but it did take me some time and lots of love to make this. I like to sit and think about it for a while, get distracted, come back to it, work on it a bit more, get distracted again….that’s how my art works.

I think it’s because I’m so used to getting distracted, that I kind of make it work for me.

Anyhow that frame there, is vintage. The lace is vintage also.

You can CLICK HERE to purchase.

Today is Independance day, which marks the annual hot dog eating contest in Coney Island. While I would much rather stay home and work on art projects and swaps and such, I think I’ll make it out to see people stuff their faces.

The only thing about being a vegetarian, is that I suppose cheese fries will suffice for me, since just the thought of eating a hot dog frankly makes me sick to my stomach.

And that’s it!


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Frida, Hanging Out & a Sneak Peak

Today I finished up a necklace that I made. It’s a photo transfer pendant on a chain, with pretty beads.

Here, Frida is accompanied by some handmade paper beads.

This piece is lovely and colorful, and matches with an array of outfits. And the recycled beads really make it, don’t you think?

So CLICK HERE to purchase this item.

Oh, and the sneak peak! Well, I’m working on a fun item. It’s a set of affirmation cards. I will show you what some of them look like, so far.

These are just pieces of kraft colored cardstock, from Papertrey ink, which I gessoed and then painted. Now, I’m working on the collage aspect.

What else? I’m feeling lazy today. I was supposed to be going out to the gardens with my daughter, but arg, being pregnant can really make you tired. Maybe I’ll just walk around the neighborhood with her today, and take her to the playground instead.



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Vintage Inspired ATCs

I’m in a swap on ATCs For All, and this particular swap requires you to use text book pages on your ATC.  Here’s what I came up with:

The background is pages from a french dictionary. There is vintage lace as a pretty touch, Pan Pastels over the paper, and the little paper dolls are from Cosmo Cricket. I just love this set, so much!

Each little girl is different then the rest, and it reminds me of some old vintage paper dolls I have in my stash.

I like this set a lot. Maybe I should have made one for myself, eh? Ohwell. For me, pictures are enough.

What else? I’m still working on this project I’ve got up my sleave. Okay, okay, stop asking, I’ll tell you what it is: It’s a set of collaged Affirmation Cards. I’m really excited for it! I’m not done with it, but I’ll show you a sneak peak tomorrow.

The vegetarian thing is sticking with me so far. It’s a very strange thing to actually crave healthy foods when you’re pregnant. I sure didn’t crave it with my daughter Dakota. No way. I wanted pizza and peanut butter ice cream every day.

That’s all for now.



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Creativity Wednesday

Inspired by my art journal, I’ve decided that on wednesdays, it’d be fun to show you some of my own art journaling, and then give you a journal prompt for your own journal.

Today’s journal spread, is more literary.

Take a look:

On the left, there is a letter I wrote to myself. It’s a nurturing letter.  On the right, there’s a list of things that I can do, to nurture myself.

Here’s a closer look:

The page on the right has a picture of myself, that folds out to show another couple things on my nurture list.

Here’s a challenge for you: why don’t YOU write a letter to yourself? What would you say?

It’s hard to think about, isn’t it? I say, wake up in the morning, make your coffee or tea, and just write. I like to gesso the pages the night before, so that when I wake up, I don’t have to wait for the paint to dry. I can just wake up and write and doodle.

So do that. Then in the morning, just wake up, and write a letter to yourself.

Then, take it a step further, and write a list of things that you can do, to make yourself feel good. It’s a good tool to have. You can always look back, and remind yourself of the things that nurture you.

You know?

Oh, and here’s another item I created.

Tomorow, I’ve got to run to the art supply store, and buy some more art supplies to make more earrings! Have you got any suggestions? What sort of people would YOU want to wear?

Anyway, CLICK HERE to purchase these.




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What Brings Me Joy

So today’s art journal spread is a three/four page spread about what brings me joy. I created an extra page, here with a hand list of things that bring me joy.

I realize now though, that I need alphabet stamps. Anyone feeling generous?

This little dragon was cut out from a magazine and caused quite the ruckus in my apartment, since my daughter has the same yen that I have for all things asian. I really do. I love china town so much. It makes me happy, walking along the side streets, browsing through all the little shops. I love it. And yes I love hello kitty. I try to say that it’s my kid that likes Hello Kitty, but I like it too.

That’s the list on the right. I just used a sheet of paper from an old sketch book, and wrote on it. Then I used PAN pastels, since I love them so.

This is what it looks like when you fold out the third page:

I love this! And I was SO excited when I saw those words, “MAKING STUFF”. I almost did a dance.

I really like this a lot.

What brings me joy?

My art. My creativity. My poems. Apple picking in the fall. Road trips in the summer. The stories my husband tells me of all the crazy people he meets.

Swaps. New art supplies. Baking.

My daughter’s laugh. My husband’s laugh. His stories about life in Puerto Rico. Good chocolate. Making stuff that I see in designer shops. Paint on my fingers.



The belief in fairies.

My daughter, when she tells me, I’m her best friend.

These things, they make me happy. I realize today that at times, when we’ve gone through a lot of sadness or difficulty, especially as children, as adults we almost….look for the sadness. Ultimitely, I have to live with me.  And no matter what happened in the past, it will never help, to constantly look back, lest we turn into pillars of salt, like the woman in the old testament.

I should warn you that I’m not sure I’ll be blogging tomorrow, since my lovely shiny friend from Pennsylvania is driving in today, and we are going to the mermaid parade. Although, I’m kind a short, so I’m not promising any amazing shots. Just a warning. But yes, no blog post tomorow. I think. I get a little addicted to blogging. It’s fun.

AND, my hubby and I are going to launch a new and improved etsy shop. We are so excited! It’s going to be a culmination of my work and his, and will have all sorts of vintage inspired handmade goods and supplies.

We are so excited.

Next week, you’ll hear more about it.

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