Friday, February 17, 2012

My happy place

This is Group 546.

Our box is number 38, on Rural Route 5.  A lot of people don't know what group mailboxes are, although  they're becoming more common.  They save the mailman from having to make individual stops.  

I get a kick out of putting these crazy things into the outgoing mail at our group mailbox.  It's kind of my happy place.... the mailbox is at the end of the road and it's usually really quiet out there.  So in addition to picking up and dropping off my mail, which is already one of my favourite parts of the day, I sometimes stand there for a few minutes and enjoy the utter peace.  Or watch the neighbour do his loopy morning dance outside, depending on what time I get there.

Plus, I like to think the mailman enjoys this stuff marginally more than just picking up regular old bills.

(I am a master of the obvious.)

The assignment here was to send out a couple of "blank" journals - not exactly blank because the pages inside are all altered and ready for these two people to add their own brand of fabulous.

The trick was that they had to go in the mail "naked" - no envelope!  The idea is that the postage and postmarks and assorted marks from being handled would add to the character of the book.  Knowing that the addressed area is a keeper, I used a bunch of my old vintage stamps to mail them.

I don't know if you can tell from the pics, but the books are actually pretty puffy... I added LOTS of fold-outs, tip-ins, secret hiding places, and doodles to these pages.  And the tags on the second book look pretty 3-D because I went around them with a light grey marker to give the illusion that they aren't stuck right down.  It's like MAGIC.  (ooooOOOoooh!)

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go invite my sister over, and then put up a poster with her picture on it that says "BANNED FOR LIFE" on the front door.  I love messing with her.  Have some fun today... I know I'm gonna!

Love Shelley!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Making some good stuff over here

So I was digging around in my stash yesterday and I was finding so many cool things that I decided to put together a couple of journals for my etsy shop.   It's been really empty and lame for far too long.

You never really know what you have until you start exploring... at least that's been my experience.  No wonder this room is such a mess!

These books turned out so great that if they don't sell, I'll be more than happy to keep them for myself.  Hee!!  That's a win/win situation.  They fit perfectly in the hand, substantial enough to feel like you have something important yet small enough to tuck in your bag and take on the road.

I love the watercolor paper, and the different kinds of blank sheets, but probably my favourites are the bits of goodies that are stuck in, just begging to be doodled on and thickened up with souvenirs of the day.  I purposely used bigger rings than necessary so it has room to grow.

I'd love it if you would check them out.  Let me know what you think!  If they turn out to be popular I'll make a couple of bigger ones next time.  I still have plenty of stash left.

Here are a couple of sneak previews that aren't in the listings:

I hope you're having a fantastic weekend... I'm off to do all the chores I neglected while I was playing working on these.

Love Shelley!

Friday, February 10, 2012

The blooper reel

We all have them: duds, train wrecks, mistakes, boo-boos, and the occasional "What HAPPENED?!"

I have LOOOOOOTS of those.  Want to see some of them?  You can laugh at with me!

Come, take a look:

Here's where I was trying to sketch my husband Mike, but he wouldn't hold still and I accidentally made him look like a hillbilly.

Just terrible.  And this:

What the heck IS this, even?!  Nobody knows.  Maybe a herd of red blood cells?  It's a mystery.

Also, the comment of the week comes from Heather, who said:

"Are you secretly playing a game about how many times you can say "boobie" on your blog?"

I wasn't.... but now I might start.  Heh.

Okay, I'm going to go try to make something that doesn't suck.  You guys stay warm, we'll talk later.


Monday, February 6, 2012

Whereupon I Finally Figure Out How To Make Pinterest Useful To Me

Okay, so we all know how Pinterest is a huge time suck, that makes you think you can (and will) do all kinds of awesome things, and then instead you just spend your time staring at pretty things on Pinterest and then nothing every really gets done at all?  I KNOW IT ISN'T JUST ME, YOU GUYS, YOU CAN ADMIT IT.

So I think I found a solution. For me, anyway.  I figure if I'm going to be staring at stuff mindlessly, the least I can do is try to make something pretty out of my obsession.  So this last week I've been gluing pages together in a very old ratty bible that was given to me, and prettifying the pages, a little at a time!  The idea of defacing a bible may be distasteful but consider this: it would have ended up in the garbage, so I kind of saved the word of the Lord from the landfill.  I'm practically a hero.

These mini-doodles are just things that grabbed me visually and that I've tried to recreate in here, just for the practice.  None of them are super-fabulous, but I'm having fun trying stuff out.

I find I learn a lot from copying something I see.  Of course lots of times, what I learn is what DOESN'T work, but eventually it does lead to some good stuff as well.  HA!  If nothing else, it's improving my powers of observation.

So yeah... go draw something.  You might just surprise yourself... in a good way!

Love Shelley!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

More life drawing! (No boobies this time.)

I went to a second round of life-drawing last week.  This model was completely different than the last woman we drew.  Totally self-assured, all lean angles where the last model was all soft curves, and completely fascinating to draw.  She did so many great poses, it was impossible to keep up.

This is one of my favourites from that evening:

It was during the short poses (I think this one was maybe 5 minutes?) so I didn't get a chance to get a lot of detail in there, but sometimes those are the ones I end up liking the best.

Also they play great music, and you end up just zoning out and ironically not even really hearing the music, and shifting totally into right brain mode.  Probably part of their diabolical plan to make us better artists!  I think this time they played Andrea Bocelli.

At one point the model was sitting with her legs right out in front of her.  Instead of drawing her whole body I just focused on her feet:

And the missing part at the bottom right was because the timer went off and she had to change her pose.

I hope these pics aren't too boring - they're not my usual colourful style.  I'll go back to that tomorrow; pinky swear!  Thanks for sticking around in the meantime.

Love Shelley!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

I wish, I wish...

I figure the only way I'm going to get any better at drawing is if I just... keep on drawing.  So last night I was sitting at the kitchen table thinking about stuff (I know, very deep, shut up) and I was doodling, and I decided to draw the vehicle that I hope comes my way.  I'm driving a semi-reliable minivan right now, but I know that it won't last forever.  Especially if herds of deer keep leaping at me out of the fog on dark nights.  What IS it with those dumb animals??

Anyway, this is what I HOPE my next set of wheels will be:

Nothing wrong with putting it out there, right?

I didn't do anything fancy ... just drew it with a ballpoint pen (while looking at a picture that I googled, of course, my imagination is just not THAT good!) and then used watercolour and an Inktense pencil to add some colour to it.

And I have to admit, halfway through drawing it I got bored with the whole thing and was tempted to quit just in case you were all, "ooh, that must have taken a long time to draw" YES, YES IT DID.

I guess I should have drawn myself behind the wheel.  THAT would be "putting it out there."  Maybe I'll cut out a little picture of my head and paste it in.  Then I'll make a little stop-motion movie of me driving - ahhh, no I won't.  That would take too long, and I would get bored halfway through.  I guess I'll just have to face it, I have the attention span of a flea.  Feel free to imagine the movie though.  I just did.

Love Shelley!