Monday, November 21, 2016

Line Dancing

Staff meetings, waiting rooms, airplane rides, talking on the phone - all perfect opportunities to doodle and play with line drawing. I love pressing my brain to create fun patterns, using my journal as my playbook. 

Some may call this Zentangle but I don't conform to any particular rules, just allowing my mind to envision pattens and willing my hand to follow through. 

One of my students stared at the blank pages of her journal saying that she didn't know where to start. I told her not to think about it too hard - just put the pen to paper and begin drawing random shapes. Once you get going with nothing particular in mind, magic happens! These shapes are then sectioned out, filled in with staight lines, circles, zig-zags, and other patterns resulting in wonderful designwork.

Alicia's doodle page

I've created several pages of patterns that I reference when doing new work. It's addictive!

Pinterest or searching the internet for doodle patterns are excellent places to get ideas from. 

Having several sizes of pen tips is a plus. This allows you to make very detailed patterns and designs. I like using Pigma micron pens because of the variety of pen tips, they are permanent ink (which is great if you want to watercolor over your images), and they last a long time. Look for these qualities in the pens you use.


Here are more of my students' artwork - 

Donna goes wild!

Donna's creation

Sandra's lines

Marla's mandala

Open your journal, let loose your mind, and see what exciting art comes flowing out!

Monday, November 14, 2016

Falling For Wreaths

The seasons are changing - Mother Nature is beginning to show herself by way of fiery colors and crisp cold nights.

It's time to sit by a warm fire and get that glue gun out! Even if you don't have a fireplace to sit near, you can still create a fabulous fall wreath to adorn your front door, use as a table centerpiece, or present it to the host of a Thanksgiving party!

To make this wreath, here's what you will need:


  • Wreath frame - I used a 12 inch grapevine wreath but wreath frames made of  wire, straw, or styrofoam are fine to use, any size you like.
  • Various fall-colored faux leaves, flowers, berries, small foam pumpkin, gourds, etc.
  • Glue gun and glue sticks
  • Optional: decorative ribbon for hanging the wreath
  • Tip: I found many of these items at the local dollar store - nice quality and assortment without breaking the bank!

Let's Make This

Adding the details

  • If desired, glue or wrap a pretty ribbon to the back of the wreath for easy hanging
  • Use the glue gun to adhere leaves and flowers around the front and sides of the wreath frame so that the frame is hidden.
Lin's wreath in progress
  • Add the decorative pumpkins, gourds, and other items in several places around the wreath
  • Tip: Lin used a wire wreath and wrapped orange mesh ribbon around the frame before gluing on flowers (both from a dollar store!). This gave it a nice colored background to start with and ease in gluing items to a solid backing.

There you have it! A lovely showpiece that will last for years and you can say "I made it myself!"