Monday, October 31, 2016

Care package for someone with fibromyalgia

Just in case someone gets the idea of wanting to send me one :-D

I wanted a chocolate cake today, so I went to the kitchen to make me one. After 10 minutes I had to call my husband to finish the batter for me, because my hands couldn't take it any more.
Now I'm in pain, because of all the emotional upheaval...
I hate it that I can't just go to kitchen and whisk me a cake.
I hate it that my hands hurt after doing something, so bad, that I find it hard to write.
I hate it that I had to interrupt my husband and ask him finish the job I want to be able to do myself.
I hate it that I can't trust my body anymore.
I hate it that it's just us two here.
I feel so alone. Abandoned.

And I would really, really, really like to have a care package right now.

It would be all yellow things, like the Box of Sunshine above.

I would like to find a couple of DVDs... action movies. I like action movies. I like Luc Besson. I like Crank and Transporter, and I like Shoot 'Em Up, and I like Ultraviolet and bad-ass women. Long Kiss Goodnight. Peking Opera Blues. Things like that. I find it uplifting to watch women kick ass. It makes me feel better and more powerful. Kill Bill was great.
Though some feel-good is also nice. Love, Actually, for example. Love that.
But do not give me "Life of Pi"! Yuk!

Yoga video would be nice, too... or some other form of gentle, calm and relaxing movement

This bunny is a heatable neckpillow with herbs inside so that it will smell lovely when heated

Warm and cozy is good.
I love hot water bottles. Heat pads would be nice. Ice packs too. Sometimes cold makes it feel better, sometimes warm.
I'd love comfy, soft bedsocks... not too tight, not too thick, loose around the ankle, but not around the foot...
And I would really like a bed jacket.

I love brain teasers and puzzle cubes and sudoku. I would get lyrical if I found a wooden puzzle cube from the box, but a sudoku pad would be nice, too :-D

Something edible, of course. They say sour things are anti-inflammatory, like sour cherries and lemon. I like lemon. And cherries. And pineapple is anti-inflammatory, and honey, almonds and coconut. And ginger. Some sort of dried fruits - nuts snacky things would be nice.
Lemon drops. Eucalyptus drops.
Chewing gum.
And chocolate. There should always be chocolate in a care package.
And some sort of toffee-fudge-dulce-de-leche-caramel variant, because I love that.
Also, they say liquorice helps with inflammation and pain, so put that in, too.

Of course tea. It can be some sort of "healthy" tea. With a cute cup. Or bowl... I like drinking my tea from a bowl, and it should be light... and thin... like Chinese superthin china bowl...

I think I would like a couple of small bottles of juice, like something really healthy, full of vitamin C and yellow, like sea-buckthorn. I like that.

A couple of pocket books, perhaps? Roald Dahl usually works, and Eva Ibbotson. I like children's books.
Something to make me laugh. Asterix works always and I like Gaston, too. 

And then some "beauty products", like handcream and so... I don't much know what this could be, but something that smells nice and can be used in bed. Perhaps bath things. Epsom salt would be awesome.

I think I would love a mixtape CD :-D Uplifting songs for a fox in trouble. :-) Or maybe some meditation or so.

I would LOVE to have a new, soft knit pajamas or nightgown, a bit old-fashioned

Something I'd love as well, is new bed sheets of very tight woven quality cotton, because I need to change my sheets often and best quality sheets are most comfortable but also expensive.

Some aromatherapy: for fibromyalgia following oils are suggested: basil, lavender and rosemary; rose; citrus fruits, like lemon and orange; ginger

I would need some of these help grip gadgets.
Another helpful "gadget" is bed tray. Anything that makes that I don't need to carry the weight of things on me or with my hands.
Also, different massage things, from brushes and rollers to shiatsu seat etc.

Gel cooling eye mask - would be wonderful after all crying...
Also a nice box for tissue paper for my night stand. My eyes and nose run because of FM:

I think I'd like a Himalayan salt lamp...
Some air purifying plants would be nice, too, instead of flowers.
They also say that beeswax candles have nice effect, too

A pretty notebook and pen that glides easily on the paper - perhaps some sort of writing aid for easier grip on the pen?

Guess what? This made me cry...
I haven't even thought of the possibility. Freezer meals, so that I won't need to cook! Or have some baked stuff in my freezer so when I feel like cake or doughnuts or what not, I can go to my freezer and have it.

Cleaning help would be lovely. 
Also any help for getting my chores done, 
like help with shopping, bank business, doctor's appointments etc.

You know what would be great? You know how I always cancel dates and meetings? What about bringing the date to me? Check out the different "date night at home" ideas, there's tons of them, and most can be adjusted to "best friends" in stead of "lovers".

Fibromyalgia Tips, Tricks and Gadgets, to give you a hand :)
A really good list to give you more ideas :-)

Then to some things I would love but don't dare to ask.

It would be amazing to have a year's prepaid maid service, once a month or even once a week...
Even once would be a relief.

Oh, I would love this!
"feels like down" pillow - down feeling, but not the allergy 
I used to have these 50x90 down pillows which I LOVED.
I'd love to have those replaced.
And I love the pregnancy pillow which is as long as one's body twice, so that it feels like one is sleeping in someone's lap

Massage, alternative therapy session, Rosen therapy, Alexander therapy, any kind of physical therapy.
Also things like manicure, pedicure, face treatment...

 A small dishwasher so that I don't need to worry about doing the dishes

An air purifier to make it easier to breathe
A slow cooker so that I don't need to cook


Thursday, October 6, 2016

Summer's apartment from (500) Days of Summer

 This vignette to me is Summer... I can't believe that people think it's about the toile wallpaper and rose painting! The rose painting so obviously doesn't belong with the Magritte thing going on... 
This woman is quirky person who likes art and reading, and who reads good books.

This is the first wall we see of her apartment. Yes, white and toile. But also... something that looks like unpacked boxes by the entry. Stuff that looks like second hand finds.
And of all the things you can see on the table... some people picked the tree and the buddha.

Summer's dressing table - this is straight against the door. 
So the bathroom is either left from the door or on the corner right from the door, next to the kitchen.

This is the bed end. Accessory storage space.

"In the film, Summer (Zooey Deschanel) is a recent transplant, 
and still has a few boxes sitting unpacked in her apartment. 
She also has plenty of interesting, vintage artwork in ornate gold frames, some well-traveled knickknacks, and as you might expect from any good indie flick, some cool posters."

Er... "Ornate gold frames"? "Some cool posters"? 

Also, that was day 109. Day 1 was within a week from when she moved in. So there's boxes unpacked 3 months after she moved. To a studio apartment... 
Nah. People are too lazy. 
When I moved, the boxes were out within a week.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Shannon Green's Journaling By 5s (JB5)

There are 20 pages you are supposed to fill with five steps, each step uses 2 "medias" and you have 15 minutes for each step. (5-10-15-20)

1) put down color using paint/ink/any manner of getting color on paper (background)

2) put down visual texture (strips of paper from magazines, junk mail, any paper) (still background - which means DON'T CHOOSE PICTURE OR TEXT YOU WANT SHOWING FROM THE FINISHED PAGE. Any text and pictures are to be just "background noise" at this phase.)

3) put down pattern with stamps and stencils (or any other way) (still background)

4) put down images/words (the FOCAL POINT, this is the main attraction)

5) pen work using any kind of pens, pencils, ink, fine tip applicators etc. (finishing touches)

then there's time for free play, when you finish the pages the way you want them - if you want to. You already have an "art journal" :-D

One of the original points was to choose ONLY 2 MEDIUMS for each step, so that you would have used only 10 mediums in the finished work - so, for example, acrylic paints and sprays for the color; magazine scraps and book text for the texture; stamps and stencils for the pattern; magazine scraps and printouts for the focal image and soft pencil and white paint pen for the pen work. In practice it got a bit too boring to be using only 10 things for this, so that part of the challenge has been forgotten.

It takes 1 1/4 hours of main work plus the time it takes for preparations and the time it takes for drying paint and glue etc., which means that at the end of the day you will have a finished art journal.


So, the thing here is to keep in unpretentious, which means that you are to use cheap things no-one will cry over if "it gets spoiled" or doesn't turn as you expected it to turn.

If you can't find a composition book or staple bound notebook with cheap paper in, there is something like this in every country. Here in Sweden it's called "skolhäfte" and in Finland it's "vihko". Try school supplies. If you really can't find an equivalent to this in your country, take some cheap paper - or printer paper - and sew or staple 20 pages together. Or go find a travel brochure or something with 20+ pages. (Preferably stapled, not glued.)

The point is that it's supposed to be cheap paper, junk mail would be perfect, or newsprint, something that doesn't cost much and doesn't hurt if you have to throw it away and start from beginning. This is important, you need to feel like you are SUPPOSED TO WRECK THE JOURNAL.

Prepare it. If you need to glue the pages together or if you want to slap gesso on the pages or white paint, do that, and let it dry.

If you use a journal, it would be good if you prepared the back of each page by gluing or taping on some waxed paper or plastic so that the pages won't stuck together, because that is a very big annoyance.

If you use loose papers, it would be good to get one of those clothes' drying carousel hanger thingies. Just see there's 20+ clips on it. Start hanging your pages from the innermost circle and go round, to minimize the risk of wet pages touching each other. Just remember to protect what ever is under it so that the eventual drips won't stain something that shouldn't be stained.

Or you could try clearing space from the table or floor for 20 pages to dry...
There are different possibilities for papers to dry. Think out the one you are going to use before you need it.

It's good to have plenty of space. The more rushed you are, the more space you use and the wider your movements are. Things will fall and disappear and mix up and cause chaos.

Have only what you WILL use on the work area. Don't store things you MIGHT need or things you plan to use IN THE NEXT STEP.

Clean the area after each step

Prepare the tools and media you are going to use.
See that the nozzles of sprays are clean and working
See that you can open all the bottles, tubes and jar, that your watercolors are moistened, your colors are mixed - and plenty of it, more than you think you'll use - and some jars to store the prepared paints if you for some reason won't use it after all ;-) (This applies only if you need to mix colors.)
See that the paint brushes are clean and not dried into a clump. See that your foam brush is ready and soft. See that your brayer is clean and dry.

Have several water jars prepared for the brushes so that you can just throw the brush into a jar without needing to use dirty water - dirty water is a good way of getting mud

Tape some paper towels on the table so that you can clean your brayer quickly without needing to fumble with the paper towels.
It would be a good thing to have some water on a tray and a foam sponge in it for the cleaning of the brushes and other things you used. 
It is also good to throw your stencils on the water tray after use, so that they won't clog or dry fast to something. Don't leave your wet stencils on or between papers!
Now, if you use paper stencils, you can't - obviously - throw them in water. You will need a non-stick surface ready for them to dry when used, and plenty of space so that they won't stick together.

Have plenty of scrap paper prepared for cleaning of the brushes and brayer and extra paint, and a place you can throw these papers to dry without needing to waste the valuable space for these papers. When it comes to these papers, it doesn't matter if they stick to each other, that's just texture ;-) So you can just throw them into a box under the table to dry. A stack of newspapers is good for this.

It would be nice if you could have a sous-chef who can clean your tools so that you can concentrate on finishing the steps :-D

Some advice and notes about the different steps

This is how Shannon herself chose to put paint on paper.
Note that she does it in steps and quickly - 
she manages to go the book through 3-4 times before the time is up.

Ways to put on color:
- Pick some 4-6 of your favorite colors or color combinations
- quick ways: sprays, brayer/scraper and monoprinting

take a practice round where you time yourself to see what possible problems you will meet and what additional things you need.

Red and green gives you mud. So does purple and yellow; and blue and orange. And it goes with the "close enough" colors. Theoretically yellow and blue gives you green, but if it's purplish blue and orangeish yellow, you'll get mud. Greenish mud, sure, but mud nevertheless.
If you like the color combination of contrasting colors - which I do - use these colors in different steps!

So - the first round; use colors that are next to each other on the color wheel, like red, orange and yellow; yellow, green and blue; green, blue, purple...

Don't overmix the color on the paper. Put it on, swipe twice, no more, move on. If the color puddles, let it.

Go over the edges.If you use loose leafs, this is not a problem, as you have covered the table beforehand, if you use a book, this is not a problem, as you have prepared the backs of the pages so that they won't stick. Getting "wrong" color on pages doesn't matter, it just adds more interest, but your work will look better if it's not just a blob of paint in the middle of the pages.

You can also add color by dripping, splattering, spraying, spattering, sprinkling, speckling and sponging and what not.

White and black are not colors. Use them to add visual texture; in the next step.


collage - pattern paper, magazine print, book pages, painted paper

Use different qualities of paper, like magazine papers, tissue paper, napkins, book pages etc. Embossed or in some other way textured paper is great.

Because this is collage, you can't produce mud, so you can use any colors you like.
Or that's the theory, at least... just remember that the fewer colors you use, the more calm impression the page gives. Also, you can always paint over everything during the finishing touches ;-)

If you want to create a "sophisticated" impression, use the same colors you used to put color on the page, just in different shades and tones.

Using contrast colors gives the page energy and tension.

Use black and white, or something very dark and something very light.

Tear up the paper beforehand. If you have a specific color plan in your mind, sort the pieces according to which pages you want them on. Yes, it's OK to do that, the spontaneity comes to play when it comes to sticking the pieces on paper. Don't think, just glue.

Use a glue stick and don't bother sticking them properly in place. You are to use the 15 minutes to assign a spot for the paper pieces. It's not against the rules to go back and stick the papers properly in place with what ever media you like after the 15 minutes are gone. That's how Shannon herself does it :-D

You could also use spray glue and just throw your pieces on the page :-D

First, just stick something on every page. Grab, stick, move on.
The next round you can compose a little. But just a little. YOU CAN ALWAYS ADD AFTER THE 15 MINUTES ARE GONE!

A good rule of hand is: 1 big piece and 3 smaller pieces.

Also, "something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue". In this case "borrowed" means someone else's idea and "blue" your favorite color :-D
(Or perhaps something shiny. A bit of gold adds a lot of interest and visual texture ;-))
Use something opaque and something transparent
something textured and something smooth
something thin and something thick
something hard and something soft
something ripped and something cut
something sharp and something curvy

Some ideas you can "borrow":
- lace, paper lace, paper doilies
- postage stamps
- fabric
- string
- paper napkins
- vellum
- pattern paper
- metal foil
- hole punch scraps
- washitape
- origami paper
- old handwritten letters
- thin strips from magazines and newspapers
- stickers (the shapes, not the picture ones - though those might be interesting as well). You can also dye, paint or decorate the stickers. The binder hole protectors looks pretty interesting as stickers. Label sheets become also interesting stamps when painted.
- junkmail; ripped into pieces or strips, or cut into strips
- gift wrap 

- stamps and stencils

the purpose with this is to create PATTERN so use background stencils and stamps, or if you use a single shape, repeat it several times

Choose a contrasting shade of the colors on the page, that is a clearly darker or lighter shade of the same color; or use black and white.

Finish with circles, made with a cap or lid from a small bottle. Use white, or black if the page is very light. Or, if the contrast is too big for you, use a darker and lighter shade of the colors on your page, like very dark plum and icy blue.
You could also use your favorite shape, if you are not that into circles :-D Squares, stars and triangles work as well.

images and words

What is a focal image? Mike Deacon explains it beautifully:

 He also has some other interesting points about the color and composition and finishing, that might be helpful

Basically, the focal point is the first thing you notice on the page when you see it.
Think about paintings and images you like. How would you describe them? A lady smelling roses? Sunset? Whimsical birds? That is your focal image.

Don't use small images. The focal image should be at least 1/8 of the page, and everything else is to be smaller or less noticeable.
You can use words as focal image, but then the words should take at least 1/4 of the page, preferably at least 1/2

Things that will not work:- scrolls and swirls and other such things that look like background.
- be careful with flowers. Try to remember that this is the focal image, which means that you are putting down the subject of your "painting". So a group of flowers that looks like it belongs to a background is not good. A striking single rose works great as the focal image.

Cut your images and words the way you want to use them beforehand.

If you choose to make "ransom note lettering", you can glue the words on tissue paper and then rip the tissue paper around the letters; when you glue that down, it is almost invisible.
You can also glue them on colored or patterned paper and then cut the quote out, to add interest.

The purpose is to get the focal point tacked down, so use a glue stick, and don't bother about if it is well fastened or not. You can go back and secure the images after the time is over.

Some ideas about finding the focal point:

You can either start with an interesting image and find words to support it, or interesting words and find images to support them.


1) get 20 boxes.  folders or a booklet with 20 pages, where you can store your focal ideas

2) Find 4 images in the following 5 themes each, so that you'll have 20 images in the end. Of course, if you can find more from one theme, that's great!

The images can be found from magazines, books, coloring books, internet (printables), calenders, junkmail, napkins, scrapbook paper, your own artwork, drawings, collaged pieces (You can make all kinds of things like the magazine paperdolls, like collage houses, animals, trees...) etc.

a) your favorites

What is/are your favorite flowers? Animals? Seasons? Do you prefer forests or beaches? Mythical creature?
Find images of these. Have, for example, a mermaid page and a tiger page.

b) history

what is your favorite historical era? Find paintings or photos from that era

c) country/geography

Which is your favorite country, city, travel goal?
Find pictures from that country or famous landmarks, like, for example, Eiffel tower

d) color/season/holiday

Pick 4 of your favorite colors, and find an image of that color. You can also find an image that illustrates your favorite season and use that as the theme for the page, or your favorite holiday. It is easier to create a page around a theme, like Halloween page or Autumn page.

e) collage dolls

Make 4 collage dolls from magazine images and printout, the Zettiology style.
You can also use real paperdolls or cutouts from vintage magazines, or pinups, which ever rocks your boat.

You don't have favorites? Come on, don't fight so much! If you don't want to travel and have no favorites among the places on earth, choose another theme for this. Like God and religion, or books and fairytales, or your favorite hobby or recipes, cooking and food items. Your favorite art movements and styles and artists. Your favorite music. Your pets, or kids. Your garden. Your favorite art tools and medias.

If you REALLY can't find any themes to find images from, just take any 20 images from the closest magazine, newspaper, junkmail, anything with pictures.


a) write down your favorite quotes and sayings. If you don't feel comfortable to write it yourself, find a nice quote and print it.

b) flip some magazines and cut out every quote, saying and word that pleases you.

c) song lyrics and poems

- the purpose with this is to lift up the focal image and make the picture more coherent.

- start by shading the edges of the pages. This gives the pages a finished look. Pick a color from the page.

- use a pencil or charcoal or very soft pen or crayon or something like that to go around the focal image and soften it by rubbing. Choose a color that contrasts to the background, either a "real" color or black or white. (or very dark or very light, if black and white is too big a contrast to your taste.)

- learn some simple doodling. Some polka dots, looping, zig-zag lines, scallops, circles and stripes add a lot to the page.

- you can draw the focal image, if it is a photo. Just follow the lines with a marker. Give the people and animals make-up. Make the eyewhites whiter. Change eye color.

- create a frame to the page, either with color or lines.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Response to "Pagan Atheists"

Pagan Atheists: Yes, we exist, by Stifyn Emrys

Of course you do. Have existed long before Neo-Paganism started redefining words. Buddhists are (mostly) atheist pagans. 

"why I, or anyone who holds a non-Christian belief, should care about how a Christian might judge that belief"
Some Pagans have Christian friends and relatives that judge them as "godless" and treat them as bad people because of that. That's one reason. There are others. I find it interesting that you don't realize that, Stifyn.

(BTW, Stifyn Emrys... do you have strong Celtic associations, or did you adopt that name just because Celtic culture is so fab?)

"the vast majority of respondents identified the most important element in Paganism as “reverence for nature.” Given three possible responses, a whopping 87 percent chose this answer. In second place, with just 10 percent of the vote, was “worship of the gods.” (The third option, “practice of magic(k),” received a paltry 3 percent."

So your survey was flawed to begin with.

"no need to go seeking gods or goddesses to explain it."
I don't need a deity to explain the universe either. That's not why I believe in one.

"It’s not some dry, clinical and bitter philosophy"
Why would you, or any other atheist, care about how someone else might judge that belief?

"This is certainly the Christian worldview"
I don't think you have fully understood "the Christian worldview". Certainly there are Christians holding that worldview, but just as you can't put all the Pagans in one box, you can't put all the Christians in one box.

"If we believe that we are at the mercy of a deity’s emotions, it’s only human nature that we’re going to try like hell to influence those emotions."
I'm sure some people think that way. I don't.

I don't think you have understood the nature of sacrifices either.

Also "not ours to sacrifice"? That's the way the Nature does it.
When I am hungry, I eat. If I have to end another entity's life to do that, I do that.
When I am tired, I rest. Even if that results in a landslide that destroys hundreds of other lifeforms.
What I need or want, I take. The Nature way. Selfish to the tips of Her fingers.

Also, you seem to have a very interesting hierarchy...
"killed animals"... "go so far as to kill humans".
So you think humans are more important than animals, that are possibly more important than plantlife, which is probably more important than the silicone based lifeforms. It would be OK to "sacrifice" things like bread and paper or votives made of precious metals and stones, perhaps, but if you have to "kill" an animal, then you are "sacrificing things that were never ours to sacrifice"?

"we still ostracize people who don’t believe the way we do on the grounds that they’re an offensive to our patron deity or deities"
And to some atheists this patron deity is Science.

"These are the kinds of practices that the Pagan atheist finds saddening, because they do unnecessary damage to nature itself"
Well, then I have some good news to you. Your idea of what sacrifice is, is not correct.
You really should study the different sacrificial practices of different religions, people and times better, instead of reacting on your assumptions of what it was and is.

There is no "Judeo-Christian tradition". Christians have adopted their "traditions" from many, many sources, and MOST OF IT IS NOT JEWISH.

According to Judaism, God made people the caretakers of this planet. That most Europeans don't understand that concept isn't the fault of the God.

Also, you don't seem to understand why people are theists.
I don't NEED God, I don't NEED God to explain natural phenomena, I don't NEED someone who looks like me to be responsible for all, I don't NEED to "put a human face on nature" to appreciate and love it. My love or awe of nature is not in any way lesser or different from that of Richard Dawkins, Carl Sagan or David Attenborough, and I think it's really pissy of you to think it is, just because you are atheists and I am not.

I do not know of any compelling (or otherwise) evidence for anthropomorphic patriarchs (or matriarchs) controlling human destiny from some hidden celestial vantage point either.
But I also know of no such evidence against that theory.
Neither do you, or any other atheist prophet.
Which means, your atheism is a belief. Thinking that something is true without any evidence of it.

I don't have any evidence for any of the things I choose to believe in. No-one does.
We all have them, beliefs, you know. Even you and every other atheist. Most atheist would just vehemently deny having any beliefs :-D

But, let's take some of the fundamentals.
Do you have any compelling evidence of that you were born where you believe you were born, the day you believe you were born, to the people you believe to be your parents?
Any DNA evidence? Some proof of that you are the baby that was born? Have you compared your footprint to the prints at the hospital?
I kind of doubt that. Most people choose to believe these things without even questioning them.

"We may even use such divine names ourselves as symbol and metaphor to characterize nature itself - as a poetic homage to the wonders nature and an acknowledgement of the masculine and feminine principles that are so prevalent across our natural world"
Some people would agree and say "but that's what Pagan theism is!" :-D

Frankly, I think you like the status of atheism, just like you like the sound of the Celtic name you have adopted.

P.S. Haven't read your Requiem and won't either. I think you have shown enough misconceptions, beliefs based on prejudice and generalization and misunderstanding and faulty or lacking knowledge in this article to ensure me of that your book is just more of the same.
Someone said that "his logic is flawless"... I doubt that, but even if it was, when the data this logic builds on is faulty, what good does good logic do?

P.P.S. Closing the comments? Hmm...

Monday, May 16, 2016

Harvesting magazines

I have never been good at finding things in magazines to be used as illustration or decoration in art journals or planners - or collages. My sister and husband are great at that, and so are a lot of people on line, creating lovely, colorful things. I want to learn, too, and have magazines as material in stead of just throwing them in the garbage.

So here's a couple of videos to give you inspiration, if you are where I am:

Is the magazine glue bound or stapled together? If it is stapled, consider using it as base for an art journal.
You can put gesso or acrylic paint on the pages to cover the text and images, or collage over the pages, or paper them, to make them sturdier and better background for mixed media work.

Harvest the ideas you find in the magazine first

things to look for:
- lettering, fonts, typography
- color combinations
- composition
- visual texture, patterns
- shapes
- stock images, models, drawing practice

Go through the magazine and rip off all the pages that have something interesting. Remember to check both sides of the pages, there might be something you want more on the other side. If you find nothing interesting, that's OK too :-D

Go through the magazine again, and this time look for letters and words.

Go through it again, and look for colors and patterns

Make yourself a "view finder" - for example, if you make inchies, make yourself a card with an inch by inch hole in middle. You will be surprised by how much interesting things you'll find. A little bigger hole will work for planners and ATCs.

When you have harvested the magazines of everything you can find, there's still things to do:

Is the magazine glossy? Then you could try different solvents (like Citrasolv) to dissolve the ink and create interesting backgrounds and patterned paper for other works.

It's not just Citrasolv and NatGeos that work. The Swedish NatGeos are different from the USonian ones, so I get very dark and shaded results - there's so much black ink, and it has been added last, so it interferes with everything. I get better from cheap ads and flyers. Experiment with different solvents. Ordinary terpentine works too. The thing is to dissolve the printing ink and get it floating on top of the paper, and for that you need glossy papers - the gloss comes from the surface treatment of the paper, not from the ink. Matt paper sucks the liquid in right up, glossy papers won't, which makes the ink react on top of it and dry in those shapes and patterns.
And you don't need whole magazines or even pages to do this. It works with any pieces of magazine with ink on. Just put your papers and pieces in a tray and sprinkle with your solvent and see what happens. (Do it in well ventilated area, preferably outside, and save this activity to summer and warm days, so you don't need to wait for hours for the solvent to react :-D)

If you have matte pages or glossy with no color on, consider painting them.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

December Daily 2015

Hi, everyone :-)

I have tried to create a December Daily for several years now. Probably for as long as Ali Edwards have actually made one :-D

So, this year I am going to make it happen, and I enlist you, my readers, to help me with it.

1) Assign a place to "make it happen". You need what you need to make art journals, scrap books, or any paper crafting. To me that means a table with reasonable bare working surface, a chair that is OK to sit on for hours and all my tools and materials available and close-by.
I have already a work place, which I intend to use for this, too.

2) Make a plan for your December Daily. Look at pictures, and pic some 20 that you find wonderful, the photos that made you want to make DD yourself. And then just decide. If you don't like it, you can always make a new one next year. But remember, "done is better than perfect". You should see what I have inside my head! The awesomeness would break the Internet! Like all fantasies...
So - pick a format and go for it. It's just 31 days. You can do it.

- choose color scheme
- collect some ephemera, embellishments etc.
-- you will need numbers, from 1 to 31
-- you might want some ribbon and string.
-- Christmas wrapping materials are great - wrapping paper and ribbon
-- any paper scraps in your chosen color scheme. If it's red and green, the junk mail, catalogues etc. will be full of these colors.
-- I like anything glittery for Yule.
-- anything flat can be used, like flat ornaments, buttons, crocheted shapes, cupcake toppers and drink sticks, napkins, paint chips, sequins, post cards, paper scraps... Found objects are a nice, unusual addition, and there's usually something in junkmail at this time of the year, that can be used. There's also interesting things used as packing material.
-- I think snowflakes are perfect for DD and paper doilies look very much like snow.
-- I also like transparencies. It could be plastic or tissue paper. You can make your own printed tissue paper and washi tape.
-- I like metal embellishments. You can make quite a lot yourself, from old cans and tins or with aluminium foil.
-- I also like wood vaneer. It's not difficult to make fake wood.
-- You can fake almost any material. There's tutorials online on how to make fake wood, stone, metal, enamel etc.
- get some stamps and stencils.
- I like my albums layered. So learn to make different minialbums and tip-ins. Lapbook community has tons of tutorials on how to make interesting things to add more surface and layers, like minibooks, flaps and folders.

3) Make the album or covers or what ever you decided on. Get the empty journal. Get the photo album. Get what ever it is you decided.
Get the empty pages or make some sort of note or draw a sketch of each empty page as placeholder for when you get the actual page. Some might want to use this year's holiday greeting cards or junkmail as pages. You need to have some sort of marking of that "here is a page".

4) Have a sketchy plan on what you want to have on each page. With "sketchy", I mean "this page is going to be about our trip to fetch the tree" or "this page is going to be about holiday baking".
There are tons of lists and suggestions on what to put on pages, just search "December Daily", "December photo a day", "December journal prompts"  and "December project life", etc.

5) Get into habit of taking at least one photo each day. If you don't have a camera, or if you don't want photos, you can skip this step. But don't expect that on December 1st you wake up with an irresistible lust to take photos, if you haven't done it in November. Make yourself take at least one photo each day, from today.
Remember, NO-ONE DOESN'T NEED TO SEE YOUR PHOTOS. Not even you. You can delete them right after shooting them. But if you want photos, you need to take photos, and the only way of getting better with it, is to do it.

6) Look at the embellishments and backgrounds of people's DDs and start collecting that kind of things. Most people seem to have a basket to store these things. You need a box or basket or tray big enough to hold your December Daily album and a couple of boxes, bowls or cups to hold the "small stuffs", like stickers and gold flakes and buttons etc.

Now you are ready for December.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Stocking stuffers for the not-girly-girl women

Here's a great list: 50 awesome stocking stuffers that don't suck under 10 dollars

These are a bit suck-y: Stocking stuffers for her

* Don't buy her make-up, nail polish or perfume if you are not 100% sure of what she uses. Some women - like me - use no make-up, and finding make-up in my stocking is saying "I don't know you at all". You do NOT want to say THAT to your girlfriend.

* give her a gift certificate to a book store rather than a book. Especially a book you are told about by people suggesting you what to give as a gift...

* I hate digital watches. And metal wrist bands on watches. So if you plan on giving her jewellery, check what she uses. I don't use much jewellery. I use earrings and sometimes necklaces and brooches, but rings? bracelets? No. I don't use a watch either.

* Don't assume she loves chocolate because she is a woman. Find out what is her favourite candy. I would be happier for a box of salt liquorice than smoked chocolate.

* Candles... well... if that's not the only thing. But find out which smells she prefers, because there are smells people don't like, and it's highly personal and subjective. the same goes with incense. Also, if you plan buying her incense, see that she has something to burn it in. And not everyone likes incense.

* The only machines you can give to your girlfriend/wife are about fun. Do not give her a fabric steamer. It doesn't matter how expensive it is, if she needs it, if she wouldn't ever buy one for herself, because when you give her a household appliance, anything to do with household chores, like cleaning, cooking, ironing etc. you are telling her that you expect her to be a good little 50s housewife. AND by giving her a fabric steamer, you are saying "I have noticed you are a bit sloppy with your clothes".

* iPhone cover... Does she even have an iPhone? And what kind of patterns does she like? What kind of patterns does she use in her clothing, home, stationary? Giving ME an iPhone cover with cutesie flowers is saying "I don't know you at all, but I expect you to be a girly girl who likes pink and flowers and a modern, trendy girl who has an iPhone like everyone else." OK, then. Go find a girl that fits that cover, because I'm not her.

* "Adult coloring books are officially a thing and whether she admits it or not, there’s a good chance she wouldn’t hate getting her hands on one."
No, I wouldn't. And if you listen more to the guys at "ask men" than your girlfriend, I think you should date them, and not me.

* I don't use scarfs. I use shawls. Give me a pashmina, not a "geo print blanket scarf". That's ugly and not in my colors. You should know me well enough to at least know what kind of colors I like!
So, with this as with everything else; accessories are a great stocking stuffer, BUT YOU NEED TO KNOW WHAT SHE LIKES.
If she doesn't use gloves, it's stupid to buy her them.
If she doesn't use hats, don't buy her one. If she doesn't use handbags, don't buy her one.
If she does, tell the store clerk what kind of handbags you have seen her use. They come in a lot of different styles, materials, brands etc. You don't want to buy her wrong kind.

So, what to buy, then?

* travel trinkets, like baggage tags and passport case, are great gifts, because they are telling her that you expect to take her to see the world. Unless, of course, she hates traveling :-D

* experiences - it could be a hot balloon ride or day at a spa, but I was thinking about "movie night" or "date night" kind of things :-D An exotic cookbook with necessary spices.

* if you can't think of anything, go to Pinterest and search "wish list" at boards...