I'm Tammy. 

COPYRIGHT INFO:  All content [words, photos, images, artwork, descriptions, designs] is copyright Daisy Yellow. Please use the contact form if you'd like to use content. Copying art + ideas is not cool. If you pin my stuff, please kindly attribute. Thanks!

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    Issue #11 of the Daisy Yellow Zine
    Index Card-a-Day runs through July 31st!
    Join the Daisy Yellow Group at Facebook

    Wednesday
    Jul162014

    2014 Book List {Draft}

    The 2014 List of Possibilities, no particular order.

    Stats: {See my 2013 stats at Goodreads}. In 2013 I read 37 books. 2012: 36 books. 2011: 18 books. 2010: 31 books. There are 142 books on my TO READ shelf at Goodreads. This time last year, there were 131. Disclaimer: Books will be added + deleted. I update this list throughout the year. As you can see, this is an annual tradition at Daisy Yellow. I am posting this list again mid-2014 with updates.

    Past lists: 2009 List + 2010 List + 2011 List + 2012 List + 2013 List

    Background: This semi-annual post documents my reading progress. I look back at the books I've read, books I want to read, and update my stats. I love reading books but unless I constantly remind myself, I get busy doing other things and forget to read. It's getting to be more of a habit, which is good. In late 2012 I joined Audible and listen to books in the car; because I'm in the car too much! I'm really into scandi murder-mysteries these days.

    Arty books I'm planning to read in the next few months include One Watercolor a Day, Printing on Fabric: Techniques with Screens, Stencils, Inks, and Dyes , Map Art Lab: 52 Exciting Art Explorations in Mapmaking, Imagination, and Travel (Lab Series) and The Collage Workbook: How to Get Started and Stay Inspired. As you might have noticed, these weren't on my list of books-to-read {below} when I posted this on January 3rd. A healthy addiction?

    I've already read Keri Smith's How to Be an Explorer of the World; it's so yummy that I purchased a copy for a future gift-giving opportunity. My younger daughter and I are reading Illustration School: Let's Draw Happy People.

    a different kind of book, an altered book called The Noticing Journal

    Books to Read {or Re-Read} in 2014

    Art + Creativity

    How to Make a Journal of Your Life, Price
    Drawing From Life: The Journal as Art, New
    Cultivating Delight: A Natural History of My Garden, Ackerman
    Collage, Assemblage, and Altered Art, Maurer-Mathison
    Artist's Journal Workshop, Johnson
    Color: A Natural History of the Palette, Finlay
    The Art of Urban Sketching, Campanario
    Making Handmade Books: 100+ Bindings, Structures & Forms, Golden
    Raw Art Journaling, McDonald
    Rule-Breaking Quilts, Schmidt
    Collage, Colour and Texture in Painting, Bernard, Capon

    Fiction

    Sense and Sensibility, Austen
    all books i've not yet read by Karin Fossum {read several, 2014}
    Purity of Vengeance, Adler-Olsen {read January 2014}
    The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, Chabon

    A Short List of Wonderful Creative Books
    {♥ = extra super duper amazingly special}

    Art + Creativity

    The Creative License and An Illustrated Life by Danny Gregory
    Spilling Open: The Art of Becoming Yourself by Sabrina Ward Harrison {a journal} 
    1,000 Artist Journal Pages by Dawn DeVries Sokol 
    Kaleidoscope: Ideas & Projects to Spark Your Creativity, Simanaitis
    Creative Illustration Workshop for Mixed-Media Artists, Dunn 
    Journal Spilling, Trout ♥
    An Illustrated Life (Artist Journals + Sketchbooks), Gregory
    The Art Journal Workshop by Traci Bunkers
    Color Mixing Bible, Sidaway
    Good Mail Day: A Primer for Making Eye-Popping Postal Art, Hinchcliff
    How to Be an Explorer of the World, Smith
    Personal Geographies: Explorations in Mixed-Media Mapmaking, Berry
    Drawing Lab for Mixed-Media Artists, Sonheim 
    The Journal Junkies Workshop, Scott, Modler
    Artist's Journal Workshop, Johnson ♥

    Writing + Prompts

    Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life, Lamott
    4 A.M. Breakthrough: Unconventional Writing Exercises, Kiteley
    The Right to Write, Cameron
    On Writing, King

    Tuesday
    Jul152014

    Art Journal: Those Who Dream

    Dream lofty dreams, and as you dream, so shall you become.”
    John Ruskin

    So I started working in my altered book art journal again!

    In developing my watercolor/gouache workshops I got so immersed in those mediums that I neglected my beloved acrylics. Switching between mediums is something I highly recommend! Acrylic paint is intriguing, refreshing, challenging and full of wonder and yumminess. 

    I like that you can layer the paints, so that you can cover up and completely change your pages at any time. You can even art journal over a completed art journal page. Yes. And I have. And you should. 

    This spread has involved several iterations, so many that I can't remember what it was when I started this book in 2012! The ingredients include magazine clippings, a quote, Japanese papers, papers {happy mail from Sue} fabric tape, high flow acrylics, heavy body acrylics, neocolors, ephemera. And chocolate truffles. 

    There's an in-depth article about this altered book turned art journal here ---> Daisy Yellow Zine Issue #11

    Monday
    Jul142014

    Teeny Tiny Tea Messages

    I empty used tea leaves and hang lovely little tea bags to dry on the back porch. Each brand uses different material, shapes & stitching. Some like silk with lush stitching. Others simple pressed papers. And each tea stains the paper a different color. I use them on my art journal pages and in my stitched collages just as I would paper or light fabric. I stitched these collages on 3x5" index card dividers.

    Inside? COMFORTABLE WRITER, random fabrics

    Inside? the rules, random fabrics

    Inside? ARTS, random fabrics

    Inside? DREAM. Tucked inside is a photograph of a painting I did on a wood board. The tea bag is painted so it has a blue tint. The last one was one of my index cards for the 2014 ICAD Challenge, the first in this series, technically, but you've likely already seen it. I'm keeping it with the others because the blog is also a form of documentation for me. 

    I love the imperfect tea stains.

    The fact that they are torn at random. That they can house obscure(d) messages and found poetry. That they provide a veil to thoughts, words, patterns, colors. A bit of mystery and intrigue.

    Thursday
    Jul102014

    The {not.so.complex} Logistics of Art on the Road

    Doing art "on the road" requires a certified zen doodling coach, 7 strategic planning sessions and FedExing 7 milk crates of encaustic materials to your hotel. Plus the paperwork for all of the governmental permits. 

    OK maybe that's not exactly true! For me the trick is to envision in advance how I might accomplish some art. For example, there's ALWAYS time on airplane flights, so that's a goodie. But car trips... can't draw or even read b/c I get woozy. Some folks take a suitcase of stuff, with a variety of alternatives from crochet to watercolor. Others have the coolest teeny tiny watercolor kits with water containers attached. I'm at the opposite end of the spectrum because although I like having choices, I don't like to lug stuff around!

    You've got to go with the combination of materials that works for you. Each trip, you'll learn and refine the "kit" of materials to squeeze into your suitcase. After bringing along a little watercolor kit on several trips - and not using it - I know better. In fact, I find an ultra-pared down kit MORE creatively productive vs. a huge suitcase of possibilities. So I take stuff so that I can draw, sketch + doodle in some interesting fashion. 

    Here's what I packed for 2 weeks on the road:

    5x8" moleskine journal {which I haven't used}
    a dozen gelly rolls
    two black pitt pens {thou shalt always have a back-up black pen}
    a stack of index cards
    10 index cards painted with abstract gouache backgrounds
    blank, lined journal {intended as a travel journal but I've only documented the first two days}
    two rolls of washi tape
    kid scissors
    guide to calligraphy alphabets {to practice hand-lettering}

    Unfortunately I didn't get a chance to make a stitched travel journal for this trip. I just ran out of time... and that breaks a multi-year streak of travel journals. 

    Here are some of my California mandalas... drawn on 3x5" index cards with gelly rolls on a background of gouache. I'll post better photographs when I am back in front of my trusty MacBookPro, fingers zipping across the keyboard. I *did* purchase some pens while traveling, but I'll share those in a few days! I drew these mandalas and doodles on the plane, in hotel rooms, while waiting at theme parks, at a museum, at restaurants and at the beach in La Jolla! Most of the cards took less than an hour. A few were worked over the course of a few days.

    If you aren't reading the index-card-a-day challenge section, check out the cool artwork our lovely guest artists have created!

    Guest #1: Quinn
    Guest #2: Opal
    Guest #3: Natasha
    Guest #4: Mary
    Guest #5: Gretchen
    Guest #6: Teresa
    Guest #7: Betty
    Guest #8: Robin
    Guest #9: Karen
    Guest #10: Lauren

     

    Tuesday
    Jun242014

    At the intersection of synergy & compound interest

    “The most effective way to do it is to do it."
    Amelia Earhart

    How do you roll up your sleeves and DO ART? I mean, what is doing art, ANYHOW? Like if you watercolor a leaf on an index card... is that art, like with a capital A? Or is it DRAFT FORMAT ART? Maybe it's how the English language works, but I don't know what other word to use. Maybe CREATIVE OUTPUT. Almost every synonym to the word art uses the word art. ARTISTIC CREATION. One that does not is NON-TEXTUAL MATTER. Or perhaps GRAPHICS. But here's how I do art. it boils down to simply taking action every day instead of planning to take action. I don't worry too much about what art I do each day. I just work on whatever I feel like working on! Squeezing in some line-drawing, some doodle-painting, some index-card-stitching... it's all good. Do what you can when you can! And maybe skip the dishes tonight. They'll be there in the morning, unfortunately.

    Get a core set of materials in your medium of choice and EXPLORE those materials. Push your art supplies to the OUTER LIMITS. The answer is NOT more art materials.*

    * Unless of course you don't have a bunch of art materials on hand. Then the Jeopardy-style answer is "What is art materials?" So it's sort of a trick question.

    Here are some places to start:

    a) To improve your thing -drawing skills? Grab a small journal {i.e. 3x5" or 5x8"} and a black pen and draw something that you usually have with you {wallet, backpack, $1 bill, keys}. Draw that item every single day for a month. 
    b) To improve your collage-making skills? Put a composition journal or other blank journal, one magazine, some paint chips, 3 pieces of scrapbook paper, random index card artwork, scissors, a black marker and glue/stapler in a box. Use ONLY the stuff in the box to create one collage every day for a month. 
    c) To improve your face-drawing skills? Draw one face every day for a month. To get started, go to the coffee shop and start drawing people. OK just kidding, that sounds pretty scary! Instead, go through your old issues of Vogue and cut out a bunch of reference faces to work from. 
    d) To improve your mandala-drawing skills? Draw 10 mini-mandalas every day for a month. Or start a full-page mandala and make a little progress every day for a month. Don't copy the designs from pinterest or elsewhere. Invent the designs. 

    Ad infinitim.

    Don't let yourself get stuck in the quagmire of GLORIOUS possibilities. If you want to get better, to gain skill, you have to put in the time and do the work. It's not magic. It will seem like MAGIC when you look back a year from now, but it will be ALL THAT PRACTICE not magic. Limiting your materials/focus forms a constraint that pushes you to really think about what you are doing.

    Sunday
    Jun222014

    Organizing Yummy Tubed Gouache + Watercolor Paints

    “Pull up a chair. Take a taste.
    Come join us. Life is so endlessly delicious.”
    Ruth Reichl

     

    Identification: {left} M. Graham Artists' Gouache, Winsor & Newton Designers' Gouache, Maimeri Artist Gouache

    I've been painting for years with pan watercolors, and earlier this year curiosity pushed me to experiment with a few tubes of watercolor paint. There was never any doubt, I loved them instantly and quickly expanded my experience to tubed gouache.

    So I'll talk about watercolors vs. gouache as I show you how I got all of the tubes of paint organized. I should start with a disclaimer. I don't have a dedicated art workspace, so I organize in such a way that I can simply pull out paints, jars of water, brushes, etc and paint at my breakfast table. I need quick, easy access. And I don't always feel like mixing paints so I enjoy the luxury of having a variety of colors ready to roll.

    Click to read more ...

    Thursday
    Jun192014

    Finding the Mojo | Muse | Motivation

    Working on my rolling kitchen cart, I paint envelopes one color at a time. So I might use green on a bunch of envelopes. Then a bunch of, say, blue. And I keep going until each envelope has a variety of colors. Sometimes I add dots. I work quickly, not thinking about right/wrong, color palettes, the color wheel, tertiary colors, true magnetic north or anything scientificky. I don't micro-manage the outcome. I just get to work.

    There's a lot of talk about the elusive creative muse, of mojo, some sort of magical-mysterious-complex concept which means different things to different people. So whether it means "the muse" or "creative energy" or "strength" or "motivation" or "determination" to you.... the idea is that we don't start {or make progress on} a creative project because we are waiting for something. Waiting for the muse, the answer, the plan. Sometimes we are too focused on the BIG PICTURE, the META version of the work, figuring out what we want that to be. The end result. We are looking at this version of the work in our minds and seeing how it could be. In one possible version of reality. Do you wait for the perfect plan, to know every aspect of the work, for a magic bullet, a formula? Maybe a paint-by-numbers plan works for scrapbooking or portrait painting. But it does not work for me. It does not work for my art journaling practice. It doesn't even work for my blog posts! 

    I don't know what my artwork will look like when I am finished. Because I don't know the path I will take. 

    Tell me... what you are waiting for? What will make it OK to start your project? Your page? Your index card?

     

    By the way, there's just ONE set of 52 art journal prompt cards left in the shop at Etsy. There are smaller quantities available but larger sets will not be back in stock until mid-to-late July.

    Monday
    Jun162014

    MOO Stickerific Fun

    Stickers galore!

    Announcing the winners! BeverlyKim and Abby! I will email you and connect you with MOO to collect your prize.

    These are the MOO Rectangular Stickers. They come in sets of 50, with an easy-to-peel-off-backing. They are nice and sticky and sturdy. 

    The folks at MOO contacted me to see if I wanted to review their stickers and do a giveaway. I've made tiny stickers in the past, so I was super curious to see what the large rectangular stickers would be like. So I went through my digital files and looked for artwork with lots of detail, black & white line art, stitched art, painted papers.... a bit of everything... and made a set of stickers and developed some ideas for using stickers made with your own artwork. I got them in the mail and was thrilled. Thrilled!

    Of course I had to figure out a way to use a sticker on an index card, right? So I made a stitched collage on a 3x5" index card, starting with a layer of acrylic paint, then a sticker of my mandala artwork, a quote, painted paper and fabric. Love this. 

     

    I added MOO stickers to one of the pages of the 5x8" Moleskine journal I consider my "field journal" shared in Zine #11.

    Giveaway: Sticker Books

    Firstly, if you want to make something fun at MOO, here is a link to get 10% off your first order. This will not work if it's not your first order. I've purchased a ton of stuff from MOO and I really like their products. 

    How to Enter {Giveaway Now Closed}

    Two (2) readers will win a sticker book with 180 tiny rectangular stickers. To create the stickers, you will need to upload your own artwork or use MOO's designs. The stickers are about the size of a postage stamp. I use them for mail art and on my art journal pages. 

    So here's how the giveaway works. Add a comment before Thursday June 19 at 12pm CST and let me know whether you name your art or writing journals, and if so, the name of one of your current journals. One entry per person. Comments are moderated, so you won't see your comment for a bit because it's just me here behind the velvet curtain and it takes a little time. My kids will select the winner using a random number generator and I will announce the winners on Friday.