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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    Art Journal Tangents & Tactics: The Series

    “Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap
    but by the seeds that you plant.”
    Robert Louis Stevenson


    A new series, a new concept, at Daisy Yellow! 

    Art Journal Tangents & Topics: The Series

    The series includes art journaling techniques, video tutorials and creative prompts all thrown up into the air and tossed up in random fashion. We'll create art journal pages, draw patterns and ink designs. We will go on tangents and discover new tactics to apply to your journal pages.

    Registration: It's magic! No registration required.
    Fee: Zero, Nothing, Nada, Zip.
    Tip jar donations appreciated, look for "tip jar & coffee fund" button at top right on blog ➸ 
    When: Fridays starting August 1st

    Peek at the first five (5) tangents!

    Tangent № 01: Starburst {link to tutorial}
    What: Art journal page
    Type: Video tutorial
    Materials: Watercolor or gouache paint, watercolor paper, watercolor brush, black permanent marker
    Friday, August 1


    Tangent № 02: Half Empty|Half Full {link to tutorial} 
    What: Art journal page
    History: Originally part of my Parquesito Creativo Workshop
    Type: Video tutorial
    Materials: Golden fluid acrylic paint, white gesso *or* white acrylic paint, sturdy paper, brush, Neocolor I or II wax crayons, found papers, black permanent marker, lids for stamping.
    Date: Friday, August 8


    Tangent № 03: Accordion Book {link to tutorial}
    What: Accordion style mini-book
    History: A brand new video exploration of these little books; we made accordion books in my Parquesito Creativo Workshop a few years ago... one of my favorite projects
    Type: Video tutorial & Video discussion
    Materials: Manila folder, paper ephemera, magazine clippings, found text, adhesive, scissors, neocolor I or II wax crayons. Optional materials include a stencil, a thin brush and heavy body acrylic paint.
    Date: Friday, August 15


    Tangent № 04: Grid Love {link to tutorial}
    What: Art journal page
    History: Originally part of my Museum of Simple Things Workshop
    Type: Video tutorial
    Materials: Golden fluid acrylics, Neocolor I or II wax crayons, found images, adhesive, painted papers
    Date: Friday, August 22


    Tangent № 05: TBD
    Type: Video tutorial
    Date: Friday, August 29 

    If this sounds like your kind of fun, check back every Friday and help spread the word! There will be link-loves for each Tangent so that you can link to your blog post about your creation or a flickr photograph.

    This is an experiment here at Daisy Yellow, to see whether a donation concept will work. Reader interest will drive the expansion of this series.

    Each of the Tangents will be posted at Daisy Yellow, so be sure to get the blog feed, or the email feed and stay up-to-date.

    If you have suggestions for future Tangents, please leave them in the comments. 


    {Fun} Things to do with your art

    “And you know, this thought crossed my mind at the time: maybe chance is a pretty common thing after all. Those kinds of coincidences are happening all around us, all the time, but most of them don't attract our attention and we just let them go by. It's like fireworks in the daytime. You might hear a faint sound, but even if you look up at the sky you can't see a thing. But if we're really hoping something may come true it may become visible, like a message rising to the surface. Then we're able to make it out clearly, decipher what it means. And seeing it before us we're surprised and wonder at how strange things like this can happen. Even though there's nothing strange about it.”
    Haruki Murakami


    If you draw, paint, sketch and doodle a lot of stuff, it's also fun to take that stuff and make other completely different stuff. This post is not about making stuff to sell but about adding that hand-made, imperfect, UNIQUE touch to your work. About having fun with your art by going on tangents and using it as inputs, fodder.... the starting point or continuation point or finalization point.

    So here's a run-down of a bunch of fun things to do with your art. 


    1. Add color digitally.

    This work started as a simple mandala drawn on an index card with a dip pen and india ink. I photographed the card and digitally added color in Photoshop.

    2. Sew it into mail art.

    Cut up your art and stitch or glue strips together. Lots gelatin prints were used to create this mail art postcard. 

    3. Write a quote.

    Cut your abstract art into a rectangle, hand-letter a quote, then staple or glue into your art journal.

    4. Inspire.

    After scanning this watercolored page, I added a quote in Photoshop and used it on my blog.

    5. Make postcards, greeting cards or stickers.

    These postcards & stickers were printed at MOO. Mail postcards to friends, tuck them inside customer orders. Use stickers in your art journal or to add unique embellishments to outgoing mail art.

    6. Make a journal cover, purse, bag or apron.

    Cut up a painted canvas! A canvas painted with acrylics sews kind of like heavy blue jean material. So tear that canvas off the wood frame! Just make sure it is completely dry so you don't gum up your machine with paint.

    7. Sew a grid. 

    Cut  up your art and sew it into the form of a grid. {You can learn how to paint abstract watercolor art, create a stitched grid and make robot-puppets in my workshop, Painted Paper Paradise.}

    8. Use a photo of your art on an art journal page.

    These faces were drawn in a moleskine journal. So I photographed the page, printed that photo on a Polaroid Pogo Printer and stuck it on this journal page topped with a good glop of acrylic paint.

    9. Use a snippet of your art on an art journal page.

    I drew this mandala in an Exacompta journal {love the lines that texture the page}; I cut the page out of the journal and used this excerpt in an altered book.

    10. Combine a bunch of art digitally.

    This is three different pieces of art layered digitally. I couldn't draw such precise lines on textured and stitched paper.

    11. Colorize it.

    Paint your doodles/sketches with watercolor, gouache or acrylics. I usually leave my doodled work in black and white but color can really make art blossom and bloom into wonderfulness.

    12. Swap it.

    This is the back of a journal that my friend Hanna sent me "way back" in 2012; I sent her a journal and we did a List Journal challenge together. How fun is that? Read about our journal swap! Of course you can also swap Artist Trading Cards and postcards and mail art and... 

    Your turn... what else do you do with your art? 

    If you enjoyed this post...

    Pop over and get the latest Daisy Yellow Zine! Grab a cup of Earl Gray and a scone {blueberry?}, put your feet up and relax for a bit! Be sure to get the Daisy Yellow blog feeds and sign up for the once-in-a-blue-moon newsletter {➸ check the right margin, half-way down the page}.


    DY Zine № 11 Special!

    Get Issue #11 Daisy Yellow Zine 
    Special sale price for the next 48 hours
    $5 USD {save $2 USD}

    In this 18-page issue {published May 27}:

    ① The value of keeping a no-rules field journal to collect ideas & inspiration.

    ② How to start a tiny illustrated flash fiction journal. Get inspired to add ultra short stories to your journals.

    ③ What do you do with unfinished or neglected journals?

    ④ How to collect ephemera & create stapled collages by Lauren Bergold.

    ⑤ Nine (9) Kick-Start Art Journal Prompts.

    Get Issue #11 Daisy Yellow Zine

    Packed with ideas + articles + art + inspiration. Totally digital. Super colorful. 

    At Etsy you can purchase the Zine in sets {Zines 3-4, Zines 5-8, Zines 9-11} via instant DIGITAL DOWNLOAD. After payment is sorted via Etsy, the digital Zines in full color PDF format are immediately available for download. Files are in standard PDF format. 

    Zines are non-refundable. Content including format, ideas, photography, artwork & imagery ©2011-2014 Tammy Garcia. Do not forward, distribute or photocopy any portion except for your personal use. 


    California Mandalas & Index Cards

    A few weeks ago I shared a list of the art materials I brought along on our California vacation, The {not.so.complex} Logistics of Art on the Road. So these mandalas and doodles were drawn with a very small subset of my materials. I had painted the backgrounds of a bunch of index cards with gouache the day before we flew to California. These are 3x5" index cards, Sakura Gellyrolls.

    Click to read more ...



    See the bottom right side of the page? Evidence. The dangers of drawing while sleepy. I was falling asleep yet continued to try to draw an alphabet. Black ink  = Sakura gellyroll. Green ink = Uniball Signo.

    This is the first of a few posts sharing the arty stuff I did while go-go-go in California the first half of July. This is a journal I got at a book store, an inviting journal with pretty doodly waves framing each page. The journal is from Chronicle Books.

    Using a calligraphy book for drawing reference I "hand-lettered" a bunch of alphabets. The idea is not to "copy" an alphabet but to use it as a launching point and alter the letters with ideas from my imagination. So I might turn the page to see an alphabet slanted sharply and then take that and go with it. It's great drawing practice and something that you can do when you don't know what you feel like doing. Calligraphy books & books about fonts/typography are great reference tools. By the way, the calligraphy book I used is called Calligraphy Alphabets Made Easy. And of course I drew some mandalas! I am always trying to develop new ideas for mandalas, so I just let them go in whatever direction they go. Literally and figuratively. 


    Guilt-Free Creative Work

    “Your problem is how you are going to spend this one and precious life you have been issued. Whether you're going to spend it trying to look good and creating the illusion that you have power over circumstances, or whether you are going to taste it, enjoy it and find out the truth about who you are.”
    Anne Lamott

    string art mandala, 3x5" index card, stained with tea

    Adding art and creativity to your day will make a difference in your life. To help you do that, I write creative prompts. And I write Zines where I delve deeply into creative ideas to give you a kick-start and a reminder to keep going with your art. I run challenges like index-card-a-day because I want you to PLAY with art materials for the heck of it. Just to have fun. So whether you are a marine biologist or a java programmer or a stay-at-home geometry teacher, I challenge you to make time to create stuff. Trade off something else for art time. If you have little tots at home, set up kid-friendly art materials too; create together. You could learn to draw sprigs of cilantro. Or embroider flamingoes. Without knowing what you will DO with the thing-a-ma-jigs that you make.

    Making space {both physical + figurative} for creativity is not a guilty pleasure.

    Let there be zero art guilt from today forward.


    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


    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


    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

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