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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    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.


    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



    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.


    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 ...


    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.


    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.


    One-Staple Collage

    Lauren and I challenged each other to create a stapled collage and share them today {as I prepare this post, I have not  yet seen Lauren's collage.

    The back-story is that paper artist & enthusiast Lauren Bergold wrote an article for Issue #11 of the DY Zine. The article provides insight and details about collecting ephemera for your collage stash and the art of designing stapled collages {with one or more staples}. Lauren was catapulted fearlessly into the world of stapled collage after a prompt last year during the index-card-a-day challenge. You can find Lauren's collage at her blog, All the Good Blog Names Were Taken!


    On to my attempts at one-staple collages.

    The first step for me was to brainstorm how I might structure a paper stack so that there was enough visual interest in the top center piece and along the edges. My goal was to provide faux texture by seeking out papers with a variety of typographical lines. I had to adopt a very different mindset when looking through my paper stash and magazines. And thinking differently is one of my secret tools for creative work. 

    I started by gathering a bunch of items with interesting {and contrasting} details. The idea was to find papers that had interest along the edges that would be visible after being stacked in a collage. 

    I played with the rectangles, slicing and dicing and scheming. Ooops! My teeny tiny stapler does not have much of a reach! Imagine the school-style staplers that reach a foot across! So I started stacking and playing with the papers, focusing on the edges and cutting rectangles so that they layered nicely.

    I think I was being too literal here, in thinking that the collage had to be neatly stacked. The result was a twelve (12) layer collage with just ONE staple! Ingredients include a museum brochure, magazine clippings, japanese papers, watercolored papers, painted fabric, gelatin print, ribbon and a doilie...

    My second one-staple collage was a happy accident. The green and gold paper was sitting next to the fortune and I quickly envisioned gluing these together and grabbed some other papers to provide visual interest. I was going to glue it all on this index card and realized that the way I had stacked the papers they all intersected in the same area, even though the layers weren't in a even stack. {Thank you Sue for the lovely green paper and the happy mail from Oz with an abundance of colorful goodies inside. I used two of the items from your envie {see, I speak the language} in this collage!}

    And if you've got a bunch of staples...

    And here's one of my multi-stapled {9 staples to be exact} collages from the index-card-a-day challenge. I certainly could have used fewer staples. Or colored staples! I cut out 8 interesting bits from magazines, stapled them to the card, then added found text for fun.

    The idea of stapled collage is simple... with the power of a staple we can juxtapose colors, images, textures fonts, symbols and more. And no sticky mess!


    Zine Special

    Inside each issue, you'll find articles on a variety of topics of interest to creatives, with a specific focus on art journaling and mixed media art. 


    Get the combo-pack of Zines #10 +11 for 10 bucksWhile supplies last {25 packs available}. Zine #11 includes:

    a discussion about the art of stapled collage {by Lauren Bergold}

    thoughts about how to handle your unfinished {neglected, forgotten} journals

    ideas for developing a journal which combines illustrations + flash fiction

    ideas for using a field journal to nurture creative habits

    Get Issue #11 Daisy Yellow Zine {18 pages}

    Purchase the Zines at Etsy individually or in sets {Zines 3-4, Zines 5-8, Zines 9-11} via instant DIGITAL DOWNLOAD in full color standard PDF format.

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