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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    Get Issue TWELVE #12 [new!] of the Daisy Yellow Zine
    Join the Daisy Yellow Group at Facebook
    Start the 67+ Daily Paper Prompts


    Learning is not equal to failure

    your art experiment turns out
    other than you had hoped
    dreamed planned expected
    it is not failure
    it is part of the learning curve
    step back
    ask yourself relevant questions
    about your process
    about your materials
    and try again

    "Everybody has a home team: It’s the people you call when you get a flat tire or when something terrible happens. It’s the people who, near or far, know everything that’s wrong with you and love you anyways. These are the ones who tell you their secrets, who get themselves a glass of water without asking when they’re at your house. These are the people who cry when you cry. These are your people, your middle-of-the-night, no-matter-what people." 
    Shauna Niequist


    Spotted Photo Theme: Animals

    "Though not a natural world by any means, more like a collection of living dioramas, a zoo exists in its own time zone, somewhere between the seasonal sense of animals and our madly ticking watch time."
    Diane Ackerman

    Safari Park. San Diego 2014

    When we visited San Diego this summer, we went to the Safari Park for the first time. We went on a jeep safari adventure where we got to see the animals in the african safari area up close and personal. The giraffes literally put their heads inside the jeep!

    Click to read more ...


    Tangent № 01: Starburst

    “It's this simple:
    If I never try anything,
    I never learn anything.
    If I never take a risk,
    I stay where I am.”
    Hugh Prather


    We open our fresh, shiny new Art Journal Tangents & Tactics Series with a sunburst for your art journal. To learn about how the series works, see the introduction!

    You'll find a video showing my method for drawing the starburst, filling in the sections with gouache {watercolor will also work perfectly for this format} + doodles + patterns. 

    The sunburst format allows spaces to fill with colors, patterns and words. Elements we all adore in our art journals. I like the flexibility and the ability to use words as actual words or written in a scribbly manner. This allows us to get something off of our mind or analyze a decision yet let it look mostly like texture. Legible, but not easy to read. 

    I drew the final details a week later when I was in a doodly mood.

    The page is painted with gouache in the A4 watercolor moleskine journal. I like the flow of drawing and painting at the same time rather than painting and then later drawing or writing. Yup! I missed a letter in ANOT[H]ER, who cares? This page is not going to the Smithsonian. It's not the last time I'll forget a letter, an entire word, misquote, write the wrong lyrics... it's all about the DOING not the end result. The end result is a happy bonus.

    As with all of the "Tangents" in the series, you are welcome to create your own version using the tutorial. The idea is not to duplicate my work, but to search your mind for words, patterns and doodles and fill your own STARBURST. 


    • Black permanent marker or black india ink
    • Watercolor paper
    • Watercolor or gouache paint {my page is in gouache}
    • Watercolor brush, size 6 or 8 pointed round or round
    • Water jar with water, paper towel to catch drips

    You can watch the video below, or click to pop over to Vimeo to watch.
    Video: 8 minutes. There is music playing while you watch, so feel free to mute the volume. The instructions are found below.

    So here's what to do! 

    1. Draw the outline of the starburst with a permanent black marker. In this video, I use a black gellyroll.
      • First, draw a free-form circle in the center of a rectangular piece of watercolor paper. Just keep drawing round and round until it looks somewhat circular. Art journaling is NOT about perfection.
      • Draw free-form lines radiating from the outer edge of the circle. We are not trying to draw perfectly straight lines. Just lines.
    2. Doodle like crazy!
      • Draw a different pattern in each "section" of the starburst. Look around the room you are in and you'll find some sort of patterns. Consider chevrons, stripes, waves, etc. In some sections, use designs that are curvy. In others, use designs that are angular or geometric. Variety is the spice of life, right?
      • In some of the sections, write words in block letters. Leave some sections blank. For words, you can use a quote or phrase that inspires you! BrainyQuote is a great resource for quotes.
      • You can add more words, write in tiny or big cursive letters or divide some of the sections into smaller sections in an impromptu fashion. 
    3. Prep your paints.
      • If you are using pan watercolors, spritz your pans with water using a little spray bottle to prep them. Or put a drop of water in each of your pans. 
      • If you are using tubed watercolor or gouache paints, you'll need to squeeze a bit of your paints into the sections of a plastic palette. I let mine dry overnight and then spritz with water the next day {or a month later}. More about organizing tubed paints in this post.
    4. Dip your brush in the jar of water and then into one of the paint pans and grab some color. 
    5. Paint the sections one by one. Each time you switch colors, be sure to dip your brush in the jar of water and swoosh it around to remove the paint. 
    6. Add details with the brush {stripes... dots... swirls...} 
    7. Add details and additional words with a black permanent marker. 


    Try this technique with watercolor, gouache, fluid acrylics, colored pencils or Faber-Castell brush nib PITT artist pens.

    If you would like to learn more about painting with watercolor or gouache, I'm presently teaching two online workshops... Watercolor Playground and Painted Paper Paradise. More info in the Workshops section of the blog.


    Prompt Cards {Collecting Words}

    For the past several months I've been immersed in designing a new batch of creative prompt cards.

    Pack #105. Cards in this pack? Outline, Diary, Seaside Cottage, Fox, Chevron. The word in the top left corner of the grid is the card name.

    My infatuation with quotes began as a little girl... collecting Reader's Digest Quotable Quotes. And now I collect words. I spend a lot of time thinking about words, collecting words, speaking words into my phone's voice recorder while I drive, scribbling interesting words on index cards, in the margins of books, in my journals, on receipts.

    The design work is interweaved + intertwined with{in} my everyday life.

    There are two major aspects to designing these little gems.

    ① Create or alter my artwork to design the background for each card.
    ② Develop words and phrases that work in harmony, make sense, and are likely to spark ideas.

    Get your prompt cards from the Daisy Yellow Art shop at Etsy!

    To celebrate the release of the new designs, I'm offering 10% off shop orders of $50 or more. Use ©oupon ©ode "WONDERFULWORLD" at check-out. The special offer runs through midnight CST August 3, 2014.

    Art journal prompt cards are availble in sixteen different 5-packs. Simply select the sets you want to purchase, and I send them to you. There are 100+ designs available. Order through the Daisy Yellow Etsy Shop.


    tiny canvas, big heart


    3x5" index card, acrylics, chop stamp from trip to san francisco {from icad 2013}


    a group of people

    created art

    on a small canvas

    a simple index card

    every day 

    for 61 days

    it wasn't about 


    or about the little cards

    it was about

    the experience 

    the ideas

    the inspiration

    congrats to all

    who worked 

    the challenge


    On Creative Momentum


    Creative momentum is a super good thing. Take advantage of it.

    ▶︎ Adding art to your life can literally alter your perspective on every little thing. It can launch you on a fresh tangent, teach you about yourself, build confidence, and bring new meaning to your days. 

    ▶︎ You choose what stuff you do. Paint! Embroider! Write! Photograph! Sculpt! 

    ▶︎ You don't know what is ahead on your creative path. The important thing is to keep at it! Keep trying, keep experimenting, keep practicing. Keep refining your techniques. 

    For the index-card-a-day challengers... 

    ▶︎ Index-card-a-day is a long, deceptively simple challenge. I say that often... deceptively simple... and I am happy that the folks finishing the challenge can now visualize what I mean. The experience is surprising. It is intense. And often surreal.

    ▶︎  You've already got creative INERTIA in your corner, so keep arting.


    What's ahead...

     ▶︎ August 1. Art Journaling Tangents & Tactics begins. This is a new weekly art journaling video tutorial series on Fridays for at minimum 5 weeks. The new series is free; donations are appreciated. I've received seven donations thus far. I appreciate your taking the time to show your support, inspire me to continue and help with the expenses of running the blog. 

    ▶︎ August 1. We will start 61 Daily Paper Prompts in the DY FB group. The prompts were fully refreshed in September 2013. Designed for beginning artists & folks rolling off ICAD. This is a great way to continue your daily art habit... the open-ended prompts can be done with index cards or larger pieces of paper.

    ▶︎ September 1. The Fun Color Challenge begins. More details coming soon! This challenge will be bright & colorful & full of *acrylic* paint. 

    Side note about the Facebook group...

    ▶︎ If you found the ICAD Facebook group a supportive & positive space for the past 60+ days, you'll love the Daisy Yellow FB group just as much! It is my "year-round" art group at Facebook. The group provides a space for what some call "community," a space to discuss and share art journal pages, doodles, sketches, mixed media art, artist trading cards, etc. Thank you to Patricia Dattoma of Magenta Matters for her generous help in moderating the group. 


    Art Journal: Natural Green Dots

    “The magic is only in what books say,
    how they stitched the patches of the universe
    together into one garment for us.”
    Ray Bradbury

    The background started with Golden fluid acrylics and contains  found items, fabric tape, stickers, clippings from Japanese magazines, typed index card wisdom from my older daughter (14), painted papers, ephemera from Sue. Finished by adding layers of detail with heavy body acrylics, high flow acrylics and neocolors!

    See? It no longer closes. And the pages are no longer connected to the spine! I plan to keep this journal in a box when it is finally and truly finished. Just a few more page spreads and I shall "call" it done. 

    Hidden messages too.

    These pages are in an altered hardback book that I call The Noticing Journal. If you have been reading Daisy Yellow for several years, you know that this book has taken TWO years to get to this point of almost-completion! You know that I work the pages at random. But it may surprise you to learn that I rework them at random, adding, completing, restarting. Lately I even started a few fresh full pages over other full pages! Why? Just felt like it. 

    Surprise! The pages actually started with these lovely rainbowy flowy forms back in April 2012. I love(d) it. So when I decided to "finish" the page, I wound up going overboard... I love to ignore the elusive concept of white space. That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

    Art journaling is play. 

    Everything inspires me to work in my journal. The façade of a building, a clothing tag, the way the light glows through a window, the texture of a wall. Even my doodles inspire my journal pages. Let ideas from all parts of your life inspire your art. Let your own art inspire your art! Build on your ideas. Explore them. Alter them. Change them. Change your mind.

    I want to BUILD & GROW this wonderful art form known as art journaling, because I love it so! I'm SO HAPPY about the positive response to the announcement about the upcoming {free} Art Journal Tangents & Tactics video tutorial series. I have been scheming about this for 4 months and it is wild relief to make the announcement and see it materialize! I am nervous and excited to see how the donations concept works as we move forward.


    {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}.

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