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    Fujifilm Instax Play-Time

    I've been thinking about getting a toy camera for quite awhile, something that would take imperfect, maybe lomo, maybe holga, desaturated photographs. This Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 Film Camera had generally good reviews at Amazon so I splurged on the camera and a box of film.

    I whipped through about 30 photographs in two days. The kids whipped through another 10 shots of Kimba and yes, I had to pull the camera away from them. Art journalists and creatives will like this camera because you don't know exactly what you'll get when the photograph spits out the top!!! You get IMPERFECTION, soft focus and desaturation galore. 

    Did I mention that the glossy photograph pops right out the top of the camera? Or the memories of the Polaroids of the 1970s? Or the excitement while waiting for the photo to develop? Or that the kids though it was the coolest thing ever? And it comes in a bunch of pastel colors? The photographs above were all taken on the same cloudy afternoon. So results are inconsistent. You cannot turn off the flash, so until I figured out what conditions worked best, a bunch of my shots were way over- or under- exposed and I burned through a lot of film before it all "clicked" with me. Pun intended.


    These three instax photos were taken indoors adjacent to a window with good light flowing in. Be sure to take photos at least a few feet from your subject... with good light... to get decent photographs. 

    The official review!

    5 stars for usability*
    5 stars for the novelty/fun factor
    2 stars for quality of photographs

    * It's extremely light and easy to use, just one nob to turn to set the exposure {exposure is an exaggeration, sorry}. One button to snap a shot. Switching out the film pack is easy peasy. The cost of film is about 75 cents/shot. The film does not need to be taken anywhere to be developed, which is a major plus! 

    I find the photographs engaging and intriguing with a sprinkle of retro wonkiness that works for my style of art journaling and documentation. 


    Tangent № 07: Doodle Pattern Grid

    The Art Journal Tangents & Tactics Series continues! Here's the introduction and links to Tangents #01 through #06. Thank you for your enthusiasm for the series and for your generous contributions. The series includes tutorials that are like sessions of an art journaling workshop, with ideas to try, new mediums to consider, sparks for your art journal. I am really digging the flexibility of being able to share with you ideas from many different mediums. 

    This is a new tutorial that brings together a love of pattern making, magic markers & grids.  

    Markers and paper.

    Simple materials can stretch our creative idea-generating skills in the most amazing way. We can focus on the work instead of trying to figure out how to use the materials!

    Click to read more ...


    The Sewing Table

    My art tends to expand|fan out|overtake|envelop|take over|intrude upon|cover any flat surface.

    That's what happens when you don't have a dedicated art studio. I do gelatin printing on the kitchen counter... and paint acrylic canvases balanced on a rolling cart in the kitchen. I film tutorials in the dining room because it has the best light!

    But then there's the room-formerly-known-as-the-guest-room. Well it's technically still a guest room. In an emergency, I suppose. I use this small space for sewing, fabric storage, large paper storage, and cutting large papers to make journals. I don't do collage or art journaling here, because I don't want to accidentally knock quinacridone crimson onto my carpet. Wet mediums are constrained to spaces I can't damage all that much... I have been known to knock over high flow acrylics, drop brushes full of acrylics and drop glass bottles of india ink... 

    This is my work table in the guest room. The top photograph is the chaos to the left of the sewing machine and the bottom is the chaos to the right. That's stuff that has been brought into the room but not put away. The white square thing in the lower photo with the leaf is actually a lampshade. Even in full daylight the light in this room is meh at best.

    This week I'm linking up with Seth Apter's post about sharing our not-so-perfect creative workspaces. So I took a photograph of the table, the sewing machine, surrounded by little papers, cutting implements, collected and unsorted papers, thread, bits and bobbins. I'm more of a paper sewist than a fabric sewist, right? So that means that I use 85% paper and 15% fabric {scientifically proven ratio}.

    It's a hodge podge of containers. I keep thread and bobbins and the tiniest papers in that stack of cigar boxes behind the sewing machine or else they get fluffled about and blown around or stick to other stuff when I move paper or fabric around the workspace. Love cigar boxes! 

    If you sort by color... where do you put the rainbows?!?

    The stumble-upon nature of collage suits the way I work... papers in disarray. I do keep "types" of papers in separate containers. For example, my found papers & ephemera are together, old book papers together, japanese papers together, painted papers together, gelatin prints together. But definitely not sorted by color or topic! I do not sort paper or ephemera by color... that would drive me bonkers.



    The new Art Journaling Tangents & Tactics series includes art journaling techniques, video tutorials and creative prompts in random mediums and mixtures thereof. We'll create art journal pages, draw patterns and ink designs, following tangents to discover new tactics to apply to your journal pages. 

    Find my video tutorial Bold Pattern Play at the Create Mixed Media blog today! This "bonus" Tangent is included on the Tangents index. 

    Another post on this topic... I Wish I Had an Art Studio with Twinkly Lights.



    Art Journal Tangents & Tactics Series

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

    Art Journal Tangents & Topics: The Series

    The series includes art journaling techniques, video tutorials and creative prompts in all sorts of mediums and mixtures thereof. 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, tip jar ➸ 
    Start: August 1, 2014

    I'll keep this page updated to serve as an INDEX.

    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

    Click to read more ...


    Pop-Up Art Outing

    The girls and I drove west to Fort Worth a few weeks ago to see what the Etsy Fort Worth had to offer at the little Pop-Up Art Festival. 

    The event was held on the grounds of the Rahr Brewery; folks were gathered in the cool building drinking beer while the artists were outside in the shade of their booths. For some reason... there were numerous pug dogs in tow but we didn't capture a photo of the little cuties.

    The pop-up event was in a quaint old neighborhood.

    Vivid fused glass jewelry by Amy of Larkspur Studio.

    Ingenious metal sculptures by Texas Rustic Works.

    We indulged in Goat's Milk Soap and Honey Tea Tree Soap from Clover Hollow Soaps.

    Some other cool shops... EPHEMERA Comics & Plant Boutique with vintage books, comics and unique terrariums. They do terrarium workshops! Regal Cottage eco-friendly toys made from reclaimed & recycled materials. 

    Little purses from Dizzy B's.

    We indulged in Purely Coconut, Chocolate Beer and Pumpkin Spice Soap from Drunken Suds Soap Company!

    Gadgetry & mechanical art by The Steampunk Ballroom.

    Everyone we spoke to was incredibly friendly. The show itself was very small and I hope that interest will grow. All in all, a pleasant afternoon.


    Fun Color Challenge: Week #3

    "True happiness comes from the joy
    of deeds well done, the zest of creating things new."
    Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    The Fun Color challenge continues, and you are welcome {you are invited} to join in any week or weeks you wish. So if you are just discovering the challenge, JUMP IN! You might want to read the introduction to the challenge before you get started. This is the 3rd set of prompts, you can find Set #1 and Set #2 as well.

    Now what?

    Select a a color from the left column, then pick a prompt from the right column and interpret this combination by making an Artist Trading Card {also known as an ATC, dimensions 2.5" x 3.5"} or fill one section of an accordion book.

    Share your work!

    When you create your ATCs {or start filling in your accordion book folds} for Week #3, pop back to this post and share your work in the link-love below! You can link to a specific blog post {please, not your home page} or a specific photograph at flickr. If you are posting to instagram or twitter, you can use hashtag #dyfuncolor.

    Prompts for Week #4 will be posted on Monday September 22nd. 


    Accordion Book: Textures

    You can make a themed accordion book to house any of your tiny artistic creations. In Stitched Texture Printing Escapades I created a wild array of textures on index cards and then used the cards to make imprints. I don't always do "something" with my creations, but these little cards were screaming for attention!

    An accordion book that started with a simple manila folder.

    Click to read more ...


    On Not Getting Side-Tracked

    “Accepting oneself does not preclude
    an attempt to become better.”
    Flannery O'Connor

    art time can

    ~-+<{[[just fly by]]}>+-~

    without a second glance

    organic parrot food to research

    grapefruits to juice

    dish towels to fold

    elaborate plots to steal shitaki mushrooms

    mesmerizing games of Extreme Night Vision Inter-Planetary Scrabble

    what would you trade to get art time?

    ... more ramblings of this nature At the intersection of synergy and compound interest

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