Tag Archives: adventure

Today: Get Messy Thursdays | Adventure, Week 4

On Wednesdays, we wear pink.  And on Thursdays, we get messy.

I tried to tackle, in some form or fashion, each of this week’s prompts from the Get Messy Art Journal program (it’s never too late to join!) while limiting the supplies I used– a couple pens, some watercolors, a few stamps and some old magazines.

After last week’s go at a new sketchbook, it’s clear the pages weren’t holding up to all that paint and water.  I decided to use up the last few pages in my original sketchbook… and then light a candle or sprinkle some crystals or maybe just search Amazon for an hour in search of a thick bound book of watercolor paper that can lay flat– preferably one that doesn’t have a spiral binding and isn’t ugly.  I’m putting that out into the Universe and will report back on whether or not the so-called Law of Attraction applies to paper.  On to this week’s pages (and… this week’s jams!).

Get Messy Thursdays | Adventure, Week 4

Materials used: Watercolor paper, Sakura watercolor paints, Sakura white gel pen (my favorite thing, like, ever), magazine tear-outs, a map from a recent Audubon sanctuary visit, tracing paper, glue stick 

So one of this week’s prompts called for writing a poem about wanderlust.  The last time I wrote a poem, it was in memory of my parents’ deceased parrot.  It was sort of a morbid joke, and it was really funny.  (I am the sort of person who ruins being funny, though, by being all… I’m so funny, right? Right?!)  Needless to say, my poetry skills are rusty, at best.  And I can’t say I’ve been feeling especially wanderlusty (not a word, going to use it regardless) lately.  So I wrote about that.  

If I end up growing very serious, wearing a beret and performing this piece of crap at the world championship poetry slam… you can say you knew me when.  Or whatever.  The accompanying page was in response for the prompt that called for no scissors + at least 5 piece of paper.  I started out by following the rules, and then carefully cut out a Taj Mahal and tucked it in between the rip-outs.  I sort of love how it turned out.

Materials used: Magazine clippings, washi tape, letter stamps (small letters are from the Dollar Spot at Target, larger letters are from a Studio Calico set), Micron pen (black, size 01), tracing paper, Sakura watercolors, 3M self-laminating pouch

I was sort of on a roll when it came to ripping pages out of magazines and quickly threw together this collage.  The stamped words are lyrics from Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young’s “Teach Your Children.”  I read somewhere that Graham Nash wrote the song after seeing a photo of a child holding a toy grenade, and thinking about how susceptible children are to messages about violence and war.  And so as happy as this page feels, I wasn’t feeling especially happy when I made it.  Earlier this month, a sixteen-year-old in Dorchester was shot and killed while riding his bike — a sixteen-year-old and a fourteen-year-old have been charged with his murder.  These are children.  Even if we disagree about the need for gun control, I hope we can at least agree that enough is enough.  Our children deserve so much better.

When I think about what I want to teach Grace, I think about how I could be a better role model for her.  I think a lot about how I hope she will view and treat other people.  Above all, I want her to be compassionate.  I want her to have a generous spirit.  And I don’t want her to be afraid.

I tried to find a good photo of figures to trace for one of this week’s art prompts, but um… why are most magazine photos of people so awkward or provocative or weird?  There was a spread on bathing suits in Marie Claire that should have been perfect… but the models all looked mad.  And I got distracted by that.  And then I ate a bowl of popcorn.  After that, I quickly traced these eyes (from an article about adult acne products, of all things) and filled them in with some watercolors.  I didn’t really have any place to stick ’em, so (I am sure you know where this is going), I laminated them and made a bookmark.

Materials used: Gold vinyl stickers, green watercolor paint, magazine clipping, glue stick

My last page was fast and simple (and not fueled by any underlying rage against America’s gun lobby).  I’ve been making a running list of things I want to do this summer, places I want to visit, and projects I want to take on.  This was a little (metallic) note to self.  Just go.

This week’s jams

Oh, and because music is a key part of my creative process (alongside giant bowls of popcorn), I though you might like a peek at what I was listening to while making a mess:

If you’d like to see what my fellow Get Messy Thursday ladies are working on this week, you can find their links here.

Also On Tap for Today:

Where do you most want to wander these days?

Today: Get Messy Thursdays | Adventure, Week 3

So, I decided to crack open a new sketchbook this week.  I was running out of pages in my old one, and everything that I loved about it (namely, the scraps and things spilling over the pages and spiral binding) was sort of driving me mental.  The binding was making it difficult to create full page spreads, so I went after something that would lay flat.  

I love the minimalist cover (I added the E for good measure) and the page size is perfect.  Buuut…. as you’ll see, the paper’s not holding up well with all the paint and ink.  I’m tempted to try making my own with loose watercolor paper.  Trial and error, my friends.

Speaking of trial and error, I accidentally used a “u” stamp instead of an “n” stamp for my first spread.  And I’m strangely okay with that (Look! I’m becoming a reformed perfectionist!).

Materials used: Bubble wrap used as a stamp, with ink and watercolor paint (applied with a brayer); letter stamps from Studio Calico with black StazOn archival ink; Sakura white gel pen; black fine point Sharpie pen; Sakura watercolors

One of the Get Messy prompts this week involved our biggest or greatest or most adventurous (I can’t remember the specific wording) adventure.  I listed a few that immediately came to mind in the bubble wrap circles.  Some adventures would revisit in a heartbeat.  I loved swimming to the back of a dark, sort of creepy, fish-(and who knows what else) filled cave off Cooper’s Island in the British Virgin Islands.  I would marry Nick and become Grace’s mother again in a heartbeat.  I’d even climb a bunch of waterfalls wearing gold leather sandals.  

The whole skydiving thing?  I’d probably skip that.  The more I thought about that absurd day, though, the funnier it became to me.  Like, to the point that I was in tears laughing.  And so, I feel like that one’s worth sharing.  If you’ve already been skydiving, we likely watched the same terrifying training video, wore the same hideous leather helmet thing, and possibly experienced the same life-changing, harness-induced discomfort.  Seriously.  I could barely enjoy the view, because all I could think was, “I survived free fall, and will come back to Earth only to die of the world’s worst wedgie.” 

I decided I needed to make a conscious decision just to relax (this would be a once in a lifetime experience, after all) and enjoy the ride, but apparently I relaxed so much that the instructor I jumped tandem with thought I had passed out, and he started sort of slapping me on the cheek.  So that was weird.

Also, I went on this whole “adventure” with an ex-boyfriend (it was all very fresh… like… I think he dumped me a few days before we went).  That seems like an important detail.  After the slapping thing happened, the instructor tried to make small talk while we circled back toward the ground.  

It went something like this:

  • Instructor: So, what do you do?
  • Elizabeth: I am in college.  Um… what do you do?
  • Instructor: I am a skydiving instructor.
  • Elizabeth:  Right. (Duh.)
  • Instructor: Is that your boyfriend (pointing to parachute a bit ahead of us)?
  • Elizabeth: Ex-boyfriend.
  • Instructor: Whoaaaa, skydivin’ with your ex-boyfriend!  That’s a new one.  You must really trust him.
  • Elizabeth: Yeah.  No.  Not really.

Add 20 minutes of awkward silence between me and the person tethered to my back.  And then cut to the part where I forgot the most important segment of the training video (pull your legs up at landing) and tripped us both, causing me to be flattened like a pancake into the ground.

END SCENE

After that little trip down memory lane, I’ve decided that my greatest adventure is yet to come.  

Materials used: Magazine clipping (how gorgeous is that matte black place setting?); turquoise ink; Sakura watercolor paint (black and grey); Sakura white gel pen

As for adventures (hopefully) never to come, the list looks something like this:

  • I will never be an adventurous eater.
  • I will never get my nipples pierced (this is probably an overshare, but really… it only takes being bitten once while breastfeeding to know that even if I had an overwhelming desire to get pierced… this ain’t gonna happen) and I probably won’t get a face tattoo.  
  • I will never go bungee jumping.  
  • I will never get a cat.

Materials used: Magazine page; washi tape; glue stick; black Micron pens; Sakura watercolors; white acrylic paint

I didn’t have much in the way of “craft trash” to use for this week’s art prompt, but I did have this lovely tear-out from the most recent issue of Domino.  I painted in what was missing and added a quote (often mis-attributed to Audrey Hepburn).

“People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone.” – Sam Levenson

Materials used: Black Pitt pens; mirrored geometric patterned paper from Studio Calico; Faber Castel gelatos; Sakura watercolor paint; bright pink ink; white acrylic paint; glue stick

And for my final page, I got a bit personal (because wedgies are so impersonal…).  I came across the expression “Your vibe attracts your tribe” at like, 4 in the morning earlier this week.  Grace was up and I was mentally willing her to go back to sleep, while simultaneously busying myself on the Instagram.

It struck a chord (mostly because everything strikes a chord when you’re overtired) because I feel a little bit tribe-less lately.  Being home with Grace has been such a wonderful change, but I’m finding myself really needing to make an effort to build new connections and fight my introverted desires to keep to myself all day.  We’ve got a few things lined up that I am looking forward to, and that I think will be a step in the right direction.

In the meantime, I am not totally sure what my vibe is… because our current tribe consists almost entirely of old men wearing Red Sox hats, enjoying the beautiful weather at Castle Island.  Bonus points if they’re walking dogs (Grace’s vibe is 900% “Bring me your puppy!”).  Making friends is an adventure.

Welp, that’s it for this week.  To check out what the rest of the Get Messy Thursdays crew is up to, you can find their links here.

Also On Tap for Today:

What’s your tribe looking like these days?