Welcome to Jan's Eclectic-Mix Blog

Greetings, dear readers ~ I am excited to present my detailed Intuitive Forecasts (formerly known as CycleCasts) to this blog! Join me for a guided tour of our journey through life's subtle energies, and stay for my musings on arts and crafts, current events, a little of this and that ~

Sunday, September 28, 2014

#ArtJournalWisdom Day "5" Page - Limit(less) purples

I'm not really going in order on the Art Journal Wisdom experience; this only the second page I've done and Connie calls it Day 5:


The assignment was called "limit yourself" to three elements: Color scheme of purples and white/ Theme of air or breath/ Use a natural item that was gently-collected from your yard (like the real feather I adhered to the page!).

I started by collaging strips of purple paper to the page in a spiral fashion, inspired by a quilt block design I saw on Pinterest. Then I tried to enhance the design with paint & markers to highlight the strips, and that's where I messed up. I rarely make a collage I don't like, but this one was it. So I painted over the whole thing with iridescent medium - which I've found is a great way to soften an unwieldy collage - and then went back with my purple paint and markers to reinforce the spiral design. The previous layers still show through, but are much more softened and blended. I liked it better already.

To finish, I plucked some little fronds from the juniper tree in my front yard, dipped them in gold paint, and stamped them randomly on the page. That's one natural element. I stuck the feather - which I found today in my back yard; the birds are always leaving feathers for me to find :) - to the page with double-sided tape. Then I glued on a butterfly I cut from a magazine (which I guess is another natural item).

I titled the page "A breath of air" to fit with the theme. It works. The spiral design of the background looks breezy and airy to me, and the feather and butterfly naturally represent air. And the process of going through something messed up, and making it into something I like, feels freeing. It's a release - like taking a breath of air.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

First pages in my new Art Journal - inspired by #ArtJournalWisdom Worshop

My previous visual/journal books are nearly filled, and I had put aside a blank composition book to start a new one, but hadn't gotten ARoundTuit. This week I did, and here is the first page spread:


Isn't it pretty? Some technical details before I get to the inspiration source and my deeper thoughts, such as they are.

  • The notebook is a standard composition book with the covers dressed up, like the journals I sell at my Zibbet shop. (Hmm, Zibbet's rebuilt site won't let me link to shop sections. Sorry.) But I digress ...
  • Back to my new journal - I had put this particular book aside for my own use because the back cover didn't line up with the page ends, so I didn't want to sell it (cheap notebooks are like that), and it was a perfect opportunity for me to start a new book. I covered the front, back, inside covers and spine to make it my book. The covers are gorgeous if I do say so myself, but I will have to take some better pics before I can show you.
  • To prepare the composition book for an art journal (on my site I pitch them for writers, poems, recipes, etc.) I cut and removed a chunk of pages, about a third of the total, from the center. This reduces the bulk so you can add stuff as is done in an art journal. I glued several pages together, two pages at a time, with a glue stick - quick, easy and cheaper than gel medium or whatever. This is to strengthen the pages so they stand up the challenge of art journaling. I wonder if it's really necessary, though - when I was cutting the pages out of the center, I found they were really strong. I couldn't tear them, so I had to use a craft knife. But, gluing pages together reduces the intimidation factor of having all those 100+ pages to fill, so glue I did.
  • To make this page spread, I slapped on a layer of gesso with some scratched-in texture & let it dry. Then I generously dribbled some craft paint in different colors at the top of the pages and squished them down the page with a piece of cardboard, using squiggly motions (love trying new techniques!). When the colors got a little muddy, as they will, I was delighted to find I could scratch through the "mud" with a plastic fork and/or a cheap palette knife to reveal the bright colors underneath. Yeah! I added more color layers by stamping white, yellow and bronze paints with a tp tube (circles), bubble wrap (blurry dots), and plastic canvas (little squares). Yeah! The bronze paint was the trickiest to stamp, so I just wiped the ends of the tp tube, dipped in bronze, in a series of streaks across the pages. Because sparkle is good, and metallic shine is the next best thing :)


I like my page spread, and even though I really don't have time for this, I plan to press on with at least few more lessons from Connie Hosvicka's Art Journal Wisdom workshop. Best of all, the workshop is free! Yeah! It's very much geared to beginners, but even though I've already got 5 or so art journals under my belt, I've been picking up some new tips. Plus, she encourages us to post and share our share - I've been hungry for that, too.

So, even though it's not a good time for me to do this (is it ever a good time) and even though I'm kinda stressed with all that's on my plate (when am I not stressed, lol), I'm going forward with many thanks to Connie for this gift of a free workshop. In fact, I see the next lesson is about getting it out, getting it down - to deal with stress. Well, I know what my next page spread will be! Onward ;)

Thursday, June 12, 2014

New Moon Friday 13th Forecast: The Crown and The Knight

Call it wisdom or call it superstition, dear readers - but our human brains are wired to seek meaning in seemingly coincidental events. Tonight's Full Moon bumping against Friday the 13th of June is one such synchronistic pattern, one that won't be repeated for many years. So let's look at the energy patterns and archetypes for this celestial event, as revealed by my StarGate cards:

The Knight - image courtesy of MorgueFile

Where we are now is The Handle, which tells that this full moon's regenerative power energizes us and supports taking initiative. Coming up ahead is The Crown, a fulfillment of our quest for guidance. And as we take right guidance into our lives, we can in turn offer leadership to others. What should we pay attention to, but The Knight - the noble side of ourselves. Let us raise our sights to highest level of questing, always acting with honor and seeking to protect and rescue the weaker ones who depend upon our care.

The Star of Austerity is one of our helpers for this full moon cycle. It reminds us to step and take a cold, clear look at the events around you. Our second helper is The Wind (and as I type this, the wind is swirling around my Albuquerque home right now!). This Wind is the challenge of how we adapt to change. Better to be like the limber willow that sways in the wind, instead of a stiff old snag that breaks.

If you've been needing, seeking -- or resisting -- a change, this is the time to spread your sails and fly forward. By the time the next full moon comes around, you'll be able to see the results of your intentions for change that were activated under this Friday 13 Full Moon.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Spring Sweetness - new floral design at my P.O.D. sites

The weather in my part of the world got wintery again over the last few days, and being that I'm a fall & winter person I'm quite happy about that. But as much as I grieve a little bit when spring comes along, I am able to recognize signs of spring's beauty when I see them. One of the first is the wild Cranesbill flower (also known as wild geranium) that blooms in my yard. A few weeks ago I snapped this picture when the cranesbill was at its peak:


Pretty, but nothing special - until I zoomed in, cropped it and "painterized" it to make a new design for my Zazzle store. Like this ~

 

Don't those pink blossoms look gorgeous against that deep, leafy-green background? I'm having fun putting it on Zazzle's array of new products like lunch boxes, trays, and even wrapping paper! Of course it's also available on the usual P.O.D. stuff like posters, mugs, t-shirts, and so on at my Jan4insight* store. Here's a look at the new products I mentioned:

 

 

 

I've added more P.O.D. sites in the past year, and "spring sweetness" is flowering there, too. Check out my all-over floral designs (I particularly like the sweatshirt) at Print All Over Me/Jan4insight. For bigger, bolder home decor I have a spring sweetness rug and shower curtain in my store at Society6/Jan4insight.

In the time I've been writing this tribute to spring flowers, lol, the temperature has dropped enough that I need to go turn up the heat, put on a sweater, cuddle under an afghan and pretend that it's still my favorite season!

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