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 ~

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Survival Tips for Mercury Retrograde

It's no secret, we're 5 days into the first Mercury Retrograde period of 2013. It began on February 23 and will end on March 17 at 2:03 pm Mountain Time. You may be just starting to notice its effects - the energy of communications "going backwards" tends to build as we move through this 3-week period. It   happens three to four times a year.

I had my first noticeable Mercury Retrograde glitch this week, when I an email I'd sent to my veterinarian went to the Help Desk of one of my online stores. I communicate with my vet about managing my cat's diabetes, which is very helpful and leaves me in awe of the amount of patience this woman has. Multiply my ramblings by an anxious cat or dog mom for each of her patients .... Anyway, I'm grateful to the Help Desk lady for letting me know that the email was missent. And given that the two email addresses bear no resemblance whatsoever to each other, how that happened remains a mystery. It's classic Mercury Retrograde.



Since we can't change or stop Mercury Retrograde, the best thing to do is roll with it. Here are some "survival hints" I've gleaned from my previous posts on the subject:

We often dread this time because when the planet of communication goes backwards, our plans get messed up. We should be careful about taking on new ventures, double-check important emails, faxes, etc. and expect some delays, especially towards the end of the cycle. If we can't move forward, let's rest, re-group, and review what's gone before us. 

Here are some useful things to do during Mercury Retrograde: take naps - watch a favorite movie - finish reading a book ~ complete a project ~ clean out clutter ~ get outdoors and enjoy the fresh air in these last days of winter. Think of this time as one of the annual "breaks" the Universe sends us.

For myself, I'm going to advantage of Mercury Retrograde's ability to support us in looking back by getting my 2012 taxes done. I've already taken steps to clear the clutter in my office; now I have room to spread out my tax papers and receipts and get them organized. Woo-hoo, won't the Tax Man be surprised when I file my taxes on time this year!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Friday Finds: More Kid's Clocks from Zazzle

What child wouldn't like to dress up his or her room with a wall clock of their very own! Zazzle has a wide variety of fun and colorful designs in clocks that are young at heart and perfect for any kid's room. Most can be customized with your child's name - for that personal touch!


Rubber Duck Pattern Wallclocks
Rubber Duck Pattern Wallclocks by chirpychums
Look at Rubber duck Wall Clocks online at Zazzle.com






Best Friends Forever Clock
Best Friends Forever Clock by lesrubadesigns
Check out Bff Wall Clocks online at zazzle



Sunday, February 17, 2013

"Tree" Treasure Map - This journal page was done before noon! (well, almost)

Still on the Love, Beauty, Money theme from last week, but I've been thinking about trees lately and I wanted one in my new journal spread/treasure map. Here's what I made:


I like my tree! And I like the colors and the journaling block. Pretty good for a spread I whipped out in, oh, about an hour and a half this morning.

That's even more impressive when you know me - I am NOT a morning person, and my favorite time to work in my craft room is mid to late afternoon. I like the light then. But last night I was surfing YouTube videos in the art journal - mixed media realm, and found one called "The 15-minute Journal Page" which you can see here. Anything that's "quick" sounds good to me, especially since I rarely seem to get as much time to spend in my art journals as I would like. Basically, the video divided the journal page-making process into three segments and allotted 5 minutes (with a timer, even) to each. The sections are: 1) lay down your random background; 2) add color and develop an image; 3) complete the page and do your journaling. I'm describing the steps differently than in the video because my process is different. And I did spend more than five minutes on the sections - but it was still fast for me! Oh, you should also break between the steps and wash some dishes or eat breakfast or play with the cat. That's part of the process, too.

So, before my late breakfast today, I began stamping the background designs onto my previously-painted pages. Blank journal pages are great for using up leftover paint from other projects! By then I'd decided how to make the tree, so I started punching out the scalloped ovals from magazine pages showing green and leafy things. I put the ovals through my Xyron tape so I'd have them as stickers, ready for when I came back from breakfast. 

After I'd eaten, I sat down and painted the tree trunk and stuck the ovals on to it. That completed step two. I took another break and thought about the final, embellishing step. I decided to add some stickers from my stash - I rarely use stickers any more, because I don't like using someone else's designs in my work, but I have quite a stash and this was a good time to use them! I added the butterflies and hearts for love, the flowers for beauty, and the gold stars for money. I also found some vellum stickers of clouds and bubbles as I was going through my stash, and thought they'd be good for creating the journaling block on the right-hand page. It had a dark background, and I haven't been able to find a reliably opaque white pen, so I need to write in dark on light. The stickers worked perfectly - I made a solid block of them in the middle of the page and wrote on it with a good ol' Sharpie ultra-fine point. I put some of the small cloud and bubble stickers around the page, and used one medium cloud for a signature space.

I like it! Hope you do, too :) 

PS: I make custom Treasure Maps for clients! See my EclecticaByJan Etsy shop for details :)




Monday, February 11, 2013

After a few detours, my Treasure Map journal page is done


Here it is: "Love, Beauty, Money" ~


It started out as one of those silly, end of the year posts on Facebook - something to the effect of "the first three words you find in this scramble will be what comes to you in 2013." I kid you not, the first words I found were "Love, Beauty, Money" - and I'll take 'em.

The story behind the page spread itself is more interesting. I decided to try a new (to me) technique, based on something I'd seen on Pinterest. I'm not linking because it didn't work very well. Basically you make a collage that completely covers the page, cut out silhouette-type templates and stick them to your collage, paint over the whole thing with white or some solid-colored paint, then remove your templates to reveal a colorful silhouette against the solid (but rough) background. It all sounded good to me, except - what in the world kind of material do those folks who got it to work use for their templates? It became very clear to me that, whatever  you use, it's going to be gosh-darned difficult to find something that will keep the paint from seeping under and yet won't ruin your collage when you peel it off. Here's what I got after that step was done:

As you can see, the silhouettes aren't crisp & clear like I wanted, because of the paint bleeding under the template. The flowers are the worst, because they were the last ones from which I removed the masks, and so the paint was a little more dry. Yet all the directions I read said to wait for the paint to thoroughly dry - which goes to show, don't believe everything you read on Pinterest! Fyi, the collage I used for a base is here. As for what I used for the templates - it doesn't matter, I can't think of anything that will really work. Long story.

To make the long story short, I'm glad I did this first in my art journal instead of wrecking the canvases I'd thought of using. I knew right away that I could save it by embellishing, and that's what art journalists do! First I "retouched" all of the paint smears and uneven lines to get this, which is what I'd hoped the first process would give me:

And from there I did more embellishing to get the "keeper" page spread at the top of this post. I really like the way the flowers in the middle turned out, so I'm filing that idea in the back of mind to develop as a design for cards, etc. in my Zazzle-sphere. But without the "masking" fail.  Let's finish with a close-up of the writing at the bottom of the completed spread:



Now, let's see what happens in 2013. PS: I make custom Treasure Maps for clients! See my EclecticaByJan Etsy shop for details :)

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Friday Finds: Hearts Galore from Zazzle!

With Valentine's Day approaching, I couldn't resist featuring some of the creative heart expression from Zazzle's talented designers. Perfect gifts for Valentine's Day and beyond!

 

 
Colourful Hearts Note Books
Colourful Hearts Note Books by prawny
Browse Heart Notebooks online at Zazzle.com


 

 
Flower Heart Valentine mug
Flower Heart Valentine mug by jan4insight
Get the best in mug printing from Zazzle.

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