This Post Brought To You By The Letter "B"

I took a modern calligraphy class this week and am starting to feel a bit more confident in the craft...a bit. There are certain letters I gravitate towards because they are loopy and fun and flow well for me. The lowercase letter "b" happens to be one of those (p and w are the others :)).

I've been doing a ton of practicing with ink and nib (see messy photo below as evidence) but wanted to try a new medium today, drawing gum! Drawing gum, also known as masking liquid, is a fluid that you use like ink to "mask" certain areas of your work. It goes on very wet but as it dries, it gets a rubber'ey texture and can be painted over with watercolors. Once your paint dries, you rub or peel the drawing gum away and you're left with whatever surface you started on - plain white in my case.

I used Pebeo drying gum but there are a number of other brands available if you search on Amazon or at your local paper or art supply store.

Here are a few tips I learned in my first day of playing with this new supply:

  1. Be patient! It's tempting to want to watercolor over the drawing gum pretty quickly but if it's not completely dry, it makes a mess. Similarly, don't try peeling off the drying gum until your watercolor is dry otherwise the paint will bleed into the places you don't want it to! 
  2. Mess up the writing (or whatever design you're working on)? Never fear - just let it dry, peel it off and start over with a clean slate! No reason to waste your good watercolor paper!
  3. To remove the drawing gum (once everything is dry), very gently rub it with a pencil eraser. That will help ball it up a bit so you can grab and peel it more easily. 

Remember how I said earlier that I had been doing a lot of calligraphy practice lately? This is the reason why my fingernails will be black for the next week: 

Learning new things can sure be messy!! 

ATC With an Identity Crisis

Is it an ATC? Is it a junk journal? It couldn't decide what it wanted to be so I slapped a label on it and we're just going to call it "art." It does meet the standard ATC size guidelines of 2.5" x 3.5"!

This was made for this month's ATC swap on Craftster. I was partially inspired by my partner's "book" theme and partially inspired by the recent junk journal swap I participated in. It's made from vintage postcards and random piece of paper from my pile-o-junk.

It's bound using coptic stitch binding and bakers twine. I really would like to get some of the fancy waxed linen thread that you're supposed to use for book binding...because I need MORE craft supplies :).

I'm hoping my partner can use this ATC/junk-journal craft for future art or doodling! 

Thank You For Being a Friend, Toucan

Jake and I are trying to drop a few pounds after some early summer excesses. To stay motivated, we've made a competition out of it - winner gets to pick the location of our next vacation so the stakes are high! He wants to do the Kentucky Bourbon Trail while I am dreaming of a lazy beach vacation - maybe in Key West.

Those Floridian dreams must have been on my mind when I took a mosaic class at Seattle Mosaic Arts last week. I don't know if they have toucans there but from all the episodes of Golden Girls I used to watch, I know they have plenty of light pink and mint green!

I got to do the fun parts of the mosaic - designing, nipping the glass and piecing it all together - while Seattle Mosaic Arts did all the messy cementing and grouting work. The design was inspired by this cute art print that proved to have just the right amount of detail for mosaic'ing.

I plan to hang the final piece on the wall in my office as a pop of sun-inspired color. It should help in the dreary winter months here in Seattle!

Now, here's hoping my new toucan brings me lots of luck in the weight loss battle! I wonder why I'm craving Fruit Loops ;)??