#The 100 Day Project Vol. 2

 

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This is the second installation of my posts about the 100 day project which started in the beginning of April. Rather than sharing every single day, I decided to only post every 10 days selections of my faves. You can also find more posts on this topic on my instagram account @giaaloha. I hope you will follow me here on the blog and also on my Instagram if you interested in all things paper craft and mixed media.

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USArt Quest Mica Colors watercolor palette. Here I am playing with these pigment watercolor cakes containing mica for lots of pretty shimmer! These are also interference paints, which means they do show on dark paper, if you are into that. I have both the pastel and the metallic palettes and I love them both. 
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This is another sample using the mica colors in the more muted colors which are not usually my first choice. I experimented with adding some marks with pattern/texture stamps on the top layer, and finally added a paper word.
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This is a very simple watercolor sketch of a pear. I have a hard time with not over working my watercolors and this pear was an attempt for me to show restraint. Unfortunately I felt it came out looking more like a potato than a pear. But thats okay- its practice.
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This was a little study comparing translucent effects of some watercolors in an abstract background with the more opaque colors and how they work in layers. 
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I just felt like using my favorite pink color when I painted this fantasy wildflower. This is a color that always makes me happy.

 

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More simple pink wildflowers
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Abstract blue butterfly
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And now back to pink

One of the experiences that I have had in doing this project so far is that it has stirred up a lot of emotions that I was not expecting. I feel as if I have unplugged some blocked energy inside my self and in doing so there was a clearing of sorts that has been taking place. One of the emotions is a feeling of loss that has to do with all of the time and energy that I spend in life doing things that are not art. I feel a profound loss that life is passing by, and so much has to be done for survival and to honor responsibilities that naturally eclipses creative time. But I also acknowledge that if I was suddenly able to spend 100% of my time creating I would inevitably have moments of creative block, boredom, and frustration for other reasons, the most salient one that comes to mind being deprivation in other areas. Maybe it would be in relationships or maybe in material things. I don’t know. But I am wise enough to realize that grass is greener fantasies are pretty useless.

Another emotion I have to describe as frustration with not being able to do things as well as I wish I could, which has a lot to do with not having as much time to dedicate to practice as I would like. But, perhaps, if I was able to spend a lot more time practicing  I would still feel inadequate. The feelings of inadequacy are probably always there under the surface. Lastly, I think that I have been experiencing a profound search for meaning. When I am mindfully focused on doing something with my hands like painting, I feel at peace and I feel relaxed and I recharge my batteries. I feel connected with my soul. The only other time I usually feel exuberant is when I am having a spiritual experience which sometimes happens to me during prayer or other times while enjoying nature such as the beautiful beaches on Maui.

I am going to keep plugging away at this project if for no other reason than that it has been motivating me to go to my little art space on a daily basis and while I am there I linger and tinker on lots of different projects, not just this one. I think I am waiting for an epiphany of some sort that will lead me to making some revolutionary change in my life. But instead I just take one step at a time and keep living one day at a time.

I wonder if others participating in this project are experiencing a similar emotional roller coaster or a clearing in a similar way. I would love to find them if they are out there.

-xGia

Mixed Media Monday: Monochromatic

 

 

Happy Monday! Tonight I am heading to Salt Lake City for the Sierra Pacific Mixed Media show excited to scope out new products for Clique Kits. I thought it would be apropos to share a mixed media layout today!

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A quick and easy way to get appealing results from a composition is to use a monochromatic or analogous color palette. This layout combines yellow and green gelatos from the Clique Kits Mixed Media shop colored on and then stroked with a wet brush, together with some great stamps from Precious Remembrance layered on with Altenew Crisp black ink. I know that this stamp set is currently out of stock but is hopefully going to be back in stock along with other great stamps soon!

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I dripped some Prima watercolors in blue and green as an accent to tie in the “Fierce” design on my daughter’s shirt in the photo.

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Here is a listing of the rest of the supplies used on this layout!

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Precious Remembrance stamps seem to fly off the shelves as soon as we get them in, so please check the website often for new releases and make sure you follow Clique Kits and all of our associated blogs! Don’t forget the amazing Design Team!

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You can find more colors of upcycled embellishment grab bags pre-organized by color to make your scrapbooking layouts easier in my Etsy shop.

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See you soon!

-xxGia

Clique Kits February Pep Rally: Hot Mess!

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Yay for Pep Rally Day! For those of you who are new to the Clique or visiting for this blog hop, welcome and thanks so much for joining us! At Clique Kits our subscribers who blog together with the design team  are able to participate in the monthly blog share to show off the projects they have made with the kit. This event also signals the exciting reveal of the next month’s kit! The March Kit is called Hell Yeah and it is full of fresh, modern fun patterns and bright colors. It features the Goldie collection designed by Ashley Goldberg for 7 Paper Company and also has exclusive Clique Kits paper and die cuts! Hell Yeah!

Be sure to check out the Clique Kits website for subscription information, new store items, and information on how to win a kit participating in this blog share! Here is the lineup!

Clique Kits https://cliquekits.wordpress.com/
You Are Here——>  Gia Lau https://giaaloha.wordpress.com/
Erica Thompson https://ericarosecreates.wordpress.com/  <———Go Here Next
Melissa Vining http://yesterday2day4ever.blogspot.co.nz
*Candace Pearce http://findingeverydayperfection.com/
*Leeann Pearce http://thepaintbrushgoesspottie.blogspot.com.au/
*Carolina Schulz www.carolinaschulz.com
Kat Benjamin http://kraftykat9.blogspot.com
*Leigh Ann Odynksi http://www.artfulleighcreative.com/
Aliza Deutsch http://peopleofthescrapbook.blogspot.com
*Elisabetta Margini https://abcdeliblog.blogspot.com/
Marybeth Hancher http://marybethhancher.com/
Taina Cortes (Evi) http://lifewithevi.blogspot.com
*Kim Oedekoven http://krodesigns.blogspot.com/
Mariah Hechler www.fun2scrap.blogspot.com/
Megan Blethen www.craftymeggy.com
Kim Allen http://kimsscrappyblog.blogspot.com/
Maryam Perez Osorio http://maryamperez.blogspot.com/
Renee Aslette www.reneeaslette.blogspot.com
Sandy Gonzalez http://craftythought.com

To create this layout I created a raised texture paste pineapple design on my background using a die and and some stencils. I added some color with watercolor paints.

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I created a frame of 3 pineapples 
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I store my stencils like this so they are easy to look through.
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I used removable tape to lightly tack this contraption down while spreading texture paste.

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I painted my pineapple background and other die cuts for a personalized touch.

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This photo gives a nicer view close up of the texture and true color
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This layout is about when my aunt and uncle stopped by on their cruise ship for a visit!
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This is an old school trick-hidden journaling LOL

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My aunt is my mother’s youngest sister and 14 years older than me. After I gave them a grand tour of Oahu we went out for a family dinner at my favorite Italian restaurant.That day with my Aunt and Uncle we made some goooood memories. Now I will always remember them!

Now let’s go enjoy the rest of the hop! I can’t wait to see what everyone created with the February kit!

-xo Gia

Trends to try!

 

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Hey, what’s up? I love this mug. I saw it at Target and it inspired the name of an upcoming Clique Kit…oops spoiler alert! One of the things I love to do on a bloggy catch-up weekend is grab my coffee and talk trends. So let’s do it!

Trend 1 Marbleized surfaces:

Marble and marbleized surface design on paper is a really really old technique. But it has re-surfaced as a modern pattern in everything from stationery to fashion to home decor. Italian bookmakers and handmade paper makers actually invented over a dozen specific patterns of marbleizing, but my favorite is freeform. I especially love when metallics like gold and copper are mixed in. I have seen more and more marbleized paper appearing in scrapbooking recently from patterned paper collections from Dear Lizzy to Crate Paper to Maggie Holmes and even a whole monochromatic marble line from Bazzill basics.  I think we will continue to see marbleized paper through several more seasons!

Trend 2 Plaid Patterns:

I think this trend was especially apparent at Christmas time when black and red and sometimes gold were very hot, but get ready for Spring when pastel colored plaids and tartans are going to be just as big a hit! I am especially enamored with some patterns I saw from Photoplay paper company and Lawn Fawn!

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Trend 3 Wild Things:

Animal Prints, animal faces, geometric animal illustrations, and more…we seem to have developed a fetish for our furry friends- whether wild or domesticated, cute and cuddly or not so much! Some trends have been around in fashion and have always made a bold statement, like giraffe print and zebra print. What kinds of wild looks do you like?

Pictured above is an ipad cover with a non traditional zebra print spotted at Target, a We Are Memory Keepers Clearly Posh acetate print in gold cheetah, and a cat face sweater!

Trend 4 Tassels and pom poms:

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I have been seeing tassels and pom poms everywhere. I don’t know about you. They started out as something I saw mostly as party decor-banners made up of fringy tassels made from crepe paper in pastel colors and even gold. Now I am seeing accesories and key chains and even techie gear like the item pictured made from classy leather tassels. Small tassels are pretty embellishments on mini albums and planners. I remember making pom poms in summer camp once- I never thought it was something I would look up again, but I couldn’t help myself. Here is a link to a super easy fork method of making pom poms and a tutorial to make this adorable and trendy pom pom bracelet!

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Trend 4 Brushstrokes and Painterly Effects

This is defined as patterns where the artist’s hand is visible in the strokes of paint-whether watercolor, ink, acrylic, or oil, or even splashes- there is evidence left behind of the process of the artist. We are loving this look lately-from monochromatic to bold splashes of colors- and even florals! There are some amazing collections that have come out incorporating this style for scrapbooking by designers like Dear Lizzy, Amy Tan, Ashley Goldberg, Paige Evans, Shanna Noel, and many more! I can’t wait to get these in my upcoming Clique Kits (oh no-more spoilers)

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Mariko Brushstroke Painterly Pencil Skirt

Trend 5 Geometrics

These designs are really popular right now and really make an impact on any space-like this bedroom wall. I love geometric patterns on paper and geometric renderings of animals likes bears and foxes. They look really cool in scrapbooking too. Keep an eye out for dies, stamps, wood and acrylic shapes, die cut pieces, and paper patterns incorporating geometric designs.

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Trend 6 Neon Pastels

This is more of a color palette trend but I have seen a lot of this especially in fashion and it also influences paper and embellishment collections in scrapbooking we like, planner colors along with accessories. I really like to add pops of neon and gold to my pastels-so feminine and pretty for Spring!

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Trend 7 Succulents

How about those cactuses (plural cacti?) And their cousins the succulents? These have become the houseplant to have lately, and naturally, images of them are a popular motif in stamping, cards, and paper patterns. I was given one as a gift and with my black thumb I managed to…never mind. It’s too sad. I do have a really nice thriving one outside on my front lanai.

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I probably missed some new popular trends, but those are the ones that immediately come to mind! I hope you enjoyed my trend talk- please let me know your thoughts!

-xo Aloha! Gia

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Clique Kits January Pep Rally: Happy!

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Aloha! I suppose it has been a while since I was able to participate in the Pep Rally and this poor little blog has been very neglected. But nevertheless-it’s a new year and no better time like the present to follow through with my biggest resolution of all- making time to be creative every day no matter what!

Here is today’s lineup of blogs. Clique Kits will give away a prize kit to one lucky blog share commenter and as always, there are product credits awarded to every Clique subscriber who participates in this hop! So please leave some love on every blog and share away on social media!

Clique Kits https://cliquekits.wordpress.com/
Me——>Gia Lau https://giaaloha.wordpress.com/
*Melissa Vining http:yesterday2day4ever.blogspot.co.nz   <————Next stop
*Candace http://findingeverydayperfection.com/
*Kat Benjamin http://kraftykat9.blogspot.com
*Leigh Ann http://www.artfulleighcreative.com/
*Aliza http://peopleofthescrapbook.blogspot.com
*Elisabetta https://abcdeliblog.blogspot.com/
Donna http://scrappydonna.blogspot.com/
Emma Pescott http://emslifedocumented.blogspot.co.nz
Sandy Gonzalez http://craftythought.com
Kim Allen kimsscrappyblog.blogspot.com/
Mariah Hecher http://www.fun2scrap.blogspot.com/
Renee Aslette http://www.reneeaslette.blogspot.com
Kate Blue http://www.kateblue.blogspot.com
Megan Blethen www.craftymeggy.com
Kelly Baron kaybeetoo.blogspot.com
Bernie Miller http://weekendatberniis.blogspot.com.au/

Upcycling Christmas to Valentine’s Day

Today I am sharing a layout made from the January kit Alegria. This photo was taken at a fancy Christmas party and even though I have had it as the wallpaper  on my phone I wanted to scrap it because it captured my memory of a really special and fun night! I love that this kit name Alegria means happy and chose the die cut word Happy as my main title/journaling.

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One of the crafty things I did this weekend with my kids is make some Cupid’s arrows out of felt, paper straws, and washi tape.

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Paper patterns  used to cut the felt and straws leftover from Christmas.

I wrapped the straws in washi tape to update them from Christmas to Valentine’s Day.

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After making a few of these Cupid arrows I thought that it would be the perfect homemade embellishment to add to a layout! I have to show you the side view so that you can see the dimensional elements of the layout. Since the Cupid’s arrow is such a large piece, I wanted to keep the rest of the layout fairly simple.

And now I am totally in the mood to tear into my Clique Kits Valentine’s Day Kit called XOXO!  If you haven’t picked yours up yet, better hurry as they are going fast. I can’t wait to see what everyone else is sharing today using the January kit! There will be a special Valentine’s Day blog hop coming in February where the Clique Kits and Bella Blvd design teams pair up for twice as much fun! Make sure you follow the Clique Kits blog and social media for news of new product and kit releases as well as the Clique community Events!

xoxo

Gia

Mojo Monday: Things Inspiring Me Lately

 

Eyes: Windows to the Soul

I spotted this article and project by Alexandra Michiardi called Crete Travel Journal in my current copy of Somerset Memories magazine and I loved the somewhat randomness of the eye stamp and how it really stood out on the page.

I am a huge fan of Alexandra’s illustrations and I have bought many of her stamps in her Etsy store known as byMeli-Melo. I learn so much from her blog and the work her creative team did with her past stamp set releases. I highly recommend following her blog and Instagram for some awesome mojo!

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I believe that eyes are going to be an up and coming icon trend. Here is an example of an eye I saw on a pair of sweatpants by Roxy brand clothing company:

I am seeing eyes popping up on flat design graphics and I will be honest with you- I saw them in Starbucks on some coffee mugs last holiday season and I was a fan right off the bat. I don’t know why- they appeal to me. But like when they saw fruit patterns and pineapples in designs at first and some other recent trends my friends are telling me they are “creeped out” by them. Okay. I’ll just wait 6 months and ask them again. In the mean time, I am inspired to dig in to this Basic Grey paper line called Barista which is available from Clique Kits. Yes of course I will show you what I end up making with it!

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Paper Catalogs

Published August 1st ( annually on my birthday) the Close to My Heart Catalog and Idea Book


I always love CTMH stamps and I am impressed with the way the company has kept up with the industry. They now carry many embellishments like washi tape, enamel dots, project life style card sets, and even 4 x 4 style Instagram albums and page protectors with 2x 2 divided pockets.  I have many friends who are still consultants and I hope this company sticks around.  In a digital world, there is something heavenly to me about a paper catalog. It always brings me good mojo. And whether it’s CTMH or Stampin’ Up or any other direct sales product- if you send me the catty- I will order. We are tactile-visual people after all, aren’t we? Otherwise, why would we be so attracted to paper-crafting?

George R. R. Martin’s Game of Thrones and the HBO television series ( can’t wait for the final season although many of my favorite characters have been killed off) You can now watch some of the seasons by internet streaming- I think its Hulu or Netflix. (Make sure no one under 18 or who passes out at the sight of blood is in the room if you do watch it though. It contains everything listed under adult content and then some-nudity-okay flat out sex-sometimes disturbing-violence, blood, gore,etc)

In one of the earlier seasons Khal Drogo and Khaleesi use these terms of endearment for each other (the Khaleesi also eats a horse’s heart in a ceremony for her love) and well if that isn’t love I don’t know what is. I have been inspired to use them in some designs lately and sent some sketches over to the Clique Kits graphic designer!  I have seen jewelry popping up with a his and hers stamped message: She says, “My sun and stars” to which he replies, “Moon of my life” You don’t even have to be a fan of Game of Thrones to appreciate the romance of it. I am kind of over “I love you to the moon and back” now so this is going to be the next big moon reference. I.M.O.

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Origami and Kawaii Art

  


As if little illustrated cute things weren’t cute enough like bunnies and kitties, put a really really cute smiley face on them and you have something kawaii which means cute in Japanese.  I mean, it’s just sooooo cute. This wood veneer rabbit is actually a box which I will use as a gift card holder for a baby shower. Lately, even food and drinks have to have a smiley face-as do plants and weather, like suns and clouds. I went out for sushi the other night, and was afraid my California roll was going to smile up at me.

Origami is another thing. I never really got into it- the actual paper folding part. But flatten the designs and turn it into stamps and die cuts and patterned paper and I’m all in. I love these earrings though. Handmade and for sale at a local Japanese market in Honolulu.

I am pretty sure we will continue to see kawaii illustration, origami, and sumi-e style chinese painting styles with ink and watercolors continuing to be very popular. Any patterns where the artist’s hand and brushstroke visible in the pattern is going to be in style!

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And that concludes this week’s episode of Mojo Monday! I hope you enjoyed it! I would love to hear what is is inspiring you lately. I am always on the lookout for ideas!