What’s on my desk Wednesday: Gratitude Journaling 2018

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My top 3 reasons to start a gratitude journal this year:

  1. November is of course known for its association with gratitude because of the Thanksgiving holiday in the U.S.
  2. #30daysofgratitude is a thing
  3. The Healthy Lifestyle Plan I have been following called “Bright Line Eating”  makes keeping a journal-preferably a gratitude journal– mandatory to the program

I found Susan Pierce Thompson’s book “Happy, Thin, and Free” by accident in my library and did her 14 day challenge last year in January. In the first month I dropped 10 pounds and then was able to lower my cholesterol and decrease some chronic pain in my back and legs. So I kept going, and by the summer had lost a total of 25 pounds. Since July, I have been maintaining and holding steady. But I have gradually started to…well Halloween candy. Enough said!

In order to re-zoom and re-boot Dr. Thompson recommends going back to basics -commiting your food choices in advance and writing them down, journaling, weighing and measuring food, and the hardest ones: no sugar or flour AT ALL.  These are the so-called bright lines that keep things very black and white and straightforward, reducing the number of decisions your brain is taxed with making every day.

It is hard enough to deal with every other kind of stress and decision, which is the main source of erosion of willpower, Dr. Thompson explains. Further, sugar and flour are not foods they are actually drugs. When removed from the natural, fiber lattice framework they grow in, grains and carbohydrates in the form of any kind of sweetening substance are highly concentrated and highly addictive! Of course, everyone has their drug of choice and not everyone is equally susceptible to every illicit substance– which includes those in processed food.

That is the very quick and dirty summary of the science behind the program. It also explains the rationale for the bright lines and how they restore your brain to its healthy, natural state when it comes to eating behavior, appetite, craving, and physical well being.

So, even though this is not a health or lifestyle blog but a scrapbooking, mixed media, and paper crafts blog I thought it might pique the interest of some of my friends and worth sharing!

ACS_0807One of my favorite mixed media techniques is to collage my backgrounds. I save magazine clippings of fun sayings and pictures which is a great way to also recycle!

Here are some pages I made shown “before the pen.” I used one of the Artsy Traveler’s Notebook Kits in my Etsy shop. I also used some scraps from my stash and some Tim Holtz distress oxide inks.

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You can pick up the exclusive Clique Kits Travelers Notebook Insert that I designed last November here in the Clique Kits shop while supplies last- on sale for only $2.99.

Use my code GIA15 FOR AN ADDITIONAL 15% OFF YOUR PURCHASE!

-x Gia

 

 

 

Clique Kits October Pep Rally

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Aloha friends! Happy fall y’all! Clique Kits has been creating with some amazing products geared toward the beautiful sights, sounds, and tastes (Pumpkin Spice yeah!) of autumn and the October kit was appropriately named “Gather”.

Today is the day we celebrate with an Instagram Hop and share all of the projects we made in October as we get a glimpse of the upcoming November Kit reveal! YAY!

The Instagram Hop Lineup

Donna – @iampinay25
Sara – @sara.scraps
Kayla – @kaylawebber88
Hannah – @dandalion2002
Marsha – @heymarshamakes
Rachel – rachellowe____
Cristina – cristina__sales
Sue – @suesmith7900
Gia – @giaaloha
Raechelle – @raebellus
Riri – @riri.creates
Theresa – @larkindesigntm
Khristina – @khristinasorge

Simply like and comment on these amazing posts and participants for a chance to win a prize from Clique Kits! Tag your friends to play along!

For this layout I used a new (to me) stamp and die set from Ink Road Stamps. It is called Bella Flora and I used black ink to stamp and then used the outline dies to cut some 2D flowers to layer with those gorgeous 3D flowers in the kit! You also might recognize that this layout follows the Clique Kits October sketch!

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Here are some sneak peeks at the November Kits! They are called “Seneca Falls” which is considered the birthplace of women’s suffrage because the first ever convention on women’s right to vote took place there in 1848. This is very important to us Clique Kits girls because November 6th Election Day is right around the corner and we really want to encourage ALL of our followers to get out and use that right to vote that women once fought and died to get!

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This kit features designer in the spotlight Amy Tangerine and her new collection Shine On! Loving the colors and patterns in this one! So while you stalk your mail-person don’t forget to get out there and vote in the Midterm elections!

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-xo Gia

Mixed Media Monday:Wilna Furstenberg Artful Layouts Class

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Posting another layout inspired by the Wilna Furstenberg class on Bluprint today- if you missed the first one just scroll down or check here. In this lesson we created a background of bright color with gelatos and water and layered texture paste for a title using a cut file as a stencil (cut file technique 1). Last, we used a butterfly cut file (technique 2) to make layered dimensional embellishments using black and white words paper. The same butterflies were cut out of plain white paper and a Studio Calico paper I had in my stash. I learned a lot in this class so far and more importantly I have been trying to find my mojo again.

 

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This class not only includes the instructional videos which are fantastic–it also includes numerous digitals including cut files and printable art work which can be used to create backgrounds and titles. I am currently pretty far from where I would like to be in terms of creative productivity but sometimes just doing something is better than nothing! Do you ever get in a creative funk? What brings you out of it?

-xGia

Mixed Media Monday

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Hi crafty friends! Today I am excited to post about this layout because it was so much fun to make and was inspired by my new Bluprint membership and the “Fresh Techniques for Artful Layouts” class taught by Wilna Furstenberg. How did I stumble upon this?

With the constant overload of stimulation on You Tube I often wondered  if I would ever feel I am in the know when it comes to the latest and greatest “stuff” for the hobby I am so passionate about. How do you sort through all the information on Instagram to find the content that will resonate with you and where you are in your journey?  How does one go about separating the wheat from the chaff on social media? Enter on the scene: the Bluprint platform with  so many artists and makers I admire and follow in one space- I am able to find what I am looking for and make sure that I use my time wisely without getting sucked into a bottomless pit of low yield content. The classes I have previewed so far have been A.Maz.Ing!

So getting back to Wilna’s class…I followed along one lesson which covered creating layers with patterned paper, gelatos used with water, rub ons, ribbon, and making frames by stamping in air dry clay. WOW- that is a lot of objectives for one class- and yet it was very simple and super fun!

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The patterned paper I used was from the Bloom Kit from The Paper Curator. The stamp set that I used to create the frames were from Altenew. I used these because they worked with my photos and layout and made it my own even though they were different from the ones Wilna used in the class.

After rolling out the air dry clay like dough the frames are “stamped” into the clay and cut out with a craft knife.

 

After adhering some paper to the middle of a white cardstock I scribbled on and off the paper with gelatos, added water with paint brushes, and then once dry, layered on a bunch of rub ons from my stash. I did not have as many rub ons that worked well as Wilna did so I ended up doing a little stamping too.

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And there is one last look at my final layout! I know that I am going to use all of the ideas I learned in other layouts too. Thanks so much for stopping by!

-xGia

Other products used: Pink Paislee Auburn Lane rub ons from the October 2018 Clique Kits Travelers Notebook kit, and the acrylic Memories title piece from Bella Blvd which was in the June 2018 Clique Kits Main kit. The velvet ribbon was also in the October 2018 Clique Kit. Stamps from Ali Edwards and additional rub ons from Pinkfresh Studio.

Mixed Media Monday: Boy Layout!

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There is literally NO paper line or scrapbooking kit that I could NOT find a way to use for either gender even though I hear all the time that certain kits are “too girly” and the August Clique Kit is no exception. In addition to choosing the black and white grid paper from Kesi-Art in the kit, I used the Alexandra Renke “blobs” stencil included with the Main kit with some black embossing paste to add texture and contrast to the background of the collage.

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When I saw this Alexandra Renke ribbon like paper design it inspired me because the words with it were about action and motion. I cut out just some of  the ribbons which give a dynamic effect to the composition of my collage layout. I propped the fussy cut photo against the background using some foam tape. This separated the silhouette from aa noisy background. It is not a technique I use often, but once in a while it can be fun.

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I wanted to add a pop of this beautiful blue in one of the exclusive cut apart cards included in the kit, but didn’t want it to be obvious that it was an illustration of some flowers (too girly LOL). Tucking it behind the Heidi Swapp rolodex watercolor card from a past Clique Kit was the perfect solution allowing the color to pop through the die cut word “Happy”. I used just a few stickers from the August Travelers Notebook kit which features the Crate Paper Here + There collection. The puffy stickers are all black and white and were just what I needed together with the Heidi Swapp Hawthorne words included in the kit to form my title and journaling. Believe it or not, the black scraps layered to the left of the photo behind the word “Happy” were exclusives in the very first Clique Kit which debuted in April of 2014. I guess I had been saving them for a reason. #ScrapbookingHordersAnonymous.

What I learned from this layout is that sometimes the emotion a layout evokes is just as important to tell a story as lengthy journaling or themed supplies. There are many ways to convey movement, excitement, and the pure joy of a child running to make a basket ! After all, mixed media is first and foremost a way of using art techniques in our memory keeping, and often the more abstract pieces express what words do not.

-xGia

#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

Happy Home Layout

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To create this look I used gelato water soluble pigment crayons with a waterbrush to get a watercolor wash effect. Then I used a fringe scissors on strips of paper from the Paige Evans Pick Me Up 6×6 patterned paper pad and stitched them down vertically. This layout was the perfect place for the mini weaving embellishment from the Clique Kits February release. If you would like to pick one up, use my code to save 10% GIA10

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I am really glad that I finally have a layout about one of my happy places in life- my comfy bed. Have you made any layouts about your home sweet home?

-XGia

Clique Kits March 2018: Paige Evans Pick Me Up

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Today I am sharing this layout featuring the Clique Kits March Main kit and some of the add on items from the shop. I created a mixed media layout with dry brushed heavy body acrylic paints. To get the colors right, I mixed them from artist quality pigments tinting or shading as necessary. The color palette in the Pink Paislee Paige Evans Pick Me Up collection is really beautiful-I love it. I painted an abstract design layering different colors. It is key to let the colors dry completely before adding a contrasting color in order to not get a mixture that looks like mud. I stamped on top of my painted layer, then finished with some texture past spread through a bicycle stencil. The last step was adding in some strips of the beautiful Pick Me Up Washi tape strips here and there. These were actually a part of the Traveler’s Notebook kit. The kits do mix and match so well!

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Once my background was completed I only had to decorate and embellish with a small amount of papers from the kit. The roses trim was used to ground my photo. I also used some of the print and cuts in the kit, exclusive to the Malama main kit2

Sometimes my favorite layouts do not use very much product at all. I love the vibrant colors in this background. I know I will be using this amazing artsy stamp from Kesi-Art a lot. You can pick one up in the Clique Kits shop! Use my discount code GIA10 to save 10%.

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