I'm Tammy. 


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    Finding the Mojo | Muse | Motivation

    Working on my rolling kitchen cart, I paint envelopes one color at a time. So I might use green on a bunch of envelopes. Then a bunch of, say, blue. And I keep going until each envelope has a variety of colors. Sometimes I add dots. I work quickly, not thinking about right/wrong, color palettes, the color wheel, tertiary colors, true magnetic north or anything scientificky. I don't micro-manage the outcome. I just get to work.

    There's a lot of talk about the elusive creative muse, of mojo, some sort of magical-mysterious-complex concept which means different things to different people. So whether it means "the muse" or "creative energy" or "strength" or "motivation" or "determination" to you.... the idea is that we don't start {or make progress on} a creative project because we are waiting for something. Waiting for the muse, the answer, the plan. Sometimes we are too focused on the BIG PICTURE, the META version of the work, figuring out what we want that to be. The end result. We are looking at this version of the work in our minds and seeing how it could be. In one possible version of reality. Do you wait for the perfect plan, to know every aspect of the work, for a magic bullet, a formula? Maybe a paint-by-numbers plan works for scrapbooking or portrait painting. But it does not work for me. It does not work for my art journaling practice. It doesn't even work for my blog posts! 

    I don't know what my artwork will look like when I am finished. Because I don't know the path I will take. 

    Tell me... what you are waiting for? What will make it OK to start your project? Your page? Your index card?


    By the way, there's just ONE set of 52 art journal prompt cards left in the shop at Etsy. There are smaller quantities available but larger sets will not be back in stock until mid-to-late July.


    MOO Stickerific Fun

    Stickers galore!

    Announcing the winners! BeverlyKim and Abby! I will email you and connect you with MOO to collect your prize.

    These are the MOO Rectangular Stickers. They come in sets of 50, with an easy-to-peel-off-backing. They are nice and sticky and sturdy. 

    The folks at MOO contacted me to see if I wanted to review their stickers and do a giveaway. I've made tiny stickers in the past, so I was super curious to see what the large rectangular stickers would be like. So I went through my digital files and looked for artwork with lots of detail, black & white line art, stitched art, painted papers.... a bit of everything... and made a set of stickers and developed some ideas for using stickers made with your own artwork. I got them in the mail and was thrilled. Thrilled!

    Of course I had to figure out a way to use a sticker on an index card, right? So I made a stitched collage on a 3x5" index card, starting with a layer of acrylic paint, then a sticker of my mandala artwork, a quote, painted paper and fabric. Love this. 


    I added MOO stickers to one of the pages of the 5x8" Moleskine journal I consider my "field journal" shared in Zine #11.

    Giveaway: Sticker Books

    Firstly, if you want to make something fun at MOO, here is a link to get 10% off your first order. This will not work if it's not your first order. I've purchased a ton of stuff from MOO and I really like their products. 

    How to Enter {Giveaway Now Closed}

    Two (2) readers will win a sticker book with 180 tiny rectangular stickers. To create the stickers, you will need to upload your own artwork or use MOO's designs. The stickers are about the size of a postage stamp. I use them for mail art and on my art journal pages. 

    So here's how the giveaway works. Add a comment before Thursday June 19 at 12pm CST and let me know whether you name your art or writing journals, and if so, the name of one of your current journals. One entry per person. Comments are moderated, so you won't see your comment for a bit because it's just me here behind the velvet curtain and it takes a little time. My kids will select the winner using a random number generator and I will announce the winners on Friday.


    One-Staple Collage

    Lauren and I challenged each other to create a stapled collage and share them today {as I prepare this post, I have not  yet seen Lauren's collage.

    The back-story is that paper artist & enthusiast Lauren Bergold wrote an article for Issue #11 of the DY Zine. The article provides insight and details about collecting ephemera for your collage stash and the art of designing stapled collages {with one or more staples}. Lauren was catapulted fearlessly into the world of stapled collage after a prompt last year during the index-card-a-day challenge. You can find Lauren's collage at her blog, All the Good Blog Names Were Taken!


    On to my attempts at one-staple collages.

    The first step for me was to brainstorm how I might structure a paper stack so that there was enough visual interest in the top center piece and along the edges. My goal was to provide faux texture by seeking out papers with a variety of typographical lines. I had to adopt a very different mindset when looking through my paper stash and magazines. And thinking differently is one of my secret tools for creative work. 

    I started by gathering a bunch of items with interesting {and contrasting} details. The idea was to find papers that had interest along the edges that would be visible after being stacked in a collage. 

    I played with the rectangles, slicing and dicing and scheming. Ooops! My teeny tiny stapler does not have much of a reach! Imagine the school-style staplers that reach a foot across! So I started stacking and playing with the papers, focusing on the edges and cutting rectangles so that they layered nicely.

    I think I was being too literal here, in thinking that the collage had to be neatly stacked. The result was a twelve (12) layer collage with just ONE staple! Ingredients include a museum brochure, magazine clippings, japanese papers, watercolored papers, painted fabric, gelatin print, ribbon and a doilie...

    My second one-staple collage was a happy accident. The green and gold paper was sitting next to the fortune and I quickly envisioned gluing these together and grabbed some other papers to provide visual interest. I was going to glue it all on this index card and realized that the way I had stacked the papers they all intersected in the same area, even though the layers weren't in a even stack. {Thank you Sue for the lovely green paper and the happy mail from Oz with an abundance of colorful goodies inside. I used two of the items from your envie {see, I speak the language} in this collage!}

    And if you've got a bunch of staples...

    And here's one of my multi-stapled {9 staples to be exact} collages from the index-card-a-day challenge. I certainly could have used fewer staples. Or colored staples! I cut out 8 interesting bits from magazines, stapled them to the card, then added found text for fun.

    The idea of stapled collage is simple... with the power of a staple we can juxtapose colors, images, textures fonts, symbols and more. And no sticky mess!


    Zine Special

    Inside each issue, you'll find articles on a variety of topics of interest to creatives, with a specific focus on art journaling and mixed media art. 


    Get the combo-pack of Zines #10 +11 for 10 bucksWhile supplies last {25 packs available}. Zine #11 includes:

    a discussion about the art of stapled collage {by Lauren Bergold}

    thoughts about how to handle your unfinished {neglected, forgotten} journals

    ideas for developing a journal which combines illustrations + flash fiction

    ideas for using a field journal to nurture creative habits

    Get Issue #11 Daisy Yellow Zine {18 pages}

    Purchase the Zines at Etsy individually or in sets {Zines 3-4, Zines 5-8, Zines 9-11} via instant DIGITAL DOWNLOAD in full color standard PDF format.

    Zines are non-refundable. Content {format, ideas, photography, artwork & imagery} ©2011-2014 Tammy Garcia. Do not forward, distribute or photocopy any portion except for your personal use.


    Pilot Kaküno Fountain Pen & Random Sketches

    Let's chit chat about the Pilot Kaküno.

    I took the first session of Sketchbook Skool called Beginnings. This is an online workshop devised by Danny Gregory and Koosje Koene which included sessions by Danny, Koosje, Roz Stendahl, Jane LaFazio, Prashant Miranda and Tommy Kane.

    This workshop didn't teach drawing per se, but definitely inspired me to do some sketches. 

    Now there is a second session with a different set of teachers. I thought that this would be a drawing workshop, but it was not really that... it was a peek at the pages of their drawing journals and a lot of ideas and inspiration. Each of the sections provided a happy injection of inspiration that is targeted to people just starting to sketch and wishing for an injection of bravery and confidence. {no affiliation}

    Sketch #1b: 3x5" index card, Pilot Kaküno. Sketched breakfast.

    Sketch #2: 3x5" index card, Pilot Kaküno. Sketched the random stuff in front of me on the table.

    Sketch #3: 3x5" index card, Pilot Kaküno. Sketched the kids playing in the pool.

    Sketch #4: 3x5" index card, Pilot Kaküno. Sketched DD12 while we played my favorite game of all time, Careers. 

    Sketch #5: 3x5" index card, Pilot Kaküno. Mandala drawn at the pool.

    Sketch #1a: 5x8" moleskine, Hi-Tec pen. Sketched construction site from Starbucks window. This was literally a moving targed because the men and the trucks were moving around while I drew. I really like the architectural feel of this drawing! The graphics are from the next page. The lines look quite thin, eh?

    My husband brought back these absolutely adorable Pilot Kaküno M and F nibbed fountain pens from a business trip to Tokyo! They come with black ink, and he got some red and green refills.

    Here's the Pilot Kaküno Medium pen out-of-the-box. The ink cartridge is inside the white envelope. 

    This is the packaging. The nib has a smiley face:)

    Two 3x5" journals to test the new pens.

    Left: Rhodia Journal. Right: Moleskine Journal. {Note on right, second test is the F, not the M}

    The 3x5" lined Rhodia journal.

    The 3x5" watercolor Moleskine journal. {Note, second section is the F, not the M}

    I know that the two journals I selected are like oranges and apples but these are the only tiny journals I had on hand for comparison testing. The left paper is drawing paper and the right paper is watercolor paper. But they are both fun! The pen performed just fine on both papers. I found the lines more expressive on the drawing paper. You can see how the pen lines look compared to some dip pen nibs in this post.

    I don't have any sort of formal review methodology, just wanted to share that I love using these pens and they are in my repetoire now! 

    Do you write, sketch and/or doodle with Japanese fountain pens? What is your favorite?


    Office Supply Love

    3x5" index card, typed by DD14 on a manual typewriter at school

    I've got a crazy love for office supplies. When I was little, I filled out my dad's carbon-paper infused administrative forms in my pretend office. I typed stories on a manual typewriter that sat on a tiny desk in the corner of the dining room. With inky fingers from "unknotting" {for lack of a better term} the metal type bars. 

    In a former life, I worked for a Big 8 CPA firm {that's what we called them}. We wore charcoal grey suits and carried leather briefcases with red & blue twisty pencils and used geeky plastic flowchart stencils to document process workflows and add legends to our workpapers. But the silver lining to the stressful job? A massive office supply room, with neatly organized shelves containing everything from lined legal pads to post-it notes to automatic pencils.... 

    Happiness equals a pad of graph paper, the blue lines and boxes. Tape, rulers, protractors, stencils, RECEIVED stamps, accounting paper, manilla folders (my kids used to call these "vanilla folders"), postage stamps, magic markers, calculators, automatic pencils, erasers....

    If you could create art using ONLY materials from a standard office supply store... what would you choose?


    Take a Daisy Yellow Watercolor Workshop!

    I'm currently teaching two online workshops!

    Registration: Open {Registration closes September 15, 2014}
    Resources Available: Through January 31, 2015

    Watercolor Playground: Freestyle doodly watercolor painting techniques for your art journal. Information, examples & registration.

    Painted Paper Paradise: Watercolor & gouache painting techniques. Painting, stitching and using hand-painted papers in your art journal. Information, examples & registration.

    Registration processing takes 24-48 hours. It is a manual process and not instant, sorry!!


    extraordinary. not.

    {reposted from May 2013, i just needed to say it again}

    “I used to think I was the strangest person in the world but then I thought there are so many people in the world, there must be someone just like me who feels bizarre and flawed in the same ways I do. I would imagine her, and imagine that she must be out there thinking of me too. Well, I hope that if you are out there and read this and know that, yes, it's true I'm here, and I'm just as strange as you.”
    Frida Kahlo

    The beauty of creating art simply for the sake of creating art is that you gradually learn to focus on the process of making. Not the rules. Not the right-wrong thing. Not whether this matches that. Just the doing. The joy and flow. My mantra. Create simply for the sake of creating. 

    It doesn't have to be extraordinary.

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