Tuesday, January 31

Inside My Sketchbook

Just a small peek into my sketchbook:

This week, it features dear Oreo fishing for - what he hopes - some canned cat food:

It would seem a likely situation if Oreo was let out 'into the wild'

I know he's not completely helpless, but he's lacking on some instincts

Monday, January 30

Valentine Gift Guide

Valentine's Day is just around the corner. I've looked around online and found some goodies for all your loved ones and friends:

Especially for your girl:

Two Hearts Necklace Hand by bellabeadstudio
Especially for your boy:
Mustache Flask Design on Burlap by LiquidCourage
Especially for long distance relationships:

Personalized Valentine Heart Strings Map Pillow by FelixStreetStudio
For your friend:

Silver Heart Good Luck Bracelet by Myvera
Especially for you snail-mail buddies:
Sea How Much I Love You Letterpress Valentine's by CartoulesPress

Sunday, January 29


Last week I said farewell to a well loved sketchbook:

This precious little bundle is to travel to Brooklyn, NY where it will become part of the Sketchbook Project 2012 tour, and then later reside for the rest of it's viable life in their library.

I will also say that this is a contribution that I am most proud of. I didn't cheat by trying to stick pages together, and I worked hard and put a lot of thought into each spread. I also used some 'non traditional' sketchbook materials - for example, all the acrylic mediums - so I think it will be a unique contribution.

I will say, I am very sad to see you go little sketchbook. I have grown quite attached to you. I hope that who ever participates in the tour will come visit my little sketchbook for me. It will be under the name Angela Vandenbogaard, theme: Long Trips and Short Phone Calls. 

Saturday, January 28

Project 52: 2/52

"The rules are simple - take 1 photo a week, for 52 weeks."

See more Project 52, here.

Friday, January 27

Weekly Review

This week was a pretty steady week. I'm on a seven-day stretch at work, and I have a lot of artsy stuff on the go.

The most important thing this week I suppose is that I mailed out my sketchbook. There's Oreo trying to steal some of the spot light when I was trying to take some last pictures of it. I also completed a pretty large commission, and picked up a few more potentials on my online shop, so that's keeping me busy on that side of my life. I've still managed to make a bit of room for my sketchbook though, and will be sharing some more updates soon.

I've also started to read The Night Circus, and so I'm sure a review will be coming up in the weeks to come. I was drawn to the cover - and I know they say you shouldn't judge a book by it's cover, well - that's usually what draws me in.

I went to see Underworld: Awakening  on Monday night after work. A sort of date-night. (In 3D, of course - although I honestly didn't know it was 3D until they handed me the glasses).

It was a typical action sort of movie, taking advantage of the 3D opportunities in their effects. It is the fourth in the series, and I had quite honestly only seen the first one that I can remember - maybe bits and pieces of the other ones in passing. In this chapter, Selene wakes up to find that she was cryogenically frozen for the past 12 years. During that time, humans made it their main effort to eradicate the Vampires and Lycans from society. I still enjoyed the movie regardless of not knowing what happens before. It does a quick 'recap' at the beginning that helps a lot. I also felt that it was fair to see this movie - since the last one we had gone to was my choice, Lion King in 3D. He enjoyed it - who wouldn't enjoy Lion King, seriously? But, suffice to say - I owed him a more 'grown up' movie.

I've also stayed on par with my 30 day goal - it's been just over a week now today of working out. I was barely able to move in the beginning, but my muscles are starting to warm up better now. Some nights are hard to get motivated, especially if I'm working the later shift - but so far, no misses :)

Thursday, January 26

My Creative Space

This week, I've been tying up some random, last loose ends in my artwork.

I've been working on finishing up a custom order from last week:

I also acquired a wedding order, and have been working on putting that together, so I had sent some colour samples and a sketch:

A painting that I'm working on from a sketch that I did awhile ago:

Wednesday, January 25

Project Life First Pages

I have started working on my Project Life binder. I decided to start with the earliest pictures that I have from after leaving home (since I already have an album made up from when I was home). So it's starting at my tine in University in 2004. I didn't have many photos from then, so it won't take up much room.

From my first and second years in university 
I never thought I would do much journalling - since that's just not me, but I am finding that I am writing more than I thought I would.

Lucky, I had some memorabilia saved to include
All my materials all laid out - yes, I'm a messy worker.
 I've also pulled the Styrofoam out of the Core Kit box, and placed all the cards back inside loosely. It's easier for me to flip through them and firgure out what I want to use for each spread. Some people have laid everything all out from the start and then add their pictures - but this approach of choosing as I need them suits me better.

SO many paper elements!
Materials Used 
Clementine Core Kit
Pocket Pages Design A

Pocket Pages Design C
Pocket Pages Design F
Sharpie Pen

Birds Blue Washi Tape

Tuesday, January 24

A Peak Inside My Sketchbook

I've been working in mostly ink lately, with some blue gel-pen here and there.

Monday, January 23


Love, love love this!

Sketchbook Project 2012 Update - the last one.

I have finished my last spread of the 2012 Sketchbook Project from Art House Coop. I thought to 'celebrate' the end of my sketchbook, I would show you the process that I went through to complete the page. Ps. This will be a long post, but mostly pictures.

My last spread of pages. On the back of both sides are lots of layers, so I can do some crazy mixed media here without worrying about bleeding through.

"Bliss" is the theme - at the end of a long distance relationship, it's total bliss to not have distance between us anymore and to spend more time together again.

Adding a layer of gel medium to help lay down some string. This will hold it into place very nicely. The bulldog clip on the corner prevents previous pages from 'falling forward' onto my wet work.

I laid down the string. All I had was yarn, so yarn it is! I also put some bits of crackle paste on the work too, but I'm not sure how well it will crackle. We'll see - experimentation is always fun :). Let dry overnight, or for most of the day at least.

After laying the string, I went over all of it with gel medium to ensure that when I started painting it wouldn't just soak up the paint since the yarn is so absorbent. It also reinforces it to the paper.

My gel-medium is on it's last few breathes I noticed - it's a couple years old, and it's starting to get chunky. Okay for mixed media pieces, but I think I'll have to get some new stuff for my fine art pieces.
After it's dry, I put on a generous layer of gesso.

ps. The crackle paste turned out nice too.

I layed down some colour next, and will be laying down a few more layers, and trying to use a nice dark colour to bring out those crackles more.
A few more layers of a paint, and a heart and it's done. Because of the crackle, I also add a protective top coat.
...and that's it! The last page! I hope you enjoyed this walk-through as much as I enjoyed creating it. Stay tuned for it's 'good bye' post, and a post of all the materials I used in this project!

Sunday, January 22

Book Review: The Hunger Games Trilogy

If you scroll down, on the right side you will see of books that I am hoping to read in 2012. I will be adding to the list as new books come out throughout the year. I cannot promise I will get through all of them, but it's my goal. As I read them and write reviews, they will become a link. Please do add comments about these reviews about what you thought of these books if you have read them as well. 

Saturday, January 21

Project 52: 1/52

I've decided to start following Project 52 over on Ulixis's blog. I am a couple weeks behind, but I thought I would just start now, and then I'll bleed over into the new year:

"The rules are simple - take 1 photo a week, for 52 weeks. No theme, just a photo of something that sparked your interest during the week."

Head on over to see more Project 52's, here.

Project Life Free Download

Having been working with my Project Life materials for a little while now, I have noticed that there are no journalling cards that are intended for the landscape locations. There's one design that has a grid that you can use - but that's only one - I don't want to be too repetitive.

Vintage Polka Dot Filler Card

Vintage Polka Dot Journal Card

So I've created a landscape journal card, and a landscape filler card to match. I am using the Clementine edition - but I think these will work with any. I printed these directly onto the extra journalling cards - please see Paislee Press's post, here, to see how to print onto journal cards. It also shows you how to set up to print my designs onto the journal cards perfectly.

I have the card placement already set up in the PDF files below to print as directed through the instructions from Paislee Press. If you would like to print another way, you can open the file and edit to your hearts content in photoshop, or a similar program. Please note, when printing do not choose shrink to fit, or any other sort of sizing changes. Make sure your page scaling is set to "none" to get proper printed dimensions. 

If you do end up using my designs in any of your work, please send me a link - I would love to see :) Also, if you have any questions, just put them in the comments, and I will answer as soon as I can.

Friday, January 20

Weekly Review

Dabbling in my Sketchbook.
This week came off to a good start. I had three days off, in a row, where I had nothing - absolutely nothing - planned (except for one tiny appointment on the first day, but we won't count that since I would have been sleeping through that time if it didn't happen). To truly appreciate this, you must understand that I work shift work in a hospital - x-ray technologist - and so my schedule is nothing close to consistent. I'm not bashing my schedule, it works well for me :) But usually it's only a day off here and there: work a couple, get another day off. I often work weekends, and getting more than one day off in a row isn't too common. And then, when I do have more than one day off there is something planned. So this is like a mini-vacation for me, honest.

Monday, I vegged on my couch, sketched in my sketchbook and finished the first biography that I have ever read: Tina Fey's BossyPants. I'm going to review this book later, so I'll tell you more about it then. Crocheted a bit of my afagan - and continued to work on it throughout the week.

The perfect colour for my nails :)
Tuesday: I painted all afternoon long. I haven't pulled out my paints to complete an actual finished piece yet this 2012, so it felt good and refreshing. I am very glad that I took the couple week break from them, cause now going back I truly appreciate them.

Wednesday: I drove up to Blue Mountains, Collingwood and took to the hill for a couple hours. I wasn't sure how it was going to be, since it was raining all Tuesday, but half way up with the snow storming, and I was already past half way so I wasn't turning around - like can't see in front of you storming, like: 'Hey Buddy! If you had put snow tires on your car I wouldn't be stuck behind you as you continuously try to drive up that hill and then slide back down"...yea that stormy. But the hill was amazing!! SO much powder, it was pure bliss! And being a weekday = board down the hill and right onto the lift to go back up. No waiting, no lines :) I only stayed for two hours even though the snow slowed down a bit. I was worried it might come back worse than before.

I felt like I accomplished so much during those three days, and that impeding "everything is coming down around me because I need an extra two days a week" feeling - well it's gone now :)

Thursday, I went to work. And then hoping to start my 30 day challenge, I got called back in to do some emergency x-rays. I got home a little before 10 - driving was super slow in that horrible weather we got. But, I still managed to fit in a 20 minutes quickie of a workout, and here I am cooling down / calming down before I try to sleep. I hope I'm not too pumped up!

I also came across these wonderful books called "Smash* Journals" online on the internet. I have just purchased Project Life, but I am still pondering them since they look like so much fun!
After looking up some posted online I see that some people are treating them like a scrapbook and doing them up all fancy - and I can see the draw in that, since it's quite a nice book - and they are nice. But I'm doing Project Life as a scrapbook, so if I did get it, it would be to just 'smash*' items in - I would try to put some order to it I'm sure, but I wouldn't make layouts I don't think. 

Friday: Today I'm at work - I write this up the Thursday night before - so all I can hope for is a good drive tomorrow morning and a steady, not crazy, day at work.

Hope everyone else has a wonderful week and have a good weekend!

  Ps. There will be a freebie download in my blog post tomorrow - keep your eyes open ;)