Monday, January 26, 2015

Amazing Pages from our Documented Life Group

Hi Everyone,

I figured it was time to share some pages from our Documented Life Group.  We have been having fun getting together and playing with the journaling prompts.  You can join the group meetings at any time and can join us online at our Facebook Documented Life Page.   It is a closed group, but just click join at the top and I will approve you.

Our next meetings are Saturday January 31st 2-5 PM and February 13th Noon-3 or 6-9 PM.  Please call the store to let us know you are coming or you can let us know on the Facebook page.

I love how Pat Vanderwolf  handled the Color Wheel Challenge and worked in a great quote about colors.
Sandra Hamlett said this page was a lot of work but fun to make.  I love how her books look 3D and have her goals on them.

Gina Adolph is going outside her scrapbox this year and journeying into mixed media. Here is her second mixed media page ever.  She started with her base of rainbow paint.  Then, she added a couple doilies and gesso over the top to create some white space for her journaling.

Dedra Wolff has been creating some stunning pages like this one.
Peg Coulson drew an amazing self portrait.  Here is week one Blank Page challenge, goals are written and collaged on right,gessoed, then drawn over, with a variety of materials.
Kat Blue did an amazing collage for her goal page and she has her goal hidden under a flap.

Essandra Collins also took the hidden goals approach.   I love the papers she chose for her collage and the colors she used.

Beth Burnham has been playing with her acrylic paints and gesso.  She was able to create a lot of texture on the page but it is hard to see in the photo. 

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Our next group meeting is on Saturday January 31st 2-5 PM

Our next group meeting is on 
 Saturday January 31st 2-5 PM

Some of the ladies are having an impromptu meeting on Friday January 30th at noon.

You can join our group meetings at any time, but you do need to call us to get your name on the list.
 I want to be sure we have room for everyone.  

When you come to the group meetings, please bring your paper towels, heat guns, paint brushes, adhesives and color mediums of choice.

Click here to go to the Art to the Fifth Blog Post

January Theme
The Blank Page and How to Face It!
January 24
Art Challenge:  Writing
Journal Prompt:  Words with Friends

Sunday, January 18, 2015

The January 17 Challenge

Hello DLP Members!!!

The January 17 challenge has been posted HERE

January Theme
The Blank Page and How to Face It!

January 17
Art Challenge: The Color Wheel

Journal Prompt: "I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way . . . “ - Georgia O’Keeffe


Thursday, January 15, 2015

How to Get the Perfect Collage

Hi Everyone,

I saw this video was posted on the Documented Life Facebook page.  She is from Europe so she has a great accent.  She used the word decoupage a lot but just replace that word with matte medium and it all applies.

How to get the perfect Collage without buckling.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Dina Wakley videos

Here is a great video of Dina Wakley explaining the difference in her gel medium and the ranger gel medium.  The second video shows the new paints and more.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Documented Faith

Hi Everyone,

A number of ladies in the Documented Life group also do the Documented Faith group by Stephanie Akerman.  If you want to join her group also, I have the links below.

The January focus word is TRUTH.
It is a focus word.  You can create around it, make some notes about it, journal about it, study..whatever you want to do or not do is simply up to you.

The second verse of the month   is from the book of  Psalms, chapter 25, vs. 4-5  For all other translations of this verse, please check out BibleGateway for TONS of great information.

"Show me your ways, Lord, teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you  all day long."

" me in Your truth..."

Here is other information about this project for your reference:

Documented Faith 2015 Site

Facebook Group 
There is a closed Facebook Group that I have set up where we can have conversations, share our work and encourage one another.  The reason it is closed is simply to keep out the crud (spammers).  All you have to do is request to be added.  Some of you have already been added so please check your "groups" list on your Facebook Page.  The name of our group is "Documented Faith" 

Sunday, January 11, 2015

The Original Documented Life Project: The Journal - January 10

The Original Documented Life Project: The Journal - January 10

January Theme
The Blank Page and How to Face It!

January 10
Art Challenge: Gesso
Journal Prompt: “The beginning is always today.” -Mary Shelley

I was on their Facebook page and saw so many good ideas for using Gesso.  I copied and pasted the ideas below.  Happy Creating!


*Try using it through a stencil to create dimension.

* lay down a light layer and before it dries, put down a piece of newspaper. Rub with a bone folder and pull up. some of the ink will transfer. 

* I also water it down and apply it over a painted background to either dull down or bring up parts...depends on your perspective

*Use it through a stencil. Mix it with gelatos, ink or paint. Spread it on with a credit card.

* Use with stamps. But make sure you clean stamp right after using it. Plus a little trickier than stencils. 

* You can also add paint to it for colors. ..

*Mod7: Lorraine's blog this week has a great idea for using gesso as a veil of white on top of colors!
I use a drop of paint to 'tint' my gesso.

* One thing I sometimes do is doodle or draw with a neocolor II or watercolour pencil then blend with watered down gesso. I also mix it with cheap craft acrylics to make them a bit more opaque.

* Use With a stencil or dip the end of a TP or paper towel tube in it and add circles to your page.
* you can make your own gesso with water, white glue, baby powder and white paint. There are a number of tutorials on how to do this on you tube.
* I saw a youtube video where gesso was used with water colour pencils instead of water, gave a really nice soft finished look, its on my to try list for this week.

* I love to activate watercolor pencils and water soluble oil pastels with gesso. Portfolio brand oil pastels are inexpensive and blend great with gesso and acrylics. (I ordered some of these to try)

* Made my own gesso with plaster of paris, liquid white acrylic paint and white school very well and makes alot for a little!

*I love that the Dylusions sprays react to gesso. So what I do I use either supper heavy gesso or regular white gesso thru a stencil, let it dry and spray the Dylusions. It looks really lovely.

* I love dropping my Liquitex ink into gesso for an added color...I've even used food coloring once! Also use it with my stabilo pencils as the wet medium to move the pencil lines.

* while it is wet create texture with it, write words into it-

* Another way to use gesso is in debossing, something I used foDLPr a prompt from last year. For further isntructions and pcitures, check out my site

* prep your page with gesso. Color the page with your watercolor pencils and any water soluble product. Make circles and shapes and have fun. Then rub gesso with your fingers enhancing the shapes. Also try adding water on your fingers with the gesso.

yes I do let it dry. It looks like this,
* dont know if its been mentioned but gesso resist is a favourite technique - gesso through a stencil then spray inks all over. allow to dry then buff with tissue/baby wipes. Works a treat on black paper or darker backgrounds too.

* Paint a thick layer of gesso on your page, and while it is still wet, draw in it with the end of a paint brush. When the gesso is dry, paint over it. Makes for a really cool textured background.

 *I'm going to look up info on the "newspaper transfer idea"  for something new to try. I have been watching YouTube videos by a woman who uses gesso a lot on her pages before adding color. She lets it dry then uses water soluable pencils or other water soluable crayons and then uses a baby wipe to spread the color around. She lets it dry before adding more color. Look for Pringle Hill Studio on YouTube for great techniques.

* I think I will use my clear gesso this time. Perhaps add a bit of color with those crazy Dr. Martin liquid watercolors. If I use white, I will likely sand it a bit when it dries so the underlayers show through. I love putting down a bright base of color, over painting with a dulled-down layer, then dabbing while we're or sanding when dry so that the bright peeks through. 

*Took a class once where we used black gesso as a base then before it dried, flipped tiny bits of straight pearl ex on it from the end of a brush. An enchanted base!

*  Stacy's Art This is one of my favorite techniques to use with gesso.
* OMGosh! Stacy's Art, I LOVE that technique!!! Thank you for the link, that was so amazing! I'm definitely going to try this!

* I use white gesso when I need white to really pop off the page. It's great for blending in backgrounds making things cohesive. Also I find the black gesso to be so much more beautiful than black paint. I keep both bottles on my table at all times.

* I like to slather the gesso on the page with my palette knife, leaving ridges and super smooth areas for texture. You really need to let it dry for a while though!

* Spread some gesso on a paper plate and dip your stamps into it. Stamp on page and when it dries paint over with watercolors. It acts as a resist.
* Not sure if this has been suggested but you can do I.age transfers with gesso... just put a nice layer of the gesso down and then your image...burnish it then let dry completely. ..when dry spray with a little water and peel away...

*Boo Giannini Martin My transfer with first color. I needed to let the gesso dry a bit more
* layer of gesso, let it dry, spritz of your favorite alcohol ink, let it dry, layer of gesso in strategic areas, let it dry and watch the alcohol bleed through in really cool ways. Layer on some shiva paintstiks, and watch even more interesting things happen especially if you use the transparent iridescent paintstik.
*It's easier to do image transfers with hand sanitizer than it is with gesso. Print your image onto clear transparency sheets, apply the hand sanitizer to the print side of the image, place face down on your substrate and use a brayer to transfer the image. The hand sanitizer from sam's club that comes in the huge bottles is clear and does not cause discoloration like some of the name brand sanitizer does.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Documented Life First Challenge Summary

Hi Everyone,

I'm going to do a summary of the first week links that you can click on to see the challenge blog, videos, Facebook ect.

January Theme

The Blank Page and How to Face It!

January 1

Art Challenge: Book Paper

Journal Prompt: Be Your Own Goal Keeper


Click here to go to the Art to the 5th Blog post with this week's challenge.

Click Here for Lorainne Bell's Video  "I wanted to greet you all this year with a little tutorial about how I created the first challenge in my art journal . . . Keeping it simple, I incorporated some basic techniques to help you jump start your year!"

Lorainne uses a cute calendar in her journal that she printed out from Paula Cheney
Click Here for a link to the calendars.

Click here for if you would like to download Roben-Marie's Calendar to use in your own journal,
Roben Marie shared a video of her process creating her goal page.
Click here for the video

Rae Missigman has lots of great tips on her blog and a summary of how the Documented Life Project is designed.
Click here for great project tips and two videos.

Sandi Keene has step by step photos of her goals page being created.  Click here for her blog.

Facebook users
Click here for the Documented Life Facebook Group

The most important link!  
Click Here for the Photo Scraps Documented Life Facebook Group.
This is where you can ask questions, share your photos and chat with other Photo Scraps girls.

Friday's Meeting Goal Setting & Where to Start

Hi Everyone,

Only 2 days before we, start on the Documented Life Journey.  My goal for the first meeting is that we get to know each other a bit and work on setting our goals for the meetings and for our journals.  

We have the Dylusions Journal in stock at Photo Scraps if you want to just pick up your books on Friday for the meeting.   I will have out some gesso, book papers & gelatos to play with.   Please bring paper towels, any paints or other mediums you want to work with, paint brushes, pens, heat gun (if you think you will need this for drying pages).  In general, I will not be providing the mediums to play with.

Here are some examples from the Facebook Page for Documented Life.

Terri Kahrs

The DLP challenge for week #1 was goals, and I expressed my non-specific creative goals with a Black Ultra-Fine Sharpie between drips of Gelatos. As the theme is the "written page", I used a dictionary behind my colored swirls.

Debi Walton Huntsman

I really liked this page too! from - Beth Forenz The Documented Life Project 2015 - The Journal

This is my first time doing anything like this. I used a lot of new things that I had never used before like gesso and gel medium. I'm still getting the hang of what to use when, but I think I'm hooked!

I love this goals page from Julie Hummel Ryver The Documented Life Project 2015 - The Journal

I just saw this today by Erin Merz Stahl.   I love how she has a journal block for each day.  

Monday, January 5, 2015

Documented Life Group January 9th 12-3 PM

Hi Ladies,

One of our regular customers, Pat (I am talking about you), suggested that I check into Documented Life Project.  I love that they have weekly challenges and you would be compiling it in a mixed media journal (which of course, we carry).  Everyone that wants to participate will be required to register at their site.   The Documented Life Project is Free.    

Starting on January 9th, we will be hosting a Documented Life Project Group at noon and another meeting at 6:00 PM.   I figure meetings will run 2-3 hours because we will be playing with the challenges.   The first meeting, we will be getting to know each other and taking on the first challenge.    You do need to sign up in advance for the meetings so we can be sure to have enough space for everyone.  

We will not be charging a fee for the meetings unless we will be providing products to use for a challenge like paint or inks.   If we turn the meetings into a Friday night crop til midnight, we will be charging a crop fee.  

Let's get messy and document our lives this year! - Tracy

Click here to go to the Art to the Fifth Blog Post

The Original Documented Life Project:

 The Journal - January 1

Hello and welcome to The Original Documented Life Project™  The Journal!  We are excited to kick off the beginning of the year!
First, we want to share a little bit about how this will work. Each month we will have a "theme" and each week we will issue an art related challenge as well as a fun and creative journal prompt.  Feel free to interpret both however you wish.  The A5 artists will rotate throughout the year, bringing you creative and inspirational ideas with each month.  Each week on Saturday we will post the new week's details here on our blog.  Be sure to join us on The Art to the 5th™ Academy™ - a thriving "community" and classroom for "The Original" Documented Life Project™!  Details will also be posted in the DLP classroom. We will not be posting to Facebook so be sure to join us on The Academy.
Ready? Let's get started!!

January Theme

The Blank Page and How to Face It!

January 1

Art Challenge: Book Paper
Journal Prompt: Be Your Own Goal Keeper

Welcome to our bold new adventure! You have amazed us with your art and courage which has inspired us to celebrate the artist within each of us with more art and more techniques. Documenting our lives this year will mean telling our stories through art and words.

We are so excited to share our vision of storytelling through color, texture and technique. Working our way through 52 prompts, we will build our confidence and fill our tool chest with elements that we will reach for over and over again.

To add to the excitement, we have gathered an amazing line up of superstars including Dyan Reaveley, Dina Wakley, Gina Lee Kim and Stephanie Ackerman to inspire us with their documenting art styles. The project is FREE and perfect for both the beginner and experienced art journaler.

Join us as we begin a transformative year filling the blank page before us...
the rest is still unwritten.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Why your digital photos might die before your grandkids see them

Why your digital photos might die before your grandkids see them

Keith WagstaffNBC News
Jan. 2, 2015 at 9:07 AM ET

My great-grandfather was Popeye. I discovered that from old photographs my father found in his childhood home.

They were stored with a newspaper article from 1938 describing how Jonathan Wagstaff was inspired to become a Popeye impersonator after winning the title of "Homeliest Man in California" at a male bathing beauty contest in Venice Beach.

Jonathan Wagstaff, the author's great-grandfather, in Popeye and regular attire.

These days, it's hard to imagine documents like that being stored in a box. The photos might be kept on a hard drive or posted on Facebook. Instead of a printed article, you might save a link to a story online.

The problem? Hard drives can be unreliable and Internet companies sometimes fail — taking your memories with them.

Hard drives, hard times

"The question of, ‘How long does data live on a hard drive?' is a tricky one," Ahmed Amer, an associate professor of computer engineering at Santa Clara University, told TODAY.

Digital family photos should be just fine for a few years. But when you start talking decades — like the 76 years my great-grandfather's photos lasted — things get complicated. Your typical hard drive uses magnets to write information. With older hard drives, that can be a problem.

"Just like a credit card, you don't want to put it next to a magnet, because what you have on the magstripe will be erased," he said.

It's not only magnets that you have to worry about. Heat, a spilled cup of coffee and other environmental factors can degrade the information on a hard drive. Newer hard drives are less susceptible to those factors, according to Ethan Miller, the Symantec presidential chair in storage and security at the University of California, Santa Cruz. In fact, the data on them should be fine for decades. The actual hard drive, however, will probably break before then.

"A hard drive is a physical device," Miller told NBC News. "Things like the lubricant and bearings will degrade over time."

Like a car, it's a good idea to take stored hard drives out for a spin every so often. Stored unused in a closet or attic, the mechanical parts in a hard drive can break down over the course of a year or two. At most, hard drives are built to last around five to seven years, Miller said.

Another option is saving documents on a CD or Blu-ray Disc, preferably in a cool, dry area. (Anyone who has left a favorite CD on their dashboard knows why). But those break down over time as well.

Burning a CD or DVD involves heating up a layer of dye with a laser. As it does with photographs and clothing, dye on a DVD fades, causing those cherished photos to degrade.

"There are plenty of CDs and DVDs that were burned 10 to 15 years ago that are already bad," Miller said.

The tech, it is a-changin'

"A lot of people, when they think of data storage, they think, 'Will it survive?'" Amer said. "That's really just a small part of it."

Hard drives are vulnerable. So are CDs. But even if you carefully store your data on a disc that can withstand time, there is the chance that, in five years, nobody will be able to access that data.

"If I gave you a LaserDisc today and told you there was a lot of cool stuff on it, what would you do?" Miller said.

It was only 20 years ago that people could go to the store and buy a LaserDisc player. These days, you can pretty much only find them on eBay. Floppy discs, VHS tapes and eight-track cartridges are just a few example of other defunct technologies. Chances are that the computer cables you used 15 years ago don't work with hard drives today.

Ultimately, Amer said, rapidly evolving technology could pose a bigger threat to your data than a failing hard drive.

Living on a cloud

For many, a good solution is the cloud. Facebook has a team of professionals ensuring that the servers storing your photos are kept in tip-top shape. Their business depends on it, after all. They are a lot safer there than on DVDs in a box in your closet.

There are a lot of other options for people who want to store their photos online, including Dropbox, Google Drive and Flickr. While disk drives and computer cables might change, it's a good bet that the Internet will be around in 50 years.

That doesn't mean your data is safe. Remember Friendster? Kodak Gallery? Yeah, you aren't getting your photos back from them anytime soon. And transferring information from a dying website to a new one isn't always easy. If you store your photos online, make sure to check those sites often.

Cloud services that charge for online storage are usually a good bet, Miller said, because they can just charge more if costs go up, instead of discontinuing a free product that is no longer profitable.

Doing things the old way

There are some radical solutions that the next generation might use to make sure their memories last hundreds of years. In New Mexico, Norsam Technologies etches data onto nickel plates on a microscopic scale — almost like creating incredibly tiny, dense music records. It's called Rosetta-HD.

It might be cool, but there is no telling whether it will catch on. Right now, technology doesn't have an easy solution for long-term storage. Digitally storing photos is no guarantee that your grandchildren or even your children will be able to look at them.

As for photos of my great-grandfather, my family keeps them on a hard drive, cloud service and in a good, old-fashioned box. Apparently, that is the smart thing to do.

"Going with a diversity of approaches is really the way to go," Miller said. "It sounds really weird as a computer scientist saying this, but if they're photos you really, really want your grandchildren to see, print them out."

Keith Wagstaff writes about technology for NBC News. He previously covered technology for TIME's Techland and wrote about politics as a staff writer at You can follow him on Twitter at @kwagstaff and reach him by email at: