April 10, 2014


Hey! So, in the past week or so, I’d been playing around with lots of ideas in my head for lots of different things. I still need to work on my Awesome Ladies Project and what I want to do for that (along with my various art journals like Play that Song and my Brave Girls series). But I’ve been taking some downtime and reading. Yeah, I know. I haven’t took the time to pick up a book, but as I looked at my pathetic heaps of books piled high that needed to be read, I remembered one of the goals I set for myself in the beginning of the year, and that was to read more and watch less TV. So far, I’ve sucked at keeping that goal. Yet, for the last three days, I’ve managed to finish three books and I’m currently half way through my forth. I’m rather proud of myself, especially since most of them are BookExpo books, and as BEA 2014 looms near, I need to finish most if not all of these books before then.

Anyway, after reading a Sarah Dessen book I had sitting there for a while unread, I sort of got a bit of inspiration. Now, I was in the process of cleaning out my server and deleting tons of spam comments on this magazine blog I started and was keeping with my friend called Papier Mache. Well, it’s safe to say we kind of let that slip and haven’t updated it in forever. I was planning on deleting it, but I wanted to back it up just in case I wanted those posts again. But the file was huge with all the spam, so I read my books as I let the computer work it’s magic and delete those nasty suckers. Anyway, once I finished the Sarah Dessen book, I got the idea of starting a new magazine blog and using some of the content my friend and I made for Papier Mache in it. Except this new blog will have a theme and a specific demographic: young women. I don’t know if it was all of Kara’s Babe Vibes or Kristin’s Awesome Ladies Project or my Brave Girls series, but the idea of creating a pretty blog for young women just appealed to me. And I didn’t want it to me a trash sort of blog, like Thought Catalogue is. I wanted it to be inspiring, just like the Sarah Dessen book I just finished reading. I wanted to be for teens and young 20-somethings. I wanted it to look pretty and feel inspiring. So, I took to Tumblr and started a new blog.

Colbie Magazine. Named after the small fictional beach town of Colby, North Carolina, where Sarah Dessen has some of her books take place. I wanted it to be similar to Frankie Magazine in look and feel, expect the content will be solely about women and/or for women…young women. So far, I’ve been writing one or two new posts for it and just reformatting old Papier Mache posts, and posting those to the blog. I decided to go with Tumblr as the platform because it’s easy to use the tags to gain exposure, plus I can make the blog look however I wanted without much hassle. I don’t know. It’s a work in progress. Now, I just have to find some lovely ladies to contribute to it!

If you’d like to check it out, head over to the magazine here. If you wish to contribute to it, please don’t hesitate to contact me through Tumblr’s messaging system or submit your post right there on the magazine’s site. Hopefully I can keep up with it along with ariestrash, because I think it could be something awesome.

March 30, 2014


Hello! I’m alive! Haha, actually I’ve been around, just a bit busy working on an album cover project for a new artist, babysitting, getting sick with the flu, continuing my redesign of the trash shop and adding new products, reading some Sarah Dessen and my backlog on Nylon magazine. I haven’t had much time for anything else, let along things to write about for the blog. I’m hoping that changes now that I’ve got a bit of downtime, plus a dozen creative classes and projects to start!

Sometime, a week or so ago, the lovely Kara Haupt of I Just Might Explode, re-released her Play That Song art journal course. I’ve been eyeing it for such a long time–since my purchase of Summer of Love 2013–but never got around to buying it. Adding new content to the class motivated me to actually getting it and it’s been so much fun! I love music and occasionally I would do a page or two journaling a few lyrics from a song. Well Kara’s class is basically that and more. You make your own doily journal from a composition notebook and it’s solely for art journaling about music. It’s a great class to get started in art journaling or just to try something new.

I can’t wait to have more time to do the rest of the prompts from this class. I also recently won an entry into Kara’s Tell A Story class from Kristin of rukristin papercrafts, so I’ve got that class to work through as well, along with the rest of the Studio Calico classes I have yet to finish. So many classes! Plus, I’m waiting for Maggie Holmes’ Mini Book class at Studio Calico to open registration, so I can register for that one, which begins in May! So many scrapbooking and art journaling classes to take! I love them though and for the most part–like Kara’s classes–you can always go back to them and do them whenever you want, or whenever you have the time. I think I have enough prompts and techniques to try to last me all summer! It’s great because I have all these projects in mind. I’m still working on my Brave Girls series and I want to do something specific for Kristin’s Awesome Ladies Project as well. There’s just not enough time in the day for everything!

Anyway, here’s a few pictures of my Play That Song art journal! I worked on the cover throughout the week and did the first four pages Friday night during the Awesome Ladies Project night. These are very different from my past journaling pages, but I think they all came out so great!

March 15, 2014


So, for 2014 I decided to give myself my own “one little word.” For this year I chose brave. I chose brave for various reasons, but the big reason for my choosing it was because it was the last of my “goals list” I made myself towards the end of December. I wrote “be brave,” because lately I’ve been a complete worry-wort and it’s sort of getting old. I’m tired of not doing or trying things because I’m too afraid of the possible negative outcome. Because really, no one ever knows how something is going to turn out until they try.

Anyway, I did some art journaling around my word. It started out with two pages (the first two images below) that I did for the “2014 binder” I’m keeping and they came out so well that I decided to make a few more. For the first two, it was just simple image transfers and some embellishments and washi tape. Super simple, but the way I did the transfers made it look cool. For the remaining four, I decided to experiment with color mist. I recently joined the Studio Calico community, which is so great (I’m slightly addicted to that site now. Like, I check the boards and the galleries for inspiration all the time.), and bought a class bundle they had on sale. Five scrapbooking classes for $25 was a great deal and since I had never taken a SC class before, I decided to try these out. One of the classes, Toolbox, has a section on using mist–or colored spray inks–and I’ve always wanted to try my hand at misting. That same week, Michael’s was having a 40% off sale on Heidi Swapp’s collection, so it was a great opportunity to buy some mist! I bought six of her Color Shine Sprays, one of every color of the rainbow basically and a white. Using some of the class techniques, I incorporated the mist within my transfer compositions and this is what I came up with.

It’s totally experimental, but I think some of them came out really cool. I mostly used images of models from Free People and Anthropologie catalogues mostly because I love the way the models look. They all have that free-spirited sort of look to them and I think that look is very brave. I kept with the theme I set in the original two transfers and have named this series my Brave Girls. I’m totally going to try some more, maybe using different techniques I pick up from these SC classes, but here are just the first batch of Brave Girls.

March 7, 2014

late night art journaling

Just this weeks list of favorited interesting reads. The image above was taken last night when I was in a very creative mode and doing a super cool project, which I hope to share with you all soon. For now, here are my favorite week’s reads.

Sketchbook Pages, Postcard Daydreams – I love taking peaks into other people’s sketchbooks. Each sketchbook is so unique to each person and I just love looking at them and trying to understand what’s going on in them. Everyone’s style is so different and I find beauty in each book I get to peak into. Love these pages. They inspire me so much that I’m reconsidering the whole not keeping a sketchbook thing (I once used to keep a sketchbook…in my art major days).

18 Things Highly Creative People Do Differently, HuffintonPost – My friend recently posted the link to this article on Facebook. Interesting insight on creative types and what they seem to do differently from the average person. Though, I don’t think every person who exhibits one or more of these qualities can be considered a “creative” person, because a lot of people daydream and such, but it does seem like a lot of artist friends that I have (myself included) do have many of these qualities. Not everyone will have all of them, but definitely most of them are spot-on for us creative-types. Worth a read!

The Future of Blogging, The Future of Us, Scarphelia – I love this look on blogging and why you should want to begin blogging. I’ve been seeing a lot of “Blogging 101″ type posts floating around the interweb and they all seem to say the same things. You need to decide on a central topic for your blog, like fashion or food or art, etc, then choose a name that fits your topic and begin to find your voice, etc. There are lots of general advice given in these types of post, but for the most part, having a central topic is one of the biggest things you must have. But the thing is, you don’t have to have a category that your blog fits into. Katie’s post brings up a lot of great points, like creating posts that truly reflect you. Don’t be so afraid of how your content with be taken. If it was thoughtfully created, the right people will read it. You don’t have to only talk about one thing (unless you really like that one thing) in order to gain a following. And on that note, blogging shouldn’t be about gaining a following, or becoming “blog famous,” it should be about the love of blogging or curating content that you like and truly reflect who you are. This post is truly a refreshing read for any sort of blogger, old and new.

March 4, 2014

I love double exposures. I’ve always wanted to try them, but I haven’t got a clue how to do them with a manual film camera, let alone how to develop them in a darkroom. I’ve also wanted to try doing them with my Mini Instax camera, but I’m scared of jamming it. But, over at Susannah Conway’s blog today, she posted some lovely double exposed photos that she did with her phone! Ah, the magic of mobile apps!

The app is called Diana Photo and as of right now, it’s free on the iTunes store. I’m not sure if it’s on other mobile platforms, but it’s worth a look. I played around with it using a couple of old photos I had on my phone and I love it. It’s such a cool app. If you’re an avid phone photographer (which I admittedly am not), you might want to add this one to your arsenal of apps!

February 27, 2014
Fountain (1917), Marcel Duchamp

Fountain (1917), Marcel Duchamp

I’m taking this art class from CalArts on Coursera called “Live!: A History of Art for Artists, Animators and Gamers” and the first assignment is to “sketch” what you think is art and what people think is art. This is always such a topic for debate because everyone has different conflicting opinions on the subject. When I was taking an art class last year on Coursera, offered by Penn State, there was a thread in the forums posing the question of whether or not crafts can be considered art. If you’re a craftsman are you also an artist? I remember many saying yes, that crafts is a form of art, but there were still a lot of people saying no. That something made decoratively to be sold in the mass market cannot and isn’t art. Then how do we distinguish what is art? It’s always such a difficult question to answer.

I think art is anything that has been created with thoughtfulness and love. It can be a work of fine art (painting, sculpture, etc) or of crafts (scrapbook page, embroidery, etc). It can be a practical utility like a chair or dining set. It can be music, film, or a work of literature. It can be you or me or my dinner.  It can even be a thought or concept that was transposed into something visual. It is art as long as it was thoughtfully created (though I do like to believe things I find as art had some thought put into it), otherwise, why was it created?

Duchamp’s Fountain isn’t just a urinal with some words written on it. He simply used the urinal to express his conceptual idea of what he thought art was. Manda Townsend, a blogger I follow, made this mini art journal about making art. I find it to be a great example of what I think art is, as she’s playing with the idea that something like an art journal (or zine) can be a work of art and that she can be an artist, but not at the same time because art journals and zines aren’t typically considered “art.” The whole mini book is about these polar opposites that I think many artists struggle with when creating their own art. She uses black and white to emphasize this, but art isn’t simply black and white; it’s a bit more gray, don’t you think?

Below is a song by Girl Talk called Let It Out. You’ll notice while listening that it’s a mashup of various songs by well received artists in the music industry. Some would say that Girl Talk isn’t an artist because he didn’t create anything; he just took other people’s work and put them all together to make something else. But that’s the thing, isn’t it? He did create this. He put the work, love and thought into making this song, which is a song in its own right. I know there’s tons of controversy about the remix culture, from mashups to collages, and the whole “intellectual property” nonsense that goes along with it, but I personally think it’s a piece of art.

Let It Out - Girl Talk

I suppose this brings me to the point of what people think art is. People think art is a lot of things, but I feel that the majority feel art is something that’s in a museum. Fine art is something that should be held in high regard, because society says so. A lot of people believe that the more traditional a piece is, the more it’s worthy to be called art. For awhile, modern and contemporary art wasn’t seen as art. I mean, look at the Fountain. I’m sure people at that time thought Duchamp was out of his mind to consider a urinal to be a work of art. But as time went on, society and art history books made it so that his urinal is not only a work of art, but a great work of art. It’s all completely subjective to one’s own personal tastes, but as a whole, art is whatever society deems it to be.