Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Journal Series

I had a great time stitching up this batch of journals with favorite bits of fabric, and lovely bright white recycled papers for my AlyTheRed shop.

The insides all look the same, from vintage woven canvas, and I added my fav hand carved stamp as a sort of signature, and a clip for all those pesky notes and receipts that float around. Now we can organize them! You'll have to provide your own pencil. I like to keep mine tucked into the last page I left off. Wrap and go!

Hand made, hand sized, 40 blank pages for use as a garden journal, food journal, party planner, travel, dreams, sketch, ink drawing, to do list.... wait,THAT's not fun. I forbid these journals to be used as to-do lists. :-)

Some of the covers feature lovely Kaffe Fassett fabrics. I love everything he does. I found a wonderful little video of him discussing what he adores about patterns and world travel.

I like to call this one the Wee Yellow journal, and it features some linen gum tree leaves I'd appliqued a long while ago. Perfect for this cover.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

New Bliss Totes

New Bliss Totes in the house. Freshly hand painted canvas bags ready to tote your farmers market goods home, your knitting to the meet up, your drawing book and supplies to the park, your wallet and fav novel to the coffee shop, your lunch to work.... yep these totes can handle it all while being a walking piece of art.

Close up.... I'm having a blissful time making these.

"The Sky's the Limit" painting is dedicated to my dad, who's birthday is tomorrow. Fly high in life! See it all!

The Hummingbird bag. Layers of acrylic stamps, hand made stencils, rollers and secret writing later. One of a kind urban art bag- just for you.

See them all at

The Timbers Army

Three Portland Timbers fans. Did you know that Oregonians adore their Timbers pro soccer team? The stadium sells out for every game. And they have a special fan section called the Timbers Army- they are the loudest, best-est, flag-waven-est fan group around.

Kidsports gave us a great deal on tickets to bring up some of our 8 year old's soccer team. They actually got the honor of walking the players onto the field! They were so excited, they could barely sleep the night before.

Here is Quillan walking his player out amidst screaming fans. We were so proud of him. He was thrilled.

The yellow team is from Ohio. Some of their fans flew out for the game and were sitting near us. Amazing!

They were given these gorgeous Timbers jerseys, and stood with the players for the national anthem. What an experience. Thank you Kidsports!

The Timbers won 1-0. For each goal made, the lumber jack mascot cut a round from the giant tree they keep there, and I believe it's given to the mvp of the game. Right?

Thursday, May 19, 2011


These are the three books I'm finding inspiring currently. Did you read Natalie Goldburg's famous, "Writing Down the Bones" book? I read it years ago, and it made me realize writing was important and that I had something to say. Super inspiration.

I didn't know, until now, that she also paints and wrote a book about it. Her observations in painting, informs her writing. Her easy attitude about just DOING it, would make anyone want to paint.

Oh and guess what? This used copy I bought happens to be signed by the author, and with a nice paper article about her tucked in. Huh!

Tracy Bunker's "Art Journal Workshop" is a great start for art journal newbies like me. The CD shows her process step by step, though I'm mostly enjoying the content prompts. This style of art journal isn't just about making the page look good, but important topics to write IN it.

The third book, on top, I had to hide from myself until I've finished the other two!

One of my other loves, is carving rubber stamps. I'm making a new set for use in art journaling.

You don't have gouge as deeply as you may think, but watch that you take enough of the edge off if you don't want to see it. I love this thick carving medium because I can stamp with it without adding backing.

A blank page made from an Art Journal technique of painting on and scrubbing off. I've discovered the joy of white on top by accident.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Urban Art Coffee Cozies- NEW product

Urban art for your coffee cuff.

My original miniature canvas paintings for your coffee cups. These perfectly fitting, reusable, insulated sleeves, will render your cup unmistakable for anyone else's drink at your table or meeting.

Painted and stitched canvas, paper cloth, and stamped images, sewn over an insulating layer. These coffee cozies fit regular sized coffee shop paper cups, ice coffee cups, ceramic "180 degrees" cups, and pint glasses, making them the perfect accompaniment to all of your outings.

Great gift for coffee and tea loving boys and girlz of all ages.

Designed, hand painted, stitched, and sold by me at Bliss Monkey Studio- bringing you the most playful, original, and artsie coffee cozies since 2007.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

What Grows?

It was too rainy to capture images for What's Growing Wednesday, so this us, um... "Throw Seeds Thursday"? "Threatening Clouds Thursday?" or ......

And interestingly, all the images I chose are pink. Other colors are growing in the yard, but it must be that I need PINK today.

The four-way apple tree is doing well. I go talk to her every day. Last year one died, and I want this one to grow happily.

My bag of dark purple bulbs produced one pinkie!

This is my garden of..... sticks.....and baby bak choi.... um, to keep the kitties out.

This is our newest garden feature, the water scare crow, and it works much better than sticks. It's got a motion sensor and any kitties entering the garden to dig in raised beds, are ushered out 24/7.

I've got to admit that as much as we love our kitties, we do NOT love them digging in the garden, and when we hear this high powered sprinkler go on, we all rush to the window to see who got wet. Yesterday, with all the wind and rain, it was 15 false alarms, then bang! There was a horrified kitty climbing the fence in a hurry. Neighbor cat nicely escorted off the premises.

I love these! Right outside my studio door. Blooms escaped from the pots of fairy flowers my eight year old planted last spring. Now they are growing wild in the rubble of the unfinished pathway.

Looks like I found the right combo of fertilizer and trimming. Our one rhody is all dressed up in her finery this season!

My black bamboo. It was a fancy indulgence and not yet black. I think the canes turn black as it ages. I learned that each spring, the shoots are sent up, they grow to full height, the send out leaves. If they don't have enough food, they grow less, and stay at the height they grow that season, never to get taller in the following years. Not like trees at all. This one has one shoot that grows several inches a day! Bamboo fascinates me.

The end.

Super Power Journal- Teesha Style!

This is my Power journal. I stitched the 16 page journal myself out of one sheet of water color paper that I cut to 8x10" size following the wonderful videos of Teesha Moore.

This is very much in her style. Her youTube videos are a fantastic resource for those of us wanting to know how to get started, and what materials to use.

I made the journal, painted the pages, collaged and just started to decorate it, before I found out that it was going to be all about super powers and super heroes.

I indulged in a set of Golden Liquid Acrylics, and am glad that I did. Gorgeous, highly pigmented colors that can be washed like water color or used straight from the bottle creating opaque acrylic coverage. LOVE them! What else? Paint pens, water color crayons, sharpie marker,

These are the pages I have done so far, and will post the others as they are finished.

At ArtFest, I was amazed at some of the personal journals people were sharing. I learned that when you are viewing someone's personal art journal, you are invited to LOOK at the art, the layout, the colors, the materials used, the ideas, BUT your aren't supposed to be READING their personal journal entries. And if you do, don't judge or ask them about it.

That leap of faith, the trust and sharing involved touched my heart.

Or course, I'm posting these online, so you are welcome to read them if you like.

I have to say more about Teesha Moore's work. Her blog is a massive source of inspiration, and she's freely shared her techniques on you tube with everyone. I appreciate the information about specific materials, but also about relaxing, listening to music, working intuitively -- using art journaling as a meditation. She isn't analyzing her lay outs or what people will think when they see the page, she's off in her happy world, wearing head phones, tearing out colors and images that appeal to her, and pushing paint and collage around on the page until they feel right. So freeing! Thank you Teesha.

I have a question. Does anyone seal their pages when they are done? What do you use? The magazine images and water colors could be damaged if I don't put something over them.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Bamboo Cutlery Sets - eco picnic on the go!

Transform your life into a portable picnic with this cutlery accessory. I've paired a high quality, smooth bamboo set, and napkin, with a perfect pouch- featuring two cotton prints, and my one-of-a-kind silk screen image, and handy clip.

Your cutlery cozy will keep your set clean and organized every where you roam. Clip it to your purse, your belt loop, toss it in your picnic bag, glove box, or office drawer. Your lips never need to touch plastic again. Just rinse or wipe and snap!

Jaunt to the ice cream shop

Great gift for students, office workers, and all eco-minded friends on the go! If you desire two of the SAME fabric print, ask me as I usually sew them in a batch. I may have more here and ready to go. :-)

Click my shop to see color choices, and other eco accessories like coffee cozies, wrist warmers and recycled water bottle slings.

Art Journal Pages

This is the pretty art journal I bought at ArtFest 2011. The handmade style, thick watercolor paper, colors, and stitched leather butterfly spoke to me. I like the small scale for painting experiements, storing favorite color palettes, and small journal entries/thoughts.

Page one lay out. Collage, then layered, washy acrylic paint, stamps, stencils, pencil, sharpie handwriting.

My Wicked ticket embeded in a layer of matte medium. Paints, etc....

The Sun and Moon layout, with a cut page, reveling the moon's sky page.

Cut out shows the colors from the sun page.

Ooooo, lots of blank pages yet.....

Thursday, May 5, 2011

What's Growing Wednesday

What's growing outside Bliss Monkey Studio? Fancy pointy tulips.

I planted a bunch of bulbs last fall and it's so exciting to watch them come up. I can only 1/2 remember WHAT sort of bulbs I put in around the yard, and this is the first flowering.

Flowering kale. I love growing over wintering Kale. Yummy to eat through the cold months, then I pull it out when the aphids arrive. Rather than fight them for it, I've just taken to growing it seasonally.

The plum trees take turns blooming in early spring. All the bees gather for a humming session on warm days. Imagine the scent of all those blooms and the lovely sound of the buzzing?

I left a power cord out on the walk way and when I came home, it had made a friend. See what it is?