DIY Salon III: Cut Paper

If you're in New York and have some free time tomorrow, don't miss the DIY salon at the Museum of Art & Design.  They will have artists doing demos of paper projects, drinks and a DJ! And while you're there, you can check out their exhibition on papercutting which is absolutely amazing!  More info here: MAD



One of my objectives for this journey is to learn to create embellishments and backgrounds that are cheap and easy to make.  i've learned a bit about painting and using inks to create backgrounds that i can also cut up and turn into embellishments like these:

Here i adhered gel medium to a patterned paper i wasn't crazy about.  i then added tissue paper scrunching and folding until the area was covered.  Then i just added some watercolors.  i have to confess this is one of my favorite techniques.  The texture and possibilities are amazing! i then went and cut up butterflies, circles and lots and lots of hearts! Beautiful embellishments created by me to add to my art journal, minibooks and scrapbooks.  Very exciting!

i've always been a fan of the local 99c store.  They always bring new items that can be altered and/or repurposed.  Last time i was there, i found these flowers used (i assume) for weddings and first communions.

i immediately thought i could turn the flower into embellishments.  So i first pulled it apart carefully and then sprayed some Adirondack Color Wash in three different colors.  This was the result:

Aren't they beautiful? Now, not only i got beautiful colored flowers, but i got a lot!!! i could pair some pieces together or use individually by putting a brad, some beads or a button in the center of the flower.  i gotta go abck the the store to get some more! Here you see 3 large flowers, 9 small flowers and 6 leaves all for 99c!!!


i went to my first crop this weekend...

... and i liked it! Must confess that i was extremely nervous but equally excited.  When i decided to pack, i didn't know what to bring! Do you bring all your stuff or just a few things and work with that?
Well, since i was taking the subway, i was limited to just 2 medium bags so i packed some pretty papers, glimmer mist, gesso and adhesive and pens.  Then i took a few photos and i figured i would choose what to do with them there.  i arrived at the crop and was received by a wonderful group of women.  They waited for me with warm, homemade soup and a much needed glass of wine! It snowed in NY yesterday so i was freezing!
i sat down and worked for a while on finishing the design of my Christmas cards (which i'm planning to mail this week.  i will post photos once they're done) and i worked on this layout:

i used some photos we took on a hike in Pennsylvania earlier this year.  i wanted to capture a moment in time and how that moment was fun-filled and sweet.  An adventure.  i used a mask to create the gesso background, then sprayed some glimmer mist and added the photos.  i used acrylic paint to paint a frame that would bring together all the photos and make it cohesive.  Then i added some heart embellishments made with TOILET PAPER and watercolors.  Yes! toilet paper! This is a technique i learned in Julie Balzer's class.  It's one of my favorites because it's so cheap, easy to make and the texture is amazing.  i make whole patterned paper sheets covered with the toilet paper and watercolors and then cut out different shapes to use later. 

Hope you had a great weekend!


Coffee cup Friendship Mini Book

It's Friday!!!  i wanted to share with you a little weekend project which actually can be finished in a few hours!  Found this tutorial on Ali Edward's blog and decided to play along! Wilna Furstenberg provided pdf's of the pages and then i added some color, adhered it to cardstock (she recomends printing on photo paper but i didn't have any) and added my photos and embellishments.

i turned 30 two months ago and when the big day was approaching i kept asking myself what was the best gift from my 20's to my new 30's? The answer was great friendships.  People i love and love me back the way i am.  Relationships, old and new where i've found support, a hug or just someone to listen to.  For the love, laughter, sharing, compassion and kindness i've found in friends, i decided to make the minibook about friendship.
Hope you enjoy it! (more pics here and pics from the albums created by other designers here)

Some detailed shots:

Do you like it? If you do, go over Ali's blog and search for the project.  You just have to print the PDFs, add photos, color a little here and there and add embellishments as you wish!  Have fun!

Tomorrow i'm attending my first "crop".  i'm so excited and nervous at the same time.  i had no time to print any photos and hav eno idea what to work on from 10am-10pm but i'm sure i'll figure something out and will have lots of fun.  Promise to write about it and post photos from the event!  Have a great weekend!


Heleine's Handmade Etsy Shop

Please check my mom's new Etsy shop!! This is something i've been trying to do with my mom for a long time.  She's an extremely talented creative lady and she knows crocheting, embroidery, quilling and of course scrapbooking (she actually gave me my first scrapbook when i got married).  People have been telling her for a long time that she should make all of the creations available for sale and we finally did it! Go and see some of her beautiful creations.  We only have a few items in the shop right now, but we'll be adding more very soon!



Hope you had a great thanksgiving break and that you always have plenty of things to be thankful for!  Mine was great and since we're in that thanks-giving mood, i wanted to share something special with you.

i had the opportunity of taking the class series Scrapbooking 101 with Julie Balzer at my favorite store Portraitbug. The class is divided into 4 lessons and one of them is about journaling. I have to confess, this was the lesson i was the least interested in and thought "how am I going to learn to write interesting, quirky, honest journaling". i thought this is not something you learn. You either write well or you don't. But i was soooo wrong. Julie gave us some very important facts about journaling and i'll share the ones that i liked the most with you here:

a. Keep it real: If you feel like writing down "this sucks" write it down. Journaling is about documenting your feelings and your life. if they're real, this should be reflected on your journaling.

b. Tell the story behind the scenes: "sitting on my mother's lap, singing always takes me back to when i was a child and she would sing to me, teaching me to love music" reads better than "i love singing with my mom".

c. Aside from all the questions we would answer with a journaling piece, the one i liked the most is "what does it mean to you?" You can't go wrong answering that to make your writing reflect who you are.

So i went home and worked on a layout. i chose a photo i wouldn't normally use for a layout but that i really liked and i thought expressed the feeling of the moment in the best possible way.

The photo was taken the day before my wedding.  My best friend and my mom got a very small group together and we shared a very sweet and joyful night.  At one point, i sat on my mom's lap and we started singing.  i felt just like when i was a little girl and would sing with mom every time we were at home and i learned how to appreciate and love music.  It was a very significant moment because i was about to get married but i was still my mom's little girl singing with her and feeling the music together.

The journaling reads:

"This photo was taken the day before my wedding.  We were all so happy.  This was taken the day before i was about to start a new life as a wife.  But it was so beautiful to see i still had a spot sitting on my mom's lap.  i was still her daughter.  Just like when i was a litle girl and we used to sing together.  She taught me to feel and appreciate music from the inside.  i inherited my passion for music from my mom.  i always saw her dance around the house and sing with all her heart.  Unashamed and so proud.  i was raised to know that there's always a perfect time to sing and dance!



Last saturday was the last day of class for Technique-a-palooza with Julie Fei Fan Balzer.  i can't tell you how much i enjoyed this class.  Julie shared her best 30 techniques for paint and ink in 30 days.  Each day we had a new technique to try with it's corresponding video and pdf tutorial.  The class was so well organized with an embedded chat room where all of us interacted and shared our concerns and ideas.  We also have a flickr group where we added all the wonderful things we created (click on the link to take a peek!).  At the beginning of the class, my desk looked like this:

And at the end of the class, it looked like this:

i can honestly say i feel transformed.  i never played with paint and ink before and didn't know how to use it.  With Julie's guidance, i slowly started to express myself through this medium and now i feel so empowered.  Here are some samples from the class with the name of each technique (you can also stop by my flickr page to look at all the goodies i created as a result):

If you have a chance to take the class, i highly recommend it! And don't be afraid to use paint, what's the worst that could happen?


So i've been wanting to share with you some of the scrapbook layouts i've worked on since i started scrapbooking about eight months ago (with no plans to stop!).  i uploaded them to my flickr page so you can take a look at them and maybe leave comments/suggestions/ideas?

i'm so eager to keep exploring and finally find my style and the art form i enjoy the most (i'm in love with everything right now).  i do know that i'm not a fan of using only ready-made embellishments on my layouts.  i really enjoy the process of designing, painting, cutting and gluing them up myself.  it gives the layouts a more personal touch and they're even more precious to me because i put all my effort into them.  i have to confess that i've been working on my art journal and learning new painting and inking techniques and i haven't finished a layout in some time but i've accumulated a great amount of embellishments and decorated tags and cards thanks to the class i took with Julie Balzer.  This is what i ended up after 30 days of 30 techniques!

This class just opened so many possibilities for me and now i'm on a roll! i can't wait to get home everyday to either sketch, paint or cut something up!  Just so thankful to have found something that's so personal and i enjoy to the max.  So please keep visiting me, i promise i will be posting more often as soon as i put some projects together.  i leave you with a photo of one of my favorite layouts:


Pumpkin Carving

I found the idea of carving initials on Young House Love and decided to go for it. It was our first time pumpkin carving and we're so happy with the results! I'll confess that it wasn't easy considering we just had a regular kitchen knife and my xacto knife. I'm definitely getting a carving knife for next year and see what crazy design we can come up with!


Fall in Love

This fall is not like the others.  I've been calling myself a "summer person" my whole life.  When the first signs of fall arrived, i used to get very moody, feel "blue" and sad.  It's like i had to put my life on hold until the trees turned green again.  This fall's been different.  For the first time, i feel like it's the beginning of something rather than the end.  i feel re-energized, optimistic and i've felt my creative energy getting stronger.  i don't know (yet) why this one's different than the others.  But it feels peaceful, colorful and good.  We went for a walk at a nearby park yesterday and took this photos (pardon my fashion style) which hopefully show they way i feel.  Walking through the rows of trees shedding their leaves, following nature's perfect path, we felt we were also following our own path.  Not knowing where it would lead us, but confident that we'll be fine.


The Highline

Hi all. I created these collages and wanted to share them with you. The photos are from my first visit to the HighLine in New York. The High Line is an urban park created on abandoned freight train tracks. I loved this park It's so New York and I love the mix of vegetation and the roughness of the tracks. I invited my girlfriends to come and they loved it. It's truly a great response to what could've been sees as an eyesore or a problem.
Hope you enjoy the photos.
Thanks for visiting!

Views of Chelsea

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Art Journal

Please check out the side bar on this page for a link to my art journal photos on flickr.  Let me know what you think!
I promise I'll be updating the blog soon with more material.

Thanks for visiting!


Friday Fun

I'm about to go home and really can't wait for the weekend to start! This is going to be a special one because we'll be celebrating my super sweet friend Viviana's bachelorette party! Can't give you too many details because it's a surprise and she actually reads my blog (thanks Vivi!!!).  But I'm sure she's going to love it and that I'll be taking lots of pics to scrap (as soon as I start printing them....so much to do, so little time!).
Wanted to wish you all a wonderful weekend and yes, Summer's gone but let's welcome the Fall by being open to new possibilities, new adventures and lovely jackets and scarfs!

Love ya -


Scrapbooking Class

 I'm currently taking the Scrapbook 101 Class at PortraitBug in NYC and I'm learning soooo much.  My teacher is none other than the very talented Julie Fei-Fan Balzer.  An artist I admire greatly.  She wrote a very nice post about her teaching experience and she posted a photo of me and my fellow classmate! I was so excited to see it there.  If you have a chance, visit her blog and take a look at her work.  I promise it'll be of great inspiration!


Happy Sunday!

Finally, I got some time to take photos of my latest creations and update my September Daily Journal. Had an awesome week with lots of birthday celebrations, good company, sweet sentiments and delicious cakes (yes, had about 4 cakes...) If I can take one single thing I learned in my twenties onto my thirties it would be friendship. I am so thankful to have people in my life whom I can call my friends. People who care about me, love and accept me for who I am. People who are like a breath of fresh air everytime i spend time with them. Cheering me up or cheering for me. The best gift of my twenties to my thirties is definately friendship.
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September Daily updates

This layout was a lot of fun. Used a doily to mask the page, painted it red (I love red) and a page about summer wouldn't be complete with some yellow thrown into the mix. Summer was instantaneously over. Just like that. Bye bye summer....

On this one I wanted to write down "realistic" health goals. Although I feel now that they may not be very realistic after all. But I will try. I turn 30 in two days and want this new decade to be full of health. Physical, mental and emotional.

I have to confess I'm not that crazy about how it turned out. Something about the journaling on tracing paper and the busy background....Seems to get lost somehow.... I still have to work on my composition and color contrast....
Thanks for stopping by. Please leave any comments or suggestions/advice you may have. I'd really appreciate it!
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  Go to obamiconme to turn your photos into an art icon...so much fun and so easy.  Have fun!

Art Journal #2

Hello again! Another update from my art journaling adventure with Elise Blaha's workshop.
She had an awesome tutorial to teach us how to make the covers for this book. I used contact paper for the wood-looking pattern and wallpaper with a cut-out word "art" from a brochure my darling hubby brought me.

Today's prompt was to build a page using layers, colors I don't usually work with and type that stands out in contrast. I used brown colors to build circles that I stapled together to make the page. I then used the words"fall in love" that I found on a Victoria's Secret catalog (-= I thought they would go perfectly now that the fall is officially starting. I also love how the hot pink stands out from the brown background. I'm loving this class!!

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September 6 Journal Entry

This one was done really fast.  Just painted some gesso on the cardboard, sprinklered blue glitter and then sprayed black ink mixed with water.
This one was inspired on the movie "why do we fight" Which I watched with my husband today and really liked.  I highly recommend it.
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Sept 5th Journal Entry

Doilies from the 99c store, paint, stamps, wax paper envelope and scraps of paper
The little pocket is great for hiding secret messages!

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