Eleven Days In…And Now I Am Posting About It…

It’s September…ok, so it is seriously 11 days into September now…and Ayala Art is hosting another round of 29 Faces.

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WIPS day 6 #29faces

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I was lucky enough to catch some posts on Instagram that reminded me that hey, it’s September…people are making faces…I caught that on the 3rd …

So, it’s the 11th…and we as a family walked into September with nearly all of us sick as dogs.  What the heck is up with summer flus?  This is my second one this year.  On top of that, my oldest moved (erm, is moving, moved, is…working on it….doesn’t sleep here anymore…long story…) into her first apartment…or at least a sublet room in a two-bedroom apartment with a room-mate.  To say we are all ragged right now–that’s an understatement.

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WIP #29faces

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BUT…I love this challenge…and this season hit me at just the right time…I had been bingeing on Mindy Lacefield’s videos…and I have been wanting to get back into my own primitive little faces thing again…and I love how Mindy frequently starts with a square for the head…it’s just so cool.

I just bought her book, Wild Surrender, used, online…and when it got here, I was shocked-amazed-thrilled to find out it was an actual autographed copy.

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WIP ATC #29faces

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I am telling you this because for this month’s 29 Faces challenge, I have set up a few rules for myself.

1-I am using a very limited amount of supplies.

A charcoal pencil, a black stabilio, one paintbrush.  I have a water brush sitting here too, but I have yet to use it at all…and if I haven’t used it yet, I probably won’t.

A tray of water-soluble wax crayons (Reeves brand, I think–the box died ages ago).

A bottle of white paint.  A bottle of gold paint.

2-I have to start off with a square shape for the head.

3-I have to create ‘prims’, as I call them.  Little ‘primitive’ type girls.  I love these girls…and there is a lot going on with me behind the scenes as I make them.

An unofficial ‘rule’ I have is that when I work in my journal, each day I work a face on each page, each side of the two-page spread.  And when I hit upon a spread that has a smaller page in the middle of two big pages…each side of that smaller page gets a face on it–as well as the two larger pages.

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2 WIPs #29faces

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I have also been making ATCs this week…because I am prepping a journal for a totally different project by coating the pages with a mix of modeling paste and white paint to create a highly textured surface to work on–and as I cover one spread with this mix, anything left on the brush I wipe all over a playing card as foundation.  After today, I will have five ATCs made this way.  It’s pretty fun too.

I have also started making some of these faces in my grimoire, in what I am currently calling my Halloween journal, and last night I finished a 5 x 7 inch canvas.

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WIP working my New Moon piece #29faces

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You can follow along on Instagram where I post my WIPS (but almost never a finished product for some reason…) I love to see how the pieces change from basic sketch to completed piece.  A lot can change with a single flick of a brush.  Especially when the faces aren’t very large.

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WIPS now in my actual #29faces journal

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At the end of the month, at the end of the challenge, I will be making a video to show you all the faces I made…and hopefully, I will get well enough to pull together a board on Pinterest as well.



29 Faces Update

So, this is not the month for me to do this challenge, at all.

I have been planning to write this post for a while…and luckily, I have many sketches on instagram to show that I actually have drawn something…

Am I up to date on my count?


I have completed five faces in total.  I have sketched out twenty faces in total.  My pink polka dot journal has a face on every page…thanks to going to my husband’s latest softball game and feeling calm enough to sketch and to scribble (it was really nice, outside, under a tree, without much noise in the background…well, most of the time)…

I won’t be posting every single instagram picture…they are all tagged.

I haven’t been posting the finished products–and yes, my printer/scanner is still refusing to speak to my computer…two of the pieces I did this month were actually for other projects and you will be seeing a lot of them next month and next year…but for now, I will not be revealing them.

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WIP. ..first layer of color

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The week after next I am having surgery…I am reaching a point where all I want to do here is clean and organize–which is a farce when my teenager comes in right behind me and literally in five minutes has decimated all the work I have done…and thank you, I have tried talking to her–she can’t see what I am talking about so I am wasting my breath…so, I do what I can…and pray I might find some of the things she puts away who knows where when I actually need them…so I am not sure how much more art I will do…or if I will just keep making books…I like making books–it is calming, stressful but relaxing…and since I now have a collection of fountain pens to play with…I am looking forward to some downtime to write after the surgery…knock on wood.

My September 29 Faces Journal

I had about decided to go with one of the journals I already have, bought or made, when my husband came home from work bearing gifts.

We didn’t tell anyone ahead of time about the wedding, so his office team threw him/us a wedding party.

I love using wrapping paper and different bits and bobs from holidays and parties in my work, although usually on canvases.

As I sat looking at the bags he brought home (and the gifts were incredible too, thank you all 🙂 ) — it struck me that my choice of journals had already been gifted to me — all I had to do was put it together.

I didn’t take any pictures of the process…because I didn’t actually think of it, because it was late at night and I was more in mind to get the journal done and let glue and whatever dry overnight so I could start to use it today…but I do have the after pics.

This is the front.

The cover started life as a simple gift bag.

I carefully cut it open and turned it into a more square piece of heavy paper.  I removed the carry straps…and held on to them for later.

The bag was actually the right height, so I didn’t have to trim that part…I had to trim away the entire bottom of the bag.  I added washi tape along all the edges because I had to glue the top part of the bag down to the inside because the bag came with overlap.  I added another strip of washi across the bag’s holes for the handle.

I cut the, well, more rectangle than square, in half, so that one side of the bag would be the spine…I had to trim the spine to the correct size, because from the beginning I was only planning two or three signatures.  I also trimmed the opposite side of the bag away, because there was too much overlap on the inside covers from it.

For the spine, I glued the two sides of the cover together, overlapping…and then I used one of the cut-out pieces of the former side of the bag to reinforce that by gluing it down over the top of that join, on the inside of the cover.

finished spine

I created my signatures, using regular buff colored cardstock, just folded in half.  Three pages per signature–three signatures total.

I marked my holes and sewed each signature in.  I used a five-hole binding.  I then glued my very front and very back pages down to the cover, to strengthen the book and to give it more stability.  Then I took the overlap from the covers and glued that down to the front and the back pages I had just glued down.

front inside cover
back inside cover

Since the glue was still wet, I sat that under a nice heavy dictionary for a few hours.

Then, when I felt the glue was set, I took it out and sprayed the cover with a spray sealant…because there was already enough pink glitter all over the house from the bag in the first place…now the dots will stay in place.

I left it to dry overnight.

center of one of the signatures
random page inside the book
back of the book

So it’s not the fanciest book I have ever made, but I love it.  It means a great deal to me because of where it originated.

I can’t wait to get to work creating faces in it.

If you’d like to join Ayala’s 29 Faces Challenge, click here for more information.

I hope to be posting finished faces here, soon.


Ayala Art Is Hosting 29 Faces In September

Yay…Ayala Art is back again with another round of 29 Faces.

Click here for more information from Ayala.


I am utterly unprepared for this…it just hit me that it is that time of year again.  So–I am completely unprepared — and my turbid brain immediately started grasping…

Do I need to make a new journal?  I do enjoy having journals specifically for projects like this, I have come to find out.

Can I use/re-use some of the journals I have made/bought that are sitting here?

Do I want clean, white pages–or already pre-made backgrounds already down pages?

What size face do I want to do?

What style face do I want to do?

What media do I want to use?

Do I want to choose a palette? Or at least something to tie the faces all together?  Or do I just allow whatever color wants to happen each day, organically?




(Think Jaws…)

All this stuff floating around in my head–all these ideas…I am not sure yet…but hopefully by September 1, I have something in place, because that is when this challenge begins.

I’ll keep you updated.


29 Faces – A Final Thought Or Two

I was actually worried there for a bit that I hadn’t kept up with Ayala’s challenge of 29 Faces in the month of February.  After seeing my February journal, I knew I had at least thirty-two faces…plus I knew I had done a couple outside of that journal…so I figured, ok, thirty-four, maybe thirty-five…then I created my February 2017 29 Faces Challenge pinterest board…and low and behold, once I had everything uploaded…I have thirty-nine completed faces for the month…

February was such a roller coaster month for me, regardless of art or online challenges or anything else like that.  Physically, energetically, it was a heck of a month…and although we are this far into March now, I am still processing and recuperating from February…

I did enjoy this 29 Faces challenge immensely.  Although I worried about not having enough faces done at the end of the month, I didn’t actually worry about that until…the very last day of the month…

I didn’t post every single day.  I didn’t even post every single face on instagram as I sketched them.  Why?  I actually forgot…and then I would do several sketches in a short time…and I didn’t want to overload my instagram feed with photo after photo of charcoal sketches–especially as if I had the time to sketch, it meant I had some time to add color…so I chose working with color and pigments to posting online.

This seems to be a strong recurrent theme in my life at the moment…real life takes precedence over online life.    But more on that later…I’m sure.

I learned something very valuable about myself and my work this round of 29 Faces.  It is actually something I already knew, but it has not been something I have clung to or worked with or on.  I merely noted it, when meh, and moved on doing what I have been taught/learned to do…instead of trusting and following my heart–which lead to quite a bit of congestion over the past year.

What I learned…and what I am embracing is…I love my primitive faces far more than my … not primitive whimsical faces…I’m not sure what to call the not so primitive ones.  I put a lot of time and effort into both –into all sorts of faces and whatever else that I do…I have never thought to sit down and create a box for anything — other than ‘my work’…and I guess I am going to let that singular box suffice.

Christy Sobolewski, to date, has given out the best advice I have heard.  To paraphrase her, get a bunch of (fashion) magazines, check out instagram, pinterest, whatever–gather up a bunch of faces and start sketching and painting…and then do it again and again and again…and keep doing it.  Draw faces.  Paint faces.  Lots and lots of faces.  That’s how you learn.  That’s how you develop your style, your body of work.

I have a stack, I mean over fifty sketches, of faces that I drew last year and didn’t paint.  Quite a few of them are there for my own Ride The Magic Mushroom prompt project.  I now have the desire and the willingness to pick these up and start working on them again…and I haven’t wanted to touch faces in such a long time…so for that, if nothing else, I am so deeply grateful to Ayala for hosting this challenge.

I learn something new about myself every time I do this challenge.

Thanks for following along with me as I do these things, as I traipse along on my journey here.