Friday, July 1, 2011



And a very big welcome to the first My Mojo Monthly!
Thank you for calling by, I really hope you will enjoy your visit and look forward to our time together. There's lots to read, see and maybe win, but I'm here all month so take your time. I have a huge passion for the creative arts and a desire to motivate and encourage others. There’s so much loveliness out there yet sometimes we run out of steam, need some fresh air or just want to share more of our creative musings. I truly hope that My Mojo Monthly can be a place for YOU and your art...because they both go hand in hand. Through interviews, ideas and  imagery - in many styles and forms, whatever your passion may be, I want to get you thinking, discovering, sharing and enjoying!  So without further ado, let’s get going!

I always love to hear what other artists I admire have to say, and I’m very excited to introduce My Featured Artist Kelly Kilmer. A year ago I stumbled across Kelly’s work and was captivated by her truly amazing art journals that abound with beautiful imagery and honesty.

Each page a true expression of life...all straight from the heart.
So I’m just thrilled that Kelly is willing to share a little of herself and story with us.
Who is Kelly Kilmer in five words?
Curious. Sensitive. Imperfect. Silly. Passionate.

Where are you right now as an artist?
I still feel like that odd little twelve year old girl who liked to draw, paste and stick stickers onto the pages of notebooks and little diaries. I'm becoming more comfortable in my skin and those feelings are reflected upon the pages of my journals. I've been keeping a journal since I was in 4th grade. I'm now 36 years old. The journal keeping process has evolved and changed along with me as I've grown up. I'm still learning and will continue to learn and my hopes are that those changes will be documented on the pages of my journals. I'm not one of those artists who feels that she knows everything. No one knows everything, though some pretend that they do. I love the simple, daily act of experimenting, documenting, pondering, playing and reflecting upon the world events around me on the pages of my little books. I love letting the real me unravel upon the pages of my books.

Which of your creations is closest to your heart?
My art journals are my treasures. There's something to be said about pouring your heart and soul onto the pages of a book. I am always happiest when I can look at a page and honestly say that I've said everything that I've wanted to say on the page. 
I don't worry about pretty or perfect pages, but I do worry about honestly expressing myself and getting what I want to "say" (whatever that may be) out onto the page.
I love looking back (I don't do it often) and seeing how both my work and my own self have changed with time. I love finding little treasures that I'd forgotten about, journal musings about a certain day, photos of my family or a drawing by my son had glued in the books.

 Where do you find inspiration when feeling Mojoless?
I'm a firm believer in finding at least 10-15 minutes of time daily to work in my art journal so I rarely suffer any form of artist's block. I find that taking time (however short it may be) to sit down and work in my journal automatically inspires me and keeps me on my toes. I've always said that you don't need to spend hours in the studio (though that is nice) to be an artist. If you take the time you have and use it in small chunks it really does add up. My students also push me on a regular basis, especially the ones that keep coming back month after month to take new classes. They inspire me to keep pushing the mediums we work with and see how far we can take it. 
I love finding inspiration in any and everything from the simplest thing of looking out my window to taking a walk down the street and finding graffiti that inspires and amazes me to opening up one of my many art books and being visually inspired to watching an old black and white film to talking to my son or husband. I really believe that inspiration IS everywhere, you just have to open your eyes and be receptive to it!

You are going back-packing in the Himalayas for a year and may only take 3 crafting items. Which, and why?
I would definitely take my journal, a dozen (or more) Coccoina Glue sticks (40 gr.) and my refillable Koh-i-noor Rapidosketch pen (size .35) with my refillable black india ink. These are my basic necessities when it comes to making art. If I have my journal, a glue stick and a pen, I can make art anywhere!
Kelly's blog and on-line courses can be found here and details of her classes here! Check them out!

Wasn't that just a great read? Wise words to all of us. Thank you so much Kelly! Do visit her blog and better still sign up for a class and let your fingers do the talking. Well, how do I follow that? Keeping things on a personal theme and drawing inspiration from my own surroundings I want to share three simple ideas with you. Yummy products abound, our computers are bursting with photographs and still we feel stumped by a blank space. Yet inspiration is on your very doorstep. I love paper and ink. Story told. I have a box full of "didn't make its", off-cuts and orphan trimmings that I just cannot throw away. Something about the texture, colour or imagery still speaks to me so I decided to pull them out of the dust and let them talk.
I used my upturned square punch as a frame to choose and then cut my favourite part. My squares are all 3.5cms but you can go with any mixtures of size and shape. I just fancied squares! I have chosen earthy tones, combining both soft and strong images for variation in detail. You want to be able to admire them all, without any of them fighting for your attention! I suggest making a "frame-finder" to help you select your image. Just cut the desired shape out of paper and slide that around (like making a movie!) You'll soon see the part that says "Choose me!" I've distressed and inked the edges and mounted them onto a French book page and then a piece of scrap cardboard swooshed with white paint. Just a touch of string and metal were enough for me. JUST THINKING... the last snippets of your favourite papers, a vintage magazine, wallpaper, books and photos...fabrics would look just fab with buttons!

Talking of photos... I used the same idea to create this piece using shots taken on my country walk in Shropshire. I'm no expert but these days even a simple digital camera takes a fine shot. By changing all the pics to B&W with a simple editing programme (see links below) and printing them out small, you end up with a concentrated image that hides a lot of imperfections. Many of these pics would not look so good blown up, but look great in a small format. If you're already thinking it's too technical I'm attaching a free download of these images for you to play with right here! I printed onto photo paper and punch cut the images as before. I used the punch upside down to cut the exact piece which gave a raw edge which I really like! But you can also cut by hand. Slightly inked the edges and then layered them onto paper and a canvas both painted in Snowflake by Paper Artsy for a chalky finish.
JUST many wonderful photos do you have but don't use because of "that bit". You know... a finger in a nose on the left, blimey, she looks miserable...who parked there??? Create an original scrapbook LO or keepsake. Hey Stampers! How about digging out all those stamps you've stopped using and rediscovering your favourite part. There's always a best bit on a flourish...

I know many of you adore cards, so here's one for you. I changed the colour of the flower photo to Sepia and printed onto ordinary paper this time. Trimmed, glued to paper and edged with ink. Layered up with a simple ribbon and stamped sentiment. Photo download here! But this could be your flower, your tree or loved one. It's great to be able to create personal gifts and designs that have more resonance, individuality or even commercial appeal if that's your line. But what I'm trying to say is...MAKE IT YOURS AGAIN!

So there you go, food for thought and your Mojo I hope. I would love to hear back from you and I invite you to share your musings and creations.
Where are you at, what moved you this week, what's your take on these ideas...? I'll be checking in regularly to take a look at your work and at the end of the month this wonderful book by Sharon Soneff will be winging it's way to an inspirational someone which could be you! In August we'll be talking to Kim Dellow! 
So now it's over to you...

A few guidelines on submitting your work:

- In the spirit of MMM please write a few lines in your post about your creativity and why you want to share your work.
- You are very welcome to share challenge pieces if you can tell me a bit about your inspiration and art!
- Please link directly to your post and not your blog so I can find you.
- Please add a link in your post to My Mojo Monthly - thanks!
- Feel free to take the MMM button for your blog - please do!
- Multiple challenge photos without description will be removed.

Now that's definitely a rap as they say...thanks for being here, the door is always open. Drop me a line if you have any questions and off you go now to play, ponder or just be. It's all good.


Useful Links:
Picasa free photo editor
Photoshop free photo editor


Cynthia Schelzig said...

What a fantastic post! Very interesting...really nice punched square cards...I really like your blog!

Kelly Kilmer said...

Thank *you* Sarah for the opportunity! :)

Fab what you did with your photos!!!!

suzieq23 said...

WOW. this is fantastic and so inspiring. I love your creations and cannot wait to see Mojo Monthly. I dont have a blog (and not sure what a link is) so I will just have to visit on a daily basis to keep up with everyone's creations. I was happy to see that another artist uses up every space in her journal as I do. I often wondered if i just go a little too far (dont know when to stop) in my art journaling and canvases having to take up every square inch with texture, color, embellies, etc. Cant stand to leave anywhere undone. Anyway thank you for sharing this wonderful new creative site and I will look forward to visiting. suzieq23

Milla said...

This was inspirational, thank you! Loving your MMM already :)

jude said...

#Thanks for an enjoyable read!Well loved the projects your photo frame with the B&W piccys is stunning.
Never know may inspire my mojo to return
hugs judex

kissinia said...

Thank you Sarah, very interesting! Ks.

Kezzy said...

Wow fantastic post for your first MMM. Just by reading today i realise i never really look around me for inspiration, im always looking at others wishing i had their inspiration. I love to learn and have decided that i really want to get involved in MMM, so this month im really going to taking my camera out with me and keep my mind, eyes and heart open to the world around me not others, i do occasionally look at things and think what a great colour combo or that would be great idea to use in a project but i never grasp that inspiration or do anything with to. Thank you for bringing out the hopefully inspiration i have within. Kezzy x

Sandie said...

Thank you Sarah. What fun and such a lovely post. I love the idea of cropping images and photos and putting them together to create something new. I have 1000's to choose from so that should keep me busy playing. Love your easy style of writing too. Feel like I already know you... and I'll be partying along so will be visiting again very soon. I'll also be linking back on my next post. Thanks again, you have given my morning a good start :)

Unknown said...

Oh thank you, that was great. I have a great love of squares and grids at the moment although I haven't used them a lot...they are one of my defaults for card designs though. Looking forward to coming back and seeing who links and what with and will give some thought to something myself.

The Sparkly Fairy said...

Thanks - great inspiration. I will go and loog at her work is fabulous!

Vicky Hayes said...

A really inspiring read. Thanks Sarah.

Cardarian said...

Well congratulations Sarah - your first MMM is more then inspiring! I will not say all the "it is lovely, fabulous, amazing...words - I will say it is a really great contribution to the crafty world and anyone who reads this will take some of it to their crafty room! I will definitly - as soon as I read it I could see what I will create and you will soon see the results of your MMM!
Thank you!!!!
Lots of hugs,

Dragon said...

What a super idea, Sara... I shall see what I can do this month... like you, my art is paramount for me and has been for a long time... so I'll try to set it dowm and share it very soon
Love and light

Kim Dellow said...

Great first MMM post Sarah! Lots of things to think about and so great to 'meet' Kelly I shall definitely be spending more time on her blog and I reckon I will be re-reading this post - already book marked!
Totally love your photo grid - wow! It is wonderful, what a great idea!
Thank you for the fab post!

Morti said...

Loving it, Sarah! MMM should be a success - all the best for it - and who knows, I might even get something out in the form of a post on my own blog later....LOL

donnalouiserodgers said...

Sarah -

ha -

I just spent a three figure sum in THAT textile shop, would have been two figures except I HAD TO have the mongolfier print onto heavy linen, watch me - for french fabric covered journales d'arte...

also my URL domain server has lost my CNAME ( i am sure the world just wants to know exactly where to find me when I am supposed to be taking a break...) so NO website at the moment - will link my inspiration from your monthly mojo as soon as repairs are done and I am back tinterwebbing,

fabulous post, lovely concept,


Juls said...

this is such a fab post!! so many fabulous things to look at and think about ...thank you for all the inspiration to get out mojo kick started! Hugs Juls

craftytrog said...

What a great idea Sarah! Great to see something a bit different! I loved your interview with Kelly, & your photo grids are wonderful & inspiring!
Alison x

Kathleen said...

Sarah... Congratulations on the first MMM post it's both inspiring and interesting. I've always wanted to start an art journal or a type of scrap book, your first interview has given me the imput to start one. Your photograph crops are delightful, I've usually done this with old art work as they are more interesting in this format. I'll have to sort through my pic's and see what I can come up with...Thank you for thinking and putting into practice what will be a must not miss monthly post.
Kathleen x

donna said...

What a fantastic start! Everything is so inspiring. I will be back often and there are a few people I need to share this with. Thank you...Donna

Sandy said...

Great post. I've taken Kelly's classes and it was great to read more about her. How lucky are those that can take her classes in person. Her online classes are great. I've been taking them for 3 yrs. I could look at her pages for days and not get bored.

I loved your photo crops. They look really great. It looks like something I think I'll try.

Twiglet said...

Some great ideas there Sarah - that should get a few mojos going!! Thanks. Jo

penny4thoughts said...

Love this new feature on your blog - love the rest of your blog too! All so inspirational!!

karen said...

Thank you so much for doing this! It is absolutely perfect timing for me as I seem to have lost my mojo the last couple of weeks! I think this will really give me the kick start I need!
Love all your creations and I am off now to have a peek at Kelly's blog!
Thank you again!

Minxy said...

What a fantastic idea Sarah, thank you so much for sharing your amazing talent, as requested i have linked in my piece and altered my post to say so, also i am truly inspired by your multi squared projects, they look awesome, and as someone who takes ALOT of photo's myself the concept really speaks to me, you rock gal, and i can't wait to see more xx

Hettie said...

Well done on your first posting on MMM! Your logo is already on my bloggie. You have certainly given me pause for thought on this hot Sunday afternoon. Love what you have done with your photos. I too love to turn my piccies into black and white. Hmmmmn.... where shall I start?

Craft Addicts - Tracy Evans said...

Very inspirational post Sarah and gorgeous cardss too. I love the black and white pieces but I love to used black and white in my artwork whenever I can. I will look forward to next months and seeing this months inspiring links. Tracy x

Unknown said...

Hi, I have never seen this blog before and I have been missing out. Funny we have both started out first ever challenge on the same day ;0)

I hope to join in through the month too ;0)
Love Dawn xx

Linda Coughlin, the funkie junkie said...

Wonderful post Sarah, just chocked full of inspiration and motivation. Congratulations on getting MMM started! LOVE the idea of using the left over bits for a collage. You are amazingly talented and I so appreciate you sharing your tips and ideas with us. Now I'm really itching to get back to my craft table!

Neet said...

Brest wishes for MMM - if this is a sample of what is to come it will be great for those moments when inspiration hides away. Thanks for the interview with Kelly - loved reading it. hugs, Neet

Scrumplescrunch said...

What an incredible coincidence that I have found this post today, when I am having a low period with inspiration with my card making.
I feel a little urge after reading this to sit at my table and just play and not think too much. I will be following you most definitely, and I will look forward very much to your tips and encouragement, as that is what I have gained from you today to know that it is okay to just be, and I might 'just be' for awhile. Yes this is good.
Thanks Sarah for your generous spirit.

nerllybird said...

Fantastic ideas, I'd love to try this, hope I can remember it when I get to my desk :S
Helen S

Elizabeth said...

Very inspirational Sarah - enjoyed reading the interview and brilliant ideas to get the old mojo moving. Went out and bought a square punch and will now be looking at my photographs with a fresh eye. Congratulations on a great idea that hopefully will run and run. Elizabeth x

Angie said...

Great post all the ideas I really need a square punch. lol

Lisa said...

Wow!! looking super!! i'll be back!


Spyder said...

All looking very super amazing and will try and get my brain in gear...hopefully, not reverse! Good luck with your venture!!

shirley said...

WOW! Found your blog through Craftytrog.
LOVE your blog and artwork!!!
Thank you for the inspiration and motivation to use up my scraps of paper. Love the photo grids.
I will be back!

jodpea said...

Ha ha, I take it the name of the flower file is not actually meant to be "Mmmmmmm, flowers!" in a Homer stylee! Oh well, at least I make myself laugh! Thanks for the freebies

Electra said...

Wow, this is going to be awesome! I love your first post and I'm going to come back often too. Thanks for the inspiration! (Plus I adore Kim Dellow's work!)

Jo Capper-Sandon said...

So glad I found you again!! I lost our email conversation and have been searching for you ever since!
What a fantastic post. VERY inspirational and LOTS of food for thought definately!

2amscrapper said...

Thanks for visiting my blog. I'm finding this project quite fascinating and learned a lot reading through your post.

Gerri Herbst said...

Wonderful blog to visit. I will definitely do a post on inspiration and include yr link!

Marjie Kemper said...

Good luck with your new MMM, Sarah. I really love all the art you've shown and enjoyed the interview as well. I posted about MMM on 7/11 but am now on holiday and can't seem to add the link. If you have a moment you can see it on my blog at marjiekemper.type on July 11 post. sorry for the link issue.

Elizabeth said...

Hi Sarah, just uploaded my first mojo monthly inspired piece and I'm sure there will be more. BTW, the square punch didn't get used after all - wrong size for this project. Off for a few days but will be thinking of my next project all the while. Regards, Elizabeth x

Ohhh Snap said...

Fantastic post!! My mojo cup is full to the brim *knock wood* lol.

Angela Toucan said...

just a quick note to let you know that you have inspired a piece of 3D artwork. Unfortunately family illnesses mean I haven't finished it yet - hope to share it with you soon.

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