Art and Craft

The Process of Discovery

I have received several comments over the past few months (love comments!)  here and elsewhere on the web regarding a few techniques.  First of all, let me commend you for trying new things in the studio!!!  Trust me, I understand that feeling that comes over us now and then, something in the realm of fear, which makes us hesitant to really play with our “stuff.”  Maybe we spent money on THE STUFF.  Maybe THE STUFF isn’t in production any more.  Maybe THE STUFF is  just beautiful sitting in a full bottle, too precious to mess with.  Maybe we are afraid that we’ll do it wrong.   Maybe we tried it once and it didn’t work.  I have gone to all these “maybe” places myself.  But when we are able to get past the inhibitions, I believe we receive a golden opportunity to learn something new, to have that intimate conversation with ourselves, to find out where we are uptight, where we are free, to find out what our souls want to reveal to us in 2 and 3 dimensions.  And we can enjoy what it feels like to hear the “tink” of an entirely used up bottle of that beautiful color…  seriously 🙂

So when you are trying something new, whether it be hot glue or salt or whatever, please be patient with yourself.  And in the interest of having a good time, rather than attempt to mimic, seek out what makes your approach unique and intriguing.  When your attempt doesn’t end up looking exactly like mine or his or hers, or when it just doesn’t work, don’t despair.  Enter the studio with a spirit of play, try to let go of results and hang on to discoveries, however small.  Hang on to those unique bits of you that sing through your hands, and I guarantee that those days in the studio that don’t quite work out will lead to something even better down the line, the satisfaction that comes along with the words, “This is totally me,” and maybe an “Mmm mmm mmm,” or two or three.

In the studio  last week, I played with salt.  Did you catch yesterday’s salt project?  I used up a lot of scrap pieces, and I discovered many things.  So many factors will affect your results, and the only way to really know and understand salt is to play with it.  Get out all your scraps.  Play with different surfaces, how much you wet your surface, how much pigment you add, what kind of pigment, how much salt, what kind of salt, when to add the salt.  Hmm, don’t get bogged down by that tiresome list I just wrote.  Just play and you will totally get it.

I have a video today on the Sizzix blog that shares more of my love for the “Life Made Simple” Collection.

VivianKehSaltCard_DYou will see how salt reacts with some of the warmer hues of SMOOCH Spritz that I’ve been playing with lately.

VivianKehSaltCard_CThe effect is interesting and organic.  I especially love this technique because I think it helps foster this spirit of play, this spontaneity which can be difficult to summon when we step out of our chaotic lives and into the studio.


Before I sign off, I want to share with you a small watercolor painting I did awhile back. It’s this crazy funky looking heirloom tomato that I grow every year because it tastes so dang good and because the shapes of the fruit are heavily pleated and so dang fascinating to me.


This one was pure watercolor – can you see the salt in the foreground?  Which reminds me, I need to get out and shoot some photos of the bounty goin’ on in the garden!!!

I hope you’ll stop by the Sizzix blog today for the whole project and my accompanying video!  And if you are feeling it, please like, share, pin, etc. to spread the word!




Brand New Smooch Spritz .37fl oz-Pomegranate
USA Wholesaler – 11006293 – Smooch Spritz .37 Fluid Ounce-Copper
Clearsnap Smooch Jumbo Spritz Carded: Gold Glow
Smooch Spritz Pearlescent Accent Sprays, Sea Kiss
Smooch Spritz: Navy Twinkle

Pro-Art Strathmore Bristol Vellum Paper Pad, 9 by 12-Inch, 20 Sheets
Coarse Kosher Salt

10 thoughts on “The Process of Discovery

  1. Great post, Vivian! LOVE that watercolour! I’ve been struggling with finding time and energy to craft now that I’m working full time and have a family to raise. I miss it and the friends I have met along the way. Thankfully through a handful of people like yourself, I can still enjoy the world of papercrafting, even if only for a few fleeting moments! Thanks for the inspiration!

    • tracy! it’s so good to hear from you. i can only imagine how busy you are. my brother and his wife work full time and have 3 kids and i try to imagine how they manage it all. crazy busy. i hope you can squeeze in just a little “me” time here and there to feed your crafty soul. when i was teaching in Los Angeles and couldn’t craft, I’d keep up the same way you are. It would actually lull me to sleep to be able to watch a video or two, read a post. and then when i had a chance to craft, all the inspiration would pour out during the session.

  2. Love the watercolor tomato. I actually think a pile of S _ _ _ would look wonderful done in watercolor. It is such a beautiful medium. I just ordered some paints, etc to try my hand at it.

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