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Welcome to Monopolis


On Friday, I honored to be the guest poster on Julie Fei-Fan Balzer’s blog for Art Journal Every Day.  I’ve had so many requests emailed to me about the other sides of the dice I decided to do another post about them.  How did I decide what to put on the dice?   The crazy thoughts that swirled around in my head when I was feeling uncreative guided me!

If you are interested in making dice like this I recommend you listen to the thoughts in your head to guide you as to what to put on your dice. How many dice do you need? Completely up to you.  Make as many or as few as you feel comfortable using.  If you don’t have dice you can use slips of paper and keep each set in a different envelope.

If you read my last post, I have been stuck in my head, which does not translate to creativity for me. Above is today’s roll. Below is what I made based on that roll.


I had no idea what I was going to make with this roll, so I just grabbed any random background.  This one has Julie Balzer’s Chevron stencil with Luminarte spray inks and acrylic paint.







One die was to push me to use supplies I have enjoyed but for some reason haven’t been using lately.

  • Add reinkers/alcohol inks.  Add transparencies.  Add eyelets.  Add ribbon.  Use dresden trim. Use stitching.


I scribbled because I had no plan.  No idea where it was going…as it often happens when I do this, I will wish I hadn’t done this step later but it will also push me to find a way to add another layer to get it to a place I like.






I added white paint which smeared the dye reinker and then blue acrylic paint with the rain stencil from Julie Balzer.  I was trying to hide the earlier scribble.







One die was to deal with my occasional guilt over supply hoarding.

  • Use stickers.  Use a bead.  Use rub-ons.  Use a scrap.  Use fabric. Use a charm.


This is fabric from my stack of fabric swatch books.  I have way too many of these and it felt good to use some of the fabric.








I had a lot of hoarding issues, so there was another die or 2 to deal with my supply piles…

  • Use a photo slide mount.  Use tape.  Use  a ticket.  Use a magazine.  Use a feather.  Use chipboard.  Use tissue paper.  Use a game piece.  Use bead gel. Use modeling paste.  Use a napkin.  Use vintage ephemera.










One die was to give me an element to add. 

  • Draw a pattern.  Draw a person.  Draw a grid.  Draw a building.  Draw a face. Doodle.


On this step I managed to cover 2 dice at once, chipboard and a building!  As an added bonus, I finally used some of my chipboard windows from Maya Road. I have loved them so much I have hoarded them for the “perfect” project.  Guess what, perfect never came along but I really like the windows here.





Journaling and writing gets me out of my head also.  I decided to write quotes from my Pinterest board, Words of Wisdom.  The ink scribbled in the beginning just hadn’t faded far enough into the background so I used an oil pastel to trace around the raindrops.  Now it was pushed back far enough that I was happy.






One die was to limit me from going to my favorite supplies.  This helped to push me out of my usual routine.

  • No spray inks.  No text.  No paint.  No ephemera. No stencils.  No stamps.








Rolling the dice got me out of my head and into my happy place.  If you ever find yourself stuck or stumbling, perhaps a roll of the dice can help you!

Want to see more creativity?  Stop on by and  check out all the great posts in the Fall Fearless and Fly challenge, Show Me What You’ve Got Wednesday,  Creative Every Day, and Art Journal Every Day!

There is still time to enter my giveaway!  I am thrilled to be giving this mixed media experimentation kit away! Different brands of spray inks, 2 of my favorite stencils, Twinkling H2O, red tinted liquid pencil,  Glam, and a gelato will go to one randomly selected newsletter subscriber.  Be sure to sign up at the top right of the page by Halloween for your chance to win!

{ 30 comments… add one }

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  • Cynthia October 22, 2012, 6:22 pm

    So awesome. So very very awesome.

  • Corrine October 22, 2012, 8:17 pm

    I love this idea and how you illustrated it again….I need to do this for myself and make my own set of cubes…the cube idea seems limitless in terms of it’s applications for play…It is so rocking it that you are doing this. xox

  • Wanda Hentges October 22, 2012, 8:23 pm

    Very cool!!!

  • Valerie-Jael October 23, 2012, 4:17 am

    Fantastic piece, Caroline! Valerie

  • Gwen October 23, 2012, 8:43 am

    Fantastic idea…must try it:)

  • elle October 23, 2012, 8:54 am

    This is a very cool idea for when the mojo has a coffeebreak!

  • Carin October 23, 2012, 9:28 am

    Carolyn, that is seriously cool! I love that youäve created this from throwing a few dice. Iäm going to email a link to this post to a friend who has been in an art slump for a while now to see if it will get her going.

    • Carolyn October 25, 2012, 8:36 pm

      Hope it helps! It has pulled me out of a slump many times!

      • Carin October 27, 2012, 11:23 am

        Oh my gosh, I just noticed I had Swedish turned on my keyboard for this comment! How awful!

  • Paula - Buenos Aires October 23, 2012, 12:57 pm

    I read the original post from my Google reader, so I went back to check which blog I was reading as the style of the pictures was so you!
    The dices are such a cool idea. Thanks for taking us through the process and sharing teh other sides as well. My head is on line nowadays, I haven´t touched a brush in a long time.

  • Marja October 23, 2012, 1:12 pm

    This is very cool Carolyn.
    Beautiful how you create this all and let us read and see how.
    lovely greet

  • Marjie Kemper October 23, 2012, 2:53 pm

    Really LOVE those dice! The houses are so clever as is your town name… I have a ton of Maya too from one of their big sales… need to ink it up, baby!

  • Lindsay October 23, 2012, 3:40 pm

    This is so original!
    As usual: thanks for sharing the work in progress. 🙂

  • Julie A Case October 23, 2012, 3:55 pm

    Those dice are an awesome idea I’m going to try! Thanks for sharing it. And I love your city! 🙂

  • Mary M. October 23, 2012, 6:00 pm

    Those die are a great idea! What’s even greater is that I already have those foam blocks. I’m going to do this so I can get out of my head. I stuggle with that too!
    I love your art Carolyn!

  • FranT October 23, 2012, 7:33 pm

    What a terrific idea to use dice ..so clever:) I like you page a lot! Inspiring!

  • Claudette October 23, 2012, 9:39 pm

    What a great idea! And such a beautiful page, too! You are awesome!

  • Mary Walker October 24, 2012, 7:22 am

    I totally enjoy how you start with a simple page and transform it into something so alive and fun. The art linkup is posted for this week, every Wednesday. I hope you’ll stop by and share again with us.

  • Mari Carmen October 24, 2012, 4:43 pm

    So beautiful! It’s great!

  • Jessica October 24, 2012, 6:33 pm

    I love, love your dice (can you make me a set? — pleeze?) and your page. Way to use your game pieces! And I love the way you journaled into the raindrops. I went to your Words of Wisdom collection — great quotes!

  • Jan LaFollette October 24, 2012, 8:36 pm

    Fantastice idea! The cube prompts are such a good idea since we all need something to get us started at times. Yor page turned out great!

  • Dave October 25, 2012, 1:25 am

    Hi Carolyn,

    Your monopolis illustration came out great. I loved seeing the different stages and the dice idea is amazing! So cool.

  • NatashaMay October 25, 2012, 4:59 am

    Wow! That is freaking awesome idea! 🙂 Better than writing down on paper and pulling them out of a jar. 🙂 Awesome!

  • Gillian Pearce October 25, 2012, 11:25 am

    OH. MY. GOODNESS!!! What a truly brilliant idea. I can’t wait to make my own dice. Your post caught my eye because I bought an old Monopoly game myself this weekend and there was a delay before I noticed the dice element of it. Thank you so much for sharing that. Fun, fun, fun!!

  • Terrie -Creative Explorer October 25, 2012, 12:20 pm

    I’ve seen several versions of this but not the dice – excellent idea! Occasionally I find myself going to my art room then just staring at my table top wondering where to begin – this is a great idea and really random/fun. I like the whimsical side of this page – so cool.

  • LisaDV October 26, 2012, 11:07 am

    Oh, I was hoping you’d post more about your blocks, even though I didn’t ask. Thanks so much. Love your page.

  • Karen McGowan October 26, 2012, 1:39 pm

    the dice are such a clever idea – sure to pull me out of any slump!

  • Linda K October 26, 2012, 2:01 pm

    Awesome post Carolyn-thanks so much for your step-by-step process!! Fabulous page!!!

  • Tricia October 26, 2012, 6:21 pm

    Thanks, Carolyn, for sharing this great idea!

  • Mitzi Zohar October 27, 2012, 4:38 pm

    Carolyn I want to jump right in and LIVE there. Your colours are amazing.