Saturday, December 29, 2012

Fearless Art Journaling, Part 6: Creation of a Page

I have been blown away by the number of hits my Fearless Art Journaling series has received, especially considering I haven't added a new post in the series in over a year. What this tells me is that a lot of folks out there are very interested in art journaling, with making backgrounds being at the top of the list, at least as far as my own page views are concerned.

For this part in the Fearless Art Journaling series, I thought I'd show you the construction of one of my own pages from start to finish. I hope it gives you some ideas of your own as I show how an art journal page goes from blank paper to completed page.

In the past year, I haven't been as prolific in my own journaling. In fact, until the other day, I hadn't even opened my art journal since last summer. I wanted to change that, so a couple days ago I decided to do a quick page and just play around. No pressure, no stress, just play, which is how I always encourage anyone to work in their journal. 

I knew I wanted to make use of my new aspen trees template, but other than that, I had no real goal or outcome in mind. I started the page by sponging on Antique Linen Distress Ink, then I stamped this nifty newspaper background using Frayed Burlap DI.

Next, I pulled out the template. I used blue painter's tape to keep it in place, and using a Ranger ink blending tool, I rubbed on some Rusty Hinge DI. 

Working in the same way, I rubbed on Wild Honey, Crushed Olive, and Broken China. After removing the template, I used a toothbrush to splatter Transparent Raw Umber acrylic ink. 

At this point, I felt the area where I'd used the template needed to be framed out more, so I grabbed some paper scraps (I have a plethora of scraps and am thrilled anytime I can find a use for them) and glued them down to create a frame. I also added some washi tape in a couple spots. 

This is the point where I sat back and looked at the page, trying to decide where to go next. I felt like I wanted to add the image of a woman's face in the trees, so I picked out one of my rubber stamps for that purpose. I wanted some focus on the woman's face and felt that just stamping directly onto the trees would be too busy, so I brushed on off-white acrylic paint where I wanted to stamp the face. I also dry brushed this same paint in different areas all over the page, and then rubbed on some Broken China where I planned to stamp the face. It was then I remembered I'd wanted to flick water onto the page to make use of the water-reactive properties of Distress Inks. I love how the water droplets look with the ink and paint together. 

Once everything was dry, I stamped the woman's face in Ranger's Archival Ink in Sepia. This is a permanent ink that works pretty well on glossy surfaces, but it does need time to dry on any glossy or painted surface, so at this point, I walked away to have a cup of coffee as I let the ink dry. Once the ink had dried, I stamped the tassels and outlined the face in Broken China using a blender marker. 

I like how this page turned out and feel it's pretty much complete and ready for my writing. I might add something later, as it seems usually I tweak pages some here and there if I feel later it needs something more. 

I hope showing the steps involved in creating this simple page gives the beginners out there a little insight into how a page can be constructed.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Eggshell Mosaics, My Newest Addiction.

Hello, all! No, I haven't fallen off the face of the earth, just finding a lot less time in life for blogging. I won't make promises to blog more (even though I'm going to attempt exactly that), as we all know life ebbs and flows and we often find ourselves putting something on the back burner. For me, it's my blog. Luckily, my desire to create and the actual creation process never gets put on the back burner, so while I rarely blog about it anymore, I am, in fact, creating all the time.

My newest obsession is eggshell mosaics. I'm a member of the site and another member there is a big fan of this medium. I kept seeing these beautiful pieces she'd made, and when she set up a swap, complete with a wonderful, detailed tutorial, I knew I had to try my hand at it. Since then, I've decorated magnets, wooden picture frames, and Christmas ornaments using eggshells. For a time, it seemed anything not nailed down in my home got a covering of eggshells.



These are just a few of the magnet sets I made. The Autumn leaves sets are still available for sale in my Etsy shop.

So, still creating, and after over a year of not working in my art journal, I am starting to dabble again there. Maybe I will even find the time to add to my Fearless Art Journaling series, who knows?

As always, thanks for stopping by, and have an artful day!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

These are a few of my favorite things...

I absolutely love thrift stores, and when I found a box of vintage wooden dominoes for sale at a little shop in a nearby town, I snatched them up. Dominoes can be used in so many creative ways, but after participating in an altered domino swap recently where my contribution was a necklace, that's where I decided to start.

I began by sanding the edges of the dominoes to add to their vintage and rustic appeal. The above domino features embossed foil tape that I colored with alcohol ink. Foil tape seems to be my new favorite thing as far as creative endeavors go.

I am often drawn to this pen nib stamp; it's definitely a favorite. This is actually a section cut out from the stamped image. I think this calls to the writer in me, as well as the lover of nearly all things vintage. The color on this piece was provided via watercolor pencils, specifically Inktense pencils. They're amazing! I wish they'd let me be their spokesperson. Once you brush them with water, they become as vibrant as ink. So much fun, and the best watercolor pencils ever, in my humble opinion. I finished this necklace with a coat of dimensional glaze (also on my list of favorite things) to give a glossy, glass-like appearance.

I believe the above necklace may be my favorite of the three. I liked it so much, I actually made another pendant just like it to keep for myself. This one was colored with Distress Inks (yep, you guessed it, favorite stamping ink) and also finished with dimensional glaze.

All three of these necklaces are available for sale in my Etsy shop right now. In the works is a bracelet made from some of the dominoes and also featuring the pen nib stamp. I haven't decided yet whether to part with it or keep it for myself...

Thanks so much for stopping by, and I wish you all an artful and glorious day filled with some of your favorite things.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Another round of Seth Apter's The Pulse

Hello, readers! Just a quick post to let you know that another segment of Seth Apter's wonderful series The Pulse is happening this Sunday, August 19. Yours truly will be one of the artists featured. For this portion, Seth asked us to provide a photo of a favorite piece of art we'd created, and its meaning to us. Please go have a look at all the inspiration that Seth works so hard to bring together!

Thank you!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Ancient Woman Mini Book

Hello, readers! For those of you still with me despite my infrequent posting over the last year, I'd like to share a new project I just finished up.

I'd been wanting to take part in a Blockheads Technique Challenge, and when they issued the call this month to work with simple bookbinding techniques, I just knew it was the perfect time to join. I've been making handmade books for years now, and even though I find myself drawn to more complicated binding techniques nowadays, it's always nice to get back to your roots. This little book was a blast to work on, and the added motivation of winning something fun from Blockheads kept me in the zone and focused.

I made the front cover by sticking some foil tape onto cardstock and running it through my Sizzix using a Tim Holtz Texture Fade. Alcohol inks provided the color. I cut out a window for viewing the ancient woman I had stamped onto the first inside page. A sheet of acetate was attached to add some stability and keep the cover from flopping around all willy-nilly.

I embossed a piece of acetate using my Sizzix as well, then used alcohol inks once again. I love embossing acetate!

Detail of the acetate page.

Back cover.

Stamps used in this project: Ancient Woman 3, Cosmos Collage, Stargazer Set.

I had so much fun creating this, and it's got me wanting to make a few more books. I already have a rough idea in my head of the next one I might make.

Thanks so much for stopping by! Be sure to check out the other players via the blog hop!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Another edition of The Pulse

Hello, readers! I'm still here, and hope to have a real post up before too long. For now, just popping in to say that I'm in tomorrow's edition of The Pulse.

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Sale in my Etsy shop.

Happy Saturday, everyone!

As I'm busy creating new items for my Etsy shop, I'm also trying to clear some old stock. I currently have a sale going, so if you see something you like, grab it now while the price is right!

Blue Monkey Market Just use the coupon code SPRINGCLEANING to receive 25% off of anything in my store. Out with the old, in with the new!

Hope everyone has a beautiful day!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Changes, and yay, I've been published!

Hello, readers! I know I've been silent for awhile. Thanks to those who still pop by and visit my blog; it means a lot to me!

I'm not one to share a lot in the arena of the personal here, but I do want to say that my life is transitioning in a big way right now. These changes are not ones I expected or could foresee, and even though they come with untold amounts of hurt attached, in the end, it is for the best. I am finding I am so much stronger than I ever imagined, and so is my amazing son. Everyday we grow closer, and for that, I am grateful. I'm also reminded, through this upheaval, just how many unbelievably awesome and supportive friends I have, as well as a loving and close family. I know that my son and I will get through this, and though the road to healing may be a long journey, we have each other, and our family, and I look forward to the journey.

And now for some very welcome exciting news! For the first time ever, a bit of my artwork has been published in a magazine, and not just any magazine, but my very favorite magazine, Cloth Paper Scissors! Can you hear me squealing?

You'll find an image from my handcarved bird stamp on the letters to the editor page in the current (March/April 2012) issue!

Here's a less-than-stellar photo just to prove it (after a recent move, I don't yet have a good photo spot set up, so bear with me, please):

Hope everyone has an artful day!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


I'm right in the middle of packing for yet another move. This makes the third time my family and I have moved in 3 years, so I've become a pro at this gig. I'm not, however, looking forward to the logistical nightmare that is moving a family where one member is an artist (moi) and one is a computer hobbyist (my better half). Oh, and we're both collectors (*cough* not hoarders! *cough*). We're staying in the same area, so it won't be as difficult as our last move when we found a place 2 hours away. Suffice it to say, this blog will be taking a back seat until we're settled into the new place.

Amidst this chaos, I'm still creating. I was in a swap with a woman whose son is a big fan of the movie Nacho Libre. My son and I are, too, so she asked me to create some artwork based on the movie. She gave me free reign. I'm not the world's greatest illustrator, so I knew drawing Nacho himself was out. I decided to explore the food themes in the movie, and came up with the 2 following mixed media pieces. Both works are done on 5"x7" canvas board.

 "Get that corn outta' my face!"

 "Eagle eggs?! I'm not listenin' to you, you're crazy!"

I'm really happy with how they turned out, and after my initial panic of not knowing exactly what I was going to come up with, I was pleasantly surprised with the direction, and grateful for her helping me to think outside the box a bit. After all was said and done, I realized I should have had the egg opened with the yolk spilling out to add more visual interest, but c'est la vie. Art is like life sometimes, as it can be a learning experience.

I really hope she likes these! They were mailed today, so I've got a few days of nervous waiting to hear back from her.

Thank you, as always, for stopping by! Hope you all have an artful day!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Just a bit o' mail art.

Life takes many new turns, and for us, it means another move. We're staying in the same area, but want to find a smaller place in the country. I really miss seeing trees out my window instead of a busy road, and being able to have a camp fire at night, and seeing deer in my yard. Suffice it to say, with a move coming up, I'll be posting here less in the next couple of months, but I promise I shall return!

In between the packing up, I have been creative, mostly making mail art. I find that handmade postcards are a nice way to squeeze a little art into a day. Here's a couple recent ones:

Hope all of you are doing well and enjoying a great start to the New Year!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Pulse!

Tomorrow is Sunday, which means a new installment of Seth Apter's The Pulse. Yours truly will be among the artists featured. Seth puts a lot of time and work into this, so pop over and have a look, please and thank you!