Friday, October 10, 2014

Scrap n' Art Design Team!

I am so excited to announce that I have joined the Scrap n' Art online magazine design team!  This is a wonderful online publication whose design team members take an artistic and incredibly creative approach to scrapbook layouts, cards, home decor, gift giving, canvas, and more!  They also have a wonderful digital section that will inspire you to get into the non-messy side of art!  The magazine also includes tutorials using the latest products on the market.  Please check out the magazine here:  There is a small annual fee of $24 to join but it's so worth it! Before I joined the team, I was an avid reader of the monthly publication and was always impressed with the articles and projects. You can even submit your own projects for publication in upcoming issues.  Here is a sneak peak of my submission for the Color Challenge article this month and the link to mine and other design team projects:  (In order to read the whole article, you will need to join.)

I also wrote the Trendwatch article this month about faces in mixed media art.  You can find it here:

Thanks for visiting and let me know what you think in the comments below.  Now go join Scrap n' Art online magazine!!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Making Junque Journals

You know all that scrapbook paper you've been hoarding?  How about all those Gelli prints you made that are piling up on your craft table?  Well, there is something you can do with them......make Junque Journals!  I am currently taking Julie Fei-Fan Balzer's online class, "Make Your Own Junque Journal", and I may use up all the scrapbook paper I bought over the last 10 years!  I'm obsessed with making the pages that we will learn to sew into an art journal in the next few weeks. Julie has a method of making pages that involves taping papers together and sizing them to fit the cover.  That's all I'm sayin' about that!  You have to sign up for the class to get all the details.  I am making two different sized journals; 8"x 12"and 8"x 10.  Here are just a few pages that I made:

8x10 Page
This is a Gelli print that I taped together with another print using Washi tape.
I stapled a cute little tag to the top.

8x10 Page
I added some embellishments to this one.  

8x10 Page
I wanted some of the pages to fold out.
This is a Gelli print that I folded over and used a decorative edge punch to embelish the fold-out edge.   .

8x10 Page
I saved (hoarded) some fun, artsy calendars from previous years and decided they were perfect for this project.  

8x12 Page
Signatures ready for sewing together

In case you are wondering what on earth a signature is, according to Webster's online dictionary, it is "one unit of a book comprising a group of printed sheets that are folded and stitched together."
I'm using papers that I already have, so my desk is getting cleaned off! That's why they are called Junque Journals, because you gather all the leftovers and don't think about the order. I am using four pages folded in half for my signatures and I will sew together 5 signatures. Incidentally, you can use many different methods to bind your Junque Journal.  Click HERE to see a video of my preferred book binding method. It's much easier to use rings or a spiral binding machine and not fold the pages, but there will be a gap between the pages.  I prefer the sewn binding because it is very secure and there is no gap when I open the journal and I have a larger space to work.   

I can't say enough about Julie's classes and her teaching style. She is so thorough and detailed in her sharing of information and includes many tips that help with other projects.  For example, she shows an easy way to thread a needle that I never thought of before. Please consider taking one of her many classes.  Click HERE to access her available classes.

Stay tuned for another post in the next few weeks showing the covers and my completed Junque Journals!  Thanks for visiting today and leave your comments below!

Now, go make something!!

Friday, August 22, 2014

A Set of Canvases

So as soon as I saw these Bigz Sizzix Dies with matching Texture Fades by Tim Holtz, I knew I HAD to have the butterfly, dragonfly, and bee.  My head is brimming with ideas for using them.  I really want the sea horse and sand dollar also, but they will have to wait!   These dies cut thick chipboard, tin cans, cardstock and everything in between! After cutting out the shape, position it in the Texture Fade and send it through the Vagabond Die Cut Machine and it's embossed.  So easy and so cool!!!

I used 8"x 8" deep edge canvases for this project.  I covered the canvases with stamped tissue paper to create some background texture and pattern then randomly covered them with Liquitex Ceramic Stucco. It's got a sandy texture which takes the paint really well.  I used an array of media including acrylic paints, inks, and Pan Pastels until I got the background the way I wanted it.  

Dragonfly detail

For the bee's background, I used the Crafter's Companion hexagon stencil  with ceramic stucco to create the raised honeycomb effect.     

Bee detail 1

Bee detail 2

Butterfly detail

I used thick chipboard to cut out the critters and embossed them.  I put a coat of white gesso to ensure that the paint would be bright and really pop. I used lots of layers until I was happy with the results, then distressed the edges with darker paint and black ink. I also randomly rubbed some Viva Inka Gold to highlight the embossing. The burlap was needed to make the critters stand out from the background.  I'm really pleased with how these canvases came out and plan on making more in different colors.  What do you think?  Don't be shy and leave a comment below!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Summer Art Journal Pages

Well, I've had a creative summer with a nice vacation thrown in and want to share some of my journal pages.  Note: I have lots of links thoughout this post, so just click on the highlighted names to see more info or a related video.

I got a bunch of Stencil Girl stencils recently and had fun playing with them in the following two page spreads. They are designed by Traci Bautista.

Embrace Imperfection
The first quote reads, "Mistakes are proof that you are trying." The second quote reads, "To ensure misery, strive for perfection at all times." Attention all perfectionists (including me): Read those quotes 10 times daily!  Caroline Dube's video using the circle stencil inspired this page. I also used Tim Holtz "embrace imperfection" stamp.

The page below was inspired by a video made by Traci Bautista using her flower stencil. I primed the pages using black gesso, then sponged magenta, orange, and white acrylic paint through the stencil.  I really love these stencils and have used them many times already in different projects.

Traci Flowers

I used Dina Wakely's acrylic paint in turquoise for the background of Happy Circle Flowers.  I LOVE her paints.  They are very creamy, dry to a matte finish, and the colors are so beautiful and vibrant!  I watched a video a few months back about making these colorful circles and I wish I could  find the video to link it.  I painted a bunch of them and cut them out and made flowers for this page spread. I also did some sewing as well.  What is it about circles that makes me so happy!!!  
Happy Circle Flowers
Happy Circle Flowers Detail
My favorite song this summer is "Sky Full of Stars", by Coldplay and I was inspired to do the following page spread.  It reads, "In a sky full of stars, I think I saw you."  Such a happy, positive song!!!
Sky Full of Stars
I sometimes use my art journal to clean off stencils and use up excess paint. I had one of these pages and decided to use a technique that I've seen artists use to restore order to the chaos.  I drew the organic shapes with a pencil over the messy page, then painted the background around them in blue, letting the chaos peek out through the shapes.  I don't think it's finished, but it's much better than the mess I had before.

Organic 1
Organic 2
I'm not a big fan of pink, but I love to combine magenta and orange.  I used molding paste and stamped a poppy stamp into it, then let it dry.  I used various colors over the page and it ended up too pastel pink for my liking.  Then I used brighter magenta and orange paint, using the same poppy stamp to define the poppies and add some brightness. I used the edge of an old key card to add the grass at the bottom.  I think it needs some butterflies or something.
Pink Poppies 1
Pink Poppies 2

So what do you think?  Give me some suggestions as to how I can finish some of these.  Don't be shy!!  I'd love to read your comments.  Can't wait to share my latest canvases later this week.
I'm linking this post to Paint Party Friday, The Artistic Stamper, and Julie Balzers' blog.  These blogs are great sources of inspiration so check them out!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Gardening Journal

This Gelli print seemed perfect for my cover! 
 I cut the title out with my Silhouette Cameo.
This spring I planted more flowers and plants than I normally do. We inherited a bunch of large planters from friends that moved overseas and didn't want to incur the cost of moving them. So I placed them around the front and back of my house and filled them with flowers and herbs, even some veggie plants!  I think there were about 2 dozen in various sizes by the time I was all done planting!  I think I'll be spending my summer watering plants!

Since I love art journaling, I decided to make a gardening journal to help remind me what worked and what didn't next year.  I knew I wanted to use watercolors, so I decided to use a 9 x 12  Strathmore Mixed Media Watercolor journal. The paper has a bit more texture than the mixed media paper and it takes lots of water and color well. It has a nice sturdy cover that I glued a Gelli print I had laying around.

Gelli print for the inside cover:


Below is a page spread that I haven't filled with pictures yet.  
Here is how I got the look:  

 I used the Crafters Workshop Vine mask (the black areas in the picture above are the open spaces) as a stamp.  Apply several colors of green Distress ink directly onto the stencil then spritz liberally with water. Flip it over onto the page.  I do this several times till I get the look I want.  Heat set the ink then watercolor blue around the leaves.  I love the subtle results of this technique.  

Now I must go water my plants so I don't kill them!! Thanks for visiting my blog and leave a comment below!

Monday, May 19, 2014

24 Years

Today is my 24th wedding anniversary.  How time does fly!!! Just yesterday my kids were born, then going to school, and they needed us every moment of every day!!  Now they can't seem to get rid of us fast enough! I wanted to share the handmade gift I made for my wonderful hubby.

I made this scrapbook page using 12x12 watercolor paper and Art Anthology sprays.  I initially was going to use hearts but didn't want to use any pink.  I LOVE stars and was thinking about the new Coldplay song, Sky Full of Stars.  So I went with a totally nontraditional look for an anniversary....and I love that I did that!
I die cut the stars from some gelli printed paper that was close in color to the sprays that I used. I finished it off with some grungy stamps, tissue tape and letters.  
I framed it in a black shadowbox frame so he can hang it in his office.  

Here is the matching card.  On the inside I typed: In all kinds of weather.

Then, I went to wrap it and decided to do a quick stamping with some paint on kraft paper.

Hope he likes it!!  Now I have to go get paint off my hands and go out on a date with my hubby!!! 
Thanks for visiting my blog and I'd love to read your comment below.  

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Art Journal Pages

Here are my latest art journal pages.

The quote says, "It is usually best to be generous with praise but cautious with criticism."
Good advise to live by!  

Decided it was time to involve my furry children!
They are enjoying the beautiful weather we are having.  

LOVE the colors in this one! You can see the leaves better in person.  For some reason the photo doesn't do it justice. I used gelli prints with my Silhouette Cameo and cut branches, leaves, birds, and cage.  

I've had this stamp for a long time and love it but never used it for anything.
The name of the stamp is Foundation of Women.  

I'm not sure why my latest pages have so much pink, since I really don't like the color at all.  I do love the combination of bright pink, orange, and purple together, the brighter the better!  Thanks for stopping by and please leave a comment below!