Friday, 22 July 2016

Art Journal Joy: Works in Progress

This week has been a busy one. I have been enjoying the lovely summer weather with my kids and that doesn't always leave a lot of time each day to work in my art journal. At the moment, I have some pages that are experiments and works in progress. 

I'm still playing with my watercolor abstract flowers. I have so much fun making them that they are a great way to jump start my creative process. If I don't know what to do, I just start making flowers. My watercolors and paper are always on my desk so it's easy to just start painting.

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I've been experimenting with new ways to make the flowers and different ways to hold my brushes. I'm also trying different brushes and different color combinations. Playing and experimenting is a great way to learn.

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And sometimes, I just make a mess. This page might become something or I might just throw it in the garbage. It's all a part of the process.

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It's important to me to be creative each day.  I don't art journal everyday but it is one of the places where I express my creativity. I can make mistakes or experiment in my art journal. I have learned and continue to learn so much. It doesn't matter if what I make is pretty or even finished. It just matters that I make something.

Thanks for stopping by today.


Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Let's Make a Travel Album: The Story

This week, I have been working on the story of my trip to France in June. The pictures tell the chronological story of my trip.  You can see where I went and what I did each day just by looking at the pictures. I want to share more than just the basics though so I decided to have for 12 3x4" jouraling cards and 6 4x6" journaling cards.

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I didn't have any journaling cards to suit but I did have lots of supplies so I created my own. I started by creating little collages on 3x4" or 4x6" pieces of cardstock.

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I used supplies from the kit that I had made when I started this project. Then I added a sheet of vellum cut to size for each card.

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Then I slipped the card into the pocket and added a few more embellishments to get something that looks like this...

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Here are a few of the other cards that I made.

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Now, I have plenty of space to add my journaling.  I don't have the perfect pen for journaling on vellum in my stash so I let the ink dry for a minute before I touch it to prevent smudging. So far, I haven't had any problems.

This week, I'll add my stories and start embellishing. I'll share  an update of my progress next week. I hope you'll come back and have a look.

Thanks for stopping by today!


Monday, 18 July 2016

Mixed Media Monday: The Undone Pages

Welcome to Mixed Media Monday! Each week, I share a mixed media layout and include the instructions. The instructions contain the steps to make the project and contain any tips and tricks I have picked up along the way. If you ever have any questions about techniques or products that I used to make this layout, leave a note in the comments and I will get back to you. I know that mixed media can be intimidating but I think of it as a creative adventure. Yes, it requires practice and patience but the rewards are worth it - I promise! 

I recently found this not quite finished layout while tidying up in my office.

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I really like it and that was the problem. I was afraid of ruining the layout so I didn't want to do anything else. When I found it again, I reminded myself that done was better than perfect and decided to finish it.

Here's my supply list...

Prima Art Basic Heavy Gesso
Prima Art Basics Double Sided Texture Brushes
Prima Bubbles Stencil
Prima Heavy Gel
Prima Texture Powder
Prima Mixed Media Silicon Brush or palette knife
Prima Color Bloom Sprays
Friend Definition - Hero Arts
Black Archival Ink
Walnut Stain Distress Ink
Canson Watercolor paper 
Ephemera Pack - After Dark Collection (Crate Paper)
Cheese cloth
Book paper

Here's how I made this week's layout.

1. Stamp. Stamp randomly on the background in Black Archival Ink. I used the Hero Arts Friend Definition Stamp. It's a text stamp so I use it a lot.

2. Gesso. Spread Gesso on the watercolor paper.  I used the Prima Silicon Brush but a palette knife or old credit card works just as well.

3. Make marks. Make marks in the wet gesso using the Prima Double Sided Texture brushes or old credit cards or paper tubes. Whatever you have on hand that can make a mark will be fine. When you're happy with your background, set it aside to dry.

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4. Mix Heavy Gel with Texture Powder. I make my mixture equal parts Heavy Gel and Texture Powder because I like the extra texture it gives when it's dry. I scoop out a blob of gel onto my craft mat and then scoop an equal amount of Texture Powder into the gel. Then I mix it together - thoroughly.

5. Stencil. Use a palette knife or silicon brush or old credit card and pull your Gel/Texture Powder mixture through a stencil. Leave the stencil in place.

6. Make marks through the stencil. Use a mark-making tool, like a texture brush, to make marks in the gel while it's well. Remove the stencil and set it aside to dry.

7. Spray background with ink. When your stencil pattern is dry, spray your background with spray ink. I'm still using the Prima Color Bloom sprays. For this layout, I used Summer Sky and Glistening Waves for the blue section and Sunshine, Sorbet and Yellow Mustard for the yellow/orange section. Set aside to dry.

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8. Spray cheesecloth with ink. I love cheesecloth and use it on my layouts a lot. I didn't want to keep it white so I sprayed it with Color Bloom Sprays - Cobalt, Precious Stone and Vintage Coal.

9. Embellish. This was where I picked up when I decided to finish this layout. I added some extra bits and pieces from the After Dark Collection by Crate Paper and twine around the photo.

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Here's a look at the finished layout.

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It only took a little bit of embellishing and the journaling to finish the layout. The journaling was tricky because this layout needed journaling but I wanted the photo to remain the focus. When I'm not sure what I want to say, I write out my journaling on scratch paper. This helps me figure out what I really want to say without ruining any supplies in the process. It's a win-win process that works for me every time.

If you have any questions about supplies or techniques used to make this layout leave a note in the comments.

Thanks for stopping by.


Friday, 15 July 2016

Art Journal Joy

Deli paper. It's something most art journaly/crafty people have in their stash but it's not easy to find in my area. I have a couple of boxes that my husband picked some up for me when he was in the United States on business and I've been hoarding it ever since. Recently, I decided to break open a box and play with some of it. I wasn't trying to make anything special - I just wanted to play with paint and color.

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 These are my favourite pieces because of all the white space.

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I like these pieces because I was experimenting with different colour combinations. Playing with new color combinations on a project can be scary. The fear of failing or making something that looks bad can stop creativity in its tracks. Playing on deli paper was liberating because I wasn't trying make something that mattered - I was just playing. I kept adding layers and following the question, "What would happen if..?" I figured that anything I really hated would end up in the trash.

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This was also a great opportunity to play with stencils. Some that I hadn't used ever and some that I hadn't used in-a-while. I liked combining different stencils and I liked repeating the same design over and over again in different colors.

I painted, played and experimented until all the paint on my palette my gone. I learned a lot and I know I'll play with deli paper again and again. I may use these pieces in other projects and I may not. The whole point was to play and have fun and I definitely did that. I hope this inspires you to dig out something that you have been hoarding and use it. I find using a supply is always more fun than hoarding it.

Wishing you some creative time this weekend!

Thanks for stopping by.


Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Let's Make a Travel Album: Putting it All in Pockets

Here are all 45ish pages of my travel album. All the pictures are edited, printed, cut and in pockets.

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I wanted to create some interactive pages in this album. I have multiple pictures of some of the amazing places we saw - like Chablis and Chateau Fontainebleau. So,  I took out my Fuse tool by We R Memory Keepers and started creating an interesting way to showcase these photos.

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Honestly, I was intimidated by my Fuse tool at first. It sat in the box for the longest time - untouched. I started using it in my December 2015 album and now I'm hooked. I don't use my Fuse everyday but I think it's pretty great and I'm glad I bought it. I also have the Heat Resistant Silicon Mat. I think this is great, too. You don't need it but I find it makes using the Fuse so easy.

Here are some of the interactive pages I have in my album.

This is a flip-up in the Chateau Fontainbleau section.

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I created a fold-out which holds 8 3x4 photos I took in Chablis.

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I have so many photos of Chateau Fontainbleau that I had to create a second interactive page. This is a double fold-out.

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It flips out on the right...

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and the left.

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And there you have it. Next step is the embellishing and the journaling. It's my favorite part and I'm looking forward to it. I shared all the supplies I'm planning to use last week, if you're curious. This week, I'll be working with those supplies to take this album from photobook to scrapbook. Next week, I'll share an update of my progress.

As always, please leave a note in the comments if you have any questions or just to let me know you stopped by.

Thanks for stopping by!


Monday, 11 July 2016

Mixed Media Monday

Welcome to Mixed Media Monday! Each week, I share a mixed media layout and include the instructions you need make the layout. I always include any tips and tricks I have picked up along the way. If you ever have any questions about techniques or products that I used to make this layout, leave a note in the comments and I will get back to you. I know that mixed media can be intimidating but I think of it as a creative adventure. Yes, it requires practice and patience but the rewards are worth it - I promise!

Today, I am sharing a layout from a class I taught in 2015.  I don't usually share class instructions but I'm making an exception today so you can see the kind of projects we make in my in-person classes.  I'm teaching a class at my LSS, The Paperie, and I've included some pictures from one of the layouts we will be making in this class at the end of this post.

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Prima Art Basic Heavy Gesso
Prima Bubbles stencil
Prima 3D Matte Gel
Prima Water Soluble Oil Pastels
Prima Color Bloom Sprays
We R Memory Keepers Heat Wave Tool
Black Archival Ink
Background stamp
Cheese cloth
Palette knife
Foam brush/old brush
Canson Watercolor paper

1. Gesso background. Spread a thin coat of over the watercolor paper. I used a palette knife for this page but you can use a silicon brush or an old credit card - whatever you have handy.

2. Dry. You can use a heat gun to dry the gesso or you can set aside it to dry. 

3. Stamp randomly on the background. When the gesso is dry, stamp randomly on the background. I used black Archival Ink with a set of small alphas from Kelly Purkey's line by Hero Arts - Kelly's Outline Letters - but you can use any background stamp you have on hand.

4. Apply 3D Matte Gel. Using a palette knife, apply the 3D Matte gel to the background through a stencil. The more gel you use the more dimension you will get but it will also take longer to dry.

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5. Apply stickers. Apply stickers randomly to the background. This is great way to use up leftover alpha stickers like Q's and X's. Really press on the stickers so they stick to the page.

6. Apply a thin coat of gesso. Apply a thin coat of gesso to the entire background with a foam brush or old bristle brush. You need to use something that can easily go over all that dimension. Make sure you cover up all the stamping, stenciling and sticking that you have done so far. This is going to make sure the stickers stay stuck and it's going to help the color will go on evenly in the step.

7. Add color. In class, we used the Prima Color Bloom sprays. I love these sprays because they are easy to use and come in so many colors but you can use whatever you have on hand. Acrylic paint would be a great alternative. When you have your color down, set aside to dry or dry with a heat gun.

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8. Add shading. I shaded around the edges of my layout and around the 3D Matte Gel circles using the Prima Water Soluble Oil Pastels. They blend easily into the background using just my finger.

9. Add gold foil. I used WRMK's Heat Wave pen and the Prima Bubbles stencil to add some gold foil circles. The foil is included in the package and then Heat Wave pen is easy to use.  Let it warm up for 10-15 mins first and go slow when you're using it.

And finally, here's a look at one of the layouts I'll be teaching at my next class.

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And here are a few closeups of that dimension.

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If you have any questions about supplies or techniques used to make this page, please leave a note in the comments.

Thanks for stopping by!


Friday, 8 July 2016

More Mixed Media Flowers

Last week, I shared an art journal page I made using the new colors of Dina Wakley's Heavy Body Paints. I had so much fun with last week's page, that I made another art journal page of abstract flowers this week.

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I started with a coat of gesso on the paper then I scraped some paint across the background using a silicon brush. I wasn't trying to create anything in particular, I just wanted to play with color.

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Then I created the flowers the same way I did last week - I painted with my fingers and blended the colors into each while wet.

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I like the looks of the paints blended together. It's very random and something that is different every time.

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When the paint was dry, I mixed some orange and yellow paint with water and added some splats to the center of the flowers.

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Finally, I added a watered down some gesso to create a whitewash and painted it over the background. I felt that the background was competing with the flowers and I wanted to knock them back. I let it sit for about a minute and then I wiped it off with a baby wipe. Then I painted the stems with a thin brush.

I am very happily in an abstract and floral phase in my art journal. I have been noticing floral patterns and painted flowers everywhere, have you? It's fun to jump on a trend and play with new supplies.

Wishing you some creative time this weekend!