Showing posts with label Art Journals. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Art Journals. Show all posts

Thursday, July 11, 2013

{summer school for arts & crafts}

Summer school is in session at my house this month! I have to admit I'm a bit of an online workshop junkie. Who could resist watching videos about making arts and crafts while lounging on the couch in pajamas? Not me! I thought it would be fun to share some of the classes I'm taking right now, and hopefully inspire you to treat yourself to a fun learning experience this summer.

The first class on my schedule, SEWN, is all about painting colorful patterns on paper, cutting them up, and stitching them back together in a zany, eclectic, handmade book. The teacher is the amazing Mary Ann Moss of Dispatch from LA. I've taken every single one of Mary Ann's classes, and I watch them over and over again. If you love making books by hand, these are the classes for you! My classmates and I have been pinning patterns like crazy for inspiration. Here's my Patterns Pinterest board for this class. Love all that colorful paint and paper!

I've been smitten with Andrea Singarella's Everyday Beauty blog for a long time now, so I was thrilled when she announced her Vintage Trinket Jewelry e-course on the Jeanne Oliver Creative Network. Andrea's jewelry is pure eye candy, and I love the beautiful pastels and the vintage findings she uses. This course is an unbelievable $10 and I can't recommend it enough. It's perfect for beginners and seasoned jewelry makers alike. I am so excited to have a use for all those bits and baubles I've collected on my junking jaunts.

I loved this inspiring course by Jennifer O'Brien of City Farmhouse! It's another $10 course available on the Jeanne Oliver Creative Network. This summer series of courses is so affordable and packed with tons of wonderful ideas. I'm ready to put a weathered finish on everything in my home!

Photography is a passion of mine, so of course I had to take The Art of Seeing e-course with Cathy Walters, also part of the Jeanne Oliver Creative Network. Cathy is an accomplished photographer, and she generously shared many of her trade secrets and the resources she turns to for her own personal photos.

The last class I want to share with you is one that's very special to me: Nature Journaling with Roxanne Evans Stout of River Garden Studio. This lovely workshop manages to combine all my favorite artful activities in one inspiring and beautiful package! Collage, painting, writing, observing nature, making a handmade book, photography: it's all included in this thoughtful and lovely workshop.

I have to share a secret with you: I don't always get all the projects done when I take these classes, but I learn so much from them and it's such a pleasure to watch the videos! The class forums are filled with kindred spirits, seeking to learn and to share their artful adventures, and I've discovered so many new techniques, ideas, and resources via these online workshops. If you give one a try, I'll bet you'll love it too!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

A Painterly Day in April

Gentle sunshine, a soft breeze, and a free afternoon lured me outside to paint today! I spent a lovely day working on this collaged and painted book cover. It's destined for a coptic stitch book inspired by The Journey of Letting Go workshop with Jeanne Oliver that I'm currently enjoying. A wonderful experience that I highly recommend! {Both the afternoon and the workshop!}

The journal covers began their life as a humble Reader's Digest volume that I picked up for a song at my local library. I love upcycling these discarded books into art journals. They are plentiful, inexpensive, sturdy, and I don't feel guilty about taking them apart and remaking them into something useful and beautiful.

I used creamy colored gesso from Matisse in these luscious shades to cover the book. I especially love the Caromelle. I purchase mine from Jerry's Artarama, and I learned about them from the amazing map artist Mary C. Nasser. Thanks Mary!

I worked on several projects today, including a funky sketch of a girl with surprisingly big hair, and another journal for the Jeanne Oliver workshop. I dabbled in watercolors, and tried out some new mediums including clear gesso, Golden acrylic paints, Derwent Inktense pencils, and Dorland's Wax Medium. I used the latter to cover the painterly bird journal. A lovely afternoon...

All that endeavor made me feel a bit peckish, so I whipped up a scrumptious Naan Bread pizza!
It's so simple, but so delicious! Simply preheat your oven to 450 and spread a piece of Naan Bread with fig preserves or jam and a sprinkle of kosher salt. Top with shredded mozzarella and bake for 7-8 minutes, or until the cheese is melted. Remove from the oven and immediately top with wafer-thin slices of prosciutto and a sprinkling of peppery arugula. A tasty treat for a painterly day in April!
{The pizza was inspired by this recipe, but I substituted the Naan Bread for the pizza crust}

Thursday, July 5, 2012

{Explore} Hand-Carved Stamps

Hand-carved stamps posess a unique and rustic quality that I find so appealing! I wanted to try my hand at carving my own, but felt a bit hesitant until my sweet friend Michelle agreed that we should try making stamps together. There's nothing like a friend to give you the courage to try something new!

We each signed up for Stamp Carving 101, an online class with Julie Fei-Fan Balzer. If you're intersted in learning about stamp carving, don't miss this gem! Julie is a talented artist with a gift for teaching. She makes it so easy to be successful even if you have no prior experience with the techniques she is sharing. Michelle and I watched the videos separately and then together while we carved. Despite the giggles and giddiness that always strike us during our artsy playdates, we each managed to carve several stamps and we had so much fun along the way!
If you're interested in learning about stamp carving, Cloth Paper Scissors offers a free e-book that's packed with lots of great information: How to Make a Stamp. Julie also has a new DVD titled Stamp Carving Adventures available on the Cloth Paper Scissors website.

I just started a Pinterest Board that's all about hand-carved stamps! It includes tutorials, inspiration, and etsy vendors who sell stamps. I'll be adding lots of links to it so follow the board here! I hope you'll be inspired to create your own stamps too. They add a custom element to your artwork, and they're so much fun to make!

Monday, June 4, 2012

{Published in Pages}

Hello everyone! I am over the moon to let you know that 3 of my projects have been featured in volume 2 of PAGES magazine by Cloth Paper Scissors! It's long been my dream to have my work featured in a print magazine, but I always hesitated to submit anything. What if they didn't like it? My dreams would be crushed!
My sweet friend Michelle encouraged me to be bold and just do it, so I submitted some of my favorite projects, and here they are in all their glossy glory! And the best part is, Michelle submitted a spread from her art journal that got published too! How fun to be featured in the same magazine as my very dear friend!

One of the projects, the upcycled book vase, is very quirky and odd, but I love it anyway! I posted a tutorial for making a similar one here if you're interested.

The burlap and bling journal wrap is a project I created for the May Arts Design team. You can visit the original post here, or get a printable tutorial here.

I adore this gorgeous organza ribbon from May Arts, and used it for the spine  and the interior pages of a very vintage, very shabby altered book!

I want to give a big thank you to the editors at PAGES for sharing my work in their amazing publication! It's not often that dreams come true, and I'm so grateful that you made one of mine a reality!

Friday, February 24, 2012

What's on Your Worktable?

I love getting a peek at other people's work spaces and studios, so I thought I would share a glimpse of my worktable today! I'm putting the finishing touches on the Japanese Stab Binding workshop I'll be teaching this Saturday at Blick. The map pages are from a discarded atlas, and they will be used for a hardcover book with a beautiful ribbon binding.

What's on your worktable? I'd love it if you would share a link!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Burlap & Bling Journal Wrap

As I'm sure everyone realizes, I'm obsessed with books, journals, and notebooks! So the first thing that came to mind for the May Arts/Stampendous blog week was a burlap ribbon wrap with sparkly rhinestones! See the full tutorial on the May Arts blog, and be sure to leave visit the Stampendous blog for lots of inspiration and prizes! For download to this project and many others, stop by my tutorials page at Scribd. Happy crafting!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

French Grammar Coptic Sketchbook

On a recent whirlwind excursion to Glendale, KY, I discovered a dusty bookcase lined with french grammars and textbooks! I loved the cobalt blue covers, so I scooped up several and brought them home to be upcycled into handmade journals.

I removed the inner pages, and filled this journal with sketch paper as a gift for my daughter. She loves to draw and make lists, so this will be a fun book for her to tuck in her messenger bag and grab when she's ready to make art on the go!

I used a coptic binding stitch for this sketchbook, so it will lay flat and stay open. A bit of washi tape over some black cardstock provides a finished edge for the tattered covers.

I like to put pretty endpapers inside my handmade journals, but I was so charmed by the bookplate and scribbled notes on the inside of this book that I decided to leave it as is. Coptic binding is a bit tricky until you get the hang of it! I watched many videos, and read many books, and this video was extremly helpful. Are you as obsessed with bookmaking as I am? If so, I would love to see your creations!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Graphic 45 & May Arts ABC Primer Book {Tutorial}

Welcome to day 5 of the May Arts and Graphic 45 Blog Hop! I'm happy to be participating along with these talented bloggers:

Nancy Wethington

Upcyling old books is an absolute passion of mine! The ABC Primer collection from G45 was a perfect match for a tattered junior dictionary I found at a library sale. This book would be a wonderful gift for a special teacher, a great scrapbook for school time memories, or for an art journal. Here's how you can make your own:

Remove the book block {all the inner pages} from an old book.
Use a brush to add glue {I used Collage Pauge} to the inside covers.
Add 2 lengths of 1.25" May Arts black silk ribbon {12" each}
{To determine the placement of the ribbon, center it on where the knob will be on the front cover of your book} Scroll down this page to see the knob on the front cover.

Measure the height and width of your book, and cut paper about 1/4" less all around.
The ABC Primer Paper is 12 x 12, so I had to cut an additional piece to cover the entire inside. To cover the resulting seam, I added a piece of Cavallini washi tape.

Use the ABC Primer paper to create 4 signatures for your book with 4 sheets each. The pages will be 12" wide, and should be the same height as the paper you used to cover the inside of the book. Fold each sheet in half, and stack 4 sheets together for one signature. The outer pages should be the full height and width, but some of the inner pages can be shorter in height.

Grid paper helps you create an easy sewing jig for your book! Simply cut it the same height as the book and the same width as the spine. Measure 1" from the top, 1" from the bottom, and in the center. Mark 4 evenly spaced holes as shown. Paper clips will hold the sewing jig in place. Use an awl or a paper piercer to punch each hole. If you don't have either, a large push pin works great!

Create a sewing jig for your signatures as you did for the spine, marking 1" from the top, 1" from the bottom, and in the center. This signature includes a shorter piece of paper in the center. Just make sure your shorter pieces don't interfere with any of the holes for sewing. Paper clip the pages and then punch the holes.

Sew each signature to the spine of the book, making sure to line up the holes. I used 1/4" black silk ribbon from May Arts to bind the book. Wrap the ribbon around the height of the book about 3-4 times to determine the length needed. Use a large eye needle {a size 22 tapestry needle works well} for the sewing. Begin stitching in the center hole on the inside of the signature. Leave a 3" tail {hold it in place with washi tape or masking tape} and then go through the top hole to the outside of the spine. Skip down to the bottom hole, then back inside through the center hole. Make sure the ribbon ends are on opposite sides of the center ribbon. Tie a square knot and snip off the extra ribbon. Phew! So easy to do, but tricky to describe! This is a basic 3-hole pamplet stitch. For a great visual diagram of the method visit this link at, a wonderful resource for anyone interested in bookbinding!

Embellish the spine by punching out some of the ABC Primer chipboard. Tie them together with silk ribbon and then tie on to the middle two binding ribbons on the spine.

Decorate the front cover with paper, washi tape, and a metal doorplate and knob from Graphic 45. The doorplate has a brad to attach it to the cover. The hole for the brad shows through on the inside cover, so I covered it with some 1.5" May Arts black velvet ribbon, and topped that with a ruler cut out from one of the papers. Embellish the signatures as you wish, and the book is ready to use!
I hope you've enjoyed the Graphic 45 & May Arts blog hop as much as I have! Don't forget to visit the other participating blogs, and be sure to leave comments at May Arts and Graphic 45 for a chance to win some amazing prizes! Thanks to both these wonderful companies for sponsoring a week of creative fun!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Twinkle It! Art Journal

Twinkling H2Os  and May Arts Ribbon are a perfect duo! Check out the art journal I created using these sparkly watercolors and lots of ribbons, papers, and more. A complete step-by-step tutorial is available on the May Arts blog, and you can get a download of the entire project by clicking this link.

I bought a few pots of Twinkling H2Os several years ago, but I didn't quite know how to use them. I dipped my paintbrush in water and then tried to pick up the paint in the pot. The result was a barely visible, tinted wash with a tiny bit of sheen. So when I received this set for the blog week at May Arts, I was determined to find the correct method for using them. I discovered this video by Marah Johnson that provided the perfect introduction to using Twinkling H2Os  .

The secret to success is: plenty of H2O! Water that is! As Marah recommends, prepare the pots by spritzing them generously with water, and allow them to sit for 15-20 minutes while you work on something else. The pigment is laced with mica flakes, and the water will release those sparkly flakes. A crater will form with the mica flakes at the bottom, and there's where the most concentrated color and shine can be found. This time around, I couldn't believe the rich depth of the watercolors and the intensity of the sparkle! Best of all, no splotches and spatters, just pure sparkly coverage! Can you tell I'm a bit smitten with this product? So much so, that I'm adding a limited weekly series called Twinkle It! Tuesday! Each week, I'll share something new from my explorations with the magic of Twinkling H2Os ! I hope you'll join me for the journey!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Wonderful Washi Tape

I recently blew my crafty budget on washi tape, fabric tape, and washi tape idea books from Cute Tape. It was a bit spendy, but so worth it! For one thing, the MT Kamoi Masking Tape Book has one of the coolest bindings I've ever seen! The book consists of folded pages that are held together with a loose kraft paper spine, and 2 binder clips. It's in English {a rarity among Japanese craft books} and instead of using photos of washi tape, the book includes actual samples of the tape! The set of tape shown in the photo is the pack of 10 brights: a perfect mix of ice-cream-colored pastels.

The second book I purchased is titled Collage with Japanese Washi Masking Tape. It's written in Japanese, but the detailed photos of the projects make it easy to figure out the steps, even if you don't know the language! The tape pictured with this book is decorative fabric tape. So pretty! The tape at the top is the mini mums floral brown and the set of 3 tapes at the bottom are mini mums floral.

This photo shows the washi tape I used in my Ribbon Bound Travel Journal project. I bought this tape from one of my other favorite vendors: Happy Tape. The neutral colored tapes are from the Natural 5-pak, and the birds are from the Gathering Birds 3-pak. The larger tapes are from the Venice paper tape collection by 7 Gypsies. These tapes are thicker and wider, and come in several varieties with a vintage vibe!

Wondering what to do with all that wonderful tape? I rounded up a bevy of beautiful ideas and created the collage shown above. Just click the links below for tape-y inspiration!
Cute Tape Blog
Happy Tape Blog
7 Gypsies Blog
POPPYTALK {a round up of ideas featuring a mood board from A Creative Mint}
ohdeedoh {ways to use washi tape including covered bookshelves by supergail}
How About Orange {Washi Tape Magnets}

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Creative Therapy

I don't know about you, but the winter blues have had me in some definite need of creative therapy! Piles of ribbon, stacks of paper, and enough craft supplies to stock a store are tumbling off the table in my studio, but my make-it mojo seemed to have fled out the window! Until I stumbled across this post on Julie Balzer's amazingly colorful blog.{thanks Michelle!}
I decided to join Julie's Art Journal Every Day project and yesterday I created the upcycled book vase/art journal shown above. I'm not sure if it's funky or just junky, but I had so much fun putting it together!

I started with a tattered book that I found called The Countryside Companion. It's filled with lots of great pictures of birds and trees, and other countryside findings.

I used 7 vellum envelopes for the vase. {mini tutorial on this tomorrow!}

Paper flower made from old book page, vintage glass glitter, a scrap of tulle, and a pipe cleaner. Oh! And a very sparkly button!

I decided to make some tags to fill the pockets {when they're not on vase duty!} I grabbed some shipping tags, materials from my ribbon pocket mood board, and my latest obsession: Happy Tape!

Happy Tape is sticky strips of Japanese washi paper and so fun and easy to use! I ordered the Gathering Birds 3 pack on the left, and the Natural 5 pack pictured on the right. My new mission in life is to collect every pattern and color!

Four happy little tags...

Three happy little tags...

and one last glimpse of a very happy art journal!
Now I'm off to play with paint and paper! I wish you lots of happy crafting every day!