Saturday, October 14, 2017

Friday, October 13, 2017

Note to Self

I don't like change.  I could handle it better. If I could stop fighting and start looking for new opportunities that would be a good start.  I think that I have finally accepted that summer might just be over!

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Art Journal in a Fauxdori?

I've become obsessed with Traveler's Notebooks, or more specifically, Fauxdoris.  Traveler's Notebooks are leather covers with a system of elastics which hold inserts.  The inserts are easy to swap in and out, and to me, it is an ingenious binding system.

Traveler's Notebooks were originally called "Midoris", after the company who made them.  From the concept, people began making their own, which are loosely called "Fauxdoris".  

I got to wondering whether this binding system might be good for an art journal, because I could make inserts from different kinds of paper (e.g. drawing, watercolor, canvas, etc.), and then swap them out as they got full.  I made mine a little larger than the standard Traveler's Notebook size - mine holds signatures made from up to 9" x 12" paper.

Many Etsy shops are selling Fauxdoris made of leather or fabric.  Always impatient, I grabbed a roll of vinyl shelf liner at the dollar store so that I could get started quickly.  There is lots left on the roll, so I think I might try making a few other sizes.  I've unleashed a monster.

Here, you can see my Fauxdori holding 3 signatures.  

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Bookmarks to Give Away

These are new bookmarks for The Bookmark Project, which just means that I leave them in library books when I return them.

First, I dry-brushed watercolor across two sheets of white cardstock, and then cut each piece into 5 strips.

I did the calligraphy using mostly felt markers as ink tends to bleed on cardstock.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Autumn Ahead

ATC, Gelatos

Our fearless ATC swap group leader generously shares pre-cut ATC blanks with the group.  She gets these from the print shop where she works.  This is very smooth, slick cardstock; it reminds me somewhat of YUPO paper.  Here, I try some gelatos on it.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Faithful Paper Crafting: Notecards, Gift Tags, Scrapbook Paper & More to Share the Blesing

This is really a paper crafting kit in a book.  I received a review copy from Fox Chapel Publishing yesterday and I'm already starting to tear into it.  It contains:
  • 16 sheets of double-sided scrapbook paper,
  • 21 pages of art cards and greeting cards,
  • 16 gift tags,
  • 18 double-sided "mini cards",
  • 16 double-sided gift tags,
  • Envelope templates - both large and small
  • 2 full-page art prints, and
  • 15 pages of project ideas.
The scrapbook paper is medium weight and one side is patterned; the other side reminds me of watercolor washes of colors adjacent to each other on the color wheel.  The envelope templates could be used with these or with papers from your own stash to create lovely envelopes to mail or deliver your cards in.

All of the paper and cards are perforated for easy removal from the book.  With a quick visit to the paper trimmer you can remove the perforated edge before folding or mounting.

The art cards and greeting cards are printed with some lines or frames for writing on the reverse side.  Some are perforated, some are designed to be folded, and they include 12 black and white cards for you to color yourself.  There are a great variety of designs and greetings, a few Bible verses, but mostly more general inspirational messages.

One of my favorite things in the Kit are the "mini cards".  These are double-sided and could be laminated or layered on a greeting card.  There are instructions in the book on how to make fridge magnets from them.

The ways that you can use the kit are limited only by your creativity.  Add buttons, bows and doodads!  As long as you use them for personal use only you can use them any way that you like.  Why not scan them, resize them if necessary, and use them on journal pages or trace them into your bible journal? 

Some goodies from the kit

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Monday, September 11, 2017

In Joined Hands There is Hope

ATC, Rubber Stamps, Inktense, Pen

This is a real mixed media extravaganza!  First I stamped various stamps on white cardstock, dripped Inktense Blocks, and collaged dyed napkin for a background.  The focal point is stamped on tissue paper and the script added with a Platinum Carbon Ink Fountain Pen.  I'm using gel medium for collage now and loving it!

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

It All Started With Napkins

I've reentered the world of mixed media.  It all started with napkins, and I think my sister, Dianne, was the original instigator of this expedition.  That sand dollar you see on the journal page above is cut from a napkin.

The last time I dabbled in mixed media I didn't quite understand the whole napkin craze.  Now I'm hooked on them.  I love their translucency.

Before I knew it I'd organized a napkin swap at the local ATC group, bought gel medium and a few more tubes of acrylic paint and I'm slopping it all around with wild abandon.

Stay tuned - I'm working on some Artist Trading Cards...

Friday, August 25, 2017

Star, Branch, Spiral, Fan: Learn to Draw from Nature's Perfect Design Structures

I knew from the first moment that I saw this book that I had to have it.  Yellena James' drawings are magical.  (You can get a quick taste of her art here, on her Instagram account.)

The book did not disappoint.  Yellena obviously put as much time and care into this book as she does to her paintings.  I'd like to thank Quarto for sending it to me.

After a brief chapter about design elements and principles, there is a chapter for each of the four design structures found in nature, and then a final chapter entitled, "Putting it All Together".  Each of the four chapters contains the same great content combined in different ways:
  • Four to six pages of individual drawings showing where the shape is found in nature.  For example, the first page of drawings in the star chapter shows 6 different star creatures found in the ocean, each meticulously drawn in beautiful color.  Another shows snowflakes, and another shows different flowers.
  • Three or more pages of technical line drawings and instructions, combining geometry, math and science.  Here you might get out your old geometry compass or go on a field trip to collect and study branches from plants.  These pages are a fascinating look at nature's structures.
  • Exercises where you practice drawing the specific elements:  spiral shaped shells or abstract fan shapes, for example.  The step-by-step instructions are explained clearly.  
  • Exercises where you practice design elements and principles like color, pattern, or movement, and
  • Exercises where you complete compositions begun by Yellena.
"Putting it all together" helps you to revisit the design elements and principles and to practice putting all of the structures together.  She reminds us to "look to nature - the greatest designer of all" if we ever run out of inspiration.

I often borrow books from my local library, but this is a book that you'll want to own, because it includes lots of pages where you practice drawing next to her beautiful samples, completing compositions, for example.

You can read more about Yellana's book on her website, here.  At this link you will find visual examples of the pages I have described here.  This is one book that you really have to experience visually!

Monday, August 21, 2017

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Cute Idea for Book Signature Threads

I found a cute idea for finishing the ends of the threads on a handmade book.  

I found it on Vintage Junk Journals. There are so many good ideas on this site!

All of the signatures in my new junk journal have a calendar page for the innermost page.

Debbie-Anne uses punched hearts for all of her junk journals, but I used punchies and hand cut shapes based on the theme of the page.

I glued matching shapes to the ends of both threads, sandwiching the two threads between the two punchies.

Fun, eh?

Monday, August 14, 2017

New Junk Journal

I finished making a new junk journal.  It contains all kinds of papers from my (OK, extensive) paper stash - ledger paper, painted paper, calendar pages, coloring book pages, gelli-prints, etc., etc., etc.)

I bound six signatures into an old book cover:

Tuesday, August 8, 2017


These are a couple of Artist Trading Cards I created using a handcarved stamp.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

World Changing Wednesdays

I did these for July #Letteringforchange.

These longer quotations chosen by Justine are wonderful, and they're a challenge for me.  Sometimes I just choose a sentence.