Category: Art Journal

My DIY Traveler’s Notebook

Most people who are in the arts and crafts or planner worlds know what a traveler’s notebook is. There are tons of videos and blog posts about how to set up your TN (traveler’s notebook). And what you use them for is only limited by your imagination. I have watched many YouTube videos showing pretty TNs filled with TN inserts and paraphernalia all which add up to the cost of a new car! I’m not kidding, the bare bones TNs, without inserts, sell from $30.00-$70.00. Yeah, I’m so not cool with that.

So I decided to make my own TN. Basically all they are is a piece of leather or vinyl and some elastic cord. So how hard could it be to make my own? Not hard at all. I used two pieces of sample vinyl wallpapers from one of those huge sample books. First I glued them backsides together so I have a pretty cover and inside. Then I followed a video detailing how to attach the elastic pieces. 

This is what my bare bones TN looks like.

Okay, I know it doesn’t look great yet, but that is because I haven’t worked on any of the pages inside.

I am using my TN as a prayer and Scripture book. But if that’s not your thing, you can use them as day planners, art journals, junk journals, glue books, etc…

Here are some of the pages I’ve made for my journal. As my prayers are private, I photographed these pages before I wrote my prayers on them.

Traveler’s notebooks, however you deem to use them, are a great way to use your creativity as well as use your stash!

If you don’t already have a TN, check out some videos about them. I bet you’ll get hooked just like I did!

DIY Masks For Mixed Media

In my last post I up-cycled some manila file folders. I cut out shapes from a magazine and used them as masks on my mixed media background.

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I really like how they turned out, but the magazine paper was very thin so the masks wouldn’t last very long before they just turned to mush. 

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I came up with an idea of how to make my own masks that will last for a long time.

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I used some clear contact paper that I had picked up at a thrift shop eons ago. At the time I didn’t have any use for it but thought it might come in handy sooner or later.

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I sandwiched each picture between two pieces of contact paper and then cut them out leaving about a 1/4″ border. You must leave a border so that the contact paper can stick to itself and seal in the cutout.

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These are the masks I made using magazine pictures.

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And here are some I made using pictures from old pattern sleeves.

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I had this background already done in my art journal so I just rubbed around this mask with some black archival ink using a make-up sponge. Obviously the page isn’t finished, but she makes a great focal point.

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This piece is in my faith art journal using the Scripture Psalm 91:4. 

I love making these masks and I am thinking of finding some pictures of animals and objects to add to my diy mask collection!

If you have some old contact paper, or laminating sheets lying around, try making some of your own masks to add something different to your mixed media projects!

 

 

Drawing Whimsical Animals

 

Recently I had the opportunity to take a two-session class on drawing whimsical animals. Seeing as I can’t even draw a good stick figure, I felt a “whimsical” class would suit me better than taking a “realistic” animal drawing class. Besides, I feel whimsical animals are better suited to my mixed media pieces than realistic animals.

We worked on the basics like eye placement and how changing the eyes and eye brows can totally affect the mood portrayed by the animal.

Testing out eye placement and eyebrows.

Testing out eye placement and eyebrows.

After copying different animals the instructor provided, we worked on our first mixed media piece. The teacher asked that we include at least two animals and there be some kind of story between them. This is what I came up with.

My first attempt at drawing whimsical animals.

My first attempt at drawing whimsical animals.

Putting clothes on animals is a sure way to add whimsy. I even gave my rabbit red boots to wear with her flowered dress.

We had a week between classes so I practiced drawing all kinds of whimsical animals. Here are some of my practice pieces.

This skyward looking bunny actually started out as and owl.

This skyward looking bunny actually started out as and owl.

Kitties

Kitties

Owls

Owls

More owls

More owls

And yet another owl.

And yet another owl.

Whimsical donkeys

Whimsical donkeys

The second session had us copying one of the instructors pictures. The funny thing was, I thought her animal was a deer and my other classmate thought it was a rabbit. The teacher said it was actually a peacock. Since only the head was showing, we all saw it a different way. So our instruction was to copy her picture, but make the animal into what we wanted it to be. Here is just the head shot of my funny deer.

My whimsical deer.

My whimsical deer.

I had a lot of fun in that class and I am quickly filling up a journal with funny animal doodles. My goal is to create several animals in a style that is completely my own.

If you are in the Fredericksburg, Virginia area. You can find the drawing whimsical animals class at Lord and Lilly’s, 611 Caroline Street, 540-371-1333.

Drawing whimsical animals or people is an ideal outlet for those of us who are stick-figure challenged!

The Lonely Queen

If you have followed my last couple of posts you will know that I am making lots of journals for the shows I am doing later this year. I had made a stack of hand-bound journals using coffee stained papers. It just so happened that I had a stack of the papers left over that were not the right size for the bound journals. See the stack with the holes in it?

Stack of coffee stained papers.

Stack of coffee stained papers.

What to do? What to do? Well it so happened that the holes all lined up perfectly so really all I needed was to find a cover that fit and some book rings. I found an old book called, “Asylum For The Queen”. I never read it but I loved the title. Here is the finished journal.

Journal from old book.

Journal from old book.

I had to add pretty ribbons and charms, including a crown as the title dictated.

Bees remind me of Marie Antoinette.

Bees remind me of Marie Antoinette.

On some of the pages I stamped images that remind me of old royalty.

More stamping.

More stamping.

This journal has blank pages, except for the few stamps, to allow for lots of journaling or space for smashing other ephemera. 

I’m so happy  I was able to use every last piece of the papers I had stained from that project!

It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas…Already!

I am already making items to sell at my shows this fall. Gifts items and Christmas decorations are what I am concentrating on. Because the biggest show I am doing is a very expensive show to participate in, my theme for making items this year is, “Something out of nothing”. What this means is I am using up my stash of craft supplies and up-cycling and recycling everything I can in order to offset my expenses. I am not buying much of anything to complete my items. It does not mean, however, that I am producing anything that is not up to my standards. It just means I’m being more creative, which is actually quite fun! 

Here are some pictures from one of my first show projects.

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Stacks of coffee dyed papers and envelopes.

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Coffee dyed papers and envelopes sorted into equal stacks. Each book will have twenty pages.

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Inside pages of hand bound junk journal.

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Ten finished hand bound junk journals with different covers.

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Finished stack of junk journals bound up and ready to pack!

These junk journals were made only with stuff I already had on hand, so my only investment was a little time. 

This is the first completed set of books I made. I will be making many more junk journal/glue books of various styles for the shows. I absolutely love making journals and can’t wait to start my next project!

Just Messing Around

I was lucky enough to purchase this big bunch of old hand written and typed letters recently.

Big bunch of old hand written letters.

Big bunch of old hand written and typed letters.

I really had no idea what I was going to do with them. I looked around my craft desk and my Twinkling H2o’s (shimmering watercolor paints) were still at hand so they were the medium of choice.

Twinkling H2o's ready to be used.

Twinkling H2o’s ready to be used.

So I just sat down and made a big mess with lots of paint and water. It was really quite fun.

Water color paints on an old letter.

Water color paints on an old letter.

I used every color of H2o’s I had in different combinations. After playing and letting the letters dry, this is what I had.

Yummy pile of shimmery water colored papers.

Yummy pile of shimmery water colored papers.

But now what? I knew I could tear some of the papers up to use in mixed media pieces or my art journal but I had another idea.

Little Stampin Up stamp sets I got for my birthday.

Little Stampin Up stamp sets I got for my birthday.

These fun little stamps were also still on my craft desk so I decided to use them on some of the paper and make a bunch of small embellishments.

Little embellishments to use in mixed media or my art journal.

Little embellishments to use in mixed media or my art journal.

I think they turned out really cute and they have an awesome crackling paper texture. Now I am ready to made an art journal page using some of these cute little embellishments that were made from just messing around!

Learning From Mistakes

Being a perfectionist and creating art just don’t go well together. I am a very particular person and like things neat and tidy. Mixed media art is anything but neat and tidy. Last night I was playing around with this piece. At some point I decided it needed some black stamping on it. Okay, so no it really didn’t. The stamped areas were uneven and looked terrible. I was so upset that I had ruined my pastel chalk background. Then the light bulb turned on and I decided to cover up the black stamped patterns with circles cut out of scrapbook paper. Wow! I love that the six scrapbook paper circles added a much-needed punch of color to this piece. Instead of adding a focal point graphic I just want to remind myself that mistakes are okay as long as I learn from them!

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So what lesson did  I learn? Don’t give up on your artwork after making a mistake, just figure out a way to redeem it!