Tagged: cardboard

An Art What????

As a mixed media artist I am always trying to learn about new techniques, new products, new trends, new diversions to avoid doing laundry, etc…Well, I found a new way to make art. It has actually been around for a long time, but it is new to me. It’s an art journal. I know, you’re thinking, “An art what?”

An art journal is exactly what it sounds like…a journal in which you make art. Now before I lose most of you because you are not “artists”, let me set you straight. ANYONE can make an art journal. If you don’t believe me, or if you don’t think your interested, hop on over to http://www.daisyyellowart.com.  This is an awesome website just filled with great pictures, inspiration and how-tos for art journaling. On the homepage of Tammy’s website, you will see a menu along the top. Click on the “Art Journaling 101” button.  She will give you all the tips you can handle. As a matter of fact, I’m not even finished reading that page!

But if you’d like to try making an art journal, just remember there is no right or wrong way to do it. And as Tammy says, “It is about the process, not the end result.” She also describes it as, “Playing with colors and words and images. Doesn’t that sound like fun. We all need more play (and less laundry) in our day!!!

Today I am going to show you how I made an art journal. Not the art part, as that will come later, but the actual journal book part. I made this last night out of stuff I literally had laying around. The funny part is that I went to a craft store today and I saw a pre-made journal from a famous maker for $12.99. It was made from basically the exact same things mine is.

Well, here we go….


Gather a bunch of different pieces of paper and cardboard. I suggest heavier papers (like water color paper) because you want it to be able to withstand paint, glue, pictures and a whole bunch of “whatever else moves you at the time”.


Cut the pieces to the same size. I chose 5″ x 7″.


I stitched this smaller folded piece down one side to make a pocket for tags.


Using a hole punch, make as many holes as you like. I made three.


I used these rings to hold the journal together, but you could use ribbon or sting (or a rubber band) just as well.


I wanted my pages to be different so I mixed up the order they went in.


I used a heavy cardboard for the cover and back so my journal will hold up.

And there you have it. I can easily add more pages if needed and I can take out pages to work on them without getting the rest of the book messed up. All at zero cost.

I urge you to try making an art journal AND making art in it! We take ourselves way too seriously and this is your little space to play “like a kid with a new box of crayons!”

P.S. I am going to TRY post a finished page from my art journal every day this week. I recommend you don’t hold your breath!!!!!

Studio/Office Redo Revealed!

Well I did it. In two weeks I converted the train wreck of a room into a functioning, cute studio/office!!! Check out my post from February 9th to see the hideous before pictures.

Now before I inundate you with a lot of after pictures I have a couple things to say.

First of all, I spent hours on Pinterest (I know, I know) looking at pictures of other peoples studios. I even created my own studio board and pinned some of these pictures. You know the ones I mean. The studios overflowing with lace and flowers and ribbons and all kinds of girly goodness. The kind that make you drool. The problem is, for a mixed media artist they are impractical. Why? Well, all I have to say is paint and glue do not go well with lace, unless it’s intentional. Most of the time I am working my fingers are covered with glue, paint, glitter or all three. Things spill, things fly, things get dripped and dropped. It’s messy is what I’m getting at (at least if you’re doing it right)!

Next are the studios with thousands of matching plastic bins lined up like soldiers, corralling art supplies neatly. This is wrong to me in so many ways I don’t even know where to start. First of all, plastic bins. Really? If you are any type of artist you can do better than that. Second of all, uniformity that stiff would definitely stifle any ounce of creativity I may have. And again, I’m not going to open 1000 plastic boxes with gluey, painty, glittery hands looking for 1 white button!!!!

So all that being said (with nary a picture to be seen) I will tell you that my studio makeover will probably not make you swoon, nor will it calm your OCD tendencies.  It is however, nice to look at (at least I think so), organized in a thoughtful and useful way, and inspires my creativity. So here we go…

First I will give you a 360 degree look at the studio.

redoYou can actually see the surface of my desk!


This is a really bad photo. But I just had to tell you that with everything else I have had to do in the last two weeks, I decided this past Thursday to make valances. It could have been easy, however, I decided to make alternating fabric valances that required 28 panels to be cut out and then sewn together. You can see them a little better in the first picture. As a side note, if you are planning a studio/office redo…buy valances!

redo2The cupboard is nice and neat, and check out the storage underneath!

redo3The bookshelf underwent a thoughtful rearrangement with sewing supplies on two shelves and cardboard and books on two shelves instead of everything mixed up higgly piggly.


The desk got a nice coat of white paint, as did the little shelf unit on top. The desk is also covered in frosted contact paper (see the tacks?) and can be wiped down with a wet cloth.redo5

No real transformation here, except Valentines Day is history and shop sign that I use at shows is stored on the wall. It reminds me that when I am having fun creating, I am also at work!

redo6This little table was added as a drying space for collages and as a photo taking space for my Etsy shop.

Now we’ll take a closer look…


All kinds of goodies ready to be “altered”!


A huge jar of scrabble tiles next to one of my favorite pictures of Adam. He was quite young and is petting a chicken at the Bowling Green Harvest Festival.

redo9I spent 8 years of my adult life doing Isshin-ryu karate. When I look at this display it brings back many happy memories. It also reminds me, that if I could survive my black belt test (4 hours of physical and mental torture) I can survive anything, even redoing my studio!

redo10Ahhh, my cardboard collection…and other stuff.


This 1930’s mohair monkey has a cute painted face. He is my boss. He is also holding a picture of my dear departed Wally. The music on the mirror is the hymn “It is well with my soul”. And it is.



redo13All kinds of neat storage and not a plastic bin in sight! Why do I have salt and pepper shakers on the shelf with the rosy hatbox? They are filled with white and silver glitter of course!

redo15What’s this? Look at all that work space. I cannot wait to get a-making.

redo16Under the desk storage of Christmas items, laces, substrates (other than cardboard) and all kinds of artsy papers.


A reminder of why I do it.

redo18A 1950’s vanity tray with bits and bobs.

redo19Glass jars of buttons and beads made cute by disguising that they are actually olive jars. Hey, we love olives, what can I say?


Scissors, toothpicks, spray bottle, gel pens and a jar of pink polka dotted ribbon. Who could ask for anything more????


And last but not least. I bought this little guy for resale, but gee, he’s a little pink donkey. Need I say more?

So that’s it. Well, not really. You will see another post in a couple of weeks with a few details I forgot or didn’t get to. Hint, an inspiration board would be nice Helen, you know?

In the past two weeks I have learned a lot about redoing a studio. First, it’s TONS of work. Second, you MUST get rid of stuff you are really never going to use. Third, it has to work for you and your type of art. It must be inspiring to you, as you are the one working there. And lastly, it is worth every ounce of energy you use! I cannot tell you how excited I am to get down and dirty with some art this evening!

I hope I have inspired you to look around your work space and do some tweeking so you can let your creativity soar!!!!

The Train Wreck

For the last couple of years, since I really started dabbling in mixed-media art, I have wanted my own studio. In my dreams it is a little cottage behind my house.  It is just for me. It has window boxes filled with pretty flowers on the side that faces the house. The back of my studio cottage is fenced in so I can watch my miniature donkeys, miniature horses and goats frolicking in the back yard. My cottage has a nice little powder room so I wouldn’t have to run back and forth to the real house after my 15 cups of morning coffee. There would also be a kitchenette so I wouldn’t have to run back and forth to the real house for my 15 morning snacks! Ahhhhh, but this is not to be. Not yet anyway. Right now I have to be content with this….

real1This horrible train wreck of a space is our parlor which serves as my studio/office. I am baring it all, the good, the bad and the ugly. Here is my art table. Let’s take a closer look….WARNING….graphic picture ahead!

real2As you can see from this explosion of who-knows-what, I have about 6″ of clear work space. Half of my collages have stuff that has just fallen on them or stuck to them from the work area. It kinda adds mystery to my art. I can hear people saying, “I wonder what the toothpick in the middle of this picture means. It’s probably something deep”. While I’m saying, “Where the heck is the toothpick I was just using to stir up my glue?”

real3These horrors are adjacent to my art table. There are books, buttons, a sewing box, boxes of feathers, trims, ribbons and my collection of cardboard. (Only other mixed-media freaks understand why I have a collection of cardboard) Behind the lace curtain is a cool old piece of furniture from and old hardware store. It has a zillion cubbies. Unfortunately they are so filled with odds-and- ends I get a migraine just looking at it!


My step-back cupboard dates from the 1920’s. There is so much junk on it, it looks like I’ve been collecting since the 1920’s. Let’s see, there’s jars of buttons, spools of thread, a giant jar of scrabble tiles, unfinished projects and a light-up statue of Mary that is also a music box and rosary holder. Don’t ask.

real5This disgrace is my desk. Is it any wonder I can never find the papers I’m looking for? There could actually be lost chocolates under there! That’s reason enough to clean up.

real6This built in bookshelf is next to my desk. Check out my sock monkey collection on the top shelf. Sweet, right? There are more on top of the step-back cupboard, you just can’t see them in the picture. I know what you’re thinking, sock monkeys, really? Yes, really! But alas, these shelves need work too.

So now that you’ve seen the ugly, I’ll show you the one good spot.

realThis is the mantle over my gas fireplace. It has lots of pretties on it and it’s all dressed up for Valentine’s Day. So basically one 6ft. shelf in an entire 15 x 16 foot room is not in a state-of-emergency.

I am therefore, right now, publicly letting you all know that in the next two weeks, (God willing and the creek don’t rise), I am going to make over this train wreck of a room. Not only will it be a pretty place for me to work, it will also be functional. So from then on anything stuck to a collage, like a toothpick or the cat, will be intentional and deep!!!!

Cardboard, Twine, Stick

Today I decided to write about a little project anyone can make. And unless you live under a rock, I’m going to assume you have the materials necessary. Hmmm, crafting with rocks, that may be my next post. Anyhow, here are the basic things you will need.

tagCardboard, twine and a stick. Anything else I show you can be altered or made with whatever you have on hand. So first you need to cut out some tag shapes from the cardboard. I chose oval because the template happened to be on my desk and I was too lazy to get up and get another one. (They say honesty is always the best policy!)

tag1I’m not sure why I included this picture. I believe if you’re smart enough to read my blog, you’re smart enough to trace and cut out some shapes. Next you are going to peel off some of the paper from one side of your tag in any old fashion. Just try not to peel it all off.

tag2Doesn’t this kind of look like a potato chip? You think I wouldn’t have said that considering I spent 1 1/2 hours at the gym today AND I just finished a big dinner. What am I thinking?  Okay, next you are going to stamp (or write) something on the back of the tag. And punch a hole for the twine.


OOOPs! I punch the hole on the wrong end. What a moron. Let’s try again.tag4Turn the tag over and paint the front any way you want. I brushed on a robins egg blue and then followed with a white wash. Do not paint too carefully unless you are going for a really “finished” look.

tag3Doesn’t that look like a potato chip with icing on it????? I know, finish the project and stop dreaming of food. Next stamp a picture onto the paper of your choice. I chose music because it suits the theme I wanted.

tag8Cut out the pictures. I like to leave a little of the white around the images because, well, I’m not that good of a cutter and it’s easier to leave some white. (Remember the honesty policy thing) Now attach pictures to the tag.


It’s cute, but it just needs a little something more. That’s were the stick comes in. Perch your bird on a stick and add a flower if you wish. Tie it with some twine and Ta daaaa.


Cute little handmade mixed media tags that cost you probably $0.00 to make! So don’t throw out that cardboard. Spend a few minutes “playing” with it and turn it into something cute and functional!