I have already started making junk journals and such for the upcoming Christmas season. Although I really don’t need a lot of ephemera to make new journals, I did want to beef up my stash a little bit. So I picked up some really cool stuff in the last couple of weeks and wanted to share it with you. So without any further ado, here’s the stuff I hauled.
Cool old books and magazines. The pictures in these books are fantastic!
More vintage books with great graphics.
This book is not that old but…
the inside is chock full of vintage street signs. These will also be great to use in my mixed media projects or as embellishments in my journals!
Two more vintage cookbooks, but check out the insides of these…
great pages for journaling. The top one gets extra points because it’s a binder!
Vintage wrapping papers and tissue papers, because the one huge box I already have is apparently not enough! Again, these can be used in junk journals or in mixed media.
Vintage kitchen labels, a note pad and vintage sewing supplies. These are great additions to junk journals.
A box crammed full of vintage matchbooks. The matches have already been taken out so these will make great tags and embellishments for my journals. This photo doesn’t show the quantity too well but there are at least 250-300 old matchbooks here!
And lastly, a yummy box of old ephemera. There are all kinds of receipts in this lot. Also included were some cards of vintage rickrack and some old pens, some of which are fountain pens.
So all in all, I feel well stocked for a while and am ready to get on with making the journals. If I remember, I’ll show you some of the finished ones.
It gives me a great feeling to know I can reuse these old treasures to make journals and mixed media projects people will enjoy. Recycling is always a win-win situation!
Okay, I know this is probably not a new idea, but this is the first time I actually tried making my own stickers. You can use any pre-made sticker blanks, varying the sizes and shapes to fit your projects. I used these round printable ones I got from The Dollar Tree.
I watched some videos on YouTube for inspiration. I used paints, sprays, stamps and ink, scraps of decorative papers, sequins and even tiny alphabet and word stickers to decorate the sticker blanks.
Here are some of the stickers I made.
Stickers, in general, are really inexpensive to buy. As an artist, I like to create as much of my own projects from scratch as I can, instead of relying on store-bought items. If you want specialty stickers, like inspirational ones, they are really quite expensive. Making your own allows you to customize them to fit every project perfectly while being unique and inexpensive!
P.S. Here are some laminated mixed media bookmarks I also made.
Last year when I was still permitting myself to buy art supplies, I ran across this little mixed media kit at Tuesday Morning. As you can see, the kit only cost me 99 cents.
I came across the kit again as I was tidying up my craft room and decided it was time to do something with it.
Here are the contents of the kit.
Because the pieces are so small, they lent themselves well to making Artist Trading Cards (ATCs). Here are the ATCs I made.
Besides the cardboard used for the 2 1/2″ x 3 1/2″ bases, the only other items I used from my stash were rhinestones, brads, a few pieces of washi tape and of course, glitter glue! I hated the color of the bright green corrugated cardboard so I flipped it over and used the backside.
Challenging myself to use up some of my stash is always so much fun. These little ATCs took me no time at all and I used most of the elements in the kit. Why don’t you pull out 15-20 pieces of bits and bobs from your own stash and make your own kits to use and give away to your artsy friends. It’s a good way to use up older supplies and is guaranteed to spark some creative genius!!!
During the months leading up to Christmas I am busy crafting for my shows. I don’t get any time to “play” with my paints, sprays, pens, etc… Now that the holidays are over, I’ve had some time to get back to mixed media. Here are a few of the projects I’ve finished.
I had a lot of fun layering and layering. I hope you like these pieces. I’m finishing up a couple more and will share them when they’re done.
Make some time during this “down time” and yucky weather to get out your paints and play!
I’m writing this post so that I will feel accountable for my next sentence. I am NOT going to BUY any new craft supplies in 2017 unless they fit the two specific criteria I have laid out here. First, I am ALLOWED to buy the NECESSITIES if I run out. By necessities, I mean things like paint, glue, artist pens and pencils, gesso, etc… Second, I CAN BUY art supplies if I find them ridiculously CHEAP at thrift shops, yard sales or flea markets. That’s it! I am not going to go to Tuesday Morning, Hobby Lobby, Michael’s or any other store just to browse and see what they have. Browsing usually ends up costing me a lot of money!
So why am I making this bold statement? When I was crafting for Christmas, I found I had so many Christmas items in my stash that I didn’t need to go out any buy anything. I made lots of December Dailies, cards, tags and embellishments without purchasing a thing. The amazing thing is, I still don’t need to buy anything for next year either. I have so many supplies I’m drowning in them. Ditto for Valentine’s Day, Easter, Summer, Fall and you get the idea.
Now here’s where it hurts. I’m going to expose my shame and show you all the stuff I have to craft and make mixed media with. Ready?
Sadly, this is not all. There are some drawers in my studio and other places all over the house that have craft supplies in them. Now you can see why I don’t need to go shopping anytime soon. Everything I have I liked enough to purchase or save, so now it’s time to use it all up. I’m excited about the thought of actually having room to breathe in my studio.
Okay, so it’s confession time. I already did buy something this year. This is what I bought.
My justification is that they were cheap (only $1.00 each) and….
They are filled with pages and pages of these beautiful nature graphics! I can use these for so many projects.
So there you have it. I feel better after this photographic confession and goal for 2017. Hopefully you will be seeing a lot of posts showing the stuff I have been making.
If you feel like you’re suffocating in your supplies, or you want to save some money, craft from your stash and have fun with the supplies you already have on hand. Good Luck!
Every once in a while I get the urge to make a project just using the junk that is
cluttering up on my desk. I decided to make an ATC sized magnet so I could reuse the magnet strip off list pad I had just finished up. I always have varying sizes of cardboard on my desk so that was a no-brainer for the substrate.
I opened a new bottle of gesso and an obscene amount poured out onto my little ATC. I was actually able to gesso 2 – 8 x 10 canvas boards, 2 – 5 x 5 stretched canvases, 1 – 6 x 8 canvas board and my ATC with that huge puddle!
Next, I painted on some cream and brown acrylic paints to give it a vintage feel.
This very blurry picture shows some eggs I cut from some scrapbook paper. I inked the edges with distress ink before decoupaging them onto the card.
Here is the “finished ATC”. It’s really simple, but it gives me that old field guide feeling.
I painted the back of the card the same color blue I spattered on the eggs and attached the magnet strip from the used up note pad.
I like how the ATC magnet came out, but I just needed to add one more touch to make me love it.
Yep, you guessed it. I added glitter to the butterfly’s wings. NOW it’s done and I do love it! I hope you like it too and that it inspires you to make your own little work of art with things that are already on your desk!
I have been watching some videos by Marta from Maremi SmallArt on YouTube. She is one talented lady! She does amazing mixed media as well as paper projects like cards. One video in particular got my creative juices flowing. In this video, Marta made Shabby Chic vintage style cards. The link to the video is:
Instead of making cards, however, I was inspired to make some tags using her techniques.
First I cut some tag shapes out of cardboard. I just free-handed these.
Then I added a layer of texture using decoupage paper, drywall tape and old book pages stuck on with Gesso.
For my first tag I used my Prima Princess paper collection and embellishments.
For the second tag I used some specialty papers and some papers from the Market Street collection by My Mind’s Eye.
For the third tag I used paper from Tim Holtz and My Mind’s Eye, however, I forgot to take a picture of the papers used. Sorry!
Here are the three tags I made.
I love how they turned out. There is so much layering on each one so the dimension is quite thick.
If you find yourself in a rut or just need a little inspiration. Go to Marta’s YouTube channel, Maremi SmallArt. I know you will find some videos to jump-start your art mojo!
Thank you Marta for all of your videos, including the “Break a blank page” series!
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.
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.
I came up with an idea of how to make my own masks that will last for a long time.
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.
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.
These are the masks I made using magazine pictures.
And here are some I made using pictures from old pattern sleeves.
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.
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!
Last week I watched a video on YouTube about altering file folders. I know I’ve done it before a long time ago but the video gave me a desire to make some again. I decided to try using up some scrap papers in the process as my stash is getting out of hand.
First I just covered the two file folders with strips of scrap paper cut in various widths and lengths.
Then I scraped on some white paint with a palette knife to mute the colors.
I stamped doily patterns on both folders using different colors.
I chose three colors of paint for each folder and randomly added them also using a palette knife.
Next I put on the focal points by using masks I made.
Finally I added some embellishments, stamped some script and did some finishing outlining with my Pitt Big Brush Markers.
These two folders have already been put to good use holding images I have cut out of magazines that I will use in other mixed media projects.
If you have some ordinary manila file folders hanging around, give altering them a try. You’ll end up with some happy storage for your office or craft room papers!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!