Thursday, August 27, 2015


Happy Thursday everyone!

I hope that you are all having a good week and finding some time to create and play.
Isn't it sad that as we grow up, we sort of forget how to PLAY?  

I wanted to share a couple more of the pages from my art journal that I started blogging about HERE.  These are the next two pages in that journal.  

Mixed Media Magazine People Art Journal

All of the pages very LOOSELY follow Shannon Green's Journaling in 5s idea.  By very loosely, I mean using the different sessions as a "prompt" for creating each layer of the journal pages.  However, my friends and I did not strictly follow the time restraints and if we felt like adding something that was not specific to that layer, we did it anyway.  But, it was a good way to get started on journal backgrounds.

Mixed Media Magazine People Art Journal Page

My pages combine a gelli print first layer and then I added images from calendars, magazines, napkins and books.  I also added pieces of different washi tapes, ephemera, stamped images, tissue paper, fibers and fabric scraps.  I added color or blended colors together using Neocolor water color crayons and a water brush.  Some extra doodling was done using a black permanent ink pen. 

I found these journal pages so relaxing and fun to do.  It's sort of like playing with big girl paper dolls! 

Enjoy the rest of your week and weekend!  Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015


Hi everyone!  Welcome back to my blog!

Art journaling is HUGE.  I was a bit late to jump on the band wagon and I have to admit that when I see some of the absolutely AMAZING art journals out there, I feel hugely inadequate.  I have never had a drawing lesson in my life and what little doodling I do, I have just picked up and played around with.  

But I totally LOVE the idea of art journaling and I love experimenting with mixed media elements.  I want to get better at it.  I want to learn about drawing faces and doodling and that is something I hope to spend more time doing.  But in the meantime, I don't want to miss out on playing around with art journaling and expressing myself through my own art because I feel ill equipped with DRAWING faces or expertly doodling.  Hopefully I am talking to some people out there who are feeling the same way.

Recently I got together with some of my wonderfully fun friends and crafting buddies.  We all bought a 9" x 12" Strathmore spiral bound 140 lb. Watercolor paper "Visual Journal" as our basic art journals. We decided to try a MODIFIED version of Shannon Green's "Journaling in 5s". Click HERE to find her on YouTube.  

My journal is way different than hers but I really like the CONCEPT of the "Journaling in 5s" and I think it's a great thing for people who seem to be "blocked" about how and where to start when trying to create a background and go from there.  We did not stay within the time restraints either ... but as I said, it was sort of an outline for us to follow and it really helped in getting over the "where do I begin?" fears.

This was a fun way to play around with pattern, color, texture, magazine images, ephemera, stencils, paints, inks, washi tapes, fabric strips, stamps, fibers ... you get the idea.

Over the next few weeks, I wanted to share some of my pages with you.  I did not take photographs of the process in creating these pages, because it was just "play time" for me. So, I apologize for not having tutorials to share with you.  But I hope you enjoy the pages for art's sake.  Some are finished, some are still a work in progress ... maybe there are ALL still a work in progress.  (smile)  

If you are like me and NOT a fabulous painter or doodler and you feel completely intimidated to do any art journaling, I encourage you to take the leap of faith and just go for it.  Start out simple and go from there.  It truly is FUN to actually SEE your pages develop and take on your personality and attitude on any given day.

Mixed Media Magazine People Art Journal Page

Almost all of the pages began with gelli prints that I did either on copy paper or on deli paper.  From there, you can see all sorts of layers of text, magazine images, ephemera, washi tape, stamping, paints and inks added. 

Mixed Media Art Journal Page With Magazine People

This book makes me happy just to look at it.  I love the diverse colors, patterns and textures that all converge in such a unique way. I didn't realize it at the time, but almost every page has a positive, encouraging message. Yet another reason to smile!

Thanks so much for stopping by today.  I hope that in maybe some small way I've encouraged you to not squelch your creativity because you aren't a fabulous doodler or painter.  There's always a way to be creative, express yourself and have fun at the same time!

Saturday, August 1, 2015


Hello everyone!

Well, here we are ... the very last challenge of the Compendium of Curiosities III Challenges.  Our FIRST CHALLENGE debuted on April 26, 2014.  It was Paint Marbling.  Do you faithful followers remember that one from over 15 months ago? 

My dear sweet friend, Ranger U Sister and Roommate at CHAs, Linda Ledbetter of L3 Studios, has done such a FABULOUS job hosting ALL of the Compendium of Curiosities Challenges.  Myself and all of the gals on the Curiosity Crew were so honored to have had Linda ask us to help her showcase Tim's amazing Volume III Compendium of Curiosities series of books.  A huge THANK YOU to her for bringing all of us together over the years to share our love of Tim Holtz' products and his techniques. 

I cannot tell you how much FUN this has been for me ... to share a piece of myself with all of you throughout this challenge, creating with some of the dearest people on the planet to me, and seeing all of the beautiful art that everyone who joined us shared with our community every challenge.  I am truly so thankful for each and everyone one of you ... for sharing your specials gifts, your hearts as you wrote your blogs and the inspiring, positive comments you left for me.  Your thoughts are so important to me!!  

I can tell you this ... we are not going away.  But more about that when we announce the winners of this last challenge ... so stay tuned for that!  

For our last challenge, we are turning to the last undone technique in the book!  It is on page 48 and it is titled "Layering Stencil: Monoprint".  Tim shows the same technique using either Distress Ink or Distress Paint, so take your pick or mix it up and use both!

Tim Holtz Layering Stencil Monoprint Vintage Art Journal Page

Here is my final challenge project ... an art journal page using all sorts of Ideaology, Tim Holtz products and Tim's Distress Paints and Inks to create my backgrounds. 

Our most recent challenge was all about Altered Surfaces.  In that challenge, I paid tribute to my father with a completely altered vintage tobacco tin.  For this last challenge, I am continuing with my nostalgic look back.  This art journal page commemorates the day my mother and father said "I do".  They were married for a little over 49 years before my mother's early passing in 1995.  Daddy followed her 6 years later.  

I love creating vintage nostalgic pieces because they transport me back in time; when life seemed to be so innocent and less complicated.  I am once again in the presence of departed loved ones (if only through photographs or memories that are conjured up when dreaming of days gone by).  Memories come flooding back and for a while, I'm a child again surrounded by those feelings of peace and comfort and a sense that all is right with the world.

Hopefully you have a few minutes to watch the transformation of my art journal page(s) unfold.  I began with an soft cover childrens' book that I am altering into an art journal.

Here are my basic pages with just a bit of White Gesso and a soft yellow acrylic paint added to it that was then brayered over the pages.  You can still see some of the images and text peeking through the Gesso.

After using Tim's Distress Paints:  Rusty Hinge, Cracked Pistachio and Adirondak Espresso and several layers of stencils:  Cargo, Latticework, Splatters, Bubble, Crackle and Mesh, I added some Distress Inks: Hickory Smoke, Fossilized Amber and Walnut Stain for more depth.  These are the new and improved art journal pages.  Since I was using a combination of both acrylic paint and inks, I decided to seal my pages by spraying them lightly with Workable Fixative (a clear, fast drying arerosol sealer).

Once the technique was complete, it was time to start making my embellishments for the art journal page.

I decided I wanted to collage the art journal page with some of Tim's Ideaology pieces. They needed to be flat (because they are in an art journal) yet have that vintage "personality" that would compliment that nostalgic theme that I was looking to create.

I began with one of the largest pieces from Tim's Pocket Cards.  I loved the heading of this piece "The Story Begins" ... perfect!  I added the beautiful butterfly from Tim's Crowded Attic Salvage Stickers.  I stippled the entire piece with a stippling brush and Antique Linen Distress Paint to sort of blend it all together.  Then I lightly added Tattered Rose Distress Stain to the butterfly.  The tag is distressed with Frayed Burlap then Walnut Stain then Black Soot just around the edges of the tag. I attached a piece of dainty vintage lace between two Washers and Long Fasteners that have been given a patina look with Cracked Pistachio Distress Paint (using my finger).  Finally, I gently held my finger on the spray nozzle of a can of Honey Stain and created the age spots that appear on the tag.  Within a minute or two, this new piece of paper was transformed back to 1946 ... the year my parents married.

I wanted to add a photograph to this page and the Mini Cabinet Card frame was the perfect size!  But, the paper sort of has a slick, almost shiny finish.  So, I scuffed it up a bit using a sanding block.  Then I distressed the Cabinet Card with Antique Linen over the entire frame, Vintage Photo and finally Black Soot Distress Inks more around the edges.  I also made sure that the white paper edge on the inside of the frame was darkened with a Black Soot Distress Marker.  

If you look at old photo albums, they often had gold embossing on the ornate frames.  So, I tried to mimic that a bit by brushing Gold Acrylic Paint from an Adirondak Paint Dabber onto areas of the ornate design printed on the Cabinet Card.

Hopefully you can see the gold randomly added to the ornate brown printed trim.  It is sort of tough to photograph but in person, when the light hits it, it's worth the extra time to add the gold paint.

And here is the aged Mini Cabinet Card.  I really like the aged version for this art journal page.  It's much more believable that it is an aged piece with all of the distressing and scuffing.  The photograph is of my parents cutting their wedding cake.  So young, so much in love and their whole lives ahead of them.

Another addition to this page was a miniature copy of my parent's wedding invitation.  I aged it with Tea Dye Distress Ink followed by a touch of Gathered Twigs and Black Soot just at the edges.  (You will see it in future closeup pictures).  

My parent's wedding began at 8 o'clock.  So, I created this vellum clock from Tim's Thrift Shop Vellum Ephemera Pack.  I glued the clock onto white cardstock and distressed the edges with various brown inks and paints.  Then I added the distressed clock hands.  They were originally an antique silver color and I distressed them to look like patina gold using Gold Adirondak paint and Cracked Pistachio Distress Paint.  Again, I used my fingers to do the distressing.

I wanted to layer another of the large tags from Tim's Pocket Cards.  I distressed this one using Tattered Rose Distress Ink and distressed the edges with Gathered Twigs and a touch of Black Soot around the edges.  I also colored some white seam tape to create a soft pink "vintage' ribbon.

To color the seam tape, you can simply place the ribbon on your Non Stick Craft Mat, place the Distress Ink pad face down on top of the ribbon and pull it from one side to the other of the ink pad.  Then spritz the ribbon with a little water, wad it up and heat set it dry.  This creates a shabby, wrinkled ribbon.  (You can also mix and blend Distress Ink colors using this same method).

I colored enough ribbon to create a band cross the Pocket Card and also to create a shabby bow.  I then distressed a Typed Token using Cracked Pistachio Distress Paint and my finger to create a patina look on the metal token.  "Adore" was the perfect sentiment for this page!  I slipped the token through a Mini Safety Pin and attached it to the center of my shabby bow.

I also used a couple of Tim's Elementary Flash Cards and Label Letters to create that ever so popular phrase said in wedding vows, "To Love And Cherish". These were distressed around the edges with Gathered Twigs and a touch of Black Soot just on the ends.

Here is a better photograph of the layering of the butterfly Pocket Card, the miniaturized wedding invitation and a portion of the Label Letters and Flash Cards.  I love the monoprint stencil layering technique in the background.

And here is a better closeup of the "To Love and Cherish" Flash Cards layered with the Mini Cabinet Card, the shabby bow and the attached Typed Token.  Finally, I added a strip of very vintage looking silver trim across the bottom of my art journal page.  This is from Tim's Frame and Trims Industrial Stickers.  So many wonderful little intricate metal trims and frames to choose from!

I'm not sure what I will do on the page across yet ... but I wanted to share what that monoprint stencil layering looked like as well.

So there it is ... sadly, my last piece for this rendition of the Compendium of Curiosities III Challenges.

Linda Coughlin of The Funkie Junkie Boutique is hosting this, our last challenge.  She has generously donated $25.00 for every other challenge and we would like to sincerely THANK her for her support throughout. 

Please stop by her online store and check out all of her wonderful and unique items as well as all of Tim's products and other favorites!  

I would also like to thank the wonderful folks at Inspiration Emporium for their generous $50.00 gift certificate donated every other challenge.  Their support has also been so appreciated and I know that those of you who won our random drawings have really enjoyed these lovely gift certificates from BOTH of our sponsors.

And last but certainly not least ... where would we be without Tim Holtz and Mario Rossi?  These two dear men have provided ALL of the Tim Holtz products that we were able to divide into REALLY NICE overflowing prize packages for every one of our challenges.  THANK YOU doesn't seem like enough to say for all of their support and generosity ... but thank you from the bottom of my heart.  You guys are so special!

So now, please join us for our last challenge.  Just enter your art created using Tim's Layering Stencil: Monoprint technique.  As always, there will be TWO winners ... one voted on by the Curiosity Crew and the other from a random number selection.

Good luck and THANK YOU AGAIN for ALL of your support!

The Compendium of Curiosities III may be coming to an end but we girls are not!  Be sure to check back when we announce the winners for this challenge in two weeks and see what what's next for us girls! 

For me personally, I am so proud to be a member of DecoArt's International Design Team. Their NEW Media Line of paints and other mixed media mediums are simply amazing!

I will continue creating art and tutorials that can be seen on the DecoArt Mixed Media Blog and also on Facebook.  So I hope you'll come along for that new journey.  There are so many talented artists from all over the world sharing their techniques, talents and art with you.  Be sure to check it out.

And ...

Just a reminder that if you've enjoyed hangin' with us girls here at the Compendium of Curiosities III Challenges, you might want to consider hangin' with us in beautiful Costa Rica, September of 2016!  We're "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Paints" and we'd LOVE to just have one huge creativing extravaganza with all of you!