SerenityLayers!  Layers!  This page was fun to put together.  I used inspiration for the background from one of Kelly’s pages.  I love the torn look and the contrast with the calmness of the woman’s face.

I put down the shiny blue background paper first and then layered the flowers on top of that on the left and across the top.  Then I glued down the image of the resting woman and added flowers at her head and neck.  I watercolored her lips pink and added pink and yellow to the paper flowers which were originally white.  Once everything was dry, I added a piece of plastic – a repurposed sheet protector across the entire image and then stamped the swirls with StazOn.  I stamped “serenity” as well with the black permanent ink.  Lastly, I journaled.

This page speaks to all the changes that are happening around me and my desire to remain calm and centered through the whole process.


Love Me

LoveMeSo I said that I’m going to use the ideas in the Journey Within class to push myself and I’ve decided this means I need to really layer my pages.  In reviewing my pages from the last class, I can see that I was working with using paper and imagery together.  Now I’m going to work on having at least 3 layers on every page and also utilizing transparencies more.  I’ve used them twice now and so I think it’s a good start.

The journaling on this page falls into the background – I’ve covered it up too.  I’m having fun with journaling and then partially hiding it with different inks and layers.  It’s not that I’m saying anything I don’t want people to read – it’s more about making the imagery convey what I’m saying in words.  This page is about the joy I’m experiencing in love.

The cool technique I tried with this page that I haven’t done before is taking a page of rub ons and rather than using them precisely, rubbing off each letter or element as it was meant to be used, I scraped across the page of rub ons leaving abstract bits of color and elements randomly on the journal page.  I was so thrilled to get this idea because I have several pages of rub ons that I really don’t ever see myself using because the topics are too “scrapbooky.”  The page of rub ons that I used was originally meant for a 4th of July scrapbook layout.  It worked perfect since the 4th is a celebration and the colors of the rub ons coordinated well with my palette for this page.  If you have funky supplies lying around that you have no idea how you’re going to use them, take a different look at them.  Find a new way to use them up.

Found Poetry

I’ve been playing with “found poetry” lately and was very excited to find a swap that matched my interest.  The swap’s official title was “Blackout Poetry Journal” and we were assigned two partners.  Our task was to send each partner one found poem.  The host is planning on doing more swaps so that everyone who participates over the course of time will end up with a journal full of exchanged found poetry pieces.

To begin you select a page from a book or magazine.  Then you circle words that go together to make a poem.  Once you’ve done that, you cover the rest of the words, either entirely (as the swap suggested) or partially, but enough that the rest of the text on the page fades away and you’re left with your poem.

I’m currently altering a book I’ve had for a long time (“Love Let Me Not Hunger” by Paul Gallagher) as an art journal (pictures to come).  To prepare the book, I had to tear out about 1/3 of the pages so that the spine does not end up too stressed after the process of painting and altering are complete.  So for my partners, I used pages that I had torn out.  I swear I randomly selected these pages and when I was done with the poems, I realized that one happened to be about day, and the other about night.  So for my partners, I made a color copy of each and then sent each partner an original and a copy of the page they didn’t receive.  I used a black fine line permanent pen and a white pen as well as water-color pencils to highlight the poetry and “blackout” the text.

Here are my pages and my found poems.  Enjoy!

















Untitled (Day)

The tempo extraordinary



The music blaring

He arose

the frightful heat


a jeweled spray rising

in a respectful mood

He wondered


to the edge of nothing


















Untitled (Night)

He felt

his mind


at the very edge of the

setting sun


every star


present and accounted

The sky





Junkmail Journal

This last week one of my swap partners LASummer sent me some awesome recycled vinyl.  I thought that this vinyl would make great journal covers.  In our exchange, I mentioned that I just started making junkmail journals, rather than buying brand new expensive journals.  So I’m posting this idea to share with you all.  I can’t take all the credit for the idea at all.  My inspiration to paint on junk mail came from Alisa Burke who is behind my new goal of first looking around my house for creative re-use ideas before buying new.  I took a class with Alisa this summer and loved every minute of it.  I encourage everyone to read her blog.

To begin, I simply painted wonderful graffiti backgrounds onto both sides of the junk mail circular ads that come to my house weekly.  I use JoAnn’s cheap acrylic paint and splash colors across the pages.  This is a great way to try out new color combinations and most importantly, to have messy fun.  Once everything is dry, I sewed them together with funky fibers I’ve been saving.  I just used simple book binding stitches found during a google search of how to bind a book.  My journal is really one signature sewn together with the fibers.  This picture shows the cover and fibers, plus some of the pretty color combinations I did on my pages.

Once sewn together, it’s time to journal.  I just started journaling inside recently and have only one completed page – but here it is.  The main theme of the page is “THINK” before you run out and buy something new!  Why not use what you have???


Zodiac Swap #3 – Pisces

This swap came right at the same time that I started exploring Zentangles.  I had never heard of this technique until I joined Swap-Bot.   I instantly felt that the Pisces ATC would be a great way to utilize the different designs and textures of pattern.  I really like how this ATC turned out.  I love the whimsical feel the Zentangle designs produced here as well as the simplicity of working in only black and white.

Sweet Girl ATC

I have regretfully gotten behind on my blogging so I am about to post a ton of short posts to catch up.

This ATC features one of the new products I’ve been playing with — Embossing Paste.  The kind I’ve been using is made by Dreamweaver Stencils.  It’s great stuff.  You place a stencil on the surface and using a pallet knife or other straight edge scraper, spread the paste so that it fills in the stencil design while scraping away the excess.  It dries in a few minutes.  The only color I’ve played with so far is gold, but the paste comes in lots of colors.

My Favorite Dali

For this swap, the receiver chose the artist.  The ATC was supposed to be based upon the chosen artist, his/her style, etc.  My partner chose Salvador Dali.  I was very excited to get to create my own version of my favorite Dali painting – Persistence of Memory — hence the title of my ATC, “My Favorite Dali.” 

The ATC is simple with a water colored background.  I painted shapes and with colors similar to the original.  The tree is made from twisted craft wire shaped similar to the focal dead tree in the original painting.  The melted clock was created by carving a circle out of an old gift card, heating it and pulling it until the shape and elongation seemed right.  Then gesso was applied to make the clock face white.  Numbers and clock hands added in black permanent ink.  The clock was edged with a gold paint pen.

I am really pleased with the result and heard that my partner loved receiving my mini “dali-esque” ATC.