Monday, August 27, 2012


In another life, my sister taught French in a university setting.  It was just not French that she loved, but all things French, including history.  During her more than 70 years, she has amassed quite a library of books, and recently decided it was time to pare down her collection.  I am lucky enough now to be the owner of a book more than 50 years old, entitled THE AGE OF IDEAS, dealing from "reaction to revolution" in eighteenth-century France!  So, am I interested in French history?  No, but I am definitely interested in the photos inside this wonderful, only slightly musty, book!

First, let me introduce you to Madame Emilie du Chatelet in a photo of the original work created about 1736.  To me, she appears a beautiful woman, full of femininity, poise, intelligence, and strength...perhaps even power.  I found it interesting to learn that Voltaire, one of her lovers, declared in a letter to his friend King Frederick II of Prussia that du Chatelet was "a great man whose only fault was being a woman."  Ah, but I digress . . .

Following the application of a healthy coat of Gesso to prime my journal page, I chose three colors of Perfect Pearls to create my background, Forever Green, Blue Smoke, and Perfect Copper.  Using the bristles of my brush, I lifted just a small bit of this pigment powder and placed it directly onto my non-stick craft mat.  Using a mini-mister, I sprayed water directly onto the powder and swirled it around with the paint brush until all the power had dissolved.  I then just "painted" each color onto my page, overlapping them so that they blended together as they met.

I hand tore the photo of Madame de Chatelet directly from the page of the book, then cut from the same page both her name and approximate date.  I added a bit of text from the same book, then a butterfly for interest.  I enjoyed working with Emilie, so also gave her some rub-on flowers at the bottom.  What doesn't show in the scan of my page is the pearly luster created by the Perfect Pearls.

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Monday, August 20, 2012


Orange has never been a color I liked.  I wouldn't use it in decorating, and I would certainly never wear it!  Even when orange lipstick was in vogue, I wouldn't buy it!

However, while on the Design Team at the popular "Let's Scrap" scrapbooking website, I was forced into using it in a monochromatic layout!  My head spun, my eyes glazed over, my knees shook, and my hands trembled.

Near this same time, my husband and I took a day trip to New Hampshire to one of our favorite wineries.  As is usual for us, the camera went along.  Once inside the winery, I began to notice all the oranges and started clicking!  I will show you the layout I created, but first I want to show you my most recent art journal page.  And, yes, I got over my displeasure with orange and have used it happily here!

For the background (after laying down a coat of Gesso), I used 3 shades of homemade mist created from Perfect Pearls (for shine), distress re-inkers (for color), and water.  I then used the circle stamp, followed by the numbers stamp.  I wanted to try to "drip" technique, so I used an orange shade of distress re-inker right out of the dropper, stood my page up and let the ink travel where it would.  On the left side, the ink from the stamped image began to travel with the re-inker, but I actually like the outcome!  I used ModPodge to adhere my "art" (cut from a museum brochure and unidentified).  The last layer is the "life is art...." stamp--one of my favorites!

Just in case you are curious about my Design Team challenge, here's how it turned out:

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Sunday, August 12, 2012


I found an intriguing picture of Sherlock Holmes in a magazine ad, and promptly cut it out.  I had read about using magazine figures as silhouettes and had even seen this technique used by other artists, but had never tried it.  When I recently visited my sister on Cape Cod, I accompanied her to the "transfer station" (aka the "dump") and found what is called a Swap Shop.  It was a free-standing building and inside were shelves and tables of usable goods and things of interest--all for free.  This was "one man's trash is another man's treasure" come to life!  Well, I spied the magazine rack and the rest is history!

So, back to Sherlock.  I used torn book pages (also picked up two books while in the Swap Shop) and adhered them to my page using ModPodge.  Next, since the ModPodge wasn't quite dry, when I placed my silhouette into position, it conveniently clung to my page.  I covered the page with black ink using a Tim Holtz applicator, hoping to create what I imagined would be a smoky aura of mystery--ok, that didn't work *quite* as I imagined it!

The title of this page came from the expression that explains the unexplainable, those things of mystery:  THINGS THAT MAKE YOU GO, HMMMMMMMMMMMMMM! 

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Saturday, August 11, 2012


It has taken a few days to complete, but I have finally created a two-page art journal entry!  Not too much detail to share about this one, except for a quick look back.  But first, ta dah:

Now, the step back.  When I recently created a page about time using one of my new stencils, the stencil itself ended up loaded with lots of yummy paint.  Rather than waste it, I took the advice of Journal Artista (a brilliant and well-respected art journal artist) and opened up a blank page in my journal and used the stencil to "stamp" two pages with the leftover ink.  Here a visual reminder:

In creating this two pager, I began my background using those two inked pages.  If you look carefully on the left side of the finished journal page above, you can still see the original clock impressions.  I feel good about being frugal.  Thanks, Journal Artista!

To create the rest of the background, I used a relatively new product called Fireworks! by Imagine Crafts.  Fireworks! creates a colorful, sparkly and shimmery effect.  I chose three colors (the only three I have, by the way):  Summer Sky, Banana Blue, and Paris Dusk.

You will immediately notice the use of white acrylic ink and bubble wrap to create what is becoming my trademark!  You can also see rub-ons used randomly around the two pages.  These rub-ons are from Pinkpaislee and are created by artist Christy Tomlinson.  The image of the young woman I have used here is from the packaging materials containing the rub-ons, so must give credit for that to both Pinkpaislee and Christy Tomlinson!

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Thursday, August 9, 2012


If you know me, either in the real world or online, you have heard me exclaim, "I am woman; hear me roar!" as encouragement--especially to young women who may be struggling.  It is that thought and the images called "crazy mannequins" from a Gecko Galz that were the inspiration for my art journal page entitled, aptly, I AM WOMAN.

Creating this page was pure fun as I got to open up a box of brand new water color pencils.  I chose two blues and a purple as close as I could get to the colors in the image.

Next, of course, came the fun part of watching the colors show their vibrant side as water was added with a paint brush.

Once the background was dry, I chose one of my favorite large stamps--Letter Writing by Hero Arts--to add texture and interest.  Once dry (I can never wait so I always have my heat gun "at the ready"), I adhered my mannequins with a bit of ModPodge.  I knew that I wanted to add a bit of white to my page, so grabbed some white acrylic paint and my bubble wrap!  I also had a white rub-on image which I added to the center right, but since you could barely see it, I didn't follow the "rule of three" and stopped at one!

I am glad that I took a break from scrapbooking this afternoon to make this journal page.  I always find working in my art journal both relaxing and renewing.  I am glad, too, that you took a break and visited my art journaling blog.  Please take a moment to JOIN if you have not already done so, and leave a message to let me know you were here!


Friday, August 3, 2012


I have been reading about "oil pastels" and watching some instructional videos in anticipation of the arrival of the delivery truck bringing my recent Amazon purchase of that very thing!  Today is the day, and I couldn't wait to get started.

I have to admit that I became frustrated at several--ok, many--points in the creation of the page, but, in the end, I am pleased.  It's not perfect, but remember:  ART IS NOT PERFECT.

OK, as is usual, the big reveal first (an aside:  a couple of people asked me why I show the final page first, then the detail, and the answer is a selfish one:  whichever image appears first in the blog appears on my Facebook wall announcement of a blog update!):

This page was inspired by artist Tracy Weinzapfel, whose wonderful work I found through a new friend's blog (thanks, Andy!).  Tracy challenged the viewers of her YouTube art journaling channel to do a self portrait during the month of August.  So this is mine!

First, the product:

Not knowing how to start any page without a coat of Gesso, that is where I began.  Next, I chose brighter, lighter colors, randomly stroked the page and watched the background come alive with color.  I marked off where I wanted my photo to be, but then colored over the marks and almost everything got a coat of color!

The next step will immediately take you back to childhood and using crayons for this very same effect.  One of my disappointments came when the black oil pastel did not want to "cover" the other colors, but rather just seemed to "skip" over the top (even coloring over the first layer in two directions).  The end result was not at all what Julie Balzer attained in a video I watched--she got full coverage, and I would love to know how!!  I decided to just do my best, and that would have to be good enough.

Next step was to place my butterfly stencil (it has cutouts of several sizes of both butterflies and moths) over the top of my page and begin to scratch away the black to reveal all the yummy color beneath.  For this process, I used a couple of different "tools," depending on the size of the openings in the stencil.  A toothpick was recommended in the video, but I found that using a toothpick took away both layers of color.

The last step, of course, was to give me wings so that I might SOAR!  I used ModPodge to adhere my "paper" photo (altered using a photo editing program, then printed on regular printer paper) to my page.  First, a coat to the back, then a coat over the top of just the photo.

I thought that I would dry the ModPodge on the photo with my heat tool because I wanted to scan my page right away.  I noticed almost too late that the heat gun had begun to melt the layer of black crayon around the photo!  At this point, I had to draw back the heat gun and continue that melting process so that my page would still have a uniform look!  After a finish coat of a spray fixative (one of the tutorials mentioned using hairspray), I will be happy to place my completed page back into my journal!

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