First Handmade Art Journal

I’ve always wanted to try making my own art journal. Pages, cover, everything! For months I’ve been hoarding cereal and breakfast bar boxes.


To make the cover stronger, I glued the flaps down instead of cutting them off.


I roughed up the cardboard with a piece of sandpaper and the gesso’d everything. After it was dry I painted the cover blue. It HAD to be blue! It was a gift for my mother and that is her favorite color. While the paint was still wet I scratched some lines in it to make a grid pattern.


I added scrapbook paper to the inside covers and inside the spine.


I had a bit of air dry clay leftover from a project so I rolled it out and swished a doily into it. It was cute, but I had no idea what to do with it so I tucked it away in a drawer for a later date. So I pulled it out for this project and decided to make it into a flower.


I received a big bag of random ephemera from a friend. The heart on the front cover came from that. I thought it was a rub on at first, but after trying that I realized that it wasn’t a rub on. It came on a plastic sheet with a bunch of other shapes and looked like it should come off somehow. I cut out the heart and placed it on the cover. I took a heat gun to it and it eventually came off of the plastic onto the cover. I did make the paint bubble a bit doing that. So I’m still not sure how these shapes are supposed to be applied. Maybe it’s not something that’s supposed to be applied to paint or paper. Maybe it’s an iron on for clothes. But the shapes and colors seem perfect for art. I don’t know. I guess I’ll just use it however I’d like and not worry about the intended purpose.


I used my spray inks and randomly painted a bunch of pages. I wanted them to be colorful, but not too busy because I wanted my mother to feel free to journal on them. I made 3 signatures with 3 pages folded in half.







I was short on time and had to take off to meet my mother for supper so I forgot to take a picture of the spine. I used my cropadile and punched holes in the spine and set some grommets. I punched holes in the pages to coordinate with the holes in the spine. I fed ribbon through each signature and tied them on the outside of the spine. Next time I’ll add beads to the ends of the ribbon.

At the very last minute I added some grommets to each side of the cover and tied a ribbon through them. I didn’t like how the book wanted to stay open. I really thought it needed a closure.


I completed the front with the words Judy’s Journal. Overall, I’m happy with how it turned out. It was my first attempt at making something like this. I had a lot of fun and I have ideas of how to improve the next one.


Til next time…



Retro Labeler = Cool New Art Journaling Toy

I just have to share about this awesome new toy that I recently bought. An Embossed Label Maker by Dymo (Caption Maker). I couldn’t resist. I had one of these when I was a little girl. I used it to label all of my Babysitter’s Club books. And pretty much everything else I could stick labels to.

I believe this Labeler is actually an older item for Dymo, but I saw a YouTube review about it and I thought it looked great. So I did some searching and found it on EBay for $15.


I also found some embossing tape from a couple of other EBay sellers.


Pastel. Blue, pink and white


I figured I should stock up in case I can’t find labels later on. The label maker comes with three different font wheels. Uppercase, lowercase and italics. There are even some cute graphics on the lowercase wheel, like hearts and stars.


Here’s an example of each font.


I was working on an art journal page for this group that I joined, Journal 52. You receive free art journal prompts once a week for the whole year. I’m pretty busy with our business Stephen Edward Graphics and Life Book 2014, but I thought that this would be nice to do when I have some free time and I need some inspiration.

Here is my art journal page. Up, Up and Away!


I got to do some new things for this page, like use my new script stencil for the background, make a layered dress from scrapbook paper and use some baker’s twine for the balloon string.

And my new favorite thing… embossed labels.


So quick and easy to make them. They add a bit of dimension to the page and I love that the labels come in other colors so I could match them to the page. I foresee using these a lot in the future. How fun!

Til next time…


My first “official” art class

When I started doing Stained Glass I wasn’t able to take any classes due to lack of funds and a busy home life with small children. So I bought books, read forums and experimented. I essentially taught myself. I never regretted this way of learning because through those experiments and a lot of failures I found a way of creating stained glass that was unique to me. I didn’t have someone to tell me that I couldn’t do it that way. Although in some cases that was true, but through my failures I stumbled upon new techniques that were all mine.

But now that I am embarking on this Mixed Media journey I am happy to have some help by taking some classes. I will still remember my lessons of try everything, experiment, don’t let anyone tell you “that’s not the way you do it”. But what’s great about Mixed Media is that no one will ever tell you that! It’s all one big experiment of doing what you feel and what makes you happy!

So I took my first class… A free one! What’s better than that?
Art, Heart & Healing – A Free Course For All

Here is what I accomplished with it! My first painted face. With eyes and everything! As you know, if you have read my other blog posts. I’m scared of doing faces, but for my first attempt I think I did pretty well.


The girl that offered this free class, Tamara Laporte, from Willowing Arts is also the organizer for a year long art course called Life Book 2014. Tamara will be joined by 22 incredible art teachers for this course. My hubby is a sweetheart and bought me the course for my birthday. I can’t wait to get started!

Til next time…


Conquering a fear

I grew up believing that I wasn’t an artist. I was jealous of those that could paint and draw. I resigned myself to being creative on the computer. Graphic design is a type of art, but i still didn’t feel like an Artist. Working with stained glass, I felt like a Glass Artist, but I still wanted to be a True Artist. Now that I’ve embarked on this new path I am feeling more and more like an Artist with each piece I create. But there is still one type of painting that scares me…. People. Painting people makes me nervous. If you don’t do it right the person can come out looking like an alien or worse. Today I decided to confront my fear!


I started by sketching an outline. I felt better having some lines to follow.


I mixed a couple of colors to get the right skin tone, but it was still a little too dark. I’ll fix that later.


The hair came next… Brown seems good. It is sort of a self portrait after all and I just dyed my hair a pretty dark brown.


I painted the shirt and tried adding a pattern with a stencil, but it didn’t work very well because the spiral from the book kept getting in the way. So I had to go over the entire thing again. Not happy with the look of this.


I added some highlights to the hair and painted the shirt a brighter pink. I also added ink sprays to the background. That was not easy! I should have done that type of background first because it went all over! Luckily, baby wipes helped to clean it up.


My hands didn’t fair as well. I’m going to have crazy colors on my hands for about a week.


I added some 3D flower stickers to her hair. I also added some shadowing to the right side of her face and neck.


Her shirt was a little boring so I painted some organic ribbon pink. Then cut it to the shape of her shirt.


The ribbon is in place and I used some letters to spell out “Art Girl”. I picked up the letters (by Tim Holtz) at Michaels.


I used a dry brushing technique to added a bit of white to the ribbon. Her shirt actually looks like a sweater I own! I also used a watercolor crayon to add a bit of blush to her cheeks.




My girl is done! I’ll conquer painting a face another day. For now… I’m really happy with how she turned out.

Til next time…


First Art Journal page – kinda

So I attempted to make my first art journal page. I see these as messy, fun, lots of layers but my page didn’t turn out that way. My perfectionism has reared it’s ugly head again. I’m having a hard time letting go. When I want to create a random pattern in any form, I plan out its randomness. How crazy is that??? I think maybe I’m having such a tough time with this because I don’t want to make something ugly and have people say, “See! She’s not an artist!” But what do I care? Who makes them the expert to judge me? I’m having fun and that’s all that matters. Right?

So on to the project…


Here is my blank journal page and my watercolor pencils.


I drew a heart and shaded it darker on one side.


I wanted the heart to pop from the background so I started to add this deep blue around it with my finger. Why not? Painting with your fingers is fun and messy!


I went around the entire heart with the deep blue and now I’m adding a lighter shade around the outside. I just used the same blue and added some white to it.


I added all the lighter blue around the outside. Then I added more of the deep blue close to the heart so I could pull it out over the lighter blue. I wasn’t getting the look I wanted with my finger so I switched to a baby wipe. As I was pulling the paint I didn’t realize that the back of the baby wipe was dragging across the heart. Opps!


The heart was looking kind of weak against that intense background so I decided to go over it with some acrylic paints. I dabbed with my finger and created this peaked texture. I used two different shades of pink, a mixture of the two and some white. I’m pretty happy with the look of this.


I used a fat nib Pitt pen and a medium nib paint pen to create the outlines around the heart.


I used some pretty scrolly stamps to create this effect. I did run into a problem though. The spiral kept getting in the way when I was trying to stamp. I think next time I’ll buy a bound book or I’ve been toying with the idea of making my own. We’ll see.


I added some paint dots inside the heart and randomly (as best as I can do random) around the outside. I just used the back of my paint brush.


I had planned from the beginning that the page would say something. So I thought I’d add, Love makes the world go round. I wanted to put an emphasis on the word Love so I decided to cut it out from some scrapbook paper and my Silhouette Cameo machine.


Here is a graphic I found in my files.


Love all cut out. I added some deeper pink around the edges with a marker, but it bled into the paper quite a bit. I decided just to go with it. Not the effect I was going for, but it’s not too bad.


Not too much room down here. I’m not sure I like the word on there at all.


Here is the rest of the phrase. I printed it out on some cardstock and added pink distress ink with a blending tool.



Maybe it’s better without the phrase? I really can’t decide. My husband came home and thought my page was beautiful. He suggested that we scan it in and use it for a gallery wrap. You know, those wall hangings that look like a painted canvas (no frame), but are really printed. They are a great way to have beautiful art on your wall without having to pay for an original art piece.

If I decide to go that route I would want to leave the words off so I could add in a saying digitally. I really don’t know what to do. I’m actually all little surprised that he thought it was good enough to sell as a gallery wrapped canvas art piece.


So I guess I’m going to leave it for now and decide later. I hope you guys enjoyed the process!

Until next time…