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…



Fun with Gelatos

I watched some YouTube videos where the people were using Gelatos and it looked like a lot of fun. So the next time I went into town I headed over to Joann’s and picked up some Gelatos. Okay… I picked up ALL the colors of Gelatos. I know… it’s a sickness. I can’t just buy part of something. I have to buy the complete set.


I started by putting a bunch of different colors at the top.


I added water and blended the colors together with my finger. Then I tipped the canvas up so the colors would run. I added salt because I saw Donna Downey (my favorite mixed media artist) do it in her video.


The salt didn’t make as big of a reaction as I was hoping for, but it still looks pretty cool. I think I used too much water. I’ll have to correct that next time. Then I added some gesso through a stencil. I used gesso because I wanted the background to still show through the white paint.


After I did the background I felt like the painting needed a flower. A Cone flower. So I added petals with some Gelatos. I also cut drywall tape in the shape of the center of a cone flower.


I added some more Gelatos to the center.


More shading for the petals with some acrylic paint.


The stem is made from twisted paper and the leaves are cardboard. Both painted with various shades of green.


I added the saying, “Delight in the little things” by stamping it on a leftover paint chip from Lowes.



All finished! Normally, I paint the edges, but I like the drippage over the edge.

Til Next time…


Struggling with Love

I had a tough time with this one. I had an idea of what I wanted this to look like and maybe that was the issue. I should just let the materials speak to me and do what feels right at that moment.


So I started this canvas by adding some texture with a heavy gesso. I also used this chipboard frame from a bag of chipboard letters and miscellaneous that my mother gave me. A friend donated it to her and she thought I could do something with the stuff. Ah! Yes! I will take any free art supplies!


My daughter Belle was painting with me while I did this piece. So even though I wasn’t happy with how it was turning out I had a nice time with my girl. 🙂


I added some chipboard letters and painted the whole thing hot pink.


I added some white paint and used a black stamp pad on the letters. Now what?


I cut a heart out of some burlap (also donated by my Mom) and I painted it white.


I was not loving the pink so I deepened the pink with some mulberry paint.


I felt like I wanted to bring out the frame more so I added some ribbon to it. I had to peel of the letters, but that’s what hot glue is for. Right? After this I didn’t know what I was going to do so I put it away for the night and figured that something would come to me another day.


Here is the finished piece. I glued the “LOVE” back on. I also added the burlap heart, some scrapbook paper and a love quote on vellum. I felt like I should do more, but in the end I couldn’t decide what that should be. After talking with my sister and a friend. We decided it was complete.


Now that I’m looking at it again after some time has passed, I am happy with it. Not everything is going to be a home run and I learned something. Don’t go into a project with a preconceived idea of what it should be. Have Fun! Play! Let it be what it will be!

Til next time,


Playing around with Friends

Usually I take step by step pictures so I can blog about it later, but I had some friends with me in the Art Room today. We were having fun and just playing around with our paints so I didn’t take pictures until the end.


I used masking tape to create some texture for the background of the painting. You can’t see it very well in the picture. It’s more visible in real life. I cut circles from a page I tore out of an old book. I also cut leaves and some butterflies. I tried to stencil the butterflies, but my paint leaked under. If anyone has a tip on painting with stencils, please share it with me. I see other people doing it with ease, but I just can’t seem to master it.

I used spray inks for the background. I used acrylic paint for the printed shapes. I wiped off the excess paint with a baby wipe. I did struggle with the petals of the flowers. The ink came up through the paint. So I kept adding more paint to cover it, but in the end I had a blobby mess. So after my friends left I took my finger nail to the petals and scraped the paint off. I repainted them and they look much better than they originally did, but I’m still not completely happy. Oh well… mistakes happen, but I learned something. And next time I’ll do better.

For the dots I used the back of my brush to create them. Then I added black lines around the dots, flowers and leaves. I also used my Pitt pen to make the stems. Lastly, I added the metal quote with some ribbon tied on with end. Overall, I’m happy with this piece, but I still have to paint the edges black. That will have to be another day.


Til next time…


Mishap with a heat gun

Well, today I thought I’d make another altered brush while I waited for my Dad to show up. He’s helping me install some doors in the lower level of our house. We got my daughter Hayley’s door on her bedroom last night. She’s pretty excited to have some privacy after having no door for about two months.

Now she just needs to clean her room.

So here is my brush with some gesso already painted on.


I’m going to take this pretty scrapbook paper and cut it into strips and then wrap them around the brush with some Matte Medium.


It’s a little harder to do than I thought it would be, but I’m liking the look of it.


That looks good! Time to dry it up with my new heat gun.


Oops! Got the heat gun a little too close to the bristles on the brush. Oh well. I’ll just do it to the rest of the bristles and say I did it on purpose.



I added some ribbon and the little Diva tag. But I need more bling if this is a Diva brush.


That’s better.



I felt like I needed to add something to the handle. A flower in the colors of the ribbon was perfect! Well, maybe I need two. She is a Diva brush after all.



She’s all finished. Looking pretty sassy in all her Diva glory.

This was a lot of fun to make. And now it’s still to help my Dad install the door to my Art Room. I’ll finally be able to blast my Indie music to my hearts content.

See you soon…


Recycled Paint Art

I’ve been using palette paper to mix my paints and I’m left with these pieces of colorful paper. Too pretty to throw away. Plus, I like to use everything I can to its fullest extent. Call that being “Green” or maybe I’m just cheap. Either way I had fun creating something out of what might be garbage to some.

Here is the palette leftover from my “Starry Night” painting.

I used a 1 inch heart punch and made all of these sweet little hearts.

Here are the hearts I made from my “Dream” painting.

I’m not exactly sure what I’m going to do with them yet. I do have a couple of ideas rolling around in my head already. Whatever I do I’m sure it will be fun. And it always feels good to make something with recycled materials.

Til next time…


Inspired by Van Gogh

I love art museums! The impressionist artists are my favorite part. As long as I can remember I’ve had prints by Van Gogh and Monet hanging in my house. When my family needed to come up with a name for a new puppy we were getting, we decided on Van Gogh for a boy and Monet for a girl. We ended up getting a cute little girl that is a Golden Retriever and maybe an Australian Shepherd or Sheltie mix. This is Monet. She’s sweet, quirky, loyal and an all around awesome dog.


Now on to the painting…
I decided that for my second canvas I would like to do a night sky and some stars reminiscent of Van Gogh’s Starry Night. Of course I could never make it look that good, but a can make my own version.


First, I started with an aqua blue.


Then, a medium blue.


And lastly, a deep purple. I added Golden Gel Medium – Soft Gel Gloss to the paints so I could blend them together.


I was thinking of doing more of a dark to light effect, but once I started seeing the colors streaking together I loved the effect and decided to go in that direction instead. I know skies are supposed to go horizontally, but I really like the vertical look. And I have always loved going against what you’re “supposed” to do.


I think I’m going to need some trees for this night sky. So I cut some out of a priority mail envelope I had laying around. I just need to paint them black.


Now I’m adding some stars. Cadmium Yellow Deep Hue is what I started with.


Then I added Cadmium Yellow Light Hue.


And last I added Primary Yellow. I think that looks close to what I was looking for.


The trees look great against the background so I glued them on. But wait… I think it’s missing something.


How about some rolling hills cut out from some scrapbook paper. It was a little too bright so I darken up the edges with some Distress Ink – Peeled paint.


That’s much better, but I need more dimension. Time to get out my button stash!


That’s perfect! Now I’d like the painting to have a saying or something. Something to do with stars since that’s the main focus. I know… How about something classic like, “Wish upon a Star”.


I tried painting the phrase and using markers. For type that small, I just don’t like my own handwriting for it. So I typed it up in Illustrator. That’s my “go to” program for graphics. My husband and I run a Sign, Banner, Wall Decal business called Stephen Edward Graphics. I design the wall decals for our Etsy shop. So I decided that a decal would be perfect for the phrase I needed.


Looking great on some scrap paper I had!


I wanted the phrase to stick out so I added some foam to the back.


In place and looking good!


As you can see the edges are not finished, but I couldn’t wait to post the pictures! I will be painting all the edges black.


I love this painting and I had so much fun creating it! That’s what art is all about.