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October 13th, 2015

art journal page showing painting of the goddess MinerveThis art journal page was actually a warmup exercise done for Lifebook 2015, week 34.  The art journal page was inspired by a lesson taught by Alena Hennessy, called Painting the Muse. I chose Minerva for my muse-goddess. I think she is a Roman goddess.

I used tones of green, white and black. The back relies heavily on black and green Dylusions sprays. The goddess is hand drawn and painted over top of the sprayed background.

The hand-printed text reads, “try to imagine what you desire”. I thought Minerva’s closed eyes looked as if she were meditating or visualizing her goals.

I gave Minerva a fancy headdress and used a little red for visual impact.

This was a warmup exericse. I did a larger, more elaborate goddess for my bigger painting. I will post that tomorrow.

If anyone is interested in Lifebook, owner Tam LaPorte is now accepting registrations for Lifebook 2016. You can learn about it here: Click here to view more details about Lifebook 2016

October 10th, 2015

art journal page themed courageThis art journal page is themed “courage”. I made it for a swap at Art for the Creative Mind swap group. We were instructed to use crackle as a technique.

I made the blue-white and blue-beige leaves using colored card stock, the crackle medium, the acrylic paint. I used a leaf die cut and the Big Shot to cut the leaves.

The background I made with two serviettes or napkins, in different shades of blue. I cut the two red leaves from red scrapbook paper, using a punch.

I cut the words “Fine the courage to be unique” from scrapbook paper, and I added a border of red acrylic paint around the outside of the page.

I thought the two red leaves represented uniqueness, given that the other leaves are all crackled and blue.


August 12th, 2015
front of mini journal showing gold embossing and rosette
 mini album back cover with stamped clock

I seem to be on a roll making these mini albums recently. I made this one after being made aware that a friend is celebrating a landmark birthday soon. I decided to make her a small scrapbook album using this design.

The instructions for making the fold are found here: Folded 3 x 3 Album with Calendar Focus.

The album uses one sheet of 12 by 12 paper, folded to make several 3 x 3 “pages”.  Each page has a pocket, resulting in seven pockets.

For the album front, I used bookboard for firmness, then covered with textured paper. I added a strip of thing gold metal that I had dry embossed using an embossing folder and the Big Shot.  I added a gold rosette made with a Tim Holtz die.

For the back cover, I used a larger strip of embossed gold metal, and a stamped image of a clock face. The text circling the clock face reads “The Best of Times.

Since this is a scrapbook, I used a digitally edited photograph for each page front, trimming with small embellishments such as rub-ons or stamped text.

I used a travel theme on the seven tags. The recipient has travelled quite a bit and taken photos. I used her own photos for the background images on the tags, and used Photoshop Elements to add a travel-related quote on top of each photo.

I tied the small scrapbook closed with a strip of beige organza ribbon.


August 11th, 2015
front of mini journal showing stamped head of vintage lady
 mini journal fanned open
 mini journal fanned open showing calendar theme

It is perhaps a bit early in the year to be making a calendar for 2016. However, that is where my muse lead me. This mini journal, calendar themed, is made from folding one 12″ by 12″ sheet of scrapbook paper. The instructions for making it are here: Folded 3 x 3 Album with Calendar Focus.

I made this mini journal for a swap at Art for the Creative Mind, an online mixed media swap group. We called this project Swapped for Fun.  The list owner mailed each participant an identical stamped image. It was the woman’s head that you see on the cover of the journal. We each made a project using the stamped image. We were free to do anything we wanted with the image. The idea is to see what different approaches the members will take.

After some consideration, I decided to use it as the front cover decoration for a small calendar journal. I colored the image with Prismacolor pencils, then cut it out using a circular die cut and the Big Shot.

The words “Calendar for Year 2006” are computer generated, as are the printouts of the tiny calendars.

The front and back covers are made with heavy, glittery scrapbook paper, as are the seven tags that are tucked into the page “pockets”.

I decorated with die cuts and occasionally with stickers.

I left the backs of the tags white, but stamped a meaningful word on the back of each, using black ink.

I closed the mini journal by attaching two silver colored decorative buttons to the front and back covers, and running peach colored ribbon through the holes, as shown.

I hope my swap partner likes this project. It was interesting to make.

August 4th, 2015

mixed media painting in style of Jessica Swift This painting does double duty. Week 27 in Lifebook 2015 featured an artist interview with Jessica Swift. There was no particular assignment, but we were invited to do a painting in Jessica’s style. As it turned out, I also had to do an art journal page for Art for the Creative Mind, my mixed media swap group on Yahoo. The theme for the AJ page was soul, and the style was to be frilly and funky.

I designed to kill two birds with one stone, so to speak, and do a Jessica Swift type painting for the Art Journal page.

This is my attempt.

The background consists of collage papers covered with acrylic paints. I also used some of the hand made manilla stencils that we created a couple of weeks ago in another Lifebook lesson.

The bird is made from scrapbook paper, plus orange acrylic paint to make the beak and feet.

The word namaste is stamped with black stamping ink.

Namaste is a Sanscript greeting that loosely translated, means my soul honours your soul.

I thought the painting was sufficiently frilly and funky to meet the requirement, plus also resembled Jessica Swift’s style. The text and the stamped word represented soul, as required for the swap.

Its bright and funky and I actually like it quite a lot.



July 30th, 2015

art journal page with painting of orca whale This art journal page has a painting of an orca whale. The theme was DREAM. I made this for a swap at Art for the Creative Mind, a Yahoo mixed media art group.

I started by doing some paper collaging, then painted over the collage with acrylic paints.

I drew and painted the whale free hand, then did some stenciling with stencil paste. I used a rubber stamp to apply some shapes that resemble seaweed, at least in my opinion.

I drew on some bubbles, and used a stamp to apply the word DREAM.

I printed the word BIG with a Sharpie.

I live in Vancouver, and we often see orcas in our coastal waters. They are always a thrill to witness, and this one was fun to paint.

June 11th, 2015

art journal portrait of a male high school graduate This art journal page is my attempt at painting a portrait of a male high school graduate.  I didn’t get the face quite right. They say practice makes perfect. I am working on portraits these days, trying to get the faces, heads and shoulders to resemble actual people, usually from photographs.

Here, I like the mortarboard, the body and the clothing. The face, not so much. I haven’t done very many male portraits. In fact, this may be the first attempt ever.

This particular art journal page was done for a swap at an online art group called Art for the Creative Mind. The theme for this month was “feel”.

I stamped the letters to spell Feel the Pride, and arranged them along the front of the gown.

I drew the picture with graphite pencils and used acrylic paints for the coloring.





April 4th, 2015
heart shaped hand made book, fanned open
heart shaped hand made book, wide open.

This is Week 10 in Lifebook 2015, taught by Tamara LaPorte. Its called Layers of Your Heart.

Should you be interested, use this link to visit the Lifebook site: Willowing Arts Lifebook 2015.
For this one, we drew and cut out a number of paper hearts. I used six.

We decorated each heart differently. Each heart represents something we appreciate or are grateful for.

When completed,k we attached the hearts at the bottom tip using a brad or other fastener.

My favorite is the top one, which is blue and has a circular design made with a brass stencil and modeling paste.

March 29th, 2015

page for fat book with green background and stenciled image of a bursting theme This is another project for a Fat Book. A Fat Book, also called a chunky book, consists of pages that are 4″ by 4″.

The theme was to make a green page that had Spring as the theme.

I colored the background green using Dylusions Spray Ink, Dirty Martini color. I added a touch of blue spray in spots for contrast.

The burst is made from modeling paste, Liquidex brand, and a brass stencil. This image reminds me of spring bursting forth, so I printed those three words in black ink at the bottom of the page.

This page is made for a swap at Art for the Creative Mind, a Yahoo swap group in which I participate.

Posted in journals | 1 Comment »
March 28th, 2015

page for fat book with blue crackle background and a silhouette of a dancer This project is a page for a fat book or chunky book. These books are 4″ by 4″s.

Since this was made for a swap at Art for the Creative Mind, there was a specific technique and theme. We were to use blue crackle for the technique and the theme was allure.

I began with navy blue card stock, then painted it with crackle medium. When the crackle was partially dry, I painted over with white paint.

The result reminded me of a snow storm or blizzard. I made this during the time that much of eastern North America was experiencing the worst snow storms in years, so perhaps that is why it brought a snow storm to mind.

How to make a snow storm alluring? By adding a beautiful ballerina dancer, of course.

The dancer is a die cut. I covered the black card stock with double sided sticky tape and then ran it through the Big Shot die cutting and embossing machine. I used black micro beads to cover the dancer and then glued the dancer onto the page as shown.

To add a touch of warmer color, I glued in place a small red-borderd strip of text, which reads “Speak Without Words.”

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