Mixed Media Journal Cover

They say necessity is the mother of invention… Sometimes it’s a curious 3 yr. old with lightening fast reflexes.  I bought a new journal the other day… just plain brown, nothing fancy.  I set it down on the end table for about 2 minutes.  Turned around and my little guy had done this lovely little creation:

So I took some black and white gesso and covered the front of the journal.  Added some paint, spray ink, and doodles and voila – a pretty journal cover.

Supplies used: black gesso, white gesso, acrylic paint, Dylusions spray ink, Sharpie paint pen

I’m going to spray a few light coats of acrylic coating to seal the spray ink and it will be good to go.  Are you a fan of a plain journal or do you like slapping some paint on yours?


As the cold weather slowly dwindles away, we get these short glimpses of warm weather.  These warm, little teases have me dreaming of summer.  Tank tops, flip flops, open windows and a cool breeze.  Dinner with music and a cocktail on the patio.  Ahhhhh…. If I close my eyes hard enough, I can almost feel the breeze on my face.

This page was inspired by Dina Wakley’s book, Art Journal Freedom.  My challenges were to play around with whitespace and use images to draw the eye to a certain spot on the page.  Looking at my past art journals, both of these ideas are something I apparently have NO concept of!  I am really enjoying reading her book…it’s perfect for someone who loves to create art, but never went to art school.  I have a post coming soon for you guys about some very inspiring art books I’ve been reading as of late.


The chevron feather stamp is one I recently carved (more on carving stamps here). I’m digging it.  Winking smile  The photo is one that my husband took of me many years ago.

For this page I used: acrylic paint, spray ink (Dylusions), archival ink pad, hand-carved feather stamp, India ink, charcoal, Faber Castell PITT pen, photograph

I’m linking up over at Julie’s Art Journal Everyday!

Art Journal Every Day

Say Yes

“The big question is whether you are going be able to say a hearty yes to your adventure.”

~ Joseph Campbell


The second Fall Fearless and Fly challenge over at Artists in Blogland has come out!  Here is the challenge:

Headline Prompt: Taking a Chance: When did you take a chance or a leap of faith? How did it turn out? What did you learn?
Color Prompt: What color do you like least? Use it!
Quote Prompt: “Don’t refuse to go on an occasional wild goose chase — that’s what wild geese are for.” Anonymous

I chose to do the headline & color prompt.

I’ve mentioned before that I used to have a fancy job, and wear a suit.  I had worked at that same company for almost 10 years when I got pregnant.  After many talks, we decided that our ideal situation would be for me to stay at home with our new baby.  This would obviously mean me leaving a very lucrative job and my comfort zone.  I’ve always been a huge feminist, and very independent.  So the thought of me relying “on a man” freaked me out a little.  Not to mention this would involve becoming incredibly domesticated. However, I knew the quality of life I wanted for my child, and that did not involve me traveling every week.  So, with a deep breath, I stepped into the unknown.  I remember vividly driving home that day thinking “I just left my job where I make XXX amount of money.  Am I %^*$ing crazy?”  Looking back, it was the best thing I could have ever done.  Ironically, even though our income was cut in half, I feel as though we have more now.  It was a big wakeup call to how we spend our money, and we have become much more frugal and responsible as a result.  I’ve also realized I can be a strong, independent feminist AND a stay at home mom.  They are not mutually exclusive.

As for the color on this page, I chose pink.  I am a recent convert to using magenta and I’m still not totally comfortable with it.  I find the easiest way to use a color I’m not crazy about is to mix it with colors that I love.  I started this page laying down some tissue paper with matte medium.  Over that I layered lyrics from one of our favorite songs – The Greatest Sum by The Avett Brothers.  Finished up with sketchy flowers, lots of ink, some words on book pages, and neocolors II.



It can be terrifying to step away from what you’ve always known and venture into the unknown.  However, I find those times can be the most exciting – it’s when you are forced to grow the most.  When everything is shaken down & breaks, you make room for something even more beautiful to grow back.


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Linking up on Friday to Julie’s Art Journal Every Day.

Art Journal Every Day

Deepest Fear

Thank you all so much for your kind words on my post from Monday.  You guys are so encouraging and I’m thankful for the community here in bloggyland!  Thanks for being you!


I started this page by journaling about my dreams and the fears that hold me back.  I like the idea of putting my fears out there, and then putting something pretty on top. Smile  As if I’m acknowledging them, know they are there, and yet I’m still moving forward.



The words pay homage to this Marianne Williamson quote…

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?… Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do… And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” ~ Marianne Williamson

Here’s to being liberated from fear!


I’ll be linking up over at Art Journal Everyday on Friday!

Art Journal Every Day

Painted Pumpkins

Fall is my favorite season for so many reasons.  Crisp weather beginning to tamper the heat of summer, brilliantly colored changing leaves, pumpkin flavored everything, my birthday, and back to school supplies.  Well, I don’t buy back to school supplies now, but I definitely associate it with a happy place in my mind.

This week I’ve been steaming locally grown sugar pie pumpkins to make pies, cupcakes, muffins, and chai.  There isn’t much that beats the taste of fresh pie pumpkin, in my opinion.  After seeing this post by Alisa Burke, I bought a few extra pumpkins to slather with paint.


Of course some doodling made it onto one.


This is my favorite.  I was going to add something else – doodling or ink… but once it was painted, I couldn’t alter it.  I love everything about it – from the blue-y green to the perfect curl of the stem.



This one received a little ink love in the form of Dylusions Crushed Grape.


Such a colorful, festive centerpiece!  (Now my secret is out… how I keep my two yr old from photo bombing every picture.  Calliou on the tv!)


I’m already thinking about going back to get some bigger pumpkins for our doorstep and the patio!  What is your favorite decoration for fall?

An Exercise in Poetry

I recently started reading the blog Daisy Yellow.  She has tons of great prompts for art journaling.  This prompt was really appealing to me.  The idea is you go through a book and find words (or phrases – I only used words) that jump off of the page at you.  Then you combine them in a new way to make a poem or line for your art journal page.  In her prompt, she cut the words out of the book… but I just wrote them down.  I used the book The Prophet by Khalil Gibran.  It’s one of my favorite books ever.  I really loved this prompt, and will do this again often.


I don’t really like this page… maybe it’s not done yet?  The gold pen was a little too… well, gold.  And something about it just seems disconnected.  I really liked the background BEFORE I started writing and doodling on it.  This collage paper started out it’s life as a map from our local zoo.  Then it was hosed down with india ink and sprayed with Dylusions ink after being masked with a stencil.  Once I glued it down in this book, I added a transparent black color wash.  Then I broke out the pen.  The gold pen of doom… Smile  I think it just seems TOO bright & metallic for me.  I thought about adding another color wash, but I don’t want to loose the detail of the background.  Maybe I’ll sit on this one a bit.  What do you do when you finish a page & aren’t overwhelmed with love?  Stick it in a drawer & forget about it for a while?  Leave it for a few days?  Or keep pushing through?




If this page pulls through into some awesomeness, I’ll be sure to share. Smile

Free Your Mind

“Emancipate yourself from mental slavery. None but ourselves can free our minds.”  ~ Marcus Garvey (used in the Bob Marley song Redemption Song)


This page was very nearly a disaster.  I started out as I did with yesterday’s post with lots of doodling.


At this point, I loved it.  I think I jinxed myself because I was talking to my mom earlier in the day, and she was telling me to photocopy these doodles in case I wanted to use them as collage paper for backgrounds.  I said, “nah… I’ll just make another background. I don’t need to keep any”.  Famous. last. words.




I got out my Dylusions Ink Sprays & sprayed over a few random things – a tomatillo husk and TP tubes.  I used London Blue and Postbox Red.  I was hoping the two combined would create a nice purple.  Nope… it was more of a ruddy brown.  Luckily I remembered reading about a “ghosting” technique the other day with these inks.  Since they are water based, you can wet a paper towel and lay it on top of the page & the ink absorbs into the paper towel.  Usually you would spray down a background with ink, lay a stencil over top & then pull out the ink so you are left with a watermark of sorts.

I just did the same thing, but without a stencil.  It took a ton of the brown-ness out, and I’m much happier with what was left!






“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.  So throw off the bowlines.  Sail away from the safe harbor.  Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”  ~ Mark Twain


This page started out with lots o’ zentangling.  I finally got the pens you are supposed to use for this (I had been using a gel writer which is terrible!).  What a difference!  I have to use less effort to get the black spaces filled in.


As soon as it was done, I thought “this needs ink!”.  So I set a few toilet paper tubes down (to make faint circles) and spritzed Dylusions Ink over top from several feet above.  Blotted some bits with a tissue and used a Sharpie paint marker for the lettering.





It’s amazing how much joy & pleasure a few pens & a little spray ink will provide.

Art Journal Every Day

Inked Cards

Remember those super easy semi-handmade cards? Yep, I decided to take some ink to a few blank cards. To start, I took a few pages and masked the sides of the card.


Spritzed ink over top, let dry & lifted the mask pages off.



The pages I used to mask looked pretty cool too!

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Then I got a little crazy with some stencils!  This first one may be my favorite.  I stood a toilet paper tube up on top of the card & sprayed from about 12 inches high with blue & yellow spray.  I think it looks kinda cool.


Then I just started grabbing random things from around the house & masking & squishing!








Lots more cards to add to the collection!