This art journal page reminds me to look for the magic in the everyday (or night). A full moon surrounded by swirls of violet cloud, a garden bathed in moonglow, the brilliant light from a distant star, the changing colours of the seasons as trees shed their leaves and plants lie dormant, then a new cycle of growth begins all over again. The feelings of comfort and belonging inspired by a little cottage; a sense of home, of occupying my own little place in the universe.
I have been doing Danielle Donaldson’s online art workshop, All Creatures Lovely and Small, learning to draw and watercolour whimsical creatures and create mixed-media story blocks. Good fun!
He’s not quite finished yet. I still have to add some embellishing around the pup.
Lavender, rosemary and peppermint picked fresh from the garden bring the aromatic scent of herbs into the studio.
Finn keeps me company while he has his chew.
Once the echinaceas have finished flowering outside, their seed heads make an interesting arrangement indoors.
This little wall hanging was inspired by a recent visit to Waimarama Beach. I rummaged around in my stash of fabrics for blues and golds to accent the colours in the photograph. I sewed them onto a burlap background with wavy lines of stitching, then sewed on strips of ribbon and trim, and added some buttons and some driftwood and shells from the beach. Hanging from the bottom are vintage tassels I found at a recent antiques fair.
Finn had a wonderful time chasing his toy, then burying it in the sand. He even found a playmate. Although he loves to swim in the river, he has always been a little hesitant about going into the ocean. But on this day he was happy to follow Nick into the water, and to retrieve his toy from the shallow waves.
I love making patchwork. There is something satisfying about cutting up pieces of fabric or paper and joining them back together to make something new. Patchwork quilts fill me with joy, pretty fabrics joined together to make lovely, functional pieces. Pretty scrapbook papers fill with me with just as much joy, and collaging these paper hearts was a good way of using up some scraps I had left over from other projects.
I began by tearing random shapes from the scrapbook papers. I glued them all onto a sheet of paper with mod podge, then glued little pieces of ribbon and fibres on top.
After the glue had dried, I turned the collaged paper over and drew random shaped hearts on the back.
I cut out the hearts and arranged them on a page in my art journal, on which I had already painted a background with watercolour paints and added a strip of paper lace. I wrote sentiments onto paper, cut out the words, inked the edges and added them to my page.
I have had this wonderful vintage postcard in my collection for a while now and thought it would be perfect to use on a Valentine’s Day project. I began by layering and handstitching together pretty fabrics and lace as a frame for the postcard. For the background I did some stenciling, inked around the edges of the page, then added some washi tape, buttons, ribbon and paper hearts. A little tag with a sentiment and a tiny paperclip finished it off.
I love when the back to school sales are on and I can stock up on stationery for my writing. When I saw these Kraft notebooks with dividers advertised in the Whitcoulls flyer I thought they would be perfect for character journals. I bought an A4, an A5 and a set of 4 small tabbed notebooks.
The best part is that they have plain brown covers, perfect for decorating. I decorated the A5 notebook with scrapbook papers and embellishments.
Each section is dedicated to a character in my novel, where I can bring them to life as I record detailed descriptions of their appearances, their homes, their families, their history, their likes and dislikes. I also include pictures of things related to their lives such as the houses they might live in. I love to browse through real estate guides and choose each character a home according to their personality. For my main character, her garden plays an important part in her story, so in her section I am including stickers and pictures of things she might have in her garden.
When I am writing a novel, I find that taking time out to do crafty things like this helps to make the whole process of novel writing so much more fun, and it helps me really get to know my characters.
Lately I have been having fun creating mixed-media art on mini canvases that measure just 4 inches square. They have cute little easels to stand them on, too. For this trio, I wanted to create something light and breezy to reflect the beautiful summery weather we are having at the moment. I used watercolour paint, texture paste with a flower stencil, pressed flowers from our garden, butterflies cut from scrapbook paper, plastic mesh, some colourful fibres, and a few sparkly rhinestones for the centers of the stenciled flowers.
When I saw this pretty scrapbook paper from Kaisercraft’s Fairydust collection, I knew I had the perfect photo to go with it. It was one that Nick took a few years ago that I have always loved. I added some honeycomb stencilling, ribbons and fibres, vintage lace, chipboard embellishments, and a few splashes of watercolour paint.
I hope this little garden fairy has added some whimsical delight to your day!
Dandelion, puffs away,
Make my wish come true someday.
A Visit From The Ancestors
This page in my art journal was made using scrapbook papers, fabrics, chalk, paper lace, and a metal embellishment.
A while ago I was given some quilt fabrics. There were several black pieces with designs of silver stars and swirls, and were perfect for including in this project.
The All Hallow’s Eve scrapbook paper is from Graphic 45’s Time to Flourish collection.
The ancestor pictures are from Kaisercraft’s Betsy’s Couture collection.
The picture of the haunted house is from The Graphics Fairy, which is a great resource for free vintage images, crafting ideas and tutorials.
I love that in my art journal I can tell a story in pictures rather than words.
I started a new garden journal this year that I plan to fill with collaged pages of photographs, sketches and journaling. These are the first pages. I’ve added some embellishments from Graphic 45s Time To Flourish collection, which has lots of pretty floral stickers, scrapbooking papers, chipboard tags and journaling cards. On January’s page I included a layout plan of our veggie garden to aid in planning for crop rotation next season.
I love to pick up fallen leaves when we go for walks with Finn. The autumn leaves are such beautiful colours. There is just something about them that I can’t resist, although I am never quite sure what I will do with them once I get them home. More often than not, they will end up being tossed away again. This year, however, I was determined to use some on a journal page.
Although the leaves were already dry when I collected them, I pressed them under a pile of heavy books for a week to flatten them before I used them.
I painted the background of my journal page with watercolour paints, in autumn shades of golds, reds and orange. Then I glued a photo of Finn onto the page and surrounded it with the leaves. I glued the leaves down, then covered them with a layer of mod podge to protect and preserve them. I used scrapbooking letters to spell out the word Autumn.
When black cats prowl and pumpkins gleam,
May luck be yours this Halloween.
I made this little Halloween book using papers from Graphic 45’s Steampunk Spells, and Olde Curiosity Shoppe collections, as well as embellishments from 7 Gypsies, Graphic 45, Tim Holtz, and various other ephemera.
As someone who loves both gardening and mixed-media art, I was thrilled to come across the book In This Garden by Angela Cartwright and Sarah Fishburn. The book is a collaboration by 12 mixed-media artists on the theme of gardens. They were each given 4 panels to form a miniature garden, to decorate in any style they chose. The result was a wide variety of wonderfully imaginative gardens, including a New Orleans Junkyard garden, a community garden, Marie Antoinette’s garden, and The Prairie Rose & Sagebrush Garden. There are notes from each contributor on the techniques they used, and also favourite memories and observations about their own gardens. I love this book. I keep picking it up and seeing different things in it each time I look.
Angela Cartwright is one of my favourite mixed-media artists. When I looked up her website, I was interested to learn that before getting into art and photography, she had an acting career. As a child, she played Brigitta in the movie The Sound of Music.
This book has inspired me to make a mini album of my own dream garden to include pictures of my favourite things – foxgloves, birdbaths, scarecrows, herbs, butterflies, dragonflies, birds, sunflowers…
I’ve made the cover so far.
Today was good
Today was fun
Tomorrow is another one
For these pages in my art journal I was experimenting with creating backgrounds using watercolour paints and found objects. The wavy lines are made with corrugated cardboard, the circles with bottle caps, and the little square criss cross shapes are made by splodging paint over plastic mesh with a foam dobber. It’s great fun to see what patterns you can make with things you find around the house.
This morning when I was visiting my parents, Mum gave me a box of knick knacks to look through, random objects she has kept over the years in case they should ever come in useful, then forgotten about. I came home with a bag of goodies to use in my craft projects – old keys, wooden cotton reels, pieces of jigsaw puzzle, tiny light bulbs and little shells. I’m already planning what they’re going to be used for!
I recently joined Suzi Blu’s Gypsy Art School and signed up for her online class, Tell Your Story, an art journal workshop that documents the story of our lives through art, scrapbooking and writing. Each week Suzi posts a prompt for you to write about and then create an art journal page. During the week, she posts online what she has done with the prompt, and at the end of each month she creates a painted art journal page on video, showing how she uses different mediums to create her art. Students can share their pages online for the rest of the class to see, but it is not compulsory. It is very inspirational to see what others have done and how they interpret the prompt. Each person’s art is so unique. The course runs for three months, but you can work at your own pace, as the materials and videos are available to view and download until the end of the year.
I am really enjoying the class. Other than my garden journal, I have never done any art journaling before. I find the prompts really get me thinking. Although when I first see the prompt, my mind is a blank and I don’t have a clue what to write, once I start, the words seem to flow, and by the time I have finished writing down my thoughts in a cheap exercise book, I have plenty of ideas for making the art page in my journal.
I am using a Rangers Dylusions Journal. It has nice thick card for painting on, a sturdy cover for decorating, and a big pocket inside the front cover for keeping notes and scraps in.
These were the first pages I did. The prompt was:
How would I describe — to someone who had never met her?
The next prompt was all about home. I printed out some pictures of my dream houses and tucked them into a pocket behind the journal card.
For these pages I used scrapbook paper, coloured pencils, pens, chalks, stamps, and pressed flowers.
One of the prompts was to take random photos to document a week in our life, then choose one that represented our life right now, to create an art journal page. The one constant in my photos was Cody, who is beside me in everything I do, so I decided to create a page around her.
I think I’ll leave decorating the cover of the journal until later, as I’m sure I’ll be learning more techniques and gaining more inspiration as the course progresses.