Thursday, September 19, 2013

Art Journal Tutorial for you!

Hi all!

It has been a whirlwind of activity around here these days!  Tuesday I had lunch with my buddy Suzanne (Scrap Bitz) and then went junk hunting around town.  I didn't find anything - I am on the hunt for old fence, old doors and a desk.  She found a couple cool things though and it was really nice to sit and catch up.  we don't get to hang out nearly as much as we did when we were running the magazine (Through the Craft Room Door.)  That morning I went to a gifted & Talented info meeting as the school is wanting to do some testing on Hollyn - I have to say I am much happier with the program in this school district than any of the ones the boys were in.  So we'll see where that leads.  Then I ended the night with a meeting for the Special Education Advisory Council - I was asked to be the rep for our school and while the meeting was interesting - we heard  our Superintendent speak and then covered the general business of the committee - I am not sure it is the right fit for me since I have had zero experience with special education other than Pezza's very minor IEP and wouldn't know the first thing about what is needed or best practices or current research.  So I may have to step down from that.  Then off to Petsmart first thing this morning for my turn taking care of the kitties the Rescue I work with has there.  Two very cute calicos greeted me today - no babies though - we are nearing the end of kitten season.  I think my day is clear tomorrow though other than a bit of house cleaning so I am really hoping to sit and sew.  What's on my sewing plate?  A purse for my step mom - got some CUTE fabrics, TWO quilts I would really like to make and Fall/Halloween table linens - so yea, I need to fit quite a few sewing days in!

But today I have art journaling for ya!  I have not been very good about reading blogs for some time now and I really miss it.  I get most of my faves in my email and every now and then I will take a minute to check one out and see what's going on - or i may see a post on Facebook and go have a look.  At this moment I have 1637 unread emails so you see what I am up against.....Anyway, I just happened to click on Tim Holtz's blog when he posted the tutorial for this month's 12 tags and I really thought it was quite good.  However, I have not purchased much of anything new in years and that includes none of the mass amount of products Tim has released.  SO I was lacking several of the thing she used but I decided I would just make do with what I had and see how it turned out.  (Frankly I have been skeptical for some time as to whether or not I REALLY need his specific brand of stuff or if I can substitute.) ONE day I will have time to do some real tests but for now here is my version broken out into steps for you.

Here is the end result in an art journal I was working in:

 And here it is step by step.

Now Tim started with embossing paste by Wendi Vechi which I don't have BUT I do have loads of other embossing stuff.  Nor do I have his stencils but they are too small for me anyway so I used a Crafter's Workshop stencil I already own and used Viva Decor Crystal Gel to emboss with.  Now right away I know this is going to react differently because I am pretty sure Wendi's paste is a matte white and the one I used was a clear gloss but whatevs - it sure is purty!  And of course it worked like a DREAM with the stencil as EVERY Viva Decor (Viva Colour) product always does.  HMMMM  not sure you can actually get this crystal gel so lemme look for a link.......YES of course Susana has it at SCACD!  So there ya go if you are wanting some.  Ok let that dry.

NEXT we take another stencil - again Crafter's Workshop - and acrylic paint - in this case I used Luminarte Silks in Ice - you can barely see it on the bottom left and upper right corners.  I just used a sponge to pounce a small bit of paint across the stencil - if you use too much paint it will seep underneath and that is no good!  Again let it dry.

NOW we want to drench it in color.  I used Luminarte Radiant Rain mists.  I began by misting the pages with water and then with Radiant Rains in Lemon Drop (old style bottle - been using this stuff for AGES), Fern, Teal Zircon and Apple Blossom - GORGEOUS!!!!  Now one real important point here - page prep.  I am not using gesso'ed pages.  If I had gesso on here it would sort of resisit the sprays and I want them to soak in so I have not "sealed" the paper with gesso.  I know there are some mixed media artists who insist you MUST MUST MUST always start with gesso - NOT the case.  It depends on what mediums (Products) you are using and the effect you want.  Now notice how we have two different effects with our two different types of stenciling - the Silks has taken on some of the color so it is a faint image and the Crystal Gel has resisted it PLUS because it is raised the color has pooled around the stenciled bits and on top.

Now we are using ANOTHER stencil and some brown Distress Ink - which I do have since it came out like a hundred years ago - all the new seasonal colors - not so much.  BUT I do have a few.  Ok now we are going to add yet another stencil layer using our brown distress ink and a foam blender - Walnut Stain and I layered it in a few areas.  Next I used a smaller design stencil - in this case very small sized sequin waste - to add yet another layer using a colored Distress Ink - Broken China here and layered yet again.  I noticed a really coll thing happens when you do this - the blue ink reacts with the brown ink and almost moves it out of the way.  It also shows up differently where it is used over the Silks image so the Silks image shows through. 

FUN stuff!  And we're still not done!

Now some stamping with Black Soot Distress Ink.  I used some stamps I carved myself - SO easy to do!  See my previous post about carving them.  I LOVE these leaves I drew so I used them.

We're ready for the final steps!  I LOVE to put quotes on my pages but you could use anything - stamped images, printed clip art, colored images...  I inked the edges and used my handy dandy edge distresser - the crazy Distrezz All or whatever it's called is too much for me :P  

Adhere them to the page and then I used a charcoal pencil to go around the edges and smeared it with a paper blending stump and my finger to really set them off.

The journal I was working in was not actually mine - it is one of the Circle Journals I am participating in.  I did two of them in this session:

I carved the stamp used on this page from a Dover Pictura image - A tutorial for that will be coming next week!  So whadda ya think?


  1. The colors are absolutely beautiful!

  2. Oh my!!! I LOVE this and totally reminds me of why I fell in love with your kind of "make a mess" crafting! The results are always SO awesome and so much better than clean and tidy!!! I am imagining making THREE of these on CANVAS and hanging them in the baby room that does not exist because Bart is waiting for me to clear it out and clean it up. But now I may just start because I want to make something like this!!!! Great job, buddy!!! Your inspirational as always!