Mixed Media Journal

This YouTube video inspired me to make a journal out of envelopes. I didn’t have the same size that Marta (in the video) used, but I went ahead anyway. My envelopes were made out of kraft paper and were a rectangle size. They didn’t have very long flaps so I had to use adhesive to keep the pages together. I used gesso, paint, and stains on the front cover and liked the way it looked. I taped the binding with some flowered washi tape.

I decided to try some smudging/outlining and I hated it. Then I had the bright idea to add glue through a stencil to have clear dimension. That was a fail – you couldn’t really tell I had done anything. So while the glue was wet I added some silver glitter. Now it was really really ugly! But Marta says to keep going so I did. I found this paper stencil-like piece and added it with gesso to the front. I tried to re-create the original colors that I liked with some stains and paints and came pretty close.


I couldn’t decide whether to cut off the top part that didn’t have the stencil on it, and I still might. I think it looks funny like this. If I cut the top off the envelopes would be open but if I wanted to put something in the envelopes I could just tape them shut with washi tape. Or I could just leave them open. No, I won’t just leave them open – too loosey-goosey for me! Anyway I added the little heart paper and it looks a little better, but I still think it looks unbalanced.

On to the back. First I put down some tissue paper with gel medium as the glue. Then I gessoed lightly over that. I had cut some feathers on my Cameo and decided to add those. I thought they should be colored to go with the tissue paper, although that doesn’t show up in the photo. Next I splattered some white paint and added a little Ferris wheel with the same colors. Now I guess I won’t cut off the top because it would mess up the back. Sigh.


This is a practice journal so I guess it doesn’t really matter what it looks like. I am just a beginner at art journaling and the process is the fun part. Although it is weird not to have an idea of what I want the final result to look like.


Two Distress Ink Techniques

20170115_134027I am not a watercolor expert but I like to play with water and ink colors. I made this card for a challenge a couple of weeks ago using Distress Inks and water. The same Distress inks worked well to dye the seam binding and the card stock which were both originally white. I wanted the ink to pool a little bit in the debossed areas so I used the impression plate first.

I put some water on the card before dropping inks on it and that helps them move around without much help from a brush. The key to keeping the colors light was not mixing them very much.


This card also used Distress Inks but this time I used an ink blending tool to create the very soft tints of color. Tapping the ink blending tool off on a scrap first let me add very small amounts of color and not make them too heavy. I used the February My Monthly Hero Kit to make this card. It is an amazing kit full of weather stamps and dies.

Stamp and Die Organization

I love to organize, whether it’s the clothes in my closet, the books on my shelves, or the supplies I use to scrapbook and stamp. Many years ago I came across the idea that you could organize your supplies so that they were most useful to you as you created with them. Thinking about how you create will help you organize in a way that makes sense and helps you find what you want more efficiently.

I like to use stamps and dies when I make scrapbook layouts and cards. I used to keep my stamps in the packaging they came in, especially if they came in DVD cases or similar containers that would store easily. I started my die collection with QuicKutz brand dies and the company created storage systems for the different die shapes. There were small red notebooks for the 4×4 dies and zip up binders for the 2×2 dies so those are what I used to store my dies. The problem was that I wasn’t using my dies very much because when I was making a project I wanted a flower or a heart or a softball and wouldn’t be able to find it easily – I had to look through several red notebooks or zip up binders. Even though I had filed the dies alphabetically it didn’t really help since I didn’t know if it was the third or fourth notebook that had the flower I wanted, for example. The little notebooks and binders looked nice all together on the shelf but they were just sitting on the shelf.

Thinking about what would make the dies more useful I realized I would use them more if I created categories that aligned with how I created. When making pages for my daughter’s wedding albums I would then have all the hearts and wedding stamps and dies together. The storage wouldn’t look as pretty without storing all the little notebooks and zip up binders together but if I actually used my stamps and dies more often I figured I could get used to the different look.


I created the following categories:

  • Words
  • Love/Wedding
  • Shapes
  • Borders/Nested
  • Christmas/Holidays
  • Backgrounds
  • Thank You
  • Flowers
  • Tree/Leaves
  • Grunge
  • Home/Food
  • Outdoors

It made me a little nervous to split up some of my stamp and die sets but I saved the packaging so I can put them back together if I decide I don’t like this system. You can see there are several types of containers within each category, like the basket for Outdoors.







Some stamps and dies come in packaging that tears easily so I found plastic envelopes in different sizes  that work well.




I could not find plastic envelopes to fit my 6×6 background stamps; I found some that would fit the 6×6 stamps but they were 9″ tall and I knew that all the extra plastic would flop over and bug me. Wracking my brain for a solution, I remembered that I had several 8×8 plastic page protectors for an album I was no longer going to make. I got out my sewing machine and made some custom plastic envelopes for those background stamps.


I cut off the edge with the punched holes, although if you wanted to store your stamps in a binder you could cut off the other side. I am pretty happy with my solution and the best part is that it didn’t cost me anything but some thread and some time.

So far my reorganization is working well and I am rediscovering stamps and dies I haven’t used in a long time.




One Little Word Mini Canvas

Many people make several resolutions at the beginning of a new year with the best of intentions to  improve their life. It can be difficult to make many changes all at once, and this is why I find the One Little Word concept helpful. I learned about this idea from a memory keeper named Ali Edwards and have chosen a word most years since 2006. This year my word is choose.

To make my word visible I created a mini canvas inspired by this art journal page  and this mixed medium canvas by Shari Carroll. I love the color, texture, and contrast of her page and canvas and I was inspired to create something with these features for my word. I started with some gesso and scraps of paper, lace, and chipboard. The gesso acts as an adhesive as well as toning down the colors.

I didn’t have all the same materials on hand so I improvised. I used some clay and molds to create the flower strips and some of the single flowers. I cut the shanks off some old buttons and added some random beads and some little stones from an orphan earring. While hunting through my crafty stash I found some Dew Drops I had forgotten about and added some of them too. I had the chain from an old light and I used my tin snips to create some of the little balls. I also had some new chain and I cut some of it apart as well.



I used some clear liquid glue to adhere the buttons and beads since I wasn’t sure if the gesso would hold the heavier pieces. It doesn’t look very pretty before I add more white gesso.


I decided to create two mini canvases since I had all the materials out and was making a huge mess. After the white gesso was dry I used some Distress Inks with a water brush to put down some color . I also used some Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist and Heidi Swapp Color Shine Sprays. Adding water with the colors and tipping the canvases let the colors run. I wanted to have the effect of an old piece that had been weathered and stained.


Waiting for everything to dry was the hard part – I am impatient so I used my heat tool to speed things up. Since I had my heat tool out I decided to add some embossing powders. I have some Distress Embossing Powder in the Verdigris color and it is one of my very favorites. It gives the look of metal that has been left outside for a long time.


Time to add my word. I didn’t have a die for choose so I used my Cameo to cut ‘choose’ out four or five times. I glued them together to make the word dimensional and painted it black ( I cut most everything out of white card stock on my Cameo.) I added some liquid glue to make it shiny and added it to the smaller canvas. Tying some twine on the end finished it off.


I did have a die for the word wonderful so I cut it out of black card stock four or five times and glued them together for the larger mini canvas. The twine didn’t look right so I just left it off. The wonderful canvas doesn’t look as balanced as the choose one but it was okay considering I was making it up as I went along.


I had fun making these – until it was time to clean everything up. Yikes, I can really make a mess but I didn’t get any photos of that.

Thanks for stopping by!

Playing with stencils, paste, and ink

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I mixed pink pearls mist with the texture paste and applied through the mini ringlets stencil using the palette knife. I spread it around and tried to get it even throughout the stencil, but there are some spots that are uneven. With a technique like this it’s good to be okay with imperfection.

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This time I put Dragonfly Glimmer Mist with a different embossing paste and used the mini solace stencil. I really like the blue color on the black paper background. I’m curious to see if the glimmer and pearl show up when the pastes dry.

These experiments are the start of my next technique class at Scrapmania – stencils with different mediums. It will be in August, date TBA.

Graphic 45 Typography tags

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I challenged myself to make tags on a recent car trip because my friend Shelly says that she gets a lot done by working in the car. I got two tags done and am pleased with how they turned out. I only packed one plastic tote and  a few basic tools like scissors, a paper piercer, adhesive, and pop dots.

I will probably use these tags on layouts with heritage photos since Graphic 45 papers are perfect for those photos. They are also great for other photos since they are so colorful. I really like the Typography line of papers and can see that I will use it a lot.

The only small problem I had wile creating in the car is that it was windy out so I wouldn’t have been able to write out any journaling. Have you ever done any creating on a road trip? If you haven’t do you think you could?