Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year

The only resolutions I made for this year were reading resolutions.. which I did not even come close to keeping >.>

HOWEVER- look at all the books I made and/or filled this year! :)

Plus a few more I gave to friends or sold. 
That mitigates my failure some, right? ;)

Anyway, here is my first journal calendar of the new year:

I made it the same time I did the one for December, but it took me awhile to decide how I wanted to decorate it. I'm not really into holiday or seasonal themes, and since I live in California- a snowy January page seemed silly.

I ended up using a photocopy of one of my Alice in Wonderland drawings.

I searched for quotes from the book, and decided "Begin at the beginning & go on 'til you get to the end" seemed appropriate for  the first month of a new year. :)

Happy New Year :)

Friday, December 21, 2012

Some Doodles

(in reverse chronological order!)

I was watching the lovely & talented Jennibellie's video & when she was stamping the circles this lady with her insanely tall Rococo hairdo popped into my head & demanded to be painted! Immediately. (She's very demanding!)

Including her hair- she is 9 inches tall.
I used shimmy watercolours & Sakura stardust pens so she is quite sparkly & fabulous :)

"Plenty of Fish in the Sea"
This image has been lurking around my imagination for a LONG time (years) & I finally decided to draw it in my little doodle style.. She is modelled after my sister lol

The dress is painted in glitter glue which actually turned out pretty well I think.

Just a little journal page doodle.. don't you hate it when your mirror talks back to you? ugh

Another little doodle for a journal page.
Just to clarify- this is NOT meant to be Audrey Hepburn.. it is me (or rather my doodle persona) dressed up as Audrey Hepburn >.> Audrey was much too classy to refer to herself in such terms ;)

And last but not least:

 "Monsters don't sleep under your bed.. they sleep inside your head!"
I have no idea where that quote is from- but I love it & have worked it into my last THREE notebooks.

That's all I have for you today. Enjoy your holidays :)

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy Journaling Cards

 (an affinity for cutesy rhyming phrases is one of the side effects of having majored in k-12 education lol)

This is one of my favourite ways to make journaling cards & it's super easy.  You just need painter's tape & paper. I used "mixed media" paper for this batch- but I've used card stock & drawing paper before.

My handwriting tends to be pretty small, so I cut my strips of tape into fourths to make more narrow lines.

On some of them I used a white prismacolor to draw little hearts & swirls in the spaces between the lines.

I painted the backgrounds with my watercolours. I like the look of watercolours better but you can also use acrylics.

Once they're dry, I just peel off the tape & ink the edges (I ink the edges of almost everything I make lol. I just think they look more "finished" that way)

I used way too much water on this one so it seeped under the edges of the tape. Luckily I like the messy, paint splattery look ;)

I like these cards because I can use any of my pens-  including ones which wouldn't usually write over painted backgrounds :)

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Alice In Wonderland

I'm on another drawing kick, this time it's Alice in Wonderland.

Started off with this little painting for a journal page:

I only meant for the little girl to resemble Alice.. but it made me want to do more that were decidedly Alice in Wonderland..

Alice Stickers
Alice & friends
 The Caterpillar
Curiouser & curiouser..

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


Ah it's December.
Sad to say, December is not one of favourite months..

I know, I know- there's Christmas & ♪♫ the most wonderful time of the year. ♪♫ meh..

Anyways, so no, I'm not making a December Daily. And my December calender is not exactly festive.. >.> but I like it :)

One of the few Christmasy things I DO like is Nightmare Before Christmas (in fact my Christmas stocking has Jack Skellington on it!) :)

So that is the inspiration for my calender this month.

It might not seem like a cheerful page to some people, but it makes me happy :D

I didn't want to ruin the effect with my usual bright calendar stickers.. so I made some special ones just for Dec.

 I'm especially proud of the smiling Jack in the second row.. I think it looks just like him! Not that he's a terribly complicated character to draw but still lol

My calender pages in my last notebook were all boring, half sheet grids stuck in the back of the book.  They were not pretty enough to be included in the journal proper so they were exiled back there >.>

But since I started following The Kathryn Wheel and have been making PRETTY calendar pages for my journal they are not banished to the back anymore.. Which is nice except I kept having to flip thru the pages to find where the calendars were because I can never remember..

So my brillant solution:

Hope everyone enjoys their December!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Altered Book Art Journal

I've seen some REALLY cool art journals made from altering & re-purposing an old book. The problem is all the tutorials I've seen have called for gesso... Which I don't have & since my current art supply budget is about $2 a month >.>  I had to think of a way to improvise...

For my poor man's altered book journal I used:
* cheapest Apple Barrel acrylic paints
* masking tape
* watercolours
* ink pads
* discard book from library

I got a $1 hardcover book from the library's used book store They sell discard books & books that people have donated... I love books so it took me about an hour to find one that was a) the right size/shape b) sturdy enough and c) one I wouldn't feel guilty about ripping up & painting on o.O  lol I spent a lot of time in the diet & "politics" sections..

altered book

This is what the book looked like after it was reincarnated into my journal :)
The book was originally a dull blue so I used  some blue acrylic & shimmery watercolours to brighten it up

When I was putting my name on it, I accidentally put it on the back cover so now the text on the inside pages is upside down. But actually, I like it because now the text in the background of the pages look more abstract. :)

I ripped out about 1/3 of the pages & then went thru & taped the remaining ones together with masking tape in groups of 3 to make thicker pages. I also put masking tape in the center of most spreads to help prevent pages from falling out & keep paint from seeping into the middle. 

I only had three colours of acrylic paint (pink, blue & white) so I experimented a bit combining them with watercolours since I have more of those.

watercolour over white acrylic + bubble wrap texturing

I really like the effect of watercolours over dry white acrylic. It's kind of dreamy

watercolour over white acrylic 

watercolour over white acylic

watercolour over white acrylic, inked edges & stamp
 Look at the  difference between the orange over the acrylic covered page & over the naked masking tape in the middle! This is one of my favourite pages :)

watercolors over acrylic... giant bubble wrap!

white acrylic, watercolours, ink pad & spider stamp!

Painting over the white acrylic obviously makes the colours much lighter.. so on the left side of this spread I left some space free of the acrylic. It came out nice & black.. but it seeped thru all three pages :{  That didn't happen on pages that were completely covered w/ the acrylic paint so I think if I want really black pages, I will need to find some black acrylic. I used a black ink pad to make the edgers darker.

Another attempt to try & get a darker background.. this time I used the blue acrylic as the base & built up layers of black watercolour over it.

The top right corner is scotch tape which I coloured w/ permanent marker & then partially scrapped off. 

acrylic, inked bubble wrap, magazine image & stickers

This is my other favourite page. I had been saving this image from an issue of Gothic Beauty, and when I mixed this dusty purple colour it just seemed to work perfectly with it. I added some red heart stickers to tie in with her outfit.

I also added graph paper to several pages.. I taped 'em in with masking tape so I could paint over the edges & blend them in with the background.

pink & white acrylic, masking tape & graph paper

I am TRYING to leave some of the pages bare for  ideas I might have when I'm actually using the journal... but it's hard to resist the blank pages!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Building a Stash: Part 1

I think most artsy-crafty types have a "stash" of stuff that they've bought. You see something cute when you're at Michaels or skipping thru the office supply aisle at Target >.> ....
& you snatch it up and take it home to squirrel away.

As much as I love pretty coordinated paper lines & stickers and all that, I've found myself wanting to use less store bought things on my pages. I want there to be more of ME & less mass produced elements that are on thousands of other peoples pages.

Of course it's usually quicker & easier to grab pre-made elements from your stash. So I've been working on building a stash of my OWN creations. That way, even when I don't have time to make something myself right then, I can still have my own work on the page :)


I LOVE making stickers! Whenever I make some for my etsy shop, I try to make a few extra for my own use.

These are some stickers I made for my journal calender. I use a lot of   "diary deco" stickers on my calenders (especially My Little Friend by Pony Brown) but wanted to make some that are more Anne-specific lol

Some emoticon-type stickers I made after searching for similar ones that were NOT just happy faces!

Ideas & Resources:
Avery label stickers are pretty easy to find anywhere that has office supplies and are great to doodle on.

There's also a lot of sellers on Etsy which sell cute blank stickers:

Journalling Cards

I LOVE journalling cards!! (Can you tell?)

And they are not hard to make yourself. In fact, if you look at a lot of the commercially made ones- the design is pretty simple.  I have  several different ways that I like to make journalling cards (which I hope to share with you soon) however in the meantime there are lots of tutorials out there by creative crafters!

Ideas & Resources:


Patterned Paper 

Making my own patterened/background paper is something I tend to do when I feel like being artsy- but don't really have any focused ideas... I just start randomly doodling & flinging paint around. It's also one of my stress reducers!

lots & lots of layers!
watercolours over flowers doodled in permanent marker

Ideas & Resources:
  • If you (like me!) prefer kind of crazy, layers-of-paint type backgrounds, check out the tutorial over at Peony & Parakeet (I love her papers!)
  • If you like more neat & simple backgrounds (nothing wrong with that!) check out this one by Dawn McVey


I have a folder called "Random Photos I Took" on my computer.  There are a lot of shots of the sky &  flowers & trees... and people's shoes (cuz I'm weird like that!).  I've been steadily going thru & ordering prints of them.  There's a lot of "found images" used in art journaling- which cool but I think there's something to be said for using your own photos.
When I had access to a printer, I used to print my photos on regular printing paper- which is ideal if you like to write & doodle on them!

But now I usually order collage prints which I then cut up so I have lots of nice little pics ready to go.  I reused the clear plastic envelope from a sheet of stickers to store mine.

Ideas & Resources

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Quotable Quotes

I was watching "Harriet the Spy" the other day & totally understood her panic when they took her notebook away. If you're a notebook keeper- that's how you record & process things that happen,  how you sort out your thoughts & let out your feelings, so to have it taken away?? o.O *shudders*