Tag Archives: book

An Art Journaling Afternoon


My friend, Margaret, and I enjoyed an afternoon of Art Journaling on Monday.  It was low key and relaxing.

She’d been interested in trying her hand at crafting an Art Journal and wanted to do one in an altered book.  You can see more about some art journal basics here.

I got Margaret rolling on a spread with color as the theme.  She created these lovely pages on the color orange.

Color Orange

All the elements came together beautifully.  The rich fall colors in the pretty background picture are accented with a little blue that is repeated in the design on the dress fabric and the scrap of blue mulberry paper behind the woman.  The repetition of the fish scale pattern is echoed in the lines on the fabric.

Margaret said she felt like she was in kindergarten.  We should have had milk and cookies!

While she was working on her orange page, I put together this page.  I’d cut out the yellow bird a long time ago and had found the scrap that says “sing” and the two pieces have sat on my desk for months.  I was very happy to finally include them in a spread.

sing yellow bird

The ripped piece of paper in the middle is printed vellum.  When it is flat, you can see a bit more of the left part of the face.  I don’t really know why I combined these images, but I did.  Her face is tinted a deep shade of teal but that doesn’t really show in this photo.  I like how the yellow, rust-orange and turquoise work together.

We continued creating, with both of us starting another page.   Margaret wasn’t finished when I had to leave, but you can see she had a nice possible layout that she was working with.

Rosy Pink

I’m sorry I cut off part of the word “HOME”.  She did a beautiful job with the pink, black, white and green accented color scheme in all the elements.  You can see the doggie’s pink tongue and bits of pink and green  in the interior photos.

After my Halloween costume this year, it should be no surprise that I did a page with a peacock feather motif.

Peacock Page

I was nearly finished before I left, but I added a few doodles on the face tucked into the word “beauty” and some white ink finishing the shape of the bottom of the peacock feather later that evening. When I started it, I looked through magazine images I’ve previously picked and chose items for their color. There is a giant leaf, a hibiscus, some pretty glass bottles, a plate, some jewelry and even some shoes all collaged together.

craft table @ MM's

It was good spending time crafting with my friend, chatting and catching up as we colored and pasted, using our creative energy.

Orange Lady

Thank you for your visit.


Filed under Art Journal Pages, Crafts

Old and New Art Journal Pages

This is from my first Art Journal.  I never got around to posting it, so here it is!

Big Pink Flowers

Bloom Where You’re Planted.  I think I have that attitude.


The picture was too long for the page, so I added this little fold down flap.

Open Flap

The other page has a flap too.  And another true statement.  I do love where we live!

Love Where We Live

This is the Church of Saint Raphael in San Rafael.  You can see the tile roof on the right of the smaller chapel, which is a replica, built in 1949, of the Mission San Rafael.  Many people refer to the larger church as the Mission.

I chose the background paper to go with the soft pink color of the church buildings in the photo. I like the two sentiments.

Love were we live


This is a spread in my newest journal.  Once again, I’m trying out pages I’ve seen on Pinterest.

Color Block Writing

This was more about the color block writing than what I had to say.  It was only after I did it that I went back to look at the inspiration and realize that instead of using markers, it has been done with colored pencil.  Oh.  That would have been MUCH easier!  I may try it again another time.  The original from Whimspirations by Joanne Sharpe had a much easier flow and cleaner color.

This one was also not quite what I’d seen…another one to try again.  After loving the 3-D Hand, I wanted to try something similar.


Drawing Lines

Wavy Page

I should go back and look at the directions when I see something like this…but I learn from trying.  After I did it, I looked at the picture again and will try this one another time.  I just want to share what I’m doing – some are more successful than others.

Color Block and Waves

There is pleasure in the doing.  In sitting down at my desk and choosing colors and putting pen to paper.

That is success enough!

Thanks for coming by.


Filed under Crafts

3-D Hand Drawing

3-D Hand Drawing

I love how this flat picture looks three dimensional.  I saw the how-to on Pinterest here.  I did it a few times before I liked it enough to add color.

Trace your hand with pencil.

Old Paw

Somehow my hand has been replaced by this odd, pinkish wrinkled old paw.  Strange.

Now take a marker and draw a straight line until you get to the pencil line.  Than draw an arc to the other pencil line and then go back to making a straight line.

Straight, Curved, Straight

I tried using a ruler but in the end it was easiest just doing it freehand.

You can go back and erase the pencil line when you’re finished with the black lines.


It kind of reminds me of topographical maps with their contour lines.

It looks effective from every angle too.



Felt markers add color.

I glued it into my newest Art Journal. Unfortunately, I think it loses a little of the 3-D effect going over the two pages.  But it is still cool.

3-D Hand in Art Journal

I had slicked down some gesso first and after gluing the hand picture I covered it with Mod Podge.  The water-based markers smeared some with the water-based Mod Podge.  Oops.  I tried to heat-set the color with a heat gun but it wasn’t completely effective

This new Art Journal is in an old textbook from my high school, found on the shelf at my mom’s house.

American Lit


Adventures in America Literature, published in 1952.

It is overdue.


I don’t know how it got onto the shelf at Mom’s but it wasn’t me.  I graduated before that!

I appreciate the visit!


Filed under Crafts



I started another Art Journal.  I’ve got one just for the doors and entries spreads but I wanted to have another general one that I can fill with whatever I want.

Pinterest continues to give me ideas and inspiration and these triangles were inspired by these triangles at Pie ‘N the Sky. Which, in turn, were inspired by these triangles at A Beautiful Mess.

Triangle Template & Tools

I first cut out some triangles that were 1.5 inches on each side but I decided they were too small, so I went with 2.5 inches instead.  I made a template out of heavy card stock (the front cover of a mini calendar), measuring the triangle and cutting it out with an Exacto knife.  This was great because I just put the template down on paper to decide exactly where I wanted to cut out the shapes from that page.

Be sure and cut some triangles with the design oriented with the point at the top and some inverted so the design or photo is oriented with the wide part at the top.

Lots 'o Triangles

Most of my triangles were cut from magazine pages but some came out of textbooks, there is a triangle from a dictionary (with the definition of triangle, of course), a paint swatch (the photo on the reverse side of the paint samples), sheet music, a postcard, the lining of an envelope, and pretty patterned paper.  Thin paper is best for the center of the two pages if you are doing a two-page spread in an art journal because it is easier to smooth it into the crease.

Golden Gate Bridge

I did my initial layout on the back of a manilla folder.  In one of the blogs I looked at they had all the triangles touching but I liked how they looked with a little space in between.  I also think it is a little more forgiving as a layout because if you’re like me, the shapes are probably not all identical.

Triangle Layout

Before I started on my pages, I’d painted them with a coat of gesso for a more neutral background.  My glue of choice is a glue stick, although a glue pen was helpful when I found a corner I’d missed.


I forget this tip but it is helpful when you have a project with a lot of gluing: use a magazine (one you have read and pulled out any articles, recipes or material for future craft projects) when putting glue on the triangles and when one page gets too sticky, simply turn to a new page.


After I did my layout, I took a picture of it which was also helpful.  I started transferring triangles from the layout to the page and I got off track once but was able to refer back to the picture to see how I originally had it.

Even a 2.5 inch triangle is large enough to capture a familiar gaze.


Or a famous musician. Or two.

Johnny & Miles

An optional finishing step is a coat of Mod Podge or similar medium.  If I were doing this on the cover of my journal, I would do this step by I decided to skip it for this spread.

Thanks for stopping by.


Filed under Crafts

Art Journal Update

Bronze Door with Green Surround

Hello!  I didn’t intend to take such a long break from blogging but other things filled my time.  I think, after 30 Days of Creativity (30DOC), that I needed a breather.

I’ve started on my next Art Journal and wanted to share some pictures from it.  We also went to Sea Ranch over the long Fourth of July weekend so the post after this one will have some photos from that trip.

I’ve been collecting images of doors, archways, gates, windows and other interesting entrances because I want to do an Art Journal using these images.  I decided to use this picture of an elaborate bronze doors with the fancy green surround as my first door.  After pasting the picture into the book, I cut the doors open and added small door pulls.

Open the Doors

Doors can be seen as a symbol of new beginnings, an opportunity, or a transition.  I love all the detail in this double door, so much more elaborate than typical doors we see in our culture.

I wanted it to be a welcoming door, into  this, my new Art Journal.  Pull the door open and you will see…

Peek through the door

A smiling boy with a bright orange umbrella.  Turn the page and you will find he’s with some friends.

Orange Umbrella Boy & Friends

I love that the door is from India, the boys from Indonesia and the background is Russian.  The beautiful borders on these pages are from the artwork in the book I’m using for my journal: The Firebird.

Turquoise and Orange

I chose images that I both liked and for their colors to finish this two-page spread: California poppies and nasturtiums,purple and orange starfish, a Monarch butterfly and the Firebird from the Russian folktale.

I started this Art Journal in an old Bon Appetit cookbook.  I picked it up at a used book store in Half Moon Bay and thought I’d checked for a stitched binding.

Stitched Binding

But as I got into the second page, I realized that it was a glued binding and it was coming unglued! The book I used for 30DOC also had a glued binding and had held together for the whole month but this one was falling apart before I even finished two pages.  Changing to a different book seemed like the best way to go, so I cut the bronze and green door page out of the old cookbook/journal and tipped it into the new storybook/journal.  If you look closely at the page with the Firebird and poppies, you can see recipes peeking out through the colored background.

A closed door can also represent something ending or something hidden. In the next few pages, I created a room with book-lined walls and comfortable places to sit.  The background is a collage made from pages of a dictionary.

Book Room

I like the shabby but cozy feeling of peeling layers of paint, rich colors, lots of pillows and even a cat relaxing.  But what is behind the door?

Shabby Door


Yes, there is even a hint in those dictionary definitions: the word bare turned up.  I didn’t plan it that way but when it was pointed out, I highlighted the word that fit in so perfectly.

The soft peachy tones look beautiful next to the blue around and next to the doorway.

Nude through the door

Jessica Chastain in a photo from Vanity Fair.


I used foil for mirrors on these pages.  A lush arrangement of flowers and a chandelier are finishing touches.

Jessica and mirrors

Most of the pictures in these two pages are from a home on an island in Greece.

Greek Archways

Archways frame beautiful views.  On the right hand side, cut-outs offer a glimpse of the following page but seemed a little awkward.  I stamped on a small design in blue ink to make the page more cohesive.

More arches fill the next page.

Tuscan Arches

The ocher arches on the left side have been cut out to view the water on the previous page.

It was very satisfying to sit down with my supplies and create new pages in a new Art Journal.  Having unstructured, unscheduled time at Sea Ranch or on any vacation is one of the real benefits for me.

Take a look at the next post for a few Sea Ranch pictures.

Thanks for the visit.


Filed under Crafts

Day 30: The Cover

The Cover

Day 30: The Cover.

Whew.  I made it. Day 30.  None too soon. I’m ready to wrap this project up!

I had several sources of inspiration for the cover.  I wanted to try using a new medium and honor the local Italian Street Painting festival in San Rafael that ran this weekend.  For two days artists create beautiful works of art on the pavement using chalk.  At the end of the event, the streets are washed and reopened for traffic.  The works of art remain only in photos and memories.

So I used chalk (and no, I’m not going to wash the book off tomorrow) and decided on sunflowers for my main image.  I had a picture from the Farmer’s Market that I looked at as well as other images I found online

Farmer's Market Sunflowers

Sunflowers Online

I also wanted to include a variation of this image I found on Pinterest.

Some Inspiration

My “canvas” was the boring cover of the Art Journal that I just completed filling all the pages of yesterday.


ho hum

I used a strip of paper to cover the binding because the title was embossed  and I didn’t want it to show in the finished product.

Now the trouble started.  I’ve never used colored chalk and I really can’t draw worth a damn.  I don’t know how to do shading and highlighting except in theory.

Box O' Pastels

A nice collection.

Of course, not quite like these, at the Italian Street Painting:

Lots o' Pastels

But kids did it at the festival.  It couldn’t be that difficult, right?

Kid ArtistGreen HIlls Orange SunRed Sun, Blue Eyes

Green Islands, Blue WaterGo Pride!Older Kid Artist

I wasn’t trying to do anything as grand in beauty and scale as any of these:

Picture Girl with Wine The inspiration.

The Street Painting

The Street Painting.

Painting for 2013

This beautiful painting was the poster art for the event this year and it too was turned into a street painting.

Luna Mural

I really didn’t know what I was doing and I got chalk dust all over my hands and arms.  It really made me appreciate the efforts of all the artists even more.

This was a really hot weekend for San Rafael and they were sitting or kneeling on the asphalt in the sun.  It is hot in our apartment, but I was sitting at a desk with a fan blowing on me.



I layered colors, I smudged, I made a bit of a mess.  In the end, I came up with something that I thought was fine.  Kind of murky, but still recognizable as some sunflowers.  I also used some permanent marker and pencil on the swirled circles and water-soluble oil crayons.  A coat of Mod Podge and the whole thing was set.

Front Cover

Back Cover

I covered all of June in this Art Journal and since I started the book in May, it seemed right to include both months.

May June

Best of all, I’m going to finish before midnight! Rah.

For my final day of 30 Days of Creativity last year, I made a Macrame Bracelet.

For Day 30 the previous year I made delicious Honey Vanilla Ice Cream with Caramel Sauce.

Thank you, thank you for all the support, comments and encouragement.  It really helps to have that kind of feedback.  I appreciate everyone who has come to check out even one post.


Filed under 30DOC, Crafts

Day 15: Taj Mahal Kiss

Taj Mahal Kiss

Day 15: Taj Mahal Kiss.  I started this spread yesterday. My sister was generous with her folders of images and had already given me the Taj Mahal picture.

The item that really inspired this spread though was this.

Magenta Ink

Magenta Ink.

When I was leafing through Kathleen’s pictures, I found this image of the beautiful sari-clad woman happily receiving a kiss from her turbaned beau. That image, the Taj Mahal and a carpet and some tiles I had pictures of along with bright magenta, celadon, and turquoise inks and I just needed to start gluing.


Kathleen also had the silver paisley embellishments.  So – thank you for sharing your goodies!

Today, at the Collage Cafe at Kentucky Girl Designs, I completed the pages with a stamped ink medallion, a little teal ink around the larger silver paisley embellishment, and a few adhesive jewels.

Bright Pink Camelia

Fifteen days done, fifteen to go!

Last year on Day 15:  Notecards with Lined Envelopes

And the year before that? Glass Marble Magnets

I started two great pages at the Collage Cafe.  Visit tomorrow to see the first one.

Thanks for stopping by!


Filed under 30DOC, Crafts

Day 11: White On White

White On White

Day 11: White On White.

Simple objects from my crafting desk, and from around the house , glued atop the page.  For the heavier items, I used E6000 adhesiveTombow adhesive worked for the tag, stamps, burlap scrap, and felt flowers

Glued items, pre Gesso

For most spreads I glue three pages together on each side so they’re really sturdy.  For this one I glued 4 pages on each side.

1 Layer Gesso

I envisioned the familiar items all in white on a white background so you would just see the shape and texture.

I don’t have any white paint so I was using Gesso.

Page 1 White on White

Page 2 White on White

Last year Day 11’s project were these Button Rings.

The first year I did 30DOC, I made this epic Minature Paper Dress on day 11.

Come back tomorrow and see what I come up with!


Filed under 30DOC, Crafts

Day 6: Mosaic Poppies

Mosaic Poppies

Day 6, a little late, a mosaic of poppies. Pinterest was, once again, a source of inspiration.  I found this picture and followed the link back to Donna Downey’s awesome blog “Simply Me“.  Lots of yummy stuff to go look at later.

I love these Oriental Poppies and have taken pictures of them at Filoli Gardens:

Poppy at Filoli

And also at the Italian Street Painting Festival in San Rafael:

Street Painting Poppies

I used pictures pulled from magazines and from my stash of saved images (also mostly from magazines).  The poppies have petals made from blinds, dresses, art work and lips.

Poppy Close Up

The flower centers are from a picture of lustrous dark hair and a black pen for the little details.

The green for the leaves and stems came mostly from ads that had leaves in them but also from some green jeans.

Green Leaves

Most of the color for the background “tiles” was background in ads – sky, water, or just a pretty colored  background, but I also used several paint chips, some scrap-booking paper and a great purse.  Look carefully and you can see details like stitching (that’s the purse).

Tile Detail

Page Date: 6/6/13

Somehow it is almost 8PM and I haven’t started the spread for today! Yikes.

Here is the Day 6 project from last year: Shrinky Dink Rings (Fail II)

Day 6 the year before was: Infused Oil

Thanks for stopping by.


Filed under 30DOC, Crafts

Day 5: Paper Moon

Paper Moon

Day 5: Paper Moon.  This is my take on a page that caught my eye on Pinterest. It is from the blog “La Chaquetita de Punto”  but I don’t know who the artist is.

I collected bits of paper with different text and numbers, the Periodic Table, some old pages from books including textbooks, music, a Scantron, a sky chart from an Astronomy book and more.  Some pieces were white so I dipped them in tea and let them dry.

Moon on Paper

During my lunch break, I collaged the background using Mat Medium .  After dinner I completed the skyline and finished with the moon.

For 2012, Day 5, I did this easy project: Tape Dispenser Before and After

In 2011, Day 5, I never got the hang of: Shrinky Dink Rings

I’m glad you checked out my blog today!


Filed under 30DOC, Crafts