Tag Archives: collage

Art Journal: Rarely Tidy

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Creative minds are rarely tidy.

No doubt there are plenty of creative people out there who are very tidy.  I’m not one of them.  When I saw this quote I knew I would use it someday in my art journal and over the weekend I finally did.

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I haven’t been crafting as much as I’d like.  I’ve been busier than usual at work recently and I’m trying to keep up with my daily fitness goals day (hello, Fitbit).  Crafting has been neglected.  As usual my craft desk has gotten piled up with supplies and tools because when I do have a few minutes to make a card or decorate an Easter egg, I always choose creativity over cleaning.

Did I ever share these?  I think I made them last year after Easter than put them away for this year. Sigh.

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My friend Margaret and I got together to spend an afternoon playing with paper, glue and ink.  I didn’t have anything in mind so decided on making a few backgrounds.  With low mental energy I was looking forward to several long, luxurious hours crafting.  After a delicious lunch, we both spread out our supplies.  As usual I had brought more than I could possibly need or use, but I wanted to have plenty of options.

Do you do this?  You buy some interesting tool or supply but you aren’t sure how to use it so it just sits in the corner.  I felt I needed to pull out my small collection of stencils and start using them.  I watched a few crafting videos with tutorials on stencils  so I planned on doing some experimenting with some of the techniques I saw on YouTube.

I apologize for not getting more pictures of the process.  I used gesso to wash the page with a thin layer white so the type on the page still shows through in places.  Than I took two colors of pigment ink from a ColorBox rainbow stamp pad. Each separate color can be lifted out and used individually.

Taking out several shades of blue, I daubed the ink on the pages and used a wet brush to smear it around a bit, than dragged a plastic card (credit card size) through it.  You can see the results here, around the edges.  So far so good though if you are paying attention, you might note I didn’t even touch the stencils.  But I liked how it looked.  Yes, I used them later but not while I was creating this background.

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I went on to work on two more backgrounds.

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Again, I used gesso over the pages then on this one I painted on some watercolor and stamped on ink  in a rich magenta pink shade, than wet it and closed the book.  Pulling it open I got a kind of inkblot effect, which is now somewhat covered by the orange and white stenciling.  I’ll show you more of that one in a later post.

The last page I worked on that afternoon was made with strips torn from magazine pages.  The thin magazine pages are laid over a plastic stencil than gently sanded with a fine sanding block  (used sometimes for manicures).  This takes away some of the ink from the picture and allows the design of the stencil to come through.

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The stencil shows white where you sand the magazine page – I liked it with fairly dark photos or rich colors.

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I tore the sanded pages in strips and layered them into my journal.

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Again, I’ll write another post with more about that technique and page.  It looks great as is, kind of like a landscape with water and hills.  I started trying to make the quote work with this page but I realized it wanted something messier to go with it.  I think I still want to do more with this page but I’m not sure what.

That evening after dinner I pulled my journal out and opened it to the first background.  After playing with the stencils with the sanding block technique, I wanted to used them with paint, ink and sponges.  I started added some layers to the pages.

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I just started playing.  My favorite blues and purples came out as well as some bits of paper for layering onto the page. I put a stencil on the background I’d made earlier and sponged ink over it.  I then flipped the inky stencil over oto another place on the page and used a brayer to roll across it, transferring more ink.  This gave me two variations for each stencil: the negative and positive shapes.

For the word CREATIVE I had tried the sanding technique over some alphabet thickers (dimensional stickers usually made from chipboard or foam), but the resulting word was too soft and subtle.

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So I used another technique, using the thickers as masks and painting over them, drying the paint, than removing them. I saw it here at Pine & Plum, my friend Carson’s wonderful blog (yes, you should check it out!) Follow the link to where she has a guest post on another blog.  I also used it on another page here.  I picked up the letters at Dollar Tree.

Carson also inspired the bit of thread I twisted under the scrap of paper that has the rest of the quote.  I like how it adds a new element to the page.

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I added some splatters of ink and paint, loading up the watercolor brush and flicking it at my open journal. I was clever enough to remember to cover the area around the book with some paper towel first.

White pigment ink daubed rather messily through one of the stencils was my final detail on the page.  I took some photos and headed to bed.

The next morning when I opened the journal I was surprised to find the last ink I’d added to the page was still sticky! I don’t know if it was the gesso coating on the paper or what but even when I used the heat tool it didn’t dry.  I also decided both pieces with the quote on them were too neat and tidy looking

A piece of paper towel that I’d used to wipe painty brushes on had dried. I ripped pieces from that and covered some of the sticky white pigment ink. This added a new texture as well as a little deep orange which looked great with the blue.

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I added more pieces of the painty paper towel.

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Rusty-orange watercolor paint got streaked and splattered on the page to go with the other orange.

Gold embossing powder covered more of the still-sticky white pigment ink.

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I’d already used a little washi tape, and added a few bits with orange patterns.

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Orange Dianne dots, gold embossing powder, and a sequin embellished the Creative title.

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Now I was really finished. It felt very satisfying to be creating in my art journal again.

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And, from the earlier pictures I took before, you can see how rare tidiness is in my creative world.

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Yes, it’s a mess. But at least it is my mess.

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Thanks for stopping by.  I really do appreciate every visit.

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One Final Round of Valentine’s Cards (Including A Collage Workshop)

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My favorite craft shop in Marin, Once Around, offered a Vintage Valentine collage workshop with collage artist and author, Anna Corba.

We each got a sweet little packet in a stitched paper bag she’d made from old French newspaper that had several cards and envelopes, a piece of heavy watercolor paper and a postcard made of wood tucked inside to serve as the bases for our creations. She had several boxes of vintage-style images, mostly color copies of beautiful paper ephemera from her bountiful collection, and we could sift through to find just the right images, patterns and colors for each card we made.

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Anna showed us samples of her own work and talked about how she likes to work – letting each unique image speak to her, and working with a color palette based on the images she chooses.  We trimmed and tore the different pieces of paper and then starting moving the elements around like the pieces of a puzzle until we found a pleasing composition.  Anna walked around the table making suggestions and helping when someone was stuck.

She pointed out that a piece of darker paper along the bottom of the composition can be helpful to ground it, and it is nice to tuck a little surprise inside a card that coordinates with the design on the front. We also decorated envelopes, or in some cases, small paper bags, to make a matching set.

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During the last part of the workshop we were able to seal two of the collage designs (the thicker flat cards) with beeswax.  This was just lovely, though I wish we’d had more time to spend on it. First of all the scent of the warm wax is divine, and reminded me of a tiny chapel in Italy that had a huge arrangement of white lilies and was completely lit with beeswax candles . Brushed across the collage it added a dull sheen and faint golden color, saturating the paper and allowing some layers to show through others.

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In this card you can see the sheet music behind the other paper.  I wasn’t really able to capture the beauty of this technique in my pictures.

The downside is, you don’t always want a background paper to show through and by the time I learned that, I’d already created this card.  I wish I’d trimmed the wide striped paper so it wasn’t behind the puppy and kitten images.

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Anna had stitched this little sleeve using red thread and then cut a wide scalloped edge for the wooden postcard. After the class I was able to finish all the envelopes with paper brought home from the class and a few extra embellishments from my own stash. My style is busier and messier than Anna’s but I really appreciated and enjoyed the techniques she showed us in the workshop.

I don’t tend to use glue sticks but they are more forgiving then the tape rollers I favor.  Anna reminded me of a technique I’ve seen before but forget about: use a magazine you’re done with as your surface to glue on, keeping your work surface clean. As soon as a page is sticky, turn to a clean page. Once you’ve got your design pretty much set, maybe about 75% in place, she starts gluing the images down and uses a brayer to really stick things together.

My brayer has been sitting in a drawer, rarely used, but after the workshop, I got it out.  I also put an old magazine on my craft desk and started using these tools: a clean page for using when I put glue on a piece of paper, and the brayer to roll over the card and get it really fastened together.

After the workshop, I spent time on the little collage Valentine’s I was crafting. I’m sure I will use Anna’s style again on other cards, but these were the busy, multi-layered cards I’d been working on with bits taken from envelopes (the lining, stamps and postmarks), maps, old dictionary and textbooks, packaging, magazine pages, vellum, tissue paper, washi tape, vintage sheet music, calendars, newspapers, business cards, and other beautiful paper.

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Mini card fronts that I layered onto small place-cards and added embellishments and rubber stamped images.

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Little tags stamped on a paint chip.

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More tags stamped on vellum, an envelope liner, an old math textbook page and more.

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Little tags cut out, hole-punched and tied with pink string.

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Embellished cards.

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Two of the larger cards. It makes me happy to spend time crafting and I love when I put together a card and know exactly who it’s for.

I know Valentine’s day has passed but I just didn’t get it together to post these pictures sooner.  I wanted to share them with you and, as always, I appreciate you taking the time to stop and look at what I’ve put up.  Thank you.

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Art Journal: Inchies

Inchies Two Page Spread

August was a month for healing and building up my stamina.  Oral surgery on July 31st really sapped my energy and I have done very little crafting.  I’m almost back to my regular work-out routine and finally have some time and energy left for crafting.

Inchies are 1″ x 1″ decorated squares of paper or fiber and are mini works of art – they can be painted, collaged, stamped or hand-drawn.  They are sometimes traded in sets of 6, 9 or 12, but I made them for my Art Journal.  I used many types of paper including watercolor paper, card stock, magazine pages, maps, sheet music, vellum, old calendars, dictionary pages, and other paper ephemera.

4 inchies

When I started, I thought I would do a page of inchies. I laid them out in rows of 4 but I decided rows of 5 would look better.  Once I filled one page, I kept going until I completed 70 inchies.  I found the small size very satisfying and delighted in coming up with different designs and embellishments.

70 inchies

Multicolored stripes from an ad in a magazine were used as waves in the ocean and as a cheerful background for a happy face sticker.

Just another fish in the ocean

A scrap of paper doily inked a blue-purple became a lace fan for a sketch of a Spanish lady.

Spanish Fan

Although I used many different colors, I stuck with orange and green with some purple for my overall color theme.

Mostly Orange

Mostly Green

I looked at things with an eye to how they might be transformed into an inchie: junk mail with a picture of an orange safety vest became a square, parts of a chocolate bar wrapper appear on three squares, and a business card for a Psychic I found on an early morning walk made two inchies with the addition of some washi tape and sequins.

Tarot

Palm Reading

I made tiny collages with layers of different paper.  I searched through my scraps for little bits and pieces to use.

tiny collages

When I completed enough for both pages, I had to decide on the layout.

Draft layout

After gluing all the squares in place, I realized my little crescent moon was upside down, so I carefully peeled it off the page and put it on correctly.

Moon & Sun

I don’t know that I’ve gotten this little inchie-bug out of my system.  I think maybe a birthday card made with inchies will be my next project.

Sorry for my lack of posts in August. Thank you for your support, patience and continued visits.

Alarm Clock

 

 

 

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Vacation Crafting

Bike & Balloons

I made a bunch of cards while I was on vacation at Sea Ranch.  I got this idea on Pinterest and will make more of these.  A piece of map for the background stamped with a cute bicycle plus some paper balloons on pop-up foam dots.

Pretty old calendars from Paper Source gave me lots of great card-making material – I used pages from 2012 and 2013 calendars.

Small, sparkly Starform stickers embellish the seeds and serve as Dianne Dots here.  I left my little hole punch at home (I was trying not to bring everything under the sun).

Strawberry card

Washi tape pennants and a flower cut out from another printed paper finish this card.

Big Flowers Card

The bird page in the calendar has several more birds so I have more cards I can make from that one.  A few foam pop-up dots lift the bird, leaves and branch off the background.

Bird Card

I love this peacock feather graphic.  I just added some glitter.

Peacock

For this purple card, I found the pretty, large flower  left from a set embellishments.  Behind the flower, I used a photo of crackle-glazed tile cut out from a magazine.  A little purple washi tape finished the card.

Purple Flower

A shopping outing over the long President’s Day weekend included a stop at Scrapbook Territory in Berkeley.  I used some of the pretty paper in these cards.

For this card I used orange-striped washi tape to highlight the greeting.

Blue, White, Orange card

This big pink flower is cut out from a magazine.  I glued the picture to card stock before cutting it out to make it sturdier and so it wouldn’t allow the layers of paper under it to show through and make crease lines.

Big Pink Flower card

A collaged tag is embellishment for this pretty flowered card.

Pink and turquoise floral card

It doesn’t show well in the photo, but on the card below, I cut the central flower and leaves from another scrap where the design repeated. I put them on foam dots and added some of the glittery Starform stickers.  These add have a jewel-like effect but lie flat on the card.  Although I love how self-adhesive jewels look for bling on a card, they aren’t the best for mailing and can poke through an envelope.

Flowers with black

I also did a few pages in my Art Journal.

I cut out the fabulous circle of people from a New Yorker and have been wanting to use it.  It was illustrating a story called “Thirteen Wives” by Steven Millhauser. The illustration is by Balint Zsako.

Thirteen Wives

When I found the rainbow circle quilt picture in O, the Oprah Magazine, I thought I could use the two illustrations together.

Quilted Circle

Marigold Indigo

A shopping bag from Dianne’s Estate Jewelry in Healdsburg is part of the collage on the other spread I completed on my birthday, “Dianne’s Creative Happy Life.”  A rainbow arches over the top of the page and music on washi tape embellishes it.

Dianne's Creative Happy Life

Close up Dianne's

The word CREATIVE is from an advertising brochure for printing and paper. I used bits from dictionary pages, greeting cards and magazines.

Diana definition

Things I love, including my wonderful Rem, crafting, picnics and chocolate, all found a place in this page.

R E M

LOVE

Crafting

I included “happy birthday” and “54” since it was made on my birthday.

I hope to spend more time art journaling soon.

Thanks for stopping by.

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Valentine’s Day Wrap-Up

Vintage Valenine Tag

Valentine’s Day 2014 has come and gone but I’m still feelin’ the love.

As you may recall, I participated in a Handmade Valentine Card swap from my friend Carson’s blog, Pine & Plum. Here are cards I received from the swap, plus a few other sweet missives I was lucky enough to get.  The cute vintage style tag at the top of the post was used for a note with one of the swap cards.  It was fun doing the swap and seeing all the creative cards.

2014 Swap Cards

My friend Shook gave me a beautiful pair of Valentine collages that she made:

Shook's Collages

I made her a green Valentine (look here for the post with the picture from her green Valentine last year) because she loves green.

Green Valentine

Rem and I exchanged cards.  He did paper strip hearts on the one he made for me (and he didn’t even look at my blog post with the instructions!)

Our Cards

Last weekend I brought a bunch of crafting supplies over to my sister Kathleen’s house so her little sister Ariel could work on a batch of Valentine’s.  We’ve been doing this for quite a few years now and I’m always glad when she still wants to do it.

Valentines with Ariel 2.14

Someone else wanted to see what we were doing. Kathleen’s cat, Xander, was cranky because it was raining out and he wanted to go outside but didn’t like getting wet.

Xander Looking

He decided he wanted up to be up on the table where we were crafting.

Xander  on the table

I didn’t find time to write posts for some of the projects I made, so I have to be content that I have more to share with you when Valentine’s Day rolls around again.

Rem and I usually exchange a project that we create and over the years we have accumulated quite a little gallery of Art from the Heart items.  This year I suggested we work on one together.  I’d seen something I wanted to try (yes, on Pinterest, of course) and so we did it together.

Light of My Life

It was fun working on this together (you can find the DIY here on Design Sponge) and we’re both happy with the result.

Art Projects Gallery

Here it is on the wall with some of the other projects from over the years.

Thank you for the visit. ♥

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Tag Tree Christmas Cards

Christmas Tree Card

I made a little batch of Christmas cards this morning, and I like how they turned out.

First I sketched a simple Christmas tree shape on a shipping tag and cut it out.

Shipping Tag and Tree Tag

I saved the tree shape to use as a template.  I covered other tags in a collage of bits of paper, postage stamps, paint swatches and washi tape, using a penciled rough outline of the tree shape as a guide.

Collaged Tags before trimming

Next I used the original tree-shaped tag and traced it on the back of each of these tags and cut them out.

Trace tree shape

Trimming Tree Shape

I made some tiny tags to add to my Christmas trees.  I have a rubber stamp with a tag shape  but you could also draw it.

These are stamped onto a dictionary page that I’d glued to a scrap of card stock for sturdiness.

Making Mini Tags

After stamping the tag shape, I stamped a heart on each one, then cut out all the little tags and punched a little hole in each one.

Tiny Tags

Using foam dots, I adhered the tiny tags to the larger, tree-shaped tags and added a bit of baker’s twine.  I mounted the trees onto folded red cards with more foam dots.

Here’s a few of the finished card fronts.

6 Tag Trees

5 cent tag

I still need to stamp a greeting inside each card, but I’m pleased with my progress.

I worked on a few other creative endeavors this weekend but both of those project are gifts, so I’m not ready to share them here. Yet.

Thanks for visiting.

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White Out

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Here is one of my “White Out” collages – one of the Project Prompts in The Collage Workbook.  Using different shades of white paper (old book pages, tissue paper, heavy watercolor paper, junk mail, vellum, paper towel, old sheet music, etc.) I created 4 collages.

First I gathered my paper.

Paper for White Out collages

Then I started tearing, gluing, arranging and rearranging my layers until I was pleased with the results.

4 White Out collages

GO

GO

Section 6.9

Section 6.9

Stain

Stain

I really enjoyed doing these, more than I expected to because I’m so drawn to color.  But I liked working with the different textures and more subtle gradations of cream, off-white, aged yellowed-white and white.  The creases, perforations and printing or stamping on the reverse that can be seen through the paper made it interesting.

Thank you for coming to see what I’m working on.

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