Monday, March 31, 2014

inspiration monday

as much as i love playing in my art journal, sometimes i get the itch to do something completely different.  i've had my eye on elke bergeron's "leather clutch" workshop over at creativebug for quite a while, so i decided this was the perfect time to learn something new!

while elke's class doesn't include this step,  you probably know i don't do too many projects unless it includes letterforms, and i couldn't resist using my set of hand-carved stamps for this little clutch!  so i put a piece of washi tape across the front of my leather to use as a guide, and then i placed an acrylic ruler under the top to provide a firm surface for stamping.

i used a white pigment stamp pad that i had on hand,
and then i heat set the ink with my heat gun.

then i rounded the corners,  punched some holes along the side,
and stitched it up with some linen thread.

for my closure, i decided to add a snap….

and now i have a really cool leather pouch….and it was super simple to make!

the only two things i would do differently next time:
first, to make the stamping more permanent, i think i'll try using acrylic paint...

and secondly,  i'll pay more attention to the mantra
"measure twice, cut once" before i start my next project!
my plan was to store my inktense pencils in here, but when
i finished the pouch and tried to put them inside, they were too long!!
so now i have a leather clutch that's perfect for my glasses and micron pens,
but it's marked "pencils" on the front!  aaack!

for more information about elke bergeron's creativebug class, click here
to watch a tutorial for setting snaps, click here

{supplies:  leather piece from hobby lobby, leather punch, hammer, 
hand-carved letter stamps, white ink pad, linen thread, needle, snap set tool, snaps}

Thursday, March 27, 2014


this week, the documented life project challenge was to
ask someone to draw on your journal page, and then finish it.

to be honest, my first thought was "yikes!"…..
because i knew i'd have to hand over some of the control of my page,
and well, that's an entirely different kind of challenge!
so, i asked my little dutch sweetie to join me in the project,
and when i saw what a great page he had drawn,
i thought "double-yikes", because i didn't want to mess it up!

the first thing i added were some washi tapes that my dutch boy and our son
brought back from a recent trip to japan.
 i traced the shapes from the page, and cut them out of the washis.

then i added some color and other details to the page…..

and once i was finished…..and finally got over being a nervous wreck...
i was able to think of those "yikes" as "likes",
because it really was a lot of fun collaborating with
my very talented little dutch sweetie!

{supplies:  moleskine planner, fabriano artistico 140 lb HP paper,  pentel colorbrush,
derwent inktense pencils, 6B graphite pencil, micron pens, washi tapes}

Monday, March 24, 2014

inspiration monday

if spring hasn't quite sprung in your part of the world yet,
and the skies are still looking a little gray…..

here's some words of wisdom from someone who
knows how to make people smile.

all you need to do is channel all your good thoughts…..

you know…...the really over-the-top, super cheery thoughts!

and then say bye-bye to gray skies,
and let those smile-sunbeams inspire an absolutely lovely day!

(quite possibly the most sugary, pollyanna-coated post i've written to date!
but sometimes "happy" just goes that way!  :))

{supplies:  walls notebook, pan pastel, micron and pitt pens, 8B graphite pencil,
white pilot choose pen}

Thursday, March 20, 2014

ongoing task

this week's documented life project challenge was to use a magazine on your journal page…..

so, i grabbed a "getting organized" magazine and chose three of my favorite ideas.
then i tore out part of the magazine, glued it onto my journal page, and finished the illustration by drawing it in.  not only does starting with part of the magazine image help get past "blank page syndrome", it's also a great way to add your own little touches while practicing your drawing skills!

now, the biggest challenge remains…..
actually using some of these ideas in my overrun-by-clutter studio!!

{supplies:  fabriano artistico 140# HP paper, magazine, glue stick, derwent watercolor and inktense pencils, waterbrush, 2B and 6B graphite pencils, washi tape}

Monday, March 17, 2014

inspiration monday

the calendar says that spring is officially here later this week, so let's celebrate by making a little card using some rubber stamps and my favorite "faux watercolor" technique!  all you need are a few distress ink pads, a black stamp pad, a small piece of watercolor paper, some springtime rubber stamps, a waterbrush or paintbrush, and a black marker.
{i'm using fabriano artistico 140 lb CP paper and my new "grow happy" stamp set!}

first, divide the watercolor paper into three sections on the long side, 
and mark the edge with a pencil.
{my paper is about 8"x4", so i marked at 2-5/8" from each end}

now stamp your images using a water based ink pad.
{i used distress inks by ranger}  

touch a wet paintbrush to the ink to "paint" your image.  
the water will activate the ink and you can move it around to create a watercolor effect.  

if the image starts to disappear, you can fix it once everything is dry by dabbing your paintbrush directly onto the stamp pad, and then painting the details back in.

now stamp a cheerful sentiment using black ink….. 
and add a border, if you like!

place a ruler on the pencil marks, and use a bone folder 
to score from edge to edge across the front.

now fold the paper along the scored lines into three sections…..

and write your own happy springtime message!

now just tuck your sweet greeting inside an envelope and share it with someone special!
celebrate those warm, sunny, springtime days ahead!!  woo hoo!

{i found these little polka-dot glassine bags at michael's and the card fits inside perfectly….i just love it when that happens, don't you?!} 

{i used these supplies to make my card:  
fabriano artistico 140 lb CP watercolor paper,  "grow happy" stamp set, distress ink pads, black archival ink pad, waterbrush, micron pen, ruler, bone folder, pencil}

Thursday, March 13, 2014

heart song

this week's documented life challenge is to use a bird on our journal page,
and i think every single member did a happy dance when they found out!

because, let's face it…..
what's happier than a sweet little doodle birdie with long skinny legs?

especially when he's singing a sweet little doodly-heart-song!

{supplies:  moleskine planner, 140 lb fabriano artistico HP paper, pitt and micron pens, koi watercolor,
derwent watercolor pencils, 6B & 3B graphite pencils, washi tape}

Monday, March 10, 2014

inspiration monday

one of my goals for the new year was to find a way to be more productive….in a balanced, creative, sort of way.  and to be more productive, i need organization!  but every time i looked for a planner to help me get my act together, i struck out.  there was always a major element missing…..there was no "fun factor".  and the reality for me is, if it's not fun, i'm not going to keep up with it!

but thankfully, my sweet bloggy friend sandi keene had the answer to my dilemma…..
as usual, i'm late to the party, but if you haven't already heard of it,
you combine a simple weekly planner  {hello, productivity!}
with a space to write your goals and other life stuff  {hello, balance!}…..

and then add a piece of watercolor paper to each week's page spread 
using some favorite washi tape so you can be artsy {hello, creativity!!}

each week, the DLP dream team shares a page prompt 
to help get those creative juices flowing
{this week's challenge was to do a page about "me", 
so i used my new hand-carved selfie stamp, along with some other
favorite supplies!}

it's a ton of fun and there really are no rules.
it's your journal, done your way.

 and the best part is you get to be a part of a DLP community that's full of
encouraging, supportive, and very inspiring artists!  woo hoo!
thank you, sandi…..i feel more creatively organized already!   :))

{p.s.  are you on Facebook?  i have a new page here!}

{supplies:  moleskine planner, pitt and micron pens, derwent inktense pencils,
hand-carved selfie stamp, hand-carved thumbprint stamp, black archival ink, scrapbook paper, washi tape, fabriano artistico 140 lb HP paper, 6B and 3B graphite pencils}

for more information, the DLP dream team is:
roben-marie smith, lorraine bell, rae missingman, sandi keene, and barbara moore

Thursday, March 6, 2014


i've been having fun carving "selfie stamps"…..
gotta make sure the next one includes a nose, though.  :))

{supplies:  speedy carve, linoleum carving tools, black archival ink}

Monday, March 3, 2014

inspiration monday

every year around this time, i start to get a little antsy
with all of the grey, grey, grey of winter…..

and i start wishing for some color.

lots of bright, happy, colorful springtime color…..

inspired by lots of bright, happy, colorful springtime flowers!

{supplies:  moleskine watercolor journal, derwent inktense pencils, micron pens,
derwent watercolor pencils, uniball signo broad white gel pen, 6B and 3B graphite pencils}

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