The Feeling of a Place and Time-Get Messy, Season of Adventure-wk 1

I am joining with my fellow Get Messyians In the Season of Adventure. (more about Get Messy Art Journal challenge here as I was taking care of my Grandmother, and with out wifi for most of the season of Brave I was not able to participate in it as much as I wanted to. But after my incredibly hard April/May I really need to return to more Art in my life. I have missed the creative practice so much. So I am really going to challenge myself and join the ladies who are going to be sharing their art journals from the prompts every Thursday for the season of Adventure.

So for this week we are to share our sensory experience of a place. Which imediately brought to mind the amazing flowering tree at the end of April in Columbus. I don’t know when I have ever seen flowering trees blooms to last for so long. My daily walks with waffle into this gloriously scented and exquisitely painted landscape. Is one of the things that kept me sane during the long and grueling days I spent being the only able bodied and responsible “grown up”. As I spent the month being caregiver  for my Grandmother (and her husband) as she recovered from knee replacement surgery.

So I wanted to capture the atmosphere of that place and time, on those long walks with my westie and my Polaroid cameras. I tend to be obsessive detail girl, so I really tried to challenge myself to be more impressionistic. To capture the essentials and the feeling, to be as minimalistic as I could. I am very happy with the result. I wanted to get the the whole spread done for Thursday but I did get the left page finished and hopefully can get the other page with my polaroid photos done tomorrow. But here is my page:

My last I process shot, yes I have paint on my hands so you can tell I was happy:  
  This is my favorite series of Polaroids that I took in Columbus they will,go on the right hand page when it is finished. 

I did an overly page of tracing paper to put my journaling on to represent things floating in the air:



And the little details that help tell the story:            


The Imaginoreaum-a video studio tour

To help kick off my blog and celebrate the return of regular posts here to my blog. 😊 I have done a video tour of my art studio. So you can see where all the creative madness takes place. I also wanted to share how I squirrel away all my tools and art fodder in my little basement studio.

Here are 2 panoramas I took of my studio to give you an overview.

My studio 1

Panorama from the front corner. On the left is my art journal desk and on the right my standing framing desk. My studio 2Panorama from the back corner. From here you can see all 3 of my work stations, left framing desk center my easel and far right my art journal desk. And of course lots of shelves for storage for all my art hoard. Here is the full video tour

Get Messy Prompt-Love and Lessons Learned

For my first spread in my new little (it measures 6 1/2 inches by 6 1/2 inches) get messy art journal I decided to do challenge 2-love and lessons learned. I decided to do it about my relationship with my adopted sister, and what happened to it after she suffered memory loss. This was a really intense spread to do but I am really glad I did it.

Below is what the spread originally looked like. This book is one of those little gift books and all the spreads have text on the left but very diverse and interesting photos on the right. all the photos are also printed in sepiatone which is why I chose it as an art journal.


This book does not have especially heavy or interesting paper so I did coat the pages with acrylic matte medium before I started. I put it on thick with a big brush so the brush strokes would stay and give the pages some additional texture.image

I used Liquitex Ink! in Prussian blue and Carbon Black for making my background.  ink+water=lovely visual texture. I use old eye drops bottle full of water and a water brush to control where the ink runs.image

I also used my white Molotow paint pen to outline the woman and frame on the right page. Then since I am horrible to draw people I chose to photo copy several of my photographs on to tracing paper (see I am slightly obsessed with the tracing paper). All are photos I took while staying with my Sister and Nephew, 2 of the photos are of reflections of us. I chose these intentionally because when copied on to the tracing paper they looked very shadowy and indistinct.  image

Here you can see the original photo on the bottom and the copy on the top. image

I also chose a typical Amanda shop window selfie. Taken in the window of the Swarovski crystal shop thus the hanging strands of crystals. image

One of the things that I love about copying/printing on the tracing paper is you can see the image through both sides of the paper. So often if you want the color or contrast less intense or to fit the flow of the page you need the mirror image of the photo you have chosen. All you have to do is flip the tracing paper over and adhere it face down. which is what I chose to do with this image. however before doing so I did trace my outline with a white colored pencil: image

Then I added journaling on top. image image

For the left hand page I labeled and dated the left side of the page. Then I did some more personal journalling in red underneath. I then layered on the 2 photos and added more journaling on top. I choose this photo of my nephew reaching for me because he and I still have the same wonderful relationship. But sadly my sister and I do not. image

Below is the fill finished spread with the tools that I used to make it: image

I am going to be sharing this spread with my Sister as well. Maybe art will be able to tell her what I have not been able to any other way. That is one of the wonderful things art can do.

Using everything I have learned for you!

Sorry I have been MIA recently. Have so many projects in the work. One of them is taking everything I have learned about altered book art journals, and using it to make awesome journals for other people.
Check them out in my Etsy store:
And you can see flip through videos of all my offerings on my new YouTube channel:
I will be doing lots of fun things on my channel in the near future, like how to’s and a studio tour so you should subscribe 😉

Here is a little taste of all the art journal goodness I have just linked to above:

Super Easy Stencil Tutorial

Hi everyone,

Sorry it has been ao long since I have posted but it has been a busy summer for me. For most of June I was taking care of my Grrandma after her sugary and she has no internet. So that put me way behind on everything. To kick things back off I thought I would share a super easy way to make a stencil.

For this project all you need is:

1. A craft knife/ or swivel knife [I have this swivel knife from Hobby Lobby that I love]

2. A 4×6 print of a simple graphic image [Both CVS and Walgreens often have their photo prints on sale for 10 cent each]

3. A cutting board/mat

I started with a 4×6 print of this image of stained glass that I took:

DSC_3097 - Version 2I chose to use this for my test stencil because it is super easy design to cut out because you just follow the lines. So that is what I did I just chose one of the colored panels and cut along the black lines:

IMG_8591 - Version 2

In some areas I had to make the lines thicker so that my stencil would be strong enough,you want your lines between the cut outs to be about 1/4 and inch thick.I also tried to leave about a 1/2 inch border around the edges. Where I needed to make the lines thicker I just drew in the print with a sharpie and then cut along those lines:IMG_8576 - Version 2


When you have all your sections cut out your done! You now have a fun new stencil to play with in your art journal and mixed media projects!  The photo print yields a quite sturdy stencil, and it is super easy because the design is already done for you. Using a stained glass pic was perfect for this but anything simple and graphic would work like large flowers of graphic shadows. Even buildings with strong architectural lines, or a skyline would work. Here is what my finished stencil looked like:

Finished stencil

Finished stencil

The back of the stencil:

Back of the finished stencil

After I made my stencil of course I had to test it so I just grabbed a handy magazine add and a sharpie and stenciled away:

the stencil on the page using 2 repeats of the stencil

Detail I embellished the blue sharpie with a white paint pen, I also tried to color match the purple and greens in the image and colored the white text to make the printing in the ad disappear :

IMG_8581 - Version 2


Here is the finished page. I used the stencil about 6 different times a crossed the page. using it bolth face up and face down to get the mirror image of the design:

my finished stencil test page Finished page with stencil

I am very happy with how the stencil held up after use with pens and markers. But the color from the sharpie did bleed on the back paper of the print a bit. So I think I am going to put a coat or 2 of some acrylic satin varnish on the back before I try to use the stencil with wet media like paint or spray ink. I hope you find this tutorial inspiring and I would love to see how your stencils turn out if you make some of your own!




Update: I did coat the back of my photo print stencil with 2 coats of Winsor & Newton Galeria Acrylic satin varnish. I then let it dry over night and then used the stencil with both acrylic paint and brushed on ink. I am happy to report that it worked with both brilliantly, and then was easily cleaned (both front and back) with a damp cloth. I am continuing to be impressed with the durability of this little stencil. Below is my test page that I made, the blue on the right is the acrylic and the green is the ink:


Also if you would like to try and make your own stained glass photo print stencil. But happen to not have any photos of stained glass laying around, you can check out my Stained Glass photos in my smugmug gallery. You can even buy prints of ones that you like right from there and make them in to stencils for your personal use. I would love to see how they turn out if you do!

Swatches Art journal page-10/31/2013

I have done a little of everything in my art journal now. I was getting to know what would and media and materials would and would not work successfully with the paper in my encyclopedia. It has become clear from my experimenting so far that, acrylic paint, pens and markers. Work the best and would be my primary artistic tools from here on. Which is exciting for me because until now I have used a lot of acrylic and watercolor paint, and water color pencils. I am very comfortable using them, I know what I can achieve with them. But pens, brush pens and markers are not something I have very much experience with.

As I embarked on my art journaling adventure to try new media and new techniques. Having to use a new medium as my primary one fits in perfectly with that. I have now amassed a nice collection of pens, markers etc. and thought it would be nice to do a page of “swatches” that I can refer to that shows exactly what all my drawing materials look like on the paper in my art journal. So I left the top half of the page raw and painted the lower half with gesso (I have 3 colors white, gray and cream.) Just because it is practical does not mean it can’t also be pretty. With my basic shape stencil I used the different shapes to differentiate what kind of pen or marker each one is as well as to look pretty. Swatches Page process  1Swatches Page process  2 I used hexagons for the brush pens:Swatches Page process  4

Squares for the Itoya calligraphy markers. Triangles for the double tipped calligraphy markers. Swatches Page process  5I just used diagonal lines for the normal pens so it would easily show the width of the pen nib.Swatches Page process  6For the sake of space I just did a grid over the gessoed part of the page and used 1 box per color. With labeling between the different kinds of pen/markers:Swatches Page process  8 Swatches Page process  10 Swatches Page process  13

I bought some more brush pens later on so I just added more hexagons:Swatches Page process  14

and some more triangles:Swatches Page process  15 Swatches Page process  16Above each pen line I added the name and nib size:Swatches Page process  17Over the white gesso:Swatches Page process  18 The finished swatches spread:The finished swatches spreadThis was a fun and helpful spread to do, it appealed to my german love of order and method.


Art is the Filter

Art journal page from October 28-30th 2013
One of the objectives that I have set for myself doing this altered book art journal. Is to use what is existing on the original encyclopedia page to my advantage. To take what is there and amplify it, or use it as a jumping off point for my art work. I don’t want to just cover up what is there, I want to use it as a vital,component of my final work of art work. This page in particular really exemplifies successfully meeting that objective.

As soon as I saw this page I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it. I wanted to take the existing shapes on the page and continue them out across the page turning them into a larger pattern. When I first saw this page I was immediately drawn to the simple geometric shapes around the fluid flowing blue. The original page was a diagram of different kinds of filters they use to reduce air pollution, with two columns  of text underneath:creating the pattern(I of course forgot to take a pic until I had drawn my lines over the text, silly me.) As you can see in the pic above, first I took my black ITOYA Doubleheader Calligraphy marker and  drew my geometric framework from the existing uiilstration down to the bottom it the filterThen I used my dark blue Stained by Sharpie, brush pen to draw in the blue fluid swirly-ness. The Stained brush pens are intended for fabric but I have found that they work great on the paper in my encyclopedia. The blue was a great match for the darker blue color that was in the original illustration. I also added the yellow accents, with my ITOYA Doubleheader Calligraphy marker, color Dijon. Which was an almost perfect match for the yellow in the illustration.

Duplicating the existing illustration to create the pattern up to the top of the page:Duplicating the existing illustration to create the pattern.

Continuing the patter up to the top of the page.

Continuing the pattern up to the top of the page.

art it the filterAfter I put in all the blue on the bottom of the page I felt that is needed some more yellow to balance it out. So I added the yellow radiating curves around the far right column.Art is the filter page  9Art is the filter page  4The Bottom section. After all my pattern was drawn I also decided to cover the surrounding text on the bottom of the page with gray to help visually “knock it back”.

Details of the finished page:art is the filter art is the filter Mechanical Collector

the top section

Finished top section

the original illustration with embellishments. I added the dark blue over parts of the existing illustration. as well as made some of the black lines thicker to match the parts I drew:

Art is the filter page  3

Art is the filter page  4

Finished bottom section of the page.

and of course I like to sign and date each page when I finish it.I like to sign and date each page when I finish it I started the page on October 28th and finished it on the October the 30th.

The full finished page:the finished Art is the Filter page

This is one of my favorite pages because when I set out to make this encyclopedia in to an altered book art journal this is what I wanted it to be. taking the already great illustrations that it contained expand and enhance them. Taking what was an outdated and cast aside relic of the pre-digital age and reincarnating it into a fascinating, enduring and beautiful work of art that will withstand the test of time. So this page is one of my favorites because with this page at least I feel I have successfully met those goals.