Monday, February 28, 2011

Art Journaling

I have recently (as in this past weekend) taken the plunge and decided to start an art journal, an idea I first began toying with late last year. What is an art journal, you ask? Well, it's pretty much like a regular journal in that the topic can cover anything and everything - from your everyday life to travel, dreams and goals, diet and exercise, to-do lists, and the list goes on. The primary difference between an art journal and a "regular" journal is, as you may have guessed, that art journals focus more on illustrations. They can have some text or no text. The text can BE the art. And the ways to create your illustrations are just as endless and varied as the topics you cover. You can paint; you can create collages; you can doodle; you can glue photographs on your page.

What I love most about art journaling is that there is NO WRONG WAY to do it! And you don't have to have a perfect finished product (something I feel compelled to do with scrapbook layouts). You don't even have to be able to paint or draw well! It doesn't have to look good; it doesn't have to be complete. The purpose is to express yourself and to capture your thoughts, feelings or ideas in a personal, meaningful way.

My art journal is a watercolor and sketch notebook that I purchased from Hobby Lobby for under $10. You can use just about any type of journal or notebook; you can even make your own. If you decide to use paints, the main thing that is recommended is to first prime your pages with gesso.

Here is my first art journal page.

I bought several small bottles of very inexpensive acrylic paints which I put down in layers (over my gesso-ed page). I then used a template and misted a clock background. I cut out a stamped image of arms and legs that I colored, cut out a picture of my head and incorporated my journaling in the picture. I can barely draw stick figures and never graduated past finger-painting in grade school but I am HAPPY with my end-result because I created something that is meaningful to me - a picture I can look at and immediately know what I am trying to tell myself.

Need some inspiration to get started? Check out these links:

Images of other art journal pages;

Instructions on how to create and keep an art journal;

A fantastic Blog with different prompts and techniques for art journaling; and

A site with all sorts of ideas and tutorials.

"Art journals are visual expressions of the true noise, colors, clutter, emotions, and people within us." [authors Linda Woods and Karen Dinino in Journal Revolution]. According to Kay Marie Porterfield, writer and journal writing teacher, "Starting an art journal is a powerful way to move beyond words. Not only does working with images access a different part of our brains than words, making art is a source of playfulness and creative joy." Why don't you give it a try?

Friday, February 25, 2011

Fun with Sketches

I love sketches, so I was really excited when I found out that Let's Capture Our Memories has a section totally devoted to sketches for cards and layouts!

The thing I love about sketches so much is that they give you a basic template for a layout without "influencing" you as to specifics. You don't see a particular line of papers, color of flower, or embellishments being used as you would with a scraplift, so it is extremely easy for your imagination to go wild! As with all sketches, you can follow it specifically to a "t" or you can rotate it, flip it, add to it or subtract from it. There is no wrong way to use a sketch!

I followed the basic layout of sketch 70. However, I added the large punched layer of paper and lots of pretty embellishments. I used three flowers instead of two as shown in the sketch, included sewing around my photo and added lots of pearl accents to give the layout a soft feel. I also outlined my title letters and flowers in white, and I doodled white along my vine to add visual interest to them as well as to tie them in with the white background paper.

I am going to try the card sketch next over at Let's Capture Our Memories. Since I am on a shabby chic kick right now, I may first load up on some Shabby Chic embellies at their store. Would you like to get some shabby goodness to make your own card or layout? Well, you're in luck! Let's Capture Our Memories is holding a contest until 9 pm Monday night (February 28th)in which YOU can win $15 of Shabby Chic Crafts Goodness just by leaving a comment - how easy is that?!

And if you use Sketch 70 to make a layout, would you email me a picture? ( I would love to see your creation and post it on my blog!

Happy weekend!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Last October, when I was visiting some of my good fellow addicts scrapbooking friends in West Palm Beach, I was introduced to the Take Ten Stamper's Sampler and Somerset Studio magazines, both part of Stampington & Company's publications. Talk about a treasure trove of information and inspiration!

Any of you who know me and who have seen my layouts, know that one tool I consistently use in my scrapbooking supply arsenal is distress ink. I outline almost all of my papers with distress ink (or inks as is generally the case) because I feel the ink(s) add more dimension to my papers.

However, what I saw the Somerset people doing made me (mentally) smack my hand to my forehead and exclaim, "Why didn't I think of that?!" What the Somerset guys taught me to do is not only to ink my papers but to "ink" around my fussy-cut or paper embellishments, too! Instead of using distress ink pads, which are almost impossible to get into small crevices and corners, Somerset uses markers to outline the edges of the paper. I tried it and what a difference I think it makes. See?

{Note: all additional distressing to paper flowers and leaves shown below were provided courtesy of Cross-Eyed Pete and Danny-Boy, this author's ill-behaved, far-too-curious cats who have developed an ill-advised, intense fascination for scrapbooking supplies}

Flowers before outlining with marker

Flowers after being outlined with marker

Fussy-Cut leaf section before being outlined with marker

Fussy-Cut leaf section after being outlined with marker

Now, Somerset Magazine shows all images as being outlined with black marker. I used marker colors that were similar to the paper color. Eventually, I will try outlining my images in contrasting colors to see what result I get.

Why don't you play with this technique, too, and let me know what you think. If you email me a picture of your layout or card in which you have outlined your images with marker, I would love to post YOUR creation on my blog! (Email is

Happy scrapping!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Psst...pass it on...

I am so excited! Why you ask? Well, it's because I have been selected to be part of the Let's Capture our Memories Marketing Team! This is a great opportunity, and I'm thrilled to be working with such a talented group of ladies! LCOM has a store full of lots of scrapbooking goodies and a pretty neat blog, too! I will post more later but wanted to share the good news with you now. Check out their site and let me know what you think...and, pssst...pass it on!

Friday, February 18, 2011

And the Winner is...

First, I want to thank everyone who played along in my first ever challenge AND everyone who left such wonderful messages. I loved celebrating my 9th year of being cancer free with each of you!

As you know, the winner of my challenge was chosen by random drawing. Each of the layouts were wonderfully, awesomely done, and there is no way other than random drawing that I could have chosen a winner!

And now, to announce the winner.

My trusty assistant Hunter helped me cut paper up and write a number corresponding with each posted layout on each piece.

Then we folded each piece of paper into small pieces, perfect for drawing out of a bag.

The papers were placed in the "regulation random drawing" paper bag which was then shaken vigorously by Assistant Hunter.

She then placed her hand in the bag without looking...

...and drew (drumroll please)...

Number 2!


I have had so much fun that I think I would like to add a new challenge each month. I would love to hear your suggestions and ideas as to challenges you would like to see (and play!) in the future!

Friday, February 11, 2011

A Challenge and a Prize to Celebrate My 9 Year Cancer Free Anniversary!

Today is a very special day for me as I am celebrating my 9th year of being cancer free! How do I plan to spend my day? Scrapbooking of course!

I want to share my good fortune with you and give you an incentive to get crafty yourself. So, I have decided to create a challenge in which you lift one of my layouts posted over at

The winner will receive a $35 gift certificate from's superstore!!!

Are you up to the challenge? Here's all you need to do:

This challenge will end at 9 pm CST on Friday,February 18, 2011.

Happy lifting, and I am so excited to see the wonderful layouts I know you are going to create!

Here are the lifts!

1. Wild Fun by Meredith (a lift of Big Imagination)

2. Hey Baby - can I buy you a drink by Eileen(a lift of Adorable in Every Way)

3. Come Together 2010 by KateB(a lift of Beach)

4. Kittens by Christy B (a lift of Beach Baby)

5. Blue Eyed Boy by Heather (a lift of Sweet Cheeks)

6. Sisters by Norma (a lift of Sisters)

7. Enjoy Life by Izzy (a lift of Beach)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Live it, journal it

Perhaps it's because one of my grandmothers had severe Alzheimers before she died or maybe it's because I look at old family photos and have no idea who the people are or what the stories are behind them, but journaling plays a very large role in my scrapbooking. I want to be able to recall - or have some future great-grandchild read about - thoughts, events and little snippets of conversation that made my life worth living.

Since my scrapbooking obsession hobby began, the most common reason I have heard from people who don't journal is that since there was no special event or occasion that occurred, they didn't know what to say. I believe, however, that journaling is so much more than writing about vacations or holidays (although those are important). Journaling is just as effective and meaningful when you write about something as simple as your current mood or why vacuuming dog hair off your sofa for the 100th time is annoying. And, I think, journaling about the everyday, mundane things in life triggers so many more memories and allows you to later recapture entire weeks, months and sometimes years from one single recorded moment.

So, the next time you are creating a layout, look at your picture(s) and ask yourself these questions: What is the subject of the photo doing? What am I thinking? How do I feel about this picture or the people in it? What memories does this picture invoke? Why do I like this picture enough to create a layout? Is there anything I see in this picture that I don't like and want to change? What and why? Once you have answered these questions - write about it! Even if you tape a piece of paper to the back of your layout for no one else to see, write about it!

Are you still stuck? Here are some links to help you get started:

Happy journaling!