Art Journal: Life is Good.

I’ve been having so much fun lately doing ATCs and tags, I haven’t had a moment to do an art journal layout just for me in a while. So yesterday I sat down and decided to just play.

Life is Good.

This layout was inspired by a tag I saw on Pinterest. (And I’ve found the creator! Visit Claudia’s amazing fan page or watch the tutorial on the tag that inspired my art journal layout!) I loved it so much, I wanted to do my own version in an art journal. I took pictures as I went along, so I could show you how I created this fun piece.
I’m using my Moleskin notebook. First I applied a layer of gesso to the top half of the spread. I knew the bottom half would be covered with die cuts, so I didn’t bother with the bottom of the pages.

I then used several gelatos in shades of blue: Elderberry, Cotton Candy, Blueberry and Boysenberry. I applied the gelatos to the page and used a wet baby wipe and my fingers to spread the colors until I was happy with it. I then covered the color with a layer of matte medium to protect it from whatever I wanted to do to the skyline.

I then cut several “sand dunes” using the Lawn Fawn Stitched HIllside Borders.

I then blended on some Distress Oxide inks in Fossilized Amber, Wild Honey and Vintage Photo. I inked the whole die cut because I wasn’t sure of my placement yet.

I fiddled with the placement then glued the dunes onto the page using Ranger’s Multi Matte Medium. I used an alcohol marker to color the edges under the dunes, because I thought there might be a chance some of the background page might show through my wave die cuts.

Next I cut my waves using the Frantic Stamper Frothy Wave Edger die. I inked the die cuts with Distress Oxide Salty Ocean and Peacock Feathers, then flicked some water over the top for the bubbly look.

I had left the tops of the waves white, so I applied some Versamark embossing ink to the wave tops and sprinkled on some White Puff embossing powder. After heat setting, it puffs a little bit, giving it some texture.

I then stamped out some of the images from the Lawn Fawn Life is Good stamp set and also die cut the trees, coconuts and crab from the Lawn Fawn Palm Trees die set. I colored the stamped images with my mishmash set of alcohol markers (I use a combo of Blick, Spectrum Noir and Copics, so my colors wouldn’t be very helpful) and inked the trees with Distress Oxides Vintage Photo and Peeled Paint. I fussy cut the stamped images since I didn’t want the white border around them as my trees and girl wouldn’t have them.

Next, I stamped out one of my Julie Nutting doll stamps, Betsy. I knew her legs would be mostly hidden, so I didn’t bother with her feet. I used a darker piece of the Julie Nutting Skin Tone paper pad to stamp the doll on, then stamped out her swimsuit onto some pretty scraps I had in my stash, and pieced them onto the doll.

I glued down the two back waves, then placed my pieces where I wanted them before gluing them down with matte medium.

Before I glued down the final waves, I spritzed them with a silver shimmer spray to give it a bit of sparkle. I added some stamped birds and my sentiment as the final touches.

Hope you enjoyed a look into this process! Thank you for visiting! 🙂

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A few art journal pages…

I warned you I’d be playing catch-up! Thought I’d share just a few pages I’d done in my art journal so far…

"Imagine"
“Imagine”

I saw a tutorial on YouTube on how to paint a galaxy using watercolors. (Just search for watercolor galaxy… lots of examples!) I thought it might be something I could do, even though I’d never painted before, so I got a cheap set of watercolor paints from Amazon and this was my first attempt at painting… and I LOVE IT. I don’t know that I could ever do it again, but I’m just amazed I could do something like this to begin with!

"Tomorrow is another day..."
“Tomorrow is another day…”

Next, I thought I’d try a sunset. While it didn’t turn out as well as my galaxy I thought, it’s not to bad. I don’t hate it at any rate. ^_^

For my third page, I wanted to play with some mermaid stamps from The Greeting Farm. My inspiration was a silly television commercial… I don’t even know what product it’s selling, but it’s got a ceramic mermaid talking on her “shellphone.” It makes me chuckle every time I see it, so I thought I’d do a page inspired by it.

"Shellphone"
“Shellphone”

The background is watercolors, then I heat embossed a wave stamp over the top. I didn’t have a die cut machine at this time, so I cut everything out by hand after I colored it in with pencils. The narwhal stamp is from the Lawn Fawn Mermaid For You set.

For my next page, I thought I’d try my hand at collage, using a Tim Holtz ephemera pack I’d picked up along the way. Girls are often not encouraged enough to go into the STEM fields, but every girl has an opportunity to be a Mighty Girl. My nod to Marie Curie.

"Be Mighty."
“Be Mighty.”

My next page was inspired by Marta of Maremi Small Art. I’d watched her “How to Break a Blank Page” tutorial on YouTube which helped me start this one off. I glued down some torn pages from a foreign language dictionary, before covering them with watercolors. I fussy cut some hearts out of scrapbook paper and colored them with gelatos, then put some white distress paint through a stencil. I drew the stitching and patches on the hearts by hand. The finished page turned out better than I’d expected.

"Forever in My Heart"
“Forever in My Heart”

Finally I decided to try my hand at watercolors again. I found another tutorial on YouTube on how to paint a simple cherry blossom scene. While my mountain didn’t turn out very well, I still like the overall result. And I can only get better with practice!

"Travel"
“Travel”

I’ll upload some more pages soon!

Art Journal — “Create”

As you can probably tell, I’m not very good at keeping a blog. When I finish a project, I do almost immediately share it to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, but I have trouble finding time to write about the project here. So I will probably post many “catch up” entries in the future. You have been warned! 😉

I recently started my own art journal. My very first. I began it to try out various techniques I’d seen in YouTube tutorials, but then the first few pages turned out so well, at least for me, I decided to turn it from being just  a plain ol’ practice journal into my first art journal. I have several pages done, but I thought I’d start with the cover, since I seem to have gotten the most comments about it on social media.

The journal I chose was a Strathmore Visual Journal Watercolor 5.5″X8″ journal purchased from Amazon. I wanted this one because it was small and was made of watercolor paper. Don’t be fooled by the “cover” in the photo. That cover is actually a thin piece of paper that comes off easily. The actual cover is a really thick, sturdy piece of cardboard? chipboard? Not sure really, but it holds up well!

A "before" shot of the cover.
A “before” shot of the cover.

The photo above is actually the back cover, as I forgot to photo the front before I altered it. But both covers are the same… smooth and easy to work on. I did remove the cover to alter it. Took a little bit of effort to get it off, but it can be done!

So here’s what I turned it into…

"Create."
“Create.”

I honestly had no idea in mind when I started it. I just picked things I liked and hoped it would work.

First I took the TCW “Organic Matter” 6×6″ stencil to spread texture paste on my cover. After letting it set, I painted the whole thing with black gesso. While that was drying, I took some chipboard circles I had received in a “scrap pack” from the Retro Cafe Art Gallery shop and wrapped each one with some embroidery thread from my stash. I glued them onto the cover using gel medium and painted them with black gesso as well. Then I painted the whole thing with clear crackle paint. I let all that dry overnight, mostly because I was tired and wanted to go to bed! XD

My next step was to paint the circles. I used the small stash of Shimmerz paints I had… Jilted Jade, Orchid-stra, Golden Wheat and a pinkish one whose name escapes me at the moment. I didn’t contain myself to the circles. I painted a little bit of the area around the circles as well.

After letting the paint dry, I rubbed some PearlEx Aztec Gold powder here and there to give it a shine. Rubbed just a little on the circles as well. Love that stuff! I then splattered some droplets of white acrylic paint onto the whole thing before applying Prima’s Pixie Dust fixative to keep the powder from rubbing off.

All that was left to do after was to bling it up! I painted a chipboard sentiment with silver paint to give title to my first journal… “Create.” I glued on some random gems  and pearls from my stash and added a pretty little flower from Michael’s in the corner. The final touch was a beautiful dragonfly from Little Scrap Shop on Etsy.

I had a lot of fun creating the cover, though I think in the future, if I do more journals, I shall save the cover for last. It is a bit bulky to work with. I suppose I could always take it back off, but I like just looking at the cover to remind me I was able to make something pretty. ^_^