Sunday, March 1, 2015

Paint Swatch mini journal

Do you happen to have a huge stash of those yummy color swatches from the hardware store and don't know what to do with them? Well, last summer I made the cutest mini journal using them. 
First I gathered my stash of swatches, some glue, a brayer... some PVA glue used for book binding and sticking back canvas (artist trading card size). Other supplies will be listed as needed. I used a calendar for my working surface to prevent anything from getting on my table.

 I just happened to grab some elmers glue....but you can use any adhesive you think would work well. If doing today, I would probably use a UHU blue glue stick since it is a paste and not liquid and very sticky!

 Once I have selected the 2 color swatches I want back to back, I turn them over and apply the glue. Then brayer the pages together to get out any air bubbles and make a tight seal. 
 I continue to do this until the whole stash is completed. And put them off to the side to give them time to dry. 
Once dried, I then decide if I want the "Pantone" logo to be visible or under the binding. I selected to show it,since I love the added touch of black and white text.  I then make sure to tap them so they are even (like you would a deck of cards). You will need to do this several times, turning on all 4 sides. You need to make sure they are very even before applying the binding glue. 

I used a generous amount of PVA glue (purchased from It is ok if it seeps down into the will help with binding. Then I attached 2 small clips and let dry over night.
Meanwhile, while drying, I used Dylusions ink sprays and dyed the sticking back canvas. Simply sptiz the spay onto the canvas and let dry. 
After the canvas is dried, I used staz on ink in black and a stamp to create a nice graphic on the binding.

 Note to self: Make sure the ink pad is nice and juicy This is not THE best stamped image, but ya know, it will do!  Give it a few minutes to dry, then adhere to the side where you have applied the binding glue and removed the clips. Cut to fit!  
And BAM! here is your cute and fabulous mini paint swatch journal!  I KNOW, RIGHT!
Since I had a few left over swatches, I wanted to try out which of my pens would work the best. So I started playing around with my waterbased sharpie pen in signo white gel paint pens (sharpie and montana) souffle pens by sakura, also my gel pens and glaze pens by sakura as well. 
 Later, I thought of trying out my small stencils and my new Distress paint daubers by Tim Holtz. Super Cute too! For the future though, I would print the swatches first, then adhere them into the journal. This way I could then use colored gel pens or white pens to journal over top of these yummy backgrounds. Just sayin'!

 Well I hope you found this tutorial helpful. It's such a great size to fit in a make up bag with some pens and put it in your purse. So the next time you are waiting @ the Dr's office....or enjoying your coffee @ Starbucks...or sitting in your car waiting for soccer practice to finish up, you'll have this little cutey to doodle in! Enjoy!

Monday, July 28, 2014

How to Host an Art Journal play day....

Today's Art Journal Mixed Media much fun creating with friends!

 Sooooo, you may do you go about hosting an "Art Journal Play day"? Well, step one is to give a shout out to your friends whom you think would be interested in having some creative fun. Then figure out a day and time that works best for all of you. (Probably the hardest part). Once this is all set, decide on the food. Our group met @ 10am-2. So knowing some people may not have had breakfast....and it would also overlap lunch....I opted for a little bit of both. 
I had available some yummy pastries for the breakfast skippers....along with some fruit cheese and crackers.....A variety of drinks were also provided. However, I must say, the COOLEST part of the spread, was the chalkboard name tag stickers I made for the cups! I KNOW, right! 
( I took a sheet of my chalkboard cardstock, punched them out with my stampin up punches, then ran them thru the zyron. Voila! name tag stickers for the cups. I had a cup of gel pens ready for each person to decorate- they looooved them!)
 In addition, but not shown was the lunch spread of tuna salad and croissants, a make your own salad with chicken, strawberries, almonds, blue and feta cheese and dressings, baked asparagus wrapped in ham and swiss cheese. Yummy!

Once food was prepped and ready to go, I set up the work tables in my dinning room. I made sure the tables were covered with a plastic table cloth to prevent any damage to my table underneath. 
Next, I provided each participant with a piece of watercolor paper as a place mat/ wipe up page, a paper towel, a water container and brush. The center of the table had a variety of materials they could use, such as: water soluble crayons and oil pastels, acrylic paints, old gift cards/cardboard to scrape with, make up sponges, dylusion sprays,and water brushes filled with dylusions. On a separate table for later, I also provided stencils, book text, old sheets of music, and various other papers for collage. 

As you can see, lots of yummy layers were being created. Newbies were treated to many ideas and tips by some of us with more experience. All of us enjoyed trying new techniques and supplies.

Getting together in such a way is a great treat! Carving out time just for yourself, creating with friends, chatting and giggling is just so much fun! I highly recommend it! 

But truly, the BEST part of the day is knowing that something that started out as a "complete mess"  can now make you smile and be so very proud of what you created! 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Art Journal Play Day...

" Fun With Friends" definitely describes today's Art Journal Play Day. I got together today with two lovely who's been doing art journaling with me for a while...and the other, our newbie friend- who has seen our art journals but has never done it before. 

So today was a fun day to introduce her to the joys of Art Journaling and all the yummy art supplies that go along with it!

Once we set up the table with all of our wonderful 
supplies, we were ready to jump right in! We started with baby steps to get our "newbie's" feet wet. Just applying a base coat of color was the mission. Using water soluble crayons and oil pastels was first. Keeping in mind that the goal is to just play and have fun, with no "outcome" in mind is KEY. 

We also scraped acrylic paints with credit cards to easily cover the background too. Ohhh the fun we had! 

Next was stenciling to create the next layer. Waaaay too much fun there! lol. And then "collaging" papers and stamping was added. The best thing about today was just enjoying each others company while creating. Spending time with each other, forging deeper friendships and of course, laughing a lot was the best end result!

Oh, and did I mention yummy snacks and lunch to provide a nice little break to recharge our creativity? Such a delightful afternoon. I highly encourage you to get together with someone and have an "Art Journal Play Day" as soon as possible! Enjoy!

 If you are in the area (Rehoboth Beach, Lewes, Milton, Delaware) and are interested in learning more about Art Journaling....stay tuned for some very FUN upcoming news! Oh the fun YOU can have too! (just sayin'!!!!!!!!!)

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Geli Print Journal sure has been a while since my last post! lol... So I wanted to just jump right back in the saddle and share what I've been doing.
In addition to working on my "Draw Your Awesome Life" class with Joanne Sharpe and the "Documented Life Project" since Janurary of 2014, I have been doing some other projects as well.
 I wanted to share my most recent Geli Print Journal project  first. Some of the prints are just sooooo yummy delish I couldn't resist sharing! 
Being inspired earlier this week by Julie Fei Fan Balzer's journal peek, I too wanted to dedicate a whole journal to this GELI PRINTING process. 
It was also a good excuse to use the new (tho not needed) small dylusions journal I just bought! Now i can justify it's purchase- yay me!

Trying new color combinations was very fun! Some colors I never use...or at least not together.. really surprised me...and may have become some of my new faves! 
Not one for using light pastel colors in my work, this one turned out to be one one of my favorites. Including some folk art metallic acrylic paint in champagne, sterling silver,Inca Gold or Solid Bronze really made some of these prints POP! 
(see more photos at the end of this post) 

 Debating whether or not to purchase the new small 3x5 geli plates from Geli Arts, I thought I would conduct a test first. I had found  a "Clear Carve" linoleum carving plate (only $5.99 and found on the bottom left)  that I thought would do the job.....and also a silicone pan liner I never use (in my stash for years-the yellow plate found in the bottom right....and my 8x10 geli plate in the top left corner) . I cut down the silicone liner to equal that of the clear carve plate  of 5x7 to start. 

In addition, I set up my work space in 2 stations: One is the "inking" area where you see the plates and an old telephone 
book to clean my brayer. (This makes very cool book text prints at the same time.)

Station Two: is where I set out the paper and stencils I will be using. I included a stack of printer paper, a stack of pre cut tracing paper, and my small dylusions journal. My stencils range in size though the ones in the photo are 6x6. I also included home made stamps I made from cut foam/ pre made shapes glued to cardboard. I also added small tags to be printed on that are not photographed here.

Ok, back to the "Geli Print Journal" ...soooooooo, after setting up my stations I was ready to get busy.
 I selected 3 colors: a light pastel green (Martha Stewart), a teal (Craft Smart) and champagne ( metallic Folk Art) ...all cheap acrylic paints. 

FYI: When I first used my Geli plate, I did NOT read the directions and sat it on the comic strip section of the newspaper....that is why you see the images on my plate. This does NOT come off- just sayin'! lol. Does not interfere with the quality of printing..but it makes your plate look like poo! lol.
Once I selected my colors, I used my brayer to roll out the paint. Go very lightly with the brayer....and don't OVER ROLL it, or you will get a muddy mess. 

Once the paint has been rolled onto your plate, use the telephone book (or old book) to roll the left over paint from the brayer onto it. It will provide lots of yummy painted book text you can use in other projects. 
(See photos at the end of post).

Test results: I have found during my experiment/test, that the clear carve plate and the silicone plates will do in a pinch. However, the brayer did not roll so easily on them and sometimes skidded. The stencil prints did not show up as well either. I think the soft surface of the geli plate allows the stencil to sink a bit, making for a much better print. If you just want a base coat of rolled colors to do back grounds, then you most certainly can get by using the other two. 
But if you want yummy stencil prints, then you are better off investing in the GELI PLATE by GELI ARTS. I will, at some point in the near future, purchase the new 3x5 plate! 

So once the paint has been brayered, I laid a 12x2 stencil on top of the plate, then laid a piece of printer paper over top of that and rubbed with flat hands. When you lift the paper off of the plate, this is called "pulling a print".

 This first print will allow the paint to come thru the holes in the circles for a print.

Once you have made a print this way, you have removed some of the paint from inside the circles. The 2nd print or "ghost print" is created by placing your paper (my journal in this case) on top of the remaining ink on the plate. Using flat hands and lots of pressure, press down without moving the paper or journal too much. Move hands in a circular motion while being sure to get all areas for a good print. The photo to the left is what printed in my journal. 
Note: when printing in a journal, you must keep in mind applying more pressure to the area where the spine is located. It not, as you will see in other photos, you will have some blank empty areas. Though not a big deal for me, I plan to cover them up with some collaged items and paint and doodles in the future. These prints wills serve as just a background to get started 


The print on the right (my 3rd print) was pulled after my journal print....and it pulled up all the paint on the plate. It gives it a very grungy effect which is also very cool. Keep in mind these pints are not intended to stand alone or be the finished piece. Sometimes you do get lucky and create some amazing pieces that could do that. 

 Because you can pull at least 3 prints every  time you paint your plate, be sure to have extra papers on hand. I used copy paper for the photos on the left. 

Below you will see tags on the top left, Kraft paper on the top right, and Tracing paper on the bottom. Any types of paper will do. Experiment with what you have in your stash already. Use what you have!!!!!  Try lots of different things: wall paper books, old books, scrapbooking paper, your kid's colored construction paper, etc. 

All the photos so far, are in addition to what I printed in my journal. You don't want to waste any of the delicious yummy paint, so be prepared with lots of papers. I just put all my prints of the floor to dry. Some people have used clothes lines and drying racks.

                           Below are prints I made on tags...they are double sided.

           These prints were done on tracing paper (works just as well as deli paper).
 Above pic are pages I made from wiping off my brayer into an old telephone book. They are yummy colored book text now that will definitely be used in future projects.
Below is what I call a "clean up" print. If you allow the paint to dry for a bit on your plate, then brayer another layer of color on will pull up all the paint on the plate and get some really cool prints.
I'm working on creating a video flip thru of my geli plate journal....but until that happens, please enjoy the following pics. 

 These are only about half of the prints in my new journal. I was determined to do it all in one day....heavy prepared for you butt to go numb if you work sitting down. Also if you are impatient like I am, use a heating tool....and try to give some xtra time....see above what happens when you don't...pages stuck together and had to be pulled apart. UGH! 

And FINALLY......
Many people want to know how to store stencils or our plates. So I wanted to include my 12x12 scrapbook storage boxes. I LOOOOVE these things.  I keep my 6x6 stencils in a baggie, and my 12x12 or 9x12 stencils just free and placed on top of my geli plate that stays in the package to prevent damage to the soft gel surface. All of this is stored together in the 12x12 box. I don't think I have ever used my geli plate without my stencils, so this works for me.

Being that my "Studio" is also a guest room and the futon is needed for extra sleeping, I store those 12x12 tubs under the futon for easy access and easy storage. It may not be the prettiest sight, but again, it works for me. 
This space is used more for my studio than a guest room, so I arranged it to fit those needs. 

           Well I hope this inspires you to start your own Geli Print Journal too! Enjoy!