Manila folders come in stacks of ten or more, but what to do when you have some old folders that can’t be used any longer? Make an art journal! I had an old folder that had been used many times. I tried to remove the written labels, but the folder had served its purpose by then.
I made a short video on how to turn the folder into an art journal. You can use whatever papers you have. I have a huge stack so it seems I used every conceivable style I could dig up. It turned out very busy but who is judging?
As you can see, I made some mistakes, but what I learned will benefit my next journal! The first one is always trial and error, right?
Seeing as the CV virus still has a hold, I spend a lot of time in my studio. There’s nothing else I’d rather do during this time. Here’s a gallery of items I’ve made in July.
How I feel about 2020, titled The Rollercoaster
I made more items, but these are enough for now. 🙂 I also got back to doing more art journaling. If you missed my last blog post with the tutorial on how to make a manila envelope journal cover, HERE it is.
One of my favorite mixed media artist is Lyn Belisle. She is currently offering a FREE book tutorial, how to make a Lotus book. It is really cool. Check it out HERE. You can’t go wrong with free, and she’s an excellent instructor.
This is it for this blog post. I hope you try the manila folder journal. Send me pictures if you do: email@example.com
Lots of love,
P.S. Most of my art ends up in my etsy shop, Earth and Faery. Before we know it, Christmas will be here.
Simple journal cover you ask? Yes, it’s possible. Check out the YouTube video I made creating an easy and fun cover for a new art journal. All you need is a manila envelope, I used a 12×9″ size, but any size is ok. You need some paints, elastic, and stencils or rubber stamps. Use what you have and save yourself a trip to the craft store.
front and back of journal cover
I really like how it turned out, and there are so many variations that you can create. The sky’s the limit. You can also put something in the envelope, use it as a secret pocket.
Simple is great! The more complex the design, the more room for error, though you can’t really go wrong when art journaling.
At a whole other spectrum of creativity, I sewed a cat figure from scrap fabrics.
cat soft sculpture
A friend saw it on Instagram and promptly purchased it. I was happy to part with it. I painted the eyes and appliqued them to the face. A lot of embroidery was involved, and I sewed the body without turning the seams inside. I thought it added a primitive touch to the figure.
Sometimes just winging it makes the best art. 🙂
What are you making today?
If you’re looking for some more inspiration, try this spirit doll assemblage made with an old Altoid tin. HERE
Lots of love,
P.S. I’m stocking some Christmas items (gifts) in my etsy shop. Check them out HERE.
Whimsical art and “funky boho colorful display” you can call these houses that are so much fun to make!
I wrote a picture tutorial on how to make them. It’s fun and easy! Here’s one:
whimsical art house
You can buy the wooden house shape at Michael’s or online. They are cheap and easy to alter. Since I was going to cover everything with paper, I Mod-Podged the surfaces to seal them before I attached paper scraps.
Paper scraps attached
Here the papers are dry. I covered the edges as well. You can glue the paper down and then cut the excess along the edges with sharp scissors.
All surfaces covered.
Below, I wiped acrylic paints over the surfaces, one pink one lavender.
I painted the door shapes, and in the image after that you can see the windows added. I used charcoal to outline the shapes in a primitive style.
Windows and doors added with paint and charcoal.
To seal the charcoal, which can be messy if not sealed, I used a spray varnish. It’s best to spray them outside because the fumes are wicked. I let the houses dry outside as well.
Drilled holes for birds
I then drilled the holes for the tiny birds I’d made as an embellishment on the roof. Whimsical touch… 🙂
Whimsical birds for the house roofs
I painted the houses the same colors on the back as on the front. The edges got a contrasting color.
Jazzed up the front with banners
When I make polymer clay tiles for my mosaics, I usually make some extra cut-outs. I use cookie cutters for these shapes, bake them, and paint them. They make cute banners! I also glued some flowers at the bottom on the pink house. I varnished the back and the edges with gloss varnish. The shine brings out the colors nicely.
Finished houses!Birds on the edges
I used super glue to attach the steel wire to the birds and the houses. They will stay in for a long time! 🙂
Below is another example of a green house.
Finished art house
Now I have to make more stars and pennants. I used them all in these projects.
Wood shapes are great because you can make so much with them. If you read my blog you know I like to combine wood and polymer clay. One of my most cherished sellers is the angel with a message.
Angel with a message
What gets your imagination going?
I get my inspiration from actually making stuff. One thing leads to another, new ideas pop up as I’m in the middle of the process. Most of them are good ideas that can be realized without too much pain. I also get inspiration from other artists on Instagram and Pinterest.
Don’t let fear stop you from experimenting. The figure below is my latest experimentation. I have a hard time sculpting faces, but I decided to use a face mold that I proceeded to alter. However, I keep working on my skills; it’s the only way to master a new technique.
Bettina, the circus acrobat on her day off
I wish you lots of inspiration! Try something new today. 🙂
Dastardly Owl was so much fun to make. I did not come up with that name; Ann Wood did. I used her pattern to make him and it was so much fun! She also has a lot of free patterns on her website if you like sewing small creatures. I’ll post a link at the end of this post. So this was a detour for me, and I learned that I can still sew even if I don’t sew much these days. Now I’m hooked on fabric birds, but it’s anyone’s guess how long that fascination will last.
There are so many patterns and creative people out there! I can easily spend hours on Pinterest if I start cruising. The dangers of social media, right?
Things were busy around Thanksgiving, but I still had a productive November, and it makes me feel good. I made mostly mosaics but also got some painting in, though painting is at the hub of my frustration with art-making.
Every day is a challenge when it comes to painting. Here are a couple of items from November’s collection.
Dastardly OwlDastardly Owl back view Mixed media wall plaqueAngel mosaic Painting in a watch casing
A wild variety of everything
As you can see, I tried a lot of different things to challenge myself. Most of the items are on sale in my Etsy shop, free shipping across the board.
My goal is to make all the Christmas gifts this year. No shopping on Amazon or elsewhere. Are you making any gifts?
There is a sweet needle case on Ann Wood’s site that would make a great gift. Needle book pattern. Even if your friends don’t sew or make crafts, everyone can use needle and thread.
Your woo-woo friends might like a Spirit Doll tin, made from random papers and an empty tin. The post is HERE.
You could make a set of homemade mixed media cards. They don’t have to be Christmas related. Here is a tutorial for a Mixed Media Card. You can buy sets of blank cards and envelopes at places like Joann Fabrics.
I usually love homemade gifts even if they are not perfect. Don’t let your feelings of inadequacy stand in the way of creating something personal. The gift will be one-of-a-kind. 🙂
Make a mini shrine today I told myself, and make it a tutorial. Yes, that sounded like a good idea. I have some digital print-outs of the Virgin Mary. I love the old-style art. I also have some Tim Holtz metal frames sitting around, so I decided to use one.
But, I have also made some molds lately, including frames. Check it out:
The metal hair clip made a terrific indent for polymer clay flowers. I have already made a bunch of those. I used some on this mosaic mirror:
polymer clay mosaic mirror
Back to the tutorial:
I used an empty Altoids tin for this mini shrine.
But you can use any old tin on hand or buy one. I used the tin as a pattern for the heavy-duty decorative paper I used to cover the embossed lid.
I then gessoed the back and sides of the outside tin to cover the printed metal.
Paper covering the top of the lid
I glued down the paper with craft glue that I spread evenly over the entire surface. The Mary icon I brushed with Mod Podge front and back to preserve the ink image. Then I glued it to the frame and filled in with some cut out white flowers. Then I spread Judikin’s Diamond Glaze all over the image and let it dry. Depending on how thick you spread it, expect to wait a few hours for it to dry.
inside lidAdding a second layer of paper
I used some starred tissue paper to make a second layer of interest to the lid.
tissue paper layer making the mosaic vignette
It took me a while to add the small mosaic tiles since the corners are rounded, and I had only so much space to play with. I was happy with the outcome though.
I had glued down the paper on the front, and then I decided to add a paper border. Lots of measuring and gluing to get everything to fit. I pondered what to use for embellishment on the front. I had many tiles to choose from. I ended up with a leaf tile and the word soul.
Leaf decorationHeart charm
On the inside cover, I glued down a heart charm and the word peace.
Painting the outside lavender
I painted the outside lavender and added a paper border to the edge of the lid for more interest. I was happy with the end result. I made another tin the other day. Check out the pictures.
Make a mini shrineThe outside
I never know what will inspire me from day to day, but as I consistently show up in the studio, something calls out and I make it or paint it. Life is good!
If you are not happy with your life, make something with your hands. Crafting is very satisfying, and it takes your mind off other not-so-pleasant things. Word!
I made some different polymer clay mosaics lately, one of them the mirror above. They don’t make mirrors like that with a flat rim anymore, so I had to buy a plain frame and have a mirror cut for it.
You are loved wall plaque
You are loved…
You are loved wall plaque is something I listed in my Etsy shop this week. You can check out all the new items on Earth and Faery.
A couple of years ago, I made a YouTube video on how to make a tin shrine. If you prefer watching to reading, check it out HERE.
I have posted another tutorial lately on how to take an old painting and transform it. You can check that out for inspiration From Drab to Colorful.
Magic is in the air in my studio lately. I have been inspired to try new and different things, as in making this type of journal box where you can write down and hide all your secrets. 🙂
I have gone into silicone mold casting adventures and making imprints with my polymer clay or air dry clay. I found small frames and other baroque metal borders and do-dads to use in my mold making. So much fun, and there is never a boring moment as you wait to see how everything turns out.
Anyway, try this journal box
I found a wooden box at Michael’s shaped as a book. It’s pretty big, approx. 7×8″ and it would be too big for polymer clay mosaics. I decided to experiment with mixed media paper, paint, glue, and found objects. I made the tutorial for this box.
Magic mixed media box
I did not take pictures of every single step, but here goes. I painted the entire outside box a dark blue. The inside is painted green, but that does not show in the following picture. I’m giving you an idea of the size.
Inside view of the box
I glued white tissue paper all over the front of the box with Mod Podge, making sure it was good and creased, squeezing it into a ball before I spread it out.
Glued down white tissue paper on the front and spine of the box
On top of the white paper, I glued some yellow tissue paper for contrast and a pale layer of lavender.
I glued down some yellow paper on the frontMagic box with glue
When I was finished with the tissue paper, I made liberal blobs with white craft glue for added texture. I had to let that dry overnight. You can also use blobs made with a hot glue gun and glue the hardened texture down–it’s faster.
Then I rubbed several layers of paint over the dry and creased tissue paper and glue. I began with a dark brown, rubbing it into the deeper texture. I also used dark purple and some turquoise. To tone everything down, I finally spread some white paint over the whole front.
Layers of paintMore layers of paint Magic texture!
When everything was dry, I started digging through my stash of do-dads. Placement can sometimes be tricky. I painted the inside green.
Magic making mixed media
What I used
The metal frame is from a Tim Holtz kit. I stamped the word Journal on a piece of paper, glued it to the back of the frame, and filled in the opening with Judikin’s Diamond Glaze. The flower is a polymer clay imprint from a hair ornament. The key used to be part of an old wind chime, and the hummingbird and the dragonfly are die cut paper, which I sealed carefully front and back and edges with Mod Podge since paper can easily deteriorate. I painted those with Perfect Pearl powder and sealed them again.
Magic box details Words stamped with permanent inkSome felt to make the box softer insideThe back of the box
I cut some green felt that had a sticky side and put that on the bottom of the box for a softer interior. I placed a bought paper border on the outside bottom of the box for more interest. Below is another box I made in the same style. Both of these are available in my Etsy shop Earth and Faery.
If you missed my previous post, Mixed Media Greeting Card Tutorial, you can still find it HERE.
It’s vital to try new creative things, even if it’s a struggle. You master something by doing it. Resistance and self-doubt be gone!
Have a great weekend, and may you always be inspired! 🙂
Lots of love,
Artist and writer
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