Advent Art Journal: Backgrounds

This week I’m going to share a little about how I create some of my background pages. Usually I mix in some book pages and scrapbook pages when I make my journals, but I had a lot of painted backgrounds I needed to use up…and still do.

On the righthand side of this page page spread there wasn’t very much paint, so I was able to use a book page I’ve been holding on to for quite a long time. I love Christmas city scenes!

When I’m tea or coffee dying I’ll let them dry on large sheets of paper, you can see at the upper right where I dyed a paper doily. On this one I scraped on some paint, scribbled with gelatos, then squirted it with water.

Here are a few things I work with when create a background page: acrylic craft paint, gelatos (I’m trying to use them up before they dry out), and a water bottle for drippy bits. I’ll use 9″x12″ mixed media or 18″x24 drawing paper, or whatever is available or on sale. I think I prefer 70 pound paper, I find once you’ve filled it with paint it becomes strong enough to take any mixed media you want to use on it.

Once I’ve painted to my hearts content (or until I’m tired of cleaning up), I’ll add some neutral accents with small jars, rubber stamps, bubble wrap, stencils, and lines with my mom’s old pie crimper. (Funny, I don’t remember any pies growing up, she more than likely used the bottle opener. That’s my Mom!)

The other day I was thinking that some of the backgrounds looks like the Northern Lights

You can see how some of the elements seem to melt into the page and the neutral images calm the color a bit. I specifically chose a lot of muted ephemera pieces for this project because some of the backgrounds were so vibrant.

The more I work in this journal, the more things I find I want to share, I’m making a list.

Hopefully things won’t get too busy to keep up with this season, I seem to keep finding more creative things to do! Lots of fun, but a bit tiring.

If I missed something and you have any questions, please feel free to ask in the comments.

As always,

Thank you so much for stooping by,

Talk to you soon,

~Patty

Advent Art Journal: Using Downloads/pdf.s

It’s been a while since I’ve taken the time to work in an art journal. There was a lot going on this fall: I was on a creative team,  wrote an article for “Art Journaling” magazine, did the bi-annual iHanna postcard swap, plus working on several crochet projects…then there’s my shoppe. Then to top it all off, I reopened my “home decor” Etsy shop. Clearly I have had a lot to talk about, but getting in front of the keyboard seemed to be a struggle.

I try to make a “Holiday Memory”  journal every year because I have come to rely on them for my Project Life albums (which are still gathering dust…ahem!). This year I decided to combine my Advent journal with memory keeping. Here’s the page I made for Thanksgiving:

A  little about how I will be sharing this journal. I used a lot of elements that I had planned on blogging about this past year, but procrastinated about…yep that’s the truth there for ya. Anyway, here are a few things I plan on sharing about in the next few weeks. I’ll start out with the pdf’s I used, then the painted backgrounds, coffee stained elements, pocket pages for memory keeping, and anything else that pops into my head as I go along.

Now to the downloads: This year I have been relying on these more than ever. It started with phrase stickers printed on clear label paper, to using black and white florals like ink stamps, then wanting something to add to my painted pages without covering the painted bits. You know I love my layering, but I don’t like always covering everything up.

I use Google Docs to play around with phrases and quotes, fonts, sizes and such. You can spend a lot of money buying words and phrases from people, it’s just as easy to make your own with the fonts you like, not to mention the words.

I find most of my florals on IllustratedFaith.com and KellyBangsCreative.com and just set my printer on black and white. I print them in color too, but not for this project. The angels, Madonna and Child, and the floral page I purchased from Etsy shops, I’ll link those at the bottom of this post.

Nov. 26-27: I worked in this journal all day Friday, ate leftovers, and napped, so a super simple page there. On Saturday I went to evening Mass, so I wrote out one of the Scriptures from the reading. I had started out in a different direction with these two pages before I figured out what I wanted to do, but it was fun to find work-arounds.

Journaling Page: as I have mentioned before, I’m not a huge fan of sharing my journaling, so at the end of each week I’ll have a pocket page with tags and journaling cards to jot down thoughts and memories.

There are a couple more pdf.s I use quite a bit, but I plan to share more about those in a later post.

This is just the beginning of this “Advent Journal” series, so if there’s anything else you want to know about these pages or have a post suggestion, please write them in the comments. 

As always,

Thank you for stopping by,

See you soon,

~Patty

For digital paper and images:

Romantic Arts

Nativity Images:

Illustrated Faith

Clear Label Sheets:

Avery at Amazon

Arranging Memories

If first impressions mean anything, this page spread has thrift store written all over it! Maybe it’s the funky little Ernst tag I picked off of a long ago find, or the thrifted collection of yellow vases…

I guess it stands to reason since I get at least half of my art journaling supplies from thrift stores, but that isn’t why I’m writing this post. I wanted to share a technique I use once in a while.

This is a selection of brick-a-brack I pulled out of my junk box, along with some pics I wanted to use for a kind of memory page.

Tip: Take a photo of the arrangement you’re finally pleased with to refer back to before glueing elements down.

Here’s the deal, I still have so much to do to get our house and lives together in our new home, and because I’m not able to spend any amount of uninterrupted time at my art desk, and the chances of being able to remember what the plan was is virtually nil, I do this a lot more often now. This is a great way to consider what’s working and what is not. Some of the smaller elements usually get changed, but it’s nice to have the structure down.

This page spread is a combination of memory keeping and stash busting.

Gardening is one of my true loves, and I’m happy to say that I’ve been able to start a small garden this year. There were a few plants I couldn’t let go of, we’ve had this rose bush for about 12 years. We bought it for my daughter on her birthday, it loves eastern Washington! Maybe it will make it to her garden some day.

Gardening, cleaning, decorating, downsizing, it doesn’t seem to end…but it’s a labor of love! I picked up some paint chips on one of our many trips to the hardware store. Awesome pops of color in a huge range of options…and free!

I found that old teal playing card when dismantling a lower shelf in my new sewing room. I’m pretty sure that it was lost back in the 60’s by one of the original homeowners. I added the lil’ peanut butter girl, something my grandson is addicted to right now, every time he comes over he goes through a half a jar!

The photo is of the the top of a shelf on my sewing table. Turning our extra room from storage to useable space is one of my latest projects, it’s slow going, but I’m making progress.

This daisy looks a bit moth eaten, but in her defense, she’s over 20 years old! My husband and daughter planted these daisies from seed, and I managed to keep this one all these years.

It’s been a wonderful experience to start a new life in a new town surrounded by keepsakes and memories. That’s why the organizing and decluttering project has been taking so long, we’re filled to the rafters with memories, and I would prefer to take my time making decisions on what goes or stays.

This page spread links the past with the present in a very meaningful way for me. As you can see, I’m not a huge fan of journaling on my pages. I like the idea of getting a different impression or memory each time I look at my pages, words tend to anchor a particular meaning to the page, I prefer seeing something different each time I look at it. I definitely like my “non-pen” journals the best!

I put the supplies list at the bottom of this post. I would be more than happy to do this more often if it’s helpful. Please let me know in the comments if this is something you’d like to see 🙂

Well, I hope that was a helpful tip.

If not, I hope you enjoyed the ramblings!

As always,

Thank you so much for your precious time,

Talk to you soon,

~Patty

 

Supplies: Photos on matte paper, vintage playing card, vintage magazine and book images, paint, ink stamp, postage stamps, washi tape, paint chips, word strips, carnival ticket, die cuts, vintage wallpaper piece, scrapbook paper pieces, #8 graphite drawing pencil

A Different Kind of Gratitude Journal

It has been a long time! I’ve been spending most of my time cleaning, organizing, and stocking up like the rest of the world. Isn’t a strange thing to be doing the same thing the whole world is doing. This virus really makes the world seem a lot smaller!

That being said, we have been self-quarenteening for three weeks now. Well, my husband has, I still go out for supplies now and again. And because I’m keeping that to a minimum, I’m trying to use my crafty stash as much as possible.

It probably sounds silly, but I find myself staring into space, pondering the current circumstances and as I look around the room, my eyes land on these little vignettes of happy!

So, I decided out of a sense of gratitude for my surroundings to take some snapshots and put them in a journal. I’ve been doing a lot of journaling through this in my lined journals, you know, the heavy stuff, but I wanted a fun place for my happy journaling.

“Trust” happens to be “my word for the year”, appropriate I would say!

Not only do I find some of my little vignettes inspiring, but also soothing.

Also, this is an awesome project if there is a little de-cluttering or dusting that needs doing!

Are there any inspiring, comforting, or grateful memories in your world that you like to document right now? If yes, I highly recommend trying this out, you could even create pocket pages with journaling cards.

I’ve been taking lots of pics and have come up with some fun ideas for decor in here, I’ll be sharing some of those soon. Also, I have a few new projects I’m working on right now, hopefully I’ll be sharing those soon too.

Until then,

Please take care of yourself,

Leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you,

~Patty

 

Summer Bucket List Documenting

Living in Eastern Washington over the summer has had many advantages. Spending time with my daughter and grandson is the most precious part, but the abundance of farm fresh produce is another. So, one of the things on my summer bucket list was to get some canning done…

…little did I know I would be canning for two weeks! I admit, not as exciting as most bucket lists, but I’m a homebody to the extreme!

My daughter has grape vines in her backyard, so while I’m making grape jelly, she’s making fruit roll-ups in her dehydrator. I didn’t have my tried and true pickle recipe with me, we’ll have to see how these turn out.

Because I wanted to have a small place to document my whirlwind of activity over the last month, I enlisted a project I have had in the back of my mind for quite some time, collaging and journaling on vintage recipe cards. I thought that having little cards decorated and ready to pop a memory or thought onto might be fun…and now I’m obsessed!

This is a perfect project to use up some of those tiny embellishments you might have laying around, these cards are 3″x5″

I made that little “file folder” with the paperclip to keep images that coincide with some of the memories I want to document, it fits perfectly into my little recipe tin. Memories going clockwise are: the gorgeous tomatoes I used for my salsa and marinara, the afghan I started back up, babysitting my grandson overnight, the flowers my daughter brought me on my wedding anniversary, and the macrame project I finally started.

Because I was playing catch-up as per usual, I jotted down all the memories onto some plain old index cards with the date for easy reference, they also fit perfectly into the recipe tin. Hopefully I’ll get caught up and have a pile of cards to journal on soon.

This is the other side of the above cards along with a few things I gathered to decorate with.

I have to admit to you that I have let art journaling and my shoppe consume my life over the years, something that is easy to do. But, I promised myself that I would try to balance my life out a bit more, and get back some of my old interests, like canning, crochet, and sewing. And I’m hoping that downsizing my collage projects might help somewhat, they’re like little postcards to myself.

I’m having too much fun gathering and organizing for this little project, so I’ll have lots to share soon.

Until next time,

Thank you so much for stopping by,

Have a great rest of your week,

~Patty