Friday, June 20, 2014

Art journal - page 1

Here is where I started.
A blank journal that has been sitting on my desk for some months.  Something about cracking it open and just starting.  Once I get going, I know it will be fine.  The beginning is the hard part.
Dyan's Creative Journal from Ranger is big (might be a little intimidating for some) but the paper is wonderful and smooth.  Over the course of an afternoon last week, I coated at least 6 double pages with Dina's Media White Gesso.  I put on a nice thin coat with the plastic palette knife.  Kinda soothing really.  Good music playing, window open to let in a breeze...just me and the journal.  Dina's gesso dries fast, but even so, I could continue to work on other things (that's how it is around here) while I waited for it to dry.  Once a double page was dry, I could just move on to the next, and then repeat again and again.  I think it's a lot easier to have the pages ready to go when an idea comes to mind.
Okay, I promise to stop talking about the darn gesso now and move on.
I decided on a color scheme from something I saw on Pinterest.  To be honest I can't even remember what it was now, I just know these were the colors.  I went to my craft room, grabbed the colors I thought matched what I had seen and put them on my craft table.
They have been sitting there for almost 3 weeks.
Till today.
I started with the evergreen bough.  Right from the bottle, right onto the page.
Then stated spreading it around with a wet wipe.  It really moves nicely around on that Media gesso.(sorry, I wasn't going to mention gesso again!)
I got it where I wanted it.
Lots of white and texture showing.
This is more realistic of the real color I see when I look at the pages.  The Tissue Wrap and old paper was added with Matte Multi brushes used in the entire project, just my fingers and hands.
Love the paper with the handwriting.  I'm always drawn to things that come from the past...evidence that someone lived before me I guess.
No wrong way to do this, just fast movement, creating from your gut instead of from your head.  Hard to do sometimes, especially in blog world where things only last a matter of seconds on someones screen and you want them to like it.
No matter.
Just for me today.

Note: because the photos are taken horizontally you will need
 to click on the pictures to see detail of the progression.

Tissue Wrap, old paper.
Distress Paint Wild Honey, Evergreen Bough, Worn Lipstick, wet wipes.
At this point I left it to dry.
I loved it at this point.  Could have closed the book and been done.  But I decided I should push forward.
I had the thought to use one the the Found Relatives as a tape transfer.  I think I will eventually work through all 24 cards from the Found Relatives deck in this journal.  That sounds like a good goal for me.
So, I picked the Found Relative, a group of brothers and sisters.  I added matte finish contact paper over the top of the photo.
Burnish with a bone folder.
Since Found Relatives are thick cards that can stand on their own, I decided to remove the back of the card before proceeding.  Super easy to peel away.
Then into the sink.
After about 15 minutes I removed it from the water and patted it dry.
To my amazement the middle layer of thick white paper released itself without much effort on my part, leaving the photo covered in plastic...easiest tape transfer EVER.
I cut away the background.
I added my new relatives to the page.
I also added a bit of scalloped paper underneath so they don't look like they are floating on the page.
Distress Damask Stamp, Archival ink - Watering Can
Chevron Layering stencil, Wendy Vecchi Embossing Paste, plastic palette knife
Dot fade Layering Stencil, Numbered Layering Stencil, Mini Ink Blending Tool, Worn Lipstick Distress Paint
 The embossing paste was put on and left to dry.
 Then the paint was added right over the top.
 Walnut Stain Distress Marker, Matte Multi-Medium, Remnant Rubs - botanical

Here is a good comparison.
This shows the same pictures with the addition of the Spritzer tool/Walnut Stain Distress Marker.
Because the photo of the children is protected with the plastic contact paper, any over spray is easily wiped away with your finger tip.
I added the handwritten word create at the bottom.  Not something I would normally do, but since the book is all about experimentation, I was willing to test it out.
Well, that's it for page one.
I love the freedom to try new ideas on the pages of this book.  Funny, now I can't stop thinking about what to do next.  I do know I'm going to try Wendy's Crackle Embossing paste to see what it will do on flexible paper.  And I need to practice my writing.  Testing and experimenting, that's what it's all about, right?

now carry on,


  1. Really nice! You are so inspiring to me! Thanks! Sue

  2. To me, it kind of looks like they are in a fantasy garden, at sunset. :)) I love it, beautiful!

  3. i really enjoy the colors you picked. love the whole spread. lovely. just lovely.

  4. Your journal is going to be fantastic! I love the softness of these first pages.

  5. Your page is really wonderful! Delicate, mixed media and vintage at the same time! As always a great inspiration! I am one of those people who are a little intimidated by the Dyan's Creative Journal! I would love to start my "art journal" but I can not start because of the size! I want to overcome this obstacle and try it! BArbarayaya

    1. miss yaya, I think you will love it. For me, it was all about getting the pages gessoed so I can be ready to go. I'm not sure I want to photograph every step every single time, but then again it helps me remember the process.

  6. Okay I KNEW I was in love when I saw the first part ... I'm so giddy seeing this I could do a dance (seriously) !! I LOVE IT ... the colors are fabulous ... you hear me ... fabulous... OMG those "relatives" are so fun... YOU GO "GURL" !!!
    I've got that journal ... bought it when I saw a similar page on a blog ( I wrote it down somewhere... cause I was inspired to do a journal... got similar colors ...evry' thing ... HAVE NOT STARTED ) ... okay I'm inspired! Did I mention I LOVE THIS ???

    1. I second that! I couldn't have said it better. I don't have that journal, but am sure I have something similar in my stash. Love it.

  7. I love this and can also relate to the size intimidation factor - I had my Dylusions Journal for almost a year before the small one came out and I got over my fear with that! I love the small one (in fact I think I'm about 2/3 through it), and now I'm working in the big one too. Terrific page - can't wait to see more!

  8. I love the page .. thank you for the awesome instructions !!

  9. This is gorgeous Paula!!! Love the paint background and beautiful images. Funnily enough, I too started using my large Dylusions journal just the other day, having mainly worked in the small one so far. It was fun! Have a great weekend!

  10. You rock Paula! Love it. Appreciate the steps. Going to have to try the transfer technique. Looking forward to the other pages. Have fun playing. Gesso on!

  11. Love your first pages - really cool work! I, too, have a pristine journal sitting here and have never tried it. I keep looking at work others do but haven't given myself permission to just do SOMETHING in it! Maybe soon....

  12. the tape transfer of the found relatives is pure...genius!
    waiting for more...

  13. Love all the texture and the colors.

  14. Beautiful - how amazing the children look embedded within all that gorgeous colour and texture...
    Alison x

  15. Wow ! - I love it all, but in particular the softness of the colours and yet the evergreen bough looked so strong when you first put it on. And what a fab way to have the photograph encased in plastic instead of trying to cover it up all the time with baby wipes and kitchen towel! Off to see if it is available in the UK. Thanks for a great page - can't wait for page 2 ! Jennie

    1. Jennie, it is just thin shelf liner that comes on a roll (they sell it at drugstores here). This has a matte finish but the shiny finish is easier to find.

  16. Your page looks terrific and I'm so happy to hear about the image transfer technique as I have a box of found relatives, didn't care for the thick cards, and it's good to know that they are easy to separate.

    Hey girls, didn't you hear--size DOESN'T matter. Try dividing your big pages into smaller squares (say three or four) and work inside them. That way you'll have three little vignette's on a big two page spread. Circles and ovals would work, too.

    The biggest hurdle to starting a journal (for me, anyway) is thinking that every page has to be a masterpiece so I don't ruin the book. I intentionally make a messy page as part of the initiation and then I'm over it.

    1. thanks for the tips miss bee! I never thought of breaking up the pages since my eye sees them as one whole. I'm going to have to take that into consideration...the ideas are brewing already!

  17. Love this spread, Paula! I prefer smaller pages for art journaling, but am inspired by your ability to fill up the pages so effectively. Thanks for the tip for the tape transfer using the Found Relatives. Good to know that the back comes off so easily. Years ago, when my grandson was about 7 years old, we had a ball using packing tape to make transfers. He decided that the exact time to leave them in the water was 11 minutes. That is still my formula and it usually works quite well!!

  18. This is beautiful! I struggle with knowing when to stop and when to keep going - your pages show me that usually I need to keep going. Love the color scheme, too - and of course, the instant relatives!

  19. Wonderful page, Paula.

  20. fun too see the start of something new....

  21. I think playing in your own personal journal gives you the opportunity to just play, try new techniques and most of all discover things about yourself and what you love. So glad you are creating for you and sharing with us. Love your first journal page and look forward to seeing more. Thanks, Paula!

  22. Thx for showing the evolution of these awesome pages, layer by layer, technique by technique. More wow! :)

  23. Just drinking in the detail... love the freedom and creativity that has come from knowing your colours up front and mixing them up gently with all that yummy media. What a superb way to start this journey. Can't wait to see more. Jenny x

  24. I enjoy watching you "experiment". The page turned out great and your handwriting doesn't need any improvement. Now carry on.....

  25. Very attractive pages; I love the colours!
    But I don't understand the TRANSFER part, for as far as I can see you've just put some plastic contact paper over the picture of the found relatives and used it as it originally was.
    Did I miss something?

  26. You make it look so easy Paula! I like the tape transfer technique, got to try that!

  27. I, too, have had Dyan's book for months and months, afraid to start anything. You have inspired me! robi

  28. Just beautiful. I`m going to try this


  29. Love the soft colors and textures in this page! Can't wait to try the photo transfer technique for myself too. Can't wait to see more of these.

  30. Gorgeous looking pages! Love the colour and carefree feeling.

  31. Beautiful journal pages Paula! Gotta love the versatility of the embossing paste. Wonderful color combination too. Thanks so much for your visit and kind comment on my blog, so excited to see your name pop up. Happy crafting. Karen.x

  32. Beautiful, Paula! Love the tape transfer of the found relatives card--Genius of course!! Fabulous journal pages!! Love all of the techniques you've incorporated :)

  33. Nice journal page, I love distress paint so many possibilities :)

  34. Have still to enter the art of journalling and your pages are very inspiring Paula... Lovely colours and the tape/torn papers create depth. Thank you for sharing and like Jenny I look forward to viewing more

    Best wishes
    Annie x