I do a lot of embossing on my projects for texture. I always use a pigment pad for the ink because it is nice and juicy. My black just isn't that way so I always use my purple under the black embossing powder because it doesn't show anyways, but gets really great coverage. These are just really cheap craft store inks nothing super fancy. I heated the embossing in on stamps both on the back cover which is the umbrella man Tim Holtz stamp and on the front cover which is my Harlequin diamond stamp also TH.
Just as a side note and tip about embossing on a cardboard cover journal. It is not so sturdy that it won't bend. The stamp on the front warped the cover slightly from the heat of the embossing gun but it doesn't bother me at all. The other part of that is the fact that the Dylusions journal has an envelope on the inside cover which is attached with adhesive. By heating up the cover it warms the glue from the envelope and causes it to come off of the cover. Since I only heated the corner it only peeled away slightly. The rest stayed securely attached, and I just added glue under the corner and re-glued it. Easy Peasy.
Moving along I used the Tim Holtz, (who I will now just reference as TH) stencil of clocks. I made both a positive and negative pattern with that stencil on both the spine and the side front cover. I smeared some purple and blue acrylic liquitex heavy body acrylic together and smeared in different places. I like to add the same color in a couple places to tie them together. I used a glitter copper color that smears to be quite transparent over the tissue text to add a little shine.
At this point there are pieces of under paper glued to the cover to add different colors. What I am showing with the paint here is holding up the elastic so the paint underneath can dry without getting color on the elastic band.
I LOVE LOVE LOVE texture...SO 3 colors of blue acrylics and modeling paste..that tubes was about $8 but it is lasting FOREVER!!
I scraped the colors onto a palette knife so that the appear variegated.
I placed the punchinella on the cover and swiped my colored modeling past over it so that I have this progression of color and raised fun texture as well.
At this point I have added white circles with white gesso and some borders and edging. I have a huge butterfly stamp that I picked up at a thrift store and stamped it across the spine. Originally I just left the rough print black ink, but eventually I did stamp over it and emboss it which gave it a better finished look. I added more doodling, tissue papers, gear stencils and under papers along with my Steampunk Skeleton stamp.
Mmmmmm...Gelatos! I love to use these as a blending color as well as to add shimmer. I used darker purples around the purples, and I used them on the dots on the right side. I also used a large hole punch to cut out the tiny dots which I glued to the page and outlined with black pen.
Adding more color. (Notice the glued down metal gear embellishments.
This is how my spine ended up looking
A side by side of the original work and journal cover interpretation.
Inside envelope: Mod Podged printed tissue paper I received in happy mail.
Done...I added more white doodles with a gel roll pen and the black and white circles were to harsh. They are now covered with a printed tissue paper and I LOVE them!
Month Theme: The Blank Page and how to Face It.
Challenge: Book Paper
Journal Prompt: Be your own Goal Keeper
This was the very first 2015 DLP Journal Prompt. There are times in my creative art journey that I get stuck on or obsessed with a certain technique, style, tool, or color. The recent list goes something like this: tags, gelli plate, zetti art, book making and coptic stitch, and now Mandalas! I was inspired by one of my fellow journal friends to learn how to make these amazing designs. One thing about the art community is there is always something new to learn from others. If I find a style or thing I like, I figure out how to learn it..mostly pinterest and youtube tutorials. I don't want a reproduction, I want to learn and make it my own.
SO, the mandala. If you can draw and line with a rule and use a compass, you can make a mandala (If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball.) There are some designs so intricate and unique I couldn't imagine the depth of time and detail to make them, but for art journal purposes I have achieved a basic knowledge and ability to at least create them. The details can come later.
I decided my list would be randomly floating in the middle of the mandalas. This became what is the scroll in the middle of the page. Sort of a disconnect. I outlined all of my mandalas in the black ink pen and drew in the designs by random doodling. I learned that by hours of interesting zentangles and now hold onto my favorite patterns and use them often.
Before adding color, I put pieces of newspaper under each side so everything underneath would be protected. I am not oblivious to the fact that my completed cover Will get paint on it and every other kind of medium, but I will try to protect it for now as best I can.
I was going to paint the entire background black to make the colors of the mandalas pop....Suddenly I was seeing space and sky so I blended in the colors with black and some blues. Once they color was down I realized I had no place for my black ink to show up in the notes I wanted scrawled around the mandalas. Gesso to the rescue! lightly blended in but not outlined exactly.
Markers!!! I don't have copies, or fancy or anything..I have a very very old dried out set of stampin up that i force the color out of and some small crayolas, but the colors are the best! I traced the Tim Holtz clock stencil in the middle of the far left mandala..which is also on my cover..maybe it's a "thing" this year. The lines connecting the mandalas are white out pen with a little bit of dots here and there to make it less "perfect" because apparently white out pen seeps under the ruler edge :(...i'll cool with it.) I cut up small reminder phrases out of a book called "Girlfriends Guide to Getting your Groove Back" by Vicki Iovine. Such perfect wording and things for this goals list. Lots of glue later, so outlining with black pen and my layout is complete.
My word for the year, as some people choose, is Connect. It just came to me one day in my attempts to make better connections with people and things in my life. Connecting to my art in a way that even though I may use a prompt the idea and work is a connection to what is important to me. Connection to my family and being the more active mom and wife I was lost finding a year ago. Connection to friends and community and to nature. This page surprised me and raised my personal bar for what I could accomplish with this journal. I appreciate a good personal growth challenge.
Since I focused so heavily on mandalas and not the book pages I had a few empty pages at the beginning of my journal for a table of contents or a write up about my goals and journey this year.
I pushed myself to "follow directions". After watching all of the Art to the 5th videos, I found myself wanting to try some things I had seen. During my latest (weekly) art room reorganization, I found a shoebox with happy mail I had stored in the closet. Tara! NEW papers to use. Dylusion inked book pages, stamped face on a book page, stamps of useful quotes, printed tissue paper, ledger paper, blank music writing paper, napkins and colors. So I played with laying them out and let the edges overhang. I liked cutting them down to the exact page to fit. I LOVED all the color.
...But then came gesso. I still love that the color showed through.
I scribbled some words and added a stamped image cut from card stock.
I am not a big fan of watercolors simply because I don't have the patience to figure out how to paint realistic things with them. HOWEVER, I did follow Roben Marie's watercolor on gesso tutorial and I LOVE how this turned out. My son actually bought me an "art kit"..watercolor pencils, watercolor tubes, and cakes for Christmas..I used them..they are no Derwent intense, but it was fun to use them just the same.
This is the 2nd page of my journal. I added some little paint spots here and there. In organizing I found a tin of Month Stamps I've had and never used and stamped them six down each side and will write in the monthly theme, journal prompt, and challenge each week and it will be fabulous at the end of the year. I would NEVER have made a page like this on my own...If I haven't already said..I LOVE how it turned out and it's all my own original inspired by others ideas work.
Week 2Month Theme: The Blank Page and how to Face It.
Art Challenge: Gesso
Journal Prompt: "The beginning is always today" M. Shelley
Gesso...I started with the plain white when I first learned about gesso..then I heard there were different kinds...Wait what?!?! Different kinds of gesso..no way. YES way! The big large tub of black gesso above is from of course Dick Blick. The size of this tub is both a good and bad thing. It IS a significant amount of gesso AND you can dip the long edge of a credit/scrape card in it without having to dump any out. Unfortunately it's all bad news after that. I can barely fit my hand over the lid to open it and when you try to clean the lid or sides it's kind of like truck grease..the more you try to clean it up the more mess you make..but I digress. ..
This next little handy liquitex container also from Dick Blick, is lava medium. It has little black grains of sand or whatever and glitter in it. It dries clear so it leaves like a rough texture or sandy black spots. I LOVE it! I just added some to the sides over where I had scraped my black gesso with a dried out stiff brush, simply for the purpose of having every gesso I own on a page for the gesso challenge.
When I was into doing gelli plate tape transfers I did not actually own a gelli plate. I did have page protectors and this one has been lying around with fantastic color for months. I clear mod podged over the painted side so I could cut it and have it be the inside of a window pocket...Instead it ended up glued to this page. I used clear gesso over the page protector so I could add more to the shiny surface...I heat dried it and it crinkled...(extra points for texture). I also cut a border and added it to the right side of the page.
White gesso with a texture tool on the left and splattered blue paint on the right.
MORE gesso!! Butterflies. The beginning is always today symbolic of butterflies and a chrysalis..a new beginning. I have had this paper up on my bulletin board for a long time and decided it was time to use it. I cut out individual butterflies firs and then a big group of them. I cut around the specific wings to make them appear more real and floating from the page. When I laid them out where I wanted them to go, I traced the butterflies with a pen. I painted black gesso under them. First I thought it was just a good outline, but then they kind of felt as if they were flying out from a hole in the page.
Here is the large cut out piece so you see the shadow effect of the black gesso.
I painted the gesso on with a paint brush out past the traced line. This time I did not fill in the whole area because I realized it would be a waste and covered with the butterfly paper.
Here is a quick gluing and placement trick I like. I put the large cut out piece face down on a sheet protector and glued all the way around so I could get all the edges very well secure.
When you flip the protector over holding the butterflies to it you can see where you want to place them on the paper.
It also allows to roll over the whole image with a brayer without glue smudging out of the edges.
Pull up the page protector... Image placed where I wanted it. Happy journal here.
Like I said I enjoyed the black being just left black but I wanted to incorporate the quote into the black line under the butterflies on the right. Then I just felt really scribbly and randomly scribbled all of the black gesso edges. Again with the Tim Holtz clock..I'm telling you I don't know what it is about that stencil. Today=time=clock..I traced the stencil. I don't like to ink it because the ink doesn't transfer well. I don't like to paint stamp it because the paint smooches out underneath..soooo I trace it with a pencil and this time I painted it with black gesso. To make the lines imperfect I added the white gel pen scribbles to out line it. I found the sparkly swirl sticker in happy mail and used it to give the butterfly motion.
I love the depth the butterfly paper gives the page.
A few letter stickers and black outlining are added and I may add some journaling later. I am really into bright, vivid, expressive colors. I just let myself play with gesso with no regard to what I expected it to be...It's different and I step back and think..hmmm. I made that. It is sooo freeing to create organically and just used what is on hand. Plus I love butterflies. :)
I made the 2 sides more cohesive and added some text from a hallmark bag..now I LOVE it.
Week 3Month Theme: The Blank Page and how to Face It.
Art Challenge: The Color Wheel
Journal Prompt: "I found I could say things with shape and color that I couldn't say any other way"-Georgia O'Keefe
I have to say I am loving having an art challenge AND a Journal prompt. Not just an idea journal prompt but a quote that makes me think about the quote itself in life and also how I can apply it to the challenge. I really grabbed hold of the idea of honoring Georgia O'Keefe. There are still a lack of women artists recognized in history and now for accomplished art. I have taught O'Keefe lessons to preschool and elementary kids and they have a great time, so having a little background knowledge of the artist, I wanted to tie in my color wheel to her art. I love 1927 Poppies. I'm not a flower girl for art generally, BUT I can grasp and abstract idea and run with it on my own. I decided to make a color wheel, or rather "color field" of poppies. Each poppy on the left hand side is a color of gelato and the name is scribbled in one of the petals. On the right are my Intense block colors. I don't love the end as a wow this is a fantastic art piece, but I love it for it's rawness and sketching effects. For me that is all it takes.
Week 4Month Theme: The Blank Page and how to Face It.
Art Challenge: Writing
Journal Prompt: Words with Friends
Week 30: Week
Characters/If you're going to be weird be confident about it. This is my "weird" which isn't weird at all. This is who I appear on the outside to be on the left and what I feel like inside and who I see is this girl in the mirror. I was going to clean it up but I like the rough look of it all. What is "weird" anyways..just because someone has a different like or opinion. hm.
Week 31: Expressive Faces/What I see clearly Now These shadows were more expressive and thought evoking that any face. We took our 9 yo to his first concert "Imagine Dragons". The tour is "smoke and mirrors" and this was the image I caught through the stage curtain. Fragile represents myself and I see clearly what I need to do in my life to get where I want to be.
Week 30: Out of order "Real life/At this moment"