Monday, October 20, 2014

Manila folder journal tutorial and giveaway!

Hello lovelies,

I have been on a tear making art journals lately.  Funny how things go in waves isn't it?  Anyway, I made a manila folder journal this weekend and I'm raffling it off to one lucky winner.  I had so much fun!  The pictures are not the greatest, but I had only artificial light when I took them.  I wanted to show the step by step process.

Speaking of cameras, I was talking to a geeky friend the other day about buying a new camera and what kind I should buy to get better a resolution for my online prints.  I don't like it when only small prints are available.  Anyhoo, he gave me the low-down and I realized it would cost me about $200 to get a decent enough camera to capture my art work.

Then I went to lunch yesterday with a dear friend and she handed me a bag with a black pouch inside.  What is this? I asked.  She said, open it, which I did.  Inside was a Nikon camera!!!  It will fit the ticket perfectly.  She was gifting it to me since she just got a new camera herself.  I had no mentioned that I was looking for a new camera.  Talk about manifesting.  I have been working on the law of attraction a lot lately. 

Now for the tutorial...

I started with a used manila folder and blacked out the text on the tab.  I used a liberal amount of Mod-Podge to glue the folder together, being careful that the edges stuck well.  I still ended up with some air bubbles once it dried.  Grrr.  

I used a strip of washi tape over the uneven edges and glued down some white cardboard to reinforce the tab.  I made sure to lay down a strip of glue to hold down the washi tape forever, lol.

I used a bone folder to really press down the fold hard once the Mod-Podge had dried.  This was before the washi tape obviously...

I cut the white cardboard to the shape of the tab and now had a very sturdy tab.

I now laid the folder flat on my table and spread out a layer of paint...

I spread some paint on the back of the folder.  I like the shabby uneven look.

I used several layers of paint, mostly spread with an old gift card.  Both sides are similar, just a slight difference in the colors.

I painted the tab purple and wrote the words "Good Dreams" on it.  I stamped the front cover with the word Imagine, and there is plenty of space for embellishment.  The back cover has only paint on it, so you can fix it up the way you like it.

I cut out some paper stars to cover the air bubbles (grrr...) on the inside cover and stamped some inspirational words.

I used card stock paper for the signature.  There are 24 empty pages to embellish when all is said and done. They are a bit narrow, but that's the shape of the folder. Card stock is not as durable as watercolor paper, but you can certainly use wet medium and paints on it.

I tried to get a picture of the various paper colors, but it is not so good.  There are two sheets of green, two yellow, and two manila colored.  I thought it was fun to add varied colors.

The inside front cover adjoins a green paper...

And another close up of the back inside cover.  The picture is pinkish, and I blame my camera for that (my old

So, enter to win!  By entering you agree to receive my newsletter, which is filled with great stuff. :)  If you don't want to enter the raffle, you can subscribe in the window at the top right hand column. Good luck!


Monday, October 13, 2014

A new free mixed media tutorial for you!

Everyone likes a freebie, right?  I thought I'd go over this mixed media piece, since it' was somewhat of a challenge for me.  I had a lot of fun making it. :)  It's a stretched canvas, 12x12".  I started by spilling paint and dribbling and spreading.  I don't have a picture of that part.  It's just to cover the dreaded white space quickly.

I then tried to see some possibilities in the forms that came up, but nothing really struck me.  I painted in a face outline and some flowers.  Looked like crap, so I decided to cover the mess with some pages from a paperback book I once wrote.  Then I spread some thin paint over those to make them blend in better.  I now had a background I could work with, and I kept thinking what now?  I had an old journal page with a face that I liked.  I was not about to cut up my journal though, so I made a regular photocopy on printer paper.  It came out really pale...  We're going to pick up the canvas with some pictures now, but I took a photo of the journal page so that you could see the original:

I used colored pencils on this drawing.  I was trying to learn shading by going over the page lightly with various colors.  I was happy with the result. 
 Then I decided to cut up and glue the photocopy to the canvas. Scary, and I was a bit worried about the paper wrinkling with the Mod-Podge that I spread liberally on the back, To my surprise, it didn't wrinkle, but I got some patches from the glue, so when I spread paint on the face, pale spots showed up.

You can see here how pale the face is to start.  I brought out my Prismacolors and shaded the face some, and then I blended it with the background colors with paints and a baby wipe.  I like to have uniform colors pretty much.

Above you can see the odd spots that I covered with green and yellow just to get rid of them.  I gently added a tiny bit of paint to the eyes, and painted on the hair. Nothing fancy...  I saw some greenery that could stay on the right hand side and outlined them in white.  She was going to read a book, so I painted some yellow book covers at the bottom.

Can't say I liked the "blemishes" on her face, so I blended and smoothed that with some white paint when the green paint had dried.

I outlined the book and stamped on the letters with Staz-on ink.  The bird is decorative paper, which I painted with light blue paint.  The legs are painted on.  I painted a faint outline to the girl's eyes.  I didn't want them to stand out more than the rest, but they looked kind of pale.

I added on more lettering by tearing out paperback pages and stamping them with words.  Reading gave her ideas for her own stories.  And to break up the space in front of the bird, I cut out a piece of paper for bunting and painted that to match.

I enjoyed using the photocopy for the face.  I made sure it was very well glued down, with NO air pockets.  I don't know how well it will hold up in the long run, but I plan to varnish the whole thing with acrylic varnish.  I also found it interesting that the face ended up so different than the original even though they are identical.

Since I'm both an artist and a writer, I'm often torn between the two.  Should I be writing more, or do more art?  It's not easy to have several interests.  I just take it day by day.  I will soon have a new fantasy story out on Amazon, the sequel to Trials of Hallion, Two of Swords.  I actually painted the book cover for it.  When it's complete with graphics, which an artist friend of mine will create, I will put up a picture.  Writing is more of a chore.  Once you start a manuscript you can't just write randomly.  You have to follow a schedule every day to get anywhere.  Writing a book is a massive effort!

With mixed media art or painting, I can flow more, and I like that.  And I like lots of color!  :)
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Friday, October 10, 2014

The winner is...

We've got a winner for the art journal raffle, Beth Bowkett in Scotland.  She is an artist who paints gorgeous whimsical landscapes.  Check out her etsy shop The Artful Bee.  Congratulations, Beth!  :)

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Giveaway time! :)

I have been planning to arrange a giveaway on the blog for a while, and I came up with the idea of making you a beautiful handmade art journal with all the backgrounds all ready for you to embellish.  I actually got really excited about it, and spent hours making one, forgetting time, and forgetting to eat lunch. Maybe I should make more of these?  (Less calorie intake.)  I used Strathmore Bristol watercolor paper, really heavy duty.  After making the backgrounds, I folded and sewed them together with embroidery thread.  The journal measures 7x11" - that's what you get when folding a 11x14" sheet of paper.  There are 16 pages, 18 if you count the inside covers.  You can of course embellish the outside covers too.  Yay!  It's a $30.00 value.  Here are a couple of pictures.

When you enter, please respond to this question in the Rafflecopter window:  What is your favorite kind of art to make? By entering you agree to receive my artsy newsletter.  Good luck!!  :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway