Art Journals

Dylusions style backgrounds

Hi art friends. 

As I mentioned in my previous post, I’ve been enamoured with Dyan Reavely’s videos on YouTube. 

I recently purchased her large journal and went to town making background pages using Dylusions spray inks, Distress Stains, and stencils. 

What I enjoy about this technique is the speed at which backgrounds are made. It took me a couple of weekend afternoons to create backgrounds on more than half of the pages. 

It’s quite satisfying, between making backgrounds and using the supplies on hand. Plus, it meets my page-filling need. 

Here are three of the pages. I followed Dyan’s basic instructions inks, although sometimes I used 2 or 4 inks (the 4th being white), 3 stencils, and her ghosting technique.

It was more difficult, but not impossible to get the ghosting technique using the Distress Stains but it was harder to get the colors to run and blend together.

I enjoyed the randomness of both her spray inks and the Distress Stains. The two inks worked nicely together.

I tried the technique on different types of paper. Although I’m still undecided about the paper in her journal, it does work best for this ink technique. 

I’ll post more photos as I complete pages.

Happy creating!

Art Journals

Enchanted by Dylusions

Hi how, friends.

I’ve been enchanted lately with Dyan Reavely’s videos on YouTube. I recently purchased some Dylusions goods. This weekend, I making journal pages using Dyan’s art journal style. 

Here’s my current page in progress.

I’ve cut out a mermaid drawn a while ago in one of Tamara Laporte’s classes. I’ll color my mermie with Neocolors and set them with Decoarts antique white acrylic paint.

Stay tuned for the final page.

Happy creating!


Express Yourself, revisited

Hi ho, friends.

I haven’t posted for a while because I am recuperating from knee replacement surgery. Recovery is going well, but it’s pretty boring. 

I decided to spend my enforced rest period on revisiting some of the classes I have access to.

I have an art journal and limited art supplies on hand: black Pitt Pens, Diane Reveley paint pens, a few Pitt Brush Pens in skin tones and a few other colors, a mechanical pencil, kneaded eraser, a few Derwent Inktense pencils, and water pens.

Express Yourself. I took this class from Jane Davenport a couple years ago. I reviewed the Emotion Map and worked on Pouts and Puckers and spent more time exploring pouty expressions. I really liked one of the faces and made a larger version on one of the expression map pages.

I used Derwent Inktense pencils, Pitt Pens, washi, and paint pens. Since I don’t have gesso, I had to leave some of the paper uncolored for white space. Plus a little fiddling with Aviary and Pixlomatic.

It’s an interesting challenge to work with a limited palette. I won’t be able to get to my studio for another week or so, because it is up a spiral staircase. I haven’t graduated to that yet, but I make improvements every day.

I am getting more out of the class this time through. 

Express Yourself is a terrific class once you have some basic face drawing skills in place. 

What are you working on this summer? Leave a comment below and let me know. I’d love to stop by and see what’s up with you.

Happy creating!

Art Journals

AJA 2017 Week 5

The theme for Week 5 was: Here comes the sun and incorporating a face.  The pages started with some stream of consciousnes writing, which I gessoed over.  I use Gelatos, Derwent Inktense pencils, Pitt and Posca pen for these pages. The lyrics are from The Beattles’ song, “Here Comes the Sun.”


To be honest, I’ve fallen a bit behind on the 2017 Art Journal Adventure, but I will try to catch up.  I purposefully chose a small art journal so I can work pages quickly.

Stay tuned for more AJA pages.

Happy creating.


WIP Cloth art doll

Hi ho friends.

As mentioned in the last post, I wanted to make a cloth doll.  I flipped through my copy of Jan Horrox’ “Making Fantasy Cloth Dolls,” book recently and dug into my fabric stash to make the elfin fairy doll, sans wings.

Overall impression. I enjoyed making this doll.  The pattern and instructions are very clear and easy to follow. Most of the work was easy enough, except turning the fingers. I had all the tools except the tiny turners for the fingers, but I made it work…eventually. It took the Purple Thang, a chop stick, and probably about 30 minutes of pushing and prodding to turn the hands.

The face. This face is lightly needle sculpted. The mermaid doll pattern has additional needle-sculpting along the bridge.  I will make make the mermaid next. Oddly enough, I’m following the directions and projects in the book in sequence. Wacky!

Overall, I’m happy with her face. I didn’t quite get the sculpting I wanted for the end of her nose.  I’m sure it will just take a little practice to shift the stuffing around while needle sculpting.

For her face, I used Prisma pencils, black XS Pitt Pen, Big Brush Pitt Pens, and white Posca pen.

General impression of the project.  The finished doll is about 18″ tall.  She sits nicely.  I stuffed her arms and legs a bit too firmly so they don’t bend very much. However, I’m pretty happy with this gal.  I like her costume and jewelry (strategically placed to hide her wrist joints).

I think the dolls in this book are a good start for someone who has not made cloth art doll previously. If you are already an artsy/craftsy person, you will probably have most of the supplies on hand.

I’m looking forward to making the other three dolls in the book.

Happy creating!

Dolls, Mixed Media

WIP: Clay art dolls

Hi ho friends.  I have a few more clay art dolls in progress. They were created for the various stages of shooting the art doll tutorial series. The two dolls in the foreground are ready to fix cracks and add clay to the bottom. The doll in the center has been sanded and is ready for shooting the next stage.  The red head at the back is featured in the face-up video, which is shot but not yet edited. Last but not least, Isabella is on the back right.

The red head’s dress needs a little work, but I am out of that particular fabric so she is on hold until I find or buy more fabric.


The rest of the shooting is on a short hiatus.  I got sidetracked with making cloth dolls, but that’s another post. My knee surgery is coming up soon, so I don’t know when I will be able to get to finish the clay doll video tutorials.  I hope soon.

Happy creating!

Art Journals

Art Journal: Quotes and Mantras

Hi ho friends,

Choosing a word for the year came up for me in the first Life Book class I took.  I thought it was kind of a dopey idea, but whatevs, I picked a word to put on the page.  I didn’t take much more care during the next Life Book class. You may recall I put myself on a class moratorium and wanted to spend more time exploring techniques in my art journals.  I spent a couple of hours brainstorming words and came to: transformation.

For the second art journal in the Finish An Art Journal series, I started sketching a bird girl on the cover and decided to record the page transformation. There is still a bit more tending to do on the cover, but overall, I’m happy with it. I plan to film the future page transformations.

Here are the supplies I used for these pages: Gesso, Antique White Deco Art acrylic paint, Derwent Inktense pencils, Gelatos, Stazon ink, two of my favorite stamp (tiny words by Dawn Hauser and the stamp name I just can’t seem to find), Big Pitt pens, Tombow markers, Posca pens, black Pitt pens, a silver gelly roll pen, and butterfly washi tape.

My other transformative project this year is to move my shop from Etsy to this website. If you haven’t done so, please check out my shop.

From The Archives

Duck, Turtle, & Koi

In 2004, I celebrated my 40th birthday with friends and family with a day of festivities at the Seattle Arboretum, the Japanese Garden and finished with dinner at the Queen Anne Sam’s Sushi.

Today’s photo is one of from the pond at the Japanese Garden. The flowers and critters were out in full force that day.

This photo was cropped and color enhanced in the Gimp.


From The Archives

26 Minutes to Armageddon

Back in 2004, I was working in the South Lake Union area.  Bus commuting from the South Slope of Queen Anne to South Lake Union was ridic (and still is). I won’t go into the silliness of that and leave it as I tried walking to work for a while.  I took the digital camera I had, a Powershot S50.

I like graffiti.  Not tagging mind you, which makes me want to run out, buy spray paint, and tangle around it.

There was someone going around Seattle at this time, spraying small bits of graffiti art. All unsigned, so I attribute it to that most prolific artist: Anonymous.

26 Minutes to Armageddon

Art Journals

2017 Art Journal Adventures

Hi ho friends.

I’ve been a fan of since around 2012, when I found the website.  I was google searching for something, fell down a rabbit hole and ended up there.  This is the site that introduced me to Zentangles and eventually, my mixed media art adventure.

In addition to the shop, which is terrific for mixed media artists, Barb offers a weekly video on the joggles youtube channel.  Barb’s style is similar to mine: untidy, page-filling goodness.

She also offers a year-long, free-to-join Art Journal Adventures group. You can find out more information and the themes on the joggles blog.

No, joggles doesn’t pay me a cent for sharing the love.

As I mentioned in Angel Dude, I’m on a new e-class moratorium.  My word for 2017 is Transform and I figured one way to transform my art is to join the Art Journal Adventure and see where my muse takes me.  This art journal is strictly for play and exploration.

The journal is a small, A5 hard bound planner.  I was going to use the planner for it’s intended function, but I found the A5 pages too small for my planning needs – I’ve gone back to a Happy Planner, but that’s another story.

I wanted to work small in order to be able to work quickly and intuitively and finish a spread on a Sunday afternoon.

Of course, things don’t always work out as planned. I had a good start in January. Got a new job in February in an entirely new industry. I’ve been learning so much that my brain has been mashed potatoes when I get home.  Most of my art in the past few months has been Zentangles. It’s soothing to work on those patterns.

Then the muse struck a couple weekends ago.  I sat down at my art table and was so inspired, I caught up to the current week’s theme.

2017 Art Journal Adventure Time-tenukihandcrafts

Today’s post is one of those pages. The theme was time.  I Pinterest searched for quotes about time and stopped when I found the one I used on the page.  As I said, I worked many pages, so I used a combination of the following materials: Derwent Inktense pencils, Gelatos, acrylic paints, Big Pitt Pens, Stabilo All pencil, various stamps, Stayz On ink, a Project Life journal card, Distress Stain, and washi tape.

How do you stay inspired to work in your art journal? Do themes work best for you? Or do you open up to a blank page with a plan? Leave a comment and let me know what works best for you.

Happy creating.