Art Journals

My latest obsession…bujo

Hi ho friends.  I’m sorry for being off-line for so long. When not doing my knee PT exercises, I’ve been studying for the IAAP Certified Administrative Professional (CAP) exam, which I take late next week.  I thought I’d take a study break and share a few pages of my latest obsession: bullet journaling.  I haven’t been terribly happy, so to speak, with my Happy Planner.

In truth, I don’t use my planner to plan my life (I use my phone for my schedule). I use it more for memory keeping. But I’ve also wanted to integrate my art journaling and on-line class lessons into the mix.  I’d been avoiding the Bullet Journal but after seeing a coworker’s beautiful bujo (that’s what the cool kids call it), I decided to dive in.

I’m using a Leuchturm 1917 in the 5.5 x8 size that I’d had for a while.  I am using it to track my steps, CAP study schedule, on-line classes I’m taking, the usual lists and recording whatever random daily stuff.  After the CAP, I will get back to work on my art classes and work on the lessons in this journal.

With all the studying, I haven’t had a lot of time to sit down for hours and make art, so these smallish drawings have helped me through the seemingly endless readings. Today, I want to share some of the art I’ve been adding to my bujo.

I’m using a mechanical pencil, Tombow markers, Pitt and Sakura pens, and Mild Liners.

What are you working on today?  I’d love to hear about your works-in-progress. Please leave a link to your latest and I’ll pop over and see what’s going on in your world.

Happy creating!

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!

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.

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.

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.


Art Journals

It’s All In My Head

Hi friends.

I started my mixed media art journal adventure in 2012 when I found Zentangles which lead me to Jane Davenport and the rest, as they say, is history.

The first two classes I took with Jane were “Frolicaholic” and “Draw Happy” art journal and basic, fun drawing classes.  One could choose to make Teesha Moore’s Amazing 16 Page Journal.  These are so easy to make that I made a bunch of them.

What I kept running into was my immature art skill set.  I’d get to the Ugly Stage and without the skills to push through to a final page, I set these early journals to the side.

Two weeks ago, I discovered the stack while cleaning my studio, sat down and flipped through them. An idea hit: I have the skills to finish pages to my satisfaction. Here was a chance to actually finish some art journals.  I started working on a page and realized that I want a record of the before and after, so I decided to film how the journals transform.

Perhaps you’ll be interested, too.  Here is the first of many such journals.  This journal caught my eye because the song lyrics were already on the page. I’ve always liked this spread, even though it was busy and I couldn’t figure out how to finish it.  As I started to work the pages, I realized the theme for the journal would be lyrics to some of my favorite songs.

I hope you enjoy the first installment of this new series: Finish An Art Journal.

Note about the video.  I shot the video with my Canon Vixia HF R700 and edited it with kden live, an open source video editing program.  Each time I make one of these videos, I learn a bit more.  I figured out how to employ dissolves and wipes. I have a tendency to check the monitor – mostly to make sure what I’m shooting is in frame but I have figured out to look into the lens more often.  I’ve ordered a mic so the audio when I’m speaking should improve in future videos.

What’s on your work table?  Leave a comment and let me know what you’re working on, with links if you have ’em and I’ll visit.

Art Journals, Mixed Media

Angel Dude Sketch

Hi ho friends.

I have a lot of art journals and sketchbooks.  My rationale is that I need more than one in order to set one aside while wet media dry so I can keep working with whatever muse has struck me that day.

Recently, I decided to put some time on pencil work. A dear friend of mine gave me a 8.5″x11″ spiral bound pencil sketch book.  I took it out and started sketching.

I put a moratorium on myself to not take anymore on-line art classes until I get through the ones I have purchased.  Truthfully, I stalled out on Tam’s Ever After because the lessons were pretty involved and I want to devote the time to style development the class offers.

In the meantime, I decided to re-visit some of my previous classes from memory. In particular, Tam’s lesson from last year’s Life Book on sketching the male of the species. Here’s my Angel Dude. Dude because my lads seem to turn out like surfer dudes. Might be the hair. Angel because, well, surfer dudes are angels on my planet.

I used my go-to mechanical pencil with I have no idea what type of lead. I’m not detail oriented about this stuff, I’m afraid. When I’m working in an art journal, I just grab whatever strikes my fancy and work until I’m done. I used a tortillion to smudge the lines. Overall, I am satisfied with this page.

Looking at the photo, I can see a bit more smudging around the neck might be nice.  Or I might start a new dude.  As I write this post, I’m inspired to take out some watercolor paper, sketch an angel dude out and then color it.

Angel Dude Pencil-tenukihandcrafts

I don’t expect anything else from the sketching and shading exercises.  The paper in this particular journal is rather thin so scanning it has been tricky – the scanner light tends to pass through the paper, making the white areas a soft grey. I’ve fiddled with adjusting the white balance but haven’t found a setting I like.  I may have to accept the way the paper scans and find a way to work around it digitally.  Not a big deal, just collating data, as they say.

What technique or tool are you currently working with? I’d love to hear about your latest project. Please leave a comment with a link to your WIP and I’ll check it out.

Happy creating!

Art Journals

Girl and friends

Hi ho friends.  It seems like it’s been a while since I shared some art journal pages, so I’m starting a new regular series, called, you guessed, it Art Journal Pages.

Brilliant, right?

Anywho, I don’t know about you, but I get obsessed and work in a particular style, color palette, or imagery.

This partial page was from my girls decorated by tiny birds phase.

Girl and Friends-tenukihandcrafts

You may have noticed that birds appear in my art regularly. I love birds because they fly and sing.  I’m fortunate to live in a neighborhood with lots of trees, so every spring a new crop of feathered friends appear and sing their tiny brains out.

I tend to draw spirals on the top of bird heads because I think quail are among the most adorable of birds.  I love the feather cluster on their heads. From a distance they look, to me, like a spiral. None of my birds are meant to represent quail specifically, I just adore that topknot and add it to whatever bird I’m drawing. What can I say? It’s how the birds in my world look.

I hope you enjoy this new series.  I’d love to hear what your current art journal obsession. Leave me a link to your latest creation and I’ll check it out!

Happy creating!