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!

Mixed Media

Stump Doll Video Tutorial

New Art Doll Tutorial featured post

Hi ho friends.

I have posted the first in a series of video tutorials on how to make a 6″ tall, mixed media stump style art doll.  Click this link to go to my Freebies/Tutorials page.

I don’t yet know how many videos will be in the tutorial, since I’m filming as I make the doll and have to adhere to the Youtube 15 minute limit (‘cuz I have a free account).

Here are the supplies for video Part 1 of this project:

  • An old magazine
  • Masking tape
  • A small oval shaped item to trace around. You can freehand it, if you like.
  • heavy cardboard (not corregated – it’s too soft)

I’ll add to the supplies list as I add videos.

April 22, 2017: Part 2 has been added. In this segment: the head is made, attached to the body, and then sealed with gesso.

Happy crafting!

classes, Mixed Media, Planners

WIP Planner & Creative Planning E-Class

Hi friends,

I am loving Christy Tomlinson and Cori Steiker (theresetgirl)’s Creative Planning ecourse. I’ll be doing a review of the class after I finish the class. In the meantime, I have started assembling a personal size (3.7″ wide by 6.7″ long) Day Timer planner (they call it portable).

I love my Happy Planner, but it is too big to carry around with me day to day, so I put together this Personal size planner mainly as an extensive list making tool.  Yes, I’ve tried Evernote, but, well, that’s a post for another day…

I admit I have been quite intimidated by the trend of decorating planner pages. I tried some extensive decorating in my Happy Planner but found I’m a more minimalist. That said, I still want a pretty, customized planner.  This class showed me the way.  Thanks Christy and Cori!

Here is a flip through of my Work In Progress.  I already have plans for a color-coordinated planner or two and more so stay tuned for updates. It’s quirky, but I love it so far.

I am using a mix of free and purchased printables, as well as temporarily using the page that came with the planner, although I really am not enjoying them. But, WIP, right?

 Also included with today’s post is a short tutorial on how to use an adjustable 7 hole punch for 6 hole Personal size planners, which are used by Day Timer, Kikki K, Webster’s Color Crush, and others.

Happy planning!
Mixed Media

Hooked on Planners

Hi friends,

You’ve probably noticed a distinct lack of what I call “proper posts” lately. To me, a proper post is one like this, where I ramble at you for a while and maybe throw in a pretty picture or two. I’ve used an IFTT recipe to cross-post from Instagram to keep my blog fresh.  The lack of proper posts was due to creating pieces for my Zeus’ Women show, various art classes I’m taking followed by an injury to my right hand when I tore a ligament in my right thumb. The injury was exacerbated by an significant increase of computer use at work when one of my co-workers quit and her work was given to me. This led to a decrease in computer use and art-making. Work requires computer use, so I have had to severely limit my personal computing time. I haven’t been able to spend some quality time with you.  I am sorry about that. I really enjoy writing blog posts and exchanging comments with you.

Lack of creativity was making me a bit crazy, so I have been playing with Happy Planner but I’m not a calendar page decorator.  I’ve tried it, but I prefer my calendar for list making and tracking exercise and such. A couple weeks ago, I found Christy Tomlinson’s Creative Planner e-class. I’ll post a review of the class in the future. The point is that I’ve been putting my mixed media skills toward my planners. I’ve loved this class and have been having great fun creating a dashboard and dividers for a slim personal planner. In the on-going quest for minimalist planning, I re-remembered this is an extension of my mixed media art. You can expect to see more planner-related posts.

Does that happen to you?  Do you forget then re-remember stuff?  Maybe it’s just me – between work and my hobbies, I must have too much stuff rolling around in my brain…

Here is a photo of the papers I selected for my Day Timer Slim Personal planner. Future posts will include flip through videos as I continued to work on these.


In writing this post, it occurred to me I could be decorating my Happy Planner dividers, but it’s been more fun getting a new planner to play with.

Have you jumped on the planner bandwagon?  Leave a comment and let me know which planner your using. I’d love to hear what you’ve been working on.

Happy planning!

Announcements, Mixed Media

Banner Contest Winner!

The votes are in and it’s unanimous: Banner #1 is the new Tenukihandcrafts banner. The new banner, and it’s variations, will be featured in my Etsy shop, on my twitter profile and Facebook page for the shop.


The winner of the drawing for a one-of-a-kind ATC is Carrie.  Congrats, lady! I’ll be in touch for getting your little art to you.

Thanks to everyone who voted.

Fly, be free, my lovelies!


classes, Mixed Media, Paintings

Weeks 31-34

Hi ho, my lovelies.

I thought by grouping my LIfe Book posts, I’d discipline myself to post more frequently and cover more artistic ground.  Not so much.

Ah well, try, try again, right?

Today’s post is Life Book 2015 Weeks 31-34.

Week 31 Hamsa Protection with Rachel Rice

Week 32 You are Wise with Tam

Week 33 – haven’t started this lesson

Week 34 Painting the Muse with Alena Hennessy


Mixed Media

Mixed Media Planner CPS Challenge

Hiho, my friends.

I have a planner obsession.  Every year, I go Type A, buy a new planner, write a bunch of goals, be all gung-ho and 3 months later, my planner is gathering dust, forgotten on a shelf.

For 2015, I was all excited about the Documented Life project and that was going to be my planner. I reviewed 2014, made new goals and started working the challenges. That lasted until April, after signing up for Life Book 2015 and focusing on ‘catching up.’

In the interim (‘cuz it was a forgotten planner), I downloaded and tried a couple different planners.  My problem with planners is that, frankly, it’s just too….organized.  My full-time work is as an administrative assistant and I spend all my time organizing meetings and herding cats. All my organizing energy is expended at work but I still want to set and achieve various personal goals.  So how to make a reasonable planner for my life that is not some rigid Storm Normandy Beach Ridicuousness?

I’ve been mulling that over and two weeks ago, I flipped through the July/August 2015 issue of Cloth Paper Scissors.The latest reader challenge is to create a mixed media planner for 2016.  One of my goals for 2015 is to get published in my favorite mixed media art magazines, but I haven’t submitted anything yet.  Nothing like a deadline.  This challenge is due September 4, so I have plenty of time to fine-tune my planner concept and create a couple pages needed for the submission.

I made notes about what I liked and didn’t like about the various planners I’ve tried, reviewed class notes, sketched page ideas and gathered material to start making test pages. Even dug out the dusty 2015 planner, since it has this year’s goals.

I am playing this close to the chest because, hey this post and photo are on the Interwebs and people steal stuff all the time, so here is the only photo I will published about this planner (for now):

Are you planner obsessed? Do you set goals?  What do you use? Leave me a comment and tell me all about it.  I promise not to steal it. Unless it’s really good 😉

Fly, be free, my pretties.

classes, Mixed Media, Paintings

Weeks 26-30

Week 26. Inner Warrior Princess with Andrea Gomoll. I’ve been a tad obsessed with creating a Klimt-inspired Pallas Athena since I took Tam’s Magical Mythical Makings class.  I’ve sketched a number of variations and tried again when this lesson came up. Klimt’s Athena was a bust portrait with her in a helmet. That’s a tad complicated for my skillset, so I propped her helmet on top of her head. I doubt Athena was a ginger. As you know, I have a thing for gingers, so mine is. Owls are often seen with her and she is the goddess of the arts, among other things. The text is ancient Greek and the very loose translation is “be fearless.” A little influence from Kelly Rae Robert’s Mantra class.  I had some trouble with the shading, but I think I could go back and tone it down by doing more work on the Neocolor/white acrylic technique that Tam teaches. I was trying to do this with Gelatos and Inktense pencils, but as mentioned in the previous Life Book lesson post, this paper is not good with wet media.

Week 27 was an artist interview. Week 28. Layers of You with Tam. Paint over collage. Rather than use a selfie, I used some Vogue magazines. At this point, of course, I’ve lost track of the number of Tam classes, I’ve taken, so I feel quite comfy running with the technique and doing the pages my way. I like to swim, so my inner me is a Naomi Watts mermaid. Obviously.

Week 29. Tiny Story telling with Danielle Donaldson. My hands have recently been pain-free, so I’m hesitant to spend a lot of my art time with fussy-cutting elements. In fact, I haven’t put this lil gal in my official journal. She is in my Moleskin watercolor journal. But, she’s so adorbs, I had to paint her and give her a little phrase and include her here.

Week 30 with Flora Bowley. I enjoyed Flora’s lesson last year, but I still struggle with the free-form, intuitive painting style.  Ideas come to me while I’m watching the video. I painted 2 pages and this is the one that came out. The other one is waiting to be finished. This one, Serene, was one of the ideas I had.  Of course, the idea of having a plan is contrary to Flora’s style, but it was an urge and I followed it. I’m grateful that Flora included a real-time bonus video – I watched it twice and will go back to this technique to try and wrap my art brain around it.   Perhaps that is what the other page is waiting for – unplanned inspriation.

After spending Saturday on Flora’s intuitive lesson, I needed to get back to familiar ground. I worked on Week 2 of Tam’s Fabulous Faces class, so you have those pages to look forward to.

In the meantime: fly, be free, my lovelies.

classes, Mixed Media

Life Book Weeks 22-25

Hi my lovelies. I can hardly believe that July is nearly over. It’s time for another Life Book 2015 post. It’s been nearly 2 years since I started on this mixed media art journey. I find that I’m copying less and taking inspiration more from the lessons in 2015.  Here are the next 4 pages.

Week 22 with Jeanne Oliver.  It’s a paint over collage using a self-portrait.  This has never been my favorite style because I don’t feel photographs of me don’t capture me well.  So with these projects, I tend to create a new portrait or print a color copy of a previous work. For this lesson, I created a new face.  I made the first version in my other 9×12 Leuchterm 1917 journal.  I really liked Jeanne’s technique for making your own background paper and I made 2. I’m still getting a lot of use out of those pages. I had some trouble with this gal’s face, although I don’t now remember the specific trouble I was having.  This is the page from my ‘official’ 2015 class art journal, also a Leuchterm 1917 in 9×12 size.

Week 23 starts the month of June, I believe, which was focused on the boys.  This is a Tam lesson.

I really should write these posts closer to when I create the pages, but we were in the middle of SIFF, and I started a new job in April, so my brain is working overtime these days. Anywho, while watching Tams’ videos, I had the urge to make a Buddha-inspired page.  I am particularly please with this page and like using a floral design in place of wings, you can expect to see more of that element.

Week 24 was with Juliette Crane.I have been quite happy with the male faces I’ve turned out.  We had 1 lesson with a male figure last year, but it was a rather complex piece and I never got back to males as I’d hoped. This was also the week of the ATC swap, but as we were in the middle of SIFF, I didn’t participate.

Week 25 was with Lynzee Lynx.  A couple weeks after this lesson, I signed up for Kelly Rae Robert’s Hello Soul Hello Mixed Media self-study class and was pleasantly surprised that Lynzee took part in the class, representing the students. But, that is work for another post. I have stencil paper on hand but chose my designs rather poorly and had quite a lot of trouble with them. The cutting stencils part is pretty labor-intensive. However, since taking my new job, computer work is considerably less. Nearly 2 years post-surgery, my hands finally are pain-free so I feel I could explore making more of my own stencils.

You can expect more posts about the output from Kelly Rae’s class. I think I have 3 or 4 pieces in progress, but 1 or 2 completed paintings. Having continued painting more freely since Kelly Rae’s class, I would call it the next turning point in my artistic journey. I am also planning a journal flip video.

In the meantime, fly, be free, my pretties!

classes, Mixed Media, Paintings


I have been a fan of Kelly Rae Roberts’ mixed media art for a while. Last week, in honor of her 40th birthday, she offered her Instagram followers a special price for her self-study course, “Hello Soul, Hello Mixed Media.”

Naturally, I couldn’t pass that up.

This is a rather long post because I share the class project, a class review, and a minimum supply list.

I spent the past 2 weekends working through the lessons.  Once again, I’m so grateful for Effy Wild’s Ultimate Class Notebook and I have completely adopted her method of watching the videos first and taking notes before diving in.

This class really pushed my boundaries because it requires you to really let go and play and at the very end, bring the piece together.

Joining Kelly Rae for this course is Lynzee Lynx. For a bit of synchronicity, Lynzee taught a Life Book lesson on making your own stencils and I really enjoyed her lesson. Lynzee was playing the role of a class student.  This is not her particular style so she was way out of her comfort zone and a stroke of genius for Kelly Rae to include Lynzee in this class.

One of the things I’ve struggled with is incorporating words into my art.  Part 1 of the class is about digging deep and developing your mantras.  Part 2 is a ton of techniques for backgrounds.  I had a bit of an art orgy and made a bunch of canvases. My friend Marva gave me a bunch of canvases when she moved recently, and I used most of them to make this pretty mess on my studio floor:

a plethora of canvases

The background-making stage is a lot of fun: alternating different acrylic paint techniques and collage.  This method is totally in my style because it’s all about filling the space with mixed media goodness.  The pulling it all together stage of Lesson 3 was a bit tougher.  Even though this project was in my area of art-making, it was a challenge to stay loose and in the moment.  Also, I am drawn to dark colors, so I had to lighten areas up quite a bit to create contrast.

I chose “Trust Your Inner Voice” because I had to let go and trust the process to get this piece done. While watching the class video on bringing in the focal image, I thought of the Bear I made for Juliette Crane’s lesson, Week 13 in Life Book.  I traced the Bear and glued him down then re-painted him. In Native American lore, bears represent, among other things, bravery and your hidden strength, which was appropriate to the lesson.  The butterfly wings were part of the following joy and intuition.  A bear with wings just makes me happy. I’m pretty pleased with the finished piece, although looking now at the photo, I think the horizon has gotten lost and whatever I decide to do with it will probably be the contrast I feel is missing.

Review of the Class

As a teacher, Kelly Rae is terrific. You feel like she’s there with you, she has a friendly teaching style.She and Lynzee work well together.  Kelly Rae is the first teacher I’ve taken a class from who has no formal art training. This makes her teaching style accessible to beginners because she isn’t trained, she just loves to make art and it shows in her lessons and in her work. You see the art being made before your eyes, in (mostly) real time.

My complaints with the class are minor: 1) you can’t download the videos. I understand teachers do that as a measure of control over their content and I respect that; and 2) you have 6 months to access the lessons. I’ve been spoiled by teachers who offer a year or forever to access lessons. Limited access is the reason I soaked the class in over 2 weekends. I wanted to make sure I could watch, take notes, and get through the material at least once and still have time to re-watch any of the demos.

The price of this class is $247, and Kelly Rae offers a 2 payment installment plan.  That sounds like a lot of money, but there are so many lessons (50?), a ton of information, mixed media techniques, and pdf handouts. With the limited access, I suggest you watch the lessons and take notes before you start. At the very least, watch the demos and make a list of the techniques to refer back to later. The price is comparable to Jane Davenport classes. If you can only take one class this year, splurge on this one because it’s suitable for any level and you’ll have a painting to hang up at the end of class. If you’re more experienced, this class will shake things up, while letting you create in your style.

A beginner with minimal drawing or painting skills can succeed in this course.  If you can doodle, glue stuff down, and finger paint, you can rock this class. As for supplies, I think you could make a very successful first piece with a minimum investment in supplies. My minimum list is below.

If you’re interested in taking the class, you may sign up here:  Hello Soul, Hello Mantra. Of all the mixed media classes I’ve taken, I think this is one of the best class for a true beginner because you can make a beautiful piece without the ability to draw faces, figures or whimsical creatures.  Full disclosure: I am a Kelly Rae Roberts’ affiliate, so if you sign up by following the above link, I get a little something in return from Kelly Rae, which I’ll no doubt use for art supplies, so I appreciate your support!

Minimum Supply List

If you’re completely new to mixed media or you have non-acrylic paint supplies, here is my suggested minimum and least expensive supply list:  large (9″x12″ minimum, really, this style is easier and more fun on a big scale) canvas board, regular gel medium gloss (gloss is vital), 2 or 3 colors you are drawn to, black and white heavy body (tube) acrylics, small paint brushes for doodling and writing, collage paper, a spray bottle, tools you can find around the house.

The cheaptest paint option is to purchase is DecoArt Crafter’s Acrylic.If you have a bit more to spend on paint or you just want more paint, I suggest Amsterdam heavy body acrylics. The paint itself is nice and the price per tube is good. You can water down heavy body acrylics to achieve the wetter techniques in this class.

For colors, I suggest you include a mix of warm (yellow/red) and cool (blue/green) colors. This will give you more color flexibility.  If you’re drawn to neon (and who isn’t?), I suggest 1 neon because they tend to be less opaque than non-neon colors, which makes them good to layer but they get lost pretty easily as the layers increase.

You can make your own acrylic spray inks with whatever paint you have using 2 ounce spray bottles you can pick up in any drug store for less than a buck. You may download my pdf instructions for backgrounds and making spray inks – scroll to the bottom of this page for the link.

My next steps

I am excited to try more pieces using Kelly Rae’s techniques, incorporate words more routinely in my art.  I’m also curious to find out what would happen if I use different art supplies, substrates.  How will I have to adjust the techniques to use, for example, Neo Color II crayons? I’m very interested in making a piece in all water-based supplies. What would a page in this style look like in my art journal?

I want to find out and think Kelly Rae would grant me permission.

Trust your inner voice.