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Create with Me, Series 2: Art Journal

Hi ho art friends!

Please join me for the 2nd Create with Me series, where we are going to make an art journal from 1 piece of 15″x20″ 140 lb cold press watercolor paper and 1 piece of kraft paper the same size.  In the first video of this series, I’ll also explain my plan for this journal. I’ll update this post as I create new videos.

For Part 1, you need the paper listed above, white gesso, a scraper/old credit card, scissors, metal rule, awl, tapestry needles, waxed linen thread, bone folder.

Happy creating!

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My latest obsession: junk journals

Hi ho art friends.

Almost 2 years ago, I took a class from Tangie Baxter called “As If By Magic” a short 4 lesson self-study class on making junk journals. I put the journal together from my stash of half-finished art works on water color paper and scrapbook paper.

For some reason, the class just didn’t grab me.  Tangie is a fine teacher but it just wasn’t time for me. So I set the journal aside and went to work on other projects.

About a month before my knee surgery, I got this hankering for junk journaling.  So I re-watched the class video and found the journal.  And it sat again…

Until I was recovering from knee surgery.  That’s when I found the new world of junk journaling: lots of shabby chic, vintage journals using digital printables. I watched lots of youtube videos but my favorite folks are Artymaze, Yvonne Preston and Patricia Viramontes.

Although it would take me 3 weeks post surgery to get to my studio, I enlisted the help of my better half to bring the basics of junk journal supplies down to the dining room table, where I set about to make, well, a bunch of junk journals.

To date, I have finished 4 journals and recorded flip throughs.  Here they are:

Junk Journal #1 Vintage style. Soft cover, 1 signature:

Junk Journal #2 My own style. Soft cover, 1 signature:

Junk Journal #3 Pseudo vintage style, using Artymaze kit (main & add-on) Back to Nature:

Junk Journal #4 My personal planner for the remainder of 2018:

Journals #1 and 4 are my personal journals for planning and general notes/goal setting.

Journals 2 and 3 were gifted to my mom. When I told her about my junk journal adventures, she said she had some stuff for me. She brought me all manner of fabrics, laces, yarns, and photo paper.

You can expect to see more junk journals in the future. It’s great to use up the materials in my stash!

Happy crafting!

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Glamour girl

Hi ho friends.

Today’s post features one of my oldest art journal pages from Draw Happy, one of the first online art classes I took with Jane Davenport.  Actually, it may have been my first online class. Honestly, I don’t recall – I’ve taken so many classes. This glass is one of my first mixed media portraits as well. I used Prismacolor pencils and alcohol markers.  The funny thing is, I really like my early drawings.  They have a kind of primitive style that appeals to me.  I keep trying to deliberately get this type of look in my work.

I have noticed a few changes to my faces since then: I have lowered the eyes to the middle of the head; the eyes are a bit smaller; and I moved the nose up toward the eyes – closer to where the nose actually falls on the head. I don’t shadow as deeply.

Some of the aspects I’ve kept include: a deep side part in the hair, which is inspired by women’s hairstyle from the 30s and 40s; I’ve kept the nose minimal; the shadows on the face are shallow; one eye is a bit cockeyed; and I don’t use a single light source. In fact, I’m not really interested in the light source.

Which is a bit ironic because I was a theatrical lighting designer, a long time ago.  Lack of a focal light source is part of the look of my work. Combined with the direct gaze of the portrait enhances the disturbing aspect of my work.  Many of portraits gaze directly at the viewer. A sort of artistic standoff.  Who will look away first?

It ain’t gonna be the painting, my friend.

What little things comprise your style?  If you haven’t thought about it, take pictures of your work and look over several pieces.  The things that unify your work will begin to stand out.  When that happens and you see it, you will make your work truly your own.  Leave a comment and link to your latest project. I’ve love to see what you’re up to.

Happy arting!

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Shop update, December 2017

Hi ho art friends.

As I mentioned before, I love on-line art classes.  I tend to choose classes with lifetime access, which allows me to take the class as time permits.  One of the classes I signed up for a while ago is Jenniebellie’s Rock Your Online Shop ecourse. I downloaded all the workbooks, but never got around to working through it.

Until this month.  There are several reasons I like Jenniebellie’s teaching style: she is honest yet kind; she gives you information and prompts but you have to do the work; and she is successful as an artist.

I have worked through the first lesson, which is about taking stock, on-line shop options, and the like. The piece of advice I’m implementing now, and the reason for today’s post, has to do with having multiple online shops.

I have this blog and a Society6 shop. Society6 has frequent sales and I have been a bit frustrated trying to promote both shops because I was offering the same prints in both shops.

The result of Lesson 1 of Rock Your Online Shop:  original mixed media art and mixed media art prints are for sale on this website; my photographic art prints will be for sale only on my Society6 shop.

The shop on this site is still a work in progress.  It is a Premium account on and we are not allowed to have a shopping cart style shop.  I’ve had to do quite a lot of paypal work and create some one-of blog posts to set up shop here. I’m not completely happy with it, but I’m tweaking here and there. I suspect at some point, I will need to convert to a self-hosted website, but that will involve more work than I am able to put in right now.

What I’m hoping to do, if it’s possible is to have a page on this site with a photo of each art work that you click and are taken to the related blog post to buy the piece of art. Might not be possible or it could be really complicated – I haven’t investigated.

I’ve also created a Pinterest board to show all my current art for sale.

So stayed tune and have a bit of patience with me as I learn my way through this, one step at a time.

Jenniebellie’s class is good so far. I’ll post future updates as I work through it.

Happy arting!


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Minimalist page

Hi ho artsy friends.

I’ve had some trepidation working on some of the pages in my large Dylusions journal because I really love the way the backgrounds turned out.

I was flipping through one my old Somerset Studio magazines recently and was inspired by an article featuring Jodi Ohl’s works.  I love her imagery and wanted to try another minimalist style page.


This page features Dylusions and Distress spray inks, Dyan’s ghosting technique with one of my stencils, black Stabilo All pencil (activated with water) and the fine point Posca white pen. I really like the textures on this page.

You can probably expect to see more minimalist pages…when I manage over surpress the urge to fill every square inch with collage, stamps, doodles, etc.

Happy arting!

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Dragonfly art doll

Hi artsy friends.

I don’t know about you, but I get restless with just making the same kind of art.  I’ve enjoyed making art dolls and picked up a few new patterns recently and started with this doll, Cecily.  I purchased the pdf pattern from the NLH Designs Etsy shop.

Cecily is a steampunk dragonfly art doll, about 16 inches tall.  She is a fairly simple doll, with minimal joints. The instructions are easy to follow and she is pretty quick to sew up.  The stuffing takes a long time and I have to admit that I over-stuffed her a bit and popped a couple of seams in the process, including her filtrum.  Poor thing.  The nose is needlesculpted.


I followed my own face style for painting the face, using Prisma pencils, gel pens, Pitt pens. I didn’t seal her face because, well, I popped the seam. Didn’t seem to be much point, really.

I used faux fur for her hair, that was cut in sections and sewn directly on her head. I made the dragonfly wings, following the instructions but haven’t assembled and attached them yet.

Even with her flaws, I think she’s pretty cute.

I am enjoying this process, but I need to plan ahead when I make the next one.  The sewing and stuffing is rather tough on my hands. I’m going to have to spread the work out over several weekends: cut and sew several heads and bodies; stuff on another weekend; paint faces; assemble dolls; make outfits; make accessories.

I see a box full of soft, art doll body parts in my future.

Once my hands recover and I finish Cecily, I’ll post the final photos.

Happy arting!



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White text obsession

Hi ho art friends.

A while ago, I picked up Danielle Donaldson’s “Creative Girl” book, which started my enchantment with drawing tiny, wonky houses and using a white acrylic pen on dark backgrounds.

It occurred to me that I should try using a white pen on my dark backgrounds.  I queued up several arty youtube videos and my large Dylusions journal, white Posca pens, Intense pencil, and Jane Davenport’s Mermaid pens and created this page.


The page started with doodling along with Molly Hollyberry’s youtube video on Crazy Huggins, a tangle variation of Huggins.

Next. I watched one of Jane Davenport’s youtube videos and I love to art along with Jane and wondered what the Mermaid pens would look like over the white acrylic pen work.

I like the look and contrast achieved with this technique. I’ve been exploring it in my art journal, so you can expect to see more of this.  I also want to incorporate this more in my future works.

Stay tuned and happy arting!

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2017 Pair Go photo shoot

Hi ho friends.

It’s nearly time for the Seattle Go Center Annual Pair Go Tournament, and for the 5th year, my resin crew have been featured in a pair go-themed photo.

This is a fun photo shoot. I get to play with my dolls, professional lighting set-up, and scale.

The location is the Tatami Room at the Seattle Go Center.  The scroll at the back is human sized.  The dolls, board and laptop are roughly 3 feet in front of the wall with the screen.

The go board is doll-sized.  The laptop is a printable that I found somewhere (of course, I can’t find it now – I’ll post a revision when I find it).  I used the actual Alphago logo and merged the logo and laptop in The Gimp.  I also had to create the laptop screen.  I’m very pleased with the way the laptop turned out.  The soft lights bounces nicely off it and enhances the illusion that it is an actual screen.

I used my trusty Canon Rebel and all my lenses. To get this shot, I used a Canon 24 mm Macro lens. The final poster shot is still being finalized, but here is one of my favorite shots of the day:


The dolls are (from left to right): Elfdoll Smiling Soah, Dollshe Grown Saint, and Dollshe SA Saint.

Happy creating!

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My contribution to Inktober

Happy Halloween, friends.

I had lofty aspirations to participate in Inktober this year, but, well, it just didn’t work out. I have made two pages with Jane Davenport’s Inktober themes: Midnight Unicorn and Goth Glam.

These are both from my Dylusions large journal. Both started with a variety of Dylusions sprays, stencils, and Dyan’s ghosting technique.  The drawings were make with a Stabilo All pencil and activated.

Goth Glam also has quite a bit of acrylic paint, more stencils, and Lumiere paint in silver.

I enjoyed making these pages and saved Jane’s Inktober themes, which are inspiring but I needed to get a start on some of the art classes I’ve signed up for, so expect more regular posts…on who knows?

Stop by later and find out.

Happy creating!

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Art journal, my old friend

Hello friends.  After months of studying, I took the IAAP Certified Administrative Professional exam today. I’ve managed to squeeze a bit of art, including several hours creating background pages in my large Dylusions journal.

The test was 3.5 hours maximum and I nearly used it all.  Afterwards, my brain was mashed potatoes. I got home, rehydrated, ate lunch and went up to my studio to make a mess.

It felt sooooooooooooo good.  I put most of today’s effort into the large Dylusions journal. Here is one of the pages I am working on.


I love the background, both the colors and the texture, which includes one of Dyan’s stamps, some Tim Holtz Ideology rub-ons and washi.

The girl was drawn on another piece of paper then glued into the journal.  Today, I started painting her.  I used Deco Art’s Santa’s Flesh for the base skin layer; purple Neocolor II for her hair and turquoise blue for her eyes and dress.  I water-activated her hair with water.  For her dress, I took some Golden Payne’s Grey heavy body, watered down quite a bit and blotted. I really like the start of this gal.

More importantly, I’m excited that I can spend hours working in my art journal.

I’ve had some interesting experiences dealing with the paper in this journal, but that will have to be a post for another day.

What’s on your art table?  Leave a comment. I’d love to hear what you are working on.

Happy creating!