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This blog is for sharing a love of paper crafting. You can also check out my Pintrest pages. If you find the ideas here to be helpful, I'd love to hear from you. It is what helps make the time I put into this blog feel worthwhile, and always brightens my day. I love hearing your ideas too!

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Thursday, August 25, 2016

A Private Message to Me


As you can read a little about on my other blog, in the course of my Bible studies, I was given a very special message, but it wasn't something I felt was appropriate to post in public media - or even in my Bible where anyone looking through my Bible might see it.  Not knowing for sure what to do with it, I typed it up and left it as a file on my computer.  The picture above shows a summary of the message.

This morning, I came across the file on my computer again and several things came together for me.  Awhile back I had created the page about an open door (you can see a picture of it on my other blog - I hadn't posted about it here since it was done in basically the same way as this one), it was basically an opaque page insert with nothing on the back of it (except for a couple of smudges that I REALLY wanted to hide!).  I had wondered what to do on the back of the page.  Because of the slick surface of the page, few media would adhere to it unless I used gesso or something similar on it. 
Today I realized - I could print up my special message on a coordinating paper and put it as a hidden message panel on the back of the open door page! 
So that's what I did.  I put a text box in the middle of my page and put the message in it.  As I always do when printing on this type of paper, I used a clear embossing powder and heat embossed the printed message as soon as it came out of the printer - so the ink didn't smear on this slick paper.

When the embossing was complete, I took a paper towel and wiped both sides of the paper to help ensure there were no bits of embossing powder clinging to the paper.  Then I sent it back through the printer to print what you see above, on the back side of the page (and then heat embossed it, making sure to hold the paper from the edge with my hand so what was on the back didn't melt and smear!).

After cutting my panel to size, I attached it on the left side with decorative Washi tape.  I figured I'd use a sticker to hold it closed on the right side, but was afraid that the sticker would stick too tightly to the page.  So-o-o-o, I cut a small piece of paper to serve as backing paper for the overlap, and attached a velcro closure.  This isn't something I'd want to do very often in my Bible because of the added bulk, but since this was going on a page insert rather than a thin Bible page, and since I wanted the message to be more private, I did it that way this once.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Peace, Be Still!

Today's Bible Journaling piece is about the disciples facing a frightening storm at sea - and how Jesus calmed the waves - read more about that here.  As always, on this blog, my focus is on techniques - and today's techniques were a lot of fun!  I adapted them from something I saw Rebekah Jones do in this video.   In the video, she uses Inktense Pencils & Pitt Artist Pens.  I didn't have those, so used what I had - watercolor pencils & Scroll and Brush markers.  In person, I REALLY like how it turned out - especially the waves.  Here's how I made the page:

Page Prep: For this technique, I used the Dianna Wakely clear gesso from Ranger because it is a very smooth gesso which works well with most art media and I felt it would be quite important for this page.  Using one of Ranger's mini sponge applicators, I applied 3 thin coats of gesso, drying between each layer with my heat tool, and stroking in different directions on each layer to ensure better coverage.  With the techniques I knew I'd be using, I wanted a GOOD layer of gesso!  Then I left it awhile to make sure it was really dry before continuing.  While it was drying, I tried out the various techniques a bit on scrap paper to get a better feel for what I'd be doing.

Water/Waves: I drew out the outline of the waves on some paper - starting with Rebekah's free download, but adjusting them and adding more of my own. I also drew the boat & person in it and cut it out of a post-it note to use as a mask to protect that part of the page while I drew in the waves.  Once I had the waves as I wanted them, I outlined them with a very black marker so I could somewhat see them when I placed the paper behind my Bible page.  Then I took a dark blue watercolor pencil and sketched in the outline of the waves using the paper behind the page as a guide. (remember the post-it note protected the area of the boat & person during the whole process of creating the waves).

From there, I did pretty much what Rebekah showed in her video.  I first used a wet brush to activate the watercolor pencil lines and draw some of the color out (though I didn't have the patience to do as many layers of this as she did - in part because any new layers activated the others - which I could have avoided if I had the inktense pencils).  I made sure this was thoroughly dry before moving on.

Next I used my Scroll & Brush markers the same way she used the Pitt pens - and they worked pretty much the same way.  I laid down a bit of color, and then rubbed it out with my finger to create the look of fading from dark to lighter.  As with her Pitt pens, I only had a few seconds to do this before the ink dried.  But once it dried, it was more permanent than the watercolor pencil, and thus easier to layer.  I used several different colors of blues and aquas, as well as orchid to create a variety of blended colors in the waves.  This technique is so much fun!  AND I found if I got a little color outside of where I wanted it, if I IMMEDIATELY took an eraser to the area, I could remove it!!!  Nice to know. :)

Clouds: I decided storm clouds would add to the feel of the page, but before adding them, I placed a post-it note mask over the verses I wanted to highlight (the mask for the boat was still in place).  I did the clouds very similarly to the way I did the waves (though naturally using different colors!) - using first my watercolor pencils, then water, then Scroll & Brush markers blended with my finger.  I left the upper right corner free as well as an area near the boat, as I knew I wanted to add yellow for light (representing God's peace) to highlight the text, and to reach the boat. (more on that later)

Boat: After the clouds were done, I removed all the masks, then outlined the boat & person with watercolor pencils.  As usual I added water (lifting off some of the color with extra water and a paper towel so the skin wouldn't be too dark).  I added color with the markers & my finger as before. I added a little detail with some very fine (.3mm) Staedtler markers I have ("Triplus Fineliner").

Light: For the light I just used 3 different colors of yellow Scroll & Brush markers - blending some with my finger as I'd been doing for the rest of the page.  The words were hand-drawn with the fine-line Staedtler markers.  I guess I didn't have the background quite as dry as I thought, because it bled a little wider in some places.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

SWEET!


Today's Bible journaling is from Ezekiel, and you can read more about that here.  As usual, on this blog, I'm focused on the techniques used to create the page.

I was really caught by the imagery of eating a scroll filled with "lamentations, mournings, and woe" that tasted like honey - so decided to create a scroll that morphed into a honeycomb.  This was the result (though I wish I had thought to put the scroll over the actual verses to highlight them - rather than just highlighting them in the same color as I did here).

Scroll & Honey: After preparing the page with clear gesso (Art Basics), I started by drawing the scroll on some tracing paper (really incredibly easy to do - look for u-tube tutorials for some easy how-to's - just a couple of curved lines with curls, some straight lines & your done).  Next I drew the honeycomb and dripping honey in the lower right corner.  When this was the way I wanted it, I scribbled on the back of the lines with a soft pencil, then placed it where I wanted it on the page & drew over the lines to transfer the image to my page.  I used a couple of colors of shimmery acrylic paint (Delta) to color my scroll (watering down as needed with my brush to get the effect I wanted).  When it was dry, I outlined it with a black fine-line Sharpie and wrote the words, "lamentations, mourning, woe" on the scroll, and "honey" on the puddle of honey. 

Highlight Text: After finishing the scroll, I decided to highlight the text that the picture referred to - using the same combination of colors I used for the scroll (which was when I realized it would have been nice to have used the scroll here instead! - a bit late for that idea, though. :) )

Background Color:  I decided this bluish Glimmer Mist (sea glass) would be great for the background, but before spraying it, I first cut masks for my artwork and covered it so the spray wouldn't affect it.

Title/Text: Using a fine-point Sharpie, I added the words - hand-drawn.

Bee: As I looked at the page, there was an empty space between the words and the artwork, and the page didn't feel complete.  I realized that talking about sweet coming from painful circumstances, could relate to the bee and it's stinger, and decided I wanted to add a bee.  I had this lovely stamp from HOTP (one of their "Small Stamps"), but knew stamping over what I already had wouldn't work well.  So I decided to stamp in on a piece of my tracing paper!!!  After stamping it and coloring it with my Scroll & Brush markers (and letting it dry), I fussy cut it and glued it to the page with clear gesso! :)  As you can see, it worked well, and had the added benefit that I could go over little pieces with the gesso - kind of like decoupage - to ensure the tracing paper wouldn't come loose.

Friday, July 29, 2016

It is GOOD!


For a discussion of the meaning behind this artwork - check here.  As for how I created it:
  • Page Prep: Knowing that I wanted to use the border stamp, I started with white gesso (Art Basics) to cover extraneous print on the page that would be in the way.  I then covered the whole page with clear gesso (Art Basics).  Both took 2-3 coats.
  • Border Stamp: Stamped with Celebrations black ink (HOTP Matching Borders and Focals)
  • Background: I knew I wanted a colorful page and started to look for my acrylic paints thinking they might work well.  As I was looking through my paints, I came across this "Transparent Wash" (DecoArt "Ocean Teal"), and decided to try it.  It worked great!  It's probably important to prep the page first, as I did, but this wash gives a deep color that is really transparent!  Great for adding color without covering up the words!
  • Text Boxes: However, with such a deep all-over color, it was a bit challenging to know how to proceed.  Perhaps next time I would mask off the verses on which I was focusing, but I hadn't thought to do so and I knew most ways of highlighting them wouldn't look good over this wash.  Sooo - I decided to create boxes for the verses using thin gold border stickers (HOTP Thin Line Dazzles). As you can see, that worked well.
  • Border Embellishments: I love the little flower stickers in my stash (HOTP Jewel Flowers), and knew they would really help dress up the borders.
  • "Thanks": Now it was time to add the illustration in the margin.  Going through my stamps, I found this decorative "Thanks" stamp (K & Company) and knew I wanted to use it.
  • "Good" & "Give": I had some larger sized plain alphabet stamps that I wanted to use for the word "GOOD" - except that they wouldn't fit!  Sooo - I stamped the "G" and the "D" and then hand drew some narrower "O"s to fit!  I also used these stamps for the word "GIVE" (thankfully these ones fit!).
  • Other words: The other words were hand drawn with a Zig Archival Ball pen, but before I wrote the word "to", I decided to add the "present" since there was plenty of room and the word "GIVE" suggested the idea of a gift.  I liked the way the Archival pen worked for the lettering.  I had stamped everything using my Celebrations hybrid ink, and I just didn't think it was showing up as well as I liked - partly because it wasn't stamping as clearly on the background wash as I would have liked.  So I ended up going over all the lettering with the archival pen.
  • Present: I wanted the present to stand out a bit from the background, so used a pink Smooch ink to color it.  It worked well because the Celebrations ink allowed me to paint over it with the Smooch ink & have the lines still show through - not something that works with most mediums.
  • THANKS: I wanted the word "THANKS" to stand out a bit better, so surrounded it with decorative lines of Smooch ink as well.  I liked what I had on the sides, but didn't like the way the Smooch ink looked on the top and bottom - so I took a gold jewel border sticker (HOTP) and covered most of it up top and bottom.  I liked that much better.
  • Finishing Touches: I finished off this page with musical notes from a set of "Music" stickers (also HOTP Dazzles).

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

I will Joyfully Sing in the Morning


As usual, for the spiritual lessons learned while doing this page, check here.  As for how I created this page:
  • Looking through my stamps for something to illustrate the idea of joyfully singing of God's lovingkindess, I came across a musical set I got from JustRite called Musical Notes Labels Twenty.  After preparing the page (with Art Basics white gesso in the upper corner to cover the page heading, and then Dina Wakley clear gesso to protect the whole page), I stamped the saying in the upper corner (It says, "Music washes away from the Soul the dust of Everyday Life".), the bird part-way down the page, and a few musical notes scattered between - all with VersaFine ink. (StazOn might have been a better choice since I ended up using watercolor pencils and had to be very careful to try to keep the stamped ink from bleeding.)
  • After stamping the images, I colored them with Zig Scroll & Brush markers, watercolor pencils, and Wink of Stella.  Oh yes, I took a white gel pen & added color for the bird's eye.
  • Next I added the lettering with a Scroll & brush marker.  I decided I wanted a background on the page, but since the words & bird were blue, blue wouldn't stand out as well for a background, so I decided to try for a brownish-gold color.  I remembered the ONE gelato I have - a gold one.  I scribbled with it on my craft mat & then picked up the color with a water brush, brushing carefully around the words & images before adding it to the rest of the page.  It was my first time to use gelato like this and I really like the result.  In real life its got a soft glimmer to it.  Very pretty.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Relic or Relationship


Today's page was prepared with clear gesso first.  To read about what this page means to me check here.  This is how I created the page.  I wanted to draw a picture of the ark of the covenant but was unsure how to do so with the small margins I was dealing with.  Then I came across a great resource - Kidco Labs has several downloadable Bible coloring sheets - one of which I was able to shrink to create a small picture for the upper part of the margin.  Here's a close-up of it:


I used several media to color this little picture.  Gold Smooch ink covers the ark itself and it's carrying handles.  Smooch inks also form the stones on the breastplate.  Most of the rest of the picture was colored with watercolor pencils - and blended with a bit of water.  The sky was colored with Glimmer Mist.  I sprayed a little on my craft sheet and then applied it with a small brush.

The text was highlighted with watercolor pencil blended with Wink of Stella.  The background color in the margin below the picture was colored with watercolor pencil (same color as for the path in the picture) and blended out with water.  I added words using stickers I had on hand, and finished with small lettering using a fine-tipped Sharpie.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

My Cup Overflows


As usual, to read more about the spiritual meaning of this artwork check out my other blog here.   Here I just want to briefly explain how it was done since it represents a way to layer stamps without masking them as you do so!

After preparing the page with clear gesso as usual, I stamped these images with Spellbinders "Celebrations" hybrid ink (all stamps from HOTP - "You're Tea'riffic" small stamp & "Sweet Blossoms & Swirls" stamp set).  I'm not sure this ink gives me as crisp an image as either StazOn or VersaFine, but I wasn't sure what I would use to color it & didn't want to have to worry about the black bleeding.  This ink doesn't bleed whether using alcohol inks OR watercolor based ink.

Usually when I stamp multiple layers, I mask part of the stamp, but it just wasn't very practical to do that with this one.  It was just too hard to know for sure what parts of the cup would need to be masked to add the flowers!  SO, I started by stamping the cup.  Then stamped one bunch of flowers & took white gesso and a very fine paint brush to remove any lines from the cup that needed to be removed.  I repeated this process for all of my flower additions.  I already knew the white gesso was pretty much the same color as my page and it worked really well.

I ended up coloring it with my scroll and brush markers, using multiple colors to add a bit of depth to the flowers.  Even in person, you really can't tell the difference between areas with white gesso and areas without! I DID go over a couple of lines with my fine-line Sharpie where the white gesso had covered a bit more than I wanted.  I finished with some hand-drawn lettering using both a very fine Millennium pen, and the fine-line Sharpie.