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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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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

In the Beginning

As usual, you can read about the spiritual meaning of this page on my other blog - here.  Here's an example of how much work can go into a simple-looking illustration.  Here's what I did:
  • White Gesso (Art Basics) I started by clearing the top and side of the page of unwanted printing by covering it with white gesso.  It took about 7 thin coats - drying between each one with my heat tool - to get the coverage I wanted.
  • Clear Gesso - Next, I put clear gesso over the whole page.  I was pleased to discover that by using the clear gesso over top, I could cut down on the "tooth" of the Art Basics white gesso (which matches my page color much better than the "Diana Wakely one that leaves a better surface).  
  • Scroll & Brush Markers -Using the Scroll side of my marker I wrote "BEGINNING" across the top of the page - then added "IN THE" at the top using the brush side of the marker.
  • Millennium Pen - Under the word BEGINNING, I added the words "GOD CREATED" with my Millennium pen.
  • Pastel Chalks - Using a dark blue and a bright yellow, I created the light/dark pattern you see on the page.  I went over the pattern several times - rubbing it in with a paper towel and with a stiff bristled brush.  I loved what I had when I was done, but the color still wanted to come off, and I sure didn't want it getting all over everywhere.  Soooo I:
  • Clear Gesso -  added clear gesso over the top of the pastel layer to protect it.  I applied it over just the yellow with one foam brush, and over just the blue with a second foam brush since I DIDN'T want everything to just blend together to some sort of green color.  Doing it this way kept the colors pretty separate, but still took color off, so they were not as vibrant as I had wanted.  Sooo I:
  • Scroll & Brush Markers - went over the whole with scroll & brush markers.  I used a paper towel to wipe off the excess as I went along which worked pretty well.  Since they are not opaque, the words are still visible, and the texture I had worked up with the pastels is somewhat there too - though admittedly not quite as nice.
All in all, I'm happy with the page, despite it's lack of perfection.  I learned a LOT in the process of making it!

Monday, May 30, 2016

My Instructor

This started as a page from a coloring book ("Beautiful Psalms: Adult Coloring Book" from Christian Coloring Books) that I added to my Bible (spiritual discussion here).  It started out as a full page, but I didn't care for the top part of it, so cut it off and covered the remaining bits I didn't like with white gesso.  

I colored the flowers, leaves & butterflies using my Scroll & Brush markers and the tip-to-tip blending technique.  Then I colored in the background with pastel chalks using a small stiff brush.  The letters looked a little faded after I was done, so I went over them with a black pen.  I finished off the flowers with some Jewel Dazzles for the centers.

I had originally planned to add it to my Bible with washi tape, but didn't like the way that looked because the tape is so see-through.  So, I added it to my Bible using Elizabeth Crafts double-sided adhesive - then decided to "frame" it on either side with washi tape. (After I took the picture, I added tape top and bottom as well.  Because I needed a very narrow strip at the bottom, I cut the tape lengthwise - about 1/4 of it for the bottom & the rest for the top.)

Sunday, May 29, 2016

One Hand Full

This page is the first I've done using acrylic paint (spiritual discussion here).  I didn't prep the page, though the paint probably could be seen as page prep as it probably wouldn't let much bleed through.  It's a bit hard to tell in the picture, but the pain is a pearlescent paint that I've had in my stash for some time.  

I applied the acrylic paint with a foam brush about 1" wide.  I started out just putting the color in the margin, but after I saw how well I could see the "header" words at the top of the page, I decided to just cover the bulk of the page with it.  The words are still VERY visible, and though you can see a bit of darkening of the page from the other side (shadowing) there is NO bleed through of the paint.

The lettering was made using stickers from my stash.  The flowers came with them so coordinate well.  I added a few stems & vines with my Scroll & brush markers.  I then outlined the letters with my Millennium pen and added a couple more words with it. That's it!  A very quick & easy page.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

What's Cookin'

I'm finding it interesting to see how many "secular" supplies from my stash find their way into my journaling Bible.  This quick little "snippet" uses HOTP Dazzles from a scrapbooking set - the "What's Cookin'" and the kettle (spiritual discussion here).  As you can probably see, I also used my Scroll & Brush marker to write "Time Management".  The aqua - both inside the pot & "Time" and the word at the bottom is a watercolor pencil - blended with Wink of Stella. 

What you DON'T see is that I had written something on this section of the page that I decided I didn't like.  So, even though I didn't prep the page with gesso, I did use some white gesso to cover what I didn't want, before adding my final lettering. (I used several thin coats.  I find it usually takes about 5 thin coats (drying between each with heat tool) to cover what I want covered.

Friday, May 27, 2016

See Good

Here's another quick Bible Journaling Page (spiritual discussion here).  Once again, I didn't prep the page.  
  • Lettering: Hand done with Scroll & brush markers, and another fine-line marker. 
  • Images: Stamped using my Scroll & brush markers for ink so I could fairly easily stamp them in color.  I simply put the stamp on my stamp block, colored with the markers (going over them again if needed) and stamped as usual.  I had done a couple of test prints on scratch paper to make sure it would work as I wanted it to do.  I'm glad I did that because I found it worked best to stamp a time or two on scrap paper to "season" the stamp, before stamping the final image.  
  • Stamps used: birds & nest from HOT "Sweet Tweets", wrapped package was a HOTP small stamp, music notes were from JustRites's "Musical Notes Labels Twenty".

At the bottom of the page I added this heart from a Wedding Scrapbooking Dazzles set (and more writing with a marker).  After I took the picture, I decided I wanted a bit more color, so colored the heart in with a pink marker.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Time to Dance

Today's page was a pretty quick one (spiritual discussion here).  I didn't prep the page, though it might have been a little nicer if I had. 

The picture was printed on plain paper and attached using a "cut-to-size" piece of Elizabeth Craft's double-sided adhesive.  (Better quality paper would have been better - didn't think about the fact that I might wanted more archival quality!)

The pocket watch is a small stamp from HOTP, stamped with StazOn ink.

"Time to" is from the same stamp set, but I masked the word "celebrate" off - then came back with just the lower line to finish it.  I hand-drew the word "Dance" with my Millenium pen.

I added color with watercolor pencils - using the same to highlight the text.  I blended with a bit of water, but added a bit more than needed on the pocket watch and it puckered the page a little bit.  That's pretty much it!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Do It

This page was first prepped with clear gesso (spiritual discussion here), and mostly used my Zig Scroll & Brush markers.

The lettering is hand-drawn using a marker & a Millennium pen.  I am not very experienced with lettering, so I always draw it out ahead of time on scrap paper.  This gives me practice with the caligraphy marker & helps me sort out the spacing.  I can slip the sample under the page & trace it if I wish, but usually I just eyeball it after I feel I've practiced enough.  I colored the letters in with another marker, highlighted the associated text with a lighter marker, and finished up with a Wink of Stella on the focal words.

The heart is a double-stick Dazzles heart (HOTP) to which I added very fine glitter and burnished it well.  Then I added vines with a green marker and added some little Flower Jewel Dazzles (HOTP).  

I wanted a hint of color in the background, so added a bit of distress ink using one of Ranger's small blending tools with foam pad.  To avoid getting too much color, I dabbed the blender on a piece of scrap paper each time I re-inked it, before taking it to the Bible page.  The gesso gave it more of a textured look than usual.  I'm not sure if you can see it in the pictures, but in real life, I see quite a difference when I compare it to In the Morning where I used no page prep.  

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The Journey

Discussion of the spiritual message related to this illustration in my Bible can be found in the following blog posts: Teach Me and He Means It.  As usual, on this blog, I discuss the creative process itself.

This page was created without gesso or other page prep.  The illustration was hand drawn.  Since hand drawing is not my strength, I practiced on scraps of paper that were the same size as the margin.  When I had the path the way I wanted it, I slipped the scrap under the page and traced it onto the Bible page - easy to do since Bible pages are so thin.  I then drew in the lettering.  Both path and letters were drawn with my Zig Millennium Pen.  I colored in the letters with my Zig Scroll & Brush Markers.  

Next, I colored the grass, path, and sky with pastel chalks - applying them with a small stiff brush.  Using several colors helped give depth.  I was careful to leave the main portion of the sun blank (fortunately stray chalk marks erase pretty easily if done right away).  I colored in the sun with watercolor pencils & blended a bit with Wink of Stella. 

I wanted flowers, so added some Flower Jewel Dazzles (HOTP) and drew in stems for them with a Scroll and Brush marker.   I also added a few small flowers on the main words I wanted to highlight.  Note that the word "WAY" is drawn with arrows to emphasize the word's meaning.

I found there was more I wanted to journal about than easily fit on the margin, so I added a "tip-in":

As you can probably tell, I stamped an image on patterned paper and added words with my Millennium pen.  The ink bled through pretty badly (I had used a new ink pad - Celebrations hybrid ink), so I used a rectangle of Elizabeth Crafts double-sided adhesive to adhere it to another piece of the same patterned paper.  Then I added it to my Bible using coordinating washi tape.  Here you see it open with the start of some journaling:

As you can see, I used the washi tape on both the outside and the inside to make the hinge more sturdy. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

That They May Be One

Today's page was once again inspired by a challenge on the PWMB - this time for National Scrapbooking Day. I had expected to be making a regular scrapbook page, so imagine my surprise when I read that what I had chosen for my "pick and create" challenge meant that I would be making something OTHER than a traditional scrapbook page!  As I thought about what I could do, I remembered that I'd been wanting to make a page about our wedding for my Bible and this was the perfect opportunity! (To read more about what this page means to me, you can check my inspiration blog here.)  

These are the steps I took to make this page:
  1. Print photo and journaling - I started by creating a page in my photo editing software that had our wedding picture, the focal verse, and date of the wedding.  I printed this out on a plain piece of vellum.
  2. Add background color using a swirly template: Before adding the background color, I masked my photo with a piece of paper cut to the same size to protect it from stray ink.  Then I pulled out my "All Over Swirls" stencil from HOTP and applied "Broken China" Distress ink to the page using the mini foam applicator from Ranger & a pouncing motion.
  3. Add glittery sticker frame: I used Jewel Dazzle Border stickers to create the sparkly silver frame around the photo.
  4. Add paper pieced flowers: You can't see it real well, but I cut a piece of foil paper in a somewhat oval shape with a die from Spellbinder's Damask Accents set to serve as a foundation for the bouquet in the lower left corner - adds a bit more sparkle & glitz.  I used some of the Flower Frenzy dies (HOTP) to cut the flowers and leaves, and a paper punch to punch the yellow centers.  While I didn't do this for all them, it's easiest to cut from material that has a sticky back so you don't have to worry about adhesive to add them to the page.  So for some of these I added a small piece of thin double-sided adhesive sheet to the back of the paper before cutting/punching it.  But some of it I just glued in place using cosmic shimmer glue (works great as it has a small applicator tip).  I chose to create flowers that were reminiscent of the blue and white daisies that I carried in my bouquet. In addition to paper piecing them the different colors, I added some pen work with Bic permanent markers to give them more detail and depth. 
That was pretty much it.  I highlighted the text on the page and in person you can see it through the vellum (in the photo, the text you see through the paper mostly just looks like lines on the added page).  Oh yes, I added the page to my Bible using zip adhesive.  I got that idea from Rebekah Jones and it has worked well for the two pages I've added so far.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

In the Morning

Today I'm going to talk a little about what I did to create this page.  For more information about what this page means to me, you can check out this post.  

This time I wanted to experiment with mediums that might work WITHOUT first preparing the page with gesso.  This is what I did:
  • Stamp the Bird (HOT Small Stamp) - using black StazOn ink (I've read that archival ink works better for avoiding bleed-through on a thin Bible page than pigment inks - not sure if I find this to be true, but it certainly is better for use with watercolors.  It seems to work okay with my Zig Markers too.)
  • Color the bird with Zig Scroll & Brush markers (ones I'd read about that don't bleed through).  I found if I brushed lightly I was able to get a somewhat shaded look on the underside of the bluebird.  I was also able to get a bit of shading in the blue by adding just a little of the dark ink and then coloring the rest with a lighter pen.  It's important here to work quickly and lightly so there is less ink to run a chance of soaking through the page.  Too much coloring in the same spot WILL bleed through paper that is even thicker than this (I experimented on scratch paper before using them in my Bible).  It can also work to put just a hint of darker on the lighter using a marker-to-marker technique (as you color it will start to lose the darker color), but this works best for a larger area.
  • Do the lettering - using my Zig Scroll & brush markers, I wrote out the first few words to the song & the verse it references.
  • Shade the page in the background - I first cut a mask for the bird (should have for the sun as well) and then lightly added distress ink (Broken China) using a blending tool (first stamp excess on piece of paper and then add in circular motion).
  • Stamp Musical Notes - I stamped these using Black VersaFine pigment ink to see if it made a difference.  I can't see any bleed through on the back of the page - looks similar to the bird from the back.  The images weren't as clear as I would have liked - perhaps because of stamping over the distress ink (usually I get very clear images with this ink).  To clean it up a bit I went over it with a Zig Millennium pen.  
  • Highlight the verse with my Zig marker - brush side.

I was REALLY happy with the way this page looked - nice and flat with no wrinkling or puckering.  While it really didn't bleed to the back, however, you can certainly see the images because the paper is so thin:

To compare, I took a picture of the back of a page I had done earlier that HAD been prepped with gesso before stamping and coloring.   While you still see the "ghosting" of the image on the back side, I don't think it is nearly as visible.  So o o o, it looks like I can either prep the page and have it lay fairly flat but not perfectly so (gesso prepped page), OR I can go without, using different media, and have a bit more of the ghosting.  I'm really not sure which I prefer, so it will probably just depend on my mood.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Tiny Things & Shadows

I recently purchased a couple of Paper Artist die sets from HOTP - 10 Tiny Things & Shadows (picture or some above), and 9 Tiny Christmas Things & Shadows (picture of some below).  These are some great dies.  I had fun trying them with different materials (patterned paper, card stock, glittered fun foam) & colors & intermixing them.

I wanted to share a quick tip for using these.  The detailed dies have what I call the "outie" and several "innies".  I wanted to use the outie from one color/material and swap the innies from another color/material.  For instance, the Christmas stockings were cut from white card stock & red glittered fun foam and innies were swapped as you can see in the picture above.  Some of the innies are very small and easy to lose, so I found it worked best to choose the two pieces I wanted to mix and cut them one right after the other.  Then, I took one of the outies (with innies removed) turned it upside down on my craft mat and applied a piece (or more) of plain transparent tape (scotch tape) to the back of the outie and then trimmed away the excess tape around the outside edge.  This gave me an outie with sticky tape where the innies needed to go so it was then very easy to put the innies in place.