Art Journal: American Adventures [Travel Journal]

It’s taken some time, but I’ve finished the journal I handmade last year and finally got round to taking and editing the photos of the finished article. I intended to journal each day before going to bed, but got a little behind whilst in New York as our room was so small that there was actually nowhere to work on a flat surface, and there was no communal area I could use either. Consequently, by the time I got to Boston, and there was space to work, I was already five days behind. Then life on the road for the final few days also meant I was doing other things at the end of each day. So it meant finishing off the work once I got home, but that brought back good memories of a lovely, and much needed, holiday.

As a format, the piano hinge worked very well – I was able to slide out each of the sticks in turn to work on the pages individually, which was far easier. The fold out sections added a little more space, and the wallets somewhere to put the various bits of ephemera that I collected along the way. With techniques from collage to napkin decoupage, hand drawn typography to watercolour illustrations, it was fun to put together. I would have liked to do more urban drawing, but for speed, mini-photos had to suffice.

Sit back, with a cuppa of your choice, and holiday¬†vicariously as you work through the journal ūüôā

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When I met… Ken Oliver

This is¬†a shockingly late, shameless¬†promotion for all that is Ken Oliver. We’ve been Facebook buddies [like him here] for a little while (after all there aren’t that many gentleman crafters at shows and we need to stick together), and I have had the pleasure of saying hi a couple of times in person at trade shows. This February he was here in the UK promoting his new ‘own brand’ crafting goodies, and he was kind enough to do the whole selfie thing with me, demonstrate his new Color Burst watercolours and give me a promo pack of 12×12″ Studio series of papers and a 6×6″ sampler pack of his other papers.

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I thought I’d use the 4×6″ journal cards sheet from his Studio collection to start off my new Project Life scrapbook, and they worked perfectly. The papers are printed on a satin finish light cardstock which feels smooth to the touch. There’s no bleed through from the Sharpies I used for some of the handwritten text, which is a bonus when working on double sided papers. As one might expect from an artist that’s been in the trade for years, the designs and colours used all work together beautifully. One slight hitch I noted when gluing things down – the satin finish does resist water-based liquids a little, as I found when I was using Zig Memory Systems two way acrylic glue. Something to be aware of, though that didn’t turn out to be too restrictive in practice – it might be more of an issue if spritzing with water/Color Burst (something I’ll test out).

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Ken was also demonstrating his Color Burst watercolours. These are fine crystalline colours, conveniently dispensed from fine nozzle bottles. They appear to be similar to Brusho crystals (becoming very popular in the UK) in their reaction with water, both to make a watercolour paint, and in spritzing on the page to make vivid backgrounds. Where Color Burst beats Brusho, in my opinion, is the finer, more even crystal size and the fine nozzle¬†capped¬†bottle. I’ve knocked over a holed Brusho pot into my distress ink pad storage box, and the turquoise crystals continue to find their way into projects, much to the annoyance of my Tuesday night ladies… The reverse of my Project Life page shows a couple of samples from Ken’s beautiful Watercolored Memories 6×6″ papers (top left, bottom right), and the rest are Ken’s own demo sheets showing the vivid colours and dynamic reactions of the crystals with water on watercolour paper.

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Thanks to Ken for having a chat, demoing his fabulous products, and especially for the goodie pack. Sorry it’s taken me so long to fulfil my promise to post about our chat!


Sandy Toes Too (for Jones Crafts)

IMG_5602_wI really have used up all the papers I was sent for this month’s projects by Jones Crafts. This 12×12″ layout uses the last of the Sandy Toes Collection. The largest ‘porthole’ is actually hiding the bit I cut out from the ‘Flip Flops’ sheet for the clock face for¬†my beach hut, framed with a circle cut from the ‘Sandy’ sheet.¬†I stuck a square of the ‘Ocean’ sheet behind to fill in the hole. The rest is made up of elements from ‘Beach Bum’, ‘Waves’ and ‘Sea Shells’ sheets.

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Sandy Toes… but mainly sandy paws (for Jones Crafts)

IMG_5600_wReliving a summer memory is lovely, while the sun is shining (although far from hot!). I’ve just done this 12×12″ layout using what’s left of my Kaisercraft Sandy Toes Collection after I’d made the beach hut clock. This was Esther’s first visit to a beach, and Charlie just loves playing at the water’s edge. I’ve used a Project Life style, but without the pockets, so that best use is made of the 3×4″ cards featured in the collection.

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A reason to smile (for Jones Crafts)

I’ve managed to eke out the remainder of my papers left over from my desktop calendar project using the Hello Today collection from Kaisercraft to make a 12×12″ layout:

IMG_5520_wThe smiles are all from the internet, but could just as easily be friends and family. I’ve printed them in black and white and cut them as a circle 4.6cm diameter: initially I cut out the hexagons to make a frame and stuck the prints behind. Then when I added the hexagon white frames (e-cut) I realised there was no need to do the cutting and masking! That said, there are a couple of the hexagon cut outs mounted onto foam pads and stuck over others to give some depth to the layout. Add some of the ribbon embellishments and the sentiment matted onto white and black card and you’re done.

Sheets used: Everyday / Current / Nowadays

 


Hello Today Desk Calendar (for Jones Crafts)

In my happy post on Saturday, I received a collection of papers from the newly released Kaisercraft ‘Hello Today’ collection. I couldn’t wait to get started on them – but I was still in the middle of my Advent Village workshop, so had to wait until yesterday! Over a couple of hours yesterday and today, I came up with this desk calendar:

The calendar is 7″ x 5″ and features the handy 3″ x 4″ calendar tiles alongside the inspirational quotes. By mounting the months back to back with the quotes either side of an acetate sheet which is a half inch longer, the holes for the wire binding doesn’t spoil the month title, and allows the choice of six quotes per month view. Flipping over June and turning the calendar around reveals July onwards and another six quotes to choose from. Edge your pages with Frayed Burlap Distress Ink, and use the Zutter Bind-it-all to pull it all together.

Pages used: Document / Right Now / Nowadays / Current / Mod / New

 


Raining Cats & Dogs Cards (for Jones Crafts)

As well as the extraordinarily large layout I did earlier in the month, I’ve used the Graphic45 Raining Cats & Dogs Collection to make four cards from what was left over from my kit sent by Jones Crafts. As you might expect, all the papers complement one another and are ideal for matting up. Embellishments are a cinch with the die cut chipboard tags and there’s also a couple of sheets of die cut card stock with folders/envelopes with matching inserts. Quick edging with Walnut Stain Distress Ink hides those annoying white edges and I’ve added faux brads using Onyx Liquid Pearls. Hey presto, four cards for the pet lovers amongst your friends and family. The Cat’s Meow card is 8×8″, the other three are 6×6″.

 

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