A Graffiti Journal

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I’ve been fascinated with ‘proper’ graffiti since a child – I love the colour, the vibrancy, the illegality of the hobby and the absolute control of the medium and the application. I’ve also owned a ‘how-to’ book for a number of years, well-thumbed but never used. That all changed when I made a journal from corrugated cardboard and once I’d started tearing off the surface layer, the idea developed to make faux rusty corrugated iron complete with requisite graffiti. I’ve tried different styles and colouring methods, starting with Sharpie pens, trying an image transfer, then Pitt Artist Pens. Then I had a sudden thought of how to replicate the aerosol can at this small scale – I got out my LetraJet air brush attachment for my Promarkers and thus smooth blends appeared. Lots of Posca pen use as well to finish things off.

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Art Journal Page: One Word [Wanderlust]

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In the first Wanderlust class of the year, we were prompted to use just one word on our pages – and yesterday, I was so tired. Poor sleep, recovering from a cold and a wet grey day all got poured into this art journal spread. Building on the learning gleaned from the first pick a stick challenge, I layered and layered, and am actually rather pleased with the result, as grey and drab as it is!

It’s the first time I’m working in a spiral bound art journal – this one is a Daler-Rowney Cachet Artist’s Mixed Media, A5 sized, 30 page, 250g/m2. The paper is wonderful to work on, didn’t buckle under the wet media or bend with dry acrylic and basically took everything I threw at it. There’s just one issue – the spiral bound spine: those pesky wires. I’m sticking with the book for the Wanderlust classes, but will be looking for stitch bound journals in the future.

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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!


Good Ol’ Sport Journal (for Jones Crafts)

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I’ve just received my DT goodies from Jones Crafts, and this time, I have the Graphic 45 Good Ol’ Sport Collection of papers to play with. Just as well it’s vintage and paper, as those that know me well know that I don’t do sport!

In what is fast becoming a trademark makeover, I’ve taken the sheet of 4×6″ prints, cut them up, added some more pages using the other papers and wire bound them using my Zutter Bind-it-All. The front and back covers have faux rusted enamel finish using clear embossing powder and Vintage Photo Distress Ink and Distress Powder. Everything else is  aged with Vintage Photo Distress Ink. I created the photo corners by making a cut file and cutting them out on the Silhouette Cameo, before colouring with Tarnished Brass Distress Stain, sticking them together and then inserting the collector’s cards from two other sheets from the collection. Add in some of the chipboard tags and die cuts for tags, and paper ribbons and it’s done. Here’s a clickable gallery for close ups:

Handbound Travel Journal (for Jones Crafts)

This handmade book features Kaisercrafts’ fabulous February release of the Now Boarding Collection, and includes more than enough space for your journaling, photos and ephemera. Why not make one before you go on your next holiday and fill it in while you’re there?

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Art Journal Page – Peterborough Beer Festival 2011

It’s a wonder, but this is a journal record of five and a half hours done live at Peterborough Beer Festival. Just as well I was having just half pints! The title was drawn whilst on the train from Leicester, and the rest was created as I was drinking the beer in question. And the best beer of the day? The Fuller’s Brewer’s Reserve No.3 – exceptional combination of malt flavours from the beer and the scotch barrels it was aged in. Very very nice, but at £7.50 a bottle or £90 for a case, I don’t think I’ll be having another any time soon 🙁

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