Bible Journaling: Psalm 136, Psalm 139:14

It’s still busy at The Studio, as there’s a That’s Crafty! One Day Special on Hochanda on 8th/9th December. That means I have six hours of live TV to prepare for – samples, show prep and lots of mental rehearsal! There are moments, though, where drying time gives me the chance to have a bit of ‘me’ time – and I’ve done a couple more Bible journal pieces. I have a couple of favourite verses from the psalms – Psalm 139:14 is one. The opposite side is the refrain in Psalm 136, used for page balance.

Psalm 136 - Psalm 140

I experimented with a different medium for this double spread. By using Derwent Inktense pencils on clear gesso/matte medium mix, you can direct the concentrated colour and use a dilute wash to create the background. For those unfamiliar with Inktense pencils/blocks, they are a richly pigmented colour pencil, which when wetted on or off the page become more vividly saturated and easy to blend. Once wetted and then dried they become waterproof – so much so they can be used to dye fabric too.

I topped off the text with some Stickles glitter glue to add a little glitz.
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Art Journals: using acrylic covers

I was on Hochanda this week demonstrating techniques for using the acrylic covers effectively, for the A4 and A6 journals from That’s Crafty!. As always, there is too little time on air to fit in all my ideas, and only just enough time to fit in all I had planned! What follows below are photos and quick explanations of how to do your own. I really need to remember to take step-by-step photos as I make so that I can do a proper tutorial post! First is an unbroadcast cover, then the mirrored cover that didn’t go so right when rushed, and last for this post is the bubbling water effect shown in my first hour.

  • Peel off the protective film from the reverse of the cover
  • Work on the reverse side for all the following steps
  • Place the snowdrop stencil in position and fill in using Posca pens
  • Dry, then place the TIME stencil upside down and sponge through ivory paint
  • Dry, spritz with gold mister, dry
  • Meanwhile, print texture stamps onto large Rizla papers using Chartreuse archival ink
  • Heat set the ink, then using decoupage glue/multi medium glue overlapping layers of the printed papers
  • Once dry, any paper over the edges of the cover can be sanded off

  • Peel off the protective film from the reverse of the cover
  • Working on the reverse, add alcohol inks until you are happy with the coloured layer
  • Place the JOURNAL stencil upside down and sponge a layer of Jet Black archival ink through onto the alcohol ink
  • Remove the stencil and then rub away the black in with a clean cloth/kitchen towel
  • Repeat inking steps if you want to remove any more of the alcohol ink
  • Now spritz with a water-based varnish (e.g. Pentart spray varnish) to seal the ink
  • IMPORTANT: allow to fully air dry, do not heat. Repeat varnish layer
  • Spritz with Pentart Mirror Mist and heat dry immediately to stop the mirror mist weakening the varnish beneath
  • Seal the mirror mist with the same varnish and finally apply a layer of black acrylic paint
  • Peel off front film to reveal your results

  • Peel off the protective film from the reverse of the cover
  • Working on the reverse, and using the word stencils the wrong way up, sponge your main colour onto the acrylic; heat dry and repeat directly over the top.
  • Next, sponge your shadow colour through the same stencil, slightly offsetting from the first colour
  • For the water effect, first dilute some white gesso/primer
  • Working quickly, cover the whole sheet with a layer of watery paint and then dab isopropyl alcohol into the wet paint – it will push the paint away and start the effect
  • When you are happy with the effect, heat dry in a well ventilated room
  • Repeat with a light shade of blue, and then another darker shade of blue
  • This technique will work over any sealed surface, but does rely on the paint being thinned and still wet
  • Try adding text to the front of the cover as well, this time starting with the shadow colour and working over the top with the main colour

Bonus post

Later this week I will do a separate post explaining my ‘now-you-see-me-now-you-don’t’ technique that was a wee bit rushed at the end of the second show:

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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)

Journal Collage

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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