Hello there. Today I have some truly gorgeous downloads of some Tudor queens and other badass female royals to use in your journal pages, collage, or other mixed media work. You need these. Please be inspired by their attitudes and their outfits, then if you like, click for a larger image, copy, and off you go. Let me know what you make with these and as always, just get in touch if you have any [read more]
Please join me for lots of layers, paper scraps, water soluble techniques, blending, smudging, colour, and some tips on composition as we go through the process of creating an art journal page.
My art journal is where I can do anything I want. I don’t have to ask if it will sell or even express my Greatest Creative Vision. It is just for the heck of it and it is a great joy to just play around with bits of whatever. And stuff. Today I am going to explain some of the whys and ways I choose what goes on a page and what comes after that.
While almost everything on this page is from the scrap pile, I do use Derwent Chunky Graphite Sticks to pull it together at the end. (I use these A LOT.) You can find them here:
I also use a Caran d’Ache Technalo watersoluble graphite pencil. See them here:
Please subscribe to my online newsletter (on any blog page here) to receive a twice monthly missive with free tutorials, downloads, pep talks, and other whatnot in your inbox. Feel free to leave me a comment or let me know if you have any questions I [read more]
At last! The return of the French Book Arts Ephemera Boxes. Each parcel is filled with vintage French treasure to inspire your art journals, junk journals, collage, altered books, or other mixed-media work. Each box is curated by hand and is filled with hard-to-find handwritten paper, post cards, cabinet photos, and French brocante, all authentic and little pieces of mysteries and unfinished stories that have been waiting to be found. Here is a video of an unboxing or if you prefer there are photos at the end of this post.
While every box is different, each contains:
- Five yards French linen thread (unwaxed);
- Vintage tin (distressed);
- Three handwritten cartes postales;
- Edition of La Mode Illlustrée, a womans fashion magazine dating from the 1870s to the 1880s. Four pages;
- handwritten legal documents (actes notaires);
- French dictionary pages, 1842, four pages;
- Signatures from various French texts, 1611-1878;
- Three cartes de visites (photographs), circa 1880s;
- Four playing cards (jeu de tarot), 1870;
- Five vintage prayer/holy cards;
- Edition of Bulletin Des Lois (1835 to 1854). Printing is letterpress and they open to 16” x 20”.
- Three large pages of ads from L’Universe (1861) or Femina (1911);
- Five hand-lacquered mother-of-pearl shells;
- 10ml sample of handmade walnut ink;
- Length of vintage lace;
- 18 inches of sari silk;
- Length of tea-dyed gauze;
- UHU, archival [read more]
Recently I showed some mark making techniques for our art journal pages and mixed media work and to make it clearer and easier, I used misters to deliver the ink without explaining about them and a lot of you said, hey wait, what is a mister anyway? Basically it is nothing more than a small spray bottle. When filled with pigment, it is a versatile tool for getting your colour into your mixed media and art journal projects. I keep several with a variety of colours and intensities both for starting and for embellishing pages. This video should make things clearer.
You can buy them premade or you can make your own, and in that way choose your palette. Ranger has a line of mini-misters. They are in most craft stores and you can also order them online here and also here. Another (and cheaper) option is to just use spray bottles, the size used for getting your liquids past airline security. You find at any supermarket, online, in Poundland or the Dollar Store, or in any chemist or big box store. They are inexpensive and should last for ages.
Usually I use ink but they may [read more]
Today I have a variety of ecoprint paper bundles for use in your work and creations. These are made from leaves that I foraged here in Wales last fall. The leaves are then steamed for many hours and their essential essence is captured on each page. Now it is almost time to forage for this year’s batch so I am bundling up what I have left in stock to make room. (How did it get to be almost fall? What a year. But that’s a different post.)
CLICK ON ANY PHOTO BELOW FOR A LARGER VIEW.
Each ecoprint bundle is different, with seven pieces on different size paper or card. It is bound with sari silk. They are gorgeous framed but you can also use them in a variety of projects. In the video below I show a few of the ways that I use these in collage and bookbinding designs, such as a Turkish map fold, an accordion book with pockets, and an art book (livre d’artiste) bound with rust-dyed cheesecloth and tea-dyed gauze.
Four bundles are available, each one is £35 GBP with free worldwide shipping. (Click here for a currency converter.) To buy, please email me [read more]
I never go anywhere without a sketchbook journal; it’s the best way to make sure you are working in it, no excuses, and using small bits of time here and there. While I usually use a most substantial journal there are times when it is too heavy to be practical, and then I want a smaller, lightweight book. But – I want it to be noteworthy, so I decorate them before taking them out. (We want compliments, don’t we?) Here is a video showing how I altered the softcover sketchbook above. Below this are some written instructions AND some high-res downloads that you can use to reproduce this book yourself.
You can usually find these soft cover journals in craft, stationery, or book stores. First I put down a messy layer of gauze. If you don’t have gauze you can use cheesecloth or other light fabric, or tissue paper, or skip this step. Over that I added a page from an old French army record book onto which I had stamped a bird’s nest. Now, you can use any page of your own that you fancy but here are some high-res scans that you can download or cut-and-paste [read more]
Okay, fine, let’s talk about that blank page anxiety. Again. Look, you have enough to be anxious about without worrying whether that white page in your journal or diary is glaring at you, daring you to write or work on it. People, this will not do. Instead, today we are going to look at a variety of mark making techniques that will jumpstart your creative engines by making a nice, grungy, comfortable, welcoming space to create on.
I keep a special tea cup dedicated to this technique alone. You can make messy circles using gesso. Or Ink. I like to combine a bit of colour to gesso. This makes a viscous medium that looks like chalk paint and also has remarkable depth. Add circles sparingly or go crazy and make bold patterns.
Drizzle or pour a small amount of liquid pigment – I am using my handmade walnut ink but you can use watercolours or acrylic thinned with water. Improvise. Smoosh it about on the page, then gently blot. You can now use this image as a messy, happy background, or you can draw into it, letting the blot tell you what it is meant to be. Alternatively, you can use [read more]
I don’t know about you but I am feeling on the lost side of things these days, dazed and confused. So what do you say we make a handmade map? If you keep journal pages you can add a map there and then you’ll know where you are. When this mess is all over, you can look at it and know that this is where you were. It’s fun, it’s simple, it is an easy way to feel as though you are making order out of chaos and that is really therapeutic right now. Also, it’s not fattening. So let’s go.
You don’t have to draw well to be a good cartographer of your life. Yes, you could do a fancier job but if you wait, you might not get around to doing it. (Sound familiar?) Hand drawn maps have a special charm and immediate quality and a diagram of your neighbourhood is a powerful tool for storytelling and memory keeping. (One of my most cherished maps is one I made of the walk I took every single day for years with my dog: it was so ordinary but now that my animal friend is gone, I can [read more]
Hellooooooooooo! This is my latest altered book and it is full of vintage paper ephemera from the 19th and early 20th century. This book took several weeks to make, from preparation to blocking and creating individual collage layouts using a variety of authentic engravings and other vintage images. These are not printed downloads: I always use originals. This altered book is a one-of-kind piece.
If you want to see a larger version of any photo below, just click on it and hey, presto, you will be able to see more detail.
Please let me know if you have any questions or leave me a comment below. I love getting your feedback.
If you are interested in buying this altered book it is £135 plus £8 worldwide shipping. Please send me an email at email@example.com or a DM at Instagram [read more]
Last year I got lucky and found a book called Paxton’s Magazine of Botany from 1838. (Or maybe it found me.) Inside were 48 insanely beautiful, hand-coloured botanical plates of flowers. Repeat – each one of these prints was painted by hand. I am still working out how (or if) I will sell the originals but in the meantime, I am offering them as digital downloads that you can print and use in your own artwork. Each plate is high resolution, 300 dpi.
Note that the originals of these plates are over 180 years old some of these copies will have foxing and other smudging from over the years but if you love old paper as I do, you will consider this part of their patina and part of the story that they are telling. They are also in the public domain so you can use them in your creations safely.
Please go to the bottom of this post to see a video of ways that I use these images in my mixed-media and art journal [read more]