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]
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]
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]
I have heard from several people this week, in different degrees of anxiety, say that they want to – they need to – start a diary or journal but their fear of the blank page has only increased during these strange days. Well people, this will not do. In addition to being the record you need to be keeping of what is happening, keeping a journal is cheap therapy that can make a difference.
So. Here is a short video tutorial showing ways to knock this blank page fear thing out of the park. You are going to deliberately, on purposely get your pages dirty. Well, not dirty, but you are going to stain them with a variety of elements so that you will have a nice, grungy, comfortable, welcoming paper to begin with. Turn the idea of order out of chaos on its head and instead make chaos out of order, then play with it.
Drizzle tea. Dab coffee. Spritz ink. Splatter paint. Doodle, then scribble, then doodle some more. Make a grid and fill it with notes in the form of teensy images. But no excuses.
Using an ink wash is a fun and easy way to add interest to your illustrated journal or art journal pages. It is especially handy way to start a page if you are not confident in your drawing as it is by its nature a messy look. (“See? I meant it to look like that.”)
In this short video, you can see how the technique can be done with pen and ink as well as other water soluble materials. Let me know if you have any [read more]
These are some recent illustrated journal pages from last Fall’s trip through Burgundy in France. Santé ! (Click on photo for larger image.)
And below is a flipthrough with commentary about how I made some of the [read more]
Recently, someone said they admired the way I kept up with my illustrated journal pages while on vacation. I stared at her slackjawed. No matter how many museums, road trips, hikes, or meal – I can’t not keep up my journal. If I don’t get it in my diary, it didn’t happen, without my pages my journey feels flat and black and white. So I thought maybe it was time to do a little preaching about keeping a visual diary.
An illustrated journal is somewhere between a diary and a scrapbook: drawings, ticket stubs, lists, maps, postcards, and photos combine with handwritten lists, notes, and stories and the end result is a whimsical field guide to your days. Unlike a photo album alone, it provides a strong sense of witness.
While it is invaluable for travel (the French call it un carnet de voyage) and capturing unfamiliar sites, food, wanderings, scenery, memories, it can do these things for your everyday life as well, your day-to-day journey: what you’re cooking, reading, pondering. A map of your neighbourhood with a story. Your shoes, a leaf, your cat, your coffee cup. (Click on photos for larger view.)
In the weeks to come I [read more]