Recently I made an altered book layout using mix-and-match, contrasting backgrounds for a sort of torn wallpaper look. (The video is below.) You can use the techniques shown – rough tearing papers and layering them – using any papers that you have such as sheet music, varied text, junk mail, magazine pages, and almost anything in between.
But if anyone would like to have these images, which are from Goldsmith’s Animated Nature, the 1876 edition, either for a similar background or any other project, I have added these high-res scans for you to use. Simply click on any image to get a larger version, then right click and copy the image into an editing program such as Paint. (I use Word. While it is not traditionally used for photo editing, it works for me and I am used to it.) Please note, you may want to resize this and make the page and images smaller. [read more]
The Girl’s Own Paper was a periodical published in Britain from 1880 until 1956. I really enjoy the older versions for their plates and engravings that I use a lot in my altered books and art journals. They also have some writing that is as ridiculous as it is humourless: sanctimonious advice to young women about the quality of the verses, suggestions for becoming lace menders or lady’s maids, and serialised stories that were meant to be uplifting but today seem terrifying in their narrow expectation for the female half of the species.
Here are a few plates for you. Click on any image for a larger version then right click, copy, and put into an editing program. Paint is a good one although I also use Word (because I am used to it). Below is a video flipthrough of some of the prettier (and cheesier) selections from the book. Let me know if you have any questions and please get back to me and let me know what you [read more]
Here are some high-res scans of vintage French postcards with gorgeous handwriting in old ink. To use them in your work, click on an image for a bigger view then click, copy, and save into an editing program such as Paint. You can then add a light card for some backing and hey presto, you can play around with them to your creative heart’s content.
And here is a video tutorial showing how to use vintage postcards to make pockets in an altered book. This technique would also be good in junk journals or art journals or other mixed media work. Please let me know if you have any [read more]
I recently acquired a batch of French holy cards (images pieuses) from the 1870s. They are utterly charming engravings on paper surrounded by a lace border, which is why they are also called “dentelles,” which is the French word for lace. Cards like this were often given as gifts for a first communion, baptism, or other important events in one’s church life and were cherished.
I have made this into high-resolution (300 dpi) scans that you can download and print or use digitally in your own collage, journal, or other mixed media work. TO USE: click on an image below for a larger resolution. You either print from there or right click and copy into an editing programme such as Paint and then size and print from there.
Please check back soon as I will be adding some images pieuses in colour!
I sell quite a bit of vintage paper from my studio, from letterpress text to handwritten letters to just plain old antique book pages. Sometimes the happy new owner of these pages is off and running with using it her work but other times I get emails saying that it is beautiful but what do I do next? Can I really use it in my pages?
The answer is, you bet. Let me show you some of the ways you can incorporate old papers into your work. As usual, I am going to show most of these methods using my altered book but remember, you can do the same in your art journals, junk journals, collage, or any other mixed media project.
- Full page coverage. Using handwritten documents or letters is one of my favourite go-to ways to start a layout. It is fun and atmospheric and allows your focal points to shine, all at the same time.
- A variation on the full page cover is to mix and match it with the original underpage. I like to rough tear a letter in an irregular way and then glue it to the base so that you can see some layer. [read more]
This video is the first in a series on keeping a stay at home travel journal because just because we are not traveling these days doesn’t mean that we can’t keep a creative, cool record of our days, especially these crazy days. I want to start by talking about supplies, the tools that I carry with me to work on my illustrated journals, on the road and at home.
When I first discovered illustrated journal keeping I was told that the first, number one rule was – never go anywhere without your portable art kit on you. If you do this, if you are ready to work at any time. I am rarely without my supplies which means I can make pages in coffee shops, dr’s offices, parks, wherever I find myself. So let me introduce you to my portable art studio.
- Waterbrushes (I use Pentel)
- Variety of fineliner pens
- White gel pen
- Bamboo dip pen
- Scissors (mine are Cutter Bee)
- Pencil sharpener
- Portable watercolour kit
- Bag with pockets
Here are the links to some of the items I rely on. Note, I am not paid by any of these companies.
LIHIT Lab bags
Gallo Watercolour kit
Derwent Inktense Sticks
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]
NOTE: I will be selling all new box bundles in November 2021 as I am in France buying new, old stock at the moment! If you would like to pre-order, get in touch and let me know at email@example.com.
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 [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]
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]